Monday, January 31, 2011

Retro Day

Today was Retro Day at Taylor's school. He wanted to be a gangster from the thirties or forties. So.....Sunday afternoon we decided to hit the thrift stores in Dallas. The first store we visited had absolutely nothing even remotely resembling gangster attire. We were especially disappointed because between the thirty minute drive there and back, we had wasted a hour of our already limited time! Then, as we were driving back to Waxahachie, I remembered BonTon in Forreston, Texas!!! Gee....what was the matter with me? I have posted about BonTon before. (see here)

As we drove to BonTon, I felt my adrenalin pumping. There was no doubt that amazing retro fashion awaited us there. I knew Taylor would find the perfect gangster outfit among the racks and racks of vintage clothes and accessories at the BonTon treasure chest!!

Character dressing is so much fun!!

Friday, January 28, 2011

A Historical Landmark Gone

Last week in Waxahachie a row of historical buildings dating to the mid 19th century burned. Thankfully, the fire happened at night and no one was hurt. Authorities stated the fire started in the second story of the 1879 Chisholm Grill. The Chisholm Grill is the last building in the picture to the reader's right. The fire spread to the law office next door, a barber shop and finally, an antique store. The Chisholm Grill suffered the greatest damage.

The 1879 Chisholm Grill is designated on the National Historical Register. The restaurant began as a General Store on the Chisholm Trail. Then, in the 1920's the store became a restaurant. Before the days of television, people would gather in the dining room and socialize with friends. My husband and I frequented this amazing restaurant. The food was delicious and the sense of history quaint. This restaurant as well as the three other buildings were beloved by the citizens of Waxahachie.

As the citizens of Waxahachie know, living in Waxahachie could be compared to living in a time capsule of 19th century Americana. Twenty percent of all the buildings in Waxahachie are listed on the Texas Historical Register. Certainly, the Waxahachie Historical Society has worked tirelessly to preserve most of the 19th century Waxahachie buildings and homes. Waxahachie is a town that respects its' past.

The owners of the Chisholm Grill plan on rebuilding. That, certainly, is to be applauded and I'm thankful. But, the fact still remains that a wonderful 19th Century building was pretty much destroyed by a terrible fire. The history of the building is altered forever. These old buildings serve as a reminder of the people that passed through them decades and even a century before. Preserving our historical buildings is important. The damage suffered by an entire row of historical buildings is a tragedy to me. The 1879 Chisholm Grill will be sorely missed by the citizens of Waxahachie.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Perseverance vs. Indomitable Spirit

Lately, in TaeKwon-Do we've been discussing the difference between perseverance and indomitable spirit. Perseverance is when a goal is in sight; all a person has to do is work hard, not give up and eventually he/she will reach that goal. Indomitable spirit is knowing that the goal is impossible, but working toward that goal anyway.An army of 300 men fighting an army of 30,000 men know they cannot win, but they fight anyway; this would be an example of indomitable spirit.
My TKD life is a constant flux between perseverance and indomitable spirit. There are good days when I truly believe attaining that elusive high side piercing kick is totally possible....someday. Then, there are days like today when I am certain that no matter what I do or for how long I do it, that side kick will never be a great "black belt" quality kick.
There are many life situations that require perseverance......and, a few that demand indomitable spirit. Perseverance requires hard work and patience; indomitable spirit requires courage and a noble heart.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

1000 Kicks

A few weeks ago, it was announced in my Tae Kwon Do school that our school would be hosting a "kickathon" to raise money for the USA ITF TKD Team that was going to the TKD World Cup Tournament in New Zealand. My teacher is a coach for the USA Team. A Fifth degree Black Belt, he has a great school and is an awesome instructor.
Now, keep in mind that at fifty-eight years old, I am the second oldest person in the school. I started studying TKD when I was fifty-five years old. I am now a "Red Belt"......Red stands for watch out for me!!????!!  (" I think I can, I think I can," said the little RED engine!)
Anyway......the goal for all students participating in the kickathon was to complete 1000 kicks in five hours or less. When I first heard those words come out of my instructor's mouth, I thought there would be no way on God's green earth that I could do 1000 kicks. I did 1000 kicks in approximately 90 minutes. Taylor, my son and partner, also completed 1000 kicks.

