Tuesday, January 31, 2017

2017 - Day 31/334 - Tuesday...

Something is on fire, but I am not sure where or what it is. Interesting thing about smoke. From the Interstate, I thought the fire was in Walburg, but after I got off the Interstate, I thought, nope, not Walburg. Then I thought it was in Bartlett. The closer I got to home, nope not Bartlett. Then I thought maybe it is in Granger or Taylor. As I got closer and closer to home, I thought well, maybe it is just up the road here, but nope, not there. As I crested a hill, I got a better look. Maybe it was a grass fire on 95 between Bartlett and Granger. Bottom line, I have no idea where the fire was, and unless there is something on the news tonight, I will probably never know.

Otherwise, my day was pretty good. I did have to put out a couple fires of my own, but everything worked out the way it was supposed to...

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

Monday, January 30, 2017

2017 - Day 30/335 - Monday...

Wail, Hail! I missed it. I had twenty miles to go yesterday when I got home for my odometer to click over to 80,000 miles. I usually like to take note of things like that, but I missed it this morning. I must have been deep in thought with a hot game of Words with Friends or something, because it certainly could not have been that I was paying attention to traffic as I was hurtling down the highway at 7 miles per hour. No, it could not have been that! Anyway, here is the photographic documentation as I was 20 miles past the proper click.


Not a bad day today, we watched less than 20 minutes of the news this evening. I think I need to pay full attention. We cannot all turn off the news and not pay attention to what is going on around us. It still makes me yearn for a 'good news' channel.

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

Sunday, January 29, 2017

2017 - Day 29/336 - Sunday...-

I did a few more chores around the house this morning before I left to go into Austin, and then I did some chores on the was at Home Depot and Tractor Supply. Somebody lost their shirt at Home Depot, but it was not me. I did not find it, either, but the guy next to me in line at the Customer Service window did. I just took a photo of it. To make a long story short, I huff and puffed at Home Depot until I got my way. My request was totally reasonable. I bout several packages of LED Solar Pathway Lights, and just got around to installing them yesterday. Of the thirty lights I bought (five boxes of six lights each), I determined ONE LIGHT would not work. Well, you can't determine that fact UNTIL AFTER you un-box them, put them together, set them out here you want them, and then wait until it is dark. ONE LIGHT DID NOT WORK. I was not going to take up six lights, repackage them and take back the whole box for ONE LIGHT. I just wanted a credit for ONE LIGHT. That seemed to be a totally unreasonable request, but again, in the end, I got the credit and they were happy that I was on my way. Whatever...

Then it was on to Tractor Supply where I have been having an ongoing issue with a pair of jeans that I bought and returned/exchanged today for the third time. The first time I bought the wrong style. Second time I exchanged those for the correct style, and the correct size. When I got them home and tried them on, I was delighted to discover that they were too big. Jody said he would taken them. A couple days later, Jody reported that they were apparently mis-marked, and he measured them and found them to be just mis-documented. SO, let's all keep our fingers crossed that this (the third time) will be the charm.

Then it was off to Austin to show some property. It was a great time, I was in a good mood, my clients was in a good mood and several of the folks we encountered (appointment with agent very frequently turns out to be an open-house situation) at the various properties were in a good mood. Overall, a good time was had by all.

Onward and Upward.

Deeds, Actions, Changes, ONE LIGHT, Kindnesses, Whirled Peas, FUN!

Saturday, January 28, 2017

2017 - Day 28/337 - Saturday...

The girls have started laying again, although not in the numbers that I think they should. We have 14 chickens at last count, and so far this month we have harvested 33 eggs. That is a lot more than we got for the months of November and December, and we are hoping that this trend holds out. We did have to buy 'store' eggs a couple times, but hopefully we won't have to do that for a while now.

I am pretty proud of myself; I got all my tomorrow chores done today, including cleaning the chicken coop, taking a couple bales of hay to the cattle, and four or five other miscellaneous chores. I will be showing property tomorrow, so I am that much further ahead of the game.

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

Friday, January 27, 2017

2017 - Day 27/338 - Friday...

Ah, Friday. Fri and day. Suddenly two of the sweetest syllables I can think of right now. It was an interesting (and really rewarding) day. I like it a lot when I have those kinds of days. I should have known it was going to be okay, even if I was just judging from the sunrise. This is a view of the sunrise from the rear view mirror as I headed towards the Interstate. It is about 12 miles from the edge of nowhere to the Interstate, then about 35 more miles into Austin. Plenty of time to think, make phone calls, play chicken with the 'hands-free' police, observe those around me picking their respective noses (me too), and even the folks that are not even making a shallow attempt to hid the fact that they are scrolling messages on their phones.

