Tuesday, May 31, 2016

2016 - Day 152/214 - Tuesday...

...although it really feels like Monday. I like this photograph very much. I do not like the circumstances that gave me the opportunity to take it. It was basically back as pitch all day today in Austin. I left the office before 3 PM (can someone help me with the proper way to note the time? Is it a.m., p.m., AM, PM, is there a space after the numbers or no space? I think this is a job for Casey!), and it took a couple hours to get home. Wrecks everywhere, ambulances, firetrucks, police vehicles, tow trucks, wrecked vehicles littering the road, and people were still driving like it was clear skies and dry roads. It rained so hard (how hard was it?), that we were doing about 20 miles per hour on the Interstate, and you could not see more than 1 car length in front of you. Rains were pouring down. So...of course...I took the opportunity to document the goings-on with my handy electronic device.


We will soon enough be complaining about no rain, and I think everyone just needs to be mindful of any comments about the rains we are experiencing right now.


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

Monday, May 30, 2016

2016 - Day 151/215 - Memorial Day...

I decide to take a picture of the flags out on the circle, and by the time I walk out there, the wind has stopped and the flags are flaccid. About 150 pictures later, this is what I am posting on this Memorial Day, 2016. You get the idea. I hope you enjoyed your day, and thought about those that sacrificed so we could extend our weekend by one day.

Let's talk about flags for just another minute or two. If you know me, you know I am pretty queer for flags. I like flags mostly. Some of our state flags are a bit too complicated for me; pictures of bears and crests and things that elementary school kids cannot replicate with a bunch of crayons. But the Texas flag is easy for a Pre-K kid to draw with a few crayons, and I think that is one of the reasons that Texans feel like they belong. We are all part of a big club, warts, whiskers, politics and all. I (for the most part) like being in the club.

It was raining this morning, but it stopped about mid-day. Sunny and pleasant the rest of the afternoon, but rain in the forecast every day of the foreseeable future.

Jody and I are going to get sucked in to watching Roots tonight...we are already making plans for the rest of the week. Only four nights, but it will take some coordination and planning. One thing is, I need to finish this entry so I can go watch Antiques Roadshow and be ready for the onslaught.

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

Sunday, May 29, 2016

2016 - Day 150/216 - Sunday...

It seems my weekends are totally, 100% devoted (mostly) to two things; naps and grass mowing. And it is not equally split, no way, no how. Much more about mowing grass (and weeds). You see, basically, when I am napping on the weekends, my dreams are filled with grass mowing. I cannot escape it. Grass here, grass there, grass in the front, grass in the back, grass where it is wet, grass where it is dry. I cannot escape the grass. What you can see here is about 20% of the front grass. What you cannot see is the grass between there and the road. Or the grass in the girl dogs yard. Or the grass in the back of the house. In the REAL back of the yard, I can use the tractor. The fun part of cutting the grass is all the geometric shapes that become evident. There are lots of things in the yard(s) that need to be 'mowed around'. A garden here, a tree there, a martin house over there, a bamboo forest (for the girls to take refuge in) closer over here. One day I made a map of the United States in the yard. Another day it was just the State of Texas. Today it was geometrics. AND, it is always fun to play 'rock, mower, chicken'. So far, the chickens have won, but only because I have keen reflexes.

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

Saturday, May 28, 2016

2016 - Day 149/217 - Saturday...

Okay, last night, I forgot to mention the trumpet vines. I am not sure if these really ARE trumpet vines or not, but that is what I have always called them, and that is what I am going to stick with. As I sit here in the office looking out the window, there is not a bit of breeze stirring. I just got in from taking the dog for a walk, and it it warm (not really going to classify it as HOT quite yet) and the humidity is hovering around 200%. There has been more rain to the south and the east of us today, and the flooded areas from a couple days ago are flooding again. Crazy! Flood gates are open on two or three of the dams which means they are sending water down towards the Gulf where they already have TOO MUCH water, so that is creating more troubles. There is always a catch 22 in the works.

