Thursday, March 23, 2017

BACK TO BARCELONA

Well, I finally forced myself to make time for art, and this was the result -- a long delayed spread about Barcelona in my travel journal, utilizing my stash of hand-painted-by-me papers.


Normally, when I use these papers in collage, I go to great extremes to avoid having any of those little white edges left on the pieces I tear off. This time, however, I made a conscious effort to keep them.


Turns out they're pretty good at imitating the grout between mosaic shards. I'm really looking forward to doing more of these spreads in the near future.

 
After all, if there's one thing Barcelona has in abundance, it's fabulously funky mosaics!

Monday, March 20, 2017

I AM THE WALRUS

Can you believe this little squeedunk is ten months old today?


Not only is he going to town on solid foods, he's also cruising the furniture at warp speed, and has even taken a few lurching steps from one parent to the other. Before you know it, we'll be celebrating his first birthday! Which I am pretty excited about, since it brings him that much closer to being ready for imaginative adventure play, and the time when I can present him with his own special adventure buddy, which I ordered as soon as he was born.


Later I went back and ordered a couple of fun adventure packs that each include something for both the boy and the doll. Unfortunately, they got held up in customs and just finally showed up last week. However, to make up for the delay, they threw in a third pack for free. Woohoo!


It's fixin' to get fun around here, don't ya think? You can read about how this doll came into being here. The good news is that it's creator is now in partnership with a toy distributor, and one of the dolls is now available in most Target and Toys R Us stores, and maybe a few others. If it does well enough, they will probably branch out and carry more of the dolls, as well as some of the adventure packs.

That's pretty much the only toys I have bought for him so far, since we had so much wonderful stuff passed down to us from our friends Paula and Tim. We also haven't bought much in the way of clothes, since Lex inherited so many from all of her friends. But, when I saw this for half-off at Penney's the other day, I just could not resist, even though he probably won't fit them for another year!




 Any idea where I might find an eye patch and pirate hat to fit his adventure buddy?

Thursday, March 16, 2017

THE NEW SAN MARCOS

The View Below The River Pub
When we first bought this house, we used to spend a lot of time over in the little college town of San Marcos, about 30 minutes south of us. For one thing, they had the only movie theater nearby. For another, our daughter was in school there, at Texas State, and enjoyed introducing us to all of her favorite hangouts, such as the infamous River Pub, and a ginormous hodgepodge of a shop called The Paper Bear.



After awhile, however, it seemed that most of these places were getting kinda seedy and run down. Paper Bear ended up cutting their size in half when the economy crashed (tho still a lot of fun), and the River Pub shut down altogether. Meanwhile, more and more new stuff was popping up in Kyle, just 20 minutes east of us, including a giant new movie theater/arcade/bowling alley/restaurant/bar/church called EVO, as well as a Target, a giant HEB and our favorite Mexican joint. So, we ended up spending more and more time over there, instead.

Lately, however, I've been hearing rumors -- rumors about an influx of retirees to San Marcos, and all the new restaurants popping up that are no longer geared strictly towards the college kids. After spotting this list of 10 things to do in San Marcos on Facebook, we decided it was definitely time for a little adventure!

Note the rooftop party bar.
First stop was AquaBrew restaurant and brewery, for brunch.


Shared Communal Tables Inside, Beer Garden Out Back

I opted for the grilled pimiento cheese breakfast sandwich with fried egg and bacon jam.


Definitely a moaner!

Hubby went for the fresh blueberry pancakes.


Can't wait to go back so Hubby can try some of their craft beers, and I can make a tappas-style meal out of their upscale Pub Snacks.


Next stop was another new EVO theater called The Spot, minus the arcade, but with the addition of reclining lounge chairs and table service.


It was a mighty fine adventure.


Who knows? With that ginormous 55+ master-planned community called Kissing Tree going in over there (think Sun City), we may even end up with some clothing stores in San Marcos that actually have stuff for people over 21! Wouldn't that be somthin'?

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

THIS IS YOUR MISSION...

Mission Concepción
Make it your mission to visit the San Antonio missions! Can't believe I've lived in Texas all my life without visiting any other than the Alamo, and just recently, the one in Goliad. Alas, it took the formation of Hubby's Hill Country Photo Walk group to finally spur me into action. 


Their very first adventure was scheduled for this past Friday, but when we awoke to rain and heavy fog, cancellation messages were quick to pop up on Hubby's phone. Fortunately, for we intrepid few who opted to carry on, it ended up being a great day for photo-taking!

Mission San José

Though there is a bit of color left inside some of the missions, most of their original color-madness has been worn away by time and the elements.