Interesting. But still, it is Friday, so the good start ended up being a great day, and now I am home, enjoying the calm, and planning farm chores for the morning. Chores on Saturday this week, showing property on Sunday.

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

Thursday, January 26, 2017

2017 - Day 26/339 - Thursday...

Technology is really a boon to/for somethings. And then there is Twitter. But I am not planning to digress into that world today. It is still January of the new year, and I have attended three different meetings via conference call. Not just conference call like with the speaker phones, but conference calls where you can see and talk with the other attendees on the call. I am still puzzled about how digital pagers and FM radios work, let alone conference calls with audio and video streaming across the . I don't get it, but I don't have to get it.

All is well on the skunk front. The house still smells somewhat of skunk, but the girl dog is totally oblivious that anything happened at all. I know someone that will be leashed this evening when we go to put the girl chickens to bed. It will be interesting to see if she is eager to go out to the scene of the incident. Pepe LePew she certainly was!

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

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

2017 - Day 25/340 - Wednesday...

What do you think this entry is about? A) The new mailbox post my neighbor Jim made, B) The lovely clouds that I saw while on my way home, 3) The three (maybe four) wrecks that I encountered in drive-time traffic (one of which included a car laying on its' side on the shoulder of the road), or D) The time the girl dog chased a skunk and lost. If you answered 5) ALL OF THE ABOVE, you are right!

Where shall I begin this journal entry? Well, it seems pretty obvious (even to me) that I started the journal entry in the paragraph that precedes this one! It was pretty much an uneventful (yet fulfilling) day. It started early with a Water Forum at ABoR. I was in the office for several hours, taking care of business, and then headed home. Wrecks grandma! Too many to count. I had not taken a photo for this entry, so on the way home, I saw some interesting clouds. Stopped to take a photographic documentation of the fact (no alternate facts here), and then made it to the house on the edge of nowhere.

When I got home, I noticed that the work on the fences and the middle barn had been completed (now we can put the big tractor under cover). Neighbor Jim stopped by and I asked him about the mailbox post we had talked about. He said it was already done, and I had not even paid attention when I pulled in to the driveway. It is made with an old Model A wheel which I think is really cool, and it is much better than one that I could buy at the Home Depot. It is a true work of rusty art, just exactly the kind of stuff that I like. TOTALLY.

After I came in, I built a fire in the stove (it is going to be in the 30s over night for the next couple days), and we had dinner. After dinner, I took the girl dog out with me to put the girl chickens to bed. I had been very proud that for the last several weeks (maybe months) the girl dog had gone to help with this chore without the leash (even though I always carried it with me just for good measure). Long story short, she spotted a skunk (before I did) and off she went. I saw the aftermath of the girl dog and the skunk, and definitely could smell the aftermath.

We were somewhat prepared for this eventuality. Jody had stocked a miracle product GUARANTEED to get rid of the skunk odor. Admittedly it did a pretty good job, but it wasn't until both the girl dog and yours truly were in the shower together, all soaped up with no place to go, that I decided the theme of this journal was going to take a turn.

All is well that ends well! No photographic documentation of the skunk debacle, you will just have to take my word for it.

Deeds, Actions, Changes, SKUNKS TOO, Kindnesses, Whirled Peas, FUN!

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

2017 - Day 24/341 - Tuesday...

I can still remember the day when we bought this house on the edge of nowhere. Jody was in Austin, and I had driven out here in the afternoon, just to check on stuff. I can very clearly remember walking from the front of the house out towards the road, looking to the left, and seeing the most beautiful sunset. Still, to this day, about nine years later, we are still overwhelmed with the sunrises and the sunsets. There is nothing to block our views. We can see for miles and miles around us. We can very clearly see the clouds, the stars, the moon, several of the planets. The sunrises and the sunsets. We can see storms rolling in, we can see the skies clearing. We can see buzzards riding the thermals. We can see cotton in the fields, corn in the fields, and right now we can see the winter wheat looking really good. We can see cattle, goats, horses, chickens, mules, owls, falcons, purple martins, dogs, cats, possums, skunks, armadillos, raccoons; Not sure what I am forgetting in the wildlife department. So, bottom line, we see things on a daily basis that we dare not take for granted. We live in changing times. Changes of all sorts are happening. Today was another record high temperature. The highest temperature for this date in 120 years. That has happened three times this month.

Some change is made just for the sake of change. Don't forget to pay attention to what is around you, and marvel at the beauty.

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

Monday, January 23, 2017

2017 - Day 23/342 - Monday...

