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February 29, 2016

Koefoeds Hornslet came home with me.

I have a thing for chairs. Some may say that thing is a problem as I probably have enough chairs for TWO homes crammed into this ONE home.

This week I stumbled on a dining set by Koefoeds Hornslet, made in Denmark.

koefoeds hornslet  dining chairs 

Eight chairs in perfect condition, a matching table with two leaves. The previous owner purchased the set in Germany in the 60's. 

koefoed hornslet danish table  

The table was under a sheet of plastic and a table cloth since new. We promptly went to the fabric store and applied the same treatment. The table doesn't have a single dent, nick, scratch or water mark. AMAZING! 

danish  dining table sweedish mcm chairs 

mcm tanker rolling desk chair 

We've also picked up a few other pieces of MCM furniture. This rolling desk chair has been popular for scooting around. 


This week in the local food and beverage scene: Growler USA had their opening celebration

growler usa ut austin beer 

The Hops and Grains Mosaic was on tap for a short time. The keg was empty about two hours after they opened their doors for business. They have over 100 beers on tap, but we came for the Mosaic.

Growler fill of Mosaic was $15. 

February 22, 2016

A scoop of mulch and a bit of the Mosaic

We hitched up the utility trailer and tracked down a scoop of mulch. Natural Gardener no longer has a bulk soil yard... Was not happy about that, but we found another place to get our mulch. Spent the better part of the weekend weeding and distributing mulch.

austin modhouse back yard

mesquite patio austin modhouse winter 

We've relocated this rather large sago palm. It had outgrown the previous location.  

no freeze winter austin 2015-2016 

Here we are nearing the end of February, and the banana trees are still standing tall. The leaves fall limp at the first freeze, usually mid December. They indicate we've not yet had a single freeze here at the house. A winter without a freeze... Will summer of 2016 have high mosquito counts? it’s possible.

We'd skipped lunch with all that yard work. Kat and I treated ourselves with a trip to Rainey St for some beers and bites at Craft Pride.  

lone pint yellow rose hops and grains mosaic ipa austin craft pride 

Yellow Rose for me, Hops and Grains Mosaic IPA for her, her new favorite.  

craft pride rainey street austin  

via 313 pizza at craft pride rainey street austin beer bar 

The VIA 313 food truck was stationed on the patio at Craft Pride. The pizza was greatly appreciated.  

Cotillion 2016 is done

#2 son enjoyed his first Cotillion season.

blue hair cotillion austin 

blue hair boy ballroom dancing austin cotillion 

Her dress matched his hair.  

austin cotillion 2016 

They really did learn how to dance. It was a joy watching them display all they'd learned.  

austin cotillion mother and son 2016 

austin cotillion acc 2016 

austin cotillion chaperones 2016 

Thanking the chaperones for the evening.  

#1 son's Final Cotillion:

austin cotillion 2016 Jr Assembly 

#1 son moved to his partner to the far end of the dance floor. His mother couldn't get any pictures. She was NOT amused. I took one for the team, moved over and used my camera, knowing it would get me in trouble with him. "I DON'T LIKE PICTURES", he informed me (again). I explained my situation with his mother, suggested he drop the issue... he realized we were in the same boat, and didn't mention it again. I was glad to see he was clearly enjoying his evening, despite a fair amount of complaint leading up to his final cotillion.  

February 15, 2016

Mark Mothersbaugh at the Jones Center Austin

We took friends out for Art and Dinner at Prelog's

 The Mark Mothersbaugh member's opening party was a great way to start the evening. We've been experiencing record high temps for February, often 80's. Great weather for a winter rooftop event.

jones center rooftop party austin  

Mark Mothersbaugh (founding member of DEVO) was on hand for a live performance along with his robotic musicians.

mark mothersbaugh art austin  

These large devices produced a wide variety of bleeps, whistles and bell sounds while he chanted "...the answer my friend, is blowing in the wind..."

