Sunday, May 11, 2008
Life and Goings On
Today's photo is a really lovely shore bird we saw while driving around Lake Buchanan yesterday, looking for a cheap house that did not exist (the GPS kept saying to turn right into a muddy field), for a project of Lee's. But we did see some neat wetland areas teeming with all kinds of lovely birds, some of which you don't see so often around here. The lake also has bald eagles, but we didn't see any. This is a place I would love to retire to or have a second home in, if I could be so lucky. It's near my favorite red granite, surrounded by hills and water, and quiet. Where we were had a mix of old-fashioned "lake houses" that are really old mobile homes, and some nicer ones, but none of the immense monstrosity mansions that are all you can get around Lake Travis any more. This lake is farther up the highland lake chain and not really a feasible commute to Austin, but even so, a small house we saw was for sale for over $400,000. Not our price range.
By the way, the lake's name is pronounced with a short u. Yet another of those weird local Texas pronunciations. Note the pretty cactus blooms behind the bird. It's prickly pear season!
In other stuff, we had intended to go see a group I like, the Greencards, on Friday, because I had won tickets in a magical way.Last week Beccano and I went to Barnes and Noble, so I could get a book I wanted to read and he could get a CD. We were chatting about music, and I had said how bluegrass was interesting, due to a lot of young people getting into it, and mentioned the Greencards, a group who had lived in Austin for a few years, being imported from Australia and England. The mandolin player, Kym Warner, is an amazing talent, having been the national champion down there. When we got to B&N, I saw their most recent CD, which I hadn't bought yet due to my financial constraints of late. I got it. When we got into the car, I thought the CD was already in, because the radio was playing the Greencards (it was the local NPR station's "Folkways" program). The song ended, and the DJ said they were going to play another song, but not until they gave away some tickets to their upcoming concert. He said the third caller who could identify the name of an instrumental song on their latest CD that was named for a Houston musical venue would win. Well, I said, "Dude, hand me that CD!" to Beccano. There I saw "Mucky the Duck" listed. I knew there is a place in Houston called "The Mucky Duck," so I started dialing, and won! What a coincidence to have just bought the CD!
But, it turned out the concert was the same night as the kids' final band concert of the year, which was lovely but went on a long time. By the time Beccano had turned in his tuxedo jacket, it was 15 minutes before show-time and rain was threatening (the concert was outdoors). So we missed it. On the other hand, the concert was lovely. Tuba Boy had a brief solo and got to stand up and bow, and there was a beautiful trombone concerto played by a very, very talented boy who is going on to be a trombone performance major. So, all was not lost.
Let's see...work is better. I have been very busy with lots of new assignments, since my favorite coworker suddenly got a chance to do a different job. I am happy for her, but will be sad to see her go, since she is so helpful. I am doing well getting folks more friendly, though.
And yesterday, as the bird photo indicates, Lee and I went on a nice drive into the Hill Country, and I enjoyed the scenery very much. I even saw a place I'd love to live later. Who knows what will happen if Lee suddenly has money to put into another house, but there are certainly possibilities out there. He is quite handy and can really fix things up when he has the time and tools!
Last night we sorta made up for not going to see the Greencards by seeing Jeff the Former Roommate at a local place. We sat with a friend and had a pretty good time. Beccano looked bored but I think he just looks that way these days. He seemed pleased when his name was mentioned and a song dedicated to him. Jeff seems to be settling into this new house better than the previous one, so our fingers are crossed that things are looking up for him at last!