Friday, August 31, 2012

2012 - Day 244/142 - Friday...

WOW!  What a day, what a day, what a day.  It was kind of like being out at the farm on a week-end or some other sort of day off, there is always something that needs to be done or has not been done yet.  I have gotten (really?  is that a word?) caught up only to find that someone has sneaked (snuck?  snook?) another piece of paper onto my desk, or sent me an e-mail without my permission.  What is that all about anyway?

OH WAIT!  I almost forgot (not really).  TODAY IS FRIDAY! This is my Friday Happy Dance.  SQUINT!

Another 100 degree day here on the edge of nowhere, but it is not anywhere close to the temperatures we experienced last year.  Now THAT was boring!  All around in Georgetown the sage is blooming hysterically, and that is supposed to be an indication that we will get rain.  Our sage (this sage actually) is blooming and it is just beautiful.  It should peak in another day or two, and I will share photos with you.  BUT, there is no indication (other than the sage and our own super-dooper atomic powered climate gauges) that there will be any rain in the near future.  The weather prognosticators are certainly not giving any indication that we will experience any probability of precipitation.  That's why I put my money on the sage bushes.  If they do not get it accurately, at least they were pretty as they were failing.

Pretty darned excited about the long weekend.  Gonna do some resting and some working, but I have three days to spread it out.

Deeds, Actions, Changes, CATCH-UP, Kindnesses, Whirled Peas, FUN!

Thursday, August 30, 2012

2012 - Day 243/143 - Thursday...

Today in history, in the exact spot that I am sitting, down through the ages and eons, absolutely NOTHING of any significance happened.  NOTHING.  Sorry...

Another busy day BUT the most significant thing that I accomplished today was delivery of the Meals-On-Wheels route that Chris and I share.  It was great, although I have to admit it was a little bit restrained.  I am tired and I think Chris was a little bit pre-occupied (or afraid), so I was a kind of subtle delivery day.  We had eight clients on the route and it is good to have Chris share that with me.  I get great satisfaction from it and it is a terrific program all the way around.

I went and walked a property this afternoon with Steve. I just love walking a property that you have to spray your ankles and the soles of your shoes with bug spray before you get in the car.  I HATE properties that make me itchy.  And not a good kind of itchy, either.

On the way home, I had to stop and put gasoline in the car.  This last tank of gas took me 1,400 miles on nine gallons of gas.  I paid $4.04 per gallon (premium) and I think I did pretty well.  Still liking the vehicle, and it now has over 53,000 miles on it.  I think I am averaging about 106 miles per gallon.

We are almost at the long weekend stage, and it is very welcomed by me.

Deeds, Actions, Changes, NOTHING, Kindnesses, Whirled Peas, FUN!

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

2012 - Day 242/144 - Wednesday...

You read it here first folks, there's a gross of days left in this year.  Yep, count 'em, 144 more days and we will be celebrating a new year.

Today was a long day, meetings early that went on late, power real-estate, and stuff.  This is what I do in most of my meetings, hide-out, try to stay under the radar, don't make any waves, be inconspicuous, don't call attention to myself, go with the flow, dress up, show up and shut up.  I do what I can...

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

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

2012 - Day 241/145 - Tuesday...

More sturdy stands the bowing reed than doth the mighty oak.

Interesting what you remember from High School.

These things are important.  If you raise chickens, you would be surprised how important egg cartons are, especially the dozen and half-dozen size cartons.  It seems like the 18-count cartons are most popular, but for the giving away of eggs, dozen and half-dozen cartons are good to have around.  Avis brought me these cartons last week when she and Harry came to the Wine Tasting, and of course I forgot them until I was on the way home.  Several telephone calls later I found someone that would rescue the cartons and save them for me, and I retrieved them this afternoon.  Do not sneeze at gift cartons.  I'm just sayin'...

Today was another furious day of activity.  I have not yet found the sweet spot for traffic.  I am STILL leaving a little bit too early, and I got to the office in about an hour this morning.  Sooner or later I will figure out where my window of opportunity is, but so far I am still guessing.

I did some power real estate this morning, and attended a webinar (in the comfort of my office) about the upcoming legislative session.  Then it was on to the Board where I attended a meeting that went longer than anticipated, but it was a very good meeting and there was a lot of good discussion involved.  It is very interesting that there are so many of my colleagues who are devoted, caring and passionate about what they do.  It makes me proud to know and be associated with them.

I got home tonight and the property was buzzing (get it?) with activity up by the bee yard.  The guys we found to take out many of the dead trees (from last years drought) that are also bee-keepers were working to get the rest of the trees down and moved to the burn pile.  That is gonna be some burn when it finally happens.  If I was an Aggie, I think it could probably qualify as a real-life bon-fire.

Tomorrow will be a LONG day, a pretty structured day.  I should get into the office about 3 o'clock in the afternoon, at least that is the plan.

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

Monday, August 27, 2012

2012 - Day 240/146 - Monday...

