Friday, April 13, 2018


As you may know, for many months now I have been making my way through a cedar-chest-full of old journals, reading through them one last time before tossing them into our recycling bin. It has been an enlightening experience, to say the least. You think you'll remember it all, but you really don't, do you? I've made it as far as 2008 now, where I finally got the nerve to leave my job in Houston and move to this house in the Hill Country full time, but my hubby still had a foot in both worlds. Not long ago I came across this entry:

"It has occurred to me that, though I constantly refer to 'living the good life' in my blog, I have never actually taken the time to define what I mean by that. Perhaps that is because I have never even put it into words for myself. It was more of a generalized, nebulous sort of concept. So, this morning I took the time to ruminate on it -- to analyze and dissect it, try to pin it down and put it into words. It's not an easy thing to do, but this is what I've come up with so far:

1) The good life is an authentic life. You have finally figured out what makes you happy -- what is important to you and what is not, what you are passionate about -- and you are living your life accordingly, even if it bucks the status quo (i.e. Tasha Tudor living an 18th century life in a 20th century world).

2) The good life embraces community, with a sense of connectedness and support. Even Helen and Scott Nearing, living off the land in the wilds of Vermont and Maine, had a strong community of students and supporters who often visited and gathered on their remote homestead, to lend a helping hand and to learn from them.

3) The good life embraces seasonality and change, in all its permutations. Whether it is in cooking, eating, gardening, decorating, entertaining, celebrating, or appreciating life's different stages, seasonality is what gives our lives variety, inspires creativity, and keeps us waking up in anticipation of each new day, rather than drowning in a sea of never-ending sameness.

4) The good life is conscious of the connectedness of all mankind, and that the actions of each and every one will send out ripples that affect every other one -- not just now, but for generations to come. One who is living the good life is cognizant of how foolish it is to believe that any one person can actually "own" a piece of this planet for, as the old saying goes, we are but a speck on the ass of a gnat as seen through the window of a car hurtling past at 1,000 mph. We are merely its temporary caretakers, and good stewardship is the one and only legacy we truly have.

5) Last but not least, the good life is a balanced life. It is a life with time for hard work, but equal time for play. Time devoted to family and community, but also time for oneself. Time for exercise and activity, but also time for rest and reflection. It provides adequate income for life's necessities and basic comforts and a modicum of security. Period. It does not allow earning and spending money to become the be-all and end-all of one's existence."

Needless to say, this all got me to thinkin' -- about how much my life has changed in the ten years since I wrote this, and whether or not we have been drifting away from the good life. I'm still thinking.

Wednesday, April 11, 2018


We had to go meet with our CPA about taxes in San Antonio last week. Not one of our favorite things to do, so we thought we'd counterbalance that with a repeat of the fun tapas-style meal we managed to create during our Christmastime photo expedition to the Pearl Brewery complex. But, just before we turned into the complex, we spotted something we didn't remember seeing before, down on Grayson. This place!

And, yes, it's actually named Down On Grayson! We just happened to arrive right as they were opening at 11:00, so had no problem getting a table. However, by the time we left, every single table was full, and there was a line out the door -- local business people, not tourists, which is always a good sign.

Awesomely Thin, Crispy, Onion Rings
Chopped Steak With Parmesan Fries
Chopped Caesar Salad With Giant Toasted Cheese Wafer Thingy
Between this meal, a trip to Fiesta On Main  (to get more of the blown glass ornaments Hubby likes to put on his bottle trees), and a trip to Herweck's (one of my favorite art supply stores), we almost forgot the shock of discovering that our tax bill this year was a good bit more than Hubby was expecting!

Monday, April 9, 2018


When I climbed up into the attic recently, looking for the old Brio train set and Sesame Street playhouse I'd been saving for the grandkids, I got a great surprise. Hidden in back, behind everything else, was the beloved costume box that I thought got discarded in one of my many, many pre-move purges. Oh Happy Day! 

Since the clothes have been sealed up in a plastic crate for 20 or 30 years now, I was almost afraid to open it. However, everything was in surprisingly good shape, with no sign of bug or rodent invasion, and just needed to be aired out. There was the little pair of leather lederhosen I bought for my nephew when I was fifteen or sixteen and my Girl Scout troop went to Europe, which later got passed back to my own kids; the little green felt dragon/dinosaur outfit I made for son Austin's first trick-or-treating adventure; matching bridesmaid/flowergirl dresses Lex and I wore in sister Gus' wedding; the elephant and snake costumes Lex and Austin wore in their elementary school production of The Elephant Child; half of the Marie Antoinette Milk Maid costume I made for Lex out of draperies and leftover upholstery fabric...

and the amazing red ant costume which doesn't look like much here, but which was downright awesome when filled with three kids, some tissue paper stuffing around their middles, and a set of wobbling dealy-boppers on each head.

And, if I ever get a granddaughter, she's gonna love that pile of stuff in the chair behind the bed -- all my party clothes from the late 70's, early 80's, including my strapless MC Hammer jumpsuit!

Alas, the only thing left from the world's cutest can-can girl costume is that little pink striped hair pouf. No idea what happened to the rest. And, the headless horseman's entire costume appears to have followed his head into oblivion. So sad. But, at least I still had the world's best costume-making book, Jane Asher's Fancy Dress Book, to pass on to Alexis, so she can carry on in my place.