Why Sit When You Can Stand?

It is amusing that people try to dictate when people should revert to rocking in the good old rocking chair.  Don’t get me wrong, I love rocking chairs.  There is something about rocking in a chair that reminds me of the comfort of home.  But saying that I was recently asked by someone who I considered to be a good friend when I was gonna sit down.

I didn’t answer, but it was a question for thought.  She said that it seemed that I was always on the go, always doing something, and even when I was just at home, it seemed that I was busy even if I was doing basically nothing.

Then it hit me, this person was one who loved to talk about age.  You know the person that loves to tell you how old they are, and the things they can’t do anymore.  Why is it that we are constantly telling others and most importantly ourselves what we can’t do anymore?  Most children think they can do just about anything, it is only as we age that we embrace what we can’t do.  My grandson recently attempted a gymnastics routine as I call it where you slide down the slide, propel yourself up and catch the monkey bars.  He did catch the monkey bars, but as the broken arm will attest he let go.

Even with the broken arm, he has decided that he is not to young/old to attempt this feat.  He goes go school, tutoring, plays sports, participates in worship at church, has play dates, studies, and so much more.  He knows exactly what has to be done, and those that he and his parents consider to be of less importance.

I say all of this just to say when he gets tired, and believe it or not he does get tired–he sits down for a rest.  But guess what, when he regains his strength, he is on the go again.  I know, I know you will probably say that he is all of nine years of age. But it should be the same for any age.

For once I am taking Honey’s Baby’s lead  (that’s my name for him).  When I get tired, I’ll sit down and rest for a while then get up again. My mother always told me that one day I might not be able to do the things I want to do so go for it.  I am also taking her advice.  So when I can’t any more, I will have great memories to bore my grandchildren with.  They will see that Honey had a ball even when she sat down and rocked.

Remember “thisisyourbestyear”.  You will know when it is time to sit down and rest.

rocking chair 1

 

Things That Make You Go Hmmm

As we grow up, things that happen to us can make us go hmmm and scratch our heads at these new symptoms. Some call it the aging process, others say it’s just Father Time catching up, and most of us just say it’s life.

There are ailments that pop up with symptoms that we have never had before.  What are some of these you might ask?  Well here are just a few.

  • The nerve in your tooth dies–seriously.  Warm liquids seem to make your tooth radiate, but not hurt.  This means that you need a root canal to stop this awful feeling.
  • You have sharp abdominal pain after eating.  You are now diagnosed as being lactose intolerant.  No more cheese, cream based entrees or ice cream.  In other words no milk based products for you.
  • Bloating from eating bread has started.  Not really all bread, but most.
  • Eye floaters start to bother you.  It’s kind of like you are swatting gnats.  They are harmless, but they are very annoying.
  • Heart palpitations which are scary.  Causes could be sugar, caffeine or alcohol.  You think to yourself which one do I have to give up?  I have become a decaf (yuck) coffee drinker, giving up most sugar except on birthdays and weddings (I love wedding cake).  There is no more chocolate for me since it is a double whammy with sugar and caffeine.  But there is a silver lining–wine is okay.

There are many other things that happen to us as we go through life, but I have a sorority sister who always finds the silver lining in things. The one silver lining I see from being lactose intolerant (and I hardly ever ate ice cream anyway), cutting out most sugar, most breads and caffeine is that I am able to control my weight and I can still have wine.

It’s my new normal, and it’s not so bad. We do what we have to do.  Remember “thisisyourbestyear”, and cheers!

Does anyone know of a good decaf brand of coffee?

It’s Never Too Late–Just Ask Me

It was a great evening being interviewed by Matt Blake and Casey Sanders of the show “Inspired to Greatness”. The discussion was about the subject It’s Never too Late.  As a woman of a certain age, it was an easy conversation for me to have.

Hope you will enjoy the conversation

 

To hear more conversations with Matt and Casey go to Inspired to Greatness.  Enjoy the conversations, and remember it’s never too late because “thisisyourbestyear”.

Don’t Worry, Be Happy

I have finally decided to stop worrying about most things.  You know I will continue to worry about my children and family.  That’s a no brainer, but everything else, I will not worry about and that includes my job.

