Saturday, May 23, 2009


One of you asked me a really tough question yesterday. You wanted to know if John was a "good patient." I guess I'd have to say "Yes, and No." He's a very sweet patient. Nurses love him because he's never cantankerous or demanding. He never argues with them, or openly refuses to do anything they ask of him, and he usually has a smile or a joke for them.

On the other hand, just because he seems agreeable, does not mean he's actually going to follow through on anything you've asked of him. He's not really a proactive kind of guy. He's more of a "just give me another pill and I'll be on my way" kind of guy. He did go to Weight Watchers meetings with me for a full year, after he had his three stents put in, but he never really absorbed anything they said. He went because he liked making funny comments that cracked everyone up, and because we always went out for fajitas afterwards. He joined 24 Hour Fitness, and went maybe five times in the last five years. Whenever I ask him to go walking with me, he says "Maybe later. I'm too tired right now." But, of course, until he starts walking every single day, to build up his strength, there will never be a time when he doesn't feel tired. Does he ever bother to read the labels on any of the OTC meds he picks up, to make sure they are compatible with the 20 or 30 prescriptions he takes every day? No way! Real men don't read no stinkin' labels!

So, does he make me absolutely crazy sometimes? You'd better believe it. Do I love him beyond all reason? Without a doubt. Will he do what needs to be done in order to get his life back on track, and keep his dreams of living the good life in the Hill Country alive? Well, your guess is as good as mine.

Friday, May 22, 2009


My two heroes! Together, in one place! Check it out:

Thursday, May 21, 2009


Remember, a couple of weeks back, when I was blogging about Alejandro Escavedo? You know how I said that there was absolutely no way that I was going to miss seeing him perform here in Wimberley on the 28th? Well, I lied. I was also planning a little get-away in downtown Austin the following weekend for John and me, but that's not going to happen either. Why? Because John has found a much more unique venue for our anniversary celebration this year - one that will stand out in memory for years to come. This year we will be enjoying the fine cuisine and luxurious accommodations found only at Methodist Hospital in Houston, where Dear Hubby will be undergoing a double bypass next week. I can hardly wait!

Poor baby. I think he is more worried about me than he is about himself. I didn't want to leave him alone in Houston after we found out what was coming, but he insisted on my returning to Wimberley for a few days, and wouldn't let me cancel the scheduled visit from my sister and niece. He always thanks me profusely, any time I stay in Houston with him for more than a couple of days, like he believes that's a major hardship for me or something. I have a feeling he worries because I don't ever write when I am there.

Anyway, ever since we found out about the surgery, he's been trying to convince me that I need to take him to Wimberley for his 4-6 week recovery period, but there's no way I'm going to haul him off to the boonies, three or four hours away from his doctors, until he's well on the way to recovery. Every time I glance up, it seems as if he is studying me with a look of concern on his face, like he's expecting me to flip out at any moment, and it's starting to freak - me - out!

Well, I have three words for you dear. CUT IT OUT! Have I ever flipped out on you in the past 34 years? I promise, you have nothing to worry about, as far as I'm concerned. We will get through this just fine, as long as you are a good boy, and do everything the doctor tells you to do. But if you don't, the whole blogosphere is going to read about it, and you will never hear the end of it!


Starting a fresh new journal is always somewhat intimidating for me, even under the best of circumstances. It makes me want to write something profound, something worthy of being remembered. It was especially trying this past week, because the well is rather dry right now. I haven't been priming it the way I need to, in recent weeks, with creative excursions, thought provoking reading, exploration, and projects. Instead I've been focusing on health issues, both spousal and parental (and even personal, with this whole swine flu ado), my progenies' job and happiness issues (or lack thereof), and preparations for the Bountiful Sprout gala and for being away from home for a week. In fact, it seems as if I've been away more than I've been home this spring, and since this "place" has always been a critical player in my writing and creative "flow", it's understandable why the pen just ain't flowing all that well right now.

But I'm not worried. Thanks to Julia Cameron (The Artist's Way), I know exactly what to do, to get those juices flowing again. Isn't it lucky that I discovered her before I became a writer, instead of having to spend years struggling with my muse, or learning to depend on alcohol or other substances to lure her out of hiding, as so many others do?

Wednesday, May 20, 2009


I have never been one who could jump right into my workday. I prefer to ease my way into it, gradually. During the six years that I was visual merchandiser at Buchanan's, I did this by spending the hour before work at Onion Creek Cafe, which was just around the corner from the nursery.

Have you ever read anything about the theory of a third place? That, in addition to their home and their workplace, people need a third place - somewhere they are comfortable just hanging out? A home away from home, if you will. Well, Onion Creek was my third place - mine and just about everybody's who lived in Houston's "Historic Heights" neighborhood. It's where they went for coffee in the morning, and worked a crossword puzzle with the regulars. It's where they ran in for a bite to eat on their lunch break. It's where they met up for a beer after work. And, it's where they headed each Saturday morning, for the farmers' market held in their parking lot.

At first I wasn't sure why I was so drawn to it. Eventually though, I figured it out. Onion Creek felt like the Hill Country. Eventually it got pretty crowded, so the owner renovated an old filling station down the street, and opened up a second place - Dry Creek. And now he has opened the best one of all - Cedar Creek. The whole time we were there last weekend, I kept asking myself "Now wait. What city am I in?"

I haven't really found my third place in Wimberley yet, but I have a vision of what it could be. My friend Lisa has sold her wine bar to her bar tender/chef, Isaac. He plans to reopen it as a wine bar/brew pub, called Ike's. I'm hoping he'll expand the menu a bit - since I'm not really a drinker, I'll need great food at "my place." Then maybe he'll add coffee, chai and a few breakfast items, to utilize the space during daylight hours. Last but not least, he'll offer to let The Bountiful Sprout use the spot as their pick-up site two afternoons per month. If he did all that, I think everyone in Wimberley would be callin' it "my place!" (If you know Isaac, maybe you could drop a bug in his ear?)

P.S. In case you're wondering, those are fried pickle chips that my kids are chowing down on.


OK. So, being there to participate in this fantabulous event - The Bountiful Sprout's Very First Annual Taste of Spring - would have been pretty amazing. Still, what could top seeing your baby being awarded a degree in Computer Engineering from that fine school in College Station? The only thing that I can think of would have been if he were being awarded a degree from that fine school that WE went to. The one in Austin. But still, this was pretty darn wonderful!



Monday, May 18, 2009


I can breathe again. Feels like I've been holding my breath all week, and I'm sure I'm not the only one. I would imagine everyone on the board at Bountiful Sprout was holding their breath along with me. What started out as just a little tasting event, to let our members meet the growers and producers face to face, somehow mushroomed into something much larger, and even attracted the attention of Edible Austin magazine.

But the question was, would it actually be worthy of all this attention? Would enough producers show up to put on a good show, or were they just too busy to mess with it? If they did show up, would there be enough guests there to make it worth their while, or would they be sorry they came? Would anyone have any fun, or would they be bored to tears? Most importantly, would we be able to recruit any new members, to help The Sprout continue to sprout, or any new board members, to replace those in danger of meltdown after such a long battle to get this baby off the ground?

Yes, yes, yes and yes - to all of the above! I'm happy to announce, the event was a resounding success, and I will get photos up just as soon as I have access to them. Thank you so much to all of you who helped, planned, prepared, spread the word, and attended. You rock!