Bastrop Town & Country Spring Journal 2023

Page 1


RENEW! body & soul; right here, right now.

Take Four Days to Hike Big Bend



Spring Journal
05 08 09 12 14 16 18 21 25 26 Editor's Note Plant this Now Pickleball Bastrop RENEW: body & soul Invest in Historic Spring Calendar Spring Lasagna Community Update Meet Vicky Balcou Do Big Bend in 4 Days
5 1 2 . 6 1 9 . 5 3 2 2 By Appointment Desiree Laux – Founder/Designer Design Services Home Furnishings Window Treatments 1 0 1 5 M A I N S T . B A S T R O P

Hello Again,

Welcome to our Spring Issue! We saw signs in February that the wildflowers are blooming early this year We were preparing a great article with the help of AgriLife about planting fruit trees but we soon realized trees were already budding, which means it's too late to plant fruit trees with best results We pulled the story last minute That's OK; this is our eleventh issue and with your continued encouragement, we will be around next year to finish that article about planting fruit trees in Bastrop County.

If you're chomping at the bit to get out on the open road to see wildflowers, maybe you'll be up for a short trip to Big Bend We submit to you in this issue an itinerary for a very satisfying four-day trip

We also needed to satisfy our curiosity about several local topics including, how 'bout dem toads? So, we brought back our "Community Update" feature which is a catchall for anything we think you might want to know about or have, like us, been wondering about. I've said it before, "I don't want to miss a thing. Do you?"

This issue has the theme of Renewal running through it, but we don't mean a sleepy wake-up and stretch kind of Renewal We're exploring ideas to renew your fervor, reawaken your zeal and stoke your passion for living your best life. Just like those wildflowers and tree buds who can hardly wait to burst forth, we've got lots of local inspiration to guide us to an exciting springtime, starting right now!

Sincerely yours,

Email us at or look for us on Facebook
On the cover: Bastrop/Elgin
yoga studio
Katy Gassaway Photo by Weston Carls Hiking trails in Big Bend National Park. Grabbing a cold one in Terlingua


Bastrop has a style all its own and those who make their home here take advantage of being a small town, near the big city, in the middle of Texas's big country. Bastropians are dark skywatchers, golfers, ranchers, a little horsey, artsy, outdoorsy, Main Street dreamers, who love local. If you'd like to reach Bastrop County residents, try an ad in Bastrop Town & Country magazine. It's mailed to owner-occupied homes and ranches across Bastrop County. Call Advertising Sales at 512-720-8290 or email

P h o t o c o u r t e s y o f B l a c k a n d W h i t e I n t e r i o r s . D e s i g n e d b y D e s i r e e L a u x . B l a c k k a n d W h i t e I n t e r i o r s . c o m

Plant This Now...

Early March: Plant Asparagus Crowns, Collards, Turnips

Mid to Late March: Corn, Cucumbers, Eggplant, Peppers, Pumpkin, Squash, Watermelon

All March: Beans, Lettuce, Mustards, Radish Seeds, Tomato Plants

Early to Mid April: Peppers, Squash, Tomato Plants, Radish Seeds

All April: Beans, Corn, Cucumbers, Eggplant Plants, Okra, Peanuts, Pumpkins, Southern Peas, Sweet Potato Slips, Tomatillos, Watermelons

All May: Sunchoke, Jicama, Malabar Spinach, Okra, Peanuts, Pumpkins, Southern Peas, Sweet Potato Slips, Tomatillos, Watermelons


The Bastrop 1832 Farmers’ Market is open every Saturday 10 am to 2 pm

Lost Pines Farmers Market open Sunday - 12-4 Community Gardens Bastrop 1067 Hwy 71 W - Follow them on Facebook

Elgin's Farmers Market open Thursday - 4pm to 7pm Veterans' Memorial Park ElginFarmersMarket com

The East Eden Farm Stand at 1910 Main Street Bastrop, Open 4-7 PM Wednesdays, 9-1 Saturdays. edeneastaustin com/farm/

Page 8
Master Gardner Dolores Leeper is the editor of the Garden Guide for Austin & Vicinity and the Secretary/Treasurer for the Bastrop 1832 Farmers' Market.



Or at least it seems that way in Bastrop County If you're a fan of tennis, badminton, or ping-pong, then you'll love pickleball! This fast-paced and fun racquet sport is taking Bastrop Texas by storm and it's easy to see why Pickleball is played on a smaller court than tennis, with a lower net and paddles Bastrop Area Pickleball Association President Gary Moss says, "Think of it as ping-pong on the ground " The game is played with a plastic ball, similar to a Wiffle ball, and can be played indoors or outdoors It's a great activity for people of all ages and skill levels, as it's easy to learn but also offers plenty of room for strategy and skill development.

