Monday, August 31, 2020

Volume 12 - Day 244/122, 2020 - Monday

Chaotic. Chaos. Overscheduled. Monday! It was a day, honestly not as bad as one of the days last week, and I honestly think I am on the downhill slide now for the rest of this week. There were just lots of meetings today, and an effort to get other stuff accomplished. I was going from 8 o'clock this morning until almost six o'clock this evening. All I have eaten today has been junk food, and I know that I really need to get something nutritious in my body, but I will worry about that next week. I think it is staying darker later in the mornings, and getting darker earlier in the evenings, which is perfectly alright with me. I know that is a seasonal thing, but it usually takes me by surprise, like a door shutting quickly. It looks to be pretty close to a full moon tonight, not sure when the full moon is officially. It is prettier now than it was twenty minutes ago, so if you get a chance, you need to stick your head out the door and take a look. I continuously remark that I think Barney is getting more domesticated, but I know in my heart that he really isn't. For the last two afternoons, he has been camped out under the Polaris when I go out to feed him, and he usually goes under the truck to hide. He has not moved a muscle the last two nights, and he just stays put. I think the appropriate word is more likely 'tolerant' and not 'domesticated!'

Sunday, August 30, 2020

Volume 12 - Day 243/123, 2020 - Sunday

One more day. Just one more day and this month will be done. It has been a pretty unremarkable day in my opinion, nothing particularly good or bad that I can remember. Just a series of days, one leading to the next, and then one month leading to the next. I did complete one errand today, and I got the chicken coop cleaned out, and that was about it. I tried dusting the chickens for mites (yes, they have mites), but that did not go as planned. Since I am out in the coop with them every day, I thought I would just dust them while they were eating their meal worms and that would be that. BUT, the chickens had different ideas. They would not participate in the dusting, so I will need to come up with a different plan. There is a spray you can get on-line, an probably at a feed store somewhere, so I will do a little bit more research on that. The cotton in the fields looks like it is about ready to be harvested. Interestingly, we treat cotton as an annual plant here, but it is really a perennial, we just kill it off after one harvest and replant. There is a way that it can produce three or four crops before it fails, but I don't remember how that was done. I heard it on the radio about a year ago.

Saturday, August 29, 2020

Volume 12 - Day 242/124, 2020 - Saturday

I think there is a whole family of these albino walking sticks living in this pot on the back patio. The only walking sticks I had previously seen were kind of a dark green color, so maybe this is not a walking stick (or a praying mantis). Who knows for sure? This photo was actually taken several weeks ago, and I forgot about it until tonight when I was watering, I saw another, smaller one in the pot. They don't seem to be inhibiting the growth of the plant, so there is no reason to mess with them, in my opinion. Leave well enough alone. Even though it was Saturday, I did put clothes on about noon, and shortly after I headed off to do some errands. First and foremost on the list was to get some peaches, and I was successful at doing that, so I feel somewhat accomplished. I may have set myself up to fail, but I am not sure these peaches are as good as the ones I bought at the same stand two weeks ago. I asked them if they were Fredericksburg peaches, and the said they bought them in Fredericksburg, but they are from Colorado. Hmmm. Anyway, they are good, and I will be eating and sharing peaches for the next week. I got a few other errands done as well, most notably a stop at Tractor Supply where I got some dog food and chicken treats, and then to HEB where I got more dog food and another supply of ice cream. I am making the most of this pandemic, in terms of having to actually dress only occasionally, and not being seen more than from the neck down. I will head back in to georgetown, just to pick up a few things that I did not think about today.

Friday, August 28, 2020

Volume 12 - Day 241/125, 2020 - Friday

The heat is just becoming tedious. This photo was at about 5 o'clock this afternoon. At 7:30, we were down by three degrees to 99. Heat index says it feels like 104. I believe it. No rain in the forecast for the near future, and that is just typical. It looks like we will end the month with about 1.1 inches of rain, not really enough to make any difference, but it is better than nothing. This was an interesting and really a tiring week. I completed a total of 16 zoom meetings, and I went in to the office three times, I think. Somebody on HGTV was talking about their commute in to the office, and they said that the commute was like a part time job. Their commute was a lot longer than mine, and I really don't mind the commute. I get a lot of thinking and telephoning done in the car. Lots of planning and noting, too. Next week will be a busy one, too, but a different kind of busy, I think. It will be another week of zoom meetings, but no two-at-a-time, and they will be a little bit more spread out. Tomorrow I will go on a search for roadside peaches, and maybe make a stop at the grocery. I don't think there is anything pressing that I NEED from the grocery, I guess I just like to go. It is going to be another hot one, so try to find some shade!

