Friday, November 20, 2009

My Wabi-Sabi Mommy

The Wabi-Sabi Mommies

A neighbor stopped by the other day and asked if she could peek in my yard. 
We were talking about art and style and whatnot and she asked me where I got my style from. 
I got it from my Mama for sure. 
 I grew up in a small, small, conservative town outside of Beaumont. 
As we all know from the folk art scene, there is often a lot of fabulous stuff happening in these small towns. 
Colorful people are everywhere, you can't hold us down!


There used to be a store in Beaumont called The Front Porch. It is actually still there, but it's long been owned by different people It's not in the same location, and it's definitely not the same kinda store. 

It used to be in a beautiful old converted house in old town. The wooden floors were all bumpy and uneven which my mama and I loved. 
The bathroom had some kind of lovely tapestry covering the bathtub. 
They carried all this stuff that was pretty radical for that time in that town. 
Lots of 70's "new woman" kind of stuff. 
They had James Avery jewelry that no one else carried, shadow boxes with tons of miniatures to put in them, some rather hippieish plaques and posters...oh, it was just fabulous. 
We would go there all the time to wander around and buy things. 
I grew up with goodies from The Front Porch all over our house. 
Mama had a purse from there that said, "If you're being run out of town, get in front of the mob and make it look like a parade." 
 She also had a sign (on the inside) that said, "Yes, I'm home, but I'm not answering the door." 
Most people were fascinated by her, some just puzzled, a few ran in the other direction (good riddance, my dears!). 
 There was a group of like-minded women that all found each other and, my god, were they fun. 
They formed a club called "The Sorry Dog Club" and they would get together and hoop and holler. 
They all made up crazy-ass names to go by: Muriel Everett (Mama), Elmarine Bass (Mary), Beadrice Maximillion (Lynn), Agnes Grill (Jo Ellen), Juanita Sue Unruth (Margie) and Hortense (Lynell. We cannot remember Hortense's last name). Isn't that just the best?! 
Some of them are gone now and I sure do miss them. 
Some of them are still with us and still hooping and hollering, thank goddess! 
When I get my chickens, I'm going to name all of them after these women. My mama is my best friend and hardly a day goes by that I don't talk to her. 
 She lives too far away for my taste, but we try to see her every other month or so. 

Check out some of her Wabi-Sabi yard goodness:





A dog-trot log cabin that sits on the front of their property. They have another house behind this that they live in, but this is what you see when you drive up. Her husband has a music room in there and that's where company stays when they come. 

I think my mama would be happy just living in that cabin, but I suppose one needs to cook every now and then. 

Sigh.





This here is "Elsie Joyce." 

Mama saw her at a muffler station that was going out of business and almost had a wreck trying to get over to see her.

Fortunately, they were able to rescue her and bring her home. 

She now sits in a bed of johnny-jump-ups and sports Mardi Gras beads year-round.





Yes, it's a bus stop! My mama LOVES to ride the bus just like FinnigantheCurious and I. Every time my mama comes to visit, we hop on the bus and go somewhere. Finn and I ride it so much he even knows when to pull the cord without being reminded. 

I'm proud of that. 

So when her husband's brother mentioned this bus stop, she had a fit until he brought it to them. 

Isn't that hilarious? 

It has a lawn mower in it in this picture, but normally it's just there so my mama can sit on the bench and daydream about riding the bus. 

There's no bus for miles in any direction out there in the piney woods, trust me.






You think there's fun to be had in the big city? Girl, girl, girl, you don't even know. My mama loves to mow the lawn with her riding mower. I find that hilarious. We all have our thing, I guess.



video

This outta tell you everything you need to know. 

Wabi-Sabi runs in the blood, for sure.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Every Good Boy Does Fine.

Introducing the newest member of our family....

