I was so busy focusing on the prospect of getting all peopled out, that I didn’t think about where I was going! I think that is for the best, because I got to enjoy pleasant surprises on my whole trip.
The minute I got to the New Orleans airport I remembered it just opened yesterday! It had that sorta plasticky “new airport” smell, and it was all shiny. There were zillions of windows everywhere (including the women’s room, which needed more stalls).
And of all things, the baggage claim was pleasant as heck! I loved the mosaics on the walls and the lovely planters with benches all around them.
I waited an hour for a colleague to arrive, and it was really fun. Sadly, the taxi/Uber situation is not so good, and as the day wore on it got harder and harder for people to get transportation out. Luckily, we only had to wait ten or fifteen minutes.
We’ve been coming to the Cameron area since 2011, when we first visited the land that would eventually become the Hermits’ Rest. At first, the town didn’t appeal to me much. It was really run-down and there was very little to do, which was fine, since we were spending all our time in the woods and hanging out with the ranch neighbors.
Now, in addition to the ranch neighbors, we have Mandi’s family across the road. Then we have my sister living in the town where we do our business, Martha and Mike, our UU church friends, have moved up here, Kathleen has joined us to set up the new business (plus her husband now visits), and I’ve been meeting more and more people who have been here just a couple of years. On top of that, the town is blossoming. Yow!
Now when I look around, I see new restaurants, spiffed up businesses, and even new homes. Yeah, parts of the town are still a mess, but they’ve actually begun improving the infrastructure, like the water lines. Yay!
Even my Austin housemate, Anita, who does her best to avoid the ranch (she has her reasons) is going to buy a house in town and fix it up (a really cute house in a pleasant tree-lined part of town).
At dinner last night, we were talking about how much we enjoy small town living. Literally NONE of us would have ever thought we’d say that. Even my sister seems to like some aspects of the place, though we know it isn’t ideal for her. What is it about the small-town life that has made us feel good?
Well, we meet new people easily, and since you are always seeing everyone in town, it’s easy to become friends, or at least pleasant acquaintances. The lack of traffic means you can get anywhere in fewer than 15 minutes. Even the limited shopping and dining choices mean you really get to know the shop-keepers and restaurant folks.
My favorite part is that people take care of each other and make sure they are okay. Even people who aren’t all that fond of each other have some kind of “town loyalty.” It makes me happy to spend time in our little town that’s trying to become its very best possible.
Our real estate mini-business has to have a board meeting every year. So we decided to do a weekend retreat somewhere we could concentrate. So Lee and I used our condo points to book literally the only available 2-bedroom condo in Texas.
It’s in Lago Vista, an oddly endearing resort village on the north shore of Lake Travis. Well, it’s a condo all right. I think it’s the least charming one I’ve ever been in. It appears to be the same age as the Bobcat house, only with very few upgrades. (Bathrooms have been done, on a budget.)
It appears it once had a lake view and lots of green space. But someone sold that land and put fancy condos on it. Now there is a sliver of lake and some rich people you can glimpse between units.
We have so many wild morning glories, or tie vines, around the ranch. I’m sharing this article by a friend, because it has a fascinating photo of a flower with damage from the wings of a hummingbird. That is just so cool!
By Larry Kocian. Adopted from a Facebook post on Milam County Veggie and Plant Exchange, September 22, 2019.
Free from nature, these vines (also known as tie vine —Impomoea cordatotriloba) make an appearance in late spring, early summer. In mid- to late summer and into autumn, they are showy with their purple/lavender colors.
Some people say invasive. I say not, because they are easily controlled by going into the garden and removing/sculpting them. I let mine climb, and they do climb into the mimosa trees. I do control some when they wrap in the wrong place or too much on a particular plant/tree.
My point is that most natural occurring plants that are labeled invasive are not at all. I always encourage everyone who reads this to go outside and get to know…
Yesterday, I’d been lamenting that all the mamas and babies in the cattle herd had been put right behind our house, but I never got to see the cute little spotted calf I’ve been enjoying since the day they were born (still don’t know male or female).
Today, though, I noticed that they were all in the back tank/pond, which still has a good amount of water in it, bathing and mooing. There was also a bonus creepy cow staring at me from within the willow trees. She looked menacing.
We had a large turnout for this month’s meeting, where Linda Friedrickson and Aloma Clayton spoke on keyhole gardening (modified raised bed). They are members of the Little River Basin Master Gardeners, so many of our members who are in both organizations already knew them. Both of these women have lots of knowledge about keyhole gardens, and Linda even built one this year at her new property.
The book to read if you want to learn more is Soiled Rotten, by Deb Tolman, who is a fascinating person currently living in Texas and basing her life on creative recycling and reuse. Linda pointed out that keyhole gardens are a perfect example of Tolman’s philosophy, because you can build then from discarded material. Tolman makes gardens out of all sorts of things, including an abandoned speedboat.
Sometimes when there’s nothing particularly bad going on in your life, there’s enough going on with your friends that it makes your head spin.
I joke that when that recent Mercury retrograde period ended, supposedly making communication easier, it suddenly caused people to just start spilling all their past indiscretions, stuff perhaps no one really needed to know, and painful memories.
Happy Friday, reader friends. Before I start out on my assigned topic, I’d like to say hello to a faithful reader, Catherine, who informed me last night that I’d missed posting for a couple of days, and that totally messed up her night-time routine. That made my day!
I will do my best to post at least a little something every day, so she’ll have something to read before bed. But, there will be occasional days when I have so much work or am having so much fun that I don’t get to type! Let’s hope for no more days when I’m just so sad I don’t want to blather on about my mundane stuff, which happened earlier in the week.
Today was a big day over at the Hermits’ Rest. We try to be responsible pet owners, even though that can be a bit pricey when you have 5 dogs and 2 equines. The first thing that needed to be done was to get our little Penney spayed, so in case a roving Man Dog shows up, we don’t get more red mutts.
Back in Austin, I knew doing some more sweaty unpacking would help me deal with the ridiculous amount of poorly handled work stress I dealt with today. So, I came home and immediately dragged out some really heavy boxes, so that I could create some empty shelf space to store tools and holiday decor.
Most of the boxes had the knitting and craft magazines I swore I’d get rid of when I got to them, so I did. That’s painful. But I’m keeping my knitting books, so there! Sewing books will get donated. I really don’t think I’ll be getting a lot of sewing done in the future, since I keep having to work on new startups and nonprofits. And yes, I’m the one who volunteered to do this stuff.
I’m really glad I looked in all the stuff before throwing it out, because I found numerous academic degrees, awards, and important documents. I even found the hospital bracelet my mom wore when I was born, in among the magazines. Whew. I’d hate to lose those diplomas and the all-important Phi Beta Kappa membership. I really should have put this stuff somewhere more secure.