Thursday, August 27, 2020

Volume 12 - Day 240/126, 2020 - Thursday

If you look closely, you can see Venus (I think) to the left and down a little bit from the moon. It is a lovely evening in central Texas, it is hot as hell, but I have finished watering trees, and watering plants in the front and back, and as soon as I finish this journal entry, I will be heading to the bed. Only three zoom meetings today, and I think there are only two tomorrow. Then a couple days off, and next week will have another string of zooms, and then it will quiet down for a while. I really like my volunteer work, but it all happens in clusters, and at least it is not the kind of clusters one usually thinks about. I headed in to Austin late this morning, and did two of the zoom meetings in the office, got some real estate work done, and then headed for home. I am craving pizza, but it is not Tuesday, so that will have to wait. I fixed myself an egg loaf for dinner, and shared it with the girls. I do not have a whole lot of anything on my list to get accomplished for the weekend, so that is lovely. Nothing is pressing that I need to get accomplished, so that is most likely what I will get done: A whole lot of nothing!

Wednesday, August 26, 2020

Volume 12 - Day 239/127, 2020 - Wednesday

I was going to start the conversation off with some comments about Hurricane Laura, but I will wait for a couple hundred words or so, and talk first about Barney the Cat instead. I don't know if Barney gets lonely, now that Rocky has passed, but he seems to be hanging around the house a little more than usual. For the last couple nights, he has been laying on one of the paths when I go water pot plants in the back, he looks up at me, but does not make any moves to run off. I have always talked to him (as I do with all the animals out here; cows, squirrels, rabbits, chickens, skunks, dogs), and that is something I picked up from Jody. Jody was the original 'animal whisperer.' Jody could communicate with animals and calm them. They were not afraid of Jody, and Jody brought home more than one stray dog during the time we got to spend together. Barney knows there is food and water available to him, so he does not have to mess with some of the other wild life around here. That is kind of the deal we have made with each other. Hurricane Laura: Many of my friends in east Texas and Louisiana report that that are eating all the ice cream in their freezers, and they have turned the air conditioners down as low as they go. This is not their first rodeo, and they are expecting to be without power for extended periods. We all hope the the best, and be sure to include them in your prayers for the next several days, at least.

Tuesday, August 25, 2020

Volume 12 - Day 238/128, 2020 - Tuesday

Every now and then, the very best thing you can do is to just go outside and look up. Hopefully it will be raining, but here on the Edge of Nowhere, usually not. Sometimes the clouds are not apparent, and the sky is just an incredible color of blue. Sky for miles and miles. Other times there are some clouds, and sometimes the clouds are more spectacular than other times. I know for sure that all the clouds are more spectacular than anything I could do, so I am constantly amazed and in awe of the clouds. It does not look like we will get any benefit at all from either one of the hurricanes in the Gulf. At best, we are looking at about a quarter-of-an-inch of rain, but I think that is really more optimistic than reality will prove. I was on several zoom calls today, and made a trip in to Austin to get some stuff done in the office. My calendar showed 15 zoom calls this week, and I just had one more added. Next week will be a little bit crazy too, but then it will be quiet for several weeks.

Monday, August 24, 2020

Volume 12 - Day 237/129, 2020 - Monday

Ouchee. OUChee. OUCHEE! Why are all the people in the Walgreen's pharmacy so mean and snobbish this year? Believe me, I know mean and snobbish when I see it. We have gone to the same Walgreen's for several years to get our various vaccines. That's a lot of vaccines when you get to be my age, too. This year, they are totally unfriendly and argumentative. I know what that looks like, too. I mentioned last week that I was told that I should wait until the middle of September to get my flu shot, but we will give it to you right now if you insist. I didn't insist. I have never been turned away for a flu shot in my life (and that is a lot of years). It was reported that the CDC recommended that. I did some research, and everything I could find said GET YOUR FLU SHOT AS SOON AS POSSIBLE, but not later than October. So, figuring if I waited until the middle of September, the odds would be pretty good that they would be OUT of flu shots, so I went back today. Same story, same script, but I politely (haha) said I would prefer to get the shot today. I was informed that I would need to be very careful, because getting a flu shot today would put me at a greater risk of being infected in January or February. I am not sure how waiting two weeks will give me eight extra weeks of protection, but I persevered and got my flu shot today. Those people at Walgreen's are mean!

