Sunday, October 31, 2010

2010 - Day Three Hundred Four...

Who's Your Daddy? Why, I'm your daddy of course. Can you spot the bull in this photo? No Bull! Really! The cattle were all moved to the west pasture this morning, and a little bit of bribery never hurts to grease the skids. This pasture has more trees, and the stock tank is full of water, but they are spoiled with city water, so they are not really happy that I have cut off the water to their troughs. But in a couple days, they will not even remember the water in the troughs, and the water in the tank will be just fine once again.

I got a lot of things accomplished today, including staying in bed until almost 7 o'clock. You should not confuse that with having slept until 7, I just did not get out of bed. I still wake up early, but on weekends I just try to convince myself to stay calm, don't move, go back to sleep. Sometimes it works better than other times. Miguel did not come out this morning; he called and said his wife did not give him permission (he is newly married). That did not really bother me, I would actually prefer that he come out next weekend. That will be better for us, even though I will be out of town.

The chicken coop got cleaned, and the girls have fresh water and feed; the AC filters got changed, the cattle got moved and fed, I shined all my shoes, Jody and I went into Georgetown (it's the weekend, what do you expect?) and had a spoiler and I did some shopping (I got some new dress tee-shirts to wear with suits), stopped at HEB and Tractor Supply and we worked on the air-show in the front of the house. The air-show was Jody's anniversary gift last year, and it has always needed to be lubricated, but I just did not think I could do it by myself. As it turns out, I could, and did. SO that was quite an accomplishment for me. All the moving parts are moving much better now, and it is also much quieter that it has been.

While we were at HEB they were announcing that all the 'kids' should go back to the seafood department to see Oscar the Octopus, so of course, there I went. I was expecting to see an Octopus swimming around, but it was a dead octopus on a bed of ice. Kind of anti-climactic. AND, I had left my camera in the car, so I took a photo of it with my cell phone and e-mailed it to myself, but it still has not shown up in my e-mail. I may surprise you with it tomorrow.

Guess what we are having for dinner tomorrow night? This is an annual thing with one of the Lutheran Churches in Walburg, and this will be the third time we have participated. We will be getting a LOT of food; sausage, cole-slaw, potato salad, beans, bread and dessert. And it will be piled high. Yummy!

The one thing that was on my list today was to cut some grass, and I did not get that done. I can cut the grass in the dogs yard one evening this week, but the rest of it will just have to wait. It is not anything overwhelming, so I will just put it off for a while. I was going to put something here about California passing the 'legalize Marijuana' law (on Tuesday, maybe) and hooking that into a comment about the 'grass', but I really could not make it work, so I just dropped it. Probably a smart move, what do you think?

The chickens seem to have overcome their trauma from the Chihuahua's the other day, and they are back to laying six eggs today. They will be very happy to see they have a clean house later this evening, and I even added a little bit of alfalfa hay to their nesting boxes, even though they only seem to use three (at the most) of the six boxes. They generally use only two of the boxes, which is kind of contrary to everything I read about chickens when I was just getting started with this hobby. But, they all seem to be happy as clams, so I am not going to question it. If they just keep those eggs coming, everything will be good.

This will be a short week at the office, I will cram a lot into three days, and take off Thursday morning for New Orleans. I really look forward to the NAR Conventions, and I always learn a lot and pick up a lot of really good ideas.

Deeds, Actions, Changes, AIR SHOW, Kindnesses, Whirled Peas, FUN!

Saturday, October 30, 2010

2010 - Day Three Hundred Three...

Well, there is a good possibility that the Chihuahua's traumatized the girls yesterday; scared the yolks out of them perhaps. I have been expecting that they could not keep up the frantic pace of egg production, and today it was cut in half. BUT three eggs is still pretty good. Each of them laying an egg a day for the last six days was really extraordinary. We will see what tomorrow brings. AND, this is a photo of one of the eggs we had this morning, the great big egg we expected would have a double yolk, and it did. AND, the egg-loaf this morning was extra-delicious!

I went into Austin this morning to show some houses to a very nice pair of clients. As we got to know each other more, it is more and more fun showing property. It is always easier when you can actually see what they like, and how they are figuring out the home-buying process.

Before I left for the Austin, I was out in the fields with Miguel, showing him what I wanted him to be working on while I was gone. This crop duster had been buzzing around yesterday, and he was back at it this morning. Yesterday (and this morning as well) I thought he was spraying something on Pauline and Hubert's property, so before I left, I called Pauline to see what he was up to. Pauline reports he is actually broadcasting rye grass onto some of the property that belongs to one of the major beef producers in the area, and Pauline is not happy about it. They try to control the rye grass, but when it is broadcast like that, it gets into their fields and interferes with their corn, maze and wheat crops, and makes is all less valuable. So, that can be a problem. But it was interesting to watch the plane come in low and then climb and do it all over again.

When I got home, I checked on how Miguel was doing, and as usual he was doing a very good job. Jody and I went into Georgetown and stopped at Dairy Queen for a spoiler, and then we made a couple more stops before returning home. Miguel will be coming back tomorrow, and I am working to get everything ready for my departure on Thursday, so there should be no issues for Jody while I am gone. Tomorrow there will be more work done on the fences, and I need to clean out the chicken coop. The girls are not the cleanest of all species... In the meantime, today I got the troughs moved into the west pasture, and put a fresh bale of hay over there for the cattle. I will move the cattle (actually, there will be a miniature stampede, all I have to do is open the gate) to that pasture tomorrow morning, and give them some cattle cubes, and they will be happy with the greener grass and the water in the stock tank. Overall, they are pretty contented cattle.

Deeds, Actions, Changes, LOW FLYING PLANES, Kindnesses, Whirled Peas, FUN!

Friday, October 29, 2010

2010 - Day Three Hundred Two...

Okay, are you sitting down as you read this? I had my car washed today, AND the inside cleaned as well. The guy at the car wash (the new Mr. Clean car wash in Round Rock) asked me if I thought there were any surviving bugs within a 15 mile radius of the house. There were a few bugs on the front end of the car (many of which are still there because they could not get them off) but I live in the country FCS! And there are still plenty of bugs around here, believe me. There are skunks out here too. On the way to work on Wednesday, there was a suicide skunk on the road not far from the Basset Hounds house, and it was determined that I was going to run over it. I, on the other hand, was determined that I was not going to give the skunk any reason at all to 'raise-a-stink' if you know what I mean. It took some doing, but we both got away with no damage. Oh, this car wash also has these little Star Wars kind of water guns along the way, and kids car shoot water at the cars as they are going by in the wash. It is like those water slides; I really want to do it, but I am a grown-up (allegedly) so I just look longingly and suppress my inner child. I think I need to just go for it the next time! I WILL!