I took advantage of several opportunities to nap today, and that has been lovely. I also got some 'putzing' done around the house. I could have mowed some grass, but I am kind of worried about that; about three weeks ago I had some terrible allergies challenges, then last week I mowed grass and came done with more allergy challenges. Not trying to avoid the grass mowing (okay, well, maybe a little bit), but I would truly like to avoid the allergy crap from getting worse. I am down to coughing only about every three or four minutes, so I think I am headed in the right direction.

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

Friday, May 27, 2016

2016 - Day 148/218 - Friday...

Before I get too carried away, I just want to share this photo of one of the Iris that is blooming around the house. Most of the roses are doing really nicely, the cactuses are still blooming, the cannas are blooming, the azalea out in the back has already peaked but there are still some blooms on it. Our Mountain Laurel looks better this year than it ever has (we've been here about nine years), but there are no blooms on it. Anyway, it has been a good year for flora, and I expect that will last well into June and maybe into July. We are WAY BELOW our normal temperatures for this time of year, but that is because of all the moisture. Who knows what will happen next.

Oh yeah...

Well, welcome to the Memorial Day Long Weekend. It is officially started, although Mother Nature was off by a couple days. Austin and Central Texas are pretty well known for having flooding events over the Memorial Day weekend. This year, it was a little early. Austin and the areas north (that includes the edge of nowhere) were spared, but areas just south and east of here between Austin and Houston were hit hard. Some isolated reports of up to 17" of rain. At last count, 100 homes in Bastrop county were flooded. Some of the damaged homes were just finished repairs from last years 1,700 year flooding event, and now they are starting again. If it is not fires, it is floods. I expect the pestilence will hit just any minute now.

All the folks that I bused into Austin with yesterday from Houston arrived home safely late last night and into the early morning hours of today. They got stranded in Brenham, one of the hardest hit areas, but all is well that ends well.

Enjoy your weekend.

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

Thursday, May 26, 2016

2016 - Day 147/219 - Thursday...

This morning seems like such a long time ago. There were lots of opportunities for things to go wrong today, but nothing went wrong till right at the very end. I'll share that with you in a minute. I got my happy ass up at 3:30 this morning, I was at the airport at 4:30, the plane left for Houston at 5:30, and I got to Houston at 6:30. TAR Field Rep Dahlia picked me up at the airport and schlepped me to The Woodlands, where I got on a bus at about 8 o'clock. The Houston Great Northwest Women's Council of REALTORS® Chapter arranged for 20 or so of their members to take a bus from there to Austin to meet with one of their State Legislators (Debbie Riddle). I was on the bus to guide them through the Advocacy class on the ride up. It was great, a lot of great people, and I had a blast! Once we got to Austin, we had lunch at the Texas Association of REALTORS® office, did a quick tour of the building, and then they walked over to the Capitol with the Representative. I went back to the airport (thank you Casey), and then headed to the office to do a little bit of work. A really great day.

Here is where the bad part comes in. There are some pretty bad storms east of us (going towards Houston), and at last report, they were stuck in Brenham (where they make Blue Bell Ice Cream), holed up at the K-Bob's Steak house. Everyone is taking cover from the storms, all the roads are closed, and they have seen submerged cars. No food or drink at the restaurant, and they had to beg them to let them in. All the convenience stores are packed with people taking cover from the storms.

Send good thoughts that they will all be home safely and soon!

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

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

2016 Day 146/220 - Wednesday...

I apologize in advance to EVERYONE. Dinner tonight includes yummy fried chicken tenders, french fries Texas Toast (really just big bread), some gravy and a root beer. I have cut down (somewhat) on my greasy fried foods, because the last time I had chicken fingers I felt nauseated for a couple days following, and because it is just not good for me. I just erased about four more descriptive sentences giving more reasons why I should avoid greasy fried foods, but I was beginning to sound like LBJ when he asked the media if they wanted to 'see' his scar. I fear the older I get the more I will talk about my daily medications and conditions. That is kind of depressing.

News Flash: I am watching a program on KLRU right now that offered a disclaimer at the beginning; This program contains subject matter that some might find objectionable. I am there! You could not drag me away with the promise of another serving of chicken tenders!

It is going to be an early night for me, and it will be an early day tomorrow as well. More about that tomorrow.

