Monthly Archives: November 2016

The Bouquet and the Garden

Sometime after I had initially contacted Jayna to see if we could visit in Austin, she realized she already had a commitment on the afternoon we were arriving and so just asked if we wouldn’t mind all going.

The event was a 10th? birthday party for the daughter of one of her long dear friends. In fact, the daughter was named after Jayna and therefore when all together, the younger was referred to as ‘Little Jayna’.

I thought it incredible to have a namesake that wasn’t a blood relative. Obviously I was just in a long list of people who saw the first Jayna as someone special.

What we encountered when we went to little Jayna’s birthday party was the family of the birthday girl complete with grandma and aunt and cousin from out of town on Dad’s side and cousins on Mom’s side as well.

Trixie and I sat by the pool and watched the kids play in the pool and got to know the Grandma who really wasn’t much older than I am.

She was a fascinating woman who originated from a large family in Belize. It was one of several times this summer, that as I spoke to someone and really shared eye contact with, that I was asked if we had met before.

I’m pretty sure I would have remembered this beauty and personality. Her stories would fill a blog for years and I loved hearing just a portion of them and was honored that we were given snipets of the good and bad, love and heartbreak that she has had.

After a few hours poolside we all went inside to feed the kids and chatted more with the entire group. Some of us gals then went out to the Salt Lick for the Barbecue and more stories and conversation.

Trixie and I both felt very welcomed and included in the assembled family.

And for me, as I know a few of Jayna’s biological family who love her dearly, it was interesting and heartwarming to see her with this family – built first from friendship. The closeness and pure love was evident from all the generations and extensions of the framily there towards her.


And it might have been even more appreciated since here I was traveling and staying with part of my Framily in Texas.

Sometimes, you go to visit and think you’ll just get a few hours together and whatever that is, will be okay.  Other times, it turns into so much more.

When I reflect about the two times that I have spent with Jayna, it feels like the first time -at the wedding – everyone there was an individual flower brought to make this beautiful bouquet of people assembled for the wedding.


Seeing her in Austin with the family she was clearly a big part of, made me feel like I got to see part of the garden from whence that beautiful flower came from.

Thank you to all in Austin that day, for making us feel so welcome and for sharing your lives with us.

Love Sally

First Impressions


The friend I was going to see in Austin is the sister/cousin to the bride at the wedding I had attended in Tulum in January.

She is biologically her cousin, but I can attest to the fact that if you live with a cousin for any amount of time, they become more a sibling than cousin. And so it is the case with them as well.


I so enjoyed seeing and meeting her in Mexico, that I decided that if I was going to be in Texas for another event, I may as well see if she was available and visit once more.

There are sometimes moments or events where you seem to learn  much about one person in particular. I had one of those times at a meal with our Austin host in Mexico.

It was a meal with the bride, groom, mother of the bride, the two sister/cousins, another engaged couple (who were friends of both bride and groom) and myself.

It was a joyous meal with much story telling, hilarity, great food, sauce so hot your mouth could bleed, mis-phrasing and raucous laughter (the staff tried turning up the volume of the music to drown out our table to no avail).

I try to pay attention to how people behave to certain situations or react in certain settings and sometimes it is very telling.

I was amused, enchanted and felt that during that one meal, I had learned much about Jayna in particular.


This is what I had learned then and what I had sent to her afterward:

What that meal told me about you.

You are bright, adventuresome, giving and responsible. You don’t give up and are inherently competitive.
You appreciate a good story and are happy to tell someone else’s portion of the story before you even think about inputting your own. You shine the light on those around you instead of taking the spotlight yourself.
Your adventuresome and willing to step into an “unknown” without hesitation in the hope that what is there is amazing. In the case that you have mis-judged and realize it was a mistake, you don’t expect anyone to bale you out or correct your error. You continue through it even to the point of causing yourself pain. You tend to hope it will get better as you see mistakes as failures and you hate to fail.
Your not a complainer and never want anyone to feel badly for something you have said or done – even if it is said or done inadvertently.
Your mind is quick and is always thinking of how to bring folks together around you but not with the focus on you. Sometimes your quick mind thinks faster than the words arrive out of your mouth which can cause some hilarity. – which draws attention and horror for you.’
In all, what I learned in Tulum and that one meal in particular is that you are a gem. A beauty with high vibration and radiance. You shine and make those around you glow and feel better just by being in your presence.
I’m so glad I was there to witness.


