The Longdogs

The Longdogs
Willy, Harley (back center), and Gretchen

Christmas Better Late Than Never

Maybe "Better Late Than Never" is not a good choice in words. In odd numbered years (i.e. 2017), the grandkids spend New Years with their Dad and Christmas with their Mom. So they arrived the evening of 28 December so we celebrated Christmas on the 29th complete with presents and the traditional dinner. I made cinnamon rolls on the eve and baked them in the morning right before we headed over to our son and DIL's. Presents had already been put under their tree the day before.

Angus wanted to help open on of Helen's presents.

I think this was a stocking gift for Cam...Finger soccer.

Angus got a lion's mane. It was very realistic from the front.

Morgan has lots of cow decorations in her room so she thought this calendar was pretty cool.

Helen had a really big package as she had mentioned she would really like a firepit for the backyard.

I think Dave was trying to figure out what this was.

Angus carefully annialated some wrapping after it came off the packages. she doesn't eat it just shreds it.

In addition to the cinnamon roles, we had some mini-quiches and the hashbrowns Helen is fixing.
I didn't do a great job of taking pictures and totally missed any of the lovely spiral ham dinner that we had later that afternoon. Helen loves to cook so we had dinner at their house and I brought mashed potatoes and homemade dinner rolls to add to all that she fixed. It was a great Christmas.

A Christmas Tasting

The other day, my DIL Helen and I headed up the road to Hye TX to meet her cousin for a wine tasting. It was a beautiful day and we had plenty of time so we headed northwest on the backroads of Texas.

It was so nice out.....a perfect winter day for south central Texas....the Texas Hill Country.

The winter flowers are blooming......

....the vines are not.

The Hill Country abounds in wineries especially the Hwy 290 corridor between Fredericksburg and Johnson City. That is where you will find Hye and the William Chris Winery.

We enjoyed the tasting although it's definitely not our favorite. Our host was a young man and he did a pretty good job walking us through the six wines we tasted. Unlike many other wineries, the tastings menu is don't get to choose the wines. We ordered a small chees plate which was very good and had plenty of cheese, proscuttos, and bread pieces for the three of us.

We stood at this counter for the whole tasting.....some seats would have been very nice.

The tasting room also had a few gift items to choose from. Helen just met her cousin when she joined us for Thanksgiving and she is definitely a keeper. We all had a good time.

It was a nice way to spend an afternoon.

Texas Hill Country Christmas Lights Magic

Yesterday we had to drive all the way to Brownwood instead of Marble Falls to pick up the Grandkids for the weekend. We picked them up about 4:15 pm and headed back south. About 5:45 pm, we were in Lampasas so we stopped at Taco Bell for supper.  Whoa, Steve didn't bring Angus any dog food. Hmmm. Angus was good with a soft taco snack with dinner after we got back to San Antonio.

We stopped again in Johnson City at the Pedernales Electric Co-op to see their fantastic light display. It is truly magical.

This is actually a home light display on a nearby street.

Next up was Blanco TX. The whole downtown Courthouse square is lit up as well as a magical walk through the park next to the square. It was cold so we didn't walk through the park this year but it is wonderful to see even from the road.

I lovc seeing the Christmas light really is magic.

Somehow I missed adding these great photos of the Blanco Square.

The Big White-out in San Antonio

One minute it was mid to upper 70s and then.....

I had to run over to my son's house to get some dog food before Willy decided to eat me instead. He and Angus (my son's dog) eat the same kind of dog food so we take turns buying the big bags. Actually, Willy dined on some of Harley's special dog food for dinner but I didn't want to make a habit of that so I hopped in the car and headed two miles over. It was raining when I left, sleeting halfway over, and snowing big thick white flakes by the time I got there. Unbelievable for San Antonio. It snowed for about 4 hours leaving us with about three inches of snow. It never got down to 32 degrees but the snow stuck until the next morning when it started to melt.

Harley didn't know what to make of was his first snow experience.

I threw the ball and he took off after it without even thinking.

Once he got out there, he was lifting his feet up and and didn't quite know what to do.

Kids couldn't resist the challenge......

The next morning.....things started to thaw. The snow slid off the trees.

It's just wrong to see snow on palms.

Harley and I were very glad to see the end of the snow. The last snow was 1987 and hopefully it will be that long before the next one. I grew up in Minnesota and I only want to see snow on postcards and pictures.  Seventy degrees is my kind of winter day. lol

Pony Express Comes to Gruene TX

Every December the Pony Express comes to Gruene TX. Of course, it isn't the real Pony Express but it is a lot of fun. There were bales of hay at intervals along the main street in Gruene which was nice for several reasons. First, cars couldn't park there which made it so much easier to see the horses coming. Second, it gave people walking from the Market Days event at one end of the street to the other end lots of room to walk. Third, the bales made for some decent seating for the people waiting on the event. Gruene has lots of parking with a couple of huge free lots anyway.

Can you see the second rider from the left? I think she was about 3 years old and she handled her horse like a pro.

The group lined up in an open area so that everyone could see them and pet them and talk to the participants.

You could also get your Christmas letters stamped with a special Gruene postmark and mailed out from the special temporary post office.

After the parade, we headed back up to the Market Days. There were lots of people and plenty of booths for shopping. Gruene Market Days are always fun. They are usually the third weekend of every month but December is an exception when the Market is moved up to the first weekend. We always manage to stop at one of our very favorite coffee shops, the Gruene Coffee Haus. They roast their own beans onsite. They have two nice inside seating areas as well as umbrella tables out front.