Even though today was the first day of school for many of the local districts, I really could not tell too much (if any) difference in the traffic this morning.  I did leave a few minutes earlier than usual, but I don't think that was it.  I think a lot of people just were not prepared for the first day of school, so many of them got off to a late start.  I am trying to prepare myself for tomorrow, however!

It was  relatively calm day.  I got into the office about 7:30 and did some power real estate until about 9 o'clock.  I had a ten minute meeting at the Board (it only took an hour-and-a-half for a ten minute meeting), and I was back at my desk at 10:30.  That is one of the reasons that I am an advocate of tele-meetings or something like that.  The commute time is a killer.

Once back in the office, I went and walked a few properties with Chris, and then it was back to the office.  I had a three o'clock appointment, and then I headed home.

There have been a few hints that we might get some late afternoon showers, and there is still the possibility that we will get some rain as a result of the storm out in the Gulf.  We would like the rain, but we do not want anyone to be hurt or suffer any loss of property.  Still a storm, not a hurricane.  AND, it keeps tracking a little further to the west, so you never know.  BUT, there was an opportunity to see some nice clouds on the way home.  That is another good thing about living in the country; there is nothing to get in the way between you and the horizon, and quite often the horizon is very beautiful.

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

Sunday, August 26, 2012

2012 - Day 239/147 - Sunday...

Living out in the country, on a farm, just 50 miles outside Austin, reality hits quite a bit.  Whether it is losing a chicken for no apparent reason, or having an 8 month old calf die (again for some reason but I am not REALLY a farmer), or whatever the reality of the moment is.  And some things are consistent; we will see a road runner cross the road quite frequently.  We will see crops go in, crops harvested, cotton plants bloom and cotton bales getting ready for processing.  There is one particular section of road that, every year we have been here, a coyote is killed and hung on the fence.  I do not really know if that is supposed to be a warning to other coyotes to steer clear, or if it is just fence art, but once again, there is a dead coyote on the fence.

The place was a-buzzing with activity today.  I was out (almost) before the sun came up cutting and trimming grass around the bee hives, and it worked pretty well, no attacks by the bees.  After I finished that, I came in and made breakfast for me and Jody.  BUT, having cut just that little bit of grass made me kind of ill, and I was not sure I was going to be wanting to do anything else.  HOWEVER, I recovered, and got a lot of stuff accomplished today.  Miguel was here and the guys we have had cutting pastures and fields were here, got the last bit of fence re-worked, got all the rest of the pastures and fields treated for weeds and fertilized, and got several trees trimmed or removed and put on the burn pile.

I was TOO CLOSE for comfort a couple times with hornets nests in various trees and flora.  Who would have expected to see hornets nests in dead fig tree branches or on a cactus plant.  AND, who would have expected to see another snake taking a siesta in the middle of the afternoon where I had been weed-eating.  Those things are not quiet, and they cause a good bit of vibration, but there was the snake (who survived the ordeal) snoozing.  Miguel is not fond of snakes, but I see no reason to kill a snake just because.

In the middle of everything, we went into Georgetown and made a stop at Dairy Queen.  Tonight we went into Jarrell and had a Mexican food fix.

Tomorrow is the start of another work week, and it should be a busy one.  THEN next week will be a short week with the Holiday.  Looking forward to that already.

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

Saturday, August 25, 2012

2012 - Day 238/148 - Saturday...

My new pattern seems to be, do nothing on Saturday and work my ass off on Sunday.  The pattern continued today.  I slept late, did a few things for work, caught up on some personal stuff, made a pile of eggs for me and Jody, and then went out to cut (at) the grass around the hives.  The bees were not particularly interested in having the landscaping around their housed manicured, so I gave up on that after a few minutes.  Not a problem...

Jody and I took the dog for a ride, so he could bark at some of the area dogs.  Area dogs, not neighborhood dogs, since there is no neighborhood.  After naps, we headed into Georgetown and stopped at the Berry Creek Park.  There was some sort of Boy Scout meeting going on but the mules spotted our car and were keeping an eye on us, so we stopped so Jody could give them a few treats.  On the way out of the park, we saw this lush American Beauty Berry bush and I stopped to take a photo.  VERY PRETTY...

I would tell you all of the stuff we did in Georgetown, but 50% of you would post something politically obnoxious about it and that would make me mad, so never mind.  If you have any reasons to give me crap for stopping at Office Depot and Kohl's, go ahead and give it your best shot.

Tomorrow will be a big day in the yard and pastures.  As I was out checking the meters this evening, another tree fell over. Hopefully Miguel and I will be able to get it down from where it is now nesting against another tree, and we can get it taken to the burn pile.

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

Friday, August 24, 2012

2012 - Day 237/149 - Friday...

Today was a longish day, made even longer because of a long week.  It is officially the weekend, and I got it started off early leaving the office around 3 o'clock.  I got home, changed clothes, sat down in my big blue chair and took a nap for over an hour.  Now that is the way to start a weekend.  Oh yeah, there was a Happy dance in there too...

