I had a great time in Austin, but my stay there was too short! I mostly sat around watching my kids do things, ate too much great food (my daughter's an excellent cook), ran around town getting a first-hand look at how poor, creative people get what they need for less. My son traded a bicycle frame, parts, and tires for new tires for his own bike. I watched him pirate parts from that bike frame to spiff up his. He's creative and resourceful.
My kids have gardens all over their backyard. I like making a salad from greens picked straight from the garden, only getting what you need, and not having the extras turn brown and slimy in the fridge. My daughter and her boyfriend spent Saturday framing a shed for the washing machine that's in the backyard. Dorothy also rigged up an irrigation system from the washer's draining to water the plants with graywater. It's ingenious, made of pvc pipe and a soaker hose.
I went to Treasure City, a resale shop run totally by volunteers, for their Saturday Sidewalk Sale. Everything outside was 25 cents. We racked up on some good stuff. My son's girlfriend helped start the co-op, and she also works at Ecology Action in Austin. She's a contractor, and she and her roommates are renovating the house they just bought. She's an amazing person.
We also went to Tops, which is an office furniture resale warehouse. I found an excellent desk chair for $10! I'm sitting in it right now, and, I can tell you, it's more comfortable than the straight-back chair I've been using.
My cats missed me. I know this because they have been following me around the house since I got home. I hope they get used to me being here for a while. With gas prices the way they are, I don't think I'll be taking more trips soon, except for driving to and from school. But, when summer gets here, I'll be teaching online, so I won't have to leave the house. And, in the fall, I'll be teaching two online classes, so I'll only be going in two days a week. I'm looking forward to not driving so much.
But, I'm home, and life is good, until I have to pay my taxes!