La tee dah and oo la la! I have always, but always wanted to learn to play the piano. Well, truth be told, I have always, but always wanted to learn to play the fiddle. However, I have started fiddle lessons about 47 times in my life and I can't play a note. I'm just lazy as hell and I never finish anything I start, but "this time for sure!" No, really, this time I'm gonna do it. My waib-sabi mommy learned to play piano in her 50's and I can too. I figure since I am still in my 40's, even if I peter out, I still have the next decade to try again. FinnigantheCurious says he wants to learn too and I just love the idea of that. There's a funny story here...
Before I had a child (which is when I knew everything about child-rearing), I used to think that people who homeschooled were, well, uh, weird. I used to make a joke to my mom that someday I was going to have a child and I was going to dress us up in matching clothes and we would sit together and learn to play the piano. I said this like it was a bad thing. HA HA HA. I'm almost positive that Finn and I will not be wearing matching clothes (although we may don our birthday suits), but I do envision a little mom and boy Body and Soul action taking place around here.
I've got to give her a name. The piano, that is. I'm thinking Gertrude. I think that came up from thinking of a Steinway. Gertrude Steinway. Of course she's not a Steinway, she's a Conway. Maybe I should name her Tim?
Muchos, muchos, muchos gracias to the fabulous Kappleman clan for passing her on to us. I do so love her. I do, I do.

Here's 3 of the 4 studly men who helped move this baby. Papa Chris had already gone by the time I stopped dancing around with joy and got out the camera. Charles, Isaac and Jackdaddy were happy to pose for a picture while having a well-deserved brewsky. These poor men on the left are grad students of Jack's and this is the sort of thing one does as a grad student. Or so I'm told. They promised that someday when they have grad students of their own they will make said students move ridiculously heavy pieces of furniture. The cycles continues.
Oh, this cool thing happened while I was moving stuff around trying desperately to find a place for Gertrude in my modest home. I had a stack of books in my arms and one fell out. I didn't recognize it at first. Lo and behold it turns out to be "Play the Piano Drunk Like a Percussion Instrument Until the Fingers Begin to Bleed a Little." Bukowski. I feel a moral obligation to do as I'm told in this case.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Thrifting Thursday, except it's Friday.

I told you FinnigantheCurious and I made some good cash at our Big-Ass Toy Sale last week, right? I worked so hard that I treated myself to someone else's yard sale on Sunday and here are my treasures. Ooo la la, you're gonna be sooooo envious...


Two bitchin' cool bowling pins. They're gonna look great tucked in the what will someday be my Blackland Prairie/outdoor shower/tub/fire pit area.


Could you die!?!?! Aren't they the coolest things? They're about 7" tall and I just love them! The woman bought them in England and they do have an English tag on the back. They'll go into Finnigan's room as we are in a knights phase right now. Again.


Could you die AGAIN? OMG, I almost had a heart attack over this little painting. Another woman was manhandling it and I was afraid I was gonna have to take her down. She moved on to something else and I swooped in and grabbed it. She whipped around and I asked her sweetly if she was going to take it. I said that I assumed she wasn't since she put it back, but I wanted to make sure. (AS IF I was really gonna let her have it back.) Anyway, all's well that ends well and these sweet little birdies live at my house now. The colors are just my colors exacatacaly and that precious old frame is just the cat's meow.
I also had a little Freecycling accident and got a big-ass sailboard. Why, you ask? Oh, well, you'll just have to wait and see tomorrow.
Right now, drum roll please, I am going to pour over the vintage gardening books I discovered while cleaning out my MIL's garage today. Be still my beating heart! Here's the first one from 1960. You might want to grab a glass of wine before you look. Try not to pass out.

Would you LOOK at that insanely fine circular patio roof!!! Oh, poor Jackdaddy...he doesn't know what's coming his way.
And the other...

I've been promising myself that this is the year in which I will get a handle on my compost. This book is gonna show me how and oh, in that uber-chic 60's style. Girl, girl, girl. Am I lucky, or what?