I actually took this photo yesterday morning on the way to work, and forgot that it was on my camera.  I was too far away, so I am not sure if this is a wild boar or a domesticated pig that got loose from somewhere.  My thought is that it is domesticated, because it was in no hurry to go anywhere, and there was only one of them.  Wild boars (I think) run in pack and leave a path of destruction.  This one looked like it was just enjoying the buffet.

I started the day with an eviction hearing.  Suddenly (as of late yesterday afternoon) the defendants in the hearing were being represented by an attorney from The Texas Civil Rights Project.  That was interesting, and he had filed a motion for dismissal because he said we had made a filing error.  The judge did not agree and then he tried to get it dismissed for two other reasons, but we prevailed and that was good.  BIG KUDOS to our Assistant Tom for all his hard work getting these things done properly.  He is great.  I do not think this one is over yet, the attorney said he was going to appeal, so we will have to wait and see what happens down the road.

I am going to sleep in tomorrow (I hope).

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

Thursday, August 23, 2012

2012 - Day 236/150 - Thursday...

I was up early again this morning, and hit the roads on the way into the office.  It was a pretty darned busy day.  PM meeting in the AM, and then delivery of my Meals-On-Wheels route.  There were only seven clients on the route today, but it is always fun doing it.  I deliver to several clients that live in the same apartment complex, and this one particular building within the complex is considerably cleaner than the other buildings.  Today I asked the client that lives in that building if the client kept the area clean, because it was the cleanest building in the whole place (in my opinion).  I got a positive answer and a breakdown of how the area is cleaned daily and cared for.  Perhaps ex-military.  Everything in life has a purpose, and this client has a purpose in life.

I took a class this afternoon at the Board about understanding the eviction process.  It was a really good class, and I took away some really good information.  It will come in handy since I will be participating in my third career eviction tomorrow.  It seems the eviction will be contested, but I think we have all the facts together and we will prevail.  We shall see.  There was an interesting development this afternoon, but I think we are still good.

Tonight was the final fundraising event for the TREPAC fiscal year.  It was a tremendously successful event, and there it was attended by folks from TREC, TAR, ABoR, WCR, WCAoR, AYREP, CRS, MIC-KEY and MOUSE!  There were LOTS of folks there, and it was great.  We should have the numbers from this fundraiser in tomorrow or Monday, but I am confident that we will make our goal this year.  This is a photo of me and Anna.  We have worked our butts off for the past year, and we are almost done.  It is almost time to pass the mantle on to the next chair, and help with the future goals.  It has been a FAST year, but I would not have missed the ride for anything.  Thanks Anna.  Smoochies!

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

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

2012 - Day 235/151 - Wednesday...

Cool beans, I get to kill two birds with one photo in this post.  First off, I am suddenly obsessing with the bags under my eyes.  If I could fill then with folded shirts and pants, I could sell the Gucci.  The Internet is filled with solutions but they are all the same and not very practical; cucumbers slices, more sleep or Preparation H.  I think the Preparation H sounds the most reasonable, but the good stuff is no longer sold in the states, and I would have to make friends with someone in Canada.  The other bird is, here is another source of pretty good artwork that I should be able to produce without too much effort, but I just do not have what it really takes to produce something like this.  Sure, I can produce the bags under the eyes, but it does not seem that I can RE-produce it in oil on canvas.  Bummer...  Any idea what I searched for to find this work of art?

Today was a great day, honestly.  Did power real estate this morning, then I did a GREAT meeting, and then I did more power real estate in the afternoon.  Tomorrow will be a PM meeting in the AM, then Meals-on-Wheels, than attending a class at the Board, then TREPAC Wine Tasting beginning about 5:30.
If you would like to attend as my guest, let me know...

I also kind of think this entry counts as a preview of the incomprehensible (but fun) entry you might encounter tomorrow night.  Just maybe...

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

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

2012 - Day 234/152 - Tuesday...

Well Hell.  I do not know what the cause is, we have not been able to narrow it down, but the dog is now of the age that about once a week, maybe once every two or three weeks, he gets an upset stomach, and the juices inside him roil like something you would expect to hear in a Sigourney Weaver movie immediately after her body was invaded by an alien.  Kind of squishy and bubbly, like something is growing inside there.  AND, you can hear it from about thirty feet away.  SO, I have been awake since 3:30 this morning, which accounts for just a little bit of my attitude right now.  The cure for this malaise, in case you are wondering, it a Pepto-Bismol chewable tablet encased in generous portion of a pasteurized cheese product (90 calories per serving) out of a spray can (refrigeration not necessary).

It rained on me a little bit going into the office this morning, that is always a nice thing.  We officially received a trace of rain at the house, but that is better than nothing.  Not a lot better, but still better

I had a meeting this morning with a potential client in Spicewood at 9 o'clock, which means before nine o'clock this morning, I had already traveled about 80 or 85 miles.  We made it back to the office by about 11:45, then it was head-down power real estate until about 4 o'clock, when I headed out to a happy hour.

The things I have to do.

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

Monday, August 20, 2012

2012 - Day 233/153 - Monday...

