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Posts Tagged ‘Community Event’

IMG00334Today, on our way back from lunch, we walked down the sidewalk of Magnolia Street, and this sign caught my eye. Neither Stillmog or I had ever done acupuncture before, and it seemed adventurous to walk in off the street for a free session, so we decided to give it a try. We walked into the office of Pam Durham, the acupuncturist for Acupuncture Wellness Community Clinic.IMG00335 Water Boy was of course with us, and we were at a loss as to what to do with him while we got prodded and poked. IMG00327Terri came to the rescue, though, easily entertaining him in the area they actually have set up exclusively for children. That’s a major plus right there! I was very pleasantly surprised by how patient she was with him, and we were both able to relax a little and enjoy the experience.

IMG00322There is a circle of six recliners in the main front room where the community acupuncture comes into play. You watch others get their sessions while you sit and talk and listen, a very relaxed and open setting. Pam has a comforting and familiar Texas drawl, and an easy way of talking with her clients that makes you automatically comfortable. A full group of the six of us listened to Pam while she gave a brief overview of the practice and what she would be doing, including mentioning the twelves special points in the body that are important in Asian Medicine and the flow of Chi. She walked around the circle, showing one of the tiny, thin needles to each volunteer. They’re actually very flexible and almost invisible, slightly reassuring to someone who might be, ahem, nervous about needles.

IMG00328Another husband and wife duo were participating, the wife being the instigator and the husband being very much against the whole idea. It was actually pretty funny how very disdainful he was being about it. Pam was very tolerant and tried very professionally to put him at ease, although he stayed pretty resistant the entire time. She started the procedure at the far end, working her way around until she came to me. The first needle went into the section on the back of my hand between my thumb and pointer.IMG00330 The sensation was interesting but not painful. Eventually, I had a needle in the top of each foot, the inner wrist of my right arm, and in my brow, just between my eyebrows. The only time I felt any pain was during the insertion on my right foot, the liver line. Apparently, I had some liver blockage going on, feeling a sort of prolonged, sharp pain that eventually dissipated into a spreading warmth over the top of my foot, the sensation of the blockage smoothing out.

We sat back in the recliners and listened to soft music and breathed deeply, relaxing. This was only made slightly more difficult by the sounds of Water Boy in the background, and his concerned face when he walked up to look at us and say needles sticking out all over. Next time I go, I’ll make sure to leave him with someone, but I actually did enjoy the experience. IMG00329Stillmog is still a little skeptical, although I do think he’ll try it again just once more to see if he gets anything out of it. I myself was very impressed by the lack of pretension and the sheer friendliness of the staff. I called my mom after we got home and she went up there to try it out. Pam managed to get rid of a recurrent sinus headache, converting my mother immediately. The prices for full sessions are very reasonable, ranging from 20 to 40 dollars on a sliding scale. This is a beautiful little place, and I really recommend it to those in the area looking for a interesting experience and a relaxing hour or so.

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Check out their website AcupunctureOnMagnolia or email them with questions at AcupunctureOnMagnolia@gmail.com

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newkidblockToday was my last day to judge UIL Oral Recitation. You may recall I also judged last weekend. I’m still so glad I signed up for this event, it was a much more enjoyable experience than I think any of us were expecting. (I mean, fourth and fifth grade kids on a Saturday? Eww.) But the kids were all really great and well behaved.

Last weekend I noticed a distinct lack of male contestants, and those that were there, didn’t measure up well against the girls. Well, today I saw a turnaround. My preliminary round at 8 was four boys, all of whom did very well. Of the two I personally advanced to the final round, one of them even took first place for fourth grade competitors! We also saw a lot more diversity in the choice of material, no Shel Silverstein at all this time.

I like the prelims because I’m judging by myself, and can move things along at a good clip. I don’t rush them, I just don’t spend twenty to thirty minutes writing critiques of their work, unlike some of the other judges I could mention. (I’m looking at the two older ladies who judged with us. They took forever!!!)

I really had a good time during the finals for fifth grade, though, because we had some great surprises. One boy who was a last minute substitute did a great job with the poem My Mother Says I’m Sickening by Jack Prelutsky (from his book The New Kid on the Block) and ended up making third place. There was one other boy that did all right but ended up with last place, and then four girls. The thing that really caught my attention was that of the six kids in finals, five of them were kids of color. I thought that was really cool, since last week I had noticed that while there was representation, white girls still dominated the competition. Not so this week.

