Monday, November 24, 2014

My day on the Metro Relief bus

Good morning y'all!  I am on vacation this week so I am typing this post in my jammies with coffee and it is great!! I wanted to tell you about my amazing day last Thursday. I took a vacation day so that I could spend the day with Metro Relief.  I had to work Friday so I was so busy making up from the day before, I didn't get to write a post.
This is their mission statement: Metro Relief is a not-for-profit organization based in the Dallas/Ft. Worth metroplex. Our goal is a simple one: Go to the people, meet the people, and take care of the people. At the core of our mission is Christ’s charge: “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’ “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’”

I called Pam who is the volunteer coordinator and she asked me to be at the building at 8:30 am.  There is much to do to prepare for the Dallas outreach daily.  There were several volunteers that happen to show up the same day I did and they said it was unusual for the turnout.  People who have to do community service can volunteer there. We also had 3 students that were volunteering for a Speech class at a local college.  We were split up in 3 teams. One team made the soup that would be handed out that day. Another team rolled up pairs of socks and put them in a tub, while the last group put hygiene packets together in clear bags. The hygiene packs had mini deodorants, shampoo ( like from hotels), toothpaste and some kid of snack like candy bar or granola bar.  I got soup duty and it was pretty fun.  First we had to make the special seasoning- there was a recipe book with instructions on all the spices and amounts that got mixed up together.  Then we made the soup in the ginormous kettle and then we made lemonade. We had an employee there with us the whole time walking us through. 

Once all the soup, lemonade, and packets were ready, they were put on the bus. Metro Relief has 3 buses ( old school buses) that have been gutted and a Pit has been built in. The pit is a small area that has a window built in ( like a food truck) and all the food is served from there.  The seating is up at the front where we all rode. Once we're at the locations- we are then split up again with different jobs. There were the ones that would serve the food - which was a large foam cup of soap, a dinner roll, cookie and lemonade or water.   Another group ( 2 people) would pass out the socks, hygiene packs and would pray with them if they had a specific prayer on their heart.  The rest of volunteers would set up the tables, tents, chairs and mingle with them and walk around asking people to come eat.

We made 2 stops in downtown Dallas.  The first stop, I stayed on the bus and did the prayers and handed out the packets.  Its humbling that when you asked what to pray for,  almost every single person wanted me to pray for their friends or family and not for themselves. They were homeless and had all their treasures in one bag but they were so selfless and was concerned for others.  There were prayer requests for a few of them to get past their addictions and for them to find a job. These people are actually so much braver than I ever thought I was.

The second stop , we had to switch our duties so then I was off the bus and walked around the neighborhood where the homeless were on all the corners and asked them to come get something to eat.  When we got back to the bus, I sat at the table and just visited with them and listened.  The important thing is simply not to judge and to listen. They are human like us and deserve to be heard.  I will need to do another post on some of the experiences from that day.  I love serving and my heart grew 3 more sizes for sure this day.

Everyone, please have a Blessed and thankful Thanksgiving. Enjoy your holiday and hug on your loved ones.  Big hugs!!!

Monday, November 17, 2014

Hash Brown Casserole

Good morning,  its always been my tradition to make the hashbrown casserole for Thanksgiving dinner.  For the last 13 years , I have celebrated Thanksgiving dinner the night before on (Wednesday) along with several other volunteers. My friend hosts the dinner at their house and we have all the tradition food- turkey, potatoes, sweet potato casserole, green bean casserole, etc.
This year i'm making  the hash brown casserole to take to my inlaws on the actual day since i'm not volunteering this year on Thanksgiving.
Its so easy and yummy.
  • 1 2 pound package frozen Hash Browns
  • 8 ounces Sour cream
  • 1 can cream of chicken soup
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion ( I use the purple onion)
  • 2 cups grated cheese. I always use Sharp Cheddar but many people use colby

Directions


  1. Place potatoes in a greased 9x—13 inch pan.
  2. Season with salt and pepper. Melt butter in the microwave.
  3. In a bowl add minced onions, sour cream, and cream of chicken soup, and melted butter. Mix these items together. Pour soup mixture over potatoes; sprinkle with Cheddar Cheese.
  4. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes, or until all is completely warm, and the cheese begins to melt.

Cracker Barrel's Hash Browns Casserole

Thursday, November 13, 2014

I want Booties

Booties as in short boots. What did you think I meant? hahaha!  So glad its Thursday y'all. It hasn't been the best week. The days have been long and never ending it seems.  I lost a friend and coworker yesterday also. I hate bad news.
So today's post is light and fluff. I am off tomorrow and will be shopping for a pair of booties. I will only be wearing them with jeans or leggings. I have Olive Oyl ( from Popeye) ankles and I look funny with a skirt and just booties. I envy those who can wear them with shorts. My ankles and wrists are about the only skinny parts of my body.
I am really digging the ones with fringe.  Do you have any booties for this season? What style did you go with?
Here are some that are my favorites so far. I found them on DSW , Macy's, and Nordstrom's.



There seems to be a common theme in that they all look cowboy style.  I love it!!
Have a great day and have a great weekend.  I have a very busy one this weekend.