Today was my first day in the witness protection program. From this day forward, I shall be referred to as Valrm (pronounced Val-Erm). I appear to be of Greek-Welsh descent, and have a background that could be referred to as 'grainy' at best. I am not a photogenic sort, and very few photos of me are known to exist. My friends will be instructed to 'call me Val', which will be more confusing, since they would expect that would be a nickname for someone named Valentino. Perhaps a grandparent on the mothers side was from Italy. Or Sicily. And the ship upon which they were sailing was blown off course (probably a hurricane) and wrecked upon the rocks near Chepstow (an obscure city on Welsh coast), and was raised by bog-wolves until rescued by a family whose last name was Evans (Gethin was the clan patriarch), and was nursed back to health and immigrated to Canada back in the mid-1800's. The Canadian Evans' made a living with carnivals and traveling minstrel shows, and finally settled in Alabama where they raised families share-cropping and selling moonshine.

Or it could have just been a typo.

Not sure...

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

Sunday, January 22, 2017

2017 - Day 22/343 - Sunday...

I believe I have always been quite generous with the use of exclamation points in my writings. Probably because I feel many of my musings are 'passionate interjections'. Granted, I did just look up the word interjection: noun plural noun: interjections. an abrupt remark, made especially as an aside or interruption. an exclamation, especially as a part of speech, e.g., ah! or dear me! Yep, I think that pretty much describes my writing style! I have been known to be the source of breaking news (sometimes breaking wind), so I think exclamations points in my text is quite appropriate. Don't you? Well of course you do! I know, right?!?

I stayed in Austin last night, but I was home by about 9 o'clock this morning. The winds were really strong, gusts recorded at 52 miles per hour (!), but they are supposed to die down after dark tonight. I spent most of the day taking naps in the blue chair, but I did manage to get a couple things done (I can't remember what they were), but overall it was a good day.

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

Saturday, January 21, 2017

2017 - Day 21/344 - Saturday...

I got into Austin early this morning, worked on a contract offer for a client, delivered the contract, and then back to the office for a bit. Tonight is/was the Installation of 2017 ABoR Directors and Leadership. Very happy to attend and support our hard working colleagues and volunteers and staff. It was not as much trouble as I expected getting to downtown, since today was also the Women's March in Austin. I did get a chance to meet up with some friends of mine for lunch, then back to the hotel for a nap. Back downstairs for one drink in the bar with friends, then upstairs for the mingle, dinner and ceremonies. Very happy for my friend and colleague Brandy that will guide our association for the 2017 year. Very qualified, very worthy of the position.

Deeds, Actions, Changes, BRANDY, Kindnesses, Whirled PEAS, FUN!

Friday, January 20, 2017

2017 - Day 20/345 - Friday...

It was All-Inaugural-All-The-Time. And it was so.

This is a photo of the girl dog last night laying in bed with me hoping (against hope) for all-petting-all-the-time. Jody is a much better petter than me. I am good for a few minutes, max. Jody will spend hours (okay, maybe it just seems like hours to me) petting the girl dog. She will jump up in my lap, I will pet her for a while, and then she goes over to Jody for the real thing. Patience was never my best trait, although I have become a more patient individual as I have progressed. Anyway...she did not realize that I was taking her picture, she is not really fond of picture taking. I had been rubbing her head, and poofing up the hair on her head to look spike like a punker little girl dog. She had dozed off while I was doing it, and with one hand I fetched the phone and took a couple snaps before she figured out what was going on. I think we will be taking her in to get a haircut next week, but in the meantime, she is just a long-haired-freaky-puppy. Not applying for a job or anything, but if she were, she could put all-her-hair-up-under-her-hat.

I loved that some...I still know all the words.

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

Thursday, January 19, 2017

2017 - Day 19/346 - Thursday...

I am worn out. Going down eight flights of stairs today is half of the problem, the fact that I have old knees and old hips is another half of the problem. I expect there are three or four more halves that I could list, but I m worn out. So instead, I think I will just have a beer and settle in for the night. Beer: It's not just for breakfast anymore. That was a sign that used to fly over a bar on Sixth Street, back in the day. And, while I am on the topic, why isn't there a box beer? Beer in a box would be good I think. Wine in a box has gone over pretty well, so I think I will investigate the Box-O-Beer concept in the near future.

Everyone have a good evening!

Deeds, Actions, Changes, SOCKS & CROCS, Kindnesses, Whirled Peas, FUN!

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

2017 - Day 18/347 - Wednesday...

Rain and storms overnight, I was in Austin, so I missed it, except for the rain part. The girl dog is not that cooperative when she wants under the covers. Lots of heavy breathing and stuff like that, usually not a bad thing under the covers, but when it's the girl dog...well...you know... We recorded 1.53" overnight, and another 0.37" so far today, and it was still dribbling when I got home.

