Tuesday, July 31, 2012

2012 - Day 213/173 - Tuesday...

I'll take Texas Primary Run-Offs for $600 Alex.  Answer:  Precinct 425 in Bartlett, Texas.  Question:  What is the best kept secret location in Williamson County?  I am just having to tell you this, it was easy to find the voting place on-line, not a problem at all.  AND Bartlett, Texas is really not that big of a place at all, in fact, it is a REALLY small town (and that is being generous).  BUT we wandered around for about 20 minutes looking for this place, and even with a navigation system we passed it by.  We FINALLY found it.  The unmarked and unremarkable location of this polling place might be part of the reason that Jody and I were the 16th and 17th voters for the day, and it was almost 5 o'clock when we cast our ballots.

I got into the office even earlier than usual today, I had stuff to do for the end of the month.  More stuff to do tomorrow for the beginning of the month, so I expect to be in a little earlier than usual again.

It was pretty much a fun day, it was nice and calm for the most part.  I got to participate in the production of a TREPAC video at the Texas Association of REALTORS offices.  Our ABoR TREPAC Vice-Chair (Stephen) had the best idea for a video several months ago at a TAR meeting (he won the contest), and we finally got the chance today to make the video.  It was a lot of fun.  I played the part of 'that guy', and I am looking forward to the finished product.

I left the office at around 3 o'clock this afternoon, so I could pick Jody up and we could go vote.  On the way home, there was a wreck in Georgetown (the second in less than one week).  There are not supposed to be wrecks in Georgetown.  It is 35 miles away from Austin.  Whatever.  Then when I got off on my exit, there was road work being done, and I was stopped for about 10 minutes waiting for the 'pilot vehicle' to lead me out of the maze.  But you know what, when I turned onto our road, Hubert was busy loading sorghum into his truck to be taken to the grain elevator in a day or two.  I was not the least bit annoyed that I could not get around or had a delay.  I guess the difference is I know Hubert, I know he would not inconvenience me on purpose, and I know that what he is doing is important.

It kind of makes me think I should re-evaluate the other inconveniences in my life.  I really and honestly doubt that any one is singling me out personally to be inconveniences.  So, the next time I get stuck in traffic because of something I have absolutely no control over, I am going to try and remember that I was (most likely) not singled out personally to be inconvenienced.  AND, I hope I will think kindly of the folks that were involved in the traffic accidents., maybe even trying to send good thoughts their way.

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

Monday, July 30, 2012

2012 - Day 212/174 - Monday...

Overall, for a Monday, the day did not suck, although there were certainly a couple of peaks and valleys along the way.

I was treated to this on my drive in to the city this morning.  Could not really tell what the promotion was as I was trying to take photos while doing 70 down the Interstate, but now that I can pay a little more attention, it seems that one of the balloons is advertising a new home builder in the area.  But it was nice to see these fellows enjoying their morning about all the hustle and bustle of the traffic.  I remember when I did early morning bike rides, and I would be finishing my ride in the middle of rush hour traffic.  Particularly at traffic signals I would be very smug that I was on a bike and not in my car heading to the office.  I felt very superior to the commuters back then.

I got a good bit of office work done this morning, and then I was treated to a very nice lunch with my friend Steve.  We are working on a property management/re-hab deal together, and it is a nice collaboration.

Back in the office and a little bit of power real estate, and then I had to leave to get my hair cut.  After that, I got home, put a couple signs on properties, and made it home.  When I was close to the house, I could see that Pauline and Hubert had raked and baled hay.  I cannot really tell, but it looks like we got about 40 bales combined from the front and bask fields.  Much better than the earlier cutting this spring.  I would really like to get another cutting this year, so I would appreciate it very much if you would all go and get naked and run out in the front yard and do a little rain dance for us.  An inch or two a week for about three weeks is all I am asking for, and after the first time the neighbors see you naked in the front yard, they won't think anything of it.

Deeds, Actions, Changes, NAKED DANCING IN THE YARD, Kindnesses, Whirled Peas, FUN!

Sunday, July 29, 2012

2012 - Day 211/175 - Sunday...

I could kick myself over a conscious decision I made today.  From about 50 or 75 feet away, I noticed there were Morning Glories blooming on the trellis, and I chose NOT to go over right then and admire them.  And now it is too late.  The Glories are one of my favorite things, and I chose to ignore them.  Instead, I kept on with chores I had told myself were more pressing, and now those Glories are gone.

I will admit that I got a lot of things done today.  After the honey-pull yesterday, the front barn and the stones outside it were pretty much covered with honey-drips.  Attractive to ants and more bees.  SO, I hosed down the steps and mopped the inside of the barn floors and wiped everything down.  Then I bottled about 30 or 40 more pounds of honey, and I am ready to start distributing.  We ended up with (after giving away several pounds to the folks that helped pull it) 92.5 pounds of honey, and we have not even pulled honey from two of the hives.  Maybe next weekend, but it will have to be sometime soon.

I did a little bit of real estate business at our neighbors early in the afternoon (that is code for something, so if you want to know more, give me a call).  We headed into Georgetown for spoilers about 2:30, and then came home and we both went down for naps.

Woke up, watched the news, I went back outside and did some more cleaning up around the bees, and came in and had a bowl of cereal for dinner, capped of with a piece of Mrs. Rodriguez's DELICIOUS banana bread.  The dinner of Champions.

Tomorrow will be the start of another work week.  Once again, I need to get back to work so I can get some rest!

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

Saturday, July 28, 2012

2012 - Day 210/176 - Saturday...

NOTE:  Everything within a 50 yard radius of me is sticky.  Just thought I would mention that.

