Saturday, July 31, 2021

Volume 13 - Day 212/153, 2021 - Saturday

Today was a really good day as Saturday's go. I had a pretty long list of things to accomplish, and I got everything on the list done. Including taking the girls to the beautiful parlor. Usually they are only there for two or three hours, but today was five hours, and I was starting to get a little bit worried about then. New Flash: They do not sell rhinestone dog collars at PetsMart. Why not? So, I got them a couple okay collars (I thought it was time), but I think I will go on line to see what I can find. I also spent about two hours getting the car washed, and then it rained. Both things were really okay with me. I also made a quick stop at the grocery, and then this evening was the second House Concert. Tonight was a keyboard, violin and cello. Very much fun. Newt month, I am thinking banjo, fiddle and maybe keyboard. What goes with a banjo and a fiddle? It is fun meeting and re-meeting neighbors. I see some of these folks when I walk in the mornings, but it is extra special when I get to see them and talk with them in the driveway. Much fun. Tomorrow will be a relatively calm day, I have brunch and an early evening event, and then a meeting early on Monday morning. It will all be good!

Friday, July 30, 2021

Volume 13 - Day 211/154, 2021 - Friday

It is the weekend, and that is a great thing. This ends the first full week on not owning the house at the farm. I still have seventy acres of land out there, but there is very little maintenance involved with that. I seem to have filled the extra time I have been afforded when the house sold, but I am not really sure what I have filled it with. I know for sure that it was a good decision, and I could not (well, maybe I could) be happier with the decision to move to Georgetown. The Curious House is great, the area is really nice, the neighbors are excellent, and I doubt (well, maybe I could) I could ask for anything better. Well, of course I could, but no sense thinking about that! Onward to the weekend! The girls are going to the beautiful parlor in the morning, and then my plan is to make a stop at Home Depot for a NO SOLICITING sign for the front door. That is definitely something that I am NOT used to...people coming to the door to try to sell me something; pest control, lawn fertilizing, cell service, you name it. And they are not wont to take LEAVE for an answer. They show up on the doorstep time and again. So... But today was a good day, and I am looking forward to the weekend. One of the highlights of the day was lunch; I went to Sandy's and had a cheeseburger combo and a root beer. Sandy's has been here ever since I have been in central Texas. I just looked it up...they opened in 1946 and had a 99 year lease on the property, beginning in 1945. I guess that in 2044 it will be lost and replaced with a condo complex, but until then, party on!

Thursday, July 29, 2021

Volume 13 - Day 210/155, 2021 - Thursday

One day closer to the weekend, and suddenly, weekends mean weekends to me again, not going to the farm and moving stuff and then organizing stuff. Weekends (for the most part), are now a couple days that I do not have a lot of demands and stuff to do, but (mostly) stuff for me to do that I want to do. I had a couple things to do this morning, and then this afternoon I went with Maggie and visited one of our new listings that will goes active today, and I think it will go pretty quickly. A unique 'compound' property with lots of square footage, lots of possibilities, and just a stones-throw from Willie. And a bargain at $1.65M! Give me a call and you can be the first in line. Tonight was book club night, too, and it was a blast. There were five of us tonight, and we had a great time talking about the book and just talking about stuff we are doing. I think I need a badge or something that designates me as a member of the Water Oaks Women's Book Club. I am considering joining the Poker Club, but I don't know how to play poker, but I do know how to lose money. Oh, and my monkey lamp arrived yesterday. It does indeed look like a monkey, but there is nothing about it that resembles a lamp. I think I have become a victim of deceptive advertising, but I did pay for it with a credit card, so I can feel a credit card dispute in my future. What do you think?

Wednesday, July 28, 2021

Volume 13 - Day 209/156, 2021 - Wednesday

This morning I did my walk with Jay, and took my time getting in to Austin. I was pretty excited because we were going to have our agent meeting at the Beyond VanGogh immersive experience (their words, not mine) at Circuit of the Americas. It was my first time at that facility, and I did not get too far into the facility, because the show was right up at the front of the facility. I enjoyed all parts of the experience (I am not comfortable saying 'experience' time and again), but the actual immersive part of it was really interesting. That part took about 30 minutes, and I took lots of photos. Interestingly, a young woman that was in the room with me (there were probably 75 people in the room at a time), came up to me and told me she had taken several photos of me because, from her vantage point, it looked like I was the only person in the room. To be clear, the room was not at all crowded, and there were bean bags, benches and people were just sitting on the floor or standing. I am not at all shy of having my picture taken, and I an not shy of taking my own picture, but there is really something about the photos the young lady shared with me that I think are really interesting. I thought about just posting the photo for this journal entry, but on second thought, I thought that might be a little odd, that the photo needed a bit of explanation.

