Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Way Back Wednesday: "Girlfriend!"

Here we are for another installment of Way Back Wednesday, brought to us, as always by The Kept Woman. This week's task was to find pics of us with our girlfriends through the ages, so, away we go...

My first best friend was A. We met up in Miss Mimi's Preschool way back when and were best buds all through elementary school

She came from a large family and her siblings were all quite a bit older. It always seemed to be a party over there celebrating someone's graduation, wedding, engagement, new baby, etc. This was from one year that had been particularly busy for them and my grandmother made her birthday cake.

Moving on...literally. When I was in 2nd grade we moved to a new house, and C. was my neighborhood best friend for years.Here we are one Easter looking sweet. Don't be fooled!

Next up, another a new city. I was assigned to a group with S. in 6th grade for a project on Royal Weddings. I didn't know a soul, and she and I became fast friends. Here we are in 7th grade for "Twin Day". (HEY!!, the topic is FRIENDS, not HORRID FASHION CHOICES, so quit laughing.)

Next up, we have J. She was my best friend during high school, college, and first job days.We always had tons of fun together.

Here we have S. once again, with me at my wedding. We were looking out the window watching all the preparations take place while we were holed up in the bride's suite drinking champagne. I'm not sure I ever would have made it through the ceremony without completely coming apart if not for that booze! She's awesome, so thoughtful, and is always super-prepared! S. has been my closest friend for the longest time, and am proud to say that although we live in different cities, and don't have nearly enough time to visit, we still hook up every so often to catch up.

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

To All Givers of Unsolicited Advice

Yes, I have two toddler sons.
Yes, they are just a year apart.
Yes, I am pregnant with our third child.
Yes, I'm well aware of how that happens.

No, I don't need advice on the "options" for "making sure that doesn't happen again."

Some of you have known me for years, some of you are complete strangers on the street or in a store. All of you need to mind your own damn business.

We love our sons dearly. They are the best of friends, and we take great joy in watching them grow as individuals, as well as brothers. We are extremely happy about our next addition, a daughter, and ****newsflash*****SHE WAS PLANNED.

Yes, you read that right. We actively planned to have our children close in age. We have chosen not to raise a series of "only children" who have nothing in common, and are siblings in name only. That is our choice. It may not be the right one for everyone, but it's working just fine for us.

I am a good mother. Daddy McAustin is a good father. As a rule, our children are NOT the demanding spawn screaming at the table next to yours in the restaurant , nor the out-of-control maniacs running unchecked through the store aisles. We are striving to raise well-mannered, responsible citizens who posess good hearts, morals, and self control. By all accounts, we are doing a good job. But even if we weren't, you still have no right to impose your idea of family size or spacing on us.

The next time you see a family with multiple young children, if you can't say anything nice like "What well-behaved kids you have", then don't say anything at all.

Even the Critter knows that rule, and he's only 2 1/2.

Monday, August 29, 2005


What does it say about your mental capacity if you type in the word verification code the wrong way. 3 times. on the same comment?

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Stuff Portrait Friday: Cruisin' the 'Hood

The eyesore of the neighborhood
A photo taken secretly
The most interesting/funny sign in your area

These are the 3 items we are to photograph this week, as per Kristine's instructions.
I had a tough time with this one, mostly because I waited until the last minute, and can't find suitable shots of the subjects I had in mind. But anyway, here we go.

1. The eyesore of the neighborhood.(I almost chose Pascal for this one, but decided he was more of an EARsore.)

I pass by these antennas every day. The photo only shows 4 of them, but there are 13 more of various heights and sizes clustered together. I can't begin to imagine what would possess the people who bought homes on this hillside to pay the insane prices they paid to have a view of this. Plus, they'll probably all get cancer. (On the upside: they did make excellent an driving point-of-reference when we first moved here and I was continually lost. I have ZERO sense of direction.)

2. A photo taken secretly
I will just have to explain this one, as our PC is not hooked up, and I can't get to the photos on it. When our second son was just a few weeks old, and Daddy McAustin was still on FMLA leave, I took a picture of him and the two boys sprawled out on the den floor fast asleep. It was as if they each had just run around until they could run no more and then collapsed on the floor. It's a really great shot of sleeping bliss.Not my photo, but you get the idea.