Today was a busier day that I would have liked.  I actually stayed in bed until about 6 o'clock, and got up and leisurely prepared myself for a 10 o'clock appointment.  I made it into Austin with no problems, and the appointment lasted much longer than I expected, and I was on my way home about 2 o'clock.  BUT, the contracts are signed, and life will be good.  Lots of work to do on two new sets of management properties, but in the long run, it will be a winning situation for MANY people; owners, tenants and managers.

On the way home, I needed to stop and put gas in the car, and I needed something to eat.  I bought three packages of peanut butter and crackers and a grape soda.  Who says you cannot find nutritional food stuffs at the Citgo station?  What could be better.

Back on the road and there was a tremendous  traffic jam on the Interstate.  SATURDAY remember, you are not supposed to be in traffic jams on Saturday.  It took me almost two hours to get home, but of course I did have to stop at the Dairy Queen in Georgetown.  I was ready with my little portable cooler and blue ice and everything.

Shortly after I got home, Konrad (owner of Round Rock Honey) and a crew arrived to pull honey from my hives.  They all left after 7, and we got about 120 pounds of honey from three of the five hives.  I will know more accurately how much honey we got, because I still have honey left to be bottled in the front barn.  AND I AM NOT KIDDING when I said everything around me is sticky.  Pulling and bottling honey is damned sticky business.  This is a photo of the group (minus Konrad the photographer) and you can immediately recognize me as the one not smiling.  I do not know why that is, but I think I am always the one not smiling.

It is almost dark, so it is time to go and put the girls to bed.  I am waiting a little longer this evening, because there are three hives on relatively unhappy bees out there, so I am trying to avoid their wrath.  AND, considering there are about 150,000 bees in each of the hives, I need to be as careful as possible.

Thanks to all the folks that came out with Konrad.  Anytime you want to come back and pull honey, just let me know.

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

Friday, July 27, 2012

2012 - Day 209/177 - Friday...

It's FRIDAY, and I am indeed doing a little Happy Dance.  Too bad you aren't here with me, we could dance and sing and just have a BIG time...

It was a good day today, I got to the office a few minutes earlier than normal, getting prepped for an early appointment.  Put a very nice property in our Management Portfolio, and it is not on the lease market.  I did not even (okay I did but just barely) get out of the little enclave of homes before one of the neighbors called me asking about the sign in the yard.  All they wanted to know was the list price ($3,500 per month) and then they hung up on me.  I still cannot believe people do not know how to block their phone number.  Anyway, I thought it was pretty funny.  HOWEVER, you should also know that if the caller ID on my cell phone says BLOCKED, chances are I am not going to answer it...  Kind of a catch-22, but I also think it is interesting that many of the people that block their phone numbers leave a message and I have to call them back.  Whatever...

AND, a big thank you to Chris for helping me out (always).  THANKS!

I left the office before 3:30 this afternoon, and made it home before 5 o'clock.  Traffic was really heavy, and it did not break up until I was over half-way home.  There was a lot of activity at the house today; we have been having fence work done all week, and they are just about finished.  I guess-timate there is still about three days of work to be done, and then I will feel pretty darned secure about the fencing, and then I DARE a cow to try and escape.  Even when the cattle COULD escape, they did not go far, because they know which side of the fence their feed is buttered on!

Miguel was also at the house today, so there was a lot of good work done because of all his HARD work.  He is really a good guy to have around, and he knows how to do a lot of different things.  It is almost 8 o'clock, and he just left a few minutes ago.

I was also very surprised to see that Hubert was cutting hay in the fields this afternoon.  It will not be a tremendous production of hay, but it will be better than no bales at all.  That will make our second cutting of the year, and the two cuttings will probably not produce as much as one good cutting in a good year.  We can hope for another cutting later on if we get any rain at all.  We have no chances of rain in the near future, but you never know.  We have several months to go before it is all over, but I think we may get lucky and get one more cutting.

Even though I have very little interest in the Olympics AT ALL, I expect I will watch a little bit of the opening ceremonies later on.  Kind of fun to see all the pageantry, and I think even the Queen made some sort of a video for the event.  I DO LIKE HER LADY-SHIP.

Today is Shannon's birthday, and I did not even get a chance to wish her a happy one.  I hope she will take a minute in a day or two to look at this journal, and I hope the mention of her special day will be a nice surprise for her.

Deeds, Actions, Changes, SHANNON'S BIRTHDAY, Kindnesses, Whirled Peas, FUN!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

2012 - Day 208/178 - Thursday...

I got in the office this morning at about 7:30 and did not leave until I was ready to go home, and that was about 3:45.  I did not deliver my Meals-On-Wheels route today, but I got finished with lots of things that were on my desk.  Head-down real estate stuff.  It is almost August, and the whole thing will start again by this time next week.

Having not gone out of the office did not make for a good photo taking opportunity, but there is always a dog or a chicken around that might succumb to Internet fame.  The dog has never really been fond of having his picture taken, and I don't understand that.  The chickens on the other hand, are always ready to have their photo taken and to have some attention aid to them.  The dog likes the attention, just does not like cameras.

An early appointment tomorrow, then more office work, and early appointment on Saturday and maybe some honey pulling on Saturday afternoon.

Deeds, Actions, Changes, DOG BOY, Kindnesses, Whirled Peas, FUN!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

2012 - Day 207/179 - Wednesday...

It is late, I just got home (it is already dark) and I am tired.  I took no photos today (that I would care to publish and have live on the Internet and be criticized eternally), so I did an Internet search for I have no photos today and this is the photo that it produced.  It makes absolutely no sense to me, but I kind of like it that way.  Conjecture all you like, and report back to me if you are so moved.

