Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Shiny Steel Blue

Mom Car

My Mom drove down from Chicago in her brand new Ford Fusion. It is Steel Blue and 2012 and zippy! She's driven me around in it too so I can certify that it still smells like new car.

Mom Car

The turn blinkers make a cute sound. That's a good enough reason to like a car right? She is parked in the drive in front of our house. See the lovely trees full of grackles and finches? It has been rainy and foggy today but the sun did peek out later.

Mom Car

After we got lunch we drove by some lilac bushes so we just had to stop and roll down a window to smell them. Then we drove downtown Austin to look at all there is to look at...

Monday, February 27, 2012

Rudy's BBQ Dinner Out


Mom, Josh, and I went to Rudy's BBQ for dinner tonight. Mom requested to have real Texas BBQ at least once while she visited. Josh and I had tried another BBQ place that was pretty good but we were told Rudy's was better. It indeed was! We told the manager that we hadn't been there before and they yelled "Hi Rookies!" and gave us samples of their most popular meats and the famous creamed corn.


We shared some of the moist brisket and baby back ribs that came with white bread, pickles, and onions. As you can see we ate it off fine fine china....or pieces of waxed paper. Mom tried the potato salad and coleslaw and Josh and I shared creamed corn and new potatoes. And we were full and happy.


We have our first overnight guest!

My Mom drove down from Chicago and arrived yesterday evening. Yay! We watched the Oscars together after she had a tour of the house.

Today, I went out early and got kolaches from Lone Star Kolache for breakfast. They weren't like I expected, more bread-like but pretty tasty. We also tried some cake donuts from Shipley Do-nuts. Have to figure out who has the best donuts in town for Science!

Before lunch, Mom and I drove through downtown Pflugerville and continued on to downtown Round Rock. Round Rock's historic downtown district with limestone buildings from the late 1800's was pretty with cute stores and quite a few places to eat.

Round Rock

We parked near the Palm House museum which was a small home built in 1873 out of cypress and pine hauled from Austin to build with. And 8 children were raised there. It was a two room home so I bet everyone was in everyone's business. We also checked out some stores and peered in windows of places that are closed on Mondays.

Round Rock

I loved these flowers we found along the sidewalk. They smelled so so good!

Round Rock

We picked Main Street Grill for lunch. It used to be a bank, two different times in the past, and you can eat inside the former vault! We ate out in the regular dining room and had quite tasty salads.

Round Rock

Round Rock

And we had to share a dessert - the Express Curveball. It was so so so tasty and different!
Description from the menu is "Vanilla ice cream rolled in candied pecans, sandwiched in flaky puff pastry, set in hot fudge and topped with chocolate sauce duet." MMMMMMM.

Josh worked at home today because our new fridge was delivered this morning! Hurrah cold stuff! Hurrah frozen things! Mom and I stopped home and brought Josh lunch. Then we scooted back out to drive around Austin and go to the Container Store and Williams Sonoma.


Look I bought all this Le Creuset! Okay....maybe I didn't .... hehehehe.

I'll make a separate post about dinner....

Thursday, February 23, 2012

This winter.

You know it's a little chilly this winter with the air conditioning on. ;)

Today it was nearly 90 degrees. I know this is taunting most of our family and friends in the Midwest. But I wanted to comment on how if it was 90 degrees outside in February I would think the end was near. This seems impossible to me. Without the Iowa humidity this weather is awesome and I want to spend time outside.

Identify the...

Identify the flowering bush!

These bushes line the road in front of our house with cute yellow flowers that have been blooming ever since we moved in. What are they, dear internets?

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Things I Saw This Afternoon in Texas

Cattle eating cacti!

Blueberry pancake puppies - I saw them at Denny's and then ate them :)

A magazine called "Chickens"!!

An Optimus Prime piñata :)

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Grackles Look Tasty

There are tons of grackles in our neighborhood that make awesomely strange noises while perching everywhere. Josh posted about how they were creepily everywhere nearby last night. We don't get nearly that many in our yard - maybe 20 at a time?

Neo and Tater Tot really love how they line up on the neighbors roof. The cats sit in the living room window and chirp at the tasty looking birds.

Friday, February 17, 2012

It was a dark and graklely night...

Today it rained and rained and rained, all day long. Apparently that scheduled northern Austin for a Live Action version of Alfred Hitchcock's "The Birds" tonight. In this area there is this black bird called a Grackle, and when we were out running errands after dinner, they were everywhere in the shopping area we were at. I wish I could have gotten better pictures of them, but they filled trees and covered roadways and lined building rooftops and power lines and blanketed some cars. It was strange and erie. Pictures below the post.

