A Night on the Farm

I am pretty much a city girl.  Even though we had acreage and horses for years in China Spring, I don’t consider myself country-like. I really don’t like to get my hands dirty.  I get that from my Mom, although she gets her hands dirty in the kitchen and is not afraid of dirt outside, so who knows?

So a night on the farm was intriguing to me.  Romantic, if you will. And it was.

table lights

 

The lights strung up above the table was something out of a dream.

The table appeared to go one for days, with mix-matched place settings that seemed to be right out of a magazine. Flowers, grown on the farm, and beautiful bottles of water placed every here and there. All of this with millions of little twinkling lights up above; dreamy.

This was a farm-to-table dinner.  On a farm.  At a non-profit farm in Waco, World Hunger Relief, Inc., that teaches interns about sustainable, local and international hunger issues, and sells produce and meats at our local farmers market.

table1

While I fully knew what was on the menu for the evening, I chose to not share this knowledge with my husband.  I am trying new things, branching out, getting out of my comfort zone and he has been attempting to go over-the-edge with me lately, which I appreciate, but I knew the food being prepared for us would not be on his palate.  Or plate.

So the menu was not what we would find ourselves ordering at a restaurant, but I was fine with that; after all it was the experience I was seeking.

goats

Experience brings me to the outside facilities. The bathrooms were outside, (yes, I said outside!) and were actually compost bathrooms. The sustainable farmers, well…make compost out of the waste to use on their veggies and such. Appetizing, huh?

outhouse

A compost toilet is a dry toilet that uses an aerobic processing system to treat human excreta, (WHAT??) by composting your decomposition. After you…well go, you add a scoop of sawdust or peat moss on top.  No flushing.  They did offer antibacterial goop, so that was good.

Good wine; we also had good wine.  And it was flowing so everything was beautiful.

d&M farm

 

Other than the mud (it had just rained cats and dogs or should I say goats and pigs?), and the outside facilities, and the bitter cold, and the meal itself, it was a perfect evening spent with good friends and good wine. I am extremely happy that we went and I am better for it.

love and blessings~dd

Magnolia Market media event

The day I spent at the Magnolia Market Media event with my daughter, Cameron, still tops all the amazing days I have had in the new writing-life I am blessed to live.

The invitation to the Magnolia Market Media Event~

Friday, October 23, while enjoying the rain, I opened my email and noticed  something that said “HGTV’s Chip and Joanna Gaines” in the title.  Being confused but intrigued, I opened it and the shouty capitols started flowing.  I text my daughters, my husband, (my son wouldn’t have known the wow factor of this so I didn’t text him!), my two best friends, my mother-n-law and called my parents to tell them that I was invited to a MAGNOLIA MARKET MEDIA EVENT TO MEET,  AND HAVE Q&A WITH CHIP AND JOANNA GAINES!! CHIP AND JOJO!!!

Me? What?

I was able to bring along a photographer so naturally I invited my daughter, Cameron, with me to not only help me by taking pictures(she has a better camera!) while I took notes, but also to keep me grounded and not act like a fan-girl!  I had to be professional!

The event~

After picking up our credentials, Cameron and I headed to the Magnolia Market at the Silos, in downtown Waco, excited and ready to go.

We had both already been to the new market on Webster, so that wasn’t where the excitement was focused on; the excitement was all focused on meeting Chip and JoJo! This was about to happen!  And THAT, is what had my heart racing!

Magnolia Marketmedia event

We were able to see the actual reveal screens that they will use in the HGTV show Fixer Upper.  It felt so real.  I could hear Joanna in my head saying, “Are you ready to see your fixer upper?”

Magnolia Marketmedia event

When Joanna came out to cut the red ribbon for the Greater Waco Chamber of Commerce ribbon cutting ceremony for the new market, that’s when it got real.

Magnolia Marketmedia event

Down to earth, dressed in comfortable jeans and boots, hands in pockets, not uptight or concerned about the thousands about to visit the silos, coffee in-hand, she led us through the tour of the silo compound, along with Brock Murphy, the Director of Public Relations for Magnolia. She answered our questions and made jokes, especially about her husband, Chip, that had yet again pulled a characteristic stunt and hurt his back. (Oh, Chip!)

