Friday, April 17, 2015


This is turning out to be one heckuva week. For one thing, I'm babysitting my grandpuppy Izzy while her mom and dad are honeymooning in Hawaii.

Plus, I'm still up to my eyeballs in the lusciousness of Junelle Jacobsen's Art of Spring online class.

Then, there's the email I got from our fearless leader at Lucky Star Art Camp, announcing all the class options for this fall's 5-day camp for grown up girls, right here in the Texas Hill Country. Squee! Is there anything more exciting/stressful than trying to pick the ideal combination of classes, out of so many possibilities?

And, as if all that weren't enough, we've got Austin and Areej and their puppy Guinness, plus his college roomie A.J. and his little family, all coming this weekend -- Wimberley's annual pull-out-all-the-stops weekend, with a Blue Hole concert tonight, BBQ cook-off and Butterfly Release tomorrow, and the Blue Hole Arts Fest and Antique Car Show going on all weekend long! Oh yeah, and we mustn't forget the unveiling of about 20 more of those giant, local-artist-painted boots, which will be added to those already scattered about town.

So, who said small-town-living was dull?

Tuesday, April 14, 2015


"I think that sometimes people don't grow fresh food because they think that it is too much work. So my advice to you is to only grow a tiny thing that pleases you, and enjoy that tiny thing for all it is worth." ~ Joie De Vivre: Simple French Style For Everyday Living, by Robert Arbor

My initial plan, when we added the terraced beds of the Cantina Garden, was to grow mostly vegetables. However, between the deer, racoons, armadillos, and this incessant drought, it didn't take long for me to realize that I just wasn't getting enough return on my investment. Over time, those veggies gradually got replaced with native or well-adapted perennials, which require almost no work on my part, and little or no extra water once they are well-established. Eventually I realized that just about the only edibles I had left were my cooking herbs, and my asparagus patch -- that one tiny thing that pleases me. Lucky for me, it's a perennial which comes back year after year, and the deer hate it! My seven or eight plants aren't huge producers, and the harvest season is short, but I guar-on-tee, we enjoy each and every stalk for all it's worth!

The season is drawing to a close now, but I did manage to gather enough asparagus over the last few days to make this delectable repast for our dinner last night, with enough left over for breakfast this morning. Try it. You'll like it!

from Everyday Italian, by Giada De Laurentiis
(serves six)

6 large eggs
2 T. whipping cream
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1 T. olive oil
1 T. butter
12 oz. asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 tomato, seeded and diced
3 oz. fontina cheese, cubed

Preheat the broiler. In a medium bowl, whisk the eggs, cream, salt, and pepper to blend. Set aside. In a 9 1/2 inch nonstick ovenproof skillet, heat the oil and butter over a medium flame. Add the asparagus and saute until crisp-tender, about 2 minutes.

Add the tomato and saute 2 minutes longer. Pour the egg mixture over the asparagus mixture and sprinkle the cheese over. Cover and cook over medium-low heat until the frittata is almost set but the top is still runny, about 2 minutes. Place the skillet under the broiler and broil until the top is set and golden brown, about 4 minutes.

Let the frittata stand for 2 minutes. Using a rubber spatula, loosen the frittata from the skillet and slide the frittata onto a plate. Cut the frittata into wedges and serve.


Monday, April 13, 2015


Aahhh yes!

Much better, don't you think?

So nice to have a bit of color back in the Cantina Garden! The Coral Honeysuckle and Lavender are in full bloom...

while the Crossvine and my little Red Buckeye tree are just about done.

Now if only the rest of my color-mad beauties would kick into gear. Between the plentiful rain we recieved this fall and winter, and the fact that many of my perennials are finally reaching that magical three-year mark (1st year they sleep, 2nd year they creep, 3rd year they leap), I have high hopes for this year!

Sunday, April 12, 2015


This Friday was Spring Plant Sale sneak preview day for members at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center. This past fall was our first time to go and, if you recall, it was a bit of a disaster. We got there well before the sale even opened, but had to park miles away and stand in a huge long line. Plus we didn't know to bring a cart, so I ended up just having to stand in one spot while Hubby piled up his selections around me, then we had to figure out how to get them all back out to our truck which, as I mentioned, was miles away. And the crowds, oh my gosh, the crowds! But this year? This year we knew the ropes!

It was raining off and on all morning, but by lunchtime is was turning into a perfectly lovely day. We popped his nifty-neato collapsible cart into the back of the truck (Thank you Brother Mike!), went and had a leisurely lunch, then headed off to the sale...

where we found an excellent parking place right near the entrance, and didn't have to deal with any crowds whatsoever. Yes, there were a few things that had sold out by the time we got there, but Hubby still managed to fill that cart, and my arms, up to the brim! Best of all, we got a glimpse of their resident Great Horned Owl! Can you see it?

It just doesn't get any better than that!