The 2nd week completed at my new job, and it will be the challenge I was hoping for, that I was assured of by the sheer number of open source projects (loosely translates into applications for those not of a technical bend) to put the service together that I work on. I am familiar with some of them, but completely in the dark on some of them or have to become well versed in things I had only read about and personally I want to do it in short order. As always wanting to learn more and more and quickly, get the knowledge in so I can be productive and prove I'm worth keeping around and promoting. 

After a lot of research and contemplation, Colleen and I finally decided on a French Door style refrigerator we liked. As many of you know, if I can eek it into the budget I go big, with something that is known to be reliable and worth every bit of money spent on it, oh and I never pay MSRP on big ticket items, except for Apple products, and even then I usually find a discount, and then sell the previous one to cover most of the cost of the upgrade. I'm off topic, anyway. Thanks to Mom and Dad Ryan's gift of fridge assistance, and the relocation bonus my new employer was gracious enough to give us, we are getting a huge LG LFX31925ST Refrigerator. Best features, low energy cost to operate, as I mentioned huge capacity that I am not sure we will ever put to use unless we're about to host a party. 

Anyway, it's 11:30 and I have to be out of the house at 7:30 to get to the dealership at 8 for an appointment for my car, brakes started making noise just after I passed the state safety inspection to get the car registered. Which it is registered in Texas, I just got my Texas drivers license in the mail a couple days ago, plates are on the car and the TexasTag (Toll road easy pay system) is going up on the window this weekend. Colleens car was registered today too. So I'm an official Texas resident now. I did get my Iowa Native magnets last week for the new fridge, just to show some Iowa pride. G'night folks. 

Blurry, but all the dark spots are birds in the air.

This was the least infested tree.

I swear that this could be straight out of Hitchcock's "The Birds". 

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Happy 1/2 Price Chocolate Day!

Yesterday I wore this shirt to celebrate love and mushy things. I also woke up early to take Josh to the shuttle pickup for his work. He took the shuttle to San Antonio headquarters for some meetings. It is an hour and a half to drive down there so it is pretty awesome that the company gives then a ride.

We had dinner together at Popeyes after he got back home and then watched some TV. Didn't need to try to fight the crowds since everyplace was probably reserved before we even moved here. I had a nice night just being happy in our new house :)

Monday, February 13, 2012

On Thursday 2/9....

Josh and I went to a business and shopping area called The Domain after work. He needed to pick up an order of some accessories for his new work computer and we needed to find dinner. The shopping area was fancier than I expected; it reminded me of the Oak Brook shopping center Josh worked in when he was at the Apple store.

We walked around looking at menus of the restaurants - some were fancy wine bars and some were fancy steak places. I was not feeling fancy that day. He had heard about this place called the Cake Ball Kitchen and we were looking at it's menu pasted on the restaurant's window when one of the owners invited us "in out of the cold". It was 50 degrees and we had no coats - but that was not cold to us so he knew we were northerners. He offered to send out something special to our table if we ate there so how could we say no? It had small plates to share and some soups and salads and their namesake cake balls for dessert.

Thursday Dinner
He sent out some fire-roasted tomato soup that had some poblano foam on it. Mmm.
We split the Crispy Salmon Cakes with slaw and the Braised Short Rib Sliders with mashed potatoes. I really enjoyed the spicy wasabi sauce that came with the salmon cakes. The brioche buns on the sliders were delightful and I wanted a few and some jam on the side.

Thursday Dinner
We shared the Smores dessert. There was a smores cake ball sitting on graham cracker sticks, a pot of warm chocolate ganache, honey vanilla ice-cream, and chocolate dipped marshmallows. SO GOOD!

Thursday Dinner
I also had a single Peanut Butter cake ball that tasted like a Buckeye. Josh had a german chocolate one. And neither of us was stuffed since we shared.

I will totally go back. And I think we should take Mom when she visits.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

What is that plink plink plink sound?

It is hailing! Tiny tiny hail like sprinkles are falling from the sky! I was watching a movie and had to get up to see what the bizarre noise was, I could not figure out was the noise was. I think it is 40 degrees here right now. Odd!

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Good intentions

I've been virtually absent - from this blog. This usually happens with new things. You get really excited about them and for whatever reason it's not as engaging as it once was. Well I've been incredibly present in the "meat space" getting things for the house, putting them together, and taking things out of boxes and such. Also I've withstood the torture of not one but two government agencies to get my car registered and myself licensed ito drive in Texas. Colleen on the other hand has some strange issues from her illinois license because it was't surrendered on the books until after we were married when she had an Iowa license. So she is still working that out before Texas will give her a license. But nearly every room is functional except for the kitchen and the guest bedroom. The kitchen we still have a lot of unboxing to do, and get a refrigerator still. The guest bedroom we have 2 weeks to prepare it yet until our first houseguest arrives. I also started my new job this week abs I am very impressed with this company, and I think it's going to be a great fit for me. Well I thought that before I accepted the position otherwise I wouldn't have uprooted us from the Midwest.

