Saturday, April 30, 2011


Miss Becky, Miss P and Miss B -- Then
Miss P, Miss Becky, and Miss N -- Now
This was a weekend for unleashing memories.  Yesterday I spent a good five hours with my friend Miss N., whom we met in Bahrain when we were both newlyweds.  She came armed with photo albums, and as we poured over them together, forgotten faces, names and stories came floating to the surface.

Mr. T, Dear Hubby, and Mr. B. (husband of Muse Buffalo Woman) enjoy the sights and sounds at Wimberley Arts Fest.
Today I did the same thing with dear old friends Mr. T and Miss P, whom we also met in Bahrain.  Then we met up with Miss N at the Wimberley Arts Fest, where we sipped, shopped, and shared for a few more hours.

I can't understand how anyone can stand still, when listening to Ponty Bones and the Squeezetones!
Fiber Woman in her booth at the Arts Fest
Though I'm sad that our visit has come to an end, they did leave me with some very special gifts...

albums full of photos, permission to scan as many as I want, and a passel of story ideas for my other blog, Miss Becky Goes Abroad.


A Peacock Inspects the Kilns at Laguna Gloria

Our good friends P & T are due here in a few hours, and it got me to thinkin' about some very wise words I once heard, though for the life of me, I cannot remember who said them.  I believe we were discussing guys we knew who needed more closet space, and took longer to dress, than their wives, which of course, reminded me of Mr. T.

As with us, Mr. T took a job overseas when he and Miss P were only engaged.  She came to Bahrain a few months later and they were married there.  We were still in Indonesia at the time, and hadn't met them yet, but Miss P told me later that all of T's new friends kept coming up to her after the wedding, telling her how shocked, but relieved, they were to find that he was marrying a nice, quiet kindergarten teacher.  They just couldn't imagine having two Mr. T's in one relationship!  Which is exactly what that wise friend told me, when we were talking about closet space.  She said "You can't have two peacocks in one marriage.  There must be a peacock, and a peahen.

When I started thinking about most of the people we knew, that really made sense.  In almost every couple, there was one of each: one who needed to be center stage, directly under the spotlight, and one who preferred to stand in the wings supporting them,  basking in their reflected glow.  On the other hand, when I thought of the couples that didn't have this balance -- the ones where neither person would utter a word in public, or the ones who were forever elbowing each other out of the way, and trying to talk over one another, I finally understood why those relationships had failed, or if they hadn't, why they were so uncomfortable to be around.

We didn't have that balance at first, and spent a lot of time sitting in the corner together at parties, just watching.  However, John was determined to claim that as his territory, and kept shoving me out towards the center of the room until finally I found my voice...and my plumes!

So which are you?  Peacock, or peahen?

Friday, April 29, 2011


The Peanut Gallery at a B&R Baseball Game in Bahrain
The lady in the Jackson Marine tee-shirt, Miss "N", is going to be in town this weekend, and we are having lunch together.  The one on the far left, Miss "P", and her husband "T", are coming to spend the whole day with us tomorrow.  Hopefully, they are all bringing photos and stories of our time togther in Bahrain, which will serve as fodder for more tales on Miss Becky Goes Abroad.  And, since all my new-found Fly Lady cleaning routines sort of fell by the wayside when DH and the contents of our townhouse arrived here, I am scurrying like crazy to get the house "Company Clean".  TTFN!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011


John in his school uniform - Hawaiian shirt and summer hat!
I can't believe it's dinner-time, and I'm just now sitting down at the computer for the first time today!  I have a good excuse though.  John took me to school with him today!  "So, how does it feel to be back on the UT campus after 35 years?", he asked.  "A lot different.  For one thing, I don't smell any patchouli this time!"

I think I've mentioned before that, for about a year now, John has been enrolled in a program that promotes lifelong learning for "mature people", and he attends lectures and discussion groups each week, on every imaginable subject.  What I didn't know, until today, is that he is now a volunteer on the committee that searches for and lines up interesting speakers.