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

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

2016 - Day 145/221 - Tuesday...

Admittedly, we live on a farm, on the edge of nowhere. I learn stuff all the time. I had no idea EVER that I would take a lopping shear to a rat snake (that was a couple years ago) in retaliation of eating the golf ball that I was using as a nest egg. But I got the golf ball back. I never expected that I would hook up a chain to my longhorn bull after he drowned in the ag tank, and then drag said bull (as respectively as possible) to the furthest corner of the property (the corner that would not be in a direct path of the prevailing winds), and then let nature do its' job. I never expected that I would experience longhorn cows suffering from retained placentas, and have to buy a new pair of gloves after having dealt with that. I never would have imagined, not in a million years, that chasing cattle down a country road, and then bribing them back to their pasture with cattle cubes, a galvanized bucket and a whiffle ball bat. But I have. And so last night, and this did not surprise me at all, while I was walking the girl dog, I spied these snake eggs along the side of the road. I assume they are snake eggs, but I am not sure. I will go out and check on them later tonight. I might gather them up and see what happens. I do not expect they will hatch, but you never know. Stranger things have happened.

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

Monday, May 23, 2016

2016 - Day 144/222 - Monday...

I am getting better at this 'distance education, technology, I am in the room by myself but I have to try and imagine that the class attendees are there with me' thang. Of course, I have my trusty side kick 'the Pale Rider' aka 'Snerdley' in the room with me most of the time, but I expect that at the next class I will be in the room alone. I have figured out how to keep the distance learners engaged in the class a bit better (you just have to pick on them and keep the conversations going), and I am getting more and more fluent with muting the microphones and making sure I an broadcasting sound as well as video. Overall, I was much more comfortable with the chore, and this was my third experience with distance education, so I think that is an acceptable 'learning curve' on my part. So, today there were 19 Associations across the state participating in the broadcast, with about 48 attendees in those 19 different locations. Not a bad turnout actually, and the attendees received CE credits for the class, and the expense of the class went directly to their TREPAC Investments. So far, EVERY class I have guided with this program has resulted in one or two FIRST TIME INVESTORS in TREPAC, and that is part of the goal. Thanks for all that participated, I know for sure that I learned a few things during the class, thanks for asking a bunch of great questions!

So that was pretty much my day. There was only a trace of rain overnight, the forecasts have changed so I think all the activity overnight will remain west and north of us, which is a blessing since the girl dog is shy of anything that could even remotely be thought of as thunder; airplanes, old trucks, farts, belches...you get the idea.

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

Sunday, May 22, 2016

2016 - Day 143/223 - Sunday...

The girl dog and I were lolling about on the couch the other night, and I TRIED to take a nice photo of the cuddling that was going on. I do not recall dogs being camera shy in my past, but our last two (Bear the Boy Dog and Maddie this Girl Dog) have shown a definite aversion to having their pictures taken. Before that, I do not recall Maxwell the long haired dachshund being very shy about it, not can I recall any other dogs I/We have had being shy about it. I do grant you this, it is only in the recent past (last decade or so) that cameras and photography was such an instant and obligatory thing. When I grew up, a photo was only to document something really important (weddings, vacations, graduations, funerals) and the actual film PROCESSING was speculative at best. It could take you two or three years to finally finish a roll of film, and then you had to take it to the drug store for developing. Quite a chore.


I got the rest of the front swamp mowed (not manicured) this morning. Then I got a few other chores done, and then it was off to Austin to get some office things done, then on to a noon appointment. On the way home from my appointment, I did make a phone call to my friend Diane in Boston. I can not even guess when the last time we spoke, but it was fun, and it made it seem like just yesterday.

I will be teaching a class all day tomorrow, but all-office on Tuesday.

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

Saturday, May 21, 2016

2016 - Day 142/224 - Saturday...

While I was out gathering eggs late this afternoon, I got in to a tug-of-war with this rat snake. I am bigger than most rat snakes, and I have opposable thumbs (as evidenced in this photo). I retrieved the egg from the rat snakes mouth, rubbed off the rat snake spit on my pants, put the egg in my bag, and took the rat snake and flung him across the road, where he/she/it was last seen heading towards Hubert and Pauline's house. I expect he will be back, but they also eat rats and other undesirables, so there was no real need to terminate him/her/it. Of course, there was the opportunity to take a quick photographic record of the event, and here you have it.

