Backyard chickens trend comes to Dripping Springs

A very large Brahma Light Rooster awaiting judges at the recent Fancy Feathers Chicken Show.  CENTURY NEWS PHOTO BY JOHN PACHECO       


What began as a silent underground movement in cities such as Boston, Massachusetts and Madison, Wisconsin, has winged its way across the country, coming home to roost in unsuspecting locales that include Dripping Springs and surrounding communities.

If you hadn’t guessed, this trend is the “urban chicken” movement and more residents in and around our fair city are enjoying fresh eggs daily, gathered from coops in their backyards.

Unofficial estimates, not counting small farms, are in the neighborhood of one million flocks (not individual chicks or hens) populating backyards around the U.S.; and the number is growing.


Hope Bolton of Pure Luck Farm and Dairy

Hope Barton and a one-day old kid.


Just a few miles outside of Dripping Springs, is a farm with acres and acres of rolling green— vivid springtime green, the kind you only get after a few days of rain, followed by a few days of pure sun. As you approach the farmhouse, you can’t help but think that it could pass for something out of a movie, it’s that perfect. A beautiful farmhouse shaded by huge trees, and no signs of urban encroachment anywhere on the horizon. This is old Dripping Springs, nothing of the new. You stop, and take a slow breath as you take it all in.


Girl Scouts build House during Spring Break vacation

Girls finished, final cleanup, goodbyes given. PHOTO SUBMITTED BY BOB PURSLEY


For several years Girl Scout Troop Leader Amy Kastner has been taking girl scouts to Mexico to help build houses for people in need, and those girls always seem to want to return. This year, a different older troop of 13 girls, primarily from Troop 391 (but augmented by other area troops as well), made the decision to go all in and do it also.

For the past year, they have been holding fundraisers, selling cookies, washing cars -- earning money to fully fund a spring break construction in Ciudad Acuña, Mexico. Early this year, the girls were given the option to upgrade the designed small home to include a kitchen and indoor bathroom, so they scurried to raise the additional funds and succeeded with cookie sales and donations.


One more time, with feeling, high school orchestra conductor

Jerrie Crockett in front of the Akins High School Orchestra. CENTURY NEWS PHOTOS BY JOHN PACHECO


It was an orchestra, she loves music, and she got to conduct again.

Retiree Jerrie Crockett got to conduct the Akins High School Orchestra as part a “Miracle Moment,” set up by her friend Michelle Hernandez at Ledgestone Senior Living, on March 8.

“I’ve know that Jerrie has a had love of music all her live, and I heard on the radio about how the Akins High School Choir and Orchestra were trying to raise funds for a trip to California,” Hernandez said. “Then it clicked. Why not invite the Akins High School Orchestra and Choir to Ledgestone for a fundraiser, and ask if they would let Jerrie conduct?”

Hernandez called Paul Crockett, the Akins High School Director of Orchestra, and he readily agreed that it was great idea, and a date was set. (Paul Crockett is no relation to Jerrie Crockett.)


Church of the Springs and Compass Church become one

Associate Pastor Ken Edwards and Lead Pastor Brent Batson of Church of the Springs. CENTURY NEWS PHOTO BY JOHN PACHECO


There’s a saying that two heads are better than one, and if that’s true, why not two churches? On June 25th  of this year, Church of the Springs and Compass Church merged and became one.

For Church of the Springs Lead Pastor Brent Batson, and Compass Church Pastor Ken Edwards, the combining of the two churches was a better way to fulfill their church objectives and mission. “The phrase that we keep saying is that ‘we’re better together than separate.’”, Edwards said.

“It has  been a prayer of ours for about three years,” Batson said.  “We did a sermon series on building community within our people—the idea that we do life better when we do it with someone, as opposed to being alone and isolated.  What we realized was that ,as a church, we were not doing corporately what we were asking people to do individually.”


