Thursday, October 30, 2008

Monday, October 27, 2008


A few weeks ago, my parents came to visit for the weekend. It was a beautiful autumn weekend. They brought Skylar too. We went to Robinette's, a local apple orchard! We saw them make apple cider, I picked out pumpkins (the cheapest I've ever paid), and we bought lots of apples!

Here's Skylar next to some of the bigger pumpkins. The ones I got aren't that big!

We went to the mall after lunch. Skylar is in front of the sculpture that is there.

Fall colors, soon snow will fall.

This last weekend was the Jr. High Overnight. Fun times! I baked cupcakes in these ghost shaped tins. Heather and I found them last year, but we never got to use them!

Here I am, in my costume. Yes, I made it. Yes, I made it just for the overnight...

Heather was Queen of DeVine. (the name of our "youth group rooms" is collectively called "The Vine", and the room has a mural that is painted in green, black and purple....) Do you get it now?

After only a few hours of sleep, we're a couple of matching youth leaders, ready for a nap! The few hours of sleep were worth it! We were entertained into the wee hours of the morning by a couple of "charades".

I can't go anywhere without plunging a toilet... Seriously. They're always getting clogged (not by me). This toilet has been acting up. The last flush was the final straw. The stall flooded and we actually had to put into action Jason's, aka Joe the Plumber, plunger. I'm getting really good at plunging toilets....

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

The rest of my trip to Austin

I am going to skip the boring details like how my flight got delayed due to a mechanical problem and I rebooked myself so I made it to Austin closer to the original time, and because of that got to fly first class from Atlanta to Austin. Instead, I will jump right in to the other half of the trip (the non-ACLFest):

Friday morning, when I was finally up and ready to go, Brad came and picked me up. Alisha had some work to do (preparing a grant proposal), we met her for lunch. We had Indian food (I can't remember the name of the restaurant). I got a small tour of the UT Austin campus. It's downtown, and it reminded me a lot of SCAD, only it was more localized and not spread out like SCAD.

Everything is orange, even the meters (this is for you greg!)

Brad, Scott, Anil and I headed down to ACLFest with Lizzie. Alisha came later, after she picked up Maddie from school. By the end of the festival on Friday night, Lizzie had enough. She was sleeping in her stroller, but wasn't strapped in. She likes to move in her sleep and was basically wiggling her way out of the stroller. It was a little chilly that night, so I put her on my lap to keep me warm, and to keep her from falling... this is how she finally fell back to sleep.

Saturday was Maddie's birthday. She's showing off the new shoes that had Dora on them! She opened a lot of presents that morning (from Brad's parents).

One of the things she got was a princess crown. She was wearing it in the car, but then put it on me. (not like I'm used to wearing a tiara or anything...)

By Monday, we were pretty tuckered out. Maddie went to school, Alisha went back to work and Brad took me on a longer tour of Austin. Here's the Capitol building. (Capitol as in the state is spelled with an "o" like the shape of the dome. Capital as in a letter, is spelled with an "a". Just in case you wanted to know!)

This is me on the front steps of the Capitol building with the rest of Austin in the background.

Inside the Capitol Building, looking down (from the second floor) at the mosaic under the dome.

Looking up at the dome!

The door hinges.

The artisan well outside of the Capitol Building. It did work, a slow trickle of water finally came out.

This is the staircase inside the Visitor's Center. There was a main staircase too. We just happened to find this one first.

This is the Texas State History museum. It had a large, beautiful mosaic tile floor right inside the door. But it was so big, like everything in Texas, that I wouldn't have been able to get a good enough picture of it. I liked the Lone Star out front.

Brad wanted to show me this beautiful fountain, but there was no water running that day. The tower is in the background.

Chuy's, where Alisha and I ate lunch. Yum! It was a great lunch.

Maddie opens her birthday card from Bill and me.

Bill and I bought Maddie the Skippyjon Jones books for her birthday (Skylar loved these). They are about a Siamese cat who thinks he's a Chihuahua and the adventures/mischief that he gets into. She loved them both. I read them to her, Brad read them to her, and I think she would have let everybody read them to her if she hadn't fallen asleep!