The reason he let me tag along as his guest today was that one lecture was being given by food writer/blogger Addie Broyles, whom I happen to idolize, and it was all about the Austin trailer-food scene.  Can you believe it?  They estimate we may have as many as 2,000 food trailers in Austin, by the end of this year!

The second lecture was given by the director of sales and marketing for the Duchman Family Winery (formerly Mandola Winery) in Driftwood, and was all about the Texas wine industry and the search for Texas terroir.  I'm not much of a wine drinker, but I am very interested in the taste of place.  I think it's exciting that many of the wineries are finally realizing that it makes no sense to try and grow grapes and make wines that are better suited to other climates, for they will never be able to compete that way.  Instead they are branching out from the Merlots and Cabernet Sauvignons, and making excellent wines from grapes that are better suited to our hot, humid summers, such as Viogniers and Temparillos.

And, of course, after all the tantalizing photos that Addie shared with us, we really couldn't settle for lunch in the cafeteria, now could we?  Instead we made our way to El Naranjo, where we dined on a cold soup of cucumbers, yogurt, serano chilies and cilantro; Oaxacan style salted dry beef tacos; and stuffed golden tacos with green avacado sauce, cream, and crumbled cheese.  Most people think that the food carts are all run by people who know next to nothing about the food industry, but that just isn't so.  El Naranjo is owned and operated by Iliana de la Vega, who owned one of the best restaurants in Oaxaca until the riots of '06 forced her to shut down.  She is now on the board of the Culinary Institute of America, and decided to open and operate this food cart, until her brick and mortar restaurant is ready to open.

On the whole, it was a most satisfactory day, and I have no more doubts whatsoever, as to whether John will make the most of his retirement!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011


 Last Wednesday, just when I was in the middle of the not-so-fun preparations for that not-so-fun procedure, the most unexpected thing showed up in our mailbox.

Did she nail my colors, or what?!
It was a small package, but you know what they say about those, don't you?  Well, I guess it's true, for in it were a hand-knitted dish cloth, and a bar of the most delicious smelling handmade soap!  The only problem was, the soap smelled sooo good, and I was soooooo hungry that day, it was all I could do not to take a bite out of it!

So today I am most grateful for the many interesting, awesome, amazing friends that have come to me via the blogosphere -- even if I've never actually met them in person!

Monday, April 25, 2011


Our Easter dinner this year was inspired by an episode of Jamie Oliver's new food escapes series - this one in Greece.

Sometimes it's fun to do a huge family buffet, groaning with the 30 different things that all the relatives contributed.

But sometimes it's nice to concentrate on just two or three things - things that will make you moan with their deliciousness.

Almond paste, chopped almonds, almond extract and Amaretto, all in one chewy, macaroon-like cookie?  What's not to love?

Sunday, April 24, 2011


This morning, just as I was barely coming awake, I thought I caught a whiff of smoke -- probably a remnant of whatever dream I was having.  Nevertheless, it got me to thinkin'... about what I would do if someone were to come pounding on my door just then.  What if they were to tell me that a huge wildfire was just minutes away from our home, and we had to get out, right then and there?  What would I grab?  What would you grab?  Quick!  Grab a pencil or pen, and without getting up to look around your house, jot down the first five things that pop into your head, other than people and pets (I'm sincerely hoping that they would be at the top of all our lists!), and share what you came up with in the comments below.

Here are the first five things that popped into mine (and I bet #1 will come as a big shock to no one!):
  • The big box of photos and diaries that I am using to write my Miss Becky Goes Abroad blog
  • All John's medications, my glasses, and some underwear
  • The bag of stuff we removed from our safe deposit box in Houston, but haven't yet placed in one here in Wimberley (our bank's boxes are all taken, and the list of people who are waiting for someone to move or die is long)
  • All the tickets, vouchers, itineraries, etc. for our French riverboat cruise, which just came in the mail yesterday
  • Our passports
Considering how high the risk for wildfires is around here right now (high enough that I'm rethinking our plans to grill our Easter dinner out of doors), I'm thinkin' I just might pack a little bag and keep it by the door, at least until we get some rain, just to be on the safe side.  So, be sure to share your "must-saves" with us in the comment section below, lest I forget to pack something vital in my little green bag!