Friday, May 29, 2015


When we first heard the news of what had happened here in Wimberley, we were stuck here in our little citadel. Protected. Isolated. It didn't seem quite real. Yesterday, I finally got out and about, and there were signs everywhere. Then the truth began to sink in, becoming more personal.

All of these bright red vehicles hauling heavy equipment, spotted over in Kyle, was the first sign. Later I ran into about 30 of the men they belonged to, grabbing a quick bite of lunch. Their t-shirts identified them as a Dallas Urban Search & Rescue team. I was tempted to go give each and every one of them a great big hug, to thank them for their assistance, but didn't.

Later I came across this on Facebook. My friend LaNell's brother and sister-in-law have been comfortably retired in Wimberley for many years, and very active in the community. LaNell and Susan were even planning to go to Lucky Star Art Camp with me this fall. Now Susan's home is severely damaged, their rental property that was a major source of their retirement income is gone, and they had no flood insurance, assuming their property was in a safe location.

That evening we waited 30 minutes to get across the damaged RR12 bridge, and finally got a close-up view of Wimberley's "new landscape." When we pulled into Brewster's Pizza, we spotted two gals going in, wearing Wellies -- a sure sign they'd spent the day clearing flood debris. It wasn't until we got up close that we realized one of them was Lexi's beloved wedding coordinator, from Cypress Creek Event Center -- the darling one who showed up in flapper attire, despite being eight or nine months pregnant! Unfortunately, the flooded house they'd been working on was her own, and she and her little family have been forced to move in with her parents out near Canyon Lake. On the upside, our wedding venue remains unharmed, despite being on the banks of Cypress Creek.

One thing, however, did make me smile that evening. As we were sitting in our favorite circular booth at Brewster's, my back to the window, Hubby looked up and said "Uh-Oh, here comes another gardener." "How can you tell?", I replied, craning to see what he was looking at. "That lady who's coming in the door just swiped her hand along some leaves as she was passing, then lifted her fingers to her nose -- just like you always do!", he said with a grin. He's right. A sure sign that someone is a gardener at heart, is it not?


Thursday, May 28, 2015


For the most part I have always been what some call a "chipper" person. I have managed to handle just about everything that has been thrown our way (and we've had our share) without losing my glass-is-half-full outlook. I do, however, have an Achilles Heel. I know myself well enough to realize that I could never be a cop, a paramedic, a social worker, one of the search & rescue people who have been combing the shores of the Blanco River this week, or pretty much anyone who has to deal with the horrors of the world on a daily basis. If I had a job like that, I would surely sink into a pit that I could not climb out of. Just hearing the stories and seeing the pictures is enough to have me teetering on the edge. That's why I have so much admiration for our friends the Sanfords, and their kids, who have always had jobs such as these. They are my heroes. Which brings me to this.

Have you heard about the new coloring books for adults that are all the rage right now? I haven't come across one yet, but I did pick up one of these postcard sets at Michael's a while back.

They had several different themes, but these Balinese motifs were the ones that jumped out at me, having lived in Indonesia a couple of times. Once I brought them home, I all but forgot about them, getting caught up in art projects for a class I was taking, taking our little beach trip, etc. But then, as you may have heard, all Hell broke loose here in our little town of Wimberley. Once that happened, I couldn't seem to focus on much of anything, other than the steady stream of horror scrolling down my computer screen. Usually, just about any kind of art takes me to my happy place, but I just couldn't seem to focus enough to start a new project of any kind. So I pulled out these cards instead. I didn't have to decide what to create or how to do it. All I had to do was color.

I was shocked to discover how soothing and meditative the process was.

Try it! You just might find a shortcut to your Happy Place.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015


I guess just about everyone has heard about sad little Wimberley, now that we've made national news. Here's what little I know:

The good news is that we managed to go 24 hours without rain, which allowed the search efforts to continue for the 13 people who are still missing. They could really use some more hearty volunteers, able to walk at least seven miles in rough conditions.

