Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Vacation Saga ...Rolling on Down the Road

So I took 3 days off for my first Quilt Retreat which was a fun and productive event. Then David and I are took off for the Hill Country for the rest of that week, but before we leave I head to the beauty shop for a hair cut and some low lights. Yes low lights, nature already gave me the high lights. I went to a brand new stylist named Brittney @
Trendsetters in Tomball. It's always scary to try a new stylist but this was a little scarier since she was also the daughter of a fellow quilter. Could be a touchy situation if you know what I mean.

But have no fear Brittney did an awesome job. She now has me as a new client. I tried to get a good picture of it but between showing my mom how to use my camera and me not use to being in front of the camera it was hard.
I was being goofy and thats when my mom
figures out where the button is. Perfect timing. Gee Thanks Mom. LOL

This is something that could scare the mice away.

Anyway we wake up Thursday, pack, load the car and we're off to the Hill Country. Pam came in from Bryan that morning right after her shift at the hospital to house sit and take care of Dexter. She's such a good daughter.
We try to make the trip to the Hill Country every year to celebrate our anniversary. We missed for last year because we were buried under thousands of boxes from moving 15 years of memories and junk.

First stop in our adventure is Austin where we'll stay the night. David saw that one of our favorite performers was playing at The Broken Spoke that night so we called our friends the Jackson's who live in Austin and asked them to join us at the Broken Spoke for dinner and some awesome honky tonk rockabilly music --- Jesse Dayton and his band.  It's become a tradition to meet up with the Jackson's when we go to Austin. Usually we head out to the Oasis' on Lake Travis for sunset, food, drinks and music but changed it up this year. The Broken Spoke was a nice change and the food was pretty darn good.

Before the show began Jesse came by the table and said 'Hi' and We introduced ourselves and let him know that we've been out to Puffabelly's a couple of times in Old Town Spring to listen to him and Davin James jam and cut up.
At different times through out his show Jesse would direct some comments our way. He even dedicated his last song to his friends from Houston doing the anniversary thing meaning us. I believe the song was 'It's Motel Time'. He said nothing but the best for us. LOL
The show and music were awesome. Jesse didn't disappoint. I have no pictures to document this night.... because dummy here didn't notice that her camera battery was going dead. Grrrrrr. Just happen to look on his website and see he's playing at Blanco's in Houston 9/29.

Oh and prior to Jesse's show there was a dance class. Pay $15 and learn the 2 step. Probably should have taken but I'm not sure if I'd had as much fun plus the fear of someone laughing at me being a klutz. There was maybe 12-15 couples lined up to learn. There was this one cute couple that had a really hard time and for some reason they would stop in front of me to smile or say something silly as they sorta danced stumbled by. Okay so no big deal right? Well as the night progresses this couple kept coming by messing with me then the next thing I know another couple started coming by saying something or being silly in front of me. Now I know it still sounds like nothing but my husband and the Jackson's were laughing asking me "What are you doing? Why are these people talking to you?" I don't know why but they were. Well I wasn't doing anything but watching and smiling. Now our friend Pam J. and I were watching this one dude dance. He and the girl were really good dancers and both very nice lookin. The guy had sexy eyes. At some point even he started messing with me as they would dance by. Oh Lordy, what is happening? The second little couple finally danced by and the girl leaned over the rail grabbed my hands and goes "We don't know why but we just love you" Oookay.....  Now here's where it gets weird, a fourth couple is dancing by and all of a sudden the guy looks at me and starts singing along with Jesse to me. It's one of those times where You had to be there to fully get the whole picture and just for the record I did nothing to provoke this attention. That's my story and I'm stickin to it! It was just crazy.  What a night!

Friday morning we woke up and headed to Kerbey Lane for breakfast. mmm yum. We go to the one off 183. There's like 6 locations. Our daughter found this place while playing water polo I think in high school or maybe while in college I don't remember now. 
Anyway since then David and I try to go there every time we're in Austin for one of their signature breakfast dishes called 'The Migas 

David had the Migas but I tried something different called Zucchini Eggs Benedict with roasted cherry tomatos.
Instead of a traditional English muffin it had zucchini cakes as a base.
We both had happy plates and our tummies were full.  I should also mention they have a killer Apple pancake. Warning if you go on Saturday and Sunday be prepared for at least an hour wait.