I had every intention of sleeping a little bit longer today, but I was awake at 4 o'clock, and there was no going back to sleep.  And I got to my first appointment about an hour-and-a-half early, but I did enjoy the (mostly) quiet time.  I got to the office at about 2 o'clock, prepped for a 6 o'clock meeting, and now I am ready for bed.  Meetings over for the day.

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

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

2012 - Day 206/180 - Tuesday...

I have not posted photos of the various wrecks I see to and from my office on an (almost) daily basis, and there was a pretty good one this morning.  Something like a good seven car-truck pileup could have a tendency to ruin what could have been an otherwise wonderful start to the day, and fully deserves documentation for the generations.  But, gentle reader, I choose not to bring you down with something like that.  Instead, I prefer to direct your attentions skyward, through the Sage as it were, heavenly.  Whatever...

A busy day today, made more acceptable by my last minute decision NOT to attend the Beekeepers Association meeting (WCABA) in Georgetown.  I had every intention of attending, until about 4:45 this afternoon when, faced with spending a few minutes with Jody and then gulping down dinner and driving 20 miles back to attend the meeting, I changed my mind.

So chill...

Tomorrow will be a busy day, and I do not expect to be home until way past dark:30.  Meeting in the morning and a 6 o'clock meeting tomorrow night.

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

Monday, July 23, 2012

2012 - Day 205/181 - Monday...

Very early this morning, a friend on my made a post on FaceBook, something like I hope this is not going to be a Manic Monday.  My response to her was simple:  Too late.

It was a really busy but productive day.  I used to pride myself on keeping a very neat and EMPTY e-mail in-box, and these days I do not seem capable of emptying my in-box.  That makes me very unhappy.  I really do not feel like I am caught up if there are messages in my in-box.  Note to self:  Another tendency and/or piece of evidence that you are Obsessive/Compulsive.  Let me think on that one...

I had every intention of getting home early this afternoon, but that was not to be.  I will try again tomorrow because I want to go to the beekeeping meeting tomorrow night in Georgetown.  SO, I need to try to get home first, then go back to Georgetown.  Tomorrow nights topic will be about harvesting honey, and I expect to be doing that in the next week or two.  Hopefully, I will have a little help, but you never know, I may need to become resourceful and do it myself.  What's a few stings among friends?

This is pretty darned interesting, Jody collected a mini-egg this afternoon.  We conjectured that one of the newest chicks had gone all teenaged on us and was trying to be in-with-the-in-crowd.  Then I remembered that the newest girls should be laying brown eggs, so I guess one of the middle girls (there are five of them) just laid a small egg.  Interesting, and pretty, and I guess it should eat just like the other eggs.  I will let you know this weekend.

Deeds, Actions, Changes, TEENY TINY EGGS, Kindnesses, Whirled Peas, FUN!

Sunday, July 22, 2012

2012 - Day 204/182 - Sunday...

I never really expected these words to be uttered from my fingers (keyboardly speaking), but the demise of this particular Dairy Queen is of no particular loss to Warren.  In fact, just the fact that the Interstate sucked up the land by imminent domain and shuttered the location most likely raised the comment card scores by ten or fifteen points.  Good riddance...

I was out in the yard, fully suited up against the swarming of bees and on the riding lawn mower by 7 o'clock this morning and I stayed outside most of the day working in various parts of the yard.  There is one attribute to a prolonged drought, and that is you don't have to cut (at) the grass.  Exactly the opposite is true when you have good rainy weather.  I cut grass this week and last week...I cannot wait to see what the coming week brings.

Miguel came out to help me and together we got a lot of work done.

Tomorrow starts another work week, and I can use the rest.

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

Saturday, July 21, 2012

2012 - Day 203/183 - Saturday...

Saturday (Listeni/ˈsætərdi/ or /ˈsætərd/) is the day of the week following Friday and preceding Sunday. Saturday is the 2nd to last. Its Latin name dies Saturni ("Saturn's Day") entered into Old English as Saeternesdaeg. Saturday was named no later than the 2nd century for the planet Saturn, which controlled the first hour of that day according to Vettius Valens.  Credit: Wikipedia.

I hope that clears me of being accused of plagiarism.  If not, just tell me what other credit I need to give, and I will do it.  I did change it up some, trying to do the right thing...

You can tell that this has not been one of my best days overall, and I am not sure why that is.  I just did not seem to be able to really get started today.  I had a nice o'clock appointment, then Jody and I went and did a few things, but I have just been relatively dull all day today.

That is not at all the type of entry I expected this to be, seeing as how this is the 1,300th consecutive post I have made to this journal.  Thirteen hundred days is a long time to have kept up with something, let alone something that makes me actually have to think and be consistent.  On the other hand, I think many of you may just think it is another bit of evidence to confirm on OCD.  You choose, whichever one you feel most comfortable with is okay with me.  If you determine the cause for this, just drop me an e-mail.

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

Friday, July 20, 2012

2021 - Day 202/184 - Friday...

It's Friday and I am too tired to perform my Happy Dance.  Get over it.

Last night I went to bed feeling great having just attended a sneak-peek advance screening of the new Batman movie.  I woke up and discovered that I could not really feel good about the fun I had because some crazy guy in Colorado took the otherwise fun and exciting event (for others there, not here) to go shoot it up inside the auditorium and walk out.  I do not understand the motives of people to go and harm strangers in that way, any more than I understand this; he had booby-trapped his apartment (in a relatively sophisticated manner, too it is reported) but then he told the cops he booby-trapped the place, so why did he bother doing it if he as going to tell the police he did it.  Seems like a really big waste of time to me.  Maybe he was concerned that it would not have detonated, and that telling the police he had done it (so they could dismantle it) was better than the possible realization that he was a (on a grand scale) failure.\

See, I just don't get it.

