In other news, Porter's new grocery store set to open February 8, 2023

By Joy A. Kennelly

First some great news. Big Bend National Park was recently named a "Best of the World 2023" destination by National Geographic Travel! Check out this image to see why. Now, do you see why I moved here? Why don't you visit Alpine, TX? Just ignore the Dollar Generals ok?

Big Bend National Park Photo Credit Ryan Buonaiuto Photo Credit Ryan Buonaiuto

Now on to the story at hand.

Ever since moving to West Texas, I was surprised to see only one grocery store brand called Porter's covering the entire area of Van Horn, Fort Davis, Marfa, and Alpine. Otherwise, it's just Dollar General or Family Dollar as your local stores and I have to admit, this took a little getting used to and still does. 

However, all that to say, I was very happy when Porter's sponsored the recent Women's Empowerment Seminar Hosted By SBDC. Click the link to see the wonderful women who put this event on. I think there must have been over 300 women in attendance. I won a free massage with Mary who works over at the local Whole Life Center and it was just what the doctor ordered when I pulled a muscle over my clavicle. It was so painful until she gently helped ease the pain. Highly recommend her services!

What I've grown to appreciate about Porter's is the free item you receive when you purchase $10 or more if you use their app. I like that it's family owned and operated since 1945 and they respect their clientele. Whenever I have had an issue they have quickly and efficiently resolved it. I appreciate that they have a wide variety of grocery items to choose from, their staff is very helpful, the stores are clean and well-maintained and overall the selection has been fairly priced. I even picked up 3 chicken breasts for $2 once! I'm a little sick of chicken now but was glad I froze it.

Very happy to report they are moving into their newly renovated location effective Wednesday, February 8, 2023 if the store member who informed me is accurate. Here's a glimpse at some of the grocery prices in case you're living in CA and curious, click here.

That's all for now.

 


Alpine City Council Elections take place May 6th - Deadline to apply to run Feb 17

So! If you're fed up with Dollar General, have lived in Alpine for one year, and would like to have a voice on what happens in this town especially if you live next to the new construction, here are the details on how to run for office. And if I like you and what you're standing for, I'll even offer to help spread the word as I am a professional publicist. I personally can't run having just moved in, but I will happily support others!

You have to file before February 17, 2023.

This is taken from the city website and is accurate. But click here for the city's direct link too: NOTICE OF DEADLINE TO FILE APPLICATIONS FOR PLACE ON THE BALLOT 

Applications for Place on the Ballot may be filed from 1/18/2023 to 2/17/2023. Candidates may pick up the Application for Place on the Ballot and Candidate Packet from the Office of the City Secretary at the following address:

City Hall
100 N. 13th St
Alpine, Texas 79830

The Application for Place on the Ballot may be turned in at the above address between the hours of 8:00 A.M. to 12:00 P.M. and 1:00 P.M. to 5:00 P.M. Monday to Friday. The deadline to file the application is 2/17/2023 by 5:00 P.M.

The 2023 Election Candidate Packet and Application will be available for pickup at City Hall on January 18, 2023. A candidate packet is not required to run for office, but candidates are strongly encouraged to obtain a candidate packet.

Any questions regarding Elections may be directed to the Office of the City Secretary at (432) 837-3301, Option 1, or at city.secretary@cityofalpine.com

And here's the link to information on what all is entailed according to the state website: Candidacy Filing - Local Political Subdivisions

QUALIFICATIONS FOR ELECTED OFFICIALS

Qualifications for Elected Officials are established by Texas Statute and the City of Alpine Home-Rule Charter. Qualifications for elected officials of the City are as follows:

 (1) be a United States citizen;

 (2) be 18 years of age or older on the first day of the term to be filled at the election or on the date of   appointment, as applicable;

 (3) have not been determined by a final judgment of a court exercising probate jurisdiction to be:
         (A) totally mentally incapacitated; or
         (B) partially mentally incapacitated without the right to vote;

 (4) have not been finally convicted of a felony from which the person has not been pardoned or otherwise   released from the resulting disabilities;

 (5) have resided continuously in the state for 12 months and in the territory from which the office is elected for six months immediately preceding the date of the regular filing deadline for a candidate's application for a  place on the ballot.

CITY CHARTER: SECTION 3.02 QUALIFICATIONS

 (A) Each member of the City Council and the Mayor, in addition to other qualifications prescribed by the laws of the State of  Texas, shall

 (1) be a qualified voter of the City;

 (2) reside within the corporate limits of the City if a candidate for Mayor or within the district for which they are a candidate if a candidate for Councilmember.

 (3) not hold any other office or employment under the City government.

 (B) If the Mayor or a member of the City Council shall cease to possess any of these qualifications or shall cease to reside in the City or in the district from which they were elected or shall be convicted of a felony or is absent from three (3)  consecutive regular Council meetings without being excused by
 the Council, he or she shall immediately forfeit the office.

 (C) The Council is to be the sole judge of its members' qualifications. A majority vote of the elected members of the Council in regular session is required to declare the office forfeited.

