Saturday, May 22, 2010


It's finally here! Today's the big day -- when our Lexie realizes her dream of having a wee place in a hip part of Austin. She sold what little furniture she had before leaving California, so she's pretty much starting from scratch here. She was hoping to be able to upgrade to an adult-sized bed this time, at least a queen, but when she started pricing mattress sets she almost fainted. In the end she decided to try and make do with an air mattress temporarily, until John lets go of the townhouse, at which time she can inherit a nice king-sized set for free!

Our first stop this morning will be the very cool vintage decor shop that she discovered right here in Wimberley, where an uber-hip mid-century desk and two end tables (all purchased for a song!) are being held for her. Hopefully they won't be too heavy for she and I to get up the stairs on our own. Ikea delivered her two big bedroom chests yesterday, and the livingroom came pre-furnished by her roomies, so mostly we'll just be moving boxes (thank heavens!).

Speaking of the roomies, Lex still hasn't met or talked to either of them, even though she's been over there a lot lately, what with shampooing carpets, waiting on deliveries, etc. I guess the guy she sublet from wasn't kidding when he said they were rarely around. Nice!

Well, wish us luck - for my old truck to start, even though I haven't driven it in weeks. Otherwise, I guess we'll be renting a U-Haul. Be back later, with pictures!

Friday, May 21, 2010


Thought you might enjoy seeing a few of the touches John added to the townhouse, after I moved here to Wimberley full-time. (All of this is in the main living area, mind you.)

Thursday, May 20, 2010


No, I haven't found a vine that grows soda pops, though it might be nice. Those are my tomato plants, and they are laden with fruit that is about to turn red. A friend told me that if I would hang little red cans on them right about now, the birds would mistake them for fruit and try to peck at them. After a few very frustrating tries they would give up and go elsewhere. I say why not? It's worth a try!

I got my first handful of beans off my newly decapitated bushes, despite the deer's best efforts. Not enough for a meal, so I guess I will freeze them until I get a few more. Any advice for someone who's never frozen fresh veggies before? Wash first? After? Is a freezer zip lock baggie OK?

My new esperanza or yellow bells or tecoma stans shrub is beginning to bloom. This particular variety is called "Sangria." Is it not gorgeous? How does one plant end up

with so many different names? Esperanza is my favorite. I love the way it rolls off one's tongue, and the fact that it is the Spanish word for hope.

Last but not least, I discovered at least a half dozen of these perfectly symmetrical black holes in one of my beds. That may not seem like good news to you, but the fact that they are all in one of the beds outside the Cantina garden, rather than inside, seems like pretty good news to me. Lets hope they stay that way.


There's a lot of stuff crowding in on me this morning - the lawsuit, deer in the Cantina Garden, getting Lex moved, hosting a family reunion, stomach problems - but the overriding concern is still poor hubby, and the far-reaching effects of this

spill. Things had finally died down a bit at the call center, however, what with oil reaching the coast of Louisiana, and experts saying that BP drastically underestimated the rate of flow, John expects things will soon be ramping up again . So, still, no end in sight.

Poor baby. He says that when (if ever) this is all over with, he's taking a whole week of vacation and spending it all in Wimberley. Only trouble is, it will be so crappy hot by then, he won't be able to work on any of his little outdoor projects. It's been a month now since he was here last, and he's pretty much missed out on spring altogether, as well as the most stellar year of wildflowers in living memory. All of those seeds he faithfully scattered year after year, with no visible results, finally came together and put on the show of a lifetime. And he missed it.

POSTSCRIPT -- The more I thought about it, the more I felt I needed to edit this post to include the comment I just made below. So, here it is:

I'm fine, really! None of the stuff I was stewing about this morning, other than the spill, was a true problem in the grand scheme of things - not even those pesky deer. It's just that I'm not a good multi-tasker, and I prefer to focus on one thing at a time. At least I'm in Wimberley, where the pace is a bit slower, and I have more time to sort through these different tasks. Just wish John was here to enjoy some of it with me.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010


There has been a serious invasion of my personal space. I've put up with them leaving my winecups naked and denuding the peach and satsuma trees. I've tolerated the constant trail of uneaten plants popped from containers - not out of hunger, but from sheer maliciousness. I probably

could have even forgiven them for pulling that beautiful new variegated hibiscus from the pot on the porch (which they've never bothered before) and for demolishing that expensive new coral honeysuckle vine that I finally planted to balance the trellis. But NOT the friggin' Cantina Garden! Do you hear that Mr. Deer? I will never forgive you for that!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010


I'm in pain. Withdrawal pains I suppose. Can't stop worrying about what might be going on in the garden back in Wimberley. What if I miss out on seeing the lavender bloom for the first time in four years? It was just beginning to get a tinge of color when I left. What if those little eyelash-sized beans, that were just making an appearance, have all disappeared by the time I get back? What if marauding horn-worms have defoliated my tomatoes?

