Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Volume 12 - Day 91/275, 2020 - Tuesday

What did I eat today? I started with two cups of coffee, down from my usual four cups, since I am not driving for an hour in to the office. My morning vitamins and prescription meds. Four 250 mg Vitamin C gummies. I take four (for a total of 1000 mg) because the Emergen-C that I used to take (powdery crap that was to be dissolved in the liquid of your choice) contained 1000mg, so that is the level of mg I continue to take on a daily basis. Half of a Popeye's Fried Chicken sandwich. To be honest, I really don't remember if I had the half sandwich yesterday or today, but at some point I had a half of a Popeye's Fried Chicken sandwich. Either yesterday or today. Several (I think six or seven) mini candy bars (during one of the WORST zoom meetings I have attended). I am particularly fond of the Milky Ways and the TWIX. Celery and Hummus. Three good sized pieces of celery and some plain old hummus. One of my favorite things. Three miniature chocolate covered donuts. I have a lot of donuts. I still have four gallons of Blue Bell Homemade Vanilla ice cream. I'm hoarding that. Every other night I have a coke float. Tonight's the night. Tomorrow, I WILL head in to the office. It is the first, and that is a pretty important day to a property manager. I am actually pretty content to stay at home, and take naps and eat crap, but it will all work out okay.

Monday, March 30, 2020

Volume 12 - Day 90/276, 2020 - Monday

I am pushing out today's journal entry because there is a double-header Antiques Roadshow coming on in about 30 minutes. The second hour may be sacrificed, because there is a new episode of 90 Day Fiance, my newest compulsive television viewing horror. It will be interesting tonight to see if Ed finds Lana (I am thinking no), but you can never tell. Maybe the fourth time will be the charm. It has been raining most of the day, we have close to a half-inch, maybe a little more overnight. More rain to start on Thursday, thru the weekend. I went in to the office for a little while this morning, I won't be going in tomorrow, but I will be back on Wednesday, the first day of the month. I only had one zoom meeting (and I did not even think to take a zoom-fie), and there will be another one on Wednesday. That might be it for the near term, you never know. These are not poppies from our yard, but I did spy them on the way in to the office this morning. I thought they were journal worthy, I hope you like them. Otherwise, it is time to get nekkid and settle in for the evening.

Sunday, March 29, 2020

Volume 12 - Day 89/277, 2020 - Sunday

I had a rather extensive list of chores today, and I got everything on the list done, and added a few more. The most exciting this was going in to Bartlett to get gas in the truck and filling a couple cans up with gas. I was not expecting the truck to start, and I even took the extension cord and the trickle charger out there, but it started right up, first time. I wonder if someone has been 'borrowing' the truck when I am not around, keeping the battery charged? I kind of doubt that, too. I took eggs to neighbors, Candy came over and brought some home made soup and disinfecting wipes. I sent her home with donut holes, too. That is a long story, and I am not going to get into in this journal entry. After Candy left, Hubert came over with some of Pauline's home made soup, so I am pretty well set for soups right now. Everyone that comes by remarks about how well the iris are doing, but I don't think they have done as well this year as they have in the past. Without a doubt, they are beautiful, and they will bloom for another three weeks or so, so I should just be happy with what they are doing. The poppies are still coming out, but they too are just doing a gradual bloom. There are plenty of buds, and I am surprised that they are not more prolific. Maybe in another week or so. I will head in to the office tomorrow for a couple hours, just to see what is going on. This will be the first 'rent week' with all the new normals being put to the test.

Saturday, March 28, 2020

Volume 12 - Day 88/278, 2020 - Saturday

I have to occupy my time someway. I can't just spend all my waking hours (all day and well into darkness) eating. SO, I have decided to try my hand at cooking. I am not very good at it. My first attempt was about a week ago, with a grilled cheese sandwich. Not bad. Yesterday, I made a grilled cheese sandwich with pimento cheese that was past its' expiration date. As a matter of fact, Jody bought the pimento cheese, so it has been in the refrigerator for a while. It was not THAT FAR past its' expiration date, and it did not kill me, and it was really good. This morning, I was wakened by the smell of bananas, so I asked Mrs. Google if she could supply me with a recipe for banana bread. I did not have all the ingredients, but I procured them, and the results were 'pretty good.' It was not even close to the very best banana bread I have ever eaten, but it passed for banana bread, and it was edible, so I consider that a win. Things I needed were all purpose flour, sugar and vanilla extract. I found the vanilla extract, brown sugar and self-rising flour. That was all they had. When I got home, I found about twelve bottles of vanilla extract, and the flour and sugar did okay, I guess. As I said, it did not make me wretch, so I think that is okay for my first time. Before I stopped at the grocery, I hit Tractor Supply, and now the chickens, birds, cat and the girl dogs have ample supplies of food. I guess that means I will be keeping them for at least the near term. It turned out to be a lovely day in central Texas, the winds turned and are coming now from the north, the high temperature today was in the low 70s, and the humidity is negligible. I have several windows open, and it will be in the 40s over night. I made an executive decision tha
t there will be no more freezing temperatures for the next several months, so I brought all the plants outside from the front barn, and gave them water.