So there ya have it. If you think you can do a better job of defending the small-town environment and creating a better community, please apply! It's time we take this area back to prevent yet another damn Dollar General coming in. And don't believe them when people say things can't change. There is always room for change. 

 

 


Why did certain Alpine residents sell this community down the river with yet another Dollar General?

By Joy A. Kennelly

Never in a million years did I ever think I would be living next to a Dollar General construction site, let alone one that decides it's ok to be working at 10 pm at night on a Sunday, or 10:30 pm with a generator creating a huge rumbling for hours last night.

But I am.

ImageAin't this the truth? If we count the two existing Dollar Generals and the one Family General we are about as full up of these kinds of stores as we can be. Now to prevent more from coming in and fully creating a ghetto.

As a result, I did some research to see what makes a successful small town and discovered that there are certain elements which are as follows:

"The research found that small towns with strong economic performance share several key traits, such as travel, tourism, and recreation as key industries; the prevalence of professional services; a culture of entrepreneurship; and research universities and 4-year colleges."

This is taken from the article entitled: The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Small Towns If you want to read it in its entirety, click the colored link. But in the meantime, I'll showcase the main points because they're so interesting and I quote...

  • "Have a greater awareness of local entrepreneurship and support it.
  • Work with local community colleges and high schools to encourage entrepreneurship as an alternate career path.
  • Train young people in the skills that major employers demand.
  • Focus on their niche industries.
  • Refine their central value proposition.
  • Recognize the importance that arts and museums play in attracting people and firms.
  • Constantly evaluate the total portfolio of offerings as a business destination."

I do believe that the local SBDC is very proactive in building up entrepreneurship. I have been very impressed with the people I have met there and the classes I have taken. Also, the women's business lunch was really fun last year and it looked like 300 female small business owners attended. This group of people really care about the community and building it up.

Back to the article...

"He (Ross DeVol, the lead researcher and a Walton Fellow at the Walton Foundation) cites places like Effingham, Illinois; Bardstown, Kentucky; Spirit Lake, Iowa; and Auburn, Indiana as towns that get economic development right. 'Look at them. Most have community colleges that engage with local employers,' he says. 'They focus not just on recruiting large companies; they attract smaller firms from other locations, and they pay attention to business retention and expansion. Those things get overlooked in most small towns. They don’t in the most successful ones.'

He adds, 'It’s important to reiterate that it’s not just about being a travel destination. It’s what you do with your attributes. It’s about quality of life and place. All the top small towns have positive net in-migration. People want to move there.'"

I quote this because to me it's very dishonest to hide behind an LLC when you live in a community and then work to get the zoning changed to allow a "small professional business office" back in 2018, but then years later sell out to Dollar General!  Especially when you hide behind a gated community and are on the Historical Commission board of Texas and an Investments Officer at West Texas National Bank.

According to other research, Pete "is the past president of the Board of Leadership Big Bend, a member of the Boards of the Alpine Public Library, the Museum of the Big Bend, the Friends of the Center for Big Bend Studies, the Davis Mountains-Trans Pecos Heritage Association and the Alpine Ambassadors. Pete is a member of the Rotary Club of Alpine, and member of The Big Bend Friends of NRA Board."

Why on earth did this man and his partner, Pate, think this small town of 6,000 people needed yet another Dollar General?

We already have two, what about a clothing store, or something that will benefit the community overall? Like a recreation center, boys and girls club, or indoor activity center for when the weather is freezing cold for the community to enjoy?

So in light of all the vacant buildings either for sale or for lease in this town, thought we might want to consider the following article to determine what will work best for Alpine, Texas moving forward. Additionally, maybe it's time to update the local ordinances to restrict construction after a certain time because it's not included apparently. And it needs to be.

35 Small-Town Business Ideas That Every Community Needs

Fortunately, Alpine does offer many of these businesses already, but one thing I and others would like to see is a mid-price range clothing store. We have a high-end one that is very nice. But we need one that serves the broader community at large with children. Now that we're possibly losing Dimestore Cowgirl, where can people go to find clothes that they will wear on a daily basis?

I hope we begin to be proactive, rather than reactive as Alpine moves forward and we, as a community, consciously begin to work together to create an environment that preserves the quaint, unique, family-friendly, artistic community that appreciates the wide open spaces, wildlife meandering through downtown at dusk and other unique aspects to Alpine.

WE DO NOT NEED ONE MORE DOLLAR GENERAL OR ANY OTHER COMMERCIAL DOWNGRADE TO THE QUALITY OF LIFE IN ALPINE!


Today's message and prayer during Church of the Highlands 21 Days of Prayer is on fire!

Romans 12:1-2 “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.”

WOW WOW WOW!

Today's message and prayer at the Church of the Highlands was on fire! Here's the link if you want to hear and watch and see how thousands of people around the country are lifting up prayer requests for things that matter to you and society right now:

https://21days.churchofthehighlands.com/media/ce65242a-7a76-496a-a4c7-83a20f0f15ec

Today's 21 days of prayer is all about spiritual attacks on the family and encouraging us to put on the full armor of God. We need to step into our place of authority and fight the devil.

