Wed, Apr 24, 2013 at 3:52 AM
Greetings from just North of South of the Border;
Where to start..... First off I am in a gin drinking mood for reasons I
don't want to get into but it is technological in nature. So some of you
may want to get your head straight before reading on. To start Jane is back
in Ohio trolloping in the mud and the cats and I are left to fend off the
wild beasts of Greenwood Valley Ranch Road.
The wild beasts du jour are fox, rabbits, coyotes, lizards, and maybe an
owl. Five du jour's ago you could have added bees to the list. Oh yes, a
mentally challenged bird too. Two weeks ago, on the way home from Kerrville
between FM(farm to market)1340 and the Y.O. Ranch I saw a bald eagle on the
berm of the road. It kind of surprised me because it was just walking along
the road. This is the first time I ever saw a bald eagle on the ground,
within 20 feet of me. I have seen them flying around, 400 or 500 feet up,
but never on the ground in the wild.
The rabbits have been around all year but they seem to be multiplying and
aren't too concerned about me, the cats, owls, coyotes, or foxes. They will
let me get within 10 feet of them before the lazily hop off. They do this
with the cats too. I watched P.W. stalk bunny for a half hour and the
rabbit let him get within 10 - 15 feet and then casually takes a couple of
hops and the stalking starts all over again. I wonder if they do that with
the coyotes. Again, as in most years we hear coyotes but don't see them.
This year there are more of them because you can hear them 'talking' to
I occasionally see a fox around the road, usually they are no bigger than
a chihuahua kind of cute but I tend to stay away from wild animals. Anyway,
on the way home from dropping Jane off at the airport and checking on our
kitchen island and counter tops in Fredericksburg I saw a weaselly looking
animal trying to cross highway 41. I mean this fox zigged and zagged back
and forth three or four times before it decided to go back the way it came.
I finally realized it was a fox when I saw it's tail. It had to be twice
it's body size. By this time I was doing 35 mph in a 70 with as much danger
of becoming road kill as the fox had been so I left the scene before I
could find out what had the fox so confused.
Speaking of confused, we have a mocking bird that is either mentally
challenged or is overly aggressive. Before I continue I will state that the
mocking bird is the state bird of Texas so both scenarios could be true.
This bird has been fighting with another (it thinks) bird for four months.
This 'other' bird is it's own reflection in the side mirrors of our
vehicles. This bird will spend hours 'attacking' the image in the mirror.
Jane finally put plastic bags over the mirrors to stop the bird from
defecating on the mirrors/vehicle but the bird will still come around to
make sure that the 'other' bird hasn't come back. The unsettling thing
isn't the piles of feathers this bird has left by the mirrors but I think
it has mated and it's mate is sitting on a nest under the south roof. You'd
think the cats would take care of this but I think the cats birding days
are past them. But I can still visualize P.W. climbing the air ladder
chasing a turkey that had just taken flight.
Now we are onto the cats, the little darlings. P.W. just had his 13th
birthday, Butch will be 11 or 12 in Sept., we aren't sure because the big
house (animal shelter) didn't have any records for him, and PW has become a
real home body. He doesn't want to be out unless one of us is out with him.
The only thing he chases are slow bunnies and lizards, and not the big 8 to
10 inch ones but the small ones. We now have an over abundance of lizards
without tails. Butchie has to be moved outside daily or he would stay in
the garage all the time. When he does go out he stretches out on the picnic
table and watches the mocking bird attack the vehicles. Butchie is
twitching a lot lately like he has fleas but he is clean of fleas and other
I think the cats are ready to spend some quality time in the Blue Road
greenhouse/sauna. The weather here the last two weeks has been unusual. A
couple of days in the 90's followed by days in the 60's. The wind has been
ripping too. We had a calm day today only 15 mph out of the north with a
little rain, of course there is a change of frost tonight. The last two
nights have been in the high 30's and we are almost 6 weeks past the
average last killing frost date. Sunday and Monday the winds were out of
the south clipping along at 25 to 30 mph. We are suppose to get some much
needed rain the next couple of days but not enough to move my boats. The
boats launched on the last day of the Mayan calendar have moved
approximately 1/2 inch this year. I think the wind blew them to their new
location. One or two good things about the cooler weather are there are few
no-see-ums, smaller than gnat insects that bite, hardly any scorpions, and
I mentioned bees earlier. We have a tree/bush between the apartment and
house. I have never seen this tree/bush bloom but it has a scent for a week
or so that is hard to describe. The closest I can get to it is a decaying
lily, a little sweet but definitely a little off. Anyway, about two weeks
ago I noticed the scent and then the next day when I walked by I heard what
I thought was a flock/flight of flies. Kind of grossed me out but that is
nature. I didn't think too much about for a couple of days then I walked by
and stopped and observed what was going on because I only saw the 'flies'
around the bush and wasn't pestered like flies can pester.
After closer inspection I realized the flies were actually bees but these
bees did look like small horse flies. My first thought was killer bees,
always an optimist. An internet search identified the bees as a native
honey bee species with the possibility that they could have been
Africanized. I couldn't tell the difference between the pictures of the
native and Africanized bee and still don't know what we had. All the bees
disappeared a week after they appeared. The tree/bush lost it's scent and
little seed pods are starting to grow.
Jane has updated the website and I think she has sent most of you an email
but just as a reminder www.babbleonindustries.com now contains the most
recent Dancing Lizard pictures. I have attached some pictures of the
counter top as it looked in Phil Jackson's workshop. There are two places
in Fredericksburg we like to browse one is Phil Jackson's and the other is
Choo Choo. Phil's is a granite and iron shop and Choo Choo's is city block
of Mexican scrap iron art and pottery. The website for Choo Choo's doesn't
show much of the scrap iron art but it gives you an idea of the place.
Jackson's website is www.granite-iron.com.
The kitchen island and counter top will be installed this Thursday I'll
take some pictures when it is installed and send them to Jane for the
website. We did buy three hand woven rugs this year too. Two are for the
Dining room and great room and the third is for Jane's room. It is nice to
be able to start thinking about furnishings instead of drywall, paint,
trim, plumbing, ect., ect.
I have 95% of the floor and ceiling trim done. Four of the six interior
doors are stained and installed, two are completely done, trimmed. Jane's
room is done except for the window trim. The fireplace is done and as I
said on Thursday the kitchen and island counter tops will be installed. All
of the ceiling lights and ceiling fans are install except one. The
hydroponic baseboard heaters are installed. After the counter tops arrive I
am going to lay the marble flooring in the hallway and hookup the plumbing
in the kitchen and small bath. By the time I leave, on May 11th, I
should have only the window trim and the master bath to finish.
I haven't touched the master bath other than to lay some stone flooring and
install some upper cedar trim. I think the problem with the master bath
started when I couldn't decide to replace some drywall with backer or hardy
board. My dilemma wasn't structural or installation related, it was the
drywall. Of all the drywall I put up this one piece had the only perfectly
floated seam and I just couldn't bring myself to tear it out. Eventually
functionality won over the perfectly floated seam. It was traumatic and
after all this time and drywall I still suck at throwing mud on drywall.
The other night I was sitting with the cats waiting for the Leonid meteor
shower and I started thinking about all the material in the house and where
it came from. Framing lumber from Canada, plywood and OSB from
Louisiana, nails from Mexico, screws from China, metal roof from USA, doors
and windows also from USA, Travertine and tumbled marble from Turkey,
granite table and window sills from Brazil, granite counter tops from
India, marble flooring from China, fireplace slate also from India, kitchen
cabinets from Oregon, bedroom wardrobes from a neighbor, concrete and fire
blocks from San Antonio, and the rugs from Teotitlan del Valle, Oaxaco,
Mexico. Just to name a few places.
One of the pictures has a 'dillo in it. Can you find it? Well I'd
better end now I have to go into Kerrville tomorrow to get the rest of the
trim boards I need, another interior door, and some water supply lines. Oh
yes some gin too.
p.s. 'The rugs, they really do tie the room together.'
Date: Thu 07/15/2010 12:16 AM
Subject: Hi and greetings from the Lizard
No, that isn't a Jim Morrison reference. I am back in Texas to do some maintenance on the appartment. I thought, from past experience, that it would be hot and dry here by now but this year has proven me wrong at every turn. It rains in St. Louis, Springfield, Joplin, Tulsa, Oklahoma City, Witchita Falls, Ballinger, Junction, and Garven. My last three trips (down,back, and down) have been filled with weather. In December snow, in May tornados, and this trip rain, Want weather call me and I will travel to you.
I have to admit that the mid 80's and medium humidity here is quite pleasant, especially while I was cutting cedar trees down. To paraphase one of my favorite actors...I love the smell of dying cedar trees in the morning. I had three up against the east side of the garage that kept the morning sun off the wood siding. A good idea? No. The east side was the first side I put the siding on thinking that if I screwed it up that the trees wood hide the mistakes. One of many judgement calls that didn't work out. The wood siding gets wet in the rainy season and didn't dry out and some of the boards warped so I am here to redo the east side of the garage. I have been listening to XPN while I work on the siding, a good heavy beat is a must when tearing off an exterior wall!
The wildlife of the season is locust/grasshoppers. As I am tearing off the siding and fiber board the hoppers are swarming. I can't believe how many one legged hoppers I am seing. On my walk tonight a hopper was traveling down the same road as me and this hopper was as thick as my thumb and as long as my middle finger. The hopper had a don't mess with me attitude as it walked down the middle of the road. It wasn't attacking me so I didn't attack it. Last night the bats were out, which is a good thing because the mosqitoes are in full bloom. We don't have a lot of standing water but it has been wet due to Alex and the no see um's are ravenous. But it is nice to sit on the front porch with a six pack and a snake gun as a southernly breeze cools off the rocks as the sun sets on another day.
Enjoy the moment......
Date: Sun 05/09/2010 04:23 AM
Greetings from latitude 30.025184898206074 north; longitude 99.89439010620117 west, give or take a second or two, altitude 2316ft:
Jane returned to Blue Rd on Tuesday and I am slowly closing down the Dancing Lizard Ranch for the season. I still have some work to do to enclose the house. I have two windows and the entry door to install. I'd like to get the deck roof on and finish up the outside trim too before I leave. I spent yesterday and today staining 1 x 4's, mixing concrete, and framing the entry door system. Tomorrow I will finish the staining and start the deck roofing, maybe....
Over the last couple of years I have introduced you to our goofy but adorable cat Butchie. There are plenty of Butchie stories on the website blog but very few that feature our other cat, PeeWee., aka Tex or PW. Right now he is our problem cat. At the start of April he developed the habit of 'pounding' on the kitchen door and crying a soulful mourning dirge around 3:00 / 3:30am. I don't think Jane or I had an uninterrupted night of sleep for over a month.
He doesn't want to come in at night and he doesn't want to stay in once he does come in. At first I just blew it off because of all the high wind and rain we had this year. PW has always had trouble with bad weather. He would rather hover under a vehicle than come indoors during a storm. I always figured he had a traumatic experience as a kitten. Over the last month I have figured out some things that calms him down for 2 or 3 hours. First get up go to the bathroom and flush the toilet, that is good for a 1/2 hour of peace. Second, go to the garage and stir their food, that is good for another 2 hours. If the first and second option doesn't work, and it doesn't all the time, I go to the garage and clean the litter boxes. What is working to calm PW down now is toe licking/biting. I don't know why, so don't ask, he likes to lick toes and then bite them for no apparent reason. Just to be clear he, the cat, is licking and biting my toes not the other way around. Of course this is all done between 2 and 5:00am.
To get PW in at night I have to wait until midnight and go outside and sit on the deck and wait for him to come to me. He is usually within a 100 feet of the apartment watching the night. I know he is ready to come in when I take a step towards him and he doesn't take two steps away from me. We do this dance every night. On the nights that I give up and go to bed before he comes in he will be at the front door crying his mournful dirge around 3:00am. I let him in and by 4:30 he is pounding on the kitchen door to be let out again.
It isn't that he is unaware of the dangers of night in the Texas hill country. So far this year he has lost a chunk of skin from his left hind leg, a couple of small puncture wounds on his right side, and a few scratches on his chin. The neighbors think it is an owl or a hawk that is stalking him which is the most likely because when we go on our walks he will not walk out in the open. He is always walking under the cedars and other shrub trees. Of course it could be fox, coyote, snakes, spiders, fire ants, or scorpions not to mention the millipedes.
We have a friend that believes the reason PW freaks around three is that there is a veil between the conscience world and the spirit world. This veil is thinest between 2 and 4am and PW may be able to channel between the conscience and spirit world. Great news. PW is psychic and is channeling god knows what. Well, I guess that explains the toe biting.....
