Soupy Day

I’m mulling over some thoughts right now, but am in an uncharacteristically frazzled state. It’s been that way all day!

I need to just sit here and not move, even to put away the stray Halloween decoration.

Every errand and small work task I did got wonky. At least I retrieved my remotes I’d left in my rental car before vacation. But I set the GPS to go to the wrong Enterprise office.

I tried to save time and money and make some special gifts for Christmas, but it turned out the woman at the store had not put them together. And didn’t know how. After ruining two presents, I brought all the parts home. Now I’m not saving much time. But they will be done right.

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Armadillo Encounter!

It’s been a good couple of days in the Austin neighborhood. The weather is so nice that we’re able to be out a bit more. So, we see things. On top of that, we meet people. Here’s what and who I have seen and met in the last 24 hours.

I thought I’d share the progress of our yucca bloom. I think it makes a really pretty pattern.

I met a charming pre-teen youth yesterday who was running sprints back and forth between two mailboxes, and doing push-ups in between. I was trying to leave him alone, but Vlassic loved him, so we chatted. I asked him what he was training for, and he puffed himself up to full height (shorter than me, I think), and informed me he was the starting quarterback at his middle school team, and he had to keep in shape to keep his position. “We play tackle!” he happily informed me. I told him he was showing all the signs of someone who has sports success, and he just beamed at me.

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Snapshots of Life in Austin

So much has gone on this week. It’s great when there’s lots of fun things to do, because time just flies.

What I wish I looked like in 1976.

Anita and I enjoyed the movie Linda Ronstadt: The Sound of My Voice on Tuesday night. Here’s a review, if you want to know more. I pretty much breathed along with her during the whole movie, thanks to having completely memorized every album of hers up to Pirates of Penzance. And both Trio albums.

She made such a huge contribution to music, got so many songwriters famous, and has done so much good work in her life. I also feel a kinship with her, since we both no longer can sing well (I don’t have Parkinson’s, just “broke” my upper range). The film is very enjoyable, anyway.

They even had logo balloons.

Yesterday was a LOT of fun. I’ll pretend it’s a totally typical day when I’m in Austin. It started out with the company where I work launching a new brand identity. We got some merchandise, and hooray, they replaced our name plates so you can actually read them! That’s right, my cube has a picture of a Marine playing the tuba. Yours should, too.

So cheerful.

Then, the excitement continued as I finally got to take my green car in to get repaired after the thing attacked it from the sky. The repair shop is so efficient and coordinates so well with the rental place that it took less than an hour in total. And I got a nice rental, an Audi SUV or whatever it is. It was easy to figure out and has most of the things I want in a car, so I’m really pleased. Last time I got a Jeep thing that was not fun at all.

It’s cute and peppy. And black. It’s Rowdy the Rental Audi. Get it?

I worked from home for a while, then made a nice dinner using my fancy red sauce from the Italian restaurant. I got fresh linguine, shaved parmesan cheese, a nice salad, and some bread. Then I set the table in our breakfast room, which we call the sun room. It looked so cute!

Such a cheerful table with the Fiesta ware and old tablecloth.

My son and his girlfriend joined us, and we had a most pleasant, relaxed meal full of laughs and stories. That’s the way it should be.

Photos from our neighbor, Maria.

This morning, Anita and I went out to walk the dogs and ran into most of the neighbors. We had a dog party! What a great start to the day.

What a cool sport.

Plus, lunch with a coworker reminded me that we have some cool pink Turk’s caps in the courtyard. Wow!

Happy me. Happy dog.

I’m choosing to savor all the good times as hard as I possibly can.

Succulent Tourism

Tiny but gorgeous.

The other thing Anita and I squeezed into our few hours of Austin tourism was a trip to the East Austin Succulents nursery. You know it’s cool and trendy because:

  • It’s in east Austin
  • The website is mostly pictures and hard to find links on
  • They have a cute pug on the homepage of said website
  • All employees were young, and if male, had very full beards
Teeny tiny cactus flower.

I’ve lived in Austin since 1997, but had never been to the neighborhood where the nursery is located, so I was as much a tourist as Anita was on this trip. I really enjoyed seeing all the fun and funky areas, and was impressed at how many community centers there are. I probably just happened to drive by them all.

Happy flower!
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Being an Austin Tourist

Yesterday I had to take off work to do some boring personal stuff, but in the end, there was lots of time in the day left over. Since I will be out of town for Anita’s birthday on Saturday, I decided to take her to some places in Austin she’d never been. The first was the Contemporary Austin museum at Laguna Gloria, which I just shared some photos of flowers from.

The main building, the former home.

I hadn’t been to Laguna Gloria since some art classes when my children were small. It’s changed a lot since then, and they have added some fancy new, but not quite finished, buildings there, like a cafe (we had a nice light meal from there, though we had to eat in the car due to no seating), a cute gift shop (where Vlassic got a new “dress collar”), and such.

I’m quite proud of my new beaded leather collar. Call me fashion dog.

But we were there for the sculptures (and plants), so off we went. The day got warmer and warmer, but we persevered.

All the modern sculptures were interesting, at least, and some I just loved. The settings in and among all the native and other plants was really pleasant. Plus, I’m just glad there is still a little space where people can see Lake Austin from the ground. Most of it is full of giant, fancy houses.

My favorite one didn’t photograph well, but it was party of a trio of pieces hanging from one of the many huge trees on the property. I guess you’ll just have to go to see it.

Tree sculpture, with palm.
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Let’s Pretend It’s Autumn!

Sure, it was 102 again today. But today was the day Anita and I rewarded ourselves for all the garage cleaning and wine room construction. Yes, we went to Pier 1 to check out the fall decor.


I forgot to share last week that Anita got a special accent for the wine room, a beautiful Tiffany-style lamp she found on She also got a few wine books. Fancy.

Back to Seasonal stuff

Isn’t this post riveting so far? I’m pretty dulle when not ranting.

Anyway, we knew we wanted to get a couple more of the glass pumpkins Pier 1 does every year. Other than that Anita had her eye on an acorn made out of leaves, and I wanted a calm autumn wreath.

This one will join others in the wall shelving.
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Wine Room Accomplished!

You may recall that we started putting our wine cellar/shoe closet together a couple of weeks ago. Since then, the office area has been in a bit of disarray with lots and lots of bottles stashed here and there, plus pieces of IKEA furniture.

Masterfully installing a door.

So, yesterday, since I had to leave work early, I invited my strapping son, Declan, to drop by and pick up his next batch of treasures that I unpacked from the garage (lots of vintage albums and some 45s). While he and Riley were here, he was also kind enough to help me put the cabinet together properly. It helps, I think, to invite a non-drinker over to your furniture-building events.

Light shines from my son’s head as he expresses pride in his work.

I did assist by un-doing some of the things that we’d done haphazardly before, when we didn’t have all the parts, but Declan jumped right in there and started assembling like a pro. Wow, I gave birth to an assembler! He even got the fancy doors on the cabinets to do their fancy thing.

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