I've been MIA lately. Just in case you ever need a reminder, let me tell you, taking a second job will seriously decrease your free time. All my creative pursuits--knitting, scrapbooking, blogging--have pretty much gone by the wayside this fall. I sneak a little in here or there, but lately all I'm doing is studying, working, and sleeping.
A few weeks ago, pre-Thanksgiving, I did sneak away for a quick trip down to Austin, Texas, to visit my brother's new digs and participate in a little pre-wedding planning. Austin, as everyone says, is a pretty cool place. I'll be happy to go back in March for their wedding, when I'm sick of the Northeast weather. Heck, I'm already sick of it and it's not even cold yet. It's actually the sun I miss the most. I can't deal with 4:15pm sunsets. So here's a little Austin charm to remind me of sunnier days.
After hanging out around Austin, we had a little fun down on the ranch, meeting my brother's soon-to-be in-laws. Maybe too much fun, as a joke about riding the zebra (yes, they have a zebra) landed me on a donkey. And a misleadingly blearly-eyed donkey with West Nile Virus, that promptly took off down a rocky hill after the gentleman wrangling it let go. He did warn me he was going to let go and that I should hold on, but there is no preparation for a donkey taking off with you on it. There are no pictures of my ride because my family was very concerned I would land on my head. But, somehow by the grace of God, I landed on my feet and lived to tell the tale of how a Texan sweet-talked me into bareback riding a donkey. You can't make this stuff up.
In the end, my parents and I had a great long weekend with the newest member of our family on her turf. She and her family were great sports while showing all us northerners how they do things down in Texas. And seeing my brother was pretty nice too. Only four months until we're both old and married. :)