3. The most interesting or funny sign in my neighborhood.I pass by this bumpersticker each time we take our kids for a walk. It makes me smile every time. And as we've seen just this week, the moronic hits just keep coming with this guy. Sometimes I'm embarrassed to admit I'm from his state.

4. Since I cheated on some, I thought I would do another for extra credit. There is a gardening/landscaping shop called Pots and Plants at the corner of the large intersection just down from the entrance to my neighborhood, and their gimmick is their pink flamingos out front. Hundreds of the suckers covering every square foot of the roadside approach to their large corner lot. During special events they sometimes mix it up with different birds/animals. It always gives me a smile to see what they come up with.

As we drove by one day last month Critter yelled out "yellow flamingos Mama!". He's usually pretty much correct in his descriptions, and he does know all his colors, but I told him that no, they were the pink flamingos. He says, "no, Mama, it's YELLOW flamingos". I looked back and what do you know? They WERE yellow! Even though we had been watching OLN coverage, I didn't make the connection with the Tour de France until the next day (duh...). Lance Armstrong is our local hero in Austin, thus the change from pink to yellow and the one on the bike. They don't call me "Snappy" for no reason....

This has been one of the hottest weeks of the summer, and they have had penguins out, and even though I wasn't able to get a good shot of them, Critter made sure to point them out....and I believed him. You know that billboard showing the guy driving in his car while eating a burger and the caption reads "World's Deadliest Restaurant"? Well this shot could go on one that reads "World's Deadliest Photography Blind". Traffic was heavy, the light just turned green, and I had to make a left hand turn, so through the window while moving had to suffice.

Did you play? If so, leave me a comment then run on over to Kristine's, let her know, and check out everyone else's 'hoods.

On the Other Hand......

...the love fest does have its limits.

Lest you all believe my sons are the perfect brothers...behold the scene I walked into the boys' room to find today after their nap:
Yes, that would be Critter's bed with EVERY SINGLE STUFFED ANIMAL AND BLANKET FROM THE ROOM in his bed......and....poor Little Bit's sad ROMANIAN ORPHANAGE BED DEVOID OF ALL COMFORTS.
The power that comes with being a year older is sometimes too much for him.....

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Hot Dogs, Anyone?

I've mentioned our dog before. Pascal is a Great Pyrenees, solid white, very cuddly, a great personality. He's also 130 lbs., big as a Shetland pony, a complete and total wuss, and just may be the dumbest dog God ever blew breath into. Oh, you say, don't be mean, he can't be THAT bad. Trust me, he is. This dog doesn't know when to come in from the rain...literally. He rarely takes advantage of the air-conditioned garage set up especially in his honor and at the sacrifice of all sanitary and neat vehicle storage conditions. Daddy McAustin parks in the driveway, for goodness sakes. No, this beast would rather sun his exceptionally lazy and built-for-snow ambling carcass in the blazing 100 degree heat and humidity. Yes, exactly that stupid.

We got him primarily as a companion to our aging female Pyr, (who has since passed on to the great snow-covered mountain range in the sky) from a rescue group when he was a wee pup.....well, small in the grand scheme of Pyrs. He had been traumatized by an escape and the death-by-motor vehicle of his siblings. I won't even go into the HOME VISIT we had to host for the placement committee, the DEPLORABLE CONDITIONS at the foster home, the INTERVIEW we had to endure, or the REAMS AND REAMS OF PAPERWORK we had to fill out to be graced with his presence.

Ever since the fawn incident, he's had a bit of a wild hair. He continually digs or chews out of our (very spacious, shady) yard, and every time the garage door opens he makes a break for freedom like a condemned prisoner. Actually, he's always been a digger, but more along recreational lines than the purposeful. He seems to have lost all memory of the meager training that we were able to instill in him, and refuses to come when summoned. He simply looks at you like you must be on crack, and turns to lope in the other direction as fast as he can. He's never been much of a barker, but when he does, it's LOUD and inevitably 4 in the morning or some equally ungodly hour. Recently one of our less tolerant neighbors put a flyer for bark control collars in our mailbox, complete with pertinent info highlighted.