It's kind of amazing, when you think about it, how much pleasure it gives me to putter around out there each afternoon, even though I haven't harvested much that's edible yet -- especially when you consider how much I hated what my parents called "yard work" growing up! Just knowing that I might taste a peach or tomato grown by me one of these days, seems to be enough to keep me going. I'm sure many see all gardening as boring and tedious, but to me, it's a bit of an addiction.

In truth, you need to have the heart of a gambler, be a bit of a risk-taker, to love it. You just can't control Mother Nature. You can read every book, talk to all the old-timers, follow all the rules and advice, do things exactly the same each year, and still get completely different results every darn season. But, knowing that this next season might be "The One" -- the one where all the stars align just perfectly, the weather gods smile down upon you, all the pests decide to vacation elsewhere, and you finally succeed beyond your wildest dreams? Well, like anyone else who can't resist betting on the ponies or sitting in on a high-stakes poker game, that's what keeps you a-comin' back for more!

Monday, May 17, 2010


Now that Lex is moving out, I find myself looking back on the past year with amazement. I'm so impressed that she stuck it out in California for four years, even after the relationship that drew her out there fell apart. I'm so thankful that her boss there made the decision to phase out her San Diego office, for if she hadn't, it would have been much harder for Lex to walk away from a sure thing and come back to Texas. I'm ecstatic that she was able to find a good job here only two months after arriving, despite the slumping economy, and terribly relieved that it seems to be a good match for her. Most of all, I'm thrilled to see the way she is blossoming.

You see, unlike her previous boss, who preferred to maintain the status quo, this new company believes in steadily nudging Lex out of her comfort zone. Just as soon as she starts to feel at ease in the new spot, they bump her out again. Poor thing. It hasn't been easy. Not long ago she got an email from her bosses asking her if she would like to be the design manager on her next project. I think she's half ecstatic, half nauseous. This means she won't be just ordering, shopping and installing a model home. Instead she will design it (including structural details she wants the builder to install) and present it to the client as well, having to sell them on her ideas. She wasn't expecting to be handed this much responsibility for at least a year, so it's a bit of a shock.

How is it possible that six months have already gone by since she left California, four since she started her new job? On one hand, this time seems to have flown by. On the other, her time in California seems to have been a lifetime ago. I'm sorry for all of the rough experiences she had to deal with on her own while there, but I guess it was all part of her growing into the lovely person she is today. I thank my lucky stars for the way God and the universe brought things into alignment, and made it possible for her to finally move back to Texas, find a good job, and for me to have spent these wonderful few months with her. I think she feels the same way - and I'm especially glad that this apartment showed up before she had time to change her mind about that!

Sunday, May 16, 2010


We've had a changing of the guards. Lex is now back in Wimberley, and I am in Houston. John actually gets two days off beginning tomorrow - for the first time since the spill began! (well, unless you count his time in the hospital) Not sure if he will feel up to doing much - he may just want to catch up on some sleep. He finally gets in to see his own cardiologist on Thursday.

To pass the time while in Houston, Lex must've been keeping tabs on Austin rentals via Craig's List, and she got a hit - one that sounded almost too good to be true. She found a guy who wanted to sublet his room in a three bedroom duplex in the Hyde Park area (very top of her list!) for less than $500 a month. She went directly there on her way back from Houston, took one look around and said "I'll take it!" The really good news is that the other two roomies are hardly ever there. Turns out the guy who's room she is taking is moving to Tennessee, and he leaves today, so she can move in any time (probably next weekend). I guess he's pretty delighted too, to have someone show up just in the nick of time like that.

Kinda thought I'd have more time to get used to the idea of losing my best girlfriend and roomie, but can't help but be happy for her. The girl's on cloud nine!


Ever wonder what happens to those schoolyard bullies of your youth - the ones who use fear and intimidation to get you to fork over your lunch money? Apparently, they grow up to be lawyers.

We have three in our tiny Hill Country neighborhood, all involved in these lawsuits that have been lodged against our little P.O.A. and its leader. I had the misfortune to see them and a fourth in action yesterday, up close and personal, as we tried to mediate and defuse the situation - something we should have known would be a colossal waste of time, considering the amount of testosterone and the number of law degrees involved. Remember Glen Beck and his Old Timey Medicine Show? Well, this was the mother of all medicine shows -- a Battle-Of-The-Medicine-Shows take-down if you will. When we finally got out of there, after three or four hours of chest-bumping, bullying threats, weenie-wagging, fear tactics and posturing, I couldn't decide which bathroom fixture I was more in need of -- the shower, for washing away all that smarminess, or the commode, in which to vomit up my disgust?

Needless to say, we got nowhere. We residents - the stupid patsies who will end up emptying our pockets to pay for all this hubris - walked away practically in tears. (OK, I admit it. I did actually tear up more than once during the meeting.) The attorneys? They probably left feeling like this was even more fun than spending a morning on the golf course! Well, except maybe for the one who's actually being sued.

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