Friday, July 6, 2018


When newest Muse Jenny was inducted a while back, we gave her the name Nurture Woman, having got the impression that she was like a little mother hen, always taking care of everybody and everything. However, we had no idea just how appropriate that name was, until she invited us to spend the day with her on their 150 acre country homestead, Waterstone.

The View Down to the Blanco River From The Lookout

Their house is made from straw clay -- a thick noodle soup of straw, clay and water, packed down into wooden forms that are later removed, leaving wooden frames that you attach siding to -- and is pretty much just what Hubby and I had envisioned building for ourselves, had we not stumbled upon this property we loved, with a house already on it.

Our day began on this porch, sipping coffee and tea while enjoying the antics of her horde of hummers, at the dozen or so hummingbird feeders which she keeps filled with nectar.

Love these handmade tiles in the kitchen, from a local artisan.
And this staircase? Oh My!
Nurture Woman Demonstrates Her Outdoor Shower
Their property has a Wildlife Management agricultural land use designation, which includes supplemental feeding. Julie's personal passion happens to be encouraging the growth of songbirds and other native Texas species, but that involves trying to keep deer, possums, raccoons, etc. just well enough fed to discourage them from raiding bird feeders and nests, but not well enough to become overpopulated themselves. It's a very delicate balance!

Of course, keeping all the critters well-hydrated is just as important as feeding them, which is why you'll see little watering holes like these everywhere you look on the property.

Everything at Waterstone uses rainwater.

So many of their big shady cypress trees along the river banks got uprooted in the big flood, but at least they are salvaging some of the wood, to be made into wonderful furniture and such.

There was a marvelous picnic lunch under a shady tree, followed by more touring, and visiting with her daughter and friends on the property next door. Then, when we just couldn't take the heat one moment longer, there was this!

See the kayak in the tree? A reminder of just how high the water got during the flood.

Does it get any better?

Thursday, July 5, 2018


Hope everyone had a happy holiday yesterday. We sure did! Our town goes all out each year with a wonderful parade, free hot dogs, and then the rodeo with fireworks. We weren't sure, however, if Calvin was quite old enough to appreciate standing out in the blazing sun for several hours, so we opted for a small celebration at the house...

followed by Blizzards for all! (Papa John's idea, of course)

It was a very good day!


Monday, July 2, 2018


Have you heard about Fareground, Austin's first food hall? It's been open a while now, so Hubby and I decided we were overdue for a visit. After parking in the convenient garage just across the street, we headed over to the Wells Fargo building at the corner of Caesar Chavez and Congress...

then headed around back to this beautiful garden area, and entered the ground floor food court from there.

The list of vendors is pretty impressive, not for length, but for quality!

This food court is definitely a step, or ten, above the food courts we are used to seeing in our shopping malls, and more on par with the amazing food halls you might stumble upon in France or Singapore.

They make a darn good chocolate croissant, as well!

Hubby tried the muffalatta sandwich from Easy Tiger, and I tried a breakfast taco and the wild boar taco al pastor from Dai Due. Dai Due started out as a farm-to-table supper club some time back, before evolving into a brick and mortar butcher shop/ supper club, and then adding this taqueria to the mix. Yum! Our only regret is that we didn't go with a larger group, so that we could have sampled more things, such as the grilled cheese sandwiches from Antonelli's cheese shop, or one of the ramen bowls we saw so many people eating.

There is both indoor and outdoor seating, and the latter comes with the added bonus of lots of shade, and a hill for rolling down, to keep the kiddos entertained.

Well, maybe there was one more not-so-little regret. That convenient parking garage I mentioned earlier? Turns out they charge seven bucks for every 30 minutes. We made the mistake of strolling around the block after lunch, and ended up being there just slightly over one hour, costing us 21 smackaroos to get outta that place. Grrrrr. I guess this is what happens when country mice go to the city, huh? On the plus side, although I would imagine that Fareground is jam-packed with downtown workers on weekdays, on Sundays there are no crowds at all!