Sunday, March 19, 2017

a few more Hill Country pics... and 2 questions

my friend sitting on porch

Sitting on the wrap around porch in the morning and evening was very pleasant... there's always a cool breeze blowing.  The dogs and chickens usually sat with us. 

view from porch to the stables

... more views
chicken shadows

 and a few pics that I forgot yesterday:

Das Peach Haus in Fredericksburg

and the Magnolia Silo Market in Waco, Texas.  We tried to get in there as we both watch Fixer Upper on TV with Joann and Chip, but with Spring Break it was just too crowded. There were cars and people everywhere... so we just drove by and took a pic of the Silos on our way home. 

If you aren't familiar with Fixer Upper and Joann and Chip, they have basically put Waco, Texas on the map. Google Magnolia Market at the Silos and it will explain it all.

And I have a question... we often find this flower on my daughter's property and don't know what it is. Looks kind of like a violet - of some sort?

What do you think? 

Oh, another thing... DH came home with the movie, "Arrival" on DVD yesterday evening (he does this when there's nothing good on TV that night).  Anyway, we watched it and it was interesting (to say the least)... and a bit confusing. I told him that I needed to watch it again today to see if I understood what it was saying. 

So... if any of you have seen it, this is what I got:
The language expert (a woman) starts off the show saying that it all started when THEY arrived. She and the Scientist are helping humans try to communicate with the newly arrived Alien ships. During the time they are trying to learn their language, she has visions/dreams(?) of a birth, a young child, and that child dying.

As it turns out, she finally determines that they are giving humans *a gift*... and in return will need humans to help them in 3000 years. The gift is their own  language... (they explain in the movie that language in general does something to the brain - and determines how you think).  The Alien language is not vocal/spoken and maybe because of the way it uses the brain, looks at time differently and allows one to know the future. They give this gift to the language expert (the woman)... and it is given in 12 parts (one part from each of 12 Alien ships that have landed all over the world). It is given this way to let humans know that the whole world must work together/co-operate. Once the gift is given, the ships disappear.

If anyone else has seen this movie, I would love to know if this is even close to what you got.

Friday, March 17, 2017

Spring Break in the Texas Hill country...

I spent the last  5 days 'house-sitting' in the Texas Hill country while my daughter and her family took a short vacation. My friend and I stayed at their house and fed their horses, chickens, etc. and used their place as a base while day-tripping to the cute little towns of Marble Falls, Gruene, Fredericksburg, and Wimberly.

We started off stopping in Marble Falls at the Bluebonnet Cafe... a well known local favorite that also has a "pie happy hour". However... as usual the place had a line to get in around the parking lot, so we didn't stay. Hopped over to a little coffee shop across the way called, "Choccolatte's" and got some coffee for ourselves and some dark chocolate English Toffee for DH.

Next stop was my daughter's place in Bulverde where we visited and spent the night. The next morning, after they left for the area around Austin, we headed out to Gruene, a little German town on the Guadalupe River. Shopped a few places and ended up eating at the Grist Mill - a great hulking restaurant that winds around the river and is open to viewing it all. It also has beautiful fireplaces (hence, the following pic of my grand daughter who decided to go to Gruene with us). They have the 'best ribs' that I've ever eaten (and I 'm not even a meat person).

grand daughter at the Grist Mill in Gruene

The following day we drove to Fredericksburg... another little German town where we visited our favorite places (yes, we've been before); der kuchen laden (think that's right - a very well-equipped kitchen store), Chocolat (a chocolate shop that specializes in chocolate with whiskeys, bourbons, Irish cream, etc. inside), and The Pie Shop (where they make on site dozens of fresh delicious pies each day and simply close when they run out).

the Pie Shop in Fredericksburg

Of course we visited other stores, but these are our favorites! We did stop at Der Peach Haus on the way home. The Wisteria outside was gorgeous.

The next day was to be a "rest" day - sitting on the front porch enjoying the scenery, collecting eggs, picking veggies from their vegetable garden, feeding horses, chickens, dogs, and cats, etc. We had brought our quilting, so we did a little of that...

daughter's house

The town of Wimberly, TX was our next stop. Had lunch at the Wimberly Cafe's open seating area (captured 3 honeybees in Styrofoam cups that kept circling our table), visited the shops, and then picked up some coffee to go for our trip back to Bulverde.  Turned out to be Anderson's coffee (had never heard of it, but it was very good!)

