Thursday, March 5, 2015


I just finished a great little book, which I'm dying to tell you about, but don't really know how to describe.

I don't normally read or watch movies about pandemics. They scare me to death because they hit a little too close to home. I used to think it was nuclear weapons that would do us in. Then I thought it might be global warming and lack of water. Now I'm fairly certain that it will be a simple strain of flu that we just weren't prepared for, and that's the premise behind this book. But it's not so much about what happens during the pandemic as it is about the 15 or 20 years afterwards, and the very few people who survive it.

The main character is Kirsten, a child actress at the time of the collapse who, 15 years later, is an actress with the Traveling Symphony -- a small troupe of actors and musicians which travels  the Great Lakes area, performing Shakespeare and music for scattered communities of survivors. Tatooed on Kirsten's arm is a line from Star Trek: "Because survival is insufficient."

One of the first things to fail was all forms of communication. Phone service, internet, television, newspapers, transportation -- all of that disappeared in a matter of weeks, when there were no longer enough healthy people to support the infrastructure. It really gets one to thinking about how our kids, who never knew anything before the internet/google/smart phone age, would actually deal with all of this. Sometimes I even found myself wondering who was luckier -- the few who managed to survive the disease, or those who were quick to succumb? That sounds depressing I know, but the book is actually full of beauty and life and humanity as well.

Perhaps this Kirkus review I found on the back cover sums it up best: "An ambitious take on a post-apocalyptic world where some strive to preserve art, culture, and kindness...Think of Cormac McCarthy seesawing with Joan Didion...Magnetic...A breakout novel."

Wednesday, March 4, 2015


Indoor Invasion of the Ladybugs
Spring is busting out all over the Texas Hill Country!

Mexican Buckeye
Coral Honeysuckle
Can you see the spiderweb?
Agarita blooms smell like honey!
And so, of course, they are predicting temps to drop down into the 20s the next two nights! Poor little bugs and blooms.

I am going to be ever so ticked if I have to miss out on the gorgeous grape-like blooms and bubblegum fragrance of our Texas Mountain Laurels, for the second year in a row!

Monday, March 2, 2015


We have two kinds of squirrels here at Seasonality. There are the brown tree squirrels, and there are the grayish-black rock squirrels. One of the latter found himself a mate, moved into a new apartment (the French drains that direct runoff around our garage) and had a couple of kids. His favorite spot on the property seems to be at the end of that infamous half-painted retaining wall, which I can see out the window above my computer. Sometimes he is seated. Sometimes he is spread-eagle on the cool stone. My favorite is when he strikes his Master of the Universe pose, and just stands there for an eternity, surveying his realm.

You'd be amazed at how long he can hold that pose!

Sunday, March 1, 2015


It's been awhile, but daughter Lex and I finally made it to another of the Lakeline Alamo Drafthouse's "Tea & Movie" events. She even managed to convince Mr. Nate to join us! The movie this time was The Young Victoria, starring Emily Blunt -- one of my faves! What I didn't realize until just now was that it was written by Julian Fellowes. Isn't he the author of the Downton Abbey series?

As with the previous events, you start with a printed souvenir menu as your place mat, a long rectangular tray with three separate treats, and three empty cups and saucers. You eat the treats in order, and at well spaced intervals your server comes by and fills one cup with a special tea which has been chosen to go with that particular treat.

I simply must get my hands on some more of that Vanilla Honeybush tea. Yummm! They had me as soon as the first pot was carried into the theater, and I caught a faint whiff of it. Fortunately, it comes from local purveyor Zhi Tea. Plus, it's caffeine free, so I can even drink it after dinner. Woohoo!

The movie left me wanting to know more about these people and that epoch, so I did some digging around on the internet. You might enjoy this little clip I found.