Friday, April 17, 2009


"One of the secrets of a happy life is continuous small treats."-- Iris Murdoch

At the end of his usual morning call the other day, John told me to "Have a good day." My reply to him was "Oh, I will! I'm pretty good at that you know. In fact, I think I've found my "niche" - having good days!" We both had a good yuck over that, but we both knew it was actually true. I do have a gift for having good days, and I have no idea where it came from, since I was raised by people who seemed to excel at having bad ones!

I think one reason my parents weren't happier is that they were looking for something outside themselves to do the trick. They always felt they needed the next big thing - the thing that was just out of reach - and then they would be happy, while I was what John fondly referred to as "a cheap date." All he had to buy me was a Dr. Pepper, and I was as happy as a little clam. Also, people frequently say things to me like "I'm glad you're so easily entertained", because the tiniest things can make me giddy. I wrote about that in my post Euphoria.

Anyway, the longer I live, the more I'm convinced that "stuff" has never made anyone truly happy. The minute the newness wears off, the glow is gone. Then you will be out the door again, searching for the "thing" (or the person, for some) that is going to fix you, and you are never going to find it. Ne-ver, ne-ver, ne-ver!

It is only by going inward, slowing down, clearing away the clutter, staying in the moment and living deliberately, that we are finally able to see and appreciate the tiny miracles - the "continuous small treats" - that abound in our everyday lives. Learn to do this, and you too can become a cheap date - one who gets orgasmic over a musical crescendo or the exciting color combination in a ball of yarn!

P.S. John just called and asked what I was doing. When I told him what I was writing about, he said "Well ultimately, that was probably the most expensive date I've ever been on." "Oh really," I replied. "How so?" "Because it has lasted for nearly 40 years!"

Thursday, April 16, 2009


Just discovered a new blog, thanks to It is called Lulu's Sandbar, and she happens to be hosting a give-away right now. If you hurry over, you still have a chance to win one of her amazing mixed-media pieces. I think I definitely need the one called "Cowgirl Up", don't you?

P.S. This masterpiece is from a story I did about my MIL Theda. You can read about her here.


I have another confession to make. I am in a co-dependent relationship, and my husband and both of my kids are enablers. Because they are all geeks, they make it easy for me to be a Luddite. Why learn anything about technology, when I can just get one of them to do whatever needs doing? Which could be why I've had this blog for a year and a half, and I just now figured out that I have a choice when it comes to picture size!

The problem is, the chicks have flown the coop, and since hubby is only here part-time, I sometimes get fed up with having to wait on him to come fix my problems for me. Like yesterday, when I got that comment from Pamela over at Digging. The one on Tuesday's post that said "By the way, if you'll enable Name/URL comments, it'll let people without Google/Blogger accts comment too. Many people don't have them." I left her a terribly whiny reply about my being too dense when it comes to technology, and about hubby not being here to help me. I'm turning red right now, just thinking about it.

But, after a while I started to get pissed - first with John, for not being here when I need him, and then with myself, for being so dependent on him. Eventually it goaded me into sitting down at my blog, and clicking on some of these tabs that I've never even bothered to open before. Which is how I discovered, much to my chagrin, it is so easy to do what Pamela suggested, that any moron could handle it. Even me.

So now you must leave lots of comments, to help make up for my public humiliation!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009


"Are you going crazy from the boredom yet?" my city friends keep asking me. My reply? "HA! If you only knew." Yes, small town life can be tough - when you can choose only one activity from amongst the 10 or 15 options that are spread out over the Hill Country and Austin, on any given weekend!

For instance, this past weekend we had to forgo the Funky Chicken Coop Tour in Austin, in order to attend the annual Wimberley Pie Social - a first for us. "What on earth is a pie social?" you city-slickers are asking. Well, it's munching on hot dogs and listening to local musicians. It's entering your best pie in the judging (Outdoor Woman Muse won 2nd place!), and having a chance to sample that of your neighbor. It's visiting with the local herb guru, and watching an old-fashioned blacksmith at work. It's taking tours of the historic Winters-Wimberley House, and buying raffle tickets. It's seeing beautiful quilts, vintage aprons and assorted crafts. But, most of all, it's being part of a community. Would I trade any of this for being able to hang out at the mall? Not on your life!

Monday, April 13, 2009


Funny thing. Remember me writing not long ago about wanting to become the kind of housekeeper who doesn't have to get in a bundle about unexpected guests? I don't mean I want to turn into Martha Stewart, and have it looking picture perfect 24/7. I just want to get into a comfortable routine, where certain things get done on an almost daily basis, so you never have to start completely from scratch. I don't care if the house looks lived in, I just don't want it to look dirty, know what I mean?

Anywho, I'm getting better about it, but it's still more of a goal than a reality. So, here comes the funny part. I was sitting at my computer the other day, typing away, when suddenly I realized that someone was knocking on the door. Now, that's something you don't hear very often when you live out in the country. Our long, steep driveway tends to weed out all but the most determined. Anyway, I hear this knocking so I go to check, and what do I find? John's cousin and her family, whom we haven't seen in years. They just happened to be in the area for spring break!

It was great seeing her again, and we all had a lovely visit, but I have to say, Holy-Moly, thank goodness we'd just had a dinner party a couple of days earlier! Had I known she was coming, the house would have looked a lot better, but if they had surprised me the previous week, it could have been a whole lot worse! I shudder to think. Good news though, my motivation for developing my cleaning routine is much, much stronger now.