"milk's favorite cookie"

Have you ever noticed Oreo's tagline? How perfect. Well, if you love Oreos like I do anyway. Milk, Oreos, my favorite Blue Bell cup and my all time favorite red and black plaid. Feels like "home" to me.

I created this photo during my obsession with learning to photograph moving liquid. Such fun. Such a mess! This idea turned out to be much harder than I thought. After many many soggy Oreos, I realized that I needed to use something else (a lens cap) instead of an actual cookie. I photographed the cookie by itself later and added it to the milk image. This photo is probably 5 - 7 different photos merged together. I learned a lot and was forced to eat a ton of milk drenched cookies. What a great job I have!

Mystery Photo Clue - November 2020

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"Rear view"

Road tripping with our cameras is one of our favorite pastimes. Ya, sometimes we might trespass...just a little.

Found this surprise in the back alley of Livengood Feeds Mill in Lockhart Texas. The sun was reflecting off another truck and lighting up just this one spot...like a window into another world.  Complete with a ladder. 

Mystery Photo Clue - October 2020

#ROCKPORTSTRONG

Rockport is a very special place to us. Especially for Jim. If school was out, his family was at the beach.

Jim and I joined a clean-up team and served in Rockport after Harvey. We heard many personal stories, prayed with people and did a lot of just plain hard labor. It was hot and dirty and there was devastation everywhere. It was overwhelming and exhausting. But the people…the residents…they were amazing. Positive. Grateful. Hopeful. Focused on others.  

 

#rockportstrong isn’t just about might. It’s about soul and love and compassion. It’s about grace and being strong for your neighbor who isn’t. I'm so happy to see how they have healed and rebuilt and thankful that Hurricane Laura missed them.

 

The huge piles of debris were quite overwhelming. This photo was taken just outside of the Casa Allegro Condos in Key Allegro. I loved the clash of feelings in this photo…a gigantic heap of devastation and confusion surrounded by blue sky, white puffy clouds and warm sunshine. It felt like a promise of tomorrow and the next day and the next. Complete with a wing-back chair in which to sit upon…on top of the world where one can ponder what had been and what would be.

 

Mystery Photo Clue - September 2020

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Texas High flyers

Oh how we love Galveston's Pleasure Pier. It was originally built for the United States military during World War II. In the 40's it was the largest of its kind in the country and was promoted as the Coney Island of the South.

The category 4 Hurricane Carla took out the original location in 1961.  The one-of-a-kind Flagship Hotel went up in its place in 1965 but didn't survive Hurricane Ike in 2008.

The new Pleasure Pier opened - thanks to Landry's Inc. in 2012 as a multi-million dollar waterfront destination with 16 rides, midway games, retail shops and great food of course. It's the home of the first Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. Yum!

Yes, we went on this ride. It was terrifying to be swinging out over the ocean with nothing but a little seat-belt holding you in and a chain to hold onto. Higher and higher. Faster and faster. So fun!

Update: I arbitrarily chose this for our mystery photo tomorrow and now I read they are evacuating Galveston again today because of Hurricane Laura. Urgh! 

Mystery Photo Clue - August 2020

summer Date night

If you've been around Austin any time at all, you have been to Zilker Park. If you've been to Zilker Park then you have most likely experienced Sandy's Hamburgers (since 1949) at Barton Springs Rd and South 1st St. Even during Covid they are slammed with business... probably because they only offer drive-thru or a walk-up window (with a mask) and outdoor seating. The menu is simple and the food is hot, affordable and actually good! We had a date night there this week and turned it into a photo shoot. I know, not too romantic to some, but then, taking pictures together is how we fell in love. 

Thursdays and Saturdays you can get a hamburger, french fries and a drink for $5.49. Ya, it's a great cheap date. And, you can still have money left over for ice cream or a shake.

Mystery Photo Clue - July 2020

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Café & Boat Dock?

This place is a genuine Austin tradition dating back to 1953 – that’s 67 years, y’all. Owned by the founding family, Dry Creek Café & Boat Dock is a cash-only beer joint throwback in time. Sometimes they have live music but never any café food and no boat dock that anyone I know has ever seen.  Downstairs you’ll find an old pool table and an amazing jukebox that plays 45’s like Bing Crosby singing “Hey Jude”, “Oh Lonesome Me” by Don Gibson, “Poke Salad Annie” by Tony Joe White and “Last Dance” by Floyd Cramer.

