April 16, 2017

Easter Eggs and Dash the butterfly

boys chasing easter eggs Wimberley

The Easter morning egg hunt.

dash the catepillar metamorphasized  

We came home to find that Dash the Caterpillar had turned into a lovely Easter Sunday Butterfly.

 

We opened his enclosure and took him outside where he could be free.

butterfly of westlake 

Stretched the new wings a few times and flew away. Goodbye Dash. I'm glad you enjoyed our fennel.  

Easter Camp on the Blanco

blanco river low water crossing fischer wimberley

We spent the weekend at our camp near Wimberley, on the Blanco. 

blanco river rapids park 

The river was nice.  

 

lost nation gose in the blanco river texas

Even my Mom enjoyed a river beer, Lost Nation Gose 

preway mcm fireplace  

The screen room off our little cabin down there is magical in the evening.  

sculpture of the week....

I've been busy with the cutting and welding etc.

sculpture by paul schuster austin texas

ether capture device

ether capture device 

yard art. 

 

April 10, 2017

Hootenany at the PHP and some NE IPA from Texas...?

php lamar

A side effect of summer in Vermont, we've developed a taste for New England IPA. It's a newer style of beer that features new American variety of hops, a hazy yellow/orange color and a juiciness (aroma of citrus and fruits) with not a lot of bitterness. Pinthouse Pizza here in Austin TX has been working on NE IPA style. They've gotten really good at beer, the pizza is good too, and it's close to home. We have become regulars. They tapped two NE IPA this weekend and had a Hootenany (party).

NE IPA Pinthouse Pizza Austin TX lupulin powder mosaic citra 

Mosaic and Citra Lupulin make these somewhat exotic without making your face pucker up.  

#2 son was excited to do te Photo Booth, we obliged.

pinthouse pizza hootenany austin 

(CLICK HERE FOR AN ANNOYING GIF FROM THE PICS ABOVE) 

photo booth at PHP hootenany  

pinthouse pizza crowler 32 oz  

We are enjoying their crowlers but we're not sure how/why PHP has a nautical theme. We are landlocked in Austin... I'm also not too happy about the fact they put up a few more TVs. I prefer NO TV as a beer hall and restaurant should encourage people to engage each other. I'm learning to adjust, but still avoid looking at their new screens. It's a personal protest.

 

challah from a bag, so easy 

We closed the week with a big meal at home, salmon, Chablis and Challah. Kat made the easy bag Challah and it really is good.  I often turn my nose up at those 60 second recipe videos on FB. They often combine cheese, bacon, ground beef, sausage, sugary bbq sauce and some salty flavor packet (disgusting). But the easy Challah was a winner.  The picture above was just before it went into the oven. It was quickly consumed before I could get the camera ready...

Spark Eater, a yard art sculpture, or BIG metal mudbug

years ago... I was pursuing a bohemian artist type of life. I succeeded at the Bohemian part, and I did live in an old factory building, artists loft type of space...  

Years later, Kat has been asking me for some yard art. We have all this land here. It's time I put my artist hat back on.

I call this one the Spark Eater 

spark eater sculpture by paul schuster

(BIG) 

A couple years back, we were at an arts festival. There was a great variety of art for sale. But the busiest vendor was selling a pair of metal frogs on a swing. Kat loved it. They had a whole trailer full of them and it seemed like everybody was lining up to buy this pair of swinging frogs. I thought it was a bit kitschy, more of a folk craft at best. The painters and other artists looked on with envy as the frog guy raked in sales just as fast as he could swipe cards. Kat lined up and bought her frogs. I did not protest. If the metal frogs on a swing make her happy, it's a good thing. If I protested, it would make us both, unhappy. She carried her frogs around the arts festival, and it was a happy day.

When I was nearly done with my "Spark Eater" sculpture, I noticed a piece of scrap metal I've been hoarding. It fitted right on the top, sort of resembled eyes. Recalling Kat's fondness for art that resembles animals, I welded it on and painted the whole rig bright red. It sort of resembles a crawfish.... a yard mudbug.  

spark eater by paul schuster the artist 

(BIG) 

April 03, 2017

Garth Weisser and the Moving Panoramas (band) at the Contemporary Jones Center

We attended the member's opening event for the Garth Weisser exhibition.

