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.

The World In A Box

See, smell and taste the world through food–sounds interesting doesn’t it.  You can do it! Every time I fly I take a look at the airline magazine, and try to do the puzzles.  This time while flying on American Airlines I ran across an article on Try The World and it caught my attention.

One thing that it seems most people can agree on is food.  The world is always interested in trying new and exotic taste.  Home cooks are trying to amp up their standard recipes by using different herbs and spices.  Try The World gives  you that opportunity in a cute box.

The box not only comes with ingredients, it comes with recipes, and a cultural guide to the country that the box features. If you only want snack foods, you can order their snack boxes.  My box is shown below–it came from Thailand.  My sister and I could not wait to taste some of the things that came in it.  Our first try was the Coconut Flower Syrup. She put it in tea and I tried it on toast.  We gave it 2 thumbs up. We’re kind of on a schedule to try the other items.  Each trying it a different way–Soft Dried Jackfruit is next.

You can find out more about this wonderful taste experience by going to Try The World and starting your adventure.  It’s the next best thing to traveling there.

Remember “thisisyourbestyear“.  Try The World in a box.

The Amon Carter Museum’s Norman Lewis Exhibit

Guest post written by Dr. Britine Perkins, PhD.

Dr. Perkins

I was given the opportunity to preview the new Amon Carter Museum’s Norman Lewis exhibit before it opened to the public.  This was indeed a special opportunity as the ACM is only the 2nd museum nationwide to host this breathtaking exhibit. Because Lewis’s work is about movement, the pieces are grouped to showcase how his art evolved from figurative in the 1920’s and 30’s, to completely abstract expressionist by the 1940’s. He is one of a very few African-American artists to pursue this style of painting.

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When one thinks of abstract expressionist artists from the 1930’s to the 1960’s, immediately names like  Jackson Pollock , Picasso, de Kooning, Max Ernst, and one of my personal favorites, Frank Stella, among many others will come to mind. Unfortunately, what does not come to mind are African-American abstract expressionist artists, which was usually considered a rare departure for an African American artist (at one meeting in Italy that featured the likes of Polluck and de Kooning, Lewis was the only African American in the room, much like this preview where I was only one of two minorities in the room).  For Norman Lewis, who was born in 1909 in Harlem, expressing the energy of the Renaissance unfolding around him profoundly influenced his work. Early on in his career, he realized that he wanted to paint the Black experience, just not in the figurative way that was expected on African American artists of that time. By the 1940’s, he had rejected painting figurative works, and painting what he wanted to paint. Because he was African American he was not truly accepted by the white abstract expressionist artists, nor was he accepted by African American artists who felt the only way to express Black life was through figurative art.

Although considered a successful artist (his work was exhibited in over 130 exhibitions in his lifetime) he did not receive the true recognition as an abstract expressionist artist till after his death, something he has always predicted.  Regardless, he continued to paint the way he wanted:  American life is diverse and so should the art that depicts it, a struggle that Norman Lewis is definitely winning, even if posthumously.  Today many of his pieces are being sold for between $250,000 and $350,000, while during his lifetime, most sold for less than $20,000 as noted in a recent March 2016 CBS Sunday Morning clip (Reappraising the art of Normal Lewis) about his long overdue rightful recognition as an abstract expressionist artist.

After viewing just some of his extraordinary works, one leaves with an overwhelming admiration for a man who fought racism on both sides and yet continued to do what he wanted to do.  Although he was overlooked in his lifetime, I for one am very glad to see him finally get his due as not just an African-American artist, but one of this nation’s greatest abstract expressionist artists.

The Procession: The Art of Norman Lewis will be om diplay until August 21, 2016. To find out more about this wonderful exhibition and all of the other things click Amon Carter American Museum of Art.

Remember “thisisyourbestyear”, enjoy great works of art.

 

 

 

Leaving Home

My uncle who is 96 recently left his once beautiful home for over 60 years and moved into an assisted living facility where he has his own one bedroom apartment. This move was one that was at times easy, and other times it was gut wrenching. As one of the people in charge of this move, I called on everything in me to get through this. This journey is one that many women (and men) of a certain age will be responsible for as we mature, and our parents, aunts and uncles find they can no longer stay in their home.