Wednesday, November 11, 2009

I got hammered with the best of them!

The gardener with the most beautiful, magical yard in the UNIVERSE, Cheryl of Conscious Gardening , just "hammered" me with The Honest Scrap Award!!! I'M. SO. FREAKIN. EXCITED!!!!! I thought she was making a joke because she and I have a fondness for the same beer, but it's real. A real award thingee! It's passed on from blogger to blogger with a specific set a rules which I simply copied and pasted below.



(Copy and Paste if you've been Hammered!)

Here are the rules:
1. Brag about the award.
2. Include the name of the blogger who gave you the award and link back to that blogger.
3. Choose a minimum of seven blogs that you find brilliant in content or design.
4. Show their names and links and leave a comment informing them that they were prized with this award.
5. List at least ten honest things about yourself.

Well, I am not usually one to follow rules, but these were easy. Here's why:

1. This is easy because I am truly THRILLED to be awarded and can't help but brag.
2. This is easy because I LOVE Cheryl's blog and I already linked back to her.
3. Oh gosh. My dirty little secret is that I don't uh, really read blogs. I write, but rarely read. I'm sorry, I know that's awful, but it's true. I am a stay-at-home mama to a 5-year-old and my blog reading time is nonexistent. I'll see what I can do.
4. OK, I'm doing that now.
5. This is easy because I love to talk about myself.

All-righty...here's my blogroll:

1. SouleMama
Not even remotely a gardening site, but one of my all-time faves. I started reading this when I had a newish baby and still read it. I do not sew, knit, make my own bread, can my own veggies, crochet or embroider and I can barely handle my one child ...but I wish I did all those things and I wish I had a houseful of children and so I live vicariously through her. She also always, always, always talks about the good stuff...never the bad. I admire that. SO not me. lol.

2. Digging
What can I say? The first garden blog I ever read. She has been so helpful and kind to me, plus she's just great fun. Someday I hope to have a blog of this caliber.

3. The Shovel Ready Garden
I just like this blog a lot. She's funny and that matters to me.

4. Rock Rose
I just have to say that this yard rocks my world. I just go and look at the pictures and sigh. I'm not thoroughly convinced that the yard is really hers. I have a sneaky feeling that she lives close to some garden center and sneaks over there to take pictures. Also she's English and that's cute.

5. The Bicycle Garden
I LOVE the main photo on her blog. I also just like the way she writes. Another smart, funny woman blogger.

6. The Grackle
I want to get a peek in their yard. I can tell I'd like it. A lot.

7. Society Garlic
Gardener AND court reporter...what more could one need? Oh, and I just found out we have a mutual friend.


Let's see...Ten Honest Things About Me:
1. I don't wear underwear.
2. I think being too clean is bad for you. I shower once a week unless I've done serious exercise.
3. I know nothing about gardening. I am a big faker. I dig a hole, put some Natural Gardener soil in, and hope for the best.
4. I have a jones for all things Irish.
5. I am intensely loyal and tough as nails.
6. I don't believe that children need to go to school. At all.
7. If I could change my name, I would change it to Polaris and go by Poe.
8. I have longed to learn to knit, sew, play piano, and speak Spanish for over 30 years and have never learned a damn tiny bit of any of them.
9. I want to live on a boat.
10. My favorite album of all time is "Fisherman's Blues" by the Waterboys.

Damn, that was fun! Y'all be sure to check out Cheryl's blog because it really is da bomb. I'm off to gloat to whoever will listen. I am also off to see if I can find a real one of those Honest Scrap signs. I think I "need" one.

PS My refrigerator stinks and I can't figure out why. I hate that.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Kitchen Redo.

Well, we survived our yard sale. 

Thanks to all of you for stopping by...y'all are so sweet.  

FinnigantheCurious made a bunch of money and despite it burning a whole in his pocket (like mother, like son) he's desperately trying to save it for something big

He's not sure what that something big is, but he says he'll know it when he sees it. 

