Ko Olina looking toward Nanakuli Head, Oahu, HI, December 5, 2016

Ko Olina looking toward Nanakuli Head, Oahu, HI, December 5, 2016
Ko Olina looking toward Nanakuli Head, Oahu, HI, December 5, 2016

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Deer O'Clock - Sat., Aug. 31

Wending our way through Texas Hill Country at 6:45 a.m. (dawn) is a mighty fine way to see deer (and a skunk, I'll get to that later). On US 281 heading north out of San Antonio, all the way to Blanco, we didn't see any deer. Boom! Get off the main highway onto FM 1623 and the wildlife seemed to know it was safer to venture into the road.

Our first close encounter was with a skunk. I saw it in the road and avoided a direct hit, missing it with all four tires. The skunk, however, blasted the undercarriage of the car with a direct hit of Eau de Skunque. Whoooeeee, my Escape pod didn't Escape that. I see a car wash in my future!

We followed FM 1623 for 20 miles, seeing deer along the road and off in the trees. One young buck raced along the right-hand side of the road. It looked like he was going to leap in front of the car at any second. He finally took off over a fence to the right.

In the small community of Albert, we turned north on Lower Albert Road, a very small, paved farm road. Along this road is where deer congregated. A doe and two fawns bounded across the road in front of us. Deer watched us from the fields and from the sides of the road.

As we drove closer to US 290, there was a very high fence to our left. There, scared to pieces, was a young buck. He turned and bolted along the left shoulder of the road, knowing the fence on his left was too high to jump. We clocked him at 30 mph. We stopped for a bit to give him a chance to cross the road and jump the lower fence on the other side, but he continued running on the left side. He then slowed to 20 mph. We were getting very close to US 290 and I tried to get the deer to cross the farm road. While I was watching him (because he finally crossed in front of me), Bob yelled, "Watch out! There's another deer." I put my brakes on as a doe skidded across the asphalt in front of the car. Luckily, I did not hit either one. Whew.

Then I watched as the frightened buck crossed US 290. We thanked our lucky stars that US 290 did not have any cars coming or going just then. He made it to safety.

We took US 290 past a Rest Area, one mile west to Lyndon B. Johnson National Historical Site where our Volksmarch started. After signing in, I needed to use the restroom before our 6.2 mile walk. The restrooms at the park were being cleaned and the ranger cleaning them would not let me use them.

So, back in the car to the Rest Area. As it was only a mile away, it wasn't a big deal. As soon as we got back and exited the car, the ranger came out and said, "You can use the restrooms now." All the other people who were in the parking lot ready to walk applauded.

At 7:30 am we were finally on the path.  The walk took us past the Visitor Center, which wasn't open yet, past a statue of LBJ and to the Sauer Beckman Living History Farm (also not open for the day).

Statue of LBJ
What's he pointing at? LBJ asked that his statue be in the State Park (now a National Park) pointing at the Pedernales River. He once said, "My first memories are of this river." He was born and raised in the Texas Hill Country and always remained close to it saying, "I feel at home here."

Limestone is a key building element in Texas.
Path to Sauer Beckman Living History Farm.

The ram has gorgeous horns.
When the Sauer Beckman Living History Farm is open there are rangers in period dress doing chores the original inhabitants did, including cooking, canning, making soap, feeding the livestock, and cleaning.

Sauer Beckman Living History Farm


From the Living History Farm, we walked through the parking lot where we had started and onto Ranch Road 1. Our next stop was Danz Homestead. The Danz's had a sad history. In 1845, hundreds of hopeful German immigrants came to the Texas Hill Country in search of land, political freedom and adventure. Johann "Casper" Danz, his wife Elisabeth and their baby boy Frederick were among them.

Tragedy struck the Danz family many times. Soon after arriving in Fredericksburg, Elisabeth and her son died from an epidemic. Casper's second bride died during childbirth. In 1857, Danz married his third wife, Johanne Dorothea Bock. The third time was a charm and the family flourished with 11 children. In 1860, the couple bought the land where we were today and their descendants lived there until 1966 (106 years!) when the land became a park. It doesn't say where they moved at that time.

You can read more about the sites at Danz Homestead on the plaque below (click to enlarge).


