Friday, January 4, 2013


Big sister Poodie took a little break from her remodeling stresses and came to visit me for a few days. You know what that means don't you? There probably won't be much blogging going on around here this weekend. Just thought I should warn you.

Thursday, January 3, 2013


Fischer Hall, host to all manner of community celebrations for more than a century.
I'm not certain why, but ever since I was a little tyke, I've had a terrible time asking for help or favors of any kind, or even simply telling people what I really need. For most of my life, being the strong, independent stoic has been my primary goal -- my ideal. I didn't want to rely on anybody, or owe them any favors. Now, well, I'm just not so sure anymore.

The Arnosky's big blue barn -- modeled after Fischer Hall, and raised via a community barn raising.
Having lived in Wimberley for several years now, I'm beginning to see the advantages of being part of a community where neighbor helps neighbor. I've also seen what happens when a neighborhood association gets out of control, focusing more on the me than the we, and nearly causes a neighborhood to fall apart.  I'm heartened and fascinated by folks like those out at Montesino Ranch, who came up with a new model for a new generation -- one where older people with land and money can give a leg up to young farmer wannabes who have neither, all for the greater good of the community.

Montesino Ranch -- a new model for a new generation.

I'm beginning to understand how trading favors and paying things forward can be a really good thing, and that maybe those agricultural enclaves in days gone by, what with their community-wide barn-raisings, hay-baling, quilting bees and grape-harvesting, might just have a thing or two to teach us.

The most important thing I've learned, during my hubby's touch-and-go health crisis this fall -- when I had to juggle being with him in the ICU over in Austin, with a flooding house in Wimberley and an urgent need for legal assistance -- is that one person just can't do it all alone. It's physically impossible. Which is why I'm ever so grateful for friends I can rely on in a crunch -- even if it means being "beholden" to them.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013


My niece Merrit gave me a fabulous pair of chandelier earrings a couple of weeks before Christmas. They were a color-mad mix of several of my favorite hues -- just the thing to show up well against all this wild curly hair, instead of getting completely lost, as so many of my earrings do. The only problem was figuring out just what to wear them with, for there didn't seem to be anything in my closet that contained not only turquoise and lime green, but also coral and deep purple. Then I woke on Christmas morning and found this under the tree!

I could spend all day just studying the glorious details of it.

The most amazing thing about my technicolor dreamcoat and the way it blends with these earrings is that neither person had any idea what the other was gifting me with. It had to be kismet, no?

Come to think of it, the same thing happened a few Christmases back. My sister gave me a gorgeous turquoise suede jacket, having no clue whatsoever that Santa was bringing me a pair of turquoise and tan suede boots that were going to match it perfectly.

So, is it kismet? Or, does my family just know this bohemian-hippie-gypsy-cowgirl way too well? Not really sure. All I do know is that, without this generous, loving family of mine, I'd be pretty much naked, for I would never have bought any of this stuff for myself, being way too thrifty and practical for that. Well, maybe the earrings. I might've splurged on the earrings.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013


'Though he has always appeared ultra-conservative on the outside, my hubby is actually the wildest guy I ever went out with. That boy-next-door look was quite intentional. It was so much easier to fly under the radar that way.

That guy on the far right with dark, shoulder-length hair and mutton chop sideburns -- my best buddy throughout college, and one of the ushers at our wedding -- was just the opposite. My folks were so grateful that I fell for John instead of "that hippy fellow that ruined your wedding photos." It just tickled me no end, knowing that RB was a total choir boy compared to my John, and that they'd be turning in their graves if they knew the truth.

Hubby always used to tease me by swearing that, as soon as he retired, he was going to grow one of those long, scraggly, bald-headed-guy ponytails, and get some piercings. He must've forgot about that promise, but I guess Santa never did, because John somehow ended up with a gift certificate to Claire's in his stocking this year.  Guess what he did with it?

At last -- the truth comes out!