Shrew and Snail

Curiosity cabinet of books, animals, and art and kitchen experiments


Texas Books, Y’all

I’ve lived in Texas for my whole life, and I love the landscape, the diversity, the food, and the art.  I also appreciate our literary legacy.  I am very proud of our amazing annual Texas Book Festival, which brings authors from around the world, and we have some fantastic local book  ...

Continue Reading
Books Kids

Audiobooks for Young Children

My kids are 5 and 2 right now. My daughter is just about to start Kindergarten, and she’s not reading on her own yet but she memorizes books and “reads” them to her brother. I can’t remember which one of us started it, but my husband and I both play them audiobooks in  ...

Continue Reading
Books Exercise

Running + Reading

I’m trying to start running again. I’m 42 years old and I just started running last year.  I ran a mile for the first time last summer, and then I ran a 5K in September. I took a bit of a break (OK inauguration depression crept in), but I’m back on the road!  Last year I was  ...

Continue Reading

Audiobook Recommendations

I have been listening to a lot of audiobooks lately, mostly in an attempt to avoid being immersed in the news all day. These are two recent favorites, available on Born a Crime is a memoir by Trevor Noah, read by Trevor Noah, about his childhood in South Africa during and following  ...

Continue Reading
Cooking House


Spring is here! I have been doing some spring cleaning. Today I stayed home to meet the air conditioning guys who were just doing a maintenance check on the system (always a good idea before things get hot and you can’t get someone for days).  Reminder: Get the leaves off of your outdoor  ...

Continue Reading

On food

I’ve been in a rut when it comes to food and cooking lately, and I’m trying to get myself out of it. Sunday through about Tuesday, when the food and ideas are fresh, go pretty well. After that is downhill, with a lot of random ingredients in the fridge and no real plan.  Working a  ...

Continue Reading

Community gardens around the world

I spend a lot of time looking at aerial photography and maps for work, and I love discovering the signatures of certain features.  It’s like a puzzle.  If you’ve flown in an airplane you’ve played the same game, identifying a river and its tributaries, the strange shapes of  ...

Continue Reading