Just log into Pinterest, and it’s clear it’s a trend: decorative posters featuring large, boldface type motivational quotes. I’m hopping on the “be your beautiful self” bandwagon!! This is my truth.

Poster: Yourself.


The Future

Because, we don’t know what the future holds! And waiting for some certainty to shape it will result in effectively doing nothing. And how ridiculous is that? When will we ever know what lies ahead? Plus! Be fully in charge of what we’re doing with it??

In fact, this lot was one of the original spaces to inspire The Abandoned Car Lots Photo Project Series. It’s sat vacant at the busy intersection of I-35 and Ben White in Austin, TX for at least 5 years now. Once impeded with heavy traffic for a lack of adequate on/off ramps for this intersection, and then by the ensuing construction of them, a flyover from Ben White to I-35 South opened in December 2011. The Texas Department of Transportation has a surprisingly stunning collection of photos from the 2-year construction project.

TX DOT photo archive from I-35/290 interchange construction. Dated: 6/30/11

Howdy Honda’s old lot now sits in the shadows of this knot of highways.

I-35 Embraces Howdy Honda.

View of Howdy Honda doing a U-Turn under I-35

The whole perimeter is overgrown with once decorative plants. It still appeared to be mowed near the street.

A Ditch Missing its Grates

Two buildings and a body shop are in the corner lot of the intersection. There’s another sales building and lot across the street. I imagine myself being inside this buildling, an employee of Howdy Honda, and gazing out these aquarium looking windows.

Boarded Sales Building

Detail of boarded up body shop.

Dirt, Boards, Posts.

And stairs up to the aquarium sales building.

Rusting Stairs

Second in the Abandoned Car Lots Photo Project Series: Lone Star Auto on Broadway St.  Broadway is a main thoroughfare, which stretches between San Antonio’s Downtown – The Alamo! The Riverwalk! – to Alamo Heights, an upscale neighborhood/mini-town with its own police force and school district. Between the two is an area once dominated by large manufacturing plants, and now occupied by working class folks left in the wake of their closing. With little, other business to support the area, the city is now working to fill this “economic gap,” and much revitalization (gentrification?) with restaurants, mixed use commercial space, and high-end urban living spaces is steadily cropping up.  The car lot sits here, and has been vacant since December 2009.

Lone Star Auto: Locked Business

As far as these mega-sales auto places go, the Lone Star Auto Lot is small. The sales lot, which houses a showroom/sales building and parts warehouse, occupies a city block.

Show Building Profile

Parts Are To The Left

Bits and pieces of once festive banner-flags wave from their original places.

Banner Decorations Remain

The location of this place has made it a refuge to some homeless. The awesome remains of this car wash offers shelter and places to hang and store goods.

Car Wash : Sleeping Shelter

The former body shop is on a lot separate from the sales area, and is set back from Broadway’s traffic, making it especially prime for the homeless. I met a guy, camped out reading, while another woman slept under the shade of the awning. I did not take their pictures for respect of their privacy.

Shade of Body Shop Office

More Shelter

This site really begs a lot of questions for me about city development and how to re-purpose these spaces. They must be re-purposed, right??

The first in the undertaking of the Abandoned Car Lots Photo Project Series.  This lot, located on Bandera Rd near 410, in San Antonio, TX, sits near a massive on-ramp to the highway. It has been vacant for at least 7 years.

Welcome to Fiesta

The lot has three office buildings (that are really like having a tin can as a phone)  with additional garage-workshop spaces in the back. This is one of the office buildings.

Fiesta: an office building and lot

This is the backside of that same building.

Fiesta: back of office building

Just getting the details here. A lone trash bag on the edge of the lot. The stones you see at the top, on the other side of the street, make up the entrance ramp to the highway.

Lot Edge

More details.

Outlet Unplugged

I’m pretty sure the barbwire existed before the lot was left vacant, and served as a deterrent from theft of the new cars housed there. Now it just augments the idea of the lot’s abandonment.

Barbed Wire Fence

I find these spaces captivating. How long they sit there: unoccupied, growing wild in the midst of an urban space. I think they’re beautiful.

And I have this love of photo taking with disposable cameras. What effects the light, the film, the developing process will have is to be seen only when I get the pictures from the store. The element of transience is everything.

So that I capture abandoned car lots with disposable cameras seems to be right. None of these photos have been edited whatsoever.

Can’t find blinds to perfectly fit your window at home? Planting a garden for Spring and want to keep track of your seedlings? Turns out these household conundrums can complement one another!


Use the trimmings from your window blinds to identify your Spring seedlings!

If you’re a teacher, this would be a great activity where kids can help. You could even get technical, research together, and write on the labels what growing conditions are best and the seasonality of the plant. It could also be applied to counting and/or labeling activities. Such as, making sign posts for cups of pinto beans, kernels of corn, etc. that identify the names of the objects and include the count number (that they counted…and labeled…). Yay!Image

Save the trimmings when you cut your plastic blinds down to size.

Use permanent marker to write the name of your seedlings, plants, etc. on one end of the trimming.
The blind material + permanent marker = some magic that allows your signpost names to endure the weather…for years!

Voila! They are ready for your garden bed.

Sweet dreamy Spring, seedlings!


Rita Sturzbecher of The Little Aussie Bakery

This fabulous idea was given to me by Rita Sturzbecher. She’s the co-founder, co-owner, and baking talent of The Little Aussie Bakery and Cafe, mother of four, devoted caretaker of neglected and feral cats, and whose passions and talents are many. (though she probably doesn’t imagine or want you thinking of her as some kind of motherly, earthly sweetheart) In her next life, she says, she’ll be a gardener.