Monday, July 31, 2017
It is actually cooler here in central Texas today. High temperature was only 100 degrees, but that is seven degrees cooler than it was yesterday. By Wednesday, there is supposed to be a 'cold' front coming through, and the high temperatures should only (ONLY) be in the middle 90s. We are all looking forward to that, AND there is a 40% chance of rain for a few days beginning on Wednesday. We are counting down the hours! I was showing property in downtown Austin this morning, and saw this Maple Leaf flag flying close to the Four Seasons. Not sure. But it is not every day that you see the Canadian flag flying in central Texas. A big one, too! It does seem to reinforce the idea that cooler weather may well be on the way. No traumatic reports of commuting challenges, nothing to really complain about (the heat is an understood complaint), and so I will not bore you any longer. Deeds, Actions, Changes, MAPLE LEAF (LEAFS v LEAVES?), Kindnesses, Whirled Peas, FUN!
Sunday, July 30, 2017
It was TOO HOT to do much of anything today. After I did early morning chores, I took a bale of hay to the cattle; I wanted to get that done before it got REALLY HOT. So that was a good thing. Jody did take the girl dogs for a ride late this morning, and I went along for the ride. I did not (however), stick my head out the window and hang my tongue out of my head. I left that to the girl dogs. This is a photo of the Callie girl through the rear view mirror. It is tough trying to get photos of them both while riding down the road. Last night (in the dark of the night), I took the oldest of the new chicks and put them on the roosts inside the chicken coop with the mature girls. So far, so good. No dead chickens (since last week anyway). The four chicks that I introduced have had their first taste of free-ranging, and they seem okay with it. They have been out into the bamboo, but they stayed pretty close to the coop overall. I have them closed off so they cannot get back into the run they occupied for the last month or so. Tonight will be the test to see if they go INSIDE the coop on their own or if I have to put them back on the roost. July is all but over with. August is knocking on the door, Where does the time go? Deeds, Actions, Changes, DOG RIDES, Kindnesses, Whirled Peas, FUN!
Saturday, July 29, 2017
There is really not a whole lot you can do when the high temperature reached 107 degrees in central Texas. This morning, I did luxuriate in the bed about an extra thirty minutes, and then I got the newspaper, made coffee and read the paper. Dogs got up, fed them, read the paper. Made a pile of eggs for me and Jody, then went outside to water stuff, check on the chickens, and did a little of this and that. Had a ten o'clock appointment and a 2:30 appointment. The plan was to go into the office and do a little work between appointments. At the ten o'clock I got a call and made a 2 o'clock appointment, so that was good. I got to the office, and the files I expected to be there WEREN'T, so I shuffled a few papers around and went to the condo, where I watered those plants and took a nap. All was good until a friend of mine butt-dialed me and woke me from my nap, then I watched the news for a while and headed out. When I got to my appointment, the prospects were late, so I studied minutiae. I knew houses had aluminum frame windows back 'mid-century' but I never really noticed the Reynolds Aluminum brand on windows before. My parents bought a house in Southgate, Michigan in the mid-50s, and it had aluminum windows, but they did not have this branding on them. I like it! I made it back home close to 4 o'clock, and Jody and I headed out for lunch. Deeds, Actions, Changes, BRANDS, Kindnesses, Whirled Peas, FUN!
Friday, July 28, 2017
There were wrecks everywhere you turned today. Wrecks to the left of me; wrecks to the right of me. Wrecks up above me. Not sure if there were any wrecks below me, but that is always a possibility. Getting into the city this morning was not too much of a chore. My first appointment was in Round Rock, and that was not until 9:30. That broke up at about 1:30, and my 2 o'clock appointment rescheduled until Tuesday, so I headed on into the office. I got there about 2 o'clock, sat down and did some power real estate. I left the office about 4:15 and that is when most of the trouble started. Today was the hottest day of the year so far; 105 degrees. Tomorrow may be even hotter than today, and there is supposed to be cooler weather to be had (maybe) and some rain (maybe) beginning late Sunday afternoon. I have two appointments tomorrow, so Jody and I will enjoy a really late lunch, probably more like a lupper. We shall see how that all works out. Deeds, Actions, Changes, WRECKS, Kindnesses, Whirled Peas, FUN!