Now that breakfast was over we were ready to head over to Boerne for the next couple of nights and more Hill Country Adventures.
We decided to not stay in a chain hotel and stayed at the Ye Kendall Inn.

It has historic rooms inside and historic cabins behind the hotel. We stayed in this cabin called the Carriage House.

Very quaint but oh my... couldn't believe it but the bed was more uncomfortable than our 12 year mattress at home. (We just got a new mattress. Yay! Very comfy now.)

Before actually arriving at the hotel since check in wasn't until 3 we did some exploring. We drove out and stopped at the LBJ Ranch in Stonewall and did a drive thru tour.  

That was cool to see the ranch and the The Little White House as it was called because LBJ took care many of presidential duties there in his home.  We saw lots of deer on the property. In fact we saw lots of deer the whole time we were in the Hill Country. .

 I loved the sections of road that were lined and covered by trees. Now it's still a working ranch so what else would you see but Long Horn Steers. A staple of Texas. After buying the ticket to take the drive thru tour we looked thru the gift shop. We found several books about Texas, Texas Music and David even spyed a book on Texas Quilts for me. We were book pour after that. David even found a book shaped shot glass with hand painted bluebonnets by lady there in the Stonewall area.

Look He's Smiling. Might be because of the
8 wine samples we just finished

Look at the view from Perdanales Vineyards just past LBJ Ranch. To be honest my picture doesn't do it justice. No we didn't just stop for the view but what if we did. We did the wine tasting package too of course.

We even stopped at a couple of antique and rustic shops plus the Wildseed Farm. We  thought about going on into Fredericksburg but it was going on 3pm so we headed on to the hotel to freshen up  and relax(nap) before dinner.

For dinner we went to the Scenic Loop Cafe. We found this place 2 years ago and learned it was owned by George Strait. Right next to it was the San Antonio Rose Horse Center that George built.

This visit we were slightly disappointed with the food. It was lacking in flavor compared to the last vist and they must have changed the margarita recipe. One was enough. Big Bummer. The live music wasn't bad though.

Saturday we did lots of site seeing and maybe a wine stop or 2 but who's counting. I messed around and took so long to get this blog written I forgot all the things we did besides enjoying the scenry as we explored.

We decided to go into Blanco, TX to see what was there but wow so many of the stores were closed up and for sale. The one antique shop we did go into was full of goodies to see and some to touch.

David found him some collectible pilsner beer glasses and stem glass to put in his new cabinet in the game room.

And he
bought me a flamenco dancer by Llardo out of Spain.
I have a couple of small collections of Llardo flamenco dancers.
Isn't she pretty?
She looks at home with the other girls don't you think?

Thanks honey for the wonderful gift.

As we meander thru the country side we stopped at Sister Creek Vineyards in Sisterdale where of course we do a little wine tasting. I found a wine or two here that I liked.
Now after asking this woman her name twice I have managed to forget it now that I'm writing this but see the wine bag she's holding.... She's made over 31,000 of them in just over 2 years. They sell them at the winery. That's a lot of wine bags!

We leave Sister Creek and head to Comfort, TX to check out a couple more wineries.
And look what we found along the way..... Whoop

It's just sitting out in the middle of a field.
Not a house in site. Couldn't pass on a picture like this. Only problem I didn't have my zoom lens with me. There was a fence and tall grass between me and the little shack. I don't climb fences and I didn't
want to find a snake hiding in the
tall grass.

We make it to Comfort, TX and found the Bending Branch winery. Wine for me is all about the my taste buds and to be honest I couldn't find one I really liked here but David did. I still enjoyed tasting all the different wines. While there we asked for suggestions of good places nearby to eat at. As small as Comfort is the girls were able to suggest about 3 places.
We chose the one closest by called...Riven Rock Ranch. It has cabins to stay in also.

The restaurant was awesome!. The eating area was outside with hummingbird feeders in the trees near the table area and the food was cooked in an outdoor wood oven. Atmosphere was great. And the food was so tasty. Sorry I didn't take pictures of the food. I get a little ify about taking pictures in the/a restaurant. David did snap some pictures of me when we were leaving.

