Janice Williams Loves Austin And sometimes I write about it.

January 26, 2016

A Bright Beautiful New Year

Filed under: At home,Austin — Janice @ 11:36 pm

I’m not making myself feel guilty about NUTTIN’ this year, I swear. So I haven’t felt a single pang of guilt as this blog lies here, lonely and pining.

But this week I did think maybe it would be a good idea to prime the pump and put something down. Anything. Get those juices flowing.

Then I read a couple of posts from my friend Dana at danastarr.net  and that totally bummed me out because she has some beautiful long pieces that are funny and insightful and have pictures, too. I’m probably back to feeling guilty again.

But I will write something for you. I am LOVING this beautiful winter weather we are having. I went up to Dallas this weekend and it is so much more wintry up there. We haven’t had a freeze at all here. My always wait until my lantanas and fire bushes have been frozen to cut them back. No freeze, they are growing like crazy. Everything is still green (except the deciduous trees) and we have iris and jasmine blooming and my daffodils are about ready to bust out.

Sure, we could still get a freeze and I don’t mind since it would help the allergies and kill some mosquitos, but I’m trying to enjoy the pretty days while we have them.

I snapped this driving across the Lamar street bridge this week. It is against the law in Austin to use your phone while driving, so rest assured I was at a complete standstill in traffic when I took this. That’s a law I totally obey because I know I am not capable of using my phone and driving at the same time.

I talk about the beautiful greenery and then put up a picture of bare trees, but it was about 60 degrees on January 25 and the sky was stunning.

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December 5, 2015

Austin Christmas Outing

Filed under: At home,Austin,Food,Music — Janice @ 11:26 pm

I just got in from a fun night feeling the holiday spirit.

Each year, KUT radio has a carol sing-a-long on the steps of the State capitol and they light the city’s downtown Christmas tree (as opposed to the Zilker Park “holiday tree” created from the moontower there). I have never been to this downtown event, although I have admired the downtown tree many times. In my early days in Austin, it was always a real tree and was brought in from somewhere. It wasn’t a giant tree like in Washington or Rockefeller Center, but big enough. A few years ago the city changed to an artificial tree. It’s a cone-shaped, quite obvious fake tree, but still pretty and festive. 2015-12-05 19.24.01

I heard the commercials this week for the singalong and asked my friend Deidre if she might want to go. She had plans for later in the evening, but we decided we could do it all. So tonight I met up with Deidre and two of her friends that have become my friends and we went downtown. The whole event was bigger than we expected. Finding parking wasn’t easy, but with the beautiful weather we didn’t mind the walk.

In front of the capitol were truly thousands of people in the dark, under the trees, singing Christmas carols along with a piano player and a songleader/disc jockey from the radio station. Programs with lyrics were passed out so everyone could sing all four verses of Hark the Herald Angels Sing. Giant projectors were casting big stars in kaleidoscopes across the building front. We sang along with great gusto on Feliz Navidad and Jingle Bells and many more. Then there was a 10 down to 1 countdown the tree was lit.

Along with the tree lighting was a whole little festival down on Congress. Booths selling food and drinks and homemade products and crafts and artwork. We strolled a bit before we got to the singing to see what they had. And then there were bands playing on each end of the street after the singing ended, so there was lots to do and see. I didn’t know there would be so much.

2015-12-05 19.24.49After, we walked down Congress and enjoyed the lights and the people-watching. Deidre knows MANY people and she was greeting someone about every block. We found a semi-fancy Italian pizza place to have some food. From the street it seemed like a bar and a utilitarian Italian restaurant. Getting inside, though, it was easier to see it was a little more upscale than I usually frequent and full of many young urban dwellers. They did have great food and we had some awesome pizza.

We ended the night where Deidre had planned on going originally: a beer garden south of the river that had a reunion of a band she had loved in the past, Black Before Red. I had never heard of them before, but they did have interesting songs with really unique melodies and chords and great lyrics, too. I may never get to hear them again, but it was a really good experience and a good night. 11058118_10153756154829346_7686185045814933066_o

Deidre’s friend Rebecca has lived in Austin a year longer than I have and comes from the Panhandle just like me. She and I were discussing how we don’t DO these Austin-y things like we once did. When we moved to Austin we were exploring different parts of town and going to the festivals and trying new restaurants. Now we do the same things over and over and stick to the familiar. She said, “You know the nickname of Austin, right?” I said, “What? The Violet Crown?” She said, “No, the new nickname is the Velvet Rut.” That described it. It’s comfortable, beautiful, and yet too familiar. I was glad to get out of the rut tonight.