Some of you are used to seeing red-light cameras in your neighborhoods, we are used to seeing Red-Tailed Hawks in ours.  Pretty much the same concept. both examples monitor traffic flow and eradicate vermin.  Same idea, really.

It was a busy day in the office, and I did not leave once I got there.  I gave it all up about 3:30 and headed to a four o'clock NAREB Installation.  A wonderful group of colleagues working hard to make sure everyone can achieve the dream of home-ownership.

There was a really good quote from the movie last night that I wrote down on a piece of paper (in the dark) and now I can't find the paper.  I'll find it and post it later.

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

Thursday, July 19, 2012

2012 - Day 201/185 - Thursdy...

Okay everyone, this is another of those posts you have been waiting for.  It has been quite a while since I posted in this journal when I was tired, medicated and drinking wine at the same time.  I am hoping there will not be a repeat of the 'drinking and dialing' fiasco I suffered the last time or two.  That did not really end well, and I had to keep the silver glittered mules with the magenta rhinestones and feathers the color of lapiz lazuli. But it did look pretty okay in the photos, I will admit that.

It was really a good and productive day at work, everything was pretty much dependent on getting everything completed in time to show up at the functions at the proper time.  A big thank you to Emily for schlepping me from the Bob Bullock Museum to the W Austin Hotel for the first deal, where (we he still to see)we raised (maybe) between $7000 and $8000 dollars for TREPAC.  Then it ws back to the Bullock Museum for the sneak peek at the new Batman Movie where we (hopefully)  cleared another $5000 to $10000.  Lots of hard work!  BUT a lot of FUN!

I may sleep a little later tomorrow.

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

Oh, and by the way, jut in case you were wondering, the answer to last nights question was:  HENRY VIII.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

2012 - Day 200/186 - Wednesday...

Okay, okay, enough already of the freakin' pictures of clouds, you are driving me batty!  TOUGH!

Here is a question.  Or two.  Which Anne was Anne of a thousand days?  Was it Ann Boleyn?  Did I spell that correctly?  Which Henry was married to Katherine (again, did I get the spelling right), locked her up in a tower somewhere and married Anne?  Trying to stay accurate with my history.  It was a long time since I was in high school cheating on the tests!

Not a bad day today, but I am really looking forward to tomorrow.  Tomorrow I will be in the office most of the day, but starting around 3:30 I have a meeting, and then at about 5 I am hoping to get to the Bat Cave for a little bit of socializing before we see the new Batman movie before anyone else in Austin gets a chance to see it.  IN 3D!  IN IMAX.  If you want tickets, I know where you can get them.

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

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

2012 - Day 199/187 - Tuesday...

You could pretty much get away with anything you were of a mind to do today in Austin from about 2 o'clock til (probably) late into the evening.  The President is visiting and every law enforcement person within a two-hundred-mile radius of the place was concentrated in a relatively small area downtown.  You could drive like the proverbial bat-out-of-hell down the Interstate and there would be no one to take exception to your poor behavior.  For whatever it is worth...

I was off to a late start this morning, and I felt like I was rushed for most of the day.  I started out working, and kept working.  I am not saying how productive I was, but I did a lot of work, and here lately, I seem to be moving the same pieces of paper around and re-stacking them a lot.  But it was a pretty sunrise.

Nothing particularly going on tomorrow until the afternoon, and Thursday will have a pretty busy schedule in the late afternoon and into the night.

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

Monday, July 16, 2012

2012 - Day 198/188 - Monday...

I hardly had time to even notice that today was Monday.

The new chicks are acclimating to their new roosting environs much quicker and calmer than I had expected.  They were (just yesterday) the head chickens of their micro-domains, but as of last night, they are (literally) at the bottom of the pecking order.  Life sometimes takes a move that we are not really prepared for.  But overall, I think the transition has gone better than I expected.

I don't know what your opinion of the Affordable Care Act is (and really I don't care and don't have any interest in getting that conversation started) but today I got a REBATE from BlueCross BlueShield of Texas because of it.  It seems 'if BCBSTX does not spend at lease 80 percent of the premium it receives on health care services' it is required to pay a refund or credit an upcoming premium.  SO, I got a 9% refund on my health care premiums from 2011, and it is nothing to sneeze at.  I'M OLD, and my health care insurance is NOT CHEAP!


I will happily take my little refund to the bank tomorrow.

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

Sunday, July 15, 2012

2012 - Day 197/189 - Sunday...

It has been an interesting day.  I got almost everything on my list of chores done (and I got some things done that were not on the list).  It was VERY NICE that Miguel came by and helped out on a lot of the stuff.  Three of the eight bamboo plants are now in the ground.  Maybe could have planted more of them, but Miguel had an idea that the tractor would make things easier, and the bees were not gonna have any of that, so that put a stop to that.

We did get the cattle fed, got the chicken coop cleaned out, got the two troughs repaired, got the sink drain in the laundry room cleared out, got some weeds pulled, probably a few things I am forgetting, but overall it was a great day.

I took this photo just about three minutes before I took the photo down the page.  There were about five or six Monarch Butterflies hanging around the butterfly bush, and I managed to get two or three photos that were pretty good.  It seems a little early in the season for Monarch's, but they are beautiful, and glad to see them on the bush.  The bees have really enjoyed these bushes too, but they are about played out for this season.  The crape myrtles are about done for the season as well, but hopefully we will have something else blooming before long.  I am really hoping to do a honey pull within the next couple of weeks, too.