His days are numbered at Casa McAustin unless he changes his delinquent ways.

The other night Daddy McAustin went to track him down in order to quarantine him in the garage for the umpteenth night in a row, and was gone freakin' forever. When he returned, I asked if he got Pascal put in the cool, comfy garage. I got no response. I wrote it off to water running/ didn't hear me/selective male deafness, and posed the question a bit later as he was climbing into bed. The response I got was "I guess a pistol would make too much noise." Oh.

Now make no mistake: this is our family dog, our kids LOVE this beast, and he loves them and would protect them to within an inch of his life if he felt they were threatened. However, this family dog is Daddy McAustin's baby. He LOVES this dog. But between repairs to the new $7K fence, the prospect of him digging up our new sprinkler system and proposed landscaping, and the fact that he's lost all sense, this dog is making a quick downhill slide to the other end of the love/hate continuum in Daddy McAustin's book.

This morning when the sprinkler installers came to get started he (of course) bolted at the first opening. As the kids and I were rolling down the driveway headed for the library, I notice Pascal sitting smack in the middle of all the trenching action, surrounded by workers going about their business, like he was the supervisor or something. "Fabulous job amigos!, Keep up the good work!, Muy Bueno! Woof." I had to laugh. He runs like a maniac from us, but revels in hanging out with a bunch of day laborers who pay him zero attention.

Yes. Exactly. That. Stupid.

This is where the original post ended last night at 9.
The sordid tale continues.....

9:03 p.m. Call to P. to get him inside. He ignores me.

9:57 p.m. Call AGAIN to P., and chase him into neighbor's yard in my efforts (children sleeping in otherwise empty house, can't go far)

10:55 p.m. Try.yet.again.and.FAIL. Go to bed hoping he will just stay on the greenbelt and not bark (sometimes works) or comes home and collapses in exhaustion in AC garage.

1:57 a.m. Awakened by LOUD barking...2.5 yr. old awakened by LOUD barking. Once again call dog, no dice. Comfort Critter, he falls back asleep immediately, I am not so lucky....

3:39 a.m. ring.ring.ring. Awakened. (Wait...didn't I just fall asleep at 2:43? YES!) Phone call is from neighbor, answer. All I can hear is LOUD barking through phone receiver. Hurriedly pull on clothes, drag my pregnant body downstairs and out into back yard to try to coax demon-dog in. Am assaulted by water spray FROM EVERY DIRECTION. Did I mention we got new sprinklers yesterday? Did I mention all the trenching going on in my yards? Do I know how to operate this system? Did I think to grab a flashlight to see when I'm about to fall into the multiple abyss crisscrossing the lawn they aren't done with? Of course not. Am SOAKED from the waist down. Demon-dog comes into yard after MUCH calling, which I'm sure woke up any neighbors who had previously had the good fortune to sleep through LOUD barking.
Go back inside. Trek downstairs to garage, get demon in garage. LOCK THE DAMN DOG DOOR. Haul my dripping, muddy, irate, 10-weeks-to-delivery, sleep-deprived behind back up 2 flights of stairs to bed.

4:01 a.m. One-and-a-half year old Little Bit starts talking. I'm talking too....but to God, praying child will go back to sleep. (What woke him?, you ask. Take your pick: LOUD barking, TWO phone calls, me hurriedly running out front door, me screaming only as loudly as necessary to get demon's attention. It's a miracle the Critter's not up too.)

4:13 a.m. Singing commences. I curse having passed on my wake-up-ready-to-go morning habits to this child.

4:22 a.m. Little Bit starts calling out "Wake up Critter!" I make the trek downstairs to get him some milk in hopes a full stomach will cause him to become drowsy.

4:59 a.m. Little Bit still awake, but quiet for the most part. I am up for the day, but clearly see a nap in my future.

Pray for me.
On second thought, pray for the dog.

