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....

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....

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.

Saturday, August 8, 2015

Thinking Back

This evening Lucas gave me a surprise phone call. It's been awhile since we have personally spoke so I was really excited to hear from him. We chatted and caught each other up on our daily happenings.

We (he) brought up the subject of having children one day and I immediately went into my usual children 'cramp your style' and ruin any scrap of freedom speech I do with anyone who will listen.

After I boldly voiced my motherly opinion to my sweet son, I immediately realized the err of my way. Just because I experienced child rearing as one of the most challenging, emotional responsibilities doled out to mankind doesn't mean everyone experiences it the same way. And, my goodness, I said this to my own sweet flesh and blood!

The minute those regrettable words rolled off my tongue, what I said next just as easily rolled off.

I told him although child rearing will bring test and stress to even the strongest relationships, they also bring some of the best family memories.

When I think back on my lifetime, the memories that highlight my thoughts the most come from the memories and experiences I shared - and still do share - with my kids. They are what gives my daily life and existence meaning and importance.


This morning Toby and I had to run a small errand near Walnut Creek so we decided to combo and give Bo his morning walk there.

We took a shaded, less traveled area of Walnut to avoid the multitude of other hikers with free roaming dogs. It was an enjoyable, brisk walk. Thanks to the shade, I barely broke a sweat.

After our walk, we did a couple of errands and grabbed an early lunch before Toby had to head in to the shop.

It was an enjoyable morning walk.

Not many flowers bloom in the dry Central Texas summers

Lots of shady areas on this portion of the trail

Not much rain lately so the intense heat cracks the ground

Nice new boardwalk on this end of the trail
It was a nice morning to start the day off.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Cooling Off

Although we've had some 100+ temps the past couple of weeks, it hasn't stopped Toby and I from enjoying outdoor activities. With the abundant rain that spring brought, our creeks have remained full enough to cool off when the sweat starts rolling down our faces.

Today we hiked a different portion of Bull Creek than we did a few weeks ago. We've hiked this area before, but it was several years ago so we didn't remember too much of it.

We only hiked a little over three miles because we spent more time than usual hanging out in the creek. We didn't take Bo along to distract us from taking our time and enjoying ourselves.

Walking along the creek kept us cooler

I have a heart-shaped leaf addiction lately

This was our first "swimming hole" we came upon

This is a small little cave. Toby was brave enough to look in it, but not me!

More leaves....maybe I love them so because fall is my favorite season.

As we walked farther down the trail we came upon the "in" swimming spots. We typically avoid these areas because we like to find our own little private spots to hang out. We did agree we would come back to these spots once summer break is over and everyone is busying themselves with other obligations.

After we cooled off here, we moseyed on down the creek bed. More people, but not near as many as what Barton Creek can attract in the summer months....

As much fun as we were having, I finally decided it was time to head back to the car. It was nearing Austin's peak traffic hour which I avoid like the plague. If you live anywhere near Austin, you can understand and empathize...

Once we got back to the creek area closest to the parking lot, we noticed the area was cleared of people, which is very unusual for this particular area.

I just figured we got lucky and Toby and I hung out and cooled off once again before getting into our car. Some guy in a Texas style truck drove up and asked us if we were with the "crew". I was tired and hot and let Toby get stuck in conversation with him while I headed to the car.

Walking to the parking area,  there were several people with technical looking equipment, a shade tent and "movie" looking equipment set up. To get to the parking lot I had to walk straight through their set up. I half heart-idly apologized and they in turn gave me an annoyed look.

As I passed through, one of the set people looked at my soaking wet attire and replied in a surprised voice.."People swim down there?" I informed her that yes, people do swim down there and there were many, many areas to swim "down there".

I walked away wondering if she was just a very uninformed Austinite or if she was merely not from around here. From the looks of her, I made the mental assumption she was not a very outdoorsy kind of chick.

Today was one of the most enjoyable days I've had thus far. Most likely because it didn't involve being responsible for balky teens or animals.