I’ll steal Deidre’s selfie to show you the girls celebrating on Congress.

April 27, 2015

Massive Bluebonnets

Filed under: Austin,Bluebonnets — Janice @ 12:25 am

I had a wonderful wedding anniversary on Friday. When we married in 1993, we planned the time of the wedding to be bluebonnet season so we could spend our honeymoon driving down country roads full of bluebonnets. Many years since then we have had an annual bluebonnet trip to celebrate our anniversary. When we moved to Austin and lived right among the bluebonnets, we began slacking a little on getting out for a real trip. We still tried to make a day trip of it, but we even missed out on that from time to time. This year, I really thought that the bluebonnets would all be gone by our anniversary. In town on the banks of MoPac and I –35 they have already gone to seed and gotten weedy.

But my sweet husband found a great mass of bluebonnets for us to visit on our little one-day road trip on Friday. I had never heard of the place he took me and he said he only heard of it within the last couple of weeks. It is Mule Shoe Bend, a recreational area from the Lower Colorado River Authority. It is somewhere north of Spicewood. I have looked at a map since we’ve been home, but I’d still need a guide to get me back out there again. Mark as going to surprise me so we headed out highway 71. I thought we were going for barbecue, and I was right but it wasn’t the first stop. Along about Spicewood he turned north and went through the country a long long way. The bluebonnets alongside the road were beautiful through here and that was a good dose of flowers already. I didn’t know we were heading for more.

When we got to the gate of the LCRA recreational area for Muleshoe Bend, the park ranger said “Are you here for the bluebonnets?” That was my first indication that there was something  GOOD up ahead! She let us in 2 for 1 since the bluebonnets were beginning to get a bit weedy and go to seed, but  they were still fabulous! Roadsides are great, pastures of bluebonnets are great, but to see rolling hills  just covered in bluebonnets and to also be on the shores of Lake Travis… it was amazing. And so many sweet birds and butterflies and bees. That was the only wildlife we saw, but I expect if you were there in the evening you’d  spot some deer and more down that way. I am not a camper (but I sometimes think I would like it), but there were primitive campsites all through the park. I can imagine it would be awesome to wake up to fields of bluebonnets and the rising sun over the lake.

Mark is the best photographer ever. Here are a few of his shots from our Friday trip.

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March 17, 2015

A Fresh New Start

Filed under: At home,Austin,Bluebonnets,Cemeteries,Family,Food — Janice @ 11:29 pm

I guess the best way to return to a habit and get the ball rolling on this blog again is just to start.

And keep going. We’ll see if I can manage that.

I truly don’t know why I don’t. I write all the time, all over the place. This blog doesn’t have to be any more polished than the emails I write (since the same people will read it). So I will try.

I just had a beautiful fresh start to a New Year for myself with the big celebration for my 56th birthday (oops, I had a typo and put 65 first, can 65 ONLY be 9 years away?). It was a GREAT birthday. I have probably complained here in past years about how my birthday falls during Spring Break and, worse, during South By Southwest. South by Southwest is the Austin music conference/festival that is a fine event, but it keeps my husband, Mark, away from me much too much. But, every 6 years my birthday falls on the Sunday BEFORE SXSW and Mark can free up some time to celebrate my day.

It’s hard to believe it has been 6 years since we had a great lunch at El Chile on the east side and drove around observing the blooming mountain laurel and fruit trees and then visited the Texas State Cemetery. That was my first visit to the cemetery, even though we had lived here almost a decade by then. It was amazing and I’ve visited it many times since then. I am happily married to the only man in the world that would understand that a trip to a cemetery for a 50th birthday would be the best present.

This year Mark offered me a road trip to a Hill Country town or anything I wanted. I thought long and hard and decided a brunch at the 1886 Café in the Driskill Hotel and a trip to the Ransom Center would be my choice. Mark had some concerns about being downtown during SXSW, but we forged ahead and talked the café into letting us have a reservation even though they don’t take reservations  during SXSW or for brunch.

The Driskill is a beautiful hotel. It is Austin’s oldest and most opulent hotel, built in 1886. The lobby is big and marble with pillars and grand staircases and dark wood paneling.  We hadn’t  been there 3 minutes when I spotted Billy Crystal coming down the staircase. That’s the kind of magic that happens there.

With the ColonelHere we pose with Colonel Driskill. I was hoping for some orbs in the picture since he haunts the place, but no such luck. I was sniffing, trying to smell his cigar, but I didn’t get that either.

