There are 14 blog entries for December 2011.
Wednesday, December 28th, 2011 at 2:15pm. 1,662 Views, 0 Comments.
Christmas Eve With Tapas
by Celia Hayes
Our family was long in the habit of having pizza on Christmas Eve; it’s easy to organize for a crazy, mixed-up and chaotic evening, with about three generations present. Either take-out or deliverer - even a selection of frozen or ready-made grocery store pizza would do. There’s a variety to suit every taste, everyone can have as much or as little as they like, eat it off paper plates, and clean-up is a snap.
This year, we varied the program, mostly because my mother sent us a massive gift basket from La Tienda, which specializes in the classic foods of Spain, where my daughter and I lived for six years. We fell upon it with cries of happy delight, reminded of certain foods that we loved. There was a box…
Thursday, December 22nd, 2011 at 11:08am. 1,455 Views, 0 Comments.
Take a Hike
Forty-Plus Texas State Parks to Offer Hikes on New Year’s Day as Part of National Program
Written by: Bryan Frazier, Texas State Parks Media Contact (512) 826-8703, [email protected]
Committing to a healthier lifestyle continues to be one of the most popular New Year’s resolutions for millions of Americans. And this year, Texas State Parks are providing more than 40 places where folks can do just that—many of which are located close to major metro areas.
As part of the national umbrella First Day Hikes program set forth by the National Association of State Parks Directors (NASPD), 48 state parks across Texas are scheduled to offer a wide variety of hikes and nature walks this New Year’s Day.
“Hiking outdoors is…
Thursday, December 22nd, 2011 at 7:43am. 1,865 Views, 0 Comments.
‘Tis The Season…
By Celia Hayes
To consider the 153,000th way in which I do not resemble Martha Stewart. Today, I am running a medium-warm iron over sheets of tissue paper, to take out the wrinkles and fold marks. Yes, indeedy, I reuse Christmas tissue paper, which was only slightly crushed and added to the top of a gift bag which we received last year. It’s only slightly used! It’s perfectly good.
I also re-use the heavy paper gift bags, as is our family custom. Some particularly sturdy ones have been circulating for a decade or so, and there are cardboard cartons and a large bag of Styrofoam popcorn in the garage. With a little forethought a sensible person with sufficient storage space need never be caught short of packing materials.…
Wednesday, December 21st, 2011 at 11:24am. 1,804 Views, 0 Comments.
Land, Lotsa Land
by Celia Hayes
So – thinking about land in the here-and-now, after having spent so many months and years considering it, owning a couple of parcels of it – the tiny residential lot where I live now, the scenic and slightly larger bits of it that I hope to purchase someday, once I become the Margaret Mitchell** of the Hill Country, looking wistfully at bits of it that other people have to sell, the acres that I own of it in California and hope eventually to sell to anyone who appreciates pine woods and inaccessible hilltops, and writing deep and meaningful paragraphs about what possession of it meant to all sorts of people ... people who came here because they had a hunger for it, for acres that they could call theirs, that they…
Tuesday, December 20th, 2011 at 8:43am. 1,764 Views, 0 Comments.
Spurs Set to Tip Off NBA Season. . .Finally
by Randy Watson
With the NBA lockout finally over, the NBA will hold an abbreviated pre-season before embarking on an abbreviated season that will get underway on Christmas day. The last time we left the San Antonio Spurs, they had just finished up a successful regular season (division champs) with a most unsuccessful post-season (1st round exit to the Grizzlies). How successful was last year’s regular season? The team won just under 75% of their games, 74.4 to be exact, making it the most successful season in terms of winning percentage since 2005-6. Unfortunately, the 4-2 series loss to the upstart Grizzlies erased most of the good memories of the regular season.
Looking forward to this year, most of…
Monday, December 19th, 2011 at 10:21am. 1,711 Views, 3 Comments.
Written by Randy Watson
November 2011Off-Season Buying Trends Affect Housing Sales and Prices
The San Antonio Board of Realtors (SABOR) released their monthly housing report for the month. 1239 Single family residential homes closed, a 2% decrease from November 2010. The average price declined 8% for a single family home compared to November 2010.
"This month, we saw a sales decrease for homes priced between $200,000 and $500,000, as well as homes priced above the halfmillion dollar mark," said Scott Caballero, SABOR's 2011 Chairman of the Board.
- 1,239 single-family residential homes sold in November 2011.
- $174,861 is the average price of a single-family home, a 8% decrease from November 2010.
- $145,500 is the Median price of a
Friday, December 16th, 2011 at 6:05pm. 3,746 Views, 0 Comments.
Holiday Decorating Tips for New Home-Buyers
By Michelle Hille
You are a first time home-buyer and you’ve just closed on the house that you have always dreamed of. You walk inside and breathe a sigh of happiness knowing that it’s finally yours. And then the sudden gasp of realization that its 10 days before Christmas and you have no decorations in place!
Not to worry, here are 5 fast and easy ways to spruce up the Holiday spirit in your brand new home.Nothing makes a home more inviting and festive than one filled with holiday smelling candles scattered sporadically throughout the house.
* Besides there is a chance that your new home will still smell like paint, so the candles will be a nice cover up for this little problem.
Friday, December 16th, 2011 at 10:18am. 2,707 Views, 0 Comments.
Sales Tax Revenues Continue Recent Trend
by Randy Watson
Texas Comptroller Susan Combs reports total sales tax collections for November jumped 12.2 percent compared with November 2010, marking the 20th consecutive month of year-over-year gains. The gains are attributed to improvement in all major economic sectors including oil and natural gas production, retail trade and restaurants.
Local Sales Tax Allocations
- Cities - $315.8 million — up 8.6 percent from December 2010.
- Counties - $31.3 million — up 13.7 percent from December 2010.
- Transit Systems - $108.7 million — up 10.2 percent from December 2010.
- Special Purpose Taxing Districts - $22.2 million — up 19.5 percent from December 2010.
Read more: Tracking the Texas…
Sunday, December 11th, 2011 at 9:19pm. 2,907 Views, 0 Comments.
Sing We Now of Christmas
by Celia Hayes
And of Christmas presents, and decorations on the tree and mailing out the cards and all ... we really don't have to go shopping actually, since we do that throughout the year. What we do at this time of the year is to turn out the contents of the 'gift closet' – where we had stashed all the things purchased throughout the year with an eye towards this season, wrap them suitably and send them on their merry way. That done, we turn to the entrancing question of 'what to give the neighbors' for Christmas, or more particularly, those neighbors who are also friends. Something to eat is the standard, but fruitcake is ... well, does anyone actually eat fruitcake? Cookies are ... well, everybody does cookies, and I…
Sunday, December 11th, 2011 at 4:35pm. 3,302 Views, 0 Comments.
A Simple Bread Recipe for a Bread Machine
Written by Randy Watson
It is not really winter here in San Antonio, yet. We have not really had any days that have stayed below 50 yet for the whole day. Yea, we did have some really cold days the other day when it got down to 31 overnight. It is 51 degrees at 4:00 this cloudy Sunday afternoon. It was less than a month ago, we were still hitting the century mark on the thermometer, so no, my blood has not thickened up yet.
Although, we are not always known for arctic cold winter snaps in South Texas, sometimes we do get into the twenties or rarely into the teens overnight. Anyway, ever since I was a kid, one of the things my mom started us doing to keep us out of trouble was bake bread when we could not…