Sunday, December 31, 2017

2017 - Day 365/0 - Sunday...1936...

It is New Year's Eve, and it is COLD outside. The weather prognosticators say tomorrow will be the coldest New Year's Day since 1947. That was a long time ago. It will definitely be the coldest day we have experienced in the last several years. I do not even think it got below freezing ONCE last year, and not very often for the previous several years. Oh well, all good things have to come to an end.

I just finished the last piece of pie I will have for the foreseeable future. Yep, you're right, I am going to do that. I can be pretty stubborn about things, and I think I will last at least a couple weeks before I totally cave. But two weeks is a pretty good start.

I think every thing is taken care of around the house to protect those things that can be protected from the cold weather. If I missed anything, I expect I will find out about it over the next couple of days.

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

Saturday, December 30, 2017

2017 - Day 364/1 - Saturday...

One more day to go and this year will be over. Sometimes I felt as if it would never end and other times I felt like the days were flying by. I cannot say that I will be sorry to see it go. Other than being healthy and happy, I cannot think of too many exceptionally great things that happened this year, and I/we are certainly hoping for better things! I did get the house and animals and plants prepared (as prepared as we can) for the low temperatures we are expecting beginning on Monday and continuing through most of the first week of the new year. Chicken coop cleaned, plants watered (before putting them back into the sheds and garage), hay taken to the cattle (they really didn't need hay, but hay we've got) and hose bibs covered (very neatly and well done if I do say so myself). So, we are as ready as we can be. There are a few things I still need to finish tomorrow, but most everything is done, and I hope I can comfortably rest back on my laurels.

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

Friday, December 29, 2017

2017 - Day 363/2 - Friday...

I left the house early this morning, I had an 8 o'clock appointment to have the windows tinted in my car. They said it should be ready by 2 p.m., 3 p.m. at the latest. Tosalyn picked me at at the tint place on her way in, and I don't think that was too much out of her way (hope not). They called at 3:15 this afternoon and said the car was not ready yet, they had a challenge with the windshield tint. I told them we were closing the office and my ride (see above) would drop me off and I would wait in the lobby. I got there before 4 o'clock and sat with a room full of other people. I watched them put tint on EVERY window in the car AFTER I got there this afternoon. I did not leave that place until 10 minutes after 7 this evening. I remained calm (trying) and explained to the guy that I believed they had not even started working on my car until mere moments before I had arrived. He denied it, no voices were raised, but I was not happy. I know sh*t happens, but just say so. I would have been much less annoyed, and I would not have had one of those voices that really means 'get out of the way, his brain is about to explode'.

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

Thursday, December 28, 2017

2017 - Day 362/3 - Thursday...

This is the girl that is brooding on the Guinness Book of World Records number of eggs. At last count (about a week ago) she was sitting on 17 eggs. I have no reason to believe that all those eggs were laid by her, but I do have plenty of reason to believe that the boy chicken is a frisky one. He is certainly sewing his seed, but whether he is performing as intended is another story. As I said in an earlier post, the first hatch should be around the 31st of this month, the last day of this year. According to my Internet research (and it has to be right), they can hatch a day or two before or a day or two after, but somewhere in that neighborhood. In the meantime, I am getting the nursery ready for the new arrivals. Of course, this weekend will be the coldest weather in the past two or three years, but I think everything will be under control.

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

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

2017 - Day 361/4 -Wednesday...

I want to make it perfectly clear at the very beginning of this journal entry; the photo accompanying this entry was not my first choice of photos. In the interest of offending the fewest subscribers to this daily log on nothing substantially important, I have chosen to take the path more boring, and to simply project the facts, minus any editorial comment. I will also remind the legion of readers and followers that, as a matter of fact, I really do not care what the temperature is (let alone the wind-chill) of whatever berg it is you inhabit, mainly due to the reasonable fact that I AM NOT THERE! I AM HERE, and it is colder than a fart in a dead eskimo here on the edge of nowhere. All those of Eskimo heritage, please form a line to the right and my attorney will be along (as soon as hell freezes over) with the forms to complete and mail in about the class-action suit you may be anticipating.

Otherwise, just shut up, curl yourself up in a tight little fetal ball, and be prepared to be confronted with volumes of my bitching about the weather for the next six or seven days.


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

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

2017 - Day 360/5 - Tuesday...

We think it is Tuesday, but we are not sure. It could be Sunday (it feels like Sunday), but again, we are not sure. Maybe it is Monday. The trash collectors come on Monday and they came today, so maybe it is Monday. It is hard to tell. I am going to work tomorrow, and it feels like tomorrow might be Monday (since I am going to work after being off over the weekend), but I still kind of think that today is Tuesday. The television schedules are totally screwed up, so that is no help at all. It was grey and kind of raining all day today, so that usually happens on the weekends, so maybe today is Saturday. We are not sure. We do know that we have a crazy chicken out in the coop. On December 10th (that was a Sunday), we decided not to collect the eggs she was sitting on any longer. She is now sitting on 17 eggs (at last count). The other day, I decided that 17 eggs were enough for one chicken to sit on, so I marked all the eggs with a black marker, and decided I would collect all eggs laid after that time. I went out the next day and discovered that she (or maybe they, are chickens polygamous?) had turned many of the eggs, so it actually seems like we may be proud papas of some chicks sometime in the future. Or maybe not. The expected date of the first chicks is not before December 31st, but I will begin prepping for chicks this week. The 31st is a week from last Sunday. Or maybe a week from today. I have no idea what day it is.

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

Monday, December 25, 2017

2017 - Day 359/6 - Monday...

Merry Christmas everyone! It was a wonderful day, culminating with dinner with our friends Lynda and Michael, Robert and Kim. It was a lovely dinner and there was a good bit of lively conversation. Great dinner, great desserts, great conversation, great friends. And great sweaters, too!