We enjoyed the cheese soup (amazing!) and I had quiche while Mark had steak and eggs. I also indulged in a bloody Mary.  It was fun to people watch, wondering if we looked like out-of-towners to them.

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We took a walk around the Driskill and then walked down 6th Street a little. I honestly don’t know  if Mark and I have EVER walked down 6th Street together. It is Austin’s Bourbon Street…something the city is known for, but nasty, dangerous, and a place the locals don’t go. In the daytime it is not so dirty or scary. There were lots of people out and the streets were closed so there was lots of room. We had fun pointing to buildings and remembering…. “This WAS Joe’s Generic Bar. This was Steamboat. This was where I played for this…. This is where I used to go ….” It has changed tremendously since I worked down the street when we moved here 16 years ago.

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There was no shortage of people watching on 6th Street. With St. Patrick’s Day coming up, we even saw leprechauns. We steered clear so I don’t know what they were soliciting. I have a feeling they weren’t going to lead us to the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.

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On to the Harry Ransom Center. It is a museum where my cousin works, yet I have never been to it. I wanted to go just to see where it was and what it was like. I didn’t need to spend hours there. It is a very nice small museum, known for its traveling exhibits, I suppose. But it does have a Gutenberg Bible on display, which is AWE-some in the truest sense of the word. And the first photograph ever made, in 1824, I think. Mark looked at the piece of metal with dark shapes on it, hardly distinguishable as a landscape outside a window at all. Mark commented, “Well, it isn’t even a very good photograph…. kind of grainy.” We laughed. It was the kind of exhibit that makes me want to go read more about the invention of photography.

There was also a big exhibit going on about Alice in Wonderland. A lot of people were there to see it and it was a beautiful display with LOTS about the book and the whole history of Alice. Somehow, I grew up without ever knowing much about Alice in Wonderland. I knew about her, but I don’t know if I actually ever read the book. I think I saw a cartoon. I think I once had a ceramic figurine of her. But since Mark and I didn’t have a real connection with Alice in Wonderland, we took the quick view through that exhibit.

I was happy and satisfied and content to go home to open birthday cards that had come through the week (I always save them until the day) and maybe get in a good nap. Before we got all the way home, Mark took a swing through a rehab facility by our house. Each spring there are fields of bluebonnets around the center so he wanted to check to see if any were blooming. Neither one of us have seen a bluebonnet by the highways yet. Lo and behold, they were beginning to bloom. There is no piece of nature that makes me as happy as the bluebonnet does. We stopped to do the Texas thing and take pictures in the bluebonnets. We will be back when they are more abundant.

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Now Mark is deep into his long days/nights of working during South By Southwest and I am a SXSW widow, home alone overnight. But the birthday is over and I don’t have to think about it falling during SXSW when I don’t get any attention. It was a happy and fun birthday and I’m grateful to my sweet husband and to all who sent the cards and presents and called and texted and Facebooked and emailed. There was no shortage of love.

December 7, 2014

December in Austin

Filed under: At home,Austin,Bluebonnets,Garden — Janice @ 8:58 pm

We have had a couple of really cold spells already this winter, which is early and unusual. Our typical first freeze is mid-December and we’ve had several minor freezes. I say minor because, so far, not all of my plants that die back have died back. Some of them are in a very protected spot and they are still happily living, oblivious to their future destruction.

I was out today appreciating my garden. I needs a lot of cleaning. I even had a landscape guy give me an estimate this morning, but I haven’t decided if it is fair or if I trust him to not destroy my baby bluebonnets.

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I always forget the name of this plant/wildflower, but I know it is a Texas native and doesn’t mind a little drought. It is a huge bush of bright flowers and, in person, you hardly notice all the dead things or overgrown grass.

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I always forget the name of this plant, too. I have taken a picture of the tag at the garden centers over and over, but never put it somewhere where I’ll remember where it is. But this is a nice happy plant, too, that looks good all year round and just put up these beautiful winter blooms.

I have bulbs to put into the ground and a dozen bluebonnets that need to go in, too. I have this idea of myself as an avid gardener. That image only shows up when I’m buying plants or accepting bulbs from generous people. When the weekend of opportunity is here, Gardener Janice tends to vanish.

May 26, 2014

The Sneed Plantation and Mansion

Filed under: Austin,Cemeteries — Janice @ 11:49 pm

I spend an inordinate amount of time thinking about the past. I’m fascinated by cemeteries and the stories they tell (or don’t) and I am thinking about my ancestry a LOT. You can’t begin to imagine how much of the time my head is full of a family that came to Texas in 1839.

