Tuesday, September 30, 2008

QUICK DRIP: OUR CANDIDATES FOR STATE REP IN THE STATESMAN

The Statesman has an "Elections 2008" feature on the three candidates for House District 45 (that includes Dripping Springs). Read the complete article on Patrick Rose (D), Matt Young (R), and Tom Gleinser (L).

UPDATE - Tom Gleinser commented to the article: "The Statesman never asked me for my opinion on any of the issues. That's why we are trouble deep. To the main stream media there is only the Democrat/Republican view and, believe me, it is just two sides of the same coin. Please go to www.TomForLiberty.com to see an alternative to politics as usual."

DRIPPING TRUFFLES

In the early 1980s a Frenchman by the name of Francois Picart moved to Dripping Springs with a plan to cultivate the elusive and tres expensive truffle (the aromatic fungus revered by chefs and foodies around the world). Truffles apparently love to grow in limestone, which we've certainly not shortage of, and after a French testing laboratory deemed the Hill Country soil a superb habitat for growing truffles, Picart planted truffle-inoculated oak seedlings around Dripping Springs. For reasons known only to nature, truffles grow around the roots of oak and hazelnut trees. Picart dreamed of making Dripping Springs the truffle capital of the world. To the best of our knowledge, some of the inoculated oaks were planted off of Prochnow and some around Bell Springs. We recently spoke with a new property owner on Prochnow who says the fencing Picart put up around the trees still stands, but none of the trees survived. On Bell Springs, however, some of the trees are reported to have survived.

We are fascinated by this truffle legend. If anyone knows more about the story please drop us a line!

The New York Times wrote about Picart and his truffle quest in 1984, you can read the article here.

UPDATE 11-25-08: When we originally posted we spelled Picart's name as "Francois Picard". However, it appears the correct spelling is actually Picart. This has been corrected.

Monday, September 29, 2008

DESTRY RIDES AGAIN

This past weekend as I stepped out onto my back patio, the "party house" in the neighborhood was in full swing again, but now they have a karaoke machine, apparently, and one of the young fellows was engaging the entire neighborhood in his clever rap stylings of "Mother F*&#er! Yo B*@#ch!". The next night, Rap Master's parents apparently had a party and this time the entire neighborhood was treated to an entire Cheap Trick album followed up by Rush? Or was it REO Speedwagon? As I worked in my garden I wondered how it is I moved to quiet Dripping Springs and was now subjected to ruder, more offensive neighbors than I ever had in any city I've ever lived in. About that time (to the background music of Styx, I believe) a mom and her young Cub Scout son rode their bikes up my gravel drive. The Cub Scout, Destry, was selling popcorn as a fundraiser and would I be interested in buying any. As Destry's mom gently guided him through the transaction with such obvious love and care, the noise of Rap Master and the Stuck in the 80s (70s?) Rock Gang faded. As Destry and his mom started to leave, Destry turned and said, quite proudly and politely, "I'm now 10% of the way to my goal." Good for you, Destry. And even better for you Destry's mom. As they mounted their bikes and rode off into the sunset, I remembered why I still love Dripping Springs.

Note: If anyone wants to help Destry meet his goal (and/or needs some popcorn), drop us a line at Drip Tips. His mom's email is on the receipt Destry kindly presented to me and we'll pass it along.

CELEBRITY DRIP SPOT: Lance Armstrong

There may be some doubt, apparently, as to whether Lance Armstrong will be able to compete in Australia's "Tour Down Under" in January, but there was no doubt Lance and his Mellow Johnny's amigos were on their bikes in the turn lane on RR 12 at 290 on Saturday around 10:15AM. One Babbler is a life-long cycling fan (she just named her new dog Phil Liggett and if you know who that is, then you're probably a fan, too) and there was much excitement in the car when we looked to the left (on our way to Fall Fest or "Pounder's Day" as we've decided to call it) and there sat the seven time Tour de France champion.

Friday, September 26, 2008

DRIPPING'S GOLDEN OLDEN DAYS!

Tomorrow (Saturday) is "Fall Fest" and "Harvest of the Arts" at Dr. Pound's Historic Farmstead at Founders Park (see map, below). The day promises a step back into time (and a key opportunity to say "olden days" to your heart's content) along with the Artists of Dripping Springs, and artisans from surrounding counties, selling their creative wares. The cost is $5.00 per person (that's all? why that's practically olden days cost!) and children 4 and under are free. The good times last from 10AM to 4PM.