AWay Back Wednesday... in 'our computer with the scanner, all pictures and every piece of hardware other than the laptop is AWAY'. Sold the computer armoire (craigslist rocks!) and delivered it yesterday (courtesy of Daddy McAustin and The Dually). Thus, the 'puter resides in a very sad and tangled mess of disconnected plastic, rubber, wire and glass in the vast floorspace formerly occupied by that massive hunk of oak. I could take pics of the pics, but can't even begin to imagine where the card reader for my laptop is at this moment. Therefore, Mama McAustin is out of commission for this week's WBW, but I'll be checking out everyone else's!

The quest for the new boys' bedroom and re-defined office space continues. We have cleared out the furniture in their 'new' room, all except for the "bing boy bed", and are painting this weekend. Props to Sherwin Williams for having their ever so predictable Labor Day 30% off sale.

Daddy McAustin has flown the coop again, this time to VA, and is headed to the San Juan Wilderness in CO beginning Monday for a weeklong retreat/camping trip with the men's group from our church. I know he is looking forward to it, and will have a great time.

I would like to thank everyone who sympathized with my 'namecalling' incident, and really appreciate the kind words.

Have a great Wednesday everyone.!

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

This Band of (2) Brothers.

On the day you were forever linked.

Sharing kisses....


...and just about everything else....

Well, almost.....

Reading together,

playing together.
Sleeping peacefully side by side.

Showing one another how the world works.

Doing your best to keep up with each other.

Growing up as a team.

I can't imagine not having you both.
I can't imagine you not having each other.
Brothers Forever.

Sunday, August 21, 2005


Oh, my.....
I just had the most disappointing experience. A popular site that I really enjoy reading regularly just blocked me from making a comment, and called me a name that I wouldn't repeat in front of my grandmother.
I don't believe I did anything that would have caused someone to call me such a name (much less someone I don't even know). In fact, I can't recall having ever been called such a thing, not by anyone.
Most people find me fairly easy to get along with. anyone here in netland that I may have offended, so sorry.

And if you're still interested, I use Zoombrowser org. by date on the puter, and for albums. That's the short version, but I need to go now to get some validation from someone who likes me and doesn't call me nasty names.

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Stuff Portrait Friday: Giving Away the "Hobby" Horse I Made Myself...

It's Friday! And that means that it's time, once again for "Show Your Crap Day" (a phrase that gives me the chuckles, which I hijacked from Easily Amused). This fabulous game is sponsored, as always, by Kristine.

Our mission, which I chose to accept, was to find and photograph the following:

1. Something you did or made yourself.

My childrens' nursery.

We moved to this house when I was 7 months pregnant with my first son, and I was highly motivated to decorate a nursery JUST ONCE (read: too lazy to do it more than one time). That called for something gender neutral, but still cute. I couldn't find anything pre-made that suit me, so I thought "Hey, I can sew! I can paint! I can do all this stuff myself." Famous last words.
Yep, made it all: bumpers, valances, canopy, cribskirts, lampshades, paint, border. (Daddy McAustin put together the furniture while I was out of town one weekend, and that served as great inspiration.) I finished the final touches on the wall mural and the slipcover for the chair a mere 7 hours before my water broke. How's that for good timing?

2. The tools of your hobby.

This could have gotten a bit dicey, but hey, this is a family show, so I'll go with what I spend the majority of my "free" time doing/cursing at/playing with.I love photographing my family and our surroundings.

3. What you want to get rid of.

Oh, where to begin........
With the imminent arrival of Princess McAustin (who will inhabit aforementioned, previously-loved, broken-in nursery), we are in the process of moving the boys to a new room, the one formerly known as our guest room, or "Nana & Papa's room". That requires the reincarnation of our current office as the multi-purpose office/sewing/giftwrapping/bookstorage/place-for-all-stuff-without-a-home-that-we-want-to-keep station, where brave houseguests can choose to crash on the oh-so-comfy sleeper sofa - and have free DSL access! And all that stuff from those closets had to go SOMEWHERE, so to the garage it was banished.......

