Friday, February 19, 2016


Opening the box of baby clothes and toys, which we found in the mystery attic, unleashed a storm of memories. I could picture my kids in those outfits so clearly. I spread them all out on the dining room table, "to air out", and ended up leaving them there for several days, so I could do a bit of time-traveling each time I entered the room.

Apparently Little Austinootie was Sherlock-Cool way before Sherlock was cool, thanks to his plaid deerstalker cap that Auntie Gus brought back from her stint in Scotland. Lex got a matching tam, but it seems to have disappeared.

Speaking of Auntie Gus (our very own Auntie Mame), check out all these outfits she gifted Lexi with -- one for each major holiday!

We're so fortunate that she didn't meet Uncle Bud until a few years later, so she had all that extra time and money to lavish on my kids. Actually, I bought the Coca-Cola swimsuit myself, with the 500 smackaroonies I won when Hubby sent me off for a girls weekend with my sisters in Dallas, and they took me to play Bingo! I've always been rather lucky at Bingo. You probably don't want to play with me.

Then there were these gorgeous handmade Easter outfits, which I commissioned from my good friend Beth Schmohr.

Are those precious, or what? Plus, there was this hand-crocheted outfit from from Great Granny Lantz. Or was it one of the great aunts? Maybe so, because Granny Lantz made them each a baby quilt.

I was most excited about finding our beloved Sesame Street house, which I'm sure my grandkids would love playing with...

if it weren't for the fact that Bert has taken a hike. Flown the coop. He's on the lam! No wonder poor Ernie let the place go to pot. He's lonely and depressed! Can you imagine spending all that time locked away, with no one but Cookie Monster and Oscar (in the trashcan on the porch) for company?

Anybody got a spare Bert they're willing to part with? Or, know of a new toy or game that includes Sesame Street figures about that size?

Sigh. Those were the days!

Wednesday, February 17, 2016


On day four in Barcelona, after our epic breakfast at Escribà, we headed back to the hotel to take care of some business, such as booking some tour tickets online for the following day. (Yes Priscilla, we finally heeded your advice!) Later we headed back down Las Ramblas, past the market and the opera house, to a street called Carrer Colum. We followed that back to the beautiful Plaça Reial, which is surrounded by nice restaurants and cafes that the locals actually frequent.

We were afraid nothing would be open that day, being New Years. But, as it turns out, it's mostly just the shops that close (which is how I discovered all that great shutter art I shared with you last week), and not the restaurants. People gotta eat, right? It was hard to decide, with so many options, but we finally settled on a great window seat at Les Quinze Nits, looking out on the square.

We spent the afternoon exploring that area further...

then went back to the hotel for a little birthday nap, before heading out for supper. The restaurant we wanted to try was closed, so we ended up dining al fresco at the more casual sister restaurant to the place we had lunch, La Crema Canela.

When we saw the description of their gourmet burger with guacamole and blue cheese, accompanied by tiny little matchstick fries, well, we just couldn't resist. It had been so long since we had one!

Let me tell you, it really hit the spot! On the way home Hubby reminded me that it was his birthday, and he had not yet had any cake or ice cream, so I compromised by treating him to a scoop of gelato in a chocolate coated cone. He was a happy boy!

Tuesday, February 16, 2016


My asparagus thinks it's spring.

My agarita thinks it's spring.

My Mexican Buckeye thinks it's spring.

My Texas Mountain Laurel thinks it's spring.

My peach tree thinks it's spring.

My Coral Honeysuckle thinks it's spring.

This little chenille plant thinks it's spring too.

Why, even my hubby thinks it's spring, judging by the number of trips he's made to the nursery lately! And these succulents here? The ones that should have died after our first freeze? Why, they're the craziest of them all, cuz they still think it's fall!

Why, oh why, don't they ever remember that our average last freeze date is still a month away? And, if I know Mother Nature, she's sure to send one last cold snap, just to remind them who's boss!

Monday, February 15, 2016


We sweetened the enticement with promises of brunch at Hays City Store.
So, who did you guess would be the guy at the top of the ladder? Was it Nate? Young Austin? Wrong! It was the old guy! Partially my fault, I admit. When Austin mumbled something about Brown Recluse spiders, I really shouldn't have chuckled and said "Oh Sweetie, you don't need to worry about spiders. I'm sure the bats ate them all!" "BATS? I dibs the spot at the bottom of the ladder!", replied my son. Actually, I have always been quite grateful that he inherited a healthy dose of my common sense. I don't think I could have handled both he and his father needing to be carted to the ER on a regular basis. Speaking of which, when I saw my hubby up there...

yanking on those doors which were seriously stuck, after not having been opened for eleven years, I had such a clear vision of him tumbling backwards off the ladder and smacking his head on the concrete floor that I had to turn around and go back in the house. I just. Couldn't. Watch!

Sooooo, what do you suppose was in there? Treasure? Trash? A little bit of both, as it turns out, and not nearly as much as I had feared. There was:

Our Tent

Some Car Ramps
neither of which we will ever use again. There were also a lot of seasonal decorations, from back when I had a lot bigger house to decorate, and had not yet fully embraced simple living.

Most of that will be going directly to the thrift store.

But, there were a few treasures too, which made it all worthwhile. There was a big crate of Legos, which we left in the attic, until Little Goober is old enough to play with them. And, this crate...

containing our most beloved baby clothes and a few toys, including the all-time-favorite Sesame Street house with Bert and Ernie and Oscar inside. (There are also a few more crates in our small indoor attic, containing the Brio train set, the Marbleworks set, and Lexi's American Girl doll and all her accessories.)

Most treasured of all? This!

Beautiful Rocking/Swinging Cradle Handmade by Hubby's Father
Well, that and the peace of mind that comes from finally having that dang attic emptied out!

Sunday, February 14, 2016


Do you remember, a long time ago, when I told you about the mystery attic above our detached garage? 

The one where Hubby stuffed a bunch of stuff, when we sold our house in Katy and started dividing our time between this place and a little rented townhouse in Houston?

The one that can only be reached with a looong extension ladder? Do you also remember that, not only has no one ventured up there since (11 years!), Hubby can't even remember what he put up there, and no one in the family has ever seemed motivated to find out, considering there might be critters living up there as well.

Barn Swallow Nest In Upper Right Corner
That all changed when a feisty little mama-to-be was reminded that the one thing we are fairly certain is up there, is the once-beautiful cradle that was handmade by her Papa George, when I was expecting her. Well, she had the whole crew lined up to come fetch it down in nothing flat, and on Valentine's Day, no less! Just pray that a swarm of bats doesn't come hurling out into the face of whoever is first to open that door.

Care to lay bets on who that lucky person will be?