Thursday, July 27, 2017
I like days in which I am not rushed in the beginning. This morning I was able to take my time, and took care of some things around the house before I left for the office. My first appointment was at 10 o'clock, and that allowed me to make a couple stops and get some errands done on the way in. Originally, I had appointments at 10, noon, 1 and 2. I took care of the noon appointment on the way in to the office, the ten o'clock was held as scheduled, the 1 o'clock never confirmed and the two o'clock was moved to 12:15. So, that was a good way to shuffle, and that left me more time to get a few more things done sitting at the desk. I had a 4 o'clock as well (that was a 'drop-in' appointment) and I got that taken care of as well. NOW...today is the day that Dairy Queen give a dollar (I think) for every Blizzard sole to the Children's Hospital Network, so of course I made a stop on the way home. The girl dogs have been sharing our ice cream at night, so tonight we will see if they like blizzards. Tomorrow, my first appointment is at 9:30, so that means another casual day on the way to the office. Deeds, Actions, Changes, BLIZZARDS, Kindnesses, Whirled Peas, FUN!
Wednesday, July 26, 2017
In the end, all this commotion was really not worth all the bother. It was kind of anti-climactic, but they did clear a path for me, and it was pretty smooth sailing after I got past the four cars that were WAY OFF to the right shoulder of the Interstate. I am not sure why two fire trucks were summoned, but they were and I will not be questioning the local traffic experts. This one time. The lament around here is 'it is too freaking hot'. No matter where you are, no matter what the problem is, just blame it on the heat, and everyone will shake their heads in mutual agreement. 103 degrees seems to be the new normal for July in central Texas. August is usually the hottest month and by September we are all just ready to cash in all our chips. Relatively speaking, 50 or 60 years ago, there was no air conditioning, and it was (maybe) 6 or 8 degrees cooler in the summers. I still think 95 is too hot be comfortably go about your day, so I will settle for what we have, including air conditioning. Deeds, Actions, Changes, FIRE TRUCKS, Kindnesses, Whirled Peas, FUN!
Tuesday, July 25, 2017
There was a really nice sunrise this morning, but I was departure challenged, and did not choose to stop and document the happening in the photographic sense. I was however, able to capture a couple of the moments while driving down one of the country roads, and captured this remembrance on my cell phone via the rear-view mirror. I have done that a couple times, and it is kind of tricky to do. Very often, by the time you have the camera function on the phone queued up, the moment has passed or you go down a hill (or up a hill) and it is just plain old too late. But today, everything worked in my favor, and I was able to get this shot in. I had an errand to run this morning on my way in to the office, so that took about an extra 40 minutes or so. I got to the office shortly after 8 o'clock, and settled in to do some power real estate. Shortly after, it was time to head to the south office of the board where I guided a class through the TREC Legal I Update. We are working on updates to the classes (Legal I & II Updates) now, and the new classes will go into effect on January 1st. Hopefully I did not need to guide the agents through too much stuff, since this update was introduced in January of 2016. If they don't know the stuff by now...well, you know where this is going. Deeds, Actions, Changes, SUNRISES, Kindnesses, Whirled Peas, FUN!
Monday, July 24, 2017
Yes, the beginning of another week, and not all bad. I had a meeting scheduled for this morning, and there were six hours dedicated to the meeting. We got all our business done (it was a really short agenda and it IS the middle of summer) in just about an hour. I LOVE (perhaps love is too strong of a sentiment) finding five hours in my day with nothing scheduled. I was able to fill it up though, with a couple property showings and touching base with a couple clients. That was really nice! After some office work and then showing a couple properties, I had plenty of time to get to my last scheduled appointment for the day. While I was getting ready for that appointment, the grey clouds were rolling in from the north but it did not really start to rain until I was on my drive home. There was a pretty good downpour while I was driving, and we did get a little bit of rain on the edge of nowhere, but only 0.09". Not even 1/10 of an inch. BUT, we will take whatever we can get, and we are happy to get it. It will save a little bit of watering, but not an awful lot. And now it is a double-header Antiques Roadshow. Deeds, Actions, Changes, RAIN, Kindnesses, Whirled Peas, FUN!
Sunday, July 23, 2017
If today had been Saturday, I could have made it rain. I could have done everything just as I dod, except that Jody and I would have gone into Georgetown for lunch at Chick-Fil-A. Whenever there are clouds and a pretty good chance of rain, if we go into Chick-Fil-A for lunch, it will rain just about the time we want to leave and get into the car for the ride home. And on the way home, there will be a torrential downpour, and by the time we get home, we will have had at least SOME measurable amount of rain. But no. Today is Sunday, and Chick-Fil-A is closed on Sunday. Something about the separation of Church and Chicken. Whatever. The fact is, we received a trace of rain, and areas all around us had some measurable precipitation. But not us. Just a trace. I accomplished very little today, and I am glad for the fact that there was very little on my list of things to be accomplished. Got all the chickens and chicks fed and watered, got the chicken coop cleaned out, cut half of the front grass (that was all that needed to be cut, I got the back cut yesterday), moved the remaining hay bales and did some this and that. So, all in all, not a bad day. Deeds, Actions, Changes, NO RAIN, Kindnesses, Whirled Peas, FUN!