Ephesians 6:10 - 13  

10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 

Be encouraged! Do not shrink back and be destroyed, stand in your purpose and your calling. Do not flee, Nehemiah 4:14  “Don’t be afraid of them. Remember the Lord, who is great and awesome, and fight for your families, your sons and your daughters, your wives and your homes.”
 
Focus on the home and believe God can do great things. This is what the pastor was preaching and praying for today and encouraged all of us to pray too. That we would have: 
 
1. Homes built on the Word of God
2. Homes will have a spirit of unity, established in prayer
3. Homes filled with children in love with God. 
 
I have been so blessed and encouraged as I follow along daily I just had to share and encourage others to join me. Prayer-bible-verse-8
It's been really amazing to see what I'm praying for manifest in real life too. I've been praying for our government officials, our country, my alma mater, my friends and their families, my family, my favorite celebrities, Hollywood, and whoever and whatever God brings to mind as I'm lifting up these prayers to Him.
 
Prayer-bible-verse-11lI believe in the power of prayer. I believe in God's goodness. I believe in the power of God's truth. love and ability to change lives and circumstances.
 
I see it in my own life and in certain things happening in the country today which is why I have to write and share this with you to encourage you to join me in the final days of this amazing experience.
Prayer-bible-verse-6There's so much evil and darkness in the world right now. Wouldn't it be nice to have some light and encouragement in the midst of it? That's why I'm doing this. It changes my whole perspective and gives me encouragement that God is in control and He wins over the evil going on right now.
Prayer-bible-verse-10
I think of this shocking story which you can read in full detail by clicking the link... Madonna Accused of Pornography and Child Trafficking in Southern Africa – Ethiopian World Federation Urges President of Malawi to Conduct Investigation  By Jim Hoft Published January 18, 2023 
 
 
I can't help but wonder if people praying for those caught in sex trafficking, human trafficking, and other abuses against children haven't caused these to come out now. I know I pray for that to end.
 
 
When I think about it, all I can do is pray for our borders, for the people caught in the crosshairs and that God will intervene, give our government officials wisdom in handling it, and that we will have law and order once again. It's out of my hands...
Prayer-bible-verse-5
And on the flip side, I see positive news happening that makes me feel good: 
 
 
I know some may not think Alec being charged is positive, but I've been praying there will be justice in the world and I think it IS manslaughter when someone deliberately points a gun at someone and shoots it, fake or not.
 
I'm also tired of celebrities literally getting away with murder as Bruce Jenner did in that fatal car crash. I also feel sometimes we have to go through hard times to trust in God, not ourselves. Perhaps Alec will turn to God now?

Prayer-bible-verse-9

 
But enough of me and my opinions of what's happening in the world, let's get back to God and his will for our lives.:)
 
This is one of my favorite verses in the Bible and I hope it encourages you too: Jeremiah 29:11 11 For I know the plans that I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans for prosperity and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.
 
And here's a musical version with sign language!

So! I hope this encourages and challenges you to join me as we continue our journey through the 21 Days of Prayer with the Church of the Highlands!
 
They have a great app for pray called Pray First which you can find in both iPhone and Android stores. And I like having the church app too because it makes it easier to find the message. You can also just watch on your computer. Whatever works! Just pray! 
 
Prayer-bible-verse-1lGod bless your day as my friend Ashley always says. If you'd like some worship music to play in the background as you go about your day, here's some I just found. 

Have a great week! I plan to!
 
 
 

 


Finding a place to call home after a year of traveling and moving.

Where I traveled in 2022By Joy A. Kennelly

Well, I'm finally settled into my new town after a ton of cross-country trips last year. I had no idea it was so many until Google shared this insight with me. Normally, I don't like being tracked, but this was kinda fun to review and realize I did a lot of traveling last year.

I left California in June to go care for a friend's aged parents in Lakeland, Florida. The opportunity was presented that I would basically be there if anything went wrong at night and I would have the days free to work and travel.

1However, when I arrived, it was clear the parents needed more care and after many months of trying to get the family to provide in-home care, find a way for the couple to move into assisted living, or find help through the various senior resources, it became clear the situation wasn't ever going to change. I made the difficult choice to leave, but it was very sad for me because the couple was really special and I had grown to care for them.

I enjoyed swimming with the mom and helping her regain her sense of balance. Also, helping her remember positive memories of times spent with family and church friends over the years. The stepdad was another sort and I began to realize I never want to live into my 90s. He was in constant pain, stubborn, arrogant to a fault, and determined he would be fine without his walker, despite falling numerous times and injuring himself further. We eventually developed respect for each other, but it was rough going at first.

It was a very sad situation and to be honest, I'm glad I'm no longer responsible because it was too heartbreaking to see them decline so quickly. Last year I experienced numerous friends passing while caregiving for my Dad and visiting my aunt in her skilled nursing facility. I began to feel like I needed to breathe and do something completely different which is why I left California for Florida. Plus, the political climate in California is stifling.

