Monday, December 31, 2012

2012 - Day 366/0 - Monday...

Well, this is it, the end of this year.  It seems like it just started, although I really cannot remember the same day a year ago.  Here's to a tip of the hat, and a toast to all of you for wonderful things in the New Year.  Be careful about the resolutions you make, they just beg to be broken.  I have made a couple resolutions for the New Year, but for now I will just keep them to myself, thank you very much...

By the time I got out of the bed this morning, we had about 0.04" of rain during the overnight.  As of the last time I looked this afternoon, we had about 0.15" since 7 o'clock this morning, and unfortunately, it looks like it will be tapering off overnight.

When I was a little kid, I can remember my dad telling me that if I had money in my pocket on New Year's Eve, I would have money in my pocket all year long.  Remember to ask me about my Aunt Electa and her reading my palm years and years ago.  My Aunt Electa was the Society Columnist AND the Horoscope Lady for the Delta Democrat Times in (I think) Greenville, Mississippi under Hodding Carter, III.  She was a wonderful woman and a talented artist and story teller, predicter of the future and all around eccentric personality in a time when people like her were under appreciated.

On my way back home from the office this afternoon, I was delayed by a wreck on the Interstate that spanned about two was the wreck that just kept going and going and going.  I like the impressionistic things that rain does to images photographed through my windshield.  One of my (many) favorite things.

SO, please know that I am and expect to remain the luckiest man in the world throughout 2013.  I am happy to know you, and will do my best to make a positive impression on people I have not yet had the good fortune to meet.  I will also be there for you if you need me, and I will do my best to say yes.

Deeds, Actions, Changes, HAPPY NEW YEAR, Kindnesses, Whirled Peas, FUN!

Sunday, December 30, 2012

2012 - Day 365/1 - Sunday...

I have not been able to get warm ALL DAY.  I am freezing, and it is not because it is freezing outside (although that is not helping).  It is not terribly cold outside, it has been mostly in the 40's all day, and it is not supposed to be much colder this evening, but I cannot get warm.

As usual, today was a day of getting things done around the house.  Cattle fed, fresh bales of hay and some cattle feed.  I have not been giving them feed as much this year as I have in the past, but I think I will start giving them more feed for the rest of this season.  It helps to keep them warmer in the cold weather, although they do not seem too affected by the colder temps.  Is that the proper use of the word 'affect' or should it be 'effect'?  HELP ME!  Anyway, this is a picture of one of the cows and her calf, all cozy at the trough.  They are cozy because Mr. Speckles had not figured out that I put out the feed.  He is the main man of this herd, and once he figured it out, it was all about him.  Cows and calves were making way for him.

We were heading to Thorndale for dinner tonight, and on the way, Chris called to tell us the restaurant we were heading to was closed until after the new year.  We ended up at a Restaurant that we had not tried before in Taylor, and we will (probably) not go back.  The food was not terrible, it was just not good.  Some of the side dishes seemed to be out of a box, the tomato sauce on Jody's entree had no taste of tomatoes, the bread tasted funny, just stuff like that.  It is getting harder and harder to find good food that is reasonably priced.

I am going to be heading into the office tomorrow for a couple hours, and we are hoping for some rain overnight.  Good chances of rain tomorrow as well and into the New Year.

Deeds, Actions, Changes, POOR FOOD, Kindnesses, Whirled Peas, FUN!

Saturday, December 29, 2012

2012 - Day 364/2 - Saturday...

I believe there is no better way to warm your pie than to place it on top of the wood stove and just let it sit a while.  Everybody has to believe in something, and this works wonderfully well for me.  You are free to believe in whatever it is you would like, you will get no argument here.

Had a really nice physically relaxing day.  The most strenuous thing I did physically was to carry the tray with the remains of our lunch to the waste bin at Chick-Fil-A in Georgetown.  That is not to say that I have not had a workout today...

I have entered about nine months of checking account records into my Quicken program today.  Then I kind of hit a brick wall.  I had made a $50 entry error somewhere, and it took me a while to find it.  I expect I will get the rest of 2012 entered tomorrow, and I will be ready to send everything to the CPA sometime in January.  That will put me way ahead of the curve if I compare this with the same time last year.

Deeds, Actions, Changes, IS THAT DIVISIBLE BY 9?, Kindnesses, Whirled Peas, FUN!

Friday, December 28, 2012

2012 - Day 363/3 - Friday...

Well, for many of you, this was your last day of work for 2012.  It could be for me, but I expect I will go into the office on Monday for a few hours and get some stuff done.  Just to try and stay caught up some.  This is the last of the month AND the last of the year AND the first of the month AND the first of a New Year all wrapped up in one.  It will be busy with lots of details to get completed.

I had a great day today, got a lot of stuff done in the office, and Chris came in and we went off and messed around for a couple hours.  That was fun.  We were in Northwest Hills and stopped at Wally's for lunch.  Chris was not in need of any more gift cards, so I chose not to complain that they did not hold the onions and did not add the mayo.  Whatever...

