I heard a piece on NPR about the effects of nature on moods of people dealing with hard things. I have to agree that spending time in nature can help a lot. My lunch activity today was a nice walk along our road in search of peace.
As I walked, I was repeatedly reminded that humans aren’t the only important things on earth and that life and death will go on regardless of whether I’m there or not. That actually did make me feel more peaceful and part of something bigger than myself.
The highlight of my walk was finding dozens of black swallowtail caterpillars on one prairie parsley plant. I watched those little guys noshing away for a long time. I forgot all my sadness about community events for a while!
I enjoyed all the flowers I saw, and the butterflies. Even the trees were beautiful. What a nice break.
I didn’t see many birds but heard lots. I spotted a painted bunting by hearing it first. Um. You couldn’t ID it from this!
From the listening app I heard:
Robin (rare here)
English sparrow (zzz)
Painted bunting (lots)
Mockingbird (also pretended to be a blue jay)
Common yellow throat (only saw that once ever)
Nighthawk (also saw two)
Baltimore oriole (wow)
That’s a lot of birds! The vultures didn’t make any noise, but were there, too.
Not only did nature make me feel more at peace, but my friends did, too. I enjoyed my afternoon coffee with two friends, Anita and Pamela. We laughed over my high school diaries that I found yesterday and discovered were mostly in Spanish. Then we shopped at the new antiques store downtown. I was happy to see there were many customers! I got a giant piece of purple glass for my window.
After that we sat on a bench overlooking the town square, wondering how we ever ended up in Cameron, Texas and enjoying it. Fun times. I’m glad for the supportive friends I’ve finally accumulated here!
Topping the day off with a horse ride and swim in the pool brought balance back, at least for now. I hope you also find your own balance.
Yesterday, Kathleen, Chris and I took the day off and went to Round Top, Texas, a tiny town with a reputation for much cuteness and quaintness. We figured we deserved some R&R after the stress of yesterday. I’d never been there before, though of course I’d read about it in every decorating magazine I ever read, watched television hosts go there and charmingly buy things, and thus knew it is “the” place to go for buying the coolest antiques in Texas.
And there you have it. That’s why I never went. Since I don’t like crowds, I certainly didn’t want to go in the spring and fall when they have the huge markets there. And I figured even if I went on an off week, the prices would be super high, since they cater to the most chic of antique hunters.
But, hey, I am always up for a fun family trip, so I was glad to go. The area is really pretty, and we saw many attractive farms and farm animals. The little town itself looks just like its pictures (imagine that), and is about as cute as cute can be, with a dose of shabby chic cuteness on top of that.
We ended up having a very nice time in the main “destination” area, strolling through art galleries and shops just full of stuff Kathleen and I like (earrings, clothing, jewelry). Chris did a lot of people watching.
We had a really delicious lunch at Lulu’s (the cauliflower soup was very, very tasty and the salad had roasted grapes that had been soaked in wine). While we were there joking with the staff, we took notice of how the really old building had been restored. My eyes were drawn upward to the ceiling, which was open, like ours at the Hermit Haus, but had been painted a nice gray. Hmm. That really made the place look bright and airy. So, now I am considering having the ceilings painted in some way.
While none of the stores we went into were actually antique stores, they were full of really nice people, and we had a great time chatting, as well as getting some decor items. We were sad to find out that two really nice galleries run by lovely people with a precious dog were having to leave, because they owners of the property they were on planned to tear the buildings down to put in a hotel. I guess that’s the way the place is going.
I got a reproduction of a painting of a donkey from the Humble Donkey gallery, and two extremely cute donkeys with painted bluebonnets that are what a ceramicist does when she ends the day and has just a little clay left over. I admit I also got some clothing, but who can resist a shirt covered with hummingbirds? Not this bird lover (no photo, sorry)
After lunch, we went out to see some of the actual antique shops and other stores that surround Round Top. It’s nice that some are open year round. I actually got a good deal on something, a red chair with grapes on it, that I’m going to call the Grape Throne in my office. It was 30% off and in great shape.
I did a great job NOT buying every piece of shiny glass I saw, and only got two light pink votive holders.
Meanwhile, we were looking for things to use to make bases for our door desks. We found a lot of really cool stuff at one place, which also had dozens of these weird baby-sized bathtubs on stands that must have been from some old hospital. I forgot to get a picture of that.
We found some lovely old metal fencing that we liked for my desk, and an old frame for a little buggy that Kathleen liked. But, when the lady said my stuff would be “999” we were not happy to find that she meant $999.00. For four pieces of metal? Nope. But, Chris got a lot of ideas, so I’m sure he will be welding us up something.
Wine and Yarn
Just as we were about to go back, Kathleen looked at her notes and said we should also go look for the place with wine and yarn. Wine and yarn? Yes, when we found the Blue Mule Winery, they did, indeed have both wine and hand-dyed yarn for sale.
Once the large busload of very loud birthday party people left, we had a great talk with the owners, and I’m all psyched up to go back there in April for a yarn event they are going to have. We liked one or two of the wines a lot, too, so of course I came home with some of each.
Since they also had alpacas, beautiful chickens, AND a baby donkey, this was certainly a good decision! By the time we got home, all sated with Bucee’s jerky, we had a zillion stories to tell Lee. What a fine mini-vacation!