Everyone is complaining of the cold around here now, and 50's during the day is practically shorts weather to us. I am hoping to get the garage together so I can wash the car myself out in this "cold" weather and make our neighbors think (and rightly so) I'm strange.

As always, more to come.

Nothing says "I Love You" more than...

A chocolate dipped and sprinkle covered jalapeño, right?

Friday, February 10, 2012

Making Herself Comfortable


On Wednesday 2/8 ....


In Texas you need to have your car inspected before it can be registered. When we got here, Josh's car passed inspection just fine but mine did not. Not too bad seeing as my "new" car is a 1995 Pontiac Grand Prix we bought from our neighbors in Iowa about a month before we left town.
At least you have 15 days to make needed repairs and can get the car reinspected free. So off I went Wednesday before lunch to have my car rechecked. I drove down to Youniversal Auto Care in East Austin and they poked my car and took parts off and put other parts on. It was going to be a few hours wait so I walked down the block to a Brazilian restaurant.


I tried Rio's Brazilian, and sat inside since it was breezy out. Their courtyard was really cute and bright. The inside was cozy and bright too.


I can't recall ever eating Brazilian food before so I picked a combo. First came out some cheese breads, or Pão de Queijo Trio. There were signs on the tables how you could get their cheese breads at Whole Foods to bake at home so I figured it'd be something a ton of people like. The red one had roasted red pepper, the green is basil, and the white is plain but they all have parmesan cheese inside and sprinkled on. I liked them even though they were chewier and stretchier than I thought they'd be.


Then I had a Salgadinho called Risoli de Camarão. A Salgadinho was a savory pastry like a crispy empanada with panko breading on it. Very tasty with shrimp and garlic and a spicy tomato sauce for dipping. I would definitely get this again and also try other versions!

And because I still had an hour to wait for my car, I had dessert. The waiter recommended the Pastel de Banana, a banana empanada pastry with lots of cinnamon, which they also serve for breakfast. I don't think it comes with ice-cream with it for breakfast (though that is an excellent idea....)

Walking back to get my car, I heard delightful chirping and looked up. It's a Quaker Parrot nest! There are wild adorable green parrots living in groups around the area! The day before I was inside PetSmart getting some pet supplies and Josh was waiting in his car. He was really surprised to see parrots foraging around on the ground for food! When we left I saw some breeding pairs fly high overhead. I was excited to see this nest just as I was walking along the street the very next day! There were about 6 or 7 parrots flitting around adding more twigs to their nest and squawking at the smaller finches that were trying to sit on their nest.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

An unexpected bonus

We've been here just over a week and my hair and skin are really soft! After having hard water in Iowa with all sorts of mineral deposits in it, I'm sure my hair is happier.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Our Front Porch

It is sunny today and breezy. Our plants we brought from Iowa are doing well and now we have a new cactus too.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

The Box Forest of Pflugerville

Not so long ago, in a town kinda far away, a forest of boxes sprung up overnight inside a couples home!
Appliances bloomed here and there and furniture flourished under the sunshiny yellow light of the home.
The couple appreciated having somewhere to sleep and sit again.
There were some very large box towers here and yon!
But they were not dismayed. They grabbed box cutters and plastic bags and went to work making sure the boxes didn't take over the whole house or spill their cardboard contents willy nilly.

Waiting so patiently...

This is what our house looked like in the morning on 2/1/12..

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Our Stuff!

We have our stuff and we do not know where anything is and we are really tired so tired I refuse to use punctuation other than this :) because we are happy even though we have been going going going for days

Relaxation will come soon and moving in pictures too :)

I think the cats ...

Think that this place is comfortable even without furniture in it :)

Busy busy first day in town

1. Get up and get money orders
2. Sign the rest of our lease and pay pet deposit and rent
3. Received keys and garage door openers yay!
4. Went and picked up the kitties and luggage from the hotel.
5. Told the kitties they soon won't have to ride in a car everyday but they said "Nyuurnnn" disapprovingly because they are DONE with car rides.
6. House! Walked around and through and looked at all the everything inside.
7. Set kitties up in guest bathroom so they wouldn't run out or freak out when the utility people came.
8. Eat a quick lunch at the Mexican grocery store, bakery, meat counter, restaurant combo at the end of our street. So yum!
9. Gas utility guy climbed up into our attic above the garage. Why? Because our furnace is up there! Wah?
10. Napped.
11. Picked up mailbox keys and paid deposit to get water in our name. They has a cute office dog just hanging out with their customer service staff.
12. Dinner of delightful sushi as pictured in this post.
13. One more errand and then snoozing :)