Looks a bit like a Hitchcock film

Of the same ilk as 1963’s The Birds

We wintered in Harlingen, Texas 3 years ago, and one of our jaunts out and about led us to a community theater in Brownsville. Coming back from the show at dusk we saw a huge flock of black birds perched on wires. There were twice as many feet of bird covered wires as shown in the picture.

It put us in mind of Alfred Hitchcock’s 1963 movie The Birds, one of his scariest and creepiest movies.

We miss this

Sher and I have been waiting, like most, for the vaccine. One of the things we miss since we’ve been “in isolation” is going out to eat. Such a simple activity that tons of people used to do before COVID. One place that we really miss is Cheddars Restaurants.

Famous potato soup


Legendary onion ring tower

 
Cheddars is really our favorite casual restaurant, followed by Olive Garden. It will be really nice going back out for a nice meal even if the tables are spread out and everybody is in masks. I guess we’ll all have to get used to that, it’s gonna be the norm for a while.

We have received our first dose of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine, and our second dose is already scheduled for March 15th. Shortly after that we’ll have what the experts are saying is a high percentage of immunity.

The Falls in color

After sunset the Canadian Falls, sometime called Horseshoe Falls due to its curved shape, become a display in color. Bright lights from the Canadian side of the river provide the spectacular effects.

We had a great time on a trip to Niagara Falls with one of our granddaughters in October 2019. If you ever go to see The Falls, we strongly suggest that you take a Grey Line Tour. They’ll pick you up at your hotel, or in our case our RV park. No problem with waiting lines for the Maid of the Mist or any of the other attractions on the tour. You don’t need to be on a honeymoon to enjoy Niagara Falls.

A little over a year ago

Here is a look back to February 9, 2020. The concern over COVID was growing, and we were within a couple of weeks of leaving our RV resort near Austin to head back to the “safety” of our place in Indiana.

Solstice Outdoors is a unique gallery

Out side of Dripping Springs, Texas in the Hill Country near Austin is a thriving landscape design business that also doubles as a place to view and purchase unique outdoor artwork. Solstice Outdoors Ltd. is based in a former ranch home surrounded by 2 acres of what is now a whimsical display of outdoor works of art and decoration.

Solstice homestead

Outdoor fire pit complete with pyramid and butterfly seating!

 

 

 

 

 

Through an online mobile search Sher found this place while we were prowling about the Dripping Springs area. Thanks to google maps we soon found this surprising gallery of both indoor and outdoor craftsmanship. Each of the rooms in the house were used to display local artist’ works, including jewelry, tapestries and pictures.

Another metal man

Bull/man iron soldier

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

By far the most unique part of Solstice is the “backyard”. As soon as you go out into the yard you are greeted with a variety of ‘creatures” in all sizes and materials. The company offers landscaping design and construction. Walking through the grounds was like walking through an outdoor arts garden.

This face is kind of creepy

A different media for a longhorn!

 

 

 

 

 

Often we don’t have a set itinerary some days when we explore an area. It is always an adventure to find things by just driving around looking for signs, or hitting up the mobile search for “things near you”. The day we found Solstice Outdoor, Ltd. was one of those days.

Hot and tasty

Quaker Instant Grits

Everybody knows breakfast is an important meal. These grits are easy to fix: mix in either dairy milk, almond milk or even water. A quick trip to the microwave and voila! you’re ready for syrup, fruit or other toppings.

This is just about a perfect breakfast for a cold winter’s day. It also makes for a great quick and easy to fix  snack as well.

The Dead Files

Courtesy Travel Channel

We have come to enjoy different types of TV shows during our pandemic isolation. One that is actually kind of scary is a show on the Travel Channel ominously titled The Dead Files.

This paranormal themed show features Amy Allan, a physic medium and paranormal researcher, and Steve DiSchiavi, a retired homicide detective with 20 years experience with the New York City Police Department.  The show first aired in 2011, and is currently in its 13th season.

Each episode has a different “client” of theirs, and the two investigate  each haunting/paranormal event separately. Allan performs walks of the property and as a sensitive, she sees and sometimes talks to the dead spirits. DiSchiavi on the other hand, does police style research, interviewing others who have connection or history to the place. He also digs into the past stories of the property, finding documents and old photos. The two do not compare notes until the end.

When they present their “Reveal” to the clients at the end of the show the results are  startling. Allan often uses a police artist to make a sketch of the ghosts she has seen, and the most of the time this sketch is the same entity the property owners have seen. Amy and Steve then offer solutions to getting rid of the ghosts.

Whether you believe in the paranormal or not, this is a fun show to watch, even for just a couple of episodes. If you have an interest in ghost hunting, this show is for you. The Dead Files is now streaming on several streaming services.

Here we go again

Yep, more danged snow: enough already!

We had a day without snow, but with frigid temperatures. Some more snow was predicted, maybe an inch or so. However we had another “woke up, looked out and said wow” moment. We got another 5 inches of the white stuff. Fortunately we have been blessed with no interruptions in any of our utility suppliers.

Perseverance on Mars

A new Rover lands on Mars this afternoon!

 

Courtesy NASA

The new Rover Perseverance is landing on Mars this afternoon! It launched on July 30, 2020 and has been traveling through space since. It is going to land on what was a lake bed millions of years ago. There will be studies of the material that may have fossil remains of previous life on the red planet. There will also be a microphone on board to hear the Martian winds.

It lands just before 4 PM EST today, February 18th, 2021.  This is the NASA website that will broadcast live from Mission Control starting at 3:15 PM EST.  Check this out, this is an amazing mission.

 

South Dakota flashback

We were traveling in South Dakota in October of 2018. Here is a look back…

Traveling on I-90 through South Dakota provides some remarkable scenery. In addition to the natural wonders of the state, one man-made marvel really stands out. Near Chamberlain at Exit 294 you’ll see the signs for a rest area with a Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center. As you exit the interstate and drive up a decent slope you see a very large stainless steel sculpture with a geometric pattern. Then you soon realize that it is a star quilt being held by a beautiful Native American woman.

The star pattern

Note the person on the left for scale

 

 

 

 

 

 

This is the statue titled “Dignity of Earth and Sky”. The creation of South Dakota Artist Laureate Dale Claude Lamphere is a magnificent example of very large scale public art. The statue represents the courage and wisdom of the Lakota and Dakota people who come from the area. The star quilt pattern is traditionally used to honor people or peoples.