That evening we finished off the Chocolate Cream pie we had bought at the Pie Shop in Fredericksburg. And headed back home  yesterday. Fun trip! Daughter and hubby had returned home and had had a wonderful (albeit short) get away for themselves. Worked out well for all!

Oh... and by the way... Happy St. Patrick's Day!!


Thursday, March 9, 2017

Pictures that make me happy...

Have you ever noticed that certain pictures make you smile... and I don't necessarily mean pictures of your children or grandchildren (or your pets - although all of these indeed make me smile). But just pictures you *happen upon*. Here are a few that do it for me...

feels like I'm looking out of light house keeper's cabin - very peaceful

and this one...

this reminds me of my grand daughter's room with the tree outside her window

and here's another...

memory of looking down out of a castle window on Wye River

Then there are watercolors like...



love this!

Would love to be able to watercolor like this... the feeling is wild and free

OK, enough of my wishful thinking...  and back to reality.  DH and I have been busy lately. We just picked up our window shade order, bought security cameras, and just this week got my new Rx glasses. (I haven't had any glasses since my cataract surgery in September. and yes, I still need them.) It's been very odd these last few months not being able to see well and needing over the counter reading glasses to get by. And the reason I was waiting is because if these were possibly the last Rx I would need (probably not, but one can hope), I wanted blue frames this time (not sure why), and the new Spring frames that were coming in would have more colored options (or that's what I was told). 

Anyway, they're here and I have them. Do I love the blue frames? Hmm... not sure... BUT for what the glasses cost, I WILL love them. And at least I can see well again. That I'm thankful for!

Oh, I have to show you 2 more pictures that make me smile... and these I don't even know why... but they do.

purple door knob

Isn't this just great? It reminds me of "magic"... would love to have a purple crystal doorknob. It probably wouldn't fit on my front door, but perhaps I could use it on my "she-shed" (if I ever had one one day - like a pottery/watercolor studio out back?).

and then I saw this...

and it speaks to the Tom Sawyer child in me

Well, that's all I have for today. The weather has been warm and windy... so we've been leaving the windows open... which the cats love!  It's Spring Break this week also... so Enjoy!

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Monday, February 27, 2017

Welcome to my world...

wonderful window view
welcoming window

Why is it that *certain things* attract us?  Like open windows, shady paths, cozy fireplaces, etc.?  They draw us in... and welcome us. I see a picture (many of which are posted on "A Brit in Tennessee" blog) and something inside says, "... aww, I like that".  I know it can't be true for all, but apparently it's true for a good bit (or in this case, a good Brit!).

Lately I've been looking around on Pinterest and have found so many really cute idea pictures... the kind that make you want to create that, or go there, or just plain fantasize. 

And there's this place in Mousehole, West Cornwall, England that is shown on a blog called "A Joyful Cottage".... it's called the Oyster Catcher's Cottage and it's such a perfect spot to spend a holiday. Check it out and see what you think. 

Kitchen in Oyster Catcher's Cottage (see the white aga on the left)
Bedroom in Oyster Catcher's Cottage (see the view of the water  from the window)

And then there's also another cottage shown on The Joyful Cottage that's called, "The Stack"... that is so-oo interesting. However, you must be able to climb stairs as each room is on a different floor.

kitchen in the Stack - isn't it adorable?

It's also in Cornwall... (guess I have a hankering for Cornwall?).

Outside view of The Stack

Then... while surfing through Pinterest the other night, I came across some humorous posters. One had me laughing so hard, I cried. Wish I could find it again... as I haven't had a good laugh like that in ages.

Well, that's the dreaming part of my post finished. Going to relate a little story next that has taken up a good part of our week. First, DH and I set out to order some room darkening shades for our front room.  Plain ol' shades... nothing fancy, right? Well, of course none of the ready made ones came in the sizes we needed, and the ones they can cut to order didn't come in the color we wanted. 

