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How to Dip Your Sorrows (and Your Chips) After the Cowboys’ Super Bowl Snub: The Bull Creek Studio Guide

How to Dip Your Sorrows (and Your Chips) After the Cowboys’ Super Bowl Snub: The Bull Creek Studio Guide

Howdy, fellow nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts! JW here, your friendly neighborhood Bull Creek Studio blogger, back with a recipe for both your chip-dipping pleasure and your emotional well-being. Let’s face it, the Dallas Cowboys didn’t exactly stampede their way to the Super Bowl this year. So, instead of moping around like a lost armadillo, let’s channel our inner Texan and whip up a legendary 7-layer dip that’s as bold and flavorful as the wide-open plains!

Now, some folks might say, “JW, why aren’t you using queso fresco or pico de gallo? Those are way more Tex-Mex!” But hold your horses, partners. This dip is a metaphor for our current situation. We’re taking the classic 7-layer and giving it a little Bull Creek Studio twist, just like we gotta adjust our expectations sometimes. So, dust off your serving platter, grab your favorite chips, and let’s get dippin’!


  • 1 can (16 oz) refried beans (because sometimes, basic is beautiful)
  • 1 cup guacamole (homemade or store-bought, your call)
  • 1 cup sour cream (plain or flavored, depending on your adventurous spirit)
  • 1/2 red onion, finely chopped (because tears are for the draft, not the dip)
  • 1 can (15 oz) black olives, drained and chopped (because who doesn’t love a good olive?)
  • 1 jar (16 oz) peach salsa (sweet and tangy, just like our memories of past Cowboys victories)
  • 1 cup white cheddar cheese, shredded (because sometimes, you just gotta go classic)


  • Spread the beans: Think of this as the foundation, the bedrock of your dip-iverse. Evenly coat your serving platter with the refried beans, creating a smooth, creamy base.
  • Guac it like you mean it: Next, comes the green gold – the guacamole. Layer it on thick, like a victory parade down McKinney Avenue. Remember, the more guac, the merrier!
  • Sour cream it up: Now, smooth things out with a dollop of sour cream. This is the yin to the guac’s yang, the calm to the storm (or at least, the calm before the chip storm).
  • Red onion revolution: Time for a little bite! Sprinkle the chopped red onion over the sour cream, like confetti raining down on… well, not the Cowboys this year, but hey, a celebration is a celebration!
  • Olive the moment: Scatter the black olives across the landscape, like little gems dotting the Texas Hill Country. Remember, even when things are tough, there’s always beauty to be found.
  • Peachy keen salsa: Now for the pièce de résistance, the unexpected twist! Drizzle the peach salsa over the entire dip, creating a sweet and tangy surprise. Just like life, this dip is full of unexpected flavors!
  • Cheddar the way: Finally, shower the entire creation with a generous layer of shredded white cheddar cheese. Because, let’s be honest, cheese always makes things better.

Dipping Tips:

  • Use a variety of chips for maximum textural enjoyment. Think tortilla chips, pita chips, even plantain chips!
  • Don’t be afraid to get creative with your ingredients. Swap the peach salsa for pineapple salsa, add a layer of cooked chorizo, or even throw in some chopped jalapeños for a spicy kick.
  • Most importantly, remember that this dip is about celebrating our love for Texas, the outdoors, and delicious food – even when our favorite team lets us down. So, grab your chips, gather your friends, and dig in!

There you have it, folks! A 7-layer dip that’s as delicious as it is cathartic. Remember, even when the Cowboys aren’t in the Super Bowl, there’s always something to celebrate in the great outdoors and the company of good friends. Now, go forth, dip with gusto, and enjoy the game!

P.S. We working on expanding Bull Creek Studio’s product line to include custom embroidery merchandise! We’re going to help you reconnect with the wild side, even if the Cowboys can’t.

When the Mountains Feel Mighty: Embracing Overwhelm with the Spirit of the Bull Elk

When the Mountains Feel Mighty: Embracing Overwhelm with the Spirit of the Bull Elk

Standing beneath the Texan sky, the enormity of it all can sometimes hit you like a rogue wave. The vastness of the wilderness, the whispers of ancient history, the delicate dance of flora and fauna – it’s enough to make even the most seasoned adventurer feel a tad… overwhelmed.

