Archive: » 2021 » July

Adventures in Country Mowing

Our move into the country was completed last Friday. Unpacking and arranging will take a while, likely weeks, to get everything in its proper place, pictures hung, etc. The first order of business on Saturday was mowing the approximately five acres of Bahia grass that surrounds our house and back toward the woods. A zero-turn mower was delivered on Friday, a 54-inch Bad Boy. Yup, that’s the name of it. It fits. A zero-turn mower, often used by yard-maintenance crews, doesn’t have a steering wheel. Instead it has two levers to operate with your hands to go forward, backward and turn. It takes...

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The Hobby Farmer Adventure Begins

It is moving day. Actually, it has been moving day for a few weeks, but by the time you read this (fingers tightly crossed), we should be beginning the process of unpacking and getting used to our new abode, a few miles north of Longview, on 57 acres. The tract is mainly hardwood timber, but there is plenty of grass to mow. The grass will eventually provide sustenance to a hobby farm’s worth of critters. We might even buy a buffalo, because, well, we like looking at them. No horses, though. I still recall what a North Texas horse breeder told us while giving a tour of beautiful, high-dollar horse...

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Music Keeps Me Together

Two of our favorite musicians headlined benefit events in the past few weeks, to which my Beautiful Mystery Companion kindly bought tickets as part of our 10-year wedding anniversary celebration, which we stretched into a month of fun. First, we saw Mary Gauthier and Jaimee Harris perform at Café Momentum in downtown Dallas. Gauthier (pronounced Go-Shay) has long been one of my favorite singer-songwriters with soulful lyrics and a distinctive voice. Harris is a fresh face, originally from Waco, who opened and then played lead guitar and sang backup while Gauthier performed her set. Before the show...

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Beginning To Feel Boxed In

Two words describe how we spend our days the past few weeks: packing and culling. My Beautiful Mystery Companion and I are preparing to move. Our house has sold and will have new owners in just two weeks. Two weeks! I better get in gear. We have lived in this lovely home for nine years and two months. It is the longest I have lived in one house in my entire life. When we blended our families and possessions together, we didn’t do much culling because our current house had plenty of storage and square footage. And in nine years, the stuff accumulated. Books, blankets, CDs, DVDs, dishes,...

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Building A Gateway to the Moon

“This is the only job I’ve ever had.” With that preface, Paul Johnson, president of USM, Inc., begins explaining what goes on inside a nondescript building located in south Houston. about 10 miles from the Johnson Space Center. The company was founded in 1956 by his father, Steve Johnson, and is now run by Paul and his brother, Chris. When founded, it was known as United Scale Models and built models of petrochemical plants and offshore oil platforms, which were used to create the actual product. It is exacting, intricate work. “Before auto-cad, everything that was built used a model...

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