Saturday, April 26, 2008


If you recall, I was just in Dallas a couple of weeks ago, taking care of my mom while the sister that she lives with was away on vacation. I was already scheduled to come back again today, this time to take care of my other sister. She just had both knees replaced, and her husband is leaving for Utah tomorrow to officiate in his niece's wedding. In the meantime, I got a call from sister number one saying that she had to rush Mom to the hospital last Friday in the middle of the night. Turns out she has pneumonia and congestive heart failure. So, I rushed up here Wednesday as soon as I got off work, to take over hospital duties with Mom for a few days, then passed the torch back to sister number one, so I could come take care of number two. Things are never dull in Dallas. Never fun, but never dull.

All this is by way of apology for not having anything new from the Hill Country to report this week. I promise to make up for lost time, as soon as I get back there!(hopefully Thursday evening)

Hill Country Hippie

Thursday, April 24, 2008


In almost every city we have lived in, I have somehow managed to find a group of women who met once a week on an informal basis. The official designations varied widely - in Bahrain it was the Mah Jong group, in Houston it was the Share Group, in Midland it was the Friday Lunch Bunch, and in Plano it was the Bagel Babes - but the true purpose was always the same. In each group I found women with shared interests who were looking for, and providing, support and encouragement.

In Bahrain they taught me how to survive and flourish in a foreign country. In Houston they helped me through the loneliness and fear of being a new mother who's family support group was far away. In Midland they gave me adult conversation in a world filled with sippy cups and childish chatter. In Plano they kept me up to date on everything that was really going on at the middle school and high school (all those little details that your kids forget to mention). In Katy they gave me a peek into the future, and helped me focus on where I wanted to go and who I wanted to be, once my world no longer revolved around my children.

This week I became part of a new group - the Wimberley Wowies. I've been keeping in touch with several of the women I met at WOW, and we send each other emails when we hear of some interesting event that's coming up. Sometimes we get together for an art showing, a book signing, or a musical event. Each is very talented and extremely interesting, so it's always fun to hear what they have been up to since I saw them last. A couple of days ago I suggested that we meet up at Maui Wowi, a local coffeehouse, so that I could hear about Cheryl's house that she and her husband are building themselves, Deb's amazing garden projects and geological excursions, and Debi's adventures with the Earth Tribe. We had only intended to grab a quick coffee and go, but 2 1/2 hours later there was still much to be shared. We unanimously agreed that a weekly catch-up at Maui Wowi was called for.

I think this is the group that will help me grow and blossom into all that God intended for me to be. Not just someone's wife or mother, but the gen-u-ine, authentic, real and wonderful me!

Tuesday, April 22, 2008


In Wimberley, we buy our plants at King Feed & Hardware. On any given day, you might find any number of things that you aren't going to see at your average chain garden center. Here are a few I spotted yesterday: a couple of different wild beast attractants (from the packaging, I must assume that some people actually want javelinas rooting up their yards?), baby ducks, little chickies, and last but not least, Deer Chow (for antler and growth), brought to you by the makers of Puppy Chow.

Sunday, April 20, 2008


Spring has sprung. In the Hill Country, that means a frenzied round of festivals and fundraisers, and being forced to pick and choose amongst them when you really want to do it all. I had to work the first two days that John was here last week, and felt guilty for neglecting him. When he suggested that we go to Austin on Saturday for lunch and a movie, I immediately said "Sure, sounds fun!" without even checking the calendar. As we were crawling into bed that evening, the phone rang. It was Linda Wong, my best friend from high school, reminding me that she would be in Austin this weekend visiting her daughter at UT, so we made plans to meet up with her after the movie.

We went to see Leatherheads, with George Clooney and Renee Zellweger, then headed down to the Drag, to meet Linda in front of the University Co-op. We were looking for a coffee house or someplace where we could just hang out and visit for a while, and ended up wandering across the street to the Student Union building on the UT campus. It was kind of strange, walking past the information desk where I worked my entire senior year of college, then taking our tea out to the courtyard where I spent many an hour just hanging out with friends in the early 70's. Back when John and I brought our teen-aged kids here to tour the campus, we kept asking ourselves "Can it really be more than 30 years since we came to tour the campus ourselves? In a way, it seems like yesterday!" This time we were asking ourselves "Can it really be almost 20 years since we brought little 8 year old Alexis here, and started trying to turn her blood burnt orange?" (It didn't work. We even named our son Austin, for heavens sake, and where did he go? College Station!) Where does the time go?

John wandered off with his camera, and left Linda and I there to gab for a couple of hours, then finally came back when he got hungry. Linda checked in with her daughter who, as it turns out, had just finished eating lunch at 5:00, so we were able to whisk Linda off to dinner with us at Mandola Market. After Damian Mandola sold off his share of the Carraba's chain in order to move to the Hill Country, his first venture was to open Mandola Market. It is modeled after an old fashioned Italian neighborhood grocery and cafe, and serves many of the same yummy dishes that we ate at the Mandola Winery in Driftwood. In addition, it actually does have a grocery and deli section (where I picked up the prosciutto and mozzarella I mentioned before), as well as a bakery area and a gelato case. Afterwards we took Linda back to her daughter's condo (which would make a fabulous pied-a-terre for George and Linda, after Melanie graduates). What a lovely day!

When I finally did get around to checking my calendar, I realized that I had missed the herb society's plant sale, the annual pie social, the monthly Wimberly Wordsmiths' meeting, the Austin Food and Wine Festival, a photo exhibit and reception at Texas State, and the play Death Trap, which was being staged by the Wimberley Players. Oh well, you can't do it all, and I honestly don't see how anything could have been more pleasant than the day we actually had.