West Run Photos

This is the third installment of my photography project – running in four different directions and taking pictures of at least 5 interesting things I find. I must admit, I was very nervous about this one, after all I know what’s to the West of my office building…more state office buildings. I was pleasantly surprised at what I found along the way.


The Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired has a wonderfully remodeled campus which includes this sign on their main building. It may be “Braille for giants” as a friend noted once but I think it looks cool. An interesting tidbit about the coolness of this place – last year they entered their first team (of completely blind students) into the First Lego League robotics national competition and kicked some ass!

Sunshine Community Garden 3 Sunshine Community Garden 2 Sunshine Community Garden

The Sunshine Community Garden is just what the name implies, a collaborative project created by members of the community, who share both the maintenance and rewards of the garden.They also have a library available and regular plant sales. Recently volunteers built a few raised beds for gardening accessibly.

DARS Office Park 2 DARS Office park

The Texas Department of Assistive and Rehabilitative Services has a nice and shady courtyard area beside the Criss Cole Rehabilitation Center.

Criss Cole Statue

And speaking of the Criss Cole Rehabilitation Center, they have a wonderful statue Judge Criss Cole, their namesake, who lost his sight while serving as a Marine during World War II. As a member of the Texas House of Representatives from 1955 to 1962 and the Texas Senate from 1963 to 1970, he was instrumental in improving services for all people with disabilities.

The Triangle Slew

The Triangle is an apartment complex built a few years ago on top of prime real estate. The $1300/month efficiency kind of place. I climbed up to a bridge that I drive by every day but never knew what was on the other side. Some may call this a park, a pond, or a water feature, but basically it’s a slew that was created from building the base of the apartments.


South Run Photos

Part two of my running photo project comes from the South side of my office building.

candle cactus
Candle Cactus – I do not know the official name of this cactus, but it commonly known as “Candle” cactus. A former co-worker of mine would cut pieces off, let it dry completely out and then use it as a pedestal to display geodes. When it dries out it appears like a cylindrical wood lattice.

Hyde Park Baptist's bricked in rose window Hyde Park Baptist Church
Hyde Park Baptist Church and Rose Window – This massive church is hard to pass by with out ogling at it. The rose window is from their old chapel and sadly bricked up. Unfortunately most ecumenical insurance companies require that your glass windows be covered with plexiglass OR you have to use colored plexiglass as the material for your stained “glass” windows.

Avenue F sidewalk
Narnia – I found myself running up on a shady character in the neighborhood several months ago and decided to take a turn down a different street. Lo and behold I found Narnia – shaded the whole way to the point where I turn around and double-back.

gabled house
Home – Along Narnia’s pathway I came across one of the many well-manicured lawns and this wonderful house with character.

decorative iron gate
Artistic gate – Another street I decided to take on a whim came with this great iron gate.

private pond
Private pond – Also along Narnia’s pathway is a private pond on yet another well-manicured lawn. This property is also a certified natural habitat, right in the middle town!

Shipe Park


Shipe Park – I love Shipe Park the most. We would take Chatterbox here to play after my neonatal appointments with Hugs. It has two pools, swings, basketball, tennis, and a playscape. When I run by it I always wonder what Chatterbox and Hugs are up to.

Fork Sign outside Hyde Park Bar and Grill
Hyde Park Bar and Grill – For the South Run Photo finale I have the Hyde Park Bar and Grill’s giant fork sign. It’s murder to have to run passed this place, wonderful smells!

East Run Photos

While I change up my running routes periodically, I stick to the same neighborhood near my office. As a photography project, I thought I might run in four different directions of my office and snap pictures of at least five interesting things I see on the route.

From my familiar east side route I found the following:

Elizabet Ney Museum

Elizabeth Ney Museum

Austin State Hospital Cemetery

Austin State Hospital Cemetery

Pride of Barbados

Pride of Barbados – these plants have been popping up all over Austin. They take full sun and are drought resistant. And I love the colorful blooms.

The Peddler Bicycle Shop

The Peddler Bicycle Shop – one of the best bike shops in Austin.

large metal rooster

Giant metal Rooster – these too have become increasingly popular, and not just roosters but armadillos, flamingos, and longhorns.

mosaic of a tree in concrete

Mosaic laid in the concrete of a walking path.

