Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Unexpected Gift

What a delight to find a package from Auntie M in my mailbox today, a day that happens to involve lots of swirling thoughts on academia and searches for international flights...


Monday, March 30, 2009

Grillin' Like Bob Dylan

Here's our sweet new grill, something I'm amazed we got home safely.

New Grill

The Superu does it again!

Packed up Superu

Cat looks on as Austin assembles grill

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Cabinet Hardware

It's a little hard to see in this photo, but we added handles to the cabinets. We like the look of the brushed metal with the gray-ish walls. The drawer pull has not yet been added since we need longer screws for the extra-thick drawer faces; the screws it came with are metric ("Lansa" by Ikea) so that is presenting a challenge.

Cabinet Hardware

Saturday, March 28, 2009

New Installation at Gallery Lunderoy

Without the budget to buy Real Art, we decided we'd make something, anything, to fill the big empty space about the couch. Austin made a frame with $2 of wood and we bought some funky fabric at Ikea for about $8. Here is the resulting piece.

Budget Art

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Hail Storm

We had a hail storm this evening that produced the biggest stones Austin and I had seen. The sky got really dark, it started pouring, then some serious hail stones started falling. The whole thing lasted maybe an hour start to finish and now the sun is shining again.

Storm rolling in

Hail on front lawn

Big hail stone

Monday, March 23, 2009


I finally used a Crate & Barrel giftcard from Xmas/housewarming to buy this awesome clock that I've been wanting. I really like it in our kitchen against the new paint and you can see it from the living room too.



Saturday, March 21, 2009

Kitchen Painting Done-ish

Still need to do touch ups, still need to put everything back together, but the walls are fully painted. Here are a few preliminary photos of Shenandoah Taupe.




Friday, March 20, 2009


Austin and I have been struggling to find the right color paint for our kitchen. It seems the hues of our cabinets, counters, tiles, and appliances are all fighting with each other so how do you deal with that? Last week, the mother-in-law steps into the kitchen for the very first time and says, "Hey, I have an idea!" Just like that. And it worked! So... on my last official day of spring break, I cracked the tub of Shenandoah Taupe and painted half the kitchen. It rocks. Pics tomorrow.

Reminder of our patchwork sampler as the before pic:

Patchwork Kitchen

Thursday, March 19, 2009


You know how, during the work week, Thursday is a good day because it means the weekend is near? Well, it has the opposite effect when you're on Spring Break because it means you only have one more work day off. Yesterday I lounged and did some yard work and read for fun. Today I need to Accomplish Something. There are papers to write, quizzes to grade, and a kitchen to be painted!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Visit Recap: Fun Stuff We Did (and other stuff too)


  • Austin and Mike replaced our wounded, shrieking garbage disposal with a sweet, state-of-the-art garbage muncher (above). I never thought I'd be so delighted by such a thing until I became a home owner. Plus the father-son duo was really fun to watch.
  • We went to the wildflower center and snapped tons of photos and dreamed about how we could re-do our lawn.
  • We made a nice dinner of bread, green salad, and pasta with fresh veggies purchased at Whole Foods. We ate by candlelight and sipped wine.
  • We drove through the canyon area near our house, scoping out a cool vineyard and a "recreation area."
  • We went to a local pub (recommended by my dad of all people) and enjoyed some fancy sandwiches, a cheese plate (Manchego), and micro-brews and/or interesting wines.
  • We chilled on the back terrace, alternately chatting and scaring the high-strung cat.
  • We visited the Blanton Museum and some galleries on South Congress.
  • We ogled the seductive goods at Whole Foods and enjoyed lunch at the seafood counter.
  • We had amazing bbq at Rudy's, Austin's favorite joint.
  • We had delicious Tex-Mex and "New Mexican Martinis" at Chuy's.
  • We hung out, talked, and enjoyed the Hotel LundeRoy.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center

We've been doing so many things, it's hard to keep up. Here are a few photos from our amazing trip to the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center yesterday. Click on any to see the full set.

Ladybird Johnson Wildflower Center

Ladybird Johnson Wildflower Center

Ladybird Johnson Wildflower Center

Ladybird Johnson Wildflower Center

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Saturday in Austin

We've had a good day today. We went to the Blanton Museum of Art, a place I walk by every day but was waiting to visit. It did not disappoint and we didn't even get through the whole thing. Click on any photo to go my albums so you can see the (teaser) cathedral installation made with 600,000 pennies, 2200 communion wafers, and 600 suspended cow femurs. Seriously.

Austin appreciating

Mike and Liz appreciating fine art

triangle kiki

Friday, March 13, 2009

Spring Break in T - 3hrs!

I'm just about to go to my stats class for a few hellish hours, then I'll run home to finalize the cleaning of Hotel LundeRoy, and finally we're off to the airport to pick up Austin's parents. Spring break is almost here!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

What's Wrong With This Picture?

This is what happens when you feel bad for your outside cat in the cold, pouring rain. He is still an outside cat and has no regard for your super sweet Crate and Barrel couch with cool new throw pillows.

What's Wrong with This Picture?

