Archive | June, 2009

Just Say Ahh…

Just Say Ahh…

Ahh, July…The grass is growing, the birds are chirping, it’s summertime…no, wait, this isn’t Kentucky, this is Texas, where the grass is burning, the birds are croaking, and it’s SUMMERTIME. Spring, which lasted about 97 minutes in late May, gave way to full blown Hot in early June, and now here we are in the dog days.

This isn’t a reference to the Dog Days of Denton, although that event is a fine slice of pure Dentona. We’re talking about the dog days of summer, according to the Farmer’s Almanac July 3-August 11, the hottest days of the year (which are also, coincidentally, official Air Conditioner Appreciation Days). In 1813, John Brady referred to this as an evil time, “when the seas boiled, wine turned sour, dogs grew mad, and all creatures became languid, causing to man burning fevers, hysterics, and phrensies.” Brady wasn’t Texan, but may have visited here once and been inspired.

Many countries celebrate Independence Days in July, including Belarus, the Bahamas, Maldives, Peru, and our own USA, which follows the burning fever theory mentioned above. It’s easy to imagine our Founding Fathers finally reaching their boiling point with ol’ King George during the heat of the summer, and Jefferson spending a long hot Philadelphia night penning out his irritation as a heated Declaration. One can only imagine how it might have turned out had he written it in Texas.

And of course there is France’s Bastille Day, the anniversary of the storming of that fortress-prison; Egypt’s Revolution Day, the celebration of a violent coup forcing out the last ruling king, and Orangemen’s Day in Ireland, commemorating the Battle of the Boyne. Apparently hot weather fosters hot tempers, validating once again Brady’s description, and it’s fortunate that the scientists who set off the first atomic bomb on July 16, 1945, were working in air-conditioning.

Which brings us to the lighter side of July, when the heat inspires such holidays as Stay Out of the Sun Day on the 3rd, Hot Enough for Ya Day on the 23rd, and the logical follow-up Nude Recreation Weekend, the 6th -12th. And of course, what we need every month of the year to be, and not just when our tolerance is so heat-shortened: Cell Phone Courtesy Month.

Let’s not forget our old friends the Catholics, who must have a hand in every month: St. Swithin’s Day on July 15th carries the tradition that whatever the weather is like on that day, so shall it be for the next 40 days. This is, of course, very true in Texas where summer lingers on well into October, when we pray for Fall to last longer than 11 days.

Here in Denton, July is the month of one-upmanship, as in “I remember the summer of 98, when it was so hot you could pick fried green tomatoes right off the vine,” followed by “Well, I remember the summer of ’80, when it was so hot and dry you could pick ticks offa catfish.” This year, let’s keep the competition friendly and avoid those hot-tempered phrensies.

Posted in Editorials0 Comments

Home Care While You’re Away

Home Care While You’re Away

When pet owners choose to hire someone for in-home care, a locally owned pet sitting business is the optimal choice, especially in today’s economy.

Independent pet sitting businesses, as a whole, have been in existence for decades. In fact, many of these businesses have been pet sitting for a number of years and, in addition to providing excellent care, they offer advantages. Pet sitting businesses operate their services in a way that uniquely fits the community by being able to offer options and special arrangements on a client to client basis with freedom to fit their clients’ needs.

“Many people are concerned about the economy and are looking for ways to keep money in their communities,” says Therese Kopiwoda, founder of PetsitUSA. “Hiring pet sitting businesses that are fully owned by community members is an excellent way to put money back into one’s local economy.”

To find the best professional in-home pet sitting service, search online for company websites that offer an insight into the level of expertise each pet sitter offers, whether or not they are certified in pet first aid/CPR, or ask for recommendations from other owners. Also, look for a sitter who is part of an organization such as Pet Sitters International. When it comes to the right person caring for one’s pets, pet sitters are a solid choice for owners who want the best.

Sheila Wilson, Companion Pet Sitting, 940-390-6820,
Serving Denton, Aubrey, Crossroads, Krugerville, Providence, and Savannah

Posted in Pet Care1 Comment

Summer’s Favorite Looks

Summer’s Favorite Looks

It’s summer time again, and swimsuit season is back! Whether you’re going to the beach, taking a dip at the local pool, or simply laying out in a friend’s backyard, you can be the talk of the town if you have a flattering bathing suit and the season’s trendiest accessories.

As you look through this summer’s cutest collections, focus on finding a swimsuit style that compliments your body shape. To create a waist, try a belted one-piece or a monokini with side cut-outs. Triangle tops with ruffles or embellishments are fabulous for enhancing a small bust, and a shirred one-piece or a tankini with rouching is perfect for hiding a tummy. Just remember: We are all built differently, so try on lots of styles — a style that looks great on your friend might not be the same style that looks great on you!

When it comes to colors, about almost anything goes. Whether you decide on a solid color or a multi-colored print is up to you; just remember that colors that are similar to your own skin tone will make you appear paler, so choose a swimsuit with a flattering color and show off that tan!

Top off your look by adding a few fun details and accessories. A little print wrap, cotton tunic, or a jersey dress can make a complementary cover-up. Then add some shoes. Whether you delight in metallic roman sandals, lace up wedges or jeweled thongs, one thing is for sure: Strappy sandals are a must! And bold jewelry is back again, so keep your look updated with a colorful set of bangles. Now you’re ready to make a splash with an oversized tote or a straw bag. Don’t forget to throw in your suntan lotion, and I’ll see you at the beach!