Okay as we were pulling out of the parking lot and enjoying the view and I couldn't believe the cloud in front of us..                Do you see what I saw?     A Heart.          Now was that timing or what?                  Here we are celebrating our upcoming     34th anniversary and God put a heart         in the sky for us.
Can you see it now if I outline it. I tell you it was amazing. Okay so David laughed at me but had to admitt he saw the heart too. I know it sounds corny but hey what can I say.
We leave Riven Ranch and headed to Helotes, TX home of John T Floores Country Store where Willie Nelson got his start. This place has been around since the 1940's. In fact Willie's going to be there in October I think. Saturday night we listened to Nick Lawrence and his band. I became a groupie and had him autograph the CD David bought. Great music. I'd like to go see him again but leave my purse at home/hotel so we can dance and not worry about leaving it on the table or on the chair.

Sunday morning rolled around and we went to breakfast at a great little place we found 2 years ago called Little Gretel on the way out of town.  David loved their coffee and we loved their food. I wouldn't know about the coffee part since I'm not a coffee drinker.

After breakfast we leisurely drove back to Tomball so we could visit with Pamela before she headed back to Bryan for work next day.

Plus we invited her to go to dinner with us that evening to the Taste of Texas to help us celebrate our actually anniversary that day. She wasn't going to argue with free food and especially not from the Taste of Texas.

Pamela took this picture of David and I as we were leaving for dinner.   She did good.

Dinner was scumptious.

The whole trip and evening were awesome.
Vacation time is over and it's back to work Monday, oh wait I mean Tuesday. It was labor day weekend and I still had one more day to relax.  aaahhhh and visit with the kid.

She got a new hair cut too. She had about 5" cut off. She has gone to the same lady.. Petite @ Visable Changes since she was 3 years old. Her hair looks really cute.

So ends my rambling vacation saga sooooo

Until next blog..... 
“You don’t get to choose how you are going to die. Or when. You can only decide how you are going to live. Now.” ~ Joan Baez~

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Car Saga & What happens at the Cabin stays at the Cabin

I just want to mention that I went back to Ransom’s Steakhouse and Saloon in Montgomery this past Saturday for lunch with my mom for a 2nd try. OMG! My mom got a salad called the Yard Bird which is a mixed green salad with either grilled or fried chicken slices on top. This thing was in a shallow type bowl but it was like 14” across. Her salad went on forever. Now I tried the Queso burger with pico and these large cottage type fries. I’m gonna start drooling just writing about it. The burger was big and juicy and the buns were so drooling good. The buns were soft, doughy and a hint of sweet. I meant to ask if they made the buns fresh but forgot too. And again we had prompt and friendly service so I’m not sure what was with the negative reviews I had read on-line.
Okay so I left you hanging on my last post about the vehicle.
We got up that Saturday still trying to decide whether we should blow off the Beaumont vehicle with the smoke smell or go back to check it out. Or do we drive to Austin that Saturday or do we just wait until Thursday when we go to the Hill Country to celebrate our anniversary.
Decisions, decisions.
Decision was made, we took off to Beaumont. Well the smoke smell was 90% gone but the goof balls had taken out the the 3 back seat head rests and had no clue where 2 of them were. They were wanting to put black head rest in it from another car which would have been fine except the interior of the car was grey. We also noticed a big ding on the front top fender that we didn’t remember being there last Saturday…. Mmm. We’ll get back to ya on that. Okay so it’s almost 2:30pm now what????  We take off to Austin. We’re crazy I know but I didn’t want to end up buying the car and have to drive 2 cars around while up there on a mini vacation.
So we’re zipping down the road umm zipping is not a good idea since the cops were out in full force. You can’t tell me there’s not a quota for the end of the month. Thank God David was driving because I would have never heard the end of it if I had gotten pulled over. Yep David was zipping a little tooooo fast and the Brenham cop didn’t give him a break. David was going fast enough that he wasn't going to be eligible to take Defensive Driving to keep it off his records. Oh $h!*
Finally got to the dealership in Austin 5 minutes after closing but they waited on us.  Long and short the 2006 Black Toyota was the one. She almost looks brand new, no smells, 18,000 miles less than the one in Beaumont. I’ve nick named her Black Beauty.
We drove Black Beauty home that night. They wouldn’t give us enough to trade in the Explorer so I drove it home. Well actually once we got to Giddings we stopped for a bite to eat and I drove Black Beauty the rest of the way home and David took over the Explorer. I threatened to steal this car and David could drive my Highlander. He didn't think so. LOL
 On Sunday David pulled her onto the patio out of the sun. This picture with the car on it might give you a better idea how big our new patio is. 

