I’m Amy, Native Austinite and self-proclaimed expert about the Whimsical and yes, WEIRD, decorated trees on Loop 360! I’ve named this one-of-a-kind weirdness AustinTree60.
The decorated juniper and cedars along Loop 360 usually start appearing in mid November, although it seems to be earlier every year. (10-12 popped up over the weekend 11/10/17))
To my knowledge the first tree was decorated in 1988 as a tribute to a breast cancer victim. Her famiy stealthily decorated a tree in her honor and the ATX tradition was born.
After that year, additional honor trees appeared, the number steadily increasing, a few each year. About 6-7 years ago the number of trees decorated really surged and the whole hillside between Hwy 183 and FM 222 seemed decorated!
Since then AustinTree60 has expanded at a MUCH faster rate… decorated trees can now be seen from Hwy 183 all the way to RR 2244 and even along Spicewood Springs and FM 2222. Although many of the trees are still honor trees – decorated in honor of a loved one, or a cause, or a group SOME of them are ADVERTISEMENTS… stop that!
After the holidays the undecorating is done by volunteer groups (ie: me and my neighborhood kids, Scout groups and other helpful people) and sometimes people come back to undecorate their own tree.
On weekends during November and December AustinTree60 is covered with people taking photos and generally having fun.
Keep it Weird ATX!
PS: 2017 update ~sigh~ like many of the best things about ATX, this tradition has gotten too big, too out-of-hand and has become a tacky mess in some places. It’s also pretty terrible for the area creeks and wildlife. So I love(d) it… but now… not so much. AND I have never, ever decorated a tree; only cleaned up.
Gordita – ‘cute, little fat girl’ in spanish – commonly used by boyfriends for their girlfriends as a nice thing to say rather than an insult
Flappys – Excessive arm skin or arm fat that hangs down when arms are raised
Got it? OK, here we go… Hi, my name is Amy and I’m a gordita with flappys.
Seems like I read everyday about body acceptance. It’s a welcome and refreshing view of gorditas and other human shapes and sizes.
Many awesome women are blogging, writing, and talking about body acceptance, the beauty of fleshy rolls, and the right to bare arms. But here’s the deal; These are young women… that is, their bodies might be roly and poly but it’s a younger, firmer roly and poly 🙂 I bet they don’t have the beautiful, lush, flag-waving-in-the-breeze-flappy arms that I have!
Summer is a love/hate for me… love the gorgeous bare shoulder fashions – hate to accessorize those nice looks with my flappys.
IMO tan flappys look a little better than bright white ones, so come Summer I throw my arms in the air like I don’t care (in the privacy of my own front patio) and try to get a little color on the flaps. Also I’ve started doing planks to improve all over muscle tone, especially flappys… but probably should have started last Fall, or 2015.
Until the tan and planks take huge effect, I incorporate shrugs, shawls, etc into my everyday outfits. But those can be hot-flash-inducing and the fullness is overly fussy sometimes.
A few years back I bought a Rhonda Shear arm shaper… it was way too spandex-y and OMG! My arms looked like stuffed sausages in a flesh-colored casing! SO. GROSS.
A quick Google search reveals several newer, more attractive (?) and innovative ideas for re-shaping/covering flappys. Let’s take a look at some advances in Flappy coverage:
Skinnies Instant Lifts. “These fabulous clear adhesives can be strategically and secretly placed to tuck, lift and contour your body. Use as non surgical solution to instantly lift and tighten saggy upper arms. Hides discreetly so no one will know but you. As seen on Shark Tank, Rachael Ray Show, Today Show, HSN, QVC & More!”
HaHa! These are basically a big-ass piece of tape that pulls your skin tight – geez, are we (me) that obsessed?! And can I get one for my chin also? Hmmmm.. I do have a roll of clear contact paper, I wonder if strips of that would work? I PROMISE if I try contact paper I will take photos and post it #quicklyreachingtheageofnoshame
Sleevy Wonders “Covering up with a sweater or jacket often provokes a hot flash, or hides the beautiful look of a dress… needed: independent, interchangeable sleeves that slim arms without making us too hot or ruining the look of cute outfits!” Exactly! See? They totally get it! These are actually cute and wearable – AND easily wins the award for best-name – Sleevy Wonders appear to hit all the right notes (sorry, I couldn’t resist) BUT they start at about $50 per pair. So NOPE, probably not for me. Soy una gordita tocaña. $$$
Tattoo Sleeve Covers Designed to cover tattoos, available in many colors. These look like ‘thigh-highs’ for arms. $11.95/pair
I might actually try these sometime, for a casual look. Between October and April. Lots of color choices and the fabric is cotton-y, hopefully avoiding the sausage result as before.
O. M. G. THIS had never occurred to me! I would try these for sure!
I love these! Anyone want split an order and share-wear with me?!
