Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas!

Thanks to Melanie for this idea.  Here is a digital version of my Christmas card for 2008.  I hope you all have a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year too.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Beautiful Austin

I know - I owe you a trip report and some pictures from my week of visiting Las Vegas, Lake Mead, Hoover Dam and The Grand Canyon.  I've whittled down my 1400+ pictures to something more manageable - 840 or so.  I. Am. Not. Kidding.

The last few weeks in Austin have been so gorgeous - I'm convinced that if you visit anytime in October through January then you never want to leave.   This Sunday after church I decided to forsake the chores and DVR and traditional nap for some exploring and time with my camera.
(Those of you who know me will say, "Which camera?"  The Nikon D60 that I HAD TO HAVE when two friends at church turned me on to the series.  Yes I know, I should go to a support group.  "Hello, my name is Joyce and I'm addicted to new technology...")
I took some shots at Mount Bonnell and Lake Travis near my house.

The view of the Pennybacker (360 Bridge) from Mount Bonnell.

Part of the church across from my neighborhood that has a great view of Lake Travis. 

Their view of Lake Travis.

Thursday, September 11, 2008


Today is an anniversary that we MUST take time to remember.

My mom and I have traveled to New York City together twice. We made a trip with friends in April of 2001 to celebrate my 30th birthday. We also celebrated Mom's 76th birthday with a trip in July of 2004.

We visited Ground Zero on our trip in 2004 - below are some of the pictures I took that day. (I wish I had digital pictures from the trip in 2001 - it would make these pictures all the more poignant.)

The Twin Towers of the World Trade Center stood within the fence that you
can see in front of the line of traffic.

Three years later there is quite a bit of work left to do.
The building with the banner is 7 World Trade Center.

I like this picture because of the cross and the flag. The site is just beyond the railing.

If I'm not mistaken, I believe rescue and recovery workers found this cross made of beams just as you see it here. I took this picture through a chain link fence and I like the added effect.

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Wednesday, September 10, 2008

My new roommate

I have a new friend living with me at the moment. I think he's cute. I've decide he can stay... as long as he understands he can't infringe on my space. Currently he lives in the garage. I believe he used to live near the front porch in these weird plants that used to be there before Dad and I dug them out. Not sure where he's been since we did that a year or two ago. (And I can't find my original pictures from the plant area to see how he's grown!)

Close up shot of little Leonard the Lizzard.*

Here's some perspective - he's not that big.*

* For those of you curious, these were taken with the closest available camera - which was not the new Nikon. I have many Nikon pictures to post. Stay tuned.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Called Out

Several days ago a great friend got back in touch with me and she called me out on my serious lack of blogging. I wasn't going to include the text of her message here, but I think you'd enjoy it. And maybe she will too. I'm not naming names. Just responding.

"Really blogging once a year seems a little goofy for someone who travels as much as you! You thought I wasn't paying attention!"

I'm pretty sure that I haven't been on a trip since last June or July when I went to Chicago. I'm not counting the numerous trips to San Antonio since last August when I started helping my uncle. I should have taken some pictures of San Antonio, but all I have are pictures from his old (interesting and dusty) apartment and a few from his new place. I can't think that you would be interested in those, but I'll include a couple because I ALWAYS have pictures in my posts. His new place is rearranged a bit now and there is a nice bed spread too.
(Please note that if cell phone cameras were any good at all, I'd have some VERY interesting things to show you from the cabinet cleaning in the kitchen.)

Desk area before... (the key here was to reproduce it exactly at the new place. I took about 8 pictures of the stuff on top and then used them for reference.)

The sitting area before.

The new place.

Another view of the new place. This part is rearranged now and there are two new recliners instead of the small couch and green chair (which broke).

Now if you are still reading this - I have great news. I'm going to Las Vegas next week. Woo hoo! A friend is giving me a pretty good hook up - I'll tell you about it when I get back. That is if Gustav will allow - I'm flying Continental through Houston Tuesday morning. Yikes.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Things that make me happy

1. Lyle Lovett in concert - if you're paying attention then you already know this about me. I recently saw him at the new venue in Austin - The Long Center. What a nice venue! Great location, great views from the courtyard and outdoor balconies, easy parking and super acoustics. Pictures are below. Should I mention that I also have a crush on the cello player, John Hagen, and the acoustic guitar player, Keith Sewell (who also plays mandolin and sings).

From the terrace at The Long Center

Ray Herndon, SweetPea Atkinson, Sir Harry Bowens (hidden),
Lyle, Willie Green, Jr., and Arnold McCuller

Ray Herndon on electric guitar, Willie Green, Jr., Sir Harry Bowens,
SweetPea Atkinson, and Arnold McCuller

Lyle Lovett and John Hagen

Lyle Lovett

Viktor Krauss on stand-up bass, Keith Sewell on acoustic guitar,
Lyle, Gene Elders on violin (hidden), and Sam Bush on mandolin

2. Blue Bell's Southern Blackberry Cobbler Ice Cream - it might be too late for me to tell you about this because Blue Bell's website says it's a "rotational flavor" which they make available for three months. Thank goodness, because I can't walk by a half gallon without buying it and eating it. Look for it - purple in color with a brown rim. Yum!

