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Adventure returns!

Port Aransas

Port Aransas and Aransas Pass

I’m going to the Gulf! :D

I was very pleased to have met the Med (aka the Mediterranean Sea), and now I get to greet the Gulf (the Gulf of Mexico, that is), by way of Aransas Pass, Texas. I just booked a night through Airbnb, for me and my dog to stay at a beautifully rustic ranch near the beach – as a birthday treat to myself :) I actually got four days off from work next week, and I’ll use the first day to relax, maybe run some errands; day 2 I’ll drive down to the coast, check into my digs, go get acquainted with the 80 degree waters, and explore the town a bit; day 3 I’ll awake to warm sea breezes for my bday, have a nice breakfast, and drive back to Austin, then probably hit up a favorite dive or maybe a new watering hole; and day 4 will be a bonus day of ease. Ahhh, I do enjoy a leisurely pace ;)

I am stoked to be exploring again! I will try to get a couple good photos, and I’ll be sure to share the adventure – stay tuned!

 
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Posted by on 07/28/2014 in Plans

 

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Independence

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It’s American Independence Day, and I will not be participating in the festivities. I will be working. I find it fitting, though. For one thing, I’m told the City usually does the fireworks show on the water, right downtown, but as the park across the way (which would have a marvelous view, with the buildings and Capitol as backdrop) is under renovation, the show will be put on at an alternate location this year. But aside from that, I feel that it is appropriate that I shall be barred from celebrating, as I myself have not yet regained my own independence. I hope that by this time next year, I will be more fully able to enjoy this blessed holiday. And it is a good one. I am very grateful to have had the privilege of living in this fine country, and enjoying its many freedoms. Happy 4th of July, y’all! ;)

 
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Posted by on 07/04/2014 in Musings

 

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Battle of the Burrs

So… there are some fiendish little seeds down here that have made their way into the number 2 slot for my least favorite things at present (number 1 being mosquitoes): burrs. The way in which these devil dots are affecting me negatively has to do with my dog. She has a grand ol’ time frolicking through the bushes, then comes out with a blanket of green mats, and when we get home I spend 1 to 2 hours de-burring her. The other day was the worst yet, and after an initial go at brushing her out on the kitchen floor, I found myself too daunted by the task at hand, and made the heart-wrenching decision to surrender. I took her to the groomers… and… I had her shaved :( I almost cried. She loves it, but I feel like I just butchered a work of art.

cin shave 3

Unfortunately, shortly after this pic was snapped, she collected a new burr coat. It took 50min to remove at home. Fortunately, it was much easier, but I’m hating these things with a renewed passion.

Here is a poor photo of one of the shrubs that bear the burrberries:

burr bush

Here are a few of the demon spawn:

burr berries

Here is a sea of them:

burr sea

And here is Cinnamon after a swim:

burr coat

I wish I had taken a photo of her with these covering her full coat.

So, now she’s got her summer cut, and I’m bummed about my dumb looking monkey-deer-dog, while I get to continue raking these hellions off of her multiple times a week. Thank you, Texas. (Overall, I really am still happy to be here.) I’m planning on acquiring my own grooming clippers so that I can take care of the trim next year myself, and shear her coat to a more moderate length – before she gets matted to emergency.

Hopefully, I will find a way to live in peace with this native plant. At least it only goes to seed a couple months per year. I suppose I can learn to just push through the Texan summers, with their intense heat, voracious mosquitoes, and pesky burrs. There is quite a lot this fair city has to offer in return :)

 
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Posted by on 06/14/2014 in Musings

 

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Heating up

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Not much to report; mainly just trying out a new app…

The temps are hitting low 90s; I’ve started seeing fireflies on occasion – in fact, the other night, one flashed overhead, and when I tipped my head back to follow it, I saw a shooting star! That was pretty cool :)

I got a new phone. Finally moved on from the BlackBerry; got me a Samsung Galaxy Light (with Android). I’m remembering why smart phones are dangerous for me – me and my time management, that is.

The TreeHouse gig is looking like a no-go, but I haven’t managed to give up all hope just yet. I’m still dreaming up ways to manifest my hostel.

I snapped that pic above while on a walk with Cin the other day; thought it was rather splendid.

Austin continues to burrow into my heart. I couldn’t be happier to be here :)

Love to you all <3

 
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Posted by on 06/02/2014 in Musings

 

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I am on a grand adventure

capitol dome 1

Texas State Capitol Dome

I often find myself feeling “dead in the water” lately – like a boat meant for exploration, stuck without fuel nor wind to propel my journey.

I learned that I did not win a spot at the Enviropreneur Institute; my work schedule is rather prohibitive of social networking; my funds are insufficient; I appear to be unusually dependent on an as yet unidentified stranger who may partner with or invest in me and my plan; and I don’t know what to do next in the process of further developing this hostel dream of mine.

A good friend recently reminded me, however, that I am living the life I set out for: I am relatively fancy-free; I just picked up and moved to a brand new city; I’ve taken a job to put me on track towards a future in tourism hospitality; and on the larger scale, I really am doing what I enjoy. At first, I scoffed at her, since this doesn’t feel immediately as fun as my past adventures, but the message later sunk in: I truly am on a grand adventure!