After a month of almost full-time care of the couple I was responsible for, the daughter told me to take off during the day because that was our agreement. It killed me to leave them because they really needed full-time care, but for my mental health, I began to pursue full-time work, look for an apartment to move out to, and explored various parts of Florida I considered moving to.

Downtown Looper Postcard I also joined a fun group of women called Lakeland Ladies and made friends through there that I have kept to this day. Really quality people too. We went and explored a local natural spring and the beach on one excursion. What was funny to me about Florida beaches is the water is warm, like bathtub warm, which was disconcerting when I'm used to freezing in the Pacific ocean. It was also extremely shallow very far out which was also difficult to get used to, especially when sharks were an issue if you went out too far. 

I'm used to swimming to the end of the pier and back and not being able to touch the floor of the Pacific ocean. As a result, I enjoyed the natural springs more due to the refreshingly cool water, deep floor, and opportunity to feel cool during the heat. Because Florida is hot! I bought more shorts living there than I have in my entire life!

I was able to visit St. Petersburg, Tampa, Orlando, and numerous smaller cities around the major ones. What I found fascinating was the brilliant purples and reds in their sunsets. The skies would explode with colors I'd never seen before and many times had to pull over to take a picture to capture the vibrancy. I still have a desire to return and travel around because there is so much I didn't have a chance to explore.

20220804_200456
I enjoyed living in Lakeland because there is a burgeoning tech scene and I was able to attend one of their Catapult pitch fests. Very interesting startups and founders. Also, very a unique cool building devoted to the startup community which had a young, dynamic female leader in charge who was very welcoming. I gave her some referrals to the events, VCs, and other tech-related resources I knew from my time in that field.

I also enjoyed living in Lakeland because I was an hour or so from Orlando and the same distance to Tampa. Thus, I was able to explore both areas very easily. I especially enjoyed traveling to Orlando because I was able to reconnect with my friend Lana who had left California a few years before me. We both cried when we saw each other because she had been one of my best friends in the business and we used to do many events together. She recently had experienced a major health scare too and I was so grateful I was able to see her doing so well.

20220720_200256When I left Florida I went to live on a friend's ranch in West Texas which was a very unique experience. I will always remember fondly my time living on the ranch among the horses, cows, and dogs because those became my companions living so far away from any city and my friends being so busy. Plus, the animals were so fun to watch and be around. They always made me laugh at their antics.

The closest town, Valentine, had 200 people. You drive an hour and there's another arts community of roughly 1500 people called Marfa. Drive about 45 minutes further and you arrive in the city where I currently reside with a population of 6,000 people called Alpine.

We have numerous Dollar Generals, one big grocery store called Porter's, a smaller natural one called Blue Water that I just learned about and need to visit, and a nice variety of restaurants ranging from  Mexican to Thai to American to Chinese to Italian to BBQ, one cafe called Cedar Coffee Supply, and Sul Ross University.

This is a major adjustment to living in Los Angeles, but I found an apartment here that I really liked just before I left to housesit in Austin for a week to look for a place there and have decided this is where I will rebuild my life. My friends tease me that they're going to poke a hole in my tires to make me stay still because I've moved so much.

When I mentioned that I wasn't sure I would meet anyone here, my friend said, well, you haven't met anyone while you're moving around.  Maybe it will happen when you're in one place. That made me laugh and I still chuckle thinking of it. Who knows?!

There's a big Valentine's Day celebration taking place in Valentine, Texas on February 18 that looks like a lot of fun. Here are the details: https://valentineinvalentinetx.com/

Now that I'm settled and have my office set up, just need a chair which is being delivered by Friday. I'm excited to see what the year holds and am grateful for the remote jobs I have and the opportunity to begin acting again.

Now to find a local job to help me to meet people and make friends. Otherwise, I will remain in my apartment working all the time and I refuse to be a workaholic anymore. Time to find some balance and achieve some personal goals, in addition to, business and financial goals.

Also, continue exploring Texas. It's so vastly different than anywhere I've ever lived before and I find it fascinating. The sheer expanse of natural beauty with no buildings in sight is healing and inspiring.

I'm going to start a virtual goal-setting group similar to what I used to run in the 90s once I decide which platform to build on. Every group I ran had people accomplish the 3-month goals they set out to achieve and I know having the accountability, support, and encouragement of like-minded people makes a huge difference. 

I'm going to take a few goal-setting seminars myself to learn from others and add to my own experience and background. I'll be sharing more later.

In the meantime, if you want to join me and my friends in starting out the new year in a new way, consider joining us for the 21 Days of Prayer that Church of the Highlands is offering. It's free to participate in and very encouraging. Get ready to see what God can do when you place Him first in your day. 

God bless and enjoy your year! I plan to!


Quick Thanksgiving Home-Cooked Meal Anyone with a Little Cooking Skills can Make!