Black Beauty got a wash and wax. She really shined then.
David advertised the Explorer on his work Bulletin Board last Wednesday and had it sold that day. YEA!
Now Quilty news
I went to my first Quilt Retreat for 3 days. I’m no longer a Quilt Retreat Virgin. There were a couple of others who had never been on retreat either. We had sew much fun and we were productive. I took the baby quilt to work on since I’m so damn slow in getting it done. I know practice practice practice and the quilting gets easier and more uniform stitches and it wouldn’t be so bad if didn’t lack confidence. Probably with good reason since I’ve had to rip and re-sew various sections…. Grrrrr
This was the first Guild Quilt Retreat and we stayed at Quilter’sCabin  here in Tomball. It’s a beautiful facility. She has quilters, scrapbookers, and gals who just want a few days away.
It has 4 bedrooms and can hold up to 12 people. (The beds are REALLY comfy) It has a dining area, full service kitchen, a den with a wood burning fireplace that obviously didn’t get put to use with 99 degree temp outside, flat screen TV, and a dvd player. And of course it had a work room. It was Home away from Home.  Just like a hotel there were towels and wash clothes, shampoo, condition, shower soap and a hair dryer.  All we had to bring was a pillow and project(s) to work on.
Each of us had our own work table to sew at. The owner Diane is a fellow quild member and she joined us for a short while. Unfortunately she had a couple of family emergencies and had to leave us. As of this past Tuesday all were during well. Thank Goodness.
Diane just this year turned her Log Home Cabin Home into a 2nd Retreat. It can hold up to 8 people and has all the same amenities.
We had some tasty food too. We ordered out the first night everyone contributed something to brunch or dinner while there.
Oh an extra amenity with prior arrangement we could book a massage or a facial for a nominal fee if we met a 4 person minimum /2 hour min. How cool is that?! I had a facial which was AWESOME. Shoot she even massaged my back, arms and feet while waiting on each mask to dry. Worth every penny. 
The women who had massages were just as pleased with their experience.
Now I can’t share everything that went on…….because well you know

But I’ll share a few photo’s of my 3 day stay.
This was my room called the Log Cabin
 We had an ugly Fat Quarter Contest. The people one on the left won. Lucky Shelly won all the ugly fat quarters with her ugly purple and yellow fat quarter.
Hard at work.
Some of the blocks being created. I had some very talented people around me.

Diane had these big buttons over the front entry into the den. Button Buttons I want some!

I’m ready for another retreat....…How about you? 
No we didn't fill this jar the two nights we were there but we might have added a couple of corks.
Fun times!
Until Next Post....  I want you to start a crusade in your life --to be your best ~William Danforth~


Saturday, September 8, 2012

No Reply Bloggers & Car Adventure

No Reply Bloggers make me sad because I can’t respond back.
“What is No Reply you ask? Well, if someone leaves a comment on any blog that comment goes to the email inbox of the recipient. When the blogger tries to respond back to the comment, the return email address says "No Reply" which equals "no email address, which equals "no reply back"  :(“  I stole this quote from Karen @ Sew Many Ways   Check out her blog. She has an awesome tab with Blogging tips and much much more. For instance besides blogging she loves to sew, quilt, decorate and shop in consignment stores. She has a craft/sewing room that I would love to have. But right now I guess I'll be content with sharing a tip on how to open the communication doors between commenter and blogger. ;o)

So if you click here  and it will take you to Karen's link that tells you how to fix  your “no reply” status.  Only I will see your email  address, it does not show up on the blog for everyone to see. For instance when I receive my notice that someone has left a comment and you happen to be a No Reply Blogger this is what I see…. Your Name which means I can’t respond back to you which makes me sad and you probably think I don’t care that you commented but I do I do! Honest.
Comments make me happy.