It would be nice if we could get some rain. Said no one. In central Texas. For the last three or four months. At least. We have received over 6.5" of rain this month, more is forecast for next week, and we are always plagued with floods over the Memorial Day Holiday. I mowed (as opposed to manicured) part of the front swamp this afternoon, from the house up to the bamboo. I also got the girl dog's swamp mowed, and tomorrow I will try to get the rest of the front swamp mowed (as opposed to manicured).

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

Friday, May 20, 2016

2016 - Day 141/225 - Friday...

We planted the grape vines about four or five years ago, and they have been pretty productive the last couple years. The challenge is getting out there to them before the birds or other critters get to them first. They do not seem to hold the charm (or the great taste) that the grapes from my childhood do. Where we lived when I was growing up, not everyone had indoor toilet facilities. I don't know if they had indoor sinks or indoor water, I just don't remember. But they did have out-houses. We were the newbies, we had indoor plumbing. But I digress... The neighbors behind us and one house over (the Grants) had an outhouse, and they had grape vines growing on the trellises outside the outhouse. As kids, we would always be interested in sneaking over and eating the grapes. I had no idea then, but now I know that concord grapes (purple ones) have a little natural coating on them; think like someone had lightly dusted them with flour or something. Anyway, Mr. Grant put the word out (we heard it through the grapevine), that the powdery stuff on the grapes was poison, so we should not bother his grapes. It may have been poison or it may not have been, but we ate the grapes anyway, after a quick rub on out t-shirts, and we are still alive to tell the story. Not sure if anyone else remembers that or not, but I do.

Okay everybody, let's hear it for Friday! Onward to the weekend! It has been a busy week, full of recovery and catching up. Next week will be a busy one as well, but maybe not as much catching to be done. Today I had three meetings at the Board; 8:30, 11:00 and 2:00. That kind of makes a long day, and the breaks in-between the meetings were not long enough to go anywhere, but there was time to make phone calls and I was a little bit productive.

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

Thursday, May 19, 2016

2016 - Day 140/226 - Thursday...

...and...it rained overnight (it didn't really start until about 5:30 this morning), and a LOT of today. At last viewing, we were at 2.64" for the twenty-four hour period. In English, that means the girl dog was pretty much freaking out most of the day (sorry that Jody had to deal with that part). This morning when I got up, it was just kind of misting, but the girl dog was obviously aware of something that I wasn't, so she would not go outside, she did not want her 'cat-food-pop' (kind of like a popsicle, but not really), and she kept herself within a couple feet of the closet where it is dark. I left for the office and it was raining at a pretty good rate, and it rained all the way into the office, but traffic was NOT terrible since some schools had closed and you know, people here can't drive in the rain, and let's not talk about the threat of snow. Anyhoo...this ambulance took about 20 minutes to pass me...I could see it through the rear-view mirror, and when it finally passed me (we all pulled over to the right at the last minute, it got off the Interstate a couple exits later. I really don't get it...

But, after two or three meetings and a luncheon, today is about to be wrapped up, and I am actually ready for tomorrow.

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

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

2016 - Day 139/227 - Wednesday...

And once again, this is photographic proof that your day can start out badly through no real fault of your own. Although I am certain that I have been very close on occasion to occupying a metal structure that was (almost) void of fossil fuels that (normally) would have caused my internal combustion engine vehicle be propelled in a forward or backward motion, I have no real recollection of ever being stranded because that previously mentioned vehicle 'ran out of gas'. And aren't there all sorts of warning devices in vehicles today that would warn the operator in a variety of styles, that said vehicle was thirsty. FGS, we will soon be encapsulated in vehicles that can drive themselves to the nearest fuel refilling station, so how can ANYONE run to our gas? It is 2016 people. Put gas in the damn car. It is not as if we were in a blinding snow storm for 18 hours and you had no opportunity to get gas. You are on IH-35, where exit after exit offers gasoline, foot long hot dogs, public restrooms, donuts (my fave) and private lingerie showings in your own, bacteria filled 6 x 6 cubicle. But there we were, following the rules, not even challenged that one guy with no gas (but obviously a gas CAN), had caused this otherwise pleasant and fun-filled commute to go south. Did I mention that the fact he had a gas can in the back of his car gives me the idea that he has participated in this type of 'fail' in the past.

