Friday, April 27, 2012


I must interrupt Friday Food again because we have a new member of the household that I'd like to introduce you to!!!!

Meet Josephine.


She's a precious little love bug, isn't she?

She was a runaway - found on the streets.  Seems she had gotten herself into an abusive relationship (you know how it goes when you're on the road), and needed some help.

And here she lives!  

Safe, sound, and well-inspected ...

Cricket the cat was huhlarious!

Totally hopping around every time Josephine would pop her head and start moving.

Josephine is different than any turtle I've ever met.  She's very friendly and tame.

She'll crawl right up to you and stick her precious little neck out and peer right up at you.

She loves her swimming pool.

Apparently, three-toed Texas Box Turtles like water a bit more than most box turtles.

She plunged right in and hung out there for quite sometime.

Her little butt and back legs were sticking out in the air whilst her front half was submerged.

Did I mention she's so cuuuuutttteeeee?

Did you see she has ORANGE on her?

I wasn't expecting to come home from a playdate with a turtle so her habitat is a bit, oh, wabi-sabi.

Actually it's just kinda ugly, but I'm gonna work on it. 

She had a great time exploring it all while I sat and watched, and watched, and watched.

She slept in her cozy little house last night.

She had some fresh chard from the garden this morning, went for a swim, and then went back home.

I guess she's doing some decorating.

Maybe waiting for the cable guy.

Josephine + Me = Love

Thanks to Heather and Austin for letting us re-home her.

(Jackdaddy and my house/pet sitter ((still hopefully bfff)) say "Thanks a lot" too.)

Wednesday, April 25, 2012


Last Friday I had the marvelous luck to be invited to my friend Melinda's house for lunch.

(I call her Melindear as she is so very dear to me so you should call her that too.)

I can't tell you how long it's been since I was treated to a sit down lunch at someone's home.

How incredibly civilized!

Back when I lived in Los Angeles, we used to play grown-ups all the time and had dinners and lunches in each others' homes.  

But since I've actually become a grown-up, the lunches have been nonexistent and the dinners, to be honest, are usually centered around corralling children and speaking in 15 second intervals.

My boys were out of town and I was free to "do lunch," and so I did.

Melindear is a fabulous cook. ( Just one of the reasons I was so keen to go.  We mama's loooove someone cooking for us every now and then, you know.)

More importantly is the fact that Melindear is the most delightful conversationalist.

I really mean that.  She's a very curious girl and that makes her so, so, so interesting.

She very well-read, knows about the most delicious restaurants, has met the most unusual people, goes to the coolest events, has the best stories.

A delightful woman in every way.

Yea, she's also gorgeous, well-dressed, well-groomed and talented.

Love her/ Hate her.

Come see.

Her perfect mid-century table and chairs with her perfect frittata with her perfect salad and her perfect plates.

Chaps, the cat.

Beyond dapper.


They were gifts, she says.

Probably from some other perfect person.

Did I mention that she played records while I was there?



I went home and immediately stole Finn's player out of his room and moved it into the study.

Mine, dammit, all mine.

I almost stole those little wooden bowls.

I was afraid she'd notice.

Now I'm obsessively trying to find squirrel paper to make a utensil holder for my own kitchen.

If my mother were not reading this blog, here's where I would write, f**k me.

That's all there is to say about a chair of this caliber.

F**k me.

Her bed.

Her key bowl by the door.

Her house - so clean and clean and clean.

We talked and talked, laughed and laughed, reminisced and planned.

I can't remember a more delightful day. 

I was completely inspired in so many ways.

I stopped at the music store on the way home and vowed to start practicing again in earnest.

Here's why ... 

This is how we spent dessert:

Don't you wish you had a friend like Melindear?

Maybe we should try to be more like her!

Perhaps you have a friend that you could invite over for lunch one day?

Home-made food, music, flowers, the best silverware ... oh let's do it!

I'm going to make frittata too and play Miss Otis Regrets on the record player.

What day is good for you?

Friday, April 20, 2012


Well, dammit, it's supposed to be Friday Food day, but here I am chowing down on some leftover tofu Pad Thai and watching The Descendents.


I loooooooove a sad movie.  Love, love, love sad movies.

Especially when I'm alone so that I can sob to my heart's content without freaking out the boys.

My boys went camping.

I know!  Again.

I tell ya, Jackdaddy is just about the best damn man in the world.

He's supposed to be in Italy right now.

Instead he's camping with his boy, and that's a fine, fine thing for a Daddy to do.

Jackdaddy has a tendency to overbook himself.  A lot.

