Can You Do This?

My mother was very good at teaching my sister and I about being an independent woman. She was quick to tell us that we might never marry so we needed to know how to do things for ourselves. At the age of 44 her words rang true for her when our father suddenly died. I can honestly say that my mother never missed a beat.

In time I saw her prepare her will so that my sister would be looked after if something happened to her.  I observed her negotiate to buy my first car, and believe me she was negotiating. As time went on I saw her begin to travel and let go of the fact that she was not willing to stay home and look at an empty house. I saw her sit in the window with her coffee and yes, her cigarette and just pray in all of her kindness.

I was privy to her calls to the city of Longview seeking solutions to potholes, streetlights and much more. Her determination to vote was passed on to her children. She made sure we could do just about anything, and if not at least we knew how locate the people who could.

These and other thing should be passed on to out daughters and granddaughters. I know there will be others, but here are a few things that we need to teach and possibly learn for ourselves.

  • How to check the oil and put air in your car tires–some of our sons need this too. If all else fails how enroll in roadside assistance; and in Texas be able to locate the roadside assistance number on the back of the driver’s license.
  • Take a gun class. Yes, I am serious. If for no other reason than to get over the fear of them.
  • Know your worth. Diamonds shine their brightest when they are buffed so learn to pat yourself on the back sometimes. Just remember only the best can tell real from fake.
  • Learn how to invest. Some of us need to quickly learn this. Social security and employment pensions are becoming a thing of the past. Never leave this to someone else.
  • Stand for something. Wrong is wrong and right is right. Enough said.
  • Know what to say when asked “tell me about yourself”.  You are so much more than a job title.
  • Learn how to read a roadmap. I need to do this better. What happens if there is no cell service or the phone dies. In addition learn how to get out of the garage if the power is off. You still have to go to work.
  • Learn to swim or at least wear a life vest when you are on the water for pleasure.
  • Learn to go it alone. Want to go to movies, out to eat, but no one to go with you?Don’t miss out. It is much easier to add someone, and it makes for a nice surprise.
  • Learn how to put a hem in a garment, sew on a button, use a safety-pin so nobody knows it is there.

There are so many things that we should teach our daughters and granddaughters that it is impossible to list them all. Even with all of our wisdom there are some things that we don’t know how to do. What are some things that you have taught your daughters and granddaughters?  What’s something you need to learn to do? Let’s share the knowledge.

Remember “thisisyourbestyear”. Knowledge is power, and you are never too old to learn.

There Will Be No Paper or Plastic…

I’ve decided that there will be no paper plates or plastic ware in my house.  Yep, you heard me right.  The only thing used for eating and drinking that will be paper will be napkins, and that’s because I hate to iron.

A couple of years ago I decided to give my daughters part of their inheritance so that I could see them use it.  To my youngest, she would get my mother’s beautiful china which I can still remember the day my father gave it to her.  This was something that she had wanted forever, she was beyond excited, she was ecstatic that she could now serve special occasion meals in beautiful dishes.  I was ecstatic too because I wouldn’t be allowed to wash the china–too clumsy.  On those special days we would polish the flatware that was never used, iron the napkins, wash the china and crystal and place them on the dinning room table that only saw food on special occasions.

To my oldest, I wanted to give my china that was given to me by my father.  I remember when he started buying it. I was only a sophomore in college living with my sorority sisters, but I was excited. Visions of special dinners popped into my head.  I would set this beautiful table, and my mother and grandmother would iron the napkins. My father passed away before all the pieces were purchased, and I could never find the sugar bowl and creamer at any replacement site.  On one of my many trips to San Antonio to one of my favorite antique shops I ran across both pieces.  I was ecstatic.

Neither of the girls took me up on my offer.  The oldest one informed me that she already had a set of china which she does use some of the time (mine looks better).  If it didn’t go in the micro wave the youngest one didn’t want it. I tried the sympathy plea– “You will always have something to remember Granny Ruby by”.  It didn’t work.  I was informed they would always remember her.