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

Sunday, December 24, 2017

2017 - Day 358/7 - Sunday...

It's not really Sunday, it's Christmas Eve!In case I forget to tell you tomorrow, Merry Christmas! I did get into Austin this morning to run a few errands, and then when I got home, Jody and I went to finish delivery pies to friends. Once we got home, I had some cereal, then went down for a nap. After dinner, we went into Georgetown to look at the lights, and got out of the car long enough to take this photo in front of some of the lighted trees. Very nice. Georgetown is a nice place, and they do a really good job during the Holidays.

Got to get to be early, I don't want Santa to miss our house!

Deeds. Actions, Changes, LIGHTS, Kindnesses, Whirled Peas, FUN!

Saturday, December 23, 2017

2017 - Day 357/8 - Saturday...

There are like a million calories on the kitchen island at the house. And that is not counting the apple pie that is not included in the photo. All the neighbors have been coming by and sharing their abundances with us, and we have been doing the same. So far, the chocolate covered peanuts are my favorites, but that is because that is the only thing I have tried so far, except of course for the pie that you cannot see.

Today was a Sunday kind of a Saturday. I loafed around a good part of the day, but I did clean the chicken coop and I took two bales of hay out to the cattle. Those are things I usually do on Sunday, but I got them checked off today. I am ahead of schedule. And I did get the lights up by the road working again, so that will be that until the next rain.

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

Friday, December 22, 2017

2017 - Day 356/9 - Friday...

Tradition dictates that the lights from where Aunt Mary's house used to be, up to the road along the old wire fence be electrified on Thanksgiving day and remain lighted until New Year's Day. This year, that has been more troublesome than other years. We have (and continue to have) had a goodly amount of rain for the last month of the year, about 4.25" so far. Eight days of measurable rainfall, and that is nothing to complain about, although for the mathematicians in the crowd, that is over 36% of the month has been rainy, with a couple more trace days and unfathomable grey and cloudy days. Okay, before I get too far off on this tangent, let me remind you that the subject is Christmas lights on the fence, and tradition. Now, the challenge is, the rainy conditions cause the GFCI breakers to shut off the lights, and that means that sat least 40% of the month has had no illumination whatsoever.


Point made.

Deeds, actions, Changes, LIGHTS, Kindnesses, Whirled Peas, FUN!

Thursday, December 21, 2017

2017 - Day 355/10 - Thursday...

It wasn't this bad, and it certainly could have been worse, but we did have another leak today. As I reported (I think) yesterday, there was a small leak out in one of the pasture troughs that caused us to lose about 200 gallons of water. Today, I checked the meters, and the water meter was going crazy. I found the leak (back in the furthest pasture) and could not find anyone to fix it. Of course, it was about 4:30 when I checked the meter, and it took me about a half hour to find the leak, and then a while to call around (with no luck) to find an after hours kind of a plumber. I called our neighbor (the one we like) to see if he knew a plumber, and he came over and figured out what we needed, we turned off the main water line, went to Tractor Supply in Jarrell (where they are woefully under-stocked with pac fittings) and got supplies to cap off the leak. That is good enough for me, since we were not using that water line back there anyway. Since we got rid of most of the cattle and we had some good rains recently, the cattle are not dependent on that far trough. A total repair can wait until a more opportune time. Total water loss for the day: 5,600 gallons (give or take).

And they laugh at me for checking the meters every day.

Bless our neighbors!

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

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

2017 - Day 354/11 - Wednesday...

Okay, today was a day of small accomplishments, but they were accomplishments none the less. It was kind of all about getting errands run and hiding stuff. Or maybe it was hiding errands and running stuff, I am not sure. Anyway, it started out very nicely as you can see in this photo. A beautiful sunrise, and it was sunny for most of the day. It hit about the 70 degree mark this afternoon, and tomorrow is supposed to be pretty much the same. Then, over the weekend it is supposed to below freezing, in the upper 20s for low temps, and in the 40s during the day. I need to figure out what I need to do to protect the plants in the front barn. I have a plan in my head, all I have to do is execute.

I discovered a water leak this afternoon...that is the whole purpose of reading the meters every day. Of course, there is the anal-retentive parts and the COD parts, but basically it is so I can know about water leaks before we waste thousands of gallons of water. We used a couple hundred gallons of water today, and that is WAY more than we typically use, so I went back and sure enough, there was a leak in the supply line to the trough. No need to panic though, the recent rains have put water in the tanks, and there is plenty of water for the cattle until I can get the line fixed. Problem solved.

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

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

2017 - Day 353/12 - Tuesday...

Rain. Grey Cloudy Skies. This is BS, but I will get over it. Since the weekend, we are pretty close to three inches of rain. I really don't feel like adding up the totals right now, but the lawn lake (between the house and the pasture) is back. I think the rain today (almost an inch) is putting water in the tanks, and that is REALLY a good thing. But it is the clouds and the grey skies that make me anxious. People honking their horns at other people here is different than people honking their horns in Manhattan. In Manhattan, they don't know any better, and it is just part of the sounds of the city. In central Texas, people honk their horns at other people because they are angry or frustrated, but mostly angry. And chances are, they are packing! My advice is, be kind, turn the there cheek, and pray for sunshine.

The sun'll come out...tomorrow.

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

Monday, December 18, 2017

2017 - Day 352/13 - Monday...

Just another grey, cloudy, foggy, dribbly day in central Texas. No real precipitation overnight, and no real precipitation today (we have 0.02" of rain in the gauge), but today has been like living in a cloud forest. Kind of cool, unless you want to get somewhere, and then you find out that traffic has come to a dead-stop. Of course, it could be because of the Horseback Santa Claus out in front of City Hall this afternoon, waving to the drivers going down Cesar Chavez. Nothing out of the ordinary, nothing to see here, move along now, thanks you very much.

