Saturday, June 20, 2009

Friday, June 19, 2009


Think your house is too small? Check out this one!


John and I went to Wimberley Cafe for breakfast this morning - his once a week break from whole grains. It was nice and cloudy when we came out, had even sprinkled a bit, so I suggested "Hey, let's take our walk right now, here in town, before the sun comes out full force." We took a little side road off from the square, which heads out past Dandy Dog, then winds through a cluster of interesting little houses that I'd never paid much attention to before. It got me to thinkin', about how convenient it would be, in my old age, to live somewhere like this, where I was able to walk to the cafe, the grocery store, the community center, the library... But then I'd have to give up my balcony porch, the view, the sunrises. If I did that, how would I ever come up with stuff to write about?

Our path swung us out behind the large chunk of land that's behind, and a part of, the old Cypress Creek Cafe property, which has been on the market for nigh on a year now. It then circled us back to the main road, and we passed by the front of its two-story stone building. It made me so sad, to see this wonderful old building, the cornerstone of the whole "square", sitting empty and forlorn. I glanced up at its upstairs balcony, the much envied spot for viewing the upcoming Independence Day Parade. "You know John, I always thought it would be so cool to 'live above the store' somewhere. We should just buy this property, move in upstairs, and open some kind of business downstairs." "Sounds good to me," he replied. "From that balcony up there, I could see everything that went on in town, and I'd never run out of things to write about!" "Yep." "What kind of business could we have though? Ooh! Ooh! I know! It could be just like Onion Creek Cafe and it's sister restaurants in the Houston Heights. We could try and convince Isaac to sell his other property, and lease the downstairs here from us instead. It could be the place everyone comes to in the morning for coffee, pastries or a light breakfast. The courtyard in back would be a great place for kids to play while their moms visited. Business people and tourists could eat a simple lunch here, and in the evening it would be the wine bar/brew pub where everyone in town comes to hang out with friends and neighbors or hear some good music." "Yep." We were halfway home when I started hopping up and down in my seat, and cried out "Ooh! Ooh! And we could let The Bountiful Sprout use it as their pick up spot too!" "Yep."

Of course, they are probably asking at least half a mil., more than double what we could get for our place, if we could sell it at all. It did sit empty for several years before we were crazy enough to snap it up, and this isn't exactly a seller's market right now, either. Still, as far as day dreams go, this one ain't too shabby, eh? Guess I'm still looking for that "third place."

P.S. Many thanks to for the image of Onion Creek Cafe.

Thursday, June 18, 2009


In my humble opinion, 1971, my senior year in high school, was the greatest year in the history of music. What I'm wondering is this: Was the music great, because it was my senior year, or, was my senior year great, because of the music?


If life were fair, we'd all have wise old relatives who lived nearby, and we'd have wonderful memories of spending time with them in our youth, as they shared their bountiful wisdom with us and passed along all the tools we would need to live a simple, green and frugal life. My friend Paula had a grandmother like that. Paula and her sister Ginger grew up in the heart of Houston, but pretty much every weekend was spent on her grandmother's farm near Normangee, which was surrounded by those of all her aunts, uncles and cousins. There were no TVs or movies or such there, so Ginger (the tomboy) spent her time hanging out with the guys - riding horses, fixing fences, taking care of animals, shooting snakes and such. Paula spent all of her time either with her nose in a book, in the kitchen with her mother, or in the vegetable garden with Granny. I'm sure there were many times that they whined and begged to stay in Houston to hang with their buds, but you would be amazed at the wealth of knowledge that those girls absorbed during those weekend visits!

Alas, I had no one like that in my life, which is why I am ever so grateful for the blogosphere - the source of most all of my good-life mentors. If it weren't for blogs like Down To Earth, Towards Sustainability, Eyes of Wonder, Lifescapes and Beauty That Moves, I would never have traveled so far, so quickly, from being a big city suburbanite bent on consumption. And so, I want to thank each of these bloggers (and so many more!) from the bottom of my heart, for adopting me so to speak. For taking me under their wings, just as any loving granny would do, and making my journey just a wee bit easier.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009


I have one more thing to say about balancing marriage, career, children, etc., then we're gonna let that sucker go for a while. One complaint some people have about blogs is that they tend to gloss over the bad stuff, and only let you see the pretty parts. So, I just want to make sure you realize that no marriage is perfect, and we've had just as many ups and downs as the next guys - which you would know if you'd read my posting called The Circle of Love.

One of our roughest spots came just after our second child was born. This child was nothing like the first one. He wouldn't take naps, wouldn't stay in a playpen, swing, walker, stroller or Johnny-Jump-Up. There were days when I honestly couldn't figure out how to put him down long enough to hop into the shower. So, one evening, after a day such as this, when I was wearing comfy sweats and no makeup, with hair in a ponytail, we were watching TV and something in the show inspired my husband to comment that, "I'm not saying it's right, and I would certainly never do it myself, but you can kind of see why some guys are tempted to stray - you know, if they've got a wife like that who has totally let herself go, then they go to the office everyday where they are surrounded by women who love to flirt and are always dressed fit to kill."

Did I konk him over the head with a frying pan? Noooo. Why not, you ask? Well, I'm ashamed to admit it, but I'm afraid I half agreed with him at the time. The combination of my 50's June Cleaver upbringing, and my Women's Lib/ERA college years had left me with this crazy, mixed-up belief that I ought to be able to do it all, and I just wasn't living up to expectations. Because I felt guilty about not being able to manage a career that brought in big bucks, raise kids, keep a perfect house and play the sex kitten 24/7, I overcompensated in other ways: not asking John to help around the house; letting him think that, despite fatherhood, he still deserved to spend his weekends however he chose, because he'd been working hard all week; letting him believe that there were little fairies at our house who followed him around, picking up his shoes and underwear, shutting cabinets and drawers he left open, gathering the dishes and soda cans he left in every room. Not only did I allow it, I probably encouraged it, because it made me feel more worthy.

So, as I said in The Circle of Love, thank heavens we stumbled upon a great counselor just in the nick of time, who was able to set us both straight! Yes, I admit it, John wasn't the only one who had things he needed to work on - but I choose to take the blogger's prerogative, and gloss over all that other stuff.

Monday, June 15, 2009


I already regret typing in that title. Now the sound of those eerie child-like voices from Disney World will be going round and round in my head until some other music manages to shove them aside. You too, huh?

But, it truly is a small, small world! I got an email the other day from a woman who had stumbled upon my blog by clicking a link on Susan Wittig Albert's lovely blog, Lifescapes. The posting that it took her to happened to be the one about the little church house down below us. Imagine her surprise when she saw the photos, and realized they were of the house just across the dam from her! Which, of course, meant that she was neighbors with this unknown blogger she had just come across.

Not only was she kind enough to write and introduce herself, but it seems she was also impressed with some of my photos, and wanted to make sure I knew about the naturescape contest that was being sponsored by the local photography club which she is involved with. Alas, I was forced to admit to her that my photography talents are abysmal. If there are any pictures on my blog that are at all art-worthy (such as the misty morning shot of the church house), they were surely taken by Dear Hubby, not me.

Wouldn't it be great, though, if he were to enter the contest, and maybe even join the club? I would be simply ecstatic if being around other Hill Country photographers were to get his passion fired up again - maybe even take it to the next level.