It has EASILY been four or more years since I had Kentucky Fried Chicken, BUT I remember the incident VERY WELL.  Some might say I have a graphic recollection of the event, as do some of the staff and my business partner.  Needless to say, something in it (the grease maybe) does not agree with my aging (badly) body, or at least some of the parts therein.  BUT, I have been having a hankering for fried chicken lately, and Jody called and suggested that I stop on the way home and pick some up.  I did, it is in the digestive stages right now (I had one piece but could not stop myself from eating the skin) and the jury is still out on this one. I will let you know.

BUT that also reminds me of a story about my first REAL job (not a paper route).  Fifteen years old, sophomore or junior in high school, part time job at KFC in Southgate, Michigan.  I was supposed to get off at 10 o'clock, my dad was waiting outside to pick me up.  He waited and waited.  He finally came in and asked the store manager why I was working so late.  The manager told him I was taking too long to mop the floor in the kitchen.  When my dad asked the manager to send me out, he told me what the manager told him.  I went back (skated back would be more appropriate) into the kitchen where the managers office was, and told the manager there was no way ANYONE could EVER spend TOO MUCH TIME mopping the floors in that place.

I was not invited back.  I had a smart mouth WAY before that, but that was the first time it ever cost me money.  That was the first time I got fired from a job, and every job after that I have been fired from.  However, every job I got fired from led to something better and better.  My next job was across the street from KFC at the new Baskin-Robbins Ice Cream shop.  No there is a story if you ever get me to tell you that one.

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

Sunday, August 19, 2012

2012 - Day 232/154 - Sunday...

Well, we actually did get a little bit more rain last night.  We ended up with 1.27" for the 24-hour period.  We are very happy with that.  Jody reports that at about 2 o'clock in the morning there was a tremendous flash of lightning and a great crack of thunder that immediately brought the dog up out of the bed for some comfort.  I slept through the whole thing.  Then about twenty minutes later there was an alarm from the weather service (we have one of those weather-alarm radios) warning us of a flash-flood possibility in Williamson (us) and Travis Counties (Austin).  I slept through the whole thing. I obviously was in need of sleep.  But when I got out of bed this morning (about 5:30) I was quite refreshed and ultimately was awarded with this beautiful sunrise.

I was trying to get an early start on the day because I was expecting Miguel to come by and help me with stuff around the property.  Before I started making a pile of eggs, Jody mentioned that he had bought bacon at the grocery the week before, so we were treated to bacon with our breakfast.  I can think of few things that I like better than bacon.  If it was up to me, we would enjoy bacon with our bacon.

Just as I was about to sit down to breakfast, Miguel arrived, so I went outside and got him started and came back in to eat.

Miguel and I got a lot of work done today, mainly cleaning up around the property.  We lost several trees last year during the drought, and we have been in the process of taking down trees and piling up brush here and there.  We got all the brush piles moved to one of the back pastures (where we will eventually burn it), plus we got two LARGE tree trunks taken back there (surprising what you can accomplish with a tractor and a great length of chain).  We also got four more trees cut in the front hay field (and all that is in the back waiting to be burned).  Another couple of good weekends like this, and we will have the place under control.
I think it is interesting that this snake was in no hurry to go anywhere, even though it was at the BOTTOM of the large pile of brush.  It was certainly no secret that we were heading its way.  I was a little bit more surprised to see it than it was (seemingly) surprised to see me.  He was, however, happily relocated to one of the Iris beds in the front of the property.

SPOILER ALERT:  Just in case you are a fan of my postings when I get home late and have a glass of wine before posting, you might make a note on your calendars to check out the entries this coming Tuesday and Thursday.  I'm just sayin'...

Deeds, Actions, Changes, HARD WORK, Kindnesses, Whirled Peas, FUN!

Saturday, August 18, 2012

2012 - Day 231/155 - Saturday...

I really do not give much credence to what all the fancy-pants sissy-boy weather prognosticators say on the local news channels; I will not believe their forecasts for rain until I am actually seeing the precipitation separating itself from the heavens and landing on me...okay or the yard or the driveway or something like that.  BUT, I do have to literally see it cascading from somewhere higher up than I am before I will concede that we have rain.  AND, we did actually get some rain today.  Almost an inch (.91 inches in fact).  And we are very happy about that.

Being Saturday, I did get to stay in bed a little while longer than usual this morning, and I am going for a repeat tomorrow.  Between taking the dog for a ride, going into Georgetown and Round Rock for a little shopping, I actually worked two naps into my busy schedule as well.

We are supposed to get more rain tonight and tomorrow.  Tomorrow I plan to actually do some work around the place; there are trees to come down and other stuff to get done.  Always something.

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

Friday, August 17, 2012

2012 - Day 230/156 - Friday...

Yes indeed boys and girls it is Friday, and it is HAPPY DANCE day. And if you don't think these guys are Happy and Dancing, you need to take another look.  It looks like they are REALLY happy that it is Friday, and who can blame them?