** I might love the ice cream more than Lyle and his band, but it seemed wrong to put food first. **

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

On the Blog Again

Is anyone still checking my blog? I know that I have been a slacker. A huge slacker. It's really sad. Along the way I've thought of things about which I should blog. Now, of course, I have no idea what those thoughts were.

Because I have been AWOL - the only people who might see this are those that use a blog reader like Google Reader.

And for those people - I present the view from my office window... Where you can see my pet deer, her fawn, a squirrel and a cute little bird.

My pet doe from afar.

Here she is up close.

The fawn was down in the creek bed.

My squirrel neighbor - one of many.

A cute little bird - not a woodpecker though.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Chicago in summer

I learned something interesting on my trip to Chicago - it's HOT there in June. Seriously HOT; even hotter than it was in Austin at that time. It probably would have been better if I had planned my wardrobe a bit better! I did enjoy the trip and I would love to go back. My favorite parts were the water taxi tours of the river and Lake Michigan.

This is Cloud Gate, a 110-ton elliptical sculpture found in Millennium Park.

Cloud Gate is big enough to provide me shelter in a rain shower. (Hence the grey sky.)

One can tour Lake Michigan on a sail boat. Sadly, the departure time didn't work for me.

A view of Navy Pier from the ferris wheel.

If you're still with me, you might also like to check out a place called ENO. It's in the InterContinental Chicago hotel. The sign reads "wine. cheese. chocolate. sensation." It's true.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Shake, Shake, Shake

Last week I did something I don't recall ever doing. I had three milkshakes. Yes, three. I didn't have three in one day, I promise. I had one on Monday, I think, then one on Thursday, and one on Friday.

Only two of them were remarkable. There is a hamburger joint near my office called Wally's. It's a family owned place. In fact I think my next door neighbor's father owns it. He promised me one time he'd get me some coupons, but nothing! Anyway, I had a burger there once and it was nothing spectacular. But Monday night I just wanted a shake, so I went through drive through and low and behold I saw the choices! Butterscotch? Cherry? Vanilla? Chocolate? Sounds super. I chose a small butterscotch shake. OH MY GOODNESS! It was great! So great! Gone in about ten minutes, maybe five. I thought of it all week and had another one on Friday. And that was after I had a boring chocolate shake from Whataburger in a fit of madness on the way back from San Antonio Thursday night.

Just so you know, I have passed Wally's several times a day since then and have not succumbed to temptation. This week I am shake free. But I have had Halloween candy.

Tomorrow I'll do better. I promise.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Concerts 4

I will get in trouble with my friend Teresa if I don't mention that she and I saw Jack Ingram at the River Road Ice House in New Braunfels, Texas, earlier this summer.

It was fun but rather warm and very crowded! As you can see Jack closes his eyes a lot when he sings and sweats just the like you and me.

BTW that means I saw Jack Ingram and Lyle Lovett twice each this year. Funny!

Jack Ingram at the River Road Ice House in New Braunfels, TX.

Jack up close.

I just think this is funny, he turned just as I snapped the pic. Very nice layers, Jack.

I know this looks funny - some fan held up her beer while yelling wildly...
so he's either singing into her beer or about to take a swig, right?

Concerts 3

And now for the pictures of Keith Urban and The Wreckers. It's not hard to narrow it down to just a few of Keith in this case because many were dark and or blurry. The Wreckers pictures all turned out very dark, so you'll get just one.

Keith did a really great show and I'd recommend him to anyone. You know more music of his than you think! I'll go next time he's in Austin if you anyone wants to go.

The Wreckers - Michelle Branch and Jessica Harp.
(I'm pretty sure that Michelle is on the left.)

Thank goodness for the big screen!

I couldn't decide on this one or the one above. So, both.

They did this weird thing that made it seem like a fun iPod commercial version of the song.

My only clear "close up" shot.

I love that you can see him playing on stage and his facial expression on the big screen.
(I also like the effect of the spotlights.)

Monday, October 22, 2007

Concerts 2

I promised pictures from the other two concerts that I attended over the summer. The first was The Wreckers opening for Keith Urban and the other was Little Big Town opening for Martina McBride. Keep in mind that I'm taking care of you by posting only a few of the hundreds and hundreds of pictures that I took. For whatever reason, I only took my small digital camera to these two events... So no 10x zoom! You'll easily be able to tell at which concert I had 3rd row seats and at which I did not!

I think I'll limit this entry to LBT and Martina.

As a bonus, I saw Taylor Kitsch who stars as Tim Riggins in the NBC TV show Friday Night Lights. Scroll to the bottom for that picture.

Martina pictures must be first.

As you can see I couldn't decide which photos to include.

So I picked four.

Yes, that's right, I picked four out of about one hundred.

Jimi Westbrook and Phillip Sweet of Little Big Town.

Kimberly Roads and Karen Fairchild of Little Big Town.

Little Big Town, all together but a bit blurry.

We happened to be sitting on the best side of the stage, in my opinion!

Actor Taylor Kitsch (in white) enjoying LBT and Martina.