I know. Not pretty. Downright frightening. But craigslist is our faithful friend, we have already gotten rid of a ton, and it.will.all.get.cleared.out. See anything you want?

That does it for me. Did you play? Leave me a comment so I can check out your stuff, and go look at all the other players' at Kristine's. Have a great weekend.

I am publishing EARLY, at 3:31 am to be exact. Little Bit went to bed early last night with one of those sudden, freaky, unexplainable toddler fevers which have no other symptoms except extreme crankiness, and has awakened at this hour needing more Motrin and a cuddle. I truly believe if I could harness the heat energy radiating from that hot little body I could cool my entire house! He's back asleep, and I can only hope I will be so lucky....

Pseudo Tantrum Thursday

"Tell me again, Mimi. I didn't quite catch it the first time."

I really enjoy hopping around peeking at everyone else's Tantrum Thursday pics, and would love to play, however I never seem to have a camera handy when those lovely episodes occur.

Take yesterday, for example.....we were on our way to the library for the toddler storytime, had to go, had overdue books, fines, etc. The boys LOVE going, singing the songs, and listening to Miss Margaret read the stories. Yesterday, however, Critter decided that instead of "Library Day" it was "Move As Slowly as Possible to Try to Drive Your Mother Crazy Day". I recognized this early on, and was determined to NOT REACT. I made it clear to him that if he didn't follow directions, we would miss the storytime, and all the singing, which is his favorite part. (I learned previously that the word "hurry" is translated as "move so slowly as to seem to be standing still" in toddlerese.) First the putting on of the shoes...forever, so I took them with us; next, the climbing into the car...eternal; then the getting into the car this point I send up a short prayer for patience and the restraint not to beat this child into submission, and repeated that we would miss the fun. Finally the Critter got strapped in. We make it to the library, get the shoes on (before he's unstrapped of course, how stupid do you think I am?) and then let him get out of the seat while I go around to the other side to get Little Bit's shoes on. C. decides that today is the day that the "no children in the front seat" rule doesn't apply to him, and proceeds to the driver's seat. I tell him FIRMLY to get back into the back and he just gives me "that look". I then tell him that Little Bit and I are going in to Storytime, and that he will have to stay in the car until we get back. (Of course, I would never do that, and this thought crossed my mind as soon as the words left my lips...."say what you mean" and all that.) And guess what? He couldn't have cared less! Which just made me madder. It's 100 degrees, humid enough to drink the air, and I'm holding 28 lbs. of little boy and a bag full of overdue, fine-riddled books. I was not happy. I literally yanked him out of the car....and then felt horrible about doing it.
He was cooperative the rest of the visit, but completely came unglued when the group started singing "If You're Happy and You Know It" - his favorite. Of course, we were too late to get a seat, and therefore couldn't join in. I tried to make it very clear that if he had done as I asked, we would have been on time and could have sung. His performance would have made a great addition to the Tantrum Thursday pool, but of course, no camera. Or maybe a picture of me in my fit-to-be-tied state would have been better......

So anyway, enjoy a couple of pics that we thought were funny.... Have a great Thursday!"I's sooooo thirsty!!

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Way Back Wednesday "So You Say It's Your Birthday....?"

Today is Wednesday, and that of course means that we should dig through our photo albums and find historical treasure. This week's task is birthdays, and is sponsored as always by The Kept Woman.

"...Well, It's My Birthday, too!..."

Let's start at the beginning, well not the actual BIRTH, but the first anniversary of the blessed event...Who could mistake that bewildered expression for anything but awe at the good fortune to have an entire cake for oneself? My grandmother was an excellent cook, and always outdid herself on our cakes.

Next up, turning 3.Are you diggin' on the Howdy Doody bow tie? I've almost forgiven the fam for the horrid fashion choices, but hey, it was the '70s.....

5 years old....I was OBSESSED with ballet at this point, as evidenced by yet another lovely angel food cake with 7-minute icing.

Turning 10.....before orthodontia, but still living in fashion purgatory.What you CAN'T see are the groovy jodphurs and knee boots....

