Saturday, May 25, 2013


It's Cactus-Blooming Time!
Sister Gus left day before yesterday. Today, BFFs Paula and Tim arrive. And, as if that weren't enough fun and excitement, in between the two we got another inch and a half of rain. Woohoo! On the down side, we just happened to notice yesterday that water seemed to be spitting out through the connection seams on both of the garage downspouts, rather than heading down to our big tank. Man oh man, we really hate wasting good water! That could explain why, when we had that last heavy rain, our tank didn't end up nearly as full as we thought it should be. It's always somethin', isn't it? On the plus side, they finally called to say they should be out to install our new AC unit on Tuesday. Yabba Dabba Doooooooo!

Friday, May 24, 2013


In Austin there is this hill, and on this hill sits a house -- a house that was built to look like a castle. Hence the name, Castle Hill. Well, as if that weren't enough Austin weirdness for one location, my Hubby was out adventuring on Castle Hill not long ago, and you'll never guess what he stumbled across smack dab in the middle of this fancy-schmancy neighborhood. A graffiti park!

Apparently these walls were the foundation for some condos or something, but I'm not sure whether the condos got torn down, or just never got built.

Anywho, it's such a totally Austin-ish thing to find, I just had to share it with you.

Thursday, May 23, 2013


There's just sumthin' 'bout sunflowers, isn't there? I just can't look at them without smiling!

Isn't it fortunate, then, that these showed up in my Bountiful Sprout basket this week?

Wednesday, May 22, 2013


It dropped down to 59F last night, and this is the coolest our house has felt in over a week! Of course, it will probably be back up into the nineties in just a few hours but, for now, it feels absolutely delicious! We finally got an estimate from the A.C. guy. It would cost almost a thousand dollars to replace the part that he "thinks" is causing our problem. Since we spent almost that much on this unit just a few months ago when something else went wrong, and since it's probably 16 or 17 years old now, we've decided it's probably time to just bite the bullet and replace the unit altogether.  They say they "might" be able to get to that by the end of this week but, then again, it could be the early part of next week. Sheeeeeeesh!

Speaking of heavenly days, what fun we had yesterday with our Discovery Station play day!

We had one station set up for creating monoprints on my Gelli plate...

and one for trying your hand at a bit of stamp-carving.

There was the Spray & Play station, for experimenting with Dylusions ink sprays, stencils, and Dyan Reaveley's ghosting technique.

Plus we had stations for playing with rubber stamps and Gelatos (the paint sticks, not the ice cream), and for doing a bit of kitchen parchment collage work. I was blown away by the amount of art that a mere four women could create in just a couple of hours...

Love, love, love our Spirit Woman's labyrinth stamp!
but not the least bit surprised by the size of our mess.

Nor am I surprised that the mess is still there, 24 hours later. When we came back from our taco lunch at Mima's, my sister and I found ourselves being drawn back to the table, to do a bit more puttering. The same thing happened after dinner, and we were still there at bedtime. Will everything get cleaned up and put away today? I guess that remains to be seen.

Outdoor Woman has volunteered to host next month's Artsy Play Day and, knowing my friend, I'm guessing it will take place out of doors!

Tuesday, May 21, 2013


Can you believe it? My sister Kathy told us yesterday that she'd never been to Salt Lick! Well, we took care of that problem lickety split!

Know what else she told us? She's never been to Trattoria Lisina either. Woohoo!

Monday, May 20, 2013


I used to wonder how people in places like Texas and Australia ever survived before air conditioning. After a week with ours on the blink, I'm beginning to understand. They managed by working with nature, rather than against it, and by building houses a lot like this one which we live in now.

They had light colored metal roofs, to reflect the sun overhead, and deep porches and eaves, to protect from the sun's slanting rays each morning and afternoon.  They had large, screened windows on all sides, which can be thrown open to catch those cross breezes, and ceiling fans in every room.

They had thick, well insulated walls, and sometimes even half-buried their homes in the earth. Our lower level backs up to solid earth, which gives it a cave-like feel and a fairly steady temperature year-round.

But, most importantly, they took siestas in the afternoon!

Sunday, May 19, 2013


My original plan for sister Gus' welcoming dinner tonight was to prepare these lovely beef cheeks that I got from The Bountiful Sprout. They are quite delicious when allowed to braise slowly in a splash of good wine. However, it just occurred to me that having my oven on all afternoon is probably not the brightest idea, unless, of course, I want my sister to step through the door, and decide that agreeing to visit someone whose AC is on the blink is the worst decision she ever made in her life!

Fortunately, whilst digging around in the freezer, I came across not only some leftovers of a yummy Black Bean Tortilla Casserole that I made, but also a package of Bountiful Sprout's tamales -- both microwaveable!

Best of all, I remembered this little jewel of a leftover container, brought home from The Leaning Pear last night...

containing a bit of Goat Cheese Queso Fundido. I think that will be Ab Fab drizzled over the tamales, don't you? Now all we need is a bit of bright green guacamole for our plates, and we're good to go!