Mark and I explored the Sneed Mansion from a distance on Saturday. It is a story that I’ve learned slowly over 10 years and I don’t know how I missed THIS giant puzzle piece until now. For 5 years I had a feature called “Let’s Learn About Austin” where I asked a trivia question about the city on the radio and gave away a prize. It was my favorite part of the show. Some questions were contemporary and simple, others were deep history that most people didn’t know, but it taught us all in the process. I loved researching those questions.  I don’t know how the history of the Sneeds escaped me.

About 10 years ago, Mark came home, excited because he had found me a cemetery. He has always been great about finding lost cemeteries for me and then taking me exploring. That day he took me over to I-35 and Little Texas Road and, sure enough, behind lots of brush, there was an old cemetery. We walked through it and took pictures. Where are those pictures tonight? Good question.

I came home and did research and found that this was Williamson Creek Cemetery and, as I had suspected while I was there, it is a slave and descendants-of-slaves cemetery. It had fallen into disrepair and was abandoned, but recently a group of Mormon youth had taken it on as a project and had cleared the brush and cleaned it up.

Fast forward to 3 or 4 years ago. I got a thank you email via Findagrave.com where a woman thanked me for having posted pictures of her g-g-g-grandfather’s grave. She and I exchanged some letters. She asked if this was also known as the “Sneed Cemetery.” I was unaware of the Sneed Cemetery, but I looked on the Austin Genealogy website and saw where it was a different cemetery. I did some basic Googling and read that there had been a Sneed plantation on the east side of I-35. I even found a fascinating interview with a former slave from the plantation telling about his days there and what happened when they were freed. Another interesting bit of the history was that the (now former) head of Hewlitt-Packard and (former) Republican candidate for Senate, Carly Fiorini, was a Sneed and was born in Austin.The woman I was emailing with was a descendant of slaves, but also a member of the Sneed family.  In my Googling I came to the conclusion that the Williamson Cemetery was, at one time, a part of the Sneed plantation. There’s now an interstate highway separating it from the area that appeared to have been the plantation, but obviously in those days they weren’t as separated as they are now.

Now, this week, Mark sends me a great article in the Austin Chronicle about the “Sneed mansion.” It had some pictures of the house as it had once been and the rubble that it is mostly reduced to now. I couldn’t believe I hadn’t heard about this “ruin” at some point in the 15 years we’ve lived just a few miles from it.  I did some more basic research and found a Facebook page about the place: Save the Sneeds.  Lots more pictures and info about how the place was lived in until 60s (sadly occupied by a hermit-hoarder) and then it burned in the 80s. No one appears to want to take responsibility for preserving it or restoring it in any way. Developers would love to take that corner and continue their paving of Austin (it is already surrounded by beautiful apartments).

So Mark and I went there Saturday to see it and take some pictures. Mark had been curious about another old rock home he had seen in the past so we went to it first. I was almost convinced that THIS must be the Sneed home because it seemed big and impressive to me, but Mark was certain it was not. Later I learned that it is called the “Horton-Duval Home” and it may have been slave quarters at one time for the Sneeds. More research to be done.

But then we moved on to the main attraction, the Sneed Mansion. There is  a chain link fence around the property and (for once) we didn’t scale the fence to explore.

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It is hard to grasp the scale of this house. Thick walls with layer after layer of Texas limestone… all hauled to the site by slave labor and placed to last 150 years.  More of Mark’s pictures are on his Facebook page.

I’ve been emailing with Bobby Cervantes, who is working to save the Sneed place. He was there this morning and sent some pictures from INSIDE the fence.

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After we went to the Sneed mansion, we went on to find the Sneed Cemetery. I appreciate Mark’s persistence. I knew where it was, but didn’t think we could get to it. Mark found a way. It, too, was surrounded by chain link fence, but it was easy to see how many stones had been destroyed on the graves. We got some pictures there, said our goodbyes to the spirits of the Sneeds and moved on.

I’m still doing some research and am fascinated by this place. My Cunninghams were in Travis County at the same time that this mansion was being built and they, too, may have had some slaves then (I know they did later). In Texas, while we are aware of our Confederate background and think of cottons and plantations in East Texas, it is hard to imagine the pre-Civil War, slave era that existed here in Austin. This home brought it a little more into my reality.