Monday, November 10, 2014

My pity party for one - its an annual thing

I don't remember what it's like to not feel broken.
This post may seem depressing but it cant be helped. The truth is I've come a long way and I am down to maybe once or twice a year now that I feel this way.  Every so often, I get REALLY sad about the fact that I could never have children.  I had very bad plumbing so to speak and it prevented me to give birth. I have uterine fibroids and have since I was a young teenager.  I also suffered from endometriosis. Its very painful and cumbersome when I was in college and after with the long long long periods. ( Sorry to any men who read today's post).  I finally had enough and in my early thirties, I had a tubal ligation ( tubes snipped and tied).  That helped for a few years but the bleeding continued too strong and so I had to have an endometrial ablation ( a mini hysterectomy).  The decision was a little easier at the time because I was in my mid 30's and was not in a long term relationship with anyone. My parents were very sad when I told them what I was having to go through and that both procedures meant no kids for me, no grandkids for them.
I have always kept myself busy as a working corporate woman. I make excuses that I didn't have time to have kids. I said that I really don't even like kids.  As I am older approaching closer to 50- I am sad. I have no one to pass my wedding gown to and my special things that are meaningful to me. Who would want them?  I don't have someone calling me like I do my mom and my grandmother. 
I am strong. I am content with my 2 sweet dogs.  I do however feel a sting when people say to me " you would have made a great mom" or that " God just had other intentions for you".  I have only attended two baby showers in the last 20 years.  I don't like them. It may sound selfish but I don't really want to see all the new gadgets and clothes for babies and the latest tips on childcare.  I just want to wish you the best of health and pregnancy and I will hold your little ones when they get here.
I've been honest with people and expressed my occasional sadness about having kids and they seem shocked and say " I guess I just thought you didn't want kids".  
The good news is that I have 2 teenage step-kids.  At some point, they will get older, marry and give us grandkids. That will be nice. I have friends that have kids and I love them. They call me Aunt Holli and genuinely like being around me.  I have nieces but they are all out of state  or too young and they don't reach out.  There are tons of babies right now at my church and the moms let me hold them every chance I get.
What prompted this post to begin with is 3 children in 3 separate states and news stories, were killed by their parents this past weekend. This INFURIATES me to no end and sickens me. I have friends and family that are doing everything they can do have a child and we have parents like this. WHY?  I wish I didn't read the stories and details. I process it too much. One child was pushed off a bridge into freezing frigid waters by his own mother. She called the police and confessed shortly after she did it. If the distance of the fall didn't kill, the temperatures would so no chance of survival. Its heartbreaking!! 
Like I said, I usually only get in the baby funk occasionally and tomorrow will be a better day. Just be nice to everyone. You never know what struggles they are fighting inside. 
Have a great Monday and sorry I was so depressing.



reminding myself of thisSome many people suffer in silence, i know i did. Sometimes that quiet person who never talks to anyone really just needs a good friend to talk and cry with. BE THAT FRIEND THEY NEED.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

People need help all year- Not just thru the holidays

I have often wondered why you always see a large increase of  coat drives, sock drives, food drop-offs, etc during the holidays.  I understand that there is more time for reflection such as how hard it is for people to have a tree, presents, and all that goes along with the holiday.  Don't get me wrong, anytime people can donate and help others is always a good time.  I have volunteered to feed the homeless for the last 13 years on Thanksgiving Day. I have so much fun and I get to use my old waitressing skills for the day. Ha!  To see the same faces is a joy and I wouldn't trade one of their hugs for anything.  Some people have asked why I let them hug me when they havent showered and they may have a certain smell to them.  Shoot, I am sweaty and have food all over me and don't consider myself any cleaner than them. I'm a hugger!  I have made a choice this year -I have decided to not do it this year. Last year was my first year to be married and I had a family to be with but I still insisted on volunteering.  This year I want to spend it with my husband and family and truly appreciate the holiday and all I have to be thankful for. 
I am pretty active taking in donations of clothing all year long for our church clothes closet. Y'all have read my posts on those days that we set up out church to resemble a department store, and our community can come in and go shopping for free.  I'm taking guitar lessons from the director of Metro Relief which is an organization that takes care of the homeless everyday.  Last night, we talked about the holidays coming up and I asked where they serve on Thanksgiving day. He said, that's the one day they DONT because so many companies, churches, and organizations jump on bandwagon and do their one day of volunteering. That really made me think.  Again, please know that this is just a personal choice for me. I want to be someone that tries to make a difference everyday. Not just one holiday of the year.
I have gone downtown a few times with various groups and handed out food and clothing to the homeless on a weekend. I loved it. One day it was so crazy hot during a summer day and we all sat together under a table umbrella and prayed. It was very moving.  I hope to get more involved but I do what I can right now.  Another shopping day is actually coming soon and I work all day at the church. I get to count the clothes, bag them up, help them shop and sometimes hold their cute babies while they shop.
Are you involved in any charities? Do you volunteer? I would love to know about it.
Have a great day!
Let us remember those less fortunate this Christmas.Thankful.



Monday Mantra // someone else is praying for the things you take for granted.Sitting with the poor and less fortunate people removes the ego and pride from your heart. ~ Ibn Al Qayyim.!

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Voting

I didn't have a chance to vote early so will be with the rest of the crazy work crowds after work to vote.  I am so grateful its almost over because of the commercials and the phone calls and the ads on every corner.  The commercials are just too much!
Did you vote?

Vote for Pedro! Lol Napoleon dynamite :P I need this on a t-shirt
100,000 jobs gone if Hudak is elected.  Yes your future and your children's future depends on your vote!Keep Calm and Vote
Because women who went before me fought for my right to do so. #whyivote
100 things you can't complain about if you don't care about voting, or if you think voting is unimportant.
Inform yourself. Better yet, support initiatives that educate others, because that's the best security for your own well-being in a democracy.