Maybe, if I’m really quiet, they won’t see me

Last weekend I went camping with some friends at Canyon Lake (a little west of San Marcos). Lee and I carpooled out to the campground. We loaded the car with gear and tied everything down before we loaded the dogs. Ela and Cali made the ride down without incident and with only a little whining. Saturday turned into a lovely day at the lake as we set up camp, made dinner, played Apples to Apples, roasted marshmallows, and counted stars – all the stuff that makes for a good campout.

So we got up the next morning, everybody cooked breakfast, we chatted for a while, and a little before noon we decided to break camp. We loaded the car once again, tied down the tents, coolers, and other gear, then loaded the dogs into the back of the car.

Just as we were about to drive away we decided it was best to stop and use the facilities before we got on the road. So we both got out of the car for a couple of minutes. When we got back to the car, Lee opened her door, sat down, got comfortable, then turned her head toward the driver side and…

If Ela was a bear she could have eaten Lee head first and Lee would never have seen it coming. Ela was so quiet that Lee didn’t notice her until she looked right at her. Lee nearly fell out of the car she was laughing so hard.

Ela had wormed her way through the ropes that were securing the gear and had become hopelessly tangled just shy of the front seat. It took two tries to get her into the back of the car again. Here are the pictures we took before we got her untied.

Canoeing on Lady Bird Lake

The All Saints’ Twenties and Thirties Group went canoeing on Lady Bird Lake on the same day as Daniel’s First Birthday Party!

We had the perfect size group.  Just enough people for three boats.  Joey and I had a kayak.  Don, Misty and Ewan had a canoe, and Brian, Robert and Greg had a second canoe.

We started on Barton Creek, and headed down toward the lake.  We turned upstream, since it is nice to have the current working with you on the way home.  We paddled a good way upstream, but were forced to turn back downstream before we reached the MoPac bridge, because there was a regatta going on further up stream.  We got to watch a few of the crews warm up and turn around.  It is amazing how fast they go!

After our paddle around the lake, we rested in the park and spent some time visiting.  Misty and Brian were smart enough to bring water, and we relaxed together awhile before we all went on our way.  It was a fun way to spend the afternoon!

Episcopal Church Women Annual Meeting and Retreat

CIMG2760 Many of you know that I was president of the Episcopal Church Women at All Saints’ Episcopal Church back a few years ago.  The last year of my tenure, our church hosted the Annual Meeting of the Diocese of Texas Episcopal Church Women.  The meeting was well received, and everyone had a great time.  It was a really tough job, and I was glad to take a break and relax once it was done.

Apparently people sat up and took notice of the job I did as Annual Meeting Chairperson, because this past spring I got a call from the president of the Diocesan ECW, Anne Hart, asking me to be a Communication Chair for the Diocesan ECW Board of Directors.  My job is to manage communication to the Diocese of Texas newspaper, the Episcopalian, and work on the ECW website.  I had to think long and hard, but in the end I decided that my skills are very well suited to the job.  The officers of the Dioscesan ECW are elected and installed at the Diocese of Texas Episcopal Church Women Annual Meeting and Retreat.

CIMG2764 I asked some of my friends from church to join me at the retreat so that I would have moral support, and the pleasure of their company.  Misty, Lee, and Lindsay agreed to attend with me.  They enthusiastically voted for me on Friday night during the business meeting, and then they stood with me during the installation on Saturday morning.

We went to three great workshops together.  We attended a fun workshop called, “How can I keep from singing?” with Brother Gallagher of Holy Cross Monastery.  We sang until we were horse, especially Lindsay!  We also met a most flirtatious monk, Brother Bernard.  He wore a habit that looked like jedi clothing.  We were pretty sad we did not get a picture!  He joked and laughed with us the entire time we were together.

We also attended Elizabeth Gibson’s workshop on labyrinths.  Elizabeth gave a wonderful presentation, and I think all of us were moved by our labyrinth walk.  I could not stop thinking about how lucky we are to have such a fantastic, creative person sharing her ministry with All Saints’!

The retreat was held at Camp Allen.  The facility is superb, the food was good, the setting was magnificent. The weather was cool, but beautiful.  Misty, Lindsay, Lee, and I took a couple of great walks through a small part of the grounds.    We could not have asked for a better weekend!

TnT trip to the Blanton Museum of Art

The All Saints’ Episcopal Church Twenties and Thirties decided to take a trip to the Blanton Museum of Art as a group.  Most of us had never been there before, despite its location right in the middle of Austin.