I have an 8 o'clock appointment in the morning, which means I will need to be on the road a little bit earlier than normal. It will all be okay, since most of the population of the city seems to be stuck in Atlanta.


Deeds, Actions, Changes, HORSEY SANTA, Kindnesses, Whirled Peas, FUN!

Sunday, December 17, 2017

2017 - Day 351/14 - Sunday...

I did even less today than I did yesterday. Swept leaves from around the pool deck, cleaned out the gutters by the garage, cleaned the chicken coop, took out the trash and worked three or four naps in between all that stuff. Jody did take me and the girl dogs for a ride. This is a picture of the Callie girl doing her meerkat imitation during the ride.

We got 1.62" of rain overnight, and that was truly surprising. We were expecting (maybe) a half-inch, but it rained pretty steadily and we are happy for that. It is supposed to rain again (maybe) Monday night and into Tuesday, we shall see. Then over the weekend it is supposed to get down to freezing again. Winter in central Texas.

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

Saturday, December 16, 2017

2017 - Day 350/15 - Saturday...

I accomplished NOTHING today. I did take a couple naps, and Jody and I went in to Austin to run some errands late morning, early afternoon. I did rig up a spotlight to light up one corner of the dog yard that will switch on when we go out the back door. And we had lunch at Panera Bread this afternoon, tomato soup and grilled cheese sammiches. Yummy. It is cold, it has been grey all day except when it has been raining, and when it has been raining it was probably still grey. We have already had over an inch of rain, and I think the gutters over the garage are clogged up with leaves. That will give me something to do tomorrow.

CHICK UPDATE: The broody girl (Pancake) is now (as of the last check yesterday) sitting on three eggs. It will be interesting to see if we get any chicks out of this. That would be kind of fun. The Boy Chicken (haven't named him yet) is a frisky one that is for sure. Here is a photo of him, he is a pretty dude and large. Not sure how he compares with other Boy Chickens, but he is ours, so of course we believe him to be superior in every way!

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

Friday, December 15, 2017

2017 - Day 349/16 - Friday...

As was reported in this journal last evening, Thursday was a day of appointments and this and that. Not too much this, but a lot of that. It kind of continued today, since we both had to go have our blood drawn for the semi-annual exams. I got there about 7:30 and was out of there in less than ten minutes. Always on the look-out for journal photos, I told the blood-sucker that I needed to have a photo of the needle in my arm. She explained to me that photos were not allowed in the building. Never mind that I have taken photos there in the past and posted them to this journal, she would have none of it. Since she was soon to have a needle in one of my better veins, I chose not to argue with her, and compromised by taking a photo of the sign that says photos are not allowed.


Deeds, Actions, Changes, BLOOD SUCKER, Kindnesses, Whirled Peas, FUN!

Thursday, December 14, 2017

2017 - Day 348/17 - Thursday...

This was a day for appointments, pokes and proddings and errands, along with a little bit of power real estate. The good news is, it is all done. We left the house this morning with dogs in tow, and got to the condo in pretty good time. As soon as we got into the condo, one of the girls took a HUGE dump, maybe because they had their breakfast too soon before we left, maybe because one of them was sick from the ride, who knows. BUT, in keeping with their mysterious ways, neither one of us saw which one of the girls did it, so we just have no idea. Glad they held it until we got OUT of the car, and glad it was easy to clean up. Everything has been fine since then, no more accidents since tis morning.

This Callie girl is very fond of laying on the floor in front of the wood stove. She is no idiot. Even though it is not THAT cold (haha) outside, we have had the stove going for about the last three weeks. We let it burn out over the weekend so I can clean it out, but we keep it going otherwise. It keeps things toasty.

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

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

2017 - Day 347/18 - Wednesday...

If anyone tries to tell you that I am a selfie expert, don't believe them. Carrie and I made our annual pilgrimage to the Capitol this afternoon. It is truly a beautiful building, and if you are EVER in the neighborhood, you should make time to stop by. When I first moved to Austin (32 years ago) you could go into the Capitol 24/7. And you could park on the grounds. I know for sure you cannot park on the grounds anymore, and I am not sure what hours they are open, but make it a priority to visit if you get the chance. I also know for sure that you did not have to go through security to get into the building in 1985. Today, I get special treatment with my concealed handgun license, so there is no waiting in line for me. Worth t!

Today was a good day, a webinar in the morning, Capitol visit mid day, errands and a little bit of shopping in the afternoon, and I was home and in the big blue chair before the news came on.


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

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

2017 - Day 346/19 - Tuesday...

A lot could be said about today, but I will keep it short and sweet. Today is Mikey's birthday, so I hope you will all wish him a Happy Birthday. AND, this evening was the company Christmas Party. This year we had it at the Dart Bowl. Great greasy Mexican food for dinner, then bowling more that even I thought I could. Tomorrow I will have excuses for why I am creaky and sore, but for now, it was a fun night, and it is too bad that most of you could not be there. A picture is worth a thousand words, and I think this picture might be worth more than that!

I got home late and there is a threat of a light freeze over night, so I brought the plants back in, no sense in taking any unnecessary chances. I have it down pretty well that, less than 15 minutes and all the plants are protected. I will probably set them back out in a couple days, and I think this is going to be the new norm for the next couple of months.

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

Monday, December 11, 2017

2017 - Day 345/20 - Monday...

Chick Watch: No need to call HR, I am talking about a different kind of chick. Just one egg still under the Pancake, and I probably should have left the other eggs under her on Saturday. I did not have the bright idea of seeing if we could get some eggs to hatch until Sunday, so we shall see what happens.

