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Everyday Pleasures

March 5, 2012

It’s been a good year so far, I have only frozen my feet off a few times, and now without football I can center my week’s activities around the new (last fall) TV show, Person of Interest.

In fact, so much do I love the show that it has gotten me to thinking... What other small things have we done so far this year that we have really enjoyed?  With that in mind here is a short list of everyday pleasures while living day to day on the road in Mid-Texas.

The TV Show, Person of Interestand each of the character’s faces: What’s not to love about the ironic, staring Mr. Reece and the quirky, limping Mr. Finch? Good close-ups, and great graphics.

CBS Person of Interest

Frank Lloyd Wright’s Westhope House - Tulsa, Oklahoma: While technically we saw this on New Year’s Eve I am including it anyway. We had joined Tam’s Terrific Tulsa Tours1, and knowing our fondness for all things Wright, she found the address of this private residence and took us there.

Frank Lloyd Wright’s Westhope House - Tulsa, Oklahoma

January Walks on the Beach in Galveston: Often chilly and windy... sometimes rainy...but it’s always nice to walk in the sand along the water’s edge with Sully and watch all the terns, gulls and shorebirds going busily about the business of surviving. The sad lyrics to the old Glen Campbell song, Galveston, occasionally cycles in my mind, but I’m happy...

Walks on the Beach in Galveston

Tim Kinser, watercolor artist: We stopped to watch Tim and his friend, Virgil watercoloring on the long jetty in Surfside Beach on the Gulf of Mexico. Such beautiful work. He invited me to draw with an artist’s group he was part of in a near-by town.  The group was serious, talented and great fun. One of the artists brought in a large bag filled with cartons of freshly laid eggs for $2.00 a dozen. (You don’t get that in NYC art classes!) Tim’s watercolors are so wonderful and mine still suck. Anyway, he and I have become sort of E-Pen-Pals, writing almost every week.

Tim KInser, watercolor artist

Austin, Texas

HUGOS Restaurant and Tequila Bar: For probably only the second time in forty-one years of togetherness, we decided to go out for a Valentine’s Day dinner. It was probably because the near-by Hugo’s Tequila Bar was serving a prix fixe five-course dinner and a different tequila pairing with each course. Silvers, reposados, añejos plus a salty caramel flavored glass of Don Julio 1942 Anejo Tequila and a glass of Red Rose Champagne all came in dizzying succession. Right, Martha, it WAS a good thing.

Left to Right: Blueberry Vanilla Bean Margarita, Cran-Razz Valentini - Don Julio Blanco, Smoked Pineapple Ancho Chili Infusion - Don Julio Anejo, Don Julio 1942 with a very hot Bloody Mary type mix on the side and finally, a Red Rose Champagne Toast

LBJ Animatronic Raconteur: It was so real, so well programmed... every gesture was perfectly timed and he started gabbing/drawling the minute one came near him. You too can visit him at the LBJ Library in Austin.

Austin Food Courts - Trailer Parks with Food: All over Austin there are trailers and wagons serving up an eclectic selection of fabulous food. Sometimes several will be located in an empty lot, while others can be found singly parked all over the city. Today we enjoyed a ham & gruyere crepe with mornay sauce and scallions at the Flip Happy Crepes Airstream trailer parked around the corner from the campground. Chocolate tomorrow. (Bernie wishes to attempt to eat at all 2,000 of them.)

Flip Happy Crepes Airstream trailer

The Graffiti Walls of Castle Hill: All over town there are signs and bumper stickers extolling us to, “Keep Austin Weird.” On the side of Castle Hill off Lamar Street there are about six floors of open walls covered with graffiti. Mid-way up there is a large wall covered with Shepard Fairey2  OBEY paste-ups. At the top of the hill stands a castle tower. I think I may have to do my share with a couple of cans of spray paint and a few stencils left over from a print class I took.

Skirt the IssueSkirt the Issue: Austin also bills itself as the Live Music Capitol of the World... so we went to the Lucky Lounge and had a great time photographing and listening to a cool band - Skirt the Issue. In fact it was so much fun listening and photographing, we did not even have so much as a beer. The band was also most generous in allowing us to come up on stage and take pictures while they were performing. I guess they didn’t know how clumsy I am.

Lady Bird Lake and Lady Bird Hike and Bike Trail: There is a good reason this trail is filled with walkers, runners, strollers, dogs and bikers all day, it is a beautiful seven to ten-mile trail around a lake in the heart of Austin. From the south side, there are huge cottonwood and cypress trees framing the view of downtown towers.  Coots, ducks, swans, cormorants, canoes and kayaks paddle together all around the lake. There are several fairly large meadows along the trail where dogs are allowed off leash twenty-four hours a day. We felt right at home getting our coffee early and walking the path with Sully. (Just like Central Park in NYC)

Along the east end of the trail it is hard to miss the squawking Monk Parakeets3. It’s  great fun to admire these beautiful, and very tropical exotics who have taken up homesteading in Austin. (Rumor has it, there is a flock in Brooklyn as well.)

That’s it. As you can see we are pretty easy to please.

1 Tamarie Clark is “my sister” in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

2 Shepard Fairey is the street artist who designed Barack Obama’s HOPE poster. You may have seen him on The Simpsons March 4th.

3 Although parakeets, the Monks are more the size of a robin than the little budgies sold in pet stores.

Ah, we miss Austin. And you!


We were in Austin area 7 months ago. Trying to keep up with your milage, In Raleigh, NC now(grandkids) and heading for Orlanda area tomorrow,(more family)Then back to Niagara Falls.

Ray and Adele
P.S. renewing tickets for the Buffalo Bills when we return  

Yuuup (Storage Wars on A&E), Monk Parakeets in Brooklyn. Four or five years ago saw several in Riverside Park but they didn't make it through the winter. Crepes sound wonderful.


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