Other activities include:
+ Tours of restored 1850's pioneer home and farmstead.
+ Craftsmen demonstrating early Texas tastes and traditions.
+ See spinners at work, soap being made, a civil war medical unit, and many other demonstrations of crafts and skills.
+ Docents in period dress will be on hand to tell the tales of olden days (see?!) on the farmstead.
+ Food vendors and mouth-watering barbeque will entice you to fill a plate from the chuck wagon.
+ Children's area featuring games such as corn cob toss, sack races an many other games and activities of a by-gone era.
+ The General Store will have old-time games, candy apples, soaps, wildflower seeds, handwork kits and other traditional offerings for sale.
+ Music
+ Silent auction

To learn more about the Pounds, the founding family of Dripping Springs (way, way before the lure of a good school district), click here.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

HAVE A DRIPPING GOOD EVENING

We're trying to not let a weekday go by without a post but today got away from us, so while we have a moment we wanted to live up to the posting commitment we set for ourselves and just thank eveyone who is reading and for everyone sending in Drip Tips -- keep 'em coming!

Wishing everyone the loveliest of Dripping evenings (goodness, have you seen those sunset colors lately?) and we'll be back tomorrow!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

DRIP SPOT: Tank Town

The Austin Documentary Collaborative has released a short documentary on rainwater collection in Dripping Springs. We're the Rainwater Collection Capital of the World! (We need to be the capital of something...Get it started...pass it on!)

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

QUICK DRIP: Hill Country Top Chef Recipe Submission Deadline Alert

If you want to compete for Hill Country Top Chef you have one week to submit your original recipe. The benefit cooking competition for Dripping Springs Helping Hands will be held November 6th, but if you want to compete your recipe must be submitted by midnight October 1st! Visit HillCountryTopChef.com for details.

Monday, September 22, 2008

QUICK DRIP: Bell Springs Village

A new sign for "Bell Springs Village" now hovers above the vastly updated former location of Wild Flour Bakery and the iron works place (across from Ace). No details yet on what all the village will entail, but we'll keep you posted.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Garage Sale Saturday!

Get out your pocket money because community garage sales are happening this weekend and they're all just up the road.

Belterra Community Garage Sale: Saturday, September 20, 8:00AM - 2:00PM

Rooster Springs Neighborhood Garage Sale: Saturday, September 20, 8:00AM - 2:00PM (Across from Belterra on 290, 1 mile west of Nutty Brown)

Meridian Community Yard Sale: Saturday, September 20, 8:00AM - 1:00PM (Meridian sub-division at Hwy 45 and FM 1826 -- south of Circle C)

Thursday, September 18, 2008

McDripping Springs

In case you haven't seen it yet, the much discussed McDonald's is going up. They're framing it out now and they have a "we're hiring" banner hanging along 290.

While sitting in the lobby at the vet's office this morning, it was the chatter behind the reception desk.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

DRIP SPOT: GiGi's on eBay

If you ever longed to put your feet up on that glass table at GiGi's (the one next to the sofas) as you sipped your latte, or perhaps you admired that armoire where they displayed teas and things, for the right price you can buy those GiGi's memories right now on eBay (even the sign out front for $2000 OBO).

We miss you GiGi's. Especially those blueberry doughnuts.

DECODING CODE RED

On August 13th our home phone rang repeatedly with caller ID showing 999-911-9999. Upon answering we received pre-recorded information that the City of Dripping Springs was implementing a "CODE RED" emergency communication system and directed us to the City's website for further instructions where we were then directed to the website for "CodeRED® Residential Data Collection" to enter our contact information (telephone, email, address). When we asked others around Dripping if they had received that call or knew anything about "CODE RED" (or "CodeRED®", rather) the typical answer was "no". When we reviewed the city's proposed 2009 budget and saw $5,000 budgeted to this notification system we decided to find out just who all it was intended to cover and what had been the response to the automated calls and website registration. Per the always responsive Jo Ann Touchstone at City Hall:

"It costs $5,000.00 per year. It is intended to cover the City limits, which has approximately 2000 residents. People outside the city limits, but in the Dripping Springs area may register to be added to our call list. The original call list for the city limits was 770 and we have added 88 phone numbers. The CodeRed system allows us to make calls to targeted areas (numbers) whether they have registered or not. "

Jo Ann also sent documents with some information on the system which is designed to be used for emergencies such as natural disasters, "man-made" disasters (terrorist threats, bombs, HAZMAT emergencies, hostage situations, nuclear hazards), missing people, evacuations, drinking water contamination, utility outages, prisoner escapes, sexual predator alerts, etc.

We're wondering if "Riley's is about to run out of meat" could be added to that emergency situations list, then the annual cost would be completely justified.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

QUICK DRIPS: Local Events

Dripping Things has added an email update option for those who want to be notified when new events and new content is added to the site. Sign up here.

