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May 28, 2012

end of school year party

just about a week ago, kat came up with an idea, "let's have a party for kids.  they can swim and karaoke and play music and..."  she had a long list of stuffs.  I thought it was a bit crazy, seeing that there were only a few days left of the school year, but I agreed to help if she organized it.  she made invites, the kids passed them out to their friends, and a whole bunch of kids did come, they went WILD!  they all had so much fun, I suffered 3 hours of kids pounding on the drums and leaving the doors open and eating in areas we don't normally allow food...  we were out numbered.  we were BEAT after three hours.  we were good chaparones and did not treat ourselves to any adult beverages that might have helped endure all that drumming.  I think the parents enjoyed being able to drop their kids at our house for three hours on a friday night.  next time (if there is a next time) I may put the drums in the garage.

eanes kid's party photo booth

I hosted a group mustache photo booth

WIMBERLEY:  then we had to get on the road early the next morning.  we wanted to attend the annual HOA meeting for our place on the blanco river.  if you like getting together with your neighbors to watch them interrogate each other about all sorts of things like, what shade of blue your shed is, or how many dogs you have, and why do you have a storage container on your property and when will it be gone... I highly recommend you join a HOA.  the people who wave at you when you pass on the street get an opportunity to get all up into your business, despite the fact that the HOA has no rules that dictate such things and there were no actual HOA violations.  still, we raced down early saturday morning to listen to a few hours of made up BS drama.  those sort of situation just make me want to build a giant pink flying saucer in my front yard down there.  one person did voice their fear of "oddball colors, like pink". 

anyhow, we survived the meeting and then soaked away the stress.  we are now ready to host friends to join us for dinners and soaks.  had two families down this weekend.  grilled salmon two nights and it did not suck one little bit.

tube the blanco river wimberley fischer tx

blanco river tubing fischer tx wimberley texas

wimberley barn screen room fischer

I finished the roof for the screen room off the back of the barn/cabin (and yes, it was mentioned at the HOA meeting.  I didn't take the bait, I don't need to join in the drama-fest and the topic soon faded).  I also spent several hours trimming the oak trees.

 oak tree grove wimberley fischer texas tx

back to austin for HH at garrido's on memorial day.

garrido's mexican fine dining austin tx happy hour


garrido's happy hour austin

May 21, 2012

Stubb’s BBQ Strum music school show 2012

stubb's bbq strum music school austin recital 2012 

#1 son has been taking guitar lessons for less than a year. his playing really started to improve after about 6 months. we agreed to let him perform for the school’s show at stubb’s bbq. I had enjoyed his practice sessions at home. when he played with the band (drums and backup guitar) I was very excited. they sounded great! his playing seemed to improve with the drummer keeping a faster tempo. 

snark guitar tuner 

he practiced, tuned and retuned his guitar while he waited for his turn.  his new snark tuner makes tuning fast and easy.  and here it is!


it was great seeing all the students getting some stage time.  and the bbq was good. I enjoyed a caesar salad with brisket.

strum music school austin texas stubb's bbq recital

in other news:

wasabi pank crusted salmon

best meal we had this past week was at home.  I marinated the salmon in a wasabi aoli (fancy word for mayonaise) then crusted it with panko and pecan.  oven roasted brussel sprouts, cilantro-lime butter rice and a salad with carrot juice and ginger dressing. 

volunteer pumpkins are turning orange in may

my dreams of volunteer jackolanterns are fading, it's not yet June and they've already turned orange...

brent's tree service

we hired a tree service to "raise the canopy" and clean up the lot.  the yard is SO much larger, even the house looks better. 

9 yo guitar artist at stubb's bbq

stubb's straw austin


dancing baby steals the show

classic rock at stubb's

May 13, 2012

ominous burden lifted, prime time tv cancellation, volunteerism

when I left you last week, we were in the middle of an impossible situation.  we were trying to complete half a year's worth of upgrades and maintenance within ten days time.  I had been contacted by a producer of one of those home design reality TV shows.  there had been a lot of talk, contracts signed etc.  then I was given firm production dates. 

it was a LOT of stress.  everything else was put on the back-burner.  middle of this week I was high atop a ladder, painting the ceiling in the screen room.  I suddenly noticed the phone had not rang for a few days.  normally the production staff would increase the phone calls and emails...  I came off my ladder, shot an email to the producer asking for another confirmation of the start date.  he could not confirm.  I pressed him with a few direct questions and he also could not confirm the show itself was still in production.  it happens all the time, shows get cancelled before their first air date.  I suspect that to be our situation.  while we were excited about the show, we were also relieved to be able to slow down and aim to have our list done by the end of summer, instead of a few days.

flower box austin tx west lake hills

so we took it easy this weekend.  kat went back to finish her flower box project. 