This was the place in 1937:

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My computer is trying to crash because I have 18 browser windows open along with 8 programs. It is as overloaded with processes as my mind is when I sort through this Sneed family history. I wish Bobby and Save the Sneeds lots of luck and look forward to learning more.  Go to Save the Sneeds and look at more pictures.

December 15, 2013

My Organization and Ray Price

Filed under: Austin,Music,My Job,Radio stuff — Janice @ 11:09 pm

Ray Price is dead. Or Ray Price is not dead. This is one of the weirder cases I’ve seen of someone jumping the gun on a death. Apparently an “official” kind of source (like his son) said, Yes, he is dead, and all the good magazines and news outlets (like Rolling Stone) went with it and printed obituaries. Then someone else came along and said, no, he’s not dead.

Mark took some amazing pictures of Ray Price at a Willie Nelson Fourth of July Picnic in about 2008, I think. I wasn’t at it. I was driving home from celebrating in Denton listening to it on the radio, though, and it was interesting to hear it and then hear Mark’s version of the disorganized mess it really was.

But today it dawns on me that I interviewed Ray Price back in my radio heyday, too. He was part of Willie’s picnic when it was at Spicewood. I do not know the date on that one, but I’m guessing 2004? 2005? I have put the word out and hope to find out soon.

I hope finding the year will help me find my photos! I think we were a digital world by that time. I know I have many pictures of that day. It was a very muddy mess and I wore true hiking boots because the muck was so thick. I have pictures meeting the Keller Brothers (who later became friends and Mark’s bandmates). I have a picture of me with the South Austin Jug Band with Willie Pipkin, another bandmate of Mark’s. I have a picture of someone from the Grateful Dead being interviewed. And me interviewing Bill Mack, the legendary disc jockey, and a picture of us doing the “grip and grin.” And I know I have a picture of me interviewing Ray Price. No g-n-g of us, but me interviewing him. But I can’t find it.

I hate that my organization is ALWAYS like this. I never can seem to put my hands on THE picture that I want. I hope I can find it before he is really gone. A very nice man. I don’t think the interview was anything special. But I have seen him perform since then and he was still incredible. He was better than either Willie Nelson or Merle Haggard and he was older than both.

December 12, 2013

Fabulous Homes

Filed under: Austin — Janice @ 11:20 pm

I got to go to a holiday party tonight at a mansion. I guess they aren’t called mansions anymore, but “big house” doesn’t do it justice. I don’t know that I’ve ever been in a house this luxurious… no, yes, I was, that time in Vienna when I toured the Schoenbrunn palace!

 

I can’t show you a picture of this home, but it was only a couple of years old and was designed by an architect and had so many fabulous rooms and features. Every window and room in the house was big and open and faced west overlooking the western part of Austin and Lake Austin and Pennybacker Bridge. No neighbors in sight at all. No neighbors around to look in either. A fireplace that faced two directions – I’ve always thought that would be the coolest thing. And instead of gas logs in their fireplace, like we have, they had concrete balls of various sizes sitting on a tray of white “sand.” Totally modern. There was a guest house and a swimming pool and a three-car garage. There were imported marble walls in the bath, recovered pine boards on the floors in some rooms, granite countertops, of course, and a fabulous curved wall made of slivers of limestone less than a half-inch wide, some polished, some rough.

The house was lovely, but the hosting couple were even lovelier. I have never been in any of their homes, even though I’ve known them for more than 10 years. I was surprised tonight that this wasn’t a big holiday party for all of their friends and family, it was just a very intimate party for “our” office. In the past we have had a happy hour or a dinner together for Christmas, but we didn’t do it last year and now that the office has gone separate ways, it certainly didn’t seem like we’d have a party this year. That made it extra special that they went to the effort to have us there for a party and a chance to see one another. I work remotely with these folks and rarely see them face-to-face. I began working for these 2 doctors in 2002. I had to stop working for them when I got full-time work in radio again, but when that ended and they took me back I promised I would not quit typing their dictation until they wanted me to quit typing. I’ve been typing with them this second go-round since the beginning of 2008. Wow. Just about to be 6 years. It is a wonderful thing that I can do it remotely. They send me digital audio, I turn it into digital text and send it back to them. It’s a great way to work, but we do miss out on some of that office camaraderie. It is nice to get a taste of it once a year.

December 6, 2013

Snow Days

Filed under: At home,Austin,Food,My Job,Normal Life — Janice @ 10:41 pm

I don’t know where you live, but I would expect that wherever you are, people are worrying about the cold arctic blast that is hitting us. The Dallas/Fort Worth area, my old home, is iced over and everyone is hunkered down. Here in Austin, we only had cold weather and even with that we didn’t go below 32 officially today.

