ART, Attractions, DESTINATIONS, DFW Metroplex, Performing Arts, Restaurants & Bars, TRAVEL

The Weekend Report

TRAVEL HERE: A BIG WEEKEND

A Good Excuse for Fun!

So last weekend was my husband’s birthday. It was sort of a milestone for him and he decided to live large! In fact, he started looking forward to it a day early, when usually he does his best to ignore it. So, Thursday afternoon he pulled out one of the good bottles of wine and enjoyed smoking his hookah in our sunroom.

Friday Night Date

The celebration, which started on Thursday, kept going on Friday night. You have to know that Friday nights are pretty quiet around here, usually. We don’t like to fight the big crowds, but we researched several Dallas restaurants, trying to find something new. We finally gave it up and went to Fire and Fable, something in Rockwall I’d tried out for coffee the week before. I found out they had a bar and stayed open 10 to 10, so we gave it a shot.

Warning it’s a little confusing. They bill themselves as a bookshop bistro, but when you walk in, the first thing you see is a pastry counter. In truth, the ladies at the counter were a tad bit more interested in whatever they were doing than they were about seeing if we were taken care of. We told them we were going to the bar, but then decided maybe we’d prefer to eat, but having already talked to us, they weren’t going to give us their attention again.

So, we walked through the next bit, which is actually bookshopish and found ourselves in a line, but we weren’t sure what we were waiting for. Chatting up the group ahead of us, we found out they’d just been called to their table, and we were in the right place to put our name on the list. They were seated and after a bit of a wait, the hostess asked us what we wanted.

She put us on the list for a table, but then found us a place to sit in the bar. We ordered drinks and an appetizer. Then we sat back to enjoy the show. All the cool kids were there being cool, so it was quiet entertaining. The service was slow, but I can only imagine what kind of chaos going on back in the kitchen, because the place was jamming.

Our appetizer was fried artichoke hearts and I cannot heartily endorse them, but in spite of that, I think you should go check it out – just maybe not on a Friday evening. We managed to wrench our check from the waiter and get it paid. Then we escaped out the back door. The hostess texted us our table was ready, just about the time we got home.

Saturday Night Date

You know it’s a big weekend if we go out twice!! Bill joined my bestie and I on our Saturday afternoon adventure, which happened to be a movie. We saw A Man Called Otto with Tom Hanks. It was really heartwarming, but you have to sit through a lot of sadness to get to the good part. All three of us gave it a thumbs up!

But that’s not all. On a walk around The Harbor earlier in the week, I suggested to Bill the new Sear Steakhouse might be a good place to celebrate his birthday. He allowed that it might be, but he hadn’t worn his glasses and couldn’t see the menu posted outside the restaurant. He checked out their website once he got home, which didn’t have pricing and decided it would not be a good place to go.

Well, Deb decided to take him to 360° for a drink. 360° is the circular bar outside Sear Steakhouse – perfect for a sunset drink, since it overlooks Lake Ray Hubbard, but it worked fine for a drink (or two) in the dark, too. I must say we thoroughly enjoyed our time there and after a look at the menu (he had his glasses) we decided we could even afford to eat there!

Sunday Night Date

Nah! We didn’t go out again. After church, we both went to our offices to catch up on things which needed our attention. When dinner rolled around, however, Mr. Bill did cook up some falafel sandwiches and it was very good.

It was a really good weekend and we had a lot of fun. Thanks for dropping by. I hope you’ll come to visit again next week.

DFW Metroplex, Photo Organization, Photo Organization Coach, Photography

The Weekend Report

TRAVEL HERE: NETWORKING, NOT WORKING & OTHER DISTRACTIONS

A Friday for Networking

Friday morning I had a 1:1 scheduled with a great local business owner and she suggested we meet at a great local business. My meeting was with Candace Barnes of Noble Barnes and she’s the reason I was a Fable and Fire when they opened at 10.

Let’s start with Candace. I first ran into her at RASBA – Rockwall Area Small Business Alliance, a networking group for local entrepreneurs. We have a great Chamber, but us small guys can get lost in the shuffle, so there was a need for something on a smaller scale. It was started by Sarah Naylor , who is not only an amazing asset to our community, but also one of our top clients at Spot On Images. When she started the group, I had a standing commitment at the same time, but I put RASBA on my wish list, not just because she was our client, but because I heard such good things about the “speed networking” format they were using.

Well, they were right about RASBA! Since it’s in my neighborhood, I saw several people I already knew, but I also met a handful of new folks, one of them being Candace. I set up an appointment with her and then I ran into her at least twice at other networking events before we had our 1:1 – events like RWIB (Rockwall Women in Business) and RCAN (Royse City Area Networking).

So, Friday morning, I’m standing outside waiting for Fable and Fire to open. I wasn’t really paying much attention to a pair of women standing nearby, who were also waiting, until I saw Candace drive up in the Noble Barnes pick-up truck. One of the women said, “Oh Noble Barnes is such a cool company.” She proceeded to tell the story of Candace’s son who started a lawn business at 14, so he could buy a car and turned it into a company with 10+ full time employees, who will handle your lawn, your home or your pets for you.

I gotta tell you, I’d love it if someone said, “Oh, Spot On Images is such a cool company,” and proceed to tell about the ex-Realtors® who liked taking photos of new listings better than they did selling them and started a real estate photography company from scratch, which is now one of the top photography companies in the area. The story is true and most real estate agents know about us, but a couple of housewives meeting for coffee? Not so much.

The meeting with Candace went great. We have many points in common. I recommend Noble Barnes whole-heartedly. So, if you’re in the area and need help with most anything, give them a call!

Next up was the monthly Wine Women and Wealth Meeting of Kaufman County, sponsored by my friend, Susan Bennett White. Sorry gentlemen, this one is for the ladies. Lunch is free, as is the mini-financial seminar and business spotlight. It’s been a great resource of leads for my Memory Keeping business and I really enjoy it, every month.

A Saturday for Not Working

Friday afternoon I dropped off a big Memory Keeping project I’d been working on and found myself in a break between customer projects. I drug out the personal project I’d been working on and got things set up to crop throughout the weekend.

Saturday morning I got busy on the album until it was time to go to lunch with my bestie, after which she graciously agreed to do cemetery duty with me. For lunch we went to Mi Cocina in Watters Creek, mostly because we both needed a margarita or two. Then it was on to Pecan Grove, because Mom’s birthday was a couple of days away and I really don’t want Ruth haunting me. We chose a red plumish bouquet with peonies at Hobby Lobby and it looked great.

Then for a little shopping therapy. We didn’t score any major bargains, but we both found things that we couldn’t leave at the outlet mall. Back home, i dug back into my album.

