Complaints? Nope.

Well, it’s been a nice couple of days, that’s for sure. The worse thing that happened to me was driving through the confusing world of Dallas, Texas traffic. But, I lived! So, what’s up?

Here’s the progress on the little baby blanket I’m working on. So far it’s very blue and purple, but you can see that will change soon.

House News

The first good thing is that the Bobcat Lair house finally sold! We were surprised it was on the market for so long, but we guessed it’s because the house has zero curb appeal. You literally can’t see anything but its miniature driveway! But the best part is it sold for what we asked for, minus an allowance to replace the deck, though apparently the new buyers are normal people and not afraid of a house with imperfections. Anita says the folks are nice and will fit in well, which makes me happy for our wonderful neighbors.

Pool News

We have good pool news, too. Yet another surface is going in (probably done by now, since I’ve been gone for a couple of days), this is some lovely flagstone that is covering the “beach area” where we can sit in little chairs and the dogs can safely enter. It was another one of the works of art that the tile guys do. Laying the flagstones was like filling in a jigsaw puzzle where you’re allowed to tear up the pieces to make it fit! In the end, it turned out really pretty. I can’t wait to get home to see it all grouted in and smoothed out.

They also did a pretty cover for the fire pit. By the time I get home, it will have a circular opening.

Horse News

Before I left yesterday, I checked on Apache’s eye. It looked way better. However, it sure was hard to keep his head down to put the drops in. I ended up with a sore arm! Glad I had help, for sure.

I look better. I don’t like drops.

Fun Times

I’m in Plano this morning, because I drove up to attend my bonus daughter, Ellie’s baby shower. I’m so happy she and her cute husband are going to have a baby! They announced the name by showing us a cute sign they’d had made on Etsy. I was thrilled to see her name will be Ruby. And they were all dressed in ruby clothing. So cute.

The baby’s middle name came from her grandmother.

I was so happy to see Ellie. There were multiple extremely long hugs exchanged. She is just a dear person and has done so well with her life. I met her when she was in college with my older son, and our families became good friends after we let her stay with us while she was doing summer internships and stuff.

This young woman is a therapist in her own practice now. Go, Ellie.

I am so happy to have also gotten to see her mom, Pouri, who has been a great friend to me for the past decade and more. She is one of the kindest and most generous people I ever met. And the best cook. If you’ve never had a home-cooked Persian meal, well, I’m sorry for you, because they combine some of the most interesting and delicious ingredients. I still dream about a beef dish with some kind of fruit in it that Pouri made once, no exaggeration.

My dear friend, Pouri.

Anyway, it was a sweet party, and then I got to spend an evening all alone. There were no dogs, no noises, and no distractions. I enjoyed knitting, reading, and watching mindless HGTV. Pouri and I agreed that that’s the best part of any trip or vacation!

I hope, so dearly, that all of you get a chance to enjoy your friends, rest, or recharge this weekend or soon in the future. All of this good stuff has really helped me, and I wish it for all of you.

Final Tile Selections in the Dreamy Pool

I’m happy as heck with my tile choices in the Pool of Dreams, though I had a bit of a scare partway through the day. I’m glad we had a relatively dry day in between rain events, so the tile could mostly get done. I don’t blame you, by the way, if pool construction makes you want to take a nap; I’m mostly doing this so I can look back at it later, same as I did when we were building the house.

Men at work. Hombres trabajando.

I enjoyed going out on my breaks to watch the progress, and thought how pretty the square ceramic tiles were looking on the waterfall area…but wait, wasn’t that supposed to be shiny glass tile? I checked, and sure enough, I had selected a glass tile.

Where’s that stripy stuff? On the other hand, I don’t really like it.

That sent me into a panic. They were just about done with all that tile, and I was pretty sure it was the wrong tile. And I’d already noticed that glass tile was nowhere to be found on the premises (I mentioned that in a blog post last week). So, I called up the pool place to find out what happened.

Here’s the waterfall area from the spa.

The nice pool lady, Audrey, said she’d get back to me, so I had to sit through a long meeting hoping that the tiles wouldn’t be totally glued down before the guys had to remove them.

The guy on the right, with the scary “ladder” is adding grout to the tile they did Monday.

I sure was relieved when she came back with the explanation. It turned out that the glass tile was discontinued, so they couldn’t get it. She was supposed to tell me, but she totally forgot. I didn’t get upset, because that sounded like something that wouldn’t be too hard to do in the middle of a busy day (and she’s nice and likes my horses, which was in her favor). Besides that, the tile looks just fine to me the way it is, so no harm, no foul.

I think it’s pretty.