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This process took a long time to complete with many different factors coming into consideration. I had not physically seen him for some time, but talked with regularly on the telephone.  He was forever telling me that he was doing just fine. Maybe physically he was, but for some unknown reason the state of his life was spiraling out of control.

When his brother, my uncle called to inform me that he had been taken to the hospital, but would be released in a few days I was a little concerned, but feeling okay since he could go to his home.  My cousin informed me that the house was no longer a home but something that was unsafe and unclean.

My cousins and I were not prepared for what we saw. Our once dapper, sharp dresser was thinner than usual which was not the shock, but he was disheveled, dirty and so unkept. This once proud man was sitting in this once grand house smiling his brilliant smile at my cousins and I.

Our mothers oldest brother could not live like this–we wouldn’t let it happen. The good part about this is that our uncle’s mind was as sharp as a tack.

Mentally there was nothing wrong and physically he was as fit as any 96-year-old could be. We immediately went into action. Since taking the truck keys would be hard and leaving home would be a hard sale, we went with home healthcare workers. The decision was made by everyone concerned, he even told us what time he wanted them to come each day–noon to 6.  While they were coming, we got together to find an assisted living home for him, one that he could make into his home.

This was not an easy chore, we did not need a nursing facility, we needed a place that had space, gave him independence, but still looked out for him.  The supervisor of the home healthcare workers was amazing, she gave us the name of someone and we were off.  We Uncle visiting Brookdale (1)visited three different ones, and all of us decided on the second one.  On the day that he was to make his visit to see if he like it, he was up, sharply dressed and ready.  He passed all of the assessments.  His only needed assistance was to make sure he took his 3 daily medications.  They could not believe he was 96 years of age.  He hadn’t had so many pictures taken in years–he was the man.

Even though the visit went great, there were still many hurdles to jump.  Some were more paperwork, doctor visits and more.  Moving day came, and the rain drops were the tears we all were feeling. To our surprise, he liked his new home!!

We know that there will be other obstacles that will come up, but we are so happy and pleased that our uncle, our mothers oldest brother is safe, clean, making new friends in his new home. He made us all remember “thisisyourbestyear”, and it is a blessing to have a great family that works together for the good of family. I love them all.

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Isn’t She Lovely–Mother’s Day Giveaway Winner

 2016 Mother’s Day Giveaway Winner–Tracy Marshall

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Tracy is an amazing woman of a certain age. She is the creator of the lifestyle blog–Tracy Marshall 1961 Blog which features articles on topics from travel, great gifts, family adventures and more. She is the winner of our 2016 Mother’s Day Giveaway.  Her lovely price is the beautiful statement necklace donated by Kendra Scott*

 

Congratulations Tracy!  Remember “thisisyourbestyear”.

*Special thanks to Kendra Scott, 1612 South University Drive, Fort Worth, TX  76107

Puttin’ On The Pink For A Great Cause

There was a beautiful sea of pink in the huge ballroom of the Fort Worth Convention Center. Even the champagne and desserts were various shades of pink. Hosted by the Kupferle Health  Board of the Texas Health Resources Foundation. The event showcased the outstanding work of their mobile health unit.

With NBC 5’s Deborah Ferguson as mistress of ceremony, Neiman Marcus hosting a one of a kind runway show featuring collections from Lafayette 148 New York, inspirational stories featuring cancer survivors and great conversation–the event was a Texas sized success. Even the items for the raffles and the centerpieces on each table were amazing.

The mobile unit is as well equipped as any physician’s office with the latest technology and staffed by a very capable medical staff. In addition to digital screening mammograms, services provided by the mobile unit include:

  • well-woman exams
  • cervical cancer screening
  • HPV test for women with abnormal pap tests
  • colon cancer screening
  • bone density screening
  • cardiovascular risk assessments

There was laughter mixed with tears and hugs. Puttin’ on the Pink entertained, but most of all it informed Fort Worth and surrounding areas about medical resources that are available to them.