What’s in My Locker

I am fortunate to have access to a shower/locker room in the building I work in. This works out so well since the best time for me to fit in running is during my lunch breaks. When the temperatures start reaching into the 90’s and above, my lunch breaks get earlier and earlier in the day.

What do I keep in my locker?

running gear
yoga mat
jump rope
resistance band
dumb bells
bug repellent
My locker


My maternal great-grandparents were Irish; my sons and I have inherited every once of their Irish skin…yep we are as pale as pale could get with out actually being albino. We burn, peel, and are still pale. That coupled with my paternal grandfather having skin cancer as well as several friends and co-workers has made me the sunscreen fanatic.

Before every run and before playing outside, everyone gets lathered up with sunscreen. With the recent changes in federal law regarding sunscreen labels, I thought it would be a great time to write about the best out there while we’re in the height of summer. However, I came away almost more confused than I was before the new laws. I would always go with the highest SPF I could find and usually stuck to the “baby” friendly labels so the whole family could use it.

We had been using our local grocery store’s (HEB) brand, HEB Solutions Sunscreen labeled for kids, SPF 70+, tear-free, waterproof, and sweatproof. While looking for a replacement we selected the same brand, labeled for baby, sensitive skin, SPF 60 broad spectrum, and it’s supposed to dry as a powder, thus not leaving you with the greasy feeling. I thought that would be a good thing…no…it’s not a good thing. It doubles the application time because you really have to work it across your skin, it has a wonky smell to it, and when you do start to sweat, you get a nasty residue on your skin. Let me be greasy from now on!


Two articles I did find somewhat helpful are ASK THE EXPERT: Would it be better to use a product that combines insect repellent and sunscreen, or two different products by Pierre George, MD and How to Choose the Best Sunscreen – and Use It Well by Renee Despres. My take-away is that something is better than nothing, don’t skimp on coverage, and reapply frequently.

Locker #5

Locker #5
The infamous keeper of locker #5; no one knows her name, but knows what she looks like. She’s the one who showers with out drawing the curtain so the water pools into the floor. She’s the one who uses spray-on sunscreen that leaves a dangerously slippery mess on the floor in front of my locker. She’s the one who leaves a fine layer of talcum powder on the one bench in the locker room. She’s the one that hogs the one outlet and sink in the restroom even though there’s a line of us waiting behind her. Locker #5, on behalf of lockers #1-4 and #6-30, we have had it with your inconsiderateness and wish upon you a severe case of athlete’s foot.

Running Lessons Wrap Up 21-25

#21 Do not assume the driver stopped at the stop sign will wait for you to cross.

#22 Do not assume the driver will stop at the stop sign.

#23 Do not assume the pecans will crush under your feet. They can become improv roller skates at any moment.

#24 Austin, TX is diverse and “weird” (city slogan is “Keep Austin Weird”) enough that I can wear my WindXtreme headwear like a hijab and no one stares.

#25 Do not attempt your usual run after donating blood. I had not been able to run in a week an half; I was so excited to finally get back out but couldn’t figure out why my heart was racing and I felt so awful…I was so excited I actually forgot I had donated blood the day before.

Running Lessons 11-15…Mommy Arms

#11 Running won’t get rid of “mommy arms”; be sure to lift weights & eat right too.

#12 You know you’re a true runner when you don’t care what color the shoes are. Replace them frequently. I find great deals @ amazon.

#13 No one wants to see humans in spandex, BUT you really do need to protect your skin folds.

#14 Posture is important, even when running.

#15 Don’t hang out w/ naysayers, they are just jealous that you’ll be kicking some serious zombie butt when the apocalypse comes.

Lessons I’ve Learned From Running 6-10

#6 If you’re busty, your back will ache every time you run.

#7 I notice weight loss first in the areas with less fat (ankles, knees, wrists, elbows) which means #6 will be the last place you’ll see it

#8 I run thru a residential area & have almost been run over 3 times now so I forgo the MP3 player, besides many races do not allow them.

#9 Change up your route frequently. I have felt like I was being followed. Only those who are caught wind up on the sex offender list!

#10 The sun is trying to kill you – sunscreen – use it!