Am I the Energizer Bunny?

Whew! I’m about worn out, but I’m finally getting a break from two straight days of nonstop work, fun, and volunteering to take a blogging break. I feel sorta like young Zack here looks. In fact, that rug looks mighty tempting right about now.

Vlassic is checking to make sure Mandi’s son Zack is still alive.

Yesterday was probably the busiest day we’ve ever had at the Cameron office. Luckily I crammed in a whole bunch of reviews and stuff for my “real” job in by showing up extra early to the office. After that, we had meetings, lunch meetings with Kayla our “corporate lawyer-elect,” decisions to make, etc., straight through until I had to leave for my next event.

Mandi took this to show I at least sat down a bit at the festival.

Before I could blink, my friend Paula showed up to drive us to the away football game in Jarrell. It was a weird drive, because pieces of gravel kept hitting her windshield and we were sure it would break eventually, but it didn’t. Road work is happening all over the area. We made it, though, and even had a light meal of caprese sandwiches (much better than football stadium cuisine).

Did I mention the temperatures fell? Thursday it was 99 degrees, and Friday is only got up to around 56. And we got more rain! So, it was a bit chilly and sprinkly at the game, but never mind. We had lots of fun watching the football and the band. By the time I got home, though, whew. It was late.

Today, Still Going and Going

Somehow I managed to wake up this morning and greet Kathleen and her husband, Chris, who drove over to see us and attend our new business’s first public event at the Steak, Stein and Wine Festival. As usual, I over-committed and ended up representing that business, Milam Touch of Love, AND the Master Naturalists. But, I had a good time.

Steak, Stein and Wine

Once I got there, I went into Social Suna Overdrive and networked my head off. I talked to every single vendor (and got some nice stuff). I talked to people who came by our booth. I talked to Master Naturalists, the mayor, other city officials, the Sheriff, numerous police officers, the wine vendor, the musicians.

See, Chris was here.

Once Lee, Kathleen, and Chris arrived, we went to the open house at the new Central Avenue Bistro, along with many other people who were DYING to see the renovation. It did not disappoint. The people who have been working on it went above and beyond to create a beautiful setting, indoors and outdoors. And the new kitchen is almost to clean and shiny to cook in.

Lee and Kathleen semi-impressed with the new bistro.

Following that, we continued to network and look at stuff. I think everyone had a pretty good time, and the weather was amazing. Such a relief from the previous couple of months. It makes you want to live in central Texas on days like this!

Some of the exhibit the Master Naturalists had in the museum.

Well, I’ve enjoyed this half hour break between events, but now I have to get ready for the fancy steak dinner downtown, where we’ll get to hang out with friends and, I hope, relax a bit. Tomorrow I do nothing strenuous!

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Moments of Zen

This is one of the most interesting times in my life, at least as far as my mental state goes. Why so interesting? Oddly enough, it’s because I’m not in a tizzy about anything. It’s not because my life has suddenly turned out to be like I imagined adulthood would be as a child, where you go to work, come home and do hobbies, enjoy a meal with your loving spouse, and sleep soundly, knowing you have the money to pay all your bills. Nope, that’s not it.

Little things just make me happy these days, like my peace and trees corner (shh, they are not Christmas decorations).

Rather, as I’ve mentioned in other blog posts, it seems as if all the things I have been working on to become my best self have taken effect, at least for the most part. Like what, you ask?

First, I had to accept myself the way I am. I’m human, with some issues that led me to develop some habits and tendencies that might bug people (let’s see, over-reacting to perceived criticism, crying when confronted angrily, problems with being “yelled at” or picked on, sarcasm, coming across as “looking down” at people…whatever). It’s weird, once I convinced myself that it was okay to be who I am, so many of those behaviors lessened. I haven’t cried in AGES other than when totally appropriate (death of people and dogs I love, mainly).

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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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Book Review: Going Tiny

I am sharing a book review I wrote for Hermit Haus Redevelopment, because I think some of my readers here would also enjoy it.

The little book I read is called Going Tiny: Failure + Opportunity in the Future of Affordable Housing  It’s written by a guy named Davis Richardson, who is apparently the age of my youngest son. But, he’s more ambitious or more lucky. Anyway, his age is a real advantage in this book, and his perspective is just what I needed as I looked for books that gave honest assessments of how tiny homes REALLY would work in communities.

I don’t usually write the same thing in my work and personal blog. This time, yes. Why not?

I really enjoyed this charming and idea-packed little book!

If you are a professional book person, you have to ignore some of the obvious signs of self publishing, like random blank spreads in the middle of chapters, and headings even on the first blank page. I also get a little irritated trying to make out the legends on his illustrations, which are in his charming but hard-to-read handwriting. Really, though, you should focus on Richardson’s words, instead, which are written in a colloquial Millennial style that I enjoyed.

Richardson is an architecture student who decided to build a tiny house on a whim, and learned a lot of lessons about building them and (more important to me) what you can DO with them the hard way, by his own experience. Lucky for us Hermits, he did all his learning in Austin, so the examples he gives actually apply to us. What a handy coincidence!

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Why I Had a Happy Childhood

Baby me and my father, Edwin Prince Kendall.

Things just hit you sometimes. Yesterday I was walking toward Rowdy the Rental Audi in the work parking garage, and I got a flashback of being a kid. I’d talked about missing my parents earlier in the day, which probably prompted the experience.

I suddenly felt the heavy weight of the humidity at my house in Gainesville, Florida, smelled the dark black earth, and heard the thump-thump of my dad, doing his favorite activity, known as “digging a hole.” If Dad was upset, frustrated, or just needed to get away from Mom’s antics for a while, he’d go out in the yard and dig. He used to joke that some of the camellias had been moved five or six times, for no good reason.

Here’s dad around my current age, telling me something I’m dubious about.
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Brr. Cold Front.

The long-awaited cold front finally blew in. It got below 70F last night. It felt great when I was loading my car this morning.

By the time I went for a walk around 2 I regretted my long-sleeves.

Doesn’t look any cooler to me.

But it will be cooler tonight. It’s a real celebration day here in the middle of Texas.

Still looks warm.

Back in the 90s later in the week. But we have a new trend!

I took all these pictures waiting for Nicole to appear and get her poetry books I put together for her. She’s really working hard. Another bonus kid to be proud of.

Blessing of the Animals – And a Surprise for Penney

I just got home from another fun Milam Touch of Love event, the Blessing of the Animals, which is a yearly celebration at many Episcopal churches in the US. Today the one in Cameron was at All Saints Episcopal, a church attended by a lot of my friends. They’d invited MTOL this year, and we really appreciated it.

Fifi is very friendly.

Our group brought two sweet dogs looking for homes, Henry and Fifi. The kittens Jean S. is fostering were also there, and darn, they are cute.

This sweet dog is all scarred, but so well trained and sweet, you’d never know she’d had a hard past.

I brought Vlassic along, as an example of the dogs that are dumped out in the country, which shows the need for helping animals out here. I was really proud of how well he behaved. He played a lot with Henry, who was thrilled to have a friend to play with, though he eventually wore V. out.

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