Friday, June 10, 2016

An Event

Tonight we had an art event that was held at a beautiful wedding/event venue a few miles from our home called Terradorna .

It was hard to believe we weren't staring out into the beautiful hill country of west Austin. The owner told us it was the highest point east of 35. I'm a sucker for a nice view. The view was spectacular and the venue owners were pleasant company. I can see why their venue is such a success....











I was even able to sneak in a shot of the camera shy teen gal.....


On another note, I've gained some interest in making some short videos. A few weeks ago, I came across a short video someone had made of Central Park during their lunch break.

Even though I love photographs, I'm always more intriqued with personal videos of other cities and surroundings. It gives me more a feel of a place. So, I started uploading some of the short videos I've made. The files are too large to upload here on Blogger, so I've been uploading them to my YouTube channel.


Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Family Playdate

This afternoon Skye suggested we go to the park and play some disc golf. It was humid as hell and there were a ton of gnats zooming around us - one which I believe is still lodged in my ear canal - but the sky was overcast so we were spared the scorching Texas sun's rays.

While Toby and Skye spent most of their time in the snake-ridden brush hunting their lost discs, I took the opportunity to take some photos of the wildflowers.












My phone is an older model and lately has not been giving me the quality pictures that it used to. Skye has suggested a few times that I get a DSLR camera. In the past, I had bucked the idea, but recently I've been entertaining the idea. I would have to do my research first though. I don't want more than I need and I know they can get bulky and expensive.

Here's a few faces of Bo I have captured recently also....


He resembles a dog porn star in these next two...




Friday, May 20, 2016

Reflect and Ponder

I feel the need to reflect and ponder on my life via my blog. My little family is at a weird place in our lives. A transitional phase, if you will.

THE SHOP (GRIDLOCK TATTOO)

Not long ago, Toby and I mutually decided to keep the shop running for a while longer. We've gotten a little spoiled by being our own boss and living by our own rules. Running the shop keeps us both pretty busy on two different levels of the playing field. A few facets of my life (mostly my free time) now get neglected because of it, but right now that's just the way it is.

Toby's good reputation as a tattoo artist, our loyal customer base, referrals, and his (and mine) excellent business management skills have been what has kept us afloat for the past 3 years. If he has proved nothing else, he can at least say he (we) can do it! 

I have to give Toby full props though. With all his hard work, he has made that shop a success. Sadly, we have received very little support from our local community. 95% of the customers that walk through our door are referrals, loyal clientele who followed him from Atomic, or customers who do their research and find our shop from our excellent YELP reviews or our FB page that showcases his awesome tattoo work. Most of our customer base are from Elgin and North Austin.

At times, it has been a stressful journey, yet it has been easier in so many ways than it's been hard. I'm not sure how much longer we will keep our doors open. It depends on the opportunities that may or may not arise in the future.

As usual, my life has no foresight and very little security. Even so, my family has a roof over our head and food in our mouths, which is all the really matters in any given moment.

MY SECOND BORN (SKYE)

Skye just recently passed her Texas driving permit test. Texas makes you jump through hoops in regards to obtaining a drivers permit/ license. She had to endure hours of lecture on road rules, etc. before she could even take her test. She scored well....it didn't surprise me. She works really hard for things she wants. She has excellent work ethic and enthusiasm for things that interest her, which I believe will be an asset for her in her future endeavors.

So, the past couple of weeks I've had a chauffeur. I won't lie and say I've been enjoying it. Not because her driving makes me nervous ( it doesn't), but because my car is my mental getaway. The place I turn up my music and enjoy some mental down time. Plus, I like to break the rules by driving over the speed limit and not coming to complete stops.

LAURA AND TOBY (PERSONAL)

Toby and I enjoy spending our free time hiking or hanging out downtown exploring the city.

These are the days that Toby and I have began to mentally scold ourselves for not making those responsible decisions when we were young that would ensure and secure our future...you know, those things like retirement and nest eggs. As it is now, we will be one of those old folks you see greeting you at the front door of Walmart. Hell, we may end up being one of Austin's homeless population. At least, Austin is the place to be if you're homeless.

Unless, we win the lottery - which I have no unrealistic expectations about, our senior years look grim. As usual though, I will hope for the best.

Thursday, May 5, 2016

A Break

Today Toby and I took a little break from our daily, mundane routine to St. Edwards Park.

The water was cold, but it was a beautiful, warm day so it felt good.....


 We love sitting by the small rapids and listening to the water rush.....





There were tons of tadpoles waiting to become toads......


The wildflowers are beginning to struggle to stay in bloom.....
 


We exited from the creek on a different path than our usual and came upon what looked to be someone's creation of a stick tent....


...and decor....


I felt like I could have stayed there sitting by the water all day long.


Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Blunn Creek Preserve

Today Toby and I headed to the downtown area to Blunn Creek Preserve. It's been several years since we've been there, and all I could remember about it was that it had an old, inactive volcano on it's premises.

Mexican blankets - or Firewheels, whichever you prefer to call them - were absolutely beautiful. They fully lined the edge of the first half of the trail. I know this is probably blasphemy, but I favor the Firewheels over the beloved Texas Bluebonnets. They look like little happy suns.





Happy Suns :-)
Most of the trail was shady with little sub trails that led to the creek.....


I loved this old, huge tree. It reminded me of the old trees back in Mobile....




 Blunn Creek, I presume...



We hiked up the hill towards the volcano and got a view of St. Edward's University....



Here is the site of the old volcano, not much to look at, so you have to use your imagination....



After our short hike, we headed to Baby A's for a Purple 'Rita, some chips and queso, and uninterrupted couple time.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Wednesday Walk

I complained yesterday that all the rain we've been having is interfering with my outdoor activities. Soon, it will be too hot to spend anytime outdoors unless it's near the creek.

So, even though today's forecast was calling for rain, Toby and I took our chances to hike an area of the Walnut Creek City Trail System that we have not ventured yet.

I'd really be able to tell you where exactly it was, but the most I can say is that it's off of Decker Lane and runs nearby Walter E. Long Lake.

It was a quiet, secluded trail of only a few miles....


Even though the trail didn't meander along the lake like I was hoping it would, you could still see a little of it in certain areas....




Good thing it was a seasonably comfortable day, otherwise the lack of shade could have made our walk uncomfortable...


As you can see by the skies, Mother Nature changed her mind about the rain....




A bullfrog was croaking in the water. We could hear him loud and clear, but couldn't locate him....





If you look closely, you can see an odd shaped butterfly on a flower...


Here's another closer pic of the butterfly....




This would have been a great trail for the bikes. I'm glad the weather cooperated for us.