History is doomed to repeat itself.

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

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

2016 - Day 138/228 - Tuesday...

Before I began this post, I edited yesterdays post, and it let me upload the photo that I could not upload yesterday, so if you are interested, it is there now. We will see if I can upload today before publishing...

I had a doctors (dok-a-tors) appointment this afternoon, and as I was waiting (resisting temptation to go through drawers and re-stock my cotton ball collection), I noticed a wild parakeet nest outside the windows. Austin has a HUGE (ha-yooge) parakeet population, the result of a couple parakeets being loosed upon society decades ago. They used to live down around Zach Scott Theatre, then they were evicted and they moved a little bit north to the UT Football Stadium, then they were evicted and relocated themselves to the UT Intramural Fields, and the last I heard, they were being evicted from there to who knows where. BUT, there is a handsome next at the corner of 38th Street and North Lamar, and this particular pair seems to be doing really well. This is not the best photo ever, but it is hard to take a photo of a parakeet and its next with an iPhone.

Otherwise, not a bad day. Lots of accomplishments in the morning, a 2 o'clock appointment and then the dock-a-tors appointment. I even made it home before ark!

All's well that ends well.

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

Monday, May 16, 2016

2016 - Day 137/229 - Monday...

Sorry boys and girls, blogger.com is not allowing me to upload photos today. What you missed was a photo of a low-impact wreck in the north bound lanes of IH-35 this afternoon. Squint your eyes and pretend...it won't be the first time...

This will take the wind out of your sails...I am sure there are more appropriate descriptions for commuter fatigue and/or frustration about Austin traffic, but that was the best I could come up with at the time. The good news is this; it does not seem that anyone was hurt (there is no way they drivers of the vehicles could have been traveling at a very high rate of speed), and I got to the scene of the accident before the constabulary. SO, that means that instead of blocking three lanes of traffic, there was only one lane blocked, and we were coping with the challenge as best we could, given the circumstances. I think if/when we are left to our own devices in these instances, we can work through it without the bureaucratic challenges. Not exactly Lord of the Flies stuff, but we will make it through to the next source of vehicular congestion rears its' ugly head.

And it was a good day overall, back to the office and I actually got my desk relatively cleared of dead trees in the morning, ran some errands, did some more stuff, made some appointments, prepared for a tele-conference tomorrow, some this-and-that, a little bit of gossip and whatevers.

A good day, overall.

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

Sunday, May 15, 2016

2016 - Day 136/230 - Sunday...

Recapping the last week in Washington, D.C., there is scaffolding on both the exterior and the interior of the Capitol Dome. There were parts that were still visible, but mostly it was scaffolding and tarps on the interior. I did not see any actual workers, but we can only assume that they were behind those tarps somewhere, doing something. It all does make for interesting perspectives to buildings we have see hundreds of times. I remember when there was work going on at the Supreme Court Building, the scaffolding was covered with a copy of the building, kind of like a theatre scrim. Washington, D.C. is a wonderful, exciting place to visit, I expect it would be wonderful place to live, but I will remain happily ensconced here on the edge of nowhere, thank you very much.

Yesterday and overnight, we received 1.44" of rain, and so far there has been nothing but a trace today. There are warnings of severe storms tonight and tomorrow, but the radar forecasts look promising that we will miss the worst of it. Of course, I will be driving right smack into it on my way to the office tomorrow, but that is just how it goes.

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

Saturday, May 14, 2016

2016 - Day 135/231 - Saturday...