A Sad Sunday

My pastor is leaving. I’ve mentioned this, but it still breaks my heart. I’m happy he and his wife are excited and challenged by their new ministry, but selfishly, I wanted them right here at my church. I was greeting Sunday, which kept me out of Sunday School and rendered me late for the worship service, but it also probably kept me from sobbing through the morning.

The elders and the congregation had cooked up a surprise farewell party. They still have a week left, but there’s a business meeting after church and so that’s how we managed to make this a surprise. It was a touching event and I got to participate by presenting them with a digital photo album I’d made with photos another lady had been taking, ever since we found out they were leaving.

I worked on my personal album before and after church. I finished up (except for the cleaning up around 8:30. Then I watched a little TV with the hubby before heading to bed.

And that was the weekend. I was a little late with this weekend report today. It was a busy week and writing my post got lost in the shuffle – but here I am. Come back next week. We’ll have adventures in NYC, adventures in Memory Keeping and the next weekend report.

DFW Metroplex, Fashion, Photo Organization Coach, Photography, Restaurants & Bars, Shopping, TRAVEL

The Weekend Report

Photo by Engin Akyurt on Pexels.com

TRAVEL HERE: BLUE MESA, CHUCK, ALFREDO’S & FERAH’S

Polka Dot Dinner at Blue Mesa

Rolling it back to Thursday, I have to tell you about Polka Dot Powerhouse. If you need an international women’s group in your networking mix, here you go. Yes, you can connect with women all over the US, as well as the rest of the world. I joined to get to know some Rockwall women better, but the Networking Gods intervened and now, twice month I travel over to the Stonebridge Area to connect with some of the coolest women you can imagine. Second Thursday is at Blue Mesa Granite Park and fourth Monday to Kelly’s Craft Tavern Stonebriar. Let me know and I’ll get you in.

Getting to Granite Park for dinner is quite a commitment for me. I wake up so early that I’m powering down by about 7, but for my Dots, I crawl in the car around 5 PM and drive to the other side of the world for the 6:30 meeting. I can usually make it in an hour, but since I have to go over the dreaded I-30 bridge, I must add half an hour, just in case.

Totally worth it! I’ll leave it at that, but it’s not all business. These women are fun and business is not the focus, but the result. The theme is, build the relationships and the business will come, and they’re serious about it. I do a lot of networking and they ALL say you should build relationships, but nobody does it better than the Dots. So join me for a lunch or a dinner and find out what I mean.

Chuck

So, I don’t watch a lot of TV and when I do I usually hate it, but I love Chuck! Computer nerd working at the local big box electronics store inadvertently becomes a CIA asset when his brain is downloaded with a program called the Intersect. That’s the plotline, but it doesn’t begin to describe the fun you are about to have when you start watching it. There’s violence, but it’s obviously make-believe and they use tranq guns more often than live ammo. See, Chuck doesn’t believe in killing people. It’s sexy, but nothing you’d be afraid of your four year old watching. They do cuss, but it’s the light stuff for effect, not the shock treatment you get on most modern TV. So your four year old has already heard all of it.

Anyway, I won’t wear you down with more, but that was my Friday night, my Saturday night and the cliff hanger was so good, I watched an episode after church on Sunday. I have to slow down though. There’s only one season left and I have no idea what I am going to do without it. I don’t think there’s any other good clean fun designed for adults.

Alfredo’s

I wish it were not so, but the restaurant my car most frequently goes to is Alfredo’s in Forney. That’s where FANG (Forney Area Networking Group) meets every Tuesday. It’s the one networking meeting I try to make every week, because this is my gang. It’s really more like visiting family than it is going to a networking meeting, but over the years, I have gotten some darned good business from it.

It’s also where my friend Susan Bennett-White has her WWW (Wine, Women and Wealth) meeting. It’s a monthly financial seminar for women with great networking and the opportunity for spotlighting your business. I admit, I go for the networking. I am married to Mr. Finance, but the WWW tips are always good and I’ve racked up some good leads.

So, why in the world would I go there on a Saturday morning, right? Well, a lead I got at the November WWW suggested we meet there for breakfast and she’s so excited about Forever, I would have met her on the moon if she’d suggested it.

What a morning! First, I missed a turn on the way there and was forced to wander around the backroads between Heath and Forney – but I was only a few minutes late. Then my laptop totally failed me. For reasons unknown and totally unrelated to the Alfredo’s location, because not it won’t go online anywhere, now. Then she had her granddaughter with her, which in most cases would have been totally fine, but with no visual aids to assist me, I was going head to head with whatever the granddaughter was playing on her tablet, her complaint about the restroom being in use, her ginormous breakfast order and the side of sausage which was delivered later. Still, Forever won the day and I have a new client.

Finally, Ferah’s!

So, after a week with six networking meetings, five 1:1 meetings and a failing laptop, it was time to play. When I left Alfredo’s, I headed to meet my bestie at Ferah Tex-Med Kitchen. And no, that’s not a typo, Ferah’s fuses Mediterranean dishes with Texican favorites for something that will both surprise and delight you.

The first thing I ordered was a Sauvignon Blanc. Then we shared the Chef’s Sampler Platter with Falafel, Fried Goat Cheese, Crab Cake, Bacon-Wrapped Stuffed Dates, Hummus and Pita Bread. How do you say delicious in TexMed? I’m not sure, but I am sure you’ll love it.

Instead of dessert, we chose shopping therapy. A little Ulta’s for some of life’s necessities, like a new mascara I didn’t really need, but the tube was so cute. Enough Chico’s to confirm we love their outlet store and DSW. I told myself I didn’t really need any shoes and I didn’t until I strolled through the clearance racks.

Now, if you love DSW, I don’t have to tell you about the clearance racks. I don’t even look at shoes which aren’t on clearance, but I have another filter. The shoes are tagged by colors indicating from 20-60% off. The percentage of the colors change week by week instead of having to re-tag them. Whatever colors are 50-60% off, those are the only ones I will seriously consider and they better be really good for me to even be interested.

I’m hard on shoes and my feet are getting more picky about what they will wear, so those off-brands you’ve never heard of, they don’t get much of a look either, but JLo’s and Jessica Simpson’s? I couldn’t name any of their tunes, but I love their shoes. JLo was really styling this time, as was Jessica and Adirenne Vittadini, she had a stunner, too.

I walked out with four pairs. Three of them were legit purchases based on things which fit right into my current wardrobe. This metallic orange number with the rhinestone aglets? No reason and no excuses. They just weren’t going to let me walk away without them. It won’t be long until they tell me what to wear them with, either.