Tuesday, July 27, 2021

Volume 13 - Day 208/157, 2021 - Tuesday

"You can find MAGIC wherever you look, Sit back and relax, all you need is a book" On my morning walks I have passed by this LittleFreeLibrary(.org) but today I paid attention to it. I need to take a couple books over there in the next day or two. There are plenty of books at the Curious House, and there are certainly several that I can share. Even though I still don't want to walk in the mornings, I really enjoy the walks once I get out of the house. My actual favorite thing to do after I get up in the morning is to fix coffee and then get back in the big chair and watch the news. If I happen to take a little snooze soon after that, that is not the worst thing in the world. So...walks in the morning it is, at least for the near term. Just when we (mostly) thought it was safe to come out of the house and into a crowd, we are getting set back to somewhere in the last twelve months. We are not in total shut down mode, but we are having to hit pause on some of the things we had planned. I am not sure how that will affect some of the travel plans that I had made (some extending into Q1 of 2021, but there may be a slowdown, and we will all just have to cope with it. Even at my advanced age, patience continues to elude me. Note to many of you: IH-35 is one really dangerous and treacherous road to travel on consistently. I am not even talking about the as*holes in the cars all around me, this time it is the trash and debris that plagues us. Rocks, wood, fenders, you name it, a few cars ahead hit it, it bounces around and ricochets back, causing peeps to swerve, brake, honk and criticize (okay, that is a kind description) their fellow commuters.

Monday, July 26, 2021

Volume 13 - Day 207/158, 2021 - Monday

It is really early in the evening, but I am sitting here waiting for my HEB MRE to cook, so I might as well take advantage of this time void and get this day's journal entry out of the way. I have been walking in the mornings with my friend Jay, just about 30 or 40 minutes, maybe a mile, maybe not. Generally in the mornings, I really do not want to do the walk, but I do it anyway because it will not hurt me at all, and most likely could have a positive affect. So, I do it, and have a nice time talking with Jay and glistening, and feel fine when I make it back to the house. I am a little bit concerned with the new Covid wave that is working its' way through the population. I have been fully vaccinated since the third week of March, and would happily take a booster if it was offered. I never did quit masking and taking ordinary care when I went into stores and such, and I would really like my luck to hold out. Sharon and I went to brunch yesterday at the Sweet Lemon Cafe in Georgetown, and I got a cinnamon roll to go. I took a bite or two from it last night, and took the rest to the office this morning and finished it off. I have kind of been on a sugar high since late morning, not that there is anything wrong with that.

Sunday, July 25, 2021

Volume 13 - Day 206/159, 2021 - Sunday

The calm, restful, unscheduled weekend continued into today. After last night, Jay and I got off to a (kind of) late start on our walk. Along the way, we saw Diane and Deb, and then when I got home, I sat down in the big chair and just chilled for a while. I organized (some) in the garage yesterday, so there was nothing to do out there today. I met Sharon for brunch at 10:30, and when I left there, I visited a cute little antique shop in Georgetown. I can neither confirm nor deny whether or not there any purchases made. You're not the boss of me! When I got home, I did get back in the chair and took a serious nap, and when I got up, I took off the run a couple more errands that were on my list. I was able to check a few things off my list, including some bedding plants that I potted in the big chicken pot, and I transplanted some Pride of Barbados plants I grew from seeds and that survived the snowpocalypse in February. They look kind of puny, but they are in the ground now, so I hope they do better. Being calmer and less driven has not really made for a variety of photo opportunities, so I scrolled back through my camera, and this picture popped up from three years ago. I vaguely remember it, but I really do not know what the occasion was, but I think the subject matter is about as random as you can get.

Saturday, July 24, 2021

Volume 13 - Day 205/160, 2021 - Saturday

Honest to goodness, I am reminded on a daily basis that I am one of the luckiest men on the planet! I got up this morning, and there was nothing that I really needed to do, although, there are plenty of things that I want to do. I spent about an hour straightening up the garage, and making things there a little bit more accessible. Then, I did a little bit of this and a little bit of that, and got ready to head in to Austin for my noon appointment. Just a bit before that, the folks that bought the house at the farm were having a bit of trouble logging in to the Arlo (camera) system, so I tried to do what I could to help them with that, and then I was off to Austin. I have a new listing on west campus, and if you do not think that is a totally different world, let you tell is! I made it home just in time for a lovely nap, and then I got up and watered the outside plants. Late afternoon, early was my turn to host the Saturday night driveway group of neighbors...what a fun evening it was! There were eight neighbors that attended, and we all had a blast! Lot of good conversation, lots of laughing and making fun of this and that, and just a great group of friends coming together to share fun times together! I don't think anyone really noticed that I have not vacuumed the house since I have lived here, and I think my new goal to go an entire year without vacuuming. I think I can make it! And with that, it is time to say goodnight!