Cabin B
Bob in front of Danz Cabin.
Danz Cabin
The photo below shows how the home was constructed. There used to be a stairway leading to the upstairs door on the outside of the rooms. This allowed more room INSIDE with no staircase taking up precious space.

Danz Cabin
Cabin B
After the Danz Homestead we walked quite a way along Ranch Road 1. We enjoyed being next to the Pedernales River. I was particularly amused by some signs we saw along the road.






Here are photos from the rest of the walk.



Trinity Lutheran Church


Anyone recognize this plant?
Here's another photo, same type of plant as above.
Junction School House where LBJ first went to school.
Interior of school house.
Pedernales River (quite low).
A Texas longhorn.



The walk ended back at the Visitor Center parking lot. Our time for 10K was two hours. Temperature when we finished at 9:30 a.m. was 95 degrees. Today is going to be a scorcher. Good day to be in air-conditioned comfort.

Bob is volunteering at a car show at Random Event Center in Boerne (pronounced burn-e) today. They are expecting 40-80 cars. Three food trucks will be there, and a live band will play this evening. Bob left at 12:30 p.m. and expects to be there until midnight. The car show starts at 6 p.m. awards will be at 10:30 p.m. If he's not too busy I asked him to take some photos with his phone for the blog.

As I've been sitting here, hummingbirds, doves, yellow jackets, a squirrel and a woodpecker have all been active outside the window. Here are some photos of the action...

Golden-fronted woodpecker.
Inca dove.
Inca dove.
Golden-fronted woodpecker.
Golden-fronted woodpecker.
Golden-fronted woodpecker.
Northern cardinal peeking through the feeder.
White-winged dove.
White-winged dove and Northern cardinal.
White-winged dove.
That's it for today.

The end.




Monday, August 26, 2013

Yummy Dinner Tonight! - Mon., Aug. 26

Here's our first meal from The Engine 2 Diet book by Rip Esselstyn. Boy is it good!

E2 Black Beans and Rice

2 cans black beans, rinsed and drained
1 to 1-1/2 cups water or vegetable broth
1 Tbsp. Bragg Liquid Aminos
1 tsp. chili powder
2 to 3 tomatoes, chopped
1 bunch green onions, chopped
1 can sliced water chestnuts,drained
1 cup corn: fresh, frozen or canned
2 red, yellow, orange or green bell peppers, seeded and chopped
1 bunch cilantro, rinsed and chopped
1 avocado, peeled and cubed
3 cups brown rice, cooked in water or vegetable broth
Salsa or tamari to taste

While you are cooking the brown rice, you can do all the other preparation.

Heat the beans with water or broth, Bragg's Liquid Aminos, and chili powder. Place the chopped vegetables and cilantro in individual bowls, e.g., tomatoes in one bowl, corn in a bowl, peppers in another bowl, cilantro in another bowl, etc.

To serve, place several big spoonfuls of brown rice onto large plates and ladle beans on top. Add generous handfuls of chopped vegetables, cilantro and avocado on top of the beans. Add salsa or tamari to taste.

Serve with healthy chips (we like Food Should Taste Good's Multigrain chips) or warm corn tortillas.

* * * * * * * *

This afternoon Snelling called. The insurance office I temp'd for last week requested me for Tuesday and Wednesday this week. I'll be there all day Tuesday and three hours on Wednesday. The owner wasn't kidding when she said if she needs a temp she's going to ask for me. I enjoy working with them.

* * * * * * * *

We hung up some sunflower seeds on our bird feeder and now have cardinals and white-winged doves providing entertainment right outside the window for the cats and I. Yesterday a squirrel tried to climb the metal pole to get up to the sunflower seeds. It was pretty hilarious because she would jump as high as possible, grab onto the pole and slide down like a firefighter in an old fire station (with the pole from the second story). Hah, wouldn't you know, we have a squirrel pole dancer. LOL.

Today a different squirrel (I think!) ran up to the pole and climbed it from the ground just using its claws. I chased it away twice. All we need is a parade of squirrels running up the bird feeder to get to the seeds. NOT!

Have a good Tuesday.

Travel Bug out.




Sunday, August 25, 2013

Wake Up Call and Dietary Changes - Sun., Aug. 25

The good news is, Bob's plantar fasciitis is under control. Our Volksmarch on Sunday was back to our normal 10K and our usual pace.