On April 30th we had a hugh thunderstorm. We were not suppose to get any rain so it came up as a surprise. Around 9 it got dark and storm clouds gathered. By 10:30 there was lightening and thunder. Rain was not far behind. Butchie came in before I could call him. PW? I had to go looking for him. I found him under the BMW and he wasn't about to come to me, toes or no toes. Jane and I went to bed around midnight to a light show and a light rain. Right around 3:00, a trend is developing isn't it, we wake up to what I can only describe as some one dumping buckets of gravel on the roof. We had a 20 minute hail storm. When the hail and rain subsided I figured PW might want in because he was singing his dirge outside the living room window.
I opened the front door and there was the little darling siting under the picnic table. He took three steps towards the front door but stopped when he encountered the 3 inches of pea sized hail on the deck. Of course I had to go out and pick him up because he is such a petite flower that can't be bothered with walking on hail. Oh yeah, by 5 he was pounding on the door to be let out again.
Jane and I went into Rocksprings on Sunday (05/02) to check mail, pick up money, and grocery shopping. The hail storm had stripped all the trees of their upper leafs. The pecan trees had all their nuts knock off and leafs stripped. (I'll let you insert your own nut jokes here.) It will be interesting to see if they leaf out again this year.
Jane and I spent Monday in San Antonio. We went to the Plaza for lunch and sweet potato empanadas. We also had a nice visit to the Botanical Gardens. We found out the names of some of our cactus. Our most abundant cactus, what I called a small barrel cactus, is actually a Texas nipple cactus. We had a nice dinner and a good tomato basil soup at Jason's. We cruised some older and newer San Antonio neighborhoods. Had a good time.
When I got back to the Lizard on Tuesday the cats were happy to see me but they just ran out of the garage and disappeared for the rest of the day. They don't like to be lock up for days on end, even though it was just 32 hours. Of course PW wasn't about to come in Tuesday night, so after I got Butchie inside I settled into watching some TV. Jane and I had gotten up at 3:30 Tuesday morning, see there is a trend forming here, so we could get to the airport by 4:30. Anyway, I fell asleep watching TV. Around 2:30 I was awaken by 'heavy' running across the deck. I figured PW wanted to come in so I opened the door to let him inside.
What I found when I opened the door would have scared the crap out of me if I wasn't half asleep. I stepped out and before I could locate PW I heard a pig snort just to the left of me, then hoofs trotting, not running, but slowly trotting away from me. This was the first time a ferel pig had come this close to the house. There is a herd(?) of 7 or 8 pigs that we see on our north side but this is the first time I saw them this close to one of our buildings.
I started to look for PW after I regained my composure, I really need to get a weapon. I had the big flashlight and shined it all around to find PW. He wasn't on the ground or under the truck, he was on top of the truck cab. He was just looking at me. I don't know if he was thinking; about time you came and got me or if you lock me up again for more than a couple of hours I'll bring you something more heart thumping. I don't know if he was the hunter, the prey, or the observer on this escapade.
Since the pig incident and since Jane has left PW has been hanging close by. He comes to the worksite with me walks around inside the big house then goes to one of his safe spots for a nap. He and Butch kept checking on me throughout the day. At times I believe that they think that I am building the house for them and want to make sure that I am doing it right.
One last thing before I send this off and offer my toes to PW. On the way back from Kerrville on Friday I saw a herd of zebras. Intermixed with the zebras were scimitar oryx, antelope, and some longhorn steers. The only thing missing were some water buffaloes and aoudads.
See you soon. PW says be the hunter not the prey.......
Date: Fri 04/16/2010 01:54 AM
Subject: Another Week on the Lizard and Tattoos
We just had another rainy day, the 5th since Sunday. We are expecting another 3 or 4 days of rain before it clears up. Of course the house construction is on hold because I am at a point where I need to do outside work before I can install the exterior doors.
We have a nice stream running though the bottoms and I expect it to get bigger by the end of the week. The wild flowers are in full bloom and the biting insects are getting ready to swarm and the bats are hovering waiting for the insects. Still haven't plugged in the bug zapper.
I have a couple of stories to tell since the last time I wrote. The first took place on Good Friday and the second happened today. On Good Friday I went into Kerrville to buy some paint, nails, window seal, and other building supplies. As usual while I am in Kerrville I stop at Mr. Butts house, HEB grocery store, (Mr Butts is an inside joke with Jane and I) for our weekly food run. This trip to Kerrville was a little unusual because I received two phone calls. One from Jane and the other from Bruce our neighbor. Jane needed me to stop for some legal pharmaceuticals and Bruce wanted to tell me it was 84 in Mt Vernon. I hung up from the last call as I drove into the grocery store parking lot. After fussing about with the cooler and grocery bags (yes I shop with a cooler, it is 52.3 miles to the lizard from the store) I finally made my way into the store......45 minutes later I am back at the truck and can't find my keys. In all the confusion of getting out of the truck I locked the keys in the truck. I could see them sitting on the passengers seat. So there I am standing by the truck with a cooler full of frozen food, lettuce, dairy products, and a case of beer, it could be worse. Luckily I had my cell phone and decide AAA will be quicker than getting Jane to drive in with the spare keys. I call AAA, wait for 25 minutes, talk to a guy waiting for his significant other to come back from the store, watch a variety of characters wonder though the parking lot, and then the tow truck comes.
Let me take a second to describe the tow truck, it looked like it was the cab of a semi with a flatbed big enough to haul a couple of bull dozers. After I flag it down and gave the guy that I was talking too a couple of beers for helping me pass the time, the tow truck came to a stop beside the truck. Out of this huge vehicle popped out a small built woman of 25 or so. As I watched her climb down I was mesmerized by her tattoos. Beautiful art, brilliant colors, and a neat mermaid sleeve. We chit-chatted a little as she 'broke into' (her words) my truck and popped the lock with a blatter. Afterwards I had to show her my AAA card. She commented that she hadn't seen one like I had. I mentioned that it was an Ohio AAA club card and without skipping a beat, and with a little excitement in her voice, asked if I was from Cleveland?
I said no that I lived about 120 miles from Cleveland. Have ever been to the flats was her next question. Yes, I have and before I could get another word out she tells me that she and her boyfriend are big Spurs fans and two years ago when Cleveland and San Antonio were in the NBA finals they went to Cleveland for a game, never got into a game but, her words, enjoyed the crap out of the flats! She did mention the Rock n Roll hall of fame and lake Erie really impressed her but she will go back to the flats a heartbeat. Made a new friend........made it home okay but the lettuce didn't make it. I love Texas, today..
The second story........It was raining all day today, by all day I mean it rains for a couple of hours then stops for 15 to 20 minutes and then starts to rain again. It was a good day to clean the garage and pump house. The cats lounged around all day watching me, making sure I wasn't messing with their stuff too much. They get real nervous when I start moving and cleaning their stuff. The way it was raining I didn't think I would get our daily hike in today but around 6 pm the clouds broke a little and some blue sky poked through. There were dark clouds tumbling through the sky but I remembered what I had learned from my previous life in Texas.
A little history before I continue......When Jane and I lived in Austin in the 1981 I worked in a building that overlooked the Texas Tower on the U of Texas campus. The sunsets and sunrises over the Tower were spectacular at times. One evening there were black rain clouds rolling through Austin I was watching them with I a friend, Curt Beamus. I stated that we were going to get dump on tonight and Curt said 'nah the clouds are too low and moving too fast.' Curt was right. The wind moved the rain clouds without dropping a drop of rain. I observed this happen time after time during our first stay in Texas and still watch it happen on the lizard.
So tonight as the dark rain clouds moved FAST through the sky and patches of blue broke out I thought it would be safe to walk. The cats were ready to get outside and I could hear rushing water all around us. (it sounds like wind through tree leaves) We were out about 90 minutes all was fine I walked up and down our 'streams', the cats were in hunting mode, and it was a perfect end to a crappy day. I kept an eye out for change weather but the cloud were low and moving fast. Today is P.W.'s birthday (04/15/2000) so we, Butch and me, let PW lead the walk. PW does real good on these walks he stays under the cover of the cedar trees, no owl or hawk is going to get him, but it is open enough for me to get through the shrubs. When Butchie leads I usually come back scratched and with a new tear in my clothes, we don't let Butchie lead too much anymore.
Anyway we are exploring the new streams, looking at the blooming cactus, hunting rabbits, and watching the low moving clouds when all of a sudden the sky opens up. Its not a hard driving rain but a good down pour. I came prepared, I have a rain slicker. The cats aren't prepared. They both took a quick at me, and I swear I heard the words see ya later kemosabe! A half second later they were gone. It takes me about 10 minutes to get back to the house from anywhere on the back of the property. I was soaked when I got back to the house, the cats were under the truck dry as a bone wanting to know more about this guy Curt Beamus they heard so much about!
Stay dry, it is suppose to rain through Sunday here.....
Date: Sat 03/20/2010 03:26 PM
Subject: equinox and website
Just wanted to wish you a happy vernal equinox and let you know that Jane has updated the website. The delay was my fault. It took me a couple of weeks to pick the pictures Jane photoshoped into the site. We, by that I mean Jane, made some cosmetic changes to the site. We reorganized the ranch pictures into 2 folders, Big House and Guest House. The Big House is where we have the newest pictures, however, it does not have the most current pictures. March's pictures will be up in another week or so. So enjoy at www.babbleonindustries.com.
On to the vernal equinox....Lonughcrew Carin in County Meath, Ireland, is an important component of what is probably the oldest megalithic astroarcheological site in Europe. It is part of a complex of three mounds that are known as the Mountain of the Witch and is part of the larger complex of Newgrange. At dawn on the morning of the vernal equinox the Sun enters the passage of the Cairn and proceeds to the top of the stone at the rear of the passage. The first symbol to be illuminated is a Sun disk. Through the course of the morning other carvings on the stone are animated as the Sun's beams dance over the Sun daisies and spirals. The vernal equinox had a special importance to ancient builders. The vernal equinox marks the astronomical point where the celestial equator crosses the ecliptic, when the Sun crosses this point directly overhead the hours of the day and night are in balance.
The Romans and other cultures living near the Mediterranean believed that the vernal equinox marked the start of the year and incorporated it into the mystery religions. The Germans and Saxons celebrated their fertility goddess, Ostrar and Esotre, in the spring at the equinox. For the Greeks Persephone leaves Hades for her six month stay above ground germinating crops. The Mayan, who where accomplished astronomers, built a huge pyramid designed in part for the vernal equinox. As the Sun sets, on the equinox, its shadow on the steps of the northern face create the illusion of a diamondback snake descending to the ground.
It is interesting that the culture that replaced the pagan cultures; Druids, Mayans, Visigoths, Greeks, Romans, and Aztecs adopted their scared days from the pagan societies they tried to extinguish. Easter, the day that Christ rises from the grave, is just the first Sunday after the first full moon after the vernal equinox. Persephone, Ostrar, Esotre, Demeter, Brigid, Hathor, Freyja, Furrina, Cybele, Hera, Ishtar, Isis, Juno, Pukkeenegak, Pi-Hsia-Yuan-Chun, Venus, Uma, and the Great Turtle, just to name a few, would like to remain in your sub-conscience as you observe nature on the vernal equinox.
The flocks of Robins have left the Lizard, so I imagine that you have been seeing them in your back yards. About a week ago was the last I saw of the robins. Yellow finches and cardinals are moving through now. The blue jays aren't leaving, don't know what that means! As the robins left the bats moved in. In early evening there are four or five bats that fly around the pump house. An hour after the bats show up an owl starts swooping around the big house. The other night I couldn't sleep and I heard the owl hoot for over an hour. I think the bats came for the bugs, the owls came for the bats and rabbits, and the cats run to the garage to get away from the owls. Nature in balance.
The last two days, around noon, I have heard a strange bird like sound that I thought was coming from the valley. Today it was accompanied with a turkey buzzard call, so I looked up to find the buzzard and saw a flock of Canada geese flying overhead honking along with a couple of buzzards. The geese were repositioning themselves in their V formation. If you haven't seen a mass repositioning it looks like a whirlpool with geese circling to get into their new positions. They never stopped moving north just circled and disappeared into the northern horizon.
I also watched something on Thursday that probably says more about my need for new entertainment than anything else. The cats will walk to the worksite in the morning with me, walk around the inside of the house, and then go to a live oak stand to watch me and to keep an eye on their domain. Tex, aka PeeWee, will get bored and move to one of the cedar piles to catch his mid-day snack. Butch will leave right after Tex but he goes back to the garage and eat some cat food and take a mid-day nap on a window sill. They both will come around off and on during the day but at four they both show up to check on my progress. On Thursday, at four, Butch shows up talking to me, meowing is more like it. He walks by me to a live oak stand and starts to dig a hole. He digs, squats, digs, squats, and digs some more, he finally get it right and squats. Of course I'm watching all this. As Butch squats his tail goes up and starts to shake, then he starts to arch his back and lets go with a stream of urine. It arc'd 3 to 5 feet, nowhere near the hole he dug. After he finished his display he started to cover the hole he dug and never used. He'd cover, sniff, cover some more, sniff, cover more, sniff. All of this took about 5 minutes and as I watched him walk away I'm thinking that cat is nuts but then I realized I just spent 5 minutes watching him. So who is the crazy one? No wonder it is taking me so long to get things done, I'm so easily distracted.
