Tea for me.

Sleepy time.

I bought a couple of cool “tipping” teacups that I ran across while browsing for gifts on the web.   They make steeping loose-leaf tea one cup at a time very easy and quick.  I had to, of course, get one for myself.  🙂  Then I had to find some loose-leaf tea to try out.

I am a 2-3 cup-a-day coffee drinker – have been for years.  But, i was born a tea drinker.   My Irish father drank a cup of tea at breakfast, lunch and dinner every day.   So, I drank it as a kid, too, but very infrequently since then.

I’ve never tried loose-leaf tea, but have heard about how much more flavorful it is than tea-bag tea.  I was eager to find loose-leaf versions of some of my favorite brews:  Irish Breakfast, Earl Grey and Chamomile.  I’m lucky to live in Austin for lots of reasons, but one of them is the local tea-shop called The Steeping Room, which is only about 5 minutes from my house.  I popped over there and stocked up.

The picture above is of the before-bedtime blend called Perfect Night.  It’s a mix of chamomile, rose, rose hips, lavender and pink peppercorns.     I had some tonight and it was delicious.

I’ve also tried the breakfast tea and earl grey black teas — all amazingly flavorful.  I think i’m hooked.

Mo’ Willy.

Number 6.

Today we walked 9 holes at Morris-Williams Golf Course.  I’ve been looking forward to golfing with my sweetie since vacation started.  The rain put a damper on that for a bit, but today was beautiful with temps in the 60’s.

This is a shot of the Number 6 hole, taken from the Number 5 green.   The rain we’ve had the last few weeks have greened things up a bit.  You can just barely see the UT Tower – the one building visible on the horizon.

I really enjoy Morris-Williams.  I am still quite the novice golfer, but this is the course that I know best – by far.   The tee-to-green distance of the first 9 holes is about a mile and a half.  So I figure we walked 2 or so miles.  Though the way I hit today, it might have been more like 3-4 miles.   🙂   And, on this course, every hole seems to be uphill.   But no matter, it was really nice to be out there.

I did not lose any balls in the out of bounds or in the water hazards.  I did, however, hit several trees that popped out of nowhere.   Oh well.   Maybe one of my New Year’s resolutions will be to play at least once a quarter in 2012.  We’ll see….


One more time.

Armadillo artist.

I made another run to the Armadillo Bazaar tonight with some friends.  This is a shot of some prints from Texas Photomontage artists Carl & Betsy Crum.  There are over 150 other artists there, too.

Another of my favorite musicians was playing tonight – Marcia Ball w/ Bill Kirchen.

Marcia Ball @ the Armadillo Bazaar.

Down at the Dillo.

Eliza Gilkyson's set.

Earlier today we were baking cookies and grilling wings to bring to a party at Kurt and Barbara’s tonight.  With all those preparations done we headed downtown to the 36th annual Armadillo Christmas Bazaar, which kicked-off on Wednesday and runs through Christmas Eve.  It’s an Austin-style combination of art and music festival, with local artists selling their work to Christmas shoppers, and 3-4 musicians/bands per day scheduled to play sets on the floor among the artists’ booths.  You can gather round the stage and watch, or listen to the live music from anywhere in the event center, as you’re doing your shopping.  It’s an event I look forward to, more for the music than the shopping, and I usually go a couple of times each year.

Today one of my favorites, Eliza Gilkyson, was playing at 3:30.   I enjoyed her set.

We were back home in time to get ready for the party,  which was a great time.  We got a chance to visit with all our B-dock buddies — with the onset of colder weather and the shorter days that Autumn brings, it’s been a while since everyone saw eachother.  Mark your calendars for Wednesday, December 21 at 11:30 PM, which is when the winter solstice occurs in Austin, after which the length of each day beings to increase again (yay!).

The Eyes of Texas.

Congratulations class of 2011.

Today was another welcome, wonderfully drizzly day.   We just need another 100 or so days like it.

My cousin graduated from the University of Texas yesterday with his bachelor’s in Electrical Engineering.  Today we drove to his parents’ house in San Antonio to celebrate with him, his family and friends.

On the way home we could see the UT Tower lit up in burnt orange from I-35.  But today, instead of the #1 on the tower, reserved for times when the Longhorns win a national championship, there was a #11, to honor the class of 2011.   Monte drove me around to at least 3 different vantage points on campus to try to get a decent shot.  This was the best one I captured.

Congratulations to all the new Texas-Ex’s!

Rain day (at last!)


FINALLY the rain gods have smiled on us. We got a few minutes of showers yesterday afternoon, but this morning a front came through and dumped about 2 inches at our house, and hopefully a lot more in the Hill Country, bound for Lake Travis.

The shot above captured a splash from a raindrop in the birdbath out back.

The shot below captured a rain drop in free-fall  🙂


One for the record books.

Weather weary.

Sadly, today marked the 70th day of 100+ degree temperatures this year in Austin.  That breaks the old record of 69 days that stood since 1925.  We came close to breaking it 2 years ago.