The Only Piece of Color Left on the Exterior
Years ago when I visited Biltmore Estate with a friend, I discovered that, while most people were interested in seeing the glamorous public spaces and gardens, what I loved was seeing the kitchens, larders, servant's quarters, attics, and veggie gardens. I had a compulsion to see what all went on behind the scenes, to make it all work. The same was true here. So while my fellow adventurers were busy choosing which of their cameras and lenses and settings were just right for capturing that certain architectural detail, I was off exploring the amazing stone ovens and wells and aqueduct systems that brought water from the river to run their grist mill.

The Oldest Mill in Texas

After that we stopped at conveniently located Nicha's Comida Mexicana on Roosevelt, just across the street from this awesome drive-in theater...

 
for a mighty tasty lunch. Tell 'em it's your first time there, and you get a free cup of tortilla soup! Next it was on to tiny little Mission San Juan.



The interesting thing to me is that all these little mission chapels appear to be holding weekly services still, and this building below had a sign saying it was a private residence.


Just as we hit our last stop, Mission Espada, the clouds broke loose. Fortunately, we were able to pull right up to the front door and get a good look without leaving the car. Alas, that door happened to be fairly awesome, and two of our group just couldn't resist hopping out in the rain to snap a few close-ups of it. Good thing they did, since that ended up being Hubby's favorite photo of the day!


My favorite part of the day? When the other couple finished loading our trunk to the brim with all their equipment, then turned to me to ask where all my stuff was. The look on their faces when I pulled my tiny point-and-shoot from my hip pocket? Priceless!

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

LES CHAISES...

Elles sont arrivées!


You could hear that big ol' truck coming from a mile away, but then it just sat at the bottom of the hill for the longest time. Next thing we knew, there were two guys hiking up our driveway, each carrying a red chair atop his head. Guess they had their doubts about making it up our twisty driveway in their truck, or being able to turn it around once they got there. Wise choice. Luckily, Hubby was able to meet them in our pickup before they got to the steepest part.


We'll be playing around with different arrangements for awhile, before we decide where the TV needs to end up, and rearrange everything on the wall.


Unfortunately, the pair of square leather storage ottomans we want to replace the glass coffee table with are out of stock, and won't be back until June.

John was downstairs framing pictures most of the evening, while I was upstairs arranging stuff and changing out sofa covers. I was back in the bedroom when he returned and I heard him holler "Who's house did I walk into? Must be some really fun, hip people living here!"

Gotta love 'im.

Did I mention how comfy they are?

Monday, March 6, 2017

HE LIKES IT!

I'm pretty sure little Calvin likes our new color-mad carpet...


although he did get a tad frustrated when he wasn't able to pick up any of the "balls".


I had a great time playing with him while Mom and Dad had a date night here in Wimberley. He was a happy, happy camper until about 8:45, when he abruptly hit that famous brick wall. Suddenly he was inconsolable, and nothing but his mommy and daddy and his own bed at home was going to appease him. We took turns pacing the floor with him until Hubby decided to see if he could find something on TV to distract him from his woes. The first thing that popped up was The Hobbit.


We never heard another peep out of him, and his eyes stayed glued to that screen until Mom and Dad showed up.

Looks like the Normal-to-Geek ratio in this family has tipped even further out of balance, and now stands at 1: 6 (sigh).

Thursday, March 2, 2017

MORE CHANGES AFOOT

No. We're not moving. At least, not anytime soon. But the house, it is a-changin'!

Did this ever happen to you? Back in our younger days, when we had to go house-hunting every few years, we got where we could instantly spot a "geriatric" home from a mile away, and were quick to say "Nevermind!" to the realtor.  You know the type. The garden was probably beautiful once, but is now running amok from neglect. Paint is peeling and there's just a general air of neglect about the place. The first thing to greet you as you open the door is the stale, musty air. Then, BANG! You are whisked through a time warp to a previous era, for nothing in the house has been changed or updated for at least twenty or thirty years. I really don't want to be those people.

So, perhaps that had something to do with our experience on Tuesday, when we went out shopping for a storage ottoman to replace this glass-topped-sharp-cornered coffee table, which is not the least bit toddler-friendly...


and came home with NO ottoman, but with two red leather, mid-century modern accent chairs on their way to our house! Does this house look mid-century-minimalist to you?

Time For The Spring Sofa-Cover-Switch-Out
And, did it stop with the chairs? Nooooo, of course not! Next thing I knew, I'd ordered a polka-dot rug to replace the oriental. Yep, you heard me. Polka-Dot.

Things are about to get interesting, no?