Graduation on the 40 acres.

I ushered for two University of Texas graduations this weekend at the Bass Concert Hall. I need to remember to wear earplugs next time. Wow. One ceremony had about 500 grads. As each walked across the stage, their friends-and-family-posee cheered. Very loudly.

A quiet moment before the ceremonies.

It’s all good; it was a special day for each of the graduates. Well done Class of 2023!! Go live your best lives!

A free Friday.

We attended a session at our car dealership today to get some one-on-one time with a “delivery specialist” who explained to our old-people selves how our new car worked. So much technology, so little time….

After that we dropped in to the backyard at Celis Brewery, and then explored the Whole Foods near our house. It has been “near our house” for going on 10 years, but today we actually went inside and discovered the awesome in-store bar and eatery options. What a concept!

We are slowly catching up with the rest of y’all in the 21st century – be patient, we’re getting there.

Unique perspective.

Over the holidays I spoke with a couple of friends who volunteer as ushers for the Texas Performing Arts organization, which hosts events all year at the Bass Concert Hall on the UT campus, and several other local theaters.

I was interested. I do have “theater” experience after all … I worked on the tech crew for the event coliseum at the university I attended back in the day – setting up, tearing down, and working spotlights for concerts, and helping Monte with productions for the showbiz club where we worked. Ok, so theater may not actually be in my blood, but I’ve at least stubbed my toe on it a few times. 🙂

I had an interview this week, attended a training session for volunteer ushers tonight, and decided to join for the remainder of this season – through August – to see how I like it. And to see how it fits in with all the other things I enjoy doing.

A bonus: I got to see some cool views of an empty Bass Concert Hall tonight.

An empty house, viewed from the second balcony.
And a view from the stage. How awesome is that?!

Hanging at Donn’s.

Last week we stopped in at one of our favorite music spots in town, Donn’s Depot. Danny Britt and friends were playing. We sat in the back dining room and visited with friends while we listened to the music. We don’t go often enough, but I sure hope this place never goes away. A jewel of old Austin.

The Christmas ornaments are always slow to come down at Donn’s. It makes for good ambiance, though.

Danny Britt playing for the crowd, as viewed from the back room

A fine Fourth.

We enjoyed a long, fun Fourth of July weekend at the lake. We floated, paddled, fished, grilled, sailed, watched a couple movies, played some games, admired fireworks, and caught up with friends. Various sponsors on Lake Travis had fireworks on Saturday, Sunday, and Monday nights. And there were many small, but impressive, volleys all weekend long.

We watched fireworks on Saturday sitting at the end of our dock, on Sunday spitting in our cockpit in the slip, and on Monday we motored out to watch a big show. We enjoyed them all.

The show put on by Mattress Mack.
A fun sail on Monday in 15-knot winds, gusting to 20. Nice, very nice.

I hope you had a fun weekend as well.

Dusty.

The seasonal Saharan dust clouds have arrived in Central Texas. It’s very hazy during the day, with colorful sunsets in the evening. Read more here.

So, not only is it hotter than Hell here, the air is also unsafe to breathe. Bring it on.

Pickup party.

Every three months we take a drive through the Texas hill country to pick up our wine club package. The May pickup party was lovely. The weather was beautiful. The nibblies were delicious. We made a few other stops and enjoyed a really lovely day.

Up-the-river 2022.

Last weekend Monte and I sailed up river about 30 miles from our marina. We left on Saturday morning, minutes after a thunderstorm rolled through. The calm after the storm made for breezes on our nose, so we motor sailed most of the way.

Kurt and Kevin joined us on their boat. We anchored up together in a cove below John and Wendy’s lake house. We fished, paddled, floated, and enjoyed catching up with some friends we haven’t seen in a very long time. The sail back home on Sunday was sporting, to say the least. The winds had clocked around and were 5-10 gusting to 20. Good sailing, but lots of grinding on some legs. I was sound asleep about 15 minutes after we got home that night.

New Place.

I ventured down south this week to check out The Austin Winery’s tasting room. It is on St. Elmo off South Congress. It’s surrounded by lots of other spots to visit, a food truck, outdoor patio, and a big, open warehouse space inside. Pick a tasting trio of wines, a glass, or a bottle, and nice nibblies.

It’s a nice spot to enjoy happy hour. Check ‘em out!

From the hack to the house with the rock.

Last night Monte and I went curling. Yes, that’s right. After spending many hours apres-ski on the couch in our condo on countless ski trips watching curling in the Winter Olympics, we tried the real thing. And we had a blast, eh!?

CurlAustin is a club that has its own ice (called the “Pond”), competitive curling leagues that anyone can join, and it also has for-fee 2 hour group lessons. They had us curling, safely, in no time. They are located right next door to Austin Beerworks, which is convenient for grabbing a frosty post-bonspiel beverage.

We joined six other newbies, divided up into two teams, and finished several ends. It was loads of fun. I highly recommend giving it a try.

It’s good to be yellow. We won this end with 4 counters (two of those were mine!)

The season.

Julie and I headed downtown for the Junior League of Austin’s “A Christmas Affair.“ Lots of gifts on display. It was held at the Palmer Event Center. The view of the Austin skyline from there was lovely. My how this town has changed in 25 years.

The season is upon us. Time to get in the spirit!

Finally.

After a long, self-imposed exile from restaurants and bars, we’re loosening things up a bit. Last week we enjoyed our good old “blue-hair special” at Chuy’s. Yummmmm.

And last night we popped in at Donn’s Depot to listen to the Nash Hernandez Orchestra. It was a great time.

Sunday drive.

Monte and I drove out Highway 290 on Sunday. It was a really lovely day for a drive.

Autumn means pumpkins!

Autumn zinnies!

Autumn wine on the veranda!

A good day.

Summer’s gone.

Wow, that was fast. All of a sudden it is October 1st! We’ve been busy the last month or two.

We have happily welcomed out of town visitors, after a long COVID-induced drought of sorts. In July we enjoyed Patrick, Nga, and Nick. In September we had visits from Jake and Natalie, and then Noreen.

We enjoyed our visits with them, but somewhere in there Autumn slipped in. The high temperatures have begun dipping into the low 90s, so I guess I’ll have to brace myself for wearing pants and shoes soon.

The best way to beat the heat when guests visit is to hit the lake.

We went on a brief brewery crawl with Jake and Natalie. Outside seating, of course.

When guests are here, the gameroom actually gets used for playing games. Lots of billiards and darts played. I actually hit a double bull to win a game of darts!

We always eat well when guests are here. BBQ, TexMex, homemade pizza, and more. Julie made sushi rolls one night for Noreen, Monte and me. Delicious.

I wonder who will show up next?

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