It is going to be cold tonight and tomorrow night.  Girls are all put to bed, water is turned off out in the pastures, and there is a nice fire in the stove.  What else could anyone ask for?

Deeds, Actions, Changes, CHILI CHEESE DOGS, Kindnesses, Whirled Peas, FUN!

Thursday, December 27, 2012

2012 - Day 362/4 - Thursday...

It seems really odd to be writing that there are only four days left in this year.  I started this blog ALMOST four years ago.  On January first I will begin the fifth year of this journal, and have not missed a day.  I can remember VERY clearly the days leading up to this journal, and I thought I would do it for one year (hence the site, but I just kept going.  Now I am thinking about cutting back, but how do you cut back?  I think it is kind of like going to the gym, if I miss one day, then it is over.  If I have one cigarette, I will be back to two-packs-a-day.  Interesting...I think I should save further comments for later in the year...

I took Jody to an appointment this morning, he had a lasik type procedure done at Seton on 38th Street.  While I was waiting on him (actually we were in and out in no time), I found several photo opportunities, but none of them really intrigued me like this one.  In the room where they did his pre-procedure stuff (and where I waited while they did the procedure), I was sitting next to this door with a lock on it and a key (I assumed it was a key to the lock in the door) screwed and tethered to the wall next to the door.  When everything was over and they came in to ask if either one of us had any questions, I raised my hand.  Of course I did.  My question was, is that door locked, and if it is, why is the key right next to it.  I had no idea what was behind the door (I swear), but I thought it was a good question.  Come to find out, it was the door to a shared restroom with the pre-procedure room next door and if someone went in the restroom, locked both of the doors and then had a heart attack (I am not making this up) the key is there so they don't have to break down the door to get the victim out of the restroom.  Honestly, I would assume that is someone was on the verge of having a heart attack, they should be hooked up to a catheter or something, not walking around willy-nilly and locking themselves in the restroom.  That make better sense to me than screwing the key to the lock to the wall next to the door.

But remember, we are (allegedly) smarter than cows, but I don't know of any cows that have locked themselves in a restroom and then fell victim to cardiac irregularities.  Then again, I am not sure I have ever heard of a cow having a heart attack EVER, let alone while locked in a restroom in a hospital.  Maybe they know something we should pay attention to.  DIET?


Oh, but the more important information in all of this is that Jody is doing just fine, reports that his eyesight is much improved, and it was painless and instantaneous.

After I got Jody home, I did a couple chores around the house and then I headed off to a dental appointment.  I have been having trouble with one of my crowns (it had decided to fall out twice in the last year, never at an opportune time, ALWAYS while I was eating in a public place and ALWAYS with friends and/or colleagues).  So today was the day to have a pre-procedure for a new crown.  I would honestly rather have a root canal than to have a root canal.  I would even consider voting for the opposing party if I could be guaranteed no dental issues for the next four years.  I am not a good dental patient.  I do however, have a really good dentist, and I was in and out of there in just a little bit over an hour, no pain (still) and lots of gain.  Now in a couple weeks I will go back and be the proud owner of YET ANOTHER dental appliance in me head.  Whatever...

Tomorrow I will be back to work for one last (maybe) day this year.  Honestly, I expect I will go into the office on Monday, but you never know.  We will see.

Deeds, Actions, Changes, HEART ATTACKS WHILE HAVING LUNCH IN PUBLIC PLACES, Kindnesses, Whirled Peas, FUN!

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

2012 - Day 361/5 - Wednesday...

It was a really nice day today, even though it was colder than a fart in a dead _____ (fill in the blank with the group of your choice).  I have my favorite group, but this journal is read by three or four folks across the Interspace stuff (that world-wide-weevil thang), so I am not really keen on being particularly offensive to anyone (or any group).  Whatever...

Traffic was not bad at all today, into or out of the city.  Many times it will be pleasant driving in but driving out is generally ALWAYS a challenge.  Today it was a breeze (from the north) each way.

Got a lot of work done, and my desk is pretty clear.  I won't be in the office tomorrow, but it should not be too bad when I get back on Friday, and then it will be clear sailing towards the four-day-weekend, again!

This is a photo of the sunset tonight when I was putting the girls to bed and turning the water off to the troughs out in the back fields.  Beautiful.

Because of the schedule, I will actually get to sleep in a little longer tomorrow, and not head into town until about 8:45.   SWEET!

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

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

2012 - Day 360/6 - Tuesday...

Merry Christmas Everyone!

In keeping with our drive to maximize our caloric intakes during the Holiday Season, Jody and I went to Georgetown for a Dairy Queen visit this afternoon.  The place was packed!