Friday, July 23, 2021

Volume 13 - Day 204/161, 2021 - Friday

Tonight is the full moon, but it is kind of cloudy at the Curious House, so I am glad that I took this picture two nights ago. I was out in the back yard with the girls, and I looked up and there it was. I think it is kind of a neat picture, if you look closely you can see both of the girls, the back of the Curious House and the (almost) full moon. So far, I have not encountered any werewolves or other odd things, so I doubt this particular full moon will go down in the record books. Today started off with a good morning walk with my friend Jay, an early zoom call, and then off to the office. I did a little bit of power real estate, then it was off to get my hair(s) cut, then a quick stop at HEB, and then home for a pretty long afternoon nap. I went to Jason's Deli in Georgetown and got a stuffed potato to go, which I ate most of and will save the rest for later. It has been a LONG time since I visited a Jason's, but it was really pretty good. Years ago, they had a baked potato stuffed with chicken pot pie which was my all time favorite, but apparently there was not enough demand, so it is off the menu. Nothing much planned for the weekend, which is nice. If it is the weekend, it is time to do a little more work in the garage. I can see the light at the end of the tunnel with that. Then a quick appointment in Austin and then back home to just chill...

Thursday, July 22, 2021

Volume 13 - Day 203/162, 2021 - Thursday

Okay, its done. It is the end of an era. The end of a glorious chapter that Jody and I shared at the Estate on the Edge of Nowhere. The farm. The picture that is accompanying this entry is the last picture I took of the farm, the gate to the property. It is of course a bittersweet event, with mixed emotions. I did not cry like a big baby, but there were at least three times today that I came close. Going forward, all things are going to be a little bit different, really not at all noticeable to most of you, and I will welcome the change. Going to the farm every day was becoming a bit of a burden, but in reality, the plan I formulated just about a year age got me to where I am now, and I think the timeline of the plan worked out just right. I could not have done it without the help of lots of good people, and they all know how much I appreciated all their help. So, this weekend will be the first weekend that I will not be at the farm loading up my car with stuff to bring to the Curious House. I don't have much of anything planned, either. I have one appointment in Austin on Saturday, and after that it will be free time. I do think I will get the car washed and vacuumed more frequently, and put a lot less mileage on the car than in the past. So, everybody, fasten your seat belts, and we will all see what kind of crap I can get started. Starting now!

Wednesday, July 21, 2021

Volume 13 - Day 202/163, 2021 - Wednesday

I ordered stuff to kill the army worms from Amazon last night, maybe that will help Bezos make another couple billion dollars. I have to water it in after applying it, and the girls need to stay off it until it is dry. The girls are going to be beautified next Saturday, so my plan is to spread it and water it in while they are at the beautiful parlor. I know something in that plan will go awry, but that is the plan for right now. If I don't have a plan for something, I will make a plan for it...that is just the way it is. I kind of need a new book to read, I am two months ahead of books for the book club, and if you have any recommendations, let me know. Tomorrow is the trash collection and recycling day at the Curious House, so I am busy making sure I have everything in the proper bin, and ready to put out on the street tomorrow. I am still culling items that I brought from the farm that I have decided do not need to be saved, and I am okay with that. I am not really working on the less is more ideal, but maybe more like the not quite as much is better than keeping all that crap. No rain today, but there were some interesting clouds when I was checking the mail this afternoon, I hope you enjoy!

Tuesday, July 20, 2021

Volume 13 - Day 201/164, 2021 - Tuesday

Well, it just goes to show you...if it's not one thing it's another. So, the house at the farm is not closing tomorrow, but maybe on Friday. Who knows. I have yet to see anything official from the Buyers or their agent, but I just got a note from the Title Company, so they know. It will all work out the way it is supposed to. In the meantime, I take up new hobbies, like not going out to the farm and feeding the cat, not feeding the chickens and gathering up eggs, and not emptying the skimmer basket. I guess I will go out there tomorrow, just because I have not been since Sunday. Just take a look around and see what I can see. We got some rain yesterday, but no more after I reported the total in the last journal entry. I still have not received the monkey lamp, and I am growing a little bit impatient. I also need to order some stuff for the grass in the back yard. There could be 'army worms' or maybe just fertilizer. Neighbors back yards grass is getting puny, as is mine. The front yards seem to be just fine and are green and pretty, it's the back yards. Maybe it was a strategy by the 'army worms', but that is yet to be seen. Or treated. I don't know what these bugs were on the back door the other day, but I am pretty sure they are not the previously mentioned 'army worms'. But the picture turned out pretty interestingly with the glass reflections and all that stuff.

