Thursday, June 30, 2011

2011 - Day One Hundred Eighty One; Thursday...

Long day. A really long day. It has been a really, really long day today, but I accomplished all the goals I had set out for myself, and could probably have gotten even a few more things cleaned up. But then I got lazy...

Big Vera decided she had not been given her fair share of beak time on the journal, so she insisted that the paparazzi correct that unintentional oversight RIGHT NOW. She can be a pushy chicken, and you should not try to change her mind about something once she has it made up. She is one tough chicken, that is all I can tall you. Jody reports that he collected four eggs today, and I went out there and checked on everyone, and all seem to be happily camping out there in either the coop or in their cage. No issues.

I had meetings in the morning, reports to get completed, Meals-On-Wheels (eight clients today, that is the most I have had in a long time), more reports to get completed, another meeting, LOTS OF COPIES to make, than a meeting off sight that started at 6:30. Got home just about 9 o'clock, and grabbed a piece of pie, and now it is almost time to go to bed. This is a picture of a pretty little deer and her fawn that I saw this evening as I was leaving Austin. I suppose this is the deers fawn, although she looks a little small herself, but you never know, maybe even the deer population is maturing more quickly these days.

Deeds, Actions, Changes, LITTLE DEERS, Kindnesses, Whirled Peas, FUN!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

2011 - Day One Hundred Eighty; Wednesday...

I LOVE Covert Chevrolet in Hutto, Texas. Honestly, I do. They have been nothing but kind and gracious to me every time I have EVER had to take my car in for service. It is the Chevrolet part of the equation that I sometimes take issue with. Some of the practices are not reasonable or logical. I discovered last week that the 110 volt charging apparatus that came with the car was beginning to fray at one of the connections, and I could see the actual wires inside the unit. I called the service person I always deal with (Ryan, we know each other by name, kind of nice) and he said he would order the new charger and that would be that. When it came in, all I would need to do would be to go by and pick it up. BUT NO!!! Chevrolet wanted them to have me drop off the car and run diagnostics on the car. Okay, no issue. There has never been an issue about getting a loaner, and Covert staff makes everything very easy. Ryan called me and texted (spell check does not recognize that word) me a couple times during the day, and that was great. At about 3:30, he called to say that all they needed to do was to wash the car and I could pick it up tomorrow.

I really did not want to keep the loaner overnight, and I am having a LATE day tomorrow and I do not expect to get home until about 9 o'clock tomorrow night. I left the office to go and pick up my car, and called Ryan to tell him I was on my way. During the conversation, I asked him what had been accomplished; he told me they had rotated the tires (I had asked for that since the car was going to be there) and that they had ordered two parts (the charger and another small i=and inconsequential part I had told him the Chevy Engineers had broken the last time they had the car). That was it. It is not logical to me that I had to drop off the car at 7 AM (because of an early meeting I had to attend) and drive about 50 miles combined unnecessarily just to order two parts. Does that make sense to you? BUT, the fact remains, I do not blame this illogical reasoning on Covert Chevrolet in Hutto. It is the Chevrolet part that takes the blame, and I hope I get a chance to tell them. Oh, and did I mention that on my current tank of gas, I have driven over 1,000 miles on about 6 gallons of gas? Averaging about 167 miles per gallon. WOO-HOO!


One good thing about taking the car in to Hutto is that it gave me an excuse to stop at the Texan Cafe & Pie Shop in Old Downtown Hutto. A delicious Key Lime Pie (Joe Mac is once again looking for a pencil to make note) accompanied me home, and Jody and I are enjoying the first slice after a yummy dinner. Perhaps I should get over my aggravation with Chevrolet, and send them a thank you note for the pie. That will be $21.94 please. All is forgiven...

The broody girl is still broody, but she does make an occasional appearance outside the coop. Hopefully she will get over this soon. If not, she risks ending up in a stew pot. Jody reports that he retrieved three eggs from the coop earlier this afternoon, and all seems to be going nicely. I will go out there in a little while to check on the baby chicks, and probably give them some fresh water.

Getting closer to the three day weekend with every minute that passes. Remember the reason for the long weekend if you get a chance, too.

Deeds, Actions, Changes, COVERT CHEVROLET IN HUTTO, Kindnesses, Whirled Peas, FUN!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

2011 - Day One Hundred Seventy Nine; Tuesday...

Tuesday, really? It's only Tuesday? Hmmm...

Today was the second day of classes I taught at the Austin Board. Great classes for the two days, and the attendees were tremendous. Fun, fast, informative on many fronts. I think the classes were well received, and nobody got hurt! This is the class photo, it just makes it easier to post and no permissions are necessary!

Board Meeting tomorrow and before that I have to take my car in for service. That means I need to leave here around 6AM to get the car in, get a loaner car and make it to the Board for the 8 o'clock meeting. I can do this!

Have I mentioned that I am looking forward to the weekend? I am...three days of calm, interrupted by preparing for classes I will be teaching in July. It is better to be prepared than to not be prepared!

Deeds, Actions, Changes, WANNA CRUISE?, Kindnesses, Whirled Peas, FUN!

Monday, June 27, 2011

2011 - Day One Hundred Seventy Eight; Monday...