If you're looking to play pickleball in Bastrop County, the Bastrop Area Pickleball Association has developed the Bastrop Pickleball Complex at 141 Tahitian Drive in Bastrop. They are a 501(c3) with dues of $120 per year. Scholarships are available for players 18 years old and younger There is currently open play on Tues , Thurs and Sat mornings from 7 until 11 Evening play is Sunday and Wednesday from 5 until 8 Ladies' night is held on Thursdays from 5 until 8 Get more information at www BastropPickleball org or follow them on Facebook

Pictured above: Bastrop player Amy Schumacher Photos courtesy of Kim Farbo


Pickleball was invented in 1965 by two dads looking to give their bored kids something fun to do Joel Pritchard, a congressman from Washington State and Bill Bell, a successful businessman, designed the game so different ages could play together Like ping pong, kids can even play with grandparents The name of the game has been the subject of much "controversy," but we're sticking with the story that the name is a reference to the throwntogether leftover non-starters in the “pickle boat” of crew racing Pritchard and Bell made the game up over one weekend using an asphalt badminton court, some ping-pong paddles and a perforated ball they had on hand The name had nothing to do with the family dog Pickles which may or may not have been named for the game years later.

The Bastrop Area Pickleball Association (BAPA) currently has six lighted courts and they are currently working on six more at the previous Tahitian Village tennis courts There is a pro shop called the Pickle Jar where BAPA swag and of course, paddles and balls are available for purchase A practice board is also in the works

With 35 million Americans playing the sport on some level in 2022, it's no wonder BAPA has grown to 270 paying members in just a year Home courts are also becoming more and more popular because the net is lightweight and removable and the smaller size court can fit more easily on residential lots

BAPA offers beginners' clinics regularly at no charge Catch one by following them on Facebook. For more go to or

BAPA Pickle Ball Complex at 141 Tahitian Dr. Bastop. Dustin Bartee Tim Griddine Sr Christina Palomino
512 W. Hwy. 71 Bastrop, TX. 78602 512-321-0911 Complete service ER Open 24/7 Compassionate and patient centered care On-site lab On-site X-ray, ultrasound, and CT scan Flexible billing Little to no wait Why Choose Ally Medical


With a change in weather, the air is literally singing with the excitement nature brings at this time of year. You may or may not be crushing goals you set in the new year, but spring is the perfect season to get inspired and renew your resolve to be your best, do your best and live your best life.

Bastrop County is a great place to take a cue from nature regarding renewal. We can experience it all around us at this time of year, in our many parks, along the river and on our country roads through rolling hills, green pastures and pine trees.

Bastrop's Dr. Sandra Dunkin, MD shares, “Hiking in nature is one of my favorite mindfulness practices.”

Dr. Dunkin graduated summa cum laude from Texas A&M University with a bachelor of science degree in Nutritional Sciences. She attended medical school at Texas A&M University College of Medicine in College Station where she obtained her Doctor of Medicine (MD) degree. She completed her four year residency training in general psychiatry at The University of Texas Dell Medical School in Austin and now serves Austin and Central Texas from her office in downtown Bastrop.

She advises, "Spring is a great opportunity for new perspectives. Often we get stuck in an old thought pattern that brings the same old negative emotions. Look for a new way to think about a situation that can result in a renewed and more tranquil state. My best advice is to ask yourself, “Is that thought helpful?”

joyful enthusiasm.”

“Spring work is going on with
John Muir, Scottish American author and naturalist


BT&C asked local yogi and owner of Body & Shine Wellness, Katy Gassaway to speak to us about renewal

"For me, the best thing to do for a fresh start is clear space-physically, mentally, emotionally, energetically What am I holding onto that no longer serves me? If I can let go of what I don't need, I'm creating opportunity for new things to come along Whether it's cleaning my house, donating clothes I don't wear anymore, unfollowing social media accounts that no longer inspire me, doing my best to catch negative thought patterns--every little bit helps!"

Katy's long awaited Bastrop studio is now open at 1005 Chestnut, Her Elgin location is at 28 N Main in Elgin

Fresh Outlook REBOOT

Best-selling author Ryan Holiday has millions of followers for his daily dose of ancient knowledge for modern Stoics. Courage is Calling isn't Holiday's latest book but it's a fine one to start with if you ' re looking for inspiration to ignite a zeal and sense of purpose in your life. Through engaging tales of heroes, both historic and modern, he urges us to heed the call of courage in our own lives The courage to speak out, stand up or even launch that business you ' ve been dreaming of that is much needed in your community He and his wife opened an independent bookstore in Bastrop during the pandemic He warns not to judge others as brave or cowardly, but to look inward and practice courage every day in your own life so you ' re ready to act, without hesitation, when your own unique destiny presents itself