Over the years this has caused him some grief.

Over the years this has caused me some grief too.

But this time my sweet man came home and said, "I'm not going.  I cancelled.  You need a break and Italy can wait."

And off they went.

I worked in the yard yesterday from just about sun up to sun down.


And now I'm alone.  I really, really, really needed some time alone.

But I miss them terribly.

Look at my two beautiful camping boys ...

Sleepy, long-haired boy.  Sigh.

Oh, I did a little blog reading last night too.

One of my favorite blogs of all time is this:  Just A Bald Man

Check out that beautiful piece about toy stores.


And, for a total non sequitur, I got some insanely ME glasses as IKEA.


Happy Friday!

Have fun storming the castle!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012


I think most of you are thrifters, right?

You know that I am a huge thrifter, right?

(Well, I am not personally huge, but I am hugely into thrifting. Heeeee.)

I just love other peoples' stuff.  People's? Peoples'?  Rita?

(Rita from This Sorta Old Life is a teacher and punctuation/grammar goddess.)

(Oh, how funny.  I went to get the link for Rita's blog and realized that she is talking about thrifting today too!  Great minds ... .)

Uh, so, anyway, I looooove me some used stuff is the point of what I'm trying to say.

Last week my friend and Princess Bride look-alike, Erica, started doing some major purging and I got some delicious goodies that you must see!

A new stack of books that I am trying to force myself not to read until our big road trip next month.

I am literally sitting on my hands.

Well, not at this moment, but you know what I mean.

(Literally ... you keep using that word.  I do not think it means what you think it means.)

Dying to dig into that Harrigan book and the Picoult.  (Sonia, have you read that one yet?)

I don't normally get dressed up to read, but I may have to from now on because ...

Look at this frock of beauty and charm!!!

Dying over this dress.  Just dying.

There were trinkets too, my pretties.

SHUT UP, right?

Could you just die?

I wore this around the house all day one day.  

My normal holey, raggedy houefrau, fat dress and this fabulous thing.

It's sooooo 1962.

Looks like something my hipster Mama would have worn with a mini-skirt.

Other bangles and baubles.

I love silver jewelry, and I really love turquoise.

I used to have some turquoise, but I have no idea what happened to it all.  

SO thrilllllled to have all this hippie goodness.

(Yes, my sweet, those are dragonfly earrings.  Swoon.)

There was so much more stuff that I didn't take a picture of.  

Mostly because I wore it all as soon as I got it, and now everything is piled up on my bed (instead of hanging nicely on the mirror).

There was one T-shirt in particular that I have been wearing non-stop.  

Just an old, super soft, baby-blue T that has already become my favorite favorite.

Really, there is nothing like a perfect T-shirt, is there?

I felt like Erica the whole time I was wearing her/my stuff.

Do you ever do that?  Feel like you're someone else when you're wearing something you borrowed from them or that they gave you?

My BFF Cory and I have this when we watch movies too.  

When we leave the theater we actually feel like we are the character.

I once watched about 20 (literally, really literally) episodes of Sex and the City at one sitting with some girlfriends, and I STG I walked around for days thinking I was going to run into Miranda, or Charlotte, or Samantha.  (Of course, I was Carrie.)  It was really, really weird. 

Anyway, back to real life - I got a double whammy also, too, also because my BFF Jessie house sat for us whilst we went camping and notcanoeing. 

She left me 2 treats as well!

Two soft-as-a-baby's-arse T-shirts in my favorite demure colors!

I'm going to wear them at the same time for a power pop of summer love. 

Like poppies!

Speaking of color, I recently read something on The Oracle (what my friend Michael calls the Internet) about "orange being so garish a color in the garden that one must use it judiciously."

I spat some tea on my computer screen laughing.

Judicious use of orange ... NOT!

PS Don't tell, OK?  I'm going out to "the country" today to look at a house on 5 acres with many, many feet of river front on the San Gabriel River and a swimming pool.  
Are we moving? 
I mean, I don't think so.  
No harm in looking, right?

Monday, April 16, 2012

I dunno.

I've lost the blogging bug.

I have no idea where I put it, but I simply cannot find it.

I'm sure you're all on pins and needles waiting for improvement (not), and I wish that I could guarantee that things are going to change but, I  dunno.

Can't seem to rouse up any interesting stories to tell.

We went camping this weekend.

Titillating, no?

We were supposed to go canoeing on the Llano River with some wonderful Camp Fire folks, but after about, oh, 15 minutes on the river we had steered right into a tree, run aground, and finally dumped the whole damn boat over.

