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October 29, 2018

Challah if you got to...

Every once in a while, Kat gets bitten by some kitchen bug. She's highly motivated now that's she's found a series of instructional videos that are in Chinese and metric.

She's also honing in on her bread making. She had been making Challah using the easy Ziploc bag method. She's found she likes the traditional method better. We have a kitchen stand mixer so it ends out being even easier than the Ziploc bag bread.

homemade challah bread 

challah bread austin westlake 78746 

She devoted most of her Sunday to the kitchen making Chinese brownies (neither real brownie or fudge but somewhere in between), two loaves of Challah, a ginger chicken and mushroom rice dish, and a salt and pepper tofu dish. I try to just stay out of her way (outside of cleaning the pots and pans). I will need to find something to occupy myself while her weekends are focused on this new cooking hobby/skill. I did make French toast from the fresh baked Challah.

challa bread french toast  

October 28, 2018

Sidewalk to the grocery, attempt #1

We are finally getting a sidewalk from our home to the local HEB (grocery store). We may be a bit early, but we made the first journey to get an avocado using the bikes.

sidewalk to HEB west lake hills tx 

There were a few obstacles and incomplete sections... 

sidewalk construction bee caves road west lake hills texas 2018


Nobody had told us it was ready for us to use... 

heb needs a bike rack westlake tx 

HEB could really use a nice bike rack...  

bee caves road west lake hills construction zone 2018 

more obstacles on the way back. Somebody might've had a minor tumble, but I was good and refrained from taking pics. I helped pick up the groceries.  

west lake hills sidewalk bee cave rd 

We made it home... just a slight bit of mud to push through at the end... OK, so maybe we'll try this again when they are really done.

We managed to get out on the East Side to catch Mente Clara  

mente clara jazz austin revival coffee 

bohemian jazz men of austin texas east side 

aluminet solar cloth

I removed the aluminet solar shade, that was fun (sarcasm) 

hill farmstead susan in austin tx 

I had my last Hill Farmstead Susan at a friends house while we enjoyed this amazing Fall weather.  

October 22, 2018

Vermont in 60 hours (we missed peak foliage but that's OK)

hill farmstead october 2018 vermont

Over happy hour one day last summer, we hatched a plan for a quick trip to Vermont to see the Fall Foliage with friends. We missed peak by about five days. It was cold and snowing when we arrived. We did visit Hill Farmstead.  

owl head mountain groton peacham vermont fall 2018

The next day was sunny and warmer. We hiked up Owl's Head Mountain.  


owl head mountin groton state forest vermont vt nek 


owl head kettle pond groton vermont fall 2018 

owls head groton vt 


NEK fall foliage 2018 vermont

We stopped in West Danville to see our project home that has the waterfall in the back yard.  

joe's brook nek vermont pond fall 2018 


joe's brook pond joes danville vermont vt fall 2018 


elmore store pond deck 2018 fall 

quick stop for a beverage from the deck at the Elmore Store.  

black barn farm fall 2018 bolton vermont 

We received an invite to attend a bonfire at the Black Barn Farm in Bolton. They have a bridge that crosses their waterfall to access the acreage on the other side. You can see the barn (home) on the top left of the pic below.  

black barn farm bolton vt 2018 fall vt  


black barn farm bolton vt 

It's a good view from a clearing on the other side. Perfect weather for a fire. 

black barn farm fire  


Connie even fed the fire.  

black barn farm bolton vt 

cold hollow cider waterbury vermont cide donuts

Cider Donuts from the Cold Hollow apple cider place.  

BBCO bee keeper  

Quick tasting (flight) at Burlington Brewing Company. Bee Keeper was the favorite.  

burlington vermont fall foliage 2018 vt 

foam brewery burlington vt neipa 


foam brewing burlington vermont vt fall 2018 

We all wished we had more time to spend at Foam. We had a flight to catch.  


I was fortunate to get back to Austin to mild temps and blue skies.  

wonderful fall day pinthouse pizza electric jellyfish ipa austin tx 

My Sunday Pint at PHP was enjoyed on the patio.  



