Closed Captioning Provided By: Me. Drums are rolling, trumpets are trumpeting. Think large processional, tens of admirers logging on to a zoom call, really slow internet speeds, and everyone leaving their sound on. Today is the 4,500th entry on this journal about nothing at all. Kind of like the Seinfeld Journal of journals. But, I think 4,500 is a pretty impressive number. In over twelve years, I doubt that I have missed more than five entries, so that satisfies the CDOness in me. But I digress... It is not easy to get from Austin to South Padre Island. In the rain. Unless you go north to start. And then head south. But, most of us made it, so that is good. It's a TREPAC fishing tournament tomorrow, and we need to wait and see if the weather clears before we get too crazy. If you saw my Facebook post earlier, the row in front of me on the first leg of the trip had a sweet, 5 1/2 month old babe, and the put happy bags on the seats in front of then and the seats in back of them. Cute stuff, the best part was the earplugs, but they were totally not needed at all. After we landed, I offered them the bag back, but they didn't take it. Sweet family!
Thursday, April 29, 2021
OMFG! This is my Four Thousand Four Hundred Ninety Ninth journal entry. I happened upon this piece of trivia totally by accident, but that means that my entry tomorrow will be my 4,500th entry. That has to be worth some kind of recognition, even if it is only by me. This year will finish my 13th year of doing this journal, and I think I will make it to 15, but not sure after that. Towards the end of every year, I start doubting whether or not I want to continue, but so far, I have...and I think finishing 15 years will be an achievable goal. It starting raining overnight last night, and it has rained most of the day. The Curious House and its' surrounds had no extreme weather, but west, north and south of us were not quite as fortunate. I got in to the office early (as planned), and left early (as planned), and got the girls to the kennel, and then took off to Horseshoe Bay for a TREPAC Chili Cook-Off. I was a judge, and it was a lot of fun, and I got to see a lot of friends, and we are starting to get back to in-person events. That is something that everyone is excited about. Tomorrow morning I head to South Padre Island for a TREPAC Fishing Tournament. It is supposed to rain in SPI all weekend. Perfect!
Wednesday, April 28, 2021
It's comin' up a storm! Banners messing up the television, Most of it is expected to be west of us, but it is expected to be raining all night. Maybe not starting here until about 11, and I should be out by then. AND, these girls are not annoyed at all with thunder and lightning. I am really old, and these are the first dogs I have ever had that were not afraid of lightning and thunder. They are fond, however, of puking at 3 or 4 o'clock in the morning. I need to get one of those Bissell carpet cleaner things, and I keep forgetting to check out Amazon. I try and try, but when I am blurry I am not particularly good at blotting. Part of it is also the cheap-ass carpet that was installed in the Curious House. So, I will work on that. Tomorrow. Now, speaking about tomorrow...I am going to try and get in to the office early (it will be raining, don't forget), and then I will leave early to get back north. I am going to Horseshoe Bay tomorrow evening to be one of the judges in a Chili Cook-Off. I wonder if this is an appropriate time to discuss Irritable Bowel Syndrome? I don't know if I have it, but the commercials are really trying to convince me that I do. I suppose I will know for sure tomorrow night when I am on my way home. In the meantime, I may sleep with the blinds up some tonight, just in case there is some really good lightning displays. Maybe it will make up for the clouds covering the Pink Full Moon. One more thing; what do you see in the clouds? Do you see the big foot and the five toes?
Tuesday, April 27, 2021
Immediately preceding this journal entry, I was out in the garage, IN THE TRASH CAN, with nothing more than my ankles and feet visible to a variety of passersby. In my fury to clean the garage and divest myself of things that had previously been moved at least a dozen times, I threw away a little 'caster,' you know, the rolly things on the bottoms of chairs and other devices. It was just laying there on the floor ot the garage, and I could not imagine what it could have possibly been from, so I tossed it. Today, when I was putting out dry food for the girls, the sealed food bucket wobbled, and I discovered there were only three casters on the bottom, not four. A blinding light went off in my little pea-brain, and I decided I would recover it when I returned this evening. I removed everything from the trash can (well, not EVERYTHING), but there was no sign of the caster. I then emptied everything again, and still no luck. I then discovered that I did not actually toss it, and I found it on one of the shelves in the garage. Mission accomplished, and I did wash my hands after I came back inside the house. In other news, I discovered another perk of being old; I got a 'Senior Resident All Water Fishing License Package' this afternoon, in anticipation of my trip to South Padre Island this coming weekend. I also got a shirt and a hat, and I will try my best not to return like a crispy slab of bacon. The jury is still out on that one... As for the Pink Full Moon, I actually remained conscious last night, trying to get a glimpse, but it was all to no avail...
