Archive | September, 2009

Memories: Pressed Between the Pages of My Mind

Memories: Pressed Between the Pages of My Mind

by Reese Grey

Memories, sweetened thru the ages just like wine.

If you have a paper film picture of you and your sweetened memories, you have a physical reality. If you have that same picture digitally, you have none, in fact, what you have is millions of little zeros and ones stored on various types of media. That is our electronic reality. But you, you are saying, “I have all my pictures safe and sound on my computer.” Well, if that is where all your precious memories are, they are not so safe and not so sound. Listen up.

Just once will not do in our rapidly changing, quickly damaged, failing and soon to be obsolete world. Your computer’s hard drive is a delicate fast spinning disk and it will eventually break down – your CD’s and DVD’s can become unreadable (and lost). And any of these scenarios will leave you frozen in fear. Even if you have used some form of media storage, you know that the bullet proof method has yet to be discovered. How heart wrenching to find that you backed up all those vacation pics only to have that flash drive fail for you!

Looking at the best option for you and me, it seems best to choose a variety. That appears to be the option for many photographers (and their photos are their lifeline). Many photographers, we found, back up to more than one source – and very often.

  • So to keep it safe and sound.
  • Choose your methods– have more than one.
  • Keep it consistent and organized – put reminder pop ups to do your photo back ups on a consistent basis.
  • Backup to all the different sources in one sitting to assure you have the job completed.
  • Do not mix. Use the chosen media source(s) for your pictures and nothing else.

It will take you some organization and just a little bit of time but you will be secure and comforted knowing all your memories really are forever.

Memories, memories, sweet memories.

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Just Say Ahh

Just Say Ahh

Ahhh, September….The beginning of Fall and a new school year. Although the sounds and smells of new school supplies are now dominated by the click and clack of keyboards and freshly cracked-open laptops, the woody scent of number 2 pencils and cotton-candy aroma of glue sticks still remain in some elementary schools. For some parents who now have time to do other things than entertain bored children, nostalgia for the clean-slate beginning of the Fall term transports the mind back to autumn in other locales, where there may have been actual turning of leaves and crisp breezes to accompany them on their morning walk. (Do kids even walk to school anymore? From the line of buses and cars in front of the local schools, it would seem not many.)

Here in Texas, while we still endure daytime temps in the upper 90’s, the nights are gradually becoming cooler and the winds less balmy. We retain the right to vent about our deadly and humid heat, being survivors of yet another summer, but we know that we have it so much better here than the Yanks do in the northern territories, where they are already seeing 40 degree days and…wait for it…snow!

Our few months of mild winter, with only the occasional ice storm that affords us a couple of unplanned days off a year, are a blessing compared to the North’s six-month freeze and constant blizzards. Their short 70 degree summers, for those who have never lived there, don’t make for very comfortable swimming.

A Texas Spring is admittedly a thing of beauty with its plethora of wildflowers, but Autumn brings its own splendor. Some of the biggest skies in the country grow a little more azure, the grass stops frying and turns a shamrock green before it dies, and the pink and yellow lantana and fuchsia crape myrtle are blooming. It’s cooler now at the Ballpark, filled with the red and blue of Rangers fans, and Jerry World overflows with the silver and blue of Cowboys fans. Small towns are decked out in their high school colors, which makes a trip across Texas back roads like traveling through a rainbow. And while we may not have many colorful gold and maroon autumn leaves, we have plenty of UT burnt orange.

There’s a new blurb on a local radio station that says “You can always tell a Texan, but not much.” You sure can’t tell a Texan that any other state in the union compares; we are a proud bunch who proclaim our status with bumper stickers like “Native Texan” or “I wasn’t born in Texas but I got here as fast as I could.” There are more songs written about Texas than any other state, and this love letter to our unique home will end with one that says it all.

“When I die, I may not go to heaven,
I don’t know if they let cowboys in.
If they don’t, just let me go to Texas,
Texas is as close as I’ve been.”