Friday, March 27, 2020

Volume 12 - Day 87/279, 2020 - Friday

I used to get all excited about Fridays, but now Friday is just like all the other days. AND...all the days, end in day. Whatever... I attended three zoom meetings today, did some technical stuff outside of real estate, and took the dogs for a ride. The social distancing is working pretty well if you discount the social media parts of it. It is interesting that people are arguing and fighting amongst themselves on Facebook, and I am just lurking and watching (for the most part) all the stuff going on. It is really not that entertaining, and I (probably) have the ability to binge watch stuff that I have been interested in for years (Netflix and other streaming services), but I have not yet succumbed to those temptations. In the meantime, I mess with the chickens, take the girls for a ride, and eat just about everything in sight. AND...I note that the iris are pretty much on the decline. They had a pretty good run this year, and there are still plenty left to bloom, but I am not sure I would call them 'spectacular' this year, as we have in the past.

Thursday, March 26, 2020

Volume 12 - Day 86/280, 2020 - Thursday

OMFG! Okay, Boomers, that means Oh. My. Freakin'. Goodness. Or something close to that, use your imagination. I took the piglet in to the vet this morning, and in the middle of one on my two (simultaneous) Zoom meetings, the vet left a message that they had removed TEN of her upper teeth. That is very different than one or two. One of my first questions was, exactly how many teeth does a dog start out with, and the answer was 'it depends.' And the bill was less than the original estimate. I don't get it. I went and picked her up this afternoon, after going in to the office for a couple hours (property managers, it seems, much like liquor stores, are considered 'essential'), and you would not know that they had done anything to her except for the purple elastic bandage on her leg where they put in the iv. BUT...while I was waiting for them to bring her out to my car, another attendant was walking another dog and that dog got loose and made a run for it. I MEAN A RUN FOR IT. I did not hang around to see how it all ended up, and I hope it had a happy ending. On another note, aren't these little blossoms pretty? They pop up every spring, and I expect many folks consider them weeds, but I thought they were worth documenting for this evenings journal entry. Everyone stay safe, and go wash your hands!

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Volume 12 - Day 85/281, 2020 - Wednesday

When asked, retired people say they stay busy all the time. I know this lockdown stuff is not really like retirement (it is in some ways, I think), but I am staying really busy with the social distancing stuff. I took the piglet to the vet this morning for some blood work (to make sure she will survive the dental surgery tomorrow), and the hand-off of the dog to the technician (stay in your car, we will come out and get her), was kind of like a bad James Bond movie. Work with me. After about 15 minutes and another phone call to make sure my credit card was clearing, they brought her back out, and we proceeded to come home. Tomorrow, she goes in for the surgery, and she's not supposed to have any food or water after 10 o'clock tonight. Try telling that to a dog... Anyway, after I got home, I had a 10 o'clock webinar call, and I have SEVEN more scheduled between now and the first of April. Austin and Travis County has declared Real Estate (and specifically Property Management) to be an essential activity, so I am going to try to get in to the office for a couple hours tomorrow, before I go back to get the piglet out of hock from the vet. Everything continues...

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Volume 12 - Day 84/282, 2020 - Tuesday

It is pretty close to being poppy season in central Texas. Georgetown prides itself on being the red poppy capital of something. Not sure if they claim the title in Texas or the World, but the poppies are blooming furiously there. So far, we only have three blooms, but there are LOTS of buds on the plants. I like them very much. Today was kind of a busy day in a try not to do anything kind of way. I had a nine o'clock conference call, then the housekeeper arrived, then the guys working on the pool arrived, then I went to the bank and took the girls for a ride, then I came home and started eating left-overs in the refrigerator. The Crossroads Cafe has signs out that they are offering to-go items, so I think I will do that tomorrow. Either that or a Popeye's chicken sandwich. We are on lock-down starting at 11:59 tonight, but liquor stores are considered essential businesses, so I've got that covered. I think real estate is also considered an essential business, in Travis County and Austin, not sure about Williamson County. My office is in Austin and Travis County, but I live in Williamson County. This is going to make for an interesting six or eight weeks, I think.