What was I going to do with two sets of beautiful china, delicate crystal wine, champagne and water glasses?  The champagne classes are not fluted, they are the kind you see in the movies and they stack them. I had flatware and napkins that had nevfer seen the light of day. My husband solved the problem because he had a problem.

One day after a weekend of family as the dishwasher was humming along, he didn’t have a clean plate, and there were no paper plates.  What was he going to do? Stop the dishwasher and remove a half cleaned plate?  Go to the store and buy paper plates? No, just reach up there and get one of those china plates. From that moment on I decided there would be no paper plates or plastic ware used in my house.

That moment made me realize that I was going to use each and everything in my house.  So when you come to dinner you just might have your takeout/delivery on fancy china with paper napkins.

Remember “thisisyourbestyear”.  Everyday is special.

The Taste Project–Founded On Love of Humanity

I didn’t quite know where to put this post because it is about many different things.  First of all it is about a man and his vision, a vision that is about to become a reality. Chef Jeff Williams is a man with a passion for food, and a heart that believes in the goodness of mankind. So what better place to hold this interview than in a great restaurant over lunch.  So we had a great lunch and a wonderful, informative conversation about a vision to feed a community.

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The future home of the Taste Project

Chef Jeff’s love of his vision–The Taste Project, a not for profit restaurant is evident when he tells someone about it. The vision came to him years ago in 2003, but it was not until 2012 that he began to bring his vision to life.

The Taste Project will be a restaurant where everyone will be able to get a great tasting meal (Chef Jeff will be the head chef when it first opens). The Taste Project restaurant will be one where you pay what you can, pay what you would normally pay for a meal of that quality or if you can pay a little extra that would be great.  This is a restaurant for everyone, but especially for those that have food insecurity which is a term that I was not familiar with.  Food insecurity means that a person/family may not

Food Insecurity
Food Insecurity

have access to adequate food because of a lack of money and other resources at certain times during the year. This could mean that someone you know may be going without adequate healthy food, food that will sustain them.  They may have something to eat, just not what they need to lead a healthy life.  For the most part, the people who have food insecurity do not qualify for other types of supplemental assistance.  They are in essence between a rock and a hard place.

The restaurant belongs to the community.  Chef Jeff is quick to point out that the more people who the restaurant is able to assist, the better the community will be. He has worked at 4 other not for profit restaurants learning by doing so that he can make the Taste Project a success.

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Chef Jeff Williams and construction foreman getting the Taste Project ready to open

The Taste Project will be located in the Near Southside of Fort Worth, Texas on 1200 South Main Street, and is scheduled to have its grand opening on August 22 at 11 am for lunch.

Secondly, since this is the North Texas communities restaurant, it will need to be staffed by volunteers from the community.  There are many volunteer opportunities from servers, painters to paint the building, graphic designers, food tasters, writers and so much more.  If you have a skill, the Taste Project probably has a position for you. In order to help The Taste Project feed one community at a time, they need the assistance of the community.

If you are interested  go to The Taste Project and learn how you can help to feed one community at a time at “our” restaurant–we are all owners.

Remember “thisisyourbestyear”–The Taste Project is making a difference.

 

 

It’s In The Bag–Hope For Women Of Domestic Abuse

This post was written by C. Y. Cooper

A large enthusiastic crowd was on hand for the “IT’S IN THE BAG” LUNCHEON & AUCTION held Friday, April 21, 2017, at the Ridglea Country Club in Fort Worth, Texas. The luncheon and auction benefitted the important and extraordinary work of THE LADDER ALLIANCE, a Fort Worth based organization, founded by Sharon Cox.  The mission of The Ladder Alliance is to provide women victims of domestic violence and low-income women with the necessary tools to lead self-reliant, independent and successful lives.

On hand for the luncheon and auction were not only supporters of the organization but also several graduates of The Ladder Alliance programs.  The silent auction with over 100 items included handbags, jewelry, wine, sports packages and restaurant dining.  NBC 5 news anchor Deborah Ferguson was the emcee for the luncheon.