Upstairs is one large room and an open deck. It’s not fancy. It’s not clean. But it’s old, funky, weird Austin and a great casual place to have a cold beer and visit with friends. (Located on Mount Bonnell Rd.)

 

Mystery Photo Clue - June 2020

"It's all Top Notch!"

Top Notch is OPEN! With so many iconic Austin restaurants closing, we are very thankful this tradition is continuing since 1971! Some of us have been going there about that long.

Top Notch Hot Rod Drive-In Nights usually happens on the first Saturday of each month with live music, vintage cars and/or a movie shown on this giant TV painted on the wall. Hopefully this tradition can kick back up soon. In the meantime, drive up and order at their carhop, call ahead, order online, or have it delivered right to your door!

7525 Burnet Rd., ATX

Mystery Photo Clue - May 2020

"Hyde-away"

Avenue B Grocery in the Hyde Park neighborhood is a true Austin throwback! Built in 1909 and maintained by it’s 10th owner, it is Austin’s oldest continuously operated grocery store (that’s 111 years, folks). Their eclectic selections range from sandwiches to t-shirts to Brie cheese to toy airplanes. And you can sit a spell under the pecan-shaded picnic tables!

 

Mystery Photo 2 Clue - April 2020

"Keeping Austin

Weird"

A rock wall in a downtown Austin alley hosts an eclectic array of embedded objects.

 

  1. coffee cups

  2. a bathroom space heater

  3. a soap dish

  4. a giant cigarette butt

  5. a cast rabbit

  6. a sculpture

  7. the manhole cover

  8. a tire iron

  9. the checkerboard

  10. a tombstone 

Can you find:

Mystery Photo Clue I - April 2020

"living history"

The present San Geronimo, or St. Jerome, Chapel (Taos Pueblo Church) was completed in 1850 to replace the original church which was destroyed in the War with Mexico by the U.S. Army in 1847. It sits on the grounds of the Pueblo village, whose area has been inhabited close to 1000 years. The  northern New Mexican architecture, colors and history really take you to a different place in time!

Mystery Photo Clue - March 2020

"TRansformation"

Tena and I like to drive around central Texas, looking for cool things to photograph. We came across an abandoned cotton gin a few years ago which looked virtually untouched for decades. It was as if the workers clocked out one day and never came back. Everything was still in place, guarded only by a buzzard that lived in the roof. This electrical panel has transformed from function to something more resembling mixed media art. So cool!

Mystery Photo Clue - January 2020

"a Happy accident"

Famous words from Bob Ross

Sometimes the artist's palette becomes a work of art. Sometimes it's even more interesting than the painting itself. When I was a child I inherited all of my great Aunt Eve's art supplies and drawing books. I actually used to hang her old wooden paint palette on my wall. She was always a little eccentric and mysterious (she had one green glass eye). I would imagine her with her long red hair up in a wad, her cigarette dangling from one of those holders...painting some wealthy dignitary's portrait while they sipped on expensive champagne and discussed trips to faraway lands. 

The closer I looked at this watercolor tray the more intrigued I became. I even wanted to paint the paint.  But alas...I got the camera out instead. Just looking at this again is stirring something creative inside me. 

Mystery Photo Clue - February 2020

"Oh Galveston"

 

A few years ago Jim and I headed out to Galveston Island for a little pre-paid vacation. The weatherman said 99% chance of rain. We went anyway. No one else showed up. It did rain in the morning but then the sun came out and we had The Galveston Island Historic Pleasure Pier almost completely to ourselves. 

So fun!

Mystery Photo Clue - Dec. 2019

"Rear window"

 

This is the rear window in one of the most famous places in the world –

Café du Monde in New Orleans.

Here a chef is at work creating beignets. So what appeared to be snow in the clue could actually be…

flour and powdered sugar goodness?

Mystery Photo Clue - Nov. 2019

"New Day"

Lake Austin still has a few secret places away from the hustle-n-bustle.

A place where you can go to

catch your breath 

and

imagine

and

soak in the serenity.

Taken at the bottom of Steiner Ranch.

Mystery Photo Clue - Oct

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