Friday, September 30, 2011

Strong and Brilliant Women

Me and Romy at IAO

Me and Chandra at the Pixies!

Suzy and Me in NYC

Jenny, Me and Mom in Savannah
Pie-Pee and Me

Yesterday was extraordinary.  I realized at multiple points in the day that I was in the company of or communicating with strong and brilliant women.  It was interesting to see them all at different stages of life and to hear the things that were on their minds.  It was also really nice to see their accomplishments because it inspires me.  It helps me to realize that if I stick to the course I'm on now, I can do it too. I'm consistently challenging myself to do things I've never done before in order to accomplish growth. It's scary to shake things up and see where you fall, but it's important. These women understood what it took to make things happen for our communities and I'm sure that each one of them had faced fears of their own. My dad told me once that he and mom had raised my sister and me to be strong women and in some ways, I'm just beginning to understand what he meant.

At lunchtime I met with the other ladies on the committee for the Paseo Artist Awards. During the meeting, I remembered how scared I was last year, my first year on the committee.  I was so honored to be asked to join that I wanted to do whatever I could to help us make the awards special, especially for the award winners, but having never done anything like that before, I was a little stressed out. This year, I know what to do so I think I can not only make improvements, I can also enjoy the process.  The women at that table were all very kind and professional and we all agreed, after the awards ceremony, that it was one of the most fun committees we'd ever served on.  Plus the event felt magical so we were all happy.  I think that's what happens when everyone in the group is capable and congenial.  It's easy.  That's the kind of working environment I want!

After lunch, I had the pleasure of meeting with a lady in Norman who started a gallery/studio/event space.  We talked about her goals and ideas and it really helped me to realize that I'm not alone in my dreams.  It also helped to talk to someone who had already done what I want to do!  I'm grateful for this new friend.

Next up on the schedule for the day was finishing a reference letter for one of my favorite professors.  She totally deserves the award for which I was recommending her.  She's a great woman and teacher.  When I took the letter to her, we got to talk a little and, as always, laugh a lot.  And then it hit me, I've surrounded myself with strong women because I want to continue to be strong myself.  We tend to pull together because we need each other's support in order to accomplish even more.  Even at a going away party I went to last night, I had the privilege of talking to someone I really respect.  It was like the icing on the cake!  

So I want to thank all of the strong women in my life, for showing me that great things can be accomplished and for helping me to have faith in myself.  There are a lot of men to thank as well, but this one's for the ladies! 

Thank you Mom, Jenny, Pie-Pee, Maw-Maw, Camille, Elizabeth, Ann, Suzy, Romy, Chandra, Anne, Nicole, Alison, Carolyn, Diane, Sharon, Leslie, Jennifer, Susan, Alison, Allison, Whitney, Adrienne, Robbie, Tiffany, B.C. (Shannon), Jennifer, Amber, Julia, Stephanie, Tracey, Melissa, Sammi, Netha, Jaimie, Melynda, Joy, Jane, Jo, Mary, Kristen, Whitney, TiTi, Marilyn, Ashley, Kelsey, Megan, Colleen, Claire, Kat, Britton, Erin, Jessie, Kenzie, Courtney, Kayti, Katie, Teri, Jen, Jennifer, Stephanie, Erin, Andrea Karen, Kara Joy..this list could go on and on and I'm sure I've left people out.  This is just me rambling...but you can be sure I'll sneak back in here and add people as they come to my mind.  I just really appreciate the example and encouragement you've all given me just by being who you are and taking the time to be my friend. 

Friday, September 23, 2011

612 + Oklahoma Food Coop Video!

Last week Kyle and James got some footage of our first night as an Oklahoma Food Cooperative pick-up site. Here's what they've edited together and I think it's great! Of course, the thumbnail YouTube would pick is of me sticking my tongue out. Nice. Haha!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Dilapidation Notice Removed!!

James got a call today from Danny B. with the city of OKC, saying that the dilapidation notice that had been placed on Sixtwelve before we bought it has been removed!!!! Yahoooooo!!! I'm ecstatic about this because it means title insurance can be applied to a loan from the bank and the bank has said we could have the loan when this took place.  So as soon as the bank stuff is finalized, we can get started on the inside of the building!!! This is awesome news!

