Saturday, February 11, 2012


Just stumbled across this exciting, free, year-long learning opportunity at, and it brought to mind so many of my wonderful friends here in the blogosphere, I knew you'd want to hear about it:

Will You Take The 2012 Urban Farm Handbook Challenge?

You’ve read Michael Pollan and Barbara Kingsolver. You’ve watched Jamie Oliver and vowed to eat healthier, organic and local food. You want to make some changes, but where do you start? The Urban Farm Handbook Challenge, of course!
Twelve months, eleven challenges and one reflection month, all on your schedule and at your level of ease.
How can you say no? Throughout the Urban Farm Handbook we walk you through a year’s worth of change from grains to dairy to vegetables to protein. We offer you both simple and crazy ways to get you on the bus. But now it’s time to get real. That bus is coming for you. Will you get on it?
To help convince you, we’re rounding up other inspiring bloggers to host monthly challenges. And I’ve got to say – I’m super excited about these hosts and challenges and I think you will be too. Let’s check them out:
February: Soil building. It’s too early to garden outdoors in most parts of the country but we can ready our soil. We’ll learn about worm bins, green manures, composting, biochar and amendments with some fun prizes thrown in for random winners.
March: Home Dairy. You don’t need goats or a cow to get started with home dairy. We’ll be learning about simple cheeses, yogurt, buttermilk and creme fraiche.
April: Gardening. It’s time to start sowing seeds indoors, outdoors, and in containers. Wherever you are you have room for something! Erica with NW Edible Life will share all the dirt.
May: Foraging. Hank Shaw from Hunter, Angler, Gardener, Cook will be challenging you to find food on the fly.
June: Botanicals. We’ll look at herbal oils, teas and tinctures to keep you glowing and healthy, both inside and out.
July: Seed Saving. Learn to save your own seeds from the garden or farmer’s market.
August: Preserving. From eating seasonally and cellaring to fermenting and canning, there will be something for everyone this month.
September: Bartering. Kate Payne, the queen of food swaps and author of Hip Girl’s Guide to Homemaking” will walk you through the process.
October: Protein. Choose your own challenge, from hunting to backyard meat to purchasing a whole animal to growing your own beans or making your own tofu. Find out how to make responsibly-sourced protein affordable.
November: Grains. With temperatures dropping and holidays on the way, it’s time to put on a few pounds with baked goods and homebrew. We’ll be baking with whole grains and brewing with all grain mash. No processed flours and malt syrups here!
December: Handcrafted holidays. Drop out of the ultimate commercial machine. We’ll look at home crafting gifts and simplifying the holidays. Slow down and celebrate the reason for the season.
January: Reflections and wrap ups. We’ll share our triumphs and failures in a highlight format. This will be your chance to shine or come clean and develop your personal 2013 goals.
This challenge will be what you make of it – the ultimate in crazy or just dipping your toe in. So join me, won’t you and take the pledge now? Add a little more urban farm to your life in 2012 by taking the challenge.


I spotted this when I came out of our local grocery store the other day, and it put such a huge smile on my face, I just couldn't resist snapping a few pictures.

Is that bike motorized?
Apparently I wasn't the only one it had that effect on, for just about everyone who passed suddenly slowed their pace, then broke out into a grin!

Not only do the bike and bug match each other, they match my blog as well!
I love the funny little retro luggage rack on top.
Now, I don't know about you, but this is what I call "travelin' in style!"

Friday, February 10, 2012


There seems to have been a weed explosion in my beds while I was gone, so I guess it's time to "hoe, hoe, hoe!" You know what they say -- "a weed in time, saves nine." They don't say that, you say? Well, maybe not, but it's true nonetheless. You gotta catch those suckers before they go to seed and produce a million babies! The trick, however, is figuring out which ones are weeds, and which ones are keepers -- babies from some of your favorite plants.
For example, see the tiny slash of bright green flowing through the middle of all that brown in the picture above? Well, though we didn't get any wildflowers at all last year, I do seem to to remember that a couple of years ago, when we had our last rainy season, we had a veritable river of violet verbena flowing across our property in that very same spot. I'm thinking we just might be blessed with another one this year. Cross your fingers! That was the year of a million poppies too, which look like the ugliest of weeds when they first come up. How sad if I had yanked them all out, before they ever had a chance to bloom!