It was a lovely day in central Texas, as you can tell by this sunrise photo. The weather over the weekend was nice, warming up a little bit each day. Today's high was somewhere in the mid-70s, and we are expecting a bit of a cold front overnight, but nothing extreme. We are all kind of winding down to the Holidays, so all is calm (don't get me off on a tangent), and chestnuts are roasting on an open fire. It looks like we will be expecting a relatively silent night, except for the front, and I am not thinking anyone will be complaining to their Baby it's cold outside. The cold front will be coming on a midnight clear, which will be good news for the expected meteor shower Wednesday. Luckily, we will both be home for Christmas, and since we are done with our decorating, it's beginning to look a lot like Christmas.


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

Sunday, December 10, 2017

2017 - Day 344/21 - Sunday...

This is the Lexie girl dog, lovingly referred to (by me) as the piglet. She is a cute girl, and she pretty much tries to attach herself at the hip to Jody. Wherever Jody is, the piglet is not far away. On occasion (and this was one of them) she will abandon Jody for a few minutes and come and sit in the chair with me. But not for long. The piglet adopted Jody and the Callie girl pretty much adopted me. Life is good.

I got all (okay all but two) of the chores done before 11 this morning, so Jody and I headed off to Round Rock for a little bit of shopping. For us BOTH to be in a department store together is kind of a surreal thing. I go into department stores (not including Target) on kind of an annual basis. I would say it has been probably at least three years since Jody has been inside one. Anyway, we shopped two different stores and then it was time to head home. Once home, we had a bowl of soup, then we went down for naps, and then I finished the last two chores for the day.

Since we now have a rooster in the mix (and a pretty frisky one at that), we are going to leave the eggs in one of the nesting boxes (Pancake is brooding in one particular box) and see if they hatch. That decision was just made today, and there is currently one egg in the box, so if this experiment works, we may have some New Years chicks. We shall see.

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

Saturday, December 9, 2017

2017 - Day 343/22 - Saturday...

This day has been devoted almost entirely to napping. And this girl dog (Callie) has been right there with me for most of the day. By about 7:30 this morning I went down for my first nap. Then Jody and I took the girls for a ride, and by about 9:30 I was back down for nap number two. That lasted for a couple hours, and I am not really sure what I did between then and the next nap. I did become upright about 2 o'clock, when Jody and I went into Georgetown for lunch. When we returned from lunch, I went down again for another nap. Then it was time for the news, and pretty soon from now, I will check out for the day and go to bed. We will see how that turns out. But, as I said, this girl dog was napping with me most of the day.

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

Friday, December 8, 2017

2017 - Day 342/23 - Friday...

Well, the big chill has come and gone, and now we are in the middle of the grand thaw. The schools in Austin were closed today because there was a 'threat' of bad weather. There were a few spots with icy road conditions, but I left late to get to the office and I got there in less than ah hour. That very rarely happens. It was a good day, nothing much was going on, and I got lots of work done with very few distractions. Overall, nothing terrible to report, and I think I will get a couple extra hours sleep over the weekend. No threats of sub-freezing temps in the seven-day forecast, and I don't think there is any inclement weather in the extended forecast, either. The cannas tool a pretty good beating, though. They are done for the season, but they will be back in the spring.

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

Thursday, December 7, 2017

2017 - Day 341/24 - Thursday...

Yes Ma'am. Yes Ma'am. Yes Ma'am, that's right. Yes Ma'am. Yes, there was a record high temperature recorded in Austin on Monday. Yes Ma'am. Yes. Yes Ma'am, yes, that was three days ago. Yes Ma'am. Three days ago there was a record high temperature recorded in Austin. Yes Ma'am. Yes, today it is snowing. No Ma'am. No, I can neither confirm nor deny that Hell has frozen over. No Ma'am. No, I can neither confirm nor deny that this is a result of global warming. No Ma'am. Yes Ma'am. Yes Ma'am, I expect the sun will come up. Tomorrow. Betcher bottom dollar that tomorrow, there'll be sun. Yes Ma'am. No Ma'am, that's quite alright. Any time. Yes Ma'am.

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

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

2017 - Day 340/25 - Wednesday...

Yes, it is chilly (it's f'ing freezing!), yes it is windy (it's like a f'ing monsoon out there) and yes it is raining (crap, we will never see the sun EVER again!). The high temperature today was most likely at midnight, and it kind of went downhill from there. The current temperature here on the edge of nowhere is 43, and we are awaiting the arrival of the zombies and other freaks of nature just any minute. So far, since my last journal entry, we have received 1.14" of rain, and it is still kind of dribbly outside. I am not particularly complaining about the rain (I moved the plants in yesterday), but the combination of all the meteorological conditions is kind of alarming for those of us who do not have thickened blood. I do, however, expect we will all survive this phenomenon and most of us will make it to see another day.

Oh, and don't get me started about drivers who cannot drive in the rain. They can't drive in the most drivable conditions, either, the just have no aptitude for driving here.

So, other than complaining about the weather, what's new with you? This afternoon I was invited to the Austin Board of REALTORS® for the unveiling of the Presidents Wall, a commemoration of the past leadership at our association, going back to the founders in 1941. A very nice remembrance, and I am happy that I was included, and happy that I was able to contribute something.

Deeds, Actions, Changes, PAST PRESIDENTS, Kindnesses, Whirled Peas, FUN!

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

2017 - Day 339/26 - Tuesday...

You are correct; we did not break any high temperature records today. We did not receive any measurable precipitation today. We did not break any records for wind velocity today. We did not set any records for recorded low temperatures today. We did, however, break a couple Guiness Records for the number of idiots walking around the city in winter coats, knitted hats and scarves. It was 59 degrees in Austin this afternoon, and people on the streets finally had a chance to wear their sweaters and chubby coats, so you make hay while the sun is shining. I did take the opportunity this afternoon to bring the plants out of the elements. Not because I fear freezing temps overnight, but because there is a chance we will get near the 32 degree mark later in the week and there is a possibility of rain along with the cold climes. In having taking the plants out of the possibility of negative climactic responses, I have pretty much guaranteed that there will be NO RAIN and NO FREEZE. All I have to do is act like a Boy Scout, and nothing that I have prepared for will occur.