Monday, March 23, 2020

Volume 12 - Day 83/283, 2020 - Monday

More signs of progress close to the edge of nowhere. Great big giant water lines going in for miles out here, and I guess that is an okay thing. Not necessarily a good thing in my opinion, but an okay thing. I took the girls for a ride this morning, and then headed in to the office. I am pretty sure that Austin and Travis County will be on 'lockdown' starting tomorrow, but we will all survive it. I'm pretty sure that we will overcome and look back on all this. It will be like 'do you remember where you were when Kennedy was killed?' and the the next question is 'which Kennedy?' But anyway, staying home is not the worst thing that has ever happened to me, not by a long shot. I have a conference call scheduled for tomorrow at 9 o'clock, on one on Wednesday at 10 o'clock. The little piglet is going to the vet on Wednesday morning for some blood work and then on Thursday morning for some dental work. Probably going to have a couple teeth pulled, the vet last week said she had at least one tooth that caused an infection in her gums, but you really could not tell it, she does not act as if the gums are sore or that she has any problem with her teeth. I will let you know how it all works out.

Sunday, March 22, 2020

Volume 12 - Day 82/284, 2020 - Sunday

Day four of social distancing. Two days in a row that I have slept (okay, stayed in the bed) until 7:30. It is kind of interesting. I would usually get up not later than 5 o'clock, but there is no real need to be up and ready to do something these days. And the newspaper does not come until the delivery lady feels good and ready to deliver it. This morning, it got here at 9:21. The girls are doing pretty well adjusting to the new reality of things. They do not mind me being home a lot, and they really only care about making sure I don't forget to feed them. They are getting lots of extra food, too. I an usually not really hungry when I get up in the mornings, and I feed them pretty early. About 9 or 10 I feel like eating something, so there is always a little bit of my food that I share with them. That is their new reality; the human guy eats and they eat too! I did take the girls for their ride, it was kind of a long ride today. Then, I decided to go in to the Georgetown Tractor Supply. They did not have the same stuff that the Taylor store did not have yesterday. Bird seed and chicken feed. I substituted birdseed yesterday, and I substituted chicken feed today. They usually get deliveries on Tuesday, so I will go back in a couple days and check stuff out. On my way in to Georgetown, I saw this egret fishing for bugs, and thought it would be a good thing to share with you all tonight.

Saturday, March 21, 2020

Volume 12 - Day 81/285, 2020 - Saturday

The third day of social distancing. I saw a post on Facebook earlier that said we have ALL been social distancing for at least a decade, maybe two decades. Facebook, and all the other sites we go to have made us all more secluded, we don't really have conversations with that many people any more. We have a much more broad electronic social presence than we do in real life. What is it we miss about restaurants? We all sit at the table and look at our cell phones, we don't really converse with the people we are sitting with. Not sure why this social distancing is so hard for us all, we have been working up to it for a long time. That said, I did take the girls for a ride this morning, and then I went in to Taylor to put gas in jody's truck, stop at Tractor Supply for birdseed and farm stuff, and then a quick trip through the HEB. I expect I will gain a pound or two a day during this thing, and that is probably not great. This is my second pandemic; a measure of health during the first one was how skinny you were. Not skinny meant pretty good health. This is the time of year that Joe Mac comes to the rescue. The Indian Blankets and the Indian Paintbrushes are starting to pop up, and I stopped to take a picture of these this afternoon. I think these are Paintbrushes, but Joe Mac will tell us for sure.

