Saturday, August 28, 2010


Oh my word, I almost forgot to remind you! Did you know that today is Tasha Tudor's birthday, and the blogosphere is celebrating? Check out Clarice's post over at Storybook Woods, then go visit Rookery Ramblings, the Tudor family website, and be sure to enter their drawing!

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


Holy Moly! Only 59 degrees out when I woke up this morning! If I'd known it was going to dip that low, I would have slept with the windows open! Soon as I realized how cool it was, I ran about the house as fast as I could, flinging open windows and flipping on fans. I'm sure it will be hot again by ten, but for the next couple of hours at least, there will finally be some fresh air circulating through this house. It's been sealed up tighter 'n a tick for way too long now!

(click image to enlarge)

Friday, August 27, 2010


Oh my my, it's good to be back! Had a lovely week, visiting with my sis. We did a little of this, a little of that. We played some cards. We talked about what's ahead, as retirement nears for us all, and the hopes that we have for this next stage in our lives. But mostly, she snoozed (apparently, it takes a good while to get all that anesthesia out of your system), and I knitted. In fact, I was beginning to feel a bit like dear Miss Marple! Reckon Kathy will remember that I was there?

Thursday, August 26, 2010


I haven't been out of the house since I got to Dallas, but this morning I couldn't take it any longer. I had to have some exercise. My brother-in-law slept in this morning (last night was poker night) so I decided to sneak out for a quick walk while he was still around to keep an eye on Kathy. I opened the door, stepped out onto the porch, and wooaahh...what the...? Why, it's almost...what's the word I'm groping for...chilly? Yes! That's the one! It was almost chilly outside! How could that be? When I was driving up to Dallas I happened to glance down at the thermometer in my car, and it read 107! So where did this lovely fall-like weather come from? Perhaps I should pick up a newspaper now and then, huh? Sure hope the cool front made it as far as the Hill Country, and that it sticks around for at least a few days. Sorry for the lack of photos this week, but I'll be heading back home tomorrow and can return you to your regularly scheduled programming once I'm there. Toodles!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010


If any of you are fans of Mary Jane's Farm magazine, you are probably already familiar with her Farmgirl Sisterhood. But, did you know that Sisters can even earn Merit Badges? For those of you who aren't familiar, the Sisterhood is not a group of women who own farms, though some of them do. It's about having the farmgirl spirit, regardless of where you live, and could just as easily be called the Good Life Sisterhood. It's a group of women who, like me, may have gone through life feeling terribly out of step with our consumer culture, but who have finally found the company of many like-minded, can-do-spirited women.

Once you have joined the Sisterhood, you can begin to connect with others on their forum, and if you choose to, you can begin to earn Merit Badges. Badges come in all different categories - Kitchen, Craft and Needlework, Going Green, Gardening - you name it, there's a badge for it, and each badge has different levels of expertise. Once you complete the steps for a specific badge, you send in a photo of your project (I believe) and they send you the artwork for your specific octagonal-shaped badge, which you can then ink or embroider, and connect to form a pillow or quilt, or apply to a tote bag, apron or jacket - whatever your little heart desires.

Reading through their list of badge titles, such as Connecting Growers & Eaters, Farmgirl Gratitude, Farmgirl Shutterbugs, Homespun Christmas, Know Your Food, Self-Sufficiency, Grow Where You're Planted, and Backyard Farmer, got me to thinkin', about all the many things I have done and ways in which I have grown since moving here to the Hill Country. Sometimes it seems overwhelming, thinking of all I have yet to learn, and I fear I'm just not progressing fast enough. But, once I started making a list of some of the baby steps I have already taken, well, I was quite overcome! Here are a few of the things I came up with:

  • Learning to cook from scratch, using real food.
  • Helping to form The Bountiful Sprout, which connects growers and eaters.
  • Trying new foods, like kohlrabi, kale, and arugula.
  • Making my Christmas presents for the last two years.
  • Learning to take decent photos for my blog.
  • Learning to draw enough to do my little To-Do Lists, and being brave enough to put them out there for all the world to see.
  • Learning to knit.
  • Installing our water catchment system, and taking the steps necessary to make it last through summer dry spells.
  • Making my own laundry soap for the past year.
  • Using less plastic in my kitchen, and more repurposed glassware.
  • Growing some of our food.
  • Learning what's in season when, and grown or produced in this general vicinity.
  • Going to the library more, and buying new books less.
  • Going on a hunt for wild morel mushrooms when they were in season.
  • Making gnocchi from scratch, pickling okra, and freezing fresh peaches when they were in season.
  • Enlisting the aid of Fly Lady to help me conquer the CHAOS (can't have anyone over syndrome) in my home.

What about you? Won't you please share with us one or two of the baby steps you have taken in your quest for The Good Life, so that we can award ourselves with honorary merit badges?

Monday, August 23, 2010


I used to hate traveling when the kids were tiny. It wasn't the kids, it was the paraphanalia that went along with them! Once we got past that stage, I became something of a fanatic about traveling light. No hair dryers or curling irons for me! It was one purse, one dress shoe, one casual, and absolutely everything had to fit in one carry-on bag, or one small rolling duffle if it was for more than a few days. However, when packing for this trip to Dallas, it became painfully obvious that I have entered a new stage of traveling, and I'm not happy about it. Not one tiny bit!

First it was my special pillow. I got a pinched nerve in my neck a few years back, while working at the nursery, and the physical therapist made me start sleeping on one of those Tempurpedic thingies. It was the pits trying to get used to it, but now that I have, I can't sleep on anything else. So now I get to haul it with me wherever I go. Then there's this special tube I have to do exercises on if it starts acting up. I usually don't need it, but if I'm traveling by car, I toss it in - just to be safe. Lately I've started having a bit of reflux, and since I really don't want to start taking any meds unless I absolutely have to, I broke down and bought one of those wedge shaped pillows that elevates your upper body. Then of course, their was my little cooler filled with yogurt to keep you regular, and my oatmeal, and tea, and... OMG! I've turned into my mother!


Woohoo, we're closing in on September! Of course, it's still gonna be hotter'n Hades when it gets here, but at least in September, there's a chance of some cool air or moisture blowing through. I'm heading off to Dallas for a bit - sister #2 just had another knee surgery, and could use some company while she recuperates. I'll be checking in with you from there, but for now, I'll leave you with this photo involving two of my very favorite bullet-proof summer plants, which I took snippets from to fill my little ironstone jug. One is the lovely coral shade of Profusion Zinnia which, unlike regular zinnias, doesn't succumb to mold or whatever in our hot, humid Texas summers. Zinnia linearis is a good one too. The other plant is one I love for its black foliage color, which provides such a nice contrast in a bed or container full of green. It's an ornamental pepper plant called Black Pearl. Well, I suppose you could actually eat the peppers, but I hear they would knock your socks off.

My brother-in-law's birthday just happens to be today, and since Sis is laid up, I thought I'd surprise him with something yummy when I arrive this afternoon, made from those Bountiful Sprout peaches I froze when they were in season. Sooo, guess I'd best get to bakin' and packin', if I want to get to Dallas while it's still his birthday. See ya!

Sunday, August 22, 2010


I knew I was going to like the new Cypress Creek Cafe before I ever took a bite. No, it wasn't the beautiful copper paneling behind the bar that did it. No, it wasn't the cute chalkboard bathroom stalls that announce who's playing in the bar. Nor was it the fact that their hamburger was just the right size for one person, fitting easily into my hands and mouth, comes with a choice of regular or sweet potato fries, and is just one of the options to be had on their reasonably priced lunch specials that even include the beverage. It wasn't even the fact that our waitress turned out to be Sharon, one of our favorites from the now defunct Juan Henry's, and who had remembered us from our time back in Midland. So what was it you ask? It was that chicken sandwich there in my daughter's hands. Why? Because they named it after me! It's called the Hill Country Hippie!