Tag Archive: adventures


Marvel with me.

**SPOILER** this post has nothing to do with comics. 

No, I mean “Marvel with me” over the weird kinda fucked up shit that one can run across while simply driving down the road.  Now you know Mick and I tend to do a bit of driving fairly often, and while we’re not often searching for adventure and intrigue it has a way of crossing our path anyway.  Tonight’s journey actually started on Sunday as we were driving back from Pottsville and visiting Mick’s family.  I pulled into a gas station in Lampasas (the one I always stop at, the one that’s halfway between Pottsville and home) and fill up the car while Mick goes inside for caffiene.  As I’m sitting, waiting, I notice there’s a house next door with a bunch of antiques in the yard and a big banner that says “OPEN”.  And right underneath that is a green 5-drawer chest that would look great in my guest room.  So on the way out of the parking lot, I point it out to Mick and he suggests I check it out.  Long story short, the price tag said $65, and I’d be an idiot not to bring it home immediately.  Unfortunately, immediately was not an option; we’d have to come back with the truck and pick it up.  Fast forward to today, Tuesday, when we decide it’s a nice night for a drive back out to Lampasas.  We get the dresser, we stop at Storm’s for dinner, we head home.  A couple miles outside of town, I see this:

From 30 yards and at 70 mph, I was baffled.  So Mick turned around and we went back and pulled up on the side street.  That’s when I saw this:

Fish heads on a fence. Not even shitting you.

 So apparently this is not an uncommon practice in the country.  Mick tells me that this is definitely not the first time he’s seen fish heads on a fence.  He grew up white trash country, he’s spent a lot of time in the country, so I believe him.  I, on the other hand, grew up in the ghetto, and although I’ve spent a lot of time in the country, it’s usually been on the back of a motorcycle.  So that was my first “what-the-hell-was-that-turn-around-now” moment of the evening.

The second came about 45 minutes later.  Just south of Seward Junction, there’s a house.  Well, not really a house, more like a FUCKING COMPOUND that’s built right up by the highway.  At first pass, all I saw were 20 ft spiked timbers lining an entry gate, the Confederate flag and a “Come and Take It” flying proudly. 

“What the hell was that?” Mick asked.

“I don’t know, but he’s got fucking battlements!” I replied.

We turned around. 

What the...

No way...

Holy crap!

That’s no moon, that’s a MOTHERFUCKING SPACE STATION.  This man had not built himself a house, but a fortress.  As we slowed, I counted 8 buildings immediately visible on the premesis, at least one of which was a converted caboose.  With the windows down, you could hear kennels full of large dogs barking and howling from inside the fence.  And I know to most folks, the construction out front looks like a drainage line being put in for the new subdivision across the road; but to me, it looked a hell of a lot like the guy was putting in a moat.  Not even kidding you.  So I guess when the Socialist revolution or the redneck apocalypse comes, this dude is gonna be ready. 

P.S. if any of you have any insight onto the story of this house or its inhabitants, please let me know.  I’m absolutely fascinated.  

Well, I just wanted to share those tidbits with you.  If you’re ever in Lampasas, check out the antiques store behind Skinny’s, he’s got some neat stuff!  I’m off to do a bit of reading in this book that I absolutely adore.  I’ll tell you about it later. Love ya, mean it!

Post-birthday Catch Up

Howdy y’all! It’s Monday…and I’m not at work! Woot! I considered it my present to myself to take some PTO today and get some stuff done around the house.  General picking up, laundry, finishing some projects, etc.  Seeing as we were gone all day yesterday, I didn’t get much done then.  Where did we go, you ask?  Well if you haven’t seen the pictures yet, we went to Bastrop State Park in nearby Bastrop, TX. 

oooh, scenic.

scenic overlook

hiking trails at Bastrop State Park

I’d never been out there (and Mick hadn’t been in about 35 years), so it was a neat little excursion.  They’ve got miles and miles of hiking trails that we took advantage of, much to the chagrin of my knees and calves today.  It was fun though.  I posted a lot of pictures on my flickr…go look! 

And of course, on the way home we had to stop for lunch/dinner at the Waffle House.  Because there are few things I love more than a diner breakfast.  And the possibility of breakfast all day?  Yeah.  Awesome.  I’ll say this as well: I don’t know if I’ve ever seen a Waffle House so busy at 4:30 on a Sunday.  Craziness!  But it was delicious as always.  Another quick stop at Amy’s for some ice cream and then we finally headed home.  Just in time too, because a wicked cold front was right behind us.  It went from 70 degrees to 46 (according to the bank sign) in around 20 minutes.  Oh, with 40 mph wind gusts and a bit of rain. 