So that’s the weekend. Sunday I went to church and then spent the rest of the day getting caught up with stuff, like this post. Keep coming back. Travel Talk and Memory Keeping 101 will keep coming at you, just like the Weekend Report!

ART, DFW Metroplex, Performing Arts, Photo Organization, Photography, Restaurants & Bars, Scrapbooking, WRITING

The Weekend Report

TRAVEL HERE – NCFCA AT DBU, AT MY DESK & TAKING DOWN THE TREE

National Christian Forensics and Communications Association

Once upon a time, before there was a Spot On Images and we lived in Dallas, I used to attend Dallas Christian Writers Guild. Somehow that ended up taking me to Denton for a group of writers I can’t remember the name of. While I was never able to sell my novel, I did make some great friends. One of them, Rachel, invited me to judge at a speech tournament. By then, I’d figured out the market was focused on paranormal young adult fiction and wasn’t interested in a simple romance at a retirement center. I’d also moved to Wylie.

Rachel suggested I give judging a whirl. The tournament was going to be in Wylie at a church almost around the corner from our rental. She had no idea I’d been on the speech team at Bryan Adams High School. NCFCA, to which her children belonged, just needed community judges. She thought I’d be good at it, because she’d observed me critique the works of my fellow writers. I was flattered at the time and agreed to do it.

Now, I’ve got to admit. These kids blew me away. I’d belonged to the National Forensics League back in the late 60/early 70’s. My fondest memories of the time was a trip to a Houston tournament in Jimmy Johnson’s red Impala convertible. After our sponsor threatened our lives if we went to Galveston, we, of course, snuck out and went to Galveston. It was 10 minutes on the beach and we had to head back, but the exhilaration of the outing stays with me, even today.

The home-schooled members of NCFCA are dead serious about their craft, unlike us crazy public school kids, who just wanted a reason to get away from home. Don’t get me wrong, we had some really great people on the speech squad, who would walk away with all the trophies, but most of us were just there for a good time. NCFCA members are all there to compete!

Anyway, I loved the experience and have continued to volunteer every time I can. We moved to Rockwall and I discovered many of the families in the church participated in NCFCA, but that’s really not my primary motivator. I really just love the kids and love the experience of the speech tournaments. If you are the least bit intrigued by it, I think you should follow the link above and give it a try. They have a tournament over in Ft. Worth in March. I’d love to have someone to carpool with.

Last weekend they had a tournament at Dallas Baptist University and even though I was fighting with allergies, I went ahead and judged, because I love it so. I was not disappointed. It took the whole day. I judged four events and the commute was substantial, but I loved it.

Bill was not amused. I left the house at 8am and got home after 9:30 pm. The allergy symptoms I had been fighting were winning the battle and I was miserable, but my faith in the upcoming generation was renewed. I have hope things are going to be better in the world when these guys take over. Come with me in March and let’s help the next generation blossom!

Digital Photobook Project

If you read this blog at all, you know I’m all about scrapbooking and I have a business devoted to it, but I also offer digital solutions. I booked a new digital assignment which needed a quick turnaround, so I was afraid starting it from scratch would take too long. I decided to create the photobook from one of the gorgeous templates Forever has on their site, but that was totally new to me, because I usually create photobooks from scratch in Artisan. As if that weren’t challenging enough, I also decided to use the album planner in the Historian program.

I had assumed there was some sort of integration between the Historian album planner and the photobook templates on the Forever site. What is it they say? “Don’t never assume nothing.” Yes, I found the album planner to be a great tool, but it would have been an even better tool if I could have clicked a few buttons and automatically populated the template.

My other challenge had to do with saving the template in some format which would let me stop somewhere along the way. I knew there had to be a way, because few people can sit down and do a whole album in one sitting. After exhausting all the methods which made sense to me and losing a couple of starts, I had to call customer service for some help. I am happy to report in a few minutes I had talked to someone very knowledgeable who had all the answers I needed. The solution was easy, just not intuitive.

I finished the photobook and got it ready for my client to proof. However, I do have several integration innovations to suggest to Forever. The photobook templates are lovely, the Historian album planner is a great tool and Artisan is an amazing scrapbooking program. However, these three products need to be able to shake one another’s hand. Integration of their products is one of the big jobs at Forever, but Job One is always the security of the online storage. What might seem simple or apparent as a product feature isn’t going to happen until the Forever engineers are 100% certain it won’t compromise the storage. So while I might fuss a little bit, I’m happy Forever does things the way they do.

Taking Down the Tree

Client’s rush order out of the way, the Christmas tree standing in my living room was the next challenge. I usually go to church on Sunday mornings, but this week I was just too puny to do so. Yet, I was also feeling too good to sit on the sofa and vegetate, so I started the job. I gave it a good three hours and got about two thirds of the way through before I ran out of steam.

Then my bestie came over and we indulged in one of our favorite comfort foods, chicken pot pie! Later Bill dragged me to Olive Garden for dinner. He had a plan to maximize his monetary investment while feeding both of us. Good job Bill. We may be eating Olive Garden to go orders and leftovers all week, but you proved just how much food you could get for under $50!

The Christmas tree project was Job One for me on Monday. It’s time to get over the holidays and get back to real life. Come back next week for more adventures of Jane. Wednesday is Travel Talk and we’ll be talking about some Southwest challenges which happened long before the recent meltdown and Thursday we’re talking about what it costs to build a scrapbooking page. Looking forward to chatting with you!

DESTINATIONS, DFW Metroplex, Photo Organization, Photo Organization Coach, Photography, Scrapbooking

The Weekend Report

TRAVEL HERE – BORING!

Turning the Corner to 2023

Believe me when I say, last weekend 2022 was winding down. It wound down to nothing.

Friday morning I spent some time with my new Cricut – my favorite Christmas present. So far it’s been all learning curve and no real spectacular moments of craftiness. I’ve spent more time learning what it can’t do than I have making stuff. Leave it to me to find the edges of digital technology.

Friday afternoon, we had lunch at Community BBQ. For my bestie and I, it was a return trip, but we were joined this time by her brother and Mr. Bill. I shared a rack of ribs with hubby and avoided the loser mac & cheese, but I saw them take some to another table. It looked much improved.

This visit was not quite as good as our first. The wine was still free, because they haven’t gotten their liquor license, yet, but this time my ribs were fatty. The okra was delicious and I enjoyed a baked potato. Deb’s brother had the brisket and seemed to love it. She, like me, repeated the ribs and was happy. Mr. Bill was disappointed by the ribs, because they were beef ribs. He has very particular taste and if it’s not baby backs, he’d rather not.

