Thursday, July 3, 2014


I've got a houseful o' folks arriving tomorrow but, as usual, I've been playing with my art supplies instead of getting ready. Guess it's time to get with the program, huh?

I wish you a safe and joyous holiday weekend!

Wednesday, July 2, 2014


You see these raised beds? They're just sitting here going to waste this summer, for I didn't even bother with planting any veggies this spring. For one thing, my results were never proportionate to the time, money and water invested. Veggies are huge water suckers -- water we really can't afford to waste since our whole house relies on rain water, a scarcity during Texas summers. For another, those covers are already riddled with big holes, and would probably need to be replaced if we want to keep the critters out. I've thought about growing herbs there instead. I'm good at growing those. Plus, deer don't like plants that are strongly flavored and/or fuzzy, which describes most herbs, so I wouldn't even need those ugly covers.

The thing is, I've already got four windowboxes filled with the herbs I use most often in my cooking, not to mention huge heaps of rosemary just outside the front door, and more herbs scattered throughout my front porch pots.

So why plant more of what I already have?

But then I started reading Death Come Quickly, the latest China Bayles mystery by Susan Wittig Albert. They happen to take place here in the Texas Hill Country, in case you aren't familiar with them. In this one the mystery centers on a collection of Mexican Art and the private museum where it is housed. In order to get her nose in the door so she can poke around, China volunteers to plant a Mexican herb garden in their courtyard -- a garden which would include things like Hoja Santa (aka root beer plant)...

and Mexican Oregano...

two plants I have grown for their beauty alone, regardless of their culinary uses.

Suddenly I'm thinking "By jove, that's it! I'll plant a Mexican herb garden there." Heaven knows, we love our Mexican food! Who knows? Maybe it will even encourage us to branch out beyond the traditional Tex-Mex that we usually eat.

If you think you might like to try growing a few Mexican herbs yourself, here are China's suggestions:

Prickly Pear
Lemon Verbena
Mexican Oregano
Mexican Tarragon
Hoja Santa
Mexican Lime


Tuesday, July 1, 2014


Guess what opened in Dripping Springs recently? This!

A darling little cafe called Crepe Crazy. I tried to get my gal pals to go try it with me, but getting them all together in summer is akin to herding cats. So I got hubby to go with me instead.

We started off sharing their Mediterranean crepe, stuffed with yummy things like hummus, feta, roasted peppers, and sundried tomatoes. Yum! And those salad greens next to it? That was no measly garnish. It was dressed with a delicious homemade vinaigrette, and we polished off every last bit of it.

Next we shared this baby, which involved a combination of powdered sugar, cinnamon, and honey. Think French sopapillas!

The name is apropos, for these crepes are indeed crazy -- crazy good! And crazy fresh -- you can watch them cooking each crepe from scratch.

My only regret is that we didn't take more people with us, so that we could have eaten tapas style, taking little tastes of lots of different things. Well, that and the fact that I totally forgot to go back and grab something from their pastel rainbow of little French macarons, to take home for later. Merde!

P.S. An interesting aside is that most of the staff, and even some of the customers that day, were hearing impaired. No problem! They have a great system where you point out what you want on the menu, they punch it into a tablet-gizmo, then have you double check it for accuracy. Plus, it was so peaceful in there, you could actually carry on a conversation with your tablemates. It is, however, giving me the urge to learn a bit of sign-language.

Monday, June 30, 2014


I'm pretty much convinced that my computer has become a sentient being and, believe it or not, my techie hubby is starting to agree with me.

It is now capable of changing its own settings without the aid of humans. Either that, or it is colluding with my hubby in a plot to drive me over the edge.

A few weeks ago the entire tool bar at the top of the screen just disappeared. Do you have any idea how difficult it is to write a blog post, or do pretty much anything, without the use of the "file" and  "edit" buttons? I was convinced my hubby had been messing with things again, but he swore he had not. After several days of my gritching and moaning, he finally sat down to see if he could figure out what was going on. A while later he came out scratching his head, wondering "who on earth changed those settings?" Well, it wasn't me!

As if that weren't strange enough, now there's the whole e-mail issue. One day the computer took it upon itself to begin randomly deleting messages that I was saving in my inbox for one reason or another. It seemed to have decided I should not be allowed to have more than 15 or 20 in there at once. Irritating, but not disastrous, as I could usually find the missing ones in my "trash" box somewhere. Yesterday, however, it decided that was still way too many, and it deleted all but 3 or 4, including several lodging confirmations and class access codes. And guess what? They are nowhere to be found!

Which could explain why all of this you see here just appeared out of nowhere, when I sat down and began working on the "One Color at a Time" lesson from my Creating Art at the Speed of Life book, by Pam Carriker.