So that was our lovely day yesterday.  Today Mick had to work, and I’ve just been tooling around a bit.  Went over to Cafe Java for a bit of breakfast, french toast today, then up to the Bluebonnet Yarn Shoppe, where my brother had gotten me a gift card for my birthday.  Sadly, Bluebonnet is another victim of rising rents for central Texas businesses, and is going to be closing in the next week or so.  But that also means they were having a 50% off sale today!  I stocked up pretty good, I gotta say. 

half-price Alchemy, Noro, Louisa Harding, and more!

 

It is sad, though, to see them close.  They’ve always been real nice ladies. 

You know what’s not sad?  I finished my first market bag!  It took longer than I thought, mostly because of the straps, so we’ll see if I can’t pull out three more in the next week. 

cute, huh!

 

So I’m gonna get back to that, plus the laundry (booo).  Tonight we’re off to dinner with dad and Spud for more birthday fun.  Catch ya later kids!

And another lovely morning in 2010, I see!  The sun is out, the sky is blue, it’s beautiful, and so are you.  I’ve spent my morning so far uploading photos to a new Flickr account, which I thought would provide ease of access to blog readers, twitter followers, and facebook friends all.  Having one place to put everything is most convenient for me as well.  So I’ll probably still add some stand-out photos to the actual blog, but if you want total access to everything Tara, go to http://www.flickr.com/photos/46122202@N07/.  A silly unmemorable address, yes.  But I’ll add it to the Links on the sidebar here so it’ll be real simple for ya.  Eh?  You’re welcome. 

And now I’m sitting here burning a little incense and looking back on yesterday’s adventure.  Because you know Mick and I couldn’t have come straight home from Pottsville, oh no!  What is normally a 2-hour drive straight to Austin turned into a 6-hour jaunt across the Hill Country, taking us all manner of places.  Here’s the breakdown:

1. Zebras in Zephyr

Pottsville to Zephyr

First leg of our journey was from Pottsville over to Zephyr, where I was promised a sight of zebras.  And I was not disappointed!  Zebras there were, just chillin in some guy’s yard.  They’d come pretty close up to the fence and you could get a good look at them.  I was sad that they didn’t make that cool noise that zebras make, but I can’t complain.  Zebras in the middle of nowhere, TX!  Pretty neat. 

2. Baby Head Mountain and Cemetery

Zephyr towards Willow City

 We left Zephyr and decided to head towards the Willow City Loop, as it seemed that any way we went home was sort of out of the way.  Any way that seemed interesting anyways.  So off we went, cruising down the road until we saw this sign:

a reason to stop the car

 Of course, we had to stop the car.  Baby Head Cemetery?  Oh yes!  Turns out there was a baby murdered by indians in the 1800s and his remains were found on the nearby mountain, which they named Baby Head Mountain.  The baby and several other members of the town were buried close by in Baby Head Cemetery.  You can look on my Flickr stream to see the actual Historical Marker at the site.  After that short but completely rewarding pause, we were off again!

3. Willow City

The Willow City Loop is one of those tiny little paths that only bikers and residents know about.  When I told Mick where to turn off, his exact words were, “Really?”  A twisting climbing road through 13 miles of private property, interrupted by cattle guards and related bovines, with some of the most beautiful views in the Hill Country.  It’s a slow-going trek, but totally worth it.

view from a hilltop

4. Fredricksburg

After running the Willow City Loop, we decided that we were close enough to run down to Fredricksburg for dinner.  After stopping at a fabulous funky little patio shop, the Choo Choo Trolley (highly recommended for awesome pottery and handmade wood and metal art), we went over to Freidhelm’s Inn and Restaurant for some german food.  Gotta say, the schnitzel was awesome!  The meal came with a delicious beef broth soup and some fabulous rye bread.  I got the Bavarian Schnitzel topped with cheese and a spicy tomato sauce.  Delish!  And huge!  After doing as much damage as I could to the schnitzel and its side of pan-fried potatoes, we ordered up (and promptly devoured) a yummy apple streudel. (no cream, how sad)  But everything was delicious, the service was great, prices were reasonable.  Overall a highly delightful meal.  So next time you’re in Fredricksburg, go check out the Choo Choo Trolley and Freidhelm’s Inn.  Great stuff!

It was a long, dark drive home from there, but we were back by 9 and in bed at a reasonable hour.  It was a long journey, but definitely worth the trip. 

Now I must arise, shower, do all those cleany things that one must do on a daily basis, then get back to work on Pink Death.  It’s almost done!  A sleeve and a half to go!  I’ll be back later with more sponsor information for today, so keep an eye out!  Or click on that cute little “Follow Me” button on the side of the page to get Twitter updates when new posts are up!  Be good, kiddos.