Saturday morning I played Marian the Librarian. I keep the library at our small church going and we’d had a huge influx of books. I’d brought them home to prep them for the shelves and made a morning of it. That afternoon I went around the house and the yard taking down the Christmas decorations. The manger scene in the front was another of my favorite Christmas presents, but I got it early so we could display it for this season. Now, it’s in the garage. We have to figure out how to store it!

For New Year’s Eve, Bill and I ate our leftover ribs for dinner and sat on the sofa catching up on episodes of The Voice. That’s pretty lame for a couple who got engaged on Christmas Eve, almost three decades before, but we choose to stay home out of the madness. We drank good champagne at midnight and crawled into bed.

The New Year Arrives with a Bump

If it’s Sunday morning, then I’m probably at church. New Year’s Day was no exception. I shelved all the newly donated books, attended Sunday School and then during the worship service I got the bad news I knew was coming. Our pastor is leaving us here in the Bible Belt, where there’s an evangelical church on almost every corner, to lead a small church in one of the most neglected mission fields in the world – New England. Seriously!

My pastor and his wife had made it known about six months ago that they felt a calling away from us. At that time they didn’t know where they’d go, just that they knew they were done here. I was so sad. Finding my church had been a multi-year task. Worship formats everywhere have taken a turn away from what I love and I’d made the rounds without much luck. This church was an uneasy fit for me in some ways, but they have a traditional worship service and the teaching during the Sunday morning service was stellar, some of the best I’ve ever had.

Now I have to decide what to do with myself on Sunday mornings. No giant of theology is coming to fill the soon-to-be empty shoes of this marvelous teacher. In fact, the elders are going to take turns with the sermon. Natural attrition has taken away some of my favorite people in the congregation and while there are those I love, for the most part I am I fish out of water. I was there each Sunday for the teaching that won’t be there anymore.

Ten years ago, that wouldn’t be so much of a problem, I’d go find another evangelical church with a great teacher and a traditional worship service. Just finding a traditional worship service is one problem, but finding one with a live preacher is even more challenging. I’m just not ready for church on the big screen. So, God and I are chatting about what is next.

Strolling Down Memory Lane

As I mentioned earlier, Bill proposed to me at the stroke on midnight on NYE 1993/4. It had been a complete surprise to me – a good one, but he’d kept his secret well. So, January 1, 1994 I spent the day trying to wrap my mind around the fact that I was engaged to be married to the handsomest man in the whole wide world.

That afternoon we took a walk along the dock at Chandler’s Landing. Together we carved out our path for the coming months. Bill was ready to get married immediately, like could we do it in a few weeks as far as he was concerned. That was plausible if we had a small, quiet ceremony, which I thought was fine, except that he wanted a big wedding with all the trimmings. That meant I’d need a few months to pull it all together.

Chandler’s Landing was very members/residents only back in those days. There was no Yacht Club Restaurant open to the public. We were interlopers, but on that very quiet day, no one seemed to mind. On Sunday we still had to cheat a little, telling them we were going to the restaurant, when all we wanted was the restaurant parking lot, but we literally strolled down memory lane as we walked along the docks.

Chandler’s Landing has changed. It was fairly shabby in 1994, a mere shadow of what it had been designed to be. Today, things are different than they were back then. The HOA has taken over the facilities and hired a very good management company to bring it all back to its former glory – and they are doing a good job of it. The restaurant is still hit and miss, but everywhere you look things are looking better than they were twenty-nine years ago.

Our Ham and Black-Eyed Peas

We skipped The Yacht Club on this visit. We had to eat our ham and black-eyed peas, which I had for us at home. Nothing fancy. I picked up a ham steak at Kroger to go with the can of black-eyed peas I already had on the shelf. I like cornbread with that meal, so I also picked up a package of cornbread mix. It didn’t take long to put on the table, but we enjoyed it. Afterwards, we watched a little TV.

The New Year is off to a good, if quiet start. I am wrapping my life around the resolutions I have made for a “Better Me in 2023.” As befits a new year, my Travel Talk posts will be taking a new turn to New York City. Then Memory Keeping 101 will focus on punches to go along with all that paper I love. I hope you’ll join me for the fun.

ART, Attractions, DFW Metroplex, Music, Performing Arts

The Weekend Report

TRAVEL HERE – SIX, A TRIUMPH AT THE WINSPEAR

So this year, Winter showed up with a bang. On the first day of winter, the warnings were ominous and quite accurate. I kept close to home on Thursday and Friday, working on a sorting job for one of my clients. I saved my gift wrapping until Christmas Eve and then it was time for the really big show.

Christmas Eve Treat

While most of the ads on Facebook are a waste of my time, occasionally they deliver just what I was looking for. After Thanksgiving I’d been shopping around the internet for a potential short trip, when we were offered the opportunity to barter some real estate photography for a weekend stay in a gorgeous beachside rental property. That satisfied my traveling bug, but I had my eye out for something to spice up the holidays.

During our 2020 holidays I had planned some epically bad holiday entertainment and in 2021 we’d won a trip to Las Vegas, which was almost as epically bad. I needed to up my game. The Galveston/San Antonio trip was a winner, but I needed a little something else. Facebook delivered SIX!

I had been in New York earlier in the year and opted for an oldie but goodie, because nothing Broadway was offering up looked better than Moulin Rouge. I hadn’t exactly kept my ear to the ground about what had come out since, but apparently SIX hit the Great White Way with sizzle! When Facebook let me know it was coming to the Winspear, I could tell immediately it was right up our alley. I sent Bill the video and he agreed.

So, we booked our seats and decided going on Christmas Eve would make it extra special. We were right! With our older generation on the other side and having never provided ourselves with a younger generation, when the holiday parties are over and everyone else focuses on family, we’re a bit at loose ends. A matinee at the Winspear was a perfect way to spend the day.

Bundle Up, Park Close & Get There On Time

Though the iciest temperatures were behind us, the temperature was quite nippy on Christmas Eve. Bill hates paying for parking, but I warned him I did not want to hoof it from the parking spaces on the other side of the DMA. Thankfully, he accommodated me and we parked in the Cathedral underground parking. My boots might have been made for walking, but not for walking far.

We even made it there with time to spare, which is not always the case. Bill’s not one for hanging around much before the show, but for me he got there about half an hour early. The Winspear had actually called me the day before and warned me about the theater’s closed door policy, because apparently the cold weather was a challenge for some of their patrons. The early arrival gave me time to make a potty stop and do a little people watching. We were amazed at the number of people standing in line for SIX merchandise. Haven’t they heard of the internet?

