Two Things under Control

Getting two things under control in one day is sort of miraculous for me. I’m on one of my rare “get things done” kicks, and wow, I’m doing great. In addition to the big things I have taken care of, I’ve also scheduled the movers to take my stuff from the Bobcat Lair to its storage location, made a plan for dealing with all that stuff once it’s in Cameron, filled out my timesheet on time like a good employee, updated all my kanban board cards, and drafted two new job aids for work. Go me.

Two weeks old!

The biggest thing I remembered to do today has been to get my flu shot and COVID booster scheduled. I figured if I was scheduling, I might as well just get it over with today. I might feel sorta icky over the weekend, but I think I’ll be able to power through like I did last time. And since I’m going out of town next week (why yes, I am going to Colorado to hide out in a condo and continue to work hourly, but with better scenery and food), I wanted to be as safe as possible while traveling.

Ready for my jabs

The other thing I did isn’t quite as big in the health department, but I have two little chirpers who are very happy with me, and one big squawker as well.

It’s good to see the floor.

Yesterday, I watched Star once more knock over all the food and water dishes in the baby chick cage and I just had enough of her. She didn’t seem happy, and she wasn’t actively caring for the chicks anyway. So I shooed her out. At first I had her in with Babette, but I noticed Babette would not leave the top of the cage, even to lay an egg, so this morning Star went back to the big flock.

Not Babette, but I was happy to see Blondie using the chicken swing!

Let’s see how long she goes laying eggs until she gets broody again. I hate to tell her, but she doesn’t get to raise chicks when it gets really cold outside. She was really happy to get out, as she was molting away in the little cage and desperately wanted to take a dust bath. I’m glad I made her happy.

Now that the Black Chick and the Brown chick have reached the mighty age of two weeks, they have their own quarters. I took the opportunity at lunch to clean Star’s mess up, so they could actually see the floor of the cage, and get to their food and water. I have them both hanging, which means it is a lot harder to knock them over. The only thing is, I believe I have the world’s cheapest hanging chicken feeder and waterer, in the most flimsy plastic ever. I figure it will last long enough to get these guys into the bigger area (i.e., soon as they are too big to squeeze out of the fencing).

We can now get to all the perches!

It was pretty unpleasant doing the cleaning, since I had to scrape it up. I couldn’t just slide the bottom out and wash it, because the chicks would escape. Next time I will put them in a box or something, if I have a helper.

Look at me! I’m up high!

I feel a lot better about the chickens, and there is a lot less stink now that Star is out. And I am all sure I’ll get all my other annoying chores done, like changing my driver’s license address and registering to vote in Milam County, where, alas, my vote will rarely count.

Well, darn it. The internet went down hard over here in Milam County for a few hours. That meant I couldn’t work, even after I got my shots. I assume someday this post will upload.

Cheep Cheep, and Such

Sheesh, today was a dang busy one, but at least it’s mostly good. I had a lovely dinner last night with my friend, though it was bittersweet. The restaurant is in the location where my favorite neighborhood Chinese restaurant, Hao Q was, before the really fun woman who owned the place, Hong, passed away.* It happened during COVID, so Anita and I didn’t even know. In any case, it’s now a Filipino restaurant, and pretty good.

Smiling women with cute hair.

Anyway, Chriztine and I laughed so much at each other’s stories (how I had burned hard boiled eggs yesterday morning, how she went the wrong way on the one-way street across from my former workplace, etc.) and guessing what the ingredients were in the extremely interesting frozen dessert we just HAD to try (there were beans, that we knew).

I do love the neighborhood in Austin. That’s Elvis the cat, on a roof. I think that’s Elvis. It may be his “brother.”

I worked and worked all morning in the sparkling, clean house, wishing an offer would come through, but, as of this writing, it has not. I did get to see my son, who is being very patient with keeping the Bobcat Lair house so pristine. Anita is growing weary, though. I feel bad for her having to do all the showing work, caulking and other optional but helpful things.

I did get to see two neighbors and their dogs! They were glad to see us, too.