I tried to convince him to buy a pumpkin orange lamp at Target.com, but for some reason he wouldn't bite.  


I also offered an owl candle snuffer up for purchase, but that didn't work either. 

Things are back to normal and I'm trying hard not to replace the junk treasures I just sold with new junk treasures. 

I have to admit I found an excellent yard sale the day after mine and I felt compelled to spend just a tad at it ... solidarity, you know. 

I'll show you what I got on Thursday, OK?

Back to the blog thing though...a neighbor wrote and asked me about my stainless steel counters in my kitchen. She's thinking of redoing her kitchen and is considering them. 

 I LOVE mine and am always trying to convince people to get them. 

If you're the kind of cook/housekeeper who likes to cut right on the counter, doesn't like to worry about setting a hot pot right down, likes a surface that won't break things and who really likes cleanliness without working too hard, then stainless is the way to go! 

I also really love the juxtaposition of the modern stainless with the old 50's kitchen cabinets and pine floor. 

Anyway, it got me to thinking that since I haven't done anything in the yard for weeks now, maybe I could show you our little kitchen redo. 

We didn't have enough money to completely start over, and I'm actually kind of glad about that now. 

I really love how our kitchen looks old and authentic, but it got a sweet face lift and update.  

Lordy, lordy was that a J.O. B. for Jackdaddy

It was not the first time I felt verrrrry grateful that "all" I was doing was taking care of a little one. 

Honestly, I think remodeling a kitchen that had never been touched since the 50's is almost as challenging as full-time parenting.  

Almost.

This is looking from the back of the kitchen into the living room:
 


Oh, where to begin? 
The laminate counters? 
The laminate floors? 
The pale pink wall color? 
The butterfly wallpaper trim? 
The Cocoa Puffs on the back of the stove? 

It was just so, so, so "little old lady" sweet. 



We knocked that opening between the kitchen and the living out and made it really big so that the two rooms flow into each other quite nicely.

 Here's the view from the living room into the kitchen:



The kitchen has a door in it that leads out onto the patio and garage. 

I just love that. 

It feels so old-fashioned to me. 

The wall on the left was the first thing to go. 

You can just see into the next room in this picture. Originally it was a third bedroom, but was being used as a kind of second kitchen thingee. (I think they just needed another refrigerator to put butterfly magnets on.) 

A bedroom attached to the kitchen was never gonna work for us. 

Would it work for anyone, really? 

Anyway, we ripped that puppy out and, oh, it just made all the difference in the world. 

Here's a wide shot from that weird third bedroom into the kitchen before the wall came down:



Pink dishrack.

Sure will miss that.

Here goes the demo:


Ahhhh, that's better. 

We ripped up the layers (there was a redo at some point after all!) of linoleum to expose the sub floor which is made of old pine. 

We stained it with a dark, almost espresso stain for a really rustic look.

Crap. 

Major floor rot issue. 

This is a job for professionals. The hardwood floor dudes handled this one.



Manly Man vs Kitchen. 

Manly Man vs Kitchen and ...


BUGS.

OH. MY. GAWWWWDDD. DISGUSTING, HORRIFYING, GROSS BUGS AND BUG EGGS!  

Jackdaddy called me one day in a TIZZY after finding this lovely surprise. 

We had not intended to rip all the cabinets out until this fright show was discovered. 

Jack had the mobile phone propped up on one shoulder, was crowbarring with the other all the while describing to me every. single. detail. of the years and years of dead bugs that were adhered to the underneath of our counters. 

He wanted me to come over and look. 

Fortunately he took pictures for me because I wasn't able to get over there just then. (Ahem.)

This is the result of that crowbar action.

Bugs removed. 

Basically, entire kitchen removed. 

He was really, really grossed out. 

Non-existent budget is escalating.


On to the fun stuff. 

Stainless counters installed. 

We measured, they cut, we installed. 