Right now I feel quite wonderful at completing all those kicks. But....the consequence of completing that many kicks is the knowlege that I can do it.....Now, I have no excuse to not complete a significant number of kicks every day. I admit that I love to do kicks. Kicking has so many benefits; kicks release pent-up stress, help develop balance, burns a decent number of calories and for me, instills a sense of peace and calm. Kicking is all good!

Sunday, January 16, 2011

The Face of the Mentally Ill

In the wake of the Arizona shooting, it seems to me that accusations are flying around over the internet, the television news reports and radio broadcasts. These reports assume that if people would just be more civilized then we would all "get along" and crazy appalling incidents like the Arizona shooting would never happen.  The incident was allegedly the fault of one person....Jared Lee Loughner. His alleged shooting spree left  six dead, fourteen wounded, and many grieving familes. Their lives will never be the same.
But, the purpose of this post is to focus on yet another accusation meted out by a local television station here in the Dallas area. A few days ago they profiled a mentally ill individual that lives in the Dallas area. I'm unsure as to how they obtained access to this person's home, but the television crew was in the home shooting video just as if they had the right to be there. The lead-in to the story was: This is the life of the mentally ill. The implication was that this person was similar to the personality of Jared Loughner, and futher more that the disgusting filth of the featured home is typical of the homes and lives of all mentally ill people.
The newscaster stated that the police watch this person constantly because it is believed he might commit a henous act on society. The authorities may well have good reason to watch this person, but the news report admitted this person had to date committed no crime.
My objection addresses the tone of this report. To lump all mentally ill individuals in the "untouchable" caste is a disservice to people who valiantly struggle with mental illness everyday. The world of all mentally ill persons is not the same. It is this "fear" factor that has caused so many mentally ill people to struggle alone avoiding the stigma that comes with the label of "mentally ill". In fact, the Surgeon General states that 20% of the population of the United States has some form of mental disorder with 15% of Americans seeking some type of mental health service. ( library  Most of these individuals work hard at taking their medications, making their doctor's appointments and living each day as "normally" as they possibly can. Most of these people are not in any way a danger to society. They successively struggle with serious depression, bi-polar disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder and schizophrenia every day. They might be your next door neighbor, the clerk at the department store, an engineer in a large company or even your mail carrier. The face of the mentally ill could be anyone of us. I am disappointed in the Dallas television station for presenting such a narrow view of a mentally ill person. My advice to the station is to do the research before lumping all mentally ill persons in the group of people that truly are a danger to society..

Sunday, January 2, 2011

True Grit Meets the Fockers!!

New Year's Weekend was one of marathon movie going for our family! One of my favorite activities is to hang out with one or more of my kiddos at the movies. This weekend six of us saw True Grit together.

True Grit was an exceptionally good movie. I saw the original version so many years ago that I can barely recall some of the details. But, who can forget John Wayne with a pistol in each hand gunning down the "bad men" while charging his horse head-on into what would have been fatal for a normal marshall!

The Coen brother's version of the book was every bit as good as the original. Jeff Bridges and Hailee Steinfeld are receiving a lot of Oscar buzz for their roles in the flick. I would be surprised if each of them did not receive nominations.

The second movie of the weekend was Little Fockers. My husband and I have seen both the prequels to this movie. Tim went with a house-full of twenty something kids when he saw Meet the Fockers. Everyone of those  kids scrambled in a mayhem of musical chairs desperate to NOT be the person sitting next to dear old dad. I tried to tell them; this is not a movie you want to see with your father!! Well..............I told you so!!

Little Fockers was entertaining, but only mildly so when compared to the first two movies.

This picture of Tim being "shot" was unplanned. I noticed my mistake afterwards... Some of the best pictures are "mistakes" !

Here we have the retake. Tim was being all suave and manly for the picture!!