Friday, July 18, 2014


My friend Pam posted this week about the wonderful little apartment in Paris -- near the Eiffel Tower and Rue Cler, my favorite foodie street -- where her family goes to stay about once a year. It got me to thinkin', about the time I offered to take my daughter to Paris, and she turned me down! I realized that we hadn't done a mother-daughter getaway since I took her to look at colleges, and here she is 31, and fixin' to get hitched! So I made the offer again. And she turned me down again -- but with a legitimate reason this time, since the wedding itself was going to use up all of her vacation. Soooo, I told her to think of someplace fun that wasn't so far away, where we could go for a long weekend. Guess what she came up with?

One of the top foodie towns in the country, and totally walkable, with everything close together. Almost European, in fact. Surrounded my water -- and dolphins! Squee!

Years ago, when I still took Southern Living magazine, I tore out a bunch of articles about Charleston. Fortunately, they were still in my files, so I've already been making lists of things to do and places to eat. Now I'm off to the library to check out some books set in Charleston -- one of my favorite things to do before heading to a place I've never been. It gets me in the mood!

Now Hubby and son Austin need to start planning where they want to go for a father-son getaway, before Austin's nuptials the following fall. Let's just hope they don't choose something like Burning Man. My hubby could get into waaaaaaaay too much trouble there!

Thursday, July 17, 2014


I've decided there are mostly two kinds of people in the world. There are your talkers, and there are your writers.

Hubby and I are both writers, while his big brother and his wife are both talkers. They talk and talk and talk, about every little thing under the sun, but not us! Our relationship was fairly stagnant the first year and a half. There were none of those all-night-gab-fests, and telephone conversations were brief and to-the-point, sometimes bordering on awkward. Plus, there was a good bit of miscommunication, with each of us just guessing what the other was thinking and feeling. It wasn't until he graduated, moved away, and started sending me letters, that we really got to know each other, and things finally got serious.

I got to thinkin' about this when I noticed the way my friends and I communicate, or not, these days. The talkers are all phone-people, while the writers love e-mail. I have a smart phone, as you can see above, but the only time I give it a thought is when it's making such a ruckus that it can't be ignored. Then I make every effort to get out of the conversation as quickly as possible. I much prefer e-mail, which gives me the opportunity to think about what I want to say and, thankfully, delete that which, upon deliberation, might be better left un-said. When I feel pressured to say something, anything, just to fill the lull in conversation? Well, there's just no telling what inanity will pop out of my mouth!

Many of my favorite people, however, are talkers, and most definitely, phone people. They keep their phones with them constantly -- not buried in their purses like me, but in their hands. All calls seem urgent to them, but they can go several days without checking or responding to their e-mails. Sometimes, I'm afraid, we made each other a bit nuts. Finally I realized that, what we had here was a failure to communicate, and what we needed was some kind of compromise.

Which is why I finally learned how to text-message!

Wednesday, July 16, 2014


I bet you thought I'd given up on making my crazy little To-Do lists, didn't you? Well, I had. Until just the other day when I found myself sitting there making a wedding to-do list, and suddenly felt compelled to add pictures to it! 

Just over 15 weeks and counting, y'all. Things are gettin' real!

Tuesday, July 15, 2014


Woohoo! A new on-line art class from Junelle Jacobsen just went live. This one is called Farmer's Market, and is all about summer and food and whimsey and food and watercolor and inspiration gathering, and oh yeah! Did I mention food?

This is a little sample project that she posted on her blog for us to do -- a teaser, if you will, just to get us all titillated!

There are three main things that I love about Junelle's classes. One is her laid back, loose-as-a-goose attitude towards art. She absolutely refuses to let you go all uptight and perfectionist on her!

Crazy Owls From A Previous Class
Second is that I couldn't draw or use watercolors when I started taking her classes, at all. Now, I can.

Love Junelle, Love Her Sheep!
Most of all though, is her sense of whimsey. I love humor in art, and no one can make me giggle like Junelle! I mean, who else would see people with their pets at a farmers' market and start thinking "Hmmm. A a market...holding giant veggie balloons? Hey, it could happen!"

Monday, July 14, 2014


Our friend Sherri is in marketing, and one of her clients happens to be Hye Meadow Winery, midway between Johnson City and Fredericksburg.

Sherri guides Outdoor Couple and Dear Hubby through a wine tasting.
Thanks to her, we got invited to something we had never experienced before -- a pig roast, celebrating the winery's first anniversary!

Heading to the Party Pavilion, Behind the Tasting Room

Well, actually, it turned out to be a Pig & Lamb Roast. Double Yum! I was picturing a big hole dug in the ground, with the pig buried under layers of coal. But, unbeknownst to me, they now have portable roasting boxes, sized to fit the animal you want to roast. They even come with instructions!

We arrived just in time to see them open up one of the boxes and flip the pig.

The Crispy Side

There was a time when seeing this would have grossed me out big time. I was one of those people who bought most of her meat boneless, in nice, sterile cryovac packages, not wanting to be reminded of the animal from which it came. But years of working with The Bountiful Sprout and our local farmers and producers, and reading about the disgusting conditions in which those poor cryovac animals are raised, has changed my attitude completely. Now I think it is critical that we are all aware of where our food comes from, and that we care about how those animals were treated while they were alive.

I gave thanks to these two animals, and to the people who raised them, with every juicy mouthful!

So, if you ever find yourself on that road between Johnson City and Fredericksburg, you really oughtta stop in at Hye Meadow Winery. It comes...