After that, it was smooth sailing on the rest of the drive home. I am on CD 11 of 36 of my latest book, and it is pretty good. Not as great (so far) at his earlier one, but still a good listen. AND since my windows were so clean, it gave me an opportunity to fully appreciate the incredibly blue sky that was all around us today. Temperatures in the low 70's, low humidity and no clouds. The only thing that would be better would be if the allergens would relocate to somewhere else, I am thinking Houston...or Iraq. Just somewhere else, not here.

I got home, and I noticed that the door was open to the barn out front. Jody reported there had been just a little bit of trauma...the neighbors brought their dogs out with them (two Chihuahua looking dogs) and gave the chickens some hell. The chickens do not like being chased (they have enough trouble finding bugs and steering clear of other predators like Hawks), so there was a little bit of craziness. AND, all the chasing got two of the bee hives aggravated, and so no one was happy. I can now report that all is back to normal, thank you very much. AND, we got six more eggs today. That makes six days in a row we have gotten six eggs. Incredible.

Showing property tomorrow, need to pick up my clients at 10 in the morning.

Deeds, Actions, Changes, CHIHUAHUA DOGS (the little devils), Kindnesses, Whirled Peas, FUN!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

2010 - Day Three Hundred One...

I mentioned in the Tuesday post that a group from our office went to Caritas to paint bowls for the Annual Austin Empty Bowl Project. Here is a photo of some of the bowls that were completed on that date, and now they have to be fired. I really like some of these bowls, and I hope we can find them on the day of the event. The photo following this is of Tom, Pat, Carrie and Karla from the office with some of the bowls they painted.

Today was a pretty good day. We had the PM meeting in the AM, and then I did Meals-On-Wheels. Five clients on my route today, and one was not home, and I called the office to report suspicious activity around that house, and I may never know what the outcome was/is to that suspicion. AND, I will not be delivering my route next week because I will be leaving on Thursday to the NAR convention (NARDIGras) in New Orleans. I am looking forward to seeing a couple long-time friends, and seeing what has happened to New Orleans since I left there 25 years ago this month. A lot of water under those bridges...

Six more eggs today, that makes two dozen eggs in four days. I keep expecting production to go down, but not so far. Those girls must have been saving up! They should start producing less in the cooler weather too. We will just have to wait and see.

Tomorrow will be a short day, meeting at 10 o'clock and another at 1 o'clock. Then I am threatening to get my car washed, and I am taking clients to see homes on Saturday.

Deeds, Actions, Changes, EMPTY BOWLS, Kindnesses, Whirled Peas, FUN!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

2010 - Day Three Hundred...

Really? Really!! Day Three Hundred?? I remember part of today, very little of yesterday, and what about all those other days? I have no clue about Day Two Hundred. When was Day One Hundred? AND, if this is Day Three Hundred, that means we only have sixty-five more days until it is Day One all over again. And while I am on this subject, what is it will all that Spring Forward-Fall Back foolishness. And when are we going to Fall Back? The Bartlett Tribune Progress (Serving Central Texas Since 1886) reported on the front page of it edition last week (and I quote) "GET READY! TIME CHANGE! Its almost time to Fall Back Sunday Morning, November 7. Set your clocks forward on hour Saturday night before you go to bed." Well, that seems to contradict itself. OR, is the City of Bartlett seceding from the rest of us and choosing to defy the time mavens and go even further backward than they already are? I think I should probably not get started with this.

SO, I will start this instead. I am prepared to be ridiculed and harassed by approximately 50% of the world's population when I say 'What is up with all these WOMEN DRIVERS?' I think it is safe for me to consider myself an expert on drivers, since I am on one of the most congested Interstate Highway Systems at least five days a week, for a minimum of 500 miles per week, and I am telling you, the women-folk have issues. They really should switch off the AM talk-radio and go for something a little bit more Barry Manilow-like. We will all be safer for it, and what we really need is a bit more calm in the world right about now. I KNOW, it is really not the AM talk radio that is getting to them, it may just be all the election advertisements; one-half wants to string up the other-half (if you get my drift). Okay, I will step down from my soap-box now.

TODAY was all about the Austin Board of REALTORS Realty Round Up at the Austin Convention Center. I think it was a great day. Realty Round Up is the biggest real estate trade show in central Texas, and it was really a fun day. Our company had a booth and we all had a pretty big time. Our booth included a photo-booth with lots of silly hats and boas and that kind of stuff. The photo above is my business partner Carrie, and the photo adjacent to this paragraph is of our fabulous EXECUTIVE ASSISTANTS Tom and Karla. They are wonderfully competent and keep our office running like a top. Thanks for all your hard work. AND, just because I put Carrie's photo adjacent to the paragraph that talks about CRAZY WOMEN DRIVERS (oops, I did it again), there should be no editorial comment assumed. THANK YOU.

Tomorrow will be a calm day, PM meeting in the AM, and then Meals-On-Wheels. FUN!

OH, Chicken Update: Six more eggs today, and today ends five full weeks of egg production by the girls. We are averaging just a bit over 23 eggs per week, and I think that is a LOT of EGGS. I do not think they can keep up that pace, but we will see, and you will all be the third of fourth folks to be informed of what is happening, chicken-wise!

Deeds, Actions, Changes, CRAZY WOMEN DRIVERS, Kindnesses, Whirled Peas, FUN!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

2010 - Day Two Hundred Ninety Nine...

My assumption is that most of you who read this journal do so via FaceBook, and not directly from the web-site (, but even so, I thought the sunset last night was pretty nice (not an award winner or anything, but good), so I wanted to include it here again. Last night was windy and there was a smattering of clouds, and today there is not a cloud in the sky, and not a bit of breeze. BUT, yesterday was a negative energy day for us; the turbines returned more energy to the grid that we consumed. That has not happened for a while, but it will be much more common in the fall, winter and spring. The dog days of summer, when we use the most energy, is the time in central Texas when we have the calmest of winds. RATZ!

