Category Archives: Barbara Ellen

Battle of the phones

Bar, tired of battling with Apple over a mistaken id, has a new Android phone. Unfortunately, we haven’t figured out how to run the old locator from the iphones on the Android. Took enough time to get the imessage working and there’s no delivered/read indicator for them. Tiresome.

UPDATE:  We found a perfect locator replacement in the Life360 app, which is basically free and tracks in real-time. Whew.

More painting

More Honey Pecan wall and Bright White baseboards. Minor screwup on crown gets a fix next week when the room is painted Daisy Spell (very light yellow). Otherwise the crown is very nice and we’re going to take it next to the living dining room. These are Barbara Ellen’s color choices but I like them too. Next up: Crystal Pink and a kind of teal.

Honey Pecan

This Valspar (Lowe’s) color of Bar’s choosing went on the dining room walls looking like peach. But after a second coat it dried more yellow—like honey! And sets off her Roasted Pumpkin on the accent wall quite nicely.

Ice

Ice on Ruby this morning, wipers frozen to the windshield, but Bar made it alright to work. Only a few icy patches in the highway before she got there.

Forecast snow didn’t materialize in our portion of Neely’s Canyon. Consumes about eighteen acres and all densely treed so hard to tell about elsewhere. Twenty-nine degrees at Camp Mabry at 8 a.m., probably cooler in the canyon.

Ruby

That’s what Bar calls her new Nissan Rogue Sport. Of course it’s bright red. Somehow we got talked into it after driving a 2017 silver model that was a bit cheaper and had more do-dads. That was Saturday.

The 36-month bumper to bumper warranty was the seller for her and she drove away in the 2019 car with just 17 miles on it. Drove Ruby to work this morning and pronounced the ride so nice that “I didn’t feel a single pebble on the road!” May it be ever thus.

More on Fort Magruder

More from the Austin Chronicle of July 4, 2003: “Homes were built over the location in the mid-20th century in the area called Fortview, and Fort McGruder [sic] Lane runs nearby. An undated brochure attested to historical markers at the site. Today, even they have long since vanished.

“Interestingly, the mid-1990s are when most of the fort’s history was written. Archeologists began research on the area in the spring of 1992 near Wadford and Dunlap streets. Homes covered the area, and the frontage road of Ben White was soon to cover the east-west trench. The team of researchers found where the [L-shaped] trenches were and how they were filled. The north-south trench was 260 feet long and met the 470-foot east-west trench. But no Civil War-era artifacts were unearthed. Not a cannon, not a rifle, not so much as a minié ball.”

By then, of course, the place had been picked over for generations. So how did Bar get her presumed Fort Magruder cannonball? From her mother, who lived in the area and collected odd things, like 1870 French bayonets, and 8-pounder cannonballs. My knowledge of the fort comes from maps and mentions at the Austin History Center.

What are the odds?

Had a chimney guy in last week to inspect the mini-rancho’s fireplace before we use it. He picked up Bar’s cannonball from the hearth, hefted it and asked if it was real. When I said yes, it’s real, he set it down gently.

I said it was Confederate from an old fort in South Austin before there was a South Austin. He said (coincidentally, what are the odds?) he grew up in Pennsylvania and his school classes spent time each year at the Gettysburg battlefield park. Said he had a friend coming down soon and he’d sure like to show him a real civil war fort.

I said the old fort, just earthen berms really with field piece (cannon) revetments cut into them, was near Ben White and South Congress. Somewhere on the northwest corner. All gone now, of course, buried under commercial development. But they can look at it and imagine how it was.

UPDATE: From the Austin Chronicle, July 4, 2003: “‘Archeological and Archival Investigations at Fort Magruder, a Civil War Period Fortification in Austin, Travis County, Texas,’ published by the Texas Department of Transportation, is by far the most comprehensive history of the fort or, more accurately, construction site. ‘The fortifications of Fort Magruder for all practical purpose never got off the ground, and to date no documented evidence has surfaced that Fort Magruder was ever garrisoned by troops for the military threat to Austin never materialized,’ the report said.”