Monday, July 19, 2021

Volume 13 - Day 200/165, 2021 - Monday

Some stuff that I am bringing to the Curious House is destined for the trash can, and some stuff that I had decided I could not bring, and now happily existing in the garage. In this photo are things I have seen for almost the last thirty years. Jody was relatively organized, and I honestly think the 'odd fasteners and wedges' could be combined with a broader group of 'misc'. I think the boxes are some sort of ammo boxes from WWII, but I am not sure. If anyone on this entry knows for sure, let me know. And, I also found a stack of the original Shit Happens! bumper stickers from about 1987. True collector's items! I did not go to the farm today, there was really no reason, but I will go tomorrow. As far as I know, we are still scheduled to close on Wednesday, and I began the process of terminating various utilities, and services. Everything is VERY complicated, nothing is easy anymore. I was on the phone, mostly listening to various BS recordings, for almost an hour-and-a-half this morning, trying to terminate the ADT monitoring service at the farm. I am not really confident that it has been accomplished, but the monitoring will not really be terminated for thirty days. EVERYTHING is complicated. We got more rain this afternoon, and it was kind of fast and furious! About 0.7" in about 45 minutes.

Sunday, July 18, 2021

Volume 13 - Day 199/166, 2021 - Sunday

As much as I drive, just about anything can/will set me off, but I have been pretty good about keeping it all to myself. I did it again today, but there was a part of me that wanted to say "I have more insurance than you!" But I restrained myself. Literally seconds after I took this picture, the traffic signal turned green and we began to proceed through the intersection. He took one last drag off his butt and pitched it. Ugh. I have seen the same thing going down the Interstate while we are in high wildfire situations, and I am just overcome with the stupidity of people. But I digress. Today was a pretty good day. It started with a walk with Jay, then a quick trip to Home Depot, a quick shower and then off to brunch. After brunch, I took a really long nap, then went out into the garage where I straightened it out a little bit (a weekly chore after bringing things from the farm to the Curious House). And then it was off to the farm, where I checked the skimmer in the pool, went out to the front barn and put a (very) few things in the car, swept out the barn, took the four trash cans to the road and came home. The only thing left to do at the farm is to reset the code on the alarm and bring one lamp and a tv tray to the curious house. I will start canceling services this week; trash, phone (there is still a landline there), internet, electricity, water, alarm service. I think that pretty much covers it. Let's see what the week brings...

Saturday, July 17, 2021

Volume 13 - Day 198/167, 2021 - Saturday

Narcissistic Personality Disorder: A disorder in which a person has an inflated sense of self-importance. Found more commonly in men. The cause is unknown but likely involves a combination of genetic and environmental factors. Apparently nurture AND nature. Symptoms include an excessive need for admiration, disregard for others' feelings, an inability to handle any criticism, and a sense of entitlement. This disorder needs to be diagnosed by a professional. Treatment involves talk therapy. I always really felt more like I had a Napolean Complex, and that will just have to wait until another journal entry. Anyway, I just blame most of my complex complexes on the fact that I am and always have been a little short shit. And it seemed like, when I was in the corporate world, I was always competing with big tall shit. But I digress. This whole entry started because I keep finding pictures and photos of myself, that I have not seen in (really) decades. I will post many of them in this journal during the next few weeks, and as I either go through more boxes or put more boxes in some other kind of storage. I went on a walk this morning with Jay, and then I headed off to get paint for the fence and a few other errands. I went out to the farm this afternoon, I only have a very few other things to bring to the Curious House. I do need to put the trash cans up on the road tomorrow, and sweep out the front barn, and then I will be done! The picture accompanying this entry was done in 1973, I actually remember taping the penny to it, but I do not remember the significance of the penny. Maybe later it will come to me...

Friday, July 16, 2021

Volume 13 - Day 197/168, 2021 - Friday

According to people who are much smarter than me, my solar array on the roof of the Curious House is generating electricity to both the Curious House and the electrical grid. You're welcome Ercot! I do not yet have the app for my phone to monitor production, but that should come in the next few days. I may also text my friend Diane since she has the same system in her home. I had a couple zooms today, so I did not even take the charger off the car today, but I expect I will make up for it over the weekend. I plan to go to the farm on both Saturday and Sunday, taking care of some loose ends, and I also intend to go buy some fence stain and stain the street side of the wood fence at the Curious House. It's all in the details. I am also looking for a little foot stool for the Piglet to be able to get up on the bed in the front bedroom where they look out on the wonders of the neighborhood. This is a $43 tomato in today's entry. I bought two tomato plants earlier this year at Home Depot, $19.95 each (I know, just keep it to yourself), and this is the ONE tomato that I harvested. I know there were more, but the birds and worms got those before me.