Okay, so almost immediately after I took the picture of the Monarch's, I looked across the road and there were some really dark clouds coming our way.  Then within about thirty seconds of taking this picture (I was out reading meters and became distracted by the Monarch's) the wind came up and the temperature started dropping and it started raining.  It was happening quickly.  I saw a report that six boats were flipped over by the winds on Lake Travis.  A lot of lightning and a lot of thunder.  The thunder sounded more like fireworks than thunder.  It was really interesting.  One BIG LOUD POP and then it was kind of like a rolling thunder effect.  I was out sweeping gravel off the driveway back onto the paths and a lightning strike and blast of thunder hit, and I broke the broom handle.


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

Saturday, July 14, 2012

2012- Day 196/170 - Saturday...

I have been relatively useless for most of the day, although I did cut at the front yard this afternoon.  When I got out of bed this morning, the humidity was so high and the grass was so wet, there was no way I could do anything with it.  I needed to wait until the sun dried it up, and it was still damp when I finally went out there about 3 o'clock this afternoon.

I was successful in doing some office work and with making a list of chores that I hope to get accomplished tomorrow.  Cleaning the chicken coop, feeding the cattle, working on two of the cattle troughs in the back, trying to run an auger down the lab sink in the laundry room, stuff like that.  I think I can get most of it done.

When I went out to gather eggs this evening, there was this pretty display off to the west.  Very nice.  I have closed off the little girls pen and coop, so I hope they will voluntarily go into the big girls coop.  I need to get them integrated with the big girls and tonight just may be the night for that.  We shall see.

Even though we got no rain here today, I think there was some rain in Austin, and there has been rumblings of thunder off and on all afternoon.  There are still some chances of rain, but it looks like it is tapering off for next week, and temperatures are going to steadily be climbing back up to the century mark.  Thankfully, it is not nearly as bad this year as it was last year, and the rains should have pretty much guaranteed that we will get another cutting of hay this year.

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

Friday, July 13, 2012

2012 - Day 195/171 - Friday...

Sunrise, sunset.  Oh, wait, that will be later.  What I meant to say was This is Friday, and this is my Happy Dance.  The fact that it was the 13th AND Friday had little or no impact on me.  In fact, it was a pretty good day, all things considered.

Sunrise:  This was my view as I headed off to work this morning.  There was no rainfall at all in the previous 24 hour period, and it is more or less kind of like living in a steamer right now on the edge of nowhere.  Temperatures are more seasonal, but the rains have made things really humid.  The front part of the property by the house smells like some one has been cooking with a lot of garlic.  There are lots of garlic plants up there, and the moisture is making it very apparent.  But I digress.  The sunrise was very nice, and I was happy to take the time to pull over to the side of the road (careful to check for oncoming traffic) and document the fact.

I had a really great appointment this morning, and I hope that will work out well.  I think the prospective client and I hit it off pretty well, and that was good.  It is a beautiful home, and it will be a nice addition to our management portfolio.

Sunset:  Okay, this is not really the sunset, but it was a nice little rain cloud close to the house.  It took me over two hours to get home this afternoon, and part of that was because it was raining from north Austin to south Georgetown.  73 degrees when I paid attention to the thermometer, and 94 degrees when I got home because there had been no rain.  I saw TRACE of rain in the fancy-schmancy gauge, and then there was a little brief shower right when I was pulling into the garage.  BUT, the clouds were handsome, and there is always time to stop and appreciate a cloud.

No appointments so far for the weekend, but there are plenty of chores on my list.  It is too wet to really do too much in the pastures or the fields, but there is plenty of stuff to do.  I need to take some hay out to the cattle, and maybe open the far back pasture up to them for some fresh grazing area.  We'll see how I feel tomorrow.

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

Thursday, July 12, 2012

2012 - Day 194/172 - Thursday...

Do not try this at home.  This is a well choreographed maneuver preformed by professionals on a closed course.  No animals were injured in the performance of this maneuver.  And as long as we are on the subject, let's talk just for a minute about the word MANEUVER.  This new Google thing that I have been forced to use (cannot really complain because it is free) told me that I had mis-spelled the word, but it offered no suggestions as to the proper spelling.  Which caused me (so I won't look totally stupid to my multitude of followers) to have to get up and find the dictionary to look up the proper spelling.  BUT, if you don't know how to spell it, what are the odds you will be able to find the correct spelling in the dictionary.  AND the font size is REALLY SMALL in the dictionary, and I am REALLY OLD and I had to find the magnifying glass to be able to NOT find the proper spelling in the dictionary.  BUT, never mind, it is just not going to get any better, this is a downhill trajectory and I should save you all the trouble...

Here is a part of a conversation I had with a colleague today.  Her:  Is there a particular reason that the property will not be available until August 15th?  Me:  Ummm, yes, because that is the date the Owners will be moving out of the property.  Her:  Well, you don't have to be so smart about it.  I hadn't actually thought I was being smart and I thought to my self And I guess you don't have to be that smart to get your real estate license, either.  But that would have been just one more conversation for the day that would have taken a downhill spiral and not have had a happy ending.  I'm just sayin'.  But I have to admit, it sounds like something I would have said a couple years ago.

BUT, on most days, this is what I get to see at the beginning and endings of the days.  Can you think of anything prettier than this?  This is the road about a mile from the house, Like a lot of Texas, there is nothing around here but miles and miles of miles and miles.  There is really not a lot to worry about.

I do know what day it is, and my program will be coming on shortly.

Deeds, Actions, Changes, MILES AND MILES, Kindnesses, Whirled Peas, FUN!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

2012 - Day 193/173 - Wednesday...

...and now for something completely different...

At some point in the day I took this photo of the dragon fly resting comfortably above the mail boxes at the office.  I was very happy with myself that I saw the little guy and had my camera handy for the opportunity.  I seem to have fallen down (for the past several months, maybe longer) in capturing digital documentation of the ordinary things we see on a daily basis but take little or no notice of.  We really need to all take a minute and contemplate our navels (or other interesting body parts that may hold a fascination for you), or contemplate the beauty of something ordinary that you pass by on a daily basis.  There are miracles all around us, we just have to accept them as miracles, and go on.