The day started with rain, and then it was off to the office for some power real-estate. Then off to the Texas Association of REALTORS® for a preview of the 2017 Legislative Session. This is a photo of me paying attention to the words from Daniel Gonzales, giving us the skinny on what to expect from our elected official this session. Fasten your seat belts, it will be an interesting session!

Deeds, Actions, Changes, THE LEGE, Kindnesses, Whirled Peas, FUN!

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

2017 - Day 17/348 - Tuesday...

There is never a good time for someone to have a leak in their house, particularly if it is raining buckets outside. Not our house, one of the houses we manage. Sometimes when you try to be empathetic with the tenant, it is not met with kindness. Sometimes, it is met with sarcasm, sometimes with disdain, sometimes with confusion. Usually not kindness. Oh, sorry, I am repeating myself. I am trying to respond to requests the was I would like to be responded to, if I were the tenant. In my own personal case, I have always thought of myself as a reasonable person, someone capable of having a coherent thought process that might lead me from point a to point b. Sometimes I think I am too reasonable. Too logical. Too aware.

In any case, two of us spoke with the tenant. We will do our best to fix the challenge tomorrow.

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

Monday, January 16, 2017

2017 - Day 16/349 - Monday...

We avoided the brunt of the storms last night. Well, actually, I guess the storms avoided us, there was not much we could have done about it. North of us were really bad storms, tornadoes (as opposed to what we got close by last week, a tornadon't)and flooding. South of us, there were heavy rain storms. Here, on the edge of nowhere, there was nothing so much. Not really any winds out of the ordinary, and only 0.36" of rain. We are lucky indeed. The girl dog was up under the covers (had her head sticking out) for about an hour, but after that, all was good. On my way to the office this morning, there was this pretty sunrise, and right on cue, the clouds rolled in and it was grey and overcast for the biggest part of the day. We do not expect to see the sun again until the weekend, but I think there will be a couple peeks. AND, just for full disclosure, the tornadon't comment is courtesy of my friend Wayne in East Texas. I couldn't make that up...

Hold on to your hats! We got four eggs today. The last time we got four eggs (or more) was August 27th, not that I am counting. Maybe this will signal a turn-around for the chicken girls. We hope so.

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

Sunday, January 15, 2017

2017 - Day 15/350 - Sunday...

This is a photo of the cattle after I took them a bale of hay this morning.

I really think I need to pay more attention to the weather forecasts. I know it is supposed to rain tonight, and we are being reminded of that pretty regularly by phone apps, weather radio warnings and other kinds of information age newfangledness kinds of alerts. But I don't remember any kinds of warnings that we were going to have two days of gloom, grey, fog and whatever. But that is exactly what we have had.

After I got the hay out to the cattle, I was taking the garbage can out to the road, and I saw Jody and the Girl Dog on their constitutional. It was interesting to see them down the road in the fog, and thought I would document it with this photo. I got some other chores done this morning, just to be a smart aleck. The chicken coop has been cleaned and tidied, and there is enough wood in the garage for us to keep the fire going for at least a week.

As I write this, it is raining outside with more gusto that in the last couple weeks, and there are ideas that we can get up to a couple inches. It is going to have to really concentrate if that is supposed to happen.

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

Saturday, January 14, 2017

2017 - Day 14/351 - Saturday...

Mystery solved. Case closed. You read it here first. Or maybe second. About ten days ago (okay, exactly ten days ago), I think I shared with you all that Jody and I had to drive into town in his truck to do some errands. For a while, whenever I drove the truck (not that often), I would hear a flapping noise. It flapped more quickly the faster we would go. I could never find the source of the noise. That day, the flapping was louder, and while we were going down the Interstate, it got worse and then all hell broke loose. As I was pulling off onto the shoulder, I told Jody that it sounded like the tread had separated from the tire, and that I guessed we had a flat tire. As I said that, I was looking out the rear view mirror to see the debris field that was being expunged from the vehicle. Nothing. Crickets. Once on the shoulder, I got out, looked under the car, saw nothing, no flat tires, got back into the car and we continued on our way. The flapping was less, but still there a little bit. Jody took the car into the shop, nothing. Crickets. I continued to hear the noise, the faster and faster I drove the more I could hear it. When Jody drove the truck, he could not hear anything.

I took the car into the shop today, and it was raining, so the flapping was harder to hear, but I was pretty obvious (even with the rain dampened roads), but I was pretty certain the service peeps would not hear anything. Sure enough, "We drove the car and didn't hear anything, so we want you to drive with us and tell us when you hear it". Well, as it turned out, while we were looking in the wheel well before driving off, we could see that there was about a foot of tread missing on one of the tires.