Thursday, July 15, 2021

Volume 13 - Day 196/169, 2021 - Thursday

If today is Thursday, tomorrow must be Friday! Today was an interesting day, it was the first day that I did nor feel an obligation to go to the farm. I won't be there tomorrow, either. I will be there over the weekend, doing some finishing stuff, and I expect that, by this time next Wednesday, I will no longer own the house, known recently as the Estate on the Edge of Nowhere. I am relatively confident that I will be able to fill the time that I gain, and I think Barney will continue to thrive under the care of Jim and Patsy. Today, I had a casual start to the day, and then headed in to the office. I got some work done, solved a few challenges, made a couple stops on the way home (Trader Joe's for potato chips), and got a Filet o' Fish combo at MacDonald's. The Filet o' Fish combo seems to be my latest weakness. I think I could have worse weaknesses. Cocaine and heroin come to mind. At one point, longhorn cattle were one of my addictions, and I got over that. I tend to take things in spells, so there is no telling what my next compulsion will be. I had the irrigation system at the Curious House appraised, and there were a few problems, but everything should be A-OK now. Tomorrow, there is a possibility that they will flip the switch on the solar system that I had installed, and maybe them I will be able to thumb my nose at Ercot. Maybe. In the meantime, I will have a relatively calm weekend, visit with a couple sets of neighbors for wine evenings, and brunch on Sunday. In my old age, I am doing my best to slow down, and it seems to be working!

Wednesday, July 14, 2021

Volume 13 - Day 195/170, 2021 - Wednesday

It is just Wednesday, right? It seems like it should (maybe) be Thursday, but I guess not. I will be taking a two day hiatus from the farm since I am finished moving everything that is intended for the Curious House. There are a few more things to bring, but they are last minute things. Over the weekend, I will make sure I have identified keys and remote controls and warranty items and all that stuff in anticipation of the transfer a week from today. The neighbors have assumed the responsibility of feeding Barney, so there is no reason for me to keep going over there. It will be good and bad at the same time, but I am ready for the change of pace. I will have extra time for naps, and that cannot be a bad thing. We have had two days with no rain, although there has been rain all around. We may have had a trace of rain here at the Curious house, but nothing to measure. There were plenty of clouds and rain visible, and some interesting lightning, but nothing anywhere that I was today. I did make a stop at HEB on the way home from the farm, and I got (wait for it) a couple ready to eat salads and a couple ready to eat meals. And dog food. I honestly think I spend more money on dog food than I do on MY food. That could be an exaggeration, but not by much.

Tuesday, July 13, 2021

Volume 13 - Day 194/171, 2021 - Tuesday

I think maybe I am getting more forgetful, but then I think it could be that I am just not as CDO as I have been in the past. I almost forgot to post this journal entry, which I really think is a good sign. I honestly believe that I have fewer compulsions now that I did a year or two ago. It is all about letting go. My life is a little bit less structured now than it has been, and I am happy with that. I am still kind of crazy, and I am still the keeper of the lists, and the lists go on-and-on, but less so lately. All that deep thought, just because I almost forgot to post this in my journal. Today was a long day, and there was a lot of fun throughout the day as well. Much of what I did today will not be evident for another couple months, but it will all be out there in the not too distant future. I made it to the farm later than usual, in the early evening. It was really a nice early evening, and it seems there was some rain somewhere, which cooled things off nicely. I am down to about the last four boxes that need to be gone through, and a few odds-and-ends rounded up and brought to the Curious House. I keep finding interesting stuff from my past that I had totally forgotten about. Example: I came across a box of goodies that I bought years ago when we were in China. That trip was really fun and really interesting, and I brought back a lot of little pretties that are fun to look at. Some articulated little koi, a couple jade pieces, a little bit of this and a little bit of that. 

