Saturday, May 14, 2011


OK, I'm looking over an article called Last Time I Saw Paris.  I tore it out of Gourmet magazine several years ago, and it's all about Reichl's quest for the Paris she remembered from the 60's -- not the classic tourist haunts, but the kind of places where local people get together to enjoy great meals that don't cost a fortune.  The only trouble is, it's hard to make up my mind!  So, which of these do you think my hubby would prefer?

A) The one where "if you are ever going to be tempted to try pigs' head cheese, cows' udders, or veal kidneys, this is the place...his lamb brains are soft, sweet little puffs dotted with gently roasted garlic...his salad of shredded pig's ear is a textbook on the nature of crispness..."


B) The one where "Robert cooked his great haunches of beef right in the old fireplace."

Friday, May 13, 2011


Good News: We have finally unpacked enough boxes that I can actually get my car in the garage again.

Bad News:  I think our clothesline got blown over one too many times.

Thursday, May 12, 2011


Six more days, and I'm in Paris, Y'all!  Hard to believe it's been 34 years since I was last there.  Paris was the 9th stop out of 10 in our whirlwind, 29-day tour of Europe, on our way home from living overseas the first time.  Sometimes I wonder how we were still even speaking to each other at the end of it all.  If I'd been the same little girl he'd married -- the one who had been brought up to believe that happy couples were supposed to like all the same things, and go everywhere and do everything together -- we would have been on our way to divorce court at the end of that trip.  Fortunately for the both of us, I had matured a bit by then.  I'd learned that time apart can make you appreciate time together all the more.  So we gave each other a bit more space than we had on our honeymoon.

It being the 70's and all, our trusty guidebook on this trip was that classic, Europe on Five Dollars a Day, only I think our version might have been $10, or even $20.  Whatever the going rate, you can rest assured, ours was not a luxury tour!  We hit ten major cities in Greece, Italy, Switzerland, Austria, Denmark, France and England.  Since we had no reservations anywhere, we'd arrive at the airport or train station with our big wheelless suitcases, take a bus or subway to whatever area of town the guidebook recommended, and trudge from door to door until we found a place with a vacancy.  After the first few cities, we managed to buy a couple of wheeled carts that we could strap our suitcases into, but then you had to give up half the space in your suitcase to pack them inside it, when you went on a plane or train.

Anyhoo, as you can well imagine, buy the time we got to Gay Pah-ree, we were more bedraggled than gay.  In fact, we were exhausted, and I had a raging sore throat and a bad case of laryngitis.  We had to take a bus and two subways to get to the area where the bargain hotels were, only to find that all of the book's top recommendations were full.  We ended up in a dumpy room on the 5th floor (no elevator, of course), sharing one bathroom with everyone else on the floor, and with a bed that sagged so badly in the middle, neither of us could manage to stay on our own side!  And yet, there's just something about Paris...

In three short days we managed to cram in the movie Annie Hall, the Louvre, the Eiffel Tower, Montmartre, the Folies Bergere, shop the Rue de Rivoli, eat at some really bad restaurants, and one or two really good ones, see the works of the impressionists at the Jue de Paume museum, tour Versailles and Notre Dame, and spend a bit of time sitting in a cafe on the Champs Elysee.  It was terrible.  It was wonderful.  I remember telling each other that someday, when we were stinkin' rich, we would come back and do Paris in style.
Who comes home from a month in Europe weighing 5 or 10 pounds less than when they started?  People who follow the book Europe On $10 A Day!
Well, somewhere along the way, our priorities changed.  My idea of "doing Paris in style" this time will simply involve a better mattress, a lot less running around to famous sites, and a whole lot more sitting and watching.  Oh, and deffinitely better food! (though it will probably be of the neighborhood cafe, bistro, bakery variety, not the Michelin Star variety)

Wednesday, May 11, 2011


Is that a cute sundress Lex is wearing, or what?  Not bad, for someone who had never sewn a stitch until just a couple of months ago!

If you're wishin' you could sew like that too, and you live anywhere near Austin, get thee to the Stitch Lab!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011


Where's Palin?
Oh yeah!  I forgot to tell you about our party crasher this weekend!  Did any of you happen to notice the one person who really looked out of place at our very bohemian gathering this weekend?  She's third from the right on the back row.

Uh-oh!  Wallace is NOT happy!
Outdoor Woman's little dog Wallace spotted her when she tried to horn in on the birthday girl's photo, and just about went bonkers.  If you even say the P-word, he'll start yappin', but if he sees her face, he goes absolutely berserk, growling and snarling and threatening to tear her to bits!

Outdoor Woman finally had to stuff Ms. P into a closet, just to get him to calm down.  Of course, from that point on, one person or another would feel compelled to say "Hey Wallace!  Where's Sarah?  Where's Sarah Palin?", just to see if they could set him off again.  He must be a very liberal dog!

Monday, May 9, 2011


See that pillow in the middle of the sofa?  I stumbled across it about a year ago.  The combination of poppies (I love poppies) and all those colors that I adore just reached out and grabbed me and wouldn't let go.  Whenever that happens, I feel fairly confident that I can bring that item home with me and find the perfect spot for it.  But this time my gut let me down.  The colors were good in my living room, but the pillow itself was all wrong.  It was too big, and got in everyone's way.  The first thing anyone did when they sat on the sofa was pick it up and toss it over their shoulder!  So, very reluctantly, I stuck it up in the top of my linen closet.

The other day, when I was digging out my summer sofa cover, this pillow was in my way, so I tossed it on the bed for a minute.  When I turned around to put it away again, I found myself saying "Whoah, wait a minute!"

When I try to coordinate things on purpose, they turn out OK, just way too matchy-matchy.  Once in a blue moon though, something brilliant comes together completely by accident.  Fortunately, even if I can't usually cause it to happen at will, I can recognize it when I see it.

In fact, not only do I recognize it, it drives me absolutely color-mad!

Sunday, May 8, 2011


She thought it was just the 4 Muses, doing a "fancy dress" progressive luncheon -- but we told her to wear her swimsuit underneath, in case we decided to jump in Outdoor Woman's creek or hot tub.  Appetizers at my house.

Well, it's not easy pulling off a surprise party -- especially when you've got a half dozen women in several different cities (the main hostess in Africa through most of the planning period), and one hubby (who's wife "reads him like a book") involved in the planning and preparations, but I think we pulled it off.  In fact, I think it's safe to say that, for one afternoon at least, our Fiber Woman was one Flabbergasted Woman!

The party favors, handed out in advance, were sparkly "fascinators" for each of us to wear in our hair.
All of FW's friends are artists, musicians, or both!

FW wore many crowns throughout the day -- these came from the Philippines, and had tiny animal skulls on them.
Time to cool off.
Time for a nap.
Time to pose.
And now, time to go home, after a very, very well-celebrated day!