Thursday, March 19, 2009

Sunshine and Sneezing

Wow! The sunshine came out for a few days and I started sneezing. The strong winds around here haven't helped either. The wind has been blowing a lot of pollen and that has me sneezing multiple times in a row. Now I am under the weather with sinus allergy crud. Each year I get hit with this crud. Blame it on Texas' weather continually changing. One day it is cold and the next day it is hot, then the following day it is cold again. The strong winds really got me this year. It took 3 days after I got a steroid shot before I started feeling better. I am still dragging and coughing, but with the cough syrup I got today, I am feeling a little better. With seeing the doctor twice this week, I should be feeling better.

Two weeks ago, we went to the Austin Rodeo with Rebecca. Randy Travis was in concert after the Rodeo. It was my first time to make the rodeo in Austin. It is a little smaller than Rodeo Houston. We had a fun time and really laughed hard when the four and six year old kids rode the sheep. It is called Mutton Busting and it is a hoot to watch those little kids hold onto the sheep's wool and try to hang on. One little boy hung on so long, one of the clowns had to grab his belt to pull him off. The kid was still holding on with his hands as the clown was pulling him off!
We did have fun climbing on the road grader that was displayed there. This grader was so big, it pivots in the middle. We didn't find much in exhibits but we did find the monster truck.
We took a few photos of it and moved along. Since this was a Sunday evening after the rodeo, most of the folks had left. We found a tepee erected on the site, along with some Longhorn cattle. Not much of anything else. Nobody was at the Dodge truck display and all the vehicles were locked. Oh well, I didn't want a new truck anyway!

The next day I testified on behalf of HB1301 in the Texas Legislature. Alice Tripp with the Texas State Rifle Association invited me to come and share my testimony with the Texas House Public Safety Committee. Representative Stephen Frost authored the bill. It is my second time to testify for this legislation. Two years ago, I testified before the Senate Committee for its version of the same bill. This year it seemed we had more folks testifying for the bill then against the bill. The Senate bill has already past in the Senate and has moved on to the House of Representatives. The surprise of the day was that Rebecca showed up and waited with Christina and I for me to testify. I had my own cheering section! I always enjoy being in the State Capital and I always get turned around. Rebecca helped me find our way out. We had a long day there as the Committee hearings didn't start until 3:30. We had been there since before 1. I finally got to testify around 8:30 that night.

The following weekend we found ourselves again at Reliant Stadium to see Rodeo Houston again and hear Taylor Swift. We had a little time before the rodeo and we found the Ag Mechanics contestant's projects. There were so many project entries to see, we missed the Grand Entry to the rodeo. After the rodeo we came back and finished out look see at the projects. There were a lot of neat ideas turned into projects for front gates and entrances to ranches. But what really got my attention was the vintage green machines, the old John Deere tractors. There was an old JD crawler there. I think it was a 1948 model. But what took my breath away was one like my Grandpa had, a D Model John Deere. First I heard it, then I saw it. It was just going..."pop, pop, pop,pop". A real Poppin' Johnny.

Grandpa's didn't have spoke wheels. So I think his was a few years younger than the '48 model we saw.  Even as I love the Big RED Beast and Mahindras, the old D models like this one gets me warm inside when I see them. Seeing them gives me a chance to remember my Grandparents and the simple life they lived.

In between all these rodeos and testifying, I had time to install the pond's overflow pipe. I cut a 2 foot wide trench with the Big RED Beast from the stake I had at pond elevation and across the driveway. I tried to keep the trench on an even downward slope, but the final installation with dirt and driveway fill over it gives a slight roller coaster like wave. It goes up and down somewhat, but still keeps the downward slope needed to drain. You can just see the black overflow pipe behind and a little under the pier framework in the photo.
Last weekend we loaded the lawn mower and the 6520 on my goose neck trailer. We had to go clean up Dad's house and yards after finally having my brother evicted. I dug a large hole in the front yard on Saturday and another one on Sunday to bury all the trash that we couldn't burn. I was lucky in that Dad's front yard is loamy sand. The 511 backhoe dug the holes in record time. I was burning a lot of different stuff on Saturday and I guess I got out of hand as I threw an old water hose and a love seat on the fire. A little later we had a visit from a 4WD red truck. Yep, a fire truck pumper came out to put the fire out. I was told not to burn couches and stuff like that as it is illegal unless you live on 5 acres or more. I told the fireman I didn't know that and would take the rest of the big burnable stuff to my place to burn. He didn't call the fire marshall, so I didn't get a ticket. After they watered down my fire, I used the Mahinrda's front loader bucket to scoop up the remains and dumped it in the hole I had dug. The house needs a through cleaning, but at least it has curb appeal now. I have a cash offer on the house already, so I pray it will come through and I can sale it.

Stop back in later to see what else I get into. Check out the few photos I uploaded here.
hugs, Brandi

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