I have looked forward to the end of this week.  If it were not for the fact that I could be accused of (figuratively) wishing my life away, I would wish that it were a late October or November weekend and that it was crisp and cool outside and RAINING, and that I would stay bundled up inside all weekend with a good book and a blanky.

But it is not, so I will be out in the morning cutting (at) the grass or other chores.  I will have the privilege however of sleeping late, and that will be good.

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

Thursday, August 16, 2012

2012 - Day 229/157 - Thursday...

The palatine uvula, usually referred to as simply the uvula, is a conic projection from the posterior edge of the middle of the soft palate, composed of connective tissue containing a number of racemose glands, and some muscular fibers.  I do not know what in the hell this stone sculpture is supposed to be on the Plaza at City Hall, but I can guarantee you that a palatine uvula is not the first thing that came to mind.  Two of the first things that came to MY mind were Lance and Mr. Speckles.  Then there was this overwhelming desire to fondle it, which I resisted because, after all, it was the middle of the afternoon, and the Johnnie-Cab was illegally parked, so time was of the essence.  Feel free to let your mind wander, and report back if you discover something useful.

We had eight clients on our Meals-On-Wheels route this morning, and it was one of our clients birthday.  Chris and I finished the deliveries in pretty short order, and then it was on to more stuff.

I have been enjoying my office time, and have pretty much become caught up on stuff.  We are having a really good year, and all is well in my world.  How about you?

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

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

2012 - Day 228/158 - Wednesday...

Is it just me or should today be Thursday?  Just me huh?  Well, I was just trying to help you all out.  Sue me!

If you want to see me get all perky, just ask me about TREPAC!  Yep, I loves me some TREPAC!  Go ahead, try me...

So far, so good.  I am a little bit paranoid about weed killers and bug killers, what with the chickens and the bees and all the stuff there is around here.  Last night we had a pest control company come out, and sprayed inside and outside to try and rid us of various pests.  I am not a big believer in just spraying and killing everything in sight.  I am even forgiving of the bad pests, as long as they leave me alone (see the entry about the snake that pushed me over the edge).  BUT, so far, no great demise of honey makers, and the chickens all seem to be doing okay.  The bug man is supposed to be back EARLY in the morning to spray a herbicide on the granite paths, so the chickens will stay cooped-up (get it) for an extra couple hours tomorrow.  Too bad for them, but...

Jody brought us home a New Mexico Bird of Paradise this afternoon.  I really am enamored of this particular plant, it flowers beautifully and I think they are pretty drought resistant.  SO, I think that will be planted this weekend.  You can tell I took the photo because you can see my Pink Fake Croc at the bottom of the photo.

We also have a guy working in the grazing pastures and the hay pastures, trying to get them in a little better shape.  Trying to get that all done before the weekend, they are predicting an inch or two of rain between now and Monday.  That would be great.

Folks who live and work out here really work hard.  When there is work to be done, it HAS to be done right now.  Pauline and Hubert have been out cutting, raking and baling from sun-up to whenever.  I can see Hubert (I am pretty sure it is Hubert) across the road right now baling the sorghum stalks.  Pauline loves to cut and rake, Hubert likes to bale.  I can guarantee you there is ALWAYS something to do out here.

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

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

2012 - Day 227/159 - Tuesday...

As always, I doubt that I have much control over nature.  Try as I might (and I do) there is (probably) not enough water coming out of the pipes around our house to keep everything alive again this year.  I am trying though.  We are supposed to get some rain (maybe) this weekend.  But in the meantime, I think it is very interesting that, surrounded by dead and crispy flora, new life is springing up.  I will give these things some water this evening, once the heat of the day passes, so it won't all just evaporate.

By the way, I HEART ().  Could you tell?

Today was a good day, and I attended a good couple of functions AND managed to get some work done in between.  Tomorrow is the Austin CRS Chapter luncheon, and I will make a QUICK TREPAC presentation.  My year as chair is drawing to an end, but I will keep pushing til it is over, the end of September.

We have an exterminator out at the house right now, and I worry about the bees and the chickens!

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

Monday, August 13, 2012

2012 - Day 226/160 - Monday...

As days go, this one was not so bad.  I had a meeting this morning which was relatively painless, and a meeting this afternoon that accomplished a great deal, and was very productive.  Those are always good.

On the way home this afternoon, it was raining somewhere off in the distance, but I am not sure where.  I have never been a great judge of distances, especially here in Texas.  Now, if you  put me in one of those smaller states, like Connecticut (;-) where you can see all four sides of the state from wherever you are), then I can pretty much tell how far away something is.  BUT I have no idea where it might have been raining.  This photo was taken around Wells Branch, and for all I know these clouds were unleashing in Marble falls or somewhere.  I do know for sure that it rained on me for several miles going north on the Interstate, and our official rain gauge indicates that we received 2/100 of an inch of rain.  Not a lot, but we will take it.  I also take credit for that rain because I spent several hours watering beds around the house yesterday.  If I had gotten the car washed, that would have clinched it!

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

Sunday, August 12, 2012

2012 - Day 225/161 - Sunday...