So, in going to Austin I was hoping to connect again to this gem and Trixie was not wanting to miss out either.

More on the visit with her and her Austin family soon.

Love Sally

Austin BBQ

As I mentioned in my last post, we were on a road trip and the next stop was Austin, TX.

Trixie and I made it to Austin just around lunchtime and as the friend we were to visit hadn’t yet returned from her current business trip, we set out to find a spot to dine.

Trixie is a most excellent co-pilot, navigator and google searcher when I’m driving, so she began to check for good listings for food.

Being in Austin which is known for some pretty excellent eats, I thought that our criterion for lunch should be either Barbeque or  tacos as that is two of their acclaimed food groups.

I had done a search of my own before leaving on the trip and several of the places were familiar in my brain.  The one that required a two hour wait in line was nixed as neither of us could expect it to be that fantastic to want to stand idle for that long for food.

The next spot was one that intrigued us both.

The reviews were excellent and their fare met both of our criteria as they smoke their own meats for their own specialty tacos.

One reviewer said that if the truck moved it’s spot to Hades, they would still follow.

follow-you-into-the-darkWe decided the best bet would be to swing by the parking lot where Valentina’s Food truck is parked and see what that was about as the reviews also said that once the meats were sold out that day, they closed.   It was also stated that the lines could be long at times.

The Smoker and Food Truck were parked at the end of a small parking lot that also contained a small gas station and a liquor store.


I dropped Trixie to hop into a spot in line while I located a parking spot down the street a bit.

The line was only maybe about 6 people deep when we arrived, but by the time we received our eats, there were nearly 20 people anxiously awaiting a turn to order up the enticing fare.

I have to say, it is on the top of my list of places I would return to.  The meats were very well smoked and would have been delicious alone, but they pared them so well with garnishments picked for the specific type of meat and home made sauces and tortillas to give you an eye rolling, toe curling bit of wonderful.

valentinos-tacosWe should have taken a photo before we started to eat, but really, we were proud that we even remembered to stop eating long enough to take a picture at all.

We went to an event with our friend during the day(more on that later), and then that same evening a small group of us went to another amazing place.

the-salt-lickGoing to The Salt Lick was a bit like going to a small county fair.  It was out in the country and surrounded by their own vinyards.  The parking lots were dirt and large as were required for the amount of people there at any given time.  When you arrive, you’re given a pager so that they can let you know when one of their 800 seats are available.  On any given Sunday they feed around 2000 people.

The seating is available outside under the large beautiful trees.


Or inside in one of their several buildings.


They have unique smoke pits inside two of the buildings where the smoked meat is kept warm and smoking a bit more until orders are placed.

salt-lick-pitI think we ended up sampling nearly all of their meats and can say that it is exceptional BBQ.  Their sides were tasty as well, but at a spot like this, it really is the meat that steals the show.  Which made it all the more special as our host doesn’t even eat meat, but wanted us to experience the splendor of the place even if she could not participate in the carnivorous aspect of it.

So, If you find yourself in Austin, you can know that I highly recommend either of those spots.








Salt Lick

Road Trip Disclosures

lets-go-on-a-road-tripOne of the first lessons of the summer is one I had already known but obviously not fully learned prior: that there should be disclosures given to each party about items or information that could or will effect the other person in the car.

The first trip this summer (after the already blogged about Seattle trip) was to Texas.
When discussing with a friend my summer plans, Trixie requested that she go with me on the Texas trip. She was feeling the need for time away and she does after all have relatives there we could stay with.

I know trips are meant to be when everything aligns and goes maybe not how you envisioned, but if you let it flow, it is better than was imagined.

We prepped the car with our road trip snack bag and cooler, loaded a novel onto my iPod for our listening pleasure (The Light Between Oceans – as Trix had heard it was good), and off we went.

We kept the stops to a minimum and snacked from our stash.  What mostly sounded good on this drive was the jerky and cheeses with a few crackers and nuts mixed in.