The tiling artists got a lot of the rough limestone tiles up, and its matte, bumpy texture makes a beautiful contrast with the shiny ceramic tiles and the smooth limestone on the edges of the pool.

Rustic beauty. So much texture.

Lee pointed out that they were really having to do a lot of work on the round part where the fire pit will be. The tile didn’t fit without a lot of finagling. They told me it was, indeed, hard to do. I think it’s worth it. I’ll be adoring it for many years, I hope.

Here you can see all three surfaces together. Nice.

I’m glad it’s all working out as well as I’d hoped. I like how subtle the pool will be, most of the time. But don’t worry, Suna’s love of bright colors will show up when we turn on those dazzling light shows! Even if we have another extreme cold event before I get to use the pool, I’m going to fire up the fire and the lights.

Rainy Escapades

I know it’s October, because the rains are back. No pool guys today! But, that is just fine.

I went out this morning to feed Granny and the chickens, and heard a strange noise. What was it? Goldie. She had somehow gotten out and had joined me. I figured I’d determine what happened there later. I headed out to feed Granny, only to be met by four hungry faces.

All the other horses were out and wandering around. Huh. What in the world? I then ran the gauntlet of Apache, Remington, and Mabel, with Fiona trailing behind. I was impressed that I managed to get the food to Granny and not slip in the mud while doing so.

Gleeful escapees

Next, I walked toward the gate to Apache’s paddock. Apache and Fiona nicely followed me, so they were easy to get in. I saw that the gate had been pushed open. So, either one of them unlocked it or (more likely) I had it draped over and forgot to fasten it when I went back to the house yesterday.

Then I went to find the other two horses, which is when I took the photo above. They were just milling around, so it was easy for me to just lead them into the pens by holding their halters. They got lots of pats and love, too.

At least the baby chicks had not escaped, so I managed to keep one type of animal where it belonged! And when I took Goldie back inside, I went out and saw that she (or another dog) had managed to move the big gate that is leaning across the patio to keep the dogs away from the pool. I managed to give myself a couple of nice, sharp cuts trying to put it back (it’s heavy!), but for the rest of the day, so far, everyone’s been in their places.

Tiny cut, but was actually pretty deep. Hurt like heck.

It sure is nice to see the tanks/ponds starting to fill back up, even if it means pool delays!

I also wanted to share that I have a new friend right outside my window. She has a beautiful web, as orb weavers tend to have, but she seems drawn toward my hanging web decoration. I’ve had that thing since I lived in Champaign, Illinois! The rain isn’t bothering her, or her smaller friend who is up higher on the window, one bit.

Skill in the Pool of Dreams

Two men have been working on the pool for most of this week. They seem to share two features: a love of traditional mariachi music and major skill in working with stone tiles. It’s been a real pleasure watching them work, as well as listening to the music. It’s real loud, but since I am also fond of that music, I have not complained. There’s some fine tuba playing going on in those songs.

Early progress – they were fitting the inserts in the holes.

This post is about the tile work, though. One of the guys spends all day using the wet saw to cut the blocks of bullnose-edge natural limestone for the pool edging, as I’ve mentioned before. Lee worries, because they are not wearing masks. That’s pretty legitimate. I don’t stand around outside very long when the saw is going. I don’t want shards of limestone and quartz in my lungs (the stone is very shiny in spots).

Not sure what this is, but it has a nice circle in it.

The guy has made dozens of smaller tiles for one edge, and medium for the other edge. Meanwhile, the other guy has been first dry fitting and then cementing in the stone. He uses leftover glass tiles from other pools as spacers. That’s a good way to use them, I think. Lee is worried about there being so much space for grout, but we’ll see if it causes an issue.

It has to be hard to get these all lined up on the curve. It sure looks pretty.

I think the tile is gorgeous. It blends in with the cool limestone the house is clad in, and looks really natural, which will help the pool not look like some garish thing plopped in the back yard. The accent tile under the limestone also looks pretty natural. It’s beautifully glazed ceramic tile squares, and they will look pretty, but still fit in with the ranch vibe.

Ready for installation.

I’m enjoying some of the fine touches they’re putting in the tilework, such as the circle cutouts for the filter outlets, or whatever those will be called. I sure hope they have handles. They installed the baskets in there, too, so I feel like the pool’s coming along.

The two-holer.

And on the edges of the hot tub/spa, they put a nice triangle accent. That’s going to look so pretty next to the waterfall.

Edge of spa, with decoration.

I’m looking forward to watching more of their artistry in the next week or two (and having their music in the background while I work). I’m not in any hurry to rush these craftsmen to finish their work. It will be like having artwork that you can cool off in, once the pool is done! I won’t even be sad that it gets done after the weather cools off (we can still use the hot tub, anyway).

