Jazz Concert Tonight



There’s a free jazz concert tonight at Tarrant County College’s Northwest Campus tonight, November 30. Performers include jazz ensemble students, staff, and faculty. Sorry for the short notice, but it is something that you’ll surely enjoy.

It begins at 7:30 PM in WSTU 1303/1305 on the NW Campus just off Loop 820 on 4801 Marine Creek Parkway in Fort Worth. Contact Eddie Vandewalker at 817-515-7021 for additional information or e-mail him at richard.vandewalker@tccd.edu

Annie Ambles to the Jazz Concert



Let’s Do Nothing

Yes, you read the blog post title correctly. Today, November 30, the last day of the eleventh month of the year, let’s, the two of us, just stop and do nothing. Put our lives on hold for a time. How long? It’s entirely up to you.

Can you do it? Turn off the TV, radio, phone, and anything else that makes or creates noise. Just sit for a few moments, or longer if you like, and do absolutely, tee-totally nothing.

Impossible? Not so. Take a few deep breaths. Maybe mentally go to your favorite spot–a warm beach, a calm lake, a beautiful mountain top. Get the drift? Stay there as long as you like. Later, you can return to real life, to your reality, but for now, do absolutely nothing.

Free Clip Art Beach Beach Scene Royalty Free Stock Images Image

Things are probably going to get pretty hectic in December with all the cleaning, decorating, cooking, shopping, entertaining, partying, eating, drinking that we do to celebrate the holidays. But, for now, let’s make an investment in our peace of mind. That’s free. Put all those plans and busy thoughts on hold. I’m with you. Let’s do nothing!

Annie Ambles does nothing

Kimbell Art Museum’s New Exhibits

It’s another rainy day in Fort Worth, just the perfect day to do some inside activity, like visit our beautiful Kimbell Art Museum. Castiglione: Lost Genius opened Sunday, November 22 at the Kimbell Art Museum and continues through February 14. Admission to the Kimbell’s general galleries is free; there is no charge for the Castiglione show.

This chart shows the days and hours the Kimbell is open.

Tuesday 10 a.m.–5 p.m.
Wednesday 10 a.m.–5 p.m.
Thursday 10 a.m.–5 p.m.
Friday Noon–8 p.m.
Saturday 10 a.m.–5 p.m.
Sunday Noon–5 p.m.
Monday/Thanksgiving/Christmas closed

Giovanni Castiglione’s works have been compared to those of Rembrandt and Rubens, yet he never quite got as much fame as they did. He had a colorful life that included attempts to murder some people. He was wanted by law officials in several Italian cities and was constantly avoiding arrest. It’s a wonder he got as much done as he did.

Described as exuberant, this 17th. century artist was quite a character. His drawings and etchings are included in this exhibit appropriately named “Masterworks on Paper from the Royal Collection.”

If you want to see another Kimbell exhibit “Gustave Calillebotte: The Painter’s Eye”, running until February 14, there is a charge, unless you’re a member. If you don’t belong to the Kimbell, find a friend who does and go with her/his as a guest. Otherwise, as a senior, you’ll pay $12, unless you go on half-price Tuesday or Friday evening between 5:00 and 8:00 PM when a ticket is $6. Bite the bullet and pay the $65 annual membership fee.

The Kimbell Art Museum is located at 3333 Camp Bowie Boulevard. Call 817 332-8451, if you need help in getting there. Parking is free at several surrounding lots and in an underground parking area.

Annie Ambles to the Kimbell Art Museum

Stockyards Cattle Drive

There are so many things to see and do in Fort Worth’s Stockyards, but the one Annie’s visitors most want to see is the herd of longhorns with its cowpokes driving the steers down the street in true Texas fashion. The drive is staged twice a day, both morning at 11:00 AM and afternoon at 4:00 PM. The cowboys are mounted and whirl ropes as they gently move the cattle from the end of the street to the holding pens. It’s a sight to see and it won’t cost you a red cent! This free mini-adventure occurs daily. Just stand by the street, and take your photos.

Annie Ambles to Fort Worth’s Stockyards


Holiday Party Planning

If you’re planning a party, you may want to follow my friend Betty’s guidance. She calls it her “Do-Ahead Party Preparation” and comes from her marvelous cookbook Celebrations So Fat, Low Fat, No Fat, printed by
Fireside, Simon & Schuster, Inc. in 1999. We were neighbors in Strayhorn Heights, Lake Tenkiller, Oklahoma, for seven happy years, during which I benefited greatly from her recipes and excellent cooking.

