Brr. Cold Front.

The long-awaited cold front finally blew in. It got below 70F last night. It felt great when I was loading my car this morning.

By the time I went for a walk around 2 I regretted my long-sleeves.

Doesn’t look any cooler to me.

But it will be cooler tonight. It’s a real celebration day here in the middle of Texas.

Still looks warm.

Back in the 90s later in the week. But we have a new trend!

I took all these pictures waiting for Nicole to appear and get her poetry books I put together for her. She’s really working hard. Another bonus kid to be proud of.

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Darn Dogs, Can’t They Be Polite?

It looks like our newest canine companion, Penney, will be needing some training or something. She continues to poop and pee in our bathroom every night that I’m there. We have three theories: one is I’m taking up her space in the bed, and another is she’s afraid to go downstairs in the dark. A third possibility is that she’s showing irritation that Vlassic’s in the room.

Carlton the weather dog points out that it still has not rained,

Poor Little Vlassic

Penney seems to have it in for him, at least when he’s trying to do his favorite thing, which is snuggle up with me or Lee. She believes SHE is the resident snuggler. We have been working with her on this, but as you can see from Vlassic’s head, we aren’t always successful.

Ow. Also I have an owie on my tummy from last week. Save me!

Now, they are fine outdoors, and run and play very happily.

Vlassic now spends his time at the ranch either outside on the porch, or upstairs in the bedroom.

And that’s a problem when night comes, because everybody wants to be on top of the bed. Harvey likes to sleep where he isn’t touching anybody, and growls if they try. Carlton is either next to me or in the dog bed. Vlassic is usually glued to me, while Penney glues herself to Lee.

I would like to know how I never realized how much brown hair is on the back of Vlassic’s legs. I swear, I look at him all the time. Cute little butt swirls, though.

But last night, Penney apparently wanted to be next to me, and went after Vlassic for being there instead. Much screaming, peeing on my dang bed, and growling occurred. I had to spend the rest of the night downstairs with a shaking (but relatively unhurt) dachshund.

I’m glad we know dog trainers.

Also, Dogs Like Stinky Things

Lee reports that Alfred came home Wednesday night with a very large spine of something. He loved it. It smelled very bad. Thankfully, it’s mostly gone now.

Penney explores the milkweed, looking for remnants of the spine.

Then, today, while Vlassic was in the office staying safe from Penney, he jumped in Mandi’s lap, causing her to react in horror. He’d found a very dead and stinky mouse. I guess that means our mouse removal campaign is working. But wow, is it smelly in the kitchen area, and so is he. We washed him, but not well enough.

At least the love of stinky items is funny.

I Gots Nothin’

I hate to disappoint the readership, but today didn’t have much to it worth writing about, other than getting my neck looked at after the little accident, and some water droplets finally falling out of the sky. Both of those are good things, of course.

A giant bra in the sky from yesterday.
My thoughts on endless delays. But isn’t the avocado shirt from Target cute?

I spent most of the day sitting at my desk, back at work, dutifully doing the needful, and waiting for the results of a meeting. Finally, I asked that guy that sits next to me when the meeting was, and he admitted he was too chickensh** to tell me it had gotten postponed. I got a wry laugh out of that, I guess. Then I took a walk, like the consummate professional I am, followed by more needful doing.

I did get yet another new work laptop, because the previous new laptop would not display my third monitor, over-heated a lot, and kept refusing to come back after it went to “sleep.” I know I’m hard on displays, since each of my offices has a slightly different configuration, so that part didn’t surprise me. So far, the new one is churning along just fine, and I did get a cool screen background.

There are like 80 of these different color splotch backgrounds that rotate. Nice. New laptop at right. Tangle of wires at center.

Yep, that’s it. Highlight of my day, some blobs and some raindrops.

September 11 is never easy, anyway. As always, I will send out peaceful thoughts to whoever will accept them. Peace to you, readers. Remember those you love, and let them know.

Strange Fruit?

I did listen to Billie Holliday singing the song “Strange Fruit” multiple times last week, since it was one of the topics that came up for the commemoration of slaves being brought to this continent in 1619. That song always makes me shiver. Then I’m sad. Then I’m angry. I hope humans learn from our mistakes and treat each other better. Someday.