I AM NOT CRAZY. Well, I may be crazy, but the flapping was not all my imagination.

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

Friday, January 13, 2017

2017 - Day 13/352 - Friday...

Okay, everybody...chill out. Take a pill if you have to, but everything will be okay. Yes, there was a tornado that touched down in Walburg this morning about 9:30. It was an EF-0. That in itself is kind of embarrassing. I did not know you could actually have an underachieving tornado, but apparently, in this age where everyone gets a trophy, even the tornado's get a medal for doing nothing (or very little in this case). There was some damage to a couple homes and the worst of it was a commercial building that had some pretty good roof damage. The people in the commercial building said it lasted for about 15 seconds, and it was over. I am not trying to make light of the unfortunate property owners plight, but it was not as big of a deal as was being reported on all the local weather affiliates. Again, it was rated an EF-ZERO! Poor, poor little tornado. We weep for that poor little tornado.

On another note, talking about how weird the weather is lately (tornadoes are not common in January, so perhaps I should refer to it as the little tornado that could. Or maybe, an overachieving underachiever of a tornado), but we broke another record high temperature today I think that makes at least three this week, including record high low temperatures. Think about it, it will come to you. A couple weeks ago we were freezing and in the death throes of cold, although there was no rain, snow or ice...just cold. Now it is a heat wave, and this weekend we are supposed to get some rain. It did rain in Austin today (and in ), but we only got about 0.03" of rain here on the edge of nowhere. Possibilities of 3 or more inches of rain between now and Tuesday.


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

Thursday, January 12, 2017

2017 - Day 12/353 - Thursday...

I was nonchalantly walking back into the house this morning after having retrieved the newspaper and loosed the girl chickens, when I spied an unfamiliar blob in my path. Being a cautious gentleman farmer on the edge of nowhere, I clicked on my torch and saw this guy, stopped dead (not really) in his tracks, as if he/she was participating in a mannequin challenge. He/She turned to go before I could get my camera opened on the phone, and I had to encourage him/her to hold up just a few seconds so I could record the event for posterity. That caused him/her a distinct amount of displeasure, during  which a volley of hissing and fang baring became evident, and we both retreated to the comforts of our respective domestic and non-domesticated dwellings. I think his/her dwelling is under the front barn, but I am not 100 sure of that.

I can tell you that a series of events that causes a couple cars and trucks to try and become one will result in a traffic back-up of about seven miles on the expressway. I tend to believe that the convertible top on this Mustang was in its' upright and locked position before it collided with the truck, but I am not certain of that fact. All the vehicles involved in this mishap were on the shoulder of the highway, but the local gendarmes insisted that it was necessary to block not one but two lanes of the three-land highway. Not sure why that is, although there have been times with I thought discretion was the better part of valor. The only positive thing about this incident was that I was on the opposite side, headed in the opposite direction.

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

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

2017 - Day 11/354 - Wednesday...

I'm not gonna lie, I am not going to pull any punches. Today was more or less a stressful day from start (just after it started) to finish. I am home now, and I am not particularly stressed at the moment, but I feel like I am plagued with 'holdover' stress. Everything started nicely, I was up and had a nice couple cups of coffee, had a bagel, did a few personal hygiene things (if you want photos, please send a self-addressed, stamped envelope and a money order for $35) and got off to Austin by about 7:05. I had to be in the office for a 9AM webinar, and that would give me plenty of time. Honestly, no it did not. It took over two hours to get to the office, and while sitting in my car (and driving very slowly Officer), I had to figure out (thanks Casey) how to log on to the webinar via my cell phone. For a while, after I got to the office, I was logged on to the webinar via three different devices, but everything calmed own (for that issue) by about 10AM. Honestly, I know my stress over this is totally uncalled for, and I know for a fact that my day was much better than all the folks that had wrecks (why all in one day?), and much better than the man/woman that was trying to cross IH-35 on foot and didn't make it. My day was not nearly as bad as theirs.

So, I will go and decompress shortly, sit in the blue chair, and revel in the quiet sanctity of the edge of nowhere.

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

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

2017 - Day 10/355 - Tuesday...

I was up a little bit early this morning, waiting for the sun to rise. I was tasked (by myself) to move the cattle into the pasture on the west side of the property, so we could have the newest (about 7 years old) tank repaired. The cattle proved to be very cooperative, and it took no time to get them secured in that single pasture. All I had to do was close gates separating them into that one pasture, and that was that. When I got out there, they were already in that pasture, and all but one of them were down and chewing. Nothing to herd, but I had prepared for the worst. In any case, the sunrise was worth the extra effort, and it was one of the better one of the new year so far. Enjoy.