I zipped back to the ranch as fast as I could, knowing that those chicks were due to hatch at any time. I rushed over to feed the chickens, then noticed Star was NOT in her nest. Oops. Babette was looking a bit nervous (well, she always does, actually, but at least her head is healing).

Something’s wrong!

Then I saw Star, under her cage. I looked in her nest and saw only one egg. Hmm. Wait a minute. I stuck my hand under Star (earning her wrath and some pecks), and discovered two little fellers. They had hatched and thanks to Star messing with my cardboard border, they’d gotten down.

Little chicks!

They could easily get out of there, so I couldn’t leave them. I ran to get Lee, and we proceeded to engage in a pretty darned funny (in retrospect) battle to capture Star and the little ones. I gave Lee a stick to prod them, and I got Star in the cage, but didn’t want to latch it so I could put the chicks in.

While I was around the back of the henhouse trying to catch the little ones, Star got back out, and she and Babette ran around and around, to Lee’s annoyance. But, he stuck with it, and I was able to get both chicks in the safety of their cage.

Getting Star a second time was NOT easy. I hope I didn’t hurt her, but I do think she lost some feathers. Finally they got in there, I put in new water, chick food, and adult food for Star, who I hope will start eating now.

I’ll just go ahead and eat this chick food.

Meanwhile, the saws were buzzing away over by the pool. The guys have put a smooth plaster edge around where the tiles will go, and have started putting in the limestone ledges around the pool. Lee said they did a lot of smoothing yesterday, too. I guess the tilework will take a while!

I’m getting the hang of the new job and am making some handouts and such. I’m glad I got useful sort of quickly. I just need to get enough sleep to have energy to do more with Apache in the afternoons…it will come.

There’s a lot going on with many of you readers, so I want to let you know I’m thinking of you and want to hear from you. Being a part of a community of kind and thoughtful people means so much to me.


*Please read the wonderful messages on Hong’s memorial page. You’ll get the idea. She knew everyone’s name, their favorite dishes, their wine preferences…everything. She was a total hoot, too.

Anticipation of Positive…Stuff

Well, why not? Thinking about good outcomes is way more comforting than listing the major stressors you’re dealing with all at the same time, I think. So here I am anticipating better hair.

The older I get, the more I look like a bunny. Oh well, I declare it to be cute.

I’m also anticipating a nice meal with a friend this evening, and the sale of the Bobcat Lair, which is going more slowly than we’d hoped. The professional photos are up now, though. Check them out!

Ooh. We are in an upward transitioning community.

But, for me, the big anticipation is that Pool of Dreams! Dudes showed up today with bullnose tile for the edges of the pool, and the pretty tile for the waterfall.

Limestone with much character!

I couldn’t see the fancy tile, because they hid it to protect it. That’s probably a good idea.

The pretty stuff is under the black plastic.

They also took away all the forms around the gunite, so it’s ready to get pretty. I can’t wait to get home to see it tomorrow (I’m in Austin for the hair thing.)

Just getting started.

I’ve been enjoying the new job, but it’s making me tired, trying to learn so many things. At least I know the software! So forgive me if all I can muster up are some pictures of my latest ranch office updates. I have matching linen curtains and some art from the Bobcat house up. I like being around my needlepoint and Mom’s embroidery.

I’ll work on being more coherent tomorrow.

Staging the House

Poor Carol has had to work so hard staging the Bobcat Lair to sell. And Anita has done an incredible amount of hard cleaning and packing. But, wow, it looks so different!

The den (Anita’s living area), where you used to just walk down a narrow path.

Removing a zillion books and doo-dads that Anita and I love has made the house look all modern and spacious. It’s weird.

The mirrors are finally up in this bathroom. It’s so beautiful.

Yeah, barely looks like my house, but it should sell fast, we hope. I mean, heck, it has a wine room!

I needed that yesterday.

So, if you know a rich person who wants to live in a beautiful, quiet neighborhood in Austin with amazing neighbors, I can hook you up. Enjoy some more pictures. The professional guy comes today, and of course, it’s raining.