OMG! We are up to our EGGS in EGGS! Another half dozen eggs today, they cannot keep up this pace! AND, that kind of blows what I read about hens with no rooster; that one of the hens will become a dominate hen and keep the others secure, but will not lay. UNLESS there are a couple hens that are laying two eggs a day, which I believe is very doubtful. Right now, we are averaging 22 eggs a week, and that is a lot of eggs, I don't care who you are.

Today was a really good day. A very rewarding, informative and educational Board of Directors meeting. One thing I have learned in all my years, every day is a lesson, and education can take many forms. I truly enjoy the experiences I am having as a Director.

After the meeting, I got to the office in time for our Strategic Planning meeting, and after that the crew headed to Caritas ( to paint bowls for the Empty Bowl Project ( There are certainly a lot of web addresses in this blog, but all are very worth your time to visit! ANYWAY, everyone went to paint bowls, and I went to take all our schwag to the Convention Center (find the web-site yourself) for Realty Round Up, which is tomorrow. Realty Round Up is the largest real estate trade show in central Texas, and it is always a lot of fun.

SO, today was busy, tomorrow will be busy, and then it will be Thursday!

Deeds, Actions, Changes, BUSY-BUSY, Kindnesses, Whirled Peas, FUN!

Monday, October 25, 2010

2010 - Day Two Hundred Ninety Eight...

This is not any sort of trick photography, or some kind of misconception of scale. This is just an example of a REALLY BIG egg. We have one chicken (we do not know which one) that occasionally lays a HUGE specimen of egg. Usually these eggs have a double yolk, but in comparison, I would not be surprised if one of the girls had to take a day or two off after having pushed this thing out. BIG EGGS! Anyway, we got six more eggs today, and we are not exactly sure what it is, but we feel we must be doing something right.

A nice day at the office today, and everyone was pretty much feeling better. Karla was back in the office today, and reported she had visited the emergency walk-in clinic over the weekend, and they reported she had the flu. Tom believes he just has a bad case of allergies, and I think I am going forward with allergies; I feel better in the mornings, and get 'medicine head' kind of feelings by the late afternoon. Overall, I am happy to report that we should all make 100% recoveries 'sooner or later'.

Got lots of office work completed today, and had two appointments in the office; one for a new property management client, the other for an agent that may be inters ted in associating with our company. Both interviews went very well, and I will be happy to see the results of both. Fingers crossed!

Tomorrow and the next day will be jam-packed days; tomorrow is a Board meeting and Wednesday is the annual Realty Round Up. So, it was good that I had the day before to take care of business before I have to take care of business!

A beautiful sunset was presented this evening, and that is one of the things we like about living on the edge of nowhere. There is nothing to get in the way of sunrises, sunsets, wind, kind of get the idea! The other side of that coin is there is nothing to get in the way of cold winds, hot sun and those things. BUT, I will take all of the good that comes with just a little bit of the bad! There is a baby bunny that probably has a warren under some of the bushes in front of the house, because I have seen it twice today on the front porch. From the window in the office, I can see the porch and yard very well, and I have seen him twice on the porch. He is about as big as two fists, and more than likely is making some of his first excursions away from home. They need to be very wary!

Deeds, Actions, Changes, BIG EGGS, Kindnesses, Whirled Peas, FUN!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

2010 - Day Two Hundred Ninety Seven...

I am feeling better, not coughing quite as much (I don't think), but my day of rest did not go as restfully as I had anticipated, although it was pretty restful as weekend days go here in paradise. It was almost 7 o'clock before I got up this morning, and I did my usual thing of chores and checking meters. I was pretty darned excited because Miguel was expected to show up today and fix the two water leaks, and put some additional water cut-offs into operation around the place in anticipation of winter weather. Just because I like to have a photo at the opening of each entry, I am including this photo of one of the lillies that is in its' second bloom for the year. I took this photo yesterday, and the other buds have opened today and it is more glorious than it was.

I am pretty darned excited, too, because Jody and I have pretty much decided to take up ALL the plantings from the front of the property (up by the road), and transplant everything to the areas around the house. We will transplant pretty much everything that we do not give away, because we are planning on a 'thinning the beds' party for sometime in November. Whatever folks do not take from the front of the property, we will transplant to around the house, where it will be easier to water when we are in those drought situations. I think it is a good plan. Lots of lillies, Iris and cannas to be thinned and removed and/or transplanted.

ANYWAY...Miguel arrived before 9 o'clock, and we surveyed what I would like him to accomplish today, and then we set off for Home Depot for supplies. As is usual for Home Depot, they did not have all the things we needed (what self-respecting home repair store does not have 1/2" PVC cut-offs in stock?) so we had to make an extra trip to Tractor Supply for more stuff. We got home and Miguel went to work his way, and I went to work my way. Among other things, I got hose racks put up on the side of the big storage shed (still have three more to put up) and I got the cattle fed and a fresh bale of hay out to them. The cattle are very excited that they have fresh water where they are more used to it being, and I am delighted that the leaks are no longer leaking. All in all it was a great day.

Jody and I went off to Taylor to the Dairy Queen for spoilers, and on the way home stopped at the Taylor Tractor Supply for some screws. You can never have enough screws as far as I am concerned. BUT, big news; before we left we did the first of two test fires in the new wood stove we had installed earlier this year. Supposed to have some cool weather (sooner or later) and we need to do some test fires to make sure all the 'stink' is burned off the stove before we are actually depending on it. The stove did very nicely, and the soap stone top and sides held heat for quite a while. We think the radiant heat of the stove will do very nicely, along with the added feature of being able to see the fire burning. Whenever we had fires in the fireplace, it was very inefficient, and we actually had to open a window for the fireplace to draw properly. AND, it pretty much sucked all the heat out the chimney. This stove is supposed to be about 85% efficient, and you should not see any smoke going out the chimney. It is almost on the same principle as a catalytic converter, it burns the wood AND the smoke in a very efficient manner.

Six more eggs today, that makes 33 eggs in one week. CRAZY. I need to get my flip video thing working and try to post a video of these crazy chickens. When they hear me coming out to feed them, they all make a bee-line (through the bees by the way) to see who gets fed first. The thing is, none of them get fed until they are all back in their enclosure; but I guess they have not figured that out yet. Whatever...

Tomorrow is the start of another week, and the first three days will be pretty busy, the last tow days will be more calm.