However, Bill didn’t want to get to our seats too early and held me back until about 10 minutes before the start of the show. Then we began our walking tour of the Winspear. About two levels up, we found an usher and asked her where we were headed. It didn’t do much good though, because with the mask she was wearing her instructions sounded like (mmm mmmmmm mmmmmm mm mmm mm). Thankfully, she also pointed, so up we went.

We found another human being and found out we were almost there. Just one more set of stairs. We found the right door and headed in. We were in the middle of the first row and everyone else was already in their seat, but it was fixing to get ugly.

I knew the Grand Tier was not a place for me to sit. Not only was it nosebleed high, the chairs are not even bolted to the floor. I’d sat in Dress Circle seats before and had enjoyed it, but the seats were higher up in the section. One might think sitting in the middle of the front row of the Dress Circle would be a good thing. If you’re not acrophobic, go for it, but I thought I might just head home!

We could see our seats, but without the kindness of strangers, there was no way for us to get there. The first row of the Dress Circle at the good old Fair Park Music Hall was luxurious with extra leg room. At the Winspear there was no legroom. Here we were, several stories from the bottom floor, with nothing but a knee level bar to hold us back and we were supposed to scoot along in perhaps a foot of space. We were about to get up close and personal with a dozen or so people we didn’t know.

Bill went first, I looked toward the standing strangers we were inconveniencing (they had to stand or we couldn’t get by) and got ahold of him with a death grip. If I was going over, he was going with me! For a few moments I actually thought I was going to die!

When we got to our seats, I sat down and clutched the arm rests until my blood pressure went back to normal. I can’t say that I felt comfortable at that point, but it was better than hanging out over the great abyss. According to a Google search I just did, only about 9 people have died from falling out of a theater balcony, but I sincerely do not want to round that number out.

The show was about 5 minutes away and I browsed my program for pertinent facts about the show. The lights went down and the curtain went up.

A Rollicking Good Time

While I cannot in good conscious recommend our seats, I will say the show was marvelous. No complaints! It is an hour long thrill ride, loosely tied to good King Henry VIII and his six wives. The cast and musicians are all women and they do grind the whole women’s issue stone throughout the show, but I managed to ignore it, because most of it was in good fun. The costuming made whimsical nods to the fashion of good King Henry’s day, but was all firmly rooted in today.

The show is an hour with no intermissions and with the closed door policy firmly in place, if you show up late you are out of luck. I had no trouble hearing and understanding the lyrics of the songs, so that was great.

If there had been voting for the best wife, I would have chosen Catherine of Aragon for her song. It had the touch of a Latin beat and a distinctive Nuh-Nuh-Nuh-Nuh riff that became my earworm of the show.

Number two for me was Anne of Cleeves. I wanted to bust out laughing every time she sang, “I’m the queen of my castle,” with a definite nanny-nanny-poo-poo tone. The other wives disqualified her from winning the award for best wife, because she did not suffer enough. In fact Anne’s song was Bill’s favorite for the hilarious German accents they copped for it.

Anne Boleyn, was a little bitter in the funniest of ways. No matter what anyone else claimed to suffer, she would remind them of her beheading with a very firm nod, which left her pretty helpless in the face of Katherine Howard’s fate. Jane Seymore’s fate, death in childbirth, rendered her fairly saccharine as she spoke of how she was Henry’s only true love and the mother of his only son. She was all but disqualified from the competition and would have been if she hadn’t reminded them that she DIED. Katherine Howard was played as the whore of the castle who might have deserved what she got.

All this had to end somehow, so Catherine Parr calls and end to their competition. This was the weakest part of the show for me, but libbers everywhere probably loved it. They reprised their complaints and it was time to go home.

While we loved the show, we decided we don’t love the Winspear. We’ll try to take our entertainment doses at the Meyerson or the Majestic – or even the Eisemann Center, for that matter. The signage at the Winspear is non-existent and everything is just a little too tight or too high for our comfort.

Christmas Day

What can I say about Christmas? I started the day at my church’s worship service, then went over to my bestie’s to help get Christmas Dinner done. I love any time I spend with her. We enjoyed prosecco in the kitchen while her guys watched movies. By 5:30 or so, the other guests who had been variously entertained elsewhere arrived and dinner went on the table. The meal was glorious and opening our gifts was marvelous.

Come back next week. The last installment of Las Vegas will come on Wednesday and we’ll talk Memory Keeping on Thursday. Happy New year to you and be safe during your NYE celebration.

DFW Metroplex, Photo Organization, Photo Organization Coach, Photography, Restaurants & Bars, Scrapbooking, Shopping

The Weekend Report

Travel Here – Holiday Parties and BBQ in Downtown Rockwall

Holiday Parties

White Elephant

Scooching back to Thursday, I had a spate of holiday events at the end of last week. Thursday morning was a monthly networking event in Turtle Creek . In truth, I didn’t see a single gift which made me want to take it home. The gift I took got oohs and aahhs and was one of the few which was traded, but I confess it was a re-gift. Well, not exactly a re-gift. I’d won the tea mug in a raffle and the last thing I need is another dish or mug. My cupboards runneth over. So, I saved it for something like the gift exchange.

I opened the Binge-Watching Survival Kit – a White Elephant gift on steroids. Inside are 2 face-cleansing towelettes, 2 dental floss, breath drops, emergency socks, 2 stain removing towelettes, 2 coasters, snack clip, 2 hand cleaning towelettes, 2 folding sporks, facial tissues and a sofa yoga guide. Do you actually think there is any difference at all in the face cleansing and hand cleaning towelettes? The only thing I found remotely entertaining was the “Decision Coin.” One side says “One More,” while the other says, “Go to Bed.”

For now, I’m holding on to it, in case another gift exchange rears it’s ugly head. I’ll probably break it up after the holidays, putting some of it in the car for emergencies and the clip chip in the kitchen, but that spork is going into the trash. The metal box will be great for stickers!

HOA Party

That evening our HOA held a Christmas party for the neighborhood. I knew they’d have the same old fajita buffet they usually do and the same old people, too. When we moved here, I’d hoped we’d have neighborly neighbors and at first it seemed we did. Then things went left. One thing led to another and let’s just say the no drama llama wouldn’t be comfortable on my street.

In spite of the drama we’ve been through, we do have the very best next door neighbors in the world, but I knew they were traveling, so I would have stayed home. Since Bill wanted to go, we went. We got our plates of food and the only people we did know had already filled up a table, so we sat down with strangers. I want you to know they were very nice, but their endeavors to get to know us were so intense we felt like we were suffering an interrogation. We shoveled down our fajitas and high-tailed it back home.