Saturday, July 22, 2017
I bought this orchid at Costco about two months ago. I picked it out very carefully from those that were lined up in the store, based partly on the color, but mostly because it had more buds on it than the others on the rack. I carried it home carefully, not wanting it to tip over in the car on the way home and spill water inside the car, and got it home in one piece. Another reason I liked it was because it also had a variety of succulents in the pot covering the roots instead of the usual sphagnum moss. It was very nice, and I like it a lot and thought Jody would like it very much. He is really lucky with orchids, and I thought this one would be good to add to his collection. Several weeks (maybe a month) after I brought it home, I asked Jody if he had to pay any particular attention to the plant, or water it differently because of the succulents in the pot. He said he had not needed to water it at all so far. When I quizzed him on it, he informed me that the plant was artificial. ARTIFICIAL. FAKE. A FAKE plant that I bought and did not even know if was FAKE. I felt like an idiot. I asked Jody if he knew it was fake when I brought it home, and he said no, but that he had read the care instructions and found out it was FAKE. I confessed this to our friend Mike from Florida who had come to visit us, and he said he did not know it was FAKE either until Jody told him. A couple people have remarked about how pretty it is when they have visited, and Jody does not bother to tell them that it is FAKE. FAKE NEWS. FAKE ORCHIDS. I am going to put a call in to the New York Times. Just wait until they get wind of this. Deeds, Actions, Changes, FAKES, Kindnesses, Whirled Peas, FUN!
Friday, July 21, 2017
The folks in this truck were oblivious to the fact that they were driving down 45th Street this morning, spewing lawn mowers and edgers like a satanic rusty lawn God from the back end of a trailer that is not secured. The scraping of the trailer gate was pretty deafening even to me that suffers from some hearing loss. The sounds of the vehicles behind this vehicle screeching their brakes and narrowly being missed with a leaf blower that recently took flight should have been another indication that something was amiss. No matter of pointing and shouting was penetrating the drivers blue tooth earphones, and I lost sight of them as I took a left onto MoPac and they took a right into the high rent district abutting Camp Mabry. I expect when they got to their destination, they were surprised to find much of their equipment had been jettisoned in a five mile swath of central Texas. Some much for the excitement of the day... It is hot. Have I mentioned that today? 103 seems to be the new blue in central Texas. We are lucky to have things like a pool and central air conditioning. The chickens and the plants outside are not quite as fortunate, although for the most part, they are (collectively) holding up well. The grass is crunchy, but I will be able to go (at least) another week without having to cut it, although I do intend to cut some areas of the grass tomorrow (or maybe Sunday). I don't want to get too carried away. I have the rest of the hay bales to move as well, and I predict a couple naps in my future, to be completed over the next couple days. Deeds, Actions, Changes, LOST BLOWERS, Kindnesses, Whirled Peas, FUN!
Thursday, July 20, 2017
This makes me happy. I am not sure what year/model it is because the rear window is just not quite right. I think it is a 1950 or a 1951 model Studebaker (I am positive it is a Studebaker), and I may have even posted photos of this same car years ago. I think it is a great car (I am totally queer for cars) and there it was this morning, happily chugging down the service road heading towards Riverside Drive. Beautiful. I followed it a ways down Riverside Drive, and we parted company at Travis Heights Boulevard. What a nice car. Hot like the hinges of Hell on the inside in this heat, but really cool on the outside. I have been going in to the office later recently, taking my time a little more in the mornings, and I have really enjoyed that. I have tried not to be in such a hurry to get places, and that too has been nice. It's the heat. I had a conversation this afternoon with a good friend of mine (Sherry), and she blames EVERYTHING on the heat. I'll go along with that. Have I mentioned lately that I am the luckiest man in the world? It's true. Deeds, Actions, Changes, STUDEBAKERS, Kindnesses, Whirled Peas, FUN!