Monday, April 26, 2021
Today was kind of an interesting day, and it was pretty much just mundane interesting (or distressing). I find it difficult to even TRY to be nice when people on the other end of the phone conversation or the e-mail conversations or the in-person interactions when they do not even want to try to be helpful or empathetic. The day started with a 7:15 call to a service provider that insisted I pay an additional $4 per month for the service I contracted for. Then there was Best Buy, TWICE. They did come out and pick up the POS refrigerator freezer that provided ice berg snow and glacier flows in the freezer section, but the refrigerator could not get below 60 degrees. Then I had an e-mail from Best Buy, expounding of the joy we should share with the knowledge that they had just charged my credit card another $39.99 for something I have (allegedly) cancelled three or four times over the past couple months. I am not going to keep going with my first world problems here, but I think tomorrow will be a much better day. I did make it out to the farm early this afternoon (don't ask), and I was attracted to a couple iris blooms by the front tank and the old well. In this photo, if you look closely at the concrete trough, you can see that it is dated April 17, 1935. Tomorrow will be a better day!
Sunday, April 25, 2021
He is uncertain as to how the historians of rubber plants will see him in the future; hero or villain. I found this rubber plant in a deserted property about three or four years ago, and, not very interested in just letting living things fend for themselves, I brought it home, where it continued to languish with very little attention until this year. It survived the freezing temperatures in February, the benefit of being in the garage, and after bringing it to the Curious House a couple months ago, it has really begun to thrive. Unfortunately, there were 'stringers.' Is that what you call really long limbs with a couple leaves on the tippy ends? Whatever those things are called, I asked a plant person if I cut those off and put root stimulator on the ends and stuck them back in the dirt, would they grow? The answer was 'probably not,' but I did it anyway, because the plant was a target for even the balmiest of breezes, and it would tip over at just the least provocation. NOW, it looks lovely, and I think the first week or two will be the most important. So far, the leaves have not fallen off the 'transplanted' pieces, so I think that is a good sign. I hope it makes it, and I hope it becomes a lush and wonderful, happy little plant. The jury is still out on this one!
Saturday, April 24, 2021
Apparently, I am obsessed with the garage of the Curious House. AND, I just added the Curious House to my Facebook Check-Ins. Curious House is much more appropriate than the Lazy House. If you ever come for a visit, I am pretty sure you will understand. I did get (most of) the garage straightened out this morning, and I did something that, four or five houses ago, I said I would never, EVER do again. I put some stuff up in the attic. And...I think there will be more stuff going up into the attic. It is just stuff that I do not need on a daily basis, so up into the attic it will go. But...tomorrow I will have everything OUT of the garage at the farm. Another room done, then I will start on the sheds...the carport shed will not be too big of a deal, but the front barn will take some time to get cleared out. I have no intention of clearing EVERYTHING out of the front barn, but I will be careful to clear out personal stuff and paper work. I will need to try and find a giant shredder to just shred a lot of paperwork. In between stuff today, I got in the middle of a dog fight in the backyard. Yesterday, I gave the girls a couple bones, and there were some scraps of the bones left, that I picked up. This morning, I gave them the bones, and they got in a fight to the death over the bones. Neither one of them came away with any scars, but I did...but I am pretty sure it will all be okay in a couple days. The puncture wounds did not bleed too badly, and I did my best to lick it all up now and then. That's what I was supposed to do, right? There is healing powers in my own saliva, right?
Friday, April 23, 2021
Aye Yi Yi! It is Friday already, which is perfectly fine with me, in fact, it is better than fine. I started the day with a quick zoom with five of my most favorite peeps. There was a giant forecast of severe storms today, so it was off to the office, then off to the farm, trying to get back to the Curious House before it started hailing. Made it. Pretty much as soon as I got home, the rain subsided and the sun came out. The anticipated second round of severe storms predicted for later this evening seems to have gone away, but there is still the possibility of some showers overnight. Everything was pretty good at the farm, but it was raining LIKE CRAZY, but I got the cat fed and tended (somewhat) to the chickens. I have a few calm plans for the weekend, I have had an epiphany about reorganizing the garage (I am obsessed with the garage), and then I know for sure I will be going in to Austin for a quick visit with some other peeps. Sunday is going to be a more typical Sunday, brunch and then off to the farm. I know exactly what I am going to get cleared out at the farm on Sunday, so at least I have a plan. Plans are good!
