Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Afternoon Tea At The Alamo


There are four or five Alamo Drafthouse theaters in Austin now, each with its own funky theme and line-up of special events. The newest one is up in N. Austin where our kiddos live, near Lakeline Mall. When daughter Lex heard that they would be hosting a series called Afternoon Tea, she decided to treat me to the first movie in the series as an early Mother's Day present. She knows her mama well! 


We arrived to find our places set with three teacups, as well as a beautiful menu card listing all the treats that were in store for us. First were the three teas we would be served at various intervals throughout the movie, all from Austin's own Zhi Tea.


 Oddly enough, the first two smelled delicious, but tasted pretty funky. The third one's fragrance was very off-putting, so we were almost afraid to try it. How surprising then, to find that it was actually quite delicious! Best of all, it's an African Bush Tea -- the kind which the main character in my very favorite mystery series, The Number One Ladies Detective Agency, consumes in great abundance.

Next were our three "treats", which were brought out all at once just as the movie started, but which we chose to space out, eating each with a different tea.


I thought the first sandwich was pretty bland, but Alexis was relieved to find it so, as she is not a fan of salmon. We both agreed, however, that the other two items were yummy!

Before the movie started, the young woman in charge came out to welcome us and give us some interesting tidbits about the film and its cast. The most surprising thing about the day was just how much I enjoyed this film, considering it was based on a Dickens novel, which are usually so morose! In this one, all the good guys come out on top, and the bad ones get just what they deserve!


At the end of the show, the same young lady returned to tell us about upcoming Afternoon Tea features, including Much Ado About Nothing next month, and Gosford Park the one after that. When she mentioned that last one, all the women in the audience gasped and said "Ooooohhh!" I'm pretty sure you'll find us there.

Monday, April 21, 2014

EASTER GRATITUDE: Kids Who Cook


We had quite the feast here at Seasonality yesterday. Best thing about it was that I had to do so very little of the preparation myself!

I tossed together a Greek Salad, and marinated the meat for Jamie Oliver's Pork Souvlaki, or Wicked Kabobs, which hubby then grilled for me.


Oh yeah, I also charred these peppers under the broiler. Good thing I thought to pull on an oven mitt at the last second, or my hand might have been just as charred and blistered as those peppers, for at one point I noticed flames coming off the glove, and had to beat them out!


Lexie gave Caprese Salad a new spin by making it with cherry tomatoes and little "pearl" mozzarella balls, and throwing in some little pasta shells.


She also made her infamous almond macaroons for dessert, which just melt on your tongue in a sea of almondy goodness, but I was too busy eatin' em to worry about taking pictures.

Son Austin whipped up a batch of Tzatziki for us, and provided the pita bread.


Best of all, there was a granddog there for us to love on all day...


though sadly, not both of them. They haven't quite figured out how to get along just yet.

Hope your weekend was wonderful as well!

Friday, April 18, 2014

YOUTH: It's A State of Mind


 
Yesterday I spent the day with three old friends whom I've known since first grade. One had never been to Wimberley, and another had only been here once, a long time ago. So, of course, I had this huge long mental list of all the things they should see and do while here. How many things did I check off that list? ZERO!

Here's how our day went. First we met up at the coffee shop, and stayed there gabbing until we realized it was already lunch time.

Next we went to Salt Lick, and stayed there gabbing until we realized it was almost time for them to check into their B&B.

We made a quick stop at my house for a Mexican brownie and some hot tea out on the balcony, and stayed there gabbing for a while, then we went by their B&B and got them checked in.

Finally we headed into town, only to realize it was already five o'clock, and most of the stores were already closed!

So we went back to the coffee shop instead, and stayed there gabbing until they started turning the lights out on us.

Finally we headed to The Leaning Pear for dinner, and stayed there gabbing until after dark. It was a very good day.

It wasn't until I was getting ready for bed last night that I finally realized, throughout it all, not one of us had taken a single dang picture!

Here's to friends who know that youth has absolutely nothing to do with one's age!

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

BUSY, BUSY, BUSY!

It's looking to be an exciting week here at Seasonality! Three gals I went through school with from 1st grade through 12th, was in a Girl Scout troop with almost that long, and haven't seen in about twenty-two years, are headed this way. I'll be spending the day tomorrow giving them the Grand Tour of Wimberley.

Crossvine -- it's like a double-dip cone of orange and raspberry sherbet!
The next day our BFF couple, Paula and Tim, are coming to town. The boys are hoping to play a bit of golf Saturday morning -- something that all hubby's little health crises have gotten in the way of for two or three years now. That afternoon they head back to College Station, and I head up to N. Austin to attend an Afternoon Tea event at the Alamo Drafthouse with my daughter. Squee! Then on Sunday the kiddos are all coming here to celebrate Easter with us, when we will combine our efforts to prepare our new favorite tradition, a Greek feast!


I guess you're wondering what these Crossvine photos have to do with this blog post. Absolutely nothing! Well, other than my being so busy that they were pretty much the only pics on my camera that I hadn't already shared with you. Good thing I got them when I did. The night before one of those crazy winds had whipped through the Cantina Garden, just as all these blooms were beginning to open. When I got up that morning, my poor little Iron Maiden was face down in the dirt, and all the blooms were a bit smushed and bruised. I stood her up again and brushed her off, then snapped these photos. Before I even had a chance to go out and buy some longer, sturdier stakes, another wind came through! Yesterday she was down in the dirt again, and her spring outfit is not looking nearly so fine!