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Campaign for New Denton Animal Shelter

Campaign for New Denton Animal Shelter

Denton has a critical need for a new animal shelter to replace the existing City of Denton shelter built in 1979, which is out of date and capacity. The current shelter, which has a maximum capacity of 114 animals, will handle over 5,000 dogs/cats in 2009. Due to population growth by 2017, conservative estimates are that over 7,550 stray, abused and abandoned dogs/cats will require service annually. “This is a project that is long overdue for Denton and needs addressing with appropriate dispatch,” said DASF Chairman Bette Sherman.

Denton Animal Shelter Foundation, Inc. (DASF) is a federal tax-exempt foundation partnering with the City of Denton in proposing an updated and more humane concept in animal care and adoption by launching a $3.2 million capital campaign to support the building of a new Denton Animal Care and Adoption Center. The city will need to fund the majority of the 22,240 square foot facility which would continue to house city Animal Services functions required by state and city regulation. DASF is soliciting private donations for the adoption and care areas, changing the strategic focus to rescue and adoption instead of merely warehousing dogs/cats. “This facility would be a positive reflection on the image of the city of Denton,” said Mayor Pro-Tem Pete Kamp, DASF Vice Chairman. She added that “the city would continue to operate the care center with increased participation from volunteers and local rescue groups.” Texas State Representative Myra Crownover is serving as Honorary Chairman of the capital campaign.

After 18 months of assessment and research, the conceptual design was completed by Connolly Architects, Inc., an Austin-based firm specializing in animal shelters. Hired by the city, Connolly completed a master plan that was accepted by city council in December 2008. In January 2009, the city purchased 20 acres of park land, designating six acres for the new animal care facility, and would be three times the size of the older shelter, allowing for future growth and expansion. Areas funded through private donations would include attractive adoption-friendly dog/cat habitats, outside dog play, cat screened porch, on-site vet clinic, community/event room, grooming, “get-acquainted” private rooms, separate space for puppys/kittens, and volunteer coordination/training space. This center would seek to qualify for green energy efficiency LEED silver designation and would use advanced technology for maximum operating cost effectiveness.

As part of the capital campaign, contributors have the opportunity to “name” areas of the new shelter. Available for individuals, families, businesses, and groups, and may include “in memory ” or “honor ” designations. A permanent “Wall of Honor” will be installed in the lobby of the recognizing contributors.

The mission of DASF is fundraising and public education to support the city shelter; it is not involved in daily shelter operation. DASF is an all-volunteer 501(c)3 non-profit organization with no paid staff. For contributions and more information: www.dentonanimalshelterfoundation.com

Posted in Pet Care0 Comments

Fashion Created

Fashion Created

I recently had the opportunity to participate in a study abroad trip to Hong Kong and China with 23 other students from UNT’s School of Merchandising. The purpose of our trip was to meet with business professionals to learn, and see first hand, where the majority of apparel production is taking place.

One of my favorite factories visited in China was PanYu Denim Washing Mill, a factory that specializes in the washing and treatment of jeans. I watched as workers worked on jeans to stitch together folds, scrunched folds, steamed, and taped to create the whisker lines that we seldom take a second to think about. Next distressing was done using sand and sand paper. They used several methods for this; hand rubbing, putting the jeans on inflatable poles and using a hand sander (like you would on a piece of furniture), or to actually lay them out and blast them with fine particles of sand. The rubbing and sanding creates a softer finish while the sand blasting creates more of contrast look. Chemicals were sometimes added to the surface of the fabric to change the color of the jean. Fold, scrunch, and zip tying the jeans for a wash and dry cycle created still another effect. Ever hear the term “stone washed?” They are actually washed with stones that look similar to volcanic rock. Familiar brands being treated at this particular plant included Arizona, Miss Sixty, Les Halles, Mudd, and R. Marks.

The owner of the factory demonstrated these techniques and while it was all impressive, it was the look on the man’s face that caught my attention. His pride was evident and his beaming face was touching.

Employees work in 8-10 hour shifts and earn approximately U.S. $200-$300 per month with overtime, room and board, and food. Their work mentality is different than that of most US workers. Eight hour day limitations are resisted; these employees want to work as much as they can so they send money back home to their villages as well as trying to gain a financial edge for their future possibilities. At this first factory visited in China my preconceived ideas were shattered. There was a tremendous sense of pride throughout the factory, from the workers to the managers it was obvious they were excited to show us around and elated that we would come to see what they do and what they create, making my visit inspiring and humbling at the same time.

