Friday, January 1, 2010


Well Babe, you may have thought you were lucky, being the first baby born in Kermit, TX on 1/1/50, but that was nothin' compared to the luck that walked into your life, and up to your tea station in her dorm's cafeteria, that September day in '71. Hold onto your hat, 'cause the best is yet to come!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009


Quickie Mart, or Whip Inn? Anyone care to join me for a "panaani"?

I rest my case.


As many people know, the city of Austin has a motto: Keep Austin Weird, Support Local Businesses. It is due to this motto that I usually have much to blog about, after one of our family outings to the city.

I mean, which would you rather see photos of? Wal-mart's toy department, or Toy Joy?

Tuesday, December 29, 2009


John brought me a little present the other day, in a grubby brown paper bag. Somehow he must have read my mind, for without even knowing it, he hit upon the most meaningful thing he could have presented me with... the one which I had already determined would be the very first thing to be planted in our new little garden... asparagus crowns!

Planting asparagus is no casual fling. It's not like tossing out a few seeds then forgetting about them. Entering a relationship with asparagus has meaning. It has heft. It implies that you're planning to stick around for a while... put down some roots. I've only done it once before, and I have to tell you, it ended badly.

I planted some at our Dallas home, in a big whiskey barrel planter, right after my husband told me we'd probably live there until he retired. Then I nursed them tenderly for more than two years - the allotted time you are supposed to wait before harvesting any spears. We'd had maybe one or two meals off of them when hubs came home and said "Guess what? We're moving to Houston!"

Within a few weeks the house had been sold, the kids and I had moved into temporary digs to finish out the school year, and John was on his way south. My only consolation, in leaving that garden behind, was knowing how much pleasure it would surely give the new owners. Sooo... imagine my distress, upon driving past the house one last time to bid it adieu, only to find my asparagus planter sitting out by the curb with the garbage, waiting to be hauled off to the dump!

But not this time sucker. No-siree-bob! This time we're seein' it through to the end, so help me God! Guess I'd better get cracking, then. Gotta get this weed barrier down... get some compost hauled in. These babies need to go in the ground!

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

Monday, December 28, 2009


Not only did I give handmade this Christmas, I also received quite a bit as well: a gizmo made by son Austin, that will monitor light and moisture for the seedlings I will be starting soon; a wonderful painting (newly framed) which my daughter did in high school, entitled "Your Face'll Stick Like That"; assorted handmade soaps, lotions, balms, sachets, and darling knitted scrubbies that hold a bar of soap; fancy bookmark, beaded knitting needles and a cute little tin for holding knitting accessories, all made by my SIL, who is a whiz with polymer clay; hot cocoa mix and decorated mug from Tiny Monkey Industries (a.k.a. niece Megan & hubby Ben).

What about you? Did you give or receive anything handmade? If so, I'd love to post it here for all to share. Please email your photos with a brief description to becky.lane(at)vownet(dot)net


Recently a young friend, not yet 30, who already has multiple degrees as well as very impressive job and military experience under her belt, posted something about needing to "figure out what I want to be when I grow up." Well, I've got news for you Jen - you don't have to! At least, not in the way that our grandparents did, where they trained for a job right out of high school, then stuck with it for their entire lives. Perish the thought!

What's the most wonderful thing about our extended life-expectancy? The opportunity for reinvention! We have time to concentrate on different priorities, depending on our life-stage (nest-egg building, parenting, self-expression and fulfillment) and can adjust our career path accordingly, if the glove no longer fits. Plus, the broader your set of job skills, the better your chance of supporting yourself should you ever choose to leave the urban jungle, or should you be caught in a disintegrating economy (ahem!).

In their book Moving To A Small Town: A Guidebook For Moving From Urban To Rural America, Wanda Urbanska and Frank Levering remind us that in major metropolitan areas, a great many jobs are narrowly defined, but in small towns, very few are. Thus, broadening one's resume' by adding new, and developing existing, skills is the best means of building long-term professional security. "Often, people in small towns don't do just one thing, they do seven...piecing together an income from multiple jobs." Take my friend Joyce, for instance, the nightclub singer/comedienne/stained glass artist/shop owner, or, my nephew Kevin, the electrician/chicken rearer/goat wrangler/master barterer/God-only-knows-what-else, who was bound and determined to get out of Dallas and carve a life in the country, and by golly, he did it. Kudos to you Kev! I couldn't be prouder of you.

Sunday, December 27, 2009


My daughter accumulated a bunch of reward points. She spent them on certificates to a restaurant. A sushi restaurant. She really does Not. Like. Sushi. Guess she really must love us!