... It's been a long time. The last time I was writing, I was getting ready to set off on a road trip, The Cake Baking Road Trip, which took me from Texas to upstate New York and involved visiting a lot of friends and relatives and baking a lot of cakes. It was very fun, and I was just too busy having fun to write. And then, when I got to Phoenicia, NY, I had no internet access and my cell phone didn't work, and to reach civilization, I was forced to drive 20 very scenic miles to Woodstock and sit in the library parking lot where I could access the internet on my computer and talk on my cell phone at the very same time.
It took me a week to get to NY and about 2 1/2 days to get back, which was not a good thing. Too much driving for too long. The trip back, however, did involve a stop at Hot Springs National Park, which is one of the weirder national parks, considering it is on the main street of downtown Hot Springs AR. It's there because that's where the hot springs are... Under the street on Bath House Row. What's so cool about the park is that you can stash your car in a garage, and walk over to the Buckstaff Bathhouse, which is a fabulous old timey bathhouse that makes you feel as if you stepped back into the '20s. You can also fill up your bottles with water from the hot springs at a fountain on the street. The water comes out at 147 degrees, though, so you don't want to use flimsy plastic bottles!
After I got home to Texas, I promptly flew back to NC for the semi-annual famdamily beach trip. It wasn't the whole family this time, and it was probably our last beach trip with Dad, as it's gotten too difficult to get him out of bed and into his wheelchair. So... Sad, but fun and Bald Head was beautiful. Got back to Austin and went to Midland to do a book signing with Ricë... And give a 'sermon' at the UU church... And party and have fun... And then I was off to Oaxaca for ten days with twenty crazy artists and Michael deMeng. Now that was a total and complete hoot! Michael does 'ahhsemblage' for those of you who are not familiar with him. The trip included several days of hitting markets in and around Oaxaca, and did I mention it was over Dia de los Muertos? How could I have forgotten THAT! So cemetery visits, and ruins and museums and restaurants and bars and mezcal and oh my land.
Then it was back to Austin and the tree lot. Yup. I run a Christmas tree lot every year for one of the animal clubs in town. You know... The Lions, the Elks, the Rotarians, the Kiwanis... Animal clubs... And I are one. It's how we raise money for youth charity, and it's a lot of work, but really fun and about the best damn smelling job you can have on the planet, providing you're not allergic to conifers.
And in and along with all of this I broke a bone in my foot, had boils and had my kidneys fail... So it was a real doozy of a year.