It started off somewhat questionable this morning; it was sprinkling rain when I went outside to fetch the newspaper, and then the winds out of the north started, and we got a TEENSY-WEENSY bit of rain in the official gauge, 0.02" to be precise.  We have had winds up to 36 MPH, the temperatures are now dropping but the winds do not seem to be.  Our last temperature reading was 34 degrees, and the lowest wind chill I have seen so far was 6 degrees.  The girls have been put to bed and their infra-red heat lamp is on.  The water is turned off at the troughs back in the pastures, and I think we should be okay.  One more night of this  and we should start a little bit of a warming trend.  When I went back the turn the water off in the troughs, it actually looked like there were little white caps in the troughs.  That is some strong wind!

We have a nice fire in the stove, but the winds are coming through otherwise unknown cracks in the weather stripping here and there.  I am glad I have a bed warmer!  I will crank that sucker up tonight and be all toasty and warm.

Deeds, Actions, Changes, TEENSY-WEENSIES, Kindnesses, Whirled Peas, FUN!

Monday, December 24, 2012

2012 - Day 359/7 - Monday...

Okay, it's Monday right?  I had trouble keeping up with the days last week because I was working too much, not I am having trouble keeping up with the days because I am not working enough.

This chicken would like nothing better than to explore the inside of our coop.  They hang out on the front porch or back patio a lot, and they are not intimidated to see us walking around inside.  They figure I have been in their coop, they should be able to come into OUR coop.  The problem is, I know how they keep house, and they are not great coop-keepers by any stretch of the imagination, so we will keep them on the outside, thank you very much.

Christmas Eve.  I hung out here at the house until about 11 o'clock, and then headed into the office.  Traffic was not an issue, and I made it to the office in (perhaps) record time.  The office was quiet, the phone did not ring a single time, and I got a pretty good bit of work done in a couple hours.

There is a cold front supposed to come through tomorrow afternoon, and in anticipation of that, we have a nice fire going in the stove.  And we have plenty of desserts of one kind or another to keep up burping for at least a week.  Why is it I never think of downing an Acidophilus or two to start with?

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

Sunday, December 23, 2012

2012 - Day 358/8 - Sunday...

Just a little over a week and this year will be toast!

This was a pretty busy day.  Stayed in bed a little later than usual (for a weekend) and read the paper and made me and Jody a pile of eggs.  I got outside and got the cattle fed (first I walked some of the fence line and found a spot that was shorting out), and before I took the second bale of hay out Miguel was here to help me out.  Between the two of us (mostly Miguel) we got the cattle fed, the fence line fixed, cut back a lot of the plants that were hit by the last couple of frosts, cleaned the chicken coop, cleaned the stove out and are pretty much ready for the next cold spell, which is expected to arrive on Christmas night.

In between times, Jody and I went into Thorndale to pick up pies that we had ordered, and then came home to get started getting ready to go into Austin for dinner with friends Michael, Lynda, Josh, MaryAnne and Madeline.  Nice times together and good visits.

Tomorrow will be another day, I don't care what the Mayans say.

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

Saturday, December 22, 2012

2012 - Day 357/9 - Saturday...

My goal was to get some shopping done today.  I went to ONE store, did a little bit of shopping and took two or three work calls, bought a few things for Jody and left.  I made it into the parking lots of a couple other stores, became totally intimidated by the PARKING LOTS and abandoned the idea of doing any further shopping.  What a wuss...

Jody and I did, however, make our ritual trip into Georgetown for lunch, and that was about it for the day.  I had a nice nap in the afternoon, then went outside and did a couple things and retreated back into the house and the comfort of my big blue chair.  After a while it was time for the news, and time to put the girls to bed. The low temperature tonight is only supposed to go down into the 50's, but there are a couple fronts coming through next week and there is one or two days with overnight low temperatures below freezing.  Overall, nothing terrible.  There was a pretty nice sunset the I missed most of, but did get the chance to take one quick photo.

Working around the house tomorrow, feeding cattle, that kind of thing.

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

Friday, December 21, 2012

2012 - Day 356/10 - Friday...

Well, what the hell?

This was a pretty good day.  I made it into the office with a few minutes to get a couple things accomplished before I headed off to my 8 o'clock meeting.  I was back in the office by about 9:30.  I got lots of work done, and then headed off to do some fooling around.

Fooling around Number 1.  Chris and I headed off to the Capitol (I hope it is the with the 'o', I think the reference to the city is with an 'a').  There had been some sort of student tuba performance, most likely in the rotunda, but they were all on the west side of the building taking photos and having fun.  We got inside and had a nice time looking around, and I headed off the the gift shop where I had some business to tend to.  In addition to a couple other things, I found a nice money clip, which unfortunately left me with no money to clip, but there is always next year.  I like walking around the Capitol.  I can remember when I first moved here, you could drive onto the grounds, and you could go inside the building at any time, day or night, and you would maybe see a few other folks, but really no security guards or Troopers.  It was a much simpler time back in 1985.

