Something Pithy Here

"Begin at the beginning, and go on till you come to the end: then stop." -- The King of Hearts

I'm an adopted Texan. As they say, "I wasn't born in Texas, but I got here as fast as I could!" I post pictures and opinions as suits my mood, mostly because I can. Hooray Internet! 

So far I have three blogs here. By the Way is the oldest. I started it in 2003. I lost a couple of years to Vox because I was too lazy to bother to export when they shut down. I consider it an exercise in accepting impermanence. When I followed my husband to Singapore for his first expat assignment, I started (T)expatriate: A Southern Girl in Singapore. That covers 2010 and 2011, give or take. Next came Oslo, and (T)expat 2: Norwegian Boogaloo,  in 2012. Now I'm back home, and back on By the Way.

Pix live on Flickr. I toss links out on Twitter when I feel like it. I'm still not sure what to do with G+ but I kinda like it.


Birthday Surprises Revealed

What a fantabulous birthday weekend!!

I opened a few presents the night before, so we had an unexpected bonus in the form of a Harry Potter movie (thanks Mom & Dad!) on Thursday night.
Sneak Preview Presents
The MO expanded on recent range-related gifts with Hogue grips for Ivan, the pictured M-1 Carbine book, and magazines and magazine pouches (the latter in prep for the October event).

The official birthday day started properly with bubbles and breakfast
Birthday Breakfast
and then we embarked on our road trip. I knew we were going to Austin for the weekend, but I didn't know why we had to be there by 2:00 p.m. The MO is good at keeping secrets....

When we got close to Austin, he handed me a MapQuest printout so I could navigate. We ended up driving through a medical center, but all the signs seemed to be for psychiatric hospitals, so I asked him if he was having me committed. After all, I figured if I really was crazy, I wouldn't necessarily know it ;-) Happily, that wasn't the plan.

We ended up at a bungalow in a Heights-like neighborhood, which turned out to be Jay Long's studio. The poor man, he opened the door and I just gaped at him. I blurted out, "No way!" before he could even say anything. (Hey, I've never claimed to have debutante-level social graces.) He invited us in anyhow and then I found out that the MO had purchased my birthday present way back in March at the spring art festival. Cornelius is beyond fabulous:
(This is a horrible photo, go look at Jay's website.)

After that, we headed to The Driskill (warning: music on that site) and checked in, had a drink at the bar, and got ready for dinner. We had eaten at the Driskill Grill before so we knew that dinner was going to be amazing, but the MO had arranged for an extra-special dessert. He had checked the menu a couple of months ago when he made the reservations and saw a dessert that he thought I would really like. He found out that the menu would be different by the time we were there, but the pastry chef agreed to make it for him (for me!) anyhow. I didn't know what it was going to be (more of those secrets) and I certainly wasn't expecting pineapple-upside-down cake! I admit to a total girly episode of fluttering and sniffling, I was so thoroughly surprised and pleased. (My mom used to make a pineapple-upside-down cake for my birthday every year, and I loved it. I haven't had it in many years.)

Saturday I had a massage (oooooh how I miss that habit) and then we walked around for a while.
Ironstone Bank
We checked out the 22 to Watch exhibit at the Austin Musuem of Art which included some very impressive pieces. It bugs me that, even for the pieces that I like, the blurbs that accompany them are usually at least incomprehensible and more likely utterly irritating. Art rocks, but art-speak sucks.

After we had had enough of the heat, we found a bar and settled in. Here we are, both the same age for a few months, only a bit bedraggled:
The MOand his lovely wife
We whiled away the afternoon at that lovely air-conditioned bar, people-watching and talking. We did have some fun television distractions, including a pet telethon featuring several super-cute little kitties. Little kitties are soooooo cute....

It has been a terrific weekend. Cornelius has been installed in a place of honor, I had my leftover cake (they made two desserts in case the MO wanted it too, so I got to bring one home) and Melvin has almost figured out that she knows us after all so things are getting back to normal. Sigh....

Thank you, husband. You're so good to me.

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