Wine Glass Exchange

One of our very favorite clients has an annual wine glass exchange during the holidays. I was invited for the first time previous to the pandemic and I was all out of kilter. I’d bought a beautiful bejeweled wine glass to exchange, but discovered raunchy was the name of the game. The glasses most frequently traded were those with the naughtiest sayings. Everyone, but me, had brought in food, even though the invitation said nothing about it. The invitation did say BYOB, but most of the bottles were hard liquor and they were sharing cocktails. I took home my bottle of prosecco and the only portion missing was what I drank.

The pandemic caused a two year hiatus, but this holiday it was back on. While raunchy is not my style, I did manage to find a glass with some sass. I took a plate of desserts and a bottle of champagne. It was good champagne, but even though I only had one glass, the champagne was gone within five minutes. The fudge on the dessert plate seemed be a hit. I felt much more in the groove.

When we gathered around the tree, I discovered I had been a trend-setter two years ago. This year be-dazzled glasses were the trend and my sassy glass went to the dead pool. The gift I opened was not a wine glass at all, but a water goblet. I had seen it earlier in the day, on clearance at Hobby Lobby. My gift exchange luck was holding at bad.

Saturday Afternoon Fun

Downtown Rockwall

I woke up Saturday and hit my scrapbooking table. I had lunch planned with my bestie after her dance lesson, but I’m working on a huge sorting project and all the holiday folderol had kept me away from it. By the time I met her downtown, I’d made some headway on the project.

When we moved to Heath back in 2015, Downtown Rockwall was pretty sad. There was some renovation going on, but there were more vacancies than businesses in the storefronts around the square. That’s all in the past now. As I stood on a corner waiting for bestie to show up, I was pleased by the hustle and bustle around me. There are no more vacancies. It makes parking a hassle, but it’s a good hassle to have.

Though we have several favorites in Downtown now, we opted for something new, Community BBQ and Grill. Their website says they won Best of 2020 from C&S Media, but since they are still in their soft opening, there’s something fishy there. The site also says they are “traditional, not typical,” and that I can vouch for. We had the ribs (if there are ribs, we always have ribs) and they were eat-with-a-fork good. That’s how much meat they had on them.

The fried okra was served piping hot and delicious. The rolls were good, too. I can’t vouch for the mac & cheese. Not sure what’s going on there. The mac was spiral pasta and the cheese was a runny sauce. However, Deb had the cole slaw and she said it was both fresh and delicious. Wine was free, because they don’t have a license yet. It was a nice Pinot Grigio.

Hunger sated, I had one more Christmas gift to buy, so we went down to Bella’s House on the Square. There are several stores I enjoy visiting on the Square, but I know Bella’s has Brighton and that’s what I wanted. I managed to only leave with the gift, but several other things would have loved to come home with me. Deb bought a Christmas ornament, but I don’t have anymore limbs on my tree and I think Bill would have a conniption if I came home with any holiday decor.

Scrapbook Delivery

I had one more to-do on my list, but it wasn’t downtown and I couldn’t take my bestie. The scrapbooking project I did for the pageant queen had been completed since the end of November, but we were having trouble getting our calendars to mesh. Finally, we had a time that worked for us both.

I love everything about my little cottage industry, from the moment I meet a potential client to the delivery of their project, as well as every photo, item of memorabilia and sticker in-between. This delivery was albums two and three for this particular client. I was eager for her to see them, so the waiting had been difficult.

The delivery of a traditional scrapbook is my favorite thing. Memory keeping is an important tradition and I’m glad it translates into our digital world, but for me, digitized photos or a printed photobooks just don’t have the emotional impact of a scrapbook. (Hubby disagrees, by the way. He’s all about video and photo books.) Most of my clients look through their album with tears in their eyes. Not all of them and my pageant queen is not a crier, but her absolute glee was apparent.

She also started hauling out my next jobs for her. She wants albums of her kids. The kicker is, someone somewhere along the way made albums of her kids for her, “but we like what you do,” she said. She also said, “Has Meagan called you yet? I’ve got another referral for you, too, and be ready, because everyone who sees what you do will want you to do the same thing for them.” From her mouth to the ear of God!

So, that was the weekend, Sunday was church, memory keeping and a walk around the neighborhood. Not terribly exciting perhaps, but a good time. Come back next week, for more Vegas, more memory keeping and another Weekend Report.

Architecture, Decorative Arts, DFW Metroplex, Photo Organization, Photo Organization Coach, Photography, Real Estate Photography, Road Trips, TRAVEL

The Weekend Report

TRAVEL HERE – TRAVEL THERE: WORK & PLAY OUR WAY

Busy Business Saturday

We woke up with a to do list. Shoot a home in McKinney, pick up photos for a memory keeping project and then go home and pack. Two out of three ain’t bad – am I right?

The shoot went well. It was an amazing house and we were doing everything standard real estate photography for the MLS, drone work and videography. It took a long time, but it went smoothly.

There was a little time to kill between the shoot and the pick up, but no place to kill it. The locations were just around the corner from one another, but nary a Starbucks or a McDonald’s in sight. We were both a bit peckish since it was past our lunchtime, but we were forced to go from one place to the other without so much as a tater tot.

It was a quick handoff. Once the boxes of photos and memorabilia were safely stowed away, we started looking for food. We’d about decided we’d just go home and eat our leftovers when a Sonic came into sight. We pull into a stall, only to be told nothing was working. The food gods were not on our side.

The leftovers were back in play, until a Jason’s came into view. A Rueben for Bill and a Light Loaded Potato for me. Time to head home to pack.

A Hitch in our Get Along

So, it’s a little before 4. I’m driving us home and I take our exit off the George. As I go up the ramp to take the split for I-30 E, I realize there is something very, very wrong. The ramp is backed up to the split and the eastbound traffic is backed up as far as the eye can see in both directions. Welcome to the Rockwall Bridge!

Two hours later we’re being directed off the bridge at the DalRock exit to join the rest of the traffic trying to sort itself out. As we made our way across the 66 bridge, Bill decided Wayz would find us a shortcut. I am not a fan of Wayz. I have my little ruts I drive in and I like them, but I’m too tired to argue when he tells me to turn on Lakeshore. We made a few more turns and suddenly I am faced with the prospect of turning onto 205 without a light. I put ‘er in park and told Bill it was his turn.

It’s 6:30 now. I have a load of texts to answer and photos to send to the editor, but I’m not even home yet. How exactly am I supposed to pack for our trip? The short answer is that I wasn’t.

The hitch in our get along stayed with us through the next morning. My phone was blowing up. A lot had to do with our accommodations in Galveston, but there were also new appointments to book, which is not usually the case on a Sunday morning. It’s a bit difficult to pack when your phone is going off every 3 minutes.