Jane and I saw a family of ferel pigs yesterday, seven piglets and three pigs. We saw them on our north property line. The neighbor has said he had seen them around and the cats get crazed when they cross the pigs scent on the back fence. I find it interesting that people get up in arms about ferel pigs around their property when they invite them in with deer feeders on their properties. It is legal to feeder hunt in Texas so most hunters put out a feeder or two per 5 acres and then they are surprised when pigs come around to eat the deer corn. I'll have to find out if they passed the pig hunting from helicopters law last spring, just another reason to wear red while walking around the property..... Jane is always a picture of red when walking around the Lizard.
The roof arrived on Tuesday but I am about a week away from installing the metal panels. I want to finish the siding before I tackle the roof. I have a little over half of the siding up and it has taken twice as long as I planned. I had the guest house sided in 4 days but it is half the size with only 7 windows to maneuver around, plus two 10x7 garage doors that didn't need siding. I have attached a couple of pictures I took on Friday.
The Blue Bonnets have started to bloom and the oak trees are budding but today you were warmer than us, tomorrow too. However the world regains its equilibrium Monday and we warm up. Enjoy the equinox, there are only two a year.
Date: Sun 02/28/2010 11:13 PM
Subject: Full Moon
I was debating on how to start this email out, gin or vodka, Bombay the drink of Queen Victoria or Blue Skyy, or do I break out the bottle of Absolut, Ahus’ best?
I decided on a tall glass of Queen Vickie’s best listening to Y-Rock on WXPN, Penn’s radio station out of Philadelphia, while rain is pounding on the windows. The cats are tucked in, the construction site is batten down for the night, and the wild flowers are taking in a long tall drink.
It has been another strange week on the Lizard. Daytime temperatures ranging from the 70’s to 35, wind gusts up to 35-40 mph, and snow. Last Monday we had a bright sunshiny day in the 70’s and Tuesday it snowed and 35 was the high. I took advantage, or so I thought, of the cold snowy day all ½ inch of the lovely white stuff to run into Kerrville to get the truck inspected (a legal requirement to register a vehicle in Texas). I took it to the place where I get the oil changed and I did get the oil changed but they wouldn’t inspect it because they were afraid to hit the brakes! At this point the snow had melted and it was just wet on the braking track. They don’t inspect when the pavement is wet. I sometimes forget where I am. The up side is that all the stores were empty and I could get in and out without lines. One of the purchases was the 85th pound of nails for the house. Jane took the truck back into Kerrville on Wednesday and it passed inspection. In the meantime I was putting up OSB sheathing, it was back into the 50’s with a clear blue sky.
I see that you all got another round of snow. I don’t know how to tell you this so I will be blunt and to the point. Expect more! One of the observations we have been making is the large numbers of migratory birds we still have down here, in particular one variety, Robins. I have never seen so many Robins on the Lizard as we have this year. On our nightly walk about we see hundreds of Robins. Just before dusk, 6:00-6:30, the Robins start their flight up our valley. I have counted up to 20 flights of 30 to 50 birds. The first flights start flying about 20 to 30 feet above the tree line, then they drop down to 10 to 15 feet above the trees. The last flights come screaming across at tree top level, that freaks out the cats. I have been wondering where all the insects are. At this time of year we usually have flies, gnats, and other assorted flying insects. My hope is the Robins stay around until the chiggers hatch out and are eaten up, another two or three weeks. Sorry.
While I was in Kerrville, in the ‘snow storm’, I ordered the house siding. It will be delivered Wednesday or Thursday, the windows should arrive Monday. Even though it has been a wet cold winter by Texas hill country standards I have the house enclosed, except for the windows and exterior doors. I still have the house wrap to put up and the metal roof hasn’t been ordered yet either but all in its proper time. I finished the exterior sheathing today, lucky I was only working with small pieces today. The wind was gusting to around 20 mph today as the front came in from the Southeast. A couple of days ago we had the 35-40 mph winds and I was trying to wrestle 4x8 OSB sheets around the house. Almost went para-sailing a couple of times, the cats thought it was funny.
Another observation….the wild flowers will be spectacular this year. We have thousands of blue bonnets all over the property this year. A wet and warm fall followed by a wet winter will give you blue bonnets, Indian blanket, and paint brush at the end of March. I am already seeing little aster type flowers bloom, purple and red, white flowers that I don’t know the name but look like tiny, tiny, lilies, and yellow buttercups. Should be a colorful spring.
I hope I am wrong about your winter being longer but if not dress in layers, bundle up when going outside, and throw another log on the fire. Oh yes, wear a hat and you are always welcome to wave your freak flag at the Dancing Lizard if it gets too cold for you!
Date: Wed 01/20/2010 01:12 AM
Subject: Been Awhile
Greetings from the Lizard, dancing;
It has been awhile since I have written. This year has been a little different than the last couple down here. This year I have a 'project', that is not to say the past couple of years I didn't have things to do however, this year I have a goal to get the 'big house' framed and enclosed.
The lumber for the house arrived at 9:30am Dec.31st. The neighbors thought our New Years' eve happy hour was an excuse to get them down here to help move lumber around! The first nail was implanted on Jan. 3rd, by the 7th the blue norther rolled in with temperatures falling into the teens, I know nothing like you had up in the frozen white north, but it was different than the usual down here. Had a water pipe going to the pump house freeze, a first, but a space heater and a couple of bats of insulation took care of it. Four days later I was staging some lumber for the next days work and I had to break a couple of 2 by 6's apart because they were still frozen together, kinda reminds me of home. Jane made me promise that I would only work on the house if it was above 50 or 45 if the sun was shinning and no there wasn't a wind. Today the wind was coming out of the Southeast, there were occasions where I could smell the gulf air, salty.
I have the exterior walls up and plumbed, the window headers placed, and I have been working on the center, load bearing, walls the last two days. Tomorrow I will be placing the center beam and start on roof supports. It is at time like this I ask myself 'what the hell do think you are doing', but when I start placing the rafters all will be fine...until I start laying down the plywood roof!!! Then it will be time for a gulf coast vacation.
Jane and I are planning on going to Port Aransas, gulf coast, mid February for fish, pasta, and early morning beach walks. Our next outing will be in March, after spring break, to far West Texas. A little Marfa light watching, some geode hunting, Terlingua ghost town scrounging, a couple hours in the Big Bend hot springs on the Rio Grande, and of course howling at the Mexican moon. Will probably break a couple of immigration laws by swimming into and out of Mexico a couple of times in search of Jose Falcon.........google him and pick the one you think I'm looking for, a hint, add Boquillas (pron Bo-key-as) to your search. I have a radio station for you insomniacs out there. If you find yourself up late and can't sleep between 12 and 5am (1 and 6am EST) go to www.revfmradio.com and click on listen. The daytime is your standard classic rock but at midnight (CST) Big G, no relation, comes on with Big G's Texas Road Show. It is worth a listen if you are up.
The cats and I are still taking our nightly walks however, the walks are starting later and later. The cats start pacing around the slab at 4:00pm just to let me know that it's walkies time. I usually disappoint them by making them wait until 5:00. It is a 3 beer walk (90 minutes) until it gets too dark. I usually get to lead the start of the walk, then either Butchie or Pee Wee takes over. If Butchie takes the lead we will end up in the thickets chasing rabbits or birds and be somewhere I've never been before with scratches I didn't have before we started. If PW leads it is a nice leisurely walk around all the little watering holes and to the back fence line. Needless to say PW and I don't let Butchie lead too much. However when blackness falls, around 6:45pm, and the hoot owls and coyotes come out to play the cats come inside for the night.
Enjoy your winter wonderland, we are.
Date: Mon 04/27/2009 02:50 PM
Subject: Closing down
Hi Fellow Travelers;
This is probably the last letter you will receive from the 2009 version of the Dancing Lizard Chronicles. I am getting ready to head El Norte in another week. Jane is leaving on Tuesday and I will follow with the cats next Sunday or Monday.
We have been slowly closing up. Picking up the trash, shooting snakes, transplanting onions, garlic and tomatoes, cleaning bird (turkey) feeders, washing windows, and generally straighten out the house before the parents get home. Oh yes, I did say shooting snakes.
I saw my first snake down here the day before I came north for grandmother’s funeral. It was a 4 foot rattlesnake behind (southside) the garage. I was about 5 or 6 feet away from it when it started to rattle. I knew what it was before I saw it, if you never seen one you’d know what it was when you hear it rattle. I was happy my weapon was handy! Unfortunately for the snake the Army taught me too well how to use a variety of weapons. I may not like to hunt or kill animals for sport but I know how to do it if I have to do it. In fact, I am a little cold hearted about when I have to do it to a point where I have to think about what I did after the act.
Yesterday I saw my second snake, this one was a rat snake, non poisonous. I was unloading some deck lumber from the truck when I saw movement under the truck. I didn’t see the head, just the grayish body slithering away. I lost it in a live oak stand so I proceeded to finish unloading the truck. About an hour later I saw Butchie chasing the snake along the eastern foundation of the big house. Butchie is my cold blooded killer. He may be a sweetheart but he loves to hunt anything smaller than him and that is why I have cats. The snake had a happy ending, I suppose, because Butchie didn’t bring me the carcass.
Jane has been talking about taking a handgun class for a year or so and finally has decided to sign up for a class. I am looking at 357’s and Tarsus Judge’s or any hand gun that shoots ratshot or 410ga shells. A riffle is a little cumbersome to walk around with here with all the loose rock we have.
I am trying to figure out why I am seeing snakes now after five years of not seeing any. I know that there are snakes here even if you don’t see them, this is west Texas after all. We don’t have as many feral pigs as we had in the past years and pigs love to eat snakes. The big ranch, Greenwood Valley Ranch, is also clearing cedar off a couple of ridges close to us which could be driving snakes and other wildlife towards us. Another possibility could be my burning. I burnt another cedar pile, number 6 of 31. It was a smallish pile but it could have been home to many different animals with several different vertebrae.
I just read and edited the first part of this letter and realized I need to get back into civilization…..quickly!
The slab is curing nicely and I have attached 92 feet of decking to it. I just have 8 more feet of decking to put down before I am done with this phase of construction. We still have a 3 or 4 foot by 24foot of decking to build but that is part of the next construction phase.
The weather has been a little weird lately. The wind has been out of the south southeast bringing moist air from the gulf of Mexico. On Sunday this moist air ran into upper level cold front moving in from the north. The moist air move under the cold air caused a really neat light show moving south while the ground air was moving north. We watch the lightening come in from the north, over the top of us, and move away, to the south, from us. It started to rain late Sunday night and it continued until a little while ago. The sun is trying to come out now. The cats came in, one dry as a bone and the other soaking wet. The dry one wasn’t happy, the wet one was bouncing around happy as a clam at high tide.
Other than the snakes we haven’t had any new wildlife sightings for awhile. The song birds are out in force and we are seeing a lot of orioles. I had to unplug the bug zapper the other day. I was walking by it, in the middle of the day, and I smelled smoke. The wind was blowing around 15 mph, big charred remains of insects laid on the ground so I unplugged it to prevent a fire. I could envision myself trying to explain to the insurance company that I burnt half of Real Co. because a bug flew into the zapper and burst into flames!
I did see an interesting sight on Blue Road before I flew back to Texas last week. I was driving to lunch in Centerburg and in the middle of the road about 25 yards in front of me there was a chipmunk chasing a squirrel. I figured the squirrel stole the chipmunk’s nuts. There is a moral to be told here but I will let you write your own story.
See you in a little while.
Date: Mon 04/13/2009 12:11 AM
Subject: lizards at the Lizard
An Easter Greetings from the Lizard;
Jane has settled back into the apartment but not without disrupting the cats and me. I’ll adjust but the cats are another story!
The lizards are back as is the warmer weather. The first lizard I saw this season was hanging out of Butchie’s mouth. He dropped
it at my feet and then asked for praise, while I was given him praise the lizard took off . Butchie gave chase but the lizard got under
the deck and to a safe haven, minus part of its tail. Butchie? He went over to the bird feeder, sat down, and waited for another bird
to bounce off the kitchen window. (sorry Kathleen, he is a cat and is just doing his part in the evolutionary scheme of things.)
As for me I am building a deck around the slab. I have made three trips into Kerrville for lumber last week. I have at least two more to
go. It seems kind of strange to ‘travel’ so much lately. Before this building project started I was getting into Kerrville once every 7 or 10
days, now it is every other day or so. The next time I build a 100’ deck I’m going to have the materials delivered!
