Friday, July 16, 2010


As I've mentioned before, I'm not one who gets overly attached to my stuff. If it's no longer serving a purpose, getting used on a regular basis, off it goes to a thrift store, in hopes of finding a better home. Especially since we've reached the stage now where we've accumulated way too much stuff, and we're downsizing to a much smaller space.

During the final years of her life, Mom just about drove me crazy over stuff. Every time I went to see her, she had a big pile of it waiting, and insisted that I take it with me. I tried to fight it at first, but later decided that it was much easier just to take it all and say thank you. It made her so very happy, and if it mostly got donated the minute I got home, she would never know, since she was beyond being able to travel to Wimberley.

One thing, though, did not get donated. It was the most beautiful antique, cut glass, cruet with stopper. Simple but elegant. I've kept it out on my counter ever since, filled with red wine vinegar, and it puts a smile on my face each time I see it. Or at least, it did until last night, when I was giving my sparkly-clean kitchen one final swipe, and some how managed to knock it over, shattering it beyond repair. That one really hurt, and it's probably gonna hurt for some time to come. Each time I start to mix a vinaigrette for our dinner salad, I will reach for that empty spot, and feel a pang of loss. So, so sorry, Mom.

Thursday, July 15, 2010


Up until now, my preparations for this weekend's shindig have been of the leisurely sort - catching up on overdue projects around the property, doing just a couple of things per week at first, then a couple

per day as it drew closer. I've got a freezer-full of Mexican brownies and enough soft drinks for a small army. I've filled in many deer-induced blank spots in my flower pots, had the big oak pruned up so it doesn't slap people in the face when they go up and down the stairs, and

even tried to neaten up my gardening supplies on the downstairs porch. Yeah, I know, still not great, but you shoulda seen it before! All in all, I'm thinking I should probably write my cousins a thank you note, for providing just the kick in the pants I needed, to get all this done. Unfortunately, this was still not enough motivation to make me finish painting that dang cinderblock wall, which got me to wondering, just what would do the trick? Perhaps frigid temperatures in the netherworld?

Now we're down to the wire, though, and it's time to step up the tempo. Today I've got to shop for the perishables, cook a huge pot of meat sauce for tomorrow's dinner, then clean my entire house from top to bottom. I've tried cleaning ahead of time before, and it never works. We always mess it up again, and it just has to be redone. Once I get the kitchen sparkly-clean, no one will be allowed to cook or eat anything!

The good news is that, at some point tomorrow morning, I will finally reach that magic point where I say "Chuck it! I'm not doing anymore. There is no point in trying to pretend that no one actually lives here!", and then, I'll start to enjoy myself. Also good is the fact that, since attendance ended up on the low side, parking won't be quite the nightmare we anticipated. Perhaps we can even make it through the weekend without having to call any tow trucks!

The sad news is that from this point on, things will probably go by in a mad rush, and Sunday will be here in the blink of an eye. Once that final brunch is over with, my guests won't be the only ones who must depart. Poor John must head back to the salt mines as well. Back to his depressing consulting job with BP. Back to his same grueling schedule. Back to having no idea when he will be able to return to Wimberley. I guess it's possible that he won't be back before Christmas, though I certainly hope not, and of course, I will continue going to see him in Houston each week. At least, however, there is one bit of tremendously good news to look forward to. When he comes home at Christmas, it will be for good!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010


Are you familiar with the Simple Woman Blog, and The Simple Woman's Daybook phenom that has resulted from it? I thought I would join in on the fun today, and hope some of you will follow suit.


Outside my hubby sits rocking on the porch, eating toast with cinnamon honey.

I am lucky I am to finally live in a place with beautiful views from every window.

I am thankful hubby being here at home, after 3 months of working out of town.

From the learning rooms...not a homeschooler, but I've been learning a lot myself lately through reading historical novels, about the Mexican revolution, Diego Rivera, Frida Kahlo, Trotsky, Stalin, and life during the Great Depression here in the states.

From the kitchen...pesto, roasted tomatoes, tomato pie, peach pie.

I am wearing...a pink cotton nightgown with black polkadots, buttons and lace trim.

I am always, this blog about the good life, my little graphic "to do" lists and garden journals, knitted dish cloths, plus trying to decide what to make for Christmas gifts.

I am exercise and to have a handmade from scratch taco at Mima's for lunch afterwards.

I am reading...The Lacuna, by Barbara Kingsolver, and The Darling Dahlias and the Cucumber Tree, by Susan Wittig Albert.