So in honor of that sweet building at 612 NW 29th Street, I thought I'd post some pics showing the progress up to this date! It's been quite an adventure so far!

At this point, we had some framing of the windows complete, but that was about it!

Some of the bricks were falling off the building before we bought it, so we had them taken off, the structure repaired, a vapor shield put up and then the same bricks put back on.  James and I both wish we could have left the bricks all over the building looking like this, but they had originally been painted and we wanted to be historically accurate, so the whole building was painted white!

Lookin' good!

The balconies will be lots of fun when they're finished!

612 painted white!

James checking out the progress! By this point we had gotten a new roof and our new windows would be in soon!

The first window by Wewoka Window Works installed!

We found the second window installed on Earth Day.  Next to the building is "Buddy" our Red Bud that we bought for the building that day!

The windows are in and the trim is painted black!

Our new door is actually the original door, refurbished a little...It has the original hardware and wood!

All we have left to do on the outside is paint the front door red, add some gutters and then finish up some trim work!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Living Well: What you do and what you eat matters!

A month or so ago, Romy and I were talking about health and food and especially sugar.  I've always had issues with sugar.  About 10 years ago I had my sugars tested and found out that I was on the borderline for Type 2 Diabetes.  I took a medicine called Glucophage and it helped.  I also ate right, exercised and took care of myself and lost about 30 pounds. I looked and felt great, but I didn't want to be on the meds my whole life so I got off of them and tried to control it with diet and exercise.  I did well for quite a while, but over the past few years I haven't paid as close attention to it as I should have.

Last month my dad had a health scare and it woke me up! Thank goodness he is going to be ok, but I realized with all of the heart, lung and sugar issues that run in my family on both sides, I had better quit ignoring things. Another motivating factor is that with school and starting this business, anxiety can get the best of me if I don't watch it. Sugar seems to enhance any uneasy feelings I have too, so I decided to listen to Romy and take her advice on cleaning up my diet.  She told me about the Quantum Wellness Cleanse by Kathy Freston.  Romy and I are both following the 21 day plan together! It requires you to cut out sugar, gluten, alcohol, animal products and caffeine for a three week period of time. The good news is that while doing this, I've realized even more how much I love vegetables and that this doesn't really limit you very much.  You can eat and get really full on things that are not only good for you, but also delicious.  And with the connection to the the Oklahoma Food Coop, I know that I'm just now on the verge of fully appreciating all of the seasonal and local food that I can so easily acquire! (Yes, that was a shameless plug.)

We're on day 9 of the cleanse and, other than a few times when I ate things as a result of not paying attention, things have gone really well.  I feel more energetic, my skin is clearer and so is my mind! I've added yoga and other forms of exercise (walking, bike riding) into my routine and I'm feeling more at peace about things.  I have to admit that I'll be happy when wine and cheese can enter back into my life, but I don't think I'll be reincorporating the sodas.  I have craved a coke everyday until today.  It took 9 days for me to break that addiction and I don't want to go back.  I'm not saying I'll never have another soda in my lifetime, but I won't be drinking them like I did.

It's nice to know that you can do things for your body that can actually help it to heal itself.  You can take back your good health!  You just have to want to and make it your intention.  Here is a video I found of Kathy Freston on the Ellen Degeneres show.  She's been on Oprah too but I like Ellen the best, so I'm posting this one.  I love that Kathy encourages people to take care of themselves and to think about ways in which you can change your life for the better because it has a ripple effect on so many other people. Thank you Romy, for encouraging me to try this cleanse and for doing it with me!!! It is changing my views on things and maybe someday I can help others in the same way. First, though, I'm going to try to make it to day 21.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Oklahoma Food Coop Pick-Up Day!

Today, Sixtwelve became the new Paseo pick-up site for the Oklahoma Food Cooperative.  James volunteered all day (from 9am until 8pm tonight! Way to go James!) and I worked in the afternoon after getting school stuff squared away.  I have to admit that I was nervous about how things would go.  A brand new site with people (me and James) running it could potentially be a mess, but Adam Price (the guy in charge of delivery routes for the co-op) joined us and was on hand for advice and guidance the whole time.  I found that the more we helped people find their food and check out, the more I understood ways in which to make things flow smoothly.  It didn't hurt that the people who came to pick up their food were so incredibly kind and patient.