We had another wildfire scare on Friday but it turned out just to be a warning. When we got up on Friday we smelled smoke and the there
was a smokey haze all around us. Our first thought was the wind is coming out of the Northeast so it was coming towards us. We drove
out to 41 but didn’t see any unusual activity, fire trucks, helicopters, road closed signs so we drove into Rocksprings to find out what was
Nobody in Rocksprings knew what was happening so we did our banking, check the P.O. box, food shopped, and went to the feed store.
By the time we got back home the air had cleared and the smoke was almost undetectable. The long story short version, we found out today
from Keith Richards (neighbor) that all the smoke was from the wild fires around North Texas, Dallas area. Dallas is over 300 miles from here.
I have an Easter story for you but it may not have a happy ending for one of the participants. In fact I hadn’t connected this story with Easter
until a little while ago. Friday night the cats and I ditched Jane and took off on a long walk. The cats disappeared about 20 minutes into the walk.
I continued down to the lowest spot on the property and started to walk up the West fence line. Butchie joined me about a quarter of the way up
the fence line. Said hi, see ya later. I continued up the fence line, sans cats, for about 100 yards. I stopped and sat down on a big rock to survey
the surroundings and enjoy the setting sun.
As I was sitting on this big rock I saw a rabbit running about 10 feet from me toward the fence, though the fence, and off to the neighbors property.
Before I could think, ‘that’s strange, I haven’t seen a rabbit here all year and now one runs right by me!’, PeeWee streaks by me hot on the rabbits
tail. I’m not sure if the rabbit escaped PeeWee’s hunt or not. PeeWee came back a couple hours later with a couple of new scratches but no rabbit
fur between his teeth.
So how did this story end? I guess it depends on whether or not you were visited by the Easter Bunny!!
Enjoy the eggs.
Date: Mon 03/30/2009 12:25 AM
Subject: The Winner(s)are.....
Well my time here is getting short. I was planning on leaving around the 20th but Jane has decided to come down for April. She is to arrive in San Antonio on the 31st. We are planning on a short trip to the coast. This will be the first time we have been to Port Aransas in the spring so I am looking forward to seeing more birds and maybe this time a gator or two! Jane has also informed me that the website has been updated with the concrete pictures. www.babbleonindustries.com
I ran out of cold beer so I am now drinking margaritas so if things get fuzzy later on you know the reason why. The reason I ran out of cold beer, not beer, is the afore mention of Jane’s return on the 31st. I have been a cleaning fool yesterday and today. I am also rearranging the apartment for double occupancy after two months of just us boys.
The last couple of weeks have been busy down here on the Lizard, in fact I saw a couple of lizards for the first time this year last week. We have a slab all 100 yards of fill and 37 yards of concrete. All the workers have cleaned up and left. The cats like that now they only have to deal with me.
The excitement for the week was the flat tire I had last Sunday. I was making my weekly trip into Rocksprings and I had a blow out at 65-70 mph, and yes I was doing the speed limit. By the time I got stopped I was on the rim. I was about a mile from US 377, pretty much in the middle of nowhere. I didn’t have any problems until I tried to get the spare tire loose from its home for the last 5 years. It was stuck half way off and it wasn’t budging. After a few choice words, kicking, and hanging on the tire to loosen it I felt like I was being watched. I thought great, it wasn’t a pretty site with me hanging on to the spare like I was rafting down the Pedernales after 10 inches of rain, now I have company. I got out from under the truck and looked around. I didn’t see anyone so I thought ‘great now you are getting paranoid’! That is when I saw an ostrich staring at me. They are huge! This one was about 7 feet tall, molting feathers like dust, and had eyes as big as golf balls. It kind of made the whole ordeal worth it. I now have 4 new tires and bud down the road a ways....
On Friday I decided to run down to Leakey to renew the truck registration, can’t do it online, well what do you expect for a county with the population of 3,047? It has been awhile since I had a good breakfast so I decided to eat my way through the three sisters. I left the Lizard around 8 and was in Camp Wood by 9. I had apple pie and coffee at B.J’s café. Walked around downtown Camp Wood (pop. 822), took 15 minutes. Took the southern sister from Camp Wood to Leakey (County Seat, population 387), registered the truck, stopped at both hardware stores, check out the old market under new management, had lunch at Mama Chloe’s, and back at the Lizard by 2:30. Six and a half hours, 105 miles, excellent pie, and a great enchilada plate. Oh yeah the beer at the biker place was COLD!
The hoot owl has returned, much to the cats chagrin. I put up the bug zapper last week. The zapper attracted and zapped the bugs. The increased bug traffic attracted some bats, that fed off the insects. The bats brought the owls back. Owls like to eat bats. In the morning the birds are eating the fried bugs off the pump house and the ground under the zapper. In the late morning, early afternoon the cats are chasing the birds. So I am creating my own eco-system on the Lizard. I just have to kept me out of the cycle.
I do have the winners of the extra concrete contest. As I said earlier there was some confusion with the judges as to what the projects were so with that in mind and the two margarita’s, going for the third, that I have had tonight………drum roll please….. The Winners are……..
Porch / Patio Peggy and Jane
Hot Tub Pad Judi and Randy
Shrine to Ray Fogg the Island Rock god Kelly
A/C Pad Bruce
Cooler for Dos Equis Bruce
Sunbathing Pad for Cats Judi and Randy
Trash Can Pad Dave LaV.
The porch, patio, trash can pad, and A/C pad are all the same structure. The cooler and sunbathing pad for the cats is one structure. And Ray’s shrine is where I dumped all the spill over concrete, although it does look sort of cool, you know Island Rock god and a pile of concrete patties. Pictures will follow. The winners get a glow in the dark Sink(not Stink)hole tee shirt and everyone that entered the contest will get a Sinkhole pen. Thanks for your input. I wouldn’t have known what to do with a extra concrete without you.
On weekend evenings I’ve been listening to xpn, University of Pennsylvania radio, it has been extra special this weekend. It seemed to fit my cleaning mode. It is now topping off my weekend with the Ramones singing ‘I want to be sedated’, Ah yes…the 70’s.
Enjoy the Spring, kiss an earthworm!
if you are interested. (it is a MS works file)
PSS Dean, the grandkid is to good looking to be related to you!!!!!
Date: March 26, 2009 12:35 PM
Subject: Re: Feliz Equinoccio y website
I have a few requests to translate my last email. So here it is.
Hola! Que pasa?
Hello! What is happening?
Feliz equinoccio, ahora la dias obtener largo con muy luz del dia y calor temperatura. La gatos ir loco alrededor de solstice y equinoccio.
Happy equinox, now the days are getting longer with more sunshine and warmer temperatures. The cats go crazy around the solstice and equinox.
Nada es seguro alrededor ellos!
Nothing is safe around them!
En todo caso, el website es arriba feche.Tener una cerveza o dos y bienvenido Persephone atras. Disfrutar primavera!
Anyway, the website is updated. Have a beer or two and welcome Persephone back. Enjoy spring!
Hasta luego, buenas noches.
See you later, goodnight.
There you have it. The syntax and grammer may be a little (lot?) off but this was the jest of the email.
We have a slab now, 37 yards of concrete in a 28' by 60' rectangle. We had 1 yard of concrete left over for the extra concrete contest. However I do not have
the winners identified yet. There seems to be some confusion amoung the judges as to what the projects are. For example, I thought I had a storage pad ready
for the pour but the judges called it a hot tub pad, A/C pad, and a woodshed. Of course the cats think it is one of four sunning pads for them. Once I figure out
the intent of the judges and identify who suggested what I will notify the winners,runner ups, and honorable mentions.
Date: Sun 03/15/2009 01:58 AM
Subject: Another week
A great big soggy Howdy;
First off I have a correction to make. In my last email I mentioned Dick Grasso and that he was with the SEC. This was in error, Grasso worked for the NYSE. My apologies to the SEC.
With my house cleaning out of the way I can tell you that construction at the Dancing Lizard has come to a screeching halt. The last time I saw Bob and Jose was Monday. It has rained, YES rained everyday since then. A cold front from El Norte blew in early Tuesday morning and brought with it 6 to 8 inches of rain. We had late night thunder storms, 35 to 40 mph winds, rain coming down sideways. I thought that is was going to be over on Thursday night when the sun came out for an hour or so but the storm circled around and hit us again Thursday night and all day Friday. The cats weren’t amused.
Along with the rain the temperatures came crashing down too. I know, I know 38 isn’t all that cold but after a week or so of 85 to 90 45 to 38 is frigid. Okay everyone at once…..Ahhhhhh Poor Baaaaaby. Let me put it into perspective for you. Think about having a week of 50 degree weather with bright sunshine in early March. Nice isn’t it. Now you wake up one morning and it is 10 degrees and the wind is blowing everything sideways. Same difference.
We can always use the rain down here. Even with all the rain the burn ban has not been lifted. I briefly thought about burning today but remembered the fire a couple of weeks ago, although it would have been a perfect day to burn., no wind and wet, I restrained myself. On Thursday evening, when the sun came out of a brief appearance, the cats and I took a walk to see what all the rain did. It was like walking on a sponge!
All the water had percolated down to the bedrock, 4 to 8 inches, and made the soil (dirt?) float on top of the moisture. I thought we would have a rapids down in the bottoms where we have a wet weather creek but there was little water flow in the creek bed. In fact, about three quarters through the property the water flow stopped. Usually 8 inches of rain will produce a rip roaring creek all the way through our property but we are in a middle of a two year draught. Most of the rain was absorbed into the ground. Now if it rains another 6 to 8 inches in a week or so we could get some white water rapids!
The upside to the rainy week was I got to check out the roof repair and I am proud to announce that there are NO leaks. I also had more time to plan out some more projects for the extra concrete I may have when they pour the foundation. Since I haven’t seen Bob or Jose I don’t know if they are feasible or not. However, I did buy a huge wheelbarrow to haul fill and concrete. I have been tweaking the plans for the house. I have become obsessed with where to place outlets and switches. Do I need to change the angle of the roof, is the fireplace to far from the dining room entrance? I could go on and on but fortunately the sun is suppose to come back tomorrow along with more seasonal temperatures!
Before the cold front moved in the road kill of the week was feral hogs. Oh, a side track here. Did I tell you that the Texas Legislature is in session now? One of the laws they are considering to enact is one that would allow hunters to hunt and shoot feral hogs from a helicopter! Right now there is an open season (shoot them anytime) on feral hogs so I can envision bubba with a six pack and a high powered rifle out hunting hogs and run across some illegals making their way north. I’ll put big money on a bet that within two years of passing this legislation that somebody will be in jail for shooting a human being.
Well, back on track…….road kill. Did you know that up until a year ago there was a restaurant in Leakey called Toad’s Road Kill Café. It went out of business as Toad’s and is now called Hog’s Heaven Café. It is on my visitor’s list of things to do while in…. I just came up blank when I typed in ‘while in’. I guess because I’m in no where? It isn’t like when you are going to a city because you can say while I in Lebanon, Columbus, or in Philadelphia I want to go or see this, that, or the other. Here you have to say when I‘m in Real County, or on 41, or outside of Garven? I don’t really want to say when you are in between the three sisters either. Okay ‘while in’ is out and ‘while you are at’ is in. I do have a list of things for visitors to see while at the Dancing Lizard and Hog’s Heaven is on it along with a Saturday lunch at Dixie’s for goat BBQ. They were lined up out the parking lot today.
Oh yes road kill….Now the road kill seems to be skunk, raccoons, and deer. On my trip into Rocksprings today I saw(?) 4 or 5 skunks, a couple of raccoons, the normal amount of dead deer, and 4 two week old hog carcasses. You got to love Texas back roads! There are a couple of live ostriches I see on my weekly Rocksprings trip now too. I don’t think I will ever get use to suddenly seeing an exotic animal looking at me. It is a little unsettling. Anyway, on the Lizard the owls and turkeys are on spring break. I haven’t seen the turkeys for awhile. I hope they don’t go the way of the jack rabbits. When we bought the property we had jack rabbits all over the place now I never see them. Last year we had hogs around but this year I hear them occasionally but I haven’t seen them. This year we saw skunks early in our visit but now I don’t see them but I do smell them every once in awhile. However I will swap the owls and turkeys for the hogs and skunks any day. Still haven’t seen my first snake (knock of wood) out here. I saw 8 to 10 last summer in Ohio, go figure!
Well I have to go cheese off the cats now. Their propane heater needs to be turned down. Their room is warmer than mine! Something about that isn’t right, of course the cats see nothing wrong with it.
