Friday, November 27, 2015

Thanksgiving Blessings

I missed my traditional Thanksgiving post yesterday, but that doesn't mean I'm not grateful -- in fact, I have to give God the glory for more abundance than ever!

You may have noticed that I haven't been posting lately.

The blog break started when Joe and I went to Paris and London to visit our wonderful friends Cathy and Tom who are living over there for a short time while Tom stars in Wicked in London. What a wonderful trip and the best part was being with our friends. Blessing!

The blog break continued when we returned and I came down with a terrible cold. I've still got the end of the cough.  I sat next to a darling girl on the way to Paris who was blowing her nose the entire trip, so I blame her.  While I wouldn't normally think a cold is something for which to be thankful, I know that God directs my steps and that He can make all things work for good.  I do know that we all need to slow down periodically, and sometimes a bad cold is a forced slow down.  Blessing!

Other reasons for dogging on the blog are numerous, but most of it is the hustle of the holiday -- December is our biggest month at Community Partners of Dallas as we are scramble to fill wishes for 5,500 kids -- along with the official beginning of the leadership phase of our capital campaign. Finding the donors for CPD is my favorite blessing of all!

Thanks for sticking with me and the blog. Not sure if I can keep up weekly posts, but I'll try.  You're a blessing too -- Paige

P.s.  One of my favorite things about being in London was that Tom got recognized ALL THE TIME because Frasier is played on TV there every morning and Tom was on that show. Vicarious fame is how I roll!

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Hat Lady Hodgepodge

It's Hodgepodge Wednesday!  Let the games begin...

1. Are you comfortable with silence? If you're home alone, do you like silence or do you need regular background noise? Do you seek out times and places to be silent? What's your favorite place to find silence/be silent?

Hmmmm.  Even as I write a leaf blower is loudly working outside my window, a baby is crying down the hall (we let babies come to work until they're 6 months with their moms at CPD), and Joanna is talking on the phone next door, so you'd think I'd crave silence.  Nope.  I pretty much have TV or radio on all the waking hours of the day, unless I'm reading or praying and I can do those things anywhere.

2. October 28th is National Chocolate Day. Can't let that go by without a mention now, can we? Will you celebrate? How? Let's say you can have one of the following right this very minute... a cup of hot chocolate, a strawberry dipped in chocolate, a bowl of plain chocolate ice cream, or a slice of chocolate pie...what's your pleasure?

Ice cream or pie for me.  I'd probably choose the pie first since ice cream is a bit more of a constant for me.  Working at a charity makes chocolate candy everpresent.  We must have it for the kids -- at least that's what we tell ourselves.

3. How do you feel about blue jeans? Favorite thing in the world to wear or nope, don't own a single pair? How often do you wear blue jeans in a typical week? Do you own a blue jean jacket?

LOVE blue jeans!!!  I wear them several times a week.  We are super casual at work, and sometimes even wear them as a uniform with our CPD-branded T-shirts.  I love the way jeans hold it all in (if you know what I mean) and yes, I own several jackets too.  I don't wear them as often, though.

4. Are you superstitious? If so, in what way?

Yes, a little.  Mostly for my sports team faves.  When the Mavs won the NBA championship I couldn't even watch them because if I watched, they lost.  They owe me for their win.  Here's the post I wrote about it:

5. If you had to come up with a costume using only things you have on hand right now, what could you come up with? 

I have lots of hats -- Santa Hats, Ball Caps, Witches Hat, Headband with a Reindeer on it, Headband with Bunny Ears, Birthday Hat, etc.  Hat Lady, I guess.

6. What scares you a little? What do you do when you feel scared?

I watch scary shows all the time.  Right now American Horror Story is freaking me out quite a bit.  What do I do when scared?  Make popcorn and keep watching!

7. Perhaps today will be the day I ______________________________.

Hear back from some people I'm trying to get in touch with for CPD!

8.  Insert your own random thought here.

What has happened to all of the Chinese restaurants in Dallas?  When I was young there were so many good ones -- Schezwan Pavilion comes to mind -- but now, it's pretty much either delivery or nothing.  Thank goodness for Royal China!

Friday, October 23, 2015

Four Favorite Things I Love Right Now! Part 23

Sorry that I've been an absentee blogger for a week or so -- life sometimes does get in the way of blogging, doesn't it?  I haven't had time to even read my favorite blogs, must less write one.