Here at Bull Creek Studio, we strive to embody the spirit of the majestic bull elk: strength, endurance, patience, and protection. But even an elk, known for its resilience, needs to weather the storm. And guess what? So do we!

Feeling overwhelmed is as natural as the changing seasons. Deadlines loom, expectations weigh heavy, and the pressure to “do it all” can feel like scaling Mount Everest in hiking boots. What then, can we do when the ground beneath our feet starts to crumble?

1. Brew a Cup of Calm: Just like the elk grazes peacefully before facing the day, sometimes we need a moment to find our center. Steeping a cup of fragrant tea offers a mindful pause, a sensory journey that grounds us in the present. As the steam dances and the aroma fills the air, take a deep breath and reconnect with your inner strength.

2. Move Your Body, Clear Your Mind: The bull elk navigates rugged terrain with effortless grace. We, too, can find solace in movement. Whether it’s a brisk hike through the woods, a yoga flow under the open sky, or simply dancing to your favorite music, physical activity releases endorphins, clears the cobwebs, and reminds us of our own resilience.

3. Nurture Your Soul with Stories: Curled up with a good book, we escape the present and travel to wondrous worlds. Immersing yourself in fiction, poetry, or even non-fiction allows you to gain new perspectives, find inspiration, and learn from the experiences of others. Remember, even the bull elk takes time to rest in the shade of a towering oak.

4. Discern with Mindfulness: In the wilderness, every step counts. The elk chooses its path carefully, guided by instinct and experience. When overwhelm threatens to drown you in decisions, practice mindful discernment. Ask yourself: What truly matters? What aligns with my values and goals? By tuning into your inner compass, you’ll navigate challenges with newfound clarity.

5. Seek the Comfort of Community: The bull elk finds strength in its herd. We, too, are meant to connect. Share your anxieties with trusted friends, seek support from a therapist, or join a community that aligns with your interests. Remember, vulnerability is not weakness, it’s the bridge that connects us and allows us to weather any storm.

Overwhelm, like the changing seasons, is inevitable. But by embodying the spirit of the bull elk – through moments of quiet reflection, physical activity, engaging stories, mindful discernment, and the strength of community – we can not only survive, but thrive. So, take a deep breath, adventurer, and remember: you are stronger than you think.

Now, head out there and explore! Share your stories of overcoming overwhelm in the comments below. And don’t forget, Bull Creek Studio awaits with open arms (and maybe even a cup of calming tea) to guide you on your journey.

Spice Up Your Art with Cardamom Cinnamon Tea: 10 Reasons to Ditch the Latte (and Keep the Laughter Lines)

Spice Up Your Art with Cardamom Cinnamon Tea: 10 Reasons to Ditch the Latte (and Keep the Laughter Lines)

Howdy, Bull Creek crew! JW here, back from my annual brush with existential dread courtesy of my studio floor covered in tubes of Prussian blue and charcoal dust. It’s enough to make you reach for the instant mocha, but hold your buzzers, my caffeine-crazed compadres! There’s a new muse in town, and her name is Cardamom Cinnamon Tea.

Now, I know what you’re thinking: “JW, you’re about as spicy as a wet noodle. Why are you hawking herbal hooch?” Hear me out, y’all. This ain’t your grandma’s chamomile sip-fest. This is a flavor fiesta that’ll tango with your taste buds and waltz your body back from the brink of burnout. And that’s not just my inner hippie talking (although, peace to the patchouli-clad poets out there). Science, that steely-eyed mistress, has a whole chorus of benefits singing this tea’s praises.

Top 10 Reasons Cardamom Cinnamon Tea Beats the Buzz (and Boosts Your Brushes):