After we left the Capitol, we decided to have some lunch, so we went to Franks.  It is a relatively new restaurant in the warehouse district, I think it opened a couple years ago.  You would recognize it from a couple national commercials that it has been in.  I am a lover of all things wiener like, so it was the perfect lunch spot.  I had the chili-cheese dog and we shared an order of waffle fries.  The Frankfurter was very good, but the fries were cold and not good.  As a purely piece of constructive criticism, I share that the best things about the fries was the ketchup, and she made a really big deal about it.  That was not the intent, but we did walk away with a $10 gift certificate.  We were not even asking that the cost be removed from the check, just that the fries were not good.  The waitress (and the the manager) explained that if a menu item was not up to par, they would correct it.  I had to confess, I was not familiar with their par, so I was not really that good of a judge.  Maybe they were up to par, but my par might be a little higher than their par, who knows?  There should also be some kind of editorial comment made about this accompanying photograph, but I have been rendered editorial-less by the display, so I will leave it up to you for your comments.  It is not however, enough for me to even consider a life as a vegan.  I' just sayin...


I see this blog taking a turn towards restaurant criticism.  Hmmm...

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

Thursday, December 20, 2012

2012 - Day 355/11 - Thursday...

Yesterday it was 84 degrees; an all time record for the date.  Today (right now) it is 36 degrees outside, expected to go down to about 27 degrees overnight.  I just put the chickens to bed and turned on their infra-red heat lamp.  I have turned the water off to the cattle troughs out in the various pastures.  Tomorrow the high will be 61 degrees, and no more temperatures below freezing in the seven day forecast.

What the hell?

And somewhere, it is tomorrow already and they are still there.

What the hell?

There was a lovely sunset this evening, but I fear this photo does not really capture it.  I have kind of weened myself away from using the digital camera and gone to using the iPhone for most of the photos now, but I honestly believe the digital camera provides a better result than the iPhone.

What the hell?

Jody and I went into Georgetown for dinner tonight, a relatively new restaurant called El Monumento.  Reasonable priced, reasonably portioned, very nice building, somewhat pretentious menu, no obvious entrance to the building, dark, food was 'just okay', service was good.  Same owners as the Monument Cafe (I think) and the Monument Cafe gets the same overall review.

What the hell?

By the end of the day tomorrow, I will have finished my last meeting of the year, if you do not include the weekly PM meeting in the AM.

What the hell?

Deeds, Actions, Changes, JUST OKAY, Kindnesses, Whirled Peas, FUN!

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

2012 - Day 354/12 - Wednesday...

BACON.  Everything goes better with bacon.  And then Jody made stuffed pork chops for dinner.  Are pork chops just fat bacon?Thick bacon?

I have to keep reminding myself that today is Wednesday, because I am still unable to keep up with the day. AND I expect it will get worse before it gets better.  There are two four-day-weekends coming up, and I will be totally confused by all that.

Today was a great day for meetings, so why not take advantage of that?  This was the date of the final Board of Directors meeting of 2012.  After the meeting, we had the Past Presidents Luncheon, and that is always a nice event.  We had Presidents and Chairmen in attendance from as far back as 1964, and we also honored two Realtors® with over 50 years of service.  Very nice.

Next year will continue to be busy, lots of things going on at our Board and in the Industry in general.  It is going to be good!

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

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

2012 - Day 353/13 - Tuesday...

Just in case you are trying to keep up and plan your wardrobe for the next week or so (or maybe a lack of wardrobe), here is a screen shot of the local seven day forecast taking into account the expected events prognosticated by the Mayan Calendar.  I'm just sayin...

I made it to the office by about 7:30 this morning, and got pretty much caught up.  Chris came in about 9 o'clock, and we left the office about 9:45 to get to a 10:30 appointment.  You never know with traffic.  We were meeting with a client that I have worked with for about 7 years but had never met.  One or two telephone conversations over the years, and LOTS of e-mails, but we had never met.  She lives in Brisbane, Australia, and it was a great meeting.  Good stuff...

We made another stop on the way back to the office, and then I did a little bit more power real estate, before I left for my 1:30.  I did not make it home before dark, but I made progress today compared to the last couple days.

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

Monday, December 17, 2012

2012 - Day 352/14 - Monday...

DO NOT BE ALARMED.  This is not a photo of a wild boar.  If you would like to see a photo of a wild boar, please conduct an Internet search for 'wild boar' and then click on 'images' and you will see more photos of wild boars than you could look at in a month of Sundays.  This is actually a photo of the base of a lamp I bought years-and-years ago when Jody and I got the first farm (the Original JB Acres) in Red Rock, Texas.  It is a cute little pig lamp, if I do say so myself.  Self, that is a cute little pig lamp.  BUT, it was the best I could do because the wild boars (that's what I think they were, anyway) that I saw about 3 miles from our house were moving pretty darned fast and it was dark.  I am not sure if wild boars (or the otherwise unidentified critters) are smarter in the dark than they are in the daylight (see last nights entry), but they were certainly moving fast.