mario the fixer man baby with tools

#1 son has a guitar recital at stubb's bbq next saturday.  it's going to be a great show.  he has a full band supporting him.  I recorded him practicing his guitar part at home.  and of course #2 son said "it's my turn" and expected to be recorded and have his picture taken.  videos of both posted at the bottom of the page. 

boy with tool belt and mustache



volunteer tomato austin

I toss many of my kitchen scraps right out the door, onto the ground near the kitchen.  every year we get some volunteers from the seeds in those scraps.  this year has been very productive from the volunteer arm of the garden due to all the rain.  we have several volunteer tomato with big fruit and we even have some BIG pumpkins in the works...  I'll be so impressed if we carve our own pumpkins this halloween.  at this rate, we might be able to carve one into a full size carriage. 

volunteer pumpkin

we have started to track what we take out of the abandoned house we bought in wimberley.  kat made a charitable donation of a bunch of housewares, I sold some jeep doors I found there on ebay ($800!) and we now have a bunch of small appliances including, crockpot, waffle iron, gaggia espresso machine, vegetable juicer, and now an air popcorn maker!

west bend air popcorn popper


these things have actually increased in value.  people like to buy them and roast their own coffee beans.  we may try that as I am a bit of a DIY junkie.  but for now, the kids are enjoying healthy (less fat/sodium/microwaves) air popped corn. 

toddler in flippers and swim goggles

we have had a few days where it was warm enough to swim.  he was so happy to be able to use his new flippers.  he obsessed over them every day until we finally gave in and bought him some.  he'd seen flippers in an old navy swim suit ad.  he just KNEW they were the thing for him. 

pakwan indian food south austin texas tx

we tried a new indian food restaurant.  the food was fantastic. the service started out ok but then took a nose dive when our waiter was unavailable to us.  we spent the last half of the meal trying to get his attention...  I can't recommend pakwan

pakwan upscale indian food austin spicy

May 07, 2012

short shorts, dinosaurs and floor scrubbing action

 yelp elite party at rattle inn austin tx

we attended yet another fun filled yelp elite party at ray benson's rattle inn

bang bang!  cowgirl austin texas

BANG BANG!... you got me.

 southern star brewing yelp party austin tx

I asked a friend his opinion of the beer, "one is really hoppy and the other is a bit too yeasty".  I went inside and asked for one of each, combined them in one glass and started a new trend.  everybody started going in and asking for one of each along with an empty glass.  the southern star brew was good and always glad to find a can option for boating and river fun times when glass bottles are unwelcome.

pretty girls of yelp elite austin

pretty yelp elite cowgirls insured a fun evening.

paul schuster and wife

Z tequila offered delicious paloma and a few other cocktails.

asian cowgirl austin tx

ray benson's rattle in good times austin tx

paul schuster

short shorts austin, tx

short shorts and a pair of pistols.

dinosaur park austin tx bastrop

I did chaperone another preschool field trip.  way out near bastrop, behind a mobile home park, somebody had the idea to carve a path in the woods and plop life size fiberglass dinosaurs and charge $5 a head. 

dinosaur park austin bastrop

he still won't cooperate for a picture.  the statue mode is my only hope to get him to stand still for the camera. 

statue model dinosaur boy

he holds his hands out like that when he is a statue....  ok. 

t-rex mouth bastrop austin

boy eaten by dinosaur austin tx bastrop

blanco river barn project wimberley fischer store road

I made it back to wimberley to replace the missing section of siding.  with a bit of patchwork I did it with just one sheet.  I trimmed the window with pieces I removed from the big house that will be torn down.  I need to replace the front door, trim it, caulk paint and then it'll start to look finished. 

pork cracklin haddington's austin tx

treated ourselves to another great meal at haddington's.  they make their own tonic water there, quinine bark in a pressure cooker or something like that.  the tonic ends up looking brown/reddish.  kat really enjoyed the house made pork cracklin' and we really loved that duck meatloaf with blueberry reduction.  scallops (below) were good too. 

scallops at haddinton's austin tx

a year’s worth of home maintenance and cleaning crammed into ten days...

stripping the concrete floor

the home and I are supposed to be reality tv show ready in ten days time.  I have an impossible list of things to be done.  stripping the old floor finish puts me in a bad mood.  and none if it helps with kat's disposition either.  she hates this sort of stress, especially when so much of the house is disassembled in mid cleaning and project phase. 

home made tile float

I finally finished installing glass tile around the outdoor shower.  I realized I left my tile float down in wimberley, so I made my own.  the one on the right worked so well I didn't try that thing on the left.  left over rubber from the roofer, two screws and a scrap of wood. 