Sunday, August 23, 2020

Volume 12 - Day 236/130, 2020 - Sunday

I can get Jody's car in the garage now, but so far I am not that motivated to get it done. I think it is good enough (for right now) that I CAN get it in the garage if I want to. I do not drive the car enough to keep the battery charged, and it is really not too much trouble to jump start it with my handy dandy Costco phone charger thingy, but right now, I think I have done enough. I went in to Georgetown to get some more peaches at the roadside stand, and just as I pulled up, they sold out. I ended up getting four peaches at HEB but they have absolutely NO TASTE. That might be (and it is well documented) a sign of the Covids, but I am pretty sure that is not why the peached have no taste. They are just not very good peaches. SO, I have to eat the other three before I can go on a search for more next Saturday. I also made a stop at Home Depot to return something I bought a couple months ago, then came home and broke down a bunch of emptied boxes, and cleaned the chicken coop. Last night it looked like Marco was going to miss us completely, tonight it looks like we MIGHT get some rain out of him on Wednesday or Thursday. That would be extra swell. This is going to be an extra busy, crazy week. I have FIFTEEN zoom meetings scheduled for this week, and then next week is a big bunch of nothing! What day is Labor Day, anyway? I think that is coming up in the next couple weeks.

Saturday, August 22, 2020

Volume 12 - Day 235/131, 2020 - Saturday

Apathetic. Careless. Dull. Inattentive. Indifferent/ Lackadaisical. Lethargic. Sleepy. Tired. Weary. Asleep on the job. Comatose. Dallying. Dilatory. Drowsy. Flagging. Idle. Indolent. Inert. Laggard. Lagging. Languid. Languorous. Lifeless. Loafing. Neglectful. Out of it. Procrastinating. Remiss. Shiftless. Slack. Slothful. Slow. Slow-moving. Snoozy. Somnolent. Supine. Tardy. Torpid. Trifling. Unconcerned. Unenergetic. Unindustrious. Unpersevering. Unready.

    Friday, August 21, 2020

    Volume 12 - Day 234/132, 2020 - Friday

    Another hot day today, no let up in sight, unless we get some relief from one of the expected two tropical storms predicted to travel up into the Gulf over the weekend. The first one looks like it is heading straight to Houston then Austin. That one could make landfall on Tuesday. The other looks like it will turn and head further east, and that one could make landfall on Wednesday. First time ever there will have been two (probable) hurricanes in the Gulf at the same time. This is 2020. I had a quick zoom meeting this morning, and then I headed in to Austin by way of Georgetown, to drop off some birthday eggs to Janis. It was a really quiet day in the office, and I headed home about 2 o'clock. On the way home, I called Walgreen's to see if they were offering flu shots, and they were, so I headed there. When I got there, they said the CDC does not recommend getting your flu shot until at least September and not later than the end of October. So, I will put off getting my flu shot for another couple of weeks, but if they don't have any when I get back, I will be really pissed off. Neighbors cow and calf.

    Thursday, August 20, 2020

    Volume 12 - Day 233/133, 2020 - Thursday

    If you had asked me five months ago if, sitting on my ass all day, looking at a laptop screen and taking phone calls all day would be totally exhausting, I would have laughed in your face. There was no social distancing then, and laughing in your face would not (at the time) be considered a felony. My, how times have changed. I do remember making derogatory comments about state employees fat asses, an affliction I thought was caused by them sitting on their asses all day, looking at a computer screen and taking phone calls. It seems now that I too am plagued with the fat ass syndrome, very likely caused by sitting on my ass all day, looking at my laptop screen and taking phone calls. I think that might also be considered Karma. Dammit. I was out feeding the chickens and collecting eggs earlier, while talking to my friend Jan, and came upon this jawbone. Cat? Skunk? I kind of think cat, but not sure. The Edge of Nowhere is a prime area for people to dump animals, and cats kind of come and go. Barney has stuck with us for several years, there had been at least two raccoons (RIP Rocky), and at least a dog or two. So, I am going with cat. We don't really count skunks (they live under the front barn), or armadillos or opossums. Do you think this could be a jawbone of an armadillo or an opossum? Stuff just percolates up from below ground out here, but usually after a pretty good rain, and there has been no rain to speak of for a couple months. Keep your eyes on the Gulf though, we may be in for some action next week!

