Writing Group Helps You Tap Into Your Creative Side

     There are rumors that Fort Worth has several creative writing groups which regularly meet at city locations. Annie wants to let you know about the one that meets at Fort Worth Library’s Northwest Branch. The next scheduled meeting is December 18, at 6:00 PM.
     For your first visit, you may want to just come and observe to get the lay of the land, or if you’re working on a poem, manuscript, or short story, think about bringing a copy of your masterpiece with you. Annie is told that you’ll be welcome–with or without your work.
      Can’t make it to this month’s meeting? Never fear. Gilbert assures Annie that the group meets on the third Monday of every month. So, you could save January 19, 2018, for your jaunt to the Northwest Library, 6228 Crystal Lake Drive.  Crystal Lake Drive is off of Cromwell-Marine Creek Road, which intersects with Marine Creek Parkway just north of the Tarrant County College Northwest Campus.
     From Loop 820, go north on Marine Creek Parkway. Turn left at Cromwell-Marine Creek Road. The library will be on your left in approximately one mile, next to Parkview Elementary School. Call 817-392-5420, if you get turned around. Writers never get lost. Right?
     There is no charge for membership, and parking is free. If you love writing and hanker for feedback and encouragement from fellow writers, you’ll enjoy being a part of this group.

Annie Ambles to the creative writing group meeting, if not this month, next month



Furry Friends


It seems to Annie that many people decide to add a furry friend to their families at this time of year. Hearts open to animals that need places to live, but before you make that longtime commitment, please think of what caring for an animal entails. In addition to the economics (vet visits, food, grooming, kitty litter, leashes, collars, harnesses, coats, toys, and more), there is the emotional commitment to another living creature.

Caring for and loving a four-legged ball of fluff takes time and energy. Yes, you’ll get a big return on your investment with unlimited, unconditional love from your new family member, so it’s worth the effort and the time it takes to train your pet. Maintain a big supply of patience, persistence, and planning as you walk through life with your newest best ever buddy. And, do walk, not crate, your pet.

The City of Fort Worth is sponsoring several adoption events where you can get a dog or cat for a small fee–$10 on specific days in December. This includes a vet’s health exam, rabies vaccination, spading/neutering, micro-chipping, and city license. Check out the City’s Animal Care and Control Center at 4900 Martin Street, 76119. Call 817 392-1234 to find out dates for the reduced adoption fee. The Center is open Monday through Sunday, 12 noon until 6 PM. If you’re not ready to adopt, you may be able to foster a pet.

The Hulen PetSmart Charities Adoption Center can be found at 4800 SW Loop 820, 76109, or by phone at 817 731-4353, extension 7. Its hours are Monday through Friday, 11 AM until 8:30 P, Saturday, 9 AM through 8:30 PM, and even on Sunday from 9 AM until 6:30 PM. A third adoption location is at 2901 Texas Sage Trail, 76177, at the Alliance PetSmart Charities Adoption Center. Call this center at 817 3927117 or 817 741-7923. It has the same hours as the Hulen PetSmart Center.

If you are renting your home, you’ll want to check with your landlord to ensure that you can keep a pet. You’ll probably need to pay a pet deposit and follow the landlord’s guide rules. Some breeds are not allowed, and size may also be a factor. Good luck; be of good cheer.

Annie Ambles to Pet Smart to get some furry animal interaction

Happy Birthday

The love between a father and daughter


Just a shout out to my wonderful daddy who would turn 121 years young today, if he were still with us. Thank you, Daddy, for giving me unconditional love, practical guidance, and upstanding moral examples. You taught me so many things by practical lessons. Like, there was no car until I could change a flat tire. Yep, my dad stood by me as I did what he told me with that jack, lug wrench, and spare. That little lesson came in handy more times than I can mention.

He’d say, “Your word is your bond.” For him, it was. It’s been a lifelong lesson in keeping my word, no matter what. Couldn’t always do it, but I tried. He didn’t travel much, but he told me that I needed to get as much education and travel as I could because “These are things of the mind that you’ll always have with you.” No Alzheimer’s in his future.

“See your own country before you travel to foreign places.” I did that, Daddy, visiting all 50 states, but also exploring 39 countries. Such wisdom you imparted to your family. Wisdom that I miss when I need advice, so, Daddy, thank you for being my dad, loving me, sheltering me, and sending me out into the world with grace and persistence. And yes, for the lessons on guns, shooting, and safety. After all, we are Texans.

If you’re still lucky enough to have your dad, please give him a hug and tell him you love him. If he’s not within reach, think about calling, emailing, texting, or sending a card. No special reason; just a thoughtful action for a special man.

Annie Ambles misses her daddy on his birthday

Fort Worth’s Historic Cemeteries (Class and Tour)

Oakwood Cemetery

You’ll probably visit Oakwood Cemetery on the tour, but Annie can’t guarantee it. It’s sometimes called the Westminster Abbey of Fort Worth. Founded in 1879 by John Peter Smith, one of Fort Worth’s first settlers, who donated 20 acres to the city of Fort Worth, the cemetery was later enlarged to 100 acres. The burial area consists of three cemeteries: Oakwood, Calvary, and Trinity.

