Friday, September 4, 2015

Johnson City

This week I decided we were all going off for family day. It's few and far between these days all three of us go off together.

I decided on the Hill Country Science Mill in Johnson City, Texas about an hour 1/2 drive. It's a fairly new science museum that I've had on my bucket list for awhile.

The drive into the Hill Country was beautiful and we all enjoyed the scenery along the way.

The museum was smaller than I expected based on the reviews and a lot of it was a bit too juvenile for Skye. Even so, there were a couple of things that we all enjoyed...

Skye's favorite thing was creating her museum avatar and scanning it before each exhibit...


We all enjoyed the brain wave exhibit. Ceasing our brain from thought and activity was very hard for me and Skye! Toby beat us hands down each time...


This Fractalarium gave a very cool light show...


Cell Phone Disco...

Skye enjoyed the Virtual Human Body too...


Other miscellaneous activities...






I had to beg for this solo photo of Skye. She did it only because she loves me and knows how important family memories are to me...




We walked around the little downtown a little bit but most everything was closed. That's small towns for ya, I guess....



On the way home we stopped for a DQ Blizzard. It was a pleasant day.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Bright Ideas and New Beginnings


I get a lot of bright ideas, but few come to fruition. I usually end up deciding it's not such a bright idea after all, or realize the idea is too far-fetched to be attainable.

Moving to Austin 8 years ago was one of my "bright ideas" that I managed to convince Toby jump on board with. For the most part it has worked out. And what I mean by for the most part is I didn't really obtain an Austin address as planned. I got stuck 3 miles outside the city limits of Austin in a podunk town that inhabits all the Austin wanna-be stragglers and old timers (those who can't afford the Austin address) and up until recently, courtesy of a 12 mile drive to the nearest major grocery store.

Don't get me wrong, I have grown to love certain aspects of small town living. Hearing the coyotes howl on a quite summer evening, cows mooing in the distance, skies so free from ambient light you can see the Milky Way, plenty of nature to walk around practically at my back door, and my personal favorite, the awesome sunsets.

I also had expectations of Skye being part of a  homeschool community with endless participation, activity and friendships with kids with the same educational backround. It never worked out that way. Austin is such a large city and the groups are so splintered we had a hard time finding our place. Regretfully, in all our effort we never did and most likely never will before she ventures off on her own. As it's said, I guess it wasn't meant to be.

The upside is we did make friends with many different people so we have not been totally devoid of activity and friendship. And we also are pretty good at utilizing all there is to do in Central Texas so bored has never been a word that fit into our vocabulary.

I guess my point is things really didn't totally work out they way I had envisioned them which leads me to my next big question:

What are Toby and I going to do with the rest of our days as Skye moves quickly into adulthood and begins her own life adventure?

In the recent months, things have started to feel like a burden to me...keeping up with the yard, that damn pool, home maintenance, cleaning and maintaining a whole house that we only dwell in a small portion of, outrageous utilities, the tattoo shop, etc.

I feel change.

I can feel myself shifting into a different mentality and preparing for the next stage in my life.

Well, this time my bright idea is Toby and I live out some time in a travel trailer. It will enable us to be more mobile and free to visit family, do a little traveling around and also pick and choose areas we would like to eventually plant ourselves.

"Stuff" is no problem for us. 99% of the stuff we have serves no useful purpose anyway. It's just stuff that fills up the rooms of the house. Neither one of us are materialistic types and could easily live a simplistic lifestyle with bare essentials.

I hope this time my bright idea is closer to the vision I have in my mind and we don't end up penniless and homeless.

I still have plenty of time to research and plan.  A woman has the prerogative to change her mind.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Birthday Boy

Toby turned 41 years old today. As a family celebration, we went out to eat at Salt Lick and play a round of putt putt at Main Event. We had planned for Toby and Skye to do K-1 Speed but the wait to race was too long. They decided rock climbing would suffice, but the rock climbing section wouldn't open for another couple of hours...hence, the reason we resorted to putt putt. We had fun though.


The real fun was yesterday. Toby and I celebrated his b-day adult style. Our first destination was to Rio Vista. It's one of our favorite places to go in the summer. Toby enjoys riding the rapids while I prefer playing it safe lounging on the rocks taking in all the sights and sounds....

video








This little guy was hanging with his master. Such a good dog he was...