We had more rain today and there is a chance of more this evening.  About 5 1/3 inches so far in July, and July is usually one of our driest months.  I am trying to telepathically communicate with some of our tele-vangelists (of the meteorological persuasion) as to whether or not this phenomenon could be the result of the El Nino effect that is supposedly developing in the Gulf.  BUT, no one talks about that, and I do not have the time (or the real interest) in making a phone call or sending an e-mail.  If you get the answer to this pressing question, be sure to let me know.

Deeds, Actions, Changes, MORE RAIN (soon I will begin complaining about it), Kindnesses, Whirled Peas, FUN!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

2012 - Day 192/174 - Tuesday...

Ever since we moved here, Jody and I have know that the house was built in 'a hollow', kind of a low spot in the topography.  It has been referred to as a former 'rattle snake nest', and other less interesting terms.  In the past couple days however, this might have worked to our advantage.  This morning I emptied 4.47" of rain from the gauge.  Our neighbors (Randy, Irene, Hubert and Pauline) reported accumulations in the range of about 3.5".  When I got home this afternoon, I checked the gauge and we have 1/100th of an inch of rain, and after a brief shower, we now have .39' in the fancy-schmancy gauge.  Total accumulation for the month of July so far (it ain't over yet) is exactly 5".  HOT-DAMN!

There is one advantage to checking your (various) meters on a daily basis, notwithstanding the anal-retentive and obsessive-compulsive diagnosis that one would normally associate with that behavior.  When I got home this afternoon, not only did I check the rain gauge, I checked the front electric meter, the water meter, the main electric meter and the generation of energy from the wind turbines.  Having boasted of the rainfall yesterday, and in the back of my head considering that we would not need to use very much water for at least the next week, I noted that we had used over 600 gallons of water today.  Taking into consideration normal usage, watering some landscaping and the cattle consumption of H2O, we would really not use that much in a normal day, especially not after a heavy rain.  SO, after dinner, I headed out to the back pasture, and found one of the troughs with a bad float, just spewing water.  I am getting pretty good at this diagnosis stuff.

AND, the new tank is about half-full of water as a result of the rain last night, and I expect the old tank is even better than that.  SO, as they say, a new calf and a good rain is always welcome!  Sorry, but I am not sure who 'they' are.

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

Monday, July 9, 2012

2012 - Day 191/175 - Monday...

Leave it to a little bit of rain to shake the snake skins loose from the gutters (or who knows where).  I was watching it rain after I got home from work this afternoon, and looked out the window and wondered where that cheese cloth had come from that was stuck on the rain (hehe) gutter.  Then it hit me, and that sound you heard was me screaming like a girl.  It was a snake skin.  Some snake had shed its' skin somewhere, and the rains washed it into the gutter.  I wonder if that means there are snakes in the attic?  That makes for a comfortable nights sleep.


ANYWAY, we got over four-and-a-half inches of rain is about an hour and a half (and it is still raining).  I bet there is some water in the tanks back in the pastures, AND that probably means we will get another cutting of hay this season, so that is GREAT!

Make a note:  I opened a new box (yes, box) of wine tonight, so we are going to see how long a box (5 Liters) of wine lasts me.  I am thinking it lasts at least a week, because I certainly am not drinking a liter of wine a day.  A generous rocks glass, maybe two glasses (the bar sizes) per day, but certainly NOT a liter.  Oh great, now I am in denial.  I DO NOT HAVE A PROBLEM.  Crap...

It is still raining just ever so slightly, and five wet and un-happy chickens are on the roost.  The three original girls spent the precipitatious event under the front porch huddled by the front door.  They are dry and scratching around for food.  I have no idea where the newest three girls rode out the storm, but they too are dry and pecking around.  I need to go and put everyone to bed.

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

Sunday, July 8, 2012

2012 - Day 190/176 - Sunday...

Pulling certain varieties of weeds is more satisfying than pulling other varieties.  I have found a weed that gives me great pleasure in the pulling of.  I have no idea what kind of weed it is (it has leaves kind of like miniature carnations) and if you get a really good grip, it comes out of the ground with a really satisfying length of root and sacrifices itself for my total euphoria.  Although I am not really that keen on weed pulling, I did take great satisfaction today with the fact that there are fewer of them now than there were this morning.

In addition to weed pulling, I did my part to help make it rain.  I watered several of the flower beds.  Surely that will make it rain.  After that, I swept out the garage, pulled more weeds, made sure all the wildlife had sufficient water, pulled more weeds and inventoried all my bee supplies.  I needed to actually figure out what I had out in the barn, in anticipation of pulling some honey in a week or two.  I had mentioned to Jody this morning that I would really like nothing more today than to be working out in the front barn while it was raining.  I did actually get my wish, although the rain was not that significant, it did rain, and I was in the front barn straightening things up.  AND, bugs and all, I am calling 12/100ths of an inch (so far).  I will empty this tomorrow (bugs and all) and start over.  We have pretty good chances of rain for the rest of the week.

GOT FIGS?  If not, I know where you can get some.  We have plenty of figs, just waiting for you to come and pick them.  The tree is really covered with them, which is a good thing.  I just hate to see them get so ripe that they fall off the tree onto the ground.

GOOD NEWS!  I heard from the tree removal man a few minutes ago, and they will be out tomorrow night to check on the trees we need taken out.  We lost several trees in the drought last year, and about five or six of them are up around the 'bee yard' and I need someone with bee gear to take them out.  Ordinarily it would not bee (get it?) that big of a deal, but the sounds of motors (in this case chain saws) is not music to the ears of bees, and they tend to become agitated.  One of the trees has already fallen over (missed the hives and the front barn) and we had some gusty winds last night and I was worried that another of them was about to fall over.  So far, it is still standing, and I hope we can get the trees down with no catastrophes.

