Posts or Comments 30 June 2022

Archive for "Austin"

Austin &Texas joydeanlee | 01 Apr 2013

Austin Yard Art Tour—April 2010

One of Austin’s slogans is Keep Austin Weird! I witnessed aspects of that movement when I was house/pet-sitting there in the Spring of 2010. My older daughter, Helena, and I spent a Sunday afternoon traveling to as many locations on the Yard Art Tour as we could in our available time.

The range of types of yard art was vast: from colored bottles with their tops stuck in the ground to line yard paths to painted fences to a place with Cathedral of Junk on its mailbox to decorated cars to metal creations to the Smut Putt Heaven Holiness Church.

Enjoy the art!

To view a slideshow of the Yard Art Tour, click on any of the photos below.

AustinYardArt-#2,April2010 - 03

Blue and green bottles lined the paths through flowers and plants in this yard.

AustinYardArt-#2,April2010 - 10

One of the metal sculptures on the Yard Art Tour.

Austin &Texas &Wildflowers joydeanlee | 19 Mar 2013

Texas Hill County—Wildflowers in the Spring

Much of the Texas Hill Country is a glorious, colorful sight in the Spring as numerous varieties of wildflowers cover the hillsides, the roadsides, and even the road medians.

To view a slideshow of my collection of wildflower photos, click on any photo below.

TX Wildflowers-2013 - 3

Texas Bluebonnets.

After a trip to the AAA office for a map in March, 2010, exploring Austin and as many of the small towns around it as time permitted was my goal.

From Lampasas and San Saba northwest of Austin to Llano, Marble Falls, Burnet, and Johnson City on the west and Blanco and Wimberly on the southwest, I photographed wildflowers.

I traveled to Austin in the Spring of 2012 for more photography and again this year, 2013, although for only a couple of days. This year my time in the Hill Country was a bit early for the full blooming of the wildflowers, but I did find a few further east near Navasota.

TXwildflowers-Spring2012 - 05

Scattered throughout the bluebonnets are a few Indian Paintbrushes and small yellow flowers (I don’t know their name) that share space and contrast with Prickly Pear cacti.

014-Indian Blankets

Indian Blankets

Austin &House/Pet-Sitting &Texas joydeanlee | 10 Jun 2011

Emerson dog—Mia, may she rest in peace

I never had the privilege of pet-sitting for Mia, the beloved dog of the Emersons in Austin, Texas. I did enjoy her company when we had outings at Lake McQueeney and when both the Emersons and I were guests of our mutual friends in Houston, the Alexanders.

Obedient. Patient. Congenial. Faithful. Calming.
One could not ask for a better dog to be his best friend.

Mia died early in 2010, a sad event indeed.

To view a slideshow of Mia, click on her photo. If info about the photos is not displayed in the slideshow, click Show Info.

Mia, Christmas, 2007

Christmas, 2007—Mia relaxes on her blanket with her new red toy.

Austin &Texas joydeanlee | 30 May 2010

Austin, Texas—Family, food, and fun

My time in Austin house/pet-sitting for the Emersons this Spring was a delight. My older daughter Helena and her husband Dan live there. We found many reasons to get together: an art gallery show of the works of one of Helena’s friends, a yard art tour, and birthday celebrations for Helena and me, who both have March birthdays, and for Dan’s mother Virginia in early April.

Another great advantage of being in Austin in the Spring is getting to view the wildflowers of the Texas Hill Country. For my post about the wildflowers, see


With helpful hints from Helena and Dan and from travel/food articles, I found great restaurants.

  • Austin: For my birthday we dined at The Grove (, which has become Dan’s favorite place. Note: The opening of The Grove’s website has cool graphics.
  • Marble Falls: Friend Kim Scott, another former Macmillan Indianapolis employee who now lives in Georgetown just north of Austin, and I lunched at the Bluebonnet Cafe in Marble Falls ( You won’t believe the height of the meringue on the cream pies.
  • Bastrop: I drove southeast of Austin to Bastrop where I dined at Baxter’s On Main. An interesting dish was the mashed sweet potatoes with green chilies. Tasty combination! (
  • Austin &House/Pet-Sitting &Texas joydeanlee | 30 May 2010

    Emerson cats—House/pet-sitting for cats and fish–Austin, Texas

    Can you imagine five hungry, meowing cats at your bedroom door each morning when you wake up?

    During March and April 2010, I did house/pet-sitting in Austin, Texas, for the Emersons. Eight cats and a tank of tropical fish were in my care. Yep, eight cats! Only five were at my door each morning for one was too timid, and the other two were outdoor cats, which adds up to eight.

    The two black-and-white cats were so close in appearance that I’d have to see them up close before I’d recognize which was which. One was slightly heavier than the other, the key to identity. Learning the names of the others came quickly, but persuading them to let me pet them was a different matter.

    006-Emerson-Mar2010-Boo Kitty-02

    Boo Kitty



    Soon, however, I’d have four cats on the sofa with me when I watched TV in the evening. One on the recliner extension, one in my lap, one at my side, and Noche (photo below) on the top of the sofa above my head. Sorry, no one was around to capture that picture so you must use your imagination.

    To view a slideshow of the Emersons’ cats, click on any photo below.

    013-Emerson-Mar2010-Kitty Girl-01

    Kitty Girl











    Austin &Family &Grandcats &Orlando joydeanlee | 07 Feb 2010

    Grandcats provide candid moments

    Visits in November through January with my daughters and sons-in-law in Austin and Orlando provided many opportunities to photograph my grandcats. I’ve displayed a pic of each of the four here, and then you can click on any photo to see the latest slideshow. Selecting Grandcats (under Family) in the Topics list provides slideshows of all my grandcats taken over the last five years.

    Oscar-Jan2010 - 2

    Oscar (McManus, Orlando) knows how to relax. One of his other photos shows that he knows how to r-e-a-l-l-y stretch, too.

    Chili-Jan2010 - 3

    Chili (McManus, Orlando) has mastered relaxation techniques, too. During TV-watching time in the evening, his favorite spot is on a plastic bin of laser discs.


    Tia (Abbing/Thomas, Austin) is a delicate lady who enjoys lots of lap time. Here she observes all the action around her from the end table.


    Obi (Abbing/Thomas, Austin) has discovered a new favorite spot: under the cover of his futon. Obi has decided that he likes to be with his humans and joins them more and more often, even jumping on the couch with them.

    Austin &Family &Grandcats Joy | 20 Oct 2008

    Grandcats—Some people have grandkids; I have grandcats! Austin grandcats


    OBI: Named after Oberon, the king of the fairies in Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Obi became my grandcat when my older daughter Helena married Dan. Patience and lots of belly rubbing were needed before Obi decided that he didn’t have to hide under the futon in the cat room every time he heard my approach.

    Click on any photo to see each pet’s slideshow.


    TIA: This sweet and not-so-shy lady, Obi’s sister (also named after a character from A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Titania, the queen of the fairies) also became my grandcat when Helena married Dan. Not so much time nor as much belly rubbing was required for me to make friends with Tia. She was always the first to stand at the screen door which separated their cat quarters from the remainder of the house (in the Ft. Worth home) and meow pitifully as though she were the most abused cat in the world.