Week In Review, A Splash of Austin in the Mix

A week on the farm, two days in Austin. A whirlwind week. I need a nap. Two naps, actually.

Last Sunday, the mud settled. Pawprints on the dining room rug, tracked up the stairs, tracked to the sheets. We got tired of it, so I had to grab three bails of straw. Smashed into the back of the Mercedes, I had my own trouble tracking dirt into the SUV. Oh well. Made it home, scattered over the muddiest parts. The rest in the barn to keep the chickens warm. Thanks God I did. It ended up at 8 degrees the next morning.

Milo’s vet the next day. Cheeseburgers for him for dinner. Perfect health, they told me. “Check again,” I said. “He looks like he’s been ran over a couple times.” No one laughed.

And then to Texas on Thursday! My mother-in-law owns a dress shop, so we tagged along as she bought new inventory. Lucky for us, my sister-in-law lives in Austin, so we made a weekend of it.

It felt like Old Times, that ephemeral period that’s always a little more rose-colored when looking back. In California, some of my favorite memories were when Nolan’s family would visit. It was nice to have that time repeated here, too.

The agenda:

Thursday - We got in late, so got a cocktail and some small plates at Ah Sing Den.

Friday - This day was spent at the warehouse. Three hours to Dallas, three hours back. Stopped at a Czech bakery that doubled as a gas station. Stopped at Torchy’s, drooled over their queso. A night watching Nailed It on Netflix.

Saturday - Breakfast of English pea beignets and sweet potato hash at Café No Sé. Manicures to follow. Candy store after that to take to Mary Poppins Returns (so good!). Then an evening at antique stores, department stores, and a cupcake nightcap before more Nailed It.

Sunday - Travels home. Stopped for groceries. Missed the howling dogs and chickens. Snow fell, so cold it felt like it seared my skin. The chickens were fine. I missed them terribly, their silhouette illuminated by the heat lamp behind me.

Surrounded the rest of the night by cuddling dogs. The only noise in the whole house, their breathing and the rattling of the dryer in the basement.

And to keep up my tally of books, here’s where I’m at so far this year:

Finished last week: Portrait of a Marriage, Nigel Nicolson and V. Sackville-West
Finished this week: The Bookshop at 10 Curzon Street: Letters Between Nancy Mitford and Heywood Hill 1952-73
Working on now: Diaries, 1971-1983, James Lees-Milne