You don't pay too much attention to stuff until it doesn't work anymore. I know, this is a 'first world problem', but I think we did really well. There were storms out here on the edge of nowhere, which caused the electricity to come and go for a while. And then it went. We have lived out here for almost a decade, and the rural electric coop dependability has actually been much better than we experienced in Austin. We were not even home when the power went out (and stayed out), but we estimate it was about 3p.m. Our first clue was when the garage door opener would not work. So, no big deal actually, and the power came back on  about six hours later, we estimate. We were real troopers, to. There were no issues, honestly, and it made nap time much calmer.

I had an early flight home from Washington D.C. this morning, and even with a connecting flight in Chicago, I slept almost non-stop. I was asleep before we took off from Washington, and I do not even remember that part of it. Pretty much the same thing from Chicago into Austin. I did not sleep well at all last night, and there was really no reason for that, but I have spend tome time today making up for it.

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

Friday, May 13, 2016

2016 - Day 134/232 - Friday...

If you have been a follower of this journal for any time (okay, at least a year because this is my 2,691st entry) you have seen this photo before, or a photo very similar to it. Every year when I visit Washington, DC for our REALTOR® Legislative Sessions, I take this photo. It is one of the more 'blatantly bureaucratic' things that is much easier to explain than the other bureaucratic things that goes on here and elsewhere. Actually, this sign is indicating a stairwell. Yes, stairs. Go through the doors here, and you can go from one floor to another, manually lifting yourself from one step to another, or lowering yourself by descending the stairs in a manual fashion. I just crack up every time I see the 'Internal Relocation Site. I never actually thought of a stairwell as a 'site'. I think of a 'site' kind of like Area 52 where the aliens landed (not those aliens the other aliens). Or Washington, DC is a 'site'. But not a stairwell. I don't think a stairwell is a 'site'.

Otherwise, it was a great day, good meetings, a tour of the Capitol, then the NAR Regional Caucuses. I am ready to go home in the morning, all packed up and ready to go!

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

Thursday, May 12, 2016

2016 - Day 133/233 - Thursday...

There are different kinds of best days. There are best days when you make quantifiable accomplishments and progress towards a goal or an action you have been working on for months and months. Snd then there are best days when you make small, intangible accomplishments that will not be of any benefit to you at all. Days when all you have really accomplished was the act of reconnecting with friends and colleagues that have been important to you in some manner in the past. Today was a day of both of these: There were some serious accomplishments, but more importantly, it was a day of letting down defenses and encouraging open communication. It is good for the soul, and my soul feels replenished at this moment. I visited the Lincoln Memorial this afternoon, and it was a great time for me, good friends, great colleagues, wonderful sharing. It is not necessary to speak to share a special time, and for all the fun and friendship that was shared today, there was no verbal reinforcement of that sharing. We were just all together for that time and the times that followed, and we all shared and enjoyed the company of each other well into the evening.

I appreciate all the people in my life. Thank you all for what you bring to me, and what you share with me, and all the non-verbal communication we relish on a daily basis.

Deeds, Actions, Changes, SHARING, Kindnesses, Whirled Peas, Fun!

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

2016 - Day 132/234 - Wednesday...

This was taken at my penultimate meeting of the day; the NAR RPAC Awards Ceremony. Travis, Martha, Myra, me and David, NAR Region 10 folks. A great Ceremony with an abundance of NAR Volunteer Leadership at the Ceremony. Fun all around, and NOISY...

It is still Wednesday, but not for long. Today was a great day, although it started really early. My first meeting was at 8a.m. and when I got out of bed, my lap top was not cooperating. Not sure what all that was about, and I had 35 or 40 back-up plans in case of some fail, but I was able to get the laptop working again, but then it would not talk with the AV systems in the room I was presenting in, and we had to resort to back-up plan 37 and kind of do it the old-fashioned way but, bottom line, it all worked out fine and no harm was done and (I think) the presentation was well received!

Tomorrow I get to actually sleep in a little bit, my first meeting is not until 10a.m.

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

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

2016 - Day 131/235 - Tuesday...

R. The hardest working letter in the alphabet. I wasn't creative enough to come up with that, but it was a statement made in one of the meetings I attended today. Yep, the hardest working letter in the alphabet! There's a difference somehow!