Finniganthecurious had a total shit-fit and informed me  in no  uncertain terms that he was not getting back in that blankity-blank boat for five more hours of terror.

We hemmed and hawed a bit.  

Cajoled and reassured.  

Brainstormed and chewed the cud.  

Finally decided that he and I would just hike back up the river on foot and good old Jackdaddy would get a partner and finish the trip without us.

So that's what we did.

I guess some folks would have made their kid suck it up and finish, but not us.  

It's supposed to be fun, not terrifying.  My kid was pretty much terrified and that's enough for me.

I was "lucky enough" to be a tad terrified as we hiked through prime snake territory to get back to the main road.  

I am not afraid of snakes at all.  I am afraid of my kid getting bitten by one while we are all alone hiking up a river I'm not familiar with.

Sounds thrilling and dangerous, right!!?!?

It took us about 20 minutes max to  hike it and I could hear cars up and down the main road the whole time.  Hee Hee.

It only felt like I was trapped alone in the wilderness with the threat of death by snake bite looming around every corner.

We just went back to the campsite and tooled around.  

Hiked, read, played cards, napped, ate.  What we usually do.

Pre-nap photo.

On this trip the kids handled food clean-up.  

Excellent, excellent idea. 

We're gonna have to rent some kids to come camping with us in the future.

I got in 14.5 seconds of reading time.

We look like pros, don't we?

When in doubt, just buy a big truck and strap some shit to the top.  You'll look cool.

There!  You got a story after all, didn't you?

Monday, April 9, 2012

Wabi-Sabi Weekend

Some insanely gorgeous purple Romaine from the Burnet Road Farmers' Market.

We're not big on Easter here, but I just can't resist coloring eggs, especially since our "ladies" provided them.

Plastic for the hunt.  

Next year the boys are going to hide them for ME!

I do think that I'm the only one who really likes hunting Easter eggs.

Finn plays along, but his little heart is just not in it.


What boys wear instead of Mary Jane's and bonnets.  

(This is a Minecraft Enderman, in case you're wondering.  A leftover from Halloween.)


Organic oranges in from the Valley.  Courtesy of a bulk order from Johnson's Backyard Gardens.

You can still order them.  

Absolutely mouth-watering.

Roses from the garden.

What the little boy is currently surviving on.

A borrowed canoe has us all hankering for one.

Luuuuuuuuna the Wonder Dog.

Salad with all kinds of goodies plus extra pumpkin seeds cuz Mama loves them.

Bringing Easter dinner to Grandmother's.

The old and the new.

Both precious beyond words.

It's house cleaning day.  weeeeee!

I simply cannot keep myself out of the garden and my house is suffering for it.


Friday, April 6, 2012

Friday Food.

This has been THE most delicious vegan recipe I've made yet.

I saw it on Pinterest and went over to the site to check it out.

This recipe has like 6,000 shares! Yea, that's thousand! Holy vegan cow!

I really cannot describe to you how good this is.  We ate it every day for about 4 days.

And it is very, very, very easy to make.  One bowl, one pan. 

Here's what I did differently than the original recipe: 
(It was so effing good that I doubt I'll ever make it any differently, but I have a feeling the original is just as incredible.)

*I used almond flour instead of white flour.  (I am really, really loving using almond flour ... such a nutty taste to everything.  Um, that would be because it's made from nuts.)
*I used lentils instead of beans because I already had some lentils cooked.
*I added diced green onions to the mix because I had some that needed using.
*I also read many of the comments on the blog and decided to make the patties very small and use English Muffins (GF) which I think was a very good call.  They do fall apart (in a good, good way).
*We used some gourmet spicy mustard, sprouts, tomatoes, and hummus to dress the buns.

I'm  not kidding, my mouth is watering just writing this down.

The recipe is from a site called Healthy Happy Life.  (You do know these orange words are links, right?  Click on them to go to other sites.  Rabbit Hooolllleeeee.) She's got tons of beautiful pictures over there; even a heart-shaped patty!  It's really worth a look to read what she has to say about it, and I do recommend reading some of the comments.  You'll be salivating.

I'm a little confused as to whether the creator of this recipe is the owner of the site or if she was a guest writer.  (The trouble with Pinterest, for sure.)  Either way, please do go over there and "Share" the recipe or comment because she should get lots of credit for this masterpiece.