Texas Health Resources Mobile Mammography Unit

 

To find out more about the great services that are available through the Texas Health Resources Foundation  mobile health unit, go to:  https://www.texashealth.org/fortworth/pages/Services/Cancer/Mobile-Health-Unit.aspx

Remember “thisisyourbestyear”.  Get your yearly mammogram.

Hollywood of A Bygone Era Showcased At Fort Worth’s Amon Carter Museum

The works of one of the most compelling artists of the 20th Century is currently being shown at the Amon Carter Museum in Fort Worth, Texas.   “AMERICAN EPICS: THOMAS HART BENTON AND HOLLYWOOD” highlights over 100 of the Missouri artist’s works. Besides some 30 paintings on display there are also murals, drawings, lithographs along with several movie posters and book illustrations.
To find out more about this wonderful museum and all the exhibitions and activities going on go to:  http://www.cartermuseum.org/.
 
Remember “thisisyourbestyear”.
This post was written by Carol Y. Cooper

Get The Women 2016

As I always say “I love smart women”, and on Saturday, January 30, 2016 I was in a room filled with them. The Fort Worth Metropolitan Black Chamber of Commerce Women’s Business Division held it’s kickoff.

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Ms. Yolanda Harper is the chair of the Women’s Business Division, and she is determined to showcase outstanding women in Tarrant County.  If the kickoff is indication of the energy this young lady brings to the organization then she is set for an exciting tenure and the FWMBCC has a new star.

The networking started from the time each lady checked in with professional headshots taken, and then a delicious breakfast served. The laughter, good conversation and networking made for a fun filled time.

To keep the event going the speaker of the hour was passionate about women in business. Mrs. Tonya Veasey entertained, informed and inspired the audience. The audience saw themselves in her story.

For at least an hour after the program there was more networking and exchanging of ideas.  Rememberthisisyourbestyear”. Get out and network.

No Appointment–Knock On The Door Anyway

I met a beautiful woman of a certain age (Karen Fleming) by chance while working an employment fair.  While talking with her I learned that she was a retired Master Sergeant, and had recently finished interior design school. She is one of those artsy people who see the big picture where I just see a chair.

 

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Karen and I at our first meeting at employment fair

Her story is one that shows that we as women can make our dreams come true no matter the obstacles or the little bumps in the world.  Karen worked full time while going to school.  She was determined that interior design would be in  her future. We talked about our dreams, and how we had prepared for them.

Karen’s story is one where you prepare and then you go for it.  You make your own opportunities.  Karen’s good friend, Tracy took her to lunch to celebrate her birthday and to have girl talk–they are both interior designers and former military.  They had talked of starting a business together–decorating business.  Her friend mention Decorating Den and Lisa Landry who is the franchise owner in Arlington, Texas. Tracy had been following Lisa’s work, and was very impressed and wanted to meet her, but she could never get in touch with her.

Karen, being the go getter she is decided they should just go to Decorating Den and knock on the door (Opportunity), which they did–under a sign that stated “By Appointments Only”.  As Opportunity would have it, everyone was at lunch except you guessed it Lisa Landry, who let them in, and talked with them about Decorating Den and the opportunities there were in franchising.

Soon after meeting with Ms. Landry, they begin the process of interviewing to become franchise owners, even presenting a project to Lisa. After hearing the ins and outs, the commitment, the financing and everything else that it takes to obtain a franchise they decided this was not for them, but design and decorating were still their goals.

A few days later, as Opportunity would have it, Ms. Landry called and offered them both positions as decorators with her franchise–they had made the best of being prepared and able to answer when Opportunity  opens the door Karen’s passion is being creative.  They were both hired, and the rest is going to be history.

Remember “thisisyourbestyear”.  Always be prepared, you never know when Opportunity will open the door. Notice how much brighter Karen’s smile is in the photos from Decorating Den.  When you do what you love, you love what you do.