Long story short, it was noon before we got away from the house. We were hoping to get away earlier, because Bill wanted to get some of the shots out of the way for the rental property we’d be shooting. Some of the interiors for instance, where we’d be spending our time or perhaps the twilight shots. But of course, that’s not how it turned out.

Going to Galveston

This trip had its inception at a Polka Dot meeting back in the summer. A friend with a short term rental in Galveston was making some changes to her property and wished Bill would shoot it, because no one down there had his eye. I told her if she’d put us up at her place, we’d be happy to shoot it for her. She said it would probably be September and that was cool.

September passed and so did October. By November it had fallen off our radar completely. So, when she texted me on November 29th letting me know the property was ready, we were taken by surprise. While December is traditionally a slow month for real estate photography, there is a lot on our calendar for the holiday. Also, we needed good weather, for a good shoot – especially since drone work was involved.

We checked the weather and our social calendar to discover December 4-6 would be the optimal dates for those two entities to cooperate. So we booked it. We just didn’t know they were going to close the Bridge down on December 3rd.

My weekend reports are usually a one day read, but I’m just getting started. Come back tomorrow and we’ll go to Galveston!

DFW Metroplex, Restaurants & Bars, Shopping

The Weekend Report

TRAVEL HERE – THANKSGIVING WEEKEND

Pre-Holiday Hint

Every two weeks I have a wonderful blessing show up at my door. Lorene Marsh of Touch of Clean has been my housekeeper for several years now and I really don’t know what I’d do without her. She’s one of the most reliable, dependable people I have ever had the opportunity to work with. She has a lot of other things going on, from real estate move in/move out services to staging, but I can count on her to be at my door and do my house, like clockwork, and she does an amazing job. She’s so good, I’m tempted to keep her to myself, but that’s not fair to her, because she does such a good job and deserves to be lauded for it. If you decide to try her out, please let her know I sent you!

The Holiday

I became an orphan several years ago when my mom passed away. I’d lost Dad the year before and my precious Aunt Edie the year before that. Since I never had kids myself, I was at a loss for what I might do on holidays. Then I was invited to my nephew’s in-laws for Thanksgiving dinner. Suddenly, I had family again and it wasn’t just a nice gesture to get me over a hump. They invited me back for Christmas and year after year include me in their family celebrations. Of course, we love it, because we get to see our nephew and his wife, with their 3 little boys, but their entire family has embraced us as theirs. We have come to cherish these people as if they were our real family, instead of just the people who adopted us, but when people ask me where I am going for Thanksgiving, they certainly look at me funny when I say, “My nephew’s in-laws.”

The Main Event

For me, this is the main event when it comes to Christmas. When holiday decorating comes around, the tree is the first thing to go up and the last thing to come down. It takes me all day long. If it looks overcrowded to you, that’s because the sum is greater than the parts. This isn’t just my tree. It’s also my mom’s tree and Aunt Edie’s tree. Three women, one tree.

Each item has a story, from the angel at the top to each hand-tied bow. Some decorations were hand-made when I was a kid, others were bought during travel or mark a special occasion. Many were bought on the post-Christmas shopping trips I’d take with Mom and Aunt Edie.

I don’t go out and shop the malls on Black Friday. I stay home and open box after box, reliving the memories of a lifetime of Christmases with the people I love. I even have ornaments given to me by that family I have Thanksgiving dinner with. I look at that tree and know I have been loved and that I still am, because each year people I love add to my collection.

Once the tree is up, then I can get to decorating the rest of the house and believe me, I have plenty of treasures passed down to me from Mom and Aunt Edie there, too, but there’s nothing like the time I spend decorating the tree and the joy I get from seeing all holiday long.

Taking Care of Bestie

My husband has two women who depend on him to get up their Christmas decorations. His first job is to drag my stuff out of the closet under the stairs and help me get my tree set up (which by the way was a real headache this year).

Then he must report to my bestie’s house and get up her lights. Her son helps get her tree up, but the lights are Bill’s job. This year the day was dreary and damp, but if we didn’t do it on Saturday, exactly when were we going to do it? We all have very busy lives.

Burgers with Bestie

As a thank you for the assist with the lights, we went to Wells Cattle Company, my favorite burger in Rockwall. There’s a lot of stiff competition for the title of best burger in Rockwall, but I sing the praises of the Wells Burger. No one has better meat than Wells and that’s the most important ingredient in any burger. Chatting with Lee Wells, the owner and proprietor, during this visit, he explained how they take one of their own whole cows – from the chuck to the prime rib – and grind the various cuts into the magical mixture that becomes their meat patty.

But there’s more to a Wells Burger than the delicious meat patty. Take for instance the size of their burgers. Recently, I had another local burger and when it was delivered, I couldn’t even wrap my mouth around it – and that is not a compliment. A burger is only good fresh, in my opinion, so those outsized burgers are a waste, and not as good as a Wells Burger. I never leave Wells hungry, but I also don’t leave behind a bunch of food or go home with a box of guilt.

As to fixin’s you can have as many or as few as you want. They have literally anything you might find anywhere else. I had my favorite, the Pimento Burger, Deb went for the Bleu Cheese and Bill had the simple Wells Burger with just the basics. All were scarfed up. While we were chatting with Lee, Bill voiced his opinion on the fries and we all got an education. Come to find out, what Bill likes are not actually fresh cut fries, like they have a Wells. To each their own, of course, but Lee told us the process he goes through (twice cooked) to get the fries thoroughly cooked. I personally like them.

I got lucky, because Saturday is Coconut Pie Day. I admit, my mom ‘s coconut pie is still my favorite, but Wells has a close second. For me it’s all in the meringue. I don’t like that thick, two inch mess some restaurants serve. I like it light, like my momma used to make. They also have good chocolate pie on other days. Everyone else opted for cobbler and Well’s does that well, also. I’m just not going to have anything else when good coconut pie is available.

What a great visit to my favorite burger joint. We were there a little late, so we missed the rush, which allowed us a really good visit with Lee. What a guy!!

Taking It Outside

With the tree up and Deb’s lighting taken care of, the next big job was getting up our outdoor decorations. I was very excited about this, because we have a totally new look from the wreath on the front door, shown at the top of the post to the lighted Nativity in the photo to the left.

Though we’ve lived here a number of years, for the most part I have made do with the decorations from our last house. We had a number of espaliered magnolia trees there, that we’d fill with outdoor ornaments. I moved those ornaments to our two front trees at this house.