Sweet Potato Veggie Burgers
makes 7-8 large patties  (I suggest making them quite small.) 
2 cans cannellini white beans, drained (I used lentils.)
1 large sweet potato, baked/peeled/mashed (about 2 cups)
2 Tbsp tahini
2 tsp maple or agave syrup
1 tsp lemon pepper seasoning OR Cajun seasoning (or another fave spice!)
(I had neither so did not add.)
1/4 cup wheat flour
(I used almond flour.)
optional: additional seasoning (whatever you have on hand - I used a few dashes cayenne, black pepper and a scoop of nutritional yeast) (
I felt like I had to put something in so I added a large pinch of curry.  I think.  Maybe it was cumin. Hell, I dunno.)
salt to taste if needed 
plentiful Panko crumbs (I really do recommend using Panko, but you could easily use very fine bread crumbs and/or gluten free ones.)
safflower oil for pan

burgers: avocado, Dijon mustard, grain buns, romaine, onion, olive oil, pepper 
(Just me, but I would not put an avocado on it as they are already kind of mushy.  Course, saying that, I slathered hummus on it which is quite mushy.)


1. Bake sweet potato. Peel, place in large mixing bowl.
2. Add drained beans to mixing bowl. Mash beans and potato together.
3. Mash in seasoning, flour and any additional seasoning. Your mixture will be quite soft and moist. But you should be able to form a patty. Add more flour or a scoop of breadcrumbs - or dry rice to thicken the mixture if needed.
4. Heat 1 Tbsp safflower oil in a pan over high heat.
5. Form a patty from mixture and coat in Panko crumbs. Thick coating. Then drop the patty in the pan. Repeat until the pan is filled. Cook until browned on both sides. You could also bake. If baking, use less Panko.
6. Transfer cooked patties to paper towel. Cool for a few minutes.
7. Serve on toasted bun with lotsa toppings.

Lentils, green onions, sweet potatoes, almond flour, some curry, and salt.

And an orange bowl, of course!

Happy Weekend!

OH, gosh, and Happy Easter to those of you who Easter!!  Hop Hop Hop!

OH, gosh, and Happy Passover to those of you who Passover!!  Seder dinner tonight? Mmmmmm.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Ice Tea

Firstly, no Texan actually says iced tea unless they are trying to impress you or sound like they are not really from Texas.

When we're not on our high horse, we just say ice tea.

Ice tea is served like water here in Texas.  

Your waitress may not even ask you if you want any.  She'll just bring it to your table.  That's how it is with tea around the south.

She may, if she is a good waitress, ask you if you want sweet or unsweet.  (You want sweet.)

There was a terrible, wretched trend that lasted much longer than it should have whereby people were adding fruit to ice tea.  Raspberry tea is the most heinous example.

Fruit and fruit flavoring added to tea is wrong and bad.

Do not do this.

I have had some extremely delicious tea with fresh orange rinds added to it, but that was an exception and I don't recommend it overall.

Have I told you that I make the world's best ice tea?

Today I offer you the recipe as it is officially time for making ice tea.

We got slaughtered by mosquitoes while dining al fresco last night, so that means it's tea time in old Normandy.  (Family joke.  I have no idea what it means, by the way, we just have always said this.)

Mama Holt's Summer Ice Tea

Boil some water on the stove.  Not in the microwave either, Missy.  On the stove.

Put 2 family-sized Luzianne or Lipton tea bags in a glass pitcher.

Add 1 cup of brown sugar.  It must be brown sugar.  Well, OK, it can be white or it can be pure cane sugar, but dark brown sugar will give it that extree WOW factor.

Crunch up a LOT of fresh mint leaves and throw them in.  (Much, much more than is in this picture.)

Pour the very, very hot (but not still boiling water) on top of all that and stir, stir, stir.  Leave a bit of room at the top so you can add a lot of ice.  You want a lot of ice in that puppy once it cools down a bit.

Leave the bags in for a long time.  In fact, I never take my bags out.  We drink a pitcher in about 2-3 days and I leave them in the whole time.

This is real tea, kids, not that crap you get at restaurants.

That's it.

The world's best ice tea.

I've been known to make sun tea every now and then too, but I have a tendency to forget it's out there and find it several days later with the cure for cancer growing in it. (I wish!)

This whole post is kind of tongue-in-cheek because there are as many ways to make The World's Best Ice Tea as there are Texans.  

I bet the comments section will prove this to be true.

Drink up, y'all!

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Little Things.

Still giggling at FinnigantheCurious' birthday "cake" this year.

Inspired by his friend Jack Wayne's "cake."

The easiest and cheapest cake yet; I could used to that aspect.

Thoroughly enjoying this book by Spring Warren.

Wondering if it's possible for me.

Thinking that a person's name can often determine their interests in life.

Wondering why I never knew that almond milk is sooooooo good.

