Skip to main content

A few outings

This is a beautiful time of year in North Texas, when the days are warm and the nights are still cool; when the grass is green and the flowers compete to bloom before the heat sets in; when butterflies emerge in clouds of bright colours and proud mother ducks shepherd little balls of fluff around the lake.  We haven't made any big excursions, but like most people, have been making the most of the time before the wilting heat drives us inside.

A few miles north of us, the small town of Roanoke markets itself as "The Unique Dining Capital of Texas", and recently put on a "Unique Week".  The festivities included live music for several evenings, so we went to hear a group called Brave Combo.  They play dance music in the widest sense of the word - their website boasts that they can turn their instruments to polka, salsa, rock, chacha and much more - and they do so with vigour!  One thing I love about Texans is that they're not ashamed to dance in public.  Any live music event is incomplete without a few older couples swaying to a two-step or a waltz, some teenage girls swinging each other round in some giggling spins, and a few kids jumping up and down in the middle.  Urged on by the lead singer, this crowd did all that, plus provided a creditable number of people willing to embarrass themselves by doing the chicken dance.  We were excluded, you understand, by having to look after Toby.  Not from any fear of embarrassment, of course.



A few more miles away, the somewhat larger town of Grapevine has a botanic garden which we had never visited.  It's not quite on the scale of the Dallas or Fort Worth gardens, being more of a glorified park, but nevertheless a very pretty one.  On a pleasant Saturday morning it was crowded with photographers and picnicking families.  Toby loved the pool with a handy trickle over the edge to splash his fingers in.  Water features are one of his things right now; he happily points out everything from a neighbour's little plastic waterfall to a huge spraying fountain.





And we just had to head downtown for the annual Main Street Arts Festival.  After a harrowing attempt to navigate the crowds with a pushchair, we settled it that one of us would entertain Toby on a nice shady patch of grass while the other one toured the art.  That proved to be a much better way of seeing things.  Graham admired some intricate beaded platters, while I was taken by some handmade sets of drawers inset with beautiful leaf and flower designs.  Some brightly coloured blown glass almost made my mouth water, it looked so much like candy.  The crazy spinning mobiles are a regular feature, though there wasn't much wind for them this year.  Meanwhile, Toby met some other little boys, waved at all the buses, and relaxed with a book or two.





Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Advent 2022

It's the first Sunday of Advent coming up, and for once I feel fairly well prepared! Of course, the proof is in the (Christmas) pudding - whether I actually do all this remains to be seen. If you haven't even thought about Advent yet, do grab an idea to join in with. None of them require any advance preparation except for downloading, printing or book ordering - and one of them doesn't even start until 20 December. Something to do I recently went to a Mindful Advent workshop, run by the lovely Stacey and Ella from Create and Connect . We spent a happy couple of hours folding origami envelopes to make our own Advent calendars, with a few mince pies to nibble as the November rain poured down outside. I'm filling my envelopes with a short activity for each day, a Bible verse from the Christmas story, and a tiny treat for each of us. Thinking of 24 different activities was harder than folding 24 origami envelopes! Mine range from "listen to your favourite Christmas car

Catching up

I know some of you appreciate the family news I post on here, so here's a quick summary of what each of us has been up to over the last couple of months. Toby - went to his first Cubs meeting on a night when they were eating hot dogs and marshmallows, loved it, and was very proudly invested as a member just before Christmas. - spends his spare time writing stories, designing vehicles, and playing Super Mario Bros. - has a large collection of beer bottle caps (any donations welcome, as his primary provider was an ex-work-colleague of Graham's). - plucked up courage to go on a zipwire at the playground, and discovered it was great fun. - enjoyed Lego, lots of books, penguin pajamas and a remote control car for Christmas. Theo - likes playing on the bikes and in the home corner at school. - is now right at home with phonics: "I can spell cat!  Cuh, Ah, Tuh."  He's also been telling us about digraphs, at which point Graha

Matcha Green Tea Cake Mix

Some blogs are full of posts which start: Recently, *big company* sent me three pairs of expensive shoes / five bars of delicious chocolate / a free holiday ... This is not one of those blogs. But, recently, a company so small I'm not sure it really exists yet sent me a free cake mix, on the condition that I filled in a survey about it and took a few photos.  Blogging about it was not a condition, but just in case the owner makes it to the big time, you heard it here first! So the Hope Makes It Easy Matcha Cake Mix popped through my letterbox on my birthday (good timing to start) and the rather pretty package sat on my counter for a few days until I'd assembled the ingredients.  Most cake mixes require a few extra ingredients, but this one needed milk, eggs and butter, plus cream and possibly white chocolate for the icing.  Not exactly all-inclusive.  On the plus side, it helpfully provided a cute origami cup for measuring the milk, a line to show you how much butter