Monday, July 12, 2021

Volume 13 - Day 193/172, 2021 - Monday

Fifty three years. That's a lot of years. Fifty three years ago on this date, my dad died. He died at about 8 o'clock on a Friday evening, in 1968. I was 15 years old. I think about that a lot. The details as I know them are still very clear. I remember all the stuff that I was told. I remember the words that were said to me to tell me why my mom and dad did not pick me up from work that night. The words were very dry, there was no emotion in those words. The fact that my dad's death caused everything in my life from that minute forward to change sounds like it would change my life for the worse, but because of the changes that resulted in that personal tragedy, I am the person I am now, and all the accomplishments I have achieved since that date, all the friends I have made and all the allegiances I have worked so very hard for are a direct result of my father's death. You might as well have driven a stake through my heart on that day, but things have a way of working out. I have done some CRAZY things since then, and I can tell you story after story of all the stuff I have done (only little bits of it were illegal, BUT really interesting and fun), but I have been really lucky and I have lived and continue to live a really interesting life. I am really lucky, but like many things, many things that I remember from my past are bittersweet. And in the past 17 months, I have had lots of opportunities for reflection, and without the bad things, there cannot be the good things. I uncovered this picture of my dad yesterday, going through boxes at the farm. Robert H. Evans. If you want to, please say his name, I say it in my mind often. 
Thanks for listening, and I will share more memories tomorrow. I have uncovered lots of them!

Sunday, July 11, 2021

Volume 13 - Day 192/173, 2021 - Sunday

I am aching in places I forgot about years ago. Yesterday and today I have been out at the farm cleaning out stuff from the front barn. Yesterday, I spent two or three hours crawling around in the attics of the barn, and I am NOT at all used to that. Today, I was just packing up stuff in my car and moving it to the Curious House. I am down to about seven more boxes that need to be gone through, and one chair that needs to be taken out to the LAST building at the property, but that storage building is not included in the sale. I would not be able to get all this stuff done without the kindness of my neighbors, Jim, Patsy and their nephew Kevin. They are miracle workers. I think I will get the rest of the stuff to the Curious House not later than next weekend, and the four trashcans at the road will be empty tomorrow, and ready to be filled up again. I have a plan, and hopefully the plan will work out. I have lots and lots of pictures, chalk drawings and stuff that I have not seen in many years, and the one that I am posting tonight might well be the first selfie ever recorded. Remember when photos were developed and they included the dates on the photos? This one says May, 1962, and I know this was taken shortly after we moved to our house in Riverview, Michigan. I can recognize the house across the street, it belonged to the Pelarski's, and I haven't thought about that house or them in many years. Memories.

Saturday, July 10, 2021

Volume 13 - Day 191/174, 2021 - Saturday

I made a lot of progress in the front barn today, with the help of Jim and Kevin. These two men have done so much to help me get the farm ready to transfer to new owners, that I can never, ever thank them enough. I cannot forget to include Patsy in this gratitude. The three of them have helped me so much, I can never repay them. The buyers of the farm are getting a great place to live, along with some really great neighbors. I got all the 'attic' level of the front barn cleaned out, and brought a bunch of stuff home with me. I will sort through a bunch of it tomorrow, but not today. Tomorrow is another day, and I will get it done, with a lot of help, within the next couple weeks, and I will meet the deadlines. It is all good! Tonight was a GREAT night with the driveway group. We had a blast, and the conversations were varied and interesting, to say the least. Those are some of the best couple hours of every week, and I really look forward to them. This pic is of just an ordinary spider that is pretty common out at the farm. I think I have posted photos of similar spiders over the years, and this is just another one in a series. I think this guy is at least 4 or 5 inches long, an impressive stature. I try to not get too close, just so I don't need to report on whether or not it is a dangerous spider.

Friday, July 9, 2021

Volume 13 - Day 190/175, 2021 - Friday

Thanks for all the reach outs about my day yesterday, but don't get the wrong was mainly a GREAT day, it was just a LONG day, and towards the end of the day there were a few first world inconveniences. Honestly, nothing that I won't look back on years from now and recall with a good story for those that have not already heard it. When we pushed back from the gate yesterday on the flight from Austin to Houston, I looked out the window and decided this might be an interesting picture of a Southwest Sunrise. Get it? Ugh. I got some good rest overnight, and this morning started with an early zoom with my TREPAC family, and then off to the office. It was a pretty quiet day, and after that, I took off to the farm. It rained most of the day in Austin, but by the time I got to the farm, there was no real evidence of recent rain. There was some rain at the Curious House, but nothing out of the ordinary. What is out of the ordinary is the rain we have received recently, which also kept the temperatures really tolerable. I fear we will reverse the trend next week, and be back to a normally hot and dry summer in central Texas. Another power outage this afternoon, we are recently experiencing one every week or two. I will be happy when the solar installation has been inspected by all the regulatory bodies, and I receive the 'Permission to Operate' the system. One of our friends out here has her solar connected already, and she kind of gloats when we lose power and message amongst ourselves. We hate her. Not really! Have a great weekend everyone!