By Joy A. Kennelly

If you're like me, visiting a new city and unsure where to go out for Thanksgiving dinner, your friends are going out of town, your sister is slammed working two jobs, and you're not sure you want to be the only single person at a restaurant, then maybe this recipe will solve your holiday dilemma. What's great is you can make it with a turkey breast and use the same rubs too.

But if you're not in the mood for turkey, then just follow this recipe from a Lifestyle and Nutrition Expert whom you may recognize from Food Network, Chef Mareya Ibrahim, who wrote a cookbook called, Eat Like You Give A Fork: The Real Dish on Eating to Thrive.

She understands the stress that comes with preparing a Thanksgiving meal.  She also understands the need for a delicious offering!

One-pot meals are easy to prepare and clean up, and they also offer the same nutritional value as a more complicated dinner. Preparing everything in one dish makes it easier to ensure that several food groups are included on everyone's plate. Chef Mareya has prepared the PERFECT Thanksgiving one-pan meal for everyone this week. 

Thanksgiving sheet pan meal 3

Garlic & Herb Roasted Young Chicken with sides of Brussels sprouts, Carrots, Wild Rice Stuffed Delicata Squash & Cinnamon Spice Roasted Sweet Potatoes

Ingredients:

Young chicken (4 lbs)

Fresh garlic

Fresh Thyme

Sea Salt, Pepper & EVOO

Brussels sprouts 

Balsamic Vinegar

Baby Carrots

Delicata squash

Wild rice blend

Sweet potatoes

Ghee

Cinnamon spice 

Directions

Prepare the Chicken by mixing fresh garlic, thyme, sea salt, oregano, pepper, and EVOO and rub it on the chicken breast (under the skin) and on top of the skin.

Toss veggies with EVOO and balsamic, salt and pepper.

Stuff delicata squash with Wild rice blend (She used a Far East packet blend and pre-cooked in the microwave until al dente; finished in the oven.)

Slice sweet potatoes and pat with a small amount of ghee and a dusting of cinnamon/pumpkin spice.

Place all on a large roasting tray.

Roast in the oven at 400F for 50 min, then turn up the heat to 450 for the last 10 minutes.  

And maybe while you're cooking, consider playing this new feel-good Thanksgiving song by Crowder!

But if that doesn't rock your boat, then check out Matthew West's Thanksgiving offering. If this doesn't make  you crack a smile...

But seriously, music does calm the nerves so try this jazz collection which plays for 3 hours and should do the trick:

And the best part, here's a bunch of recipes to create an awesome Thanksgiving dessert because is it really Thanksgiving without a fall-inspired dessert? And because watching a video makes it easier, check these delicious choices here:

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone! Enjoy your day whatever you end up doing!


Don't forget to vote this Tuesday! Nov 8 - here's where to go to vote in person

By Joy A. Kennelly

Now that I've been living in Texas, it's been shocking to hear exactly how many people are still leaving California. If you live there still, why?:)

In any case, according to one Republican friend she said they've been signing up over 100,000 new Republican voters this year in Texas alone. Do you blame them? Crime has exploded in Democrat-run states, the border is still wide open contrary to the lies told by this administration which many in Texas deal with constantly, and homeless are everywhere in Democrat-run states. Here are some pictures taken on a Hobb's ranch in Brackettville, Texas. Can you imagine your personal yard having this many uninvited visitors? This is what the media never shares...

IMG_4837 C7b8fffd-
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IMG_4837
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IMG_4837
IMG_4837I had the privilege of hearing the former head of ICE speak recently and the stories he was sharing were so horrific I had to plug my ears or else have nightmares. I don't have a problem with immigration, but I do have an issue with illegal immigration and especially unchecked like under Biden. Don't believe the lies that it's under control. It's not. The news is just not covering it. You might recognize these gentlemen because I believe the top is the former ICE Director and he's been a guest on numerous news shows.

IMG957311 IMG957310Numerous people are moving away from Austin because of the increased crime and homelessness. In fact, Austin is near the top of depreciating home values due to this and an inflated real estate market.

And when gas prices are over $6.00 in Los Angeles, food prices have skyrocketed everywhere, and rent too, at a certain point you have to look at the base cause of this explosion of awfulness and realize your vote makes a difference. 

It always amazes me when I hear Democrats complain about their horrible cost of living, crime, and everything else going on, but still are clueless that it's their party causing it. Then they move to states like Texas and want to ruin them too. 

A woman on Facebook said 2 of her friends left CA for red states and planned to vote blue because they were avowed communists. I wish those who think socialism, communism, defunding the police, open borders and every other crazy idea they throw around so cavalierly would live in the hell holes they create rather than refusing to take responsibility.  

So, we can be friends if you vote differently, but just realize I consider you a low-information voter who enjoys denial. LOL Because if you really looked at states like California, New York, Minnesota, Michigan, and other Democrat-run states with any facts, logic, and reality, you would see that the reason for all the ailments in your communities is due to Democrats.

Not that Republicans are perfect by any means. I just look at it as the lesser of two evils. And God forbid anyone stupid enough to think Gavin Newsom has helped California do anything other than fail to decide to help his run for the presidency we are all doomed. He is worse than his Aunt Nancy Pelosi.