Friday, March 20, 2020

Volume 12 - Day 80/286, 2020 - Friday

Day two of the social distancing thing. So far, so good. Due to recent events, I am really okay being by myself. I am not 100% staying home, but I am practicing better hygiene when I go out in public, i.e., carrying my Clorox Disinfecting Wipes and using them more efficiently. This morning, I took the girls for a ride, and we went down a road that, in the 12 years I have lived out here, I had never travelled. I swear I was half-way to Bryan/College Station before I figured out where in the hell I was. But I made it home, no problemos. I went in to the office for a couple hours, and headed back home with the obligatory stop at HEB. I bought another thing of pimento cheese spread, NO ICE CREAM, peanut butter (finally), and some instant oat meal. I am still on a quest for humus (who is hoarding humus?), and I quit checking the shelves for hand sanitizer a long time ago. I had not seen Barney in at least a week, but something had been eating the cat food that we put out in the back of the Polaris. I took one of the cameras from the back of the house and put it in the Polaris, and lo-and-behold, there was Barney. A couple times. Once in the early evening and then once or twice in the early morning. There was also some sort of hairy creature later in the early morning (does that make sense?), I think it was an opossum. I don't think it was a raccoon, but whatever it was (all I got to see was the back legs), it was hairy and it reminded me of what Bigfoot would look like up close.

Thursday, March 19, 2020

Volume 12 - Day 79/287, 2020 - Thursday

Just another quiet day on the Edge of Nowhere. I logged on to a quick conference call this morning at 8:30, and then it was time to take the girls for a ride. After that, I went in to the office with my trustee plastic tube of Clorox Disinfecting Wipes. I used them to bring the recycling cans back to their proper place at the office, and I sanitized the doors in the office as well. On the way home, I had to go by a property, and then I stopped at HEB and used them for the grocery cart. Honestly, that is a quite an accomplishment for me. I still do not think I can wash my hands and sing the alphabet song at the same time, but I am working on it. Is it just me, or is everyone putting on weight during this social distancing thing? I bought pancake mix and syrup at the grocery today, along with some pimento cheese spread and TWO more gallons of ice cream. No one is sure how this is all going to end, but if you need ice cream, just let me know. I took my temperature about five times today, and did not even break 98 degrees. I did learn, however, that you should not drink coffee and expect to take a legitimate thermometer reading at the same time. It is kind of shocking. More iris are blooming, and more of the fruit trees in the back are showing evidence of blossoms. The girls are happy, I am relatively happy, and right now it is a relatively calm evening.

Wednesday, March 18, 2020

Volume 12 - Day 78/288, 2020 - Wednesday

For dinner tonight, I made myself a grilled cheese sandwich. I had taken the girls to the vet this morning for their annual shots (the piglet needs some dental work now), and on the way to pick them up this afternoon, I stopped at the General Store in Jarrell and got American Cheese (for the grilled cheese sandwich). The American Cheese (32 slices) was a product that, the individual slices were not individually wrapped. It has been years...DECADES...since I have seen sliced cheese that was not individually wrapped. It must be some kind of retro cheese or something. Anyway...I wish I had thought to get pimento cheese spread, but I doubt that the general Store would have ready made pimento cheese spread. Grilled cheese sandwiches made with pimento cheese spread are ABSOLUTELY the best kind of grilled cheese sandwich. You have most likely NOT tried a grilled cheese sandwich made with pimento cheese spread, but I think you should put that on your bucket list of things to do before the quarantine stuff gets totally out of control. I am going to leave the house tomorrow about 9:30 and go in to the office. The plan is to leave there about 2 o'clock and come back home. I may stop at HEB on the way home and see if they have pimento cheese spread. I also have a four year old box of Twinkies in the garage refrigerator that I bought when there was a threat of a hurricane headed this way. I think it is okay, I don't think T
winkies ever expire, do they?

Tuesday, March 17, 2020

Volume 12 - Day 77/289, 2020 - Tuesday

Day one of the newest normal (there have been so many 'new normals this year, I have lost count). Let me know if this does not make any sense at all to you guys. The way I understand it, if you were on a cruise ship and you had a temperature of 100.4 degrees or more, you were a suspect to having been infected with the corona virus. 100.4 degrees was the benchmark. SO...since I was not working today (supposed to have been working from home, but I had really nothing to do), I decided that, if I were going to be here frequently for the next couple weeks, I would need a method of determining if I were potentially ill or if I were (in reality) just being bored or sluggish or something. SO...I went in to Georgetown and bought myself a thermometer. In the first couple hours (it took me thirty minutes to figure out how to use the thing, and that included studying the freakin' instructions), I took my temperature no less than seven times. The readings ranged from 97.2 to 101.2. The 101.2 I think was just a freak thing...The other six readings were between 97 and 99. According to the packaging in which the thermometer was presented, readings between 96.4 and 99.4 are considered normal. SO...my self-diagnosis proclaims that I am perfectly fine so far. No issues to report. I did take the girls for a ride earlier this morning, and I had no interactions with anyone during that time. When I went to CVS, there were less than 10 people in evidence, and I did make a trip to the Burger King drive-through as well. And this is only day one! Tomorrow morning, I am taking the girls in to the vet for their annual check-ups, and a beautification process. We shall see...