This is a photo of the new chicks I took last night after we transferred the new chicks into their expando-cage. They are adjusting very nicely, and I expect these bigger digs will allow them to expand as well. Before you know it, they will be joining the 'Big Girls' and laying blue eggs. That will be interesting. I remember when we got the first eggs from the chickens last year, it was very exciting. Ever since then, we still wonder that we get fresh organic eggs by the DOZENS!

A great day at the Austin Board! Two classes to a relatively packed house, Basics of Leasing and then Basics of Property Management. One small faux pas in the first class, nothing to get too excited about, those things happen. The classes were well received and the attendees learned some good things and I took away information as well. A win/win situation!

Once I got home, I went out and checked on the cattle, and took them a little bit of feed to get them used to eating in this new 'temporary' corral. I need to get them comfortable enough that when I need them in that corral on Friday, they will think it is a normal thing...and then we will pull out the syringes and the other items of veterinary medicine and put them all through their paces. I wonder if they will remember this next year? Hope not!

Deeds, Actions, Changes, COW TRICKS, Kindnesses, Whirled Peas, FUN!

Sunday, June 26, 2011

2011 - Day One Hundred Seventy Seven; Sunday...

Kind of a typical Sunday here on the edge of nowhere. Stayed in bed until about 5:15 and then got up and did chores, bees were fed, all the outside plants were watered, bee fountain refilled, meters read before 7 o'clock. Once that was done, I made Jody and myself an egg loaf, although I only used six eggs. Usually I use seven or eight eggs for the two of us, but it is too darned hot to eat!

After breakfast, I was back out in the yard doing a little this-and-that and Miguel arrived. We went to work building a pen/corral kind of thing out of portable fence panels (in anticipation of the upcoming shots/worming, etc to be conducted this Friday). I had four panels, and when I lured the cattle into that corral, it was entirely too small for the them; in fact, Mr. Speckles was so irritated that he picked up one of the calves with his horns and unceremoniously deposited him in another section of the corral. SO, we were off to Taylor to the Tractor Supply to buy more panels. The size of the corral is double what it was, and I will see later in the week if that is large enough or not.

While we were out there getting things finished, I spied this little wild flower sprouting up in the middle of NOTHING. Just this little quarter-sized bloom springing up from a patch of dirt that is about the harshest condition around here. It just goes to show you that if there is a will there will be a way. It is a pretty little thing!

After we had expanded the corral, a few of the cattle decided that it would be okay to explore just in case there was any creep left in the troughs. Violet loves to have her picture taken, although she is really not one of the friendliest of any of the cattle. She is rather photogenic, however, and she does stand still for the camera. If I did not know she was a cow, I would swear she was a ham!

After this part of the day (Of course, there was a trip into Georgetown to visit the Dairy Queen), Miguel and I tried to organize the feed barn, and then we worked the bees. Miguel is a little bit leery of the bees, but he was not afraid once he got the bee suit on. We worked the three producing hives, and they are miking honey, just not as quickly as I had expected they would be. We will still get a nice bit of honey this year, at least one pull, hopefully two.

We also moved the newest chicks from the cardboard box into a bigger pen, and they are doing nicely. They are really kind of frisky, so we will have to be paying attention to them. I have a small cardboard box in there with them to use as a little protection (my little idea of a cave if they want some security when they are sleeping), but they are jumping up on the box and trying to get out of the pen. Little rascals!

Another cactus blossom I discovered this afternoon. This is another of the spineless cactus on the property, there are two or three different varieties of those around, some were here when we bought the place, some we brought with us from Red Rock. Very pretty, and this variety has pads like a medallion. Very interesting.

I will be teaching Monday and Tuesday, and finished doing my reviews for both days later this afternoon. I will review the second day again tomorrow evening, but all is good, and I don't expect any challenges. Board meeting on Wednesday and a luncheon, and some power real estate on Thursday and Friday.


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

Saturday, June 25, 2011

2011 - Day One Hundred Seventy Six; Saturday...

The more things change, the more they stay the same. Well, probably not. I have come to the conclusion that I cannot depend on FaceBook to work as it is (was) intended, so that means I will MANUALLY upload the daily entries to my FaceBook page. Oh dear, how 1999 is that? Manually uploading means that every day I will have to go into my profile, cancel and function and reinstall the same function, just so the entries will upload. How inconvenient is that?

It totally slipped my mind to take photos of some of the newest yard art pieces that we received as gifts last week from Joe Mac and Carolyn. As you all know, it is understood that there is a fine line between 'yard art' and 'crap on the porch', and Joe Mac and Carolyn are helping me erase that line. I am wondering how long this UT styled Longhorn will last out here in Aggie country. Only time will tell...

This has been a really nice day, a day full of small and minor accomplishments, since Joe Mac pretty much took care of a lot of the things I would have been doing (Thanks, Joe). I got up this morning, did my usual chores and by about 7:30 Jody and I were on our way to Taylor. I had emptied gas and diesel cans as much as I could into the lawn mowers, Mule and tractor (respectively), so we were off to get gasoline, diesel, cattle feed, salt blocks, mineral blocks, molasses buckets and anything else we thought we could use. We also stopped at HEB and bought a couple baskets of purslane (sp?) to replace some sun damaged callas, and some Diet Sierra Mist.

