Saturday, August 28, 2010

Venice Texas Style

Toby had a birthday this week and with good fortune he was lucky enough to get an extra day off from work.

We decided to take a day trip to San Antonio. We had our day planned out and managed to work in all the activities on our intenerary in one day.

The first thing we did when we arrived was ride the boat in the Riverwalk. I always liked the idea of having streets of water and traveling on boat like you see them do in Venice...

This was a an impressive optical illusion..

Next we moved on to Ripley's Believe it or Not...

Then on to the Wax Museum...

After a full day it was time to find a meal. We decided on The Rainforest Cafe. After we ate we strolled along the Riverwalk before heading back home...

A fun day indeed.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Lake Pflugerville

In the last year our playdates have become few and far between...for whatever reason. Other obligations, sick kids, pure laziness, etc. Life happens though and we squeeze in whatever day we can for playtime.

I have not been blogging our playdates for a while because we usually go to the same places and do the same things repeatedly. It would be mundane for me to blog about the same stuff over and over again.

Playdate this week was out of our norm and I figured it blog worthy.

Angela had been to Lake Plugerville with other friends and suggested we try it out for a playdate.

Although Toby, Summer and I have been to the Lake before when we first moved here we had not been to this particular side of the Lake...matter of fact it was just a gleam in someones eye when we visited a couple of years ago.

Not only was I impressed that it was very swimmable but it also is only 20 minutes from my house.

Here are just a few pics of the hundreds that I took just to give you an idea of our 5 hour day at Lake Pflugerville...

Friday, August 20, 2010

Snake Farm

Ever since Summer got to hold a co-worker of Toby's pet Boa a few years ago she has had an affection for snakes. She likes to draw them, hold them, and has a few stuffed and rubber ones hanging around the house.

When I heard about the Snake Farm in New Braunfels I felt it only appropriate that we give it a visit.

The "farm" was small but full of snakes, birds, reptiles, and other various animals.

By luck, when we first arrived the keeper had pulled out a snake for the kids to hold.

It felt like it was 150 degrees outside so we didn't spend too much time checking out the outdoor animals even though they were certainly worth sweating for.

This Capybara was hilarious! He would stick his beaver teeth over the fence wire and beg for food.

The Snake Farm is certainly worth a visit but it's one of those places that once you've seen it you've seen it.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

4-H Achievement Banquet

We've made it through our first year in 4-H! We have all grown to love our 4-H group and activities.

Last Saturday night was our annual Achievement Banquet. Toby had to work so it was just Summer and I attending. To be honest, I really wasn't looking forward to it. I envisioned boring speeches and alot of thumb twiddling.

I ended up being intrigued for most of the night. It was inspiring to see young people making accomplishments, speeches, and taking the lead.

Summer got two awards, our group leader got an award, our group scrapbook got an award.

The lady in this pic with Summer is our group leader, Karen. She does a WONDERFUL job leading the kids.

After the awards they turned down the lights and played some music for everyone to dance. Summer was having a blast dancing and was not in the least insecure about getting out there and strutting her stuff! She is definitely more social and secure than her mom is. I would have to have several strong drinks in me before you would ever catch me out on a dance floor.

Here is a pic of just a portion of our group..

It was a late but memorable night. :-)

Friday, August 13, 2010

Not All It's Cracked Up To Be

I have often told Toby he needs to start a blog of his personal experiences of being a tattoo artist. If he were the writer type I'm sure he would.

Every day I hear stories of what his job entails and have on many occasions witnessed him at work. There is no way I could ever tell the tattoo tale for him but I can tell you his job is not one that I would ever want.

Shows like L.A.Ink and Miami Ink have glamorized the tattooist world. There are many people that envy what he does for a living (mostly men) believing that he spends most of his day stretched out over half-naked beautiful women. Granted, this may be the case on occasion but for the most part that's not the reality.

Let me give you the lowdown on being a clean-cut tattoo artist from his wife's point of view.

1. Some customers don't smell to good...body, breath, feet, etc. Being that close in proximity to someone for sometimes hours does not make for a pleasant experience for the artist.

2. Some customers get sick. Unfortunately because of safety and liability issues when someone feels ill they are not allowed to go to the restroom and vomit privately. This leaves the artist having to witness and smell someone elses upchuck in his/her garbage can.

3. Some customers are real sissies. They whine, flinch, move around, or want to take numerous smoke breaks. Flinching is akin to trying to draw in a moving car over a bumpy road...get the picture?? Whining and taking breaks just prolongs the inevitable and also makes the artist unable to manage his time therefore missing out on other potential customers. After all, tattooing is like sales...customers mean money.

4. Some customers are just plain assholes, picky, or wishy washy about what they want. Some even waste hours of an artists time by having them draw something up in the promise they will be back and never return or decide that's not what they wanted after all.

5. Some are drunk or like to talk about crazy stuff that the artist has to endure without an escape.

6. Some bring a whole gang of friends with them and they all want to crowd into the room making an already hot, small room even hotter and smaller...definitely a no-no to make your tattoo artist uncomfortable or cranky.

7. Some come in with $20 and want a $100 dollar tattoo. When the artists tells them it's not possible they claim that Xname shop down the road can do it for that much...the artist always wonders why they don't just go down the road to Xname shop.

8. An artist never knows what's going to happen once the customer walks out of the shop. They don't take care of their tattoo and blame the artist when they get an infection or they claim something happened that really didn't while they were in the artist chair....a very good reason why some shops have cameras in their shops.

9. There are NO fringe benefits like medical or life insurance, vacation days, retirement, or sick days. An artist sets himself up to work his ass off and to do it until he dies, whether he is sick or not.

10. An artist works long, weird hours. They work nine to twelve hour days and you go to work when most folks are at lunch and you get off work when folks are either in bed or already wherever they are going for the night.

11. If we didn't homeschool the hours and life would be hard on Summer and I.

12. Some people have a lack of respect for the artist and his job and don't consider it a "real job".

I'm sure there are a few I missed.

On the flip side I'm sure there must be something about being a tattoo artist that is alluring.....I can never really get a good answer from "Toby the Tattoost."

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Arkansas Bend

Today we took off for an area along Lake Travis. There are many spots along the lake and my goal is to test out each and every spot.

Arkansas Bend left none of us disappointed. Matter of fact, it has been our favorite so far.

If you are looking for seclusion with a tropical isle feel this is the place. A slice of heaven for sure...especially for folks that like to avoid crowds.

Enjoy my pics of the day....

As we were leaving the lake we snapped a pic of this totem pole in someone's front yard. I believe this is the first time in my life that I have ever seen a "live" totem pole....

Another unwasted, beautiful day in Central Texas!!!