The Center for Texas Studies and TCU Extended Education present a classroom session this Thursday evening, April 28, 6:30-8:30 PM, followed by a motorcoach tour and lunch, Saturday, April 30, 9:00 AM – 3:00 PM. You’ll make some interesting stops and gather more historical data about Fort Worth and its dearly departed residents.

From nearly forgotten pioneer burial grounds to the mausoleums of cattle kings, this adventure explores the rich history of Fort Worth and Tarrant County through the stories of the city’s historic cemeteries. Annie did the historic cemeteries with Leadership Fort Worth way back in the 80’s. Fascinating!

The two-hour evening lecture combined with a six-hour Saturday tour, including lunch, will feature the lives of the soldiers, statesmen, former slaves, immigrants and extraordinary people whose efforts to build a great city resulted in the diverse and vibrant Fort Worth we all share.

Historian Quentin McGown leads this course organized by the Center for Texas Studies for TCU Extended Education. Discounts are available for seniors ($25 and change off the regular fee) and for TCU faculty, staff, and students. The Thursday evening class will probably be held on the TCU campus. The tour, more than likely, departs from and returns to the TCU campus on Saturday. You won’t get exact locations until you register. What fun!

Unfortunately, this adventure is not free; it will cost you $130. Call 817-257-7132 to register or go online <https://lifelong.is.tcu.edu/wconnect/CourseStatus.awp?&course=16SCTS29&gt;. The code is 16SCT529. You’ll want to confirm, too, where the class meets and the bus departs. As of yesterday at 4:00 PM, there were still 15 available seats.

Annie Ambles shares information

Early Voting

How Could the PCC elections Have Been Better Run? | Toby James

It’s an exciting time for us Tarrant County registered voters. The polls open today, Monday, April 25, for early voting that runs through May 3. We can cast our ballots in local city and town councils, school boards, library and water districts, and city charter elections. If you don’t do early voting, please be sure to vote in the May 7 election. Yes, dear heart, your vote does count and your voice needs to be heard.

There are 11 amendment changes to the 1924 Fort Worth city charter. To make Fort Worth’s charter current with state law, there are seven propositions we need to consider. The other four will affect the pay, term lengths, and council size of our Fort Worth City Council.

If you can’t make it to a polling place, you can download an application for a ballot by mail from the elections website. This must be submitted by tomorrow/Tuesday, April 26. As Annie often remarks, “If you don’t vote, you can’t complain.” Well, you know that we can always complain, but voting makes it legitimate, doesn’t it?

Annie Ambles to the Tarrant County Plaza Building to cast her ballot

Sprouts Farmers Market


Sprouts Farmers Market - Fort Worth, TX, United States

Maybe you already know about this special grocery store, but today was Annie’s first visit to Sprouts even though it’s been open in Fort Worth since last December.

Every week a flyer comes in the mail, normally on Tuesday. Usually, Annie looks at it and casually puts it in the recycling bin; however, this week she was in the market for watermelons to take to a family reunion. Eureka, right there in all its glory was an ad for “Whole Seedless Watermelons.” That was the first thing that caught her eye. The next thing was the price–$2.88 each.

After a call to confirm directions, Annie was driving on Camp Bowie Boulevard and turning left at the first light after Bryan Irving Road. The store’s address is 6300 Waverly, near Camp Bowie Blvd. & Ridglea Ave. Phone 682.747.5790, if you have questions.Check out the store’s web page, too.

In addition to wonderfully fresh produce at reasonable prices, there is almost an aisle of coffee beans. And, this week they’re all going for $6.99 a pound. Joy! There is nothing better first thing in the morning than a freshly brewed cup of coffee made with just-ground beans. Explore, too, the bakery, bulk food bins, wine section, deli, and meat market.

This week you can get a four pound bag of organic valencia oranges for $1.88, on-the-vine cluster tomatoes for $.88 a pound, red, yellow, or orange bell peppers at $.88 each, and three pounds of bananas for a dollar. If you’d like sweet blackberries, you can buy 5.6 ounces for $.77 each. Wouldn’t those taste great with some Blue Bell Homemade Vanilla ice cream or made into a cobbler?

Annie Ambles stocks up on fresh fruit and vegetables at Sprouts

Three Cheers for Red Oak Foundation

The Red Oak Foundation based right here in Fort Worth is an organization with a mission: To spread the pleasures and benefits of books to all young children. Since its creation in 1997, Red Oak has distributed 523,817 books to young children and their families.

Annie came to know and admire Red Oak after she started reading to elementary children in the Fort Worth Independent School District at I. M. Terrill Elementary as part of Bass Hall’s Children’s Education Program (CEP). She is what is known as a book bearer. This is how it works for her and can, too, for you–Volunteer to be a reader. Pick up the books. Drive to the school. Check in at the office. Take the books to a classroom. Give a book to each student. Leave a book for each absent child. Read sections of the book. Wave good-bye. Give yourself a treat for having fun and doing good!

Cutting out the middle man, Red Oak purchases the books directly from their publishers. In addition to the book bearers who represent 168 non-profit organizations, books are distributed through 26 clinics (336,865), 42 book clubs (2,362), and at 408 events (21,704).

Events for children five years of age and under and their parents or caregivers are held at non-profit centers in targeted neighborhoods. These have story times where books are read aloud by site representatives, followed by book selections where every child can take home two quality, hardback books for free.

Hats off to Red Oak.

Annie Ambles reads to first graders to encourage a love of books