Texas Aster

A refreshing change

Eager to see Barton Creek after the heavy rains a couple of weeks ago, ¬†this afternoon I headed down to the greenbelt for a short hike. For the past several years when I’ve hiked the greenbelt, it’s been during our persistent drought, and while the upper creek had water, usually it was dry by the 360 access point where I enter, the boulders like sun-bleached skeletons sticking out of grey clay and gravel. In the spring there would be some wildflowers and delicate understory plants, but by the fall, after a hot and unrelenting summer, very¬†little would be left other than shrubs and trees. A few yards down the path and I could sense that something was different this time. The path wasn’t dusty, but soft. There was the lovely smell of a combination of humus-rich, garden soil, dampness, green. Cheery turks’ caps and lavender Texas asters greeted us, and a half-dozen other flowering plants dotted the edges, and new … Read more…

BlogathonATX 2013

Yesterday I participated in BlogathonATX 2013, a day-long event in Austin, TX bringing bloggers together for writing, inspiration, site critiques, learning, conversations… and lots of coffee drinking and snacking. It’s a great day to hang out with old friends and make new ones, fix that blog that’s been stashed away in the basement, and clear the cobwebs from your writing brain. And gain 10 pounds… because there’s never a shortage of food at BlogathonATX. Among other things, this year we had sesame chicken, sushi, fruit and veggie popsicles, artisan chocolate, kale chips, fresh organic juices, local coffee, and more candy and baked goods than was good for us. As always, it was a great day and I can’t wait until the next one!

Autumn hike in Bull Creek

After heavy rains on Friday, Nimue and I decided to check out Austin’s Bull Creek. It was a gorgeous, perfect autumn day, cool with not a cloud in the sky. There’s nothing quite like splashing around in a creek with a puppy! This may have been her first chance to go swimming, and she loved it. She also really enjoyed meeting all of the other dogs and kids who came out to play.

Sir Paul McCartney in Austin

On May 24 I finally got to see Sir Paul McCartney live in concert, at the Erwin Center in Austin, TX. As someone who has waited 33 years to see him in person, it was a very exciting moment for me, and I made the best of it. Growing up, I always danced to Beatles and Paul McCartney and Wings songs, and I made sure to keep the tradition going. Out of my entire section, I was the only person on my feet for the three hour show, and I danced the entire time. And I’ll have to say… for a 71 year old man, Sir Paul has more energy than me, because he wore me out! There were so many other memorable moments. Paul talked about how Jimi Hendrix played Sgt. Pepper songs right after the album came out, and asked Eric Clapton to come up on stage to tune his guitar. He told us how the song Blackbird … Read more…

Best meal of my life – Uchiko

Uchiko. Austin, TX. Owned by chef Tyson Cole. Food to die for. There were seven of us, and we chose to allow our waiter to bring us dishes at his discretion. We lost count of the number of dishes they brought out, but we think there were 17, four of which were desserts. Everything was fantastic. My favorites were the wagyu short rib that melted in my mouth and was reminiscent, but far better than, the best brisket; the razor clam with bacon foam and garlic roots (yes, roots!); the pork belly; and the fried brussel sprouts. As someone who usually is not a fan of brussel sprouts, it’s quite significant that I requested another bowl of them, and could have had a third for dessert. And desserts? There was a buttermilk mousse with cherry, coriander and onion; black olive gelato with chocolate and lemon cream; tobacco pastry cream and chocolate; and the best, which was corn six ways. Mmmmm…. … Read more…