Then dinner at Prelog's. Not as special as previous visits, but not bad...

dinner on the patio prelog's austin 

The warm weather continued through the weekend. Kat craved crawfish so I took her to Shoal creek.

shoal creek saloon austin crawfish mudbugs austin 



February 08, 2016

V-day IPA, Year of the Monkey, Flaming Banana and free hugs at the airport, the randomness of it all.


valentine's day 2016 uncle billy's austin

It's almost Valentine's day. #2 son went ahead and delivered the V-day chocolates.  


He wrote their names on the sidewalk out front of Uncle Billy's 

chaperone ipa uncle billy's austin 

The chaperones enjoyed a special cask IPA ($3! and it was good!) 

winter in austin texas feb 2016 patio ipa at uncle billy's 

It was a beautiful Friday afternoon to be alive in Austin TX.

#1 son had a birthday AND it was Chinese New Year's Eve. We attempted to celebrate at Stella San Jac, this would've been the third time we ate there. We sat in a booth in the lounge area (as we have on the two previous visits). The staff gave us a few funny looks, but never approached us. I made eye contact and was certain one of the three employees behind the bar were coming over, but they'd just walk by... I was certain they were going to fetch menus. But they continued to walk past us, giving us the occasional glance... We were a party of four adults, two children, but they eventually turned their backs to us for good. After about ten minutes Kat had noticed something was wrong. We looked across the street and saw Eddie V's! We stood up, walked across the street and were chatting with Chase (server) before we even sat down. Chase took great care of us and the evening was a great success.  

eddie V' steak tartare austin happy hour 

Steak tartare with shaved truffle on top (the BEST) along with some chilled Maine lobster. The tuna tartare was also very good (seen below).

tuna tartare eddie v's austin happy hour 

It was also Chinese New Year's Eve... We were surprised at how good the Pot Stickers were as well as the steamed Sea Bass (below). They even provided us some chop sticks to enhance our Chinese themed evening.  

year of the monkey sea bass at eddie v's austin  

bananas foster at eddie v's austin  

The kids really perked up when the Bananas Foster arrived. Thanks Chase! 

flaming dessert at eddie v's austin birthday 

 Free Hugs at the Airport:

When I have spare time, I give rides to people on Uber and Lyft. I usually turn it on when I'm doing something I can walk away from here at the house. I end up taking a lot of people from the neighborhood to the airport at $20-40 per trip (the higher price would be for the people that specify they want a luxury vehicle). It's real money and I usually enjoy the people I’m driving.

The first time I took somebody to the airport, we chatted along the way. I got out and helped them get their luggage out of the back... and I realized that this is something I do often for friends and family, and the ride always ends in a hug and pat on the back. Except now I have a stranger standing in front of me. Ok, they got in the car as a stranger and we got to know each other a bit, but I'm still the driver and they are still the PAX.

Some times they stick their hand out to shake and issue thanks. Often they hand me a wad of cash as a tip, I like that too. Today was different.  I picked up an older gentleman, he made me wait for a while. I keep a book in the car, I read and remained patient. Some drivers leave after waiting a few minutes, the PAX gets charged and the driver still gets paid when that happens. I saw this older guy, fumbling around trying to organize his things. I was going to be patient and make sure I got him safely to the airport. I walked up to the house and carried his luggage for him. He shared that he'd recently had his shoulder replaced. I was glad to load his bags myself. He paused and asked if it was OK if he double checked everything a second time, all bags, wallet, glasses... He was ready. This was his first time using Uber, he was a bit nervous. 

He sat up front (I prefer it that way). We had pleasant conversation and I could see he was starting to relax. He shared that his wife had just passed away, they'd been together since they were fourteen and fifteen years old. I pulled up to his airline drop area and got out to get his bags for him. I knew he couldn't manage it by himself. He got out of the car and his wallet fell on the ground, his cards spread out on the pavement. I made sure he was all settled before I turned to say goodbye. Then he was coming at me, arms stretched. He asked if it was OK to hug me. It was OK.