Deeds, Actions, Changes, NO LEAKS, Kindnesses, Whirled Peas, FUN!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

2010 - Day Two Hundred Ninety Six...

Yummm - Weekend! Stayed in bed until almost 6 o'clock. Got up, did normal stuff, which included an egg loaf for breakfast, and watching more clouds roll in from the south. The arbor covered with morning glories is really outdoing itself, since the weather has cooled off a bit, and they are not being totally fried in the summer heat. Very happy with the way they have filled out.

Just before 9 o'clock, we headed out to San Antonio with a quick stop at my listing in Schwertner. I needed to put a combo-lock box on the property, so local agents would have access. We got to our destination in San Antonio at about 11 o'clock, and I went to register for a test drive of the 2011 Chevrolet Volt. I had signed up for a test drive a couple weeks ago when I was in Seattle, but I got there too late, and had to forfeit. I was really surprised that there were not hundreds of people in line to test drive these cars, but there were not. They had four cars available, and I drove a white one, while Jody was my passenger. Got lots of my questions answered about the car, and it did take some of the mystique out of the concept. I ordered one of the cars about six weeks ago, after having been on the waiting list for over two years. Very nice. I will share more photos in the next few days. I am pretty darned excited about this car; delivery will be in December.

After the test drive, we were given tickets for tacos, drinks and dessert, which we took full advantage of. We got back to Austin and then to Georgetown with no trouble or traffic issues. No issues either way, even though UT was playing Iowa at home. I think UT was playing, and Iowa was being serious, but that is a whole other blog entry.

ANYWAY, we stopped at Georgetown Fireplace & Patio on the way home, and bought a small hearth rug. We are going to fire-up the wood stove tomorrow; the inaugural run before it gets cold and we actually need it. We need to do a test run to make sure everything is working, and to get all the 'newness' burned off of it. It may be a little bit smelly the first couple times, so we want to do that while we can keep the windows open to get some fresh air in the house. No Dairy Queen today, we were too full of free food in San Antonio.

When we got home, I went out and let the chickens loose and collected five more eggs. That makes 27 eggs so far this week, and we still have one day to go. On the way out to the chickens, I saw this praying mantis outside the front door, and thought I would share this picture. Several hours later and he is still there. He has moved about an inch, but he is still basically head-down.

Deeds, Actions, Changes, CHEVROLET VOLT, Kindnesses, Whirled Peas, FUN!

Friday, October 22, 2010

2010 - Day Two Hundred Ninety Five...

This is a photo I took last night when I was going out to put the chickens to bed. Not the most spectacular sunset I have ever documented, but certainly better than anything we will see tonight. It is very cloudy and WINDY (that is a good thing) here right now, and there is the possibility of a little bit of rain over the weekend. BUT, the turbines are spinning like crazy right now, and we have returned a good amount of electricity back to the grid today, so there can be no complaining about that.

Today was a very quiet day in the office. Our Administrative Goddess (aka Karla) took her son to the doctor this morning, and he was diagnosed with croup, so she could not come in today. I am sickly, Tom is sickly, Toni was complaining about the mold and ragweed ratings; other than that, every one else is A-Okay!

Hi Anna!

Tom and I went to the storage space this afternoon, and brought back pieces of furniture that we had in storage. We believe that we have leased the office space on the first floor, and the prospective tenants were only interested in a few pieces, so we are working to get the rest of it sold, and out of there. Pretty much we will be finished with the maple office furniture we started off with years-and-years ago. Sniff...

Finished my most recent book, 'Swan Peak' by James Burke; it took a little while to get interested in it, but I enjoyed it. The author is very dramatic, and it almost seems at times he is trying WAY TOO HARD to be dramatic and intense. It really kind of reminded me of an old fashioned who-dunnit kind of mystery. Anyway, not sure if I will select any more titles from that author or not. Tomorrow I will begin the sequel to 'The Pillars of the Earth'; 'World Without End, by Ken Follett. Thirty-Six CD's and over 43 hours of listening. But if it is as good as the last one, it will be worth it. We shall see...

Tomorrow Jody and I are off on an adventure, and I will let you know how that all works out. I hope it will be a lot of fun, and kind of exciting, too. I am really looking forward to it, and have been for about a month now. VERY MYSTERIOUS! For now, enjoy this photo of the clouds that are rolling into the area. I still think clouds are one of the most beautiful things we all take for granted.


Deeds, Actions, Changes, NEW READS, Kindnesses, Whirled Peas, FUN!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

2010 - Day Two Hundred Ninety Four...

The Black-and-White's are my favorites, but the Red's are the most photogenic! We got five eggs today, one of the chickens is holding out on us. It is really interesting, there are four chickens that are braver than the other two, and those four are much more adventurous. This afternoon, five of them all came charging out to me when I was taking them their dinner, and I have no idea where the sixth one was, but suddenly she appeared, and all was well. While they were eating their dinner, I snook inside the coop and replenished their mash, so they are not starving, that is for sure. ALSO, they got a new fifty-pound bag of mash this week, so we will keep them around for a while.

Today was a nice and relatively calm day. Started with the office PM meeting, and then Meals-On-Wheels. I am at a pretty level client base of five folks right now, and they are in a relatively concentrated area, so it does not take a lot of my time, but it is something I really enjoy doing.

I left the office about 3:30, and made a series of phone calls on the way home. Tomorrow I am taking the truck into town, we need to move some things out of storage, and it is easier with the truck.

End of the week already, and I am really looking forward to the weekend. Supposed to be a strong cool front coming through next Thursday, so I am looking forward to that as well.

Deeds, Actions, Changes, CHICKENS, Kindnesses, Whirled Peas, FUN!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

2010 - Day Two Hundred Ninety Three...

It was a long day today, not that there is anything wrong with that. I got up early (earlier than what?) and did all my usual things before heading to the office. On the front page of the Lifestyle section of the morning newspaper, there was a LARGE article about folks raising chickens in their urban backyard settings. Very interesting article, and the front photo was of two chicken breeds that we have here, and one of the inside photos showed the other breed of chickens we have. We got SIX eggs today, which I think is pretty unbelievable, and I do not think that will happen too often. AND, one of the eggs is ABSOLUTELY HUGE! Remember I told you a while back that we had an egg with a double yolk? Well, I expect this one will have at least a double yolk. I do not know which chicken this came out of, but I would not be surprised if this chicken was only laying one egg a week. IT IS A REALLY BIG EGG!