Thursday, July 8, 2021

Volume 13 - Day 189/176, 2021 - Thursday

This may come as quite a shock to many of you, but today was Thursday, all day. Not just all day, but ALL DAY! And during this all day Thursday, all things did not go exactly as planned, although most of the plans did go as planned. I was up at 3:45 this morning so I could leave the Curious House at 5, to get to the airport by 6, to got on the plane that was leaving at 7. All that went as planned. My friends and colleague(s) Nicole and Heath picked me up at the airport in Houston, and schlepped me to Beaumont for a TREPAC luncheon meeting. I did my stuff, helped raise some money, and we were back on the road to the airport by a little after 1 so I could get on another plane at (about) 3:30, heading to Dallas. Yeah, it was 'about' 3:30, because some of those details are a bit fuzzy now. Things were still going (relatively) according to plan, and we got to Dallas in plenty of time for me to catch my (scheduled) departure to Austin at 6:20. This is where things started going south. The 45 minutes or so that we were already late was absolutely tolerable, and we all boarded the full flight (all the flights were 100% full today) and we just kind of sat there for a while...getting further and further delayed. Then a nice young woman boarded the plane to break the news to us that, there was a mysterious mechanical issue with the plane, and we all had to get off and wander around until they found us a 'stand-in' plane to continue our journey. Bottom line, cut to the chase, they found a 'spare' plane, we all got back on, and I got back home at (about) 10:15. Totally first world (whirled) problems, I admit it...but it really was a long day. If you can see the sign on this particular piece of artwork that I am successfully defacing in Beaumont, it says "Please do not climb on rock or eagle." Challenge accepted. Thanks to my cohort in crime Nicole (whose last name I can neither confirm nor deny) for the photo work and her photo credit. Full disclosure: Those talons almost took one of my eyes out, but I took it like a proud TREPAC Trustee! Time to go sleepy now, I have an 8:30 zoom in the morning.

Wednesday, July 7, 2021

Volume 13 - Day 188/177, 2021 - Wednesday

Today was a good day, all things considered. There were lots of positive results of previous issues that had been left hanging. Not like a hanging chad, more like a couple issues that were waiting on the other shoe to drop. But again, all are in the process of being resolved. I had a nice lunch with Maggie and a seller client, then back to the office for a while, and then off to the farm. The days are being counted down, and after that I will try and decide what to do with the extra time I will find myself with. I am pretty sure I will be able to fill it up in no time! I am a really lucky man! I am off to Beaumont tomorrow, and I am looking forward to that. It will be a quick in-and-out, nobody gets hurt. I like visiting with my colleagues across the state, and I always learn something when I visit. The picture in this post was taken probably five or six years ago, when I was given a behind-the-scenes tour of the Texas Capitol. I expect I am one of the few people that can say they have been to the top of the rotunda and seen the Goddess of Liberty (?) close up. And the view down Congress Avenue was pretty good, too.

Tuesday, July 6, 2021

Volume 13 - Day 187/178, 2021 - Tuesday

The pending sale of the farm is starting to get more real, and it feels kind of odd. There are no more chickens. We got those chickens at the end of March, 2019, during the weekend celebration of Jody's 99th birthday. This batch started out with a dozen, and yesterday I gave away the remaining 9. Now, my sole purpose of visiting the farm on a daily basis consists of checking the mail, feeding Barney the cat, and checking the skimmer on the pool. I drive an extra hour each day to spend 15 minutes at the farm. The closing is scheduled for later this month, and right now, I feel like I am waiting for the other shoe to drop. I am being the seller client, as opposed to the Seller's agent. It is an entirely different feeling, and I believe it will be met with both sadness and gladness. I am just a bundle of contradictions right now. There were a couple challenges in the office today, but these things will be overcome within a week or two. I am of the opinion that I need to lose some weight. Somewhere between 10 and 15 pounds would be nice, and I guess I can do it if I really put my mind to it. I put absolutely NO effort into gaining the pounds, but, as usual, all I will do is complain about the efforts to reverse that trend. Oh, and this is what the girls look like when they believe they should have more dinner than I think they should have. I have been reduced to watching America's Got Talent, and I am telling you...I do not see what all the talk is about...

