Debi van Zyl



And what a year it's been! Our move from Los Angeles to rural Texas has been pretty darn amazing, an eye-opener. Here's a little recap:


This is one of our fantastically humongous longhorn neighbors. When they come around our house I run outside and talk to them and they are totally unimpressed. But when Mr. D mows the yard, they come running. His secret? He dumps the fresh grass clippings over the fence as a treat. They are awesome animals. I cannot get over these horns.

1. Mr. D's homemade snake-shooting target. We have a bit of a snake problem, mostly copperhead. And now we have a shot gun. I was vehemently opposed to having a gun in the house but living out in the country, I reluctantly have learned, brings with it some critter issues. For us it's venomous snakes. I did not think one could actually shoot a snake (aren't they too thin and slithery and fast?) but one can with a shot gun. Texas lesson number 1.
2. Chief: our kitten who thinks he’s a dog. And a human. And super cat.
 3. Our view east and that big Texas sky.
4. Writing Spider, almost as large as the outlet! Be thankful that I'm not sharing a photo of the Rabid Wolf Spider. You're welcome. Click on the link at your own risk.
5. Friends from LA came for Thanksgiving. Our place is tiny so it took some figuring out, but we did it! Mr. D built a big table so that we could have our Thanksgiving feast out on the porch.
Pic by A. Boeck

1. The big transition from CA to TX plates. Soon after this, I drove back to California for work. I have to admit that it was a bit strange been from 'out of state.'
2. Yard work on half an acre is a lot of yard work. After 16 years of apartment living, this is a good shock to the system.
3. Mammatus clouds after the tragic Memorial Day floods. Never have I seen torrential rain like this storm produced, nor clouds like this. Welcome to Central Texas weather. This year I also got acquainted with tornado warnings. Apparently, I traded in California earthquakes for Texas storms, which are no joke. Texas lesson number 2.
4. Lots of outdoor cooking on the firepit we built by hand! We cook on pecan wood from my in-law's property and post oak wood from our landlord, who is also our neighbor. There's nothing like cooking on an open flame and sitting around a fire. We've spent countless hours watching the sunset, debating the doneness of meat (he is the medium-rare type, I am unapologetically a well-done kind of gal), and contemplating what to put on the grill next. And we constantly smell like campfire.
5. Fearless, we miss you!! RIP.

1. Patches: gopher and mouse hunter extraordinaire. And snake bite survivor!!
2. Farmhouse selfie. I absolutely love this tiny shack of a house.
3. Accidental bumper crop of butternut squash that originated in the compost pile.
4. Mr. D built a hoop house for our vegetable garden. We had mixed success with growing and harvesting, and we're considering this first year to be an experiment. We'll be heading into the spring planting season with a little bit more knowledge and experience.
5. 1,500 miles and 3 days later. Our trek from Los Angeles to Smithville, TX!

And with that, see you in the next year!

Debi van Zyl2 Comments