I taught two classes at the Board today, and then met with the CEO afterwards about a Professional Standards Working Group I had chaired. On the way home, a customer called me and wanted to see a property I have listed, so I went and showed the property. It was a good showing, and maybe something will come of it. I got home about 7 o'clock, so that made for a long day, but a really good day. I am looking forward to feeling better, and I hope that will be soon.

The photo above is just a nice shot of some of the Lantana that we have growing around the property. Lantana is a Texas native, and it is commonly used as a ground-cover. I just think this particular color variety is really pretty. Enjoy!

Deeds, Actions, Changes, LANTANA, Kindnesses, Whirled Peas, FUN!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

2010 - Day Two Hundred Ninety Two...

Dag-Nab-It! While I was out in the yard looking for something to photograph for this entry, I got too close and intruded on a perfectly (and I mean PERFECT) beautiful Monarch Butterfly. I stayed very still, and it fluttered around for a while, but I finally lost track of it, so you will just need to settle for a photo of this Chrysanthemum that we planted LAST season, the fall of 2009. They survived the cold weather of the winter, and this is the second time they have bloomed this year. We will see what else is in store for the rest of the week.

El Medico states that I will make a full recovery, sooner or later. Whatever. He said it is a combination of a really bad head cold and old age. I have decided the best I can hope for is to become Old and Wise, and I am half-way there. I hope someday I will think I am wise, because many days I really feel old. Not that there is anything wrong with that...

I got up this morning and did my chores, and I am still rather proud of the fact that I found the water leak the other day. This morning when I checked the water meter, the little wheel was spinning uncontrollably, and upon further investigation, I discovered that the cattle had broken one of the PVC feeds in the FAR back pasture, and among the other inconveniences, we lost 6 thousand gallons of water during the day yesterday. All will be well on Sunday, our handy person Miguel will be here to fix all the leaks. In the meantime, the cattle have to walk further for their water, but I doubt they really think too much about that. I wish I knew what went through their heads when the snapped the pipe and the geyser formed. Probably not much of anything except, 'Oh look, water! Never saw that here before.'

Carrie and I attended the NARPM luncheon and we had a round-table discussion, and some of the members shared forms that they found useful. I think they will be useful as well! Carrie was elected the Marketing Chair for the chapter in 2011. CONGRATULATIONS! That will be a big job for her!

Tomorrow will be a day of teaching at the Board of REALTORS; TREC Ethics and Legal Update, two classes that I really enjoy teaching. It is also very interesting to see how all the pieces of the giant puzzle fit together, and how one thing affects another. Connecting the dots is fun!

Okay, one month ago tomorrow we got our first egg from the chickens. The talley for the first month is EXACTLY SIX DOZEN EGGS. We are averaging three or four eggs a day, the least we have gotten is one, and the most is five. Not too bad for our little girls. Guess who is having omelets for dinner tonight? They are delicious!

Deeds, Actions, Changes, WATER LEAKS, Kindnesses, Whirled Peas, FUN!

Monday, October 18, 2010

2010 - Day Two Hundred Ninety One...

Okay, I am an idiot. For those of you who know me, that does not come as any surprise, and is not really considered newsworthy. As you know, I have not been feeling very well for the last several days. You know that as well, since I have been whining about it for the last several days as well. Let's just say I do not do sick very well. I don't liking not feeling well, and I don't have that much experience with it, so I do not know really what I am supposed to do when I am sick. SO, as a general rule, I just whine and make those unfortunates around me miserable. My mother used to say 'Misery Loves Company'. Whatever...

So, since I thought I was feeling better over the weekend, I got outside and did lots of work around the house, and I think yesterday I REALLY overdid it. I am not going to go into the details, but let's just say that by about 8 o'clock last night, I was re-evaluating my weekend. I think I should have just taken it easy and rested the weekend away, but NOOOOOOO...

Anyway, I did not sleep well at all last night, had a headache and ear pains. CRAZY. I got up early this morning and headed out for the TREPAC Golf Tournament, and I was there at 7 this morning. I did not put on a very brave face, but I was there. I still have that medicine head thing going on as well, you know, where your head feels like a GIANT basketball. Anyway, I begged out of the Golf Tournament and left for the office about 9:30 or so. I got to the office, and was there for about an hour and a half before I left and came home. Crawled up in my big blue chair, and slept for about three hours. Still feel crappy, but I will get a good nights sleep tonight, I hope. Interestingly, I have a regular doctors appointment in the morning, but it is just for a regular check up.

On the way home I stopped and voted. Early voting starts today, and the place was packed. No matter if your particular candidate wins or loses, it is important that you get out and vote for the person of your choice. That is how that Democracy thing is supposed to work.

Here is to a better tomorrow.

Deeds, Actions, Changes, VOTE, Kindnesses, Whirled Peas, FUN!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

2010 - Day Two Hundred Ninety...

This sunrise was the harbinger of another beautiful day, and it lived up to all its' promise! It was a busy day for sure. Usual chores after getting up kind of late. I took a dozen eggs over to Randy and Irene, and came back home and went out into the back pastures with the weed-eater, and trimmed the grasses from around the electric fences. The electric fences are around the far perimeters of about seventeen acres of pasture land, and the tall grasses had grown up around seven acres of that fence, and I had to trim it down on both sides of the wires. The grasses were easily four feet high, and with it up on the wires, it disrupts the impedance of the electrical shock that keeps the cattle contained within the fence. SO, that has been done, and now the shock is at a pretty good level, good enough at least to keep a bull-headed little bull calf (who still has his huevos intact) from trying to get loose, I hope. Time will tell.

I got finished with that around 12:30, and we headed into Georgetown for (guess what?) a spoiler. After that, Jody needed to stop at HEB for a few supplies, and then we came home and we both went down for naps. I napped longer than Jody did, but when I woke up, I went out and trimmed some more grass at the front of the property, and then decided to put the pool cover on the pool. Even though our temperatures are still in the mid-to-high 80's during the day, the temperature of the pool water has plummeted, so we may as well cover it up for the season. Putting this pool cover on is not an easy job, and I am glad I am only faced with it once a year. I am thinking I will need to find a burly-worker-dude to help me with in next year. BUT, then again, maybe by this time next year, I will be a burly-worker-dude myself. It could happen!

