Saturday, January 17, 2009


I've added something new to my "Favorite Links" list over on the right, for anyone wishing to know more about this area. One of my dear readers found this new Wimberley Tourism site, and brought it to my attention. Great stuff Becca, thanks so much!

Friday, January 16, 2009


Just when I was really getting into this knitting business, one of my 20 loops across the needle seems to have gone missing. And now Lexie is no longer here to show me how to fix it! How dare she just show me enough to get started, and then walk out on me? Even if I figure out how to correct my mistake (highly unlikely), I still don't know how to finish the scarf and get it off of the needles. Guess I'll just have to go buy more yarn and another pair of needles, so I can have something to work on until she comes back in March and can rescue the first one. Of course, if I take that route, I could end up with oodles of different projects and a zillion knitting needles. Or, I suppose I could put on my big girl panties, and make my way over to the fiber arts shop, to ask for help...

Thursday, January 15, 2009


I'm not sure how to describe my experience on Tuesday. Educational? Eye-opening? Disheartening? All of the above? An e-mail made its way around town Monday evening, warning everyone in Wimberley of another high-density development that was coming up for preliminary approval at Tuesday's county commissioners' meeting. Since our groundwater supply is already seriously depleted, and many wells have gone dry, the idea of straining it further with yet another development such as this is seriously abhorrent, but somehow they keep getting approval. So, the Muses and I decided that, instead of meeting for our usual coffee that day, we would join the 40 or 50 other concerned citizens who were heading to the county courthouse in San Marcos to attend the commissioner's meeting - a first for me. In general, I am a very apolitical person. You need to know that, in order to understand what radical behavior this is for me.

Here is how it went: One after another, concerned citizens and learned members of various environmental task forces got up to express their dismay, citing authoritative reports which insist that our water supply is already overtaxed not only by drought, but also by unsustainable usage, and that adding another high density development is a recipe for disaster (Why have you invested millions into the development of The Blue Hole and Jacob's Well as state parks, if you are going to let them go dry?). There was a lot of head nodding by the judge and commissioners, words of agreement and understanding, for after all, they said, we live here too and are just as concerned as you. Then one by one, they unanimously voted to give the developer preliminary approval. Why? Because "their hands are tied." Although they did swear to protect the interests of their constituents, they also swore to uphold the law, and until the Texas legislature gets around to changing those laws, there is absolutely nothing they can do. Sadly, that is true. Their hands are tied. As long as the developers meet what is required by law, they have no choice but to give them approval. So, my first burning question is, what can we do to untie their hands?

If you live anywhere in the area, I guess one place to start is here. Let that sucker know how you feel! You might also try to contact these guys: Rick Perry (512-463-2000) State Capitol Room 25.1, Austin, TX. 78701; David Dewhurst (512-463-0001) P.O. Box 12068, Austin, TX. 78711-2068; Jeff Wentworth (210-826-7800) 1250 Loop 410, Suite 925, San Antonio, TX. 78209.

Unfortunately, that was not even the most disturbing part of the debacle. What really upset me was when one of the commissioners posed a question to the audience. He started off by saying "This may be the first time for many of you to sit in on one of these meetings, and I realize you are upset. The wolf has finally reached your back door, and now it has become really personal. But what you have to understand is, we hear from people like you every single week. Districts throughout the Hill Country are concerned about water, and most of them have taken steps to conserve what little they have. My own district has enacted very strict mandatory water rationing measures, as have many others. What about Wimberley? What have you done?" So there's my second burning question: What have we done? As far as I know, Zip. Zilch. Nada.

Oh, I know lots of individuals that are taking measures. I myself only do the long hair washing shower every other day now, and never fill a bathtub. My car hasn't been washed in months, and I don't even flush the toilet every time I use it (I've adopted Barbara Kingsolver's motto: If it's yellow let it mellow. If it's brown, flush it down!) But is that enough? If Wimberley really cares as much as we all claim to, why haven't we enacted any mandatory restrictions?

Wednesday, January 14, 2009


So, how do you deal, when the poop hits the fan? Where do you fall, on the proactive/reactive pendulum? Are you over there with Scarlet O'hara, saying "I just can't deal with this right now. I'll worry about it later. Better yet, let someone else worry about it!" Do you spend every penny you make each month, and have to rely on credit cards when anything out of the ordinary pops up? If so, you are living in a house of cards, and it's liable to come tumbling down upon your head at the slightest tremor.

Or, perhaps you are over at the other end with Ebenezer. Maybe you started out just trying to put a little bit aside for a rainy day, but somewhere along the way, you lost your sense of perspective. Greed has taken over, and you are no longer able to realize when enough is enough. You still have every penny you ever earned stashed safely in the bank, but at what price? Somewhere along the way, you forgot to get a life.

Actually, I hope you fit neither of these descriptions. Life is about balance. I feel there is certainly some poop headed up the pike, and I hope you are prepared for it, but I hope also that you will continue to be filled with joie de vivre - the joy of life. The two are not mutually exclusive, you know. If you are having difficulty achieving this sense of balance, I suggest you visit Rhonda Jean over at Down To Earth. Think of her as the granny we all wish we had. She has been there, done that, has come out the better for it, and is here to hold your hand and lend sage advice as you learn to find your equilibrium on this tightrope we call life.

P.S. Many thanks to for the above image.

