Done And Out In 2015

The years is drawing to a close, and it’s time to wrap it up. I mean, how much more can happen between now and the New Year? So here’s a summation and the outlook for 2016.

Landscape Revolution

Five years ago the builder completed our new home in San Antonio, leaving installed two of the smallest live oak trees out back. Most of the rest was grass. I looked at the trees back then and thought, “That’s cute.”

Not cute anymore. These buggers have grown. The sunlit back yard was starting to resemble the Big Thicket. It was becoming obvious the days of the grass were numbered. I thought, “Why wait?”

Here’s how the trees looked after three years. Even then they were not much of a threat. Our house is the one inside the black rectangle.

HouseSatelliteTrees

By early 2015 it was becoming obvious something had to go. That something was the grass.

2014 saw the beginnings of our grass elimination program. It started with seven cubic yards of grass-begone.

EastYard

Yes, the side yard, as well.

SouthYard

This year the project resumed with a vengeance. Another seven cubic yards arrived on my driveway. Here is a pictorial of the progression from 2013 to 2015.

BackYardGrass2013

BackYard2014

BackYardGrass2014

BackYardNoGrass

I documented the project with a series of comical video clips. Here they are in more or less chronological order:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DFbnvqlQWLw

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yl8hFgtc_S8

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5-ZieNoSkTQ

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZS7oYsAFKT0

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rCX4BC0l3Ak

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fd59-1_DrwM

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OjdI8iwNA5Q

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wS2x-lnmG7g

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bjTiwt-UchA

And that was the end of the grass. In the mean time, Barbara was making drapes.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8vUQo3zFCRo

She was also busy winding yarn.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LiAx1w7qBRU

Came cooler weather, and it was time to take vacation. We hitched up the Camry and headed out Interstate 10 from San Antonio.

Out of Texas for the first time, Barbara’s new Camry posed for the traditional photo at Texas Canyon in Arizona.

TexasCanyon2015

Out to Tucson first and a visit to the Mission San Xavier del Bac. Restoration work is now complete, and it’s living up to its name, the White Dove of the Desert.

MissionSanXavierDelBac2015-03

MissionSanXavierDelBac2015-02

MissionSanXavierDelBac2015-01

It’s always fun to stop and sight see in Tubac.

Tubac2015-01

Tubac2015-02

And, there were sights to see on the way to Sedona.

MartiansWelcom

Driving through the Navajo Nation, we stopped at a Conoco station and noted that Dottie Sloan had for some reason worn out her welcome.

DottieSloanStillNotWelcome

Our stay in Sedona was a week of chilling out at Los Abrigados Resort.

Abrigados-04

Abrigados-06

Lounging around at Tlaquepaque next door makes for a relaxing evening.

Tlaquepaque-02

Tlaquepaque-01

Tlaquepaque-03.jpg

Not so relaxing, a side trip to Grand Canyon.

GrandCanyon

Next, five days at Zion National Park.

ZionWalk01

ZionWalk05

ZionWalk04

ZionWalk06

ZionWalk11

ZionWalk12

Then it was time to head back to San Antonio. On the way, a stop at Monument Valley. We wimped out and lounged around the visitors center, where I took some videos.

MonumentValley03

MonumentValley04

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BQhQzRSIDJ0

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DnwFKLpLsbY

Even shots from the highway are spectacular.

MonumentValley01

MonumentValley02

Canyon de Chelley was on the way back to New Mexico.

CanyonDeChelly01

CanyonDeChelly05

CanyonDeChelly04

It was the day John turned 75.

CanyonDeChelly75

Something we always wanted to see again was the Very Large Array, outside of Socorro, New Mexico. It’s always an impressive sight, your tax money doing serious science.

VLA05

VLA08

VLA10

VLA04

Vacation over, we enjoyed time with friends in San Antonio. In December it was the Tamales Festival at Pearl Brewery.

Tamales2015-01

Tamales2015-02

Tamales2015-05

Tamales2015-08

Coming up next, Christmas with the in-laws and a visit with my daughter and grandson.

Winding down the year, we are preparing to take some time off in January. This retirement is hard work. We head out on New Year’s Eve for Spain and will start 2016 in Madrid. Then it’s on to Barcelona, Tarragona, Seville, Malaga, and parts in between, with maybe a stop in Ronda.

RondaHorse

It’s the day before Christmas 2015, and there is still some left in the year. Come back later to see any additions.

Photos to follow.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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About John Blanton

I'm a retired engineer living in San Antonio, Texas. I have served in the Navy, raced motorcycles, taken scads of photos and am usually a nice guy. I have political and religious opinions, and these opinions tend to be driven by an excess of observed stupidity. Gross stupidity is the supposed target of many of my posts.
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