to: high tide - from: low tide

this is my dad. he is the most wonderful father in the whole world.
he has an incredible and steadfast commitment to what he believes in- which is something i have always respected. his heart has an unmatched capacity to love, and through all the obstacles life has thrown at us, he still encourages and supports me just as much as he did 24 years ago. even when i push his buttons, get crazy tattoos, or try to spark political debates- i know i could never make my dad stop loving me.
music is something we have and will always share.
as is an adoration of our earth- especially its oceans.
he is the type of dad that would tell me the other indian princess girls are going to be very disappointed that they have to sleep in tents in the rain- and then drives to a hotel, promising that it is for the best. and when we are asked to choose our "indian names" he tells me (does not ask me) that our names will be "high tide and low tide."
he is the dad that would swim with me around the perimeter of our pool and defend me against the pool sweep- quoting monty python lines to make it less scary.
he is the type of dad that will explain to his 6 year old what the term "symbiotic relationship" means, and how important bob marley is to music.
he is the man that teaches his kids the proper way to eat crawfish and how to read the real meaning into dr. seuss' books.
he is the guy that encourages his children to follow their dreams and think their own thoughts- even if that scares him.
dad, you are an inspiration and a joy to have in my life.
happy fathers day- with all the love in my heart!



a dallas restaurant you can't miss

i should have told you all about this restaurant weeks ago, but i forgot. my parents live in dallas. a few weeks ago i went in town to do a few things, and one was go have a nice dinner with my momma. she took me to a new place that she fell in love with a short while back. the place is called bolsa. it is located in oak cliff- in the bishop arts district. if you live in dallas, or ever travel there, please try this place!!
for starters it is a converted auto shop. the old brick and exposed ceilings give it a rusty old feel, but the garage doors that open onto the patio make it remarkably unique and cute. they have a full bar (plus for me) and all the food is brought from local, organic farms (double plus for me). our waiter was beyond charming and totally helped me select a gluten free item from the menu. my first pick was a roasted chicken, but the farm that supplies their chickens didn't have very many to give them that week, so they were out. this actually made me really happy. i would rather have no chicken than one that has been tortured and stuffed full of chemicals and hormones. hurray for tiny and natural chickens! (rant over)
but anywho, i ended up with two quail and some potatoes that made me die of happiness. i forget what linda ordered, but it was something unique that i had never seen on a menu. and finally there was dessert. i'm not even going to describe it because i will not do it justice. simply- it was incredible.

so go try bolsa!
here is linda and i after dinner. photo courtesy of mr. waiter.

on another note i am desperately missing my mother and sister. they are in africa (kenya) for two weeks! i am quickly realizing that even though we live in totally different cities, their phone numbers are the first ones i call when i have a funny story to tell, or a sad thing to cry about. no one makes me laugh harder than my little sis. and no one gets me the way my mother does. in short- i want them to come home. i'll say more on the africa subject in the days to come.


four years together

for anyone that doesn't know, i have a seriously wonderful man in my life. whether i'm laughing with him or at him, he always keeps a smile on my face. he has been at my side for some incredible parts of my life- we have gotten to see the world together and he has held my hand through so many of my life's obstacle courses. i am proud of his triumphs intellectually, emotionally, and physically, and he is my favorite person to have at my side. this week our relationship reached the official 4 year mark and we got to celebrate by going on a special date night that andrew arranged.

he made a reservation for us at la condesa. it is a new mexican place downtown.
keep in mind that nothing in austin is particularly fancy, but by our standards, it is one of the nicer restaurants. they are famous for delicious and very different food and some really fantastic cocktails.
i got the watermelon one. it was to die for. i love watermelon and i love cocktails. this drink was heaven. it had watermelon juice, st. germain, vodka, and some other secret ingredient.
we hadn't eaten much that day and got a little carried away with the guacamole consumption. it disappeared fast, and i got very full. don't worry though... i didn't let it stop me from eating dinner!
here is my watermelon martini!
so pretty.
there is the eaten guacamole in the background.
in the front my second drink. a classic margarita! i love this kind of margarita because it is much less sweet than the usual. this one did not disappoint.
here is our little flower on the table!
after dinner we weren't quite ready to end our evening so we walked a few blocks over to halcyon. it is a little cafe/coffee shop/bar. i had a makers on the rocks and andrew sampled the sambuca.
it was such a nice evening. i love my boy so much and he worked in this special
date night amidst an enormous amount of work. thank you andrew!
i love you more than anything!!


tut tut..

looks like rain!
it has been raining on and off for the past few days. i love rain more than anything. the smell, the cool, the sound when it hits the leaves! its all beautiful. this is how happy my yard got the other day when it began to sprinkle!
sprinkle sprinkle sprinkle! (rain) sizzle sizzle sizzle! (cooling sidewalk)
my messy little brick entrance. and my toes.
the rain came and then brought thunder and lightning. toby and i got scared. but now everything is happy and green! hope you get some summer rain showers too!


shy bats and a night on the town

last week i got to go out with my dearest friend james and help him show off austin to his californian cousin. she was a delight to meet and we ended up having a really wonderful day/evening! we started it off right with a dip at barton springs and then a mexican martini at trudy's. shortly after, we went to the south congress bridge to watch the bats. i have never stood on the bridge to watch the bats, but i have heard many tales of them not coming out. apparently they like super hot and dry weather. though this night was super hot it was in no way dry... and i'm sad to say the bats never showed up. but we did see some lovely sights!