So-oo we tried 3 different places to custom order. First place had an associate there, but she didn't know anything about ordering shades. Second place, there were simply no sales associates in the area, and even though we went up front and were told one was coming, 20 mins later no one had shown up, so we left. 

Last place was very accommodating, and had a lovely salesperson who really knew her stuff (so rare these days). We took home the book with the various swatches, then went back and ordered the next day. Unbeknownst to us, the sale was off the next day, but our sales lady called a Supervisor explaining that we basically made the order the day before, but had to take samples home to be sure of the color before continuing. She gave us the sale price. 

It just astounds us that so many stores don't have enough help... or don't educate the ones they have.  Maybe it's our age, but it seems that work ethics and management systems have suffered over the years.

Sorry this post is a bit rambling... but it seems to be the way my mind works lately. Closing this with a picture I came across of a black cat that I think is just beautiful... (very possibly photo-shopped, but still). How can people not like black cats?)


Of course our Ghost is beautiful too... in her own way

Her response: "Give it a rest..."

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

a curious dilemma...

A definition of Ethics: moral principles that govern a person's behavior.

Something happened at Central Market last week that made me wonder... I'll have to tell a short story first so you will know where this is coming from.

DH and I were just finishing up grocery shopping and were heading to our car. I happened to look at the receipt in my hand and thought the amount didn't look right. We normally spend about $50 - $60 at Central Market, but this time we had bought a $15 roast as well as some salmon... so it should have been more.

Well, apparently the checker (as well as DH and I) had missed the roast on the bottom of the cart. Realizing this, I went back into the store with the roast, explained, and paid the checker. Her comment was, "Well, aren't you sweet?"

OK, that's the story. Here 's the question.
Ethically (?) speaking, not paying for a $15 roast was not an option. But... if it had been a $1 or $2 item, the truth is that I probably wouldn't have gone back.

This is my dilemma:  I don't think it should make any difference (?) if it's a $2 or $50 mistake... but it does. Why?

Friday, February 17, 2017

a mishmash...

According to one definition... a mishmash is a confused mixture of things. Hmm, I used to call this my *monkey mind* jumping all over the place. Well, this post is definitely going to be a mishmash.

Not even sure where to start. How about my recent cooking experience... making home-made pasta (I wish I had taken some pictures, but we were so engrossed in what we were doing, that it didn't occur to me). My friend has done this before. She makes it by hand with a manual that I think belonged to her grandmother, but actually owns a Kitchenaid pasta maker that attaches to the Kitchenaid mixer. This is what she brought over so we could experiment with it.

I have a Kitchenaid mixer (that I love), but don't own the pasta maker (or any attachments that go with it). Anyway, it was fun... terribly messy (we both had flour all over us and the floor), but productive. I really don't have enough counter space as we had fettuccine lying all over the kitchen on kitchen towels. Apparently they do make "hangers" for it... they look like clothes racks or jewelry hangers, but neither of us had one of those. 

DH was skeptical and kept wondering through the kitchen laughing at us. He didn't see why we would want to do this when you can buy dried fettuccine for a few dollars at the store. (Men just don't understand, do they?) But as it turned out, we made enough for several meals... and enjoyed it for supper last night. However, it may be something you don't want to do too often...

Next I'll mention our wonderful trip on Wednesday to Carlo's Bake Shop. This is the Bake Shop that I believe started in New York and was on TV under the name, "Cake Boss". Anyway, they opened one here in Dallas last year and they make the most wonderful cannoli (and yes, this is the pleural, I looked it up). DH and I love them and decided that all we wanted for Valentine this year was to pick up a few cannoli. But we didn't dare go on Tuesday (Valentine's day). We waited until Wednesday and picked these up.... no lines!

So-oo good!

And last I will leave you with a picture of a new little critter I just sculpted in clay... a froggie!

and a few *rollers* that can be used for decorating mugs, etc. 

Guess that's enough mishmash for today. There is more on my mind, but I'd better keep it for another post. I'll give you a hint about what its about... ethics or moral principals regarding certain actions (yes, too deep for today's post... but there's a story that goes with it). 

Have a great weekend!