(I say we, I mean he. He being Jackdaddy.) 

Discount stainless fridge and dishwasher installed. 

We scoured town for cheapo deals on stainless appliances

That's the part of a remodel I like - Shopping! 

I found this beautiful glass tile at The Tile Guy here in Austin. 

The blend is called Loft

I think. It's been 3 years. 

It might have been called Butt for all I can remember these days. 

We bought a sink from a guy on Craigslist who told us about a Lowes way down south that was moving and had everything deeply discounted. 

We ran in about 10 minutes before closing and found the fridge. 

The guys there were so sick of the sale and the insanity of the move and people like us acting like crazed monkeys that they gave it to us for just nothing just to get us out of there.  

We were giddy. 

They were giddier.

Voila! 

Progress.

No more Cocoa Puffs.  Now there's wine on the counter.

We no longer have those light fixtures even though I know think they look cute.  (I wonder what I did with those?)

I found a vintage one from '51 that looks much better. 

Oh, and the new stove. 

You've seen that, right? 

I did a whole post on it. Here's the link to it.


We've still got to finish tiling behind the stove. 

Hell, we've never even grouted the tile that we did put in. 

No, really, I swear. 

It's just up there looking good and ungrouted.  

Jackdaddy's got some wabi-sabi in him after all, dammit. 

 The sign behind the stove says, "STREET GIRLS BRINGING SAILORS INTO HOTEL MUST PAY FOR ROOM IN ADVANCE."  

I found that in a magazine and my dear friends, Morgan and Lynell, made a replica of it for me. 

I just love, love, love it, being the salty girl that I am. 

Makes you wonder if the sailors bringing street girls into the hotel have to pay in advance. 

So, there ya go.

Little kitchen porn wabi-sabi style.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

CÉAD MÍLE FÁILTE

A lovely, old Irish saying meaning a "Hundred Thousand Welcomes." Being old and Irish myself, I thought I'd use this greeting as the title for my new Thursday blog feature. The phrase has special meaning for me because my great-aunt Hannah(Johannah) and her husband, John Henry (Harry) Phelan, built an opulent home in Beaumont (my home town) in 1928 named CÉAD MÍLE FÁILTE, located on the corner of 11th Street and Calder Avenue. My brother and I grew up hearing stories about "The Big House." At one time it had an art studio, a miniature golf course, stables, a swimming pool, a bowling lane, and a $25,000 pipe organ! Architect Owen James Trainor Southwell, a long-time friend of the family who grew up with the Phelan children, designed the overall project. The Phelan children recently donated the house to the sisters of St. Elizabeth for their hospital complex.
I would never need a home of that stature, but I do love knowing that my Daddy played there as a boy and that it is part of my family history. (By the way, where in the hell did all that money go? Not this way, I assure you.)
It seems fitting then to use that home's name as your invitation to come on inside and peek around my home on Thursdays. I've spent so much time showing you what's happening
outside that I'd like to bring you inside for a little visit every now and then. I do so love my home. It's filled with light, love, dirt and color - lots and lots of color (and, if I am to be honest, lots and lots of dirt). Now, listen, I'm tellin' ya, I'm not gonna show you the ugly stuff - the pile of laundry, the unmade bed, the dishes in the sink, the ring around the tub, etc.. I'm going to clean up all around the shot and move things just so and wait until there's no slobbering dog in the way. It's kind of cheating, but who cares? If you wanted to see a pile of laundry you'd go look in your own house, right? Har Har.
So, CÉAD MÍLE FÁILTE!


The only thing more endearing than the art of a child? A perfectly red cabinet found at a thrift store for $10 (TEN!!!) dollars.

I'm in a "basket phase" right now. I was in an "Ikea plastic bins phase" for awhile, but I got overwhelmed with the, well, plasticness of it all. I recently scoured the thrift stores for several large baskets to put Finn's toys in. They look so lovely and Waldorfy. Don't be too impressed, just to the left of this shot is a stack of movies mostly involving violent superheroes and a big shelf full of Wii games. We are very fond of the middle way around here. We grow some of our own food, but we're not afraid of tater tots with cheese and a cherry limeade every now and then.

