The Gimpy One Gets Busy: Renovation, Nature Dogs…

For a person who’s still having trouble making certain moves (especially bouncy ones) I’ve been doing a lot! I got some nice photos, so I figure I’ll share, even though this is not among my most riveting topics.

Hooray! The pond filled up and even overflowed to the other side.

It’s been chilly, but I sure was happy to see the ponds fuller at the ranch. The dogs are enjoying the heck out of the puddles, as usual.

Pope Residence Update

Things are hopping over at the Pope Residence. All the materials to build the staircase have been bought, and Chris and Easton have been busy shoring up the foundation at the back of the house. They have replaced an entire beam and will be adding a few extra piers to hold the weight of the staircase.

Chris ciphers out what to do next to repair the foundation.

They also bought plenty of insulation to make the back of the building nice and cozy. Of course, to me, the most important thing is that the red tiles for my office bathroom are ordered.

This is one of the original sewer pipes that was removed.

And speaking of that bathroom, there’s good news! We will be able to keep the original tub in there and make it a feature after all!

This is how they are holding the house together while working on the foundation below.

Randy is still slowly but surely getting all the bricks repaired and re-mortared. There is a lot to repair, but it is looking great once it’s done.

Repairs and the leveling hole in Kathleen’s office.

And today, while I was out gallivanting, Kathleen and Nicole have started stripping the many layers of paint off the doorways. It always seems like you find something interesting when you peel off layers like that, and sure enough, Nicole has uncovered a lot of blue and some green on the doorway leading into my office. Maybe the whole thing was once blue!

Nature Calls

I couldn’t resist going along with the Master Naturalist class and visiting the beautiful property of one of our members, outside of Davilla (south of Cameron). It was almost unspeakably beautiful, and my friend Ann and I had a blast identifying everything we saw, joined by one of the students who knows a lot about insects.

Ann inspects a fallen limb being held up by another limb.

We saw two woodpeckers, some American robins, female red-winged blackbirds, cardinals, chickadees, mourning doves, mockingbirds, and much more. It was great birding. And we saw a lot of tracks, too.

Really cool tree bark!

I can’t think of a more fun way to spend a morning than to investigate what grows in another part of the area! (Maybe that makes me boring, or maybe it makes me interesting.) I’ll share a link to a longer article with more photos that will be on the Master Naturalist blog.

And Dogs

While my competing volunteer activities may be wearing me out, I also get a lot out of them, so I was happy to join my Milam Touch of Love friends at another pet chipping event. Like last time, we met a lot of nice dogs and owners. This time we also could get pizza, since it was at Domino’s!

I’m a good girl. I just want a LOT of love.

I spent a lot of time with poor little Sandy, Penney’s sister, who still isn’t adopted. They just aren’t exciting dogs to look at. But she sure was well mannered, and she walked on a leash like a dream. I sure hope someone sees her beauty and adopts her (and also Ghost; he is so kind and beautiful!).

I had to bow out of horse riding this afternoon, which makes me sad, but wow, my back and chest let me know any time I twist or move my arms a certain way. I couldn’t even hold a cute dog today, because the wiggling made me move. I’m hoping for tomorrow, or at least to groom.

I didn’t even tell you about the private warehouse we got to look in, where I found me an old red hanging lamp. That was yesterday, an equally busy day.

There’s a theater gala tonight, so that should fill my busy Saturday. I have way more of a social life in Cameron than I ever did in Austin!

Does Volunteering Count as Recharge Time?

Yep. I’m sort of resting as I spending my usual first Saturday of the month at the thrift store. Gotta help those local dogs and cats! Resting with restless young teens is not all that restful, but we have been enjoying our friend Meghan’s twin teens try to fill their time as they help out. They are at that awkward age between child and hormonal teen, which is cute, but chatty.

Jean and the kids.

I did spend a bit of time pricing jewelry my sister donated to the MTOL table. We did sell some of it, so hooray for her! All donations help! And I get to be with friends.

Canova’s stuff is among this fine collection.