I got to sleep in again this morning, but taking a nap this afternoon was absolutely out of the question.

Miguel was not able to come out today but I did get a good bit of work done, and it is still going on.  I got some grass cut in the front of the house (up by the bee yard) without being bothered by the bees.  I have been trying to get some of the beds watered today since there has been no rain in about three weeks, and there is nothing in the forecast that gives me even a glimmer of hope that we will get any anytime soon.

I also got the cattle fed.  I took two bales of hay out to them, and it was gratifying to see that there was still hay in the rings from last week, so I know they are not going hungry.  There is some good green for them and if there is green, they certainly prefer that over the hay.  I am hoping to have some work done in the grazing pastures in the next couple weeks, and that, along with ANY rain will help the cattle.  I would certainly prefer green for them over a dependence on hay bales.  BUT, I took a good count, and right now I have 65 bales of hay, so in case of a real problem, that will see us through for a little while.  Probably not enough for a year (it would be if I were to cull the herd) but for a little while.

Speaking of hay, Jody and I went into Georgetown this afternoon (imagine that) and one of our stops was at Tractor Supply.  They have about a dozen round bales against the side of the building, and I asked them how much there were selling bales for and they responded $95 per bale.  SO, that means I have over $6K in hay out near the back pasture.  I thought hay would be cheaper than that, but I guess not.

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

Saturday, August 11, 2012

2012 - Day 224/162 - Saturday...

I was very successful in my mission to remain in bed as long as possible this morning.  However, as long as possible in my vocabulary is just about 7 o'clock, but that was a success in my book.  Jody even went out and let the girls loose before I got out of bed.

It is hot.  HOW HOT IS IT?  Well, use your imagination and put a caption to this photo.

Jody and I went into Austin this afternoon, and made a foray to CostCo.  Not bad if I say so myself.  I think you just need to prepare yourself properly.  Kind of like a trip to the Post Office.  You need to prepare for the worst, and when the worst does not happen, you are thankful.

I came very close to buying a window unit air conditioner for the chicken coop this evening.  VERY CLOSE!  Our chickens are not spoiled or anything.  Anyway, they will still be roughing it for the foreseeable future.

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

Friday, August 10, 2012

2012 - Day 223/163 - Friday...

Close your eyes and turn up the volume, it's Friday and this is my happy dance.

Before I get too far along, a big shout out to Melody in the frozen north lands who is celebrating the anniversary of her birth today.  Arienne will tell her that I mentioned it, because Melody only makes guest appearances on FaceBook.  She did however, take an oath earlier today that she would try again.

I thought I had mentioned it a couple days ago (it might have been a couple weeks ago) that I won a $100 bet over the spelling of a street name.  It was a fun bet, I bet a couple dollars (maybe 5) over something I am  not completely sure of, but if I bet $100 I am pretty sure.  I learned that the hard way, but I won't bore you with it here.  ANYWAY, the bet paid off today, and that was nice.  Even if I had lost, it would have been cheaper than a Chicago hat.  I'm just sayin'.  And I hope this bit of revelry will not cause me to be fitted for an orange jumpsuit and flip flops, I do not think I would acclimate very well to the Club Fed.  I think I am okay posting this partial photo of the dead president.  I think somewhere along the line, I learned you cannot reproduce the ENTIRE thing   If anyone discovers I am breaking some law (before the Feds do), please let me know.

It was a pleasant day overall.  Got some good work done and got a chance to do some errands.  I am looking forward to the weekend, sleeping late (and often).

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

Thursday, August 9, 2012

2012 - Day 222/164 - Thursday...

Well, I have to tell you, we were kind of excited there for a while.  It really did look like we might get a drop or two of rain, and there was even some rumbling of thunder.  BUT NO.  Nothing, and it is sunny again.


So, here is the deal.  I had eight clients on my Meals-On-Wheels route this morning, and it is really a great organization.  Many of the people I see I have been delivering to for years-and-years, and I am (probably) the only person these folks will see in a day.  And of course, funding has been cut and they need money to keep up.  So here is the pitch:

Meals on Wheels and More turns 40 this year.  To celebrate, we're launching a campaign called "40 Days for 40 Years". which runs Monday, August 20 - Friday, September 28.

I will cut to the chase:  click here and make a donation.  Pretty darned simple.


Other than that it was a pretty busy day, lots of stuff going on, busy, busy, busy.

Tomorrow is Friday, and I am looking forward to my happy dance.

Deeds, Actions, Changes, HELP MEALS ON WHEELS, Kindnesses, Whirled Peas, FUN!

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

2012 - Day 221/165 - Wednesday...

Blue eggs, brown eggs, green eggs and ham...  These are eggs that I took to a friend this morning.  Right now we have about nine dozen eggs in the back refrigerator, and I need to make some deliveries later this week or over the weekend.  You need eggs Irene?  Just checking...

Not a terribly busy day, but it was interesting.  I had two meetings and a series of telephone calls to make.  The meetings went well, and overall I think I had a pretty productive and successful day.  Can't really go into the details right now, but overall it was a good one.

