our screened porch

I love our screened porch. It is more of a sneak preview of a screened porch than the bona fide deal. But I love it anyway.

There is something so relaxing and right about sitting in it. Ever since Geoff rigged it up last weekend, we have eaten every single meal out there. Every single one. That should tell you something.

The other day, Owen and Willow and I sat outside, protected by the shelter of the porch and the screens, and watched a big storm roll in. My mom and I used to do the same thing from her porch, only it was the front of her house, not the back, and it was minus the screens. I imagine people having watched storms for eons… from the shelter of caves and other structures. It resonates with my soul, and I love that I can pass this small joy on to my children (I hope).

For the past several years, Owen has been afraid of storms, wanting to be inside, away from the crashes, but for a long while I have deeply wanted him to feel the energy of a good thunderstorm. I knew he would be hooked if he did. And now, I think he does. He sat on my lap, next to Willow, and we just watched and waited, feeling the wind kick up and watching the trees sway.

During the very first storm after Geoff and I moved to this house, I noted that the experience of storms is different here than at my childhood home. Here, because of all the tall trees, we’re really in the middle of it all. At my mom’s, on a high hill, one feels more detached. It’s still a moving experience, but it is definitely different. Different caves, different perspectives.

It is interesting to imagine what Owen and Willow will take from having grown up here in this house… the smells, the light, the swaying trees, and now the porch in a storm.


One night, in the not-too-distant past, Owen roared in his sleep.

Picture Explosion


Our super-sweet Spoetzl was euthanized this afternoon, passing away peacefully, after his quality of life took a sudden, unexpected down-turn Saturday evening.

Named after Kosmos Spoetzl, who founded the Shiner Brewery, we adopted Spoetzl from the Boulder County SPCA when he was about six months old and just a couple of months after we moved there in 1994.  Prior to this, Spoetzl had been hit by a car, damaging his hips.  Up until the last couple of years, he was able to lead an extremely active life.

Spoetzl was incredibly loyal, affectionate, and loving.  He even loved to groom Chiquita, our cat.  I’d be lying if I said this was easy.  He was especially loyal to Monica, whom he followed around the house like a lost puppy up until the end.  Monica was with him when he passed.

I don’t normally ask such things, but the next time you see a contribution to a pet shelter set up, throw a couple of bucks in there for Spoetzl.

Our best thoughts,
The Muellers

Spoetzl Mueller
March 15, 1994 – May 14, 2007


I know I still owe some pictorials. I’ll get those posted ASAP.

Unfortunately, something else is distracting me at the moment. Spoetzl has very suddenly taken a drastic turn for the worse. He’s almost completely unable to move, and he’s not eating at all. I’m not hopeful.

We’ll post an update here later.

Inka and Spoetzl

Coming soon…

I have been putting together a ton of pictorials to post, catching up all the way back to October.  And, especially since we got the new camera, there’s a lot on the way.  I hope to do this in the next few days, so stay stuned!

Post-op Update: Back in the saddle again

OK, back in the saddle if said saddle is really padded and it caresses my bum lightly and lovingly.

According to the doctor, the back surgery was a success.  In fact, it already feels like it.  For the first time in a very long time, I don’t have a grabbing sensation in my left leg with every step.  It’ll be a while before I feel the results of the fusion, but, overall, I feel pretty well.

The wacky parts.  Any male who gets a catheter should also receive a Medal of Freedom.  After all, we’ve earned it more than some prior recipients.  Finally, there must be a better way to remove one than play tug of war with it.  I didn’t really understand what was happening when the guy started counting “One, two, THREE!,” but three was a dead giveaway.

My two biggest problems are gas and the post anesthesia hits.  More so than the actual incisions, the gas pains have been, at times, extremely painful.  This has impacted my ability to get up and down.  It’s true that bowels don’t appreciate being juggled.  Who knew?

Finally, every once in a while I am overcome with fatigue…as just happened.  It’s loads of fun falling asleep on the toilet or while walking.  It’s the coolest way to impress your friends, kids!

As far tomorrow, my offer still stands.  If a couple of volunteers can help with the smoker, we can bring it on over there.  Wood has already been chopped, and it’s be a matter of putting the sausage on about 1 ½ hours before the party starts.  Get the charcoal going about 45 minutes before that, and it’s all good.  To me, it’s a matter of 20 minutes worth of work and having an entire smoker filled vs. grilling for a really, really long time.  From past experience, I know which one I think is easier.

Thanks to everybody for the wonderful support.  It is so much appreciated.


All about Papa

Yeah, it’s been a while since I have done anything with the site. But, in another spastic moment, that’ll be changing soon.

On Thursday, I’m having back surgery, so I’ll be kinda laid out for a few days. In the meantime, I hope to post plenty of new photo collections we have. In January, we bought a new Canon Digital SLR, and it rocks the cat box. We have tons of pictures, and the quality of this camera is leaps and bounds above the last one (a six year old digital).

So, this is a heads up if anyone has even been visiting lately. I really do hope to do more with the site. And, here’s some “proof.”

What I’m listening to: Balkan Beat Box.

Willow Album

An album devoted to Willow and Owen. No captions necessary.  Taken when she was one month old.

Album: The Austin Zoo

A trip to the Austin Zoo and then some!

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