We saw lots of great art.  Misty found an engraving with a chubby Jesus.  Lindsay was terrified that she might meet the same fate as St. Agatha, but happily she is still intact. Trenton found a car that he could connect with.  Joey found a penny.  Jeff, Trenton, Joey and I got lost in a bunch of yellow noodles.  Fun was had by everyone.  After exploring the museum, we wandered over to The Dog and Duck for some dinner and beer.  It was really a fantastic evening!

Hamilton Pool – June 2008

03 On Saturday LD and I went with some of our friends to Hamilton Pool. LD, Don, Coye, and Sydney drove out to the pool at about ten o’clock. Both Misty and I had commitments in town that left us free to leave at noon, so I hitched a ride with Misty and her boys. Brian is currently a pilgrim on the Camino de Santiago in the Pyrenees, so he was not able to join us this year (Brian – I’m looking forward to seeing pictures from Spain).

Misty, the boys, and I got to Hamilton Preserve at about one o’clock. We had to wait about half and hour for a parking place (Hamilton Preserve only has 75 parking spots – once they are full they only admit cars as other cars leave). Once we were inside the park we hiked down to the pool and located the morning group. Coye had selected a nice spot on the far side of the pool for us to set out our towels and lunch.

Coye and I spent half an hour swimming and throwing his Frisbee across the pool. The waterfall was light and pleasant (not much rain lately, but still very nice). We spent a long time chatting and people watching (wow that was a short swimsuit!) and I took time to snap a few pictures.

When I got home I spent some digital darkroom time with a few of the photos. I liked these b/w prints produced with various color filters.

TnT Design Team Meeting – 10 May 2008

Joey and I are members of the All Saints’ Twenties and Thirties Design Team.  The Twenties and Thirties group is mainly a fellowship group at our church, and despite anything Rachel says, it is not a singles group!  The design team is a group of couples who get together to plan the upcoming events for the larger group.

Happily, the other couples who are involved, Don and Lindsay, Billy and Lee, and Brian and Misty, are all really great people who enjoy the same things Joey and I do – good food, good wine, and good conversation.  The design team gets together once a month, whether we need to or not.  We really feel that we can deal with that sacrifice, since our meetings are generally about 15 minutes, and then we spend the rest of the evening just enjoying each other’s company.

At this last design team meeting Cali, Lee and Billy’s dog, and KatyDog’s friend, came over to play with Katy while we were ‘working’.  Here is a picture of Cali with Katy’s toy sheep.

Don was pretty tired after the meeting.  He had just finished a huge project at the end of his school semester a couple days previous, and we had partied at his house the night before.  Below you can see how Don handled the stress.

Camping Trip – March 2008

20080309-ewan-or-a-monkey The All Saints’ Twenties and Thirties Group went to Guadalupe River State Park for a camping trip.  The weather was cool.  We took a couple of hikes around the park.  Joey and Don, the boyscouts of the group, took charge of building a great campfire.  We roasted marshmallows and ate s’mores.  Don and Lindsay made hobo dinners, which are aluminum foil packets filled with ground meat,ramen noodles, veggies and spices.  The foil packets get tucked into the coals of the fire to cook.  They turned out to be delicious!  You can see Lindsay’s in the pictures below.  Joey even made hot cocoa for everyone before we turned in for the evening.

The next day, we went down to the river again.  On the way back to our campsite, we found a fun playground.  Joey cooked up some yummy breakfast, and then once that was all gone, we moved on to lunch!  Everyone pitched in to help clean up, and we were on our way back to the city!

Guadalupe River State Park has wonderful facilities; I would recommend camping there, and I will definitely go again.  For more information about the park visit: http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/spdest/findadest/parks/guadalupe_river/

The campsites were convenient, especially once Lindsay made the brilliant suggestion to camp near the restrooms!  The river was easily accessible (once we knew which way to go – the first group to go to the river took the difficult ‘path’ down the cliff!).  We did not swim because of the cool temperature, but it looked like it would be a good place to swim and relax.  The camping trip was a great success.  I hope we get a chance to go again soon.

All Saints’ Twenties and Thirties at Hamilton Pool, Austin, TX – August 2006

DSC06945 The All Saints’ Twenties and Thirties group had a fruit-filled time at Hamilton Pool today. We carpooled out to the reserve and spent the day talking, swimming, eating, and lounging :-) It was nice.

Coy, Henry, and I made a few attempts to swim to the bottom (no success). Henry was smart enough to ask one of the park officials how deep the pool was – 40 feet. No wonder.

Lee brought some things that looked like lemon bars but were made of yellow cake, cream cheese, and a sifted cup of heaven. Must ask her for the recipe. So here are a few pics from the trip.