    Wednesday, August 19, 2020

    Volume 12 - Day 232/134, 2020 - Wednesday

    I hope this does not gross anybody out, but one thing I learned when I was doing regular, long-distance bike rides is, all mammals, no matter what they are, all smell the same when they are dead and decaying. ALL mammals, it does not matter. If you are reading this, and you die and your corpse is rotting, you are not going to smell any better than Rocky the Raccoon. Yep, Rocky is a goner. I am really glad that I got that last photo of him. He was old, crippled and just had no more life in him, but his last days were as good as they could have been, maybe. At least I know that he was not stalked by me or any other beast, and he passed as comfortably as I could make it for him. And then, I got a big garden fork, got him dislodged from the beds in front of the garage, and hauled him across the road and unceremoniously into a low spot where the other surviving critters will finish him off and he will be returned to whence he came. That is the part of farm life that is not that appealing to me, but it is just part of the cycle. Chickens are by far the easiest to dispose of. Cattle (depending on where they die) can be easy, because there is really nothing you can do except wait, and there are varying levels of difficulty for all the other things that can cause a big stink. Whatever...I have not regaled you with photos of traffic challenges, but I encountered one this morning. In reality, it should not have hindered my drive-in to Austin, but we all had to look, and I had to take a picture.

    Tuesday, August 18, 2020

    Volume 12 - Day 231/135, 2020 -Tuesday

    When I last saw Rocky (last night), the crippled and not well raccoon, he was still breathing. I have seen him, usually, in the plant beds around the house. I put out some water that is easier for him to access, but I still don't think he is long for this life. He may fool me, he has so far. I have given him up for gone a couple times, but then I will see him again, and wonder how much life he still has in him. I did four zoom meeting today, in the time it takes to do two zoom meetings, which means I did two at a time; two at 10 o'clock this morning, and two at 2 o'clock this afternoon. One meeting tomorrow, two on Thursday, and one on Friday. In person meetings are a lot more fun than zoom. Somebody needs to order him a drink...your least expensive Merlot, please. It was only 104 degrees here today, and I have had about enough of this. It was a lovely morning, and nice and temperate, but it didn't last. We have nothing to look forward to around here, but more 100 degree days and no rain for the next two weeks. The second week of October cannot get here quickly enough, that is my prediction (every year) of when we start to see cooler weather.

    Monday, August 17, 2020

    Volume 12 - Day 230/136, 2020 - Monday

    ...and the giant cat, the undisputed King of all he surveys, walks effortlessly from the cover of the savanna to the only depression for miles around that still holds water in the months long drought that has overtaken the land. All the other wildlife has given uncontested passage to this formidable beast, and all turns to deafening quiet as he partakes of the life giving liquid that is so scarce in these times. Or, maybe it is just Barney that came to get a drink out of the water dish on the patio. Yeah, that's probably it. The rain chances in central Texas turned out to be ZERO chances of rain here on the Edge of Nowhere. It is not a surprise by any means, and I have no idea when the next chance of rain might be. The 'cold front' that came through last night did cool things off a little bit, but we still broke 100 degrees here and a little warmer in Austin. It was a little bit cloudy today as well, so that helped things out, too. Otherwise, just a typical Monday.

    Sunday, August 16, 2020

    Volume 12 - Day 229/137, 2020 - Sunday

    I practically had to force myself to get out of the house today and do something...anything... I kept looking at my list of things I wanted to get done, and I just had absolutely no motivation. I finally did go and plant some plumbago that I have had for at least a couple months. I have never had plumbago before, but I saw them planted in Austin and absolutely love them, very pretty. I also planted some amaryllis that I bought before christmas last year. I have a little place that I plant all the Christmas amaryllis, and I finally got these two planted. Now I just have to remember to keep them watered where they are now. I had been keeping them in the 'shade garden,' and now they will need more water. I am surprised that there is any water left in central Texas. We did not break a record in Austin today, but it was 106 there. My thermometer showed it to be 109 again today, and I do not doubt it at all. I am using a good bit of water trying to keep things a little bit green. I have cut back on the watering length of time, and I hope that will help. We really need some rain, and there is a chance between now and tomorrow evening, but not a very good chance. The chicken coop got cleaned, I did some this-and-thats, and I did a load of laundry, and remembered to take it out of the dryer, too. One thing I did when I went in to Georgetown this afternoon, was to stop at a roadside peach place. I never buy a whole basket (quart?) of peaches, but I bought two. I have been having a hankering. I cut up one of the peaches when I got home, and I do not think I have ever had a more delicious peach. I doubt that I will ever have another peach that was as delicious as this one. I should have bought more.