So Many Transitions

Whew. I got through my last day at this job pretty easily, because there was a workshop all morning that was sort of fun, other than a couple of people scowling at me for showing up. But, they couldn’t stop me!

Generic desk, devoid of Suna.

Two colleagues showed up at lunch, and we had a nice lunch in the courtyard, which is the part of the building I’ll miss the most. They then helped me load my car. My poor desk looked so empty.

It was good to see that Trevor is a real person.

At least I got to meet Trevor, the newest person on our team. He was nice in person, just like on Zoom.

t looks so fancy. I gave Anita those nice flowers for her birthday.

Then I went back to the Bobcat Lair, which doesn’t look at all like my house anymore. It should appeal to all bland people! I put a bunch of stuff in Lee’s car, so there is room in the garage for my son’s stuff to hide when they are taking pictures and showing the house.

The rug has been hiding since I got Carlton and he tried to tear it up. Nice rug.

I also did a lot of sitting and looking out the windows, because it’s so darn pretty.

This is our guest room, or would have been if it hadn’t been crammed with plants and boxes. It had a beautiful view.

Carol, our long-time friend and real estate agent, is working hard to get the house ready, and we sure do appreciate that. Things are just so crazy for me that I can’t stick around here to be of much help. But, I did a little, anyway.

Some of my wonderful book club neighbors.

Last night we had book club in the neighborhood, and they all seemed glad that Anita and I plan to continue to attend, even when we no longer live in Austin. I told Anita she could share my hotel room. I’d even give her a ride. (Sorry I didn’t get good photos of everyone; I love them all.)

Very sad friends.

My friends were SO sad about the house going on the market. But we had a great time. Friends make even hard transitions a little easier.

This Is Hard

Today I went in to Austin, because it’s book club day, and the day after Anita’s birthday. I must hand out post-birthday hugs! And, I must remove things from the Bobcat Lair house, because the garage is full and they can’t store anything else in it to get ready for staging and photographs. Leaving my sanctuary is hard, hard, hard for me. I love the house, the neighborhood, my roommate, and the fantastic neighbors there. But, it makes sense to sell now, while it’s worth a lot of money (no matter how hideous we apparently made it when we lived there), and Lee and I need retirement income.

While I’m not feeling terribly happy right now, I do have my stickers on inanimate objects that I’ve had for many years. Luckily this lamp goes home with me.

I’m also in Austin so I can get ready to vacate my office at the company where I’ve worked ten years. I can tell you one thing: a Suna can accumulate a LOT of stuff in ten years, especially when she was still saving “important” papers from all her jobs since 2006.

I’m guessing Polycom is not going to ask me to do any more e-learning videos with so many acronyms they’re incomprehensible ever again, so I threw that stuff away. I also have stuff from every other time I’ve worked at Dell, and I’m not sure why those things were so important, either. I didn’t throw away all my old work pictures and stuff from when I had walls. I must find a place for my framed Breathe and Exhale images. I’ve loved them for so long that they are faded.

My stuff. It’s really not that much. One box is mostly Christmas decor.
This smiling face gets left at the office, since it’s on my monitor support beam.

Anyway, I have been having some wonderful conversations with colleagues that have made me feel better about my image in the company (no, it’s not all negative after all, which I suspected). I just got on the wrong side of some political thing or another, and that’s all I need to know. I do want to make this known: there are some absolutely wonderful folks in the place I’ve been working, with life experiences and ideas I’m so glad to have had a chance to learn about. I’m hoping the company thrives and moves forward, because its people are making such an effort.

I left this on the whiteboard.

Still, I am all excited about my new role, and not just because I get to keep working with material I helped create many years ago. I always like meeting smart new people. My new boss even sends nice emails! And my new laptop comes tomorrow. I’m ready to roll with the changes, whatever they may be.

I’ll miss this three-monitor setup, the adjustable-height desk, and of course the free fruit and beverages. I won’t miss the concrete pillar in front of me or working in the least-pleasant area of the whole building. And yes, I had a rear-view mirror. No sneaking up on me!