I had a lunch appointment with a friend of mine, and I got there a little bit early. At the moment, it was 71 degrees, and a lovely central Texas afternoon. I was a little early, so I got to enjoy a little people watching. Granted, I am a senior citizen who wears crazy stuff on purpose, and I know and recognize that fact. I have to tell you, it was not nearly as concerning as the passing parade of humanity that passed by wearing Bermuda cargo shorts, sandals and black knee socks. Not just one occurrence, three separate 'seniors' with a similar outfit. AND THOSE WERE THE WIMMIN! It was an interesting lunch appointment, and good things will come of it, and it just reinforced my commitment to not go quietly into that next act. I have pretty much retired the bow ties, but the socks and Crocs are my newest trend. The trunk is full of Crocs-of-a-different-color, and I couldn't be more pleased! Yep, those are watermelon socks. I get lots of socks these days, and I very seldom buy pairs. I received some great (NSFW) socks over the Holidays, and a couple gift subscriptions to sock-of-the-month clubs. I am pretty much in high cotton in the sock department!

Last year or maybe the year before, the new tank (review the first paragraph, above) was breached because of some heavy rains we had, and we were just getting around to getting it fixed. Our neighbors out here on the edge of nowhere are great, and they are always happy to help. The work on the tank today was spearheaded by one of the neighbors (Jim) and if you did not know better, you would not think that this repair was completed today. It looks great, and we are expecting some good rain (2, maybe three inches) over the coming weekend. If you go back a ways in these journal posts, you will see a photo of the breech, but it is all fixed now!

Next on the list is getting some of the fences and gates repaired. There is always something that needs fixing. We are always fixing' to do something.

Deeds, Actions, Changes, FIXIN', Kindnesses, Whirled Peas, FUN!

Monday, January 9, 2017

2017 - Day 9/356 - Monday...

We had record cold weather for the last two or three days, and today, we were in the 70s. Supposed to be 80 by Wednesday. Then cooler again over the weekend, and we are expecting some rain. We had the wood stove going for about a week, but we are letting it burn down now, and I will clean out all the ash on Wednesday or Thursday, just in time to get it all fired up again for the weekend. It is not expected to go below freezing, and the next nine days looks like the low temperature will be 44 degrees. We can handle that.

SO...since we are expecting rain over the weekend, this is a great time to get the breech in the new tank repaired. The guys will start working on that tomorrow and hopefully it will be just a one day job. We shall see. Then we are going to do some work on the fences, change some gates, add some gates, this-and-that. There is still some water in both tanks back there, but no time like the present to get it fixed, especially if we can get so water in the tank over the weekend. Fingers crossed.

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

Sunday, January 8, 2017

2017 - Day 8/357 - Sunday...

It was cold overnight again, but it warmed up nicely this afternoon. Before I went into Austin to show properties, I took two bales of hay out to the cattle. They were not terribly interested in it, which I think is a good thing, meaning that they are not particularly hungry. They paid a little bit of attention to it, but when I got back home from working with my client, they are grazing in the pastures and had not messed with the hay very much.

It was a good afternoon, i showed about five or six homes, ran a couple errands, did some this-and-that, and got home while the sun was still up. Nothing to complain about there.

It is supposed to be close to 80 degrees in the middle of the week, and then another cold front comes in, but does not drop the temperatures as dramatically as the last couple days. The winds have turned, and they are coming from the south again. Warmer and not quite as dry as it has been.

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

Saturday, January 7, 2017

2017 - Day 7/358 - Saturday...

Tired of the same old crap? Well, here you go...

Q: What does a bee do when it is hot? 
A: He takes off his yellow jacket! 
Q: How do you make holy water? 
A: Boil the hell out of it! 
Q: How hot is it in Southern California? 
A: So hot every fat guy sweating in the city smells like Bacon! 
Q: How hot is a Los Angeles summer? 
A: So hot that I saw a fire hydrant chasing a pack of dogs! 
Q: What happened after the mom purchased a loaf of bread from Albertsons? 
A: By the time she got home it was toast! 
Q: What do you need to visit Death Valley, Arizona? 
A: Dental Records 
Q: What do you call the Robin Williams movie about a hot California summer? 
A: Mrs. Droughtfire. 
Q: What did the air conditioning say to the man? 
A: I'm your biggest fan. 
Q: What are the only two seasons in Phoenix, Arizona? 
A: Hot and Hotter. 
Q: How do heat lamps communicate? 
A: Lampost 
Q: What did the one pig say to the another at the beach? 
A: I'm bacon! 
Q: Which is faster, heat or cold? 
A: Heat, because you can catch a cold! 