We were home by about 9:30 and we started getting ready to go and meet our friends Lynda and Michael at a nice 'tea-room' style restaurant in Salado called Adelea's On Main. Very good 'brunchy-lunch' venue, and they have killer Key Lime Pie (pause here while Joe Mac makes not to self). Suddenly our fig tree in the circle has started producing ripe figs, so we took a bag of figs and a carton of eggs along for them. We had a really nice time visiting and talking, and it was good to see them. Not sure how long it has been since we had seen them, but at least a couple months. Time is flying past!

We got home and took naps, and I had to go into town because (and I cannot believe this) I had left my teaching computer in the office, and I am teaching two days at the Austin Board, but I cannot teach without the power points. SO, as unhappy as I was about it, we headed into Austin about 3 o'clock, and decided (on the way home) that, as long as we were in the neighborhood, we might as well stop at Dairy Queen. Whatever...

This is a picture I took this morning of the morning glories. They are starting to go across the arbor, so I am looking forward to them filling in and blooming up a storm. Our grape plants are doing nicely, doubt there will be any grapes this year, but you never know. They are beginning to climb, and I think once they start that there will be no stopping them.

Chickens are doing nicely, the guy at Taylor feed said the brooder sill eventually get over it, but it may take her another month. He said he had never heard of sticking her butt in a bucket of cold water, but it probably would not hurt. Truth is stranger than fiction. The baby chicks are getting big too, and seemingly doing very well. They are getting big, and I expect I can move them into their bigger pen either tomorrow or next weekend at the latest.

I am really looking forward to the three day weekend next weekend. FUN CITY!

Deeds, Actions, Changes, LOTS-O-FEED, Kindnesses, Whirled Peas, FUN!

Friday, June 24, 2011

2011 - Day One Hundred Seventy Five; Friday...

Okay everybody, a little happy dance please, it is FRIDAY!!!

This morning was an absolutely gorgeous morning. I was up and doing chores and watering plants and things, and noticed this Lillie (it was still dark, but I could tell). After I was ready to head out for work, I was glad that I remembered to take this picture so I could share it with you. Exquisite! Overall, there was a soft breeze, the temperature was moderate (about 70 degrees at 4AM) and I was not bitten TOO many times by mosquitoes. It was a bit humid, but now I am just getting picky. It was a beautiful morning.

Traffic was not too much of a problem this morning, and I was able to sit in the office and get lots of work done before I had to go to a lunch appointment. We went to Red's Porch in south Austin, which is a really nice place and the food there is always good. As a little extra treat, we ordered a fried Snickers Bar, and I have to tell you, a fried Snickers Bar is everything you would expect it to be AND MORE! I don't think any more explanation is necessary.

Got back to the office and finished up what i needed to get finished, and headed home right around 4 o'clock. I gave Chris a call, and he told me that he and Cheryl were at the Schlotzky's around Parmer and IH-35, so I stopped in and surprised them. I think they were both really surprised to see me, and it was fun visiting with them. There they were, both with their lap tops cranking away. I do not get the thing about going to a coffee shop or a sandwich shop to conduct business, but I know it is done all the time. But anyway...

Once back underway, I took a little time (while listening to my most recent book on CD, Fall of Heroes by Ken Follett) to admire the clouds. They are very pretty, and these particular ones look like they could contain a little moisture, but there is no indication of a precipitation event in our immediate future.

After I got home, I sat down to watch the news with Jody, and pretty much immediately fell asleep. Once I regained consciousness (probably about 10 minutes) I went outside and 'cut-at' the grass, just getting a little bit done as a jump start to the weekend.

Lots of things to do over the weekend; go to Taylor Feed to get cattle feed, meet some friends for Lunch in Salado, go to Dairy Queen, cut grass, work the bees, prepare for two days of classes next week, spray weed killer here and there, go to Dairy Queen, cut some more grass, this-and-that.

Deeds, Actions, Changes, FRIED SNICKERS (Seriously?), Kindnesses, Whirled Peas, FUN!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

2011 - Day One Hundred Seventy Four; Thursday...

I will give you three guesses who is going to bed early tonight. ME! I may have to set an alarm to get up and put the girls to bed, but I am going to pile up in just a little while!

Today provided another respite from watering the outside beds this morning, but I do not think it will happen tomorrow. Two days after the rain and, even though we have had somewhat moderate temperatures (last I looked it was ONLY 96 degrees) I think I will need to water in the morning. Not too bad, and I am looking forward to my quiet time in the dark!

This is a photo of the littlest chicks taken last night. They are getting bigger, and maybe later this weekend I will be able to put them in a bigger pen, the big dog kennel that we have out in the 'red-shed'. I think they will like that a lot, too. The legal sized file box has certainly served its purpose, and now it is time for bigger and better environs for them. This morning they got fresh (organic of course) starter feed and tonight they got fresh water. They are happy little chicks.