Kyle came over and filmed most of the experience, not only for a video podcast we'll put out within a week, but also for the Co-op to have some footage of the new site opening.  I have a feeling that he captured me stressed out in the beginning, but hopefully he'll include me loosening up a bit as time passed. I just know that you don't mess with people's money or food.  I didn't want to do anything that would give us a bad reputation right from the beginning.  But I didn't! All went well! In fact, people thanked us for opening the site and said they were excited about it too! This made all of the difference for me.  Most of the people who thanked us also said that it was just so convenient because they lived in the Paseo or close by.  I was really happy to hear that because James and I both want to make it easy for people to do things that are good and healthy for them.  And we're doing it!!!!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

OKC Sprawl!

Last night I attended a meeting on OKC's Urban Sprawl Issues. Ed Shadid, our Ward 2 City Councilman, led the meeting and I have to say that I was really happy to see 500+ people in the room, with standing room only as the event began.  It shows that there are many people interested in changing the environment of our community. Shadid and the panel of speakers began the meeting by speaking about public health and where OKC ranks. It wasn't good news, but I think most of us already knew where we stood and I think it was the most perfect reason for all of us to be aware of the ramifications of sprawl.  Our obesity rate is so high and that means a lot more than I realized.  Check out where we rank in the polls.  I took this picture last night during one of the speaker's presentations.

Because we have separated the work areas and the living areas (i.e. subdivisions) in our city, we have to drive everywhere we go.  That means that we aren't walking or biking to work, eat or play.  We've taken natural opportunities for exercise and interacting with our community out of our days.  Now we find that we're paying the price.  Especially when it comes to the cost of oil and time.  We spend so much time in our cars, that we're too exhausted by the time we get home to even find the motivation to walk around the block.  Add in the increase in numbers of cars on the road and the increase in our population over the past 50+ years and we've got problems. Anyone who has driven on Oklahoma roads knows that even with all of the everlasting construction, we're not keeping up with maintenance and needs. Our emergency services such as fire, police, EMSA, etc. can't get to people as fast as needed and it's expected that over the course of 2011, there will be almost 90,000 emergency calls to the fire dept alone.  Last night the fire chief reported that 82% of the fire calls are actually emergency health calls.

So the logical conclusion are that if we incorporated our work and live spaces, we would have more time to spend more time with and contributing to our community.  We'd also have more opportunities to walk or bike to the places where we are spending our time and that would mean a healthier population.  If we're taking better care of ourselves and hopefully doing the things it takes to cut back on heart disease and diabetes, we'd probably cut down on the number of health calls emergency services had to answer.  This would cut down on spending for everyone.  The need for oil is also a huge problem and it's only getting bigger.  I believe that all of this will provide more reasons for people to become increasingly aware of the value of local food.  That's why we wanted to partner with the Oklahoma Food Coop! There are things we can do as a community to make a change and to make this a healthier city for everyone. (It's also why I'm trying to ride my bike a lot more these days.)

These are all ideas that we are going to promote at 612, through education and action.  We want it to be a place that encourages people to value their community and educates us all in ways to contribute in creative ways. We have so much to be thankful for here in OKC and I'd say the greatest resource is its people.  I applaud Ed Shadid and our city council for bringing awareness to our issues.  I think there is a great (and large) group of people here who would like to see some solutions and I know that I can speak for myself and for James in saying that we want to help!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Sixtwelve will be a pick-up site for the Oklahoma Food Coop Starting Thursday, September 15th!

James and I are so excited to announce that 612 is going to be a pick-up site for the Oklahoma Food Cooperative! Starting the third Thursday of this month, members will be able to pick up their orders at the lot next to our building.  Renovations won't be finished until sometime next year, but in the meantime, we felt like we could contribute something to the cause of promoting of local and sustainable food by providing the lot next door for a pick-up site.  I'm so excited about this!

If you've ever been interested in becoming a member or learning more, click on this link or leave me a message. I'll try to put you in contact with the right person! The following was on the email the Coop sent out earlier today. We're honored to be a part of it all!

p.s. The orders opened today so you could probably still get in on the next delivery day if you join today!