Friday, August 8, 2008


At a recent book-signing over in Blanco, the subject of Barbara Kingsolver came up. I had never read any of her other books, but absolutely loved Animal, Vegetable, Miracle, and felt that it had spawned a revolution here in the states, regarding how we think about our food, where it comes from and how it is raised. I consider her to be a woman on the cutting edge. So, imagine my surprise when Pamela Arnosky expressed her disgust over Kingsolver's getting so mushy and namby pamby in her old age. I admitted that I wasn't familiar with her earlier work, and asked just what she meant by that. "I have four kids myself," she replied. "It's just not warm and fuzzy all the time, the way she makes it out to be in this book. I don't know what's happened to her, but in the early days, she was something else - that girl really had an edge!"

Well, I suppose life happens. Whenever I see or read anything about the sixties and seventies, then think about politics and greed today, I find myself asking the same thing - what the hell happened? Where did all those idealistic people go? Still, compared to most, I think Kingsolver is pretty much out there on the edge, even if she does glorify motherhood. But Pamela's comments did get me curious, so I picked up a copy of The Bean Trees the other day. Though I haven't read but a few pages, I have to admit, she had me at hello. Can't wait to get my hands on The Poisonwood Bible now!

And, speaking of women on the cutting edge, you'll never guess what John gave me yesterday. My hubby loves to shop more than any man I know. He especially loves to shop for gizmos. I have learned to be very cautious about what I say, because the most casual comment I make about something in a magazine or the news, can send him running to the store to get it for me. "What a wonderful husband!" I'm sure you are thinking, and it's true, he is. The only problem is that I have piles and piles of electronic devices lying around that I am never going to use, because instruction manuals and I just don't get along, for the most part. I cry each time he makes me get a new cell phone, because I just got comfortable with the old one. This time he did good though. I happened to make a comment about how I just can't seem to catch up with the rest of the world. By the time I became proficient with emailing, it had become obsolete, and my kids won't do anything but IM or Text-message. Then, now that I'm finally feeling comfortable with this whole blogging thing, I discover that I'm hopelessly outdated, because I don't post any videos on mine. Suddenly I am the proud owner of the most precious little digital movie camera that fits in the palm of my hand. So move over Midlife Gals, you're about to have some competition when it comes to crazy blog videos. Or, you might, if I can figure out how to do it before the technology becomes obsolete.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008


When son Austin and his pup Guinness showed up one Saturday not long ago, we gave him the choice of a luxurious multi-course dinner at the Mandola Winery, or BBQ at the Salt Lick. He chose Salt Lick. As it was the 4th of July, it seemed appropriate. I felt a little guilty for not wanting to crank up our grill just for the three of us on such a hot day, and thought we'd be about the only ones there, but boy howdy, that place was packed!

The Salt Lick is an institution in the Hill Country, and people drive from all around to eat here (and they'll even mail the stuff to you if you can't get here). It was so named because a salt lick is a place where animals congregate, and if you were to show up on a fall evening after a UT home game, you would see just how appropriate that is. My only disappointment this visit was that the young guy who's usually out in the courtyard where people wait for a table, making fresh squeezed lemonade, was nowhere to be seen. Truth be told, I look forward to the lemonade even more than the barbecue.

Monday, August 4, 2008


Yesterday I came across the ultimate example of poor marketing. I was reading the local newspaper, when out of the corner of my eye I spotted an ad for one of those million dollar Hill Country properties. The competition is fairly stiff when it comes to unloading one of those boogers, especially in an economic gully like the one we are in right now. You are pretty much dependent on finding some uber-rich city schmuck to take it off your hands. That being the case, who in their right mind would submit an ad, in big print for all the world to see, which proclaims that you named your house "Casa de Scorpio"? Isn't that a tidbit you should share with them after they have signed on the dotted line?

Sunday, August 3, 2008


Merlot Mom posted a great little article over on Midlife Bloggers this morning ( It was called The Gift: An Open Letter To My Kids, and it was about how mommies grow up too, and eventually learn that it's OK to put themselves first sometimes.

I remember it as if it were yesterday, the day my kids finally realized that a new world order had been established in our household. After I discovered a passion for gardening, took a part-time job with a landscaper, and went back to school to study horticulture, I gradually started letting the kids do more and more things for themselves. It took them a while to notice. One day one of them, who was soon to head off to college, told me that they needed a dental appointment. "There's the phone, and there's the address book," I replied. They just stood there for a moment, mouth agape and hands on hips. Finally they sputtered "What is with this 'make them do it for themselves' kick you are on!" Head cocked in tender amusement, I replied "Babe. It's called 'allowing them to become adults' !"


Half my plants are dead, there's no food in the house, the creek is still bone dry (despite the 2 1/2 inches of rain we supposedly got last week), my hummingbirds have probably jumped ship and gone elsewhere, and I've got piles of dirty clothes to haul to the laundromat, since our washer and dryer are still in Houston. It's the happiest day of my life!

The oddest thing about being a caretaker in Dallas these past two weeks, was that the easier it got, the harder it was. At first, when Carolyn was in the hospital, Mom was at home needing attention, and I was running back and forth between the two of them, the days just flew by. When Carolyn got home, she needed lots of assistance, and Mom needed three meals and three snacks a day (and lots of attention). We had loads of people calling and dropping by, a physical therapist coming to work with Carolyn, and many quick errands to run while he was here with her, since that was the only time I could leave the house. My favorite part of the day was when Carolyn was strapped into her torture machine, and needed me nearby to keep an eye on things, because that was when I finally got to sit down at the computer for a few minutes.

As the days wore on, Carolyn finally started to feel a bit better and was able to do more and more for herself, but we still couldn't leave the house at all. The calls and the visitors subsided, and I grew sick to death of sitting on my tuckus, reading, and watching HGTV. The last couple of days were the s l o w e s t d a y s o f m y l i f e ...

But now I'm back!