According to TxDOT, the RR12 bridge over the Blanco River is now open, but with one-way, alternating flow until repairs can be made to the bridge's guardrails.

A photo lost and found has been set up at the Wimberley Village Library, so that people who lost most everything might be reunited with a few of their most treasured possessions.

The state of Texas has a team assigned to debris collection, but if you know anyone whose home was flooded, they could probably use your help hauling stuff to the curb and sorting it into the three separate categories mandated for pick-up.

Wimberley businesses need you! Most are back open now, and desperate for customers. They depend on income from summer tourists to get them by the rest of the year. Please come show them some support.

If you are looking for a place to send donations, The Barnabas Connection is a local non-profit that has been here for a long time, and whom I trust to see that the money will go where it's needed most.

One thing I know for sure is how much I love this little town, and the way everyone steps up to bat when one (or many) of their own is hurting.

And now, on a lighter note, shall we visit another of Austin's Weird Homes? Yes? Well, let me introduce you to "Sharon's House" -- the one where, as we entered, we found a guy coming out clutching his chest. He said the house was giving him a bit of an anxiety attack. Here's why...

Front Yard
Formal Living Room, I think. Hard to tell.
The one bathroom that's actually useable.
Family Room?
Side Yard

I must admit, I do love this quirky shopping cart grouping in the back yard.

Lexi says "Whew! That's a lot of stuff!"

Monday, May 25, 2015


Hubby and I met up with Lex and Nate Saturday morning, to take part in Austin's 2nd Annual Weird Homes Tour. Lucky for us there was a lull in our epic weather of late, and we managed to squeeze in seven out of the ten houses before the bottom dropped out again. Unfortunately, these seven houses resulted in about a zillion photos, and there's just no way to condense them down to one post. Instead, I think I will have to do one house per post, and spread them out over the next few weeks.

The first house we went in, Freeman House, was actually my favorite, and yet it's the one I took the least pictures of. Guess I was just too busy soaking it all in. I don't know that I'd even call it "weird". Instead I'd classify it as "unique but liveable", and that photo above pretty much says it all -- colorful, but serene.

The main building was built somewhere else back in the 40s, then later moved to this spot on Tisdale Dr. Behind that was another building which housed the wife's acupuncture studio, and behind that was the husband's art studio. Connecting them all was this amazing tropical garden...

a whole lotta barbecue thingamajigs...

and chickens!

I just can't believe I didn't take any pictures inside, for it was the one house where we all walked in and said "Hey, I could live here!" It was swathed in vivid color on the walls and in the tile work, which served as the perfect backdrop for a carefully curated, minimalist collection of well-aged and patinaed furnishings. By the time we left, the kids' heads were spinning with ideas for their future home.

So, while this was the house we all voted "most liveable", the next one we visited would have to be the one most likely to cause claustrophobia and anxiety attacks. Stay tuned!

Sunday, May 24, 2015


We went to bed last night with our phones shrieking flash flood alerts, and woke up a short time later when Hubby's C-PAP machine (for sleep apnea) stopped working, due to lack of power.  When I got up a few hours after that, the rain had finally let up, but there were no lights to be seen anywhere for miles around, except for one right at the end of our street.

As soon as it was light enough to see where he was going, Hubby followed the light to its source. There he found several members of Kyle's rescue team, in their big truck with search lights, waiting for the water to go down. They had rescued several people and made it here to higher ground just in time, before "the big wave" -- caused when the Blanco river rose more than 40 feet -- came rushing through.

When we went back down a few hours later, our usually-dry-creek had finally subsided to what you see in the pictures here, and the rescuers had gone back to work.

We are lucky. We may have lost power and water for a while, but our house sits high and dry, and we are very, very grateful for that. Many others were not so fortunate. I'm not sure about lives yet, but I know many homes were lost.

I am also very grateful that our power has now come back on, and for a day without any rain in the forecast. Tomorrow? Well, that's another story, with a 90% chance of more thunderstorms.