Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Cabela's ! ? !

This afternoon I went out window shopping for RVs in Buda. There was an ad on the Net I wanted to see in real life. That was fun, and I went to a couple other places too. My surprise for the day was Cabela's! Having worked for many years with men who received their Cabela's catalogues in hardback I could not pass up the chance to check out a store.

I could see going in that this place was about the size of ten football fields.

This guy looked about as surprised to see me as I was to see him! A good portion of the store is a natural museum. There are all kinds of animals. AND an aquarium that I didn't even see until I was checking out.
This "stag" has a spread of 36". I have seen bucks this big years ago at Cherry Valley. (Don't know if stag is the correct term for this abnormal growth, but it was common usage). There were elk, bears, long horned sheep, even animals from Africa, just about anything you can imagine. People had clearly come here to see the animals, but also for the shopping. It was like Ikea for a different demographic.


In front of the store is a fabulous sculpture of an older man with a little boy on the front of his saddle. The sun was way bad for a good shot, so I will go back another day. In the mean time,
this is a teaser!

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Ravioli

Bernie, our friend M, and her daughters C and S, and I made raviolis the Tuesday before Christmas. It was a trade we have been talking about for a couple years, I would make ravioli and M would make tamales.

The pasta, we call it dough, is 3 cups flour, salt, 3 eggs loosened with a little water and then enough water to bring it all together.

Beating the eggs with a fork.

The dough "rests" for about 20 minutes under a bowl, then it's ready to rock and roll.

Snack time for the future ravioli and tamale makers.

M rolls dough with a long dowel. It's wrapped around the dowel and pulled to the sides as it's rolled forward to create a very large circle of just the perfect thickness.

Mixing the filling of 1 pound ground beef, 2 eggs, a handful of bread crumbs, a box of chopped spinach, and some Parmesan cheese.

And spreading the filling on half the dough, the other half is folded back over the filling before marking.

The raviolis are created by a special rolling pin of little squares. I couldn't find one in Texas. This one I picked up at the kitchen store in Murphys (despite the name, a town with an Italian heritage in the foothills of CA).

C and M cut the raviolis with a tool similar to a pizza cutter. (This was the fun part of making raviolis for us when we were growing up, in hind sight, the real ravioli makers had amazing patience).



Our photographer was called away by the toddlers at this point, so no more pictures. The next step was dropping the individual raviolis in a pot of boiling water before transfer to the casserole dish of "gravy". There was some concern by the teenagers that they might not like the ravioli, but not to worry, they were loved by all!

M told us a story from her Mexican heritage of women who are said to have a "good hand". They are the chosen ones of a family who make the tamales. M has a good hand, she would have fit right in with the Segales. Grandma Opal would approve!

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Christmas Pics # 12

.....and good night, sleep tight.

Christmas Pics # 11

A little girl, a doll house...........Happy Christmas!


(this precious doll house was created for Pai's cousin E.)

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Christmas Pics # 10

Cupcake Shop on the Trail of Lights....

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Christmas Pics # 8 and # 9

At the very end of the Trail of Lights (another very fun Austin tradition) is a huge Christmas tree created from long strings of Christmas lights. The center is a communication tower the rest of the year, but for Christmas the lights are strung from it's very top to a circle of telephone poles. It is visible from miles away.



Inside the center of the "tree" kids of all ages twirl around and around. The only thing missing is music. More pictures of the cutest Christmas elf soon.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Christmas Pics # 7

Armadillo Christmas.....

A few days ago I was walking at McKinney Falls and actually saw a REAL armadillo! It was rustling through the leaves searching for bugs. Not a bit concerned about me on the trail.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Christmas Pics # 6

Rudolph the red nosed rain deer
Had a very shiny nose.....

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Christmas Pics # 5

Pai was along for our first visit to Blue Genie. Art bazaars are not the best for toddler fun, this close encounter with a big dog was the highlight.

We went back last night (sans toddler). Everything there is so creative. Some funky, some traditional. A friend of B's had lovely jewelry. Another artist made necklaces from vintage charms, etc, so much fun. Grandma Polly's charm bracelets would be a gold mine!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Christmas Pics # 4

The Blue Genie Christmas Bazaar is a long time Austin tradition.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Christmas Pics # 3

This bed spring that hangs behind the counter at Austin Gifts.