Ever notice the first fix recommended when a computer or device isn't working properly is to turn it off and then on again?, If you ' re experiencing sleep disruption, lack of focus for healthy habits like exercise, or withdrawal from socializing, you might benefit from unplugging from digital devices and/or social media for a digital detox Even if you can't unplug completely or for an extended time because of work, just setting limits can have benefits Implement your detox plan in a way that doesn't cause even more stress for you It's easy to take a break from gaming and social media Replace it with reading, exercise, or socializing Remember scrolling or gaming addiction, just like any other, can deter us from focusing on the things that are important to us If we learned nothing else from the pandemic, it is that social skills take practice and can suffer without in-person interaction

Katy Gassaway of Body & Shine Yoga BodyandShineWellness com Available at the Painted Porch Bookshop 912 Main St Bastrop DailyStoic com

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Access psychiatric wellness. BrainWell Psychiatry and Mental Health AnxietyandMoodDisorders-PsychoticDisorders-EatingDisorders-AttentionDeficitDisorder(ADHD) AutismSpectrumDisorder-AlcoholUseDisorder&otherSubstanceUseDisorders PostTraumaticStressDisorder(PTSD)-CognitiveProcessingTherapy-Insomnia-CognitiveBehavioralTherapyforInsomnia Dr. Sandra Dunkin, MD serves Austin and the Central Texas area at her Bastrop psychiatry practice. 909 Pecan Street Bastrop, TX 512-360-8488 F o r m o r e i n f o r m a t i o n a b o u t 7 0 7 o r 7 1 3 C h e s t n u t S t . i n B a s t r o p c o n t r a c t K a r e n D e r r R e a l t y G r o u p / C o m p a s s R E 5 1 2 - 7 2 0 - 8 2 9 0 7 1 3 C h e s t n u t , c u r r e n t l y a n e v e n t a n d s h a r e d w o r k s p a c e

SPRING H a ppe n i n g th i s

Mar 1st - 31st The Bastrop Museum & Visitor Center is proud to announce the Historic Fashion Special Exhibition featuring fashion from the 1800s through the mid-20th century. Free & open to the public 10 am

5 pm Everyone is welcome!

March 3rd, 2023 5:00 PM - Sunday, March 5th, 2023 12:00 PM Texas Independence Day Jam at Rising Sun Vineyards -Three days of music, food, great Texas wine, and beer! - Friday kick of music fest at 5 PM with a delicious New Mexican style asada chili dinner Saturday music starting at 12 PM and famous pig roast dinner that eveningSunday is Bloody Mary breakfast taco and gospel music brunch at 9 AM Bring your tent or RV and camp out in the vineyard all weekend!

Mar 3rd-4th Glorious Succulents- Watercolor Workshop by Carol Sue Witt - Level: Beginner/Intermediate, Friday, March 3rd, 1-5:00 pm + Saturday, March 4th, 10 am-4:30 pm. (with a lunch break).No drawing is necessary, guest Instructor, Carol Sue Witt, signature member of theTexas Watercolor Society, or call 512.321.8055.

Mar 4th - Apr 23rd - 14th Annual Sherwood Forest Faire medievalthemed festival running for eight weeks in the woods near McDade, Texas The event includes over 150 shows daily and 170 artisans

Mar 4th - 5th Community Gardens presents the 5th Annual Home and Garden Show of Bastrop "8 acres of Home & Garden inspiration all on one property!” Entertainment, Vendors, Food, Drinks & Fun Saturday 10 AM- 5 PM, Sunday 10 AM- 4 PM

Mar 4 - Date Night** Movies in Bob Bryant Park Starts at Sundown

How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days (Adult Oriented) BYOB / Food Vendors Offsite Child Care - Call 512-331-2201

Mar 4 - Bastrop River Co regular season opens Regular Season (March – November), Saturday & Sunday 8am-5pm.

Latest start time for Short Day Trip is 2pm Located at Fisherman' s Park (512) 321-4661

Mar 9th Open Mic at Coppershot Distillery - Sign Up Starts at 6:00pm

Mar 10 - 26th, AddamsFamilytheMusical - Bastrop Opera House, FriSat - 7:30, Sun -2:30 (512) 200-3826, $25 BastropOperaHouse org

Mar 12th Daylight Savings Time

Mar 17th St Patrick's Day

Mar. 18th - 19th Lost Pines Card & Collectibles Show - Presented By: Force of Will Gaming Bastrop Convention & Exhibit Center

Price: $10 weekend pass / $7 daily pass Kids 10 & under Free 100+ vendors with collectibles from sports cards, Pokemon & more.