Chickens are funny people.  I am sitting in the office at home, looking out the window as I write this entry.  The four (surviving) middle aged girls have found themselves a bunch of bugs it looks like, and if one finds something the others have to come running to see what it is.  We have had 18 chickens so far over three season, and we have ten surviving.  They all hang together with those they were raised with; three of the surviving first batch of six all hang together.  Four of last years six hang together, and three of this years six all hang together.  It is an interesting interaction they have working.

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

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

2012 - Day 220/166 - Tuesday...

I wish I was an artistic kind of guy.  I think I AM a CREATIVE kind of guy, I can come up with lots of ideas about how to do things and I can imagine actually putting a brush to a canvas, but the final product just does not seem to please me.  I think this particular piece of art is very interesting, and I like it.  If I were to try something like this, I do not think I would like it.  I do not understand why it should be so difficult to transfer from my noodle to a piece of canvas (or masonite or sheetrock or a plain rock).

I wish I could play the piano too.  I love the piano, and although I begged and whined and pouted as a kid, my parents would never cave and let me take piano.  How abnormal is it for a seven to twelve year old kid to BEG to take piano lessons?  Well, on the other hand, what is normal.  Don't answer that, I will use that in another post.  BUT NO, I got no piano lessons.  I ended up with clarinet, drums and then trombone lessons.    CONFESSION TIME:  I faked the whole thing.  I never was able to read music, but that did not seem to be all that important to the band teachers from third grade to my senior year in high school.  I (really) faked the whole thing.  I just needed to hear what I was supposed to play and after a time or two, I played it.  It took me about as long to learn a piece as it did the rest of the kids around me, and no one was any wiser.

I faked a lot of stuff in my years (and years) of academia.  BUT I was always somewhat interesting to be around.  Sort of like the mother confessor, and I knew how to keep secrets.

Still do.

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

Monday, August 6, 2012

2012 - Day 219/167 - Monday...

Even though today was/is Monday, it could have been a lot worse.  I did not come up for air most of the day, but when I left the house this morning (at O-Dark-30) the pending sunrise was promising, and it did not distort.  The temperature did not reach the century mark today, and officially we have only seen 25% of those temperatures this year compared to last year.  Give us about another eight weeks, and we should see some cooler temperatures.  Fall, Winter and Spring (for a combined total of about five months) are perfectly delightful here on the edge of nowhere.

We have hired a woman to pull weeds (she did not show up for her first day today, but swears she will be here at 10 o'clock in the morning), and we have hired someone to remove the trees we lost as a result of the drought last year (they have not been here in two weeks, but they are fond of text messaging).  Even though we are just 50 miles away from Austin, there is a totally different sense of urgency here.  Actually, there seems to be NO SENSE of urgency here, because it seems nothing is so important that you actually have to do what you say you are going to do.  That is not to say that a man's word is not worth anything.  I would trust my neighbors with anything they said to me.  It is all the other folks around that you beg and plead to take wages in return of a bit of work.  I think those folks used to live in Austin.  It is hard to get folks to do what they say in Austin.

Tomorrow is another day, and it will most likely be another early one.  I have one meeting tomorrow, and then back to the office for some power real estate.

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

Sunday, August 5, 2012

2012 - Day 218/168 - Sunday...

It just goes to show you that, if you hang around long enough, you can adapt to just about anything.  These little wildflowers are growing alongside the road in front of our house.  There is no water, no dirt worth mentioning, nothing to nurture them at all, and yet they are thriving.  Jody and I were talking about, not that long ago, air conditioning was a novelty.  We have certainly adapted to that.  I doubt I could go very long in the Texas heat without conditioned air.  I also expect though, that if push came to shove, I could do a lot more than I expect I could, although I would be pouting about it the whole way.  I can remember in 1968 (the year before I graduated from High School) we got a window unit air conditioner.  Before that, we just lived with it.  Granted, we lived in Michigan, but it got warm in the summers.  Nothing like this though.

I slept comfortably last night, which I think is pretty amazing because I slept most of the day on Saturday.  I made a pile of eggs again this morning, then I went out and cut grass in the front yard (some of it) and some of the backyard as well.  Miguel came out and moved all the hay bales into the near pasture.  NOW if we could get a little bit of rain, maybe we could get another cutting.  It does not look as if the storm in the Gulf is going to come our way and give us any rain.  BUT, if I manage things correctly, I should actually have enough hay to last eight or nine months.  ESPECIALLY if I have some work done in the pastures where the cattle graze.  I would really like them to have more green than hay.

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

Saturday, August 4, 2012

2012 - Day 217/169 - Saturday...

I wish I had known this sooner, maybe I would have had a bigger following for this journal.  Thanks to Bonnie for posting it (so I could R&D it).

I slept in this morning, and that was great.  I had expected Konrad to come out and we were going to do a honey pull, but it didn't work out.  I think we may try to do it again next week.