Friday, December 12, 2008

12 Days of Christmas #1 and #2

There is fun project many people are doing on their blogs called the 365 Project. They take a cool photo each day and post it on their blogs. I want to do that too, but not until the first of the year. The catch is so many cool Christmas pictures around the city that I can't use for the 365 Project if it's to start the first of the year. So.....here are the 12 Days of Christmas! Day #1 is Santa in his T-Bird (see previous post) and Day #2 is this agave plant.

Happy holidays........

She's a blurrrrr......

My Canon Elf has a setting for "children's action", clearly (pun intended!) I will need to learn to use that soon.This shot barely caught her in the frame!

Friday, December 5, 2008

It's beginning to look like Christmas......

Last Saturday morning we went to the Farmer's Market and by happy serendipity found the annual Christmas Parade. The only horses were a group of miniatures in a therapy group. Are you sure this is Texas?

On the way home we followed Santa Claus in his 1957 red Thunderbird convertible!

Bernie helped Pai to hang her first ornaments on the Christmas tree.


When the tree was finished Pai got ready for a hike, notice the fanny pak and pedometer in her hand!


Happy trails.......

Johnson Settlement

A left turn off 71 to the Post Office in Johnson City led to the best day of exploring a new place.
I wasn't off the highway 200 yards before it became very clear I had stumbled across a treasure.
The Johnson Settlement Historical Park, administered by the Park Service, has preserved several cabins, barns, cool houses, and such from the original town. It's similar to Columbia State Park, except no businesses, it's agricultural. Several of the main building were build by the family of President Johnson. There's a interpretive trail through the settlement about a mile long.

The native plant plots were barren this time of year.

You have seen those big plastic cows and horses? Well, that's what I thought this guy was until I noticed his eyes following me around the corral! He didn't move another muscle the whole time I was there. In the fields there's a small herd of cows and a couple horses at the barn.

The barns are part rock and part timber. Notice the middle stall made of split rails.

Here's a closer look at the small door.

And this is inside, all four walls are made of the same split rails. Maybe used for storing hay or other feed? The next time I go out there I will ask one of the rangers.


I know what these are, beautiful painted wind mill, water tank and cool house.

The battery in my camera died about half way through my day. There's one of those great courthouses downtown sitting on it's own city block. The cafe in the old feed mill was closed, but down the street at the old lumber yard I got a heavenly chicken salad sandwich with pecans and dried cranberries on homemade whole wheat bread. Yep, a treasure!

Turkey Trot

Last year it was freezing for the annual Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving morning. This year participants were all wearing shorts and tank tops, except me. The weather in Texas fools me every time.

We intended for Pai to ride in the stroller while we did a good brisk walk for the five mile course.
This year it changed slightly to go down 6th street, it was fun to walk down the middle of that busy downtown street.

Pai had a different idea about the stroller. Too many people and she couldn't really see the action so Bernie carried her 99% of the way.

Pai, Bernie and Auntie Katie......

We turned north on Lamar cutting off a couple miles of the whole course. Not so many people so Pai had a chance to walk for awhile.


My two Turkey Trot t-shirts, 2007 and 2008, are in the mail to favorite nephews in CA. Next up the Jingle Bell 5K......

Happy trails!

Friday, November 28, 2008

Enchanted Rock

During the rv gtg I went hiking at Enchanted Rock with a couple of the rv gals. It's been on my list for several years, and a couple hours out of Austin, so the trip out there makes for a long day, but it was so worth it.

This is another one of those great Texas State Parks, many trails and even a campground. We did the hike to the summit since it was our first visit. On the other side of the rock it's more cliff like and that's where the mountain climbers go.

It's a geologist's dream with many different types of rock formations in the basic pink granite.

These slabs were like pieces of a zig saw puzzle.

On top of the rock there are indentations that become pools after a rain. Sort of like the pools on top of Table Mountain. Unfortunately it would be too slippery up there to visit after a rain.

Besides the pools, there are desert gardens. These are totally fascinating!

Mother nature is the ultimate landscape designer.


And least we forget the lichen, here is a brilliant lime green.


Maybe next week I will plan another trip to Enchanted Rock to hike one of the lower trails......