And don't get me started on Paul Pelosi's late-night tryst gone wrong. That's all. Oh, and if you want to see where to vote in Texas, here's the link: https://www.votetexas.gov/voting/where.html 

If you live in Brewster County, here's who has been recommended by someone who is actually a Dem and yet supports the Republican for County Judge.

Brewster County

Brewster County Judge
Republicans: Greg Hennington

And if you live somewhere else, go here: https://www.usa.gov/election-day

That's all. Have a good night. 

 

 


5th Annual Baton Rouge Soul Food Festival May 14 and 15, Riverfront Plaza

I am a huge fan of foodie festivals, especially when there's fun music attached which is why I have to share my friend's fun 5th Annual Baton Rouge Soul Food Festival happening on May 14 and 15, at the Riverfront Plaza in Baton Rouge, LA. 


Marcia 2022 IIMarcia and I have known each other forever and often collaborated on all my short film festivals and other events I produced. So naturally, I have to return the favor now that she and her friends are hosting such an amazing event. She moved to Louisiana a few years ago and never looked back. She's surrounded by amazing musicians, delicious food, interesting scenery and the band she publicizes has an amazing listening room where she can hear live music nightly. What's not to love?

Now back to the 5th Annual Soul Food Festival Baton Rouge, LA

Three days of Fabulous Southern Cuisine and Live Music

Smoke and MamieA Sneak Peek of the Festival Talent Lineup on Thursday and

 A Vendor’s Village, Pioneer Award and Soul Food Cooking Contest with judges 

The 5th Annual Baton Rouge Soul Food Festival will take place Saturday and Sunday, May 14 and 15 at Riverfront Plaza located at 300 River Road South, Baton Rouge, LA 70802.

If you're dying to get out town, then pop on over to Baton Rouge and get your soul on. For travel arrangements, contact Dee at Deech Global Travel 225-747-0057,  deechgtt@gmail.com. She's local and comes recommended.

Festival hours are 11:00am to 8:00pm on Saturday and 11:00am to 8:00pm on Sunday. The family friendly event is free to the public. It features blues, soul, R&B and gospel music, a Vendor’s Village, a Pioneer Award and judged soul food cooking contest. Lawn seating so bring your chairs. 

The Pioneer Award was established by the Baton Rouge Soul Food Festival to acknowledge outstanding contributions to the soul food industry.​ Do fried chicken, chicken wings, greens, cornbread, chitterlings, smothered liver, oxtails short ribs, fried fish, mac and cheese, potato salad, and barbecue baked beans all sound good to you? Then you know your southern cooking!

image from images.app.goo.gl
This years’ Pioneer Award Recipient is Deborah Dickerson of D’s “Southern Soul” Café in Plaquemine, Louisiana. The award was established to honor outstanding contributions to the soul food industry. Miss D, as she’s called, founded the café in 2015. In addition to serving great food, it also provides a safe haven for youth, providing free meals and tutoring. Some of her most requested dishes are Chitterlings, Smothered Liver and the only place you can get Peppergrass in the world. For more information call 225-238-5044 or visit https://m.facebook.com/Ds-Soulfood-397787393757131.  

Soul Foodie tickets include two food and soft drinks and photo ops for $25.00 per person. Soul Food-RFP II VIP tickets for two that include four food and drink tickets, T-shirts, CD’s and additional perks are $100.00. For additional information call 225-802-9681 or visit www.brsoulfoodfest.com.

A Pre-Party will be held Thursday, May 12 at Henry Turner Jr.s’ Listening Room from 8pm to midnight. Here's a sneak peek.

The venue is located at 2733 North Street, Baton Rouge, LA 70802. Tickets are $25.00 and include a buffet and soft drinks. The show is a sneak peek of the talent lineup for the festival.

KB & Turmpet (2)Some of the talent lineup includes bands and solo artists like the blues, soul, funk reggae band Henry Turner, Jr. & Flavor and the Listening Room All-Stars featuring singer/songwriter Larry “LZ” Dillon, spoken word artist ‘Nspire and the Inspiration band, comedian Eddie “Cool” Deemer's ability to string movie titles, candy and household products into stories always make people laugh; gospel/soul singer Pastor Leon Hutchins  is also known for his upbeat personality and comedy songs; guitarist and singer Owen Scott, R&B singer/songwriter and crooner Xavie Shorts crosses the charts with musical outlets that include R&B, Pop and Hip Hop. One of his classic songs and often requested songs is “Blocked List.” He is guaranteed to make the girls smile with his heartfelt delivery and suave style.  KB & the Backbeat (featured) is a New Orleans influenced Soul Band founded by horn player Kasey Ball. 

The Soul Food Cooking Contest, highlighting regional favorites from Louisiana, Texas, Food Judges TableMississippi, Alabama, Georgia and Florida include Meats, Vegetable and Side Dishes, Breads and Desserts, Appetizers and Soups, Beverage and Ices. Criteria includes Presentation, Taste, and the Story or History behind each dish. Ten entrants in each category will be pre-selected by the Soul Food screening committee.