Two days in one!  Industrious, I know.  Not much else to say about Christmas Eve, except there was much presenting and awesomeness to be had.  Among the sweet things I aquired:

  • Southern Living Cookbook
  • Yarn Baller
  • Complete series of Stargate Atlantis DVDs
  • Doctor Who Sonic Screwdriver (yes, I pointed it at everything I could think of.  Must not work being so far from a TARDIS…)
  • Owls!
  • Book of badass knitting patterns

And a few other things that I can’t remember, cuz goddammit it’s 8am.  And we had a long day yesterday.  And you can tell pretty much everything about me based on those few items.  I love to cook.  I’m obsessed with knitting.  I love sci-fi, especially the Stargate franchise and the good Doctor.  And I collect owls.  These are things you will hear more about, I’m sure.  Here’s a few pics of family and nonsense…

No pictures please

best present I got this year

Memaw checks it all out

At least we know he'll like this one!

Spud and his Left 4 Dead 2

Spud and his Left 4 Dead 2

Mom loves her Celtic Women

 

Yep, that’s the family.  They’re pretty awesome, as far as families go. 

Now we’ve moved on to Houston to spend some time with mom’s family.  They’re awesome too, but we didn’t just magically appear there.  We took the most crooked, out of the way, interesting route  possible.  And, as planned, it turned out to be totally worth it.  Why?  Well, besides weaving through a ton of tiny towns and taking the road through the Sam Houston National Forest, two words: MINIATURE DONKEYS.

Mini Donkey! (and horse!)

And miniature horses, to be fair.  A whole herd of them, who seemed to be plenty used to people coming up and checking them out, as they all came galloping towards the fence as soon as they saw us pull up.  Us and another car full of about 10 people.  I won’t comment as to the nationality of the folks in the other car…let’s just suffice it to say it was a full-on stereotype in action.

Other donkey onlookers

And, beyond all borders of cuteness, I present to you: baby mini donkey.

Mini Donkey and mini-Mini Donkey

So yeah, adorable xmas.

And then we got to Houston, and it was a clusterfuck of crazy little kids for the first hour or so.  Once that was over, it wasn’t terrible.  My brother Spud, cousin Zach, myself and Mick all took off for a parking lot carnival we saw up the road.  That’s another thing you’ll learn about me: I LOVE CARNIVALS.  As cheesy and silly as they may be, and as absolutely terrified as I get over scary rides, I love it.  And not only did I get my carny fix, we went from there straight to Waffle House.  I fuckin love Waffle House.  You have no idea.

so!  That pretty much covers the last two days.  And let me tell you, we’ve got some plans for today!  Expect the next post to contain pictures from THE NATIONAL MUSEUM OF FUNERAL HISTORY and THE ROTHCO CHAPEL.  And who knows what else…the day is young!!

Christmas Eve, pt. 1

Me at the Lady of Lourdes Grotto

Merry Christmas everybody!  Sorry for no posting yesterday; as I am the navigator of our 2-person family, I spent most of the afternoon behind the wheel.  And then, once arriving and being greeted by the family, it becomes almost impossible to get much done.  Even now I’m writing between “have you seen the salt and pepper shakers?” and “does this smell right to you?” and “how many people?  I can’t keep track, come set the table for me!”  And this is just breakfast.  But let me catch you up…

We took off yesterday heading from Austin to Bryan, which is “about 2 hours from Austin.  Culturally, it’s about 200 years from Austin.” (In the words of my brilliant husband, Mick.)  The journey isn’t long, but it’s fascinating at times.  There’s a giant boxite mine, some funky small towns (and by small, I mean 100 residents small), and some really strange stuff in places you’d never expect.  Just off the beaten path in Caldwell…which, as far as I can tell, may be the artists’ mecca of the Brazos Valley…we passed a house with two acres full of giant abstract sculpture.  Bird-type-shapes with man faces, iron globes with African masks inside, blobulous female figures painted bright yellow, etc.  Mick has some fabulous pictures which I’ll try to steal and post soon.  And lucky for us, we passed it up the first time, which led to a quick trip around the block and another fascinating find…

Mick at the Lady of Lourdes grotto

This giant grotto is made not from rock but from petrified wood.  Look close, it’s awesome!  Complete with virgin statue, wishing pond, and a nice little note from the architect.

Notice in the pics that we’re awfully bundled.  It was about 30 degrees outside with 240mph winds, so it felt like the Antarctic.  We didn’t stay long, but it was very cool and worth a look if you’re ever in Caldwell, TX.   Yeah.  Right.

Now it’s breakfast time, so I’m gonna go grub and leave you in breathless anticipation of the rest of our Christmas festivities!  I’ll be back later tonight with Bailey family photos of presents and general merriment.

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