Hill visits will start tomorrow, and I am looking forward to meeting with our Texas legislators. It will be an early start though, with a couple governance meetings before I head off to the Hill, with several thousand of my colleagues from across the country.

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

Monday, May 9, 2016

2016 - Day 130/236 - Monday...

My flight today included about 40 (maybe more) Viet Nam (I looked it up, it's two words) veterans heading to the nation's capital for a 36 hour whirl-wind trip. As we were taxiing out, there was a water salute of the plane. That, compared with the honor guard, the bagpipes and all the vets was a pretty impressive sight. Austin Council Woman Ora Houston was on the flight as well, and we had a chance to talk before we all boarded the plane.

I actually got everything on my 'To Done' list checked off before I headed off to the airport. This week will be spent in Washington, DC, going to meet our elected officials and reminding them of the myriad of issues that are important to REALTORS® and property owners. One of our Texas legislators said last week (and I am paraphrasing), you can ignore politics if you would like to, but the politicians will not be ignoring you. So, we all need to be paying attention, and make sure our elected officials know the concerns we have, some of them repeated to them year after year after year.

We will see how it all works out.

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

Sunday, May 8, 2016

2016 - Day 129/237 - Sunday...

Happy Mother's Day to all  you Mothers out there!

Earl the Squirrel is riddled with anxiety, angst, fear and trepidation. I am kind of surprised that this flock block actually lasted the week, they are usually gone pretty quickly because the squirrels zero in on them and run the chickens off.

There was some grass mowing (not manicuring) done today. It was mostly cloudy and that was really welcome. I am not sure that being out there in the actual 'environment' was the best thing I could have done if I truly am suffering from allergies; I assume it is allergies I am plagued with and not some honest to goodness plague of some other sort. I am self-medicating with Zyrtec and Mucinex, but I am off the Mucinex for the near term because the kind O have is the kind that makes you cough. Who knew there were two varieties of Mucinex? One makes you cough up pleg-ma (see Young Frankenstein) and the other is a suppressive. I will certainly go for the suppressant type the next time I need a fresh supply.

Send some kind thoughts to my friend Mikey in Florida; he had his gall bladder removed last Tuesday and is expecting to leave the horse-pistol tomorrow.

Deeds, Actions, Changes, PLEG-MA, Kindnesses, Whirled Peas, FUN!

Saturday, May 7, 2016

2016 - Day 128/238 - Saturday...

I have not seen Barney the Cat since last week, when I scared him/her with the riding lawnmower up by the road. Jody had a sighting on Thursday, so that is a good sign. The little grey cat (definitely a boy cat) on the other hand, is not terribly shy, but has not yet succumbed to being petted. He has come up within a foot of me when I am bearing moist cat food in the evenings. He even stuck his head around the corner of the open door one night and was totally surprised to see inside the house. He hasn't done that anymore since that time. BUT, he is pretty reliable to be present when it is time for feeding. I assume that Barney has taken over the dry cat food placed under the tractor shed every day, if it is not Barney, it is something eating it.

I am not happy with my latest state of affairs, which I assume (and hope) is that of an allergy infested person. I am full of a variety of poisons that cause me to cough, wheeze, sneeze, expel snot at volumes compared only to that of Old Faithful, but not nearly as regularly. I have two days to get over this, and I am determined to do it.

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

Friday, May 6, 2016

2016 - Day 127/239 - Friday...

Today is the final day of the Rogue's Gallery Week, and we are honored by one of my most special VIPs there is...VERA! She is kind of a photo bomber in her own way...she knows everything that is going on out in the coop and around the farm. She is up to date with all the fashion trends, and believes you should not spare the peck if you don't want to spoil the chick.

Last night, in addition to attending a sneak preview of the Captain America: Civil War movie, something rolled in and it have been sniffling and sneezing ever since. I am totally miserable right now, so I am going to cut this short, go curl up in the big blue chair, and blow my nose until my insides turn into outsides.

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

Thursday, May 5, 2016

2016 - Day 126/240 - Thursday...