So go on check out. It won’t hurt and it takes  less than a minute to fix so go on do it now. I dare you. LOL

On to other news in the country life.
So David decided it was time to replace our 98 Ford Explorer.
He began searching for that new vehicle…. Well not New New but New to us. The Explorer was originally mine that I drove until Pamela turned 16. Then she drove it until she graduated from Texas A&M in 2010 when she got a new car and the Explorer was then passed  to her Dad. It’s been a great car and always dependable thanks to David being a stickler on a maintenance routine. He changed the oil every 5000 miles, checked the belts, and changed the tires when the time rolled around.
A few weeks ago David found a black Toyota 4Runner on Auto Trader, but it was in Beaumont. Couldn’t he find what wanted a little closer to home? Well I guess not so one Saturday morning after breakfast he says “I think I’m gonna go look at the car in Beaumont. Wanna go?” Of course I do and off we go. We hit a major wall of rain near Greenspoint.. hmm not a good sign but we continue on. The rain eased up as we rolled down the road.
We arrive. The car looks clean with minor dings and scratches but WHOA! When the salesman opened the car doors we almost pass out. Whoever owned this car was a MAJOR MAJOR smoker. Well we went ahead and took a quick test drive and by the time we got back to the dealership I had a headache from the smell and so did David. Did I tell you how bad it smelled? Other than that it was nice vehicle but the smell was killing the possible deal. So the saleman said they would try the OZONE machine to take out the smell and would give us a call in 3-4 days. 
Instead of heading back on I-10 and the Beltway David decides to take 105 back to our neck of the woods. It was actually a pleasant drive until we got just outside Conroe where three 18 wheelers were all over the road and spread out some distance apart. Not sure what happened but it had about a 1 mile section of 105 closed. Now what and where do we go? We sat there for a while but no movement so we made an executive decision to turn around and follow a line of cars that turned off on a side road. Surprise we did good and made a big loop around the accident and trucked on down the road. Well it was getting late and our tummies were growling but where and what to eat…. Hmmmm.
 We crossed under I-45 and continued into Montgomery we  decided to try out RANSOM SteakHouse and Saloon. Not only do you get to eat but you get to listen to Live music for free every Friday nite and some Saturdays. And that Saturday we got to listen to some good music. You could sit and just listen or you could get up and do a little 2 step.

I read other Ransom reviews on-line just before I posted this and was surprise that the few posted were basically bad in regards to food and service but music and atmosphere was great. The d├ęcor was rustic and country.. Our take on this restaurant was really good in fact David let the Manager know exactly that. Our waiter was very attentive and our food came out in a reasonable amount of time. We ordered Hot Wings as an appetitizer and oh boy they were Hot. I had ran out of water before the waiter got back to the table
but one of the managers popped up at the
table with
pitcher full of water. She saw the flames.  LOL.

I was only able to eat 3. But David was able to get a few more down and we still had a pile left to eat. Needless to say we took the rest home f.  
They didn’t scrimp on the serving portion at all. David had chicken fried steak and I had pork chops. I was able to eat one chop and brought the other chop home. We couldn’t complain at all. Nice portions, cooked just right and tasted really good. We even splurged and got dessert and that’s a rarity for us. We got Apple cobbler with ice cream. Aaaah Heaven.
Since I didn’t post right after we went I forgot the name of the band that was there that night but they were pretty good.
We’ll go back and try Ransom again..
So 4 days later the Beaumont dealership does call to say they got almost all of the smell out and did we want to come back to check it out. During that time David came across another vehicle. It was another Black Toyota 4Runner, a year older but with almost 18,000 less miles. Mmm sounds promising but guess where it is. Not the Houston area, again, it’s in Austin! Apparently  Toyota 4Runner’ V8’s are few and far in between.
Now what to do
·       Do we go back to Beaumont to check out the 2007 or do we go to Austin on Saturday to check out the 2006?
·       Or go to Beaumont Saturday and wait to go to Austin On Thursday when we’ll be there to celebrate our 34th wedding anniversary.
·       OR do go both places Saturday.
Oh woes is me the decisions. 
You’ll have to wait for my next post to see what we decided  and I’ll share news about my First Quilt Guild Quilt Retreat. Yep I was a Quilt Retreat Virgin. LOL
Until next post…………Count your blessings, stitch them one by one.
Y'all come back now Ya hear.