Friday, April 10, 2009


"The central character in a life story should have a clear desire line....Your desire is the engine of your story and your desire line is the track it runs on." --- Tristine Rainer

Interesting quote. Just stumbled across it in my journal this morning, and it got me to thinking. It made me realize that my desire for a more reasonable life has been the engine that has lead me to most every decision I've made since I was a teen in the late 60's. It has shaped the path of my life, and brought me to the place where I am now. Thank Heavens! 'Cause if not for that, well, I wouldn't have had, not one, but TWO great parties to go to this week, and John wouldn't have taken this whole week off from work to be here for them.

Last night's revelry was a surprise party in honor of friend Cindy's 50th birthday. This one was also held in the tiny town of Fishcher (over towards Canyon Lake), but instead of being at Fischer Hall, it was held at the new cantina which the owners of Fischer B&B just added to their property. Our musical entertainment was provided by another of Slim Richey's bands (remember Kat's Meow?), called Jitterbug Vipers, and this was another family-style pot-luck dinner-dance.

I'm beginning to realize that volunteering for the board of The Bountiful Sprout was one of the smartest things I ever did. Not only do these people like to party, they also care passionately about their food, so whenever we get together for a pot-luck, we eat good!

Oh, and about that special request. In case you hadn't noticed, I finally figured out that I have a choice when it comes to picture size here, and I really love the look of the larger pictures I have been posting lately. However, I don't want to continue doing that if it is taking way too long for my blog to load, each time you open it. So, PLEASE, let me know if that gets to be a problem, and I will go back to smaller pics!

Meanwhile, PARTY ON!

Thursday, April 9, 2009


May you never cease to be amazed by the beauty that surrounds you. We've had this house for four years now, and at first I worried that I might eventually become jaded - start to take all of this for granted. But nope, not happening! Each time I return from somewhere else, drive up over that rise in the road and suddenly see our valley spread out in front of me, and each time I glance up from my computer to see the hawks performing their spiraling ballet just for me, or I see the sun dipping down behind the hills, infusing the sky with pastel finger-paint patterns, I still feel the need to pinch myself and ask "Is this real? Do I really live somewhere as beautiful as this, or am I still in the 'burbs, just daydreaming over some magazine photo?"

Tuesday, April 7, 2009


Well, goodness gracious me. I got so busy showing you my pictures of Fonda San Miguel , I totally forgot to tell you how we spent the day! We happened to be in Austin for their world-renowned Sunday brunch, thanks to my brother the foodie, who gave us a gift certificate for it this Christmas. The price is pretty steep, until you consider what it would cost you to travel to all the different sections of Mexico and taste the traditional dishes that are represented on this one buffet.

From there we drove to Waterloo Records, one of my husbands favorite places in the world, and I wandered across the street to browse through Book People and Anthropologie. I just love it that these stores are all so close together. I think of it as a form of symbiosis. John could spend all day in Waterloo, but I'm bored after five minutes. Best Buy is even worse. I'm bored before I walk through the door - no color or stories in the whole darn place! If there are no other good stores nearby when John goes into a place like this, I usually stay in the car doing Sudoku, so that my obvious antsiness doesn't spoil his fun. He would be the same way in a store like Anthropologie.

So, having them right across the street from each other is just fabulous. We can each get our fill, then meet up at Book People, where we could both spend an entire day. Best thing of all is that I can spend all day in these kinds of shops without spending a dime. In Anthropologie I just harvest ideas, and in bookstores I get suggestions for things I might like to check out at the library, though occasionally I might splurge on something for the good-lifeitude reference collection. What could be more perfect? Well, unless maybe you went from there to the Alamo Drafthouse to see one of the off-beat art house kinds of movies that they occasionally show. This weekend we saw Sunshine Cleaning Company, about two sisters with dead end, menial jobs who stumble into the business of cleaning up crime scenes, once the bodies have been carted away and the cops are finished with them. What a day!

P.S. Many thanks to for the Alamo image, and for the Waterloo image above.

Monday, April 6, 2009


Remember Jack and Alma, from An Acadiana Love Affair, over in my sidebar? I've mentioned before that they were my first in-the-flesh examples of people who were truly "living the good life." Years ago, Alma told me about the Cajun hoe-downs called fais do-do. It was one of the many times that I have found myself in a funk over the years, feeling that I was just born into the wrong place and time. I could have made a great Cajun!

In the book Eula Mae's Cajun Kitchen: Cooking Through the Seasons on Avery Island, by Eula Mae Dore and Marcella R. Bienvenu, there is a wonderful description of these country dances:

A fais do-do (FAY-DOE-DOE) means to "go to sleep" or "sleep." But, in reality, it's like a Cajun hoedown, a country dance. Because there were few public dance halls, families often gathered on Saturdays, bringing all the children, even very young babies, to enjoy eating as well as dancing. The music, sometimes referred to by the locals as "chanky-chank," was provided by an accordion, a fiddle, and a "ting-a-ling," or triangle. The favored dance of the Cajuns is called a two-step and is akin to a waltz, but livened up with little jig steps.

"Mais oui," says Eula Mae, "we sometimes danced until dawn. And sometimes, we danced outside under the trees because the houses were rather small.La poussière - the dust- would fly under our feet!"Babies were often put to sleep in another room with a grandmother or other older family member to keep them quiet while the band played on. But sometimes, a mother would hold her baby in her lap until she got up to dance, handing her child to someone else.Oh, yes, a fais do-do was a good time - a good time for everyone to catch up on the news, see cousins and other relatives, and, of course, eat! More often than not, everyone brought a dish. One family might bring a gumbo or stew; another supplied seafood to boil or fish to fry, and there were always sweet treats, like cakes, cookies, or some kind of dessert made with local fruits."

As it turns out, I wasn't born in the wrong time, just the wrong place. Last night our friends Heather and Marc hosted, in honor of their 10th anniversary, a "Reception Re-do" at Fischer Hall. It seems their actual wedding reception was cut short by a typhoon, and they had promised themselves a re-do at some future date. And so, I am thrilled to inform you, the fais do-do is alive and well in the Texas Hill Country!

P.S. The top photo is of our host and hostess. Since you can't really see Marc's face, just picture my brother Bill - they could be stunt doubles for one another!

Sunday, April 5, 2009


What do you call someone who is obsessed with color? Can one be a colorist, rather than an artist or a designer? I have had many jobs and hobbies in my life, but most all of them have had something to do with color. When I got my very first job at a fabric store, it was because I loved playing with all the different colors and textures, pulling them into exciting combinations. When I chose to major in clothing and textiles, it wasn't because I wanted to convince women that they needed to ditch what they had and start fresh with all new clothes each season. If anything, that's what drove me away from it. No, I just loved pulling together the different outfits and color combinations. Same with plants - it's not the gardening so much as playing with color and design. Why didn't I mind moving constantly? Because I got to try out new color combinations in each new house.

So why do I love Fonda San Miguel in Austin? One guess.