Practically every person who comes into our house walks straight to this red thing and says, "What is this?" It's a mirror from Ikea. You open it up to reveal the mirror and there are some little pockets on either side for treasures. They don't sell them anymore and I wish they did because I would give one to everyone I know. They are sooo cool. That's a sweet hand light switch found in New Mexico, and a wonderful photograph of Finny entitled, ZOOM. It was taken by our friend, Autumn Fawn.
We'll do it again soon. Next Thursday, actually. Course my house is so small, this feature may run out in a couple of weeks or so. Maybe then I'll move on to showing you the dark side of it all. Bathtub ring, anyone?

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

The Cathedral of Junk.

OH. MAH. GAWD, Y'ALL! This is the coolest place in the history of the world times infinity plus a zillion. I'm going to take everyone I know here. You just have to go. Promise me you will go. Call in sick tomorrow and go. If you've already been, then you can just wax poetic with me and if you haven't, then you can get in the car right now and go. It's that cool. Not only is it cool, it is gorgeous. It really is. It's just so... majestic and otherworldly and peaceful and mind-boggling. FinnigantheCurious (who talks as much as I do) and I were both speechless (for a few seconds, anyway). I can't go on enough about it so, I'll just give you a pictorial and then the links to read more about it will be at the bottom.

You know you're off to a good start with this lovely, wild and native yard. The multi-colored house is a good clue that something magical is about to happen too.

Right off the bat you get greeted with this lovely donation area and a little "display shed." I don't know what to call the shed, really. It's all just so wild.

The Prologue.

Is that a bottle tree or is that a bottle tree? Magnificent!

Here's the ubiquitous shot that everyone takes. It does really help give you a feeling of how cathedral-like this place really is. I felt very, very reverent.

One of my favorite things about it were the stairs. Vince has a wonderful way with concrete and construction (it's really, really solid and really, really big). Every step (and there are lots) is filled with tons of glorious trinkets and doodads. Finn and I went through the whole cathedral and then went back and looked at every step. You just can't take it all in with the first walk-through.

I must have this sleeping space. I grew up in an A-frame house and this made me feel soooo homesick for my childhood home. I've been thinking about a napping space for our outdoor shower/tub area; this might be it.

Colored bottles everywhere! Rusty mattress springs look absolutely ethereal here. Really.

See?

And THIS! This is a glass table top resting very solidly on some trimmed bushes (trees?). We just marveled at this.
I read a lot about this place over the years, but nothing does it justice. You just have to see it for yourself. It's the most amazing conglomeration of steel and nature. There is junk, but there are also rabbits and chickens and a pond and bougainvillea and morning glories and bamboo and mulch and, and, and....

For more information you can visit his Facebook page HERE:

or you can read the great article from Roadside America HERE.

I can't wait to go back. You wanna go with me?

Sunday, November 1, 2009

The Next Big Thing

As you may have guessed by now, there hasn't been much gardening, per say, around here. There has been a lot of hardscaping and mulching and making things look pretty. I have put in 3 beds, all of them filled with (mostly) gifted plants of a boring nature and then filled in with gravel and edged with brown, metal trim. Nothing fancy, just neat and clean like this one. This photo was taken pretty early on. It's much fuller now and the mulch is down all around the edges and the path is in, but you get the idea. It's pretty, but tres plain Jane. (I do so love the name Jane, btw.)

So, now that most of the hardscaping is done (they don't call it hard for nothin', believe you me), I'm about ready to tackle my first big landscaping project. Pam Penick over at Digging posted THIS one day about the southwest greenway at the Mueller complex. FinnigantheCurious and I had been to Mueller mucho times, but never over to this leg of the woods. Yowza! Wowza! That's what I want y'all. I do, I do. I want a "Blackland prairie meets modern gravel path" area where our outdoor shower and tub are. Here's what I'm starting with:
Nice, huh? Did you feel faint? I can "one up" that even. Look at this "soil."