Mar 22nd beginning of Ramadan

Apr 1st April Fools Day

Apr. 2nd - Palm Sunday

Apr 5th - Pass Over

Apr 7th - Good Friday

Apr 7th - Garden party dinner at Eden East Farm, 1910 Main Street Bastrop.More info to come at or info@StoreHouseBastrop com

Apr. 9th - Easter Sunday - See pg. 19 for local brunch venues.

Apr 13th - Open Mic at Coppershot Distillery sign-up starts at 6:00

Apr 14 - 30th LittleWomen - Bastrop Opera House Fri-Sat - 7:30, Sun - 2:30, Phone: (512) 200-3826 Price: $25 BastropOperaHouse org

Apr 20 - 23, Smithville Jamboree - Live Music, Carnival, Parades www jamboreesmithville com

Apr 22nd Earth Day

Apr. 23 - Table on Main- Historic Downtown Bastrop

6:30 PM to 10:00 PM Imagine an evening with friends, sharing thoughtfully-made local food and drinks at a community table in the heart of Historic Downtown Bastrop, underneath the Texas sky. More info at VisitBastrop com

May 5th Cinco De Mayo

May 5th & 6th Kentucky Derby

May 14th - Mother's Day See pg 19 for local brunch venues

May19 - June 4th, TheMusicMan - Bastrop Opera House Fri-Sat7:30, Sun - 2:30, (512) 200-3826 Price: $25

May 21st - Annual Tomato Dinner at Eden East Farm, 1910 Main Street. Bastrop.More info to come at or info@StoreHouseBastrop com

May 29 Memorial Day


Every Month

Wednesdays 7PM




TriviaTuesdayat HeroesSportsBar&ScratchKitchenWednesdays7-10PM



TriviaNightsBastropBeerCo Thursdays7-9PM


OpenMicNightatFatCatLounge,Smithville-EveryThursdayEvening7-9pm!Signupstartsat6:00 301MainSt


OpenRideDayatMayfestPark,1st&3rdTuesdays8AM-10PMhttps://www cityofbastrop org/page/parks home


SinglesMingleatFilmAlley -2ndThursday7-9PM

Apr 21 X-Factor live at Copper Shot Distillery 7 - 10 PM Apr 22 Tish & the Mizzbehavins live at Copper Shot Distillery 7 - 10 PM Apr 22 Morgan Ashley live at Neighbors Kitchen & Yard 7:30 - 10:30 PM Apr 23 Lizzie Street live at Neighbors Kitchen & Yard 5 - 8 PM Apr 28 JJ & the Mystics live at Neighbors Kitchen & Yard 7:30 - 10:30 PM Apr 29 Dom Cours & Company live at Copper Shot Distillery 7 -10 PM Apr 29 Keen Country Band live at Neighbors Kitchen & Yard 7:30 10:30 PM Apr 30 Randy Collier & Jeff Robertson live at Neighbors Kitchen & Yard 5 - 8 PM May 5 Taylor Graves - The Tombstone Trio at Neighbors Kitchen & Yard 7:30 10:30 PM May 5 Marcus Morales Band live at Copper Shot Distillery 7 - 10 PM May 6 Ben Zuniga Band live at Copper Shot Distillery 7 - 10 PM May 6 Rochelle and the Sidewinders live at Neighbors Kitchen & yard 7:30 - 10:30 PM May 7 Ella Reid live at Neighbors Kitchen & Yard 5 - 8 PM May 12Michael Anthony Trio live at Neighbors Kitchen & Yard 7:30 - 10:30 PM May 13 Everett Wren live at Neighbors Kitchen & Yard 7:30 - 10:30 PM May 14 Lindsay Beavers & Brad Stivers live at Neighbors Kitchen & Yard 5 - 8 PM May 19 Oscar Ornelas Trio live at Neighbors Kitchen & Yard 7:30 10:30 PM May 20 Chubby Knuckle Choir live at Neighbors Kitchen & Yard 7:30 -10:30 PM May 21 Troy Stone live at Neighbors Kitchen & Yard 5 - 8 PM May 26 Natalie Metcalf live at Neighbors Kitchen & Yard 7:30 1-:30 PM May 28 Danny Brooks & Lil Miss Debbie live at Neighbors Kitchen & Yard 5 - 8 PM LivemusicatStorehouseMarket&Eatery-Wednesdays7-9PM BingoatBastropBeerCo.Wednesdays7-9PM CornholeTournamentsatCommunityGardens
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Mar 3 Ryan DeSiato Live at Neighbors Kitchen & Yard 7 - 10 PM Mar 3 Glenn Collins and the Alibis live at Copper Shot Distillery7 - 10 PM Mar 4 Gary Cain Band live at The Fat Cat Lounge 7 - 9 PM Mar 4 The Dustin Toliver Band live at Copper Shot Distillery 7 - 10 PM Mar 4 Vin Mott live at Neighbors Kitchen & Yard 7 - 10 PM Mar 5 Ruby Dice live at Neighbors Kitchen & Yard 5 - 8 PM Mar 10 The Ben Zuniga Band live at Neighbors Kitchen & Yard 7 - 10 PM Mar 10 Rochelle and the Sidewinders Live at Copper Shot Distillery 7 - 10 PM Mar 11 Blackbird Sign live at Neighbors Kitchen & Yard 7 - 10 PM Mar 11 Chasing Gypsy Live at Copper Shot Distillery 7 -10 PM Mar 11 Chris Dautre Group live at The Fat Cat Lounge 7 - 9 PM Mar 12 Lindsay Beavers & Brad Stivers at Neighbors Kitchen & Yard 5 - 8 PM Mar 17 Ted Russell Kamp & Friends at Neighbors 7:30 - 10:30 PM Mar 17 Jamie Krueger Group live at Copper Shot Distillery 7 - 10 PM Mar 18 Blues in the Night live at Copper Shot Distillery 7 - 10 PM Mar 18 Eric Demmer Band at Neighbors Kitchen & Yard 7:30 - 10:30 PM Mar 19 Ryan Paul Davis live at Neighbors Kitchen & Yard 5 -8 PM Mar 24 Hannah Wright & Midnight Revelry at Neighbors 7:30 - 10:30 PM Mar 24 The Murdochs live at Copper Shot Distillery 7 - 10 PM Mar 25 Dom Cours & Company live at Copper Shot Distillery 7 - 10 PM Mar 25 Chris Dautre Group live at Neighbors Kitchen & Yard 7:30 - 10:30 Mar 26 Julie Bouchard live at Neighbors Kitchen & Yard 5 - 8 PM Mar 31 Natalie Metcalf live at Neighbors Kitchen & Yard 7:30 - 10:30 PM Mar 31 Joe Bobb's Bar and Grill live at Copper Shot Distillery 7 -10 PM

