Saturday, June 2, 2012


Remember how they used to tell us we needed to have a rainbow on our plates every night? Well, I'm thinking this "Rainbow Stir-Fry" from my 30 Day Vegan class definitely passed the test. I'm really lovin' how simple but tasty all Heather's recipes have been so far. For this one we just sauteed some sliced carrots in a bit of olive or coconut oil, then added some chopped broccoli and a splash of water. After a couple of minutes we added all the rest of the ingredients -- corn kernels, purple cabbage, cherry tomatoes, minced garlic, and a bit of grated fresh ginger -- and stir-fried everything for a couple of minutes, then added another splash of water and put a lid on the pan to let everything steam for a couple of minutes. Last step is to Remove it from the heat, give it a stir, and leave it covered for 2-3 more minutes, depending on how crunchy you like your veggies.
To serve you just splash it with a bit of tamari or soy sauce, salt and pepper to taste, then serve it over the grain or noodle of your choice.
We used the coconut oil this time, which gave it a Thai flavor, and served it over some brown rice. Next time I may use olive or canola oil spiced up with a dash of sesame and/or chili oil, for more of a Chinese flavor, and maybe serve it over some lo mein or whole wheat pasta. I like having a rainbow on my plate!

Friday, June 1, 2012


Four years dating + thirty-seven married = Woooaaah! I musta been a baby when I met John! Seriously. I was only seventeen when we had our first date. To celebrate the 37th anniversary of this matrimonial adventure, we first headed here:
We were there to see Jack Black's new movie Bernie. What a hoot! My favorite line was when one of the real Bernie's (this is a true crime story) actual east Texas neighbors was telling us how Texas was really five separate states. He then proceeded to describe the population of each. We were about ready to wet our pants by the time he got to Central Texas, or "The Republic of Austin, where you've got all yer hairy-leggid women and yer liberal looney tunes."(or thereabouts - I was laughing too hard to catch it all!)

From there we went to kill a little time at Book People and Anthropologie (my inspiration incubator), and then it was off to this place -- the one restaurant I have heard more hubbub about than any other, since moving to the Hill Country.
I called for a reservation a couple of days in advance, but the only time they could give me was 5:00, when they first open. That actually turned out to be a blessing. Uchi is a very high dollar "contemporary Japanese & Sushi" restaurant, and the menu is rather confusing and a bit overwhelming to first timers -- even if you know a lot about sushi, which we don't. It just so happens though, that from 5-6:30 they have a "Sake Social Hour", where you can try a lot of different things, in smaller portions, for just an average high dollar price, instead of the usual ultra high. We tried this...

Our favorite - yellowtail in a spicy orange vinaigrette - which we ordered twice more. I think it was called Hama Chili. 
 and this...

Brussels Sprouts like you have never experienced!
 and this...

An ooey-gooey, crispy crunchy rice, fish and egg concoction that I can't even describe.
and a whole lot more, including three desserts, though that was completely unintentional, I swear.
We were just going to share the cooked milk with browned butter and a ginger sorbet, the one in the lower left corner. But then at the last second John said "Oh, why don't you bring me a cup of that lemon sorbet. He had no idea it was going to come out looking like this!
As if that weren't bad enough, they then plopped a third dish down -- this strawberry concoction, also involving sorbet and some kind of cooked milk. They called it "our gift to you." I'm guessing they must have noticed me opening my anniversary card from John.
When we were finally finished, John asked me if the dinner had lived up to my expectations. "Honey, I was happy as soon as that waiter (a tall blonde adonis with a ponytail and an Aussie accent -- think Thor!) walked up to our table. The rest was just gravy!" Know what I love best about my hubby? He thought that was pretty dang hilarious. He knows he's my one and only. Always has been. Always will be.

Thursday, May 31, 2012


Not all was lost when Houdini went on his munching rampage through the new "wildly abandoned" bed. There are plenty of other things in the Cantina Garden that are still doing quite well . . .
and I'm still seriously groovin' on all these Hill Country sunset color echoes!

A collage painting I did four or five years ago (before I'd ever heard of mixed media or art journaling), using an old photo of my MIL Theda riding a donkey.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012


Oh my! What is this? Hard to believe there could be anything on the supply list for my next class that I don't already have, but apparently I was missing this -- the cutest little water color set you ever saw!
It looks quite big in these photos, but it actually folds up to the size of a postcard (albeit a very thick postcard), perfect for tucking into a purse or tote bag. To tell you the truth, it has me more than a little nervous.
Playing around with water color pencils and crayons is one thing. Using real watercolors, with a real brush and a real palette? Well now, that's a whole nuther ball o' wax!

