Friday, June 29, 2018


Wow. What a difference ten or eleven years can make! Go here if you are interested in seeing snippets of how it all began -- our transition from big city suburbanites to lovers and livers of "the good life" here in the Texas Hill Country, and my own transformation from total Luddite to barely adequate blogger. (Of course, you'll have to picture the story surrounded by the most generic template Blogger had to offer at the time, rather than my custom made header and fancy side bar. 😄)

Thursday, June 28, 2018


Our tiny dinner club, a.k.a. The Driftwood Gang, had another meet-up this weekend. This time it was the Bradshaw's turn to pick a restaurant, and they opted for the newest joint in town, Community Pizza and Beer Garden, which went into part of the space formerly occupied by a rustic furniture store.

Hubby and I were the only ones who had been there before, as we'd taken Lex and Goobs to lunch there, when they were still working out some of their grand opening kinks. Calvin was quite taken with their pirate ship playground.

I'm thinking maybe I need to start warning everyone in our group when I'm about to snap a photo, or they're going to ban my camera from these meetups altogether!

As an added bonus, we got to meet the Bradshaw's Irish son-by-another-mother. He was actually born in Texas and grew up playing with the Bradshaw kids, but then his family moved back to Ireland. When they were here visiting at Christmas, it was decided that Wimberley would be the perfect place for him to spend the summer, while waiting for final test results and before heading off to uni. He even managed to snag a job at The Blue Hole. Let's just hope he can still take the heat of a Texas summer!

I think everyone enjoyed their food. I especially liked the prosciutto carpaccio appetizer, which I used as my main course.

There are still a few kinks to work out, however, when it comes to service. Whatever you do, don't ask for separate checks, or you're liable to be there all night!

At the other end of this building they've created a space where you can watch our local radio station being broadcast live, which is kinda fun. Especially since several people we know do some of their shows.

And, in between the two, it looks like a liquor store will be going in. Hard to believe that when we first moved here, this town was totally dry!

Monday, June 25, 2018


I don't know about you, but the older I get, the less spontaneous I seem to be. So, when we got a call out of the blue Friday afternoon, from some long lost Mobil Oil friends, telling us they now lived on a little ranch less than two hours from here, and that they thought we should just hop in the car right then and there to head over for a visit, well, to tell you the truth, I thought they were just yanking our chains. I mean, who would do that, right? When I finally realized they were dead serious, we came to a compromise. We would head their way, but not until the following morning. Still, being someone who needs at least two weeks notice in order to get my house presentable enough for guests, I just couldn't imagine how they could be so comfortable with this impromptu visit.

Ben met us at the gate in his little golf cart to lead the way, but drove us right past their house and on to the little building they call The Lodge.

It was originally meant to be his office/man cave, but when he invited wife Debbie to help him design it, well, it turned into something altogether different.

Like us, they've lived all over the world, and made lots of friends in each place. Unlike the introverted Lanes, however, they love nothing more than having a house full of friends and family, and have turned it into such a fine art that they've ended up hosting a constant stream of visitors at this not-for-profit B&B -- one of the best we've ever stayed at!

One thing we always had in common with Ben and Debbie was a love of good food and great restaurants. I wondered how they were adjusting to life out in the country, after spending the last several years living in the heart of Houston -- a mecca for international cuisine.  Apparently, there is more available in that area than we realized. They took us to a great little place in nearby Columbus for lunch, Los Cabos Mexican Grill, where I had the best tacos al carbon that I've had since we used to go to the original Lupe's Tortillas in Houston. Afterwards, we drove around Weimar and saw their downtown area, first rate schools, and even more amazing baseball field (the smallest community to ever host a Babe Ruth World Series) then headed back to the ranch for the deluxe tour via Ben's zippy little cart.

Checking Out The Outdoor Cantina

The veggie garden and orchard are pretty awesome...

but I think my favorite spot on their place has to be this one, the back porch on the main house.

I could stay here all day!
After lots more visiting and catching up, we headed over to dinner in Schulenburg. My mind is totally boggled over the fact that a restaurant such as The Garden Co. exists amidst a great little garden center, in such a small town. Even more so by the fact that, when we drove up to it, Hubby blurted "Hey, I've been here!" Apparently his little photography group stumbled upon it when they were touring all the painted churches in the area.

Ahi Tuna Tempura
Steak with Chimichurri

The Three Amigos, Making John Think Having An Outdoor Cat Wouldn't Be So Bad
About 24 hours later, after the fabulous breakfast they'd prepared for us there in the lodge, we were back at home, wondering if it was all a dream, or if we had really had that much fun with someone we hadn't seen or talked to in years, and who, by the way, is on the opposite side of the political fence from us.

But, the thing is, everything we'd loved and enjoyed about them back when we were all young parents is still there, and we actually have a lot more in common than you would think if all you ever saw was what we posted online. So, isn't it time we stopped letting ourselves be polarized and radicalized by the media, and remember -- or relearn -- how to meet in the middle for some civil discussion?

My only real regret is that we got so busy yakking, we totally forgot to bring home all the fresh home-grown tomatoes they'd encouraged us to take. DAGNABBIT!