We made it to T’s Aunt’s home the first night for a ever so brief but restful night. Aunt MM had a tennis appointment early the next morning, so we were off again to Trixie’s Mom’s house another 5 hours away.

We spent a night with Trixie’s mom LP, and then headed off again the next day to Austin to visit a friend of mine.  As we loaded ourselves into the car on this the third day of steady driving, Trixie mentioned something about needing to change our diet as she was having what they call in her family – goat poop.

While I hadn’t heard that one, I didn’t need further explanation and frankly I was a bit envious that she had gone at all.  I second that motion and so we stopped at the local grocery to get some fresh veggies and some juices before heading to Austin.  She opted for the mango smoothie while I went full in and got the beet juice.  I had completed a cleanse in the spring where beets were a steady diet for a few meals as they are natural colon cleansers, so I knew if indeed this was good beet juice, I would be relieved sooner than later.

As we passed through the countryside, we passed through and area rife with places that were selling lawn ornaments of all sorts.  We made note that we should check these out on our way back as my hubby had spoken of getting a gargoyle for his waterfall/garden area and this could save the shipping on a heavy item.

Then, as we were stopped at the light in the rural area, we saw a small place just past the local Dairy Queen.  We decided that we could afford to stop at the small display since we wouldn’t be drawn to spend excess time wandering over acres and acres as the others had shown themselves to be.


It was akin to going down the rabbit hole, as one little area would open to another and yet another and then into an entire indoor area full of all sorts of treasures.

Trixie found artistic wood and metal wall pieces that would go well in her Mom’s new place as well as a door sized and matching window style piece for her home.  Good thing we had driven my Subaru and had extra space.

While she was negotiating the best price for her finds, I made way to the only restroom in the place as my beet juice had kicked in and the time was now.

It was a quaint bathroom in the middle of the store and while I enjoyed the Mexican style painted clay pieces on the wall and adorning the small space, I was aghast that there was no fan/candle/air freshener/ etc.  No time to go somewhere else, I was as quick as possible and then grabbed the few items I had contemplated purchasing and made for the car where Trix was figuring out how to load everything she had gotten while I was taking care of my own business.

When we got into the car and onto the road, I commented that she must have gotten the deal she had wanted since she came away with the items for both her home and LP’s.  She commented that she would have gotten a better deal if she had paid in cash, but she hadn’t brought enough to cover.

“I have cash”, I told her.  “You could have used my cash and gotten the better deal.”  She sighed and said that at least she knows now and then asked what I had gotten.

I laughed the embarrassed laugh you get when your honest with a friend and admitted that I had felt compelled to purchase the few items I had contemplated after I had polluted their bathroom and fled.


“Well, I have Poo Pourri” she says with a laugh.

I had seen the youtube video on the product, but had only thought it was a fake funny add, not an actual product.  I was wrong.  The stuff works and we soon learned that had we shared a bit more of what we each had brought along on the shared road trip before this stop, all involved parties might have come away just a little bit happier and better off.

dos-and-donts-of-road-tripSo, share the information of what you have brought before it’s actually needed when traveling with another is the lesson of the trip. Oh, and eat a more balance diet while on the road.

More on Austin next.

Love Sally




When someone comes through the door you didn’t close

I received a call Thursday night from an unknown number.  I would not have normally answered since I didn’t know the number and I was with the family watching a show, but it was from an area of the country where I have a very pregnant friend about to deliver and so I took it in case it was related to any incoming information on her.

To my surprise and dismay, it was a gentleman that I had met back in August 2015 stating he was going to be passing through the Denver area and he had my number from when we had met and could he stay with us for a night.

Let me say that there aren’t many people whom I can’t jell with on some level, but I was so adverse  to spending any  time in his space when we were both at this week long prayerful retreat that I managed to be anywhere he wasn’t.

It began with the first words he said to me.  “Hi, You can call me Mushi” (Honestly, I can’t recall what his name is, but that one floated into my brain just now, so we’ll use it)

When someone say’s ‘You can call me __’, my reaction tends to be negative. First of all, are you separating who can call you what? I’m to be in a category of people who call you one thing and there is another category of folks who call you something else?  I guess what he was conveying was that he was born with one name, but because of his path, he goes by another now as he declared himself to be a Sufi Monk.

sufi-proverbOn paper, this should be a person I am very drawn to hearing their stories and finding out the how’s and why’s of his path to date.  I love those kind of stories. I want to hear of our inner and external journeys.