Monday, March 16, 2020

Volume 12 - Day 76/290, 2020 - Monday

I will trade you three rolls of toilet paper for a large bottle of hand sanitizer. Seven for two bottles. Let me know if you want to make a deal. It is a very interesting time in which we are living. Nothing is terribly interesting to me, not even the threat of a virus. I was watching Antiques Roadshow, and that was not even keeping my attention. Maybe the next one, fingers crossed. I went in to the office this morning, left about 230 or so and did a few errands on the way home. I will stay at home tomorrow and Wednesday. By stay at home, I mean I will NOT go in to the office. I may do a few things in Georgetown, but I am not going to the office. On Wednesday, I have a series of appointments at the house, getting bids for some renovations I would like to do.We will see. The sun finally came out after I got home this afternoon, so that was lovely. With any luck, maybe we will have some peaches later in the summer. The peach tree up by the road is absolutely covered with blossoms, so that will be good. Peach and Plums are blooming in the back, apples are not showing any signs of blossoms at the moment.

Sunday, March 15, 2020

Volume 12 - Day 75/291, 2020 - Sunday

Well, the weather prognosticators failed again today. Yesterday, they forecast high temperatures in the high 70s. I do not think the temperature broke 55 all day today. And it was dribbly outside all day as well. I am freezing! But it did not stop me from mingling with the masses. I hope I do not regret all this socializing I have done today. I got another carload of stuff off to Goodwill this morning, after I took the girls for a ride. I did get Jody's truck cranked up, so that was good. After the Goodwill, I was off to Costco. I put Costco in my GPS, and the closest one was in Cedar Park, so I let the GPS guide me. It was a pleasant drive, but the Costco is set up differently than the one I usually frequent, so I just kind of wandered around, criticizing other peoples cart maneuvers. Only one old lady with rubber gloves and a face mask paid me any attention, and she thanked me for my concern. Not really. But at least she did not pull out a pistol from her box of sani-wipes. It is the little things in life that mean so much. On the way home from Costco, I stopped again at HEB so I could wander around aimlessly there. I bought more chicken pot pies and another gallon of ice cream. It seems I have gone full speed with all the hysteria. When I got home, I cleaned the chicken coop and did the rest of the mundane things one does at a farm house on the weekends. I think the next few weeks are going to be kind of interesting, and I have already seen EVERYTHING on EVERY channel on the television. Good Grief!

Saturday, March 14, 2020

Volume 12 - Day 74/292, 2020 - Saturday

I found TURKEY pot pies and ONE CHICKEN pot pie today at Target. I also got a pretty decent supply of peanut butter pretzels. Pretty decent as in, I got the last two barrels of peanut butter pretzels. Before that, I got a couple closets cleaned out and made a trip to Goodwill. My goal is to clean out another closet tomorrow, and make another trip to Goodwill. Other than that, the only thing on my list for tomorrow is to clean the chicken coop (and mop the floor), and some really mundane stuff around the house. Jody's truck would not start again today, so I took the girls for a ride in my car, and put the battery charger on Jody's truck. Tomorrow I expect I will put the charger on the farm truck, and try to get it started. I need to fill a couple cans of gas up, so I will be set for summer lawn mower stuff. The Polaris and the tractor are both diesel, and I have tanks with diesel in them. I may take a trip in to Costco tomorrow, so I don't have to do that during the week. And maybe a stop at Lowe's. HEB is curtailing their store house to 8AM to 8PM, so maybe I will make a mad dash, not that I need anything. This corona food riot is kind of like Christmas...I am being convinced by the media that I need to go grocery shopping when I really don't have to, but I am going anyway, just to wander around the store kind of aimlessly. And now, for something completely different: Our Mountain Laurel is finally acting like it is really happy to be blooming, and the poppies are about ready to burst in to bloom. I love poppies, can't wait to see them!