Speaking of cows in the night, it seems to be common knowledge that cows are smarter in the dark than they are in the daylight.  Or the fact that they can see better than we can in the dark may just give us the perception that they are smarter in the dark than they are in the daylight.

Mikey, I will call you on Tuesday.  All is good...

Deeds, Actions, Changes, REALLY BIG PIGS, Kindnesses, Whirled Peas, FUN!

Sunday, December 16, 2012

2012 - Day 351/15 - Sunday...

The day went fine, it is the night I am having issues with...

This is a photo of the sunset this evening as seen on my way home.  I had appointments all day today, and was in the office about 10:30 this morning.  I left Austin about 4:45, and stopped at a drive-thru in Jarrell for dinner.  Between Jarrell and home I decided I needed to feed the cattle when I got home.

Let me tell you, the cattle are smarter in the dark than they are in the daylight.  Or possibly I am just stupider in the dark than I am in the daylight.  Whichever is the case, I do not recommend taking bales of hay to cattle in the dark.  As is usually the case, I had many of the cattle (particularly Mr. Speckles) segregated so I could pretty much deal with only a couple cows while I was getting the baling string off the bale and into the hay ring.  WELL, not too long into the procedure, here came ALL the cattle including Mr. Speckles, and things pretty much went downhill from there.  There is pretty much nothing that will get in the way of the bull and whatever it is he wants.

BUT, I am unscathed and unhurt and no cattle were harmed in completing this journal entry.

Tomorrow I am booked with appointments all day long again, it lightens up a little bit on Tuesday, and another long day on Wednesday.

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

Saturday, December 15, 2012

2012 - Day 350/16 - Saturday...

Even though the overnight low temperatures are not expected to be less than the mid-60's, we have a fire in the stove and we like that just fine.

We did get a little bit of rain overnight last night (we measured .17"), I did not hear a thing.  Jody said it came down pretty intensely for a while, but I was out like a compact fluorescent.  I was surprised when I got up and noticed that the patio was wet.

I did as little as possible today, my biggest accomplishment was cleaning some of the ash out of the stove and getting the fire going again.

Tomorrow will be a little bit busier, but not much.  I actually have a couple meetings I have to go to tomorrow, and so that will take up most of my day.

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

Friday, December 14, 2012

Thursday, December 13, 2012

2012 - Day 348/18 - Thursday...

I have been impeded, aerated, immersed, abused, misused, preened, saluted, exposed, injected, poked, stroked, sedated, dilated, fondled, annoyed, probed, impaled, impeded, fixated, greased, plugged, powdered, saluted, diluted, prodded, injected, neglected, stroked, sedated, preened, ignored, inspected and rejected.  I could go on, but as a result of my physical exam today I have also been vaccinated and phlebotomized.   I am currently on the verge of being lobotomized.  But I do have a (relatively) clean bill of health pending the lab results.

We also had the office Holiday Luncheon this afternoon, and that was a nice affair held at the Second Kitchen on the corner of Congress and Second Street.  A nice gathering of agents, staff and significant others.  A good time was had by all.

Tomorrow will be a pretty long day, need to be in the office early, have a couple appointments and a lease signing in the early afternoon.

Deeds, Actions, Changes, TURN YOUR HEAD AND COUGH, Kindnesses, Whirled Peas, FUN!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

2012 - Day 347/19 - Wednesday...

Today had the possibilities of going badly, but that did not happen.  The challenge was that I had failed to plug the car in last night, so it would totally skew my MPG stats.  BUT, I overcame the frustration and just went with it.  As it turned out, it was not December 21st (the end of the world) and in the grand scheme of things, who really gives a crap?


Update from last night, as promised.  My friend Steve came to our Holiday Open House at the office last night, and I was totally blown away by the gift he gave me.  It is a framed copy of a letter written by William Barret Travis on February 24, 1836 during the siege of the Alamo.  The text of the letter is as follows:

I am beseiged, by a thousand or more of the Mexicans under Santa Anna -- I have sustained a continual Bombardment & cannonade for 24 hours & have not lost a man -- The enemy has demanded a surrender at discretion, otherwise, the garrison are to be put to the sword, if the fort is taken -- I have answered the demand with a cannon shot, & our flag still waves proudly from the walls -- I shall never surrender or retreat. Then, I call on you in the name of Liberty, of patriotism, & every thing dear to the American character, to come to our aid, with all dispatch -- The enemy is receiving reinforcements daily & will no doubt increase to three or four thousand in four or five days. If this call is neglected, I am determined to sustain myself as long as possible & die like a soldier who never forgets what is due to his own honor & that of his country --
William Barret Travis
Lt. Col. Comdt.

P.S. The Lord is on our side -- When the enemy appeared in sight we had not three bushels of corn -- We have since found in deserted houses 80 or 90 bushels & got into the walls 20 or 30 head of Beeves -- 

William Barret Travis died in the Alamo on March 6, 1836.

This is a beautiful, awe-inspiring and very generous gift.  Thanks Steve.