The Rogues Gallery theme continues, bear with me, it will only be one more day. Never being one to shy away from a good fight (and sometimes a bad fight), I take great pride of always fighting on the side of 'right', unless it's a political fight, and then I am most frequently found on the left. But I digress... Tonight was the annual TREPAC Movie Night, and we got a sneak preview of Captain America: Civil War. It was a great special effects movie, and some of the downplayed jokes and visuals were really good. Lots of good friends, lots of TREPAC supporters and LOTS of fun! Thanks to everyone for all their hard work in making this year another successful one.

Oh yeah, it's Cinco de Mayo! Happy Cinco de Mayo everyone! Viva La Puebla!

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

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

2016 - Day 125/241 - Wednesday...

In my ongoing effort to maintain the 'rogues gallery' theme of posts this week, I give you...Candy! It is no secret that I am a little short sh*t, always have been, but lately I have also been applying the 'tip-toe' technique of photo posing. I have also learned that it only takes about 20 seconds for my calves (attached to my legs) to start cramping up, much to the delight of those posing along side me or within range of me shrieking like a girl that just lost the head of her favorite Barbie. Whatever... We all do what we have to do. And I think I will still be able to come up with at least two more 'rogue' photos. I know for sure I still have one.

Not a bad day for a Wednesday, small successes, smaller challenges, big hopes and accomplishments.

Have I mentioned lately that I am the luckiest man in the world?

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

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

2016 - Day 124/242 - Tuesday...

In the spirit of proving that I am not shy when it comes to having my photo taken with persons of interest, this one was also taken yesterday at the Mayor's Most Worthy Citizen Luncheon. This is Austin Police Chief Art Acevedo, and he was working the room much better than even I was. I need to follow him around like a puppy, he is good. Just so you all understand (let me be clear), I am a non-partisan photo opportunity taker. I have definitely had my photo taken with 'less-desirables', but yesterday was not one of those days. It was fun, and it was a great event. I expect I will be sharing a few more with you next week; stay tuned.

It also seems I have become very fond of the semi-colon. Interesting.

I kept my head down today, and got a lot of items crossed off my 'To-Done' list. It is a challenge to remain caught up.

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

Monday, May 2, 2016

2016 - Day 143/243 - Monday...

Poor, poor, poor Mayor Adler...his mug is gonna be plastered all over Facebook today, and I expect it already has been. The Mayor was honored today at the Austin Board of REALTORS® headquarters, as the ABoR Foundation Most Worthy Citizen. Somewhere along the line, this honor was suspended about nine or ten years ago, and I am very proud that this annual recognition of a member of our community has been revived. It takes a lot of work and planning, and our Foundation Board needs to be congratulated on a job well done. I am not the first to say this, but I believe that this was the best event to be held at our Association headquarters, and I look forward to this tradition continuing and going forward. Congratulations to all that had a part of this event!

Otherwise, it was a pretty darned good Monday. In to the office before heading off to the ceremony, got some phone calls completed on the way (had to go a little early, traffic congestion on MoPac), there was ample opportunity to see old friends before the event, then ample time for work back in the office. This is shaping up to be a damn good week if I do say so myself!

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

Sunday, May 1, 2016

2016 - Day 122/244 - Sunday...

Welcome to May everyone, enjoy!

As predicted, there was no rain today (so far) but it was cloudy, and that was a good thing. It gave me a chance to get the rest of the grass cut in the front, and to get some other chores done. There was a possibility I would need to go into Austin to show a couple houses, but that disintegrated. Overall, it was a good day, lots of grass cut (mowed not manicured) and some other catching-up accomplished. I am sort of impressed that this is going on the second week of staying caught up, not (particularly) over-scheduling myself, and taking a minute or two every now and then for myself! Various flora around the property are blooming, and there were more cactus blossoms today. The society garlic is about to burst forth, and I always like them. There are still plenty of iris blooming, the cannas are blooming, plenty of wild flowers still, and the roses are particularly nice again this year. Jody and I bought some 'dwarf' roses several years ago at HEB, and if they are truly a 'dwarf' variety, I would hate to see the full sized ones. These 'dwarfs' (or should it be 'dwarves'?), are about five feet tall and as big around as a prized sequoia in a national park. Whatever. This particular photo is of one of the society garlics, enjoy.

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