  1. Antioxidant All-Stars: These spices are like tiny ninjas, disarming free radicals that want to wrinkle your skin and rust your creativity. Think of it as internal bubble wrap for your cells.
  2. Inflammation Foes: Feeling all stiff and cranky like an easel caught in a hailstorm? Cardamom and cinnamon chill your inflammatory fire, making you as limber as a willow in a West Texas breeze.
  3. Blood Sugar Buddies: Spiking glucose levels got you seeing double (not the good kind)? This tea helps keep your sugar dance graceful, no jitters or crashes allowed.
  4. Digestive Delights: Bloated belly got you feeling like a paint-splattered balloon? Cardamom is your gut’s new BFF, easing digestion and bringing a smile back to your stomach (and your studio).
  5. Bad Breath Beaters: Garlic-infused brushstrokes got you socially distancing yourself? Cinnamon freshens your breath, making those museum openings a conversation, not a cough-fest.
  6. Brainpower Boost: Feeling like your creativity is trapped in a watercolor washout? This tea perks up your cognitive function, sharpening your focus and making those brushstrokes sing.
  7. Heart-Healthy Heroes: Cardamom and cinnamon give your ticker a high five, lowering blood pressure and cholesterol, so you can keep painting masterpieces for decades to come.
  8. Cold Conquering Crusaders: Feeling under the weather with a studio full of unfinished masterpieces? This tea is a natural decongestant and immune booster, kicking that sniffle to the curb.
  9. Weight-Wise Wonders: Struggling to fit into your skinny jeans after all those paint-chip snacks? Cardamom and cinnamon may help manage your weight, keeping you light on your feet and heavy on the inspiration.
  10. Deliciously Different: Forget the bitter dregs of burnt coffee. This tea is a warm hug with a spicy kick, a taste adventure that’ll tantalize your taste buds and fuel your artistic fire.

My Tea-Fueled Transformation:

Okay, confession time. I used to be a coffee and craft beer fiend, the kind who could paint a still life of my jitters. But since switching to tea, I’ve seen a metamorphosis worthy of Van Gogh. My mind is clearer, my body less achy, and my brushstrokes bolder. Plus, it’s a ritual I cherish – the steam curling like inspiration, the aroma weaving through the studio like a muse in a sari.

So, ditch the jitters and grab a mug. Let’s raise a toast (of tea, of course) to a healthier, happier you, and let your art bloom with the fragrant fire of cardamom cinnamon tea. Remember, creativity thrives on a canvas of well-being, and this brew is the magic primer for your masterpiece.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have a date with a canvas, a cinnamon stick, and a pot of inspiration simmering on the stove. Happy painting, y’all!

P.S. If you have any weird tea-related side effects, like spontaneous bursts of flamenco dancing or an uncontrollable urge to write haikus, do let me know. We can start a support group – the Cardamom Crazed Creatives, perhaps? Until then, keep those brushes wet and your spirits high!


Bull Creek Studio Columnist and Tea Enthusiast (Extraordinaire)

Fudge Fiasco and Church Cookin’ Wisdom: My Peanut Butter Redemption Tale

Fudge Fiasco and Church Cookin’ Wisdom: My Peanut Butter Redemption Tale

Okay Brothers and Sisters! Gather ‘Round! This ain’t your typical casserole confession. Today, I’m confessin’ to a culinary crime of the sweetest kind: the Peanut Butter Fudge Fiasco of ’24. Yep, your award-winning’ church cook, yours truly, nearly drowned our annual bake sale in a tsunami of peanut butter goo.

Now, you know I’m no stranger to the kitchen. My Nana’s pound cake recipe could charm a hummingbird out of its nest, and my pecan pie? Well, let’s just say the choir director needs a sugar detox after every potluck. But this time, y’all, I got cocky. I decided to whip up a batch of my “secret” peanut butter fudge, the kind that melts on your tongue like a sinner at revival. Except, this time, the recipe gods weren’t smiling’.

First, I poured in the brown sugar, all golden and hopeful. Then came the regular sugar, glinting like a deacon’s Sunday shoes. Milk, check. Salt, just a pinch, like a whispered prayer. But then, something went wonky. The marshmallow creme, supposed to be fluffy like a cloud, refused to cooperate. It clumped, it glooped, it stuck to my spatula like a toddler to a lollipop.

“Just needs some heat, honey,” I muttered, shoving the pan on the stove. Big mistake. The mixture bubbled like a cauldron in Hades, threatening to overflow and paint the kitchen floor peanut butter brown. I scrambled, yanked the pan off the heat, and prayed for a miracle.

That miracle came in the form of Sister Betty, bless her heart. She peeked in, sniffed the air, and declared, “Honey, you’ve turned fudge into lava! But don’t you fret, I’ve got just the fix.” And with a twinkle in her eye and a whisk in hand, she whipped that fudge into creamy submission. Added a splash of vanilla, a sprinkle of wisdom (and maybe a pinch of her secret ingredient, which I suspect is a dash of divine intervention), and voila! Peanut butter heaven.

