Friday, October 27, 2017


Can you believe the Muses and I have been together around 9 1/2 years now? How is that even possible? It all started when I first moved up here, ahead of John, and met Spirit Woman at a Story Circle Network writing conference. She then introduced me to Outdoor Woman and Fiber Woman, and we started meeting for coffee and other fun stuff on a weekly basis. Those were the early days of my blog, and I was still pretty nervous about sharing too much info about the people I knew while using their real names, so I came up with these Muse names for everyone.

About five years ago, an old friend from Indonesia moved here, got absorbed by the group, and became Paint Pouring Woman. Later, she started branching out into other mediums. She said her new artwork was "really out there, getting wild!" Perhaps it was time for a new name? Then, to celebrate her 60th birthday (she's the baby of the group), she suggested we all take a trip together, and that's how we ended up on our fabulous adventure in San Miguel de Allende a few months back. She invited her childhood friend Jenny to come along, and now Jenny has been absorbed by the Muses as well!

So, a few days ago we all got messages from Paint Pouring Woman saying she had decided it was time to make Jenny an "official" member of the group by coming up with a proper Muse name and presenting it to her at a ceremony. We tossed around ideas until we came up with one that was just right for a person who takes care of everybody and everything. Then PPW handed out our assignments.

I was to make colorful name-tags for everyone, which ended up being way more fun than I expected. I decided to cover regular manila tags with a collage of my hand-painted papers, and it turned into a rather meditative process as their various personalities reached out to me, telling me just which colors and patterns to choose. Can you guess which one is mine?

Paint-Pouring Woman got reincarnated as "Edgy Art Woman", and her job was to host the event and provide food.

Outdoor Woman was tasked with making crowns for us all, which she did using wild mustang grapevines from her yard.

Fiber Woman made this fabulous bunting from scarves she had dyed herself, then later took it apart and gave us each one to take home.

Spirit Woman, of course, was in charge of the ceremony.

Welcome to the tribe Nurture Woman!

I feel so blessed to have found this wonderful, inspirational group of women so soon after my arrival in the Hill Country.  Words fail me when I try to describe what a difference they have made in my life here. 

Wednesday, October 25, 2017


Last weekend Lex and Nate invited us to join them for a fun adventure -- a Dia De Los Muertos festival at the Mexican American Cultural Center in downtown Austin. There were all kinds of activities for young and old alike, mostly free!

Sugar Skull Painting

There was a mountain of pinatas for each kid to choose from, then take all the time they needed to bash it open and gather their loot.

There was face-painting...

good music...

and lots of great photo-ops!

Then, inside the building, there were many beautiful altars set up by different families to honor their dead.

Truth be told, I think Calvin's favorite part was just being set on the grass and allowed to run free...

but just wait until next year!

Monday, October 23, 2017


We decided to give Thinkery, an evolution of Austin's Children's Museum, another go last Thursday.

It was so much better this time than last, when it was packed full of rowdy older kids and moms who were beyond ready for them to be back in school. This time the littles pretty much had the place to themselves, and Calvin got to ride his first horse!

Last August he mostly just wanted to pick up veggies in the market/garden rooms, and walk around with them in his hands. This time he was mesmerized by these magical balls that just hovered in space...

Best of all? The water room, where everyone is encouraged to get wet!

Well, that and our lunch at Youngblood's Fried Chicken afterwards, which was just a few doors down.

It was a very good day!