You may already be behind schedule for your Christmas party, but you’re right on time for New Year’s Eve or New Year’s Day. Wish I could write as well or colorfully as Betty does, but since I don’t, I’m giving full credit to her for this holiday party planning guide (see below):

“4 to 6 WEEKS AHEAD:
 Decide on the type of party you are considering.
 Consider the space available.
 Consider the number of guests.
 Make lists of decisions—listing guests—be able to glance at your notebook and know exactly what you’re doing at all times. No room for guesswork or depending on your memory.
 Send out invitations. You can make your own, especially if you have a computer. If not, print on pretty paper, using the theme of your party for the design, such as Easter bunnies and so forth.
 Check your kitchen for equipment. Be sure you can handle whatever you have decided to do.
 If you have friends or someone to help you, make arrangements early. If you wait until the last minute, you may find them already busy with other arrangements.
 If you plan to rent serving dishes or glasses, etc., make the arrangements now.
 Plan the menu. Make your grocery list. Pick up items along the way as they are on sale. Be sure to check your list off as you do. Keep the party items in one designated place for convenience.
 Start your decorating plan. Do related shopping, or check your after-holiday shopping stock. I keep my holiday items in separate boxes. When a new item is picked up during after holiday sale, I add it to the box. Maybe you already have all you need.
 Buy wines and other beverages.
 Check your menu items for things to do ahead. Bake or cook and freeze as many things as possible.
 Check your linens—make sure they are freshly cleaned and ironed.
 Start storing extra ice—empty ice compartment into zip-lock bags and place in freezer.
 Consider your outfit—make sure it is clean and pressed.
 Shop for remaining food items.
 Do as much advance food preparations as possible.
 Set up party tables and chairs. If you need to borrow folding chairs, do so at this time.
 Set up table—do decorations.
 Do any advance food preparation possible.
 Tidy house.
 Make sure your glasses are sparkling clean. When they are hanging in a wine rack or displayed outside or even in a china cabinet, they can get a film on them. Don’t forget the little extra touch of a tiny satin ribbon tied on each stem.
 Do any last-minute shipping, for dairy items, for example.
 Be sure to set up trash containers conveniently and visibly located if entertaining with paper products or outside.
 Check your outfit for last minute pressing.
 As early in the day as possible, finish food preparation.
 Ice beverages.
 Leave time for yourself. The key is to look comfortable, happy and not stressed out. If you look stressed, you make your guests feel uncomfortable and stressed. If you look relaxed and happy, so will your guests.
 The key to this entire program is PLANNING.”

Please call, e-mail, or snail mail my invitation to your party. I’m looking forward to the event!

Annie Ambles gains wisdom from Betty



horn_of_cornucopiaMay your Thanksgiving be filled with family, friends, food, fun.

We have a tradition I’d like to share with you. After grace is said, each person at the table says a few sentences about a blessing, a thanks, for the person sitting to her/his right. In this way, we express our gratefulness for each person sharing our bounty. Maybe you’d like to start a new tradition like ours at your meal. Even if you’re eating by yourself, you can give thanks.

I’m thankful that I was born a Texan, an American, a Storey. No matter where I travel outside our wonderful country, I am always grateful when I land back on American soil. Returning home to where my heart is. Travel memories are fine, but reality is even better.

When I’m having a less than perfect day, I stop to think about my blessings and offer thanks for health, family, friends, home, talents, food, intelligence (some may question this), abilities, hot water, and machines (washing, dryer, dishwasher, computer, television, refrigerator, and tuner/radio).

Try to incorporate a little bit of thanksgiving into every day. I wish you well and a happy Thanksgiving.

Annie Ambles to Austin to share Thanksgiving with her beautiful daughter and family friends

Comes the Dawn


If you really want to know, I don’t remember how or when I came to have Veronica A. Shoffstall’s poem, but I found it again this afternoon when I was downstairs cleaning out/up and organizing my storage unit (the pit that never shrinks). Just want to share it with you, especially if you’ve been through some hard times. If you have, that means you are alive. Be grateful.

Comes the Dawn

After a while you learn the subtle difference

Between holding a hand and chaining a soul,

And you learn that love doesn’t mean security,

And you begin to learn that kisses aren’t contracts,

And presents aren’t promises.

And you begin to accept your defeats

With your head up and your eyes open,

With the grace of a woman, not the grief of a child.

And you learn to build all your roads

On today because tomorrow’s ground

Is too uncertain.  And futures have

A way of falling down in mid-flight.

After a while you learn that even sunshine burns

if you get too much.

So you plant your own garden and decorate your own soul, instead of waiting

For someone to bring you flowers.

And you learn that you really can endure . . .

That you really are strong,

And you really do have worth.

And you learn and learn

With every goodbye you learn.

Annie Ambles onto the balcony to greet the new day