Thursday, April 22, 2021
I mentioned yesterday that we had an office lunch yesterday, and here is the visual proof. Only a couple peeps missing from this picture. I had a couple errands to run before I got in to the office this morning, and I had TWO 11:30 appointments (I was late to one of them), and then I had an appointment to get my hair cut at 2. After that, it was off to the farm, and the farm is looking better and better every day. The tankless water heater that Jody and I had installed in 2015 (I thought it was 2 or 3 years ago) bit the dust during the Snowpocalypse in February (as did thousands of other tankless water heaters in central Texas), so now I have the great pleasure of replacing that before putting the house on the sales market. I kind of think I am on the downhill curve of getting things ready at the farm before it hits the sales market. The interiors are almost finished being painted, and the exterior is done. All the tree work has been finished, and I need to buy some plants to fill-in here and there as a result of the freezing weather. It will all start to look inviting in about another month, and that will be nice. We are supposed to have some severe storms (mostly tomorrow), and I hope all the new mulch does not wash away. Ugh... I almost forgot to mention, tonight is book club...I am already reading the June selection...I am just a little bit ahead of the game...
Wednesday, April 21, 2021
My CDO-ness was in full-tilt boogie overdrive today. I had timers set, beeper alerts and seat vibrators programmed to go off every five minutes, and I GOT IT. I always think 99,999 is better than 100,000 (and Joe Mac agreed with me the last time), but I took pics of both. I do not expect to have this car long enough to make another 100K miles, but at least a few more. I have been looking at new cars, but for the first time in my life, I am jut not motivated to go through the process quite yet. Maybe later this year, maybe next year. Because of all the COVID stuff, I have not put nearly as many miles on the car as I normally would have, so that is the redeeming issue. Not a bad day today, otherwise, and we had a staff/agent luncheon this afternoon as well. Always good to give our peeps an opportunity to all get together at the same time, in person. Renovations at the farm are moving along, and I think most of the work will be done by the end of April. Then, we will be pretty ready to get it on the market. I still have two barns to get cleaned out or at least straightened out somewhat, but I will think about that tomorrow.
Tuesday, April 20, 2021
Happy 420 Day, y'all! I watched Willie on the news this morning, advocating for the legalization of marijuana. I think we could all use a good hit now and again, just to get us through the day. Plus, it could be regulated, taxed, controlled. There are (IMHO) more benefits than burdens. But that is just my opinion, but it is always good to see Willie on the toob. I also went and voted this morning, on my way in to the office. There were no lines, but the place was not empty, either. A nice steady stream of old people, exercising their right to vote. I had only two questions on my ballot, both about school board trustees. If you are on Facebook, you may also know that I was asked to participate in an exit poll, which I did, and told them who I voted for. The pollster was taking down the results with a number two pencil, but that was okay with me. In all these years, I have never been asked to participate, so I was happy to do it today. Then it was off to work, and it was not a bad day for that, either. After the office, it was off to the farm, and those chores were done in just a few minutes. I stopped off at HEB on the way back to the Curious House, and I only spent $22. Apples, bananas, milk celery, hummus. That should last me for a week, taking into account the food I still have in the freezers from my hoarding missions when the COVIDS first hit.I know for sure I will not starve!
Monday, April 19, 2021
I am not sure if the freeze messed with the poppy's this year, or maybe I am just not really paying attention, but I have not seen a lot of poppies around. And what is the proper spelling? Poppy's or Poppies? I think Mrs. Google thinks poppies is the correct spelling when talking about the flower. You're welcome. As Monday's go, this was a Monday, nothing really bad...more good than bad. I am almost finished with the Water Oak Women's Book Club selection for May (I am getting ahead of myself), and even though the May selection is really depressing (ask me if you want to know the title), but I have actually learned a few things that might come in handy later in my life. I am not sure how much later it could possibly be, but let's just hope for the best. The book club is scheduled for this Thursday, so I hope I do not miss the zoom link. I think the May meeting is going to be an in person affair, so that will be nice. I will be looking for another book to read in the next couple days, and I may just go with the June selection, maybe something different, not sure yet. So far, this week is shaping up to be a quiet, calm week, I am just going to keep my fingers crossed for now...
