Saturday, July 10, 2010


Though I'm sure he would have denied it if accused, my sister Kathy was always Dad's favorite. We knew it. She knew it. He knew it. Now that I understand why, it makes perfect sense. It took me a lotta years to figure this out - the reason why so many parents do seem to favor one child or the other - but it has nothing to do with loving one more, as most people seem to think. I believe it has more to do with the yin and yang of personalities. Balance.

Kathy was horrified when I first told her "It's because you are the one most like Mom", but once I had explained a bit further, she calmed down. I asked her to think about what traits must have attracted Dad to Mom in the first place, and we agreed that it was probably because he was fairly insecure, and Mom made him feel like a hero. Mom always made him feel smart and talented, she never openly questioned his authority (though she had a million subversive techniques for getting her own way), and she loved being waited on, which made Dad feel needed.

Therefore, it's no surprise that, out of all four kids, Kathy was the one that treated Dad most like he was some kind of superhero. She never questioned anything he said. I questioned everything. She always did as she was told, accepting "Because I said so!" as a perfectly logical reason for doing so. I had the ridiculous notion that one should prove the validity of one's stance first, if you expect me to go along with it. Most of all, she never outgrew wanting to be coddled, while I had this strange compulsion to do stuff for myself. Dad really needed to be needed.

So, think about it. What qualities made you fall in love with your mate? What was the magnet that drew you to them? Now think about which of your offspring most strongly exhibits those same traits. Isn't it only logical that this is the child that things tend to go a bit easier with?

Now think about your own personality. Think about the traits you yourself possess, but wish you didn't. Traits that may have made life more difficult for you, gotten you into trouble from time to time. Does one of your kids possess those very same traits? Wouldn't it be natural then, for you to stress out more often over that child, wanting to save them from going through the same difficulties you did? Would you even care if you didn't love them so much?

Once you see these urges as the natural interaction of personalities, you are less likely to feel guilty for having them. And if you aren't caught up in feelings of guilt and remorse, you are less likely to overcompensate, more likely to handle them with common sense and humor, causing damage to no one.

Friday, July 9, 2010


Is this not the cutest thing you've ever seen in your life? My baby's growing up fast though. The first day I spotted him, he was bead-sized. Next time I checked on him, he was five times bigger! He must love all this rain we've been getting. After all, he is a "water" melon!


(Click Image To Enlarge)


Thursday, July 8, 2010


Lest you think I'm already heading down the path towards geriatric dementia, I should explain that I had just cause for confusing my days earlier this week. For one thing, I was off with Lex on her business trip to San Antone on Sunday the 4th, so it didn't feel much like a holiday, or even a weekend. On top of that, Wimberley decided to hold their annual Independence Day Parade on Monday the the 5th this year, so as not to compete with folks wanting to go to church. Therefore, Monday felt very much like a weekend and a holiday. So you see, I'm not so crazy after all!

What with ailing parents and lack of inspiration, the Muses and I ended up not being one of the entrants in the parade this year, and maybe it was for the best. Almost every year, at least one vintage vehicle breaks down, and its passengers have to pile out and start pushing (uphill a good part of the way). As we were headed home after the parade, we spotted Outdoor Woman's little blue beetle, broken down and abandoned by the side of the road. As it turns out, had we entered it in the parade as planned, the ones pushing their vehicle uphill in the blazing sun would have been us - dressed as peacocks!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010


I'll be able to say,...

"Why, I knew Heather when she was just an...

off-the-grid home-building, home-schooling, toddler-carrying, people-motivating, chicken-raising, Green Guru column-writing, artist in her spare time, Bountiful Sprout organizer and president!

(click images to enlarge)


Know what I really, really, really love? Blank pages. Blank journal pages. Blank sketchbook pages. And, most of all, blank datebook pages - something I haven't seen much of lately. It's all been good, but contrary to what most people believe, you can have too much fun. Or, at least, I can.

I'm not so sure about my friend Outdoor Woman. She doesn't seem happy unless she's got several back-to-back events on every page of her agenda, but even one per page is too much for me these days. I loved going to San Antonio with Lex on Sunday. The parade and our visitors from Dallas were great fun on Monday. Going to Heather's art show opening and out to dinner afterwards was a total blast last night, and I really don't mind covering for Cindy at the Bountiful Sprout today...and yet...there's just something about knowing I've got places I have to be, things I have to do, day after day, that gets me to feelin' kinda...twitchy. Out of sorts. Oppressed. Yes, I am ashamed to admit it, especially when I consider the kind of days my hubby has been having of late. But there it is, nonetheless. Too much fun has given me da blues.

When I get like this, there is one sure-fire cure. Blank pages. I just need to open my little datebook and see...nothing. One whole week's worth of completely empty squares would be just what the doctor ordered. Empty time. Empty space. Space that would allow spirit to roam freely, and do with me as it will, take me in whatever direction it might choose. That's what it means, you know, to "let the spirit move you." If you really want to be more creative, and experience the amazing things that can come as a result of this, all you have to do is give spirit a little time and space.