Monday, January 12, 2009


One of the Muses had a birthday last week, and didn't have anything to do, so we all decided to take an outing to San Antonio (Lex got to fill in for Cheryl, who was away in the frigid north). We went to some shops and galleries, had lunch at La Fogata, on one of their many gorgeous courtyards and patios, and then spent the afternoon at the McNay, which is housed in an old mansion with extensive grounds around it. We just happened to catch the tail end of their George Rickey installation. He did amazing kinetic sculptures - smaller ones were indoors, and giants were placed around the grounds. They weren't mechanical, they were just designed so that the slightest breeze could cause them to shift and change shapes. (They had signs placed near the indoor display, asking you not to blow on them!) Lex was quite delighted to finally see a Monet up close and personal. Very cool. A fun day, and the weather couldn't have been any more perfect. Notice Debi's lovely birthday gift to herself!


I'm feeling vibes...good vibes...great vibes...and yet...somewhat terrifying vibes. My blog has received more than its usual amount of comments and hits in the last couple of weeks. Plus, I've received some wonderful messages from people who had been hovering in the background for a while, but finally decided to let me know how much they enjoy the blog or how they can relate to it. One moment I am soaring with elation, and the next I feel a shiver of fear. One moment I'm giggling with glee over having found a like-minded community of friends, and the next I find myself wondering "But, what if..."

What if I get so many readers one day that I can no longer reply personally to every single comment? Or even worse, what if my blog were to cause Wimberley to be so overrun with Lookie-Lous that it no longer even resembled the place we fell in love with? And then I burst out with a derisive snort, and have to tell myself "Geez, get a grip, Beck!" I once mentioned that same concern to my husband - back in the early days, when I was trying to decide whether to call Wimberley by name, or to use a fictitious one. When he finally managed to quit rolling on the floor, and caught his breath enough to speak, he told me "Well dear, if that ever happens, we can always move to Tuscany. I'm sure it will be a lovely place, once all the tourists pack up to move here!" OK, maybe I am being ridiculous, but still...

The blogosphere is such an amazing place. It boggles my mind, the way it can open your world up to a ginormous community of kindred souls. You might have gone slogging through your entire life, thinking you were pretty much alone in the world, and that no one else thought, felt, or cared exactly the way you did, but thanks to your blog, you now realize that isn't so at all. When you first start getting a comment here, and another there, telling you "I know exactly what you mean. I feel the same way too!", well, there are just no words to describe it.

The flip-side of this coin is that it can be a very scary place as well. When I was a brand new blogger, I went to a blogging workshop conducted by mystery author Susan Wittig Albert. I was shocked when she talked about the extreme measures she takes on her blog, to keep people from being able to track her down. Of course, it seemed rather presumptuous to even compare myself to her, considering that at that particular time, my blog had no readers at all! But that can change in a heartbeat. You never know what will cause a blog to shoot from obscurity to fame, seemingly overnight. It could be a contest that you held, something you auctioned off on e-bay, someone famous mentioning you on their blog... You just never know, but one day you wake up, and suddenly you're a household word. I'm certainly not there myself, but I've seen it happen.

Take Eyes of Wonder for example. When I first discovered this blogger, she was just coming back from a year-long hiatus, explaining that she had taken the break because her family had moved and she needed some time while they got established in their new location. It only took one or two postings to get me hooked, and since I was impatient with the long wait between them, I decided to go back in her archives to start at the beginning, and what I found came as quite a shock.

Jewels began her blog strictly as a way to share photos and updates on her kiddos with distant friends and relatives, and it was a private blog, requiring a password. But at some point along the way her husband, realizing what a "jewel" this blog really was, urged her to lift the password and make it public, so that young mamas everywhere might be inspired by her loving example. She finally agreed, but took the precaution of using false names, and never revealing their location.

Nevertheless, within a year she was receiving 2,000 hits per day on her site, and she had hoards of devoted followers leaving comments and sending emails, asking questions, wanting advice, demanding of her time and attention. Most were lovely people, and were very understanding when she offered up apologies for not being able to reply to all the comments. But not all. Even more disturbing was the fact that a family with ten kids dressed in old-timey outfits cannot help but garner attention when they were out and about. Despite her precautions, it was inevitable that eventually, people would occasionally put two and two together, and stop them to say "Hey, aren't you Jewels, from Eyes of Wonder?" So, the true reason she ended up shutting the blog down? She just got scared. I am so thankful she eventually overcame it.

Sunday, January 11, 2009


I have been a total sloth, ever since my daughter arrived a month ago. I have not kept up with my exercise regime, my housework, or done any writing other than blogging. It was SO great, and just what I needed! Maybe I am not the only one who felt this way, either. Over on her amazing blog Beauty That Moves, Heather suggested that it may have been a national phenomena this holiday season. After all the recent craziness, perhaps our country needed a "Staycation" - time to withdraw into our nests with our loved ones and block out the noise of the world. Time for a little self-nurturing.

So that is exactly what we did. Oh, once "the plague" had finally left our house, we did venture forth occasionally. Lex got to meet my friends, went to line-dancing with me, ate at a few of her favorite restaurants. We took in a couple of movies and visited Old Oaks Ranch - the wonderful fiber arts center near-by. But mostly, we hunkered down - she in her corner of the sofa, I in my wingback chair. We read a lot of great books, and I learned to knit and she practiced using her new drop-spinner, whilst watching the occasional PBS special or Monk marathon (Can you believe it? I can finally knit and watch TV at the same time! Well, sort of.) It was wonderful.

But now it is time to return to the real world. Lexie flies out this evening, and I am ever so grateful for this time we have had. It has left me feeling reinvigorated and ready to begin the new year. Ready to clear away the clutter, pare down and get organized. Ready to concentrate on becoming more fit. Ready to kick my writing practice up to the next level. Ready to be more creative. Most of all, ready to get these new habits so ingrained that they won't fall by the wayside this summer, when DH finally joins me here full-time, and I have more to distract me!