Wednesday, July 19, 2017
Have you met my new little friend? Not sure what his name is (he doesn't talk very much but I know he is very smart), so I just refer to him as 'the Corporal'. He breathes with a British accent, which is a dead give-away, considering the hat. Those people in England are queer for hats. Ugly hats, too. My friends Tami and Donald (not THE Donald, just Donald) brought him back for me when they were in England getting their daughter settled for her first semester in college. When I was in college, the furthest I got was to Disney World in Orlando. I have been back several times since then, too. The Corporal has that British look about him, too; kind of pasty complected (I hear it rains a lot there), tall and thin as a pencil. But he 'fits in' well at the office, so no problems. Otherwise, it was a pretty hectic day. Jody had a couple appointments; we took the girls in with us and left them at the condo. Got Jody back to the condo from his appointments around noon and then I headed off to the office for some power real estate. Back to the condo about 3:45 and then headed home. Overall, not a bad day. Deeds, Actions, Changes, CORPORALS, Kindnesses, Wh
Tuesday, July 18, 2017
These are (if you were to ask me my opinion) half-fast clouds. The bottom halves (nimbus) are good the top halves (not sure) are useless. We need cumuli-nimbus clouds to bring us rain. I am not sure what the top halves of these clouds are called, but they are NOT cumulous clouds, therefore the aforementioned half-fast clouds are USELESS! But I digress... Not a bad day today, with the exceptions of the weather forecasts. Everyday for the next seven days, the high temperature is forecast to be at or above 100 freakin' degrees. And no mention of rain. Please refer to two paragraphs immediately preceding this one, i.e., HALF-FAST clouds. Rain is what we need, and we need it now. But I digress... Let me begin again; other than the weather forecasts... Oh what the hell. It was not a bad day except for... Whatever. I made it into the office in a timely manner, and got a goodly amount of work done in the office before heading out to the board and a round of meetings from 1:30 till 5. One of the meetings was in the Board Room which has lovely views of the passing clouds. Those HALF-FAST... Oh, never mind... Deeds, Actions, Changes, CLOUDS (you know the kind), Kindnesses, Whirled Peas, FUN!
Monday, July 17, 2017
In case you were wondering, barney the Cat is doing just fine. Thanks for asking. I think it is interesting that we (me, Jody and the cat) made a pact years ago that, it he (I am resigned not that Barney is a he) left the chickens alone, we would make sure he had food and a place to hunker down when he needed it. He will walk within a couple yards from the chickens and pay them no mind at all. We also made the same pact with the owl that used to live in the tree closer to the road (before the tree died after one of the droughts). Note to readers: Trees don't usually die DURING the droughts, it takes them a couple years to react to the stress that was endured DURING the drought, and then they die a year or two later. But I digress... It is kind of like the rat snakes; yes, I am startled by them on occasion, but overall, they are good for the environment, and I try to just 'relocate' them to somewhere other than the chicken coop (those are our eggs dammit) or the garage. I doubt that the velocity with which I fling them causes any permanent damage, and they come back around seeking 'MORE'! So, that is why I am kind of sad that some species around here are raised so badly that their instincts are more evident than their nurturing. There I go again. Deeds, Actions, Changes, BARNEY, Kindnesses, Whirled Peas, FUN!
Sunday, July 16, 2017
So, I waited and waited and waited. And then I waited a little while longer. And it never did rain. I gave it plenty of time to get its' act together, and it never did rain. I am truly disappointed. I waited all day long for it to rain, and it never did rain. In between waiting, I got some work done around the house, took a nap, moved some bales of hay and took a fresh bale of freshly baled hay to the cattle. They are not too interested in hay bales, they are still getting plenty of good green grass from their pastures. I still have some hay to move from the back fields, but it will (most likely) still be there next week when I get a round to it. Does this picture make me look like a goober? Oh - it's not the picture... It did cool off nicely this evening. It seems there was rain all around us, just not here. Both sets of chicks are doing nicely, and the older girls all seem healthy, even Pancake. She was the first one out of the coop this morning, so things are pretty much back to normal. Deeds, Actions, Changes, HAY, Kindnesses, Whirled Peas, FUN!
Saturday, July 15, 2017
I didn't do a whole lot today, but I did enough. I got up about 6 o'clock, and made coffee and ready part of the paper. I have been holding the chickens hostage lately, not letting them loose until the sun is up pretty well. Pancake (the battered chicken) was always the first one out of the coop, and it worked to her detriment the other day with the appearance of the chicken battering dog. Allegedly the dog(s) have been removed from the property, but I will still exercise caution for a while. After that, I set up sprinklers and watered the transplanted plants to make sure they survive. It was 103 degrees today, the 14th day this year with high temperatures exceeding 100 degrees. Last Monday I brought home six MORE chicks. They have been holed up inside the front barn in a transitional mode. This morning, I moved them outside so they can get their feet on the ground. All seems to be well so far. They are under a pretty nice shady area, so that should be okay. The JV chicks are enjoying their new run, and I am going to add a tarp over it tomorrow because they get NO shade at all. They will be introduced to the mature girls around the 30th of this month, and the new chicks will take their place in the other run. It is like an assembly line of chickens around here right now. Current counts are 10 mature girls, five JVs and six newbies. I did have to go into town late this morning, and I got home about 2 o'clock, and headed for a nap in the big blue chair. Then it was off to Georgetown so Jody could give the mules some cookies in the park, and then to lunch. On the way home, the winds picked up rely nicely; we have had a trace of rain, but the forecasts for the next couple days looks pretty promising. Deeds, Actions, Changes, CHICKS, Kindnesses, Whirled Peas, FUN!