But before I go, this Wednesday night KUT is broadcasting the South by Southwest music festival from Austin at 8 to 11pm central time. They have been previewing some of the musicians and it sounds like it could be a good listen. If you are interested go to
www.kut.org, click on Listen (top left corner sorta) then click on the radio (you’ll know when you see it). They usually have ‘interesting music’ all the time so if you can’t do Wednesday try during the day sometime…………
Keep you powder dry!
Date: Friday 03/13/2009
Subject: concrete quarter finals
I promised myself that I wouldn’t laugh at any ideas and I didn’t but Bob and Jose did!!!! The swimming pool was an intriguing idea but also the most impractical. I would have to carve out a hole in stone to get an in ground pool. The walk to nowhere seemed plausible but I already have about 20 of them, just without the concrete. John, the basketball/tennis court , or the fall down court, was brilliant but couldn’t be done with the amount of concrete available. It is up for future consideration depending on when you know who visits.
Jose really liked Kelly’s idea. Does Wally-Mart sell camo tents? I’m a little concerned about the possibility of exposure to overhead flights.
Here are all the ideas I have received, so far, they are NOT listed in any preferential way. I have picked a couple to give to Bob and Jose for their consideration. These are listed with a **. Of these selections Bob and Jose will figure out which ones they can do without bankrupting the Dancing Lizard Development Fund and with the concrete they will have leftover. I will have to build the forms but they will place the fill, rebar, and level it for me. The statues should be interesting!
~Extend the Patio
~Fire Pit **
~Path to Nowhere
~Burial plot for someone(two) ODJFS staffer and ex staffer we know and LOVE deeply
~Basketball/Tennis Court, doubling for a fall down pad
~Slab for illegal housing (camo tents) **
~Shrine to Ray Fogg the Island Rock god ** (it’s a Lake Erie thing)
~A statue of Bruce L. ** (hey if I can do one for Ray I can do one for Bruce, you just won’t be able to tell the difference between the two so there will be only one. There is still time to reconsider this Bruce)
~Campfire Ring (see Fire Pit) **
~Pad for A/C unit
~Block ‘O’ I liked this idea until I realized 1 UT fans would assume it was Oklahoma or Oregon (not the brightest bulbs on the block), 2 my neighbors are LSU, Syracuse, Texas Tech, and Texas A&M fans so it wouldn’t cheese them off as much as it would a UT fan.
~An in ground ice cooler for Dos Equis ** (can you tell this entry came from a former Texas resident)
~A pad for our two person ‘hot tub/stock tank’ **
~A sunbathing slab for the cats **
~A pad for trash cans **
~A slab for future buildings
~Bring the extra concrete back with me cause Dave LaV could use it (sorry Dave, it isn’t going to happen!)
When Bob and Jose and maybe Jesus (pron. heyzues) make their final concrete limitation determination I will announce the winner(s). I was considering an all expenses paid two week trip, excepted for travel, to the Dancing Lizard Ranch. Ranch activities would have consisted of rock collecting, fence construction, road building, and lessons on swinging a hammer. All housing, food, and alcohol would have been provided. However on second thought the winner(s) will get nice glo in the dark tee shirt or sweatshirt from the Devil’s Sinkhole gift shop in the city known as the home of the Goats and the Mohair Capital of North America.
Thanks for all your help!?!
Date: Thu 03/05/2009 10:41 PM
Subject: extra concrete
I have a question to pose to all of you that have experienced a building project or two. Our slab got fill today and I
was asked what I wanted to do with the extra concrete from the pour next week? Huh! I guess there could be up to
a yard (27 cubic feet) of concrete left over, more likely 9 to 15 cuft. and Bob wanted to know if I had any projects that
could use the extra concrete. I don't have anything on my radar so I thought I'd ask you, if you had a half yard of
concrete what would you do with it?
As of today, we have a slab form, 100 yards of fill, and two pissed off cats. The cats aren't happy with the changes in
their world. Pee Wee stalks me, watching to see what I am going to mess with next. Butchie doesn't care as long as
their is food in his bowl and in the feed bucket!
The 'free mexican' airforce was out in force today and yesterday. I saw, at least, five planes flying patterns the last two
days. The Border Patrol is touring the neighborhood too. There was a wildfire about 5 miles southwest of here last Sunday.
I first saw the smoke when I got into Garven from my once weekly Kerrville trip. I thought it was close to the eastern sister
(Ranch Road 336) but as I got closer to 336 I thought it was awful close to the Dancing Lizard. When I was slowing down
to turn down our road the Divide Vol. Fire Dept (DVFD) passed me and slammed on the breaks. I knew then our place or
someone's close to us was burning. However, they kept going and continued west on 41.
I have learned that they went up to Camp Eagle road and over to the south entrance of Greenwood and beyond to fight
the fire. I think I am done burning for this year!
Bob and Jose say hi and pick a neat concrete project and win a prize!
Oh by the way it is 62 at 10:15 pm CT.
Date: Mon 02/16/2009 12:20 AM
Subject: Sea Bass and Dos Equis
It has been awhile since I last wrote. It is getting late on Sunday (2/15/09) night, the only reason I am up late is the cats are staging a mutiny.
They took off after our evening walk today and I haven’t seen them since. I believe it is their payback for me dumping them for two and a half
days last week. Anyway I am getting ahead of myself.
I haven’t burned anything in the last two weeks or so. I am down to 28 burnable cedar piles. I did spend a week on the back property line
clearing cedar trees(?)/shrubs from in between the 4 strand barbed wire fence. It was nasty work. I finished up last Monday and decided I
needed a vacation!
I spent Tuesday through Thursday at Port Aransas, on the Gulf coast just north of Corpus Christi. A couple of days walking on the beach,
sitting in beach bars, soaking up sea air and sunshine, eating sea bass at Jay’s, and chipote farfalle seafood pasta at Shell’s. I also got to
see pelicans, dolphins, seagulls, all sorts of dead fish on the beach, and small herons and egrets. However, as in past trips to Port Aransas,
no alligators. I was a few days early for the crane festival but I did see a few at the Port Aransas water treatment plant/bird refuge area on the
back bay. On Thursday afternoon I reluctantly left the beach to return to the homestead and to free the cats from their garage/prison. Hence,
in their minds, the reasoning for their most recent mutiny.
Between cedar clearing and traveling I have been busy putting the finishing touches on the house plans. AutoCad is nice but I still like to draft
out plans on paper with a mechanical pencil, T-square, compass, rulers, protractor, and a big gummy eraser. I turned the kitchen table in to a
drafting table and spent a couple hours a night drawing. I turned over my renditions to the contractor and we should have a slab by March 13th.
This coming week I will be ordering the radiant heat tubing for the slab and roof to wall flashing for the garage/apartment. We have a small leak
in the garage when the rain comes out of the north, parallel to the ground. It usually takes a 35 to 50 mph wind to make it leak which happens
once or twice a year. But it leaks right on the cats food bowls and they are already upset with me. If you are asking why don’t you move their
food bowls you obviously never had cats.
Speaking of high winds we had a little taste of the winds you had up north. Our neighbor said we had 65 mph winds on Tuesday but no rain.
He had a building and dog kennel ‘rearranged’ on his property but nothing out of place at our place. Of course I didn’t know about it because it
was a pleasantly calm night at Jay’s with the sea bass and Dos Equis!
I got rid of the last building the previous owner put on the property Saturday. My neighbor took the 4’ by 4’ by 8’ tool shed I was about to dismantle
for scrap. He had stopped by on Friday to shoot the breeze and ask for help moving a feeder. I mentioned that all I had planned was to tear apart
the shed and salvage what I could. He jumped at taking it and I didn’t look a gift horse in the mouth. I got a great picture of it moving up the road to
his house. He is going to use it for a hunting stand on the back of his property. At least you will be able to see it, it was painted a putrid lime green.
I planted garlic, spinach, and grass seed recently. It has all sprouted. I picked up onion sets on my last trip into Rocksprings. I’ll get them in the
ground and start my tomato plants in a cold frame this week.
I had a new wildlife sighting last night while I was working on the house plans and listening to KUT’s valentines day music show. The first song I
heard had the refrain ‘my biggest mistake was leaving you in a shallow grave’! It goes on to tell the tail of how she thought she buried him deep
enough but he dug himself out to wreck havoc in her life. The whole program carried on in that vein, Frankie and Johnny etcetera, etcetera. Anyway
back to the wildlife. I have been hearing coyotes getting closer and closer for the past couple of weeks and the turkeys are getting bolder and bolder.
The turkeys are going through 50 lbs of milo a week now and came right up to the deck this afternoon. But what has my attention and the cats is
the big owl that showed up last night.
As I was drafting and listening to the online radio I heard a whooo-whooo. At first I thought it was on the radio but I heard it again and the cats started
pounding on the front door. It isn’t normal for them to want to come in so I opened the door and they both ran in the apartment, straight to the garage
door. That is when I heard the whooo-whooo again with a flap of wings. The cats aren’t use to being hunted.
Speaking of being hunted I’d better walk up the road to see if the cats want to come in, the owl must not be around tonight!
Be the hunter not the prey……
Date: Sun 01/25/2009 11:48 PM
Subject: Beware this email contains
questionable subject matter
Hey, you guys frozen Popsicles yet?
I was talking to our neighbor/contractor, an upstate New York native, today and he commented on how cold it was yesterday, 60 and a cool
breeze coming out of the north. I made a comment about how he has been too long gone from the north and he said I haven't been gone long
enough yet. A native Texan would have called me a sorry ass yankee, or thought it and added $2000.00 to the bill. But Bob and I laughed it
off and had another beer or three.
I have mentioned our problem cat, Butchie, a few times in past emails. Among his many 'habits' is rolling in, sniffing, and licking plastic bags.
Jane and I call it huffing, Butchie thinks it is 'loving' the plastic. Well I think he may be cured of his plastic fetish. On Saturday I was planting
our garlic crop in a 30 inch window box, or as Butchie calls it, his day bed. I had the window box / day bed up on the garage work bench and
he had jumped up on the work bench to check out what I was doing to his day bed. Unfortunately, he was distracted by a plastic bag that contained
skunk out, flea shampoo, and flea and tick medication.
After planting the garlic I turned around to get some more planting soil to cover the garlic cloves. As I did I heard a loud THUNK, I turned back around
to see the skunk out, shampoo and medication rolling out across the garage floor and Butchie low riding / boot scooting out of the garage. In his
wake were bits of plastic bag his claws was shredding from around his neck as he scurried off, out of the garage down the south driveway. Later, two
and half hours, I found Butchie lounging on a boulder on our eastern neighbors property soaking up the sunshine. Oh did I mention that our neighbors
thought it was cold Saturday.
Some of you have commented on our wildlife sightings and wondered if we were still in the US of A or not. The exotic sightings have been within 20 miles or
so of us. There are ranches around us that raise all sorts of wildlife for 'caged' hunting ranches that allow 'hunters' to 'hunt' african/asian animals in the 'wilds'
of Texas. This is how Chenney was hunting when he shot his bud in the face. A side bar here...I have little use for Sarah Palin as a politician however as a
hunter she is four times the man as Dick is. She goes out and tracks her prey and then blows their brains or whatever out,,,,yabetchaaa. But the former VP,
always known as Dick here, has to have animals caged and brought to him to shoot. There is a whole industry down here, around us, that cater to this type
On a lighter note....We have been getting a lot of aircraft fly overs lately. When I was out with my neighbor today shooting transits for the big house foundation,
we saw three B-25 Liberator bombers fly over. I think they were part of the Confederate Air Force fly over taking place outside SanAntonio. Either that or the
Free Mexican Air Force was bringing in some bales.
Did you hear the NPR story, Fresh Air with Terri Gross (I think), about the Predator Drones the military is using in Iraq and Afghanistan? Part of the story was
about how easy they are to control and how 'cheap' they are that some of the minute men organizations along the Texas/Mexico border are buying them to use in their
'fight' against illegal immigration. I have noticed a lot more air traffic than normal lately. Don't know if they are minute man drones or not but I hope they noticed
my hairy ass pointed at them!
Viva Villa and Zapata,
Date: Wed 01/21/2009 10:21 PM
Subject: website updated
Just want to let you know that the website has been updated, www.babbleonindustries.com. The new stuff is on the blog and dancing lizard links.
Not much is new down here. I forgot to cool down my beer today so I am having a gin and tonic or two. We had a 73 degree day today with little
wind so my beer in the garage didn't stay cold and by the time I wanted one it was too late to cool them off in the refrigerator. Gin over ice with tonic
and a slice of lime isn't a bad way to end the day.
The green frog in the window (thank you Jenni) says it is 55 outside now. I have been finishing up the inside trim work since Jane left. With the stain,
polyurethane, and the stone grout stinking up the place I had to wait for a Jane free time. The cats don't much care for it either! I installed smoke
detectors in the cats room and in the apartment. Guess which one went off first? The cats said they weren't smoking in bed but theirs went off yesterday.