I have been through ice storms in Dallas and they are really something to worry about. Having come from super-cold country (Amarillo), I thought I could laugh at these people that couldn’t drive in this stuff. Then I learned what ice was all about. It truly was something that was totally different in nature from the snows of the Panhandle. I think I had one glorious ice day when I lived in Dallas. After many years in radio where there is no such thing as a snow day or an ice day, I had a non-essential job and got to stay home ONE time because of ice. It was glorious.

But the best snow day ever (okay, maybe outside of as a kid because those were always wonderful) was when I lived in Amarillo with my roommates Beth and Diane and we had a snow day. Well, actually, they had the snow day because they had jobs that did such a thing. I still got up and somehow made it through the drifts and did my morning show, but turned right around after and came home so THEN my snow day began.

I suppose if three single 20-somethings all lived together and had a snow day today they would spend most of their time on their smart phones or laptops or tablets talking with friends in other places and comparing notes about the cold weather. How sad! We had just the three of us and we made fudge and probably other fattening things. We played Scrabble and probably some card games, too. Yes, we had a TV, but no movies on hand or anything particularly good to watch, so the TV stayed off and we talked and played and cooked and laughed. It was memorable. Mostly for the fudge, but for the girls, too.

Today I sort of took a snow day. I still worked, but I worked from home. Not quite the same thing because I didn’t make fudge and I had no friends with me. But I enjoyed a fire and 3 kitties and a Christmas tree and I actually got some work done, too. The weather didn’t turn out so bad that I couldn’t have made it in after all, but I appreciate a flexible boss and job that let’s me be at home like this. Next time ice is predicted, I’m gathering up the ingredients for fudge.

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December 1, 2013

Christmas is On the Way

Filed under: At home,Austin,Writing — Janice @ 7:15 pm

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I’m participating in the Holidailies this year, which mainly means I plan/expect to/WILL write daily between now and whenever it ends (Epiphany I think? Maybe I will have one.). My friend Jette started the Holidailies many years ago and I have participated some years, but not others, and I don’t know that I’ve ever really written every day, but there is always a first.

This, for instance, is the first year that I have mailed Christmas cards early AND have a Christmas tree up early. I have never been a person to rush the season, but this year with the Thanksgiving weekend butting right up into December, even I felt like we needed to get on with it! Today I dropped a big bunch of Christmas cards into the mail, though I have a few more to write. And this afternoon while I watched Denver beat Kansas City, I decorated the Christmas tree and put some of my decorations around the house. The temperature outside is warm enough that we have had doors and windows open all day long and I’ve been sweating like crazy, but it does feel a little Christmasy.

The Holidailies portal is also nice in that it opens a doorway to so many blogs that I may not have discovered. Right now I don’t know that there is a single blog I check on a daily basis. There used to be many I always read, just like you’d read a column in the newspaper. Of course, that was before Facebook and a million other time-wasting sites existed. I have always been envious of the people that can blog about their crazy brother or their overbearing uncle and not worry about repercussions. Just now, as I wrote that last sentence, I thought to myself, “Okay, I’m safe, I don’t have a brother at all and no uncles are living so I hope no aunt thinks I might have been talking about their dead husband.” I worry A LOT about what people are going to think of me and I worry about hurting feelings. If I am not funny and I am flat out boring, let’s blame it on those qualities that hold me back from being hilarious and rude. Okay?

For anyone that just got here because YOU were checking into the Holidailies to see who is writing, I hope you will come back. I am a middle-aged woman in Austin, Texas, with a wildly exciting life where I visit cemeteries a lot. I am somewhat obsessed with my family history, but I do my best to not talk about it all the time. I have no children, so I still think I am in my 20s or 30s and am shocked when my body disagrees. I’m married to a man who really does have an interesting life playing music and working with really famous musicians all the time. But, before you get your hopes up, I don’t write about him much. I keep telling him he should have a blog, but he hasn’t taken me up on it yet. Oh, and I have cats.

I know blogs are lots more fun when they have pictures, so I just added the one at the top so you will know who is writing. I’m the one in color. We are both named Janice, but she spells it wrong. My husband is amazing photographer so I do have the advantage of having great photos from his camera for my blog. He took this when we went to see Dwight Yoakum last week at the ACL Live Moody Theater in downtown Austin. The drummer Mitch Marine is a friend of Mark’s and invited us. Oops, I said I didn’t write about Mark, didn’t I? But I do have a need to name-drop as much as I can.

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