Saturday, July 6, 2013


Yesterday evening we crammed the whole gang into as few cars as possible, and headed out to dinner up at Brewster's Pizza & Brew Pub. We were only halfway down our driveway when I suddenly hollered "Stop!", and my hubby slammed on the breaks. He probably thought I had seen a deer ready to leap out, or that I had forgotten my purse or something. But no. I had just spotted our kiddo's cars parked together in our lower parking pad, and realized I just had to snap a photo of them!

Hey, are we patriotic, or what?

Friday, July 5, 2013


Now that it's just the two of us living here, I no longer do those mega-marathon trips to the grocery store each week. The place where I exercise it right next to the grocery store, so I usually pop in almost daily, getting just what I need for that evenings meal. Also, we no longer keep milk and OJ in there, so other than a pitcher of tea, a bit of good cheese, a few jars of pickles, a bit of fruit and veggies down in the drawers, and a few condiments, our refrigerator stays pretty much empty. I don't even buy salad dressing anymore, since discovering how easy it is to make a good vinaigrette from scratch.

Poodie and Gus Gus Arrive
When my siblings each asked what they could bring to our little get-together, I told them I had Thursday's dinner and Saturday's brunch covered, and we'd probably eat the rest of our meals out, but if they wanted to bring a few munchies for while we were hanging at the house playing Shanghai or whatever, that would be fine.

Sooooo, my hubby gets up this morning and wanders into the kitchen. He opens the refrigerator door, and then he just stands there for a few minutes, with a look of awestruck wonder upon his face. Finally he says "I don't think I have EVER seen this much food in our refrigerator!"

Add to that the buffet covered in chips, nuts and crackers, and the four pans of cakes and brownies on the kitchen counter, and I think they've got this munchy thing pretty well covered, don't you?

Thursday, July 4, 2013


My siblings should start dribbling in any time now. Guess I've done about all I can do to get ready.

First to arrive gets to snitch a Mexican Chocolate Streusel Brownie

Let The Revelry Begin!

Wednesday, July 3, 2013


I have loved playing with paints and crayons for as long as I can remember. In fact, my earliest, most vivid memories are all related to that passion. How sad is it, then, that I spent the next fifty years avoiding them like the plague? 

Why? Because I was under the impression that I sucked at drawing. In fact, I'd tell anyone who would listen that "I can barely draw stick figures!" I bet a whole lot of you have used that very same line yourselves. If so, I'm here to tell you that you really need to give up on that sorry excuse for not living up to your potential, and for missing out on all the joy that is just waiting to be had. And, when you are finally ready, I know just the person to help you take your first baby steps forward.

As you know (since I rant about it all the time), a little over a year ago I discovered online art classes, and my very favorites have been the Art of Wild Abandonment classes taught by Junelle Jacobsen, who blogs at Yes and Amen. I've taken several classes with her now, and all the journal pages you see here were inspired by her projects.

One thing I love about her classes is that they are jam-packed with Seasonality, which just happens to be my thing. The first one I took "went live"* in the spring, and was filled with such yummy spring goodness as fluffy little baby lambs (which happen to be Junelle's thing), spring peas, and clotheslines, while the one I'm taking now is packed with summery projects involving wildflowers, porch swings, mudrooms, and even vintage campers and trailers!

The thing I love most about her classes, however, is that Junelle has a knack for breaking it all down into manageable little steps, thereby making it seem so easy that even the most timid of us come away feeling empowered! Everyone has fun, whether you've been making art for years, or, like me, have not picked up a paintbrush since kindergarten. Don't believe me? Well, let me remind you what the first illustrated To-Do List that I ever posted on my blog looked like.

So what's your excuse now?