1 leek

3 tablespoon butter olive oil

1 large bunch asparagus

3 tablespoon flour

3 cups milk

1 cup water

1 cup frozen peas

1 lemon

about 20 leaves each of fresh mint & basil

1 cup ricotta cheese

1/2 cup Parmesan cheese

1 cup sharp white cheddar cheese

no-boil lasagna noodle


In two tablespoons of olive oil, saute one washed and sliced leek for about 5 min until tender

Add 1 bunch of chopped asparagus stems chopped in 1 cm pieces, saving the tops for later

Once the asparagus is tender add 3 heaping tablespoons of flour and 3 tablespoons of butter and cook stirring for 1-2 minutes to cook out the raw flour

Add 1 cup of water & 3 cups of cold milk from the fridge to the hot roux and stir immediately to avoid lumps

Add finely grated nutmeg, the zest of one medium lemon, the juice of half a lemon, and salt & pepper to taste

Cook for about 5 minutes until the bechamel is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon

Turn off the heat and mix in 1 cup of grated sharp white cheddar cheese

Add 1 cup of frozen peas and set bechamel aside for lasagna assembly

In a food processor mix 2 tablespoons olive oil, 1 cup of ricotta cheese with half a cup of parmesan cheese, and the fresh basil & mint leaves, salt pepper to taste

Assemble 3 layers of lasagna starting with veggie bechamel, then a layer of no-boil lasagna noodles

Dollop 1/3rd of the ricotta mixture and repeat having a layer of bechamel as your last layer

Top lasagna with the reserved asparagus tops and one last sprinkling of cheddar and parm

Place in the center of a 400-degree oven bake covered for 30 min and uncovered for 20

Set broiler on high and broil watching closely for a few minutes till the desired brownness on top

Let cool for at least 30 min before serving

6-8 servings

20 min preparation

50 min bake



Freshherbs,brightlemonzest,andadecadent bechamelsaucemakethisadeliciousmeatlessmain orluxurioussidedishwithhamorlambforEasteror Mother'sDay.


Don't let the prep time deter you This recipe is really easy yet elegant

Adjust the herbs to taste or to compliment a main dish like adding more mint to serve with lamb

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 ingredients
Easter - April 9 Mother's Day - May 14 2023
Market & Eatery 813 Main St Bastrop Open Easter & Mother's Day 12-3 PM 512-412-6114
Cafe 111 NW First St. Smithville Open Easter Sunday 10-3 PM 979-571-1083
Mom's 109 NW Second St. Smithville Open Easter & Mother's Day 12-3pm 512-575-3585
deemed correct at time of printing and subject to change Reservations recommended Call or check website to confirm schedule
Storehouse Comfort
Facebook: ComfortCafeSmithvilleTexas Your Information