How hot is it? 
the cows are giving evaporated milk. 
the chickens are laying hard-boiled eggs 
I saw a dog chasing a cat and they were both walkin' 
hot water now comes out of both taps. 
every time I think about ice, water pours out of my ears. 
you actually burn your hand opening the car door. 
you realize that asphalt has a liquid state. 
the birds have to use potholders to pull worms out of the ground. 
the potatoes cook underground, and all you have to do to have lunch is to pull one out and add butter, salt and pepper. 
farmers are feeding their chickens crushed ice to keep them from laying hard-boiled eggs. 
the cows are giving evaporated milk. 
the chickens are lying hard boiled eggs. 
you start buying stock in Gatorade. 
the trees are whistling for the dogs. 
you start putting ice cubes in your water bed. 
you no longer associate bridges (or rivers) with water. 
you can say 113 degrees without fainting. 
Satan decided to take the day off. 
the four seasons are: tolerable, hot, really hot and ARE YOU KIDDING ME?! 
you eat hot chilies to cool your mouth off. 
your dream house is any house in Alaska. 
you can make instant sun tea. 
your car overheats before you drive it. 
you learn that a seat belt makes a pretty good branding iron. 
the temperature drops below 95, you feel a bit chilly. 
you've experienced condensation on your butt from the hot water in the toilet bowl. 
you would give anything to be able to splash cold water on your face. 

My apologies to Henny Youngman and to the rest of you, too.

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

Friday, January 6, 2017

2017 - Day 6/359 - Friday...

This is not some bad Alfred Hitchcock movie, this was reality on my drive into town this morning. I had some errands to get taken care of yesterday, so I had to leave the office early and get home. Which meant, I was getting a little bit behind in my work. SO...I got up at 4:30 this morning, did some work and took off to the office at about 6:30. It is not at all unusual for the grackles to start moving around early in the morning, and this is what it looked like while driving down IH-35. Grackles everywhere! It is interesting to see them sometimes, either early in the morning or when they are getting ready to roost for the evening. One thing for sure, you do not want to be UNDER them, and you do not want to park your car UNDER them. We have a tendency to search for a shady spot to park in the summer time, but it is something you need to be very careful of. I think these birds are capable of producing about three or four times their weight in shit on a daily basis. You heard me, so just be careful!

I got to the office and got the rest of my work done (the inter-webs connection is much better in the office) and headed off to guide a class of new members through their Orientation Ethics. I always enjoy teaching these classes, and today was no exception. It was a lot of fun, and I am pretty sure the newly licensed REALTORS® learned a couple things that will help them out in their careers. At least they said they did.

After that, I had an appointment with a new client, and we spent a couple hours looking at different parts of town. That is one of the things I like about my work; I get to see the city with new eyes every time I work with a client that is transferring into town. Austin is not nearly as provincial as folks across the country believe it is. It was fun, too.

AND, did I mention that it is colder than a fart in a dead Eskimo out here. That is, by the way, the coldest thing in the world. If you don't believe me, let me know and I will send you the spread sheet documentation. It is really cold here, and we have another couple days of this.


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

Thursday, January 5, 2017

2017 - Day 5/360 - Thursday...

I am happy to be the first to announce that, beginning today and (hopefully) lasting at least until this time tomorrow, there is nothing earth shattering that needs to be shared with all my devoted followers. Nothing regarding this political party or that political party. Oh sure, I reckon that, if I were called upon to do so, I could find plenty of crap to share with you all, but I choose to take the higher road. I choose not to pay attention to the news (fake or otherwise), and I believe my of you feel the same way that I do. I don't (right now) care if he is/is not your President, whether they did/didn't hack into sensitive files. Whether it did/didn't sway the election (what election). Whether they are/aren't boyfriends. Whether she is/isn't personally responsible. Whether he did/didn't call Rosie a bad person.

Honestly, right now, I just don't give a crap.

Sp please, if you are hankering for the good old days, the days when the most exciting thing posted was what you had for lunch, YOU ARE IN LUCK.

This is what I had for dinner tonight.

You're welcome!

Deeds, Actions, Changes, GET OVER IT, Kindnesses, Whirled Peas, FUN!

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

2017 - Day 4/361 - Wednesday...

Repeat after me: Today is January 4th, not January 3rd. Granted I seldom know what day it is, but generally I know what the date is (without having to look at my watch). I have been pretty good so far about getting the year right. The last of Joel's Christmas gifts arrived today, a painting of the girl dog. I ordered it back in November and had hoped it would arrive in time for gift-giving, but alas it was not meant to be. We both like it very much, and everyone that has seen it liked it as well. The artist did provide me with proofs as he went along, so I was able to show the progress to Jody on Christmas day. We like it very much.