It'd been a stressful weekend here at the AMH. It felt good to help somebody get through their day, a Blue Monday no less. I think he helped me too. He didn't tip me. He offered to run in and break a $20, but I assured him it wasn’t necessary. I was ready to get back home to finish the Monday Blog post... DONE.

February 01, 2016

Hardwick Village Trail

While I was researching all Hardwick had to offer, I stumbled upon the Hardwick Trail. It's a year round trail that offers different activities depending upon the season. Winter is for Cross Country Skiing and Snow Shoe hiking. They have a cabin open from 9-11 on Saturday to loan you the gear if you don't have your own.

hardwick trail cabin vt

vermont hardwick trail cabin  

snow shoes on the hardwick trail vt 

snow shoes on, let's go! 

hardwick trail vermont 


a few random pics I took over my two days in Vermont, January of 2016

NEK Vermont snow capped mountain 

snow capped mountain vt 

lake champlain burlington, vt 

It was windy there along the shore of Lake Champlain. It was the first time I felt cold during this winter trip to Vt.  

it was cold on the shore of lake champlain burlington vt 

Goodbye Vermont. 

sun setting over lake champlain burlington vt 

The view of the setting sun reflected off Lake Champlain as my plane gained altitude out of Burlington.  



While I was there.... Hill Farmstead and Lost Nation

I found that Hill Farmstead was an easy fifteen minute drive from where I was staying in Hardwick. My day had cleared up after canceling a trip to Saint Johnsbury, so I drove my little rental up the hill.

Hill Farmstead January 2016 vermont beer 

hill farmstead brewery vermont growler fill 


hill farmstead of first and last things ipa 

I only had the one beer, and I DID get a T-shirt! 

vermont farm greensboro 

It had started snowing and all the farms looked like postcards.

slapp hill hardwick, vt 

The drive back down the hill into Hardwick.

I had one last errand to run. That sent me to Stowe. I realized I was traveling on the "IPA Highway". I did stop at one on the way back from Stowe, Lost Nation  

lost nation mosaic ipa vermont beer 

Kat's favorite IPA are made using Mosaic hops. I had their Mosaic IPA in her honor.



The sunset over Hardwick Vermont and the Positive Pie

I had a few errands to run in Vermont, so I booked a room in Hardwick. I'd never been before, but have been interested in Hardwick for quite a while. Around six years ago I was watching Dan Rather on the HighDef channel in the media room. I saw the folks in Hardwick and surrounding areas explain the organic farms and the local farm to fork food scene... all the green mountains and farms had me in some sort of High Definition trance, I started researching it on the computer soon as the show ended. We've been spending time each summer in Vermont, but we never actually went to Hardwick. I went, and I liked it.

My apartment I rented was on a small maple sugar (syrup) farm that was perched on a hill over the village. I was treated to a beautiful sunset, and some VT cheeses (thanks Sarah).

sweet stone maple syrup 


Sweet Stone Maple Farm 

sunset hardwick vermont vt 


sunset over the village of hardwick vt  


The universe provided me a nice show of color. I took that as a sign that I'm heading in the right direction. I set off down the hill to explore the village restaurant/pub scene.

foot bridge over the lamouille river hardwick vermont vt

But first, a foot bridge suspended over the Lamouille river.   

foot bridge over the Lamouille river hardwick vt  

Hardwick Village Restaurant over the lamouille river jan 2016 


The Village Restaurant perched over the river in the Village of Hardwick 

I made my way to Positive Pie. I had researched both of Hardwick's nicer restaurants, but the other closed down the same day I arrived. It was in the same space as the restaurant Dan Rather had shown me (Claire's).

I understand the investors plan to open another restaurant in the same space... I anxiously await their next move. But for this trip, I was happy with Positive Pie.

positive pie hardwick vt hill farmstead 

Oh, they had Hill Farmstead Susan on tap... Thank You Universe! Keep showing me the good stuff! I won't let it go unappreciated.

Hill Farmstead at Positive Pie in Hardwich Vt