When I discovered I had a three day weekend, I decided to live my dream, and travel. I am surrounded by new sights to explore, and although my budget is meager, I can still find inspiration for awe. I finally went and visited the Capitol. It was massive and gorgeous and imbued with history. Another day, Cinnamon and I drove out deep into Hill Country, and visited the Pedernales Falls State Park. We had a great time roving the rocks and shrubs. Then we stopped in Marble Falls, and I stuffed myself on a delicious burger by the river, to the point of severe discomfort. For the drive back, we took RM 1431 and it was spectacular. I love the Hill Country! I’m so glad I get to explore this lovely rock I live on :)

I’m still looking forward to a trip to the Gulf. I was thinking of doing that this weekend, but I can’t quite afford an overnight stay, and a coworker pointed out that it really is a bit far for a day-trip, so it will have to wait, but I’ll probably visit South Padre Island when I do go. Also on my list, but much more within reach: a little kayaking jaunt on the river right here. In fact, a friend and I were going to do that the other day, but I got called in to work, much to my dismay. I am definitely going to do that soon, though. Further on, I hope to visit Louisiana, and even other parts of the south. We’ll see though; if I’m lucky, I’ll be too busy enjoying my hostel! Either way, I just hope I can find that sweet spot, of earning a decent living, budgeting within my means, and having the means to support Travel, either personally or via my hostelers :)

I am working on accepting a broader time frame for actualization of the hostel, but I am also working on finding a better balance in the meantime, where I can enjoy the journey.

 
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Posted by on 04/20/2014 in Action

 

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It’s Spring!!

spring_lamb

I just learned that it’s Spring – today! It totally snuck up on me, and brought an instant and acute sense of joy and hope and excitement and faith. Suddenly, so much seems possible :) Somehow, Spring just carries with it an inherent potential for new beginnings that seems to have the abiblity to penetrate all aspects of life. And there are so many avenues for potential – and real – change in mine.

My living situation is about to change: all my housemates are moving out. My mind went at once to turning the home into a hostel, but the landlord believes it wouldn’t fly with the neighborhood association. And that’s ok – it’s really not the ideal scenario, anyway. But this means that I will have new housemates. I will also get to have a real room, with a door. I think I’m going to take the master, with its own bathroom. It will be notably tighter on my budget, but I can make it work, and I think it will be well worthwhile :) I am very curious to see what this change brings. It’s exciting, too, in that I get to personally screen and select my new roomies. This could amount to greatness…

My application for the Enviropreneur Institute is officially complete, and next month, I will learn whether I am accepted. That could be prodigiously fantastic. The opportunities that would unfold from that experience are positively staggering.

I have applications submitted at my two favorite hotels in town. Perhaps a position will open up at one of them, and I can continue my study of hospitality in more hospitable conditions. (The HI is actually hiring a hostel manager, but I really don’t meet the qualifications, and the truth is, I don’t want to run a large hostel / summer-camp – any more than I want to work at a snooty hotel. Plus, I think it’s a live-in situation, and I doubt my dog would be allowed. I do struggle, though, with passing up that invaluable learning opportunity… I should probably apply anyway.)

I created new business cards to promote my dog skills with nail trimming and training services. I don’t know if I have the capacity to put forth the necessary efforts to really get the word out, but it could be an extra source of revenue here and there. I have placed a few at a couple strategic locations in my neighborhood.

I continue to make new social connections, and some of them are bound to turn into lasting friendships. This aspect is a large part of my ongoing lesson in patience. It takes a considerable amount of time to form real bonds with people – especially if one is as selective of their company as I am. It is a lonely trade-off, though…

The warmth is on its return, and will soon become an intense heat that just might challenge my residence. Nevertheless, the increased temperatures are sure to inspire further exploration of this fine state, so I shall soon be experiencing new and wondrous lands, like star filled desert skies, and the warm shores of the Gulf of Mexico.

Change is good. Some people fear it, but in most circumstances, I welcome it. And right now, I could really use some. I feel a little stuck, and I’m doing my best to invite positive new twists – as well as to remain open what IS, because often times that’s pretty important, too.

Right now, I am going to get back to what I was working on before I took a brief moment to check my phone, and found the post of a blog I subscribe to, informing me of the magic of this day, to which I was compelled to respond with a post of my own. Incidentally, what I was doing was a perfectly “Spring” activity: I’m going through all of my clothes, and weeding out the articles of which I am less than overly fond. I do not wish to make room in my life for things that do not especially please or benefit me. Ironically, it’s not so much “out with the old”, as a number of the clothes I’m displeased with are newer purchases. At least I got some good “shopping therapy” out of them ;)

Cheers! To Spring – to new beginnings, to change, and to growth! :D

 
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Posted by on 03/20/2014 in Musings, Plans

 

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6 months a Texan

tx independence

I arrived in Austin 6 months ago, today. What a trip! It doesn’t seem like it’s been that long. And March 2nd is Texas Independence Day, so I got myself this nifty key chain to commemorate my own Texan independence :) It feels pretty good to live someplace with so much pride in its locality. It’s contagious. I may not be 100% on board with everything that is Texas, but I am proud to be a Texan. Who knows – maybe it’s just Austin that instills such delight.

I found another appealing boutique hotel I’ll be applying to: Heywood Hotel. I drove past it the other day, and just had to stop in. They have only 7 rooms, and I really dig the vibe! Then, if the hotel plan burns out, I might look into employment at Home Depot, because – as my dad keenly noted – another skill-set I’ll be needing at my hostel will be those I could learn there. We’ll see what unfolds…

I’m keeping the faith, and reminding myself that my hostel is seeing to itself while I stay out of its way until the time comes for our convergence. Meanwhile – still grateful to be here.

On another note, I got to meet the famous “Bevo” – a local celebrity longhorn. A group that was staying with us arranged to have him visit the hotel. He’s massive! Good times :)

Bevo 2

 
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Posted by on 03/04/2014 in Plans

 

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