BUT, since it is threatening to flood in Dallas today and we have only a few brave souls in the office at Community Partners of Dallas, I have a little time to write.  And you know if I get to write about my Four Faves it's a good day -- yay!

If you are new to this blog, I write about my favorite things periodically.  Visit the most recent one here (and so on):

I decided this morning that I'd do a few of my favorite morning things with one evening thing thrown in so you know I'm loads of fun at all hours of the day (and night)...

I spent a little time this summer reverting to my high school days when I ate no breakfast in the morning.  I thought this might help me to lose a few, but it hasn't and my recent visit to a new doctor had her lecturing me that I was doing the exact opposite thing that I should be doing -- ugh.

NOTE:  Never again will I go to a young, skinny female doctor.  Give me a fat old male doctor every time.  If he also smokes that's a bonus.

1.  I love this Applegate Naturals Sausage that my friend Katie told me about years ago.  You can heat up one or two pieces in a skillet and you're ready to go.  I usually have a few grapes with it too. Red grapes are just fantastic right now.

2.  My new Green Smoothie is the best!  Add these things to your blender in this order:
One 1/4 C water (or you can use coconut water -- I use good old filtered tap water)
Handful of spinach (if I have it I add some kale too and sometimes a little pineapple)
Navel orange, peeled and pulled into a few sections
1/2 of a frozen banana, cut into 1/4 inch slivers
Dash of cinnamon
Squirt of honey
Blend this, then add 1/2 glass or so of ice and a tablespoon of hemp seed (for protein) and pulse/blend again.  Delish!

3.  This is not food, but I'm absolutely smitten with this Scarf from Hadleigh's in Highland Park Village.  They are opening a new store on Madison Avenue in NYC next week, so get your scarf now while you can.  It is oblong and can be a scarf or used as a shawl.  Fabulous patterns!  Not cheap, but SOOOO wonderful.

4.  My friend Sofia told me about Yogi Tea to relax at night and I just love it.  Has a slightly sweet flavor without any sweetener added.

What are your Four Faves?

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

A Texan's Hodgepodge

Another Wednesday, Another Hodgepodge!!!  I just love answering questions (and asking them), so I'm always happy when it's time to let Joyce (from her blog called From This Side of the Pond) take over.

1. It's October so let's get this out there first thing...have you jumped on the all-things-pumpkin bandwagon? How so?

Not yet, but I will get it going soon.  I'm a big fan of Halloween decorations.  I don't do scary, gruesome stuff though -- only cute witches and pumpkins for me!

2.  "We have more power than will; and it is often by way of excuse to ourselves that we fancy things are impossible." Francois Duc De la Rochefoucauld  What's something you once thought impossible, but in hindsight see as more a matter of lack of will?

I often think it is impossible for me to lose weight.  I start thinking the old "life is too short to deprive myself" thoughts and even though I know (and so you do) that it is a lack of will, I still don't do it.  Just ate a Snickers in protest, BTW.

3. The rose is America's National Flower, but every state also has its own. Are you happy with yours? If you were in charge what would you declare your state's flower? If you're outside the U.S. what bloom would you like to see labeled as your country's national flower?

Every Texan knows that the bluebonnet is the state flower, and hell no we don't want to change it because it is the best flower.  We know everything in Texas too.

4. What have you lost interest in recently?

The Blacklist.  I watched for two years but gave up this season.  In fact, I think I even gave up in the middle of last season and erased them all from the DVR.  I do still love James Spader and think he is a great actor.

5. In your opinion, who's the best living musician?

That is a huge question.  For me that means they have to write and play music (multiple instruments) and sing -- do it all -- as well as be innovative.  I first thought of Prince.

6. S'mores-love 'em or no? Ever make them indoors? Last time you sat around an outdoor fire? Are making s'mores and sitting round a fire pit on your autumn bucket list? Do you have an autumn bucket list?

I don't like marshmallows, so no.  It's been a long time since I've sat around a fire unless you count my friend Cynthia's chimenea months ago.  No bucket list at this time other than to raise money for our Community Partners of Dallas Capital Campaign.  That is my full-time work!

7. Your favorite small town? Why?

Fredericksburg, Texas.  I know it well and love it.  Great food and wonderful memories there.