The bake sale was a success, the fudge a star attraction. Folks swooned, begged for the recipe, and even the pastor asked for seconds (bless his sweet tooth). And me? Well, I learned a valuable lesson. Humility, sisters and brothers, is the secret spice in any kitchen. And when the recipe goes rogue, call on your church family. They’ll stir you back from the brink, one prayerful whisk at a time.

So, there you have it, my friends. My peanut butter fudge tale, a cautionary Christmas carol of sorts. Remember, even award-winning cooks make mistakes. But with a little faith, a dash of forgiveness, and a whole lot of love, even a fudge fiasco can turn into a church cookin’ miracle. Amen!

P.S. For those brave souls who want to try the recipe (with Sister Betty’s blessing, of course), here it is:

Sister Schubert’s (Redeemed!) Peanut Butter Fudge


  • 1Lb light brown sugar
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 2/3 cup milk
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons marshmallow creme
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract


  • Combine brown sugar, sugar, milk, and salt in a saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly.
  • Remove from heat and stir in marshmallow creme until melted.
  • Stir in peanut butter and vanilla extract until smooth.
  • Pour into an 8×8 inch greased pan.
  • Let cool completely and cut into squares.

Bonus Tip: If your fudge starts to misbehave, channel your inner Sister Betty and add a little love (and maybe a sprinkle of prayer). It works every time!

Now go forth and bake, my friends! And remember, even in the kitchen, there’s always room for a little bit of grace (and maybe a pinch of divine intervention).

With love and sticky fingers,

Sister Schubert, the (Redeemed) Fudge Queen of Bull Creek Church

What is Art?

What is Art?

Art is that which is created by an artist, and an artist is someone who creates art. This is a tautological argument that is incomprehensible to a Vulcan, such as myself, who objectively uses the rules of logic to deduce facts.

In an effort to arrive at an answer, the Vulcan mind thinks about breaking down and putting art into categories.

Performing arts are acts of creation by entertaining performers such as singers, performing musicians, actors, or television script readers of news broadcasts.

Creative arts are acts of creation using the studio of the mind such as painters, composing musicians, songwriters, photographers, videographers, script writers, illustrators, and book authors.

It is a co-dependent relationship between the performing and creative artists. The relationship between the two groups is undeniable.

It is also true that the creative arts is the primary source of creation. That is to say, before someone can sing a song, a song must be created to sing. It’s not a chicken and egg analogy. The egg comes first.

Accepting this, we must conclude that some artists are superior to others in that they not only create the song, but perform it as well.

Did you know that Colonel Sanders had a chicken farm, where he not only hatched chickens from eggs, but used the animals in laboratory kitchen experiments to conceive and perfect that pressure frying method used by Kentucky Fried Chicken restaurants all over the world? It’s true. He was an artist.

But this Vulcan attempt to classify art doesn’t define what constitutes art other than the obvious fact that one can create art and another can perform art on behalf of a creator or art using artistic talent.

Is an actor an artist? Yes. Sorta.

And thus we arrive at my definition of art using my superior Vulcan intelligence, imbued by unassailable logic to escape the tautological trap of human emotional hubris. .

Art is anything that Jeff says is art.

When we visit an art gallery – I’ll look at a painting and say, “Wow, that’s a real piece of art.” and you’ll look at it and say something like “Hmm, I don’t get it.” You’re not a Vulcan capable of understanding the fine nuanced lines required to create aft. I’m a Vulcan. I just know these things instinctively.

A professional artist is someone who is paid compensation to either create or perform art on behalf of someone else. A hair stylist is an artist who accepts money to play with hair and gossip all day. A beermeister is an artist who accepts money to brew beer, or serve beer in a beer stein.

A professional oil painter is someone paid an insane amount of money by Chinese communist party members because their father is a elected national political figure. What? That’s not what a professional oil painter is? Damn — being a Vulcan and using the rules of logic sucks because humans don’t know the rules of logic.

Having a mind keenly attuned to the rules of logic is not as easy as it looks. It requires the touch of an artist.




Audi TT OBDC code P1136

The Audi TT is a classic German designed vehicle, with italian electronics (lambourgini), a modified Porche frame, and assembled in Hungary. The only thing designed by Audi other than the body shell is the 1.8T engine itself – which was used in most of VW’s entire fleet before going to a 2.0 T model in 2005.

