Recycling a “Treasure Trove” or Beating a Dead Horse?

Despite a handful of in-person pleas of devoted readers, I’ve held pretty firm about not wanting to continue writing Texas Schmexas posts as this pregnancy progresses and gets more uncomfortable, and maybe not even continue using the blog to chronicle our ongoing journeys through the chaos of community after baby bean numero dos arrives.

(I was kidding about the adjective “devoted,” by the way–I think they were just trying to make conversation and be polite.)

Quite honestly, when I take the time to scan back over some of the posts I’ve written over the last few years–and there’s been over four hundred of them–many of them are saying the same things over and over again.

Don’t get me wrong: these are important things, these calls to community, these reminders to myself of the ways I’ve failed and been hypocritical about my own convictions, these encounters with perfect strangers that have sometimes changed me.

In a byline for a guest post I wrote at my friend Thomas’s blog last week, he called Texas Schmexas a “treasure trove of introspective writing.”

I’m not sure I’d put that bumper sticker on my car, but I do consider myself fortunate to have had time over the last five or six years to reflect on the potential of community to change us, the importance of cultivating community even when it’s hard, even when we don’t want to, and the sincere conviction that without community we really are not living out the image of God in the world.

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I’m excited that this week inaugurates, officially, Texas Schmexas as a community blog!

Hop on over to the Contributor Page 
to meet a few of the faces and voices  
joining us in coming weeks.

For their first posts, which will begin tomorrow, I’ve asked each contributor to explore why community is important to her.

I hope you’ll make an extra effort to welcome our new writers by commenting often here on the blog and over on Facebook, as well as sharing posts you like with your own community. One of the things that makes writing feel worthwhile is the feedback we get from our readers. Send us questions, comments, reflections, or even your favorite recipes. We’ll read them all!

Remember that you can subscribe to receive 
Texas Schmexas via e-mail, if you don't already, 
and interact with us on Facebook.

To my friends who live in my little town (you know who you are):

Due to ongoing difficulties getting volunteers scheduled, the women’s shelter here in our town (that I wrote about recently here at Texas Schmexas)  must delay its opening until January. Two women who already desperately need housing have been living with a friend of mine. Beginning December 17, this friend will be unable to house them.

Are you able to donate financially, even a small amount, to help put these women into an inexpensive local hotel through January 2?

Please share this specific need, as well as the need for volunteers in the new year, pray for the shelter, and let me know if you can help in any way, even a little bit. E-mail me and I will put you in touch with the shelter’s organizer.

Endings, Beginnings, & Why It’s Snowing in Schmexas

I have been somewhat in denial about how quickly the year is careening to its end. 2012 is nearly over! Where did it go?

I blinked and suddenly May 4 is December 8th. My newborn is seven months old. Nearly crawling. Eating food. Talking in complete sentences. (Just checking to see if you were paying attention.)

Would you believe that I flat-out missed peach season this year? I’m not joking. I went to the market at some point this summer and said to the kid working at the orchard stand, “When will you all have local peaches?” And he responded, “Ma’am, last week was the last week for peaches until next year.”

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He’s my brudda…

Today’s my big brother’s thirty-second birthday. Thirty-two!

Since he’s by himself on the other side of the globe, I thought maybe you all could hop over to his blog and leave a ‘Happy Birthday’ message to spread some cheer to Saudi Arabia. (I especially like his recent post about ‘Trespassing and Tex-Mex.’)

Or you can leave a message here. He reads Texas Schmexas, too. 🙂

Happy Birthday, Stephen.

You rock, brother.

On Hiatus…

Friends, Texas Schmexas is going on hiatus for a few weeks. I might post something occasionally, or I might not. We’ll see.

But I promise to come back eventually.

Pinky swear.

Photograph (c) Gen Alexander Photography & Alexander Living

As a general rule, don’t click on YouTube clips on the blog…

Hi, friends. This is not a “real” Schmexas post, but it has come to my attention that sometimes WordPress is automatically putting YouTube clips at the bottom of my blog posts. These show up between the post itself and the comments section. Sometimes they are innocuous, but sometimes they are not appropriate. I have not yet figured out a way to keep them from appearing, since as of yet they don’t appear consistently enough for me to figure it out, and they never appear when I am logged into WordPress. That said, I do not recommend clicking on any YouTube links (or any other links) that show up in WordPress unless I explicitly write about them in my blog.

(You probably already know this, but for your own computer’s security, this is a good general to follow on all websites.)

Pardon the dust.

After some travels across the country over the last week, complete with new-baby snuggling, toddler entertaining, and germ-exchanging only-permitted-on-the-airlines stranger interaction, we arrived home to a dusting of snow, cancelled school, and FRIGID weather in central Kentucky.

And the imprint of a three-foot snow angel on our driveway that warmed my heart this morning.


All that to say, thanks for your patience! I’ll get back to the regularly scheduled programming soon.

And then there was whoopie…

Someday I will get back to writing that series of food posts, but not today. With Thanksgiving coming up, though, I do have food on my mind. Remember back on Memorial Day when I wrote about my love for whoopie pies, a central Pennsylvania, Amish-country standard?

Well, friends, the regional delicacy has apparently gone national–at Starbucks, of all places.

Just another affirmation that the kitschy is getting swallowed up by the cool. And perhaps also a sign of what NPR recently called “the hipsterfication of America.”

Even just writing the word “hipsterfication” makes me chuckle.