Beside the items up for auction, a powerful, serious display entitled “In Her Shoes……” visible to everyone in attendance, clearly drove home the point regarding domestic violence in our society.  Each pair of shoes represented a woman killed in the state of Texas in 2014-2105 by someone who had been an intimate partner along with a tag bearing the name of the woman and the city where she resided.

The Ladder Alliance, an established 501 (c)(3) organization serves between 300-400 women each year.  Throughout the year two programs are offered to assist women in their climb to independence.  The programs are Basic Computer Skills Training & Professional Office Skills Training.

The Ladder Alliance is located at 1100 Hemphill Street, Suite 302, Fort Worth, TX 76104 or you can call them at 817.834.2100 for more information to assist someone. To see more about them, visit their website by clicking The Ladder Alliance.

Remember “It’s in the bag” because “thisisyourbestyear”.

No More Chains–(A Documentary), You Can Succeed Against The Odds

by Zakiya Larry

ACCLAIMED DOCUMENTARY EXPLORES WOMEN, TRAUMA AND SUCCESS

No More Chains: Succeeding Against The Odds documentary set for Dallas red carpet showing along national screening tour to help women thrive post-trauma

WHO: No More Chains: Succeeding Against The Odds, a documentary that explores trauma and healing in the lives of women, is produced by success coach and noted top-business earner, Ari Squires. The well-received film profiles eleven powerhouse women and features an impressive cast of thought-leaders including: international relationship guru Paul Carrick Brunson, the money maven Patrice C. Washington, and acclaimed writer and speaker Abiola Abrams.

WHAT: These eleven transformative stories of succeeding against the odds peel back layers of pain, fear, and shame from addictions, homelessness, parental abandonment, domestic violence and an HIV diagnosis. The goal of No More Chains: Succeeding Against The Odds is to inspire then empower audiences to release their own chains. A compilation of first-person narratives, childhood reenactments and expert interviews, the film is an extension of a book anthology by the same name, with foreword by actor and speaker Darrin Dewitt Henson and afterword by Abiola Abrams.

The film is set for a Dallas celebrity red carpet screening on Saturday, March 18th at Studio Movie Grill-Spring Valley. The event will include a panel discussion with the authors/film subjects about their stories and the process of translating them to film. Participating in the premier experience will be Darrin Dewitt Henson, Paul Carrick Brunson and more notable figures.

WHEN: Saturday, March 18, 2017 at 7:15 PM

WHERE: Studio Movie Grill – Spring Valley

13933 N. Central Expressway, Dallas, TX 75243

Just For A Laugh

It is official as the nice man delivers yet another package to my house–I am married to the online shopping lady except she is a man. A man who never liked shopping before. As a woman of a certain age I have seen my hubby of many years have many habits, and this one is one that I could never imagined he would have.

When he had to fill out forms and send them in he wouldn’t order a lot–it took time.  The kids and I would get a few crazy gifts, you know the kind that don’t look anything like the picture. The kind that are supposed to be just as good as the nationally known product.

But lo and behold he is now kind of sort of computer literate–he discovered the internet.  We finally got him to stop opening all of the email he receives, and printing off all of the crazy information that is out there.  He now shops.

You know that lady that buys the purse in all 16 colors, 13 sizes and 14 materials all of which are fake–that’s him.  Need something to help you with a flat tire, ward off attackers, look like a diamond, ruby and/or emerald, whiten your teeth, stretch your shoes, shrink your shoes, kill mosquitoes, and so much more?  We have it.

The delivery people and the postal service know us.  In fact I’ve told them to stop coming to my house.  I run to the door as soon as they ring the bell because there is no need to sign for it, they just ring, drop and go.

The good news is that I’m going to have a great garage sale.  Remember “thisisyourbestyear“. What’s one man’s junk is another one’s treasure–yeah right.

