Posts Tagged ‘Culture’

examiner_logo-headerThanks to eXaminer.com I am pleased to announce that I will be covering local (and sometimes national) LGBTQ events for the Fort Worth area. I will be posting article teasers here on my blog, and you’ll be able to click over and read the full pieces on my examiner page.

This is a great way for me to get the word out about events in Fort Worth, while earning a little extra money and getting some good bylines. If you have any suggestions or upcoming events you’d like to let me know about, leave a comment here or use my contact page.

I’m really excited about this, and I hope to be an asset to the LGBT community in Fort Worth. My first article, covering the Fort Worth Family Pride Picnic, should be up soon.



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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.


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

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Children's Book Week

Thanks to Nari over at The Novel World, I realized that the week of May 11-17 is Children’s Book Week, courtesy of the Children’s Book Council.

In a quote from their website:

“Since 1919, Children’s Book Week has been celebrated nationally in schools, libraries, bookstores, clubs, private homes-any place where there are children and books. Educators, librarians, booksellers, and families have celebrated children’s books and the love of reading with storytelling, parties, author and illustrator appearances, and other book related events.”

I’ll be doing a guest post on The Novel World this coming Wednesday the 13th about my experiences with reading as a child, and how that translates to reading as an adult and with my son.

In my opinion, there is nothing more important to a young child than access to books, and being read to. This week, make the time to do something bookish for a child. Read to your own child, re-read a children’s book you once loved, donate new and gently used books to a shelter, or donate money or time to a local library.

“Children are made readers on the laps of their parents.” – Emily Buchwald

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The idea behind Prairie Fest is to celebrate our connection to the natural world, by bringing together local food, music, green living proponents, vendors and artists. They did a great job of advertising this year, and really had a big turnout. I went with my mom Virgo, and took Water Boy in our little red wagon. (Help me think of a name for our Radio Flyer Wagon!)

First, we were starving, so we grabbed some soft tacos from Fuzzy’s Taco Shop booth. We sat on the grass listening to the live music while we ate. Then we were off to explore!

Wow, there were so many things there, I couldn’t possibly list them all. Our friends from the Cowtown Farmer’s Market had a booth there (Buy Local! Eat Fresh!), and we got to chat with Gwin from Artisan Baking Company. The Festival really went all out for the kids, with crafts and plays and storytelling, not to mention, the festival was held in a park next to a playground.

Virgo was so excited to find out about the Tarrant County Archaeological Society, being an anthropology major herself. She told me that the reason she fell in love with anthro was because of a flint knapping demonstration by one of her professors.

I was personally thrilled to find an Urban Gardener program through Elizabeth Anna’s Old World Garden, a Master Naturalist program through the Cross Timbers Naturalists Chapter, and a Master Composter class through the Fort Worth Botanic Gardens. I really want to do all of these and more! Other booths included the Sierra Club, where I picked up yet another reusable cloth bag, Whole Foods, and the brand new Edible Dallas & Fort Worth magazine.

We bought a pound of raw local honey from Batsmith Creek Beeyard, which also had a live hive on display. Water Boy was absolutely fascinated, and so was I. If you haven’t heard by now, raw local honey is (supposedly) very good for combating allergies. As an allergy sufferer, I thought I’d try it, and plus, honey is good!

Then it was break time. I bought some hummus and pita bread from the Chadra Mezza & Grill booth, and we again sat on the grass and listened to music while we ate. I really wanted to hit up the Rahr Brewery booth, but managed to restrain myself. We walked down the last row, and saw booths for the Fort Worth Vegetarian Society and Vermicomposting. The FW Vegetarians really went all out, as you can see.

By the end of the day, we were tired, sweaty, and sunburned, but it was so worth it. I found a lot of great things to do in Fort Worth, saw some great green exhibits (including Smart Cars!), and spent the day with my mom and son. What more could a girl ask for?

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On one of the mommy boards I frequent, some of the nifty ladies on there set up dates for moms to have a night out and meet a new person. I was lucky enough to be paired with the lovely Arisa, an accomplished artist and mom of three.

We had a great evening at the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, which hosts a night once a month when they stay open until midnight, featuring local bands and booze. For $15, we got to wander through all the exhibits, listen to live music, and have an actual conversation with an actual grown person! Amazing.

The art was really cool, of course. It included the famous picture by Andy Warhol of the multiple Marilyn Monroes in bubble gum colors, as well as The Brown Sisters by photographer Nicholas Nixon. I was fascinated by the photos following four sisters, stretching across 32 years, starting with young women and ending with the most recent photo taken in 2007 of four women sliding gracefully past middle-aged.

Outside in the sculpture garden, we listened to some of the live music. Our first stop out there was near sunset, with a giant thunderhead rolling right past the museum in the sky. So beautiful.

We took a break to head over to Spiral Diner for snacks and a beer. Spiral Diner is Fort Worth’s premier (and possibly only) vegan restaurant. Then it was back to the museum for some more music.

The last band of the evening was very into audience participation, but Arisa and I were convinced that their silly directions to the crowd seemed much too much like work, so we abstained and just watched. The last song we stayed for ended with people running in a loop through the packed garden. A little more exercise than I was personally looking for in my evening.

I’m so very glad I went, and I can’t wait to make more plans with Arisa and other moms from my board. I hope Arisa enjoyed her evening, too.

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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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