    Saturday, August 15, 2020

    Volume 12 - Day 228/138, 2020 - Saturday

    Today, I accomplished an incredible amount of NOTHING. I am beginning to get concerned about chair sores...I imagine them to similar to bed sores, but caused by prolonged sitting in a big blue chair, watching television, and checking Facebook and Reddit. I think it may be contagious, so I recommend you keep a respectable distance. I did get (with the help of our IT man Robert) my new router hooked up, and an extender installed. I still have a little bit of tweaking to do with the extender, but so far, so good with ell the other bits. While Robert was working remotely and I was looking out the office window, I tried capturing a photo of one of the humming birds that hang out around the house. There were two out there for a while, but I was too slow on the trigger finger. I don't know that you can really decipher from this grainy picture, but I love watching them. It remains hot and dry here, and it is taking it's toll. Several years ago, during a period like this, we lost five or six of the bigger trees that were up towards the road, and a couple more back in the pastures. There is a possibility of some rain tomorrow late afternoon and into the day Monday, but there is not a lot of accumulation expected. I think sometime tomorrow I will need to go to Home Depot and get something to replace the geraniums on the front porch, and move them over to the 'shade garden.'

    Friday, August 14, 2020

    Volume 12 - Day 227/139, 2020 - Friday

    Well, so much for that pork chop that I thought would last another two days...I finished the rest of it this evening for dinner, and the girls got lovely pork chop bones. Everybody was happy. Talking about food, I got my hair cut this afternoon, and tradition dictates that I make a stop at Firebowl when I leave the salon. SO...I brought home TWO dinners, and those should be good for at least four meal times. I had only one meeting today, and it was an early one, 8 o'clock this morning. Then I made a few phone calls, and headed into the office about 10. I need to do a few real estate things over the weekend, but basically, I am not motivated to do much of anything. I went outside to water pot plants this evening, about 7:45, and it was still 102 degrees outside. It is getting to be ridiculous, but that is something that we do every summer in Texas: Complain.

    Thursday, August 13, 2020

    Volume 12 - Day 226/140, 2020 - Thursday

    I am going to be eating on this pork chop for at lease two more days. Today, the Austin Board of REALTORS® TREPAC Committee sponsored a 'Pork Chops and Politics' Major Investor virtual luncheon. If you ever come to Austin, you need to make a date with Perry's Steakhouse, and order the pork chop. When you dine in (which is something I have not done since sometime in March, I think the chops are actually bigger than this one. Absolutely DEE-LISH! Investors signed up for the luncheon, included the address they wanted their pork chop delivered to, and they were all delivered between 11 and noon. The virtual meeting started at noon, and we enjoyed hearing from state politicos and the current Chairman of the National Association of REALTORS®. Quite an event, and it got pulled off without any issues. Kudos to everyone involved. I had a 10 o'clock meeting this morning, and then I had TWO zoom meetings at noon, and I attended them both. I have conflicting meetings next week, too, and I think I will just be virtually attending two at a time. Th
    e more computers you have, the more meetings you can attend!

    Wednesday, August 12, 2020

    Volume 12 - Day 225/141, 2020 - Wednesday

    In 2013, seven years ago today, Jody and I, with a group of close friends, were in Glastonbury, Connecticut, where we were married by a Republican, Justice of the Peace. I never cease to be amazed by geographic differences, not only in the terrain, but also of the differences in acceptance and the respect for one persons love for another. It was a wonderful day, there were so many laughs, so many expressions of love, so many wishes of love and appreciation. We were our own little world on that day. I was happier than I had ever been in my life, and I think it showed to our small legion of friends that shared the moment with us. Thank you all for sharing, and thank you all for being there, and thank you all for remembering. today is not a day to be sad, today is a day for ME to be happy, a day for thanking everyone for caring. Today is also a day to be hot. The seven day forecast is on the hot side, and I am looking forward to the second week of October. In my world, that is when a front will come through and temperatures will finally cool down, and we can go about our lives. Until then, I recommend you stay inside as much as possible, and try to get a payment plan started with your particular utility company. When you come across anyone, just give them a fist bump, and ask 'Is it hot enough for you?" That is what we do...

    Tuesday, August 11, 2020

    Volume 12 - Day224/142, 2020 - Tuesday

    If there is a state bird of Texas, can there be a city bird of Austin. When I moved here in 1985, the joke was that the state bird of Texas was the crane. The construction crane. Then that wafted over to the city bird of Austin was the crane. Then the state and city birds went away for a couple years, but now they are back with a vengeance. I am generally a little bit apprehensive of driving under these things, especially when they have those cement buckets hooked up to them. But, I do it, and so far, so good. Right now, Austin is the eleventh largest city in the country, and we are supposed to break in to the top ten early next year. Parts of it still feel like Mayberry, and that is okay. Parts of it really are Mayberry, and there is nothing wrong with that. BUT, we are a big city, and we have big city problems. We just all have to be aware. Perhaps I really should not be discussing Austin at all, since I live outside Austin, actually about 35 or 40 miles outside Austin. It is 49+ miles to my office from the house, so maybe that disqualifies me from having opinions about Austin. I know it does not stop other people from sharing their opinions, good or bad, but at least I am considering the whole picture. Kind of like being an agnostic...kind of just hedging my bets. But I will bet you $100 that I think about and consider the possibilities much more than most. Hmmm... It is kind of interesting how these conversations start, take a turn, and then end...