I know what you're thinking. Holy %&*$, that woman is insane. Tis true, tis true. You'll see though, I am gonna do it. I might be out there with the walker and the nursemaid, but I'm gonna do it. Here's Jackdaddy putting in the lines for the hot water going out to the shower and the stock tank tub. That's progress, right?

Now you can see the post is up for the shower and the pads are poured. The pads are now large circle shapes. They got revamped when we put in the driveway. I have no idea why, you'd have to ask Jack. I do love the big round shapes better than the small square shapes though. The very first thing people ask when they come in the backyard is, "What are those big round things?" We're going to mosaic them. Someday. I need to rephrase that. Someday, Jackdaddy says that he wants to mosaic the pads for the shower and the tub. I'm staying out of that one. Tiling is not my forte. Someday I'll show you the foot wash I made and you'll know why I no longer have the tiling itch. I am a slop it on and hope it sticks kinda girl. Jackdaddy? The exact opposite. It takes him 47 minutes to hang a frame on the wall cuz he's got to level and relevel and put in anchors and whatnot. I stick a thumbtack in and hope it doesn't fall right when a child happens to be under it. I digress. Here's how it looks now (from the back of the yard looking towards the house). If you're brave enough, you could click on it for a better look.
Overwhelming, huh? Now, here is a teeny, tiny beginning of what I hope this really, really challenging area looks like in a few years:
My girlfriend and Finn and I all went to the cemetery and got lots of these lovely rocks. They're just stacked up any old way right now as I had to get them out of the truck before you-know-who got all huffy. That Miscanthus against the stone against the gravel - I really like that look. (Please ignore elephant ear....long story.) Right now, because the area is sooooo dead and brutal and awful and uneven and whacked out and full of rocks and hard as nails, all I am willing to do is to lay down tons of cardboard, top it with mulch, and wait. There's really nothing else to do right now. "Winter" is coming up and the holidays and we'll be traveling and I'm kinda burned out on the yard now anyway so, I'm just gonna slop on the lazy man's grass killer and let her sit and get good and ready for when it's time. It's gonna kill me to have that big chunk of my yard be all gross and hackberry mulchy, but in a year or so I'll be able to start planting some grasses and some single specimen natives (I stole that phrase from Pam just in case you thought I was sounding fancy). I really like it when there are a bunch of one kind of plant all bunched up against big rocks with gravel nearby. My garden is all hot colors, but I'm gonna tell ya one thing for sure - I am gonna have some kidneywood trees (Eysenhardtia texana) out there because the smell is enough to drive you mad with olfactory pleasure. The ones at Mueller are white, I'll have to see if they come in other colors. Now if I just had a sculpture by Chris Levack. I'll put that on my lottery list. I want that same "Wigwam" one. Pleeeeeeeeease let me win the lottery. I'll buy you one too...promise.
I just need to say one little thing about Mueller before I pass out from lack of sleep. I saw that Pam says it's pronounced Miller and not Mewller. So, I decided I was gonna say it right from now on, but here's the conversation that I have had now oh, about 15 times, at least:


Me:
Have you been to the southwest greenway at Mueller (Miller) and seen those cool sculptures?
The Other Person (TOP): Where?
Me:
The Mueller (Miller) Complex, where the old airport was.
TOP:
Oh, you mean Mewller.
Me:
Uh, well, I heard and then looked it up and it's actually pronounced, Miller.
TOP:
Really?
Me:
Yea.
Silence.
TOP:
Well, I say Mewller.
This is the exact conversation I have
every, single time, bar none. I'm just gonna say the old airport from now on and let TOP wrestle with the "M" word. Thanks for the clarification though, Pam.