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December 23, 2016

Merry Christmas 2016!

We got our annual Holiday card out a bit late this year... It's a little bit Texas and a little bit Vermont...

schuster christmas holiday card 2016 


That's the view from my doorbell in Vermont. Thanks to all the people up there caring for the house in -6 degree cold, while we are here in Texas.

Quiet Company Austin House Show 2016

Kat and I came home from the Jones Center to a party already in progress.

quiet company band austin christmas house party 2016

We had around seventy people this year for the Quiet Company Christmas Party. 


The White Elephant Gift Exchange was HUGE this year. #2 son chose the gift he gave.... I guess he really wanted that Moose Munch.  



#1 son had a friend as a guest this year.  

white elephant ravioli repeater 

The ravioli maker.... Kat and I gave this last year. The guy who went home with it didn't have any interest in making ravioli...  It made a reappearance this year. We were happy to see that it was stolen, by somebody who DOES have an interest in making ravioli.  

paul schuster christmas chalkboard art 2016 

My seasonal chalkboard art offering. 

Monika Sosnowska at the Contemporary Austin Jones Center (member's preview rooftop party)

Monika Sosnowska: Habitat Austin

We enjoyed the member's preview for the Habitat exhibit at the Contemporary Austin.  

Monika Sosnowska Austin Jones Center 

austin contemporary Monika Sosnowska  

monika sosnowska austin 2016 

monika sosnowska austin contemporary art jones center 2016 

The event was also the big reveal party for the new rooftop deck. It's quite beautiful up there.  

Austin Contemporary art jones center rooftop

We were double booked, so we rushed home to find our house filled with people attending a party at our house... 

December 19, 2016

High Holiday Expectations

The holidays can bring high expectations of Peace, Joy and Happiness.

 There are other expectations that fall under this umbrella, expectation of a peaceful afternoon nap, expectations of being understood, expectations of consideration, expectations of respect, expectations of inclusion, expectations of high quality party food that won't make the guest gassy...

 The list can go an and on. The more we expect, the greater the chance of disappointment. The result can lead to a cascade of disappointment. bah-humbug.

On a brighter note. the Hill Country Middle School Full Orchestra did a great job at their winter concert. I'll leave you with that.


December 12, 2016

Lonely Persimon of 2016, and Christmas lights...

One of Kat's most prized possessions is her persimmon tree. 

west lake hills persimon tree


This tree was a slight stick when we planted it. I didn't expect it would amount to much. It's grown so much, I wish we'd planted it a bit further out. I suggested trimming it so it would grow tall. Kat prefers it stays low to the ground, for ease of harvesting fruit.  

lonely persimon 

We had a generous amount of rain this year, but the tree produced only a single fruit. Similarly, our usual bountiful Fall tomato crop was also scant. It was suggested it might be due to the scarcity of pollinators.  

zilker tree 2016 50th

The Zilker Tree and the Trail of Lights. 

zilker tree

zilker tree noise maker 

zilker tree 

spin inside the zilker tree trail of lights  

trail of lights 2016 

The most important part... 

letter to santa at trail of lights 

the letter to Santa.  

mozart's coffee christmas light show hot chocolate 

We also caught the Christmas light show at Mozart's Coffee 

mozart's coffee christmas lights 

We also celebrated a birthday.  

chinatown westlake  

She enjoyed her traditional wing meal at Plucker's for lunch, and opted for sushi at Chinatown for dinner.  

Jorge the sushi chef at Chinatown Westlake 

Jorge and Gregg did not disappoint.  

December 05, 2016

No Camp wknd improved with SWISH and Fish (and bonus hug)

This was the weekend we had reservations to go camping at Lost Maples. We've had these plans for six months. The weather didn't cooperate so we ditched the camping at the last minute. We stayed home and made use of the turkey fry oil before we send it to the recycler.

Fried whole red snapper! 

fried whole red snapper

I also acquired a collection of "WORLD CLASS" NEIPA (New England India Pale Ale). 

Bissell Brothers Brewing SWISH Juice Bomb 

This style of IPA is typically "dry-hopped" with a large quantity of American hops. The resulting brew is "Juicy" and has hints of citrus. The Hop flavor is prominent but without a lot of mouth puckering bitterness. The most recent release of SWISH had a line of people hoping to get some that stretched for three blocks long. (video from 2015 SWISH release here

neipa beer in austin texas 

I also acquired several varieties of Trillium  It was a great event, frying food and opening craft beer. We even enjoyed some Prohibition Pig crowlers.  

TRILLIUM Brewint Cutting Tiles Citra IPA 


While I had my studio strobe set up to capture pics of beer.... The best part  was this hug I got from my daughter,  


These were REAL HUGS! The best part of the week right here!


We also took advantage of a brief break in the rain to get something to use as her Senior Picture.  

A few samples, I like both versions. I can't pick just one.