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

Monday, December 4, 2017

2017 - Day 338/27 - Monday...

We had an office lunch to celebrate my birthday (which was yesterday) today. We sat on the patio. The high temperature today was 85 degrees. It broke the former record (84 degrees recorded in 1954) both in the city and at the airport. We are expecting a 'cold' (haha) front to arrive tomorrow morning, and the high temperature is expected to be somewhere in the high 50s. And maybe a little bit of rain. And Wednesday and/or Thursday the low temperatures are expected to be in the 30s. I will be bringing the plants inside the garage or the front barn to protect them from freezing (haha) low temperatures, and then bring them back out. I think the plumeria will stay in the front barn for the rest of the season, I think it needs to go dormant. Mikey?

Otherwise, a pretty nice day. It will be pleasant for some cooler temperatures, but I give it three days (max) before we are complaining about the cold weather. Highs in the 60s/70s would be ideal, with lows in the 50s/60s. I really don't think that is too much to ask, and if you know someone for me to ask, let me know.

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

Sunday, December 3, 2017

2017 - Day 337/28 - Sunday...

Even though it is my birthday (and thanks for all the greetings and phone calls), I am feeling a little bit the way I think these roses look; a little bit ragged. Last night was the ABoR Installation for the 2018 incoming Board of Directors and my friend Steve was Installed as the Incoming Board President. It was a really fun event, and (as expected) I had too much to drink. That was the reasoning  for spending the night in a hotel close to the event, and it all worked out really well. I got up this morning and left the hotel about 6:30 to head home. I have needed to take a nap most of the day, and in fact I have taken a couple naps, but I think I will call it an early night.

The only problem now is, there is a Carol Burnett special on tonight, and I am conflicted. I expect there will be some good laughs, so I am going to delay bed time till after the program.

Deeds, Actions, Changes, RAGGED ROSES, Kindnesses, Whirled Peas, FUN!

2017 - Day 336/29 - Saturday...

Saturday is morphing into Sunday. It is after midnight, so technically today is tomorrow. Generally, journal entries like this are really interesting, so I would pay attention if I were you. I am staying in Austin yesterday (since today is technically tomorrow), and I attended the ABoR Installation of my good friend Steve Crorey as the 2018 President of the Austin Board of REALTORS®. It was a really wonderful event, well attended, and Steve's theme of CommUNITY is really great. Steve is the most giving person I know, and I know that his year as President will be one of giving and inclusion, while stressing involvement and volunteer service. Congratulations to Steve, and I know you will be a great Volunteer Servant at the Austin Board of REALTORS®. Enough of that, it was a great and fun evening, and this is a photo of Candy, Erica (Vice President of the Pennsylvania Association of REALTORS®) and me at the Installation.

There was a lot of other stuff happening yesterday, but it is early tomorrow, and I need to get this done.

Deeds, Actions, Changes, SKIPPY DIGGLER, Kindnesses, Whirled Peas, FUN!

Friday, December 1, 2017

2017 - Day 335/30 - Friday...

Welcome to December. It was almost 80 degrees in Austin this afternoon, and a STRONG cold front is going to arrive on Tuesday, and our high temperatures will drop into the high 60s. Winter in Central Texas! I can't wait. But I digress. As noted above, it is Friday, and that means the start of the weekend, and as usual, this will be a very full weekend. In the morning, I expect to rise and make coffee, read the paper and make me and Jody a pile of eggs. The new girls are all beginning to lay now, and we are getting anywhere from 3 to five eggs a day. Once they all start laying, we may get 8 or 9 eggs a day, and I am threatening to get another half-dozen chicks in the spring. We shall see. Then there will be some watering to be done, and then I have to go into Austin to take care of some business. This photo just goes to prove that beauty is all around you, you just have to pay attention. I took this photo on the Interstate this morning, on my way into Austin.

We received 0.53" of rain in November, which is about four times more rain than they received in Austin.


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

Thursday, November 30, 2017

2017 - Day 334/31 - Thursday...

I cannot believe this is the LAST day of November, but it is. Here is something else, and this is no secret to anyone that has ever been in one of my classes, or anyone that I have ever been IN a class with. I have acute testing anxiety. I think too hard about tests, and often do not really read the question, and frequently go with my second guess rather than my first response, when I know my initial instincts are usually correct. I was in two classes today, and I helped with writing the classes AND with writing the test questions, and I was totally freaked out when it came time for taking the two tests on the subject content. After we reviewed the tests, I am totally confident that I did not fail the tests, and that I will (once again) go forward, but it is interesting to me that I have this anxiety, on top of all my other anxieties. It makes me wonder about my childhood (which I generally consider a good one), but something had to have happened back then that caused me to have all these neuroses. What in the hell did someone say or do to me that caused this. Did a third grade teacher yell at me for something that is lodged way back in the far recesses of my little pea-brain that flares up just at the thought of multiple choice answers? I dunno, but I wish I could get over it. I have plenty of other anxieties that command a good deal of my time, and I just don't need this aggravation.

And this is a photo of me and Candy in the class, being excellent, studious and obedient attendees. Sat there the whole time and paid attention, did not cause any crap.

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

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

2017 - Day 333/32 - Wednesday...

