Saturday, August 31, 2013

Austin Vacation

The weekend before I went back for inservice, I took another mini vacation to Austin to visit another friend I hadn’t seen in a few (maybe 7) years. My sister-in-law works for a salon in town, so I got into her stylist for a cut and color. It was the most expensive hair-do I’ve ever had and it looked great, but the red has already faded, even with the color-protected shampoo/conditioner. Still I like the dark and in certain lights, you can still see the red.

AV1So after my hair do, I went to meet my friend for drinks. I didn’t take a single picture of her or of us together. Weird, but I didn’t.

We met at Iron Cactus, then hung out at her house, drinking chocolate strawberry wine and port. We decided to go to roller derby the next night.

Saturday, we started out at a Farmer’s Market, which was awesome. They had so much more than ours here in Beaumont, which is not unexpected. If it was my town, I definitely would have gone to town with all of the fabulous goods, but we just walked around. I had a brisket taco, which I have really started to enjoy. We spent a lot of the day in Salido(?) a little north of Austin. It was a really nice day and a really nice little town. We visited the wine tasting room there, ate at a little bakery cafĂ© and walked around a bit.

We had dinner at Moonshine close to the Austin Convention Center where roller derby was. It’s a popular restaurant and we hit it just right for dinner. The food was delicious, but too much. We had to walk it off in the convention center before sitting down to roller derby. Which was pretty cool. It’s a very athletic sport.

It was nice to get away again and see my friend. I left early Sunday after going to eat breakfast with Scott’s sisters and his parents, who were in town to see the girls. I did not do as well taking pictures of this trip as I did the last one Sad smile


Monday, August 19, 2013


I started a baby blanket with this yarn, but it was turning out terribly. I finally ripped it all up and started making granny squares with the variegated yarn, sewed them together in a rectangle, then went around it with the solid light aqua for a border. I don't know why I didn't take a pic of that before I gave it, but I didn't. Summer was busy. I gave it to my college friend who I hadn't seen since Grace was born. She was finally pregnant with her "miracle" baby and I was able to go to her baby shower. Full of joy for her precious little boy. I was able to go back after he was born to see him. So nice. 

Then I found a website with great patterns and tutorials called Attic 24. My mother had given me some yarn she got at a yard sale, so I started a ripple afghan with it. I'm going to use it until it runs out, then figure out things from there. It really ripples, which is exciting. It's also infinitely variable and can be used for a baby blanket too.  

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Podcasts, Star Trek Sunday

I've started walking in the mornings. Not fast and  not far, but just moving. I try to get to bed around 9 (ha ha, that hardly ever happens) and get up at 5 to walk. I've been moderately successful. I walk up and down the street 3 times. In the interest in becoming a better person, I've been trying to find free podcasts to listen to on those walks. I've found the 5 am Miracle, Tell all with Ryan O'Connor, Professor Blastoff, the Nerdist, and TrekFM. I really like all of these in different ways, but I've found myself really liking the TrekFM because there are several different ones that each deal with the different TV series. It's been so long since I've seen any of them, much less heard intelligent discussion about the characters and stories. I really want to start watching them again. Hulu has some, so I think we're going to start Star Trek Sunday, watching some episodes with Grace.
The podcasts are on iTunes.  The 5 am Miracle guy is all about personal development, and some of his stuff is interesting. He's a raw vegan and a runner. Tell all is a celebrity gossip thing, but has some interesting guest stars and is really funny. Professor Blastoff is also sometimes funny, though it's hit or miss to me. The Nerdist is also hit or miss, depending on their guests. Some of it I'm just not into. But I'm always into Star Trek of all flavors, excluding The Original Series, though the current movies are fun.

Friday, August 9, 2013


I’ve found some neat books lately.
dragon-bound1 picDragon Bound is an older book and it shows in some of the dialogue. I’ve read a lot of similar books, but I was so fascinated by the mystery of the heroine, I kept with it. There are others in the series, but I’m not interested enough to keep with them.
Heart of obsidian
This is Nalini Singh’s new release and it rocks. I went to her book signing in Houston and she’s awesome. It’s like number 12 of her Psy-Changeling series and you should read them all. This one is definitely one of my favorites. How many 12th books in a series can you say that about?
Seanan McGuire - Discount Armageddon picI don’t like Seanan McGuire’s other series that everyone else loves, but this one is a lot of fun. It’s a totally different world and the worldbuilding is really great. I listened to the first 2 and really enjoyed them.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Beach vacation

My parents have a time share in Galveston and we spent a few days there when they were there. We went to Schlitterbahn with my sister, bil and nephew, leaving the babies with my parents. That was a lot of fun. Grace was big enough to ride most of the slides she wanted to, but Brady was still too little. It was a long day. We didn’t get to eat dinner until 9 or so. It was fun. I was glad we were only there 2 days. We went to Scott’s parents in Houston the next day. Grace restaurantMillie beachMillie G beachMillie windrestaurant

Mama vacation 1 Day 2 part 2

This area of Texas has beautiful rolling hills and bluebonnets in the spring. After the grape stomping, we went into Brenham proper to check into our fantastic bed and breakfast. I may be a convert after this stay. We stayed at the Ant Street Inn, which was incredible. The whole downtown Brenham area was really nice and interesting. There are a lot of little shops and a few eating places in walking distance. We checked in and learned about the breakfast the next morning, the veranda outside the second floor, the coffee, drinks and blue bell in the fridge, and the wine social at 5:30. We figured we didn’t need to go to Blue Bell to get ice cream, so we went to another winery to see the sights.

