Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Thanksgiving Catalyst, Reporting for Duty!

I have written a few past Thanksgiving posts from Fredericksburg, Texas -- a place I love to visit, especially when I am with the Clark family.  It is such a joy to be with a large and fun family with multiple generations and lots of laughter.  I feel blessed to have shared so many great experiences with Joe and his family for Thanksgivings past.

This year (like many others -- I used to kinda switch off my turkey eating each year), I'll be here in Dallas with my own family and Joe will be with us.  And the best part is -- I'M COOKING AT MY HOUSE!

Let me explain...

My sister-in-law cooks the turkey and its trimmings almost every year, but this year she is in a boot, so I offered to cook at my house.  Joe and I are planning the meal and cooking it (mostly) and my mother is going to be with us for moral support (aka telling us what to do).  Mom and I decorated the table and I pretty much totally copied Alicia Wood's tablescape from The Lush List blog (http://www.thelushlist.com/2016/11/elegant-thanksgiving-tablescape/), so it looks fantastic.  I'm trying my friends Cynthia and Nick's turkey cooking method.  All is set.

I'm grateful to have friends and family coming over for a full table and I'm certainly blessed to live here in the USA and have a job that I love and plenty to eat.

Hope you'll join me in feeling blessed and happy, because you are blessed and happy.

So much happier than the kids we serve at Community Partners of Dallas.  We are collecting toys right now and we're short on tablets for our older kids.  If you are willing and blessed enough to be able to donate one, we really need you.  Go to Amazon (https://smile.amazon.com/All-New-Amazon-Fire-HD-8-8-Inch-Tablet-8GB/dp/B018SZT3BK/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&qid=1479762451&sr=8-4&keywords=fire%2Btablet&th=1) and buy a fire tablet and have it sent here to our office:

Community Partners of Dallas
ATTN:  Paige
1215 Skiles Street
Dallas, TX  75204

All kids need an escape and abused and neglected kids need an escape more than most.  A tablet can do that.  Thanks for sharing your blessings with a kid who really needs it.  Feel free to tell the people around your Thanksgiving table about what you did for us.  You can be a catalyst for change!

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Grateful Doesn't Say Enough

Please allow me to take a moment and point out that I am


Truly, how many landlords (that receive no rent and pay for everything except the electric bill) provide and plant beautiful pansies out front?  What a gift The Meadows Foundation gives to non-profits in Dallas!  Their support has been the largest gift we've ever received.  I'm in tears writing this, just thinking about the hundreds of thousands of abused and neglected children they have supported through our agency alone over the past eight years.

Today, I'm happy to have pansies in our front beds and every day I'm happy that The Meadows Foundation chose us to have this building.  Three cheers!

Thursday, October 20, 2016


Are you who you think you are?

I keep thinking about polls (natch) and how the system puts us in a box.  You know the stereotypes:
  • I'm from Highland Park, so I'm snobby.
  • I'm 55 years old, so I have dry skin.
  • I'm from Texas, so I love country music.
Actually none of the above are true for me.  Of course, stereotypes typically have a kernel of truth -- otherwise they wouldn't make sense.  We do tend to put people in boxes because it's an easy way to get out of having to get to know them -- really know them.

It's so much easier to just assume that because someone doesn't dress that well or doesn't live in my neighborhood that they just don't deserve my attention.  

Earlier this week I went over to a volunteer's home to pick up something that I had purchased at a charity auction.  Not only did the volunteer not introduce herself to me, she made me feel like I wasn't welcome in her home.  I think she thought I was old -- and I did nothing to dispell that thought because I was unable to quickly find the ticket number she required on my cell phone.  I don't know why she was unfriendly -- maybe she had a bad morning -- but I can tell you that her treatment has only made me check myself.

Am I who I look like?  Who I think like?  Seth Godin often talks about the "people like us do things like this" mantra when we make decisions -- such as "people like us" buy i-phones, eat at Mi Cocina, go to college.

But are we really that easy to label?

I heard a speaker from the New York Flower School who did a demonstration for my garden club last week (and yes, I realize that being in a garden club sticks me smack dab into that flower box for you).  She said that 90% of her brides who are blonde choose pastel flowers for their bouquets and 90% of her brunette clients choose darker tones.

Maybe others can make assumptions about me.  I do fit a lot of the typical stereotypes, but I'm going to quit judging and try to get to know people.  Why don't you join me?

I worry most about the kids we are serving at Community Partners of Dallas.  Will Jason always be the boy who was sexually abused?  Will Heavenly always be the girl who came to school dirty and withdrawn?

Will you give them a chance and get to know them for who they really are?

As a reminder -- I'm no beauty.  Here I am in all my glory -- wet hair and all -- but I am worth knowing.  You are too.

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Hello From the Other Side

It's been 10 months since my last blog post.

NOTE:  That reminds me of my short stint as an Episcopalian about 20 years ago:  "Forgive me, Father, it's been ten months since my last confession..."

NOTE to NOTE:  Surprisingly, blogging fills a similar role -- confessionally speaking, I mean.

I'm not sure why I stopped, other than feeling as though I was super busy at work and personally.

NOTE:  Didn't even plan to start blogging again today, just decided to jump back in on a whim.  Boom.

Anyway, back to our story:

I guess the biggest personal change is that I MOVED!

I used to move about every two years because I would buy a house, make it beautiful, sell it for a profit, then buy another one and repeat.  But my most recent move (about 10 years ago) into where I thought I'd be living for the rest of my life, was not my last move.   As the years went on it became apparent that I had one more move in me and I have now moved into and decorated what will be my final home -- yippee!  I posted a couple of photos below.

So, I'm going to try to get back to blogging occasionally.  Can't promise I'll return to twice a week like before, but who knows?  Life is fun and we all need a little confession occasionally.

Thanks for reading.