Cooking David Hatcher (2)Upon acceptance the entry fee is $20.00, $30.00 for walk-ups, if slots are available. Contestants need to bring enough food for six people the day of their judging. First, second and third place prizes will be awarded in each category. The contest is now open and downloadable forms and additional instructions are available on the website. Vendor slots are also still available.

Soul Food Plain Logo JPeg (3)So get ready for three days of great food from Louisiana and its surrounding southern neighbors, incredible music from local and national touring acts and lots of fun on May 12 at Henry Turner Jr.’s Listening Room and next to the USS Kidd on Saturday and Sunday, May 14 and 15 at the 5th Annual Baton Rouge Soul Food Festival!


5th Annual Baton Rouge Soul Food Festival May 14 and 15, Riverfront Plaza

I am a huge fan of foodie festivals, especially when there's fun music attached which is why I have to share my friend's fun 5th Annual Baton Rouge Soul Food Festival happening on May 14 and 15, at the Riverfront Plaza in Baton Rouge, LA. 

SFF-Wiiners and Marcia (2)Marcia and I have known each other forever and often collaborated on all my short film festivals and other events I produced. So naturally, I have to return the favor now that she and her friends are hosting such an amazing event. She moved to Louisiana a few years ago and never looked back. She's surrounded by amazing musicians, delicious food, interesting scenery and the band she publicizes has an amazing listening room where she can hear live music nightly.

What's not to love?

Now back to the 5th Annual Soul Food Festival Baton Rouge, LA

Three days of Fabulous Southern Cuisine and Live Music

Smoke and MamieA Sneak Peek of the Festival Talent Lineup on Thursday and

 A Vendor’s Village, Pioneer Award and Soul Food Cooking Contest with judges 

The 5th Annual Baton Rouge Soul Food Festival will take place Saturday and Sunday, May 14 and 15 at Riverfront Plaza located at 300 River Road South, Baton Rouge, LA 70802.

If you're dying to get out town, then pop on over to Baton Rouge and get your soul on. For travel arrangements, contact Dee at Deech Global Travel 225-747-0057,  deechgtt@gmail.com. She's from there and will hook you up.

Festival hours are 11:00am to 8:00pm on Saturday and 11:00am to 8:00pm on Sunday. The family friendly event is free to the public. It features blues, soul, R&B and gospel music, a Vendor’s Village, a Pioneer Award and judged soul food cooking contest. Lawn seating so bring your chairs. 

The Pioneer Award was established by the Baton Rouge Soul Food Festival to acknowledge outstanding contributions to the soul food industry.​ Do fried chicken, chicken wings, greens, cornbread, chitterlings, smothered liver, oxtails short ribs, fried fish, mac and cheese, potato salad, and barbecue baked beans all sound good to you? Then you know your southern cooking!

image from images.app.goo.gl
This years’ Pioneer Award Recipient is Deborah Dickerson of D’s “Southern Soul” Café in Plaquemine, Louisiana. The award was established to honor outstanding contributions to the soul food industry. Miss D, as she’s called, founded the café in 2015. In addition to serving great food, it also provides a safe haven for youth, providing free meals and tutoring. Some of her most requested dishes are Chitterlings, Smothered Liver and the only place you can get Peppergrass in the world. For more information call 225-238-5044 or visit https://m.facebook.com/Ds-Soulfood-397787393757131.  

Soul Foodie tickets include two food and soft drinks and photo ops for $25.00 per person. Soul Food-RFP II VIP tickets for two that include four food and drink tickets, T-shirts, CD’s and additional perks are $100.00. For additional information call 225-802-9681 or visit www.brsoulfoodfest.com.

A Pre-Party will be held Thursday, May 12 at Henry Turner Jr.s’ Listening Room from 8pm to midnight. Check this out!

The venue is located at 2733 North Street, Baton Rouge, LA 70802. Tickets are $25.00 and include a buffet and soft drinks. The show is a sneak peek of the talent lineup for the festival.

KB & Turmpet (2)Some of the talent lineup includes bands and solo artists like the blues, soul, funk reggae band Henry Turner, Jr. & Flavor and the Listening Room All-Stars featuring singer/songwriter Larry “LZ” Dillon, spoken word artist ‘Nspire and the Inspiration band, comedian Eddie “Cool” Deemer's ability to string movie titles, candy and household products into stories always make people laugh; gospel/soul singer Pastor Leon Hutchins  is also known for his upbeat personality and comedy songs; guitarist and singer Owen Scott, R&B singer/songwriter and crooner Xavie Shorts crosses the charts with musical outlets that include R&B, Pop and Hip Hop. One of his classic songs and often requested songs is “Blocked List.” He is guaranteed to make the girls smile with his heartfelt delivery and suave style.  KB & the Backbeat (featured) is a New Orleans influenced Soul Band founded by horn player Kasey Ball. 

