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! ;)
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.
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:
Here are a few of the demon spawn:
Here is a sea of them:
And here is Cinnamon after a swim:
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 :)
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
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.
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 :)
So…. The bank (credit union) did get back to me about my business loan request. They said it wasn’t exactly a “denial”, but that they were not confident in my cost predictions, and wanted more information. Truth be told, I’ve been losing confidence, as well. The houses in my price range have been moving farther and farther out of town on what seems to be a weekly basis. Thus, I have posted a listing in the forum on hostelmanagement.com, seeking a partner or investor. I am also re-considering the rental option. I’ve decided to just let go of my sense of urgency, put out into the Universe my request, and see what comes back. The intensity of this dream of mine remains unwaverable – it is still all I can see myself doing happily – and yet, I am finding a sense of contentment to just let it unfold naturally. I do what I do; I network here and there, I become increasingly familiar with this new town of mine, and I find I have an effortless faith that something will come together.
When I realized that I didn’t need to be at this job I’m not so fond of – since the sole purpose was to appease the lending institution which is now notably less relevant – I decided I should come up with an alternative means of income ASAP. It occurred to me, however, that I might as well stick with the hospitality industry, since that is where I’m headed, and where I’m already at. Then I realized that I believe I would be much happier at the Hotel San Jose, where it seems the nature of the overall culture would be more congruent with my own, so I submitted a resume and application. (That’s the same place I checked out for New Year’s Eve; compared to my present occupation: Hotel Ella – if you know me, you’ll recognize the discrepancy.) They said they are not presently hiring, but I’ll check back periodically, and keep my fingers crossed in the meantime. (And I’m now also crossing my fingers in the additional hope that none of my current employers sees this… I’m not too concerned.)
In another attempt to open doors, I have applied for what appears to be an amazing opportunity, called the “Enviropreneur Institute“. It’s a 2 week workshop in July, put on by PERC (Property and Environment Research Center), held in Bozeman, MT. Those selected will receive a $1500 stipend for transportation and food, supplemental to that provided at the site where lodging is covered, as well. I think this would just be so friggin cool! And what a great way to gain potential traction for my own “enviropreneurial” project?! My fingers are crossing for so many things these days, it’s increasingly difficult to tpye ;)
Well, that’s the current state of my meandering venture adventure. I eagerly await a glimpse at what lies around the next bend, while fondly gazing at my eco-hostel vision board :)