I saw a quote: “Never wave goodbye in the summer after 35”
Well the #AlwaysHungry plan is helping us eat better, that’s for certain. Superman is down 14 lbs and I’ve lost 6 ... I hate men and their muscular metabolism …
Anyway… we are eating healthier in spite of the fact that I keep screwing up recipes
First off – I AM a good cook, but I’m Star Wars cook… I use the Force! To me, a recipe is a jumping off place or a suggestion. Generally if I start cooking with a recipe, about half-way through realize I’m out of eggs, or don’t have a pomegranate or Pasilla de Oaxaca chiles, etc… So I just go with the flow and make up the rest.
Like Augie* says “Sometimes you win, sometimes, you learn” That’s my cooking style; Win or Learn, and I learn often! hahaha!!
This brings me to todays fail, er… Learning Experience. A frittata. A frittata is just eggs baked with other stuff, right? So it should be easy-peasy, right? Hmmm… yeah, OK. This was not a true #FAIL because it was edible and actually very tasty, we both liked it.
But there were plenty of “learning opportunities” Let’s review. The #AlwaysHungry recipe calls for:
5 eggs and 2 whites – I used 3 eggs and one white. I have no idea why. I looked, saw 5 + 2, then put 3 +1 in the bowl (???) (pretty sure I have CRS… ‘cuz I Can’t Remember Shit)
Sliced zucchini – I just got a spiralizer and of course had to try it out – so long curls instead of slices.
Tomatoes – nope, didn’t have any, besides, they get too watery when baked, IMO. Turns out, spiraled zuchinni is plenty watery, too!
Grated Cheddar – Yes! had some, used the proper amount. WIN!
Kale – supposed to toss kale with olive oil, salt, pepper then bake until it gets crispy edges. Does the above look like kale to you? Kale probably would have gotten crispy. SPINACH, however, just wilted. BTW, I actually had kale… wth?
Let’s see what else?… Oh yeah, I forgot to preheat the oven so the frittata basically cooked from the residual heat of the cast iron pan while waiting for the oven to get hot enough. Energy Saver! woohoo!
In spite of these screw ups, it was still tasty and filling. It was flat-ish due to missing 2 eggs and an extra white AND the zucchini spirals made it harder to cut. But we ate half of it hot and saved some for breakfast the next day.
Except, it didn’t make it to morning, we had a frittata midnight snack and it was DEE-liciouso!!
See ya tomorrow!
Amy Loves Austin
*Augie Garrido, former UT Baseball Coach, wise sage and foodie
Do you love crackers? I love crackers; crunchy, crispy, savory, salty… yum.
So… Superman and I have started eating healthier. We are following Always Hungry by Dr. David Ludwig… because, you know, the always hungry thing. So far I’m liking the plan. It’s a lot of cooking, but that’s ok while I’m on summer-break. Our goal is to not have a goal, rather to have a process and actions that we can do for a long time. I think this plan will work for that. BUT… NO CRACKERS. shit
I’ve been totally jonesin’ for crackers. I researched no grain, no sugar (no taste?) crackers and found many ideas, some of them sounded horrible, but I narrowed it down to a few. So let’s give it a whirl, huh?
First try was an all cheese cracker. I figured this would be easy and that I’d like it, because I love burnt cheese… on a pizza or nachos, etc… Mmm chewy deliciousness… contact high just thinking about it… Mmmm mmm mm m
ANYWAY. This is what I was going for: added jalapeños are a bonus!
Thinking they might turn out like this:
Let’s analyze this almost-epic-fail;
I loved the lacy, crispy texture
They smelled delish
Probably tasted great… I say probably because I could not get them off the damn foil
I thought if I tried to move them while warm the spatula would smooosh the whole thing into a roll. So… waited until they cooled, thinking I could peel them off… NOPE. I got a few crumply pieces to taste, then tossed it all in the trash 😦
Lessons learned: Use parchment paper. Cook at a lower temp for longer. Try again tomorrow. I’ll let you know!
FUN random realization: My artist friend, Ish, sees a face in everything… notice the jalapeño saying “OHH Nooo” !!
When I was a kid 4th of July was the most embarrasing day of the year. My mom got all crazy patriotic excited over Independence Day…
Decked out in her red, white, and blue, Mom would parade around the house marching to John Phillip Sousa music holding an empty paper towel roll as her “baton” ala Robert Preston in The Music Man. We’d laugh and roll our eyes at her – she didn’t care.
Zoom ahead many years – she LOVED taking my little boys to the neighborhood July 4th Parade… I saw it as a way to sleep in a little on a day off; thank you mom!
Then we began to take her to the parade… it has always been a fun day for us.
Yesterday, July 4th, I went to her place – drove in, parked; heading to the entrance I looked up to a “yoo-hoo” and there was Mom in her July 4th splendor waving joyfully from her flag draped balcony – no paper towel role, tho, haha!
I walked in to a photo session happening in the lobby.
Six of the vets who live there had just returned from the neighborhood parade. They rode in little red corvettes and waved at the crowd. One of them is 99 and fought in WWII, a real character.
Mom said she had watched them leave, roaring off in the corvettes and had gotten very emotional watching them go. It was sweet and lovely.
I was there to help sync her phone/be tech support. When I opened up her iTunes I had to laugh out loud at her music: John Phillip Sousa!!
Her “Go USA” spirit has always been awesome… I’m proud to be the Yankee Doodle Darlin’s Daughter.