Magnolia Marketmedia event

Joanna Gaines was a perfect host for the media group that included, The Dallas Morning News, The Waco Trib, all three major TV stations in Waco, and other news agencies, and little ol’ me, a reporter for The Hometown News.

As Oprah would say, “This was an aha! moment”.

Then there was the moment when I asked her a question, got a bit of laughter from my media peers (my who???) and she looked right at me and answered.

Magnolia Marketmedia event

Fan-girl moment.

The garden, the roof-top, the market, the reveal screens, JoJo, the entire morning was unbelievable. Exclamation point. One of the top moments of my life.

Magnolia Marketmedia event

Being able to share it with Cameron; took it over the edge.

love and blessings~dd

*pictures provided by Cameron Davis

Over the Edge

In January 2014, someone I consider a friend, and happened to be my boss at the time, asked me to do something that scared me to death. He asked me to actually use my degree and write some articles and try to get them published. After talking to my husband about this, who encouraged me and told me I could do it, I knew I couldn’t say no; but I didn’t know if I could do it. I knew I had to challenge myself and agree to try. I was scared to death; over the edge.

I not only said I would try, I did it, and the first thing I wrote made it into the Trib. No by-line, but it was mine. I wrote it. The second thing I wrote was published in The Enterprise. I called my parents and told them that I was finally being paid to write and that degree they paid for, back in 1988, was finally being used.

This lead to more bravery.

I quit my job, (sorry friend), and started writing full time for The Enterprise, 26 years after graduating with a journalism degree. He pushed me to the edge and I jumped. And when I landed on my feet, I ran.

Since then, I have slowly become a person that I sometimes don’t know. But I like her a lot. I have pushed myself to do what some people might think is not brave at all; but to me it was heart-racing and uncomfortable, but when it was over I was left, standing, in my new shoes, upright and alright, and better for it.

After all, Marilyn Monroe said, “Give a girl the right shoes, and she can conquer the world.”

These things that challenge me, could hold me back or I could push through them and have new experiences and success, either by writing a new story or going to new places, and sometimes both. The momentary fear is scary but by pushing myself, I push toward the payoff.

Darling, let’s be adventurers.

I have now done new-to-me-things like go to the Food Truck Showdown, the Waco Downtown Farmers Market, eaten lunch by myself in public, attended events by myself for the paper, taken my dogs to a dog park by myself, walked in a pet walk for charity, went to London with my daughters without my husband and I interviewed Waco Police Spokesman Patrick Swanton. I have also spoken to Sheriff Parnell McNamara, and called people on the phone that I didn’t want to but had to for a story. Simple things for some. Over the edge for me.

And sometimes, I bring my daughters along, pushing them, also, which helps me be braver.

The Over the Edge for Communities in Service event was the biggest by far. When I was asked if I wanted to rappel down ten stories, 138 feet down the Texas Life Building, as a media person, I was shaking in these new shoes I now wear. Thrilled, excited, heart-racing and scared to death, all at the same time. Who am I? All for a story. For charity. For all those kids that CIS-HOT help challenge daily and help graduate. I can do this, I told myself.

cis overtheedge

Well, I did do it. I am proud of myself but still a bit in shock that I did it at all. While walking backwards, down the perpendicular sidewalk, gripping for dear life, praying to get to the ground safely, I realized I am now a different person because I stood up to me fears, conquered them and lived. On to the next metaphorical cliff.

me over the edge

Thank you, Dr. Marc Faulkner, for pushing me, out, over the edge.

 

 

*So this, my first blog post, is an editorial that I wrote for The Hometown News, a weekly-small-town-newspaper that covers Waco and all small towns in McLennan County. I was reflecting on how I seem to be growing as a person, a writer and how I am trying to “push” myself daily. My life has changed since I began writing.  I feel I have been a writer my entire life but put it aside while I did the most important job of my life-raise my three blessings, otherwise known as children.  And I strongly believe in “All in His time.”

Writing a blog has been a dream of mine for about a year.  I took another leap over the edge with this. Bucket list stuff.  I always say “but I have nothing to write about” and still maybe I don’t. I may never write another post, or I may write everyday.  At this point who knows.

love and blessings~dd

Overtheedge