Our friends Joe Mac and Carolyn headed back to Mississippi this morning, and they made sure they were up before I left so we could say good-bye. Jody and I were out in the pool this afternoon when they called to tell us they had arrived safely, so we are glad for that, and already miss them, and look forward to their next visit. Joe Mac was certainly a buzz-saw while he was here, and I think the next time I may try to 'hire-him-out'. He got lots of stuff done for us, and wasps in a three county area have posted his photo and are shaking in their nests.

I think I will go on a cloud kick for a while. We have had some really nice clouds the last couple days. After the rain, our winds have died down, the temperatures fell a few degrees, and things have pretty much calmed down. I know it is not going to last, the temperatures are climbing as we speak, but I am enjoying the calm. As I sit here looking out the window, the flags are gently fluttering, and all is well with the world.

I just don't need to watch the news or read a newspaper for a couple days.

Deeds, Actions, Changes, EARLY TO BED, Kindnesses, Whirled Peas, FUN!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

2011 - Day One Hundred Seventy Three; Wednesday...

It actually did rain last night, and we recorded about 3/4" in the gauge. From all reports, it was a pretty good light show with lots of thunder, too. Other than the weather radio alarm going off twice (at which point I got up and turned it off without listening to the alert) I pretty much slept through the whole thing. I was tired, and I am still tired.

When I awoke this morning, I had a lovely respite from watering the plants, and I enjoyed the extra time to myself by watching the local news for a while to see if there had been any storm damage reported. None that I heard of, although Austin and other points south of us got considerably more rain than we did. AND there were thousands of electrical customers in Austin with no power. We got off really easy.

On the way to work this morning, there were lots of lovely clouds all around. These were some that I noticed just as I was getting ready to exit the Interstate. Everything looks much greener after the rain, but I attribute most of that to the idea that the little bit of rain we had at least washed all the dust off everything. Not that there is anything wrong with that.

Got LOTS of stuff done in the office today, and headed off to a meeting just after two o'clock, that lasted until almost five. Planning and getting things in line for the next year, you can never start too early.

I got home at about six o'clock, and everyone was pretty much ready to go and have dinner. It seems Jody and Joe Mac and Carolyn had traipsed off to Round Rock this afternoon with the intention of picking Jody's truck up (after having been serviced) and stopping for some lunch. When they got to where they were going, it was decided that no one was really hungry, so they decided not to eat. BUT, they were all pretty darned hungry by supper time. We headed off to the Walburg Restaurant and had yummy meals. I had the Farmer's Plate, and as you can see it was just awful. Not much left on that plate for sure!

Tomorrow is the Women's Council of REALTORS monthly luncheon meeting, and that is always fun.

Deeds, Actions, Changes, WELCOMED RAIN, Kindnesses, Whirled Peas, FUN!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

2011 - Day One Hundred Seventy Two; Tuesday...

A new record was set this morning driving to work; two and a half hours. Traffic was pretty backed up on the way in, and even when the jam broke up, I saw no evidence of any wreck or other problem. I guess they cleared it, and then it took an hour or so for everything to open up. Craziness!

Got a lot accomplished at the office today, trying to get caught up because I will be teaching two days next week, and then a meeting or two later on in the week.

On the way home, I stopped once again at the pool store and bought ANOTHER part for the Polaris, hopefully this will be the last one for a while. While I was at work today, Joe Mac was at work at the house. He did all kinds of things around the house, and when I got home, he was out by the pool so I just brought him the new part and he installed it. Things do seem to be working better, and we will just have to keep a watchful eye on it for a while. Then, once I am comfortable that everything is working well and I think I can let my guard down, something else will happen and catch me slacking off!

Our weather-alert radio has gone off twice this evening so far. We are under a sever thunderstorm watch (I think that is the not really bad one) and it would be really nice if we could in fact get some rain. There are nice looking clouds all around, we just need them to deposit some moisture. I fear this weather radio thing has the potential to become a giant smoke detector...something that goes off in the middle of the night for no apparent reason, and finally you just unplug it and forget about it. Time will tell...

I have not even been out to look at the chickens yet this evening. I will be heading out that way in a little while. All reports indicate that the old girls and the new chicks are all (collectively and otherwise) doing just fine, thank you very much.

We are heading out to the Walburg Restaurant tomorrow night for dinner. YUM!

Deeds, Actions, Changes, STORM WARNINGS, Kindnesses, Whirled Peas, FUN!

Monday, June 20, 2011

2011 - Day One Hundred Seventy One; Monday...

A better Monday than most comparatively speaking. A good day at the office, it is so much nicer going into Austin with reduced amounts of traffic on the Interstate. Minimal back-ups in the mornings, but the drive home is still kind of irksome and frustrating. There were some really lovely clouds in the sky this morning, and these looked as if you could almost touch them, they seemed to be very low in the sky. AND it actually spit 17 or 27 drops of rain on me somewhere in Round Rock this morning. I was darned impressed!

