. We went out on a tour of the ranch yesterday and stopped the truck in the midst of a group of about 30 head of the longhorns and got out. They all came wandering up to us. Curtis says as long as you dont make any sudden movements, you'll be alright and won't get stuck on any of their long horns. I was a little nervous, thinking that these large horned animals could probably smell city-slicker all over me, but they were ok. I managed to get by them and back into the truck and went off to see the goats. There were a bunch of new born kids, some, I think, must have just been born since they were just trying to stand for the first time. They were pretty curious animals also, coming right up to us, to see if we had anything to foffer them to eat. Curtiis' ranch is about 1300 acres. Part of what he does also is something called controlled burns, where he and a few other fellow ranchers intentionally light fires to rid acreage of prickly thorned plants and help to make good pasture area for grazing. A lot of computer aided research goes into it. They have to submit a burn plan to the city which includes all the research theyve done including wind speeds and direction, humidity, where the power lines are, where a buffer line will be dug and the progression of the lighting of the fires. He's been at it for 4-5 years and hasnt had one get away from him yet. Curtis also worked for a number of years as an insurance adjustor and was in New Orleans after hurricane Katrina hit also.
The local Habitat affiliate in Mason, Texas has been in existance since 2003 and has built about a house a year since that time. They have gotten tremendous support from the small town as far as financial support but a lot of the labor to build the homes is done by a group of RV Gypsie Caravanners- people that travel around and work on Habitat houses in different parts of the country. A number of the same people have come back year after year
. They usually complete their homes in 8 weeks. I got here a little early and the slab/foundation for house number nine is formed but not yet poured. The construction manager, Keith Kaan, has kept me busy at the warehouse doing this and that if preparation for the build. Keith has a number of skills, one being he used to teach CAD and the home has been built in extreme detail many times over on his computer. The slab may get poured before I leave this week. Let's see. In the mean time, to keep busy, I noticed that the guest bathroom at the Schultze's has a tub but no shower, so I offered to help fix that. Rene and I went shopping and found some tile that will (hopefully) arrive friday morning. Did the demo of the old shower surround this morning and started installing the cement board above the existing tub. Were driving 70 miles to the Home Depot this afternoon to buy the new tub/shower diverter and some trim pieces for the new shower surrond. I came down with a cold or achie somethingorother and have been battling thru that, chugging Nyquil and hoping for it to go away. Think it may have been a parting gift from brother Bart (he was quite sick all last week and I was staying with them) Anyway, that's all for now. Happy Birthday to my son Paul on the 19th.
I left Port Sulphur, Louisiana, at 5:30 Sunday morning and drove and drove and then drove some more, about eleven hours worth and only got to the middle of the state of Texas- Mason, Texas to be exact. I am the houseguest this week of Curtis and Rene Schultze. Mason is a small town with a population of around 2700 people, yet they still have a Habitat for Humanity affiliiate here. I met the Schultzes a few years back in Biloxi. They came there to work with us as part of an Indiana based group founded by Larry and Cheryl Winger called Kairos Carpenters. Curt and Rene have lived here in Texas for 16 years and Indiana before that. Kairos Carpenters have been going on mission trips both here and abroad for over twenty years and a number of the group are great long time friends who go on the trips together. At least three of the couples in the group (of which Curtis and Rene are one) have been married for over 50 years. Curtis is a cattle and goat rancher. He raises longhorn cattle and also goats both of which are sold for their meat. The longhorns are fairl docile