In more mundane stuff…

Today I was looking around wondering what I’d eat during this time of year and right before my eyes appeared two more benign strange fruit: a passion fruit and a prickly pear.

Passion fruit and prickly pear amid shiny lights

Those would be sweet and delicious any time, but especially now, when it’s so parched.

Continue reading “Strange Fruit?”

What Else Is New?

at the ranch, that is. There have been a few tidbits and sightings I wanted to share.

Weather. Ugh.

It’s bone dry, but there aren’t any bones.

First off, I know it’s hot and dry here, because the little runoff pond is bone dry. The dogs went in there to check for crawfish, but didn’t find any.

And the ground is now full of holes and big, long cracks. Along with extra-crunchy grass, this tells you we’re in the bad part of summer.

Hello, down there.

Yep. It’s hot. But there’s a stiff breeze making the front porch bearable for the moment.

Other Stuff

Three prickly pears.

Walking with the dogs always brings discoveries. Today I found things in threes, like these morning glories and prickly pear fruit. (Which reminds me of the carne asada con nopales I had Friday. Mmm. )

Three morning glories

As I was looking at the cactus, I heard a thump. Just to my left I saw that a large grasshopper had flown into the very sturdy web of one of our numerous yellow garden spiders. I started recording only seconds after it landed, which explains why I didn’t turn the phone landscape. 40 seconds later it was wrapped and paralyzed.

At least it didn’t suffer. Sara asked if I’d speeded the video up, but nope. Those spiders can MOVE!

It’s so weird. Those are holes, not raised mounds.

The other natural phenomenon I’ve been watching are the traps laid by doodlebugs, as they call ant lions here. I watch the ones over by the tack room spitting dirt out of their traps. It looks like little explosions.

Chicken Time

And I’ve figured out that two of the chickens roost next to their food. At least the other five seem okay back in their coop. For now. Tyler cleaned up the place where Buffy was hiding, but she still hangs out in the barn.

Buffy and Big Red stake their claims.

And I have a final piece of good news. After spending quite some time trying to figure out who could fix the cattle guard leading to the cabin, I looked up this morning to see the Vrazels had found someone. We thought that was part of their lease agreement, but Ralph had informed me it was my job. Dodged a bullet there. I thanked Mr. V. And the welder a whole bunch.

Dim photo of welding truck.

To sign off, here’s a differential grasshopper. Hey, it’s not a spider!

Is Everything Dead Yet?

This time of year, it’s usually looking pretty bleak out here in central Texas. By now, the grass is usually very brown and crunchy, and there are good-sized cracks in the soil. But this year it’s rained a lot more than usual, so how’s it doing?

Checking out the territory. Some green, some not.

It hasn’t rained in a couple of weeks, and that’s about all it takes to turn things back to their typical summer state. Sure enough, the grass is crunchy and the cracks are out. But the tanks (ponds) have lots more water in them than usual and the creek has plenty of water in it.

The Vrazels have made another bunch of hay out of our front pasture, which is also unusual. They are out there baling it right now, making round bales. The dogs enjoyed having a couple of days to look for vermin in the piles of grass as it was drying out. Both Vlassic and Penney like to pounce.

Future hay, full o’ vermin.
Continue reading “Is Everything Dead Yet?”

Sunrise, Sunset, and Fishies

Fer sure, yesterday was really hot, and so was the day before, but it was certainly not without beauty and the potential for fun. I’m so glad the dogs pestered the heck out of me to go outside Saturday night, or I’d have missed a spectacular sunset. The one below is my favorite image, which I shared on Facebook, but I didn’t want blog readers to miss out.

This is facing EAST at sunset. I wish I could get my hair those colors.

Last night’s sunset was also good, but I didn’t get out until after the exciting part, thanks to eating lovely food cooked by my sister. I was also still recovering from my late afternoon activity.

Fishies

Mandi is officially on vacation, so she wants to have some outdoor fun. I accompanied Mandi and her son, Matthew, over to the pond behind Ralph and Sara’s to do some fishing. Of course, it was 100 degrees out there. But, we persevered. The pond is stocked, so we know there are good fish in it, but it’s so pretty and relaxing, that I didn’t care.

The pond behind Sara and Ralph’s house.
Continue reading “Sunrise, Sunset, and Fishies”