The best reading I saw today was by a young fifth grade girl who also happened to be black. The poem she performed (this was absolutely a performance) was The Negro Mother by Langston Hughes. What a powerful piece! And I truly think that she understood what she was reciting, and could really feel the emotion that the poem is meant to project. She was so alive and excited while she read, and it really wasn’t the content that swayed me. She truly was the best.

The funny thing is, I and another judge agreed on that front. We both placed her in first. The remaining judge placed her fifth! I was so shocked by that, because I felt she was so much better than the other kids that even if the judge hadn’t thought she was the best, there’s no way she could deserve fifth place out of six. I don’t know what influenced the judge’s decision, and I won’t speculate, but I will say that I’m glad our two out of three margin put the girl in first. The rest of my picks ended up placing in exactly the order I chose, which was really cool. I felt a little psychic, or perhaps all-powerful.

I watched the awards ceremony this time (last time we left early), and I’m so glad I stayed. The kids were so excited, even the ones that came in at the bottom. I hope I get the chance to do this again, it was a great learning experience for all involved. And I got to feel like one of the cool kids. All the other judges kept asking me where I taught, as if I were a teacher. Pretty awesome.

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You can also read about my first Children’s Poetry Reading.

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I have a notoriously brown thumb. Stillmog shivers in horror every time I bring another victim home. But honestly, I can’t help myself! I grew up with my mom’s garden, and a house full of plants. It’s not my fault I can’t keep them alive to…well…save my life. Or theirs. So I just keep trying, and hoping. Hoping that some day, there will be some lucky plant I can’t kill. (I’ve even killed cactus because I forgot to water it. How sad is that?!)

Water Boy and I made the drive over to my mom Virgo’s house this morning to pick her up. Then off we went to the Fort Worth Botanical Gardens’ Annual Spring Plant Sale. Too bad it felt like the middle of winter! It was about 38 degrees, with a wind chill factor of Holy Shiate It’s COLD! But I came prepared. Water Boy was in three layers, with a hat, and I bundled him up in his favorite quilt in our little red wagon. I of course forgot to factor in that the plant sale is over a series of Hills and that wagon is hard to pull with thirty pounds of toddler and Stuff in it. But we managed.

I didn’t get much, under the cautious assumption that I might kill things if I tried too many plants this time around. So I picked up three pepper plants, some elfin thyme (which is adorable!) and some catmint. We currently have four cats, so I felt it was necessary. I still have a mint plant that I haven’t put in a pot yet, from our weekly Co-Op. I was strongly tempted by the key lime trees they had for $20, but expense and experience (two dead citrus trees last year) deterred me.

On the way out, Water Boy decided he’d had enough of the wagon, and demanded he be let out. Then I’m guessing he decided we were Going Too Slow and took things into his own hands, dragging us along behind him as he pulled the wagon to the car. I love a man who will take charge like that.

After the plant sale, we went to try out a new cafe in town. Stillmog and I have had terrible luck with local coffee shops, they keep closing on us! Panther City Coffee closed last year, then this January, EuroTazza closed. We spent the majority of my pregnancy with Water Boy at Panther City, playing Magic the Gathering and drinking hot chocolate until late at night. So when my friends at Artisan Baking Company told me about some new clients of theirs, the Gallery Art Cafe, I knew we had to try them out.

Two thumbs way, way up, as Siskel and Ebert would say. They not only serve your standard espresso drinks, but hot food, too. Virgo and I both had their traditional breakfast, two eggs, sausage or bacon, fried potatoes, and wheat toast. We added two large hot chocolates to help us thaw out from our trek across the Frozen Tundra earlier that morning. And yum, it was good. They’ve just extended their evening hours, so I’m hoping to take Stillmog there some evening very soon. Unfortunately, they aren’t that close to our house, about 15 minutes or more away, but if we like them, I feel it will be worth it. This morning, of the five occupied tables, four of them had kids, a very positive sign for Water Boy. The owners were very friendly, too.