* When an on-line class first opens up, or "goes live", a lot of people sign up all at once and sort of take the class together. However, you can sign up at any time and once you have paid, they usually give you at least a year to complete it, so that you can go at your own pace and watch the little videos and tutorials whenever it fits into your own busy schedule. There isn't really a "live" classroom or anything, however most classes have their own facebook page, where students can post pictures of their projects and leave comments or ask questions, which is always very inspirational and makes the class even more fun.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013


 I just realized there was one important thing from our trip to Ohio that I totally forgot to show you, (admittedly, I've been somewhat distracted since we flew outta there in such a flurry!) and that is this -- my sister-in-law's fairy garden.

Priscilla does amazing things with polymer clay. Usually it's jewelry, but this time she turned her hand to transforming a baby food jar into a wee little Hobbit-like home for fairies. Check out that tortoise shell roof, and the woodgrain on the door!

Pretty amazing, no? Especially when you consider how tiny it actually is!

Monday, July 1, 2013


Yikes! The whole Thomas gang arrives in just three days, and there is so much to be done -- not the least of which is clean my house from top to bottom, as my cleaning ladies seem to have gone MIA this month. So what did I do all day yesterday? I read and did art projects, of course!

It's all your fault Junelle Jacobson, for having so many fun projects in your Wild Art Summer class!

Well, actually, I suppose John Green is equally to blame. He's the one who wrote the book I am reading now, The Fault In Our Stars. OMG -- talk about a page-turner! Ah well, I reckon my siblings have figured out by now that housekeeping has never been at the tip-top of my priority list. If not, then I guess it's time they knew, dontcha think?

Cuz right now, there's a project involving vintage campers and trailers, that's really, REALLY calling my name!

P.S. For those of you who weren't around in the late 60's, this song is the inspiration behind this journal page.

Sunday, June 30, 2013


We ate at two great little restaurants in Austin this week, and it just now occurred to me that they were actually on the same street -- Lamar -- though nowhere even close to each other. Lamar is a very, very long street! Henri's, the one we stopped at after John's doctor appointment the other day, is way down on the south end of Lamar, near Oltorf.

It's actually a wine and cheese shop, but they do great sandwiches as well, including my favorite...

the best grilled cheese sandwich EV-ER, with caramelized onions and roasted tomatoes on it!

Then, yesterday, we drove waaaaay up to the north end of Lamar, to meet up with Austin and Areej and to hand over some mail that had come to our house by mistake (including his paycheck!). They had us meet them here, at the Korean Grill.

Our son's best friend when we lived in Plano was Korean. His mom adored our Austin since, unlike most the other little boys she had come across in Texas (who sneered at pretty much anything other than burgers and pizza), he was willing to at least try most anything she set in front of him. He has been a huge fan of Korean food ever since, but this was my first time to have it.

Hubby ordered Bulgogi (fire meat), the most popular type of Korean barbecue. It's just thin strips of meat marinated in a mixture of soy sauce, sugar, sesame oil, garlic, and pepper, then cooked on a grill.

Each table gets Banchan -- an assortment of little side dishes, including various pickled vegetables, fish cake, little frittata-like egg strips, and of course, Kimchi (the infamous fermented cabbage dish). I tried them all, and you know what? Kimchi is not bad. Not bad at all!

The kids shared an order of Sambob. (Don't you just love that name? Sounds like a great name for a Texan, no?) Basically, it's an assortment of several kinds of Bulgogi and some additional condiments that you wrap up in those gorgeous lettuce leaves (the one that looks sort of like a grape leaf is actually a sesame leaf, and has a slightly minty taste).

Me? I got Bibimbap, which is rice in a bowl, topped with a variety of seasoned veggies, thinly sliced meat and an egg, which you then mix all together with a bit of red pepper paste or sambal. (A lot like the Indonesian dish Nasi Goreng, now that I think about it.) You can get it served in an ordinary bowl, or you can upgrade to a heated stone bowl, which I highly recommend. That way the rice and egg continue cooking at the table, and you get this great crusty layer around the outside, which is the very best part!

Anyhoo, if you ever happen to be cruisin' down Lamar, in Austin, Texas, keep your eyes peeled! Who knows what delicious delicacies you might stumble across?