Friday, September 30, 2016

5 thing Friday - home, pumpkin cocoa, birthday girl, dinner, Teddy

A couple of weeks ago, I paused while heading out to the car to take Bubbie to band practice, just noticing how peaceful our street looked.
Then I took a good look at the front of our house from the driveway.  It's a pretty house, with lots of green thanks to recent rain.  With all this talk of our future plans in Burnet, I know I will miss Camp Rustown terribly.  We've raised four kids here in a house we initially thought we'd never be able to afford.  It was like a dream come true moving in.  When the time comes to leave, I'll be a hot mess.
It's feeling more and more like Fall with every morning.  I bought some pumpkin cocoa and set it out by the coffee pot, but so far, my peeps are not ready for all things pumpkin.
The Girl refused to give me a list of things she might want for her birthday.  She's so hard to buy for!  I ended up getting her a pretty top she can wear to work, a dressy hair scrunchie (just because I saw it and thought it was cute), three bracelets from Charlie Madison Originals with a matching pair of earrings, a giant bag of cashews because she loves them, and at the wineries on Sunday we bought her a couple bottles of her favorites.  I hope she had a fun time with the "old folks"!
Dinner one day last week:  Parmesan Ranch Chicken thighs, green beans (with strangely round carrot nubs), and a baked potato.  Mine was slathered in bleu cheese dressing as we are out of sour cream.  I haven't been doing as much cooking lately as our schedule revolves around band, my job, and Hubby being out of town.
The Girl and Teddy love to lay in my bed - I don't blame them.  All we have for her when she visits is a blow up mattress.  After the first of the year I want to search for a daybed frame for The Lounge.

Then I will order another of those memory foam mattresses for it and anyone will have a place to sleep comfortably, off the floor, when they visit and it won't necessarily take up the whole room.  
Can you believe tomorrow is October??



Wednesday, September 28, 2016

The backyard befores

Late posting today, but I've had so much to do around the house.  Item #1 on my list today was to take the signed estimate to the fencing company with a fat check.  I can and can't believe we have let the yard get in the state it is in.  Drought, torrential rain, and just plain laziness conspired to make a mess out of our once lush and pretty space.  But that is going to change!
In preparation for the work crew, I will officially remove the cow skulls, including the one that fell off the fence that I was too lazy to pick up.  Also, that swing is going!  I think we will take it up to the property, as we never sit in it back here.
 
I'm going to store that fire pit (for now) and move all of the potted plants, then blow as many of the leaves out of the red rocks as I can.  I want the guys to be able to see sprinkler heads and avoid them!  Once the work is complete I can powerwash the slab and the patio overhang and get it pretty for Fall.
We have these two skinny trees that I think need to go - years ago they grew straight and tall, then the oaks pretty much stole their joy.  Bags of sand that are hiding down by the wall are going to the garage for use in leveling out the bbq patio at a later date.
I can't believe the neighbors haven't said anything about this atrocity yet...I asked them if they wanted to contribute, but even if they don't, we will move forward.
 
Once the fence is done, I can work on this corner of the yard, adding edging around the crepe myrtle and wandering jew, to include Sugar's stone.  Still thinking about adding a colorful adirondack chair over there, too.  I think both beds of wandering jew will get expanded - the one under the Chinese Pistache is too small in proportion to the tree.
 YIKES.  OK, so I have sprinklers that function back here, but the grass in the whole area just died.  I am either going to A: Add lariope or monkey grass along the edge of the house, then stepping stones to lead back to the A/C, or B: Plant a ground cover back here.  Either way, I cannot leave it as just dirt!
 
Then we will have to figure out what to do about the rest of the missing grass, probably to include buying a load of topsoil and replacing the sod.  After that, we can work on replacing the deck and the bbq patio.  So much to do!  If I think about it in more than one or two steps forward I feel a little overwhelmed so ONE STEP AT A TIME.  My vision is a cool and green place to enjoy as much as we can while we still have Camp Rustown.  Wish me luck!




Monday, September 26, 2016

What the week holds, and Driftwood wine partay with The Girl

Yesterday we took The Girl to the wine pick up party at Driftwood Estates.  We got there early and chose a lovely spot on the patio, then Hubby proceeded to set up his patio umbrella.
The Girl and I overheard some guy snarking about "taking down that red umbrella", and low and behold, the owner came over asked Hubby to take it down.  
Well, shoot.
The Girl and I gathered up three stacking chairs and two tiny tables and relocated us down the grassy slope, by the rock wall that overlooks the bluff.  We set our smoked salmon, cheese with cherries, sliced apples, mozzarella and prosciutto, and crackers.  
Hubby also enjoyed a giant cheeseburger!
 It has a nice view, too, and under the trees we didn't need the umbrella.  So we thought.
 Overcast skies persisted and while Hubby was off getting a bottle of wine the sky opened!
He got back just as the deluge hit and we set up that patio umbrella once again!  We were super glad he hadn't taken it back to the truck.  While everyone around us was scrambling back up the hill to the covered patio, smushed in like sardines, we were enjoying our wine, our large red umbrella, and some impressive rain and thunder.
Cozy and dry.  Take that, snarky guy!
We had a great time at Driftwood, then we took The Girl over to Wimberley Valley Winery to get us some blackberry wine - I love it!
 We might have also enjoyed a wine tasting.  Then we also might have purchased a bottle of wine to drink on the patio.
Since it had rained so hard, they weren't busy.  Everything was wet but it was peaceful and smelled so nice.
 
