Friday, August 23, 2013


For as long as I can remember, my daughter has enjoyed scaring the poop out of me. She was forever calling me with a quiver in her voice, implying that she had some bad news to impart and making me go weak in the knees, then she'd end up telling me something wonderful instead! You'd think I would learn, wouldn't you?

She called at around ten o'clock last night, which was unusual in and of itself. Also, she was calling from out of state, since she and her boyfriend Nate had been traveling around his home state of Minnesota this week. As soon as I answered she asked if her dad was around. When I told her he was down in the man cave, she said "you'd better go get him." By the time I'd made it down the outdoor staircase, I'd imagined just about every horrific scenario possible. Well, all except this one.

They're engaged! Which isn't horrific at all. Quite the opposite!

Nate says this is a temporary ring he got on etsy, until "the one they picked out" is ready. When I asked "The one you picked out? What's he talking about?", she replied, "Well, a few weeks back the twerp said 'Just in case we ever do this, maybe you should show me what you like,' but I had no idea it was going to happen any time soon!" Looks like she's finally met her match when it comes to being a sneaky little imp. Well, and in just about every other way too, come to think of it.

And, since her little brother Austin proposed to his sweetheart Areeg just a few weeks back, we've got ever-buddy 'round here doing the Happy Dance now. Just picture me and Hubby hooking elbows and doing the Do-Si-Do, from one end of this house to the other!

Thursday, August 22, 2013


The second Circle Journal has arrived! It showed up before I had even got the first one mailed off. This one began its journey in Michigan, then made its way down to Florida, before finally showing up here in Central Texas. Hopefully, it won't take me quite as long to gird my loins and start painting this time. In fact, I've already had a brainstorm about what I want to paint, and I'm just itchin' to get started!

The owner of this journal claims she has never made one before, but I find that hard to believe. It's just way too precious!

Looks like it's made out of wallpaper scraps.

Love the way she scalloped and staggered the edges of the pages, and just look at these cute little sign-in tags she provided for us to decorate with our photos and bio info.

Let the games begin!

Wednesday, August 21, 2013


Hubby and I were both in the mood to go splorin' the other day, so we grabbed our copy of Terry Thompson-Anderson's book The Texas Hill Country: A Food and Wine Lover's Paradise, and started flipping through its dog-eared pages. We were getting a late start, so we ended up choosing the town of Spicewood, only about an hours drive from here. Now, Spicewood only has one restaurant listed, but it's one we've been determined to visit, ever since we first read about it.

We just couldn't believe there was actually someone else in the world, besides my big sister, who got stuck with a nickname like Poodie! This Poodie, aka Randall Locke, happens to have a day job in addition to owning this roadhouse. For over thirty years he's been the road manager for Willie Nelson, who lives right down the road. Judging from the chainsaw statue of Poodie, proudly displayed in the corner of the dance floor, he must be a fairly colorful character.

I bet he has more that a few stories to tell, after all those years with Willie! Too bad neither he nor Willie happened to be there that day. John ordered "The Famous Poodie Burger", while I had a grilled cheese sandwich, served Poodie Style, which meant they were both filled with grilled onions, his special Hatch chili blend, and Monterey Jack Cheese...

Our Table Top

which, with all that extra grease they throw in for free, makes for a fairly rich combination. Neither of us could eat more than half, and we were both surprisingly drowsy on the drive home. Go figure.

So when's the last time you went to a Cosmic Cowboy Honky-Tonk Roadhouse? Well that's been too long!

Tuesday, August 20, 2013


I really thought we parents had got past all that. Past that whole "Martha Stewart" thing of tryin' to run a business while raising perfect genius children, decorating perfect homes, making perfect cupcakes and party favors, raising chickens which give us perfectly dyed eggs, and growing our own perfect vegetables. I thought we'd finally figured it out -- that we can have it all, just not all at the same time. I thought we'd got over comparing ourselves to all the other parents we knew, and always finding ourselves lacking. I guess I thought wrong.

'Cause that's sure not what I'm seeing and hearing, now that my kids and all their friends are finally coming up on their 30s. Instead of learning from our mistakes, I fear they have simply replaced our Martha Stewart Complex with a Mommy Blogger/Pinterest Complex, and that facebook has just made it 100 times easier to compare themselves, not just to the other young parents in their neighborhood, but to every young parent in the entire blogosphere! And of course, they are bound to come up short somewhere, since no one person could ever have enough time to do all those amazing things they have pinned to their Pinterest boards, right? Who wouldn't feel inadequate?

If I could teach my kids just one simple thing, it would be this. Wanna go down in history as a great parent? Here's all you have to do. Turn off the TV. Turn off the stove. Turn off the computer. Most importantly, turn off that dang phone! Now get down on the floor and play with your kids. Give them your undivided attention, for at least thirty minutes. That's all it takes. Thirty minutes a day. Every day.

The glee on their little faces is all the affirmation you will ever need.

Monday, August 19, 2013


It was kind of sad seeing this precious little rock building sitting all sad and empty yesterday. The old Lowery House has been home to The Leaning Pear -- the cafe that raised the bar on dining out here in Wimberley, giving all the other restaurants a run for their money -- ever since they opened their doors in 2006, but last week they turned off the lights and locked the doors. Hopefully, they won't stay that way for too long. In the meantime, welcome to the NEW Leaning Pear!

It won't be open for business until Wednesday, but yesterday they invited the whole town to a sneak preview open house, and I think just about all of them showed up. We arrived right as the doors were supposed to open, and already the parking lot was packed!

First stop, the outdoor bar, where we were offered a selection of complimentary beverages.

The Back Terrace

Love this screened in porch!

Muse Julie and her painting "New Beginnings"
All of the artists from Wimberley Fine Arts Center, including our own muse Julie Underriner, had created pear-themed art which was displayed throughout the property. We met Phil and Julie about twenty years ago when we were living in Indonesia, so imagine our surprise when they ended up living just down the road from us here in little ol' Wimberley! We're still working on coming up with a proper Muse name for Julie. She doesn't use any brushes to make her paintings, instead draping the loose canvas over chairs and such, then pouring the paint onto it. However, for some reason, "Pouring Paint Woman" just doesn't sound quite right.

Outdoor Woman and friends pose in front of the new wood-burning pizza oven.
Cozy Seating By The Fireplace

We got to enjoy little shot glasses of corn chowder, meat loaf sliders, and samples of their new pizza offerings. Then, as a parting gift, there were actual pears from the original "leaning pear."

Kudos to Matt and Rachel. The leaning pair does it again!

Sunday, August 18, 2013


We watched another one of "those" movies this week -- the kind where you can't decide whether you loved it or hated it. It was one of those movies that was almost painful to watch, but which you're still thinking about, days, weeks, months later. They stick with you a long, long time because, even though your brain keeps telling you "It was just a movie!", your heart insists on reminding you "That doesn't mean it isn't true."

It's called Beast of the Southern Wild, and it's about poor families living somewhere along the Mississippi delta -- on the wrong side of the levee that protects the city from storm surge, in an area known as "The Bathtub." It's about people who would much rather be dirt poor, living off nature's bounty, than to be stuck in a smoggy city, working in some factory. Who'd rather face a hurricane in a shanty of a house, than be packed into a shelter like a bunch of sardines. Who'd much rather be dead, than in a hospital, plugged into machines. If you've ever lived along the Gulf Coast, you've probably known people like this. Heck, you may even be related to a few.

I don't really know what to tell you about Beasts. All I can say for sure is that, though I'm not 100% certain I enjoyed watching it, I'm 100% glad I did, for it's absolutely unforgettable. And that little heroine? Well, she'll turn you every which way but loose.