On the way home this afternoon, I stopped by the pool supply store to get parts for the Polaris that cleans the bottom of the pool, then Joe Mac and I tried our very best to assemble it. Finally got it all done. The guy at the pool supply said it takes him about 30 minutes to do the job, so I budgeted 2 hours, and we actually got every thing accomplished with a few minutes to spare. The Polaris is still not running correctly, so I think I will be stopping again at the pool supply tomorrow for yet another part. AND, I had the water tested, the chlorine level was too high, so I need to let the chlorine be for a while and try to get that back under control. Needs some muriatic acid introduced into the system though. I am an unwilling participant in the maintenance of the pool, but our maintenance person has decided to become undependable, so I will get it started and see how I do.

We all headed out to Georgetown this evening for dinner at the Monument Cafe. Very nice, but we did not even stop at Dairy Queen for dessert. I thought about it, but did not even mention it in my out loud voice. There is, however, always room for Dairy Queen.

When we got back, it was after 9 o'clock (and can you believe it, it is after 10 o'clock now and I am still conscious) and I went out to put the girls to bed and to check on the chicks. I gave the girls fresh water, and went inside to check the chicks. As I was doing that (Joe Mac was with me) I opened the door to the coop and Joe Mac said there was a snake on the floor (I had not seen it) and I jumped but I did not scream like a big giant girl. I must be getting better and being startled by snakes. ANYWAY, it took us about ten minutes to get the snake out of the coop and then out of the chicken pen. Everybody was getting more and more excited; Joe Mac, me AND the snake. BUT, all's well that ends well, and the last we saw of the snake, he (she/it?) was crawling under the barn to startle some other mammal or reptile.

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

Sunday, June 19, 2011

2011 - Day One Hundred Seventy: Sunday...

Happy Fathers Day to all the Fathers out there.

It was a busy day today, full of good accomplishments. Weeds were pulled, chicken water source was fixed (thanks Joe) cattle were fed and fresh hay was taken out, older bales of hay were concentrated in one place and the freshly cut and baled hay was brought in from the fields, did some weeding, leveled the fountain so it hold water better for the birds and bees, did I mention weeds were pulled? Oh, and the trees by the road and the Pecans were watered. Lots of good work done today, and I hardly had to think about anything.

We went to Denny's for breakfast this morning and for the first time in my life, I consciously ordered from the senior citizen menu. They did not get the order right (I think Joe got my order and I got his order, but we did not figure that out until we had already chowed-down) but otherwise it was all good and cheap.

We did manage to make time to go into Georgetown to go to the Home Depot, and as long as we were there we decided we might as well stop at Dairy Queen. No hot fudge sundaes today, I had a root-beer freeze, Jody had a chocolate shake, Joe had a root beer freeze and Carolyn had a cherry frozen something. Everyone had a good time.

We got home and did more stuff, which included getting into the pool in the early evening. Tired, gonna go to bed shortly after dinner. The new little chicks are doing well and growing like weeds, and the big girls are doing fine. The one girl is still broody, and I am not sure she will ever get over it, but we can hope.

Deeds, Actions, Changes, LOTS OF WORK DONE, Kindnesses, Whirled Peas, FUN!

Saturday, June 18, 2011

2011 - Day One Hundred Sixty Nine; Saturday...

This has truly been a wonderful day. It is June-Teenth (look it up, I may not have it spelled correctly, but Google will compensate) and it is our Anniversary. Nineteen Years of happiness and delight. I am truly a lucky man.

Got up this morning (like any other work day, really) and did the chores that needed to be done), and got ready to go into Austin to teach a class.

Class was good, and there was a record number of attendees in the class; TEN! I know that does not sound like a lot, but I like to keep my goals achievable! And it works! We had a great class, and it was fun and rewarding as usual. Here is a photo of the class, congratulations to all of them for supporting TREPAC!

After the class, I had an appointment with a repeat client, so that is always nice as well. I headed home and got home close to 3 o'clock. Jody and I needed to go into Georgetown to pick up some stuff from Target, so as long as we were in the vicinity, we thought we might as well stop at the Dairy Queen. Whatever...

Before we left though, we needed to find out where our friends were, so we called them on their cell phone, and they were close, but we headed on into Georgetown anyway. They will have their Dairy Queen moment tomorrow.

When we got back, Joe Mac and Carolyn were here and we all had a great visit before I went down for a quick nap before we headed out to dinner. We went back into Georgetown and had dinner at the WildFire Restaurant just off the Square. A delicious dinner, good company, good conversation and a good dessert as well. I will have to be very careful for a few days after this weekend. This is a photo of Jody and I at dinner tonight. SWEET!

There is, however, tomorrow. It is shaping up to be a work in the yard in the 100 degree plus temperatures, so that will work the dessert from tonight off me. So, that will most likely take care of that.

Did I mention that I am the luckiest man in the world?

Deeds, Actions, Changes, ANNIVERSARIES, Kindnesses, World Peas, FUN!

Friday, June 17, 2011

2011 - Day One Hundred Sixty Eight; Friday..

WOOHOO! It's Friday, it's Friday, Friday, Friday, Friday...Oh, wait a second, sorry, I forgot. That is the wrong song. Here we go...IT'S HOT. It is HOT! How Hot Is It? IT IS HOT HOT HOT. It is HOT! Okay, glad I got that off my little pea-brain!

