Saturday, August 31, 2013

Empty Nest Year 3: Getting the Hang of It

L.'s third year at UT began with move-in weekend over the 24th.  Our experience with this has been different every year.

The first year we paid extra and moved in the night before the rush.  The second year L. drove down with out us and moved himself in.  This year his 'stuff' was stored miles from campus and he was moving into a new high rise.

I failed to mention he was on campus the whole summer for classes and a lab internship so the answer to the question, "Are you headed for Austin?" was "You bet!"

800 students were moving into one building on Saturday.  It was controlled chaos, well done, but chaos none-the-less.  We were in the unloading zone at our appointed hour, braved the waves of back-to-school shoppers at Target and Walmart and had L. set up and settled by the end of a long day.

Dorm living has changed.  The past two years L. was in a private dorm that looked exactly like a dorm room. This new set up is more like an apartment. The only thing lacking is a cook top and oven.

A kitchen/living room area shared by two bedrooms that hold two students each with a double sink, shower and stool.

Every visit is celebrated with good food and venues that are pure Austin; high energy, unique and Austin Weird.  You gotta love it.  L. does and so do we but it doesn't make saying good-bye any easier.  This third year is set to be full and exciting and speeding him towards plans post-graduation.  Where does the time go??

D. and I are as settled into our empty nest as L. is into Austin.  We are finding our way with new interests and looking toward our future. The journey, to date, has not always been easy but we have each experienced positive, personal and family growth.

And so we say, "Cheers!" to all new and returning students and the adults that make the college experience possible.

Google Image:

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Hook 'Em

 Since L. left for college at the University of Texas at Austin I have been an avid UT representative.  When you are connected to a group through regular, large sums of money it seems only wise to support that group wholeheartedly.

This being said, anything with a Longhorn or that is burnt orange I proudly display.  I have the mom sticker on my car, numerous burnt orange t-shirts and lounge wear plus my office is decorated in UT wall art, I use UT pencils, Kleenex and a mouse pad.

It should come as no surprise my support will show up in my sewing.  In the Bear quilt post I mentioned trying my hand at paper piecing.  It didn't take long, combing the internet for free patterns, until this Longhorn pattern showed up and became my first attempt.  This is a 5 inch square and really too intricate for a first try but I wasn't daunted.  It took several ripped seams to get the idea and make a good run at the technique.

A good first try.

Much like paint by number with fabric.

I was happy with the end result but wanted to try this same pattern on a larger block.  Another internet search found how to enlarge a square and I turned the 5 inch into a 10 inch.

Each effort highlights sections to practice and I've exhausted the Longhorn for paper piecing but have another square to try already in mind.  The individual piecing doesn't take a lot of time, putting the combined pieces back together and getting a 'squared' square was my biggest challenge.  Something to continue working on.  What have you been doing this summer?

This Longhorn pillow has a place in the re-upholstered chair.