The current forecast shows another 7-10 days or so of similar weather ahead, so stay tuned.

I really hope we don’t have to experience this again in our lifetimes.  Whooo-wee!

Bleh! - more of the same.

No place like home…

Giant Gibsons.

We had a leisurely morning getting ready to check out.  Breakfast at Jacks.  Then we stopped at the store — the home base for the family.  Got in one last visit and said goodbye to Uncle Raymond, Judy, Gary, David, Marla, Lauren, Laken, Bryan and Dorothy.

We had no problems on our flights.   We were able to package the power tools that Monte bought and send as checked baggage.

We had a wonderful time at the reunion, but no matter where you’ve been or how great it’s been, there’s always that special feeling when you’re back home.   This is a picture of the giant Gibson guitars that decorated downtown Austin for a long time.  Several are now on display at the airport.

We came home to the uninterrupted drought.  I hope we can catch up on watering enough to keep things alive.  I took a long walk around the neighborhood before dark, and monte is still out in the shop, playing with his new toy, I imagine.

I can’t wait for the next big reunion – Lanny & Mica will be hosting in 2013!

Snocones, inspiration and a video


I had a doctor’s appointment this afternoon which took me downtown.  Since I was in the neighborhood, I just had to stop by the Sno-Beach snocone stand.  If you’ve never had one,  you must.  It will change your life.  If you don’t live in Austin, fly or drive down here as soon as you can and get one.  They make the absolutely, hands-down, indubitably BEST snocones on the planet.  If any of you are skeptical, I’d even put money on it.    And I NEVER make a bet unless I’m sure I’m right (even when i’m wrong)  😀

Even though there were about 30 people in front of me when I got there, and when I left I was in the middle of rush hour traffic on Mopac, it was worth it.

I’d like to work on ways to transform my blog into something more interesting for other people to follow.   Up til now I’ve mostly been doing this for my own enjoyment.  The Daily Post is hosting a Post-a-Day-2011 and Post-a-Week-2011 challenge, an online community really, for bloggers to share their posts and inspire eachother.  It started at the beginning of the year, but I’m joining mid-way (or in work-speak, at the end of 2Q 🙂 ).  I recently completed my own 365-project (a year of posting one photo taken of a moment from each day) but I have been and will continue to post here.  So, in search of inspiration, today I signed up for the once a week version, check it out:

Oh, wait, one more thing!  Here is a link to a video that my friend Teri took of us on Cupholder last weekend as we were all headed up to Cypress Creek Cove for the raftup.   (we’re the little boat in the distance that Teri and Jim are catching up with quickly).  It was WINDY… and we had 2 reefs in, so only a tiny bit of sail up, but we were MOVIN’!  It’s good to be back…

Dec 24, 2010

Segway segue.

It’s Christmas Eve!!  A bunch of us went downtown to take a Segway tour of Austin with SegCity.   I’ve been wanting to do this for a while.   Friends had relatives visiting so it was a fun opportunity to take one for a ride.

This is a shot of the 10 of us buzzing along south of Town Lake with some of the new skyline as a backdrop:  Laura, Denyse, Chris, Irene, Lori, Dave, Tricia, Dolia, Jake and our fearless tour guide in the lead.

It was fun.  Did you know SegCity is not just a Segway tour outfit, but a Segway dealer?!  I think I must have one of my own.  🙂

Sep 8, 2010

Albert & Gage

Tonight is Julie’s last night in town.   We went downtown for some music.   I heard Christine Albert was playing at Artz Rib House, so we went there to catch her show.  Turns out her husband Chris Gage was filling in for one of her other musicians so we were treated to Albert & Gage.  We really enjoyed the show — they’re one of my favorites.

After that we hit the Broken Spoke, cruised around South Congress and ended up on Sixth Street again before heading home.

Sep 5, 2010

Labor Day Eve

Another fun day spent on the lake with friends.  Julie, Monte and I gave Laura and Dolya a ride out to the raftup in Arky North.   We missed Michelle & Tony, passing them as we were entering the cove.  We joined Camelot, Dancer, Island Time, Prelude, and Caribbean Hug and played until after sunset.   This is a shot from our bow looking out of the cove.  There are quite a few other boats enjoying a quiet night on the lake.

Julie’s taking to this Austin way of life really quickly 😉

Jul 13, 2010

Holy cow!

Last week I went in to Lenscrafters to order replacements for my Raybans that I lost on our last San Marcos tubing trip.   They called today to say they were ready.

While I was at the Arboretum to pick them up, I took a walk around the nearby park.   If you’ve been there you may recognize the stone cows.   A favorite for kids of all sizes to climb up on.

They used to have Blues on the Green at this park every Wednesday night.  It’s held down at Zilker Park now.   I checked out the schedule for the rest of the summer (here’s a link)… there’s 3 more scheduled.   I’m going to try to make one of them.