What do you call a gaggle of baby chickens? Probably not what you are thinking. I am going for POOP MACHINES. Yep, that is what they are. Oh, and they are really cute, too. I stopped on the way home at Buck Moore Feeds and got two more chicks. So far, so good, the chicks from yesterday are doing well, eating, drinking water and POOPING! I am glad they survived the first night/day cycle, because it is hot out there in that shed that I have them in. They have their own personal fan going and the windows are open, but it is still plenty warm. Tomorrow I will give them fresh water, but it looks like everything will be okay.

Today was a busy day, but a good one. Got lots of work done, and have pretty much got my 'done-list' under control.

Teaching a class tomorrow, and then I have an appointment at 1PM. We are also having guests from Mississippi arrive tomorrow for a few days, and we will be going out to dinner tomorrow night. Not sure if we will be able to work a visit to Dairy Queen into the mix tomorrow or not, but for sure on Sunday.

Deeds, Actions, Changes, POOP MAKERS, Kindnesses, Whirled Peas, FUN!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

2011 - Day One Hundred Sixty Seven; Thursday...

Tomorrow is Friday, can you picture me doing my little happy dance? Well try!

Last night when I was putting the girls to bed, I noticed the moon-rise, and it was particularly pretty. It is not easy to get good photos with a little digital camera, and even if there were a way to do a long exposure (like in the old days) I would not know how to do it, because I have not read the book. BUT, I think this is a decent photograph, and you can get the general idea. When I got up this morning, the moon was setting, and it was another beautiful sight, but it was pretty darned dark out here.

I got everything watered and managed to remember to turn the water off so I did not waste thousands of gallons of water again. I have to be more careful. Even in the dark I could see this giant Mallo bloom, and I waited until the sun came up a little better before trying to take a photo of it. The morning glories are doing nicely, they are beginning to cross the arbor, and the hyacinth bean that John and Susan gave us (named Pops) is doing very nicely. Once it started crawling up the lattice on the gazebo there has been no stopping it.

This photo was taken on my way into the office this morning, going down CR 972 just east of the Interstate. I expect I will have to get gas tomorrow, and I will have over 1,100 miles on this tank of gas, and hope to be a little better than 145 miles per gallon. There is no telling though...just when you are doing some hyper-miling, something comes up and your stats get thrown way out of control.

On the way home from work this afternoon, I stopped and picked up these four chicks. They are Ameraucana chicks, all the same breed, just with various different markings on them. Hopefully, they will grow up, and they will lay blue eggs. Here is a little bit of information about them...

Ameraucana: The Ameraucana breed was derived from blue egg laying chickens, but they do not have the breeding problems inherent to Araucanas. In addition, rather than ear tufts, they have muffs and a beard, and are very hardy and sweet. They lay eggs in shades of blue, and even have blue (or "slate") legs. Less rare than Araucanas, they are still quite rare and only available through breeders at this time. They should not be confused with Easter Eggers, which can lay blue and green eggs, and do not conform to any breed standard. However, many hatcheries continue to call their Easter Eggers "Americanas" (and other various misspellings). If you are interested in showing your birds, make sure that you have true Ameraucana or Araucana.

So, it will be interesting to see how this all works out. I may go and get two more tomorrow, time will tell...

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

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

2011 - Day One Hundred Sixty Six; Wednesday...

The thermometer in my car registered 109 degrees on the way home, although the official temperature reported by the crack meteorologists (does that mean the meteorologists are on crack?) was only 103. Not a big difference if you ask me. But a few degrees must make some kind of difference. Just not sure what it is. Are you tired of me talking about the heat and lack of rain yet. Well, you will be by October, believe me!

It is a bitch getting older, let me tell you! Today was the second time that I have left the water faucet running for HOURS after I was finished watering. I get out there and start to thinking, and I am not concentrating on the watering (really, watering plants does not require that much attention), and I forget to turn off the water. I will PAY (literally) for that!

We had another calf (another bull calf at that) born yesterday. He is another pretty one! That makes FIVE BULL CALVES this year. This one is black and white (like both his parents) with a big white patch on his head, and a black spot within the white patch, so we are naming him DOMINO. Cute!

We got four eggs from the girls today, not including the first broken egg we have had in quite some time. It is almost as if one of them was sitting on the roost and just decided 'bombs away'! I doubt that is actually what happened, but you never know.

Tomorrow is another hot day.

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

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

2011 - Day One Hundred Sixty Five; Tuesday...

Really It's only Tuesday? I am not even half way through and I am tired. Hot and tired. I guess that is better than sick and tired, but I may get sick of the heat and then I will be sick and tired.

Just in case you are wondering what it takes to freak out the newspaper delivery person in the mornings, say about 4:30 in the morning, this will give you an idea. Every morning, I suit up and take juice out to the bees. It is easier to feed them (for them and me) first thing in the mornings, and then I read meters while I am out there, and then I water plants. Not all activities are conducted in the full bee suit, but it does tend to give the passers-by a start. You would think they had never seen someone in a bee suit walking down the driveway (in the dark) with what looks like a six-pack of canning jars (in the dark) with a flashlight and a pad of paper (in the dark). Bumpkins!