After breakfast this morning (while I was waiting for Konrad) Jody took the boy dog for a ride and called back to let me know that a couple of calves (Hubert & Pauline's) were loose.  I called Pauline (she was out cutting sorghum and Hubert was in Granger) and tried to help her get them back with the rest of the cattle.  I was pretty much useless, each of us know how to get our own cattle back in.

The following portion of our day requires censoring due to the politics of the day.  If I were to choose not to redact the details, it would cause many folks to think my moderate views of things are not fitting.  BUT, I choose to take a more moderate view, PLUS there is really no reason for my to deny myself something I really enjoy because of the views of someone else.  Here goes.  Jody and I took our usual jaunt into Georgetown this afternoon (after our initial naps) and stopped off in Berry Creek park to feed the burros.  The new burros name is Amigo.  We got to _____-___-_ and ordered our usual, along with shakes too and an extra order of ______ fries.  I just love me some _______ and _____ ___ _____.  Sorry, the redacting did not work.

After lunch, we headed off to Salado to the hardware store.  I needed to buy a new hoe and some this and that, and then we headed back home.  I went down for another nap, and I think Jody went down as well.  I was awake in time for the news, and now we are watching Some Like It Hot.

I am hoping to sleep tonight, but that is what I did most of the day.  Delightful.

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

Friday, August 3, 2012

2012 - Day 216/170 - Friday...

Yes, boys an girls, it is indeed Friday.  I do not know about the rest of you, but I deserve it to be Friday.  I need some time off to be able to get some work done.  I am only a couple of days behind in getting stuff done, BUT, it think I should be able to catch up with last week in a day or two.  And yes, as a matter of fact, this is my Happy Dance.  Don't you recognize it?

I drive past the Basset's house every day, usually twice a day, sometimes four or more times a day.  There are a pair of Bassets here (the female is not very friendly), but every now and then they are out on the road chasing cars.  When we first moved here, I decided to see what would happen if they actually caught a car.  Well, I have taken to stopping and talking to the male Basset every chance I get, counsel him not to bark and chase cars, and every now and then he gets some petting.  He will also just up on the drivers side door for some extra petting now and again, and today he got down before I could get the camera started, but I think this photo is just about as good as they get.

Had an early appointment at the Board, then headed to the office.  Posted two properties for eviction, talked with a bunch of colleagues, did a lot of this and that, and then headed home at about 4:30.  I made it home just a little bit before 6.

And it is hot outside!

Honey pulling may be postponed.  Not sure yet.  I will keep you informed.

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

Thursday, August 2, 2012

2012 - Day 215/171 - Thursday...

Just another day in Paradise.  I took this photo while Chris and I were doing our Meals-On-Wheels deliveries.  I really do like these New Mexico Bird of Paradise plants.  We had nine clients on our route this afternoon, and it was good to be able to get out and visit with our clients.  As with everything, Meals-On-Wheels needs more volunteers, so if you are interested, let me know.

On a sad note, one of the middle aged girls was dead in the coop last night when I went out to put them to bed.  She was one of the Americanus girls that lays the blue eggs.  I will never understand how a chicken can seemingly be fine one minute and dead the next.  Honestly, she had to have gone into the coop under her own power and then just croaked.  I think the heat has something to do with it, but it stills shocks me.  Those girls are just about a year old now.  We still have three of the oldest girls, four of the middle aged girls and three of the newest girls, just over 50% of the chickens we have bought over the three years of chicken raising.  Seems like a pretty high mortality rate, but that is why you keep introducing more chickens every year.  I need to look around and see what is available out there.

Tomorrow is Friday, so if everything goes as planned, I will be doing my little happy dance.

Saturday morning, we are supposed to pull more honey, too.  Anybody wanna play sticky?

Stay tuned...

Deeds, Actions, Changes, DEAD GIRLS, Kindnesses, Whirled Peas, FUN!

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

2012 - Day 214/172 - Wednesday...

I can definitely guarantee you that something like this will certainly inconvenience a large number of peoples days.  Please note that, I did not go off on a tirade about there should not be wrecks that totally screw the commuting public at 1:30 in the afternoon (see post from previous day).  BUT, as the kinder and gentler Bill that I am aspiring to become, I am trying to sit cross-legged at my home office desk, arms outstretched with touching thumb and middle fingers of both hands while I try to hum and type this entry all at the same time.  You know what, it is kind of working.

I did not feel overwhelmed at all today, which is really what I was expecting.  And the fact that I was not overwhelmed makes me wonder if I mis-placed something on my to-done list.  I hope I do not sit up in bed at three-o'clock-in-the-morning and remember some deadline I missed.  Hope not...

And all this introspection is just making me remember what a lucky man I am.  I was at a meeting this afternoon, and two people stopped me and thanked me for doing a small kindness for them.  I thought maybe I should turn around and see if they were talking to someone behind me, but nope, they were thanking me for something that I had done for them.  I have always thought that we do not say Thank You enough, and I really do try to thank those that go out of their way for me, and it is nice for the thank yous to be coming my way.

You are very welcome!

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