Friday, July 14, 2017
Well, I have been trying to tell you, all you have to do sometimes is look up. I was walking into Northcross this afternoon to get my hairs cut, and I looked up and saw this lovely cloud with the sun behind it. So, I stopped to take a photo, and I hope you enjoy it. We see clouds, sunsets, moonscapes...all kinds of interesting things out here on the edge of nowhere, but you just have to try a little bit more when you are in the center of the city (cities). Usually it is well worth it. Chapter Three of the Neighbor v Neighbor challenge: This morning when I was leaving for work (it was later than usual, about 8:15) I noticed the people that occupy the property adjoining ours were chasing one of the white dogs (Great Pyrenees). There were three of them and a Polaris versus the dog, and it seemed (at the time) that the dog was winning. I backed up so I could get a better view. As I was continuing on my way, the three men had the dog in (on?) the Polaris, so that was that. It seems the dog had once again escaped (once a dog gets a taste of chicken, there is no stopping it) and they had set about to contain it. Later in the day I received a text message, relaying that they were rid of the dogs, and that they wanted to being me two laying hens. Before I respond, I will do a chicken count this evening. I don't really want two more laying hens (it is kind of hard to introduce them to the existing girls), and it is an olive branch on their part. As much as I don't want to drag this out too much further, I will let you know what happens tomorrow. Deeds, Actions, Changes, CLOUDS, Kindnesses, Whirled Peas, FUN!
Thursday, July 13, 2017
Can someone please tell me why Kim Kardashian's face is on the back of this 18 wheeler that was slowly making its' way down I-35 this morning. This graphic image may have been (but probably was not) the cause of the wreck on the left shoulder of the Interstate. I also recorded a scene of the wreck (only one vehicle left, one firetruck, one wrecker and one police car) and the emergency crews had successfully blocked two of the three lanes while they completed their business on the left shoulder. I doubt that anyone was hurt by the looks of it. After I passed the carnage, there was another tow truck towing what I bet was the other vehicle involved in the mishap. It made for a slow commute into the city. I am not done with the Nature v Nurture thing. Today I am going to expound on my thoughts of NEIGHBOR v Nurture. I explored The Googles to see if anyone else had documented this theory, and could not find anything, so I am taking credit for this. I don't think nature has anything to do with people being neighborly. Being a good neighbor is something that you learn how to do, it is not particularly a natural occurrence. You have to be taught how to be neighborly, and you have to be taught by the examples of others. Anyone can be an asshat (I am proof of that), but it takes practice and good deeds to be a 'neighbor'. Stay tuned tomorrow, I have one more days worth of this up in my craw. We are naming the partially plucked chicken (who seems to be doing nicely, thank you for asking) 'PANCAKE', because she has been battered. So there. Deeds, Actions, Changes, KIM, Kindnesses, Whirled Peas, FUN!
Wednesday, July 12, 2017
Nature versus nurture summarizes a long-running debate on whether human behaviour is determined by the environment, whether prenatal or during a person's life, or by their genes. The alliterative expression "nature and nurture" in English has been in use since at least the Elizabethan period and goes back to medieval French. The combination of the two concepts as complementary is ancient. Nature is what we think of as pre-wiring and is influenced by genetic inheritance and other biological factors. Nurture is generally taken as the influence of external factors after conception e.g. the product of exposure, experience and learning on an individual. Okay, thanks to the Wikipedias for that, but here is the deal. I have no issues with nature. It is natural for domesticated animals to try their best on occasion to roam free. It is the short-comings of their owners/handlers/trainers to keep their animals in check, or that makes them unworthy of keeping the animals. I have never had an issue with natures way; coyotes or wolves or birds of prey scooped up one of our cats one day, and the cat was never seen again. I assume we have, over the years, lost a chicken or two to coyotes or wolves, because chickens are stupid and they wander too far from where they are supposed to be and there is no 'natural' protection for them then. That is what happens out here on the edge of nowhere. BUT, once again, the neighbors (or I will just say the people who live on the property adjoining ours and I do not consider them neighborly at all) have allowed one of their 'allegedly' domesticated animals to come onto our property and attack one of our chickens. I Jody had not heard all the commotion, there would have been no proof of the accusation. But he shooed the dog off, and the chicken ran off. We assumed it was dead (there were lots of feathers all over the house and yard), but I saw her hunkered down in the bushes several hours later. Then she went into the coop and laid an egg, but we haven't seen here since. We will see if she shows up later this evening, and if she does, what condition she is in in the morning. I am tired of other peoples dogs coming and killing our chickens. ...and forty nine years ago today, my dad died... Deeds, Actions, Changes, OUT OF CONTROL DOGS, Kindnesses, Whirled Peas, FUN!
