Thursday, October 30, 2008
Way back in August, it actually rained every day for a week. It was enough to lift the burn ban briefly, and it created a few small puddles in the creeks and rivers, but it didn't last. It was, however, the perfect excuse for snuggling in with the new book I had just picked up - Twilight, by Stephanie Meyer. Although I knew it was aimed at young people, I was curious to see what all the hubbub was about, just as I had been with the Harry Potter series. It only took a few minutes spent with Bella and Edward for me to become hooked, and to realize that I would probably have to see this series through to the end.
You see, what I have discovered is that, unlike other authors, those who write for young people cannot rely on sex and violence to get them by. Their only chance of succeeding is to tell a fabulous story. J.K. Rowling knew that, and so does Stephanie Meyer. In fact, the first book in the series was probably one of the most erotic I have ever read - no small feat, considering it has absolutely no sex in it! I picked the second book up on our way to San Diego to visit Lex, finished it while there and left them both for her to read. Within a week or two, she had devoured #'s 3 and 4 as well. Which reminds me - You are planning to bring those last two with you at Thanksgiving, aren't you Alexis? I've cleared my reading agenda that week, and am planning for total vampire immersion!
P.S. Many thanks to coverbrowser.com for the above image
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
I must have put on my rose-colored glasses when I moved here to Wimberley, and just forgot to take them off. Being surrounded by so many broad-minded, positive thinking and acting people, for the first time ever, had me believing that the world had really made some progress at last - that people were finally getting over their "Me! Me! Me!" attitudes, starting to see that we are all connected in this struggle for life on our little planet, starting to care about the legacy we are leaving behind, and finally starting to work together for the common good. I even felt optimistic that MLK's "dream" might one day be a reality.
The news that two white supremacists had been arrested for plotting to kill Obama and as many non-caucasians as possible, brought me back to earth with a sickening thud. It reminded me that all it would take is one sick, slimy maggot crawling out from under the woodpile, and we could be thrown straight back into the days of the Kennedy assassinations and race riots, or even worse. I was planning to treat myself to a festive day in Austin, in honor of my birthday today. Then I got an e-mail message from husband, talking about how depressed he is. His two, supposedly intelligent (though I always thought they leaned more towards nut-job) business partners won't quit ranting about all the shit that's going to come down, if Obama wins, and they are even talking about buying guns in preparedness. Combined with the state of our retirement fund right now, it's making him want to just run away from his job in Houston, crawl into bed here in Wimberley, and pull the covers up over his head. I'm thinking that might be a good place to spend my birthday. I looked for my rose glasses, wanting to put them back on, but someone stepped on them and smashed them to bits. Or, maybe my problem is just that I ran out of chocolate yesterday. Check back with me after I replenish my supply.
P.S. Many thanks to nittanybeaglerescue.org for the image above.
Monday, October 27, 2008
It's a sad day here in the Hill Country - especially scary since a huge new subdivision got pushed through under the radar recently, and each house will be on a minimal lot with its own well:
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: David Baker
Cell Phone: 512-785-8950
JACOB’S WELL STOPS FLOWING
Emergency 30% reduction in water use called for
Oct. 27, 2008
Jacob’s Well, the famous natural spring known to be the longest underwater cave in Texas, stopped flowing for the second time in recorded history on the evening of October 20th. “ The lack of rainfall and the continued pumping of the aquifer to serve local water supply has caused Jacob’s Well to cease flowing,” stated Jack Hollon of the Wimberley Valley Watershed Association (WVWA) and the Hays Trinity Groundwater Conservation District.
Jacob’s Well has been hovering at between one and two cubic feet per second for the past several months. The well continued to flow through the drought of record in the 1950’s and was the primary source of water flowing to the Blanco River which is also at it’s lowest flow since the drought of record in 1956. Jacob’s Well is the barometer for the health of the aquifer; the well ceasing to flow at this time is a major environmental event, as it stopped for the first time in recorded history in the summer of 2000.
Jacob’s Well is the primary source of water flowing from the Trinity Aquifer to form Cypress Creek, the beautiful stream that rambles through the cities of Wood Creek and Wimberley. “Losing the flow to Jacob’s Well is a signal that the aquifer is stressed and we all need to conserve water immediately. The WVWA is calling for a moratorium on permitting of any new wells or sub-divisions in the Trinity aquifer recharge zone that sustains Jacob’s Well. We also request that all water supply companies and individual well owners move into drought contingency and cut back water use by 30% or more,” stated David Baker, Executive Director of WVWA.
The Jacob’s Well Natural Area was recently awarded a grant from Hays County parks and open space bond funds to purchase the 55 acres around the well and to establish a research and environmental education center. WVWA was founded in 1996 and acquired the property in 2005. The WVWA’s mission advocates protecting the water quality and quantity of the area by promoting sustainable watershed management through community education, conservation and land protection.
The community’s investment in protecting Jacob’s Well, Blue Hole and Cypress Creek is threatened by unchecked development and the lack of authority to regulate pumping from the Trinity aquifer. Land in the recharge zone of Jacob’s Well must be protected from any further development. As a community, we need to stop over pumping groundwater and advocate legislation to mandate rainwater harvesting for all new development in this sensitive area to preserve Jacob’s Well and the environmental and economic future of this valley.
“We will know the worth of water when the well runs dry.” - Ben Franklin
To keep track of the discharge of flow and water quality of Jacob's Well go to this link.
or click on the link at www.jacobswellspring.org
Wimberley Valley Watershed Association
PO. Box 2534
Wimberley, Tx. 78676
Sunday, October 26, 2008
Linda in Washington! Congratulations, Linda - if you will email me with your mailing address (becky.lane(at)vownet.net) I will get your book in the mail. And to all my other readers who entered, don't feel blue, you'll have another chance to win in just a few weeks. Be sure and drop by Linda's own wonderful blog (http://myownvelvetroom.blogspot.com/) to congratulate her.
The book that Linda won is one of my all time favorites (as is every book I'm giving away, come to think of it), A Reasonable Life: Toward A Simpler, Secure, More Humane Existence, by Ferenc Mate'. Though it was written back in the early 90's, it couldn't be more timely now, and speaks to all the problems that are keeping many of us awake at night. He speaks of how things used to be, how they have become, and how they could be, in a "reasonable" world. He speaks of the things that matter to us most: the American Dream, the true cost of a thing, Sundays, home, the home garden, the myth of the steady job, humane corporations, our devastated agriculture, true security in the country, unlivable cities, humane small towns, the death of the individual (mechanical lovers, electronic friends), losing our children, the self-helpless society, television, a government of the $ by the $ and for the $, and he speaks of reasonable lives and a reasonable future. Best of all, he does it with great good humor and common sense. A special bonus is an appendix on "A Reasonable Garden", by natural gardening gurus Eliot Coleman and Barbara Damrosch.
Even if you did not win this month, I highly recommend that you try to snag a copy of this book for yourself, along with any other by this author. He and his wife Candace, an artist, roamed the world for many years, but ended up settling on Tuscany as the best place to start a family and lead a reasonable life. There he wrote The Hills of Tuscany, which came out in '98, and later one called A Vineyard in Tuscany (I think that's the title, I loaned my copy out) which just came out not long ago. If you liked Under the Tuscan Sun, you will love both of these. Happy reading!