    Monday, August 10, 2020

    Volume 12 - Day 223/143, 2020 - Monday

    Today's topic is: Things that have happened that I forgot to mention. I'll start... About four days ago, one of my bulls (NOTE: There is no reason to have more than one bull) jumped the fence and started courting one (some) of the neighbors cows. The neighbor has his own bull, so he did not need mine. This bull was (emphasis on was) relatively aggressive, and today he was 'darted' and taken to the auction barn. One less longhorn here in the Edge of Nowhere. The other day, I was cleaning out the skimmer basket, and there was a palm frond that I could not get out. It was not a palm frond, it turned out to be the tail of a very live rat. I had no idea could give Lloyd Bridges a run for their money, and dive like it was in full scuba gear like on Sea Hunt. I finally rescued it, and I expect it is probably chewing wires in the engine compartment of the pick up truck as I write this. I should have pruned some of the pears off this tree when I had the chance (two or three months ago), but I didn't. It is probably not too late to do it still, but they have put their energies into getting this far, I hate to pick and choose at this point. Finally, I think I might be overwatering the potted plants, many of their leaves are getting yellow. I am cutting back a little bit on the watering, but it is hard to imagine overwatering when it is consistently over 100 degrees on a daily basis. And it is only some of the plants that have yellow leaves, so maybe I should just cut back the water on those plants.

    Sunday, August 9, 2020

    Volume 12 - Day 222/144, 2020 - Sunday

    Yesterday when I took hay to the cattle, I surveyed the remains of Violet, and brought her skull up to the house. She has a little bit more drying out to do, but eventually we will hang her up on a wall, most likely out on the front barn, facing the road. When we had the place in Red Rock, we started out with three head of cattle: Mr. Speckles, Daphne and Orchid. Violet was our first calf, the spawn of Speckles and Daphne. I remember very clearly when I first saw her. Daphne had taken her into a wooded part of the property, a pretty secluded place, and it took me a while to find them, but I did. I still run across the photos every now and then. Violet was always a small cow, but she had always been a really good mama, and it is kind of sad that she died giving birth, but that is what happens in nature. We had a calf die when we first moved here, and we went to a lot of trouble burying the calf. It was YEARS before grass would grow where we buried that calf, so now, if/when something happens, we just leave it to the coyotes and the vultures, and pretty soon all there is is a scattered pile of bones. I got all my shopping done, and was successful on most of the items I was looking for. I went to Bed, Bath and Beyond and got two air purifiers, the only two they had. The girls and I are living for the most part in the bedroom and the bathroom, and it smells like a boy and two dogs. The air purifiers can't hurt, so there they are. I got the Idea because we have tow of them in the office, and everyone seems to think they help, so only time will tell. The chicken coop got cleaned, and the trash cans are up CLOSE to the road. It is so windy, I am not actually going to put them out on the road until tomorrow morning, just to make sure they don't blow over.

    Saturday, August 8, 2020

    Volume 12 _ Day 221/145, 2020 - Saturday

    An old wives’ tale states you can count on rain within 7 days of seeing a Texas Sage burst into bloom.  Indeed, shortly after my shrub was ablaze with purple, we were fortunate to have had a couple of days of sweet, steady rain.  Considering our recent very dry summer, here’s to seeing a little more purple in our landscapes this fall. The detail behind the matter, however, is that while Texas sage tends to blossom a couple days before precipitation occurs, it really blooms when the conditions are optimal for rain. Actual rainfall may not occur, but the plant is sensitive to changes in barometric pressure and humidity, and therefore it blossoms. That being said, this doesn’t mean you should scrap any plans of planting a cool bush that has the potential to predict rain. It simply means you have the opportunity to make room for a native Texas species in your full-sun garden that blooms lovely flowers when it feels a change in the weather coming on… kind of like witching for water with the added bonus of seeing something gorgeous in the process. It’s a win-win! Well, crap! (I copied and pasted the above information, so I am not sure how it will translate when I hit 'publish.' Fingers crossed!