So, that catches you up with last night, today ended up being a pretty good day if I do say so myself.  One appointment at 10 o'clock this morning, one at 1 o'clock this afternoon, and some power real estate happening in between those times.  My afternoon appointment was at the Four Seasons Residences on Cesar Chavez.  This is one of the views (north facing) from the 27th floor.  Doesn't suck.

Deeds, Actions, Changes, VICTORY OR DEATH, Kindnesses, Whirled Peas, FUN!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

2012 - Day 346/20 - Tuesday...

Well, to begin, if you have not been outside in the last several minutes, and it is still dark where ever you are, you need to go outside NOW and LOOK UP.  It is a beautiful and sparklingly clear winters night, and the stars are absolutely magnificent.  My fingers are very heavy and I am not sure how long I will be able to type, but you really should venture out (after bundling up first since it is nipply out) and appreciate the stars in the heavens.  It will inspire you.

SECOND:  I am embarrassed that the video I had intended to share with you will give you a crick in your neck.  I thought I would be able to 'rotate' the video, but I guess I am not smart enough to do that.  The subject of this video is the little band (2 persons - horn, guitar, clarinet - and sometimes a third on the flute) that entertained at our Holiday Party tonight in our office.  It was really a tremendous event, and the folks that were there were feeling sorry for the ones that failed to show up.  Next year will be better and by then the doors will be breaking down with people wanting to be invited.  ANYWAY, the musicians were of an excellent caliper and were enjoyed by all the attendees (except for the ones that were not there.  I hope this brief video of the event will give you a little taste of the ambiance without causing you too much of a cricky neck.

I was also presented with a very fine and precious gift by my good friend Steve, but I fear the photo quality of the gift will not be equal to the magnificence of it, and I do not necessarily  want to spoil it.  Perhaps I will wait until tomorrow to present it to you and give the excitement a proper amount of build up, because it it absolutely fabulous.  It has to do with our heritage and sacrificing for the greater cause, something that is near and dear to me, Needless to say, it includes words and phrases like "I shall never surrender or retreat".  "I am determined to sustain myself for as long as possible and die like a soldier who never forgets what is due to his own honor and that of his country - Victory or Death".  Tune in tomorrow for the photo representation and the full transcription of the document.

Sorry about the fat fingers, but I am doing better than usual.

Deeds, Actions, Changes, NEVER SURRENDER, Kindnesses, Whirled Peas, FUN!

Monday, December 10, 2012

2012 - Day 345/21 - Monday...

I Instructed a great class at the Austin Board of Realtors® this morning.  Thirty or so of our colleagues sharing information about Realtor® Ethics.  FUN!

Overall, living in the country and doing country things is really pleasant, enjoyable and calming.  One of my least favorite things is getting prepared for freezing temperatures.  When it is hot outside, I can take off clothes, get wet, any number of things to make myself THINK I am cooler.  When it is cold, I cannot always put on enough clothing to give myself the illusion of warmth.  AND, when it gets below freezing and stays there for any length of time, there are things you have to do.  Like turn the water off to the troughs out in the pastures and hope nothing freezes and becomes a problem.  The water in the troughs will freeze (most likely)  but you really do not want the water pipes freezing and bursting.  Not good.  SO, I go out and turn the water to the troughs off well after dark (hoping the cattle have had a last drink before going to bed, because it might be several hours into the next day before the troughs will thaw and they can get water.  Maybe I worry too much, but that is just me.  OCD.  Even with cattle.  My neighbor Randy will come over to the house during the day tomorrow and break up the ice and check on things for me, since I will be leaving before daylight to go into Austin.  Thanks Randy!

Since we have continued with temperatures in the 80's (as recently as yesterday) and expect to see temperatures again in the 80's (as early as Friday) the fauna in the area are totally confused.  We have roses blooming, cannas blooming, Iris blooming and any number of other plants blooming.  Beginning tomorrow, the only things that will be blooming are the WEEDS.  I have a love/hate relationship with weeds.  Mostly HATE.  But I digress.  Jody went out this evening and cut some of the Iris and put them in water in the kitchen.  No sense in just letting them freeze when we can enjoy them inside the house for several more days.

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

Sunday, December 9, 2012

2012 - Day 344/22 - Sunday...

Hold the pickles, hold the lettuce, special orders don't upset us; all we ask is that you let us make it your way..  Believe it or not, Jody and I went to Burger King for dinner tonight.  Up at the truck stop in Salado.  I was having flash-backs of being stoned in the mid-70's at 3am in the glare of the neon lights.  Cheese Whopper, no pickles, no tomato, extra ketchup, cut in half please.  Do you remember a thing called 'metabolism'?  I used to eat TWO of those at a time in Memphis.  Just thinking about eating one now causes me heart pains and an elevated pulse and a constriction in my bowels.  But it was pretty good.  Not sure that I would recommend 'eating in' again any time soon (too much reality for us), but going through the drive through might be in our future.

