Saturday, April 7, 2012


Stopped by to meet the new neighbors yesterday.
I think I'm in love!

Friday, April 6, 2012


I'm not your typical burger-lovin' Texan. Mostly I could take 'em or leave 'em. It's not that I dislike them, it's just that I'm picky. If I'm gonna waste a butt-load of calories on something, it's gonna be the perfect something. I guess I'm kind of like Goldilocks. I don't like the ones that have a huge thick chunk of meat on them, and I don't like them if the bun is so fat you can't fit your mouth around it. It has to be the perfect ratio of meat to bun.

To me, the perfect burger is a char-grilled hickory burger -- the kind they served at a place called Goff's when I was growing up in Dallas. When we moved to Houston the first time, there was a place called Bellaire Burger near our house that made them just like Goff's, and when we moved back the second time, there was a place called Beck's Prime, right around the corner from our town house, that made a good one. Good name too, don't you think? But despited all of my hubby's dedicated research, he had yet to find a perfect burger for me in the Hill Country...or so I thought.

Just what we needed -- another cart-load of plants!
But who could resist this succulent nirvana? 
Wednesday morning he asked me if I wanted to go check out a new-to-him nursery he had spotted over in Austin. As usual, I said "Sure, why not?" Turns out he had stumbled upon Shoal Creek Nursery -- a nursery which my partner-in-crime Nicki and I had scouted five or six years ago, and really liked, when we were out spying on other nurseries for our jobs at Buchanan's.

It was lunchtime before we ever made it to Austin, so I started tossing out ideas for places where we could get something meatless. "I already have a place in mind, and I can tell you right now, it's not gonna be vegan!"

I think they actually show movies on this screen some nights, for those who opt for carhop service!
At last. The perfect burger. I don't regret the splurge even one tiny bit. However, I am quite happy that it's over an hour away from us. I'll have to want it reeeeeeally bad, to be willing to drive that far for it.
I noticed something funny about my hubby and my camera. Direct it over his shoulder, and you get his normal look. Slide it towards his face, you get goofy. Normal. Goofy. Normal. Goofy. Cracked me up!
When I eventually got bored with that, I held it steady on his face and just waited, and waited, until finally...

Thursday, April 5, 2012


Still having fun with my little online art journaling class. I told you didn't I, that after watching all 30 of the videos in the first week's lessons, I decided that I needed to go back and watch them all again? This time I actually took notes, and even practiced with some of the materials and techniques she was demonstrating. Now I have this little notebook that I can go back and refer to.
On to week two!

Wednesday, April 4, 2012


During the three years that I lived here fulltime, and John came only on weekends and holidays, I lost about ten pounds without even trying. I attributed it to the fact that I never ate much meat when I was alone, though it was more from laziness than virtuousness, I'm afraid. Whatever the reason, I was extremely grateful, for it kept me below my magic cut-off weight -- the one where my arthritis seems to disappear, acid reflux is no longer an issue, I sleep better, I feel better, and my good cholesterol is high enough that they don't bother me too much about my bad, which is always borderline.

Then my hubby retired, joined me here fulltime and, within a year, I was right back where I started. I still did my best to cook healthy for him, including lots of good, fresh veggies from local farmers, eschewing packaged, processed stuff, never frying anything, etc. The only difference, as far as I could see, was that I went back to including meat most nights. I guess my upbringing kicked in, and I feared being thought lazy if I didn't put a "proper" meal on the table each night. It probably didn't help that his spontaneous suggestions for fun outings kept luring me away from my exercise routine, but I wouldn't trade that for the world!

Recently our daughter said we really needed to watch a film called Forks Over Knives. She knows how much I love "foodie" movies, so I was expecting something about locavores or gourmands.  Instead it was about a couple of cardiologists who, despite having grown up on farms eating beef they had raised and drinking lots of good fresh milk, eventually came to the conclusion that all our heart, blood pressure, diabetes, and a multitude of other issues, could be solved by eating a plant based, whole foods diet. Now, I have no way of checking their research data. I am sure there are plenty of people out there with research to dispute their findings. However, one thing did impress me, for I have seen it over and over again. That was the graph that showed how the numbers of people with heart disease had been steadily increasing until WWII broke out and meat, flour, and sugar were rationed, and everyone was forced to plant veggie gardens just to get enough to eat. The line on that graph almost dropped off the page. Soon as the war ended, people went back to gorging on all the things they had missed, and the line went straight back up, through the ceiling! The thing that will probably impress most men watching the film is that, by the end of the study, all the men in the doctors' test group had not only got off most their meds, but also claimed their "flags" to be flying. Anyhoo, like I said, I don't know if there is science to back them up or not. But, when my hubby turned to me at the end of the film and said "You know, we don't have to eat meat every night. It could be more of a week-end/special occasion thing", well, I wasn't about to argue with him!

According to the doctors in the movie, we should be giving up all animal products, including dairy and eggs, all processed foods, and all oils, even olive. Not gonna happen in this house. But, we have been cutting way back on the amount of meat we eat for several weeks now (I made some salmon patties one night, put some turkey pepperoni on a pizza another time, and we get it occasionally at restaurants). To tell you the truth, I haven't missed it at all. My only fear is that we are going to grow weary of the few truly delicious meat free recipes I have in my arsenal. I've been thinking a lot about one of my favorite bloggers, Heather, over at Beauty That Moves. From the saliva-inducing pictures that she posts on a regular basis, I've always assumed she must be a fabulous cook. She just happens to cook mostly vegetarian, and I was always surprised by how delicious everything looked. I've been wishing I had a bunch of her recipes. So, imagine my surprise when I saw this on her blog recently:
I signed up right away, and as a bonus, got the 2-for-1 special, and was able to sign my daughter up for free. Now, let me repeat this, so you don't freak out when you catch me eating meat in a restaurant somewhere. No, we are not turning vegan, or even vegetarian, but hey, knowledge is power, and a little moderation never hurt anyone! Too bad the workshop doesn't start for more than a month.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012


Do you see what I see?
 What is that?
 Could it be?

Monday, April 2, 2012


This morning I would have said no. I would have been wrong.
Booths! I LOVE booths!

Sunday, April 1, 2012


Hmmm. You'd never know that those lighter sections were actually green and orange. Guess certain colors just don't scan well.

Since it looks like yellow, yellow-orange and yellow-greens don't get picked up by the scanner, let's see what happens when I add some deeper oranges and greens, and try scanning it at a higher resolution.
Well, I guess that's a little better, though not much. John tells me I need to learn photo shop or something if I want decent color on-line. Fuuuuuudge. Have I ever mentioned how much I abhor learning technical hoo-hah?