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August 27, 2018

Fistful of Bourbon

A new Bourbon is coming to Texas, Fistful of Bourbon is from William Grant & Sons, the same people behind successful Scotch brands Glenfiddich and The Balvenie.  Fistful of Bourbon is made from a blend of five straight American bourbons aged at least two years.

fistful of bourbon american blended whiskey #fisfulofbourbon  

While I don't drink a lot of Bourbon, I DO enjoy an Old Fashioned now and then. On this HOT Texas August afternoon I also did appreciate the Fistful Smash. It was so refreshing and easy to approach.

fistful of bourbon fistful smash #fistfulofbourbon 

Fistful Smash

2 parts Fistful of Bourbon

½ part grapefruit oleo (GF infused simple syrup)

½ part fresh lemon juice

10 loose mint leaves

fistful of bourbon smash Charlotte Voisey #fistfulofbourbon 

Charlotte Voisey (seen above) was on hand to mix the drinks and discuss flavor profiles.

fistful of bourbon old fashioned #fistfulofbourbon 

Fistful of Bourbon is scheduled for sales to begin Sept 1st with a retail price of $25 for a 750ml.

Tiny Homes, Tiniest food, a few new beers... and the MASTERMIND!


living vehicle tiny home rv trailer

We attended the Tiny Home Jamboree this past weekend. We applied logic and arrived when it opened. That first hour was the optimal time to tour the many different examples  on display. As noon approached the lines had grown long and the temperature was rising fast. Our favorite by a large margin was the Living Vehicle.   

living vehicle off grid tiny home 

We have plans to finish the RV pad at our property in Vermont that has the waterfall in the back yard. Something like this would be a nice addition.  

tiny food  

One of the more whimsical exhibits, a working tiny kitchen. SO tiny, I suspect the whole kitchen would fit as carry on luggage... We watched him make churros. It really is a working kitchen.  

tiny food at the tiny home jamboree austin 

#2 son received a churro. 

tiny churros  

Now that #2 son had lunch, we stopped at a new brewery while we were out on the far east side. 

southern heights neipa austin hazy juicy beer ipa 

The IPA (hazy and juicy just how we like) was really good at Southern Heights.

That tiny churro didn't last long. We feasted on full sized craft Kolache at Batch.  We found Tupps DDH and another beer from B-52 on tap at Batch, both pretty good.

batch craft kolaches and beer tupps ddh b-52 ipa austin  

the MASTERMIND family of genius raccoon 

Another summer comes to a close (hopefully) and once again I have managed to trap The MasterMind. He has been relocated and I'm sure there was a happy family reunion of MasterMinds.   


August 20, 2018

The Sun is strong here

This has been the adjustment week. The sun comes up at a different time, the temperature is HOT during the day and into the evening. Getting the body back into regular trips to the gym.

Today will be the 40th day of temperatures at/over 100 here in Austin.  

78746 atx landscape cinder block

It was a bit discouraging that first day back. I took a walk in the heat, and tried to make note of all the landscaping that hadn't survived without my daily attention. It was quite a bit. Kat and I made a trip to the local plant store and spent mornings rebuilding. Things are looking better already. It's a race to get plants established to the point that they don't need so much care. Our landscaping method is a process of elimination. If something dies quickly, we try to replace it with something else. Eventually some variety of deer resistant, drought tolerant, full sun loving plants will stick around. It's a lot to ask of them.

august in austin 78746 

vintage drinkwater singer sewing machine danville vermont 

The vintage Singer sewing machine was recovered from the Old home we bought in Danville Vermont (the waterfall pics I posted a month back are from the back yard of that home). We hauled it back with us last summer. I found a sewing machine repair man and we met him in a parking lot in S Austin, like it was some sort of back alley transaction. He rambled on for some time on what a great machine this is. He exclaimed the superiority of the metal mechanism and explained how modern machines are all plastic gears. The new machines can't be repaired if they break etc., etc.  This machine now belongs to the daughter. It should last her a lifetime, if the repair guy is correct.

sewing craft drawstring bags 

She has spent her time indoors avoiding the heat, and making drawstring bags from scraps.  

owl box 78746 west lake hills tx 

We have a new (small) owl that has moved into the box.  

harbison best of show 2018 cheese gooey 

We did bring a wheel of Harbison back from Vermont. This cheese recently took "Best of Show" at the American Cheese Society 2018 Competition. We enjoyed it for my Mom's birthday.   

August 15, 2018

Carrot on a stick to RDU

We had committed to being in Raleigh Durham area for a family event. We had planned to travel west and down through Nebraska, spend the last bit of Summer in VT hiking and biking, but life is not scripted.

popo house 

We spent the night at Popo's (Chinese Grandma) house in DC area. 


Then we made it to Raleigh Durham area of North Carolina. 


My Brother... 

father and sons  

My father... 



Bride and Groom.... 




Then we hit the road. Now I'm racing out the door to get two new tires for he BMW X5 as they did a lot of rolling this summer.   

Rush Job on the bathroom renovation in Vermont

It seems we were constantly struggling to stay on schedule. Much of that had to do with the availability of the plumbers. Then, our deadline to get on the road became a hard date. We spent the last few weeks of summer in Vermont working. We all felt the stress but we managed to get it done.

Kat had taken a few before pics. The wallpaper was actually contact paper, and it had begun to peel in the tub/shower area. I hated that tub shower unit. The floor was an ugly peel/stick material.




(note the section of missing wall paper top right. We just painted the wall board white as a temp fix last summer)


The toilet was already too close to the wall. The lid didn't sit flat on the tank. I knew this would be a problem later as our plan would decrease the distance between the wall and tank even more.



It was a huge milestone to set that sliding glass shower door. We had to be on the road in less than 36 hours.

honeycomb tile rochester house hardwick vermont  

rochester house hardwick vermont  


I fabricated a custom tank lid from a piece of Carrera marble.  Not only does it fit correctly, but it also looks nice.

I literally took these pictures moments before locking the house and walking out the door. We didn't even get to shower in the new shower...  You can see the ladder was still there in the pic below. It may be another ten months before I get to actually use the shower that caused so much stress and effort this summer.

rochester house hardwick vt  



August 06, 2018

A couple days behind, but time waits for no man

No time for pretty Vermont scenery this week. Trying to finish up and head home. Maybe another ten days until I get time to make a real post.