On the other hand, Bob's "routine and preventative" physical exam last week was anything but. He had routine lab work done a few days prior to his family practice doctor visit. When he saw the doctor, his "one to 1-1/2 hour appointment" turned into three hours. Additional blood tests were drawn, he had to have a urinalysis, an EKG, and a sonogram.

The doctor was very worried about Bob and wanted to admit him to the hospital on the spot. Bob's diagnosis is atrial fibrillation in which one valve of the heart doesn't pump properly causing blood to pool. This condition can lead to a stroke. He also has diabetes, and edema in his ankles. The doctor told Bob to lose 80 lbs. ... Bob hasn't been at that low a weight since college. A cardiologist appointment was set up for the next day. Needless to say, Bob and I were completely shook up by this.

Bob loves his cardiologist, who is also a runner, is the same age as Bob, and recently lost 80 lbs. The cardiologist told Bob to take his medications and he can keep running marathons.

What this means is, we are changing our diet. We plan to avoid wheat breads, pasta, and sugar, and eat highly sweet, starchy vegetables (white potatoes, carrots, yams, corn, peas, etc.) in moderation. No more soda for Bob (my soda intake has been almost nil for a couple of years) and cookies, cake, pie, candy will be only for very special occasions. Thankfully, we have limited drinking beer and wine (not into heavier alcohol) to once in a great while. This will not be easy because most of our eating habits have been ingrained over many years.

My "routine and preventative" physical exam is Tuesday. I wonder what they'll find. My guess is he'll tell me to lose 30-40 lbs.

In a serendipitous turn of events, while I was working in the RV park office one of the long-time residents brought in some books for the park library. Brenda (my boss) and I looked over what he was dropping off. In the stack were many cookbooks and books about health. I snagged some low-fat, low-cholesterol cookbooks and a book called, "The Engine 2 Diet," by Rip Esselstyn. Interestingly enough, we already have a book called "Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease" by his father, Caldwell B. Esselstyn, Jr., M.D.

So, a new diet will be a challenge and will require cleaning out our cupboards, learning new recipes, and making a shopping list of what we'll need. I love to cook so this will be a fun, interesting process. Eating out will mean closely studying menus and opting for healthier choices.

All this makes the plantar fasciitis seem tame.

We choose to be healthy. We'll keep you posted on updates.

Travel Bug out.


A River Walk - Sun., Aug. 25

Time to re-do the Museum Reach/North Riverwalk Volksmarch in San Antonio. We have only done it once before and that was July 8, 2012. I think we'll be walking it more often because it's such a beautiful part of the city.

The north part of the Riverwalk is called Museum Reach because it passes directly next to the San Antonio Museum of Art. All along the path are different types of art: faux bois (false wood) grotto, art on bridges, art under bridges, sound art, and metal art.

Plus, the city does a wonderful job with landscaping, so there are small waterfalls, ponds, and lots of flowers along the San Antonio River. Employees are out working and cleaning up along the path every day of the week.

Water lily

Momma duck and ducklings
Part of San Antonio Museum of Art - reflected

More water lilies.

Some kind of wasp on the flowers?

Baby swallow under a bridge.

San Antonio River Tunnel Inlet Facilities
Bob getting totally tubular in San Antonio - watch out surfer dudes
Brackenridge Park Waterworks Trail
Turtle - dive, dive!
Stray lynx point Siamese. Isn't he handsome.
Petrified wood
Dad in front, two kids, then dog in the caboose.
Photos in her wedding dress at Pearl Brewery Complex.
Hibiscus on steroids!
What a gorgeous flower!
Purple water lily opening up for the day.
On our way back to the start, we ran into two people looking lost. I asked if we could help them. They wanted to know where the dam was. I asked if they meant dam or locks. "Oh, locks," they replied. We told them they were really close. I saw a map in her hand that looked just like mine and asked if they were Volksmarching. Yes, they were. In fact, they're in San Antonio for an American Volkssport Association National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting. He's Bob Morrison, treasurer of the national association, and she's Nancy Wittenberg, Northwest regional director. They're both from Washington state. Small world. You never know who you're going to bump into.

Nancy and Bob on North Riverwalk Volksmarch.
Bob Morrison and Nancy Wittenberg
Nancy, Bob and Bob at the end of the walk
What a nice finish to our walk this morning. Bob and Nancy, enjoy the rest of your time in San Antonio!

Travel Bug out.