Alas, that won't be happening here. At least, not any time soon. That family reunion I keep referring to is only 9 days away, and par for the course, I haven't done one damn thing to prepare for it yet. But, sshhhhh!!! Don't tell my big sister that! She might just have a nervous breakdown!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010


Sorry I'm late. I was afraid to desert my post on the porch this morning. I had deer triplets foraging uncomfortably close to the Cantina Garden, sans adult supervision, and they seemed to be quite fearless. I called out to them several times, and they paused for a second to see where the voice was coming from, then went right back to their munching. Brazen little twits!

When I finally made it in here to my desk and glanced at my calendar, I realized I was even later than I thought, for it's not even Monday. It's Tuesday! Oops.

The picture above was taken in my favorite stall at Wimberley Market Days, a couple of months back. Having worked in merchandising for so long, I just can't resist an artfully arranged grouping of seemingly disparate items, and often feel compelled to snap a photo of it. Usually it is color that ties the pieces together. The merchants hereabouts are beginning to look at me kinda funny.

Monday, July 5, 2010


I got a last minute invite from my daughter yesterday, who needed to run to San Antonio to inventory one of her company's model homes. Rather than making a 2 hour round trip just for an hour's worth of work, she figured we might as well make a day of it.

Our first stop was the old Pearl brewery. I'd heard that plans were afoot to make it the next Ferry Plaza or Pike Place Market - a foodie mecca if you will - and I was anxious to see how that was coming along. Perhaps if we had arrived on a

Saturday, with the weekly farmer's market in full swing, we would have been more impressed. But on a Sunday at 11:00 a.m., my impression was "They've still got a ways to go!"

As it turns out, unless we overlooked it, nothing is going on in the brewery itself. They have added a separate, very modern structure out behind it, where the market is held, and which has a handful of permanent businesses - a bookstore, a cookery store, an architecture firm, and a couple of restaurants - none of which open before noon on Sundays. Fortunately, we spotted some activity at another building beyond that one, and decided to follow the crowd to La Gloria, where we lunched on some tasty Mexican street food and delicious fresh-squeezed lemonade.

We wasted an hour or two trying to find the model home, since Google Maps left out a very important step in their directions, but a friendly concierge at the Hill Country Hyatt got us on the right path. Have I ever mentioned how much I love that place? We wandered outside for cool drinks from a pool-side bar, and it was all I could do not to jump right in clothes and all, flick a float from beneath some unsuspecting kid, and take off down the Lazy River!

Once we'd taken care of Lexie's business, we headed back downtown for a stroll along the riverwalk. No matter how sunny and hot it is up on street level, it's always shady and cool down there. I wonder how long it will take my own scrawny little cypress trees, to catch up with those magnificent ones along the river?

Sunday, July 4, 2010


Looks like my tomatoes are pooping out on me. Just a few more to harvest. We've had a pretty good run together, considering it was my first season, and I still have a big colander-full of Juliettes waiting to be roasted. You wouldn't believe all the wonderful things that can come out of one batch of roasted tomatoes! Last night they went into a dish called Baked Feta (a real moaner!), but they are also great on pasta, pizzas, or as a topping for bruschetta, with a bit of goat cheese. I bet they'd be good in an omelette too. If I forget to share my roasting recipe with you soon, you must remind me!

Anywho, I don't really have a space for planting three more tomato plants for my fall garden, and I don't want to disturb the peppers and eggplants by digging that whole bed up, so, I'm thinking I will just yank out the cherry tomato plant - still a favorite with the stink bugs - and trim the other two way back, to see if they might rejuvenate when it cools down, and produce some fall tomatoes for me. Just have to do a bit of research first, to figure out how to go about it.

The bean and carrot bed bore the brunt of the deer's attention, each time they decided to "party down while she's outta town!", and has been pretty well trampled. I'm thinking I should probably yank all that as well, spread a layer of compost/mulch in all my empty spots, and let it do its magic until it's time for fall planting. Speaking of which, I've been doing my best to figure out this whole "crop rotation" business, and I have to say, it's got my head spinning!

The basic concept is pretty straightforward: you don't want to keep planting the same stuff in the same spot year after year. If you do, soil-borne pests and pathogens, specific to that particular plant family, will build up over time, and productivity will decline. So, just shift your plant families over one bed each year, right? Easier said than done.

It works OK if you've only got one planting season, and only one plant family per bed, but a potager doesn't really work that way. The goal is to keep it going year round, which we can do in this mild climate, with the aid of a little frost cloth. Whenever a spot opens up, you work in a bit of compost, then fill it with whatever else can be successfully planted during that particular window of time (again with those closing doors and opening windows!). What you end up with is several different plant families mixed together in one bed, but you have to be very careful how you do it. Some families get along pretty well, while others are like the Hatfields and the McCoys. Oh my aching head. Like I said, it's complicated!

P.S. Many thanks to Organic Gardening Magazine, an invaluable aide to any gardener, and the source of my crop rotation chart, pictured above.