here is the view of downtown right as it starts to get dark.
and that really tall building is the austonian where andrew works! i can't believe he gets to see austin from that vantage point every day. its so beautiful.
and here are my friends (new friend on the left, old friend on the right).
this lady walked down the road with a lot of balloons. i was happy about this until she let them all go free into the air. then i was sad and gave a small debbie downer speech about balloons killing animals.
then that huge group of bikers came by (they call themselves something but i'm not sure what). this cheerful bro on the street gave some passing high fives.
post the bat bridge, we walked a few blocks over to the elephant room.
if you enjoy jazz and if you enjoy austin, the elephant room is for you!
it has live music every night and a fun basementy-dark atmosphere. and booze.
then we walked to sixth street. just to look though. on a tuesday there isn't much drunkenness to be seen, and all the bars are frighteningly empty.
then we walked to the capital! yeah i know, it was a long walk. but a nice walk! and a slightly sweaty walk. (because of that humidity that the bats were afraid of)
we topped off the night with a shot of patron and a nice chat in a congress street bar. i love getting to be a tourist at home and i love meeting new and delightful people! thanks guys for my weeknight out on the town!


summer in austin = perfect pond/grilling weather

i had such a wonderful sunday! i spent the whole day with some of my favorite people. we went to lunch at trudy's and i got a brunch mexican martini (which is just a regular mexican martini that you have way to early in the day). we sat outside for hours and hours even though it was a million billion degrees! we got to see jon's newly completed pond (that he has been slaving over for quite some time). and then we came back to our place and grilled a delicious feast of dinner!

first let me show you the pond!
the turtle is named shell turtlestein. has a turtle ever had a better name??
jon's pond is like his new baby so he spends a lot of hours giving it food and water and taking care of his little pond dwelling pets.
and they have sunflowers in the backyard now!
sunflowers make you feel like summer is really here.
johnny shut the window on me.
there is turtlestein with the lilly pads. a few have grown flowers and they are pretty.
jon requested i photograph the mating dragonflies.
it turned out neat because you can see their big eyes.
here is scrappy! he wanted to play fetch forever. this is him wishing i would throw the football and not photograph him.
and there's another close up of mr. turtlestein.
backyard photos
it was so hot outside and coming back in felt really nice.
i feel like you can see the temperature in the photos.
i really like jon and haley's red tea pot.
back to lindsey, toby, and andrew's house!
this is my blue watering can. you have probably seen it before.
i just really like it's colors.
this is our sad grill.
he has been with us since the beginning of time.
i have photos of andrew and craig and i grilling on this guy before the house was even furnished. sadly, yesterday might have been his last day with us.
we tried to move him a bit and his head fell off.
we balanced him against the wall of the house (dangerous?) and two bricks (dangerous?).
and his lid won't stay shut either. it was tricky getting anything cooked evenly.
this is how i pictured my sad little grill in my mind.
like a muppet grill.

what collection of photos are complete without a little toby!?
theres my little guy in his tank top (still) waiting for the grill to break so he could snatch up the hot contents. don't worry, that never happened, but he did eat half a bag of corn chips that andrew left out. woof, toby.
and thats me in the knob. i got a new knob actually. isn't it nice? the old one quit doing its job.
and so concludes my sunday activities! i have other things to tell you about but i'm out of time for blogging today. see you next time!

save jake apron campaign

i like to read the bleubird vintage blog. it is wonderful on so many levels. so just this morning i was checking it out and saw this story that she was sharing:

the girl in the story is the owner of a sweet puppy named jake. her description of him sounds like he is her "toby." he is four and they just found cancer in him. to pay for the expensive surgery she is selling the aprons that she makes. they are precious. but beyond the apron cuteness, i just thought of how sad i would be if i lost toby. check out her story and buy an apron!


a weekend at the lake

for memorial day, toby and i got to go out to my parents lake house. we swam, we ate, we partied, and we sunburned. it was awesome. friday morning i got toby all packed up and ready to go. his lake outfit of choice this time was swim trunks and his dino tank. here he is getting pumped up about swimming.
once we arrived, toby and bailey were so happy to see each other! they are best friends of course.
we went for a ride in the golf cart. toby drove us around.
actually he only helped. he can't reach the pedals.
and look who got to come along for the weekend! my favorite friend jonathan! we were besties all through high school and i sadly haven't seen him nearly enough since then. getting a whole weekend together was absolutely wonderful.
while we played bocci ball, toby chilled out with a drink.
and drank a little condensation from jonathan's drink.
that night we had burgers! sadly, they are off my personal menu, but everyone else loved them.
here's dad- master chef- grilling burgers and toasting buns.
and here is heather and drew. clearly enjoying the burgers.
we went for a late night swim and run down the slide. jonathan forced me to go two by two on the raft and i thought we were actually going to fly out!
all my harmon cousins got to come out and join us for the weekend too and it was awesome. i got to hang out with and obsessively photograph brazos and owen all weekend. it is impossible to take a bad photo of either of them. heres little brazos going for a swim in his super awesome fish trunks.
walmart blessed me with a really patriotic swimsuit for the weekend.
one night jon mark and keali made nachos for us and they were gigantic and amazing. this is my dad digging in.
jonathan and i with the sunset. so pretty. and yes i'm still patriotic.
owen tried his hand at putting but the club was just a little too big. the golf ball apparently tasted awesome though.
and here i am with brazos. he loves to splash the water and even when it isn't swimming time, its still 'splash the water' time.
my lovely parents.
heather ann and her main man drew. they are the cutest two of all!
the sunset was so incredible. its amazing that this kind of beauty happens every single evening. i wish i remembered to remember it more often.
the boys, posing for an oh-so-adorable photo.
i hope you all had a lovely weekend too! love and peace!