The Texas Conference For Women Is Sold Out–But!

The amazing Texas Conference for Women in Austin, Texas on November 15, 2016 is officially sold out.

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As luck would have it, there may be a way to get tickets to attend this sold out event. You can put your name on a list to grab tickets if they become available. If you want to hear great speakers, be inspired, attend wonderful workshops, network with women who are on the move and so much more, you need to try as hard as possible to attend this event. To try for tickets click please let me get a ticket. Hope you are lucky!  Remember “thisisyourbestyear”.

 

 

Christmas In October–Why Not?

As “women of a certain age” we can do whatever we want when it comes to celebrating special days and times.  We can drink that champagne at lunch if we so desire. Deciding to eat cake for breakfast is one of my favorites.  Who say’s we can’t do it?  So why not have Christmas in October, or at least the memories of Christmas past.

We can skip over Columbus Day, Halloween and even Thanksgiving, and go directly to Christmas and all of the joy that it brings.  No matter who you are, the sights and sounds of Christmas will always somehow put you in a better mood.  I’m not talking about Christmas shopping, malls, discounts that aren’t discounts–I’m talking about Christmas trees, nutcrackers and of course Santa himself.

As a child in Longview, Texas McIntosh Drug Store would open up a Christmas store next to their downtown pharmacy every year.  I can’t really remember if it opened in October or November, but I do remember the excitement that I had visiting it each year.  The sights, sounds and even the smells always seemed to work magic on everyone who went inside those magical doors.  As with everything, there is no McIntosh Drug Store anymore, there are only pharmacies.  Their magical Christmas store is just a memory for those of us who were fortunate enough to have lived it as children–children who believed in Santa long after they should.

To my surprise and delight in Tyler, Texas they have a Christmas store appropriately named The Christmas Store.  It is complete with the wonderful sights, sounds and smells of happiness. When I visited it recently, I knew that Christmas was still some time away, but the magic had me at the first blinking light.

My Christmas in October bought back childhood memories which always warm my heart. Who cares if it’s too early to start to think about the joys of Christmas?  As women of a certain age, we can have Christmas whenever we want.

Celebrate each day.  Why wait?  Remember “thisisyourbestyear”.

The Christmas Store is located at 121 E. 8th St., Tyler, TX 75701

The Ladder Alliance–The Ladder To Independence

When most people think of domestic violence they generally think of black eyes, concussions, broken arms and more.  They think of a man and a woman physically fighting with the children crying. This falsehood tends to make all of us think that we don’t know anyone who is being abused, but we do.  There is emotional abuse.  Remember when our mother would tell us that “words hurt”.  They do, and so many victims (usually women) are victims of a verbal and emotional domestic abuse, not physical abuse. Most victims think there is no one out there to help them, but there are a number of places that are available

Even as the victims seek assistance, they seek a way for a fulfilled life after leaving the abuser.  They are looking for a ladder to help them climb out of a life that has left them with little or no job skills to support themselves and sometimes their children.  They are looking for the The Laddder Alliance.

The Ladder Alliance provides women domestic violence victims or low-income women with employment skills that will enable them to be self-reliant, independent and to lead successful lives. They are enrolled in classes that are taught by professional educators and business people. Their classes cover computer, professional and life skills that include Excel, professional writing and customer service.

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Sharon Cox, Executive Director and Founder leading a lunch and learn event.

This program offers a full size clothing boutique with new and gently used professional clothing that are “purchased” by the students not with money, but earned professional rewards (being on time, assignments, etc.). There is also childcare assistance and even homework assistance for the children if needed.

The Ladder Alliance offers several programs.  They offer basic computer skills training and professional office skills training. The cost for this is $20 or less covering all course material.

To find out more about any of the programs, the sites where classes are available and any other questions, call 817.834.2100 or go to Ladder Alliance.  There are several volunteer opportunities available.

Remember “thisisyourbestyear”–climb your ladder to success, then extend a hand to help someone else.