After I got finished with all that, I was putting tools away, and four of the chickens were up around the garage, and they decided they should have a little petting. These black and white Plymouth Rocks are really my favorites as far as cosmetics are concerned, although the Blond Sex Links are really my favorites. But, they all like to be petted, and all like to have their waddles wiggled around. Who wouldn't? Anyway, this one was sitting in my lap for a while, but of course I disturbed her trying to get my camera out of my pocket. They are all very curious, and I had no idea that house chickens would turn out to be so social. I had read that in the books, but they really are very social animals, and they love to chase me around. Whatever...

Tomorrow starts another work week, and it will be kind-of a busy one. Volunteering for the TREPAC Golf Tournament tomorrow, a couple things going on on Tuesday, teaching two classes on Wednesday, and normal busy days on Thursday and Friday. I have a special treat for myself on Saturday, but I will wait and not disclose any of the details to you until the post on that date. I am VERY excited about it, though.

Deeds, Actions, Changes, POOL COVERS, Kindnesses, Whirled Peas, FUN!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

2010 - Day Two Hundred Eighty Nine...

Today was the best day EVER...for a variety of reasons.

Got up this morning and did my chores, and made an egg-loaf. Yummy! I have read articles that denounce the long held belief that locally raised chickens (that would be the ones in our yard) produce eggs that are more pleasing to the palate than industrial style factory produced eggs. In blind taste-tests, it is proven that you cannot tell the difference between fresh eggs and plain old ordinary store bought eggs. Well, whatever. I think they taste better, and everyone else I know thinks they taste better, so I am going with the majority on this one. We had our fabulous egg loaf this morning, and one of the eggs even had a double-yolk. When's the last time you got one of those in your processed egg packet? HUH? Anyway, we got five more eggs today, and that makes five dozen eggs in three weeks. EGG CRAZY!

After breakfast, we putzed around for a little while, and then we drove up to Salado (we did not need to go to Salado, but 'Wait Wait Don't Tell Me' was on the radio, and we wanted to hear it). Anyway, by timing things right, we made it to Jarrell (one of our real destinations) and to the hardware store there, and bought a tarp to cover the firewood, got a key made, and a couple other things, before heading out to Georgetown to stop at the Dairy Queen for spoilers.

Well, I missed the exit, and stopped first to get gas, then we went to Walgreen's, and FINALLY made it to the Dairy Queen. After the Dairy Queen, we came home via Weir, where they were having their Weir Fest days. Okay, it was not so much of a fest as it was a really small flea market. BUT, it did present me with the opportunity to take this picture of Santa Grinch, AND it gave Jody an opportunity to buy a jar of Apple Butter. SO, it was well worth it.

We got home and Jody went down for a nap, and I got comfortable in my big blue chair and fast-forwarded through a couple Net-Flix movies. Then I got up and let the chickens out of their pen, and cut some grass around the front of the property. Here is the really good part; I FOUND THE WATER LEAK! It is not completely fixed yet, but at least we know where it was/is leaking and the leak has been reduced by about (I hope) 95%. One of the faucet nozzles out in the front of the property will not shut-off totally, and that nozzle has a hose on it, and just turning the nozzle to shut it off, you would think there was no leak. ANYWAY, if that makes no sense to you, give me a call and i will 'splain it to you.

Then I had a 4 o'clock appointment to show a little house I have listed in Schwertner, and then came home and that was pretty much it for the day.

A great day was had by all.

Deeds, Actions, Changes, LEAKS LOCATED, Kindnesses, Whirled Peas, FUN!

Friday, October 15, 2010

2010 - Day Two Hundred Eighty Eight...

Okay, as promised, here is a photo taken from the gate area at the McCarren International Airport in Las Vegas. You can see the MGM Grand, New York, New York and a couple other from here. A little further to the left is the Mandalay Bay and whatever the pyramid one is. I think the folks who work there (at the airport) must have to be entered into rehab every-so-often because I was only there a couple hours, and I think if I had heard the 'Wheel-Of-Fortune' thing again, I would have committed some terrible crime. I was working on a diminished capacity defense, since I was sick and taking drugs, but really, I think that is just a little bit too much. I never really pay that much attention to that stuff in a dark casino, but this was broad daylight in an airport. Give it a rest...

Okay, I am home, and I am always glad to be home, and it always makes me feel better to be home, but I am still convalescing. I was REALLY ill on Wednesday night, and it continued throughout the day Thursday and I did not sleep well last night. I got out of bed this morning about 7 o'clock, and messed around a little bit. Jody went to the grocery and I stayed home, and took a nap for a little while in my big blue chair. I had to go into town this afternoon, but I waited until around 2 o'clock, and that was most likely a mistake. Traffic was terrible. I got back home around six, and Jody was out feeding the girls...four more eggs today. That is almost five dozen eggs in three weeks. We think probably four or five of the six chickens are laying now. You never know... BUT, we have plenty of eggs! We are having egg loaf tomorrow.

These are some morning glories that I photographed this morning, they truly are beautiful. I have not noticed any more Iris blooms but I may take a better look tomorrow. We still have the water leak too, just cannot seem to find it. I need to take a better look around the place to try and locate that as well. I am wondering if thermal-imaging will be able to pinpoint the leak. I wonder if the soil will be cooler wherever the water is leaking? There has to be a way to find that leak.

I finished my book, 'The Pillars of the Earth' and it was very good. Was Thomas Beckett the same Thomas that was the Archbishop Thomas of Canterbury. I am not even sure I have that spelled correctly. If anybody knows the answer, or the answer to the spelling question, let me know.

I am crashing early tonight.

Deeds, Actions, Changes, MY OWN BED, Kindnesses, Whirled Peas, FUN!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

2010 - Day Two Hundred Eighty Seven...

Okay, I am sitting in the airport in Las Vegas as I write this. I am figuring out how to do more and more on my iPad as I go along. I did not have a great night last night, and I am pretty much drugged up rig now on a toxic mix of Sudafed, Mucinex and Tylenol. Our plans for tomorrow were messed up because I planned our departure from Seattle badly, so the one thing we were planning to do tomorrow would not be possible, so we decided to leave for home one day early. I slept most of the way from Seattle to Las Vegas, and now I am getting warm and starting to hack. Lovely! The way people look at me, I might as well be a suspected terrorist. Weird looks from folks, what is a little cough and sneeze between friends?