Deeds, Actions, Changes, FIGS and BEES, Kindnesses, Whirled Peas, FUN!

Saturday, July 7, 2012

2012 - Day 189/177 - Saturday...

I was able to laze in the bed a little longer this morning.  When I did get up, I went out and let the chickens loose, and went and took a bale of hay out to the cattle before it became TOO hot.  Again, I have nothing to fear that any of the cattle will become Rhodes Scholars.  They are not the brightest of all animals, although they do give me great pleasure in the fact that I am definitely smarter (if not quicker) than a bunch of cattle in the back pastures.

I did get a few errands run later in the day, and drove in to Austin to show some clients a few properties.  It is incredible how little a million dollars can buy you in Austin.  BUT, I also know there is a direct correlation in the area of town you are looking in.  A million bucks does not buy you much in central Austin, but go a few miles outside of town, and there is certainly a better value.  In the meantime, we will keep looking.

On my way back to the country, it was 102 degrees in Austin.  By the time I got to Georgetown, there was some evidence of rain, and in fact I got a bit of rain on the car.  Wonderful since I had just paid $13 for a car wash that was worth (tops) $5.  But, if my meager investment caused the chance of precipitation to rise, I will a small price to pay.  In Georgetown, the temperature was 83 degrees (a considerable and very noticeable decline) and by the time I made it back to the farm, there was NO sign of rain, and the temperature was up to 96 degrees.  We are supposed to have some higher chances of rain the next several days, and cooler temperatures.  I will keep you posted.

I also got some bamboo to supplement the dead bamboo up between the house and the front barn.  The chickens like to take shelter in the bamboo, but last years drought killed it all off.  The bamboo that I got delivered (yes, delivered) is not clumping bamboo (but if it gets out of hand, I intend to cut it back with the lawn tractor.  Worst case the big tractor and the shredder.  I hope I am not making a HUGE mistake), it is the spreading bamboo.  I am thinking of getting a few other types of bamboo to put down the fence line.  The bamboo that was delivered today can get up to 30 feet high.  Again, I hope I am not making a HUGE mistake.  Yet to be seen.

No appointments for tomorrow, but it is not tomorrow yet.

Deeds, Actions, Changes, RAIN AND BAMBOO, Kindnesses, Whirled Peas, FUN!

Friday, July 6, 2012

2012 - Day 188/178 - Friday...

Close you eyes.  Oops, don't close your eyes, because if you close your eyes, you can't read the rest of the instructions.  CONCENTRATE!  Put your nose here

                                  ---------->              <----------


Now pretend you are watching me do my Happy Dance because it is FRIDAY, and I always do my Happy Dance on Friday.  Feel Better?  Good...

The day started off sort of leisurely, I left the house at about 7:30 and headed straight to the Board.  On the first Friday of every month, we have new member orientation, and there were about 100 new members this month.  I did a tag-team TREPAC presentation with Emily and then I did a 40 minute Ethics presentation.  I could spend HOURS talking about Realtor® Ethics, but 40 minutes for newly licensed Realtors® is a good initial exposure.  I enjoy instructing, and there were lots of good questions this morning, so that was really rewarding.  This is a view of the meeting from the back of the room.  I like taking these kinds of photos, because if no one is recognizable I don't have to get anyone's permission to publish their photos!  Works for me!

I made it to the office at about 11 o'clock, and we closed the office at 1 o'clock (trying to make the most of the short Holiday Weekend).  I actually took advantage of the quiet and got a lot of work done, and I did leave the office about 3 o'clock.  I continued working in the car and got a lot of telephone business done.

I have four properties to show clients tomorrow (not a record amount by any means), but you gotta go for quality over quantity.  There were going to be five, but one of the properties has been taken off the market because the sellers cannot find a house to buy and move to.  We are in a really good real estate market!  We are all lucky!

Deeds, Actions, Changes, HAPPY DANCING, Kindnesses, Whirled Peas, FUN!

Thursday, July 5, 2012

2012 - Day 187/179 - Thursday...

I think it is very interesting that the only exercise our Boy Dog gets is (pretty much) breathing, although he is somewhat religious about that.  Not that he gets carried away with it, but he is pretty much consistent with his breathing.  He has NEVER been a big advocate of having his photo taken (he may have been Garbo in another life, and that would answer a lot), in much the same way that he does not like to even consider being touched by a foot (mine, Jody's or anyone's for that matter).  We do not have any history on him since we adopted him from the Williamson County shelter a couple years ago.  It makes us curious about his life before us.  BUT, this is all just to note that I was trying to find something to photograph for this journal entry, and he was laying in the floor looking very appealing.  If we were still in the days of the InstaMatic, I would have wasted an entire roll of film on him without a single photograph that could be used. For all you can tell from the photos I took, what in my eyes was a pretty much ordinary looking dog was translated digitally into 12 images of the blob that ate Cleveland.  And not an attractive blob at that.

SO, gentle reader, what you are left with is this very attractive photo of a cloud off to the west.  The chickens were awol, and I was too tired to go searching for something more interesting.  That, plus the fact that one of my favorite programs will be on at 8 o'clock tonight (they moved it up a half-hour a couple weeks ago and did not consult me).

I regularly recognize the miracles of clouds, and I confess (again) that even the absolute WORST cloud performance is 100 times better than any cloud I could make, so appreciate all of them.  I was reading an article in PEOPLE Magazine the other day (that answers your questions about my cocktail party knowledge of a variety of subjects) about a man (a white-collar criminal) who was released from jail after three years.  He remarked that he had not seen the sky or a cloud in that time.  Everything looks different when you just take the time to look and REALLY appreciate.

