Thursday, October 31, 2013

All Hallows' Eve

While all y'all are chatting about costumes & such, in this household~we are counting down the hours (HOURS) until it is officially pumpkin pie season.  And this is the real thing~not that bizarre chemical they squirt into one's coffee to pretend it's pie.  The recipe on the label of my pumpkin puree (not ready to sacrifice the jack-o-lantern yet) calls for sweetened condensed milk.  Have only use evaporated before, so decided that tomorrow night will feature a bake-off in which we will decide which is better. 

Drop by.  Bring a fork.  And your own whipped cream~not sharing mine.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Christmas crafts

Forget scrounging through GW to find an ugly Christmas sweater~am going to make one this year!  Please let me know if you need one for a party in a few weeks.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

in the details

A jaunt to a local Goodwill yielded this brocade Ann Taylor skirt.  Needs a quick ironing and then it's ready to roll into November.

And I figure that I cannot live in cowboy country without having a hint of rhinestones.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

what I've got

One of my miniature singers is learning the following song~am loving the lyrics, despite the irritatingly trite tune by the normally good song writing of Irving Berlin.

Taking stock of what I have and what I haven't
What do I find?
The things I got will keep me satisfied
Checking up on what I have and what I haven't
What do I find?
A healthy balance on the credit side

Got no diamond, got no pearl
Still I think I'm a lucky girl
I got the sun in the morning and the moon at night
Got no mansion, got no yacht
Still I'm happy with what I've got
I got the sun in the morning and the moon at night

Saturday, October 26, 2013

books galore

What could be better than entire city blocks of books???  Such a fun atmosphere of book lovers, authors, and to-be authors wandering about in that lovely bibliophile daze.   Managed to squeeze into an interview of A. Scott Berg, which I thoroughly enjoyed having just read an excerpt of his newest book on President Wilson.  (After living in Princeton for a couple of years, I developed a deeper appreciation of this scholarly president.)

 Outside the one of the children's tents.

So many butterflies out/about right now; they're tricky little buggers to photograph though.

Am so enjoying a late start to my working hours~gives me lots of time for long rambles in the sunshine.

Friday, October 25, 2013

true places

Bon voyage to my hobbit friends as they revisit one of their true places.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

between oblivious & wary

 Honeysuckle still blooming like mad in the mid-autumn warmth.

Jewels from the first of the season pomegranates.

Read an essay by a woman who is rediscovering ice-skating in her 50s.  She was reflecting on the difference between the crazed darting of her 12-year-old self and her future fragile-boned self which should stay off the ice~and crafted this beautiful line:

'It's not a bad place to live, between oblivious and wary.'  
~Karen Stabiner

Tuesday, October 22, 2013


Today, another eatery was checked off my Austin To Eat list.  Have heard/read about Madam Mam's since arriving last year~it lived up to the hype.

The entire ceiling was filled with these gorgeous umbrellas and as the place was filled with the lunch rush, tried to be surreptitious in snapping these~hence, the eyeball in the top pose.

Caught up with a friend and the swirls of her life over 'Amazing Green Beans'~which fulfilled their promise.  Lovely afternoon, filled with some more of that luscious sunshine.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Sunday, October 20, 2013

the single moment

We are enjoying the stunning perfection of an autumn day here.  The sort of afternoon that just stops one in one's tracks to admire it.  So, the following may seem like an odd choice to share, but today is offering the perfect strawberry.  May you find and enjoy one of your own.

'There is a story of a Woman running away from tigers.
She runs and runs and the tigers are getting closer and closer.

When she comes to the edge of a cliff, she sees some vines there, so she climbs down and holds on to the vines. Looking down, she sees that there are tigers below her as well. She then notices that a mouse is gnawing away at the vine to which she is clinging. She also sees a beautiful little bunch of strawberries close to her, growing out of a clump of grass. She looks up and she looks down. She looks at the mouse. Then she just takes a strawberry, puts it in her mouth, and enjoys it thoroughly.

Tigers above, tigers below. This is actually the predicament that we are always in, in terms of our Birth and death. Each moment is just what it is. It might be the only moment of our life; it might be the only strawberry we’ll ever eat. We could get depressed about it, or we could finally appreciate it and delight in the preciousness of every single moment of our life.'

~Pema Chodron

Saturday, October 19, 2013

crisp & cosy

The return of our glorious sunshine.

Finally, a tinge of colour.

And the air has enough of an edge to it, that I'm enjoying my first fire of the season.  Made a fresh batch of caramel~it's so delicious, I may skip the apple and eat it like soup.  I ♥ autumn.

Friday, October 18, 2013

in which I finally master restuarant tofu

 Chirpy variegated flora seen on a zippy walk between downpours.

Stunning moment of quietly staring: have only seen the does and fawns this season, so was pleased to meet this guy.

And voila!  Not so appetizing in the photo, but after pressing the water out of a block of tofu overnight and then marinating it in ginger and green onions, I tossed the cubes with cornstarch and flash fried them.  Delish!

Thursday, October 17, 2013


All while eating peanuts and wheat and dairy and red food colouring...

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

let the rain come down

'Don't threaten me with love, baby.
Let's just go walking in the rain.'

~Billie Holiday

'Some people walk in the rain.
Others just get wet.'

~Roger Miller

'My sorrow, when she's here with me
thinks these dark days of autumn rain are as beautiful as days can be;
she loves the bare, the withered tree;
she walks the sodden pasture lane.'

~Robert Frost

'Let the rain kiss you.
Let the rain beat upon your head with silver liquid drops.
Let the rain sing you a lullaby.'

~Langston Hughes

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

& the trees stand

Some beautiful grasses on today's walk~yes, there was a gap in the storms and I got to be out in the fresh air.  Change the 'autumn' for 'rain' in the following e.e. cummings quote and it's ideal for this week o' wetness.

'A wind has blown the rain 
and blown the sky 
and all the leaves 
and the trees stand. 
I think, 
I too, 
have known autumn 
too long.'

~ee cummings

Sunday, October 13, 2013

zee old man is snoring

It did rain and it did pour all of last night and Austin is unrecognizable.  Fortunately, I live on the top floor and, fortunately, I did not need to drive anywhere today.

This is the weekend of the huge music festival ACL (or Austin City Limits) and they cancelled most shows.  I am reading/hearing reports that we got anywhere from 5 to 12 inches of rain within hours.

Not the usual festival weather.

Back stage loses some cache when swamped.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

& joy be with you all

Was gifted with a ticket to hear a friend's chamber group sing tonight~what an exquisite concert.

Lovely to hear different works from familiar composers as well as hear a couple of new pieces.  The focus of their weekend concerts is in memoriam for some WWII events, the centenary of  British composer Britten, and the anniversary of JFK's death.

It was a well-balanced and blended group and caused me to just miss choir SO much.  Think this is the first year in 25 that I am not part of any choir~as singer or conductor.  Time for that to change.

Went out after with my soprano friend and her friend~who turned out to be my former dentist!

Friday, October 11, 2013

blooming, birds & bees

Roses still blooming, a/c still running.   Doesn't seem like the middle of October.

 Little birds twittering away before the rain comes.

Need to figure out some way to show scale~this 3" bug has been lurking above my door for a couple of days.  Perhaps, with the wildflower class I want to take summer next, I ought to include a 'bugs of Texas' as well.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

a leetle punkin

Decided that whipping some canned pumpkin into cream cheese was a genius idea~a dash or two of cloves and cinnamon, a sprinkle of salt and I'm ready to simply eat this concoction with a spoon.

But, for today, opted for the more traditional serving upon waffles.  Bless this marvelous season of all things pumpkin and spice.