Posted in Fashion Report0 Comments

Who’s Your Farmer

Who’s Your Farmer

This is the second in a series on local farms in and nearby Denton County

It isn’t too often we are given the privilege of sharing someone’s story at the beginning, as it unfolds. Like a rock band that seems to become an overnight sensation when in reality they have been doing the work it takes to get there for years, this farm is in its infancy and I am inviting you to come along and share their journey as they grow.

This farm is so new it has no name. Leah and Michael Daily are the owners of this charming, nearly 15 acre farm just a hop from I-35 off Hwy 380. They live there with their 3 children – David, Samantha and Hannah. These kids play an important role in maintaining the property and helping with the chores around the house. Their oldest son Cody is stationed at the air base in Wichita Falls with his wife and 10 month old son.

The Dailys thought of calling this getaway Cottonwood Farms, because as Leah says, “only cottonwoods seem to grow here”, but these people are changing all that. In deciding what to plant, they performed a soil test that proved they were well-suited for berries, so that’s where they started.

This year they planted their first two hundred blackberries choosing two thorned varieties – Kiowa and Shawnee as well as two thornless – Apache and Ouachita. They also chose to start fifty of a drought tolerant raspberry that grows well in North Texas, Dorman Red. This farm irrigates from a well and being concerned about water conservation, they buried drip irrigation as they planted. In addition, they utilize tree mulch to cool the ground for the plant’s roots, preserve moisture to minimize watering and reduce weeds and grass invasion.

Leah and Michael are on schedule for additional plantings this winter and since these first plantings will have limited production in 2010, they are hoping to open to the public in 2011. The berries are only one aspect of this charming farm though.

The Dailys are hoping that this farm, complete with a stocked catfish pond, vegetable garden, fruit trees and ducks galore, will grow into a family destination for holiday and seasonal activities. Being social, they love to bring people together for Easter egg hunts (3000 eggs last year!) and Fourth of July celebrations. Several local churches participated this year in a “Celebrate Recovery “July 4th party complete with hamburgers, potato salad and fireworks!

As is true for many farmers these days, Michael and Leah both work “outside the farm”. This is their second job and there’s no question they love the farm and the potential they see. Leah is at the brink of establishing a web site to keep her followers connected, so to get on her mailing list contact her by email at mddaily21@msn.com.

For more local farm info try: www.SlowFoodUSA.org, www.LocalHarvest.org, www.NaturallyGrown.org or www.EatGreenDFW.com. Most importantly if you know of great farm in your community, email me at suenewhouse@yahoo.com

Posted in Home and Garden0 Comments

Denton Charity Events

Denton Charity Events

Salvation Army Annual Luncheon
September 1, from 11:30 am – 1:00 pm • Denton Country Club
“Faces in the Crowd” featuring community activist Bernice Washington as the keynote speaker. Silent Auction begins at 11 am. 940-566-3800.

Third Annual Heroes Helping BBQ Cook-Off
September 11, Kick-Off Party and Concert
Grapevine Bass Pro Shop
Raising money to build a barrier-free camp, Camp Craig Allen in North Texas, for physically disabled kids and adults. Be a BBQ team, eat BBQ samples, enjoy live bands, auctions, kid’s activities, and see wheelchair sports! www.campcraigallen.org

2009 Communities Civic League Charity Golf Classic
October 27 • Trophy Club Country Club
Proceeds from the event go to Argyle Volunteer Fire Department and the needs of the community. Kay Hammer at 972-839-2449,
or visit www.cclargyle.org.

Sixth Annual Angel’s Kiss Gala
September 26. 5:30 pm – 11:30 pm • The Speedway Club
Benefits the Vascular Birthmarks Foundation. The event will include cocktails, dinner, silent and live auctions, Texas Hold’em Poker, and dancing to the High Definition band. Contact the Bolingers at 940-595-1800 or go to www.vbftexas.com.

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