Sunday, April 18, 2021
I have at least 8 tomatoes on the two plants I bought several weeks ago. Apparently, homegrown tomatoes have something in common with chicken eggs out at the farm. If I indeed gather eight tomatoes, they will be pretty expensive tomatoes; about $4.75 apiece. The chicken eggs from the farm are kind of expensive, too, when you figure feed, and all the things that go along with raising chickens. BUT, there is a certain delight in gathering eggs and cultivating tomatoes. Today was a really good day, I worked on getting things straightened out in the garage...every time I bring something from the farm, it ends up temporarily on the floor of the garage. I did not bring anything from the farm to the Lazy House this week, and that is a step in the right direction. If I can figure out how to do it, I am going to change the Facebook check in thing from the Lazy House to the Curious House. I think that is much more fitting for this new house, and if you ever have a chance to visit, you will understand it! Brunch was good today, it was just me and Terry at the Monument Cafe in Georgetown, and then Terry and got some technology working for me. Maggie came out (Terry and Maggie are the first folks to visit since I got kind of settled), and then Maggie and I went out to the farm to talk about what else needs to be done before I get it on the market. I think early June will be a better time to get it on the market, that will give the trees and plants a little more time to recover.
Saturday, April 17, 2021
I call this one Jacob's Ladders with Clouds and Telephone Pole. I really jut want everyone to know that I an not in Brazil with this photo. I was actually allowed to sleep with no early morning dog disturbances, but I still got out of bed around 6:30 this morning. I would really like to sleep until about 8 o'clock in the morning, but I really cannot imagine what that would be like. Second best thing is to get up, let the girls out, have some coffee, check e-mails and do a bit of this-and-that, and then retire to the big chair for a little bit of a nap. Not a real nap, there was no sleeping involved, but it was just doing nothing. Then I got up, did a bit more of this-and-that, and then got back in the chair, where I did close my eyes and nap for a bit. I got up, then ventured into Georgetown to make a stop at Tractor Supply (meal worms, flock blocks, chicken feed), and then in to Austin to meet with a group of prospective clients. I left the office, headed back north, and got to the farm about 5:15. Cat fed, chicken supplies delivered, chickens fed and watered, and eggs collected. I got back to the Lazy House about an hour later, and now I am pretty much settled in for the evening. Life is good...
Friday, April 16, 2021
Okay, well, it has been a grey and dribbly day all day long. As of now, the dribbles have quit, but (allegedly) there is some more rain expected overnight. Then dry until next Thursday and (more likely) Friday. Pleasant over the weekend, but unseasonably cooler temperatures through the middle of next week. I want to thank you all for tuning into this journal for my central Texas meteorology updates. And now for something completely different. I made it out to the farm a teeny bit earlier than usual, and because of the rain, none of the clean up workers made it out today. The work is moving along, and I am pretty sure I am still on target to get the property (house and +/- 4 acres) on the market by the end of May or the first of June. because there was not a lot of activity today, Barney showed himself, and I was really glad to see him. It has been a while since I saw him in person, but I have caught glimpses of him on the various cams around the property. I am not sure what I have planned for the weekend, but I hope it is not too much of anything. I am meeting a client tomorrow afternoon, and of course, there will be brunch on Sunday, coupled with getting the rest of the garage cleaned out. I think that means another couple trash cans loaded and put out on the road. All in good time...
Thursday, April 15, 2021
Well, I had composed a journal entry in my head (which is what I do most days) to go along with a photo that I had taken, and then this happened. I got home and took the girls out to the backyard, and back in the house just about 5 minutes before it started raining and then started hailing. The hail here was about the size of a dime, maybe a nickel, and as best I can tell, there was no damage done. I won't know about the farm until tomorrow, but hopefully, there will not have been any damage there either. The hail was REALLY loud, and I went out on the back patio and took a short video, but again, to the best of my knowledge, no damage. We were a lot luckier than areas further east of us, from what the news reported. The piglet has learned a new trick: She starts whimpering at about 4 o'clock in the morning, and it reaches a crescendo about ten minutes after she started. This morning I got up, let them out in the backyard, and then retreated to the big chair with a cup of coffee. Not exactly like sleeping through the night, but it will just have to do. Into the office, out to the farm, made one stop on the way home from the farm, and then back home. With the hail and all, we did get almost 3/10" of rain, and that is the best we have had all year!