The water was up and the rapids were rougher than we have ever experienced them in our 8 years of going there. After awhile the rough water beat Toby and we moved on to our next destination....

Baby A's Purple 'Rita! They are the best drink ever. They don't skimp on the alcohol either. Even the most seasoned drinker can feel the effects after just one of those bad boys...


We had a good time sitting outside watching the Grackles steal chips off the tables and chatting without interruption.

It was a nice day indeed.

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Brotherly Love

This past week was a fun one. My brother and sister-in-law came for a visit.

It's not the first time they have made the trip to visit 'ole sis, but it is the first time they have stayed in our home rather than a local hotel.

I really enjoyed this visit because I was able to spend more personal time with them than in previous visits.

We hiked and swam on Bull Creek. It was an oddly cool day with light rain. I guess they must have brought the rain with them because we haven't seen it in months......










Swimming in the Rain
The weather was pretty close to perfect while they were here, so we spent a large portion of our time out on the patio, drinking, eating, and chatting. They also took a little dip in the pool...







I will keep fond memories of our time together this past week and look forward to more in the future.


Friday, August 14, 2015

Gus Fruh

This week I was somewhat at a loss for what Toby and I should do for our weekly fun day.

The heat has been extreme and we haven't had rain in over 40 days making it more difficult to find creek side hiking areas we have not already hiked.

We decided to check out an area of Barton Creek we have not been in awhile, Gus Fruh.  Luckily, it was a short hike to the creek. When we got there it was bone dry....



We walked around a little.....

This area of Barton is used for rock climbing


There wasn't much picture-worthy so I decided to shoot a little video of the path I was walking for my own entertainment. Toby was ahead of me and didn't know I was videoing. I thought it was a convenient display when he did this when I caught up to him....

video

Since our hike was short lived we decided to head down to "Barker" Springs to cool off...



Here are a few pics I got at the park earlier this morning when we took Bo for his walk...





Last night I had to take a quick run to Wally World. On the way home, the bright sun set was behind me. I know it was probably slightly unsafe, but I grabbed my phone and took a quick snap of it in my rear view...


My brother and his wife will be visiting next week. I'm looking forward to their arrival.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Blessings In Disguise

Several weeks ago our HOA hired a company to come in and clear the firebreak behind our homes.

What this means is they came in and cleared a six foot wide clearing from our fences into the greenbelt so that if there were a fire the firetrucks would be able to drive back there.

Since the greenbelt is directly behind our home it was quite stressful for me to watch. There were a few large trees that rested against our fence they took down. One of them provided  a good bit of shade for our yard. Another was beautiful and although I know it wasn't, reminded me of a Weeping Willow. The other was a large Cottonwood that sounded like lite rain when the wind blew through it. I always looked forward to listening to it while I lounged in my pool.

Me being the nature girl I am, I was mad, sad, and very disappointed they had taken my nature "friends" away. Too boot, they just tractor shoved them all in a pile right behind my fence so that I had to witness their life force wither away.

Even though I kept it inside and tried not to let it show, it really bothered me. I knew there was absolutely nothing I could do about it, so I emotionally sucked it up and moved on.

Anyone who reads this blog knows that I love to capture my backyard sunsets. Recently, I noticed since the large tree behind my fence was taken down I now have a couple of more vantage points for sunset pics...



On a different note, today I got a wild hair and took to some sewing on my machine. I have a table (I know this piece of furniture has a proper name, but it slips my brain at the moment) that I store bedding, pillows and the air bed in for guests that don't mind sleeping in ghetto style accommodations.

I decided to make some curtains to hide the storage. They didn't take me long to whip up and I enjoyed playing on my machine for a change...


I also finished up a scarf I got a hankering to crochet a few days ago. I guess I am gearing up for my favorite season...fall...


The other night Toby brought me home a bouquet of pretty flowers. No special reason or occasion, he just does it from time to time because he knows I enjoy pretty flowers to brighten up the house....


The other day I left out to run some errands and this Texas lizard was on my front porch. We have a ton of them in the yard. They live in the trees in bushes in the front yard. They usually run like hell when you walk out. They are fast too! But this one just stood there and watched me a long time. He even stayed there long enough for me to get my phone out and take a pic of him....

He had his eye on me
Tonight is the Perseid meteor shower. I hope to get a glimpse of a nice sized meteor.