And in Horse News

I just have to brag on Apache and Aragorn. Today they were both on their best behavior and really showed how much progress they are making. Each of them was easy to ride and not all nerved out at all, even though we rode all over the field behind our house, where Aragorn had never been and Apache hadn’t been in a long time.

It was like it used to be when Sara and I would ride Apache and Spice, before Apache got lame and squirrely. The weather was beautiful, and we could relax, look at the trees and plants, and ask our horses to move around gracefully.

Aftermath of a long, fun ride.

In the end, Apache really wanted to go “home” over to Sara’s place. Poor guy. I totally understand. But, even when he tried to tell me what he wanted, I was able to gently convince him to go back to his pens. I have no complaints about that horse right now. What a pleasant change!

A very wet and tired horse

Then, since he was all hot, I decided to rinse Apache off. I didn’t have to tie him up or anything. He just stood there and enjoyed his cool-off, then turned around for the other side. He didn’t move off until I took off his halter, and then he just went off to graze and drip. He’s a good buddy.

Consistency is Dull

Sorry, y’all, but there’s not much new around here. The two chicks are still with us, so that’s fine. I’d like that to stay boring.

Dang, we can’t get out.

The pool guys are still tiling. They spent a lot of time smoothing the edges, but did get some edging cemented in. They are so careful. That makes me happy. They also work like 11 hours a day. Ugh.

They were just leaving when I took this.

And the horses are fine. I’ve been so tired this week that I haven’t done much with them, but today I took Apache and Fiona out for some fun. First, Apache got to try out the new poles in the round pen. He tried to avoid them at first, but then started to have fun trotting over them. He even cantered really nicely for a bit!

Reward time.

We went for a good walk, practicing good manners, and exploring. Of course Fiona came along. She seemed to enjoy the view.

Whee

It really seems to me like these two have as much fun as I do wandering around and checking out all the different plants, hills, and trees.

Let me out!

And the promised house offer has not happened. Not surprised. No news is no news!

So yeah, it’s not exciting. The blog visits have plummeted. But, I’m employed, I have friends and family who care, and I’ll keep on keeping on, with a good attitude. Thanks for reading, all right of you.

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.

Am I Too Old for This?

Whew. I got through the first day at the new job. Talk about information overload! At least I understand much of it!

Just relaxing by the pool and enjoying the giant balloon vine.

Everyone was nice, and I can sure see why they brought me in. I’m glad I’ll have some juicy challenges to deal with and that I can help, I hope. My team lead said they were referring to me as She Who Must Not Be Named, because they didn’t want to jinx it.

I’d say the only bad part is having to go to two-hour meetings starting at 7 am…every day. I guess I’ll be going to bed even earlier now!

I’ll enjoy the extra money, though, and the smart folks I get to work with. See, I can handle change. I just get tired easily, you know, because I’m old.

Actually, my stress level is a bit lower, now that the house is on the market and Anita’s tenant has moved out. Just a couple more dominoes to fall, and we can get back to just taking pandemic precautions. Maybe.

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.

Things Have Improved, Laptop-wise

It has been a long time since I got a new laptop for myself. I’d been getting along with the one from work and a Surface, but it ended up just being easier to use the work one, since most of my stuff is web-based.

But, I realized I needed something new with the new job, because it’s not going to last all that long and I’ll just use it when I am working (maybe that will keep me from answering work email and messages when I’m not working, since I’m no longer in management).

So, I got myself another large laptop (I just LIKE the big ones), and it showed up the next day. Today I had time to set it up (and my hands aren’t shaking so much from the drama around me). I tell you what, I was really surprised to find out how easy it is now to get all up and running on a new system.

The computer just talked to me and told me what to do, then I logged on to my Microsoft and Google accounts…and boom, there was all my stuff. I didn’t have to install anything, look up a million passwords, or anything like that. Things just work. I guess they learned something from the Apple computers.

I have created an awkward corner in my office/den. but I can easily work on two different computers now!

The new screen is really nice, and I don’t have to wear my computer glasses to use it, at least for reading email and blogging. That’s nice. The camera is not as good as the fancy one I use on the other system, so I’ll probably switch that. Otherwise, I think I did a good job. I didn’t get the snazziest one, but not a generic one either. It’s just right.

I still need to find one of my many “spare” mice, or mouses, because I still hate those touchpad. But, I do have the touch screen option, and I love those. Oh, and I temporarily made myself an el-shaped desk, using my sad old secretary. Eventually I’m going to have a better two-computer setup, but this will do!

Here I am, writing this blog post.

Now, to go deal with stuff. Honest, I’m not even the one dealing with the stuff. I’m really, really grateful for family and friends right now.