October 15, 2018

Maintainance mode... I'm growing tired of it.

Sure, there have been some setbacks. I've been so busy just fixing and maintaining things. Do you ever want to just run away? Sure you do. We are maintaining, almost like treading water. Maybe November will be the month where we have no unexpected expenses.

a few recent repair pics:

best by broan porsche designed vent hood 

Our fancy Porsche designed kitchen vent hood needed a new transformer and control board (brain). I've been battling this one for six months. We hired a tech to install the brain. The parts cost more than the labor, so that was an easy decision.  

best by broan porsche designed kitchen vent hood 


icemaker repair kat 

Kat installed a brand new ice maker AND a new ice level sensor control board. That works again! 

carrier geothermal compressor failure 

Last month was the upstairs Geothermal A/C compressor. I probably complained about this one already. But it's going to be a few months before we get over the sting from that one. Our HVAC works again!

Also, the garage siding project appears to be a success. We've had so much heavy rain, but no leaks! 

side note: It's now colder in Austin than it is in Hardwick VT. Sweater weather! 

October 14, 2018

David Byrne and his brain for ACL 2018

David Byrne ACL 2018 Brain

David Byrne was the best show we saw at ACL 2018. (we only went Friday) 

austin city limits festival 201 david byrne 

The sound, choreography, musicianship.... really made the day for us.  

david byrne marching band 2018 acl 

the national acl 2018 matt seemed drunker than usual 

We had mostly looked forward to The National. Matt seemed drunker than usual. It was the worst National show we've seen.  

acl 2018 food court shade tent 

The food selections were good this year. No complaints there. ALSO! They had FLUSH toilets. They were clean too.   

acl 2018 craft beer tent 

Craft beer tent didn't have many good craft beer options. Maybe I've become picky, and my expectations are to blame for any disappointment.

We stayed for Paul McCartney. We were closer to the stage than I had hoped. I knew my claustrophobia would be an issue. And the sweaty people bumping me, and the people smells... and the pushing. I did eventually yell at a guy, I really went off on him and I can't type the words I said to him. Three people near us needed medical attention (either too much consumption or heat exhaustion). Kat was very happy for the whole set. So that makes all the effort worth while.

It was a good show, but I was glad when it was over.  

Tony Garissino and Jesse Straton Band Austin Guitar 

Our guitar instructor (Tony Garossino) played at Guero's with the Jesse Stratton band this past week. The weather was just perfect. While we are not really into Country music, the dude played some good saxophone and we enjoyed the show more than we expected.

porsche 944 NA  

The 944 has been fairly reliable so far. I've been driving for a few errands. I've found it doesn't like to RE start if it sits for about an hour after a drive. It will start just fine if I let set for a couple hours. It's time to start replacing some of the old parts. I'll start with the speed and reference sensors, then the fuel pump.  


Fall weather is coming...  



October 08, 2018

Not the best.... with extra sogginess.

The best part of this past week, is that it's gone.


I did manage to get the yard mowed. I mostly worked between rain showers. Maybe I also worked some WHILE it rained. It's been so humid, it's not easy to discern between rain soaked attire and sweat soaked.


I trimmed a few trees and hauled dead wood out to the curb for the city to pick up. I did that in the rain too.  


We are seeing Fall colors creep into the green. I'm hoping for lower temps and less humidity to follow. I've been changing clothes multiple times a day with all the rain and humidity.  

I did get over to my Mom's townhouse to help get her common wall cement board siding up.

five acrew wood lost creek 

 She's real happy how it turned out. She's now considering to redo the other common wall.   

October 02, 2018

It's sort of a side job...

We (my Mom and I) have been busy putting up metal siding on the garage. Now I go to her place this week to apply new cement panels on a Townhouse common wall. It's a labor exchange program.


Taking down the old cedar siding.


The new siding is up! I still need to put a few bits of trim at the sides of the window, but the heavy lifting is done. It has not been fun working in this humidity, and occasional rain shower.