Tuesday, July 11, 2017
Somebody out there thinks I need a Fidget Spinner. I'm not going to mention any names, but the initials are 'our friend Mike in Del Rey Beach'. I have known about this phenomenon, but never really been interested in it. I have a Rubik's Cube too. Not sure if I ever had a pet rock (even I am not that fiscally irresponsible), but I did have a couple Cabbage Patch Kids and I still have a bunch of Beanie Babies. The Fidget Spinner was delivered last night by special courier, along with a pair of Zebra Socks, a pair of red suspenders for Jody and a lovely card. I wish I still had all my Troll Dolls from when I was in Junior High School, and I wish someone had MADE ME collect baseball cards. When I worked in the toy department of Montgomery Wards in Southgate, Michigan, I wanted to start a collection of Matchbox Cars, but I never did. I was fascinated with Matchbox Cars, and that fascination continues to this day with real-life cars. But I digress. The tag on the Fidget Spinner says (among other things) that it is a 'great gift for ADD Children'. It also has several words blocked out (for sales within the United States) that we spent a good while in the office trying to decipher. Those words (to the best of our combined abilities) include 'Bi-Polar, Anxiety and Autism'. Time for a pill... Speaking of cars, mine went in for its' 100K service and a new set of shoes. According to Tesla, my car should be eight years old now. But it isn't. They gave me a Model X to drive and I have to admit it is a really cool car. I did not have it long enough to find the auto-sex button, but I bet if I had it long enough I could have found it. It was really a nice car, lots of updated technology. Cars are becoming computers on wheels, and I think when the cars do all the driving, there will be a significant decrease in traffic accidents and road rage. I may not be around to see it, but that is what I think. Just about the time they try to take my keys away, I will probably be able to order up a car to schlep me where I want to go. That is what I am counting on at least. Deeds, Actions, Changes, SPINNER, Kindnesses, Whirled Peas, FUN!
Monday, July 10, 2017
Sunday, July 9, 2017
I have come to the conclusion (and it has been 65 years in the making) that most things on this planet do better with water. Take Scotch for instance. Scotch and water are a pretty good combination. I prefer Scotch/rocks, but the rocks are made of water, so it is kind of the same thing. Then there are plants, and transplanted plants in particular. I have noticed that the plants that were planted years ago (some before we owned this house) have been doing much better since I began dousing them with water. And the transplanted plants are doing pretty well too. And then there is me. I had a pretty easy day yesterday and today, and I took the calm of the early afternoon to jump in the pool and just enjoy it. Of course there was a lot of huffing and puffing going on, but once that was finished, it was all good. After that, I took a short nap, and Jody and I went into Austin to re-plant some hangers-on that were missed in all the relocating of plants. I dud up some healthy specimens from the front of the property that had been overlooked, and they are now city dwellers, we planted them outside the front door of the condo. They were watered for the first time in a while. The soil they were in was hard as a rock, but they seemed to be doing well, and now with regular watering, I expect they will envelope the city and cause mass hysteria. And then we went to dinner at Luby's. We were there in plenty of time, and it was good. On the way home, it rained. From the time we got onto the Interstate until the time we got off the Interstate, the temperature dropped 28 degrees. We got home, and so far we have about 0.35" of rain, which means I will not have to water anything tomorrow. Except some Scotch. Maybe. Deeds, Actions, Changes, WATER, Kindnesses, Whirled Peas, FUN!