Sweet Sixteen....Kidnap style.This is actually a shot of my friend Jules' sixteen, but mine is very similar, just can't find the photo. We would all converge on the victim's house at the butt crack of dawn on a day near their actual birthday and whisk them away to a pre-school breakfast party. A ton of fun, but ultimately embarrassing.

The Ubiquitous 21....
I had a surprise party at the Spaghetti Warehouse, complete with cake ablaze with sparklers and the entire male staff singing. (There is no photographic evidence of the 'afterparty'.)

Curiously, from this point on the pictures are mostly of birthday gifts, and that we'll save for another WBW. Have a great day, everyone.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

I've Fallen and I Can't Get Up....sort of

It has happened.
I knew the day would come, but I hadn't really given it that much thought.
My 3-times-weekly trip to my lovely gym are my escape. Especially when Daddy McAustin travels. I can drop my kids off with highly capable child care staff and go about my workout with single-minded concentration. I am always in my own world plugged into my headphones, listening to NPR news most of the time. I do this like clockwork, due to the fact that I must make child care reservations for the kids two weeks in advance, and pay an reasonable hourly rate for the time they're there.
Over the last few months, as I have progressed through the various sports ball-equivalents of pregnancy, I have altered my routine to accomodate the changes: instead of running on the treadmill, I do the elliptical trainer, I cut back and then cut out traditional crunches, etc. I am now at the "small beachball stage", carrying all out front, and VERY low. That said, as I was going about my new-usual weight training circuit the last time, I got to the upper body bench work section, and after I was done, realized that it was going to be difficult getting up from my prone position. I lay there with the buzz of the radio in my ears, and contemplated how to get up while a) not allowing the 25 pound long bar in my hands to crash to the floor, b)not hurting myself or anyone else by smacking them upside the head/body/legs with said bar, and c)not making a complete idiot of my pregnant self in the process. Luckily, an acquaintance was nearby who offered to take the bar and help me up. (I won't even go into the humiliation THAT could have been due to the fact that this 50-something gal has a body TO DIE FOR, the tan to match, and NOT A SINGLE OUNCE OF JIGGLE anywhere, seriously. She also happens to be one of the nicest, most modest, unassuming people on earth....thank God.) Anyway, so I make a Mental Note to myself to change to the upright bench next time, and go about my business without incident.
"Mental Note", yeah, right.

Here's the scene:
MMC going about the workout, while listening to an inspiring "This I Believe" segment on ATC.
MMC picks up the afforementioned long bar.
MMC proceeds to the HORIZONTAL bench.
Mental Note comes to mind...a little.too.late.
At that moment I knew I was in real trouble. There was absolutely NO ONE anywhere around. It was a really pretty day with mild temps, so all the hardbodies were working out in the great outdoors. I just had to laugh - which made those 'long ligaments' in my abdomen hurt. It was laugh or cry. Finally, I went ahead and did my sets, all the while formulating a plan to get back upright....a variation of the "Stop, Drop, and Roll" maneuver taught to school children to avoid being changed into a crispy critter in the event of catching on fire. We'll call mine the Beached Whale Roll. Here's the plan:
1. Transfer the long bar to right hand, running the same direction as body.
2. Drop the bar on the ground as gently as possible.
3. Plant right foot firmly on the ground, bend left knee toward body.
4. Gently roll off bench onto the floor.
5. Hold belly and stifle curses caused by shooting long ligament pain.
6. After vision returns to single images, and breathing can resume, get to standing position.

Yes, just call me orka.

Monday, August 15, 2005

Does the "All Things Considered" Theme Song Count?

List ten songs that you are currently digging. It doesn't matter what genre they are from, whether they have words, or even if they're no good but they must be songs you're really enjoying right now. Post these instructions, the artists, and the ten songs in your blog. Then tag five other random people to see what they're listening to.

