Friday, April 30, 2010

Last Day of April

Luckily I don't have class today because I spent the day on the couch with a stomach bug, unable to even keep down a sip of water. I thought my students were missing class because it's the busy end of the semester but now I believe them when they said they had the 24 hr flu. It was really unpleasant but I'm already feeling well again; I think I'd rather have this than a cold that hangs on.

I took a walk to the mailbox and noticed that our rosebushes have exploded in flowers. This is a phone pic so it may be difficult to see how many buds are just waiting to come to the party. We tried to tear the spiny stalks out when we first moved in but the persevered and anything pretty that can make its own way is welcome. I think next season we'll have to learn how to prune them.

Another one of my favorite things is Real Mail. The paper stuff with hand writing on paper. I love to receive it and send it and I just got my Abstract Expressionist stamps yesterday. With all the weddings and babies we'll be congratulating this summer, I think the stamps will go to good use (you can't use them on something like a bill, agh).

Lying on the couch gave me some time to take in the simple pleasures of flowers and stamps I guess. No big weekend plans yet.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Sant Jordi 2010

I think I must be one of few Americans to observe St. George's Day or the Day of the Book. It's celebrated in the Catalan region of Spain, not even all of the nation, but the Catalan people don't mind that. Basically, St. George is their patron saint who slew a dragon and a rose grew out of its blood (I think). Somehow, because both Shakespeare and Cervantes died on April 23 of the same year, the occasion also became associated with literature. Nowadays, the streets of Barcelona fill with books and roses and there are talks by authors, poetry competitions, and that sort of thing. I think it's just the best concept for a holiday- a day based around reading with the added romantic bonus of red roses and knights and dragons, bliss! If you're interested, you can read more (in English) here.

Anyway, Austin knows it's one of my favorite things and I may have put it on his calendar so Friday night, I came home to a dozen deep red roses and a really fascinating book called "Spice: The History of Temptation" which I cannot wait to dig into.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

The Best Kind of Night

We had one of those days that just didn't quite start great. We ran errands but certain things were not in stock, parking was not available, refunds were not reapplied to the debit card but given in gift cards. It was nothing major but a series of little inconveniences that were less than smooth. We had planned to meet up with some friends to celebrate a Master's thesis completion and even coordinating the meeting place was tricky. Then, finally, we arrived. To Austin's delight, there were over 100 interesting brews on tap and, to my delight, there was cider and Lambic. Further, the food was amazing and the patio was lovely. Our friends met up with us and all was going swimmingly. Then we started chatting with the couple and dog at the neighboring table which turned into one of those chewy, meaty conversations that last for hours. In the rain. Yeah, then it started pouring and we huddled under the umbrellas, discussing everything from European art to Texas border politics to Longhorns football. It was one of those nights when we would have chatted into the wee hours had Mother Nature not gotten a little intense with the lightning. Austin and I left, soggy and content, to come home and dry out in front of the fire and just we just thought about how rewarding it can be to strike up conversation with strangers sometimes.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Weekend Update

That's a phone pic of some flowers that sprouted up, not planted by us, and are the size of my hand. They are beautiful. I didn't take any pictures nor did we do anything exciting last weekend. In fact, it was perfect, we both spent delicious amounts of time reading on the patio. Reading. For. Fun. Wow. We lounged and read. Sigh. It was fantastic.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Patio Visitor

Our new patio set up is attracting lots of guests.



Sunday, April 4, 2010


During my parents' visit, Austin and my dad replaced the ceiling fans in the living room and kitchen. I think now almost all the brass has been removed from the house and most of the fixtures are updated. Here was the beast from the kitchen, before:

And after:

Home Improvement

And here is the new living room fan (blades match hardwood floor):

Home Improvement

Friday, April 2, 2010

LundeRoy Bistro Al Fresco

For all the time and energy we put in to this project, I'm a little disappointed in the photos. We started out with a slab of concrete, a pergola, and some weird butterfly patio lights. Here's what we've got now.

Pots of Sky Pencil Holly (less expensive and more resilient than our ideal Italian Cypress). They nestle up against the pillars and fill in the barely usable space:


Our dining set (note the decorative pottery in top right corner, rosemary growing there!):

Hanging baskets of petunia:


Flowering vines hanging over the nearby fence:


And the whole picture (but it's totally different by night...):