Saturday, July 8, 2017
It goes without saying, but I will say it anyway. It is not the boots that make the man. It's what's inside the boots that make the man, and in this case, it is a pair of red polka-dot socks! Nothing surprises the folks that live around us here on the edge of nowhere. I can be counted on to be attired in my boxers and Crocs and a pair of socks that add just the right amount of color and flair. The folks around these parts also know that if they venture past the garage and keep going towards the pool, I probably don't have socks on, either. Of course, it all depends on the time of day or evening. Best idea is to call ahead! I got off to a slow start this morning and wound down from there. There are few benefits to not having any recordable rain and being on the front end of the next drought; the grass does not grow enough that it needs to be cut every week. I am getting a break from that this weekend. Hubert did come over and rake and bale hay this afternoon, so I will move that hay from the front fields to the storage tomorrow. I re-potted a few plants, did some watering, and Jody and I went into town to take advantage of a sale. But the sale doesn't start until Wednesday. Ugh. We both had a nice couple of naps, and ended the day sitting out in the yard with the dogs. All in all, not bad for the beginning of summer on the edge of nowhere. Deeds, Actions, Changes, BOOTS, Kindnesses, Whirled Peas, FUN!
Friday, July 7, 2017
Today is 070717. Is that code for something? Hubert and Pauline cut grass out in the fields yesterday, and I was kind of thinking they would rake and bale today, but they didn't. That is perfectly okay with me, since that gives me a little break for the weekend; I won't need to hustle and haul hay to storage quite as early as I was thinking over the weekend. I just had an alert on my phone, that lightning has been detected in our area. Right now, we really don't want rain. You know the old saying, 'make hay while the sun shines'? That means they don't want rain on the cut grass before it is baled, because it will rot. I really don't expect it will rain for a couple days, but there is a 10% chance. That is code for 'it is not going to rain'. This is a photo from last night when I was out putzing around in the yard. Beautiful sunset. One of the girl chickens bit the dust yesterday, it was either Libby or Lucy. I think it was Lucy. It happens. That made me aware though, that I had not seen Vera in a day or two, so I waited until it was 'extra dark' to put them to bed, and I did a head-count, and all were accounted for (except Lucy), and Vera was in the coop with the rest of the chickens. It is just too damn hot, and old hens just cannot take those extremes. After all, they are not spring chickens anymore! Deeds, Actions, Changes, CUT GRASS
Thursday, July 6, 2017
From what I understand (I slept through the news) there was a fire in a tire shop in Pflugerville. I can tell you with certainty that you could see the smoke for miles and miles. I saw it when I was on MoPac, then I saw it from Hwy 45, and then I saw it (and took this photo) while I was on the flyover onto IH-35. Really black smoke, it would dissipate then it would roar back. It did that three or four times while I was driving home. There was nothing on the radio about it, nothing I saw on the news, and I finally saw something on the Internet about it. Hmmm... Another busy day, but kind of productive too. I was in the office all day until after 3 o'clock. Did you know that today was National Chicken Sandwich Day? Neither did I, but Carrie told me and I was instantly in need of a chicken sandwich. We chose the 'fourth best' chicken sandwich in Austin (based on the proximity to the office and finding someone to go and pick it up for us), and if that was the fourth best, I would feel really bad for whoever might have chosen the fifth best. Deeds, Actions, Changes, FIRE, Kindnesses, Whirled Peas, FUN!
Wednesday, July 5, 2017
The first house Jody and I lived in together was in Jester Estates. All the streets were named for plants and/or trees. We lived on Anaqua Drive, and Anaqua is the name of a tree in Mexico. Well, I needed us to have an Anaqua Tree in our front yard. Anaqua Trees are also known as 'sandpaper' trees; the leaves have a course feel, like sandpaper. I went past that house (we lived there in 1995 or so) a few months ago, and the Anaqua Tree has grown quite nicely! There was also a street up there called Bottle Brush. I knew (see above) that all the streets were named after trees and/or plants, so I knew that a Bottle Brush was a plant (not a bottle brush). In the midst of all the landscaping work that is being done at the house on the edge of nowhere, one of the plants that was put in is a Bottle Brush. I have been religiously watering all the new landscaping, and when I went to Houston a couple weeks ago, I parked next to this plant (see photo) of what I believe is a Bottle Brush (not a bottle brush). So, I have also consulted The Googles, but have not positively identified the plant in the photo as a Bottle Brush (not a bottle brush), but I am pretty sure it is the same (based on the leaves) as what has recently been planted on the edge of nowhere. If so, then that is good, because I like the Bottle Brush look (not a bottle brush). We shall see. Deeds, Actions, Changes, BOTTLE BRUSHES (not bottle brushes), Kindnesses, Whirled Peas, FUN!
