Thursday, May 14, 2009


I really hesitated before using that title. You wouldn't believe the weirdos that hit your blog, expecting to find something else. I mean, really! (When I was posting about a chapter in Kingsolver's Animal, Vegetable, Miracle, which discusses how big agri-business has so over-bred turkeys, they can no longer have sex, I gave it the title Turkey Sex, and my site meter went through the roof. Eeeewww!). However, this is, in fact, the slogan for Wimberley's newest fine dining establishment, The Dandy Dog, and I think it's kind of catchy. Since we always do our best to support local endeavors, we felt it was our duty to give it a try. Not bad, I must say! The regular dogs are pure angus beef, and of course, there's a tofu version for our many vegetarians. He likes it!


I don't usually blog much about the part of my life spent in Houston, but I couldn't resist sharing this place with you, to show you how drastically it contrasts with my life in Wimberley.

One of my favorite things in the world is when John starts the day off saying "Are you feeling adventurous?" That's what he said one dark and rainy Saturday not long ago, and this is where we ended up - sitting directly under a freeway overpass, at The Original Bubba's Texas Burger Shack, home of the Buffalo Burger! (although they have regular ones as well, for those who aren't so adventurous) Try it. You'll like it!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009


Is it just me, or does anyone else out there get high on housework? Oh, I'm not talking about that sissy stuff like dusting or scrubbing toilets. To tell you the truth, I could go the rest of my life without seeing the inside of another toilet, and be perfectly content. No, what I'm talking about is those major reorganizational projects. Something you can really sink your teeth into, and which won't end up right back where it started in less than a day. I just love those kinds of projects, especially in spring.

First it was the tupperware drawer that kept calling my name, and wouldn't be content until I had completely dumped its contents, found a lid for every container, then sorted it all by size and shape. Once I had accomplished this, I would get my jollies by periodically sneaking back into the kitchen, nudging the bottom drawer open with my toe, and just gazing upon those perfect plastic pyramids.

Eventually though, the thrill began to fade. I needed something bigger, stronger, to satisfy my craving. I decided to tackle my closet. Ooh! I'm getting a bit of a rush right now, just remembering those rows of well-spaced hangers filled with color-sorted tops and bottoms - not an easy feat to manage, considering the tiny size of my closet here. It got me to thinking about the house where I grew up, where each person had a 3'x3' closet with a single hanging rod and a vinyl shoe pocket on the door, and we had no trouble at all fitting everything we owned in there. What happened? How did they manage to brainwash most of us into thinking that a huge walk-in closet and a hundred pairs of shoes still wasn't enough, and we needed to keep hitting the stores to see what's new, if we hoped to be truly happy?

But not me. Not any more. I groove on a challenge, and I can't think of anything more fun than seeing how many different outfits and combinations I can come up with, from the fewest number of pieces. Call me a freak if you will, but I'm heading in there now to get my morning rush by gazing upon my closet floor - newly rid of dust bunnies, and holding nothing more than one small shoe rack with twelve pairs of shoes.

But then what? Well, I'm already beginning to hear the siren's whisper, calling to me from the direction of my little pantry. It's asking me to imagine what it would feel like to open the cabinet door, and find enough food to actually see us through one of our occasional bouts of being iced or flooded in (a big pile of which is sitting over on the counters right now, waiting for room at the inn) and maybe even to find some beautiful vintage glass jars filled with bulk staples, instead of that mess of half-empty bags and boxes. Can't you just see it?


I was just flipping through my journal, to make sure I hadn't skipped anything important that I meant to tell you. I did find one thing, but now it's more or less a moot point, as I will explain at the end. Here goes:

"I'm so excited that John seems to be developing an interest in stonework. We live on the side of a solid limestone hill, and our property is just covered with big chunks of the stuff. Plus, when we dismantled our pond in Houston, we ended up with a pile of brown algae rock, so we brought that along too. For four years now I've been looking out the windows here, thinking 'What a crying shame!' People around the state are paying a fortune for stone like this, and we've got it just sitting here, going to waste.

You'd think with my background in landscaping, I'd feel compelled to do something with it myself, but I just don't have the vision for it - probably because it doesn't involve color. John has always been more of the big picture person, who gets us started by dividing up the space and doing the hardscaping, then I get inspired to come along and fill up those spaces with color and texture. Not only do I lack the vision, I'm also lacking in strength - those boogers weigh a ton! Plus, the piles that have been sitting undisturbed for years would seem to be the perfect hiding places for snakes and scorpions. So, though I deplore the waste, I leave them alone.

Imagine my surprise then, when I came out one morning, after John had been here for just a short weekend, and realized that when I wasn't even paying attention, he had cleared all the grass and weeds out of the area at the top of our staircase, leaving only three majestic yuccas, surrounded them with a stone border, and created the perfect spot for me to plant some of those sedums and sculptural desert plants that I've been longing to play with. After another of his visits I realized that the pile of debris, left in front of our house by the builders, was gradually being transformed into a stone edging, and the brown algae rock had been formed into a kidney-shaped bed around some cypress trees. I don't know when or how he did any of this, but I am so thrilled and grateful, for at last I have the inspiration and motivation I was lacking, and I'm finally feeling the urge to design and plant!"

