Friday, January 2, 2015


Well, city officials may have decided to cancel the New Year's Eve festivities in Austin this year, due to inclement weather, but it would seem the people of Austin did not get the message. We ourselves chose to ignore the message, for we had a birthday to celebrate! We began by checking into our hotel in downtown Austin. Not the one we really wanted to stay in, which had jacked its prices up to triple what we paid last time, but hey - this view was none too shabby!

Plus, it was still in easy walking distance of Roaring Fork, the restaurant where we met up with all the kiddoes to celebrate Hubby's big day.

And, even though we weren't staying at the Driskill this time, that didn't mean we couldn't go hang out there after dinner, right? They have a great little bar on their upstairs mezzanine, and the original plan was for the boys to go there and the girls to go to their precious bakery/cafe, Cafe 1886, so we were kinda surprised when the boys showed up in the cafe about 5 minutes later.  Turns out the bar was charging a hefty twenty five bucks each cover charge that evening!

The walk back to our hotel took us straight down 6th street, which is to Austin as Bourbon St. is to New Orleans.

Like I said, I guess no one got the message about New Year's Eve getting cancelled. And, from the way most of those young college cuties were dressed, they must not have heard it was going to be cold enough to freeze your winnebago either! That, or they just couldn't bear to cover up their short, snazzy outfits with a big ol' coat.

Wednesday, December 31, 2014


One last page from my little Christmas journal...

then it's time for us to switch over to Birthday Mode! Mr. Hubby was born 1/1/50 -- the first baby born in Kermit, TX that year, and recipient of a butt-load of swag! Know what that means? As of midnight tonight, you can start calling him The AARPster, or Medicare Man, if you prefer. We'll be over in Austin, celebrating with the kiddoes. Then, just a couple of weeks later, we'll be going back to celebrate Miss Lexi's birthday.

After that it will be time to get serious about phase one of Mr. Austin's wedding -- the part that will take place in Sudan! Time to find out about shots, and visas, and make travel arrangements. Yikes!

I have a feeling this year's gonna zoom by even faster than last, if that's even possible! 

Tuesday, December 30, 2014


Son Austin and his sweetheart Areej made a wonderful garlic bean soup for us this Christmas, and as Austin was packing up to leave he asked me if I might have any use for the heavy cream that was left over. Why yes, I might!

Have you ever had shirred eggs? Paired with toasted asiago bread (also left from our Christmas dinner) smeared with a dab of local raw honey, they made for a scrumptious breakfast this morning. They also made a dang fine supper about once a week, when I moved here ahead of hubby and was on my own during the week. The recipe below is a simple one found in Sunset Magazine a while back, and to quote the author, "Something magical happens when you bake eggs with cream: They turn into a dense, silky custard, becoming much more than the sum of their parts." Ina Garten has a similar recipe in her Barefoot in Paris cookbook, called Herbed-Baked Eggs.

Sunset's Recipe for Shirred Eggs

For each serving: Use 1/4 tsp. butter to generously coat a 6-oz. ramekin. Pour 2 tsp. heavy whipping cream into bottom of ramekin. Crack 2 eggs into the dish and gently coax the yolks toward the center, using a spoon if necessary. Sprinkle with good salt and freshly ground pepper, then top with 1 tsp. minced chives and 1 Tbsp. grated hard cheese, such as parmesan. Bake at 375 F. until set around edges and still a bit jiggly in the center, about 12 minutes. (For firm yolks, bake an additional 3 minutes.) Let sit 2 to 3 minutes to set and serve immediately. Note: For easier oven transfer, set dishes on a large baking pan.

I should probably warn you though -- that mere 2 tsp. of cream makes a huge difference as to how rich and filling the eggs will be. And, if you happen to be using local free-range eggs, which are uber-rich to start with, well, two eggs was just too much! Only problem is, I just have that one size of ramekin, and if I put only one egg in it, it will probably turn into a rubbery hocky puck in nothing flat. May have to play with this a bit.

The good news is, I still have a good bit of that cream left, and it would be a crying shame to waste it! Got any suggestions?

Monday, December 29, 2014


When I was wandering around recently, trying to locate the new craft shop I'd heard about, I stumbled across more than I was expecting.  I found a neat little shop called Treasures on Twelve, dedicated to all things rescued. And right next to it? Another boot! 

A boot dedicated, appropriately enough, to the animal adoption group where Lex and Nate got their Izzy.

This might just be my favorite boot yet!