Tuesday, July 4, 2017
Happy Fourth of July everybody! I hope everyone is having a great time, celebrating the birth of our country. As for me, I got a little bit of extra sleep this morning, and I am going to watch me some fireworks on PBS when I press 'publish' for this journal entry. It was otherwise a good day. I spent part of it taking care of a few things around the house (I did not clean the chicken coop this week), and then I headed into Austin to do some power real estate. Submitted a contract offer for a client, and we hope to get that all wrapped up tomorrow morning. On the way home, I stopped and did a couple errands, one of which was to stop at Pok-E-Jo's for some bar-b-cue. Which always asks the question, how does one spell bar-b-cue? Bar-B-Que? Sometimes I just want to go with 'smoked meat', but that seems like a cop-out. But I digress. I ordered take-out lunch for me and Jody, but I also had the girl dogs in mind, so I made sure to order some pork ribs, so they could enjoy the bones. Whatever... And then I stopped at one of the fireworks stands on the way home. I did not want to buy anything, I just wanted a photo for this entry. I stopped at the same place a couple years ago, and they would not let me take a photo. They must have thought I was from the competition or something. Maybe a Fed on the job, who knows. But I think there is a pretty good turnover rate among fireworks stand employees, so this year there was no problem. Maybe the guy thought I was auditioning for porn or something, but nope, not that either. Tomorrow is an official work day, and this will be a three day work week. I think we need more of those. Deeds, Actions, Changes, FIREWORKS, Kindnesses, Whirled Peas, FUN!
Monday, July 3, 2017
We were out in the yard with the dogs the other night, just watching the world pass by. Usually this young male Cardinal will get a drink of water when I have the sprinklers going, or he will be sitting on the roof watching us. This night, he decided that a drink of water from the dogs bowl on the back porch would be just as easy as anything else. He is not too timid, and he kind of likes hanging around when we are in the yard. The Purple Martins are people kind of birds, too, and they like hanging out around people. They don't like their Martin houses to be too close to trees, but they like being around people, and I guess we qualify! The month of July remains a busy one, so far. I worked today; a little office this and that, met with a Landlord, comped a property for another, showed some houses. You know, just the usual stuff. The majority of all this will be over in about six or eight weeks, so it will just keep going until then. Time to catch a nap here and there, and hopefully a day off occasionally. Then it will be over with a HUGE whimper, not really a bang. I hope you all have a Happy Fourth, think of me when you eat that hot dog! Deeds, Actions, Changes, CARDINALS, Kindnesses, Whirled Peas, FUN!
Sunday, July 2, 2017
We are officially more than half-way finished with this year. I am not sure if I will be able to make it until the end, but I expect I will. It is hot on many fronts, not only in the climactic fashion. It is hot everywhere; traffic, public opinions, foreign affairs, domestic affairs. Just hot. But, I guess it is good for the grapes. The grapes are beginning to ripen, and that is about all I know about grapes. How many grapes does it take to make a jar of jelly? We might have enough grapes for a couple of jars, but that will be about it. If you have any use (or need) for grapes, let us know. I got up this morning, and checked off the remainder of my 'to done' list. I made an easy list for this weekend. After that, I walked three properties that were vacated over the weekend, went to the office, made a stop at the post office, did a couple other errands, showed four houses to a client, made a quick stop at Tractor Supply, and made it home just a little bit before 6 p.m. I have one appointment for tomorrow, and one appointment for Tuesday. It will all be okay. Deeds, Actions, Changes, GRAPES, Kindnesses, Whirled Peas, FUN!
Saturday, July 1, 2017
Miguel installed this stone path from near the front of the house to close to the front barn about seven years ago. In that time, the grasses (and weeds) covered it up, and really no one (not even the yard guys) knew it was there. You could just see traces of it if you knew what you were looking for. I started trying to uncover it a couple months ago, and I would do a little bit here and there, and it was hard work. Grass does not like giving up its' domain. When Mike was here a couple weeks ago, we would work on it for about thirty minutes at a time, and we made a good bit of progress. Then after Mike left, I would work on it some more, and give myself little achievable goals. This week, while I was out of town, the lawn crew finished off about the last ten feet or so that was still waiting. I always did like it, never did like using chemicals out here, but it looks like a grass killing chemical will be the way to go to keep it uncovered from now on. I like it, and it makes it a lot easier to go back and forth from the chickens. I gave myself some achievable goals for the weekend as well. Gluttony was not one of the goals, but I managed to accomplish it with little effort. Jody and ZI went to lunch (as we do every weekend, same time same place), and they brought me the wrong size milkshake. They said it was their fault, keep that one and they would bring me the right sized one. No one considered just giving me the difference in the money, and I sat there and consumed TWO milk shakes. I did lay off the fries though. And then I came home and went into a coma, but it was