 BrenhamASI sign

ASI Inn (2)ASI InnASI room (2)ASI roomASI wine socialASI Leslie

We had beer and pizza for dinner. The next morning we had that wonderful breakfast then walked around awhile. There was a cute park close by that told an interesting story that started out being about Brenham cisterns then ended up being about arson and looting by the union army after the Civil War. It was very interesting.

I’m glad I went to spend time with Leslie. On the way home I stopped to see another college friend and bridesmaid who had just had her first baby. It was a very nice weekend, and my babies missed me a lot too!

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Mama vacation 1 day 2

Bfast 1Bfast 2

I’m all about a free breakfast and I’m an early riser, so Saturday morning, I got up, took a shower and was down in the lobby at 6:15 for my first breakfast (on the left). Then I went back to the room to finish my coffee, then I went back later with Leslie for second breakfast (on the right). So my morning was off to a great start.

But no one else in the area is an early riser or early opener, so we started out at the Chappell Hill Lavender Farm. I thought there was a festival that day, but it was this next weekend, but we browsed the gift shop and walked the grounds. The woman there said it would be a good place to come in the spring to take bluebonnet pictures. And there is a gazebo.

From there we went to the Antique Rose Emporium. I’d been there before and it’s a beautiful place where you can spend a lot of money on plants. Good, high quality, healthy plants, but they are a bit pricey. You can’t find them anywhere else, though, which is really cool.

ARE bird houseARE pink flamingosARE pretty flowers 2ARE pretty flowersARE tin flowersARE tin man

There are cool children’s areas, beautiful flowers and some ponds. We didn’t buy anything, just walked around awhile. From there we went to Windy Winery to do the grape stomp. I didn’t see much in the way of wines there, but @ $25 a pop, they were seeing more money from that than from any wine-making process.

WW LLWW grapesWW stompWW stonpWW shirts 2WW shirts

We were given a bucket and a knife, then took a hayride to the field. The feller showed us where the grapes were hiding and let us go. We did that for awhile then took them back to the buckets to stomp them. They didn’t make wine from these grapes, and it seemed from the 3 wineries we went to that much wine was made from grapes brought in from elsewhere and it was better if they were all from Texas, but that wasn’t possible really.

We stomped them then stepped on a shirt. For the memories.

And that’s just half of the day.

Friday, August 2, 2013

Mama Vacation 1 Day 1

After many hours delay, I met Leslie at our motel and planned our first adventure. Not really an adventure, since we’re not adventurous types, but our first outing. L&L

We went to Mesina Hof, a world-famous, award-winning winery here in Bryan/College Station. I went with my mother and nana when I was in college, like 10 years ago, but I haven’t been since. It was nice. The story and production haven’t changed but the wines are still good. We did the tour with wine tasting at the end. Then we had dinner at the winery restaurant. I had the shrimp creole and a Gervertz wine that was suggested. The food was ok. The wine was excellent. I’ve had good cajun cuisine. This wasn’t it. The food was hot in a pepper way, not a spicy way, which is a difference if you’ve had good cajun cooking. It was a lovely dinner, then we walked around until it got dark. Then we went and dangled our feet in the pool for awhile. Now we’re getting ready for our next adventure tomorrow. Though, really, I’m looking forward to the breakfast in the morning. Smile

Messina Hof GrapesWine tasting

Of course we learned more about the wine-making process. I took a wine-making class in college but I don’t remember most of it. The grapes on the vine there are used to make port when they are on the vine that long. Port is good, sweet dessert wine. They have grapes growing all over Texas and other places, I think. They have a festival over several weekends where the public pays for the pleasure of harvesting and stomping the grapes. Puny public, though Leslie and I will be doing the same at some other winery on Saturday. It’s the experience, I guess. There was a couple in the gift shop who bought 3 bottles of wine for $128. That’s a lot of passion right there. And disposable income, but passion! Leslie bought a reasonable Angel Riesling, but I just stuck to my tastings and the one I had with dinner. Messina Hof is at the grocery store, but there are special wines they don’t stock a lot of. I know I like Riesling and Gervertz, Moscato and Port.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Do we dare ask. . .

What else can go wrong? The work car is overheating, which will cost money to fix. The water heater went out, which I know will cost a lot of money to fix. We’re trying to keep positive and count our blessings, but it’s getting harder. School starts for me in 2 weeks and I’ve planned some weekend trips to finish off summer. I should cancel them, but I’m not. My sister said that I’d still be broke at the end of the month, so what’s a little broker. I’m going anyway. Tomorrow I’m meeting my college friend Leslie in College Station and we’re going to tour a few wineries there and spend the night at a budget hotel that I’m paying for. Saturday we’re going to Brenham to tour some other wineries and such and stay in a much nicer B&B that she is paying for – but I love her and I’m really looking forward to spending time with her. I’m hoping to go to Austin the following weekend and spend the weekend with another friend there. And just let the financial chips fall where they may. Scott is trying to get a job. Hopefully something comes up soon.

I spent 2 days this week delivering phone books for a paltry sum. I’m embarrassed to even tell, considering how much work it was and how HOT HOT HOT it was. I’m looking forward to school starting. I’m going to miss my baby, though. She likes having me home, but I wouldn’t be good at staying home all the time. Grace and I went with my sister and her son and a friend to a water park today. It was nice to get away, but I did miss Millie a lot. She was fine with MawMaw, but I missed her. She’s going to be with Grace and Scott at Scott’s parents while I’m wino-ing.