Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Co-Pilot Caroline!

Here is the highlight of my trip to Matagorda!

See this plane? See me in this plane?? Yeah, that's right!

I got to go up in this plane with my pilot Kyle and one of the area's reps to see and take pictures of the undeveloped coastline along Matagorda up toward Galveston.

And, that's not all!!

We were having so much fun that Kyle let me actually FLY THE PLANE!

For a good ten minutes, I got to fly the plane wherever I wanted. I turned it out all the way over the ocean, brought it back in along the coastline and then cruised over nearby farmland.

Steering the plane felt really weird - it was like driving a car, but with air instead of road.

I can not tell you how COOL it was!!!

We got up to 160 miles an hour and up to 6,000 feet high.

So cool, so cool, so cool!!

Monday, April 24, 2006

Taste Caroline's Hot Sticky Buns

I so am not kidding.

This is the headline someone at the Oak Hill Gazette newspaper put on my column this week:

"Taste Caroline's hot sticky buns"

It was my recipe for cinnamon rolls.

* By popular demand:

Cinnamon Rolls

2 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup water
one egg
3 cups flour
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon salt
2 1/4 teaspoons yeast
In small saucepan or microwaveable bowl, melt two tablespoons butter in 1/2 cup milk and 1/2 cup water. Add to bread machine. Then add one egg, three cups flour, 1/4 cup sugar, one teaspoon salt and 2 1/4 teaspoons yeast (equivalent to one packet.) Run the dough cycle.
2 tablespoons melted butter
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
When the dough cycle is completed, place dough on a flour surface and roll in to a large rectangle (about the size of a 9 by 13 inch pan.) Brush with two tablespoons melted butter. Mix 1/3 cup packed brown sugar and 1 teaspoon cinnamon and sprinkle on entire top surface of dough rectangle. Roll in to a log, maintaining the width. Cut in to a dozen pieces. Place in greased 13 by 9 inch or similar size pan, cover, and let rise for 30 minutes or until doubled in size. (This will keep in the refrigerator, covered, overnight. I recommend early preparation to break up the work.)
Bake in 375 degree preheated oven for about 18 to 20 minutes until golden brown.
3 ounces cream cheese
1 tablespoon butter
one cup powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons milk
Note: This makes a generous amount of a very sweet topping.
Melt three ounces of cream cheese and one tablespoon butter in a microwaveable bowl. (Watch for spatters.) Add one cup powdered sugar, 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract and two tablespoons milk. Stir together until smooth, although a few small lumps are okay and even good! Spread over baked cinnamon rolls, and delight in the warmth of this home-baked comfort!
Until then … Caroline.

Pro Ana and Pro Mia - Still

You know how I have so many Pro-Ana and Pro-Mia people coming to my web site? (If not, read here and then, Pro-Ana and Pro-Mia, about halfway down the page.) Well, here is the kind of comment I get from them every so often. I deleted it because I didn't want people to go to her site, but here is what she had to say.
I'll let you all do the (only helpful) commenting back this time:

I think you have every right to have this article about how many people are going underground to find out about the ANGELS: Ana and Mia. Yet, people have there different opinions on Ana and Mia, whether its a lifestyle or a disease. I have to say that I think it is a Lifestyle until some point when the extent of what you are doing becomes controlling. Everything evolves around what you are. I AM an Anorexic/Bulimic and have been for 17 months. It is my whole life. I love it more than anything, and i wouldn't change it for the world. Yes i know it is damaging but so is smoking or drinking. I think it would be a good idea if you did both sides of the Underground Ana and Mia sites. Why some people think they are good/bad. I just recently started my Pro Ana site and it is not fully developed but you could come check it out if you want.

Austin City Council Candidate Forum

Oak Hill Association of Neighborhoods hosts:

City of Austin Council Candidate Forum
Tuesday, April 25, 2006
6 p.m to 9 p.m. (first hour - meet and greet)
Southwest Hills Community Church,
7416 Highway 71 West

Saturday, April 22, 2006

More Pics from Matagorda

And, here are a few more pics of the Matagorda coastline and park area.

