The dark sky glowers. For the last few hours, fast melting sleet has peppered the ground. Mere days ago, I’d pulled on shorts and flung all the windows open, sweating when the night’s low hovered near 70 degrees. Texas weather changes abruptly, and and the needle on this particular February day has swung back toward… Continue reading Spring Comes in February
Texans are passionate about their state. We brag (a lot), threaten to secede (again), and throw around our considerable collective weight (when beneficial). Texas is so big you can drive all day and not cross its borders. The state includes many distinctly different geographic regions: deserts, mountains, giant canyons, fertile valleys, piney woods, coastal areas.… Continue reading How Much Do You Love Your State Flower?
I’m a cold weather lover. So when this morning’s temperature dropped from a muggy 75+ degrees (it’s December, dammit!) to a steely 55 degrees in a the space of an hour, the day looked fabulous. Windows open! The possibility of jeans without sweat! Dare I hope–a jacket? SWEET. Naturally, I wanted something hot to eat.… Continue reading Fried Turkey Bones Give Winter Soup A Tasty Base
My life is no Disney movie, but little woodland creatures taught me a lesson this weekend. Based on discarded rinds littering the garden, it’s time to eat. Thank you, furry friends; I’d been clueless about passion fruit. Passionflower: More than Pretty About a year ago, I planted a passionflower vine in a sunny spot along my… Continue reading Grow Your Own Passion Fruit
It’s a typical romance novel contrivance: over the years, two people cultivate a fast friendship. Then something changes. Maybe they take a trip together; perhaps they’re forced to shelter under spreading oak branches during a rainstorm; a new-found love interest creates a problematic threesome. Suddenly, eyes are metaphorically opened. One sees the other, that previously… Continue reading Falling in Love with Lemongrass
There’s a perfectly shaped bright orange pumpkin in my garden. Two, in fact, one a bit bigger than the other. Both are flourishing. How? Beats me. Every fall, I buy an assortment of decorative winter squashes, which I arrange all over our home. I love fall colors, and bringing in nature is one of my… Continue reading My Secret to Gardening Success: Benign Neglect
If you listen to the bluebonnets, they’re saying spring in Texas lurks right around the corner. Oh, I know it’s not quite February. I know that spring doesn’t officially arrive in the Austin area until March 15, the date when almanacs assure us the threat of freeze has finally passed. But as winters all over… Continue reading Texas Bluebonnets Already Signal Spring
When my kids were little and I’d serve some unfamiliar piece of food, they’d cock their heads, give the plate a squinty-eyed stare, and skeptically ask, “Is there yard in this?” 9 times out of 10, they’d caught me. Deer-Resistant Homegrown Herbs “Yard” meant any one of the herbs I’d planted as part of our… Continue reading Adding Some Yard to My Meal