Friday, June 20, 2014


Two fennel plants devoured...

one to go. Happy butterflies-to-be!

Thursday, June 19, 2014


Though my own Circle Journal has already found it's way home, I had one last journal yet to be painted in, before sending it on the final leg of its journey. Inspired by some beautiful sunflowers that showed up at my house last week, I decided to pull out my pile of security envelopes. I sketched all kinds of sunflowers on one with with a black and white pattern on it, and this is what I ended up with.

Happy Summer ever-buddy!

Wednesday, June 18, 2014


I ran out of things to read recently and, by chance, picked up a YA book called Just One Day at the library. I'd been hearing good things about another book by the same author, Gayle Forman, called If I Stay, which I believe has been made into a motion picture.

Imagine my surprise when I discovered that the book was pretty much about me! Well, teen-aged me, anyways -- the good girl, who always did what her parents and teachers expected of her. The me who got to go on a "once in a lifetime" trip to Europe with her Girl Scout troop, but was ashamed to admit, even to herself, how disappointed she was in Europe-as-seen-from-a-bus.

Fortunately for our heroine, she, like me, meets an Adventure Boy, who whisks her off to Paris for "just one day', and she discovers just how exhilarating it can be to let go of the reins now and then, and to make the most of life's little "accidents." She finds out that, sometimes, getting lost is the best thing that could possibly happen to you!

Our heroine says:

"It's funny how on the tour, we often saw sights like this as we whizzed by on a bus...I'm driving by them now too. But somehow, it feels different. Like, being here, outside, on the back of this bike, with the wind in my hair and the sounds singing in my ears and the centuries-old cobblestones rattling beneath my butt, I'm not missing anything. On the contrary, I'm inhaling it, consuming it, becoming it."

There's even a scene in the book where she takes a job at a cafe in order to earn money to get back to Paris. She is back in the kitchen scraping dishes and loading them into "Hobart", which is precisely what I was doing when I met my own real-life Adventure Boy -- the one who once took me on a month-long jaunt through Europe with no tours, no itinerary and no reservations. Just a tattered copy of Europe On Ten Dollars A Day.

If you're interested in hearing more about my tutelage in the art of "Slow Travel", you might want to hop on over to my other blog, Miss Becky Goes Abroad, which has become the repository for all these tales.

Monday, June 16, 2014


Well, they finally pulled up the protective floor coverings and announced the kitchen re-do "Done!" Can you believe I didn't think this one would take more than a week or two to complete? Silly Rabbit! 

All-in-all, I think it looks quite lovely. However, it's gonna take some time for me to settle in. You see, the real reason Hubby was so gung-ho to do this was simple -- there was new technology to be explored! And, well, you know me and new technology...and massive instruction manuals...and changing old habits...sigh.  And it's not just one instruction manual, it's three!

The most drastic change is going from a radiant stove to one that uses induction, which required all new pans.

I have no idea how it works. All I know is that, instead of the burner itself getting hot and then transferring that heat to the pan and its contents, most of the action takes place in the pan itself --  which results in less residual heat in the burner once it's shut off, and quicker response time when you change a temperature setting. You can bring a big pot of water to boiling in seconds by using the "boost" button, but beware of explosive boil-overs if you try adding oatmeal or pasta while it's on that setting! Like I said, it's gonna take some getting used to. Sure won't miss cleaning the dreaded drip pans though.

The oven is about half the size of my previous one, but other than being "convection" (which I just ignored on my last one, not being a baker) it's pretty basic. So I didn't even look at the manual before trying to brown some focaccia under the broiler the other evening.  Next thing we knew, the beeper was going wild, and the readout was flashing "dr" over and over again. I'm guessing this is the first oven I've ever had where you are not supposed to leave the door ajar when the broiler is in use.

The microwave is also convection, which means, supposedly, that it can double as a second oven when the need arises. I find that hard to fathom. I also find it odd that the turntable is metal, since we've always been told not to place anything containing metal in our microwaves. Go figure. I'm just happy that I have figured out how to reheat stuff. I will worry about the rest when the time comes.

As I mentioned before, the extra storage drawers that were supposed go where the oven used to be had to give up space to the hidden workings of that pop-up vent. Still, one makes a pretty good spot for pot lids and dog bowls...

and the other makes a dandy little tea drawer.

Now if only I had a space to store all these accessories that came with the microwave.

Guess they'll have to sit in one of the bar stools -- at least until I find time to do another purge.

Sunday, June 15, 2014


Well, it's that time of year again -- that one weekend when we hear the steady roar of thunder for three days solid. No, it doesn't mean we're in for some nasty weather. It just means the R.O.T. Rally is back in Austin! 

They had all kinds of activities going on in Austin throughout the weekend, then group after group would head out on their bikes to explore the surrounding Hill Country, which took many of them right past our house.

Hubby went over there Friday evening, with some "photo-walk" pals, to watch the parade and snap a few pics.

The Roller Derby Gals

Son-In-Law-To-Be Nate was there as well, on his recently acquired wheels.

Bet he was in hog heaven!