Friday, August 22, 2008


Recently, several people have commented on the fact that John and I are acting awfully mushy these days. One woman, who works with her husband, and sees him all day, every day, told me "I think you and John are on to something, with this living in separate cities. Sure wish I got half as excited about seeing my husband, as you do about yours." So, maybe there is some truth behind that old saying "Absence makes the heart grow fonder." Now, don't get me wrong, I have no intention of keeping this up long term. But for the time being, it has definitely added a certain, je ne sais quoi, to the relationship. It's almost as if we were dating again!

Last time I was in Houston, we had the best of weekends. It reminded me of my sophomore year in college, when John had already graduated and moved off to Houston. Whenever I could hitch a ride in that direction, I would sneak off to visit him for the weekend, and went through all sorts of subterfuge to keep it a secret from my parents. For instance, if they called the dorm at 7:00 AM, as they were known to do, my roomie was trained to tell them that I was in the shower, and that I'd call them back in a minute. Then she would hurriedly contact me in Houston, to give me a heads up.

The best thing about visiting Houston now, is that neither of us has any chores or projects that need to be done there at the townhouse, so we are free to spend the weekend doing whatever we please. On this particular weekend, we started off with a bang by going to see the new movie Bottle Shock, with Alan Rickman. It's based on the true story of a British wine merchant who was living in Paris, and who came up with the world-altering notion of hosting a blind taste test between French and Californian wines. Up until that point, the entire world was convinced that nobody could compete with France when it came to winemaking. When a Napa Valley wine managed to win first place, it turned the entire industry upside down. Nobody can top Rickman when it comes to playing the supercilious British snob.

The next day, at lunch, we tried a great Mexican restaurant down on Washington Ave., called El Tiempo. I think it's probably one of those that has been around forever. They even have their own little grocery store/take out counter next door, where I was able to nab the Cotija cheese I had been searching everywhere for. (I used it to make Mexican Street Corn - Yuuummmm!!!) Afterwards we just wandered around, looking for places to test out my new video camera. We discovered a wonderful little cul de sac of townhomes that were hidden right in the heart of the city, backing up to Buffalo Bayou. "Oh man, this is such a great street," John said, letting out a huge sigh. "You're not having second thoughts about moving away from the city, are you?" I asked. "No, not really," he replied. "That's the great thing about Wimberley. If we get a hankering for museums, movies, music and funky restaurants, we can just head over to Austin like we did on our anniversary, and stay till we've had our city fix. We'll have the best of both worlds." Come to think of it, having a husband and dating him too? Absolutely the best of both worlds!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008


The minute we stepped through the door, we knew something was seriously out of whack. We had just arrived at the Wimberley Cafe for Saturday breakfast, and it was wall-to-wall people. That normally only happens on the first Saturday of each month, due to hoards of visitors hitting town for Market Day, but this was not the first Saturday. As my eyes scanned back and forth across the room, looking for an empty table, they landed on something so out of place that I just couldn't grasp the implications for a moment. What was so jarring? The sight of Miss Bobbie, sitting alone at a small table, out in the middle of a brightly lit room full of noisy people, with a deer-in-the-headlights stare upon her face. Why wasn't she in her special, softly lit and cozy booth over at Cypress Creek Cafe? The one with the window ledge that she decorates for all the holidays, and where she has been sitting, every single morning, for as long as we have been coming to Wimberley!

The answer to that question became all too clear once we stepped back outside, and saw the sign that was tacked to the front of CCC. This cafe and live music venue (and host of our annual jazz festival), that has been the center of the community for the last 27 years, is now up for grabs. Its owner has decided it's time to move on, and everyone in town is wondering "Now what?" According to our local newspaper, The Wimberley View, "there has been varied interest, ranging from a bakery to a microbrewery to another restaurant...As for the music festivals...their fate lies in the hands of the new owner(s)." 'Tis the end of an era.

Monday, August 18, 2008


The primary reason that the Sanfords came to town Saturday, was so that John and Tim could play a round of golf together. John used to play a little golf in Indonesia, because there wasn't much else to do, but since then, he's barely picked up a club. However, Tim and his son Chase have fallen madly in love with the sport in the last couple of years, and finally convinced John and Austin to come play a round with them in College Station a few weeks back. Afterwards, John said he had played a lousy game that day, but had a great time doing it!

Now, if you recall, I've mentioned before that for John, just about anything is a good excuse to go shopping. The very next weekend he was dragging me to the golf shop, where I slumped with glazed eyes, while he checked out everything in the store. Finally I figured out his true intention for being there. "So, you've golfed one time in the last ten years, and already you need a complete new set of clubs, huh?" I asked with a knowing grin. "No, I'm just looking," he replied, sounding insulted. My only response to that was the loudest snort I could muster, because, well, anyone who knows my John, knows there is no such thing as "just looking", as far as my hubby is concerned. If for instance, he suggests going for a drive, then suddenly pulls into a car lot, saying "Why don't we look around, just for the fun of it?", you can bet your bottom dollar there will be a brand new car in the Lane garage, before the month is out.

Sure enough, there was a brand new set of clubs in the garage, next time I went to Houston. I started laughing the minute I spotted them. "So, did these miracle clubs magically transform you into a great golfer?" I asked. "Pretty damn close," he replied. Hey, don't get me wrong. I'm happy for the boy. The way I see it? New golf clubs: $xxx.xx. New shoes: $xx.xx. Green and cart fees: $xxx.xx. A reason to get up off the couch each weekend: Priceless!

Sunday, August 17, 2008


I am so pissed with myself. I can't believe Paula and Tim were here all day yesterday, and I never once thought to pull out either my regular camera, or my new video camera. What a bozo! Oh well, maybe it's for the best. Now I have an excuse to pull out an old photo of them instead, and tell you a funny little story about good ol' Tim.

The reason they are both dressed in black here, is that they are attending a wake in my honor, which my husband surprised me with on the occasion of my 30th birthday. If you think I might have been insulted or saddened by this, you couldn't be further from the truth. At this point in our lives, Paula and I were both flying high as kites. After years of trying to get pregnant, multiple miscarriages on my part, and being told it was hopeless on theirs, we both by some miracle ended up pregnant at the same time, and we were all deliriously happy, proud new parents - they of one-year old Chase, we of 9-month old Alexis.

One of the first things we did, upon entering motherhood, was to host a Discovery Toys party together. It was a company much like Tupperware, only they sold educational toys, and if you hosted a party you got extra stuff for free. One of our favorite toys, which we both purchased, was called the wobble globe. It was a round, clear plastic globe, filled with brightly colored balls in various sizes, and mounted on a suction cup base. It was perfect for sticking to a high chair tray in a restaurant, so the kids could entertain themselves by batting it around and making it wobble. The saleslady's last words to us though, were "Whatever you do, don't let anyone try to stick it on themselves anywhere. It forms such a strong suction that one Dad ended up having to go to the ER to get it peeled off of him. Apparently Tim didn't believe Paula when she told him that, for if you look closely at the photo above, you will see the most humongous hickie ever, smack dab in the middle of Tim's forehead. And it stayed there for quite some time. Try explaining that one to the guys at work!