Monday, July 5, 2021

Volume 13 - Day 186/179, 2021 - Monday

A couple days ago, I posted a picture of a humming bird as seen on the gate cam at the farm. The hummer has been seen two more days on that same camera. I was at the farm over the last three days, and did not pay any attention, but tomorrow I may check things out to see what I can see that is attracting that bird. This morning, I may have seen a Painted Bunting on the feeder in the back yard. This is not a very good photo, but maybe you can get the idea. I had an appointment with a housekeeper today at 11AM (yes, we both knew this was a 'holiday'), but she was a no-show, and at 11:30 I called the whole thing off. I think there were too many distractions in her life, and it just didn't feel right. No hard feelings, just no housekeeper on my near term schedule. It rained pretty hard this afternoon, and I drove right, straight into it. I had been at the farm, went in to Bartlett to talk with my friends Jim and Patsy, and then headed in to Jarrell to buy some chicken pot pies. It was sprinkling when I went in, and it was a monsoon when I came out, about five minutes later. Drove home at about 9 miles per hour on the Interstate. The rainy pattern is continuing into July here in central Texas, and, even though there will be a little bit of complaining, we will all be happy we got the rain in a few months. I have big plans for cleaning out the front shed next Saturday, I just hope the plan works.

Sunday, July 4, 2021

Volume 13 - Day 185/180, 2021 - Sunday - The Fourth of July!

Apparently, Jay, Deb and I had a really good time. I did not know we had that much fun, but I totally forgot to do my journal entry last night. Just plain old forgot. I wonder what else I forget to do? Whatever. I knew I was tired yesterday, but I wasn't that tired. I went to the farm twice yesterday, the first time was working to start clearing out the front shed. You cannot tell that I have even made a dent in anything. I did manage to get three trashcans filled with 'stuff'. The second time was just to do ordinary stuff, like making sure the cat was fed, chickens were fed, and eggs collected. This morning, I got up and worked to straighten out the garage. Every week, when I bring stuff from the farm to the Curious House, I spend part of Sunday straightening out the garage. I got that done this morning, and the Deb and Jay followed me out to the farm. Jay volunteered to help me get this girl into the car. I have been schlepping this girl around for about forty years. I have lived in central Texas for 36 years, and she originally belonged to Thomas, and was one of the displays at Godchaux's in New Orleans. She oversaw the pool at the farm, and now she is overseeing the back yard at the Curious House. She has been through a lot, and has survived it all, including the snowpocalypse earlier this year. She's a survivor!

Friday, July 2, 2021

Volume 13 - Day 183/182, 2021 - Friday

According to me, and this IS my journal, we are on the downhill side of 2021. Half the year is behind us, and we are heading right now to 2022. Do you all remember when we were worried that the microwaves would quit working on January 1, 2000? That seems like such a long time ago, and I wonder where all the time has gone. I got some errands run before heading to the office, and my intention is to get really some progress made in the front building this weekend. It is also supposed to rain all weekend, but I will do my best work work around that. My neighbor (the good one) has told me to take what I want, and he will get rid of the rest. That is a very generous offer, and I think I will take him up on his offer. There is a lot of good stuff out there, but a lot of stuff that is important on a farm, nothing too much that I need here in the Curious House. I jsut got back from the grocery. The lady in front of me left her debit card in the car, so I asked how much it was, that I could pay for it. It was $11, so I covered it for her. I did that once for a military guy at the laundry, without asking how much the bill was, and I just offered to pay his tab. It was OVER $100, so I always ask now before I commit. You all might know a better name for this flowering bush (they get pretty big), but I have always referred to them as a Rose of Sharon. Maybe yes, maybe no!

Thursday, July 1, 2021

Volume 13 - Day 182/183, 2021 - Thursday

Today was a busy day, from when I left this morning until AFTER I got home. On the way in to the office this morning, there was a backup on the Interstate. I have photos, but I am not sharing them. They are not horrific, I just took a vow to go for some time before I post more wreck photos. Maybe in October. Halloween seems like a good time to start posting wreck photos again. I'll let you know. Anyway... this traffic backup was apparently caused by the side of a Target 18-wheeler trailer falling off the truck and distributing its' cargo onto the side of the expressway, which takes the 'express' part out of the word expressway. I was looking for some shorts and sandals, but decided to just keep creeping along. I got to work a little bit later than I had wanted, and I had a 10 o'clock appointment, then a 1 o'clock appointment, and headed off to the farm at about 2:30 or three. Everything was extra good at the neighbors (the good neighbors) were out there cutting grass. CUTTING GRASS. I fed the cat, fed the chickens, collected eggs, got a family of frogs out of the pool skimmer, and headed home. I made a quick stop at Kohl's (the second Kohl's of the day), and came home with some very comfortable shorts that should last me for many years to come. When I got home, I had a six o'clock zoom call, and that ended at about 6:30. Sunflowers are not looked at with too much pleasure out in the ag areas surrounding the farm, but Jody and I liked them just fine, so I thought I would share this photo of some of them with you this evening.