8. Insert your own random thought here.

I am loving the cooler weather in Dallas.  It is wonderful to wake up and go outside and have it be a little colder.  I'm even wearing a sweater today!

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

I Have Zits.

I have zits.

You would think by age 50+ that your face would quit producing oil and pimples, but NOOOOOO!

I'm pretty well sick of it.  At least I can wear makeup to cover it up or I'd be depressed every time I looked in a mirror.  Yes, I enjoy being a girl -- makeup is my friend.

NOTE:  You'd enjoy me being a girl too if you had to look at my zits all day.

My complaining makes me think about a story I heard last Sunday from our minister at Highland Park United Methodist Church, Paul Rasmussen.  Paul is our top dog at HPUMC and he is our usual preacher at the service where I'm an usher.  Anyway, Paul told a story about being late for a meeting at the church.  He was running a little late and then when he got to the church he had to drive around and round looking for a parking space.  This caused him to get more and more frustrated and mad.  He was fuming when he got up to his office where his appointment was waiting.

NOTE:  The following quotes are paraphrased by me -- I do not take dictation during church -- only a rare glance at the i-phone on occasion.  I never said I was a saint.  Saints don't have zits.

As any of us would, Paul dashed in and started apologizing -- "I'm so sorry I was late.  I've been driving around and around the parking lot trying to find a space.  I bet you even had trouble finding one.  It is just awful here with parking.  I'm really sorry that it is so bad here."

The man waiting for him said, "Gosh, you're really mad about this aren't you?  Well, you don't know what I would give to have a parking lot full of people who wanted to come to my church.  You can't imagine what I'd give to be feet away from a vital college campus like SMU.  Instead, I drive up to an empty parking lot.  That's why I'm here -- I want to get advice from you on how to grow my church into one where we will be flourishing like you."

So, while I'm not accepting these zits enough to show them off, it did make me think about how much better I have it than most people in the world.

What would the kids we help at Community Partners of Dallas give to be your child or mine?

How much would they love being part of a family?  Having siblings who live with them?  Having a dad to shoot some hoops with?  A mom who would tuck them in at night?

I lived a blessed life.  A zit or five is easy.

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Hodgepodging with Recipes

Hello and welcome to my blog -- the final Hodgepodge of September 2015!  Thank you, Joyce! 

1. Something on your October calendar that makes you smile?

I'm a big fan of Halloween.  Other than Christmas, I have more Halloween decorations than anything else.  I do the front door, the yard, a tablescape in the dining room, the den and more.  We always give out TONS of candy -- more than 1,000 pieces -- one or two at a time.

I'm sure you are wondering if I wear a costume.  No.  Being in Dallas we have to dress up in western/cowboy attire several times a year for events and that is enough dressing up for me.  I own three pairs of cowboy boots.

2. Food for the soul or music for the soul...which camp are you in? Tell us why.

Food -- life is not worth living without my favorites.  Symphonic music is a close second -- it really fills up the soul.

3. What are two or three things you've learned recently as the result of an online search?

This morning I was looking to find out about a potential candidate for a job we have open at Community Partners of Dallas.  Linked-In to the rescue, but I prefer FaceBook for this.  

Yesterday I searched party invite text -- planning one for Christmas.  

Monday, I searched the phone number of a new florist that was recommended to me -- called and ordered flowers for someone.

4. Share your favorite game day recipe. You can describe it, post the how-to, or add a link to the actual recipe. 

Ths is my favorite and it came from my friend Jill, BUT you will notice that it is called Paige's Jalapeno Popper Dip.  That is not because I made any changes to it -- the stuff doesn't need any changes, people -- but because my mom taught me to put my name on stuff so you remember who gave it to YOU, not who gave it to your friend who gave it to you.  And I am unanimous in that.  Mrs. Slocum reference for those in the know.


2 (8 ounce) packages of cream cheese, room temperature
1 cup mayo
1 cup shredded Mexican blend cheese (half Monterrey Jack, half Cheddar)
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
1 (7 1/2) can chopped green chilies 
1 (4 ounce) can diced jalapenos
1 cup panko bread crumbs
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese (yes another 1/2 cup)
1/2 stick of butter, melted


Combine the first 6 ingredients in a mixer or food processor and blend until smooth.  You do NOT need to drain the cans of chilies or jalapenos.  Pour into a large 
quiche dish or pie plate.
In a bowl, combine the panko breadcrumbs, parmesan cheese, and melted butter.