Wednesday, April 14, 2021
With any luck, we will get some rain over the next few days. The forecast says we will, but probably not too much. Every little bit helps, but in the meantime, I am watering stuff at the Lazy House and at the farm. I was certainly NOT expecting this today when I was at the farm. I am pretty sure this Amaryllis was a gift to us from Joe Mac and Carolyn, but not 100% sure. Wherever it came from, it is absolutely beautiful, a double bloom that I could not adequately capture in this photo. Even though we (The Water Oaks Women's Book Club) has not yet had the April meeting, I have started reading the selection for May. The Unwinding of the Miracle. I am sensing a theme in the book club selections, and if this is any indication, I know why Valium and Xanax were invented. Holy Moley is all I can really say about this most recent selection, and I think I need to take to my chaise... Okay, I am giving myself a new goal (partly inspired by the previously mentioned book club selection). After December, I will have travelled to four of the seven continents. I am going to Morocco in December with Lynda and Michael, and that will leave Antarctica, Europe and Australia (Oceana). I figure I can knock those last three out by the end of 2023. Even I can't believe that I have never been to Europe, and I think I could spend at least a couple weeks there, maybe a month. We shall see, but goals are something that I really like giving myself.
Tuesday, April 13, 2021
Just to be clear, before we get too far into this entry, I know how to spell opossum. Just to be clear. How was your day? I had four zoom meetings today, and three tomorrow. In between zooms, I actually ran a few errands, and got some stuff done in the office. All in all, a pretty good day. I did not leave the office til after 4, and arrived at the farm about 5:15. I got the chickens fed and watered, and fed Barney, cleaned out the pool skimmer, and thought about putting some water in the truck battery and putting the trickle charger on it, but I dod't think I can put water in the truck battery. I think it is a sealed battery, so I guess I will just need to buy a new battery for the truck. I think (not sure) I found some fresh evidence of a mouse (not sure if it should be singular or plural) living in the car, so I have set traps again, and I will see what kind of results I get. I did see a mouse in the garage of the farm last Sunday, but it is not uncommon to see mice and critters out there. I try my best not to leave bits of food in the car anymore, and the latest evidence was some shredded papers in the frunk that I noticed this morning. Do you want me to tell you what is not a really good culinary combination? Too bad...the answer is Lemon-Lime Strawberry sandwich cookies and low fat chocolate milk. You're welcome!
Monday, April 12, 2021
I had some errands to run this morning before I got in to the office, BUT, I was there by 10:15...I had a 10:30 appointment and an 11 o'clock appointment. Made it for both. Did a bunch of stuff in the office, got some more personal business done, had a 2 o'clock zoom meeting, and then did some more stuff. It does not sound like it was a very exciting day, and it really wasn't, unless you consider that a lot of menial accomplishments add up to just plain accomplishments. The book I am reading (Ghosted), is really kind of depressing...I have a little bit more to go (a couple more hours), so I should be finished tomorrow. It seems that much of the things I have been reading lately have made me anxious or uncomfortable. But, I will deal with that. It was a bit hard to keep up with, there are a lot of moving parts, but in the end I think it will be okay, although (in my little pea brain) I think the premise of the book is a little bit far-fetched. It just does not seem to me like these characters (lots of them) could dwell on something consistently and daily, for two decades. Maybe it's just me... I wish you could see these orchid blooms as I can see them in person. They are just absolutely beautiful, and I fear that beauty does not translate in a photo taken from my cell phone. OH...I have been meaning to mention this...I have counted four humming birds at one time in the back yard, hanging around the feeders. My try of setting the sprinklers last night was a big fail, so I have started over again, and I will let you know if it works...