The added bonus is that they aren’t called Gallery Art Cafe for kicks. They display the work of local artists on their beautiful brick walls as well as the standard coffee menu. So now I can feel like I’m soaking up culture at the same time I’m soaking up caffeine. Wonderful!

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One of my New Years Resolutions was to get out to more community events, and I think I’ve really done a good job of trying.

Tonight, we went out to the Fort Worth Arts Goggle. A slight play on “google”, it’s meant to represent local artists in all mediums. Sculpture, jewelry, paint, music, and of course, food. Local businesses open their doors for the evening, set out trays of food and free booze, and let people in to admire (and hopefully buy!) a piece of local color.

It’s based in South Fort Worth, my neighborhood, so I’ve always felt a little partial to it. We went for the first one a few years ago, but have a missed the last few. I was determined to go, so I strapped Water Boy into his umbrella stroller, picked up my brother Archer from my mom’s, and away we went, in 45 degree weather, to tour the businesses.

A few cups of wine and a few cupcakes, a great oldies band, and Archer and Water Boy were out on the dance floor! Water Boy is at that age of absolutely no public (or private) shyness. He’s ready to throw himself out there, regardless of who’s watching. I appreciate that, and I think it’s made me a less self-conscious person, too. Nobody cares how well you dance when you’re partner’s as cute as mine is.

We saw some really awesome pieces, including some beautiful instrument-themed paintings that looked like they might have metal thread or wire incorporated into the painting. We had a chance to walk into some Very Swanky Galleries, including one where I set my wet plastic wine cup down on a $6000 ebony and gilt inlaid table. *swoon*

I took Archer home a couple hours in, and then Stillmog met us after work. We went over to King Tut’s, a great Egyptian restaurant that I’ve now eaten at twice and been completely satisfied. The prices are a little steep, but I feel the quality of the food makes it worth it. The portions are HUGE! The added bonus of KT’s are the “artifacts” scattered around the dining area on display. Sarcophagi, busts of Pharoahs, and statues of Anubis are just a few things that meet your eye as you dine. Water Boy is fascinated every time we go in.

It’s possible we’ll go back Saturday night for Gallery Night, which is spread all over Fort Worth and Arlington, not just South Funky Town. Stillmog was a little bummed because he really didn’t get to see anything since he got there so late.

I can’t wait for next year, I’m hoping the weather cooperates this time. It’s hard to enjoy the outdoor neighborhood when your eyes are watering and your fingers a frozen to the handles of the stroller.

That’s how I spent my Friday night, how was yours?

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Went to the Fort Worth Botanical Gardens today with my mom for the Herb Festival there. It was pretty sweet. They had all sort of great stuff, lectures, demonstrations, plants for sale, pots for sale, silent auction, organic products out the wazoo, and there was even a worm lady there! She has the red worms that you use for vermi-composting and I wanted a little worm tower so bad!

My mom bought me some plants. I swear that woman is more excited about me gardening than I am. I got four pepper plants: a Royal Black pepper, a Red Peter Piper pepper (say that 3x fast), a Rainbow Piquant pepper, and the best one, a Ghost Pepper. It is the hottest pepper in the world right now, and I got an entire three foot bush for 6 bucks. Or I should say, my mom did. I think I’m most excited about that. I mean, geez! It’s called that, according to the lady I bought it from, because it’s said people who eat can die because it’s so hot. Basically, it’ll turn you into a ghost.

Wow.

We then went to Lowes to get some cheapo terra cotta pots, where we stumbled across their brand new display of miniature lemon trees. Now, for my birthday I wanted a dwarf lime tree, but J couldn’t find one, so he got me a dwarf mandarin orange instead, which is fine. Although, I don’t use orange in my cooking, um…ever. But it was really nice of him to look so hard.

So when we came across these lemon trees, I was like, oh man! I wish J had found these for my birthday. I could have used lemons a lot more than oranges. And my mom told me to pick one out, and bought it for me.

This makes my mom sound like she spoils me, or is rich or something. But neither is true. Since we’re moving next month, I think she’s getting a little worried. The longest we’ve been apart was when I was seven and stayed with my dad for a month. So moving three hours away is probably A Big Deal and I will realize this later and freak out. But meanwhile, my mom is realizing it now, and showering me with all these plants. Including an Awesome lemon tree!

(That picture is of a ghost pepper)

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