outdoor shower glass tile vertical austin tx amh

hot to trot wine sampling austin tx screen room modern

had some friends over for dinner and wine in the screen room (indoor dining table is non-op due to floor project).  kat was all worn out from stress and cleaning.  she laid down to rest a minute and never woke up, slept through dinner and all.  I made a soup of cauliflower, leek and cashew and drizzled a carrot and ginger juice and cayenne sauce over the top.  it looked like mashed potatoes with buffalo wing sauce... everybody seemed to enjoy it (kat ate hers the next day)

cauliflower leek and cashew soup with carrot ginger cayene sauce

mario bros indoor track austin



May 01, 2012

chitty-chitty bang-bang on the blanco barn wall

spent the last part of the weekend at the blanco river barn near wimberley and fischer, tx.

on demand water heater shower

I got the on-demand water heater connected to the 12v water pump and water tank.  hot showers!

outdoor shower wimberley barn

I made use of a stack of hardi backer board found in the house, made a small screen.

spa like effect of the river

that river.... within a moment of dropping the tired feet into that cool, clear water...  relaxation is suddenly abundant.  it's like some sort of magic.

eichler the boxer explores the blanco river 2012

happy hour while the grill heats up

heating up the grill. 

conduit telephone

the boys played with a low tech telephone, I made them put the iphones down.

brick arrangement

and they played with bricks...

boy learns to work the grill

future grill master?  he insisted upon putting the grates over the burning charcoal.  he was careful and received no burns.

morebier and dijon mustard happy hour at the wimberley blanco barn

#2 son piled the dijon mustard high while the daughter lopped of chunks of the pungent Morbier.  she asked, "what cheese is this?  I REALLY like it!"  that's my girl!  they ate a big wedge mostly themselves. 

kat works the grill

we grilled salmon, grean beans, onion and tomato..., the daughter made wild rice,  it was good. 

and now that we have electricity, we have a/c and the kids enjoyed a movie inside that evening.

chitty chitty bang bang on the big screen projector

we took the spare projector down and they kids watched chitty-chitty bang-bang,  it worked out great. 

window installed in barn

we found a window on clearance at lowe's.  I'll be glad when the front of the barn is less ugly.  the window had to go in before I replace the missing siding.

we made great progress at cleaning out the abandoned house.  kat carefully packed up the kitchen, made notes of everything to be dropped off for donation and cleaned.  we found a few jewelry boxes (but no jewelry).

found music jewelry box plays memory 

the daughter carefully cleaned them and applied orange oil to make them less sad after being left behind.  possibly the most love they ever received... the one box plays "memory"


hooping it up at eeyore's birthday party 2012 (pease park)

it seems that more people came out than ever before to wish eeyore a happy birthday day.  we had planned to get costumes organized and get #1 son a potato sack so he could practice for the sack race...  well, they didn't have sack races this year and kat worked a slew of late nights this week and we did well enough just making it to the event.

vintage van econoline hubcaps 1965

1965 ford econoline hubcaps make nice drums and hats at the same time. 

maypole at eeyore's 2012 may pole

donkey eeyore at austin pease park 2012

#2 son has a handle on this birthday thing, he is so ready for his next birthday.  talks about it constantly.  so we had talked up eeyore's birthday.  he asked "where is eeyore".  I think he was calling our bluff.  but when we took him to see the real donkey he quickly clammed up and backed away.  #1 son was more comfortable wishing eeyore a happy birthday

eeyore donkey birthday party pease park austin 2012

kids games eeyore's birthday 2012

throw the sack games...

bean bag toss eeyore's

the most fun part of eeyore's.... the people watching.  we camped under a tree, enjoyed some best wurst, kat got her giant smoked turkey leg, and some saint arnold's.  it was a very relaxing way to spend the afternoon.

giant smoked turkey leg eeyore's birthday austin 2012

body paint girl eeyore's 2012

lots of girls wearing body paint.

high-phone eeyore's 2012

dogs at eeyore's 2012

we like to party guys at eeyore's 2012

popped balloon boob at eeyore's 2012

tigger and rabbit eeyore's birthday costume contest 2012

eeyore's birthday drum circle 2012

kids at the drum circle beat 1965 ford econoline hubcaps at eeyore's birthday 2012

drum circle small at eeyore's 2012

we found a field of hula-hoops as we walked out of pease park and much hooping did ensue..

hulahoop at eeyore's 2012

hula hoop fun at eeyore's 2012

dual hula hooping it up at eeyore's birthday party austin texas 2012

kids with hula hoops eeyore's birthday 2012 austin pease park

austin hula hoop kids

we had a quick stop at kat's office (more work) and then we had a very refreshing dinner at imperia. 

imperia ultra lounge austin asian food

sat at our usual booth and made our selves at home.

chop sticks fail imperia austin sushi

chop sticks are not so easy without his helper but he tried...

sushi finger food imperia austin

easier to eat sushi with fingers.

casual asian dining at imperia austin

sit on the floor, stand, lay down and eat.... whatever it takes.  we took it casually. 

food on his face at imperia austin

yes, he got food on his nose.  because he eats like this...

eating rice and edamame like a dog at imperia