I will let go, and let God.  I will do as the song says, “Don’t worry be happy”. I will do what needs to be done, and let it go at that. I will be like the millennials, and the whatever else the younger generation is called.  I will stop worrying.

It started a couple of years ago–I can remember it well.  Up until that time I would be a nervous wreck when something went wrong in my house.  I would talk out loud wondering how did this happen, why poor me, every time I got a nickel I had to spend a dime.  You get the picture.

Well about 7 years ago our youngest fresh out of the Coast Guard was on her way to work when she informed me there was water in the kitchen on the floor. I immediately thought my loving husband had spilled a little something.  Before I made it into the kitchen I walked in a river of water that had engulfed part of the den and office.  The river was running wild in the sunroom, dining room, kitchen and laundry area–probably in the garage (but I didn’t care about the garage).  I finally woke my husband out of a deep sleep, started to push water out, called the insurance company and waited on those that could help us dry out. Our house had taken on flood water, but being the worrier that I was, yes I had taken out flood insurance a couple of years before. While my husband continued to push out water, I got dressed and went to work.  Now back in my younger days I would have had a crying, pity party, but I had matured–nature had run its course, and I had tried to be prepared for it. I did worry that the insurance would not pay off, but it did.

When they started to repair our house they told us we had a leaking pipe behind the washer because the paint would not dry.  So me being the worrier had purchased a home warranty plan from a well-known company that I will not name (horrible company).  Inbox me and I will give you their name.  They sent plumbers who came out 3 times, and each time they informed me they had fixed the problem–paint still wouldn’t dry. So I decided to call a plumber I had used before the home warranty plan.  The man came out looked at the wall, then at my newly laid kitchen floor and informed me I had a slab leak, and he would be back the next morning to let me know where it was located.  Yes, it was under my newly laid floor, but again the contractor and I had planned, we had purchased more flooring than we needed.  As the plumber jackhammered my floor on a Saturday which meant that we would have this gigantic hole in the floor over the weekend–I didn’t worry. If you came to my house doing that time, you would just have to walk around the hole in the floor.

Big White my 2003 Dodge Durango and I had a loving relationship.  She had not been much trouble, a little bit here and there, but for the most part she ran good.  Then one day in 2016 all kind of lights came on in her and would not go away.  The mechanic informed me of the problem, and the cost–I cried when I had to let her go, but it was time.  So instead of worrying about what kind of car I was gonna get, I just knew it had to fit in my garage.  I didn’t worry about should I or shouldn’t I–it was time. I didn’t worry about it.  Car note here I come.

Both my girls have left their jobs because they were not happy, and all I could think of was you have a car note, house note and other bills.  They replied, don’t worry–be happy.  Well they didn’t really say that, but that was their attitude.  I was running around getting all worked up, and they were out having a good time.  Yes, they were seeking employment, and yes they found what they were looking for. So why was I worrying?  Because I am a woman of a certain age, but their father is a man of a certain age, and he doesn’t worry.  Go figure.

And now my refrigerator all of 7 years old is on the blink. I can remember the one my grandmother had.  I don’t ever remember it getting repaired, and I don’t remember her buying a new one. I could worry about the food that will spoil in the hot refrigerator and freezer, but I will do the best I can to save what I can. Then I will fill out the lost food form and hope for the best.

I say all of this to say I don’t have high blood pressure, and I will not get high blood pressure behind things that I cannot control. My husband gets upset at sporting events, I theorize that no one wants to lose, but somebody will. He theorizes that they can’t play, bad coaching, etc.

I will not worry, I will be happy–I will fix, replace or resolve what I can, and let go of the rest because some things are just out of my control.  It’s call life.

Remember “thisisyourbestyear”.  Don’t worry, be happy.

 

 

An Interview With Fort Worth’s Rare Diamond–Author Amara Russell

Fort Worth native, Amara Russell is the author of the much talked about novel “A Rare Diamond”. Even though this is her first novel to be published she is no stranger to writing.  Her love for writing has been evident to those around her since elementary school when her first article was published in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. It was our honor to have a great conversation with her.

