Saturday, November 30, 2013


Holy Moly! November only has thirty days, right? That means tomorrow is December 1st, and I should have a new Winter To-Do List ready to post, and should have winter photos ready to take the place of those fall pics up in my blog banner. I do not! How did that happen? Perhaps it was because, now that sweet hubby was finally feeling halfway human again, we just tried to cram way too many trips and activities into autumn, and spent way too little time at home. No wonder I had so much trouble finding any colorful leaves for my latest art project -- the first from Junelle Jacobson's Artful Goodness class, which I was planning to skip until I saw all the cute projects showing up on line! 

In case you are wondering, those aren't butterflies in the painting. They're seed pods! Funny story there. Back at Richland College in Dallas, where I studied horticulture, they had the most gorgeous vine I had ever seen in their demonstration gardens -- a Butterfly Vine. The flowers were insignificant, but in fall? Oh my, my! The vine was covered in these outrageous, multi-layered, wing-shaped seed pods, which started out chartreuse, then morphed into shades of coral and rust. I wanted one soooooo bad! Actually, I got one, but then we moved to Houston before it had a chance to take off.

So, as soon as I moved up here full-time and got to work on the Cantina Garden, I went in search of another. I found something called Butterfly Vine and planted it, but apparently it was the wrong thing. It got boring little yellow flowers in spring, but never anything else. Zip. Nada. Then last fall, at the Gardenville nursery in San Marcos, I spotted a magnificent specimen of that very vine, growing right next to their front door. It was absolutely dripping with butterfly seed pods in shades of limey green, coral, and every shade combo in between! I ran inside and asked if they had any for sale. Turns out they had done some cuttings in spring, but had already sold out. Finally, a few months ago, I managed to get my hands on a couple and get them planted. They were pretty small, without many roots, so I feared it would be a very long time before I saw any results.

A few weeks later I went down to admire my pink muhly grass, which was in bloom. As a leaned over the porch rail, I happened to glance down at that original, disappointing vine, and guess what I found?


What's really great is that they pretty much dry and "self-preserve" right there on the vine. You can bring them into the house and they will keep their shape indefinitely. I love having butterflies in my house all winter!

Speaking of winter, guess I'd better skip the rest of Junelle's fall projects for now, and get started on some of those delectable holiday projects!

Friday, November 29, 2013



Thanksgiving was way different than usual for us this year. First of all, there were to be only four of us at the table. Well, five, if you count the one lurking beneath it. And, since only two of those were people who actually cook, I took the easy way out and ordered most of the meal from a local restaurant/catering business. On the down side, I kind of missed the fun of having a kitchen full of people cooking together. On the upside, I kind of missed the stress of having a kitchen full of people trying to cook together, when it's a rather tiny kitchen with virtually no counter space.

Another big plus? Those are actually my golden-toed feet you see below, amongst those propped up on the coffee table right after the meal -- something that almost never happens.

I usually have at least one female guest who insists on heading straight into the kitchen to start cleaning up as soon as the meal ends (which I really do appreciate, honestly!) and I can't very well let them go in there alone, now can I? This year, however, since we heated all the food in the foil containers which it came in, then returned the leftovers to those very same containers, there was virtually no clean up to be done, other than sticking our few plates in the dishwasher. Hubby says "Yea!" to no giant roasting pan full of grease for him to deal with.

Once everyone had left, I headed into my bed-roodio to do a little painting, and Hubby headed down to the man cave to watch some football...or so I thought. A short while later he came rushing in to grab my arm. "Come see!" he said with wide-eyed innocence, and a burgundy sweater covered in glittery white threads. "Someone left something on the porch!"

Hard to believe he ever had me convinced that he was a "Bah! Humbug!" sort of guy.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013


Bet you thought I was finally done with celebrating my big six oh, huh? To tell you the truth, I thought so too. But I was wrong.

Outdoor Woman suggested that the Muses should meet up at her place this week, instead of our usual coffee shop, and she would fix a simple lunch for us. I kept offering to help out and bring something, but she just wouldn't let me. Now I know why. When I walked through the door I found them all decked out in unusual finery, and grinning from ear to ear.

The only one missing was our little Fiber Woman, who was a bit under the weather from spending a long, cold, wet weekend working her booth at the Renaissance Festival. The table was set pretty fancy too, for a "simple lunch."

But it wasn't until I spotted the birthday streamers hanging from the ceiling that I finally caught on. That and my favorite cake from Sugar Shack, which was a dead give-away.

I tell you what, turning 60 hasn't been half bad. It's the birthday that just kept giving!

Tuesday, November 26, 2013


I grew up in a family that really got into Christmas. I mean REALLY. So one of the first things I did when Hubby and I got married was to inform him that my stocking had better be full come Christmas morning. He was a bit surprised, so I'm guessing his family had given up on stockings once the kids figured out the whole Santa thing, and didn't believe it was "until death do we part", the way my family did. I have to say, though, he did a pretty good job of it. Especially when you consider that we were living in the jungles of Java, and there weren't just a whole lot of places to shop! But he didn't just bow to my demands, he took that ball and ran with it. By the time our kids came along, he was the Master of all Stocking Stuffers --  a veritable Guru of Goodies! He starts picking up little trinkets while on summer vacation, and by the time Christmas rolls around, he has enough stuff to fill all three stockings, as well as the chairs they are propped up in, or the floor space surrounding them!

Last year, when it became obvious that our kids were both getting pretty serious about their hunnies, I warned Hubby that we needed to begin scaling back on what we give them for Christmas -- not only on the number of gifts, but also on what we put in their stockings. I told him "They each have their own Santa now -- one who doesn't have near as much $$ as you do -- and it wouldn't be fair to totally eclipse their efforts, now would it?" He agreed with me. In theory. Putting it into practice, well, that's a whole 'nuther ball o' wax.

Now the kids are both engaged to be married, and it's more important than ever for us to ease up on Santa's reins -- to let them begin to establish their own traditions. I guess I should have checked on him sooner, for last night I discovered he has already filled a huge shopping bag for each of them with "little goodies," in addition to their main gifts. When I reminded him about last year's agreement to scale back, it was as if I had thrust my hand into his chest, and tried to wrench his heart out. He went silently to bed.

Now I know how Dr. Frankenstein must have felt.

Monday, November 25, 2013


When we were bumming around S. Congress the other day, I stumbled across this.

It only took me about five seconds to decide that I had to have it. It is just my colors, so not only does it match just about everything in my closet, it matches pretty much everything in my house!

Besides. Gaudy flowers + Cowhide? What's not to love?!!!