Sprinkle crumb mixture evenly over the dip and bake in a preheated 375 degree oven for about 20 minutes. 

You want the top to get browned and the dip to be heated through and bubble gently on the edges.  Serve with Tostitos (Restaurant Style) Tortilla Chips.  Enjoy!
5. What are your five essential steps for creating the perfect morning routine?
  1. Up without alarm.  
  2. Drink 32 ounces of filtered water.
  3. The Today Show.
  4. Shower and hair wash -- no styling.
  5. Drive to work and pray.
6. What small thing have you taken note of today?

Ben Rett -- the 4-month-old baby at the office.

7. Sum up your September in seven words or less.

Good deal closed.  Shocks and surprises. Normal.

8.  Insert your own random thought here.

Gosh, I love sushi.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

An Autumnal Hodgepodge

Yay -- Joyce is back with questions for the Hodgepodge this week, here I go...

1. What have you 'fallen for' recently?

At this very moment in time, I have a Tootsie Roll Pop sticking out of my mouth.  When you work for a charity, lots of donors and volunteers bring candy to our office.  I've always liked these and when I pass through reception if there is one in the candy bowl, I always take it.  This one is orange, but I like red too.  I just bit it.

2. What's something you're 'squirreling away' for later?

Five dollar bills.  One of our wonderful donors and I were talking about money on Sunday and about how we are some of the only people left who still use cash.  I (of course) save all my change for Community Partners of Dallas' Change is Good party, but our donor told me she is saving FIVE DOLLAR BILLS -- she heard that if you do this for a year that you'll have enough money for a trip. People of New Orleans, get ready to serve me some of that delicious food in Autumn of 2016!

3. How do you like your apples? Sweet? Tart? Crisp? Cooked? Apples are one of the superfoods for often do you eat an apple either plain or as part of a favorite recipe? What's your favorite variety?

I like a pie, but my favorite mmm good way is just plain.  My favorite is the Honeycrisp.  I actually have been totally into watermelon lately, so apples have "fallen far from my tree" to coin a phrase!

4. According to Fodor's the ten best fall foliage trips in the US of A are-Aspen ColoradoThe Catskills New York, The Berkshires Massachusetts, Columbia River Gorge Oregon, Green Mountain Byway Vermont, Enchanted Circle Scenic Byway New Mexico, Great Smoky Mountains of North Carolina and Tennessee, Upper Peninsula Michigan, Lake of the Ozarks Missouri, and Glacier National Park Montana. Which would you most like to visit this fall and why?

I would go to any of them and would love to see the beauty.  I lived in Washington, D.C., for five years and loved seeing the seasons change.  In Dallas, my fall foliage is limited to the 4 Bradford Pear Trees in my front yard, but they really are beautiful.

5. The topic of legalizing marijuana was raised in the most recent televised political debate so let's wade in too. Twenty-three states and the District of Columbia currently have laws legalizing marijuana in some form. Four states have legalized marijuana for recreational use. Your thoughts?

I can see both sides, but I do think it is a gateway drug.  Illegal drug use is the cause of so much child abuse and neglect that I can't support it.

6. Are you okay to watch a movie already in progress or do you need to always see it from the beginning? How about jumping into a TV series somewhere in the middle? Is that okay? 

From the beginning.  Movie and Series.  I think it is fine if others want to start in the middle, but I don't.  There are lots of TV series that I wish I had started, but I feel like it's too late.  I've never watched Modern Family, nor 30 Rock.

7. Thursday (September 24) is National Punctuation Day. What rule of punctuation trips you up most often? What rule of punctuation, when broken by someone else, bugs you the most?

I'm a BIG fan of a dash -- always have been.  I feel certain that I don't always use them correctly because I love them so much.  As for others, it's more misspellings that bug me.

8.  Insert your own random thought here.
I do not recommend the film 90 Minutes in Heaven.  Only about 5 minutes is spent in heaven.  The rest is pitiful hospital scenes and mad victims bitching.  Yes, there is a nice ending, but not worth the 2 hours spent watching the rest.