We had a good four nits in Seattle, and the NARPM conference was great. It is really interesting how many people you see from one year to the next. Really fun. Next year the convention will be in Dallas, so that will be convenient.

Our friend Lynda took Jody to lunch this afternoon and picked up some manure for her garden while she was there. Jody meant to give her some eggs while she was there but it totally slipped his mind. Jody said he got another four eggs today, so there should be no real shortage of eggs anytime soon.

Well, there will be no photo in is post today. I am going towrap this up so I can go to bed once I get home. I will post photos tomorrow.

Deeds, Actions, Changes, WHEEL OF FORTUNE, Kindnesses, Whirled Peas, FUN!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

2010 - Day Two Hundred Eighty Six...

Okay, so I am nothing if not predictable. I have been in Seattle for a few days (tonight will be the fourth night) and I an sick. Not hurling in the garbage can kind of sick, just more like the my-head-feels-like-it-is-a-balloon kind of sick. It is about 7:30 local time (evening) and I took two Tylenol PM's and some Mucinex. The hope is that will put me out in just a few more minutes, and I will sleep through the night and wake up feeling better in the morning. I can't really go to sleep quite yet, because I just ordered a piece of key-lime-pie and a Pepsi from room service. No Coke here, just Pepsi, so it will kind of be like roughing it. Here is an interesting thing; there are signs in the corridor pointing to the 'Ice & Vending', but when you follow directions, you get ice but no vending. In the lobby at the little store, a soda costs $3, and on the room service menu it is $3.25, but again, it is only Pepsi, no Coke. Whatever.

I did not get out of the building today, but this (above) is a photo of the view outside my room. Very urban, and it is interesting to look at.

I was in class again today from 8 until 3, and then there was the business meeting, and then there was a guest 'motivational' speaker, and then the trade show opened. Our motivational speaker was Wally Amos, FKA Famous Amos. He is not too keen on the Famous Amos brand, but he is a kind-of interesting guy. Here is a photo of him after his talk, selling his book.

Not sure what is happening tomorrow, I just need to make it through the evening.

Deeds, Actions, Changes, COOKIES, Kindnesses, Whirled Peas, FUN!

2010 - Day Two Hundred Eighty Five...

Another day at the NARPM Convention in Seattle. We had a nice presentation this morning about Leadership, and I got some very good ideas about how to provide excellent service, and how to think about my legacy and exit strategy. AND, the class began at a decent time (9AM) and ended at a decent time (2:45PM). That gave me time to take a little nap before the evenings festivities.

At 6 o'clock we headed out to the piers and boarded a smallish ship for a dinner cruise through the harbor. My poor little camera is incapable of capturing much of the beauty that is everywhere in this city, but particularly at night. This is a quick photo of the sunset as we were leaving the dock. Lovely.

Tomorrow is the second day of the Personnel Policies class, and I am not sure what is going on tomorrow night.

Deeds, Actions, Changes, SUNSETS, Kindnesses, Whirled Peas, FUN!

Monday, October 11, 2010

2010 - Day Two Hundred Eighty Four...

Got just a LITTLE BIT of rest last night, I worked all night long (in my sleep), you know how that is. ANYWAY, had a good class today from 8 til 3, and then Carrie and I walked Pike to the Public Market, and acted totally like tourists. More about that a few paragraphs from now...

THIS JUST IN FROM THE CHICKEN COOP - I totally forgot to mention last post that Jody collected FIVE eggs from the girls yesterday, and three today. Those girls are really cranking them out. AND all five of the eggs were in the same nest (I think). Anyway, life is good back in Bartlett right now, and I can't wait to get back home...even though I just got here yesterday. I like being home.

Okay, more about today...there were 18 or 20 people in the class today, and the second part of the class will be on Wednesday. A nice, varied group of folks from all across the United States, from Hawaii to the east coast. A group of folks that we will know and network with for many years to come.

After the class (revert to the first paragraph) Carrie and I went and played tourist, and walked around the Pike Public Market area. I have to admit, I do not make that good of a tourist, but I was glad to go. Who says all the weird folks are alive and well in Austin. Here is photographic proof that there are plenty of interesting people in the Queen City! And, bu the way, this guys name is Thomas, just in case you were wondering, and I did not have to tip him for the privilege of taking the photo. I really think he is missing an opportunity, and he might want to take another look at his business model. We went to the ORIGINAL Starbucks (where I do not believe their major revenue comes from beverages), and Carrie bought a couple mugs and some 'special blend only from this store' coffee.

We checked out a couple restaurants, and settled on the Pike Place Bar & Grill, just across the street from the Public Market. I had the Smoked Salmon in Macaroni & Cheese, and it was delicious. I am really not that adventurous with my culinary escapades (and you can tell I am really not that discriminating, either), but it was very good and I am glad I tried it. They had a chicken pot pie on the menu that seemed to be calling to me, but I went the adventurous route. Kind of like Maude, always go for the new adventure.

Carrie and I split up and she went to sit in the park and wait for the sun to go down, and I trekked back to the Hotel. I am going to call it a night early tonight, and try to get on the west coast schedule. Just about time I get used to the time difference, I will be back in Austin and just about the time I get used to that, it will be time to FALL BACK! This is a photo of the Public Market from our table in the restaurant, which was on the second floor of the 'Common Market' Building.

Tomorrow, we will be taking a Leadership Class, and tomorrow night we will attend a dinner cruise on the Spirit of Seattle.

Deeds, Actions, Changes, SALMON & MAC, Kindnesses, Whirled Peas, FUN!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

2010 - Day Two Hundrede Eighty Three...

Got up this morning and fed the cattle, checked on the chickens, packed and headed to the office. I left the house about 9:30, and got everything pretty much caught up at the office. Headed off to the airport and got checked in. I hate having to 'undress' at the security point, but I guess it is worth it. It was a long day of travelling, but this little cutie (Pebbles) was being a very good girl in the Security Check-In. I have never seen a dog in line at the gate, but this one looked like it was nothing special.

Carrie met me at the airport, and we got on the plane about 12:45. We got to Seattle about 9PM Austin time, 7 o'clock Seattle time. We took the 'light rail' to downtown, and walked a few blocks (in the rain, imagine that) to our Hotel. Had dinner, now I am in the room, and going to crash!

Deeds, Actions, Changes, PEBBLES, Kindnesses, Whirled Peas, FUN!