I think they were sleeping in the sun too long and when they came in for some water and a bite to eat they forgot they were smoldering from sleeping
in the sun all day long. Actually it was the propane heater that set it off.
We, the cats and I, are still taking a walk or two a day. The evening walk is the big one, both cats usually take turns walking me into thick stands of trees
where I have a hard time finding a way out. This walk usually takes about 90 mins to complete as we walk to the back property line and then meander our
way back to the septic tank. It isn't unusuall that we find something new on these walks. The noon time walk is my walk and usually only Butch-butch joins
me on this one. He shows up at the beginning of the walk, disappears during the walk, and shows up at the end or when I sit down to enjoy the scenery.
I'm not sure he even walks around with me. Not too many animal sightings of late. Yesterday the cats chased up a covey of quail, thank god Cheney wasn't
around to shoot me or the cats, and tonight they flushed a flock of turkeys. It is a strange sound, and sight, when fifteen to twenty turkeys take flight around
you while the two cats are trying to 'climb the air' to pull just one of them down. I'm not sure what would happen if one of the cats caught a turkey in early flight.
I think the cat would be in for a ride!
I have noticed more birds lately. Not too sure why they are suddenly around although I have noticed more flying insects as the temperature rises. I hope I
don't have to setup the bug zapper this early. What I am concerned about aren't the insects you can see it is the ones you can't see. The little bast--ds will
eat you alive if you let them. I am hoping that there won't be as many of them around the house this year due to the cedar clearing we did last year.
On a more pleasant note it is suppose to be 75 tomorrow so I am planning to scrub down the apartment, wash the inside windows, and air out the place.
The rugs need to be beaten and furniture dusted. I hope there is some good music on the radio to clean and do laundry by. I think between Austin, San
Antonio, and Philadelphia I should be able to find something online.
As strange as it would seem I find myself listening to wxpn, University of Pennsylvania radio, more and more lately. In the past I would listen to a radio
station out of Kerrville that featured what Jane and I call Texas music but they went to a classic rock format at the New Year. Kind of disappointing, there
are about 5 classic rock stations I can pick up here so one more is just a waste of air. I will miss that unique Texas/Americana music that they used to play
and that I can't find on the radio dial anymore........
Well I need to call in the cats and feed my head.
P.S. Happy 6th Birthday Madison
Date: Sunday, January 11, 2009 09:53 pm
Subject: Living the Future
We have been busy this week. Clearing trees that blew over in last Fall’s tornado. Burning cedar wood pile. Tearing down outhouses, that got blown over in the tornado. And taking a ride on two of three sisters.
I have been working on the big house’s footprint. Trying to figure out how we can utilize the best view with the best southern exposure for solar heating/cooling. I think we have it figured out but it is totally different than we originally planned. It looks different after we burned one of the cedar piles. The cedar pile practically exploded when I lite it. It burned for 18 hours and the coals were hot for 36 hours. I still have 30 more piles to burn but I will have to wait for the burn ban to be lifted before I burn again.
The tornado that came through in September helped with our sight lines too. After I disassembled the outhouse and cleaned out the cedar trees around the ‘dump’ site we were able to see the horizon better. The tornado also blew over a few trees. It was interesting looking at the root systems of the blown over trees. Up north trees have a tap root that goes about 20 feet deep. Our trees down here have tap roots that go 8 to 10 inches down and 6 to 8 feet out. This root system doesn’t bode well when a high wind comes though, which is why most trees are only 6 to 10 feet tall. I have them all cut up now drying so they well be able to burn in a year or so.
Last Saturday Jane and I drove up to Junction for breakfast and ammo. Junction is the closest (time wise) drive for a real breakfast for us, 48 miles, 45 minutes. I needed ammo for the skunks which seem to be the animal of the season this year. Although we have a flock of 30 to 45 wild turkeys that wanders through our ‘back’ yard the skunks seems to have our attention.
The next closest place that serves a sit down breakfast is Camp Wood. It is only 38 miles and 60 minutes away. You have to drive the western ‘sister’ (Texas 335) down though Vance and Barksdale to get to Camp Wood. In Camp Wood there is a biker bar that serves the best breakfast and pie. Along the way we saw giraffes, camels, kangaroos, emus, foxes, coyotes, and water buffalos.
After coffee and pie in Camp Wood we wander across the southern ‘sister’ (Texas 337) to Leakey. Noticed that Toad’s Road Kill Café was out of business but the Hog Pit was still open. We went to Mama Choles for a plate of hot steaming greasy enchiladas. From there we were going to ride the eastern ‘sister’ (Texas 336) back to the Dancing Lizard but Butch-Butch pointed out earlier that morning that we were running low on cat food! So we headed to Kerrville along Texas 39.
This route took us across the Texas Great Barrier Reef to Hunt and Ingram. Of course the reef hasn’t been under water for, at least, 500,000 years. Such has been our life for the last week or so.
Jane is getting ready to return to Ohio this Thursday. Of course it is suppose to be just above zero when she gets into Port Columbus. It was 58 here today (Sunday) but it is suppose to in the high 60’s when she leaves San Antonio. Jane almost has herself convinced to stay but there are things she has to do in Mt Vernon so she will reluctantly board that plane on Thursday and return to the frozen north. Meanwhile I will stay on the Dancing Lizard, amusing the cats, shooting at skunks, and living the future.
Happiness and Warmth.
Date: Sunday, December 21, 2008 03:30 pm
Subject: Solstice Message
Greetings from Greenwood Valley Ranch Road;
It is the winter solstice and all around the Dancing Lizard Ranch the crickets are singing to their own delight,
led by Buddy H. for the night. They compete with Texas radio carols like ‘It’s a Trailer Park Christmas’,
‘Grandma shot Santa’s Reindeer for the Rack’ and ‘Tevo the Chicken’s Holiday Tale’. The noise is too
annoying for the cats to stay still. They look up at me and ask why can’t we listen to the Meow Cats
sing Christmas carols? A little reggae would be better than that Texan Paul Ray’s twang they say.
Before I could answer with my six pack wit down the road there rose such a clatter that the cats did split.
At first I thought it was the neighbor’s rickety old pickup but then to my wonder my eyes did spy a flock
of wild turkey take to the sky. I guess they don’t like Paul Ray’s twang either!
As the shortest day concludes we can all take heart that the days get longer now and Persephone will
start her trip out of Hades to make her return to Gaea’s surface by the spring equinox. Until then, I and
the ‘boys’ will stay in the warmth of the south Texas sun chasing lizards, wild turkeys, and listening to
crickets (with or without Buddy H. leading them).
May Peace and Love surround you and keep you safe from all the evil mankind inflicts upon itself.
Steve, Jane, P.W. Tex, and Butchie
ps Try this link to stream traditional and non-traditional christmas music through your computer
Date: Fri, 9 May 2008 7:03 pm
Subject: 105 today
It has cooled off from today's high, it is now only 101 in the garage. When I went into Rocksprings the car thermometer read 105 but the bank thermometer only read 103! Oh, by the way I am returning to Ohio next week. The weather didn't make my mind up, I was planning on returning after Mother's Day, it just makes my decision to leave easier. The cats and I will be back next Thursday or Friday.
The wind has been coming from the southwest for the last couple days and the temps have been just climbing and climbing. By midnight it usually cools off but I try to beat the evening heat by retreating into my hot tub. Yes, I know most people call it a stock tank but to me it is my retreat from the heat and therapy for my sore muscles. We are suppose to get thunderstorms later tonight, rain would be nice but none is in the forecast just heat lightening and thunder. A cold front is coming through on Sunday and is suppose to bring some rain and cooler weather.
I finished the house staining on Wednesday. I got two coats of stain on the whole house and a third coat on the south and west sides. This was the most important task I wanted to complete before leaving. I have been keeping busy since I packed up the chain saw, a week or so ago, by building rock planters and re-stacking firewood. I had built a woodshed for firewood but the cats took it over. They used it to stay out of the heat. Now they are napping under the deck and the car.
I think they are ready to head north too. PeeWee gets into the truck every chance he gets. He hops up on the center console, sits down, and pines for the open road while looking out the windshield.
Jane and I went into Austin last weekend for the Pecan Street Art Festival. The festival takes up 10 blocks of 6th street (aka Pecan St) in downtown Austin. There were all sorts of artisans and musicians. It has changed a lot since Jane sold her fabric art there in the late 80's. There use to be a lot of potters and jewelry makers but we only saw one potter and just a handful of jewelers. But the beer was cold and the music excellent.
Austin is a lot different when we left Texas in '88 Austin had a population of 325,000 now it has over 750,000. A lot of the old landmarks (bars and resturants) are still around but the skyline and traffic has changed. Katz's, Jake's, Cactus Cafe, Huts', Mothers', The Tavern, Thundercloud's, Ester's Follies, The Drag, bats, and South Congress are still around and thriving. Trudy's Oakhill, Rita's, Green Spot, Jorge's, the BIG termite across from the Tavern, MC Photo, Liberty Lunch, and Jalapeno Charlies are all gone. Such is life but the memories of these things are filed safely away.........Did I mention the beer was cold and the music was excellent?????
Stay cool or warm, I'm heading for the hot tub......
Date: April 13, 2008 10:52 PM
Subject: What is new?
I just poured myself a gin/tonic and I'm settling in for the evening. It has been a busy week here. Last weekend was the El Goatarod, Jane and I were going to go the goat races but the El Goatarod is held in Eldorado, Tx. If you haven't been living under a rock you probably heard Eldorado mentioned in the news this past week or the Yearn for Zion Ranch. Eldorado is 101 miles away but we have heard of the fundamentalist Mormon compound when we bought our place. It is always a hot topic of conversation at the Sunshine Bakery and the King Burger, pro and con. One of the many appealing things about Texas, for me, is the truly hands off attitudes towards how you want to live your life (not that I agree with this sect of Mormonism rights to exist) as long as you don't hurt anybody. If you want to do something, not totally illegal, you will not get any resistance, in fact you most likely will get encouragement. I have yet found a Texan that looks at me as if I'm crazy when I tell them I am building my own house or developing our property. I usually get a 'my brother/sister/cousin did that and did you find that;;;;;;;;;;;;'. The conversation then goes on to describe unique things the people did that builders said no you can't do that.
Speaking of developing our property I had the cedar cleared off the top half of the property this week. I now have 31 piles of dying cedar trees and over 4400' of property line cleared. I took before and have some after pictures but in some areas you can't tell the difference because of the dying cedar piles. The landscaper was here for 3 1/2 days and worked pretty much non-stop. From the back of the property and from Keith Richards' property it looks like alot has been done but from close up it still looks a little rough. All things in their own time....
Not sure if all of you know this or not but we have A/C now and window sills. I still have to finish the window trim but my excuse of not having the window trim done (the sills) is gone now. I did stain some wood for the trim today. I also transplanted some barrel cactus. I am starting a cactus garden on the west side of the house. I also completed the front deck this week. I build a woodshed, although I told the cats it was their getting out of the rain/sun shelter. I had a section of metal roofing and some scrape lumber leftover and had saved it for a woodshed/shelter. Butchie likes it but PeeWee shuns it. PeeWee doesn't like the sound rain makes on metal roofing, good thing it doesn't rain much down here. The cats do like the deck and the big planter of grass I planted for them.
I started my tomato's and peppers. I will be bringing them back with me in May. I am looking forward to playing in real dirt again. When I transplanted the cactus I had to use the pick axe to dig the new holes. There is dirt here but to get to or around to it you have to work your way through fractured limestone. The joke around here is that the only thing that grows well here is rocks. You can pick up all the surface rocks and by the next rain there will be a fresh batch of rocks.
Anyway, last weekend instead of going to the El Goatarod we went to the Caverns of Sonora. What a neat place!!! Anybody that visits us will be given the opportunity to go to the caverns. It took an hour and 45 mins. to go through and it seemed like minutes. We were 35 to 150 feet underground most of the time and there were cavern after cavern with stalactites and stalagmites, underground pools, cave bacon, popcorn, crystals, quarts columns, and calcite applesauce. As I said, a really neat place and after the caverns we can visit the Devils Sinkhole to see the bats!!! I do have picture and they will be up on the web eventually.
For all my friends that are still working 9 to 5 (sorta of) I am working on a new CD for you, the tentative title is 'I'm too well to go to work today'. Stay healthy, live well, and carpe diem.....
Date: April 4, 2008 11:28 PM
Subject: New Excitement
We had some weather excitement last night. Around 2:00 am I woke up with the ground rumbling. They were predicting thunderstorms for early this morning but nothing as severe as we got. I got up and sat on the futon for two and a half hours watching the light show. It was a continuous lightening storm which looked and felt like a strobe light show from a 60's concert. About 1 hour into the light show it started to rain. The rain lasted 75 minutes and dumped 2 inches of rain on us. We also got pea sized hail. The hail was the spookiest part of the weather. The storm came out of the west and the hail beat against the windows and metal roof. Around 4:30 all was quite. Now we just have a cold wind blowing out of the north at 15 mph...