Posted in Fashion Report0 Comments

Tangles Salon

Tangles Salon

Sharae Inman, owner of Tangles Salon, has been in the beauty business for two decades, starting a career teaching color theory and techniques in salons around the western states, and opening her first salon in Denton County in 1996.

Ms. Inman started with permanent makeup four years ago when a long-time client had a mastectomy and needed the areola tattooed after breast reconstruction. Two years of trial and error, and a long search for quality ink, she finally found Premier Pigments, an organic ink that does not contain iron oxide which makes color fade and change. Tangles also offers restoration for surgical scaring, lack of pigment in the breast, and repairing areas where iron oxide ink was used in the past.

Permanent makeup has become a staple with “Baby Boomer” clients, and Tangles Salon focuses on natural-looking makeup application. As eyes age, it becomes harder to properly apply eyeliner/eyebrow pencil with bi-focal or reading glasses. Permanent makeup takes away the frustration of maneuvering around glasses, lasts ten or more years, and will drastically reduce the time you spend in front of the mirror in the morning. Such a joy to wake up and virtually walk out without having to primp, and it’s especially wonderful to go swimming and get out the pool with perfectly fresh eyeliner and lips. Ooh La La!

Posted in Business Focus0 Comments

Apple Tree Project

Apple Tree Project

DISD estimates that for the current school year 39% of enrollment live in poverty as defined by the Federal Poverty Guidelines. Providing these children with back-to-school essentials places additional financial hardship on their families. Over 8,240 children in DISD are qualified to receive assistance through the Apple Tree Project. It is only through the generosity of the Denton community that the needs of these children will be met, and Interfaith Ministries was able to assist over 879 of those students in August of 2008, our largest distribution yet!

Interfaith Ministries’ Apple Tree Back-to-School Project assists children from low-income families with essential items for back-to-school. Each child participating receives a complete set of school supplies, a backpack, two new sets of school clothes, and a new pair of shoes, as funds allow. Apple Tree makes an annual estimated economic impact of over $100,000 in the Denton community. The goal for the upcoming school year is to provide at least 1,000 DISD children with back-to-school essentials. Contributing to the Apple Tree Project is an excellent investment in Denton’s most precious resource, its children. In order to fulfill this larger distribution in 2009, we need everyone to be involved. Volunteers (especially bi-lingual) are needed to assist in taking applications, and as always, donations are greatly needed in order for this project to prosper.

Visit to learn how you can support The Apple Tree Project, view a list of Host Sites where “apples” are available for adoption, contribute to this program using PayPal, or call 940-566-5927.

Interfaith Ministries of Denton, Inc. seeks to provide emergency basic needs assistance to the people of northern Denton County with the goal of helping those people to become self-sufficient.

Posted in Charity0 Comments

A Pastor’s Thoughts

A Pastor’s Thoughts

It was a typical early spring London afternoon, damp, low overhanging clouds, rain showers growing more frequent. I was in London playing “Granny” to two grandsons, three and one and a half. Two cousins, aged seven and five, joined us. By now the baby had awakened from his nap. A long, unplanned afternoon loomed with restless children. Adult action was necessary.

We headed to a nearby recreation center and “queued” for tickets for the next Kid’s House of Fun hour. We entered a child’s paradise, a giant bounce/play house: three stories tall, with at least a 900 sq. ft footprint. For about 20 minutes, all, even the baby, enjoyed the paradise of exploring and falling and jumping and climbing and hiding.

And then . . . two larger groups entered, most of the children between 6 and 11. These exuberant children, also restive from a school holiday spent inside, did what comes naturally. They ran through the tunnels and down the slides, bumping one another, knocking each other over, running faster, faster, faster. I felt like I was watching a movie in fast forward as they raced by my watchful eyes in hyper-speed, screaming louder with each pass, heedless who they trampled in the rush to get . . . nowhere. It was just a large maze, and all eventually ended at the same place, exactly where they started.

The rush to get nowhere–how typical of so much of human activity. Rush, rush, rush, hurry here, make that deadline there, don’t be late because something bad will happen, quicker, faster, speedier–GET THERE NOW BECAUSE IT HAS TO BE DONE THIS MINUTE OR . . .!!!!

Or what? What if it doesn’t get done? Well, frankly, sometimes it is pretty darn serious if it doesn’t get done. Some parts of life must be met head on with speed and expertise. But our frantic pace insists if something can be done faster, then it should be done faster. Our lives mirror the House of Fun maze. Racing through it faster only means getting back to where we began, and when we get there, we are tired, sweaty, and unsatisfied.

Stop. Just stop. Breathe deeply. Feel your heartbeat. Find silence and listen to it. Hear the wind in the trees; see if you can catch bird notes and crickets. Skip an activity, turn off the computer, the TV or DVD player, the iPod, your mobile phone. Do nothing. Even without your help, the earth will still rotate and the tides will come in and out. Life will go on. Stop. Listen not only for your heartbeat but for the heartbeat of God. Look for the redeeming love that holds the entire universe together, including the space where you sit this very moment. You are held, pondered, crooned over by the love of the Divine One.

Just stop for a while each day. Leave the frantic circular maze. The world will not end. And yours might begin again in freshness and renewed awareness of God.

The Rev. Dr. Christy Thomas, Pastor, First UMC, Krum, 214-418-9541,

Posted in Spirituality3 Comments