Friday, March 13, 2020

Volume 12 - Day 73/293, 2020 - Friday

There is a new mural in town. This one is about nine stories high, at the corner of Congress and Cesar Chavez. Kind of interesting. I go that way quite a bit, and today was the first time I noticed it. Until further notice, everything is cancelled. Well, at least through April. EVERYTHING! I went to the HEB on the way home, my mission was to buy frozen chicken pot pies and some peanut butter filled pretzels. I did not find either one. I did not need toilet paper or paper towels, but I did buy two gallons of Blue Bell ice cream. A couple other things too, but really, except for hand sanitizer and the above mentioned paper products, it was pretty much business as usual. For a Friday the 13th, it was not a terrible day. I get to sleep in somewhat tomorrow (the girls will wake me up), and then next week is going to be a pretty casual week for me. Nothing crucial on my schedule that MUST be accomplished. The girls are going in for their shots and an extreme makeover on Wednesday, and I have a couple appointments at the house on Wednesday. It is kind of like the Twilight Zone...

Thursday, March 12, 2020

Volume 12 - Day 72/294, 2020 - Thursday

Oh crap, tomorrow is Friday the 13th. Ugh. Why can't it just be Friday? As far as Thursday's go, this one was not horrible. I had a conference call in my office at 8 o'clock this morning, which meant I had to get up early again and get to the offie by 8, which I did. That also meant I had to wake up early enough to do that, which I did. It also meant I had to leave early enough to get there, which I did. AND, I had to, once again, get on the express lane on MoPac (which I did), and pay five bucks to go about 15 miles (which I did). And I got to the office with about three minutes to spare. After the call, I had a ten o'clock appointment to present the Puppy Love class (which I did), and then it was back to the office. I did a few things (not a very busy real estate day), and then I headed home. I did make a few stops on the way; Tractor Supply and a bar-b-cue place in Taylor. The bar-b-cue was totally for the girls, they had not had any bones in a while, so they have a few bones to enjoy for the next several days. The high temperature today in central Texas was 87 degrees. The average temperature for this date is somewhere in the 50s. Blame it on a virus, everybody else is blaming everything else on a virus. I will let you know if I survive tomorrow.

Wednesday, March 11, 2020

Volume 12 - Day 71/295, 2020 - Wednesday

NOTICE: The Toad Is Gone. Today was a most excellent day...another friend in McAllen posted that his day was one of great achievements, so I looks like a lot of people were having a great day. Today was the last day of the Property Management class I was presenting at our south office, everyone passed the test, and everyone survived the four days of classroom experience. It was a great group of colleagues, as is evidenced by the photo attached. Tomorrow I will present a four hour class on Service Animals and Emotional Support Animals. I really enjoy presenting that class. News Item: The saga of the bed continues...As you know I bought a new mattress a couple weeks ago, and I have been looking for a bed frame for that new mattress ever since. On the way in to Austin, I was talking with one of our property managers, and she mentioned Star Furniture on northbound IH-35. I stopped in there this afternoon on my way home, and was greeted by a long-lost friend of mine, Gabe! I met Gabe when I first moved to Austin in 1985. He recognized me when I walked in the door, and I recognized him soon after. It was so very nice to see him again, and we had a great few minutes talking about what we had been doing since the last time we had seen each other. I'm talking DECADES!

Tuesday, March 10, 2020

Volume 12 - Day 70/296, 2020 - Tuesday

I was up early this morning so I would have plenty of time to make it to my class in South Austin. I left just minutes after 6, and there was a terrifically dense fog. I could literally NOT see past the hood of the car. I passed one vehicle going the other direction shortly after I started out, and we were both going about 3 miles per hour. It was an exhausting 12 miles from the house to the Interstate, but once I made it to the Interstate, the fog dispersed and traffic moved pretty well. My GPS said to get off the Interstate and take MoPac south. That worked out pretty well, and I got in to the express lane, just to be on the safe side. That lasted for about four miles, and traffic stopped. A car in the express lane crossed the barriers and wrecked in to a car in the left lane of MoPac and that stopped traffic in ALL the southbound lanes of MoPac. It is always something. I had, however, planned for unforeseen crap, and I still had plenty of time to make it to the class AND stop at the office on the way. It was the third of four days to present this class, tomorrow is the last day, and it has been a good group of colleagues to guide for those days. When I got home, checking the meters, the toad is still camped out on the water meter. I'll check on him again tomorrow.