The cats made it through the storm without making a sound but as soon as it stopped they were pounding on the door to get out. That is how Jane handled the storm too. She slept through it and when it ended she got up. What is amazing about all the lightening, rain, and hail is we didn't lose power at all.
I got the A/C in on Wednesday and the living room window sills installed on Monday. This Monday or Tuesday a landscaper is coming to clear about 8 acres of cedar trees with a bulldozer. I can hardly wait to see the difference. I was going to start work on the front deck today but I think I'll wait until it dries out a little. Slowly but steadily this place is taking shape.
I guess I should get out of my jammies and start working on our taxes.....
Date: March 2, 2008 9:26 PM
Subject: Real County update
We had some exciting times last week, that didn't include wild pigs, goats, turkeys, or illegals. We witnessed our first wildfire. All is well here but it was to a point where we were packing up. Last Tuesday Jane and I were sitting outside watching the sunset and we smelled cedar smoke. The wind was coming from the southwest and we really didn't think too much about it until it got dark and just beyond the ridge west of us the sky was aglow. About that time the wind shifted from the southwest to the north, as it normally does at dusk, so we didn't have to evacuate. The fire burnt a 2 mile by 5 mile swatch of Real County about 2 miles from us.
The fire and other things has changed my travel plans, slightly. We have an insurance agent coming out to the house later this week and a guy is suppose to come out and give us an estimate to clear 8 to 10 acres of cedar around the house. When this gets done I will be leaving for two weeks in beautiful Ohio. I hope to get out of here by the 8th and be in Ohio on the 10th. I'll be heading back to Texas on Good Friday or before if it snows.
We have been shopping for more stuff. We are looking for marble or granite window sills. I about choked on the price they quoted but they were nice. We still need a couple of kitchen cabinets too but we don't have anything to put in them so do we really need them!
Well stay warm;
Date: February 21, 2008 12:43 AM
Subject: Lunar Eclipse
Just finished watching the lunar eclipse, it was real cool. After the lunar face went dark the stars came out and the cats wanted in. They don't like being out when it is totally dark at night. They prefer moonlight to hunt. We could see Orion, Leo, Taurus, both dippers, and lots more.
The lunar surface glowed a peachy red color as it came back from the eclipse. The moon was sitting at the feet of Leo and the air was still. There was a surreal feel to the evening. The sky was a picture postcard and at 60 degrees it was warm, even for here. Now the moon is back to full illumination but with a peachy red ring around it. The wicken calendar calls it a Quickening Moon.
The quickening moon starts the rebirth of nature for the coming spring and summer. Here is what the wiccan's say about it.
The Quickening Moon is a time when new life is beginning, but still lies dormant. You may begin to see small green shoots poking out of the ground on warmer days. Pregnant animals, due in the spring, begin to feel the quickening of their unborn young, and there's a feeling of anticipation in the air, knowing that the seasons are turning again. It's a good month to start setting goals and thinking about your hopes and dreams for the future -- accept responsibility for poor choices you may have made in the past, and move on. Set your magical goals to focus on personal achievements and advancement.
Date: February 18, 2008 9:06 PM
Subject: This and That
Here is a little nugget for you. When I was in Kerrville last monday to get the truck inspected, I walked over to Starbucks for some cafine and sugar. The person in front of me was wearing what we call down here 'manly footware' (knee high snake boots) and a hugh cowboy hat. He was with a lady about his age and they ordered coffee and pumpkin bread. Not that I was eavesdropping or anything! Anyway the guy looked a little familiar but everyone down here looks a little familiar. I got my coffee and scone, sat down and then it hit me who it was sitting two tables away. Think Wings and Sideways, Thomas Hayden Church. He and his brother own a ranch somewhere around here, don't know exactly where.
We had a great time at Port Aransas. Excellent fish based dinners and long days on the beach. Port Aransas is just north of Corpus Christi. It is just under 300 miles (5 hours) from here. Our next trip is to Marfa/Alpine/Terlingua, which is about 300 miles west of us.
See you then,
Date: February 10, 2008 10:08 PM
Subject: Real County Update
Hi and good morning to you;
It has been too warm to clear cedar but the right temperature to stain and polyurethane wood. Unfortunately I don't have wood to stain or polyurethane so I have been cutting cedar. For those of you that don't know about Texas cedar you have to wear heavy weight clothing. If you don't the small dead branches will cut and hurt you. I have already made rags out of a pair of jeans and two heavy weight sweatshirts. I will also be purchasing an athlete supporter and cup during my next trip to Kerrville.
I have cleared about 10,000 square feet around the house, actually west of the house, and widen both driveways last week. This week Jane and I will be going to Port Aransas for a couple of days of sun, beach, seafood, and no house work. After this trip we will probably go to Alpine or Marfa to see the desert bloom. Then there are the goat races in El Dorado that I must see. Sometime before Easter I will be coming back to Ohio for a week or so, it depends on when I can get my hair cut and schedule a dentist appointment.
All the furniture has arrived so we have a bed now and we bought a 45" base cabinet for the mircoware stand, forgoing the baker's rack. I still have the window trim to install but it will get done...eventually!
I am still taking my evening walks with the boys. Haven't had any interesting encounters lately, although on the road to Kerrville there are three recently roadkilled ferel pigs. Butchie brought home the first evidence of a kill yesterday, a female cardinal. He won't eat anything he kills, he brings them to Jane and I. Such a sweet boy!
I have a bunch of pictures but they aren't on the website yet. If you have a complaint talk to the web mistress (Jane)! I am thinking of burning a picture cd and sending it off.
Well, I got to get ready for bed, I have an early day tomorrow. I have to get up early and get the truck to Kerrville for it's annual inspection, my weekly Lowes' / Home Depot run, and cup shopping.
Date: January 28, 2008 12:02 AM
Subject: Basking in the Sun
Hello and a great big Good Monday Morning,
All is well here, had a great Sunday. It was 72 with a nice southerly breeze, suppose to drop down into the 50's tonight. The boys aren't too happy though, I painted their room, the garage, today and it still smells a little! I am almost finished with the garage, I just have to build a workbench and put up some shelves. Then comes the solar water stuff....but that is a couple of months away.
I realize that I haven't been keeping all of you up-to-date with our progress down here. Here is an update. Jane made it down almost two weeks ago and we have been shopping ever since. We finally decided on a kitchen table, a futon, and a rug. We also bought a writing table for Jane to bead upon and an entertainment center. Before Jane arrived I put up 90% of the trim, sealed the wood ceilings, painted the floor (again), drank a fifth of gin, hooked up the kitchen sink, installed the bathroom sink, got a washer and dryer, installed two overhead lights, put a door on the bathroom, installed three new windows(two in the garage, one in the bathroom), the cats insisted on the garage windows, drywalled and painted the pump house/guest room, and put shelving in the pantry. I have pictures of some of this but it isn't up on the website yet.
For fun Jane and I went to Fredericksburg last Thursday. A cold (38 to 33) and rainy day. We have some holes in our furniture requirements We are still looking for a microwave stand that doesn't scream microwave stand. I have a couple of ideas but they conflict with Jane's vision so we are in negotiations. Haven't been down to Mama Clohoe (Leakey) yet, nor have I done the three sisters. Okay, get your minds out of the gutter. The three sisters are the three scenic state highways that surround us, 335, 336, and 337. They are a bikers paradise and there are some neat bars and restaurants along the routes. Garven Store is the gateway to the trek, go to www.garvenstore.com to get the feel of the space. Oh by the way Garven is 12.3 miles from our driveway and the closest beer store.
I have been taking an evening walk with the boys and I haven't been chased by the wild hogs in awhile. It must be my good karma. The cats have adjusted well, to a point where they don't even bring there kills to us for praise everytime. But they do still let us know that they aren't happy that snow isn't blowing up their butt's in Ohio and that we drugged and catnapped them to get them down here. However it is an adjustment we all have to make and for the most part they are happy and I am too..
Date: Monday, December 31, 2007 11:28 pm
Subject: New Years Eve
Hi and happy New Year's;
They say what you do on New Year's is what you will be doing all year. I have kind of mix feelings about that saying. On one hand I am enjoying my day and I have a nice dinner planned. Kraut and veggie pork, sweat and sour cole slaw too. But earlier this evening didn't go so smoothly..........
As is our habit the boys (cats) and I go on an evening walk. It is usually a 45 minute to a 2 hour walk around the property. Sometimes they lead me but most times I direct the hike. I usually take a couple of beers on our adventure, stored in my nail apron. Over the last week I have seen more of our land than I have in the last three years. The cats don't have the same height limitations I have so they tend to go places I wouldn't think of going and I have the scratches to prove it. Thus I tend to direct the hike!
Tonight I decided to take a two hour walk. I loaded up my nail apron and started our walk toward the septic tank. We snaked our way though the cedar, cactus, and live oak. Down around the property line, up the dry bed creek to the turkey feeders, snaking around the back property line. The boys seemed a little more wired than usual but they ponyed on. About an hour into our walk the both cats got close to me, which is unusual, and their tails were all bushed out. All of a sudden there was a loud snorting sound. The cats looked at me with a look that said 'hasta la vista kimo sabe last one up to the house is a fool'! They were gone!
I heard the snorting sound crashing through the undergrowth and all I had in my mind was the image of a hog attack from 'Old Yeller'. I know that really dates me but if you never seen the movie rent it. It is a good pre-adolescent male movie. I saw it when I was in cub scouts. We went to a theater in Lebanon, Pa., got a tour of the theater and everything, it was cool. Anyway back to the walk.....
I never really saw what was making all the noise cause I wasn't far behind the cats but I know enough to know that it was feral pigs rooting around long the back property line. I am going to have to up my weapons arsenal to include a Taurus Judge. A little something for the snakes and some more for the hogs. Although the hogs do keep down the snakes. In fact I haven't seen one snake in all my time here......
Anyway, when I got back to the house the cats were lounging around the front door with what only I can describe as big ass grins on their normally stoic faces. We had planned on having a nice fire tonight but we have a stiff north wind blowing and we are under a burn ban. The north wind is suppose to bring 20 degree weather tonight and tomorrow night but it is suppose to be in the 50's during the day, with sunshine. Can't complain too much the last two days have been in the low 70's. The 'cold' weather is suppose to be gone by Friday and we will be back into the 60-70's in the day.....
Have a wonderful New Years' and stay warm.
Date: Monday 12/24/2007 10:28 pm
Tis the night before Christmas and all through the house not a creature was safe from the cats, unless they are bigger than the cats, which is how I survive. The Boys (the cats) and I were sitting under the Miller Lite banner, that someone "borrowed" from the Gazebo on south Bass Island, watching the sun set and the moon rise through the two garage doors, and listening to raggae Christmas music. Can life get any better than this?
The stockings are in the dirty clothes hamper, too flammable to be hung by an open fire. Butch-Butch is dreaming of an never ending flow of kibble into his food bowl. P.W. Tex just wants the sun to shine 24/7 so he can bake his bones. Me? Just a return to a strict enforcement of the Sixth Commandment as it was written in the old testament, no exceptions period!
The Christmas mini-lights are strung on the pump house / bedroom. The boys' skull lights are hung in their room. In hopes that small prey will come and play.
When, out on the back 40, rose such a ruckus that it must be the wild pigs and their eight tiny piglets rummaging through our garbage. Damn swine! If Butch-Butch wasn't sleeping and if the sun was shining for P.W. they'd be all over those pigs...right and sugar plum fairies are dancing in my head.
May Peace and Love surround you and keep you safe from all the evil mankind inflicts upon itself.
Date: Wednesday, April 18, 2007
I have two stories on illegal immigration that illustrate the conditions from both sides.
In one of the emails I sent from Texas in February I mentioned the incident of the person I saw lying alongside highway 41. I have attempted to find out what happened to this individual. Was he just lying there being uncooperative, was he injured, or was he, in fact, dead? There was no news of this incident in any of local newspapers. Nothing mentioned online at the county sheriff’s website, or that of the Texas Department of Safety. No one was talking about it at the Garven Store. Just another unfortunate illegal human being, one of thousands.
This illegal alien was probably going north to find migrate farm labor or food processing work, more likely than not in a meat packing plant. Around this time, the border patrol stopped me on our road to ask if I had seen any evidence of illegal aliens. So I always wondered if this was one of the five they were looking for that day.
The above story probably occurs numerous times weekly and possibly daily. As people come into the country to cheaply pick food, process meat, clean buildings and houses, manicure lawns, rehabilitate New Orleans housing, and to provide low cost services for legal residents. Many businesses in Border States could not stay in business without these workers and food costs for the rest of us would be a lot higher. Yet they are vilified, cheated of prevailing wages, taken advantage of by some employers, relegated to a sub culture status, and don’t even warrant a paragraph in the paper (unless they commit a crime).