The problem for me was that each time he put a part of himself out there, I felt there was a hook embedded.  He declared that he only works for peace everywhere and has given up most of his worldly possessions and only exists on the generosity of others. So when he goes somewhere, he trusts that he will be provided for.  And while I see that as an altruistic endeavor and see the beauty of that when you offer yourself up for work and don’t expect anything in return and just trust that all will somehow be provided, I also wonder about the times when your not offering yourself up for work. Aren’t you then a beggar? (not that I’m condemning beggars either – that’s another philosophical post maybe one day)

This prayerful retreat was outdoors and required much work from everyone in support to keep everyone fed, area clean, supplies maintained, etc.  I guess he felt his duty in being there was to just be social as he lifted no fingers to help when I was around.  This of course made it easy to keep a distance for me, as all I had to do was be busy  and it invariably kept us in different areas.

I thought I was showing no outward signs of dis-interest in him throughout the week, but at the end of the week, he caught me alone and asked me why I hated him so badly.  Ouch.  I claimed that I could not even contemplate hating him as I did not know him at all.  Obviously, I was not as good at hiding my inner feelings as I thought and he was much more observant than I had given him credit for.  I should also add, that no one there seemed bothered by his presence at all and most really enjoyed their conversations with him.  I just chalked it up to one of those reverse polar magnet people that you can never get close to.

polar-magnetsSo I was surprised at the end of the week when he made his rounds to get people’s contacts that he also came for mine.  ‘Hell no’, was my thought, but I felt compelled to provide mine since all others were doing so and since I never want to stand out in the crowd, I gave him my cell and my oldest email that is hardly ever checked.  I figured if he did call one day, since I don’t generally answer calls on my cell from people I don’t know in area’s I don’t go to, I would be safe.

best-laid-plansSo now I’ve wondered, am I to be the Samaritan and take in the person asking for help? Or am I to be true to my feelings and honor that I have felt awkward about this person and it’s not best to mix oil and water.  Or am I to bring him into my home, feed and provide comfortable sleeping and delve into why I have an aversion – sitting in the uncomfortable aspect for me to understand the why of the dislike?

I was mulling it over in my mind in the early hours again this morning, once more going back and forth in my mind. – “It’s only one night, I can endure anything for a night” says one half my brain. “I’d gladly let him stay if I could have no conversation or contact with him” says another portion. “Why would you do something so against how you really feel?” says yet another portion.  And so the battle raged.

Then a friend texts me and I relayed what I am pondering. She reminds me of how busy we are and it is not a lie to say such and just say we are not available.

It is at that moment that  I come to the real lesson in this for me.  If I had been honest  with him over a year ago, I would not be pondering the dilemma now.truth-in-past-lie-in-future

So  now I am tasked to communicate in an honest way why it is that I feel he should find other accommodations as he passes through our area.  As the hubby pointed out, we do have a few people that might quite enjoy the encounter, so I may see if I can still help, just not in the way that includes me.

Hopefully, this lesson stays with me as a gentle reminder for future encounters.







What a Summer

summer-is-over-snoopyAs most of you know, I somewhat finagled to have the summer off.  You could be wondering why there were no stories when I was not working as one would think I was flush with time.

I think that I was so grateful for the time, travel, talks, friends, family and fun, that part of me was hesitant to stop and share as the stopping might halt the flow.  Not rational I know, but when your is such an amazing flow, it’s hard to contemplate the stop of any of it.

When my fairly extensive travels concluded, work called and asked that I end my mini-retirement.


So, before I went back to work, I made a list of what I was going to miss from my summer.

Here it is- in no particular order of importance:

Being in my Pajamas till afternoon sometimes

Mornings on the deck

Long conversations with friends

Leisurely cooking

Mid day walks with Woody

Road Trips, Road Trips, Road Trips

Cousins, Family, Friends

Lack of plans and schedules except for planning the next adventure

Just being

Spending more time outdoors than inside


Yes there are stories to be shared and I’m hoping I can start to share with a bit more regularity.  So, check back from time to time and you might find one with a chuckle or two.