After this infraction, Outside Kitty was removed and given shelter in the more appropriate and suitably dry and comfortable back yard shed.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Trip to the Vet

Stinky has had kind of crusty, gloppy eyes lately so we wrangled him up for a vet trip today. Austin now has puncture wounds but he willingly gets shot by paint balls so I think he'll tough it out. Anyway, we were amazed at how well-behaved Stinky was for the tech and the vet even though he was stressed the whole time. We found out that he has allergies and the gunk in his eyes is probably pollen and other particles from the air. He got a Rx for eye drops. Now he's home and no where to be seen, probably plotting to kill us as we sleep with more of a vengeance than normal. Poor little guy!

Sunday, March 8, 2009

A Few Pics

Here's the guest room. We need to figure out what kind of art to hang above the bed.

Guest Room

Here's the kitchen garden where the fire ants used to live.

Herb Garden

Here's the requisite cat picture of Stinky rolling around, over the trauma of cat door training.


Springing Ahead

I hate daylight savings time. I am a terrible sleeper as it is and springing ahead doesn't help but such is life. I managed to get up reasonably early today so hopefully that's a good sign.

Once Austin gets up, it's time for the usual Target/grocery run and, our new routine, the Home Depot run. After errands, I have some school work to do.

Yesterday was devoted mostly to house stuff. Austin installed a cat door for Stinky on our backyard shed. The training of how to use it led to trauma for all involved and Stinky hid under our bed for hours after. I finished our kitchen garden and it contains basil, mint, roma tomatoes, and cilantro. The cilantro we grew in WI hated life in that climate so we'll see if it does better down here. I have some oregano seeds to start too.

Austin also installed new blinds in the guest room. They are "faux wood" and smelled like natural gas. Um, is faux wood a petroleum product? Gross and wrong but with windows open all day, the smell dissipated and we can go on pretending they are real wood again.

Today we have a little touch up paint to finish in the guest room, then we'll put up the curtains again and take some pictures. Austin is going to touch up the blobs we got on the ceiling and maybe I can convince him to post on his TV hanging experience. He documented the whole thing with photos.

Ok, time to get to it, we might go out for chorizo breakfast tacos to fuel up for the day. Love the Texas idea of breakfast.

Thursday, March 5, 2009


It's been a long, busy week for us but not for Stinky. There is a flower bed in the front of our house that is overgrown and I have been trying to clear it out. Right now it is mostly a dirt bed and apparently this appeals greatly to the furry creatures among us. Normally, Sir Stinksalot stays in the back yard but we discovered that he has been migrating to the front yard for the sole purpose of rolling around on his back in the dirt. We know he enjoys rolling in things and, at times, we can actually see the dust rise off of him when he shakes off, but this is the first time we've seen him come to the front for it. If it wasn't dark, we'd have taken a picture of his dirt bath.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009


The weather lately has been beautifully springlike and Austin and I took a walk around the neighborhood last night to enjoy it. We also checked out other people's yards for landscaping ideas since we don't much about the flora of Texas.

I'm trying to get what class projects out of the way before the end of the semester though some of them just have to wait until the very end when it all piles up. I'm also working on a research project on language distance learning in rural areas. This has been a big change from the research I did in literature (textual analysis) and involves lots of consent forms and multiple levels of approval because of the human subjects involved. Then when you throw in minors (K-12 students) and it adds in a whole new layer. Good times!

The bottom line is that our careers and our home are keeping us busy but we can't complain, we're fortunate to have so much.

Monday, March 2, 2009


Austin and I ran to Ikea tonight and got two nightstands for the guest room (comparably priced to what I saw at Goodwill that looked like garage sale leftovers). We also grabbed dinner at a Cajun restaurant that recently opened right by Ikea. The food was really good and we ordered a drink to share that came in a fishbowl with two alligator necklaces that we got to keep. It was a nice end to our busy work days.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Weekend Update

Our weekend was a mixed bag of things working out and things not coming together.

  • Bought and returned two sets of window treatments for guest room. Found ideal curtains but they were out stock at two Targets.
  • Bought blinds for guest room on a great sale; installation pending.
  • Bought throw pillows for couch that are really cool (spiral pattern!) and were on sale.
  • Austin wired lots of stuff in our house and put in recessed ceiling speakers that are awesome. I think he needs his first professional massage after the weird crawling around he did in the attic.
  • Failed to exchange (not return) unused books due to expired receipt.
  • Failed to find affordable garage door opener key fobs.
  • Looked at garbage disposals to replace our damaged one. Installation is as much as the appliance itself, DIY?
  • Did some gardening stuff and savored every minute of late Feb/early March yard work.
  • Hung pictures in guest room in preparation for two sets of visitors this month. We're very excited to have a welcoming suite.
  • Matched paint for ceiling to clean up blobs of wall paint that have marred the ceiling.
  • Bought basil and cilantro plants for our herb garden.
  • Attempted to revive an old flower bed but think we might need a roto-tiller thingie.
  • Tried a new bbq dive that was pretty good- crunchiest shrimp batter I've ever had. Their breakfast menu looks good too, may have to try that soon.
  • Did some general lounging on our awesome couch.
  • Did some school stuff.
  • Did some cleaning.
  • Already looking forward to next weekend :-)