Notice how it's almost empty? That's one of the big benefits of going to an area that protects its natural resources.

That Looks Like It Hurts!

Ouch! Here are a few things that washed up on to the shore at Matagorda Beach.
Something was coming in that day (the same something that left me with motion sickness.)

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Extra, Extra! Read All About It!

My article on Bullying is now out in Texas Family Magazine, and my article on Kyle Hutton is now out in Best in Texas Music Magazine, if you'd like to read some of my work.

Monday, April 17, 2006

Swing, Baby!

Here is the famous (okay, maybe not famous) swing bridge of Matagorda. It has been seen on the way to the Gulf of Mexico for over 50 years now.

Progress can only wait so long, though. Plans are in the works for replacing the swing bridge with a regular bridge.
That is great for drivers and probably great for the economy because of the added convenience, but it's kind of sad, too. I remember thinking it was really cool the first time I saw it; I enjoyed watching the boats go by.

After this one goes, there only will be one swing bridge left in Texas, in nearby Sargent.

In these pictures, you can see a barge going, going, gone, and then the swing moving back in to place.

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Happy Easter!

Happy, Hoppy Easter, everyone!

Here is the Easter basket I have had since I was two years old. My mom tried to get me a new one once, but I pretty much threw a fit.

This was in my mid-twenties.

So my mom replaced the ruffles, and I was okay with that, and now Easter happily goes on. Hop, Hop!

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Matagorda Beach

This is one of the best things about Matagorda: the pier. It goes way, way out over the water, and, at the end, you can actually step on to the large rocks and be "in" the sea. This is coolest at night, when there are tons of fishers out there, pulling up all these huge fish and even sharks. When you get all the way out, you feel like you are in your own world in the middle of the ocean.
I could stay out there for a long, long time.

Right now, there is some damage to the pier about halfway out (you can kind of see it) from a couple of hurricanes ago, but a fishing couple I talked to said it is expected that it will be fixed and open again for Memorial Day.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Candidly Caroline is Back in Austin

Candidly Caroline is back in Austin.

Check her blog all this week to learn about her travels along the Texas Coast.

Saturday, April 08, 2006

Kayaking on the Colorado River

Friday morning I went kayaking on the Colorado River, right where the fresh water turns in to salt water on its way to the Gulf of Mexico. The water is up to 30 feet deep.

Here are all the pretty life jackets lined up in a row ...

and two of the kayaks, provided by Freebird Kayak & Canoe Adventures.

Here is the view toward the Gulf of Mexico.

And, here is the view toward Austin, which guide Wayne said it would take a week to reach by kayak.

Some of the others saw a baby alligator and two big, big alligators, but I missed seeing all of them! It was still very, very fun, though!

Friday, April 07, 2006

Greetings from Palacios, Texas!

Greetings from Palacios, Texas! (Pronounced Puh-LA-shus by all the good folk down here in these parts.)

Here is the sign overlooking the water at dusk at the Outrigger Restaurant, where you got it -

"You Catch 'Em, We Cook 'Em!"

Shane from the Palacios Chamber of Commerce ate dinner with us and says you even can bring over the crabs you catch to have them prepared for you. I might have to take them up on that offer. This time I had the super fresh grilled shrimp and great sweet potato fries.

The Outrigger is offering a new specialty drink - the Vacation, a combination of light rum, dark rum and your choice of cranberry juice or pineapple juice. It is a great way to start a "working vacation."

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Off to the Texas Coast

Well, I leave tomorrow for the Texas coast, the natural, protected beaches of Matagorda!
Friday, when I will be kayaking the Colorado River and laying on the beach, it should be 85 degrees with zero percent chance of rain. Perfect!
I'm really looking forward to the trip. Hopefully, the beachfront accommodations come through so that I can
sit on my balcony listening to the waves and walk on the beach (sand is a natural exfoliant, you know) and meander down to the pier and watch all the fishermen pulling up huge fish and sharks.

Only one problem:

Presently, the cats are insisting they be allowed to go. I'm worried they may attempt a coup.