Tuesday, May 29, 2012


I took the Hike & Bike over to the Blue Hole the other day, hoping to catch a glimpse of the Phase II projects they've been working on all winter. They still had the playing field/pavilion area blocked off, but I did get to see one or two new additions. First was that small amphitheater above. I'm guessing that's where they are now holding weekly concerts.

Next I spotted the sign below, and couldn't resist following the path to see where it led.
I couldn't step out onto the overlook yet (it seems to be missing a protective railing) but I was able to snap a couple of shots from off to the side.

Looking down onto the Blue Hole swimming area
A zoomed-in shot
I also saw signs promising lots more options for walkers and nature-lovers -- all part of Wimberley's master plan for becoming one of the healthiest little towns in the country. I think it's working!

Monday, May 28, 2012


Know what I love most about my new art classes? It's that they are making me look at the world through new eyes. I'm seeing things in a whole new way -- things like sheep and donkeys and radishes. I've gone years without buying any radishes. Doing that little sketching lesson must have brought them back onto my radar though, for when I saw something called "watermelon radish" on Bountiful Sprout's last availability list, I found myself thinking "Hmmm. Why not?"
When I cut into that first one, the sheer beauty of it had me gasping with delight, then sent me running for my camera.
It tickled me no end that I was using "watermelon" radishes to make a watermelon salsa!
It was then that they came to me -- the words I had been searching for. Words to complete a page in my art journal. A page that had been crafted from bits and pieces of stuff I might normally have thrown away, but now found myself looking at through new eyes -- things like buttons, pretty napkins, crumpled lunch sack paper or the wrappers from those gorgeous Nectar soaps that John occasionally gifts me with.
A little envelope of goodies in the corner of the page, made from a cellophane bag my jeweler gifted me with, when he was changing the battery on my watch.

Sunday, May 27, 2012


I confess. This post has a double purpose. Primarily it's to share a lovely HIll Country day with you. But I figured it couldn't hurt to remind our son Austin what he's missing out on this weekend, so he'll get his rear in gear and bring his two favorite gals to see us sometime soon!
Lex and Nate came in Friday evening after dinner, so we stayed up late talking, then let them sleep in on Saturday. Oh, ok, I admit it. I had a great book I just had to finish before I started visiting and gadding about. If you were adopted yourself, have adopted a child, or just happen to know someone who was adopted, I highly recommend a just-released book called Two Hearts: An Adoptee's Journey Through Grief To Gratitude -- a memoir written by my Story Circle Network and blogging friend, Linda Hoye. Like me, Linda is an introverted, rather private person, and I can only imagine how difficult it was for her to share her story with the entire world. She is a woman with a mission, though -- to let the world see "what it was like to be raised during the era of closed adoption, when the process was shrouded in shame." It's important that we all see how the secrecy of closed adoption hurt those the process was intended to protect. I got just one or two chapters read before the kids arrived, then got up at 4:30 am yesterday to read a little more, but didn't put it down until I reached the last page. I couldn't!

Anyhoo, once everyone was up, we headed for our favorite pizza joint/brew pub, Brewster's. Whilst there, we were reminded that Wimberley Glassworks was honoring their 20th anniversary this weekend with a huge "Glass Bash", so we decided to go check it out.
Ponty Bones and the Squeezetones -- one of my favorite local groups!
Tim has gone from making his first, thumb-sized piece of blown glass in 1980, to doing lighting installations, such as the one pictured above, in commercial building and private homes all over the country!
Great food and beverages from local brewers, distillers, bakeries and cafes.
I caught my hubby hanging around at the sales counter and went to rein him in, but got shooshed away. I'm guessing this anniversary celebration inspired him to purchase something to honor another anniversary that's coming up next week -- our 37th!

From there we headed out to Driftwood Winery. None of us were hungry for dinner yet, so we thought it might be nice to share a bottle of wine somewhere picturesque. Unfortunately, the tasting room was closing up just as we got there. Still, it was worth the trip, just for the view!
We still weren't hungry, but we were already in Driftwood, and we knew the wait for a table at Salt Lick, on a holiday weekend, was bound to be long enough to build up our hunger, so we headed on over there.  Waiting time estimate? One hour and forty five minutes! We took our buzzer and headed back to the their tasting room, which has a lovely new deck/seating area all its own.
In less than half the estimated time, they called us to our table. Would you believe me if I told you I ate only veggies? Nah, didn't think so. Just can't resist the aroma of roasting flesh!

Not a bad start to the weekend, eh? Today we're thinking perhaps Men in Black or the Blue Hole.