The following story happens less often but is just as disturbing.
A few years ago a Rocksprings, Edwards County, sheriff’s deputy (one of only three in the Co.). Pulled over a SUV that ran a stop sign, the internet says it ran a stop light but there are no stop lights in Rocksprings. The car, he suspected, contained illegal aliens. As he approached the SUV the driver attempted to run him over and took off. The deputy, Gilmer Hernandez, shot at the tires of the vehicle as it tried to get away. He did manage to shoot out a tire and disable the vehicle. A group of 6 or 8 illegal aliens ran from the vehicle. A bullet fragment hit a lady, hiding in the back of the vehicle, in the jaw.
The injury was minor and after they were caught the woman she was taken to a hospital, treated, and released that night. The SUV and illegals were heading to Austin, where the woman’s husband lives and where the others had relatives.
The incident was investigated by Texas Dept of Safety and it was determined that deputy Hernandez did nothing improper. Now jump forward a year or so. The Mexican Consulate hears of the story and is upset that Mexican nationals were being treated such a disrespectful manner up and down the Texas Rio Grande. Pressure was put on the Justice Department and they re-opened this case as an illegal discharge of a firearm and civil rights infringement case and a separate case against two other border patrol agents.
Over the protests of the County, the highway patrol, and the Texas Legislature (no bleeding hearts there!) Hernandez was put on trial and found guilty. The witnesses that testified against him were the same illegals that were in the SUV. They were given immunity and were allowed to stay in the country. They are living in the Austin area. Gilmer Hernandez was recently sentenced to 12 months in jail, as were the border patrol agents.
Most of the people that followed the case and personally know Hernandez believe that this was a political prosecution brought by the Justice Department to appease Mexican interests. Interesting timing considering the current scandal surrounding Justice and the Attorney General and remember this happened before the scandal broke in the newspapers. More concise facts about this case can be found on the internet by doing a search on Gilmer Hernandez.
Currently, the residents of Rocksprings and Edwards County are petitioning the White House and their federal representatives for a pardon without success or recognition. Quite a contrast from the days after the Lewis Libby conviction, when every right wing outlet was calling for his pardon. Here is a little question for you. If you could pardon only one of these individuals, Gilmer or Scooter, which one would you chose and why?
Don’t answer until you do your own due diligence by researching both cases and not by regurgitating what you heard from the TV/radio or here.
Interesting dichotomy, pardon someone on the front line of homeland security or pardon someone that could have harmed our ability to track nuclear proliferation for political reasons.
A postscript to the Gilmer story. Not long after Gilmer was found guilty the Edwards County sheriff’s department lost two more deputies though resignation. This leaves Edwards County with the sheriff and one deputy to patrol the county and administer the jail, 24/7.
Date: Wednesday, February 14, 2007 01:43 pm
Staying Warm? I'm in Leakey where it is 32. Last night it got down to 27 and they expect it to be around 20 tonight. I think I'll get a room tonight. The work on the garage/apartment is going slowly. I have the wiring done for the electric, phone, and cable. Part of the plumbing is done but I expected it to be completed by now. I did install the springs on one of the garage doors so it opens so I guess I can order the drywall now, bummer.
Last night before the cold front moved in I walked the road. I could plainly see Orion and Taraus, even the Pleides were clear. I also got to see Saturn move through the constellations. But I didn't see or hear any animals must have been too cold.
The Border Patrol stopped by a few days ago looking for some illegals. They think there are 4 or 5 in the area. On the way back from Kerrville monday I saw a highway mowing crew stopped and standing around a body laying on the side of the road, close to the Y.O. ranch entrance. Don't know if the man was dead or alive but nobody was approaching him. They were just waiting for Public Safety and the Border Patrol.
Stay warm and be legal.
Date: Monday, October 30, 2006 12:13 pm
Just another reason (#6) To quit your job and become my ranch hand. We don't need to change our clocks twice a year. There is the same amount of daylight whether or not you change the clocks!
Date: Saturday, October 28, 2006 12:07 pm
Subject: Another day in Rocksprings
Another sunny but cooler day in Rocksprings. It got down into the low 40's last night but should be in the low 70's by noon. Great weather to work outside.
I have finished the trim work and painting. The rain gutters are up. I found where the water inlet pipe and the sewage drainage pipe are located in the slab. Still just waiting on the garage doors to arrive. I still have some caulking to do and I can start running the electric wire for the outlets and lights while I wait. I am going to wait until next trip to do the drywall and install the plumbing, although the outhouse could use a little work (honey dipping) too.
The Goats won last night 64 - 12 over Camp Wood. This will probably be the last Goat update for this trip. I hope to be on the road el norte by next Friday. The Goats play their bigest rival next friday, D'Hanis.
The cooler weather has the coyotes and ferrell pigs out and about more. The other night at dusk I was walking down the road and the Greenwood Valley Ranch gate mercury vapor light came on and about a minute later the coyotes started to howl. They weren't going to wait for the moon to come up. The coyotes have been running the Greenwood Valley fence line for a week or so now. As I continued my early evening walk, now UP the road, I started to hear pig snorting off in the distance. By the time I finished my walk I still hadn't decided which items in my hands I would throw at the pigs if they got too close. My beer or the flashlight. Or would I drop the beer or flashlight to pick up one of the thousands of rocks around me to throw at the pigs. Luckily, no pigs, flashlight, beer, or rocks were harmed....this time!
For you Sagittarians out there. Your constellation can be found by looking at the moon for the next couple of nights. The first quarter moon is rising in Sagittarius in the early night sky.
Reason #5 to quit your job and become my ranch hand; When there is nothing to do you sit around the campfire with your favorite beverage and watch the sky.
See y'all soon.
Date: Tuesday, October 24, 2006 01:26 pm
Didn't expect to write so soon again but it is sorta, kinda, raining and I take these opportunities to go to town and get a sit down meal. Actually it is just barely drizzling but it made it wet enough that I can't finish up the exterior painting/staining. I was painting the trim boards inside this morning but I ran out of room in my 'paint room' so I am back in Rocksprings.
I have a correction to make from the last email. Rocksprings population is 1285 not 1875.
I have been getting some mild leg cramps at night lately and I can't seem to get rid of them. I think it is all the up and down ladder work I have been doing the last couple of days. Anyway the trace minerals and vitamins I've been taking haven't worked so I am going on a Margarita (On the rock, not frozen, and with salt) search after lunch, even if I have to go to Barksdale to find one.
The Goats won again last Saturday. They beat Brackett 41 - 7.
I am finishing up the exterior painting/staining and trim work. Once this is done I only have the garage doors on my list of things that must be done before I leave. They are on order but not expected to be in until the 1st. I am hoping to be back in the frozen north by Nov 5th or 6th. We will see.
When I went into Kerrville on Sunday I treated myself to a couple of Starbucks coffees. While I was enjoying the view of the Guadelupe River I noticed some Mockingbirds around my truck. After a few minutes of watching I realized what they were doing. They were picking dead bugs and butterflies off the truck grille. Waste not, Want not!
Reason #4 to quit your job and become my ranch hand. I have no animals, so you have no animals to tend too, except your inter-beast.
Date: Thursday, October 19, 2006 11:55 am
I am in search for my morning coffee. The surreal resturant is closed and the other two resturants in town are also closed. That leaves the gas station or the hardware store!
I woke up this moring to the sounds of some unfortunate cattle mooing outside my room window. They were on their way to market and stopped to get some coffee at the gas station, I guess.
Jane has the website updated with new pictures of the building progress. I'll run out of siding today and will need to make a shopping trip to Kerrville tomorrow. I am trying to find some plexiglas for the windows on the roof ridge but no luck so far. ( www.babbleonindustries.com )
The cold front moved through yesterday and brought a little rain. The roof DOES NOT leak!!! Yeaaaaaa. The temps dropped a little. We will be in the low 70's for the next couple of days with overnight temps in the high 40's and low 50's. I guess it is time to buy a small heater for my sleeping quarters.....
Reason #3 to Quit your job and become my ranch hand. 27 acres of workout facilities. Trees to trim and cut, hundreds of thousands of rocks to move into a fence line, and the occasional nail to hammer.
Well, a class of 2nd or 3rd graders just arrived for the weekly computer time so I'm being kicked out again.
P.S. The Goats won their homecomming game 43-7 over La Prior.
Date: Wednesday, October 18, 2006 08:57 pm
Well hello again;
I am in the metropolis of Rocksprings, population of 1875. I will be staying at the Surreal Motel tonight. It is actually called the Sorrell Motel but I call it the surreal because it is. It is run by two brothers that also run a resturant that is only open when the other two resturants in town are closed. Which means it is open from 6 am to 9 am. They also run a motel called the Mesa. I'll let Jane tell you about it. She describes it alot better than I could. It is a touch of weirdness in an normal town. Any of you that will be visiting us down here and are not comfortable with the garage / apartment will be spending time and the surreal.....
I have the roof on and 80% of the siding up. All the windows are in and I will probably paint this weekend. Once the garage doors come in I will be finished with this part of the building. I do have wiring and plumbing to keep me busy until the doors arrive.
Last night I was lounging in my tub (stock tank) watching the stars come out. I saw a couple of meteorites and the milky way real clear. I also heard a lot more wild life than normal. The wild pigs, raccoons, and birds were loud. Haven't heard the deer lately. I guess they have gone underground in preparation for hunting season.
I was going to write more but they are getting ready to close the library and want me out....
Oh yeah,how the abars test go? I bet just wonderful and it was completely successful. Give my best to Paul.
Date: Wednesday, October 11, 2006 11:03 pm
I'm in Kerrville doing my laundry and drying out from the rain we had yesterday, 2.5 inches according to the radio. I stayed fairly dry in the utility building but I found out the the garage roof leaks in a couple of places and the rain blew in all the opennings. It took half the day to dry things out but I got all the windows in except one.
Last night I had dinner with an old friend that has property about 25 miles from ours, neighbors out here. She owned some parcels from her family's farm. The farm is in an area like Lewis Center / Powell. She made out good and bought a 500 acre ranch about three months before we bought ours. We found out we were nieghbors a year later. Anyway.... she has nice place and I got to catch up with a good friend.
Today, before laundry, I put in a couple of patches on the roof and installed all but one window. I am picking up the metal roof tomorrow in Ballinger. I hope to have it on by this weekend. A cold front is coming through in the next couple of days and my high 80's days are going to be gone. They expect a low temp in the mid 40's tomorrow night. Daytime temps in the 60-70 range. The upside is that it will be clear skies so the stock tank tub will get solar radation. I don't think I want to bathe in 60 degree water.
A little fun fact for you. Every morning about 11:30 we have what I've been calling the running of the butterflies. At this time hundred of butterflies come up out of the valley and fill the sky. I take this as a sign to get something to eat and watch nature surround me......
Oh before I forget, the Goats won 65 to 0. It was a quick game. They didn't throw a pass all game and just ran all over Medina. It was fun but I was hoping for a more exciting game. Oh well they open up district play this Friday!!!!
I have decided to change Quit your job and become one of my construction worker to Quit your job and become one of my ranch hands. This way you won't have to specialize, you can be an all around hand. And reason #2 to Quit your job and become my ranch hand; All the fresh air and sunshine you can stand.
Date: Saturday, October 07, 2006
The Goats won 65 to 0 last night.
Great night if you're a goat.
Not so great a night for a couple of ferrel pigs, though.
On the way to Rocksprings I saw two dead hogs in the road.
Somebody's vehicle isn't doing too well this morning.
Rocksprings is a hoppin' but the two resturants are closed.
I might try out the Gas station/deli's breakfast taco.
Date: Wednesday, October 04, 2006 04:28 pm
Subject: Another day...
Thought it was about time I updated everyone on what has been going on in Rocksprings.
I have the garage/apartment framed and half the roof in place. I hope to have the roof completed and the fiberboard insulation installed by Sunday.
Just so you know it is not all work, work, work, or hammer, hammer, hammer down here I am going to the Rocksprings high school football game this Friday. This will be the first H.S. game I've been to in 6 or 7 years. I hope to get a little local color too. GO GOATS!!! Yes, the school mascot is a goat.
I have also been unwinding from the day's rigors by soaking in a 6 foot stock tank. I have the tank covered with plastic so the sun heats up the water during the day. It usually gets to 95 to 100 degrees. I sit there watching the sun set and the stars come out. I soak for an hour or so, or until the bugs get too bad. Then it is a cold beer or three...and bedtime.
Jane should have the website updated by Friday or Monday with pictures of the building progress and the sunsets I have been watching.......(www.babbleonindustries.com)