Sunday, April 11, 2021
This was a day of better than average accomplishments. I got up, made coffee and started working in the garage, straightening stuff out here and there. I bought a little shelving unit at Target yesterday, and the more I thought about it, the more I decided it was not going to work for the intended purpose, so on the way to brunch this morning, I returned it. I started the April selection for the Water Oaks Women's Book Club (Ghosted), and read (listened) to more of it today. It is getting interested now, but it makes me recall my 'falling in love' days in the late '60s and '70s. Honestly, that is not something I actually want to relive, but I am too far in to quit now, plus it will be fun to discuss later this month. After brunch (me, Candy and Terry), I came home, took a (sort of) nap, and then headed for the farm. I did all the usual Sunday stuff at the farm, PLUS I filled up two trash cans with stuff from the garage at the farm, so that makes me about half-way done with getting the garage cleaned out. I think that is real progress. I brought some stuff from the farm to the Lazy House (I want to change my check-in to the Curious House, but my check in button on Facebook has disappeared), emptied it out of the car, and then went to get the car washed. It turns out that the car is red, I had almost forgotten what color it was. And all the peeps in central Texas can thank me later in the week, when it rains. Finally, I have seen these four statues (?) out of the corner of my eye, off the service road between Williams Drive and Highway 29, and today I pulled in to take this picture. They are just in front of a very nondescript building, and I have no idea what the company does, but none of them would fit in the back of my car, so chalk that up to yet another disappointment.
Saturday, April 10, 2021
If it is spring time in Texas, this must be an Indian Blanket. Or an Indian Paint Brush. AND...it is a sure sign of spring that I do not know the difference, and Joe Mac generally will come to the rescue and tell me which one this is. Feel free to comment as well. Today was a pretty good day. I got up and emptied six boxes that have been in the garage, and I took three or four more boxes of dishes and glass ware to Goodwill. I think went in to Austin to do a couple things, and stopped at the Lowe's, and was really disappointed. I was looking for some red hanging baskets, something with bell shaped blooms, that would be attractive to humming birds. Nothing. I ended back at theHome Depot in Georgetown, and found what I wanted, and headed home, after making a few other stops. Then it was time for a nap. After the nap, it was off to the farm, got the cat fed, fed the chickens, gathered eggs and came home. I have had nothing much to eat today except for a banana and several cookies. I got a package in the mail today from Mikey in Florida, consisting of three different kinds of lemon cookies. It seems impossible to find lemon creme cookies in the stores here. No lemon Oreos, no lemon HEB brand sandwich cookie, nothing. I have found lemon-lime-strawberry cookies, but something about that just doesn't sound right. They taste okay, they just don't sound right. BUT, now I am pretty well set for the near term with cookies, I will be able to sleep soundly tonight.
Friday, April 9, 2021
I have always acknowledged the fact that I am the perfect target for Madison Avenue. I am convinced that A: I have Irritable Bowel Syndrome, or B: I am just easily irritated. Even though I know that the food dressers pretty up the food in the commercials, I go try the latest thing and am (almost) always disappointed. Have you ever been drinking and dialing? It is interesting the things that arrive at your doorstep two or three days after a sleepless night and box of cheap Merlot. I am really glad I have yet to figure out how to order via places like GrubHub, or whatever else they are called. I entered one of the chickens in a national pet contest (Merlot and a credit card), and she is now a finalist. Even though I know I will have to put something together (and become more irritable), I am a fool for Ikea commercials. I know they are really, REALLY stoopid, but I am fascinated with refrigerators that have wifi, and that you can see what's inside without opening the door(s). That is NOT something that is on my wish list. If I knew how to dance, I might be interested in an Alexa speaker that fits in the shower head. I like all the shows on tv about home renovations, but so far (so far), I have not caved in to buy any of the + (pronounced plus) streaming channels. Actually, all those commercials just make me more and more angry. In other news, I have seen TWO humming birds at a time today, so I am really happy about that, AND, even though it made me a little bit more irritable, this traffic
slowdown was TOTALLY worth it!
Thursday, April 8, 2021
You just can't fix stupid. First of all, I don't know how this guy got across five lanes of IH-35 to begin with, but I have not heard any news reports of yet another fatality of a pedestrian crossing IH-35, so I guess he made it across to the other side. I was heading south, he was on the northbound side. Dumb luck I guess. I kind of think I could have been to the office before he got to the other side, though. Once at the office, I got quite a bit of things checked off my list of chores, went to Sandy's (where it was the Thursday Cheeseburger Special day), and watched a webinar at noon. I left the office at about 1:45 and headed (once again) to one of our friendly tax appraisal offices. Hopefully, this whole mess will be settled by a week from tomorrow. SO...you are all in the clear, no more chat about my taxes until at least a week from tomorrow. Everything at the farm was pretty good, and that is really all I can ask for. Pretty good. All in all, it was just another day in paradise. If you read any sarcasm in that last statement, you are absolutely right!