Tired of Tiring Tire Repairs

So, I’ve had to get two new tires in the past few months, and now Lee had his own tire surprise. As he was turning onto the main road in Cameron, he heard a noise and lost ten pounds of air pressure.

What the heck?

He made it to the tire store before it lost all its air. We were all surprised by the photo above. How did a nut driver get into his tire? It’s so big. I don’t think I’ve ever seen something this big get it. Lee says it must have been sticking up at just the right angle. That poor man has sure had a lot of breakdowns and such lately.

The culprit.

At least it could be repaired. I hope it’s a good one, because I have to drive the Tahoe to Austin tomorrow so I can put stuff in it from the Bobcat house. There’s no more room in the garage for things the stager rejects.

That house has got to go on the market! I’m sorta scared to go in there in case I might muss something up.

I’d rather be with Penney running around in the empty pool.

Not really looking forward to the last two days at work. I’ll miss my desk, the courtyard, and the coffee machines.

What Makes a House YOUR Home?

Last night, while waiting on some guests to arrive, I took some pictures to remember the Bobcat Lair, my house in Austin, where Anita and I have enjoyed about four years now. I mentioned earlier this week how much I’m going to miss the neighbors, but I’ll also miss having a house I could set up however I wanted and decorate with what pleases me.

I got to have orange things, and dainty furniture (just a bit too much).

I know I’m lucky. Anita’s had to live with my stuff since she moved to Austin (well, she had her own area with her stuff in it, but no kitchen of her own). And Kathleen and her spouse have had to live much of the past two years in someone else’s house, crammed into a bedroom. That’s got to get old pretty fast! Most of the ranch house I tried to keep neutral, brought in the big furniture our residents prefer, and confined my collections to small areas. The Bobcat Lair was all me, with touches of Anita for good measure of course.

I got it all modern, where you can see all through the house.

I love how airy the place is and how well Anita’s plants grow in it (most of my plants are gone). I loved my little kitchen with lime green accents and shiny counters, too. I love shiny things.

Such a pleasant kitchen, and I designed it myself!

I guess I just want to honor all the work and planning that went into fixing this house up (at last) to be a nice home. I wish I could have spent more time here, but the time I did spend was restful, calm, and free of stress. That was the real luxury of the Bobcat Lair!

And my happy yellow bedroom, just for me and my stuffed sloth.

The fact that I got to have my happy colors, my flower art, and my quirky décor items just made my parts of the house MINE. I think we all deserve a place like that, where you we comfortable, because it’s ours. It’s been great having a whole house like that, but now it’s time to move on, and I will, after dwelling a bit on how much I liked my home. I’ll just work on sprucing up my Hermits’ Rest office, and it will be great. There are always options, and I am not complaining at all, just remembering. Enjoy some photos of what made this house mine.

This post was mainly for me, to act as a photo album, but I hope you enjoy peeking in at someone else’s house. I always do!

I also wanted to remember how nice the back of the house looks with the new flower beds and electrical box surrounds. The neighbors did great work.

Do You Have What You Need?

It’s yet another transition time in my life, as a lot of Anita’s stuff got loaded into a trailer and headed out to Cameron. We’re both very grateful to the guys who did all the heavy lifting, which combined with all the stairs makes for a long hot day. We’re getting ready to put the Bobcat Lair house on the market, because houses are selling so well in Austin these days.

I’ll miss looking at lesser goldfinches through my neighbor’s windows!

One thing is for sure, neither Anita nor I want to leave. The neighborhood women are all such good friends and so kind to each other. That won’t be easy to reproduce. Having a supportive community that can listen to each other and support each other, even when we disagree is priceless. At the end of last night’s book club I realized that such a community is what I’ve always needed for staying happy and centered. A lot of my unsuccessful attempts at making friends or joining groups have come because I have that need (and reinforced that just because you like some people doesn’t mean they’ll like YOU!).

Precious neighbors at book club. I’ll drive back to Austin for that!