Monday, March 9, 2020

Volume 12 - Day 69/297, 2020 - Monday

Another grey and rainy day in central Texas. At last glance, we had received 0.11" of rain in the gauge, hardly enough to bother with, let alone not enough for the entire day to be overcast. AND, there is a ZERO PERCENT chance that we will be able to see the Worm Moon tonight. Crap. But, it was a Monday, and you know what they say about Mondays...they come after Sunday... Whatever. As is usual for my CDO-ness, I check the meters every day...I learned that lesson after the cattle broke a water hose and we could have flooded the Yangtze...but I digress. It is not uncommon for me to see one of these toads perched up on the water meter after  it has been raining, but I have to admit, it does tend to startle me. Same with snakes. You open up the meter cover and there is a snake in there, it will give you a new respect for religion. But, so far, neither occurrence has caused me serious health problems, and it is just one of the facts of life when you live on the edge of nowhere. Allegedly, the rain is over for at least a couple days, and the high temperature for tomorrow is forecast to be in the 80s. Rain is predicted for the weekend. Of course it is!

Sunday, March 8, 2020

Volume 12 - Day 68/298, 2020 - Sunday

OMG! It is 9:10 (it is really 8:10), and I am ready for bed. I did much the same kind of nothing today that I did yesterday, only less of it in a more intense kind of way. I met Mike and Candy at an estate sale in Round Rock, and I did not buy a thing. It was a really big house, and it was crammed full of stuff, but nothing that I felt like I really needed, so that was that. The image in this post is of the Mountain Laurel that was blooming outside the sale house. The aroma of the Mountain Laurel is intoxicating. I love it. I left there and went to Ikea, where I did the whole tour and ended up with some sheet sets. I already like the feel of these sheets better than the last ones I have been sleeping on. I thought the higher the thread count, the better I would like them, but then I read that the higher the thread count, the less 'breathable' they are. So, the sheets I bought today are 310 thread count, and I have washed them and put them on and I am ready to try them out. I did two more loads of laundry (all sheets and pillow cases), put seed in the bird feeders, watered the outside and the inside plants, cleaned the chicken coop and MOPPED the newly installed linoleum (even though I will need to replace it with a complete sheet soon). Tomorrow the garbage needs to be taken up to the road, but it is windy tonight, so I will wait until morning to take the can up there. This week, I have a meeting tomorrow morning, and then a lunch date with Diane, two days of teaching Tuesday and Wednesday, a half day of teaching Thursday, and a meeting on Friday. Next week is pretty blank, but I will see if I can fill it up between now and then.

Saturday, March 7, 2020

Volume 12 - Day 67/299, 2020 - Saturday

It is not fair to say I did little of nothing today. I stayed in bed until almost 7 o'clock. I drank coffee. I took the girls for a ride. I did laundry. I messed with the chickens. I tried to avoid all reports of the coronavirus. I ate a variety of crap. I took a couple naps. I set most of the clocks forward already. I thought of something interesting to photograph for this journal entry, and came up with nothing. I found a couple things in the public domain, and decided on the attached image. I did a little bit of closet cleaning, and a little bit of drawer cleaning. I decided old people will actually be better off if they contract the coronavirus, because we read newspapers, and if there is indeed a global shortage of toilet tissue, we can just quit recycling the newspapers and use them. I think that is a distinct advantage. I looked for some misplaced items, and did not find them. I put water in the bird baths. I walked up to the road and got the mail. I considered going to a couple estate sales, but decided I would wait until tomorrow. I shredded a bunch of stuff. Did I mention that I did laundry? That was be biggest accomplishment of the day.

Friday, March 6, 2020

Volume 12 - Day 66/300, 2020 - Friday

I am truly happy that today is Friday. It started out nicely enough, and there was nothing particularly traumatic about the day, but I am just glad for the weekend to be here. It could only be made better if we did not have to set our clocks forward an hour tomorrow night. I am too old for messing with the clocks twice a year. It is bad enough that I have to keep them set, wind them, install new batteries and all that stuff. I cannot go gently into that good night if I wake up and think "It's three o'clock, but it is really only two o'clock!" But, it seems I have no choice, and will be a good soldier and comply with the will of our elected officials. I did have lunch with Holly this afternoon (thanks Holly), and that was very nice. We got to catch up on all the stuff that has been going on since the last time we got together. It was only after we went to our next meetings that I remembered other really important stuff that we had not even gotten around to mentioning. And then I was off to the board to present a quick Ethics tutelage to a group of newly oriented members. I always like doing that, and it is pretty darned rewarding to warn these new colleagues to try and NOT make all the mistakes I made in my career!