I was honored to participate in an ABoR Foundation Forum this morning, the topic being 'When Disaster Strikes'. As part of the panel, my area of concern was about landlord/tenant relations after a disaster occurs. In Texas, we have disasters on occasion, and they seem to be happening with more frequency lately; tornadoes, wild fires, and hurricanes to name a few recent challenges. The panel also consisted of mortgage representatives, attorneys, title insurers, insurance agents and property appraisers. Our moderator was a real estate broker from Houston, and she was able to provide first hand information about before, during and after a disaster happens that affects housing. All across the United States this year, we have experienced hurricanes, tornadoes and devastating wild fires. We need to know how to react to these instances, and what we can do to prepare and what we need to do if we are affected.

It was a great Forum, and I think it kept the attention of the attendees. the room was full, and I was happy to serve my association in some small part.

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

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

2017 - Day 332/33 - Tuesday...

Today was the first day of the ABoR/Habitat for Humanity Holiday Blitz Build. When we started arriving at the site early this morning, there was nothing there but a slab. There were about 30 REALTOR® volunteers for the first day, along with the folks from Habitat and AmeriCorps (I think), to tell us non-mechanically or engineeringly minded individuals which end of the hammer to pick up. And by the end of the day, we had the interior and exterior walls up (they were prefabbed off-site) and the roof trusses up and it was actually looking like a house. Our little company closed for the day so we could participate, and it was really a good time. This is (we think but are not sure) the fifth Blitz Build for the Austin Board of REALTORS®, and we have participated in each of them. It is a good thing to do, and you get to meet a lot of like-minded colleague volunteers. Thanks to everyone for participating. There are lots more photos on Facebook...

And now, I am going to the big blue chair, thank you very much.

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

Monday, November 27, 2017

2017 - Day 331/34 - Monday...

Cyber Monday. Honestly, I believe I have received about 75 e-mails from Amazon (aren't they all from Amazon?) telling me about the one time offers that I am passing by. I admit, I did buy ONE THING on-line today, and I did get a 20% discount, but I just lucked out on that one. It is something I have been pondering for a long time, and it just happened to be the Monday after Thanksgiving, so I guess I have bought in to the whole thing. Honestly, I do not have any aversions to on-line shopping, it is just that, if Jody or I need something, we generally go somewhere and buy it. We need it, we buy it. We don't (generally) get into the frenzied shopping panic. Okay, let me clarify that; JODY does not get into the frenzied shopping panic. I have been known to be swayed by Madison Avenue, but the older I get, the less swayable I have become, and I am proud of that.

Taste is all in the eye (or eyes) of the beholders. This is the last of the pie from Thanksgiving, and I expected that it would be history after tonight, but we are taking a pass on the pie. Maybe tomorrow. But I have to tell you, it was (and remains) one damn good pie.

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

Sunday, November 26, 2017

2017 - Day 330/35 - Sunday...

Even though I kept adding things to the To Done list, I got everything crossed off EXCEPT killing wasps and trying on my tuxedo for the coming weekend. I think the tux will still fit, even though I have gained a good bit of weight. What's the worst that can happen? Four or five hours of total discomfort? I think the tux has an expand waist band, so that will probably be okay. I think the tux is in town, so I will get to that tomorrow. The wasps, on the other hand, need to be addressed pretty quickly. If the weather would be more like normal it would not be such an issue, but we are expecting  warmer than normal temperatures for the next couple weeks at least.

In addition to everything else, I had to work on the water trough float for the cattle. even though the float is a pretty straight forward device, the way it is connected is another story. I expected I would need to make some early American engineering triumphs, but as it turned out, the new float was able to be connected just like the old float was, and there are no leaks, according to the water meter. Good job myself!

I did get all the Christmas lights finished, and even though it is not apparent from photos, I think they are pretty cool up by the front gate. That is about all the decorating we do here, although we used to go all out with the decorations. We are getting old and even more set in our ways. There are a couple things I may break out and set up in the house, we shall see. As it is, our tradition (okay, my tradition) is to turn the lights on on Thanksgiving day and leave them on until January 1st.

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

Saturday, November 25, 2017

2017 - Day 329/36 - Saturday...

I got a couple more things half-way crossed off my To Done list today, but one of the issues is, I keep adding things to the list. Or I get distracted (SQUIRREL) and go off and do something else when I was intending to finish something I started and then...what did I come up here into the front barn for? Oh well, things are progressing nicely. I still have to clean the chicken coop and feed the cattle. Neither one of those things is particularly time consuming, but there are lots of pieces and parts to both of them. For one thing, I have to outsmart chickens AND cattle when I am doing those two things. Chickens always want to be part of whatever it is I am doing (refer back to the game we like to play, Cricket, Chicken, Lawn Tractor) and they are just damn nosey. They always have to be in the middle of everything. Cattle on the other hand, and just wanting to get to the hay that I am putting out, so I have to try and time things so I am putting hay in one pasture while they are in another pasture, and by the time they get to the pasture where the hay is, I am taking hay to the pasture they just vacated. Generally, I am smarter than a fifth grade chicken and a fourth grade cow. So far.

I keep finding more and more blooms around, and I keep planting more and more plants and bulbs. If all goes according to plan, it should be pretty nice come spring and all the seasons for the next several years. Grey Gardens has nothing on JBAcres!

Deeds, Actions, Changes, IRIS, Kindness, Whirled Peas, FUN!

Friday, November 24, 2017

2017 - Day 328/37 - Friday...

Repeat after me; today is Friday, today is Friday, today is Friday. And as a rule, I like Friday's. Friday's are generally the start of the weekend, and this Friday was extra special because it was the middle of a nice, long weekend. I actually got seven and two-halves of the items on my To Done list crossed off. I got part of the bulbs planted and part of the watering done. I still need to finish those two items, cut grass, clean the chicken coop and take hay to the cattle. And I have two days to get those things accomplished. I don't think I will get everything done tomorrow, but I might. But I think the prudent thing to do is let it all stretch out over the next two days. I wouldn't want to pull a muscle or anything like that.

