Sunday, September 19, 2010

Time in a Bottle

I now know why grandparents, most anyway, are much better at grand parenting than they were at parenting.

My son, Lucas is 22 years old. I look back on that time during his childhood and wonder where the hell it all went while I wasn't looking. Now that he is a grown man I find myself trying to make up for all that time we spent apart..him in school, me at work. The big "Cats in the Cradle" scenario I suppose. Unfortunately you can't ever get that time back and you find yourself thinking about all the ways you could have been a more engaged parent. "A day late and a dollar short."

I think grandparents realize all the precious time that was wasted while their kids were growing up and attempt to "right the wrong" with their grandchildren.

Well, I don't have any grandchildren yet but I did have my second child later in life. In the twelve year difference between my kids I did manage to learn a little bit about quality time and what's important. I'm far from perfect or even good for that matter, but at least I recognize.

So when Summer asked me to take her to the park yesterday I didn't turn her down....even though it felt 100 degrees outside and I would have much rather been sitting around reading a magazine or watching t.v. in the a/c.

The payoff was well worth the sweat. We played some basketball, tennis, (tennis consisted mostly of me chasing the ball she swatted way out of range, but hell I need the exercise anyway) walking the trail inspecting grasshoppers and beetles, and fishing.

I was impressed with Sum's ingenuity. She really wanted to fish in the stocked pond. Before I knew it she had found herself a long stick, some spare fishing line laying around and a discarded hook. After she made her a pole she found some stale bread on the ground and began fishing.

Now, I knew she wouldn't catch anything with her make-shift pole but I was pretty impressed with her determination and attempt.

After a couple of hours she decided that she had got her fill of fishing, the park, and the heat. On the way home, we topped the day off with an ice cream treat.

Time well spent I would say. "Life is not measured by how many breaths we take, but the moments that take our breath away."

Wednesday, September 15, 2010


Still sucking every bit of summer out that we can, our trip this week was to Blanco State Park.

Blanco is only a little over an hour from Austin but for whatever reason the drive there and back felt like an eternity. It is very rare for me to feel like I'm about to fall asleep at the wheel. Toby was snoozing away in the passenger seat and Summer was drawing in the backseat.

Nevertheless, I LOVE road trips..I think Toby and Summer do to. "Field Trips" as I call them, give us all a chance to enjoy the things we love like nature, swimming, and exploring. As a younger child growing up my brother and I were lucky if we got to go to the grocery store.

Even so, I remember my brother and I having a blast in our backyard as children. You would have thought we had the whole world in our backyard instead of the 1/4 acre space that we occupied. In a sense, I guess we did. As a child everything seems so big. I have always wondered the scientific reason as to why everything seems so big to us when we are kids....

Moving on. At first, Blanco was not impressive to me. Thanks to Hurricane Hermine it was that same algae green thick looking water. I prefer to see what's lurking around in the water I am swimming in.

After touring the park and seeing what it had to offer we started off with a hike down a short trail. Working up a sweat before diving into the water always makes me more appreciative of getting wet.

Here are the pics of the day:

On our hike Toby spotted this moth/bug. He looked like he had only half transformed...

At the end of the day I had ended up having good ole' time diving and swimming around in the water, and I KNOW Summer had fun. LIFE IS GOOD IN TEXAS INDEED. :-)

Friday, September 10, 2010


...the practice of eating insects. I guess it's not all that rare except of course here in our Western side of the world. Ironically I just read an article in my National Geographic about the benefits of insect eating.

Nonetheless, eating anything that is able to stare back at me while I'm eating it just feels cannibalistic. I even have a hard time eating shrimp, much less lobsters or crabs. I guess there is some truth to the saying.."what you don't know don't hurt you."

So, for the sake of homeshooling I work in any hands on activity possible.

Park Springs Neighborhood Assn. was hosting a Entomophagy Workshop. I have to admit I was a bit intrigued about the whole thing. After all, I am open to new ideas and believe in "don't knock it until you try it".

Intrigued I was, but willing to try was a different story. Neither Summer or I could muster up the courage to eat bugs in any shape or form.

It served it's purpose though. It was definitely an educational experience for both her and I alike.

Friday, September 3, 2010


Trying to squeeze as much water play as we can out of the rest of the summer we decided to check out theBlue Hole in Wimberley, Texas.

Upon arrival we saw they were obviously closed the rest of the summer except for weekends. No sweat, no matter what little city you visit in the Austin area you will find something interesting to do. We set out to find the local Tourist Center to get ideas of how to spend our day.

This would be the first time I had ever set foot in Wimberley, Tx. I found it to be very artsy and eclectic. There were tons of cool little shops in the small downtown area. We ventured a couple of them but found ourselves getting side tracked from our goal of swimming for the day, so we moved on. We'll go back for sightseeing in the fall.

Before we left for the Visitor Center we found the quaint little nature trail in the middle of downtown. Can't let a nature trail go by without being investigated...

At the Visitor Center we found out there was another swimming area down the road on the Blanco River. While we were looking for a place to park we came upon a Pioneer Town. We stopped and parked there. It looked really cool but it was closed. We were able to walk through it to get to the river though...

After playing around in the Pioneer Town we headed on down to the Blanco. In my personal opinion I didn't really care for the water. It wasn't clear because of some recent rain in the area and it was really slippery and rocky at the bottom. These factors didn't seem to affect Summer though. I don't know how she swims in the water around here without water shoes. My water shoes are the only reason I can even walk around the rocky rivers.

See this overly anal looking goose???

As I was creeping across the slippery river to get to Toby and Summer who were already out in the middle of the river this arrogant goose started swimming toward me with his neck stretched toward me and his wings fully spread. I started hollering and splashing at him to get away. I was already feeling ungrounded by the slippery bottom of the river and a goose coming at me only had me with visions of being drug under the water. And to think I was always worried about jellyfish....

In all the clamor of me and the goose all I could hear in the backround was Summer laughing and Toby hollering.."Don't run from him, stand your ground!".
Luckily the goose decided to back down and I made it to my amused family.

After splashing around in the shallow part awhile, Summer spotted the rope swing down the river.

Even though they are only half brother and sister, my kids are more alike than they are different. They both have a flare for adventure and physical activity. I can't say where they get it from, but I can tell you it's not from their mother.

Summer had a blast on the rope swing, swinging and jumping off the Cypress numerous times. Toby looked like he was having a pretty good time too. Me...I just watched and took pics under the shade trees. Deep water, rope swings, and me don't mix well together.

It started to get late and everybody's stomach started rumbling...especially mine. As we were packing everything back into the car we heard a very loud noise...and then another even louder noise following it on the road. There were a lot of trees blocking the road so we couldn't really SEE what was going on.

We did know that it was some sort of car wreck. Toby immediately ran out to the road while I grabbed my cell phone out of the car. I was a nervous wreck. I'm not good in serious situations and I only hoped that nobody was hurt...hence the reason for me grabbing my cell.

When Toby got to the single vehicle wreck the woman was totally unscathed. She claimed she had swerved to miss a deer and got caught in the ditch and lost control. After looking at the scene we couldn't tell how her story was accurate...we think that she may have been distracted by her cell phone that she had clutched in her hand when she got out of her car...

Either way, the lady was very lucky. She knocked a telephone pole down and when she took down the fence in her second hit the post went straight through her front end.

Here are some on the scene shots. The wrecked vehicle is the red truck..

When we got home we all chilled out and watched Tuck Everlasting together.

Another well spent day!