So that was my trip to Austin. Oh I should end with this: when I got to the airport Tuesday morning, they offered the last first class seat available for $50. Nobody went for it, so I did. I could get used to that!

Thursday, October 2, 2008


ACL Fest

I went to visit Alisha and Brad in Austin, Texas last weekend. It was the weekend of the ACLFest (Austin City Limits Festival). I will blog about the time with them in another blog. I took so many pictures, I had to split them up!

130 bands, eight stages, three days.

Here I am at the main entrance. It's my first time! This was the 7th year for ACLFest.

Here's the top of the "info" station.

This is looking towards the AT&T stage with the skyline in the background. How cool!

All weekend long, you saw people carrying around a bag for cans and bottles. You got a free t-shirt when you filled one up. "Keep Austin Weird" is one of the slogans, Keep Austin Green should be another. There were barely any chain restaurants anywhere in the city. During the festival, instead of the vendors you see at other festivals in their little trailers, ACL hosts local restaurants. It's called A Taste of Austin. Each restaurant has a few choices from their regular menu. It was great food!


Here I am sampling some BBQ brisket! Yum! It's bigger in Texas.


This was a group called Band of Heathens. They all had their own bands, but would fill in for one another when band members were missing. Soon they created their own sound and joined together to create the one band. They were from Austin.

We hung out at the Austin Kiddie Limits tent with Maddy. (who's birthday was also on Saturday. When I asked her, on Friday, what tomorrow was, she replied, "ACLFest." I had to prompt her to tell me it was her birthday. She knows what's important!) This was the Q Brothers. The brother in the sleeveless shirt is the bass drummer from the movie "Drumline". They were fun!

Here's a group that I had read about in the program, Yonder Mountain String Band. They played at the small tent. It turns out, they were awesome!

Saturday was the hottest day of the three. The temperature was in the 90's the entire time I was there. (I came back to 50 degree weather!) We took a dip in Barton Springs where the water temperature is 68 all year round! I am exlaiming that it wasn't cold. Not compared to Lake Superior, which at it's warmest is only 50 some degrees! I really wasn't cold at all! I was prepared for chilly water, but it was most refreshing!

Saturday evening for dinner I tried the sloppy nachos. They were smothered in cheese and beef! Delicious!


Alisha and I sat and listened to the South Austin Jug Band. Another local band, much like the Yonder Mountain String band, but no jug! They were great! We walked over to hear the Raconteurs, but ended up coming back to SAJB because we liked their style of music better. (The Raconteurs were screaming when we walked over to hear their "music".)

While Alisha and Brad sat over in Austin Kiddie Limits listening to the Jimmies again (we heard them Saturday) Anil, Scott and I headed over to the AMD stage and listened to Gillian Welch and David Rawlings. We were about to head back to the Kiddie tent to hear Nicole Atkins, when Gillian said she had a special guest (they did this quite often during the festival) so we waited to find out who it was. It was Alison Krauss. They sang "Go to Sleep Little Babe" from "O Brother Where Art Thou". It was great! The entire audience started clapping along.

Here is Nicole Atkins over at Austin Kiddie Limits. She said we were the most attentive audience she had ever had, which also made us the most terrifying. We were giving her our full attention. It was also the most crowded that tent had been!

The Sunday night headliner/festival closer was the Foo Fighters. There was no other band (like Friday and Saturday nights) so EVERYONE was over at the AT&T stage (I wouldn't mind a new phone for all this free advertising I'm giving AT&T!). We were about a quarter of a mile away from the stage. It was crazy! But fun!

Alisha and me posing for a photo shot!

It was also very dusty! The first day I wore flip flops and my feet got a little dirty. We decided we didn't get sunburned because the dust was a natural sunblock!

Look for my post about Austin!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

joining in

What's the hottest topic anyone and everyone seems to be talking about? The election of course. I tend to lean towards the not-so-interested-but-still-votes crowd. I'm not throwing in my two cents, but I am offering you a website so that you can verify your facts before you persuade anyone who to vote for. Check it out. This is my kind of political stand.

By the way, if you're a woman and you can vote, and you're reading this. Go vote. It hasn't even been one hundred years that women have had the right to vote and they fought very hard to get that right. Don't throw it away. Use it.