This just in from the chicken cam. The chickens are HOT and TIRED too. It must be too hot for them to lay, because today we got only one egg from them. Who can blame them? It is too darned hot. They walk around the house with their little beaks open as if they are panting and gasping for breath. I doubt they really are, but I don't remember them walking around in the winter with their little beaks open. Who knows, maybe.

Tomorrow is another day...

Deeds, Actions, Changes, HOT CHICKS, Kindnesses, Whirled Peas, FUN!

Monday, June 13, 2011

Day One Hundred Sixty Four; Monday...

It is hot!

There, I said it. Now do you believe me?

I was up early this morning, and doing my daily chores. I was watering things in the front and back before 5AM, just because I could. It is pleasant and mild at that time, and the bees are not too buzzy early in the morning.

This is a photo of a water color (and charcoal and other mediums) that Melody did for us and gave us while they were here. Very nice, and I look thin and young, so I am thinking of ordering some wallet sized copies. I wonder if I can have my drivers license photo done by Melody? Just thinking... I am also wondering if I can franchise that idea. Start small and expand to a few new markets every six months or so, and then take it national. I smell IPO's, what do you think? Vanity Driver's Licenses. I like it!

It is almost too hot to post, but I have a few more lines in me. We got 20 bales from the top pasture last night, and Hubert and Pauline finished the front pasture this morning. We got 6-and-a-half bales from that pasture, so I do not think that is too shabby for NO RAIN this year. We are about 15 inches behind in rainfall since October, and that is really hurting us. This is a picture of Pauline in her tractor (she was raking the grass and Hubert was following her baling). I stopped them last night and talked with them when they were in the front pasture, urging them to go on home and get some rest, the grass would wait until today. Wonderful neighbors!

Deeds, Actions, Changes, BALED HAY, Kindnesses, Whirled Peas, FUN!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

2011 - Day One Hundred Sixty Three; Sunday...

Another wonderful day of rest and relaxation. Our friends Bruce and Melody shared the morning with us before we headed off to the airport to deliver them for their flight. More about that later...

Last night, just after I headed off to the sack (okay, I'm old!) the doorbell rang, and it was Pauline with a bundle of goodies for us and for Bruce and Melody. Peach preserves (some of them with cranberries in them) and cookies for Bruce and Melody's flight home this afternoon. What a wonderful neighbor Pauline is, and combined with Hubert and our other neighbors Randy and Irene, we could not be luckier!

How do you like my melon? You wanna some melon, senor? As I was out watering this morning, I took a can full of water out to the (until now unidentified) plant in the circle of the driveway. I knew it was either a cantaloupe or a watermelon, but I was not sure. I planted lots of melons/cantaloupes, and this is the only one that actually came up (in the ground). I have others that came up in hay bales, but that is another story... ANYWAY, I am very proud of this melon, and I hope there will be at least a few more before the season is over.

Bruce and I went out this morning to check on the cattle and everything was fine with them. Sometimes it is difficult to tell Minnie from Daphne at a distance, and other folks have a hard time remembering the cattle's names, but I bet everyone can recognize this particular hoofed animal. Three guesses...

After checking out the cattle, we all had a really nice time talking and chatting about this-and-that, and then we decided we would head off to Georgetown and have some lunch, and then head to the airport.

We got into Georgetown and had a very nice lunch at the Monument Cafe. Jody and I had gone there several times when we first moved to Bartlett, but we were disappointed with the quality of the food and service when they moved from their original location to the new location. We felt it was a problem that success had spoiled them, and they were definitely experiencing growing pains. HOWEVER, today's experience was delightful, nothing (except the wait for a table) could have been better. Excellent food (all around) and excellent service. A very nice experience. They also have opened their 'maze' (still needs a little work and some time to mature) as well as their farmers market (which is inside a large warehouse type building and air-conditioned). They also have what looks like it will be an outdoor seating area with a lovely long-and-narrow water feature. Don't remember if I saw any koi in the pond, but there were some lovely water Lillie's, and I thought I would share this picture with you.

We got Bruce and Melody to the airport (in PLENTY of time for their flight) and then we headed back home by way of Georgetown (again). I needed to stop at HEB to get some sugar for the bees and some batteries for flashlights. Jody also needed to stop and pick up a few things, and then we headed off to Dairy Queen. It's the weekend, okay?

We got home and we both went down for a nap. We decided we were not eating anything for dinner tonight, if either of us got hungry we could forage for something, but we had both eaten so much while Bruce and Melody were here, neither of us were really hungry.

After the news, I sat down at my desk and did some work, and noticed that Hubert (I thought) was in the far pasture baling hay. I went back there (I love to watch this process) and it turned out Pauline was raking the grass and Hubert was baling. I was sitting in the Mule with my feet up watching. I am one lucky son-of-a-gun!

Tomorrow will be another work day, and it will be a full week this week. I hope I will be able to cope. The last several weeks have been partial weeks, and I have become spoiled.

Deeds, Actions, Changes, THE GOOD LIFE, Kindnesses, Whirled Peas, FUN!

Saturday, June 11, 2011

2011 - Day One Hundred Sixty Two; Saturday...

Today was not a busy and hectic day. It was a really nice and calm day that included a couple naps and lots of fun with our friends Bruce and Melody.