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The State of the Toad

When BT&C went to the Lost Pines Habitat Conservation Plan (LPHCP) for an update on the Houston toads, we thought we'd get some statistics on our local toad population Are their numbers up since the toads became protected in 1970? At that time there were only a couple hundred identified In 2019, the Austin Statesman quoted that there were about 3000 Houston toads according to Texas State University's Dr Michael Forstner The professor reportedly was spending about 200 days per year in the field surveying Houston toads LPHCP administrator Cari Croft lives in Tahitian Village on two acres in the plan area She knows full well that some Bastropians don't give a flip about toads Tracking the Houston Toad's ebb and flow in numbers is no easy task and the drought in 2022 took a toll

Even if toad numbers are down, she's encouraged by other statistics regarding the LPHCP efforts 11,700 acres have been enrolled in the program to date, with over 420 landowners benefitting from their participation Croft says participants range from owners who are just interested in a tax exemption, to Master Naturalists who are passionate about keeping Bastrop natural An important benefit to landowners is that they can go to our local LPHCP office rather than to the Federal Fish and Wildlife department when proposing development that would impact the toad And the LPHCP is a pathway to getting a wildlife exemption on as little as three acres, without it having been first under agricultural exemption There are fees involved which could range up to $2000 but the financial benefits are substantial when you consider the tax exemption and possible grants for enriching toad habitat LPHCP also works with businesses The Woody's gas station at the corner of McAllister Road and State Highway 71 was recently developed in the LPHC plan area They're open for business and have provided a nice buffer of toad-friendly habitat around their perimeter While not everyone is a toad enthusiast, protecting the toad habitat aligns nicely with protecting a lifestyle that most of us treasure here in Bastrop County

Croft says, "Think of the toad as the canary in the mine shaft " As the toad goes, so goes our natural beauty and outdoor lifestyle Besides encouraging habitat enhancement LPHCP has funded the expansion of Bastrop State Park - a nice perk for all of us

Bastrop Downtown Food Truck Park at 710 Chestnut is open. We've got a new place to lunch or snack or pick up dinner when in the historic downtown area So far Yolked is there and can be reached at YolkedFoodTruck com Also onsite is International Grub See their menu at InternatioinGrubFoodTruck com


BastropStateParkANDBuescherStateParklakeswhichhavebeen closedforreconstructionarescheduledtoreopenthissummer RadiantMamaJuiceisnowlocatedintheBastropFitnessProjectat 303MartinLutherKingDrBastrop

TheownersofKCOutfittershaveopenedSage&Coat913Mainin BastropwithalargerselectionofMissesandJuniorfashionincluding BucketListbrandwhichismadeintheUSA

LaurieBeckhasopenedMainStreetGalleryat200MainStin SmithvilleSeetheBT&Ccalendaronpage16forupcomingopenings


Amajorblowwasdealtbycitizenswhoralliedagainsta3000acre solarfarm,convincingElginISD schoolboardmemberstovote unanimouslyagainstgrantingthesolardevelopersalucrativetax incentive BT&CaskedCariCroftwithLPHCPtocommentonthe projectonthewestsideofthecountywhichwouldhaveclearcut

Texas Coffee Works has been selling coffee by the cup and by the pound , along with pastries baked in house for about a year now. Soon they will be moving their wholesale roasting operation from Austin torighthereat962Hwy71.

whazzup? whatever happened...?
S P E C I A L R E P O R T Page 21

R e n e I b a r r a , D i r e c t o r o f T o u r s


ARKANSAS~including Bentonville, Crystal Bridges,Thorncrown Chapel - March 23 – 27, 2023

CUBA ~ March 31 – April 7 & Nov 7 – 18, 2023

MEXICO CITY ~ Art & Culture - May 23 – 29



CHICAGO - June 1st – 5th, 2023

SANTA FE NEW MEXICO - July 6th – 10th, 2023

PERU ~ Lima, Cusco, Sacred Valley -July 20 – 31, 2023

CAMIBAculturaltoursembodiesthe essenceofworldtravelasit influencestheartculture.Our excursionsgivetour-goersan intimateglimpseattheprocess behindthemasterpieceaswellasthe artiststhemselves.Weoffertoursto agrowingnumberofdestinations includingCuba,OaxacaMexico,San MigueldeAllendeMexico,Mexico City,Argentina,Guatemala&Peru. 512-937-5921

B T & C R E C O M M E N D S

the best thing I ever ate... LATELY

Here is a find which to me epitomizes exploring cuisine in Central Texas In Garfield between a big silver water tower and a cell tower, on the side of State Highway 71, sits Little Thailand. Inside they're serving up all the favorites westerners have come to expect and also more authentic Thai dishes you may not have tried

