Sunday, March 25, 2018


Hi!  I hope everyone had a good weekend!
We had a nice one.  Last Wednesday Amy's mom, Jean, arrived in town with Amy's grandparents, Carol and Jerry.  They stayed until Saturday evening, and we had a nice visit with them.
Wednesday night we took them out to La Posada for dinner.  They seemed to enjoy our South Austin Tex-Mex haunt, and Raylan had a blast going out to dinner with everyone.
On Thursday I went to work, Raylan went to swim lessons and spent the day with my mom and dad, and Amy took a drive out to Georgetown to look at some houses in Sun City with her mom and grandparents.  Amy's family are considering purchasing a retirement home of some sort in the Central Texas area, so there was some house hunting going on while they were here on this trip.

Coming from the Phoenix area, they're very familiar with the Sun City developments (Carol and Jerry lived in a Sun City development for years), but they wanted to get a look at the Texas version.  I think they liked it.  I think.
Thursday evening we ate at the house and Raylan ran around the back yard.  The spring weather was nice, so we just sat on the back porch and talked and ate dinner.
On Friday I took the day off from work to hang out with Amy and her family.  In the morning we went out to my parents' house and then Rick and Jeanne Farleigh's house.  Amy's mom, Jean, is a talented quilter, and Jeanne is a talented quilter as well, so Amy wanted her mom to see Jeanne's quilting room and set up.
I had never been out to the Farleigh's house before, and they have a beautiful place.  They live on Lake Austin, on the far edge of the Steiner Ranch area.  Anyway, we had fun just walking down to the lake and playing with their dogs and talking to the Farleighs.  Both Amy's parents and the Farleighs have Cavalier King Charles Spaniels, and, in what turned out to be a "small world" moment, both dogs (Lulu Farleigh and Molly Davis) came from the same breeder in Arizona.  Crazy, huh?

Raylan asks Papa some questions about the pool pumps and filters.  Well, lots of
questions about the pool pumps and filters.

I am Lulu!  I've heard so much about you!!!!

Ladies talking about lady things

Hunting/fishing talk between Rick and Jerry

Quick pic of Amy while everyone else is busy
After spending some time at the Farleigh's, we drove out to the Oasis for lunch.  It turned out to be sort of cool and breezy while we were out there, so we ended up sitting inside, but it was a nice lunch, anyway, and Amy's family got to wander out onto the decks to take in the view of Lake Travis.

After lunch we headed home and got Raylan a nap.
After his nap Raylan got to play in the backyard, mostly with Nana (Jean) and Poppy (Jerry).  He had a blast.
We ordered some Indian food from Tarka for dinner, and Jerry had salmon from Central Market.

Walking the balance beam with Nana

Amy, Jean, Raylan, Jerry, and Carol
On Saturday morning we got up and had breakfast and then drove out to San Marcos so Amy's family could see a bit of the town and see Kissing Tree, a new retirement community that is being built there.  We tried to stop at a children's park in San Marcos, but it was under renovation.  There was still a very nice park beside the river, though, and Raylan got to wander around with everyone and explore.  He had a really good time.

Raylan throws a few rocks and looks for fish with Poppy and Nana
in the San Marcos River.

The excitement of fish spotting

The foot dip was okay, but I'm not really going to be truly
happy until I've leaped into the water, Nana....
Surprisingly, Raylan also really enjoyed looking at model homes at Kissing Tree.  He kept telling me how much he liked the "fancy showers".  He also seemed intrigued by the decorations that were used to stage the houses (the wall clocks, in particular, proved fascinating).

The work of a mother with an air conditioner-obsessed child is
never done.
After San Marcos we headed back home so we could get lunch and a nap for Raylan.

And that was about it.  Amy's family had a light lunch and then headed out to the airport shortly afterward.
We had a really nice visit with them and appreciate them coming out!

On Sunday we ran some errands, mostly.
We stopped off to snap a few pics of Raylan in the spring bluebonnets.

Here are some shots from the photoshoot....

And that was pretty much the weekend!
Last night I had Mono Ensemble practice with Reed, Frank, and Jim.
It was fun.  We sounded pretty good.

Sunday, March 18, 2018


Howdy!  I'm 45!  FORTY FIVE!!
Dear lord.
Well, it feels pretty good, I guess.  Big ol' knock on wood, but life is treating me pretty well.  I've got a great family, great friends, a rewarding job, and a nice life.
I'm not trying to brag or even humblebrag because, as I've gotten older I've realized that a lot of success and happiness that I have derives from good luck and the support of others (plus, we're all just one turn of bad fortune away from things getting a lot harder in a hurry).  At the same time, I want to recognize and enjoy things when they're good.
So, although people usually complain about getting older, I feel like I'd be jinxing myself to do that when I have so many things to be grateful for.
Much love to all my family and friends, especially Amy, Raylan, Dad, Mom, Ryan, and Jamie.

So, for my birthday this year, I took a little time off work to go see some SXSW music.  I took Thursday afternoon and all of Friday.
I heard some good  music.  I accidentally ran into The Accidentals again.  They're from Traverse City, Michigan.  Last year I saw them play a little acoustic set in the corner of the Snack Bar on South Congress.  This year they were playing a showcase on a stage on the Whole Foods rooftop.  Their career seems to be on the right trajectory.  I like their music.  I'm happy for them.
Mt. Joy were also very good.
I enjoyed The Valery Trails, an Australian band that was playing at Guero's.  They were older guys who were playing some pretty loud rock that the lighthearted, day drinking, SXSW audience might not have been entirely comfrotable with, but as a member of the Mono Ensemble, I liked their music and felt a certain camaraderie with their plight.