We headed out to Denny's for breakfast this morning and came home and I took a nap. Then we headed out later in the afternoon to Georgetown; Melody needed to make a few stops, and since we were in the neighborhood, we made a run at the Dairy Queen. We went through Berry Creek Park on the way home, and we had also stopped at Tractor Supply where Jody got some horse treats; if they are good for horses, we expect they will be good for burros! This is a photo of Melody, the burros in Berry Creek Park, Jody and Bruce. Cute!

On the way home from Georgetown, Hubert called and said he was going to come over and cut the pastures, even though the grass was not particularly high, he was afraid that if we waited much longer it will all just burn up from the heat and no rain. So, the front and back pastures have been cut, and tomorrow (I guess) it will be raked and baled. I hope to get at least twenty bales from this first cutting, and if we can get ANY RAIN at all, I hope we can get another cutting.

When we got back to the house, I took another nap.

After my nap, we were sitting out on the patio and the chickens decided to come over and visit. Melody and Bruce are not that used to having chickens to pet, so we took this photo for documentation purposes.

We headed back to Jarrell for dinner tonight at Mexicanos Grille and Bar, which was very crowded, and while we were there they celebrated three birthdays. Crazy busy at the restaurant tonight.

Tomorrow is looking like it will be another calm day. I am not planning on doing a whole lot of anything. TOO DARN HOT!

Deeds, Actions, Changes, TOO DARN HOT, Kindnesses, Whirled Peas, FUN!

Friday, June 10, 2011

2011 - Day One Hundred Sixty One; Friday...

A really wonderful day. I got out of bed later than usual, and there was no rush for me to do all my chores. Our friends are here visiting with us (Bruce and Melody) form Connecticut/New York, and we are all having a wonderful time. We went into Salado this afternoon and had lunch, and then Bruce and Melody did a little bit of shopping while Jody and I sat on a bench in the front of a series of shops. Afterwords, we headed north two exits to Amity, where I needed to pick up some stabilizer for the pool. All in an afternoon

Once we got home, it was kind of nap time and getting ready to go into Austin for the ABoR Foundation Mercedes and Martinis event at the Domain. Lots of fun and a good time was had by all! This is a photo of Cheryl, Melody, Me, Bruce and Jody! Thanks to Kate for taking the photo! It was a blast, and it was a great fundraising event for the ABoR Foundation!

Going to bed now.

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

Thursday, June 9, 2011

2011 - Day One Hundred Sixty; Thursday...

Today has been an absolutely fabulous day, and this morning seems to have been days and days ago. A great day...

Made it to the office early this morning, and did a bit of power real estate. Had out PM meeting in the AM and headed to the airport at 10 o'clock to pick up our friends Bruce and Melody. Their flight (Southwest, of course) was 30 minutes early, which put a little kink in my plans, but everyone rolled with the dice. We made it home by around 11:30, and we are all having a great time.

We went into Georgetown and had a nice lunch (by way of Granger to show them where the new True Grit movie was filmed) and then did a few errandy things, before coming home.

Jody went down for a nap, Bruce and Melody and I went out to see the cattle, and moved them to another pasture, where they have some nice green grass. Everyone is happy.

Afterwards, Bruce and Melody started shelling black eyed peas and then Jody joined them, but there are still lots of peas to get shelled. We then went into Walburg to have dinner at the German Restaurant, and now we are home. All is good.

A wonderful day, and tomorrow we are going to go pick corn at Randy and Irene's. Life is good out on the edge of nowhere (which is actually further than the middle of nowhere).

Deeds, Actions, Changes, GOOD FRIENDS, Kindnesses, Whirled Peas, FUN!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

2011 - Day One Hundred Fifty Nine; Wednesday...

It is hot outside and I am tired. Just preparing you...

I got everything (front and back) watered this morning, so that was a good thing. It is invigorating to get that stuff done before I head to the office. While I am watering, it gives me a chance to inspect things. I have discovered, in addition to the Hibiscus blooming and the beautiful blue morning glory, that I am currently in the seven stages of grief over the weed situation here at the farm. Bear with me...

I am in shock over the number of weeds that are around here. I know, I know, there is nothing much I can do about it that I am not already doing, but I am shocked none-the-less. I will, however, remain strong in the knowledge that I am doing what I can about it, and will continue to pull weeds as I go, playing my silly little counting game. Stay tuned for more!

This is a photo of the beautiful blue morning glory I discovered this morning. They are kind of hard to see in the dark, but I have a good eye for these, and I found it lurking behind a leaf. Good things to come.

Nice day in the office, preparing for not much office time the next several days, but I expect I will be checking the computer from home, and doing a little bit of work here and there.

The clouds were really pretty nice this afternoon. Once I got home, I had a phone call and when I was returning the call, on the way out to the chicken coop, I got stung by a bee, just at me eye brow on the left eye. Hurt like fire! I do not know what pissed those bees off, but they were on me. They forget who it is that brings them sugar water in the mornings! I should be treated with a little bit more respect. Whatever...enjoy the cloud photo.

Deeds, Actions, Changes, BEE STINGS, Kindnesses, Whirled Peas, FUN!