These are the instructions I got when I was tagged by Beth. I actually picked it up last night, but was entirely too exhausted to do anything but paste the instructions into a blank template. The last several days we have had non-stop company, and have been out of the house, so I haven't been listening to much of anything except the Smooth Jazz channel on Direct TV. Alas, I know none of the specs for any of those songs, it just serves as white noise/background music while the kiddos play and the adults visit. But when I do have a chance to listen, I usually listen to my iPod that is set up in my kitchen, which if you've read my 99 statements you know it still has the same, unaltered playlist as when Daddy McAustin gave it to me for my birthday over a year ago, so not much current stuff here, but sounds I always turn the volume up on and sing/dance to and love nonetheless. (The directions didn't say to put in any order, so there is none, just a list.)

1. "He Wasn't Man Enough" by Toni Braxton
2. "Peace, Peace" by The Turtle Creek Chorale
3. "Building A Mystery" by Sarah McLachlan
4. "Happy" by Sister Hazel
5. "Adagio Assai for Piano and Orchestra in G Major" by Ottmar Lieber (guitar)
6. "The Mystic's Dream" by Loreena McKennitt
7. "Undo Me" by Jennifer Knapp
8. "Galileo" by Indigo Girls
9. "Black Balloon" by Goo Goo Dolls
10. "Breathe" by Michelle Branch

There you have it. If I didn't have 2 crazy toddlers trying to practice somersaults on the stairs right now, I would make an actual playlist for you. But that would take more time and braincells than I can afford to expend. I tag Mainline Mom, Amy, Kami, The Kept Woman, and Mamarosa. Let me know if you played. Until later......

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Stuff Portrait Friday: Get Your Motor Runnin'.....

Well, crud.....I was really looking forward to this week's SPF theme brought to us by, as always, Kristine.
It's been a very busy few days. The Grande McAustin's are here taking care of Critter and Little Bit during the day while Daddy McAustin and I attend the Willow Creek Leadership Summit, a truly amazing experience, but I'll write a separate post about that when it's over.
It's a quarter of 10 pm, pitch black, and I just now got around to checking out what our task is for tomorrow. So, stand-in pictures will have to do.....
1. My Ride....
This is a pic I got off ebay.....but mine's just like it, and I love it. Yes, I know it's environmentally irresponsible; yes, I know I personally am probably singlehandedly depleting the ozone layer with its noxious emissions, but you know what? I don't care! Actually, I care DEEPLY, but I have two toddlers, and all their peripheral crap to cart around, a new baby on the way, plus a 130 pound dog, and the various backpacking/cycling/swimming equipment that comes with living in this great outdoor recreation area. We TRULY NEED a massive vehicle, and this one is fabulous. It seats 7 adults comfortably, has cushy leather quad captain chairs, 2 DVD screens, and a small bedroom's worth of cargo room. Hate me if you will, but I LOVE my 'Burban.

2. One mile away from my house....This may not be quite a mile, but it's close. These are shots of the greenbelt that runs through our neighborhood along Barton Creek where we like to take the kids hiking and mountain biking. About a mile down the trail is Sculpture Falls, which is very pretty and a great place to wade. About a mile further than that is Campbell's Hole, which is wonderful for taking a dip. I didn't get shots of the actual part that goes behind our house, because a) it's pitch black now, and b) I was too lazy to walk down there in the 100 degree heat earlier.

3.Why I love the place I live. This was a hard one. There are so many reasons to love my neighborhood: great community, non-existent crime rate, beautiful parks, lovely greenbelt running just behind my backyard. But the one thing I get the most pleasure from every day would be the view from my kitchen windows. They are just above the sink, so I can look out and see the view whilst doing dishes, unloading the dishwasher, washing lettuce, etc. (Hey, Kristine, did you catch that seamless use of the nifty Amy word?)
Again....this is semi-cheating. This wasn't shot from my window, but rather from my church, which is where I was when it was daylight and had a camera handy. But the view is basically the same. This is on the western edge of West Lake Hills looking west. The sunsets are usually spectacular, and I'm sorry I don't have a pic of that to share.
There you have it. It's now 9:40 p.m. on Friday, and I'm probably the last person to post for SPF, but I got it done. Maybe I will have provided you with something new to check out over the weekend, since no one ever posts until Monday.