This afternoon on our weekly visit to Dairy Queen, Jody took the advice of our neighbor Irene and tried the Blizzard of the Month, something with Candy Cane in the flavor description, and he reported that it was very good.  I am not nearly as adventurous as Jody, so I stuck with my traditional Oreo Cookie Blizzard.

I got a lot of work done at the house today with the help of Miguel.  All the pipes are wrapped (it is supposed to freeze on Tuesday and Wednesday morning), the cattle got fed, half of the garage is cleaned and the front barn is pretty much straightened out.  The plants that could be hurt by the freeze are already in the garage, an the bamboo was watered.  Since all that is done, I expect it will neither freeze or rain in the foreseeable future.  But, like a good little boy scout, be prepared.

You can tell that the country is getting citified when you see obvious competitions with the Christmas decorations.  Between here and Salado we saw a generous increase in the number of lighted displays, some of them were even flashing.  Civilization is encroaching upon us, just in time for the end of the Mayan Calendar, too.

The expected cold-front hit about 5:30 this evening, and when I last looked, the temperature was down to 55 degrees.  Supposed to be a high of only about 44 degrees tomorrow.

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

Saturday, December 8, 2012

2012 - Day 343/23 - Saturday...

This is a picture of the center piece that was on our table last night at the Installation.  OR, the world as we will know it the day following the end of the Mayan calendar.  You choose...

Today was mostly about (pretty much the same thing as this entire journal) nothing.  I slept in and when I finally did get up, Jody had pretty much finished the paper, had his coffee and had let the girls loose.  Pretty much the only think left for me was to make us a pile of eggs, and get ready to take a nap.

We did take the dog boy for a ride, and he got to bark at several dogs along the way.  When we got home, Jody went down for a nap and I started prepping for a class that I will be teaching on Monday.  All done, life is good.

We did make it into Georgetown this afternoon, and had lunch and came back home.  I have to admit that, even writing this entry is putting me to sleep.  We did nothing of any interest to anyone today.  While I was taking my afternoon nap, Jody did go out and get six eggs from the girls.

Tomorrow will be spent doing things that should have been done today, along with feeding the cattle and cleaning out the stove.  There is a cold front coming in tomorrow afternoon, so I will be getting plants in, pipes wrapped, cattle troughs winterized and a nice fire going in the stove.  The cold wave is expected to last only a few days, but I will be ready for it to be over when it is over.

Deeds, Actions, Changes, NON-EVENTS, Kindnesses, Whirled Peas, FUN!

Friday, December 7, 2012

2012 - Day 342/24 - Friday...

Just got home from the ABoR Installation.  2013 Directors of the Austin Board of REALTORS® are all sworn and ready to go.  This is a photo of me and Ruby having some chocolate mousse and strawberries.  There was more to the story, but this is a family oriented journal.  Thanks to Chris for the photo, and to everyone that attended.

Too sleepy to go on.

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

Thursday, December 6, 2012

2012 - Day 341/25 - Thursday...

WOW, what a day!  My first appointment was at 7 o'clock this morning to learn about the results of the Austin Empty Bowl Project.  The Project is an annual function that is held on the Sunday before Thanksgiving each year, the proceeds of which benefit the Capital Area Food Bank and (this is the first year)  this year it also benefits Meals-On-Wheels.  I won't give away any of the details of this years results, but both of the beneficiaries should be pleased.  We also started planning for nest years event, so we are getting that bowl rolling.

At nine o'clock (approximately) we had a PM meeting (in the am).  Every Thursday at 9 o'clock in the morning  Ordinarily I would have delivered my Meals-On-Wheels route this morning as well, but there was another function that I needed to attend, the Installation of the incoming Board of Directors for the Austin Chapter of the Women's Council of Realtors®.  It was a very nice event at the Austin Country Club, and our agent Chris Rodriguez (notice I am using last names today, this is definitely an exception to the rule) was Installed as the 2013 President.  Our agent Ruby Johnson was Installed as the Secretary of the organization. Ruby was also honored as the 2012 Realtor® of the Year of the Austin Chapter.  I was the Master of Ceremonies for the event, and it was a LOT of fun!  I was also honored to be named the 2012 Entrepreneur of the Year, and I was pretty darned surprised about that.  Our company was also recognized as a major sponsor of the event.  Overall, it is really great to see an organization that supports the efforts of women in business, whether it is a real estate business or affiliate members.  A very worthwhile group to be associated with, and congratulations to everyone involved with them.

I headed back to the office and did some power real estate, and left the office about ten minutes past three to go to my dental appointment in Georgetown at 4 o'clock.  Only a distance of 35 miles to be covered in 50 minutes.  Remarkable, I pulled into the dentist offices parking lot with three minutes to spare.  Jody had a 3 o'clock appointment, and he was just pulling out as I was pulling in.