It was a nice day, rain and all!  This week I have a couple of physical therapy appointments, a mammo on Thursday (ugh), and Friday I want to go to my mother's house to help her with housework - she has broken her arm, so she is at a sister's house. I want her to come home to no dirty laundry or dishes, with clean sheets on the bed and swept floors.  It's hard to know what else to do, I wish she lived closer...
What does your week look like?




Friday, September 23, 2016

New beauties from Scout

Scout is taking a gap year of sorts, to figure out what he really wants to do in college.  I understand that totally.  I think an education is certainly valuable, but I also think you can get educated outside of college.
And it makes no sense to spend a load of money on college courses when you aren't really sure what you want to do.  There is value in getting out there in the working world and gaining some real life experience.
Which is what he is doing.  He is working full-time as a photographer.  Paying his own car note, insurance, and phone bill.  Composing music and maintaining a couple of websites.  Working on his own photography interests.   About to turn 21, and I don't even know how that is possible.
I like having him around, but at the end of the gap year, he needs to have made a decision about what he wants to do.  Not that I will toss him out, but I want him to make some future plans.
Meanwhile, I am loving the work I see on his photo websites!  I ordered some notecards and a luggage tag featuring some of these pics - aren't they lovely?
I'm a tad biased, but I think he has an eye for beauty.  I'm glad that he still sees the world this way, as I think it probably easy nowadays for twentysomethings to get discouraged at all they are seeing and hearing in the news.  Maybe he will be able to take both extremes into account when he decides how to make his mark in the world.




Wednesday, September 21, 2016

The rest of the trip this summer...

It's been three months since we returned from our adventure in Mabel, and seeing as Fall is upon us I really need to blog the rest of our adventure!  We traveled from Austin to Palo Duro, then on to Cimarron, Eagle's Nest, and Angel Fire, then through New Mexico to our next stop: Caprock Canyon State Park in Quitaque. 
******
After leaving Bubbie In Cimarron, we headed back to Angel Fire and enjoyed some beer and calzone from a local joint. We spent the rest of the evening relaxing at he RV resort - hung out at the lodge listening to Dale and Gayle (live music), enjoyed being the only ones in the very large hot tub where we watched the sun go down, then headed to the firepit to enjoy adult beverages until about 10 p.m.  We probably shouldn't have stayed up that late as we had to hit the road so early the next day - July 4th!
We got up in the morning (to temps in the 30's!) and cooked up some leftover pork chops and eggs in Mabel - I love that we have a functioning kitchen with fridge - makes breakfast easy and relaxing.
Leaving Angel Fire, even when it was overcast, it was still pretty.  At each drop in elevation I was able to breathe a little easier - I never did adjust to the elevation, sadly.  Hubby kept saying "wouldn't this be a beautiful place to retire?".  Not without an oxygen tank for me!
 Pretty soon, we were out of the mountains and back into wide open spaces.
 It was a lot like West Texas - miles of flat scenery, the two lane highways bordered by ranches.  But we actually saw very little cattle - or other vehicles, even.
I think this is Lake Sumner - we traveled through Las Vegas, Santa Rosa, Fort Sumner, Clovis...we pretty much powered through until we got to the canyons.  We had only stopped for gas along the way ans there was very little choice in the way of places to eat.  So, we snacked on almonds and Gardetto's until Muleshoe, then stopped at a grocery store for things to fix for dinner.
We cooked pan sauteed salmon, some leftover potatoes with bacon and red pepper, and a chopped salad, with white wine.  It was soooo good after a long day of driving.
Both of us, utterly exhausted, cleaned the kitchen up, finished the wine, and passed out!  At some point during the night I remember hearing it raining hard, but I barely moved the whole night.  Hubby said there was torrential rain, wind, and lightening!  The next morning we awoke to a peaceful scene:

There were bunnies hopping around and birds chirping and it was peaceful and calm.  I wish we could have stayed here longer.  It's such a beautiful park.  But we were trying to get to Austin in time to pick up Bubbie from the trip.
We loaded up the trailer and took ourselves to the showers to clean up.  And just down the road from the showers...
 ...we saw the resident bison herd.
 A calf was perilously close to the road!  There are signs everywhere telling you not to fool with the bison - they weigh up to 350 pounds and can outrun you.  Um...you don't have to tell me twice.
Hello, Mr. Bull Bison - I will only take your picture, not daring to exit the vehicle!
Caprock is as beautiful as Palo Duro, in my opinion.  And the park was far less crowded, even with it being a holiday weekend.
 We stopped at a scenic overlook to admire the view:

 
It was hot as blazes for the trip back, and due to a problem with the trailer connections we were late getting Bubbie.  All of us were hot, sweaty, and tired when we got home, so all of that is a blur!  We made notes along the way about what we will do differently next time - no hard and fast timelines for one - cleaned and stored everything back in Mabel, go ready for the week ahead.  Whew - what a trip! 
So, where can we go next summer?


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