Today was my Meals-On-Wheels day, and Chris and I knocked it out pretty well.  Seven clients (down from nine last week) and it is such a happy experience for me on Thursdays.  Even I can bring a bit of sunshine to someones day!

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

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

2012 - Day 186/180 - Wednesday...

I hope everyone had a happy and safe Fourth of July!

Even though I was able to stay in bed longer than usual today, when I finally got up I was able to get a little bit of work done.  I filled up water stations for the wildlife around here.  That includes chickens, birds, squirrels and probably (after dark) a variety of other critters.

After that, I watered a batch of dead bamboo, I am going to make an attempt to revive the bamboo patch by 'sewing' some plants among the dead bamboo.  I do not want to take the dead bamboo down, because the chickens use it as a refuge from larger animals of prey, and I an going to try and supplement the dead plants with some live plants to fill in.  I found a bamboo farm in Luling, and the man there said that, even though the bamboo is dead, the roots of the plants are probably really compact, and it would be really difficult to dig holes in it to plant the new bamboo, so I am watering it to try to make it easier to dig.

After that, I planted the three remaining Agave plants on the berm of the storm shelter, and then (drum roll) I let the littlest chickens loose to explore on their own.  They seemed to take to the idea pretty well, and the big chickens did not really bother them.  They have been in and out of their little coop and they will stay in the coop overnights for about another five to seven days, and then one night (before the 13th) I will put them in the big coop with the big girls.

I need to do it before the 13th (my target is the 11th), because I am planning to acquire some newer chicks on the 13th.  That will be interesting, and that will be the last of the new chicks for this season.

Even though my voice-mail message for today says I am not working, I did take two or three calls.  I would rather take the calls than have to return calls.  When returning calls, it is interesting that (even if you call five minutes after someone leaves you a message) you always have to leave a message.  Turns into phone tag, and so I just prefer to avoid the extra steps.

Tomorrow and Friday are shaping up to be really busy days, BUT I am voting that every week contain a Holiday in the middle of the week, or we just go straight to a four-day work week.

Who's with me?

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

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

2012 - Day 185-181 - Tuesday...

For all practical purposes, this might as well be Friday, and I might as well be doing my Happy Dance.  But it isn't and I am not, so there.

Even this wreck on the corner of the IH-35 Service Road and Cesar Chavez could not spoil the ride into the office this morning.  Things went pretty smoothly and even the cops standing around yawning could not change that.  The part that is not visible in this picture is the two other cars that they had already towed off into a parking lot, and the ambulances and fire trucks.  There was an adequate response, and I hope no one was seriously injured.

I am trying to psych myself into not thinking it is hot like the hinges of hell.  I think if you respond to questions about the heat and humidity with something like, 'Well, it's only 104 today', that maybe sooner or later you will become conditioned and (possibly even better, brainwashed) into believing it yourself.  I am going to keep working on that.

We are going to head into Austin tomorrow and enjoy some festivities at our friend Steve's house.  Pool party, but I doubt that I will be getting too wet!  It will be fun to just rest and enjoy the afternoon.

Deeds, Actions, Changes, IT'S ONLY 104 TODAY, Kindnesses, Whirled Peas, FUN!

Monday, July 2, 2012

2012 - Day 184/182 - Monday...

I can't take too many more days like this.  Too HOT, too BUSY, too OLD!

Unfortunately, this photograph is much more easily understood in a size that is not-compatible with posting to this web-journal.  BUT, if you look closely, you will see that this is a photo of a piece of plastic tubing sticking up through a sizable piece of limestone (about an inch and a half thick) that spews water for the bees.  Occasionally the flow of water diminishes, and the bees sit at the mouth of the tubing and get a nice little drink instead of getting the moisture off the limestone.  I will energize the flow tomorrow morning, and the whole process will repeat itself in another few days.  Kind of like ground hogs day.

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

Sunday, July 1, 2012

2012 - Day 183/183 - Sunday...

We are half-way done.  Pay attention.

Here is a note to anyone that wants to pay attention.  If you want to change the behavior, move the food.  It works with chickens, so I think it can probably work with anything (or anyone).  It is official, the newest chickens have felt the dirt between their toes.  Do chickens have toes?  Whatever.  ANYWAY, I think they were just too comfortable up in their little coop.  They had everything they needed there, a roost, a comfy place to sit and while away the hours.  They had food and they had water.  What else does a chicken need? Um...NOTHING.  So, I moved their food this morning down onto the ground, and it did not take them too long to figure out that if they wanted some food, they needed to go where the food was.  If you can change the behavior of chickens, what else can you change the behavior of?

I got the cattle fed this morning, and we actually got a LITTLE bit of rain today as well.  About 0.015" of rain.  Not really enough to brag about, but at least it was better than a trace.  Austin reported 0.04" of rain today, so they did better than we did.

I also went and got some signs and lock boxes off a couple properties today, and there will be a grand tour of putting properties on the market tomorrow.

Irene brought us some okra, peppers, squash, tomatoes, cucumbers and CAKE and we sent her home with some eggs.  I need to ask her if she wants any figs.  If you read this Irene, let me know and I will pick you some on Wednesday before we go back into Austin.

It is really amazing how much heat the pool can lose after just one cloudy day.  Jody and I went in after dinner, and it was very chilly.  But refreshing!

Has anyone got big plans for the Fourth?  We are going in to our friend Steve's.  Looking forward to some BBQ and hanging out for a while.  Gonna be fun!

Deeds, Action, Changes, FRESH VEGGIES, Kindnesses, Whirled Peas, FUN!