Another possible effect of global warming? The sun (it seems) is apparent in the mornings and in the late afternoons/evenings. During the actual working hours there is no real evidence of the sun. Cloudy, grey, overcast and chilly today. Tomorrow it will be in the 60s, and then we will have a couple overnights of below freezing temperatures. Nothing really terribly drastic, but cooler than we really care for. We have been fortunate to have some really pretty sunrises and sunsets lately, so I hope you are not getting bored with these.

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

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

2017 - Day 3/362 - Tuesday...

Repeat after me: IT'S TUESDAY! This time next week, I expect I will not need any reminders about what the day of the week is. I could get used to these short work-weeks. I think maybe I should have relocated to France. Not only did they give us French Fries (I know, I know, this is a journal for entertainment value only, not fact. Not too much fact, anyway.), but they are big advocates in hardly working at all. If you want a shorter work week and you want to work less hours in a day, move to France. Not that there is anything wrong with that. If you want a shorter work week, try working for any retail establishment in the United States. Shorter work weeks YES. Shorter pay check, NO. When you go into many retail establishments in this part of the country (I am being careful not to generalize), you practically have to BEG people to take your money. Jody and I were in Walgreen's the other day, and it took 15 minutes to get through the check out line. People were backed up and there were three registers open, but there was NO progress being made. The actual WORK part of the work WEEK has already been reduced, but the number of hours you are at your place of work (at which you should very vocally and loudly complain to all within earshot) have not.

Oh my.

Well, I am glad that is over. Let me speak just for a moment about the photo that I posted up there. It was taken as I was on my way to the office this morning, and very nice sunrise.

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

Monday, January 2, 2017

2017 - Day 2/363 - Monday...

Here is another photos of the moon and Mars, taken early this evening. You can just barely see Mars, below and to the right of the moon. If you squint, maybe you can see it, just about as big as the head of a really small pin in this photo. It was interesting to see the difference in its' position comparing today with yesterday.

I am so used to making sure I accounted for the leap-day last year, that I have to think about how many days there are in a year. I am okay with writing 2017 on checks and things, but the number of days is going to be a little bit of a challenge.

Very little was accomplished today, it was almost like a Saturday. We did get one egg, so 50/50 for the year is not terrible. We got a little over 4/10 of an inch of rain overnight, and the girl dog climbed into the bed with me and got under the covers for part of the night. She is not a real fan of thunder or lightning. It was in the mid-70s this afternoon, with lots of sunshine. There is a front expected to come in overnight Tuesday into Wednesday, dropping the afternoon high temperatures into the 50s.

I just checked with the Googles, and it is reported that, on average, Mars is 225 million km from the earth. Not being a math wizard, I figure that to be about 140 million miles from the edge of nowhere to the planet I went outside and looked at both last night and tonight. If that is so, then why don't the weather men say visibility is 140 million miles? I can see it from here, so that means I can see something +/- 140 million miles away. But the weather man just reported visibility to be 10 miles. Scratchin' my head!

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

Sunday, January 1, 2017

2017 - Day 1/364 - New Years Day...

Well, here we go again. Another year. Today begins the ninth year of this journal. This photo was used on Day 1 of this blog in 2009. Things have certainly changed. I have no beard, and the landscaping is certainly not as nice now as it was then. Lots of things has changed/grown (especially the weeds)/evolved over those years, and there is nothing at all wrong with that. Welcome to the new year, and let us all know if you have made any resolutions. I made one (I think)

but I forgot already what is was.

I spend way too long trying to get the shredder hooked up to the tractor this afternoon. I finally got it connected, and I am certain that I was making it much more difficult that it needed to be. The intent was to take some hay out to the cattle and shred a little grass between here and there. It ended up that the cattle did not need any hay (they still have hay in the rings), and I was over the initiative to shred grass by the time I got the shredder connected. There is always tomorrow (or the next day).

While I was reading my meters this evening, Jody took the girl dog for a walk, and on the way back, we saw Mars and the Moon. I believed it was Saturn, but a friend's Facebook post reported it was Mars, and I am not going to contradict that. If you know for sure, just let us know, but for now I am going with Mars.

And, finally, as a salute to all things CDO and anal-retentive (there you go Bonnie), here are the year end results of my attention to some things unimportant to anyone but me. In 2016 we used 27,760 gallons of water here on the edge of nowhere. We used 28,246 kWh of electricity (net) and returned 1,202 kWh of electricity to the grid. The electricity we produce is the electricity we use first, then any excess we produce is returned to the grid. Getting down into the weeds, that would be 101,685.6 and 4,327.2 megajoules of electricity, respectively. We also got 998 eggs for the year, but that is nothing to really brag about.

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

Some things never change...