It's been in this location since the mid-'80s offering a kitschy decor, mismatched plates, and damn good pad thai Vegetarian spring rolls with thick slices of crisp cucumber and those little fried spring rolls get you started Green papaya salads and an array of curries soups, and noodle dishes offer something for just about everyone Unless you order spicy, your dish will be fairly tame as far as heat

To chopstick or not? Chopsticks are not part of the Thai table setting but are perfectly admissible when slurping noodle dishes

Otherwise use a fork and spoon Thai style

LITTLE THAILAND 4315 Caldwell Lane (@ Hwy 71) 512-551-9930 LittleThailandTX com TUES-FRI 11-3pm, 4-9PM, SAT & SUN 12-3PM, 4-9pm, Closed MON
Jasmine green tea in a real china cup contrasts with 80's funk decor

drink this now ramble

B2 shots gin

1 shot lemon juice, freshly squeezed

1/2 shot simple syrup

1/2 shot creme de mure (blackberry liqueur)

Garnish: lemon half-wheel

Garnish: fresh blackberry


Add the gin, lemon juice, and simple syrup into a shaker with ice and shake until well-chilled

Strain into an Old Fashioned glass over crushed ice

Slowly pour the creme de mure over the top of the drink.

Garnish with a lemon half-wheel and a fresh blackberry



This will be the 37th Year of the Salinas Youth Art Contest and Exhibit. Over 6500 students from BISD, including home-schooled and church schools will participate. We will have an in-person Salinas Awards Ceremony on the 24th of April 2023. The Lost Pines Art League $1000 Scholarship will be awarded at that time.

An exhibit of the top ten artworks for each grade will be on display at the Jerry Wilhelm Performing Arts Center from April 24th to May 20th, 2023.

Born in Bastrop County, Porfirio Salinas (November 6, 1910 –April 18, 1973) was an early Texas landscape painter best known for his oil paintings of the Texas Hill Country and bluebonnets. Largely self-taught, he was one of the first Mexican American artists to become nationally recognized for his paintings and is said to have been President Lyndon Johnson's favorite artist. .


Vicky Balcou is an artist, raised by artists. While some parents push their children away from the arts, envisioning a career of struggle, void of financial security, Balcou's mother encouraged her and sent her to art school at an early age. She would tell her, "Everything you use, wear, look at or touch was designed by someone." Balcou followed her passion for creating and enjoyed a career at Dallas based Fitz and Floyd, known for their finely detailed ceramics. She retired in 2006 and moved to Bastrop to be near her college roommate, Tina Woodruff.

Balcou, an active member of the Lost Pines Art League and working artist, noticed her vision was changing about four years ago. She was diagnosed with macular degeneration which symptoms include loss of vision in the center of the eye. As the disease has progressed, Balcou's life has changed and so has her art. More impressionistic, less realistic, she has reenvisioned her art and found she now communicates beauty more freely. "Beauty doesn't have to have details," she explains.

Balcou was a featured artist in the Lost Pine's Art Center's first show of 2023. She is also a volunteer on the Salinas Bastrop Youth Art Contest committee which is chaired by C. j. Jordan. Balcou is eager to make sure young artists are encouraged, as she was in school and by her parents. She believes the addition of an art sale this year for the older finalists will make a statement to the participants and their families, that not all artists starve. "I'm proof there are good careers for artists that are both satisfying and financially rewarding." It's no surprise Balcou's daughter, Elisa Jimenez is also an interdisciplinary artist and fashion designer who appeared on Project Runway. She lives in New York City.

Balcou gives private art lessons including teaching other artists experiencing loss of sight to re-envision their work and their ability to communicate beauty.

Page 25
Vicky Balcou at her Bastrop home. She can be reached at


There are lots of great places you can drive to from Bastrop for a quick getaway. Fredericksburg and Port Aransas are favorites but for a real change of scenery, you cannot beat going a little further west to Big Bend. And by a little further I mean seven hours, if you don't stop for lunch.

That's why on our first day we decided to stay the night at a nice hotel for a little luxury and a good meal before we hit the hiking trails.

Day 1: Its about a six hour drive to Marathon Texas where we stayed at the Gage Hotel which has been welcoming generations of travelers since 1927. It's a favorite stop for us whether we're headed to Fort Davis or points further west. The property is charming and comfortable. The 12 Gage Restaurant, which is attached to the White Buffalo Bar is a splurge but we knew we'd be eating our own cooking for the next three days and the food is superb. The quail added to one of their specialty salads came highly recommended and was really special.

Day 2: Wake up refreshed and drive about thirty minutes west to Alpine Texas and the last decent sized town to stock up on gas and provisions before heading south towards Terlingua. We stayed the next two nights at a solar and wind powered vacation rental on a secluded 20 acres called Casa Tranquila. Teriligua has other cool accommodations like tee-pees, yurts, big transparent bubble domes to star gaze, and you can even glamp in luxury in a cave!