And speaking of local events, we've gotten early word on a fun event that will be happening on November 9th on the Stay-n-Play Pet Ranch grounds. Details to come.

This Thursday (September 18) is Dinner by the Bite at 6:30PM at Wilson Appliance (4205 E. Highway 290Web). This second year for the event features cooking demonstrations by local chefs, food, and wine and benefits PAWS Shelter & Humane Society. To view this year's menu and for more information, click here.

Monday, September 15, 2008

QUICK DRIP: Dripping with Taste - The Monday After

We attended Dripping with Taste on Saturday and by the time we left just before 3:00PM, the joint was jumping. A "first" is always a scary proposition, but the Texas wineries turned out along with several other local businesses (including the upcoming Flores restaurant -- smart move on their part). The wine-tasting seminar with "Ms. Jane" was a fun (and well-attended) addition to the festival. We sincerely hope the event was a success and that we'll see it again next year, even bigger and better.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

DRIPPING PLANS: THIS WEEKEND

This weekend holds the first annual Dripping with Taste Food and Wine Festival (which they say will be "rain or shine") on Saturday from Noon-7:00PM at the Creekside Pavillion (in Driftwood), and featuring Texas wineries and local food vendors. Proceeds from the event benefit the Greater Dripping Springs Area Chamber of Commerce. For more information, be sure and visit the website at drippingwithtaste.org.


Also on tap Saturday starting at 11:00AM is a Solstice Gardens Workshop where you can "cast a garden mushroom with inlaid glass, stones, etc. ($10 paid the day of)". Visit the website at solsticegardens.com for details. Note that an RSVP is appreciated to Chris at 512-569-0175.

If you know of a Dripping activity taking place this weekend, drop us a line now!

DRIP TIP: Onion Creek Farm Stand

Due to the prolonged dry period, Marianne is closing the Onion Creek Farm Stand until mid to late October.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

DRIPPING SPRINGS IN "BLOOM"

We didn't think we could love Rolling in Thyme & Dough any more than we already do (if you know of a better egg salad sandwich, please let us know!), but the addition of the plant nursery, Bloom, to the grounds has taken this charming oasis to a whole new level of, well, oasis-ness. A colorful explosion of foliage greets you as you walk the paths to the bakery, and along the way you'll see plants rated by their level of deer resistance which is certainly what you need in Drippng Springs. On our last stroll about the grounds, the plants looked really healthy and there was such a clear, and much appreciated, effort to stock plants that actually work in our local environment. Bloom is open for sales Wednesdays through Saturdays (but their blooming joy is on view every day Thyme & Dough is open).

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

DRIPPING POLITICS: Dripping's own "change" candidate

The local election season brought a bumper crop of political signs over the weekend. Like big, rectangular red, white, and blue mushrooms they popped up at virtually every intersection and now "landscape" RR 12 and 290. In the upcoming weeks we'll be focusing on the elections that impact us locally, but as we drove past sign after sign we wondered how much these signs actually help a campaign (one sign in particular drives a certain Babbler crazy and she did do some research to find out more about the candidate who would approve that sign, but that's probably not the purpose of the sign)? For better or for worse, publicity and marketing is the key to the success of any business and candidate. That is simply the way of the world. If a tree falls in the woods and no one is around, does it make a sound? And can you win a campaign without using these big signs along the road?

We found one candidate who is certainly going to try. Tom Gleinser of Dripping Springs, the Libertarian candidate for State Representative, District 45 has decided to not use road signs to wage his campaign. Per Gleinser's website:

"You will not see any signs littering our roads with my name on them. I've spent too many hours volunteering to collect litter from our highways to dirty them with a sign that says nothing about me other than my name."

Politicians talk about change, but not everyone walks the walk and this approach would certainly be a change from the traditional political campaign playbook.

With his $800,000 plus war chest (the largest of any Democrat on the state ballot), our popular incumbent state representative, Democrat Patrick Rose of Dripping Springs, is certainly the Goliath in the publicity battle for our local state rep. Gleinser and Rose's Republican opponent Matt Young of Wimberley are working with a fraction of that amount (or a fraction of a fraction). How will these comers compete? In his battle, Gleinser has picked principle over posterboard, but will it work?

In the spirit of "it never hurts to ask", we're putting together questionnaires for all three state rep candidates. If you have any question suggestions on issues that concern you, drop us a line. And, in the meantime, you can learn more about the other Dripping Springs candidate for our state rep, Tom Gleinser, at his environmentally friendly website, TomForLiberty.com.