Drinking this daily.

OK, sometimes twice.

Digging in to this new magazine by Amanda Soule and friends.

Finding it beautiful to look at, but  hoping it evolves into something a bit less esoteric.  (Although I'm sure that's the whole point.)

Feeling grateful, as always, that my mama is so generous to us.

Both magazines, neither inexpensive, were  gifts from her.

Still really, really, really loving my green kitchen and mismatched knobs.

Having fits of wanting everything this color.

Feeling downright happy that I finally found a place to put the rubber bands.

Feeling even happier that this unkempt storage doesn't bother me in the least.

Changing is good and sometimes surprising.

Ecstatic that I finally found a seamstress!

Marveling that she lives a few houses down from me.

Thinking that I will probably wear this skirt every day this summer.

Plotting to find more money so I can have more of them.

Feeling peaceful today.

Hoping you are too.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Better Late Than Never.

Or something like that.


I finished both my agonizingly stressful projects and am now freeeeeeee.

I just had to take a break from anything not directly related to those two projects; one of them being wabi-sabiliciousness.

Boo Hoo.  Poor little blogette.  Sooooo neglected.

BUT, here we are, no?

I've got garden love for you today!

These lovely spring rains have everyone's yard in a frenzy.

I have never seen the kind of growth that I'm seeing this year.

Absolutely intoxicating!  Watching all my plants grow and bloom is much like watching a child grow and bloom (with a lot less stress, admittedly).

Let's take a tour ...

Blueberry plant!!
Isn't that just something?
I think those little blossoms are sooooo pretty.
They look like fairy cocoons to me.
I planted this (in a big garbage can full of peat) in the fall and it's growth rate has been staggering.
I think you don't get fruit the first few years, but who knows?!!!
Yum Yum.

Tiny tomatoes.
Hello, cute little things of soon-to-be juicy goodness (if you don't get destroyed by the long list of tomato destroyers first).

I planted a bunch because I love to juice them.
Looking closely, I think they might already have some invaders on them.
Rat bastards.

At long last I have a Desert Willow Tree!!!
I looooooove them sooooooo much.
Thanks to my friend and neighbor, Kat-alicous, for gifting it to me. 
She's so good about sharing and is my partner in crime in all thing reusable.
Remember she made this?

She thought the Desert Willow was kinda dead, as did I, but I now think it was just late to bloom.  Sneaky good for me. 
(Wink Wink.)

Could you die?!?!
I found the most wonderful seamstress right down the street from me (Thanks, Joane!) and she made these oilcloth seats for my sling chairs (that I got from another friend and neighbor, Betsy-licious. Thanks, Betsy!)
Don't they look fabulous, dahling?
You know me and oilcloth.  I could put that stuff on everything.
Holy hell my yard is so messy.
I just can't keep up.

Knock-Out roses putting on a constant show.
I really mean constant.
They just never stop blooming!  Ever!
I love them paired with the industrial look of the stock tank.
Tres wabi-sabi.

My Flowering Senna that has never flowered.
It's growing very, very well, but no blooms.
Maybe this year.
I think it blooms late in the summer.
Fingers crossed.

My latest obsession - a Goldenball Lead Tree.
Look at that adorable POOF!
It reminds me of Horton and the Who.
I just planted this in early March and it is going gangbusters.
My friend and neighbor, Lorri, got one too, also, too.  We're kinda twins in that way.

Last year's obsession - the Fairy Duster.
I have two now.  One is doing well, the other is not.
I have no idea why.
A garden mystery, as usual.

The Jerusalem Sage is an early bloomer that I adore.
This one took a while to get going, but it's doing wonderfully now and blooms like a madwoman!

I have no idea why it took me so long to get a Desert Globe Mallow.
I think they're so lovely, and are supposedly easy to grow.
It doesn't look like it here, but the leaves are quite silvery which looks beautiful up against that peachy bloom.
I have three of them and only one is doing well.  Hmmmm.
I think it's a drainage issue.
Clay soil = poor drainage even though I've worked the decomposed granite in and every other damn thing one is supposed to do to combat terra cotta soil.
Blah, blah, blah.

New growth on a variegated  agave of some kind.
I love finding new growth on all my agave.   Agaves?
I swear  I go out one day and there's nothing there.  The next morning - an almost fully formed leaf.
Craziness, man.

I moved a whole patch of these in the fall; not sure if that was the best idea. 
The growth rate seems rather slow, but that might just be due to the move.
Fingers crossed because I really love a big mass of these.

That's it!

Whacha think?

How ya doing?

La, la, la.