I was planning to get out there bright and early this morning, to start hoeing the flower beds, but woke to the sound of pouring rain. Perhaps I'll be forced to stay inside and read all day, instead. Not only do I have a big basketful of books passed on to me by friends, still waiting to be read. There's also a stack on the coffee table, a couple of library books, and three more that are winging their way to me from Amazon! Now, some of you might consider an entire day spent reading to be the ultimate form of decadence, but I look upon it as part of my job. After all, they say that the very best way to learn how to be a good writer is to read lots and lots of really good books. Now, I don't remember exactly who said that, but, on this one, I'm absolutely positive that someone did! So, which one shall I indulge in, um, work on, next? I'm thinking perhaps The Paris Wife, by Paula McLain - yet another book centered upon the Midnight in Paris characters and era. Have any of you read it yet? If so, what did you think?

Thursday, February 9, 2012


Can you believe this is the only photo I snapped, the whole time I was in Houston? Must've been having too much fun, huh?

The photo was taken at Memorial City Mall, my old stompin' grounds from days gone by. I don't know how many times I must have walked past these leather benches, but I guess I was always looking towards the shop windows instead.  Or maybe it was because, unlike this time, when I got there before the stores were open,  the mall was always jam-packed with people. Anywho, for whatever reason, I never noticed 'til now that the benches are shaped like cowboy boots!  Funny, no?

Tuesday, February 7, 2012


Greetings from our little Holiday Inn Express in the "energy corridor" of Houston Texas. As I've mentioned before (more than once I'm sure) I get up waaaaay before my husband. That's fine at home, where there's plenty of space for me to go do my thing without disturbing him, but when we are sharing a hotel room, it can be problematic. That's why, whenever we travel, I usually wander downstairs or to a nearby cafe to enjoy a steaming mug of hot tea or cocoa, and to do a little writing or to enjoy a newspaper and a puzzle, which we no longer get at home.

So, this morning I came downstairs to where our hotel was serving their typical "free" breakfast. I had to grab one of their little styrofoam cups and a Lipton tea bag, then dispense some hot water from a carafe. I carried it over to one of the half-dozen or so little round tables in the lobby area, all of which already had several other business travelers seated at them, and climbed up onto one of the tall bar stools. Looking around at the others in the the room, I realized that, as if the giant flat screen TV that was blaring the Fox "news" station weren't enough, every single person was dividing their attention between that and either their laptops or their i-phones, or both, while gulping down their styro cups of coffe and shoveling in untasted/tasteless food from the buffet.

It got me to thinkin' -- about the mornings in France where I wandered downstairs to sip delicious beverages out of real mugs that warmed one's hands, and lingered to enjoy first the quiet, and then the sounds of a town waking up and coming to life. But it wasn't just me, the fortunate traveler, who was savoring my morning. The locals were doing it as well, as if they felt it was their due! We Americans are good at so very many things, but I'm afraid mornings just aren't one of them.

Monday, February 6, 2012


The hubby needed to go to Houston on business for a few days, so I decided to hop in the car and go with him.  Guess that means no proper posts, with pictures and all, for a while, but I will try to check in now and again.  In the meantime, thought you might enjoy these Hill Country Critter sculpture photos, from out at Old Oaks Ranch, our local fiber arts center/sculpture garden/alpaca ranch.  Don't have too much fun without me!

Sunday, February 5, 2012


but when I do, I prefer...
the half-order of Migas, at the Wimberley Cafe.
There's nothing quite like a neighborhood cafe, where the food is always tasty, and the crowd is always predictable.  The same group of cowboys is always on the porch drinking coffee and smoking cigarettes (though we no longer have to worry about the elderly one who even smoked when wearing his oxygen tank).  If the weather is halfway decent, there will always be a passel of Harleys in the parking lot, as our cafe is situated on one of the most popular roads for Hill Country bikers.  I am sad to report, though, that it's been months since we've spotted little Miss Bobbi sitting at her favorite table, and I fear she may have passed on to that great cafe in the sky.  There is a new "fixture" in the cafe now, almost every time we go, though he prefers the counter to a table.  We call him Mr. Tie-Dye.
I just love the way the colors in his shirt blend perfectly with the cafe decor!  One thing we don't see quite so often is this:

Someone drove their tractor to breakfast again!
So remember, if you find yourself in a parking lot, where a Prius or a Smart Car is parked between some Harleys and a John Deere, you just might be in Wimberley!