Photo taken September 8, 2008 at RR12 and 150.

Monday, September 8, 2008

DRIP SPOT: Return of Tour de Lance?

VeloNews reports that occasional Dripping Springs resident Lance Armstrong is planning to come out of retirement next year to compete in five road races, including the Tour de France. While there are no official confirmations, VeloNews says that inside sources report "that an exclusive article on the matter will be published in an upcoming issue of Vanity Fair, expected later this month." Read the complete article on VeloNews.

Very interesting.

In the meantime, his LiveStrong Challenge bike ride is in Dripping Springs again this year on Sunday, October 26. See Events on DrippingThings.com for more.

UPDATE: Lance confirmed on September 9th, that he is coming back.

THIS WEEK IN DRIP

Tuesday, September 9: The City Council holds its first hearings on the proposed 2009 city budget and the proposed property tax increase. Public hearings are at 7:00PM at City Hall located at 511 Mercer Street. If you have questions or want to know more about either of these issues call your City Council at 512-858-4725. To review the proposed budget, it is available as a PDF download by clicking here.

Saturday, September 13: The first Dripping With Taste Wine & Food Festival featuring Texas wineries and local food vendors. Proceeds benefit the Greater Dripping Springs Area Chamber of Commerce. Noon-7:00PM at Creekside Pavillion in Driftwood. Check out the festival's website for details and map.

Friday, September 5, 2008

DRIP TIP: First Baptist DS One Year Ago Today (and Tonight)

It was one year ago today that the First Baptist Church Dripping Springs was destroyed by fire. To mark the event, the church is holding a community thanksgiving prayer service on the remaining slab tonight (Friday) at 6:30PM.

Also, we get word that the church is excitedly moving along with plans to rebuild. Architectural drawings showing the current design plans are on view in the fellowship hall (where services are held).

Thanks for the tip, Dyan!

DRIPPING ADVISORY: Proposed Ordinance Amendment

The City of Dripping Springs has posted a Public Notice that on September 23rd the Planning & Zoning Commission "will consider an amendment to Zoning Ordinance 1220.10 and Subdivision Ordinance 1230.06 to restrict ability to resubdivide contrary to restrictive covenants/deed restrictions; amend minimum lot sizes."

So what does that mean? Based on the way it was written, we weren't entirely sure, but thanks to a quick response from the always responsive Jo Ann Touchstone in the City Hall office, it means, in short, Dripping is trying to help maintain current and/or larger lot sizes in older neighborhoods, and restrict the proliferation of smaller lots. Due to the current ordinances in place, the city was recently unable to deny a request to replat resulting in smaller lot sizes.

In our opinion, the proposed amendment is, therefore, a very good thing. If you agree, let the city leaders know at the Public Hearing before the Planning & Zoning Commission meeting on September 23, 2008 at 7:00PM at City Hall located at 511Mercer St., Dripping Springs, TX, 78620.

A second Public Hearing on the matter will be held before the City Council on October 14, 2008 at 7:00PM.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

DRIPPING THINGS LAUNCHES!

DrippingThings.com is up and ready for action. In the face of so much change, we wanted to put together information to have a unified and updated resource for all things local Dripping Springs. We're sure there are some missing items and more than one typo, but we'll continue to finesse and update. If you have any suggestions, please drop us a line. In particular, let us know of any local events.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

HIP DRIP: Iron and Wine

Dripping Springs resident Sam Beam, who performs as Iron and Wine, has been making quite the name for himself in hip musical circles. His unique brand of folk-rock has been quickly rising on the national and international stage, from performances on David Letterman to appearances at festivals across Europe, and occcasionally he even circles close to home. Iron and Wine recently taped a performance for Austin City Limits and will be appearing at this year's ACL Festival. To learn more about Sam Beam and get a taste of Iron and Wine music, visit the website at www.ironandwine.com.

DRIPPING ADVISORY: Budget hearing post follow-up

Following up on our August 27th post regarding the city's Fiscal Year 2009 Budget hearing on September 9th, the proposed budget is actually available online on the city's website. Download the PDF file here.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

DRIPPING POLITICS: Local elections

No matter what your party affiliation, one would be hard pressed to deny the excitement of this year's presidential election. But what about the local elecations? As more and more political signs litter our local roads, the Babble will take a look at those candidates that impact the Dripping Springs community. Dripping Springs resident Rep. Patrick Rose certainly gets plenty of statewide political attention for having the largest war chest of any Democrat on the November ballot with more than $800,000 at last report. But what does Rose stand for? What about his Republican opponent Matt Young of Wimberley? Over the next 2 months, we'll take a a look at the local races.