Wednesday, April 7, 2021
For almost thirty years, this lock box (it weighs about 30 pounds) had lived in our closet, and I never needed to look inside it, and I never did look inside it. It was one of those things that you saw on such a regular basis, that you just ignored it, and never gave it a thought. After jody died, I did find the key to it, and I looked inside it. There was nothing of any real significance, so I locked it back up (you cannot remove the key unless it is locked), and did not give it much thought anymore. After the move, and after I found literally a hundred keys here and there, I went on a quest to find the key, and I figured the key was lost forever. I took the box to the locksmith down the street from the office about two months ago, and called one time to inquire about it, and this morning, I just stopped in. It was on one of the guys work stations when I went in; they said they could not find a key blank for it, they had tried to pick the lock, they had done just about everything they could think of and had not been able to get into the box. They only thing they could think of was to drill the lock out, but they could not guarantee that they could then find another lock to replace it. I told them about all the keys I had at the Lazy House, and did they have any idea what the key looked like, so I could try to narrow it down? They showed me something they thought might be similar, and then the Prevagen kicked in. WAIT JUST A DARN MINUTE! I went out to my car, opened my briefcase, took out several sets of keys (technically work keys), and found the golden key. The key had been riding around with me on a daily basis for at least the last year, and I cound not find the freakin' key. But now I have found it. If I lose it again, please DM me and remind me where it is. How was your day?
Tuesday, April 6, 2021
I continue to proclaim that I am the luckiest man alive today. I am lucky (and fortunate) that I could write a check to a county appraisal district to stop penalties and interest on taxes that have been held in escrow by mortgage companies but not paid. Where is my money? Why didn't you pay the taxes. I am lucky, not happy, and this mess with two taxing authorities is becoming a full time job. I think it will be straightened out (the paperwork parts and the resubmitting parts) in a week or so, then we will see if all the stuff I have been doing has been accepted or not. There is no reason that it should not be approved, but there is also no reason (IMHO) that the taxes should not have been paid, either. CRAP! On the brighter side of things, I put these two hummingbird feeders out three days ago (Sunday) and today I saw my first hummer. I did not expect them to find the feeder that quickly, and I was really surprised when I saw them. I grabbed my phone and took a series of photos, so I hope you enjoy this one. Don't be jealous because I am lucky, just hang out with me and maybe some of it will rub off.
Monday, April 5, 2021
It seems many of my days are busy, and many are filled with confusion and anxiety. Today was not a real exception to the rule. I took three boxes of table ware and dish sets to Goodwill this morning, and then headed off to the office. I got some work done in the office, did some this and that, and at about 2 o'clock I headed to the tax appraisers office. It seems that, when Jody died and I put the house and farm in my name alone, all the exemptions went away. Homestead, over 65 and agriculture exemptions. The ag exemptions were easy (everything is relative) to get corrected, and I should know something about that in a couple months. The Homestead and over 65 exemption were another story. In order to go forward with those exemptions with a 'survivor' classification, I had to present them with a copy of our marriage certificate and marriage license. I had those, but who in the hell knew exactly where they were. I have mounds-and-mounds of papers after Jody passed, and I just had to go through all the piles of papers and all the various envelopes, because that was not the first time it had been asked for, just the first time in over a year. BUT, I found what I needed, went back to the tax appraisers office, and got that piece filed. It too will be a couple months before I hear anything. Tomorrow I need to get back in touch with the tax appraiser in ANOTHER county to get the school district taxes (that I paid last Otcober) straightened out. It will all work out, I have no fear. In the meantime, enjoy the clouds.