I’ll be sure to stay close to the Austin neighborhood friends as I move on, just as I’ve tried to stay close to my close-knit La Leche League friends.

As we prepare to leave our Austin sanctuary, I realize that another thing I really need is a place where I can just be my own raw self. The nice thing about having known Anita since we were so young is that we know each other’s personalities so well that we can pretty much say and do whatever the heck we want to around each other and there aren’t hard feelings, misunderstandings to straighten out, or topics to avoid bringing into conversations. If we disagree, we talk about it. That’s rare, very rare, at least in my experience! (I can only think of two other people who fall into that category right now.) It’s just so great to be able to relax and not self censor for a while. It’s been great to have the Austin house to be a place of respite where we can simply be.

Goofy Friends For-Ever

I’ll still have Anita in the future, and I hope spending time with her at her new house will be a good break from the fun and adventures of home and work (which also have their great points and are important to me)!

That’s important, because the third thing I really need is that mythical “place of one’s own” where you can surround yourself with what YOU like. My Austin living room and bedroom were that for me, as was the beautiful office I made at the Pope Residence, which needed to be used by others for business reasons. I only got to use it a few months, at most, but wow, I loved having my desk, my window of glass objects, my pretend fireplace, and my beautiful chandelier surrounding me while I dealt with job issues, did volunteer work, and thought my own quiet thoughts.

I loved this office, but never got to come back after the Snow Event.

My office at the ranch house isn’t quite that, and I’m not sure why. Probably because there are so many dogs, interruptions, and things I don’t like in the room. I’ll bring in things I DO like and make it better, though. Whining about it won’t help get me where I feel comfortable, productive, and at peace, now, will it? I’ll just get stuff from my Bobcat house, my beautiful Cameron office, and elsewhere, and fix things up. And shut the door, even if it inconveniences the dogs.

So, what do you feel like you NEED to live your best, most comfortable, and most productive life? I was surprised that the things I talked about today were what came up for me. But, at least I know, now, and I can keep working on enjoying what I do have (my amazing family, friends in Cameron, and ranch of wonders) while tweaking my environment to best meet my needs, but not interfering with others who are meeting THEIR needs. Because, yep, other people’s stuff is also important, right?

Peaceful Interlude in Austin

This is a rare time. There really isn’t anything pressing at the moment, and I spent all last night doing things that weren’t stressful (other than figuring out why the television isn’t working in the living room at the Bobcat Lair). I even did the things on my to-do list (Kathleen now has software for us), including finding someone to clean the ranch house. I have three candidates to talk to!

Highlight of yesterday was getting this odonata (damselfly) to hold still.

One thing that’s good about having two houses is that you get new scenery and a bit of a break. I LOVE that there’s usually so much to do at the ranch, but an occasional day of not sweating profusely or shoveling anything does give my back a break. I’ll have plenty of energy for when I get back!

Anita and I watched Dr. Pol (show about old Dutch vet in Michigan) in my beautiful bedroom and said ooh and aah to cute puppies and kitties, and ICK when there were two scenes of cutting off cow nipples. That was plenty of drama for me!

Regrettably, this may well have been the last peaceful evening we have. Tonight we have visitors and will get some work done around here as we prepare to move all Anita’s boxes to her new house in Cameron, and I prepare to get the beautiful and unique Bobcat Lair sold. Have I mentioned the housing market in Austin is ridiculously hot? So, as a professional house flipper, I know it’s time to flip the house, as much as I love it.

I will miss my quirky but very pleasant office so much.

The plan is to get an apartment near my work for the next couple of years. A quiet one, if possible. We just have to get the boxes out, sell the house, and move things to various places, other than the things that just go away.

I am no longer stressing out or worrying about any of this. We can handle it all by doing one thing at a time. I may still occasionally lapse into patterns of self doubt or have trouble handling change, but I’m sure doing a lot better. That’s all any of us can ask; to do better. I’m also doing way better accepting people in my life just as they are, warts and all, and am only requesting that favor in return, when possible. No wonder things are a bit calmer for me!