The flora still makes me wonder. We have not had a freeze yet, and the Iris and other blooming plants are doing their best NOT to pay attention to the calendar. These little Iris started blooming the other day, and they are just lovely. I raised the canopy on one of the trees in the front yard, trimmed back a lot of dead pieces of an antique rose bush, and (as I said in the above paragraph), planted some bulbs. I have another days worth of planting in store, and after that, I will be done with bulbs for this year. Unless I happen to stop at Home Depot and spot something I think I cannot live without.

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

Thursday, November 23, 2017

2017 - Day 327/38 - Thanksgiving Day...

It was a beautiful day on the edge of nowhere, here in central Texas. It did not get as cold overnight as had been predicted, and all the plants have been transferred back outside. Tomorrow will be a watering day and a plants some more bulbs day. I have a long list of things to get accomplished over this long Holiday weekend, and it seems I was busy all day (except for the napping parts), and I only got one thing on my list completed. There is still time, and I just don't want to risk burn-out.

We had a lovely dinner, just the two of us, with all the Thanksgiving foods you would expect. We ate about 2:30 and then for dinner, we had apple pie. While sitting out in the yard with the dogs earlier this afternoon, I noticed the blooms on one of the roses that was really very pretty, and that is the photo for this days journal entry. I did get most of the lights replaced on the fence up by the road, I just have one more string to install and that will be it. It is not like me to quit with one more string of lights to put up, but I did, so there.

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

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

2017 - Day 326/39 - Wednesday...

This is serious stuff. I am not sure of the tone of this journal entry. I think it was thought out to be kind of humorous (we all make fun of the things we are not really comfortable with), but the more I thought about it during the day, the more serious the topic became. With all the emphasis on the inappropriate actions of political figures and celebrities in the new lately, I am not sure what kind of stand I am supposed to take. Nothing in the journal entry is to be construed as making light of the circumstances many women in the world have faced historically. Nothing. But it does give me pause as to whether or not this new found consciousness will bring about a social evolution, and how quickly might we all conform to another 'new normal'. This morning, Margaret and her daughter Elizabeth (fka Lizard Breath) came by the office, and it was the first time we had all been together in about a year. Hugs all around...but I am not sure that hugging continues to be socially acceptable. What if something slips, what if I get too close, what if... Again, nothing in this journal post is in any way intended to diminish what hundreds of thousands of women have experienced, but I am just wanting to make sure I know all the new rules.

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

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

2017 - Day 325/40 - Tuesday...

Interestingly, we have lived here on the edge of nowhere for over nine years (maybe ten?), and we are really never surprised at what we see here and there. We are not surprised, I don't think anyone is surprised, whatever we see is just accepted. I am pretty sure no one expected us to install wind turbines out here shortly after we moved in, and no one really cared. They were an oddity, but no one cared. The turbines are sometimes sought out to be looked at and pointed at. We also have longhorn cattle, and I think that is thought of as an extravagance out here. There is really no use for longhorns. They can be taken to the auction barn, but they are not as common as the beef cattle that are more common out here. So, it is not surprising (really) to see the occasional emu or llama, or a sow the size of an old Studebaker. I just happened to have a good photo op this morning of the llama, and there you have it. We will sometimes go months without seeing the llama. Even longer between sightings of the emu. The Studebaker sow has not been seen for a while, but we know it is still there.

Deeds, Actions, Changes, LLAMAS, Kindnesses, Whirled Pe
as, FUN!

Monday, November 20, 2017

2017 - Day 324/41 - Monday...

I think a lot of people have already started their Thanksgiving Holiday, and that is perfectly okay with me. There was traffic (of course there was) this morning, but I do not really recall stopping in the expressway. Maybe, but it was not memorable, and there were no wrecks that I noticed. I got into the office and did some power-real-estate and cleared a few things off my desk. I have had a couple (maybe three) brief cases over the years, but I keep going back to a nicely hand tooled leather one that I bought about 15 or more years ago. It is actually a woman's case, but no one mentioned that to me when I bought it. One of the handles was coming un-sewn and I had used some Scotch® tape to keep it from getting worse. This morning, I cleaned out the brief case and put all my stuff in a card board box, and took the case to the shoe repair place to be fixed. I am currently living out of the card board box, but I will get my brief case back tomorrow.

Tonight's photo is of Barney the cat, taken yesterday after I got home from the Empty Bowl Project. He is a shy cat, and we have never been able to get too close to him. He has his jobs around the house, and our jobs are to keep him in food. All parties to the transaction are satisfied with the arrangement.

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

Sunday, November 19, 2017

2017 - Day 323/42 - Sunday...

For this year's Empty Bowl Project, I got a promotion; no longer the 'TRASH MAN', I have been upgraded to 'Sanitation Engineer'. I didn't get a raise, but I did get more responsibility. It was a great day, and there were people in line that have remembered me as TRASH MAN for several years, most of them liked it, but one of them in particular is not a fan. Oh well, it is what it is. It was a beautiful day in central Texas. When I got to the Project, it was 59 degrees, sunny and little wind. The line was probably a couple blocks long, and I got my trash bags and started working. Some people cannot comprehend the words 'no liquids', and there were very few real engineers in the crowd, but we did the best we could. Eventually I had the trash bag inside two other trash bags, but there were still leaks. It did get a little bit messy. I had lots of time though, to meet up and get back acquainted with my friend Kelly, who does the potting exhibitions during the Project. Kelly and I met when I first started taking pottery classes, many, MANY years ago. It was great getting to sit with her and laugh and laugh and LAUGH.

There were several people that I ran into from years ago as well; bike riders from the very start of my AIDS ride and fundraising days, and other friends that I have not seen in years.