    I did get a few things done today, so that is good. I took two bales of hay out to the cattle, checked out what was left of Violet (nothing much), took the girls to the beautiful parlor, spent about $60 at HEB, went to Walgreen's and listened to them for ten minutes about flu shots, why they don't have a waiting list, blah, blah, blah, took the last chair to Goodwill, fed the chickens and watered pot plants front and back.

    Not sure about tomorrow, I have a little bit of an urge (little, not big) to empty some boxes in the garage, and I have to clean the chicken coop. I am going in to Round Rock to go to Bed, Bath and Beyond. I can't tell you what I am going for. so you won't jump the gun and buy it out from under me. The web site said I could pick it up in two hours, but I don't want to go in tonight. Whatever...

    Friday, August 7, 2020

    Volume 12 - Day 220/146, 2020 - Friday

    I went to Costco today for the first time in at least three months, mainly because one prescription that I get filled at Costco is a ninety day prescription, and I have one pill left. Now I have ninety one, but I digress. Costco does not hold the same allure for me that it used to. I do not need a meatloaf that will feed thirty people. Five pounds of cottage cheese no longer calls to me from the dairy case. And I do not have enough wet iPhones that could cause a hundred pound bag of rice to jump from the pallet into my basket. What I ended up with was a case of bottled water, a box of Cheez-Its, a box of Skinny Pop, a couple bottles of Vitamin C Gummies, some breakfast crackers, and dog food. $64.17, not including the prescription. There was a time that I could not get out of Costco for less than $250, so that is just more proof of the weird times in which we live. The most distracting thing of the day was these two ladies, the one on the left in particular. Her face mask hid more than her whatever they are. I was about the sixth person to be leaving, these ladies were fifth. At one point, they both abandoned the basket and went to talk with friend at Customer Service. It was a Karen moment if there ever was one, and I remained calm, and put my head down on my cart handle and wept. People behind me applauded. The people with the pink highlighters at the door praised me for my calm demeanor, and the people outside gathering shopping carts made me a special path to my car with their abandoned carts. All-in-all, the day didn't suck.

    Thursday, August 6, 2020

    Volume 12 - Day 219/147, 2020 - Thursday

    I did nothing of any particular interest today. I had three Zoom meetings and one Skype meeting. The Skype meeting did not work because Skype does not like the particular Mac operating system version I have on my laptop, so we did that one by FaceTime. That is the first FaceTime call I have ever done on purpose. I have accidentally called someone using FaceTime, but I quickly disconnected the call. SO, having no photo to include with this journal entry, I went back in time to today in 1951. I was not yet born, but I really don't care about that part, it is just a couple months shy of my actual birthday. The photo I am using in this post is a 1951 Buick LeSabre concept car, and I have to tell you, I think it looks pretty cool. I still wonder how far we are away from flying cars, but that is a topic for another day. By 8:30 this evening, I will have watered all the trees (at least the ones that I water) on the property. Each tree today got one hour of dripping water, so I hope they appreciate it. 103 degrees today, and a pretty decent wind. And by then, I too will be ready to call it another day.

    Wednesday, August 5, 2020

    Volume 12 - Day 218/148, 2020 - Wednesday

    It seems like the weekdays go by very slowly, and the weekends just go past in a blur. I feel like the three days this week have taken a week each day, and before you know it, it will be next week, and it all starts over again. I had a 10 o'clock Zoom meeting this morning, and I wanted to be in Austin, which meant I had to leave a little earlier than usual. On the way in, I stopped at Lowe's to buy some AC filters for the condo (I am having to have that system serviced). The appointment for that service was supposed to be around noon today, but they called and said they had been held up on another job, so we rescheduled for Friday, first thing. That means, I will need to be in Austin at 9 o'clock on Friday, but I would rather get it done in the morning so I can schedule other stuff for the rest of the day. It is always something. I had one zoom (should Zoom be capitalized?) meeting today, and I have three Zoom meetings and one Skype meeting tomorrow. I have never done a Skype meeting, so I hope I can follow the instructions and get it done with no issues. It is hot like the hinges of Hell in central Texas right now, our second heat wave of this season. Every day for the next fourteen days is expected to be at least 103 degrees, with NO chance of rain. We will survive this, and as soon as it starts raining, we will start complaining about that. But I digress... After my visit to Lowe's, I stopped at an Austin institution that has (so far) not declared bankruptcy, Taco Shack. This is the original on Medical Parkway, and they have four or five more. I got sausage, egg and cheese breakfast tacos on corn tortillas. Corn tortillas are the best, no question...