The Soul Food Cooking Contest, highlighting regional favorites from Louisiana, Texas, Food Judges TableMississippi, Alabama, Georgia and Florida include Meats, Vegetable and Side Dishes, Breads and Desserts, Appetizers and Soups, Beverage and Ices. Criteria includes Presentation, Taste, and the Story or History behind each dish. Ten entrants in each category will be pre-selected by the Soul Food screening committee.

Cooking David Hatcher (2)Upon acceptance the entry fee is $20.00, $30.00 for walk-ups, if slots are available. Contestants need to bring enough food for six people the day of their judging. First, second and third place prizes will be awarded in each category. The contest is now open and downloadable forms and additional instructions are available on the website. Vendor slots are also still available.

Soul Food Plain Logo JPeg (3)So get ready for three days of great food from Louisiana and its surrounding southern neighbors, incredible music from local and national touring acts and lots of fun on May 12 at Henry Turner Jr.’s Listening Room and next to the USS Kidd on Saturday and Sunday, May 14 and 15 at the 5th Annual Baton Rouge Soul Food Festival!


Pre-Oscar Gifting Suites recap - Luxury Experience & Co at Valerie's Part 1

By Joy A. Kennelly

No matter how times change, some things will always remain the same. By this, I'm referring to Pre-Oscar Gifting Suites. All the stars and wannabe stars flock to these like they've never received a gift in their life, or else that's just my impression having been to so many over the years, but seriously, they're the one time all of Hollywood mixes for a daytime party. Free gifts. Fun People. Glamour. Photos. Networking. An Oscar pre-party.

What's not to love?

I enjoyed attending two very different types of gifting suites during this past weekend. One that's been around for years and one that was new and both were unique and special in their own ways. 

Luxury Experience & Co and Valerie Beverly Hills presented a luxury gifting lounge honoring nominees and presenters during Oscars Weekend at the exclusive Valerie Beverly Hills located in the “Golden Triangle” in the heart of Beverly Hills, California. With quality and luxury in mind, LE & Co gifted celebrities an unparalleled level of style and sophistication in beauty, health, home, travel and wellness.

"Winning Time: The Rise of the Lakers Dynasty" actor Kirk Bovill, Selling Sunset star Amanza Smith, "Dollface" actor Gilles Marini, Amber Friendly (Apple TV’s “The Morning Show"), Tyler Perry's "The Have and the Have Nots" actor Celeste Thorson, Filmmaker/Actress Kathy Kolia, Actress/TV Host Caitlin O'Connor, John Singleton’s “Snowfall,” star Angela Lewis, Adrian Dev (Westworld, Mulan), and many others, which created a great mix of film and television talent.

DisplayNewton2 Adrian dev Dr Busso and Selling Sunset Star Amanza Smith Apple TV’s “The Morning Show_ Amber Friendly
The LE & Co experience combined the ultimate customized celebrity experience that featured Dr Busso, Nu Estestica Spa, Protege Footwear, Everlasting Comfort, Jewelry By Swoon, B GREAT, EcoSlay, Valerie Beverly Hills, MoreLife, Elixicure, Scott Porter, KAENA Wines, Batch & Bottle, Monkey Shoulder, Glenfiddich, Hendrick’s, Reyka Vodka and Icelandic Glacial.

Photo by @orelhafotos_Protege_31

  Photo by @orelhafotos_Protege_31

Photo by @orelhafotos_Protege_31

Protégé Footwear was a huge hit among women due to their mechanically engineered fit designed by Candace Chen, the Founder and CEO. A woman's heel is cupped at the heaviest weight of the body on the heel, with gel padding at the ball of the foot, interchangeable straps to vary the look and a toe grip that prevents your foot from awkwardly sliding forward.

I've ordered a pair and am very curious to see how I like the fit since I've had injuries in the past that prevent me from wearing most high heels. Plus, I don't need extra height, but these were too beautiful and interesting not to buy. 

LE & Co founder Melissa McAvoy, named 2019 Top Dynamic Women by Modern Luxury | Angeleno Magazine, toasted to the success of talent walking away from the event with incredible gifts, valuable new connections and a sense of celebration for the amazing past year in entertainment.

"We couldn't have asked for a better partner to host such a successful event with," McAvoy said of Valerie Beverly Hills. Taken from the Valerie's website and I quote:

"Valerie Beverly Hills is a cosmetic company and makeup boutique based exclusively out of Beverly Hills, California. A luxury brand prized for selling a unique line of high quality cosmetics, Valerie Beverly Hills offers an unparalleled beauty experience to its consumers.

Photo by @orelhafotos_Oscars Gifiting Lounge_24

Photo by @orelhafotos_Alyssa de Boisblanc_@alyssad_03Photo by @orelhafotos_Oscars Gifiting Lounge_50So cheers to all who attended, showcased their wares, and gave us a great memory. We enjoyed the experience. It was a great party and can't wait for the next one. And in the meantime, don't mind me. I'm grateful for my gift bag and seeing as it's one of my love languages, very happy now! Thank you Melissa and team! Great Pre-Oscar event!

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