Who are some of the authors you enjoy reading today?

Some of the people I enjoy reading are Priscilla Shirer. Her book “A Jewel in His Crown” is one of my favorites; it has brought me through a lot of things that were occurring in my life at the time. Another author that I like is Lysa Terkeurst.  Her book  “The Best Yes” is about making wise decisions when going through certain situations.

Who and what do you read just for fun? Also, what is a book that you have read more than once?

I love romance novels.  There is a book by Eric Jerome Dickey called “Friends and Lovers” about different relationships.  He adds a lot of humor to his books and I enjoy that. It’s a thick little novel, and I have read it several times.

Was “A Rare Diamond” the first manuscript that you finished?

It was the first manuscript that I finished.  It took me a year to write it.  I was laid off my job in 2015, and for the first couple of months, I spent my time trying to find employment. When I didn’t find anything I decided to use the time to do something that I liked–writing.  Writing helped to heal my stress. I put my frustrations into the manuscript.

Writing became my full-time job.  Every day when I woke up, I poured myself into writing.  It was something I loved to do.

Tell us about the inspiration for the novel–was any of it born out of personal experiences?

Actually, there are a lot of bits and pieces of the story that are related to my life, and things around me. I would visit coffee shops, relatives houses and observe activities that I added to the story.

When I found employment, I wasn’t able to put the time I needed into the writing of the book.  When I loss my mom I  was able to relate to Celeste, the main character in the book who loses her mom.  This event inspired me to get back to writing nonstop.

That’s interesting what you said about being able to relate to Celeste after the loss of your mother.  That’s something people tend to think they can relate to but can’t when they have not experienced that loss.  They know what to say, but they can’t relate.

Right, when I would express to people that I was still hurting they couldn’t understand because they had not experienced it, and until they do, they won’t understand.

I understand, and God will get you through it, but you never get over it, and it is never the same.  There is a void that is always going to be there.

Right.

Now Celeste is the main character in your novel.  Tell us a little about her.  I know that you said she loss her mother at 5.  Without giving away the story tell us a little bit more about her.

Celeste is witty, smart and beautiful.  She is courageous, and she doesn’t bite her tongue about anything, but she says what she means in a subtle way.  She takes her characteristics from her mother who was filled with integrity.  Her mother could walk into a room and capture everyone’s attention.  Celeste picked up a lot of those qualities.

The story is about her life from the age of 5 to 25. She is a young woman trying to find her way, her identity without her mom.

What other characters in the novel play a pivotal role?

Derrick is a childhood friend of Celeste who grew up in the neighborhood.  Really he was her brother’s friend first.  As they grew older they were able to relate because he had suffered the loss of his father at an early age, and he had older siblings who were all girls, and her older siblings were boys.

Another main character is her brother Craig. Celeste and Craig have a very close relationship.  She leans on him, and he leans on her in certain situations.  I would say that Derrick and Craig are two of my other main characters.

From some of the comments that we  have read people say that the book kept them on their toes until the very end.  So if we were going to the bookstore what two sections would we find “A Rare Diamond”?

Probably in the Faith-based section and also in the Romance section.

If you were to have “A Rare Diamond” made into a movie, who would you have to play the main characters?

Oh my God, I knew you would ask that, and I have those people written down (laughter).

It’s important because when people read a novel they picture certain people.  I have to read the book before I see the movie.  I remember going to see “Waiting to Exhale”, and none of those people were the people I pictured except Loretta Devine.  She had the sass that was in the book.  I met Walter Mosley and told him that I did not see Denzel Washington as Easy Rawlins, and he said he didn’t either.  I told him I pictured a young Laurence Fishburne.  He told me when you sell the rights to your book, then the studio picks the actors.  So who do you have as Celeste?

For Celeste, there were two people. I had in my mind LeToya Luckett could play her or Keisha Knight Pulliam.

Oh, why those two?

The similarities when I envision my character, I see them as her. And then their personalities when I see them in films or on television.  Those personalities fit Celeste.

Ok, what about Derrick?

