Friday, July 29, 2016


Guess who came to town yesterday, in a shiny red conveyance full of toys? Noooo, not Santa. Even better. The Sanfords!

This is what their truck looked like when they pulled into the parking lot at Hays City, where we were meeting up with old friends from Bahrain, who now live in Driftwood.
Nurse Nellie and the Sanfords
This is at least the third load of baby/toddler stuff they have brought us, now that their grandson has outgrown it all, and I bet you their garage still isn't empty!

Later that afternoon we drove over to Gruene (pronounced Green), a little historic village on the outskirts of New Braunfels, and home to the oldest continuously operating dance hall in Texas, Gruene Hall. Paula and I headed off to the fabulous children's book/toy store called The Purple Chair, while the men headed off to a nearby cigar store.

Story Time
I bought this amazing book for Little Goober because I fell in love with illustrations by artist Thom Ricks.

When I went to check out, they said "He's a local guy, you know. Sells his artwork in that cooperative gallery across the street. If he happens to be in, he'd probably sign this for you." So of course, we went straight over there! Alas, he was not in, but Paula and I both fell in love with his color-mad paintings of sites around Gruene. The originals are waaaaay out of my budget, but one of his giclee prints would look mighty swank hanging above my mantle!

After exploring all the little boutiques there in Gruene Lake Village, we went lookin' for the men folk. They were planning to find a nice bench in the shade where they could smoke a cigar, but since it started pouring rain as soon as they got to the cigar store, we weren't sure where they ended up.

Turns out, the cigar store has a smoking room, which is supposed to be "members only", but which they were kindly invited to use when it started raining. So this is where we found them...

Talk about two happy boys!

Next we went for a drink at the wine bar across the road, which also had a large selection of craft beers on tap.

Last, but certainly not least, was a scrumptious dinner at The Gruene Door, also in that same little shopping area.

In fact, the only sad part of the whole day was finding out that those nasty antibiotics had given Little Goober a serious case of the runs and his poor little mama was feeling tad stressed, since she had only recently switched him into cloth diapers and was still trying to get the hang of it all. We advised her to check with her pediatrician about infant probiotics, and her sweet hubby left work early to bring her a big box of disposable diapers. Hopefully, they're both feeling a bit better now.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016


but then you have a sick grandchild. Not only will your heart be wrenched by what your poor grandchild is going through, but also by the agony which you know your son or daughter will be experiencing. My friend Paula warned me about this a while back. Now I know it to be true. 

Little Goober woke up on Monday with a bit of fever. Lex wasn't too worried, since that is fairly common 24-72 hours after a baby's first round of vaccinations, which Goobs had received on Friday. However, after spending half the day doing nothing but eating and going right back to sleep, she decided to call the pediatrician. They said it was a bit late to be a result of the vaccines, and since all fevers in a baby this young are taken very seriously, they advised her to take him to the ER at Dell Children's, to have some blood work done.

After a couple of hours of waiting, they found out that he appeared to have some sort of bacterial infection, which they should be able to take care of with a strong infusion of antibiotics. But, first, they had to rule out the possibility of meningitis. Unfortunately, there's only one way to do that -- with a lumbar puncture. With great hope in my heart, I texted a nurse friend, asking if they'd managed to improve those over the years, making them totally painless. "I don't want to tell you." Then later..."They do numb them first, but..." Thankfully, they kicked Lex and Nate out of the room, so they didn't have to witness the procedure.

Then there was more waiting for the results of that test, and much floor-pacing and prayer-requesting on the part of this grandma. The results finally came back negative a few hours later (Whew!) but then they had to wait around for his antibiotics infusion. Throughout this whole process, we kept offering to come join them at the hospital, but they kept thinking they were about to be released, and would be on their way home by the time we got there. Little did they know! They finally made it home to their own comfy beds around midnight, and I was able to stop my pacing.

The next morning he was taken to his pediatrician for a thorough examination, and were told that he should be fine now, and just to keep an eye out for any signs of fever, inconsolable crankiness, or extreme lethargy. I'm happy to report that he has been fever free ever since, and seems to be back to his happy little self!

However, having dealt with these pesky infections before, continued prayers couldn't hurt, right?

Monday, July 25, 2016


"Tea planters don't encounter much feminine company, as you can imagine -- at least, not the eligible kind. It takes a special kind of woman to make a good planter's wife. Debbie Ashton is a good example. She is independent, free-spirited, and revels in adventure. Other wives adapt best as they can. Some suffer and survive, some run away." ~ Teatime for the Firefly, by Shona Patel

Not long ago I got a message from my sister Poo saying I really needed to read a book called Teatime for the Firefly, by Shona Patel. I figured she recommended it because she knew I loved reading about other cultures, places and times. Little did I know, I was about to relive my own life, and those first days of marriage on the other side of the globe. 

Although it took place in another time and country, the main character and I had much in common.
  • Both of us were terribly sheltered and naive, having been raised in a very "homogeneous" community, where everyone lived and thought in much the same way. 
  • Both of us married guys we hadn't laid eyes on in over a year (though our relationships had deepened during that time, thanks to the introvert's gift with pen and paper) and were immediately whisked off to a place we knew nothing about, where we would be surrounded by people we had very little in common with.
  • Both of us had to grow up fast, and learn to do things such as entertaining the boss, and managing household staff who were older and knew more than we did, so tended to manage us instead. Plus, they were always there, when every introvert's worst nightmare is to be surrounded by strangers all day every day, with never a moment to oneself.
  • Both had to learn to deal with our hubby's wild bachelor friends and all their tales of adventures past.
  • Both of us learned that danger and tragedy go hand in hand with moments of breathtaking beauty, when living in an untamed place.
About six years ago I finally got around to writing down all the stories I could remember, with the help of those letters, photos, and friends, in the form of a blog called Miss Becky Goes Abroad. I figured someday the kids and grandkids might enjoy reading them. It took me at least a year to get them all down, since they covered about six years in all, in three different places, some as newlyweds and some with elementary-aged kids. Once I was finally done I just walked away, never looking back. But this awakened an urge. An urge to go back, and relive it once more.

Read the book for yourself, then click on the link above to read about my very first days of marriage, and see if you find any similarities.  I'm hoping one day Little Goober will want to read some of these stories. Maybe then he will understand why we call his grandpa Adventure Boy, and why I've already got this t-shirt stashed away, for when he's ready to do a bit of adventurin' himself!