Saturday, October 9, 2010

2010 - Day Two Hundred Eighty Two...

Lots and lots of accomplishments have been made today. I slept in until about 6:30, and got up and did routine chores...neither one of us were hungry, since we had a really nice dinner last night. It seemed like as soon as I got up it was time for me to head out to my 9 o'clock appointment in Schwertner. Got a little house photographed (signed and lock-boxed) and will get it listed tonight in the MLS.

Once I got home, I got the tractor out and shredded some of the high grass just east of the house, and we put a tarp down to kill the grass in that area. The tarp is probably about 20 x 50 feet, and we are trying to get the grass in that area killed so we can put in our first garden there in the spring. It was recommended that we just spray the area we want to plant with Round-Up, but we will try to get rid of the grass this way first. I cannot believe that Round-Up would not also harm the vegetables we would be trying to grow in the spring, as well as getting rid of the grasses; we shall see. Just as we were getting that finished, Pauline stopped over and brought us two loaves of pumpkin bread. I have not had any yet, but Jody says it is delicious. In return, Pauline got a dozen eggs, the first dozen eggs we have given away and I expect there will be plenty more!

We headed into Georgetown and stopped at Dairy Queen for spoilers; then it was on to Home Depot to get a 'water-key'. The thing you use to shut-off main water lines that are in the ground. I went to two places that I thought would have them yesterday, but no luck. Easy pickings at Home Depot, though!

When we got home from that, Jody went down for a nap, and I went out in the back and 'tricked' the cattle into the small front pasture, so I could work in one of the bigger pastures without being harassed. I moved two bales of hay out there for them (I had to bring one hay ring out of the far pasture) and now there is no need to worry about them getting hungry while I am gone next week. I also brought the troughs over from the far pasture, and tomorrow morning I will give them some cubes as a special treat before I leave.

After that, I cleaned out the chicken coop, so all that is done and I don't have to worry about it. Three more eggs today, and one of the eggs was a jumbo sized one; one of those girls is an over-achiever!

Right now we are waiting around for a delivery of firewood. We have ordered two cords of wood, and the alleged delivery window will shortly be expired. I hope it gets delivered today, it has already been cancelled twice. Maybe the third time is the charm. Update: The firewood has been delivered, and he was actually just a few minutes late. I think we have enough wood to last us the season, even though I have no idea what I am judging that by. All I know is, there is a LOT of firewood stacked up out there. I think a cord of firewood is supposed to be 4' x 4' x 8', and this definitely looks like it would be that much times two. It has been seasoned for almost a year, so it should all be good. It will be interesting for us to have our first fire of the season, probably a week or so after I get back next week. We have to do a test run of the new heater before that though, so I will you all know how it works out.

Later on this afternoon, we are heading into Austin; we have been invited to an open-house at our friends John and Susan. We need to arrive there in time to see the sunset from their patio. It should be very nice.

I will finish this entry when we get home...

Okay, we are home. Susan and John had a wonderful party, and their home is really beautiful. John has done lots of work outside, and it all shows. The backyard is terraced, and you can look out over a valley. We arrived in time for sunset, and it was magnificent.

It has been a long day, time for bed.

Deeds, Actions, Changes, CHORES, Kindnesses, Whirled Peas, FUN!

Friday, October 8, 2010

2010 - Day Two Hundred Eighty One...

The city has been taken over by freaks. Today starts the Austin City Limits Festival, and it will go on through Sunday. Traffic is reduced to a crawl in many parts of the city, and it is even worse in other parts. Central Austin is the mecca for the ACL Festival, and it is a tremendous attraction for persons from all over the world. Could there be any better weather for this festival? Probably not. It shows Austin off to its' best advantage, and that is wonderful. It is an economic boon to the city, and it fills our tax coffers to overflowing. I am not complaining, I am just reporting. The city has been over run with and by FREAKS.

Where else do you think you could find giant chia-pets resembling our two gubernatorial candidates, Rick Perry and Bill White, with the whole thing camouflaged as an advertisement for cow-poop? Well, I believe I am comfortable with the response 'Only In Austin'! And of course, this display or horticultural magnificence is visible only through Sunday at the Austin City Limits Festival in (you guessed it) Austin, Texas. My thanks for Carrie for sharing the photo and e-mailing it to me.

Three more eggs from the girls today, and we are having omelets for dinner tonight. Not 100% farm-fresh eggs, but that will be it from here on out. Excited about that.

Tomorrow will be a busy day, and there are lots of accomplishments to be made before I leave for Seattle on Sunday.

Deeds, Actions, Changes, FREAKS, Kindnesses, Whirled Peas, FUN!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

2010 - Day Two Hundred Eighty...

Another sign that the seasons are kind of katty-wampuss right now. Jody and I were sitting out in the yard watching the dog chew his feet (he has this unexplainable OCD) and Jody told me to look down the row of Iris, and this beautiful Iris was just glorious. I mentioned a couple days ago that none of the Iris had gone into a second bloom, but if there is one here, there are certain to be others. I need to take a walk around to see what I can find.

We did get our third cutting of hay baled up, 22 (and a piece) bales, so that makes about 93 bales for the year, on about 25 acres of land. The other 19 acres contain the house and the pastures that the cattle graze on. So that is almost 4 bales per acre per year, and at about 1,200 pounds per bale...well, that is a lot of grass! Very happy about that. AND, I have decided not to sell the hay, I would rather have it in reserve than have to go looking for it later. Better safe than sorry.

Three more eggs today. We are actually going to give away a dozen before I leave for Seattle on Sunday. Those little chickens are just a busy as they can be. They were waiting for me when I got home this afternoon, and followed me into the garage. CUTE!

I had another meeting with Council members at City Hall this morning, and that will be it for the foreseeable future. Very rewarding visits, and good work by many of my colleagues at the Board of REALTORS.

We had an office meeting when I returned to the office. And our office meetings consist of pizza and then going to a movie. We went to see 'Social Network', which was a pretty good movie, but there was a lot of arguing in the film, and I am not all that much into movies with arguing. DO NOT ASK me to watch 'Mommy Dearest'. Not gonna do it.

I stopped at Chipotle's and brought dinner home this evening. Gonna sleep well tonight!

Deeds, Actions, Changes, PIZZA AND A MOVIE, Kindnesses, Whirled Peas, FUN!