Döstädning: Swedish tradition helps Individuals prepare for death

Professional organizer Catharine Murphy. PHOTO COURTESY OF PASSION FOR ORDER

Death Cleaning, and decluttering 

When my Aunt Margaret suddenly (and literally) dropped dead while cutting her daily banana in half, the task of cleaning out her many closets, cabinets and drawers fell to my mother, her favorite niece.

Enlisting the help of several friends, Mother spent an entire Saturday emptying Aunt Margaret's home of a lifetime's accumulation of memories and a lot of stuff. Boxes were filled, loaded into a truck, transported across Dallas and then unloaded into one-half of the garage.

Twenty-five years later, when Mother prepared to move into a senior community, many -- if not all -- of Aunt Margaret's boxes had to be opened and sorted through. Even my sainted Mom had to part company with box after box of long-outdated items and useless junk.


Dripping Springs' silent information explosion gaining momentum

Lonnie Atkinson and Library Director Marcia Atilano prep for the "Jazz at the Library" summer concert. In addition to books and information, the Dripping Springs Community Library hosts many community events throughout the year.


Question: Where in Dripping Springs can you book a trip to any destination at any time?

Question: Without leaving the Dripping Springs City Limits, where can you meet a long, lost relative?

Question: If you wanted to start work on a robot, where can you go to learn how?

Hint #1: This place, near the heart of the city, has historic beginnings.

Hint #2: More than 92,000 visitors are expected at this place this year.

If you answered Dripping Springs Community Library, located at 501 Sportsplex Drive, (www.dscl.org) near Dripping Springs High School, you are absolutely correct!

Within its walls, you can visit any atoll, island, country or continent on the map, learn about its history, culture, economy, people, politics, geography and geology, using books, DVDs, audiobooks and e-resources.


DSHS band director begins final season

Keith Lancaster conducting a spring concert.

If you'll recall, River City was never the same after the Music Man came to town. The same may be said for Dripping Springs, after Keith Lancaster steps down as director of the Dripping Springs High School Band.

Lancaster is retiring at the end of the Fall semester. He leaves a stellar legacy of marching band and performance excellence, a plethora of trophies and accolades, and a lifetime of sharing his passion for music with thousands of students.

"For me, a passion for music began as a sixth grader, when band directors came to our school to make a presentation about the band and recruit young musicians," the director recalled during a rare free day during summer vacation. "I remember going home and asking my parents if I could be in the band."


Music for nursing home residents

Caroline Welton next to her piano. “She is a piano player and loves music,” Caroline’s mother says. PHOTO COURTESY OF AMY JEANNE WELTON.

As an American Heritage Girl (AHG), Caroline Welton has a mission.

She wants to initiate a new program, “Music and Memory,” at the Johnson City LBJ Nursing Home by providing 20 nursing home with a personalized playlist on an iPod, which contains music “that speaks to them.” The idea being that music has beneficial properties for people who suffer from memory issues, and can also help alleviate isolation.

The project involves interviewing 20 of the nursing home residents who are non-responsive and creating individual playlists of music on iPods for each of them. The playlists on the iPods will consist of music that was popular when the nursing home residents were in their 20s. Once donated, the iPods will be maintained by the nursing home and used for future residents as well.


DSHS Grad interns at Justice Department


Photo: Kristina Dickenson winning first place in "Hunt Seat Equitation," while attending Dripping Springs High School. She was also crowned 2015 Hays County Junior Livestock Show Queen in 2015, and was active in both FFA and 4H. PHOTO COURTESY OF LYNNE DICKENSON


Kristina Dickenson, a 2015 graduate of Dripping Springs High School, and student at Texas A&M University, began a summer 2017 internship with the office of Legislative Affairs within the U.S. Department of Justice in Washington D.C.

Kristina is the daughter of Dripping Springs Ranch Park Manager Lynne Dickenson.
“I’m very proud of her and in awe of her choice in college majors,” Lynne said of her daughter.  “Kristina was in the top ten of her DSHS class and was active in 4-H and Future Farmers of America (FFA) showing horses and goats.  She also rode in horse shows, participated in entomology and woodworking at school, and worked part time at Tractor Supply.”


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