Austin

Wildflower Spring

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Yesterday afternoon brought just the latest in a series of powerful thunderstorms that have blown through our area in recent weeks. Even with the power flickering on and off and the weather radio siren blaring on the other side of the house, it was impossible to ignore the view-blurring intensity of the rain coming down. [...]

My Favorite Mystery Tree – Harbinger Of Spring

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My junior year in college, I somehow wangled my way into doing a semester abroad. It wasn't easy. I had to convince the authorities at the University of Texas that -- since they had a relationship with the study abroad program -- it was 100% appropriate and customary that I could apply my scholarship funds [...]

Austin Family of Four in a Micro-House

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The cost of living in Austin keeps rising, and this family of four has a creative way of dealing with it -- living in a 260 square foot home. Really interesting story I found on the local news.

Dispelling Texas-Sized Myths

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Texas is a mythical place. I learned when I first went to Europe that everyone knows about Texas, and that means most everyone has a preconceived idea of what the Lone Star State is like. When I first went overseas, that Texas myth was helped along by the TV show "Dallas" -- and the show [...]

Making Meyer Lemon Curd

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Lemon Curd

I'm sure I've raved before about the incredible Meyer lemon tree that came with our house in California. It was legendary -- we couldn't keep up with its prolific production if we tried (see above). When people came over, they were given leave to pick at will, and take home as much as they could [...]

That Time Of Year Again (Seed Starting!)

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My husband and I had our coffee on the front porch this morning. Rocking in rocking chairs, we plotted what we wanted to get accomplished this weekend (for once, he is taking the weekend off from work). Why is this special? Because the last few weeks have been marked by icy weather, and here's what [...]

Alternative Living Spaces & No Waste: One Year In A Dumpster

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On these virtual pages you've seen tales of folks living in school buses, in shipping containers and on trailers, but an Austin professor is taking things even further, at least for a year. Jeff Wilson, environmental science professor and dean at Huston Tillotson University, will be residing in a re-furbished dumpster. He'll have only 33 square feet [...]

No Waste: Capturing The Moment With Rain Barrels

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In Central Texas, we've got plenty of sunshine. Also, plenty of bugs -- this time of year you feel like you're wading through a sea of grasshoppers as you walk through the yard, as they scatter with high jumps all around you. What we don't have enough of is rain. It's really quite dire. People [...]

Making Progress In The Garden

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This part of the process is called "hardening off," when I take my wee precious seedlings and start putting them out into the big bad sunny windy world -- so they can get used to how life is going to be when they get planted this weekend. They're all pretty "leggy," which means their stems [...]

Flowering Friday – Purple Sage

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What I know about purple (Silverado) sage: It's native to this area and very drought-tolerant. When other plants withered last summer, our two sages soldiered on. Deer don't eat it. Yes! These gorgeous flowers are spurred by... rain. Not the season or any other natural signal. It's like they're celebrating the bounty with a fireworks [...]