Friday, June 25, 2010

Wimberley, Ireland

Ann and I recently spent 11 wonderful days in Ireland. Green, beautiful, soothing, and green again. Some of that may be only because we stayed out of the pubs and most of the big shopping experiences, but for us this relaxing vacation was simply perfect. We did manage to have one shopping experience which we brought back to Wimberley as a reminder- this blanket handmade in Ireland. Our plan is to snuggle under it on the couch on cold winter evenings, sipping some hot tea and talking dreamily about how great that Ireland vacation was. I think I'm about ready for that cold weather right now!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Early Father's Day

Today may be the official Father's Day, but last weekend Vanessa & Duston, Stacey & Braden, and Alex all traveled to Wimberley and gave me an early Father's Day treat. It happened to be the peak bloom time at the Wimberley Lavender farm shown with the gang in this first photo, where we were treated to lavender ice cream. It was also the weekend of a big lavender festival in nearby Blanco, TX, where we visited and discovered goodies like lavender soap, lavender iced tea, lavender moisturizer, and lavender underwear (just kidding on the last one, but it wouldn't surprise me). I'm not sure if Braden's snow cone shown in the second photo had any lavender in it, and I'm sure he didn't care one bit.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Happy Anniversary

Today is the third wedding anniversary of Ann Taylor and Mark Smith. This arrangement Ann created from our Wimberley back yard wildflowers says something about her that I really love; she takes the time to slow down, look closely, and discover the beauty around her. Happy anniversary my lovely wife, I love you more than words (or pictures) can say.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

This Diamond is NOT a Girl's Best Friend

Nine years of stomping around through weeds at our Wimberley property. Nine years of making noises to let any snake know I was coming so it could scram. Prying loose stacked logs with a stick or shovel just in case some slithering creature was hiding within. Finally it happened, and of course I was completely NOT expecting it. I flipped over a wheelbarrow which had been stored upside down to keep rainwater out, and this medium-size Diamondback Rattler was the only creature more surprised than I was. Luckily it was so surprised that is laid still long enough for me to grab a nearby hoe and give it a little neck massage. My heart rate is back down to normal now, but I imagine anytime I get near a wheelbarrow in the future it will tick up a notch...

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

"What To Do With The Tree" Contest

Most trees in our area have a lifespan considerably shortened by a combination of very little soil and very steep slopes. Especially for very tall trees, when rains loosen the meager root system's grip and winds give them a little nudge- it's topple time. This latest victim was one of the taller and probably the straightest cedar (ash juniper) on our property. Now it is one of the longest and straightest.

I'd love to figure out some very cool thing to build with this monster. The really straight part is at least 25 feet long and about 18 inches across, and that section probably weighs about 600 pounds. And since it is laying near the very bottom of our property, it will be quite an undertaking to bring it up the hill. So before I undertake that great engineering feat, I need a really good reason to bother. Here is the contest part: Send your suggestion in now, and the judge will carefully consider your idea before ridiculing it in public or claiming it as his own.