Sunday, April 4, 2021
More sturdy stands the bowing reed, than doth the might oak. I attribute this quote to Shakespeare, something I read in high school, but honestly, I have no idea who or where it is from. There is also the possibility that I made the whole thing up, and that I am smarter than I think I am. Said nobody ever. I just asked Mrs. Google about that quote, and she came up with nothing, so maybe it is all just a fig newton of my imagination, but it has been serving me well for years and years. I have always just said that it means you have to bend to the wind. Change with the times. Adapt. And so I try very hard to do that. I do not like criticism, but I try to take it objectively and with an open mind. Said nobody ever. Bottom line, if I am on a mission, I try to overcome obstacles that might present themselves. For better or for worse. For richer or for poorer, etc., etc., etc. I am convinced that the local birds have discovered the bird feeder out in the back yard. I have seen them frequenting it, and I have watched the contents be reduced on a daily basis. With that encouragement, I went yesterday to figure out a way to install some hummingbird feeders, and I think I was pretty successful. This morning, I spent a good thirty minutes cleaning the old feeders, and filled them with nectar. Dammit, one of the feeders leaked, and I exchanged it with another one that is not leaking so far. I will be pretty darned happy if I see any hummers at the feeders, and later in the week, I expect to install a couple more of those hooks for some hanging baskets that should also attract the hummers. Fingers crossed...
Saturday, April 3, 2021
I had a good nights sleep last night, but could not seem to stay asleep past 6 o'clock this morning. I would really like to stay asleep til 7 or 7:30, but it is just not happening. It was a little bit dribbly outside when I got up, and I expect we had a 'trace' of rain. I went and ran a couple errands before coming home and going down for a little bit of a nap, before heading off to the farm. I got one large trash bin filled, which is a goal all in itself, and ALL the kitchen cabinets are now empty. There are several sets of dished still in the house that, if no one claims them soon, they will all be packed up and donated to Goodwill. Dropping off at Goodwill will be a good goal for next week. After that, there is just one cabinet left in the den to be cleaned out, and the rest of the furniture taken to Goodwill, and the house interior will be bare. I am pretty happy with that accomplishment, and then I will move on to the garage, then the back shed, then the front shed. All in good time. The freezing weather and ice in February does not seem to have harmed the Bluebonnets too badly. I have seen hints of them here and there, and thought I would share this bit with you in this entry.
Friday, April 2, 2021
I got up WAY too early this morning. I really did not sleep well last night, either. I was in a strange bed in a really nice city, but I generally do not sleep well the first night when I am out of town. Plus, I was concerned about not waking up in time to catch my 6:30 flight this morning. I got up around 4:30 or 4:45, made it down to the lobby to catch the shuttle, and rode to the airport with the entire flight crew. Interestingly, when we got to Dallas, I got off the plane, and when I was trying to figure what gate I needed to go to, I realized that I should not have gotten off the plane, that I needed to stay on that plane and go to HOUSTON, where I would get off the plane and then connect to a flight to Austin. I am (perhaps) too old for this, but I made it home as planned, anyway. I stopped and picked the girls up from the kennel, and we all got home and took a nap. Then, I headed off to the farm, where it was a pretty day, and there is a lot of work being done. I expect they will be finished with the tree trimming and cleaning up from the ice storm about the middle of next week. Then landscaping, then interior touch ups, then exterior touchups, then I will get it on the sales market. I took this photo of a sunset from the back of the Lazy House earlier this week, and I am glad I did, because I did not take any other photos today.
Thursday, April 1, 2021
I had the great good fortune today to be invited to visit the Lubbock Association of REALTORS® for their TREPAC Major Investor event. It was a great event at a brand new center, the Buddy Holly Performance Hall. Beautiful place, great (and really successful) event, and again, I am very happy to have been able to play a small part. Another good part was to actually see many of my Lubbock friends IN PERSON, instead of virtually. There is a lot to be said about virtual meetings, but it just simply does not compare to in person events. I got the girls to the kennel about 9:30 this morning, headed off to the office, left the office shortly after 11 and landed in Lubbock at about 3:30. I had forgotten a lot of things about flying; the seats are really narrow, my travel ready items were strewn hither and yon in the house, many people on the airplanes are really stupid, and I am the smartest person in my portion of the plane. Don't even get me started about the parking shuttle drivers...were they like that the whole time, and I have been in semi-isolation for so long that my tolerance to stupid has shrunk to miniscule proportions? But, the salvation of the day was the colleagues that were gathered for the function, and I was wonderfully pleased to be there. This is a photo of me and my friend Vanessa, one of the absolutely nicest persons to ever have walked the earth. I am so happy for this photo. G'night!