Day 2 continued: After unloading our groceries, we headed back out to explore Terlingua. Don't miss Terilingua Trading Company for a souvenir, a cold drink or if its really hot you may want to pick up a sombrero. The Starlight Theatre Restaurant & Saloon has been the stage for countless Texas musicians. Visit an interesting historic cemetery there in town and you've just about seen all there is to see in this dusty little town that's home to a famous chili cook-off since 1967. From here we drove to both the Big Bend State Park and the National Park to get our bearings and decided hiking the National Park because of the higher peaks and historic landmarks. We went home to Casa Tranquila just in time to fire up the grill and the gas fire pit for steaks and wine while watching the sunset.

Day 3: We ate a good breakfast of leftover steak and eggs and then loaded up our gear and sandwiches for a day of hiking. Ten minutes outside of Terlingua ( about 30 minutes from Casa Tranquila,) we entered Big Bend National Park which offers 150 miles of hiking trails, 1,200 species of plants, 450 species of birds and 1,252 square miles of public land.

The park is so massive there are several small towns, some abandoned, within the park. We took the Santa Elena Canyon road which eventually led us right down to the Rio Grande river.

Even if you don't fancy yourself a photographer, you'll be stunned at the shots you'll get with your phone.

Sometimes a change of scenery is exactly what you need - Marathon Texas
Find Casa Tranquilo at

Day 3 (Continued) - Along the Santa Elena Canyon road there are numerous trails heads to hikes of varying lengths and skill levels, all listed and rated on the park map available upon entry. A must hike for us was the Homer Wilson Ranch trail which is only about 1 mile but includes an abandoned ranch foreman's house and outbuildings and equipment for handling 4000 sheep and 2500 goats in the early 1900's. It was abandoned in 1945 but the walls, fireplace and reed ceiling have survived.

By far the most scenic drive, in my opinion, is to take the Chisos Basin road to one of the highest peaks in the park, in view of Emery Peak (7825 ft.) to walk the spectacular Window Trail. Luckily the Casa Tranquila has a well equipped kitchen because we arrived home after dark to make a homemade spaghetti and meat sauce dinner.

Day 4: Packed up our car and headed back out to the park. We drove out past Panther Junction to the Rio Grande Villiage where you'll find natural hot springs, the remains of an early 20th century abandoned resort and see petroglyphs (cave paintings) from ancient inhabitants. At Boquillas Canyon Trail you can buy pottery and tchotchke brought over from Boqullas Del Carmen just on the other side of the Rio Grande. Rather than backtracking out the main entrance, we left the Park on Highway 385 at about 1:pm to make the one hour scenic drive back to Marathon. If you drive like mad and eat leftover sandwiches in the car for lunch, you can make it back to Austin for a late dinner, which we did, then on to home.

View of the hills surrounding Casa Tranquila

SSpring pring Home Home "To Do" "To Do"

Cleanguttersnowtoavoidrotting faciaboards.Makesureyourgutter blockscarrywateratleastfivefeet awayfromyourfoundation

CleanyourdryerventAclogged dryerventisafirehazard.

Haveyourfireplacechimney inspected&makesureyourcapis inplacetokeepoutnestingbirds

HaveyourA/Csystemserviced beforethehotweatherrushbegins

Mulchflowerbedsearlytostaveoff weeds.

Putawayhosebibinsulatingcovers andwhileyou'reatit,checkforleaks anddrips.

Check&repaircaulkingaround windows&exteriortrimboardsto keepmoisturepenetrationatbay.

Checkyouratticwhileit'sstillbelow 125-degreesupthereLookforsigns ofrodentsandmakesureyour ductworkisundamagedandfirmly attachedtoventboxes.

Hitthesalesonpipeinsulation,etc Grabitemsyouwishyou'dhad duringthewinterfreezeandstock upduringtheoffseason.

Spring cleaning is second nature but don't forget these maintenance items.

Thishomemaintenancereminderis broughttoyoubyLoriTuggleAgency

Yourhomeisyourlargestinvestment Makesureit'sprotectedyearround



Will this Edchero be ready for Heros & Hotrods in November?
Do one of these fine rides seen around Bastrop County belong to you? Claim your cruiser and we'll give you a $10 gift card to Tracy's Drive-In or Smithville General Store & Coffee. Just text to 512-720-8290 or email and tell us you saw it in Bastrop Town & Country Magazine! 1 per car please.
Now with two locations! 601 Chestnut #G and 2804 Hwy 21E, Suite #D We've assisted over 4,000 families with home financing.


Don't believe what you tell the tax appraiser;-)