Monday, April 14, 2014

COLOR-MAD CANTINA GARDEN

The ceramic totem pole we purchased this weekend was a total impulse buy. We didn't give it much thought, and had no plans for what we would do with it when we got it home. I guess I was thinking about putting it somewhere in my downstairs courtyard garden, while John was probably picturing it somewhere out in his upstairs beds. It ended up going neither place. We decided that it was so fabulous that it needed to be somewhere near our front door, where all our visitors were sure to see it. At first I placed it out on the corner of our porch, over near the bottle tree. But later, when the winds started kicking up and the totem pole started wobbling a bit, we decided to scoot it over here next to the bench, where it was a tad more sheltered from the wind. When we woke up to 35mph winds, with gusts up to 60mph, we were mighty glad we moved it!


Know what's really amazing? This totem pole is not at all my usual colors. I don't do blue for some reason, preferring deep purples and hot reds, oranges, and magentas in my gardens. However, I loved this piece enough to buy it anyway. So, imagine my surprise when we finally chose a spot for it and got it all situated, only to notice this.



The bottle tree and the totem pole have the exact same colors on them! Know what my hubby did when I pointed this out to him? His eyes grew huge, and he gasped "Synchronicity!"

Sunday, April 13, 2014

FESTIVAL FRENZY SEASON & SURPRISING STORIES

My daughter sent me a link to the Austin Busker Festival earlier this week, suggesting we might all want to meet up there. I wrote back saying "Yeah, that does sound fun! Only problem is, we've got at least three things going on at once here in Wimberley this weekend -- the Wimberley Arts Fest, the W.I.C. Pie Social, and a barbecue cook-off!" What can I say? 'Tis the season -- that very brief window when it's not too hot and not too cold. The wildflowers are abloomin', but the skeeters and chiggers are still asnoozin'. Gotta make hay while the sun shines!


Since several of my artsy-fartsy-friends had booths in the festival this year, and since my hubby does love a good piece of apple pie, we opted to stay in Wimberley this weekend. The Arts Fest used to be held in town around the square, but they moved down to the parking area for the Blue Hole last year, and it's working out really well. Vendors can now set their booths up the day before, instead of the morning of, the parking situation is better, everything is closer together, and the bathroom facilities are vastly improved!


First stop was at the Thai Gourmet tent, for some of their thirst-quenching lemonade.

Fiber Art by Inna Miller, from Round Rock, TX
I was fascinated by this booth filled with form-fitting, intricately crocheted and knitted clothing. Reminds me of some of muse Fiber Woman's work, only hers is mostly woven. A young woman with the hint of a lilt to her tongue told me she does all the crocheting, while her mother does the knitting.

So what was the one thing we couldn't live without?

Totem Pole by Ceramic Artist Douglas Oertli, from San Angelo, TX
A totem pole for the cantina garden! Fortunately, they had golf carts to ferry us most of the way back to the car. That stone base alone weighed a friggin' ton! Which is a good thing. I would be very, very sad if this thing were to crash and shatter when the next big wind comes gusting through the garden.


I hate the pie social, hosted every year at the historic Winters-Wimberley House, by the Wimberley Institute of Cultures. Why? Because, unlike my hubby, who heads straight to the apple pie table without a moment's deliberation, I can never make up my mind!


Do I want something fruity? If so, do I want peach? Cherry? Blackberry. What about something creamy? Key Lime? Lemon Meringue? Chess? Buttermilk?

Last year I went with peach, but then I passed the chocolate table, and wondered if I had made the wrong choice. So this year I decided it would be chocolately, but did I want chocolate cream? Chocolate fudge? Chocolate Chip? Finally I gave up and just grabbed this chocolatey, nutty, caramelish thing. Boy, was it good. And rich. Very, very, very rich. After a couple of bites my tummy began to rebel. After three, my toes started to curl. The rest is still in the fridge.


Maybe next year I will finally get it right.

One especially interesting tidbit came out of the event. There is a welder in town named Glen. We were always seeing his truck parked outside of Wimberley Cafe on the weekend, and one day my hubby went over to the geezer table out on the porch and asked "Which one of you owns that truck?" So this fellow Glen ended up fixing a broken gate for us and, just recently, made some new, longer stakes for our bottle tree. He's the only person I know who eats at Mima's even more than me, so we run into each other all the time. Boy, were we ever surprised when we stumbled across a full page spread in the newspaper about him and his illustrious rodeo career! We had no clue. But wait, there's more! We ran into Glen at the pie social. He and my hubby were standing there, comparing whose apple pie slice was bigger, when he casually mentioned that "This used ta be my house." "You grew up here? In the Winters-Wimberley House?" "Nah. It was my grandma's then. She's the one who was a Wimberley. Susie Wimberley. Then after she died it was my mom's. But I was the last one that lived in it, before they sold it to the city." Well Glen boy, you are just full of surprises!

Thursday, April 10, 2014

IS THERE ANYTHING MORE SPRINGY...

than a bunch of bouncing baby goats?




Journal pages inspired by my cheese-making goat-mama friend Lisa Seeger, of Blue Heron Farm, and the absolutely adorable photos she has been posting of her "kids" this spring!