Thursday, March 5, 2020

Volume 12 - Day 65/301, 2020 - Thursday

What a difference a day makes! It was rainy and grey for the last several days, but today was a beautiful day. High temperature in the low 70s, plenty of sun, light breezes, absolutely lovely! I got in to the office this morning about 9 o'clock, and I did a little bit of power real estate. A meeting here and there, and then I headed off to Sandy's on Barton Springs Road and got everyone in the office a cheese burger special. Dee-Lish! Then I had to make a stop at the pharmacy, and off to another meeting. I got home after dark (I am not crazy about that). First things first, come inside and let the girls out. Then unpack the car, and check out the beautiful pot roast that Michael and Lynda sent me home with. More Dee-Lish! And now, it is time to call it a day. Or a night. I took this picture of the yucca blooms over the last weekend, I think. There is this one particular place that these bloom every year, and I am really happy that I got a chance to see them before they wilted.

Wednesday, March 4, 2020

Volume 12 - Day 64/302, 2020 - Wednesday

Technically speaking, the weather forecast was accurate. There was rain forecast to arrive 'after midnight,' and I guess six hours 'after midnight' is technically 'after midnight.' I left the house this morning at 6:06 in the morning, and arrived at my class at 8:40. It was a little bit of crazy weather, but some of the drivers were crazier than the weather. I drive like a little old granny when I am driving in the dark and it is raining like crazy. Add to that the frequent lightning and thunder, and I am a cluster in the drivers seat. I don't like it. Just after I graduated from high school, and I would drive from Memphis back to Michigan for the weekend, all that driving was done in the dark. I just did not know any better. Now I do, and I still don't care much for it. But I digress...I made it to the board, presented the class information, and got back home with no casualties. That is really all that is necessary. AND...I can sleep in a little while tomorrow morning!

Tuesday, March 3, 2020

Volume 12 - Day 63/303, 2020 - Tuesday

Is it my imagination or is Barney starting to look more and more like Garfield, the older he gets? He was not the least bit threatened when I took him his food this afternoon when I got home, so that in itself is a good sign. I left for Austin early this morning, in order to give myself plenty of time to get to South Austin for my class that began at 8:30. I left at 6:15, and paying close attention to the traffic reports on the television, that should have given me plenty of time. There was a report of a wreck on the northbound side of the Interstate, but nothing happening on the southbound side. It ended up taking me an hour and 57 minutes to get the the board office. I got there with about 17 minutes to spare. When I left the house, the GPS said I would be there by about 7:30. Nope, it didn't happen. So here is the current challenge: It is supposed to storm overnight, and rain throughout the day tomorrow. What in the hell time do you think I need to leave to get to South Austin in time for my class. We agree...we don't know. Wish me luck.

Monday, March 2, 2020

Volume 12 - Day 62/304, 2020 - Monday

This is what quiet looks like. It has been grey and overcast all day long, and there is really no hope for sunshine until Thursday or Friday. The rain is supposed to start overnight Tuesday in to Wednesday, and there is a chance for over two inches of rain here on the edge of nowhere. That will be just fine, hopefully the winds won's be problematic. I got in to the office this morning and got a lot of the 'first of the month' stuff done, including filling out the application for our annual E&O Insurance renewal. It does not expire until the end of the month, so I am about 29 days ahead of schedule. Tomorrow and Wednesday will be full days of teaching at the south office, so I expect to leave the house at about 6:15 just be be safe. You never know what might happen from a traffic point of view, but Wednesday is the day I will be really concerned about.

Sunday, March 1, 2020

Volume 12 - Day 61/305, 2020 - Sunday

I went to breakfast this morning with Candy and Barbara. Barbara was leaving this afternoon to go back to Australia where she lives. I met Barbara a couple years ago on a Texas REALTOR® cruise, through Candy, and we became friends. Shortly after that, she moved to Australia. That had been the plan. She is in love with a Scottish (I think) policeman that lives in Australia, so that is great! We talked about things that she did not expect when she moved, and what a BIG decision it is to pick up everything and move somewhere where you know only one person. I think that is scary, but I am kind of warming up to the idea. Not Australia, but just somewhere. 2023 will be an interesting year, I think. The chickens have most of a new floor covering in their coop. I told the guy I needed a piece of linoleum that was 6 feet by 11 feet, and it almost is. He got the six foot part right, but the eleven foot part is about a foot short. SO...I will get another piece of linoleum to replace it. You cannot piece together linoleum in a chicken coop, it needs to be all one piece. Otherwise, I got a lot of little chores done, and just putzed around for most of the day. I was looking forward to a nap, but that did not happen.