Moving Panoramas band austin tx 

Music by Moving Panoramas 

Sway, Central Standard and La Condesa provided small bites. 

Garth Weisser at the Jones Center Austin art museum 

Garth appears to be using thick layers of paint that are combed to reveal the layers and colors underneath. Very interesting.

close up view across the surface 

Garth Weisser painting artist 

 

 

Not really beef and a lotta onion

Our house smells like the inside of an onion. We had Cassoulet Saturday night and French Onion soup Sunday night. I've had stock and/or onions caramelizing in the kitchen for two days.

The cassoulet was not my best effort. There are SO many different variations on this recipe. I didn't really recall which is used as a guide last time. It was good, but not great and I consider it a learning experience. I'd reduce my stock more next time and boil the beans in stock, not water.

pressure cooker french onion soup kenji alt lopez style  

The French Onion Soup (above) turned out really well. We used Kenji's pressure cooker method.

beyond meat beyond burger vegan  

I used to be a part-time casual vegetarian. Then I started to do a pescatarian diet from Jan-March. There are a few things that are difficult to give up, bacon, filet mignon, and a good burger. We saw the Beyond Burger at Whole Foods yesterday and gave it a test run. 

beyond burger with cambozola tomato and dijon 

It was pretty good. We topped it with some melted Cambozola, a thick tomato slice and Dijon mustard on the bottom bun.  

six point resin a west coast ipa from new york 

Kat and I washed the burger down with some Six Point Resin. It's more of a West Coast style IPA from New York.  

indian sweets  

I like to visit ethnic grocers. We stopped at the Indian food store in S. Austin this weekend. I love to look at all the food that I'm not familiar with. We often buy things just to try. The colorful tray of sweets got the best of our curiosity. I usually avoid sugar after dark, it keeps me up. I couldn't resist trying a bite of each (there were six). As is often the case with Asian desserts, they are move interesting in appearance than flavor. The primary flavor is sugar/sweet. They did keep me up at night, as I sort of expected. Now I know (again).  

 

Our new hooter

My friend Connie gave me an Owl Box from Owl Reach for my birthday. I adjusted it with simple graphics for the owl. I followed the installation instructions and had it on a tree middle of last week. Five days later and we have our owl!

owl reach owl box west lake hills tx 

let's zoom in....

owl reach owl box austin westlake texas 

(click for BIG PICTURE)  

March 29, 2017

Everything in a few boxes

Another birthday celebration at Plucker's. It's a tradition.

 

Do you remember a time when everything you could possibly want could come in a just a few boxes?  

 

 

He got everything he wanted, and some college money too.  

college money 

tall beer at pluckers austin  

OK, we got something for ourselves a well....

Death of a Craftsman

I'd been quite proud of not owning a lawnmower, ever. But then I bought a used mower for the house in VT. Then we started to clear back the decade of scrub and weed brush from this house, and I bought a brand new Craftsman mower for here... All the sudden I owned TWO mowers.

Our acre here in Westlake had never been mowed. Once I got started, the change was amazing. A real landscaping plan was coming together. Then I hit the stump... my new mower had about an hour of hard use before I found the stump. I had found several other rocks and chunks of debris, but this stump stopped my new mower. Dead in its tracks, the new mower was done.

I spent hours on the phone with craftsman, I received conflicting advice and instructions. In the end, I was thanked for my honesty, but because I admitted I had hit a stump, I had no options other than buy a new mower. I managed to sell the stumped mower on craigslist to recoup a portion of the replacement cost. The first mower had been purchased on sale, the price had since gone UP. I paid more for the replacement mower #thanksobama

With the new mower up and back in operation, I was a bit more careful. The yard is a cornucopia of hazards. I spend time walking off a small section if it's not been mowed before. I move rocks in piles around stumps. After I mow around the stumps, I come back with my chainsaw and cut them flush... It will soon be too hot to continue, but the results have been positive.

austin modhouse west lake hills front yard  

side of amh 

These areas were waist high with weeds and scrub.

yard expansion 

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