I was driving out to the hills in the pre-dawn Sunday morning, hoping to catch the rising sun in Austin above the Pennbacker Bridge without any clouds. Along the way, while cruising at 70mph my little Audi TT lost almost total power and most of the lights on the driver’s display illumninated. “Oh Crap!” I said out loud while turning off the radio. I thought the timing belt had broken – as the engine had no power at all. I turned on my emergency blinkers and pulled over to the shoulder and stopped. It was then that I noticed that the car was still running, at a normal IDLE. “Okay, at least it’s not a timing belt” and I sat there and pondered what was happening. It was very early – the sun wasn’t even close to coming up. I called the house phone. The wife didn’t answer. I called her cell phone. The wife didn’t answer. I contemplated calling my parents who lived further away and considered my situation. The car was running, but I couldn’t go anwhere because when I gave it a little gas it ran super rough. The EPC light was on, the wheel tracking light was on, the engine check light was on – and I thought to myself “well, I guess it doesn’t matter.” as I contemplated whether to turn off the car. It wasn’t like I was going to go anywhere. I turned off the car.



I took a breath and turned the key. The car started – all lights reset except the check engine light. The car seemed to respond to gas. I had to make a decision. Do I go forward into the hills that it was a fluke or turn-around and go home. I was 75% of the way to the Pennybacker Bridge, so I said, “Screw it!” and pulled out and headed to the bridge.

About 1/4 of a mile away from the bridge, fate intervened. The car was back into limp mode, the EPC light and the wheel slip light was back on, and the check engine light was now a constant companion. I coasted to the bridge and pulled into the shoulder and parked. At least I wouldn’t get a ticket if asked – because I had to pull over for an actual emergency. “Well, at least I can take some pictures and waste some time and maybe the wife will be awake if I have to call her again.”

I took out my camera, tripod, remote release cable and headed up the hill. I shot a few different angles – but my time spent on the side of the road earlier prevented my capturing the golden yellow of the rising sun. After I took the shots that I wanted, I walked back down the hill and put the camera into the car.

I made it home okay and only experienced one more limp mode.

Later that day, I hooked up the OBDC reader and found code P1136. “Lean Mixture, Right Bank” This code indicated that my Mass Air Flow (MAF) sensor was bad, or that I had a vacuum leak.
I took apart the top end of the engine and took out the MAF and looked at it. The price range for a new MAF unit is about $70-$125. Or, I could disassemble the MAF with a T20 security torque socket (the one with a nipple in the middle) and clean the MAF with isopropyl alcohol.

I had to order the part but it wouldn’t be available until the next day. I decided to put the car back together and then do it once again after I got the part in my hand.

And then – the “A-ha!” moment happened.

There is a brake vacuum hose that is connected to the intake manifold on the front of the car and routes under the MAF assembly to the engine firewall, before heading into the car. The material for this vacuum hose isn’t rubber. It’s like a hard plastic rubber – perhaps it was that way because of age. Anyhow, at the middle is a one way valve for the vacuum to keep the line clear and avoid the ingestion of air into the intake manifold from the brake system.


Yes, the hard plastic hose was fractured on both sides of the valve. The use of some silicone tape (stretch and seal) was used against the valve, and a clamp to make sure it wouldn’t come loose or leak. I assembled the car back together. I hooked the OBDC to the car and cleared the code and restarted the car.

Fixed. Yay. That was the cheapest fix (although somewhat frustrating) that I could have imagined.

I made a mental note of my mileage, looked at the other hoses in the engine compartment and have decided to get the timing belt replaced before 140k miles (it was last replaced at 80k miles).

Now… do I trust my little 1.8T engine to take me places. Yes, it’s a reliable car. You just have to maintain it.

Why did this happen to me? Well, I had my car inspected last month, but previous to the inspection I had my oil changed and a new air filter installed. I believe the vacuum hose must have fractured when the oil tech who replaced the air filter shut the asembly down on top of the brake vacuum line.

I think when I have my timing belt changed – a good preventive measure will be to ask that all of the hoses in the engine compartment be replaced if possible.

I plan on keeping my car until the wheels fall off.  (They fell off)

So, if you see this little car heading down the road in the Texas Hill Country, it’s most likely me looking for perspective and a place to take some pictures.Hopefully, you won’t see me on the side of the road with my emegency blinkers on.