Tomorrow is not such an early day, but it will be a much LATER day.  Tomorrow is the Installation of the Austin Board of Realtors® Board of Directors.  I will start my fourth year on the Board tomorrow, and I will be installed at Chairman Elect.  Scary, Exciting, Awe Inspiring, Rewarding, Fulfilling, Demanding, Difficult, Rewarding (worth mentioning twice) and Educational.  I will think of more, but I hope you get the point.  I love working for the betterment of our membership.

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

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

2012 - Day 340/26 - Wednesday...

Today was a pretty darned good day, and if I can just get through tomorrow and Friday and then next week, all will be downhill until the first week in January.

I got into the office pretty early again today, but I will need to leave even earlier tomorrow morning.  I had a 10 o'clock meeting today at the Texas Real Estate Commission.  Interesting stuff, and I think good things will be happening as a result.  I am flattered to be included in performing some of the hard work that will make our profession a better one.  Nothing in this life is easy, but working together to make things better for all parties involved is rewarding.  I like it!

I got back to the office and did some power real estate, and headed for the house about 4:30.  Tomorrow my first meeting is at 7 AM, the 9 AM, then 11 AM and then 4 PM.  In between times I have a few other things to get accomplished, but everything will work out.

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

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

2012 - Day 339/27 - Tuesday...

We are still eating on pies from the Thanksgiving Holiday.  Tonight, Jody had more pumpkin pie, and I had some Apple Caramel Pecan.  We usually have a piece of pie every other day or so.  Keeps me awake at night, so I have to pace myself.

Today was a good and productive day in the office until about 1:30.  It makes for a kind of long day, since I headed to work at 5:30 this morning.  I had a meeting to attend at 2:30 and that went on until after 5 o'clock, and once again I did not get home until after dark.  BUT, the challenge is, I LOVE WHAT I DO!  Nothing else to say after you have said that.

Tomorrow I will get into the office early again, and I have a meeting at the Texas Real Estate Commission beginning at 10 AM and I do not know how long that will last.  I expect til 2 or 3.  This will be a really good meeting, a result of the two (maybe 3) year appointment to a work group.  More details later.

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

Monday, December 3, 2012

2012 - Day 338/28 - Monday...

...the following journal entry is rated PG-Parental Guidance is suggested...

Yep, that's right, today is my birthday.  If you have EVER had a HANKERIN' to see my ASS, your wait is over.  Here you go.  I have been known to show my ass in public, and what better day than my birthday?  In fact, this ass even had a seat at the table today at the luncheon that the office arranged.  Pretty fun!

Okay, we now return to your regularly scheduled programming...

It was a very nice day today, and I have been overwhelmed by the calls, cards and greetings I have received.  Ruby brought cupcakes, and Jody and I will make short work of them.  Pauline and Hubert brought two cakes and some home made jelly, Jim and Bonnie sent a beautiful flower (flares if yer from Lubbock) arrangement and Carrie presented me with the ass.  Overall, not a bad day!

Exhausted, need to get some rest...

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

Sunday, December 2, 2012

2012 - Day 337/29 - Sunday...

When it comes to smarts, I think I am a notch or two above the cattle, but may a notch or two below the chickens.

Today was a good day, I got the cattle fed (I outsmarted them) and got six eggs from the chickens.  Miguel came out and got a lot of weeds pulled.  I think we could pull weeds til the end of the world (December 21st I think) and still have weeds to pull.  BUT, things are looking nicer tonight than they did this morning.  I know for sure there are fewer weeds this evening than there were this morning.  KEEP PULLING!

We headed into Georgetown for dinner tonight at the Catfish Parlour, always a good meal, AND we both qualify for the senior discount.  Double good!

This is going to be a busy week.  Let of stuff to get accomplished at the office, and lots of seasonal activities happening.

Soon it will be a new year (maybe), and it will all start over again.

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

Saturday, December 1, 2012

2012 - Day 336/30 - Saturday...


I forgot to mention yesterday that the electricians came (several days) early to change out all of our smoke alarms.  They were supposed to arrive on Monday, but they showed up (unannounced) and got the job done in less than an hour.  SO, all is well so far, and I hope the old ones were just tired and whiney.  They say that after about eight years, you need to have them replaced.  Or is that mattresses?  I think probably everything needs to be replaced after eight years.

The morning glories are still struggling to survive, and the lack of rain does not help anything out here.  You can water artificially all you want, it does not take the place of natural rain.  I think the plants know the difference.  All the grasses are going dormant, but the winter wheat crops all around are greening up nicely, even though there has been just under an inch of rain here in November.  Austin recorded NO RAIN for the month, and the last time that happened was in 1897.  Of course, there is no global warming or anything like that going on.

I did very little today, and that was good.  I got most everything done that REALLY needed to be done last weekend.  Tomorrow I have a few things on my list, but it won't take long to get it all done.

Jody and I did go into Round Rock and Georgetown this afternoon, traffic was really bad going south and there was absolutely NO REASON for it the best we could tell.  Just more traffic than the system could accommodate.  LOTS OF CARS AND TRUCKS.

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