Summertime

Last Sunday, I had the opportunity to hike in the greenbelt behind the house.  A nice dry, hot July day – it was great.

Greenbelt - July 2015

Greenbelt – Southwest Austin – July 2015              You can almost smell the cedar and the heat.

Wildflowers - July 2015

Wildflowers (and Johnson Grass) – Green Belt – Southwest Austin – July 2015

Pink Flowers - July 2015

Pink Flowers – Green Belt – Southwest Austin – July 2015

And I got two fantastic purslanes from the Natural Gardner.

Purslane - July 2015

Purslane (Portulaca oleracea) – July 2015

Greetings from Chicago, Illinois!

So I was at a Department of Labor conference in Chicago.  I wish I’d had more time to explore the old neighborhoods, since my grandfather and his family are from Chicago.  I was able to get in a six mile walk the first afternoon I was there, starting at my hotel, the Hyatt Chicago Magnificent Mile, then down Michigan Avenue, across to Lakeshore Boulevard, then back up along the lake.  The weather was in the low 60s – actually wished I’d brought a sweater!

Here’s what I saw:

Chicago, Illinois - July 2015

Chicago, Illinois – July 2015

Chicago River - Chicago, Illinois - July 2015

Chicago River – Chicago, Illinois – July 2015

Stone Planter - Michigan Avenue - Chicago, Illinois - July 2015

Stone Planter – Michigan Avenue – Chicago, Illinois – July 2015

Old Water Tower - Michigan Avenue - Chicago, Illinois - July 2015

Old Water Tower – Michigan Avenue – Chicago, Illinois – July 2015

Millennium Park - Chicago, Illinois - July 2015

Millennium Park – Chicago, Illinois – July 2015

Harris Theatre - Millennium Park - Chicago, Illinois - July 2015

Harris Theatre – Millennium Park – Chicago, Illinois – July 2015

Graces - Millennium Park - Chicago, Illinois - July 2015

Graces – Millennium Park – Chicago, Illinois – July 2015

Silver Horse and Rider - Chicago, Illinois - July 2015

Silver Horse and Rider – Chicago, Illinois – July 2015

Lion - Michigan Avenue - Chicago, Illinois - July 2015

Lion – Michigan Avenue – Chicago, Illinois – July 2015

Theodore Thomas Memorial - Grant Park - Chicago, Illinois - July 2015

Theodore Thomas Memorial – Grant Park – Chicago, Illinois – July 2015

City Skyline - Chicago, Illinois - July 2015

City Skyline – Chicago, Illinois – July 2015

Profile Sculpture - Millennium Park - Chicago, Illinois - July 2015

Profile Sculpture – Millennium Park – Chicago, Illinois – July 2015

'The Bean' - Millennium Park - Chicago, Illinois - July 2015

‘The Bean’ – Millennium Park – Chicago, Illinois – July 2015

Pediment - Michigan Avenue Bridge - Chicago, Illinois - July 2015

Pediment – Michigan Avenue Bridge – Chicago, Illinois – July 2015

Shoreline - Chicago, Illinois - July 2015

Shoreline – Chicago, Illinois – July 2015

Sculpture - Millennium Park - Chicago, Illinois - July 2015

Sculpture – Millennium Park – Chicago, Illinois – July 2015

It’s July

It’s July and not much going on.  The weather continues to be unusual.  We’ve already surpassed the average rainfall that we receive in an entire year – and it keeps coming.  While I’m glad we finally have rain, the unfortunate by-product is mosquitos.  I’ve never seen them this bad; ever.  I suffer through, but fully expect to catch malaria one of these days.

I’m traveling a lot this month – next week in Chicago and back-to-back D.C. trips two weeks after that.  Probably going to try to build in a couple days vacation into the last D.C. sojourn.

Well, here are some odds-and-ends photos.

Brian’s sister Lisa made these for me.  She’s definitely the most creative person I know.

M&Ms

Stone M&Ms – Courtesy of Lisa Roberts

Brian made this Fourth-of-July cake yesterday.  Way more patience than I could ever hope to muster.

Fourth-of-July Cake Cut

Red Velvet Fourth-of-July Cake (Lots and Lots of Sprinkles)

The Black-Eyed Susan I got yesterday – it wouldn’t be summer without at least one of these.

Black-Eyed Susan

Black-Eyed Susan (July 2015)

So I’m trying a mandevilla again because Brian likes ‘showy plants.’  I’ve never had any luck with these.  Perhaps eighth time is the charm.

mandevilla

Mandevilla (July 2015)

Hope everybody’s having a great summer….