I am hoping...that everyone has a wonderful time at the cousin's reunion we are hosting this weekend.

I am hearing...the whirling of a ceiling fan overhead, birds chirping outside, the bathroom vent fan, and a periodic truck passing on the highway, some ways off.

Around the house...making to-do lists for the next three days, in preparation for the reunion.

One of my favorite things...sitting on the porch to watch the sun come up, then scribbling in my journal about whatever popped into my head while doing that. Dark chocolate. Color - lots, and lots of cheerful color. Yes, I realize that was more than one thing.

A few plans for the rest of the week: just hoping to stay calm and go with the flow, while trying to ensure that eighteen other people are having a good time.

Here is picture for thought I am sharing...the spot where I do my very best thinking!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010



Only three days left until my "Cousin's Confab" guests begin arriving, and so far, the only thing I've done to prepare for it is shop for the non-perishables. Well, my sister did plan all the food, assign everyone their duties, and shop for all the paper goods. And John did clean out the garage. And I guess I did refurbish the porch and get the Cantina Garden spruced up, cleared out and spread with compost, ready for fall planting. Oh, and I did finally nail down a restaurant for Saturday, get a room reserved, and finalize the menu. OK, maybe my "DONE" list isn't so empty after all.

As it turns out, it's going to be more of a sibling's reunion than a cousin's confab, as we ended up with only two out of ten cousins able to attend, plus a spouse, a son and his girlfriend, and possibly an aunt. However, if you add in my three siblings, our spouses and our kids, we'll still have close to 20 in attendance. And, when you consider that the last time my family was all together in one place was for Mom's funeral, I guess that's a worthy accomplishment in and of itself.

My siblings have rented the old country church B&B that you can see from my porch, and my sisters are super excited about finally getting a peek inside! Hopefully I can get some pictures for you. And that antique store that was being turned into a Mexican restaurant? The one that's directly across the road from us, and would have been sooooo convenient for our main dinner on Saturday night? Well, it's still not open, even though they've been working on it for about a year now! With all the time and money that's been sunk into that place, I sure hope it manages to stay afloat longer than the average new business around here. Though it will be mighty handy for us, the tourists don't tend to stray much from the center of town - which is probably why the antique business failed in the first place.

So, here's the plan as it stands now:

Friday evening everyone shows up here for happy hour and dinner, once they've checked into their accommodations. We were planning to then head over to the Corral Theatre for a showing of the brand new Sorcerer's Apprentice (the one with Nicholas Cage, not Mickey Mouse), but at the last minute they switched to showing Twilight: Eclipse for the second weekend in a row. Boooo! Half of us have already seen it, and the other half don't want to!

Saturday will be the Design Your Day in Wimberley scenario described here, followed by an afternoon rest, then dinner, not right across the street, but 15 minutes away at Milagros.

Sunday we wind things up with a brunch here at the house, then everyone heads back home.

It may not be the well-orchestrated, well-attended, event-of-the-decade that big sis had hoped for, but I think everyone involved will have a good time. My one and only goal is to stay calm, go with the flow, and not spoil my hubby's brief respite here in Wimberley by getting my knickers in a twist over anything. Wish me luck!

Monday, July 12, 2010


John finally made it to Wimberley on Saturday afternoon. The first thing he did on Sunday was dive into one of his back-breaking, heat-stroke-causing, sweat-bathing, outdoor projects (clearing out and hauling off a garage-full of accumulated crap, then power-washing everything down) after three months of being totally sedentary. I was running out there every few minutes to check on him (thus irritating the heck out of him) but just didn't have the heart to make him stop. When he finally came in, his face was red as a beet and his clothes were soaking wet, but he was a happy boy.

Not long after he got cleaned up, our friends Paula and Tim arrived, having made the 2 1/2 hour drive from College Station just to spend the afternoon with him. They guys were able to sit on the porch together, smoking cee-gars, for the first time in almost a year; got to watch the end of the World Cup together in the man-cave; and then we took John to dinner at Salt Lick Barbecue over in Driftwood - his first time since before his by-pass surgery a year ago May. All in all, I'd say it was John's idea of a perfect day!


I'm absolutely mad about the way these two glass sculptures mimic the colors and shapes in the painting above - especially so since, once again, it was by chance rather than design. John gave them to me for my birthday several years ago, and I'm sure this painting never crossed his mind when he was purchasing them. In fact, he much prefers it when I have them sitting near a window, with sunshine pouring through the glass, so that's where they usually are. But, somehow, this painting keeps calling them back.