    Tuesday, August 4, 2020

    Volume 12 - Day 217/149, 2020 - Tuesday

    The day started out beautifully (if you saw my morning Facebook post), and it is ending beautifully, and the middle was not too bad, either. The last of the containers (okay, I know, there were only two) was removed today, so I have the driveway back and I don't feel so claustrophobic. The gate opener on the gate was installed today, only six or seven days late, but it is done. All those things are good things. I still have the one chair in the back of Jody's truck to take to Goodwill (I forgot all about it last weekend), and I still have twenty one boxes (I just went out and counted them) in the garage that I have to unpack and do something with the contents. I'm getting really close to being done with all the chaos, but I totally expect that I will come up with some sort of new daytime-drama to deal with. I honestly, at this point, hope not. I am really ready to just chill out for a while, and take life easier, and not have to deal with schedules (usually other peoples) and the coordination of stuff. Wandering aimlessly for a while really sounds kind of good to me, so I am hoping for a chance to experience that. In the meantime, I will just enjoy the sunrises, the sunsets, and the clouds. I am a lucky man.

    Monday, August 3, 2020

    Volume 12 - Day 216/150, 2020 - Monday

    Apparently, the road to Austin is not paved with good intentions, either. I had every intention of getting in to Austin at some point today, but it just did not happen. I had one LONG zoom meeting today, broken into two parts; 8:30 until 11:30, and the second session from 1:00 until 3:00. I had considered making a mad dash in to Austin during the 'lunch break,' but I decided it would be more trouble than it was practical, so I stayed home and did some business from home. That hour-and-a-half turned out to be pretty productive, and that is always a good thing. My 'to-done' list is relatively void of tasks, and so I feel rather accomplished. I will definitely get in to the office tomorrow, but my departure time keeps getting pushed back later and later. We had just about a trace of rain this afternoon, 3/100" if you really need to know the details. All around us gets much better rainfall than we do here on the Edge of Nowhere, and I do not know what gives about that. Places that have had plenty of rain (that's you Mikey) keep getting more and more, and I am totally jealous!

    Sunday, August 2, 2020

    Volume 12 - Day 215/151, 2020 - Sunday

    The chicken coop is cleaned, I emptied some boxes, three garbage cans are out on the road, and I am pretty much done for the day. Going through boxes, I found some interesting stuff that belonged to Jody, including this coin holder (I used to have something like this a long time ago). I did not bother to count the coins inside it, but none of the coins are later than 1992, which is also the year Jody and I got together. I also found his High School Graduation photo, his High School Graduation Program, some photos from when he attended the University of Texas, and lots of other stuff that people keep in boxes in attics or storage buildings. Some of it I kept, most of it is in one of the garbage cans up at the road. You can't keep everything, and you especially can't keep stuff of people that you have never met in your life. I did get a chance to go into Georgetown earlier today, where I caught up with Mike and Candy. I got a couple things at Best Buy, but honestly, I am too chicken to try and connect it yet (new router and extender), so I will wait until the tech support is on regular time. Looking out the office window right now, the crippled raccoon is on the porch, getting a drink of water. I put a pan of water down especially for him where I had seen him last, but I guess he is a victim of his own habits, just like we all are.

    Saturday, August 1, 2020

    Volume 12 - Day 241/152, 2020 - Saturday

    Barney came up to get a drink of water at least twice today, once while I was having breakfast, and then this evening as I was feeding the girl dogs. It is always nice to see him, especially when we are experiencing weather extremes, either really hot or really cold. I think I may have mentioned this earlier, too, but I think there are more hummingbirds this year, or perhaps I am just staring out the windows more this year than before. Almost every day, when I am watching the news in the bedroom, there is a hummer outside the window checking out some of the flowering plants. And almost every day, morning, noon or evening, when I am sitting in the office, there are hummers checking out the cannas and the Pride of Barbados. Quite often they will go and sit on one of the fountains and have a drink. I did very little around the house today, and I really do not have any plans for doing a lot tomorrow. Casey came up this morning to pick up the boxes of books, and right now, I envision a little lady somewhere in Buda (a volunteer for the Friends of the Buda Public Library), opening boxes of books and hoping they can be sold and benefit the operations of the library. I hope that is so, anyway. Tomorrow, I may try to move a few things around in the garage, and there are a couple boxes I would like to go through in one of the storage buildings. I also am suddenly motivated to go get a new router for the house, one with a signal extender or a 'mesh unit.' Of course, I will be totally unable to hook it up, so, even though I think I should probably leave well enough alone, I have never been keen on taking my own advice! Plus, it's August already...