A good time was had by all, and I think this years project is another success in feeding those in central Texas that are less fortunate than many of us.

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

Saturday, November 18, 2017

2017 - Day 322/43 - Saturday...

The day did not go quite as I had planned it. I did manage to move some hay bales, and took two bales out to the cattle. That is pretty much when the disruption began. There was a key missing from one of my lock boxes, and I had to go into Austin several hours earlier than I had planned. I was able to get a couple dozen bulbs planted, got to the property and found the missing key, and then took a short nap. Tonight was the Preview Party for the 21st Annual Empty Bowl Project, and we just made it home a few minutes ago. Tomorrow will be the actual Project, and I will head into Austin at about 9 o'clock in the morning.

And yes, it is past our bedtimes.

Deeds, Actions, Changes, UP LATE, Kindnesses, Whirled Peas, FUN!

Friday, November 17, 2017

2017 - Day 321/44 - Friday...

I am not sure if this guy had bacon for breakfast AND for lunch, or if his dog is just overly affectionate. I am going to go with bacon though. I pulled up to a traffic light at about 12:45 this afternoon, and he was next to me. I watched the dog lick on him for about thirty seconds, and I decided this would be a great photo. I rolled down my window, and as I did, the dog got into the back seat. I hollered out to the guy if I could take a picture of that, and he said, if she wants to come back up here it is okay with him. So, from the next lane over, I encouraged the dog to give him some more doggie kisses, and she did. I took about five or six photos, and I think this one best captured the tongue action.

The things we used to see when we didn't have a gun are the things we now see when we all have a camera.

Deeds, Actions, Changes, DOGGIE KISSES, Kindnesses, Whirled Peas, FUN!

Thursday, November 16, 2017

2017 - Day 320/45 - Thursday...

I was still not totally sure what day it was today, although I did manage to remember that it was TBT and I posted a photo on Facebook of me and Jody in the late 90's when we were in China. That was back when traveling was fun and it really was a kinder, gentler time. It was really an interesting trip. We first went to Japan, then on to Beijing. We saw homeless people in China, walked on the Great Wall, took a boat (it was actually a former floating Holiday Inn) down the Yangtze for several days, before the Three Gorges Dam was finished. Really a good trip.

The photo for this post is just proof that no one (and no thing) knows what to expect, weather wise. It was in the upper 80's today, this lovely Iris is blooming. We are expecting a cool down over the weekend, and highs next week in the 70's.

Can't wait.

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

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

2017 - Day 319/46 - Wednesday...

All day long today I thought it was Thursday. I am really not wishing my life away, I just thought it was Thursday. I was reminded several times that it was only Wednesday, but I just a minute ago thought it was Thursday again. After this, the real Thursday is going to be a big disappointment. The photo that I am including in this journal entry has nothing to do with anything that was done today, since it was actually taken on Monday night as I was driving home. No real point being made with the photo, I just kind of thought it was interesting, so I took it. I thought there were some nice contrasts between the lights and the darkness.


Otherwise, another good day. Lots of accomplishments, lots of stuff cleaned off my desk, lots of good ideas being investigated, lots of lots.

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

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

2017 - Day 318/47 - Tuesday...

I had to leave a little bit early today, I was heading to a neighboring association (Highland Lakes) to take a Professional Standards class. Professional Standards (Ethics) Committee members have to take  the class annually to maintain the committee membership. It was a great class, a great group of people that were attending the class, and it was great to see the sunrise that was just breaking when I was heading out the door.

I hope you enjoy!

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

Monday, November 13, 2017

2017 - Day 317/48 - Monday...

Wowza, wowza, wowza! Today was kind of like old times, lots of meetings and lots of accomplishments and lots of good things happening. I got into the office about 8:30 this morning and got a full days worth of work done before I left at 9:30 to attend a Texas Real Estate Commission meeting. I like to get down into the weeds of how things work (not like toasters and garbage disposals), but how our agencies work and how the legislative issues go back and forth and how rules are put forth. All that kind of stuff. Unfortunately, I had to leave the TREC meeting at 2 o'clock and head of to another meeting, and then it was back to the office for a while before I attended a Campaign Kick-Off for Donna Howard. Good information was shared, and it is always a good feeling to mix and mingle with like-minded individuals, working together to make things better.

Tomorrow I will be in a class all day, so I will be heading off to the Highland Lakes Board early in the morning.

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

Sunday, November 12, 2017

2017 - Day 316/49 - Sunday...

REALTORS® worry about copyright issues and intellectual properties, among all the other things I worry about. I had to go into Austin this morning to show property, and on the way back, I was listening to public radio. There was a story (probably Ira Glass- This American Life) about a free-living crested macaque named Naruto, that (allegedly) grabbed someones camera and took a couple selfies. I do not know the whole story, but this is what I took away: The guy that owned the camera published the photos, and did not give credit or cash to Naruto, the owner of the intellectual property (the photos). I get it that, if you give your camera to someone and the other someone composed and took the photo, the person taking the photo owns the intellectual property, the photo. In this case, the other person happened to be a monkey, and after two years of court battles, there has been a settlement. It was an interesting program. PETA fighting for Naruto's rights, saying that he is highly intelligent, but I am not sure if he 'consciously' decided to take a photo or if he was just pushing someone else buttons. I also took away that this is just the start of establishing legal rights for animals. It was an interesting story, but it was made more interesting when I visited the PETA website and downloaded the photo for this journal entry.

Side Note: A witness to the whole thing swears that Naruto did not really take the photo, that the photo was actually taken by one of Naruto's fellow macaque's, a female. Which could be the beginning of a whole other story.

Deeds, Actions, Changes, MONKEY-SELFIES, Kindnesses, Whirled Peas, FUN!