My next door neighbor teased me that the two trees looked like Charlie Brown Christmas trees, but they were what I had. I’d had my eye out for a Nativity scene for a long time, but never could find exactly what I wanted, so instead of just buying another make-do kind of decoration, I just stuck with the Charlie Brown Christmas trees. I also had big red bows for all the lanterns and that look I liked a lot.

In the years since we’ve lived here, I had convinced Bill to get the lighted wreaths you see in all our windows. We went to an end of season sale a few years back and we’ve been very happy with them since. Obviously, they stayed. It’s a style I have loved all my life, but didn’t really have the house for it. Now I do. So when I upgraded my outside decor, I knew I’d keep them.

Last year, as I put up my exterior decorations, I knew they were on their last legs. The red bows had faded to orange and all the gold and silver balls I once put in my magnolias were fading and peeling. So, at the post-Christmas sales, I picked up a gorgeous new wreath and new bows. When I took down the old decorations, they went in the trash. Still, I couldn’t find a Nativity I liked. I don’t like the blow-up decorations at all. They just don’t match my house and while Hobby Lobby had a gorgeous half-life-sized set I loved, I don’t pay that kind of money for decorations.

I’d warned Bill about the state of our outdoor decorations. We live in a neighborhood where they really go for decorating. In fact, most homeowners pay for roofline lights to be installed every year, but I new that would never happen at our house. While he wasn’t ready to pony up for the roofline installations, he didn’t want to be Scrooge. So, on a recent visit to Home Depot, I noticed an attractive pre-lit Nativity set and pointed it out to Bill. In the basket it went, along with a couple of lighted deer.

And voila! Here we are. The lighted wreaths are the same ones we had, but everything else is brand new this year. What do you think?

Shutting Down the Weekend

So, I was supposed to deliver some albums Sunday evening, but my client had a sick kid she needed to take care of, so Bill and I decided to go to dinner. He was in the mood for BBQ, so I did a little research and told him about The Smokin’ Donut in Fate. Someone, somewhere had suggested it was great. I was a little concerned when I found out it was inside the Fate Gas & Grocery, but we were feeling adventurous. When we got there, he was distracted by some re-programming he was trying to do on the car, so I decided to run in and scope things out.

There was indeed a doughnut shop inside the Grocery Store, but I didn’t see (or smell) any BBQ. I asked if she indeed did have BBQ and she assured me she did, but I noticed they had exactly one table with someone sitting there devouring a doughnut. This scene was not conducive to Bill’s enjoyment, even if they happened to have the world’s best BBQ.

We redirected ourselves to the local Olive Garden to fill up on salad, soup, breadsticks and some pasta. We ended up with plenty to take home for Monday’s evening meal. It wasn’t BBQ, but it was good.

Come back next week! Wednesday will be our big night at the Bellagio and on Thursday, I’ll be talking about the costs associated with traditional albums.

DFW Metroplex, Photo Organization, Photo Organization Coach, Photography, Real Estate Photography, Restaurants & Bars, Road Trips, Scrapbooking

The Weekend Report

TRAVEL HERE – THIRD WEEKEND IN NOVEMBER & AUTUMN IS DEFINATELY HERE

I hope you and your family had a wonderful Thanksgiving celebration yesterday. While last weekend was fairly busy, there’s not a lot that will be interesting to you. However, we did try out a new restaurant on Thursday and on Friday I did have one thing worth mentioning.

Finally Four Winds

So, shortly after we moved to the Rockwall area, we started hearing about a steak restaurant called Four Winds in Wills Point. We also heard that to get a reservation there, you needed to book a month in advance and you’d still be lucky to get in. We’re fairly spontaneous about our dining out and steak is something we usually cook at home, so even though folks raved about the food, we had not made any serious attempt to go.

Still, we kept hearing about it, so we’d begun to look for a reason to make a reservation and go. That’s when one of those people who want to sell you annuities sent us an invitation for a free meal at Four Winds in exchange for listening to her presentation.

I’m warning all of you people who offer up time shares, vacation clubs and financial plans, Bill and I are very good at ‘no thank you’. We actually consider the presentations a sort of entertainment and feel no compunction at leaving without setting an appointment or buying any thing at all. Remember, you contacted us. We didn’t come looking for you.

A free dinner at one of the most popular restaurants in the area? That’s a no brainer. I won’t waste your time with the annuity bit, but I will tell you Four Winds made listening to the spiel worthwhile. Both of our steaks were noteworthy and the side dishes were good too. I’m sure we’ll find a reason to go back and we won’t even mind paying for it ourselves!

Wine, Women & Wealth

One of my dear friends, Susan Bennett-White is a financial consultant. She handles all kinds of things from a program to save you money on the things you buy every day, to being able to help you get your finances in order to buy that house you want or even what kind of life insurance you need. Once a month she has a program directed at educating women, which as a group are generally underserved in the financial arena. It’s called Wine, Women & Wealth.

Besides being a good educational vehicle for women concerning their personal finances, it’s also a great networking event – that’s why I’m there. The meal is free, the event is fun and while it’s obvious Susan would love to have your business, there is never any pressure to buy, from Susan or from the various businesses – one of which is spotlighted each month. Just so happens this month, my memory keeping business was the spotlight.

So, in the photo above you see me, begging people to turn their mess over to me and let me turn it into memories they can share with pride. We’re at Alfredo’s Steakhouse in Forney, TX. Since I go there once a week for FANG, Forney Area Networking Group (Networking you can sink your teeth into) once a week and then once a month for Wine, Women and Wealth, it just might be the restaurant I go to most frequently, but even though it’s a steak house, all I ever get is breakfast, a salad or a sandwich.

I’d love to connect you with Susan and her monthly free lunch and networking event, so just let me know if you’d like to be invited next month.

Wedding Bells and Sunday School

The only other place I went this past weekend was church and I went twice. One of the sweetest girls in my church married the love of her life there on Saturday. It was a very tender event. Then, of course, on Sunday morning I got up and went to church. I happened to be the greeter, which meant I froze my patookus off, there in the breezeway of Rockwall Bible Church.

Otherwise, I took care of a few real estate photography clients, designed and ordered my company Christmas cards, finished a digital photobook and ordered it, started another one and tried to deliver a pair of scrapbooks I had finished, but my client got caught up at the mall. Not very exciting, huh?

I actually was away from the house for less than half an hour, because my client caught me before I got too far, but when I got home all hell had broken loose. My husband had decided to build a few shelves in the attic, for which I am sincerely grateful, but many of my “treasures” (translated that means “free tote bags” were in danger, because he wanted to “organize” (translated that means “dispose of”) them.

And really, that’s it! Next up, learn about Las Vegas’ High Roller Ferris Wheel and then on Thursday, we’ll be talking about the digital side of my memory keeping business.