Derrick, the minute I started writing I don’t know why but I envisioned the actor Lance Gross.

Oh, okay, yes.  That’s a good one.  What about Craig?

Craig because he’s so hilarious–even when I was writing the novel I would crack up from some of the things he would say.  To me, I always said Mike Epps (laughter) .

Oh my God! (laughter).  He would be a wonderful big brother. 

Just to add one more, the mother because she is such an inspiration.  It’s like I didn’t want to kill her off at the beginning so I was kind of going back and forth, but Angela Bassett always came to mind when I was writing the story.

She would be good.  Even in her personal life, she seems to be into her family and her faith. You are going to have a hometown book signing.  Tell us about it.

The book signing will be downtown Fort Worth at the Marie Antoinette Parfumiere and Spa which is located at 101 West 2nd directly across from the Worthington Hotel.  It will be on Saturday, February 10 from 3 to 5.  A pre Valentine event.

Are you working on a sequel or another novel?

I am actually working on a trilogy to “A Rare Diamond”, I’m going to break it up into three parts.

That will be nice.

Well, we thank you for your time.  We’ll see you at your book signing.

Thank you so much, I appreciate it.

 

“A Rare Diamond” can be purchased at Amazon, the Barnes and Noble website or on www.nspired2write247.com.

Remember “thisisyourbestyear”.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

There Is Nothing Wrong With A Little Help

I must confess, that I could do rich very well.  I would be very nice to the people who worked for me–the housekeeper, landscaper (yes, I would have someone to plant the pretty flowers), the driver, the one who purchases the groceries, everyone.  But since it does not seem to be in the cards that I will ever be wealthy, I have decided that I deserve some help some of the time.

You can ask anyone who knows me, and they will tell you that I am a very good cook. When my children were young, I tried everything and had fun doing it.  Then one day they said the dreaded words “I don’t like that”.  Even then it was still fun, and I still enjoyed it.  As time has gone on, I have fallen in love with cooking shows.  If you ever watch the movie “Chef”, I even made his pasta dish after I went grocery shopping the following day.

There in part lies part of the problem that I face when it comes to cooking now.  There are basically three problems that make cooking unpleasant for me now.

  • Cooking the same thing time and time again.  It is easy to do.  It is just a habit that is hard to break and it makes everyone happy.
  • Grocery shopping is a job in itself.  When you do find a new recipe that you like, you have to go to the grocery store because there is a spice that it calls for, and you don’t have it.  Oh you can leave it out–it’s only a teaspoon, but that teaspoon matters. Then there are the questions, do I buy regular apples or organic apples?  What makes Central Market organic apples cost so much more than Walmart organic apples?  Are they even organic or is that just a fancy way to say pay more?
  • Cooking for two is so much harder than cooking for four.  There are recipes that are for two, but most are for at least a family of four.

I found the not so perfect solution to all three concerns.  I found *Blue Apron or my oldest daughter found it.  It does work.  First of all I noticed that she and my favorite son-in-law had lost weight.  She informed me that Blue Apron was portion controlled, and it did fill you up.  More importantly to me was the fact that all of the ingredients come with it, and the cost is reasonable.

I have enjoyed cooking new recipes for my hubby and myself, and even the girls like it.  I love the sides that come with it more than anything.  They are quick and easy.  The sides use ingredients that I usually have, but have never thought about putting together. My daughter wishes they would go one step further by chopping the ingredients too–that doesn’t bother me.  The meals are very tasty and the presentation is great too. The recipes are easy to follow–they have pictures to aid in this.  I have enjoyed every one of the meals with a few things that I would tweek if I did them again.

Since I can’t hire a chef, Blue Apron has become my personal chef, and it is worth it. I am not cooking the same things over and over and even going to the grocery store is more enjoyable.

*Blue Apron is not the only meal delivery service, I have friends who use others including Home Chef, Hello Fresh and Plated.  You might want to give one of them a try.  You do not have to receive a shipment every week, and there are vegetarian meals to choose from.

Everyone deserves a little help.  Remember “thisisyourbestyear”.  Bon appetit!