Why is all this a moot point now? Well, when my husband had his most recent stress test, they found something fishy in the area where his two stents were placed five or six years ago. He's having a heart catheterization next week, so they can figure out what's what. I just pray that all this stonework isn't what caused the problem. A friend, who has heart problems herself, and who has done a lot of research on the subject, just told me that heavy lifting is a big no-no for people with heart issues, especially when, like dear hubby, they get no exercise on a regular basis, and just do it in fits and starts. So, between my boogered up neck, and his heart, I guess we're gonna have to pay someone from now on, whenever we need heavy lifting done. Bummer.

On the bright side though, at least Little Helper Dude put a LOT of that stone to good use, building his retaining wall!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009


What would you think if you saw an unassuming frame house, in a college town like San Marcos, being painted in broad red and black stripes, with lime green trim? Frat boys run amok? Underground music? Crack house? My first thought was "OMG, their poor neighbors!" But at least they were being meticulous with their painting.

Later, when this "Wake the Dead" sign went up in the yard, I began to "wake up" to what was going on. When I finally got the nerve to cross the threshold, what did I find? Not a crack house, but a coffee house! And quite a lovely one, I must say, with local artwork adorning the walls, one of a kind sculptures around the patio, an impromptu coat hook art installation created from trash bin finds, delicious coffees and teas, and best of all? Good bagels! I've really been missing my bagels.

Monday, May 11, 2009


I am a Basset Hound. I come from a long line of Basset Hounds. I should have realized this ages ago, but it only came to me a few weeks back on the terrace at Inoz', where I was having an evening meet-up with two of the Muses.

It was me, the Chihuahua, and the Greyhound. They both had several hundred calories worth of beverages, I had my usual diet cola with a twist of lime. Then Chihuahua and I decided to order baked potatoes for dinner. I had mine the way I always do: no butter, no sour cream, just salsa. She ordered hers with everything but the kitchen sink on it, then told them "All that stuff she had you delete from hers, you can add to mine!" I try never to eat more than half of what's on my plate in restaurants, because portion sizes are so huge these days. They usually clean their plates. And yet, neither of them has an ounce of fat on their bones, while I...well, I like to think of myself as "voluptuous."

There is a good reason for this disparity. Both Chihuahua and Greyhound are the types that just exude energy, even when they are sitting still. They don't need to go to exercise classes because in any normal day of puttering around their houses, they probably burn more calories than I do in a week filled with line-dancing, yoga and Curves workouts. They hike, they ski, they go ride the zip-lines, and they get season's passes to waterparks. Me? Well, I get tired just listening to them talk about it all.

I wasted so much of my youth trying to figure out how to turn myself into a Greyhound, but finally I realized that no amount of dieting or exercise classes would ever do that. I am now, and forever will be, a Basset Hound. But that's OK. The world needs Basset Hounds, to balance out all the energy of the Chihuahuas and Greyhounds, don't you think?

P.S. Many thanks to for the above image.

Sunday, May 10, 2009


So, about that Very Important Meeting that I had to skip out on my tank delivery for. It just so happens that Wednesday, I had my first ever, face-to-face meet-up with one of my long-distance blog readers!

Sherri and her family live on Catalina Island, but have bought a retirement home here in Wimberley, and she found my blog when she was cruising the internet, trying to get more info on her future hometown. It just so happens that the house they bought is in the same neighborhood that one of the Muses lives in, and I hooked the two of them up by email so that Sherri could get answers to some of her questions. Not long ago Sherri mentioned that they would be in the area for a week-long vacation, so we scheduled a meet-up at The Leaning Pear, and two of the Muses decided to join us.

How did it go? Great - once we got past the part where I walked up to Sherri and said "Hi, Becca!" I have mentioned to you before, haven't I, that the Chatty Cathy that you see here on the screen is not at all the same person you will see in person? There seems to be a disconnect between my brain and tongue, especially when it comes to introductions. I once dated a guy for several months, but when I had to introduce him to my uncle, I went totally blank, and couldn't remember his name to save my life. Talk about embarrassing! And where on earth did I come up with the name Becca in the first place? (so similar to Sherri, and easy to confuse, right?) Well, I have another blog reader named Becca, aka musingegret. She had just recently sent me an e-mail saying that one day soon she was going to treat herself to a day in Wimberley (she's not too far away), and she wondered if I'd be interested in doing a meet-up at The Leaning Pear? Of course I told her "Well it just so happens...", and invited her to join us for this one. Shortly before the name mix up, I had received her reply saying that unfortunately, she wouldn't be able to make it on that day, so, my brain did it's usual flip-flop, and Voila!

But other than that, we had a great time!