Luckily there are plants to enjoy, including this beautiful “mother of millions” in bloom. I never had one do that! Not bad for an invasive.

Looking up
Here you can see the leaves with little babies on them.

And I wandered out to the side of the highway and found things for iNaturalist. That’s double volunteering!

Verbena.

Just wait. I’ll have more renovation pictures up. Volunteer time is almost over.

Doing Good at Feeling Fine

This whole thing where I work really hard to live in the moment (ruining my previous hobbies of “pre-worrying” and “dwelling on how things could have gone) has really been working out. Little things keep happening and I just look at them as bumps in the road as I sail down my merry path. And, hey, look, today’s tarot card even shows my merry path!

It is always fun to me when I’m subconsciously thinking of something, and my reading literally draws a picture of it. Archetypes amuse me.

My quest to enjoy the moment led to me just sitting at last night’s high school football game and listening to the drama and pageantry, without worrying about winning or losing. It was just pleasant to be around nice people doing small-town things.

In fact, the current plan is to go with the lady who sits next to me at the games and watch the Away game next Friday. She is a whiz at football, so almost as fun to watch a high school game with as my kids’ friend Wes, who analyzed the games from his trombone spot. He’s now a high-school football coach, so his dream came true, even if his parents didn’t want him playing the game. I’m so glad to make new friends.

Football action. Note how many people the other team had in the stands. They were from a LONG way (Katy, Texas). They won State last year, and we were the only team that beat them. I hope it’s that way for them this year, too.

On my way home I got to see a huge owl eating a kill, then flying off when my car approached [hn hn – Vlassic typed that by laying his head on the keyboard]. Then I found a big spider in the garage, but Vlassic scared it off before I could get a picture.

Continue reading “Doing Good at Feeling Fine”

Thrifting for Dollars: My Why

It’s really been a hard time in the country where I live, and it seems like we are heading more and more to divisiveness and violence. My goal is to do what I can to encourage us all to remember that we are also capable of love and caring, even for people different from ourselves. Let’s spread that, please? Okay, so how am I doing that?

Just a few of the people I enjoy volunteering with and who teach me a lot as I get to really know them.

Raising Funds at a Thrift Shop

Yep, that’s what I did yesterday and what I plan to do every first Saturday of the month for the foreseeable future. The Amazing Grace Thrift Shop in Buckholts has allowed our Milam Touch of Love animal support group to sell items in the front of the shop (they are offering this to other groups, too).

It was fun selling this stuff. And if the peace sign is still unsold, I’m getting it next time!

The kind people behind this really nice store (not kidding, it’s so clean and pretty and the staff is so respectful to all who shop there) are also animal lovers and very supportive of MTOL. And they not only donate the space to us, but have become donors. This is such a wonderful example of putting their Christian beliefs into action.

I love that our volunteer put animal stickers on the baked goods!

Our volunteers brought baked goods and some items to sell, but the shop also let us sell some jewelry and keep the funds. This made our fundraising team very happy! We ended up with well over $400 for the day, from combined sales, donations, and memberships. Plus, we got to talk to a lot of people about the organization, which you just can’t put a price tag on.

Why Do I Do This?

Here’s the thing. I also believe in putting my beliefs into practice. I want to do what I can to do good in the world, encourage peace, and share my convictions that everyone has something to teach me, if I take the time to listen.

Continue reading “Thrifting for Dollars: My Why”

Yes. I Pamper My Dog.

I admit to feeling like a sorta bad dog mom when I let poor Vlassic play with the toad on Sunday. Luckily, like any bad parental figure, I can say I’m sorry by buying him stuff.

Classic Vlassic and Anita making the same face.

Heck, this little shiny black fellow has made a huge difference in my life. I don’t want to lose his cold nose and warm belly. Or his hilarious poses.

Luckily, today the monthly Bark Box arrived! I knew he’d forgive me if a squeak toy suddenly appeared! The theme this month was excercise equipment.

Continue reading “Yes. I Pamper My Dog.”