Folk Family Revival at Dogwood

The Accidentals at Whole Foods

Tap danging on a bass drum with Kolars at Whole Foods

Panorama shot from Whole food roof during SXSW

Cut Worms 

Belcurve at Guero's

Caroline Rose at SX San Jose

Mt. Joy

The Valery Trails at Guero's
As usual, I went out during the day to see music during SXSW, but returned home as the sun was going down.
I went out for dinner with Amy and Raylan.  Afterward we went to Amy's and got some ice cream. Raylan was extremely excited about getting ice cream.

post-ice cream selfie.  Can you guess what flavor Raylan had?
On Saturday we played with Raylan in the morning.  My mom and our family friend, Barb (who was in town and visiting my parents), came by around noon so Raylan could spend the night with his grandparents.
Saturday evening I had a little meet up with friends at Pinthouse Pizza.  I had a really nice time.  I drank beer, ate some pizza pie, and got to talk to friends (from work, Amy's work, the band, etc.) and family (hi, Ryan and Jamie!).  I wish I would have taken a few more pictures, but I was having fun talking, and I just didn't think about it.  But I had a lot of fun!  Amy had a good time, too.
Thanks to everyone for coming out!

This serious conversation between Spencer and Kit was the one time
I thought to reach for my camera during my b-day gathering
Sunday morning we had breakfast and ran an errand or two.  Mom, Dad, and Barb dropped Raylan off after church.
Sunday evening I had band practice at Reed's house.  It was just Frank, Reed, and I.  Practice was pretty fun, and I think we sounded okay for a three piece without a bass.

Below are some pictures of Mono E practice on the weekend of my 45th!

Weirdly, on the way home there was a bombing in Reed's neighborhood (Travis Country).  Austin has been in the national news in recent weeks as someone has bombed three different locations on the east side of town.  The first three victims were minorities, so there was some feat that these attacks were hate crimes.  This recent attack was on the west side of town, though, and it sounds like the victims of these most recent attacks were white, (two young men in their 20s- both seriously injured, but not fatally).
At any rate, I left Reed's house right before 8:30 (I think I sent a text to Amy at about 8:26), and the bombing happened about a block off of Republic of Texas (the road leaving Reed's neighborhood) at about 8:30 (the first call to police was at 8:42).  So Frank and I were trucking our way out of Reed's neighborhood right near the explosion site very close to the time that it happened.  Apparently the explosion was caused by a tripwire attached to a device on the side of the road.
Like I said, as I get older I appreciate the good things in my life, at least in part, because I realize how quickly things can potentially become... not good.

Anyway, I hope that everyone stays safe.  Have a good week!

Sunday, March 11, 2018


Hey!  Hope all is well.  It feels like we're really powering into spring around here.
It was 91 degrees yesterday (Saturday) and was very breezy and in the mid sixties today.  So.... classic Austin springtime. 
Friday I went out to lunch with Laura, Afton, Ruben, Miguel, and baby Diego.  Ruben is still out on paternity leave, so it was cool that he came out to meet up with us.  We had a nice visit.

The Diego fan club

Friday night we went out to dinner at Tarka.  Raylan liked it.  He likes samosas.  Who woulda guessed that a two year old would be so into Indian food?

"Dad, I think you have a spaceship on your shirt."

Saturday we ran errands and did chores, mostly.  Raylan helped to wash the cars. He was excited about that.

     "You might not ever get rich
       But let me tell ya it's better than diggin' a ditch
        There ain't no tellin' who you might meet
        A movie star or maybe even an Indian chief
        At the car wash...."

What?  I'm hungry.  What?!

Saturday night we celebrated all of the spring birthdays (Mom, me, Jamie, and Ryan).  Our family (including Dick and Susan) went to The Carillon down on the UT campus.  It was a nice restaurant with good food.  We had a really nice time.  We got a babysitter, and it was great to get out and have a pleasant, grown up meal with family in a setting where we could all relax and talk with good food and drinks.  Thanks, Mom and Dad!

The Fam at The Carillon

Sunday we went out to breakfast, played with Raylan a bit, and then went to the zoo.  As always, we had a good time.

We enthusiastically ride trains!

Amy made a new Mexican chicken dish for dinner (I think from a cookbook that Ryan got for her), and I liked it!
Other from that we just played with Raylan, mostly.

"I like to win!  Ka-chow!"

That was about it.  Have a good week!

Tuesday, March 06, 2018


Hey!  Our weekend was pretty good.
Friday night we went out to dinner.
On Saturday morning we went to the Natural Gardener and bought some plants for the front yard.  Amy and Raylan planted them when we got home.
On Sunday we went to the park, played with Raylan at the house, ran some errands (including Home Depot), and I did some work to get ready for a trial in Monday.

That was about it!  The weekend seemed to go by pretty quickly, and it's always makes the weekend feel shorter when I have to work during part of it.
Hope everyone has a good week.
The weather is starting to feel more spring-like, and I love it!