Monday, October 18, 2010


So, this is going to embarrass her to death, but today is my assistant’s five-year anniversary with Promise House. For those of you who have not had the pleasure of working with Paloma, let me just say that someone up their smiled down upon me when they sent her to me. As many of you know, I was beginning to be known as the Murphy Brown of Promise House. I couldn’t keep an assistant to save my life. I won’t go into all the details, but suffice it to say, I had just about given up all hope.

I knew Paloma from her history with Promise House. She not only had gone through our shelter years ago, but had served on the Board of Directors until she moved to Las Vegas. When Sonja, my street outreach manager, told me that Paloma was moving back to Dallas and wanted to interview for the position, I was very hesitant. But, after several conversations and interviews with her, she became my new assistant.....and I totally redeemed myself by hiring her!

Here are just a few of the highlights of her career thus far:
· She totally organized the government grant system (you have NO idea what a mammoth job that is!).
· She has totally taken over grant renewals, including HUD, which NO ONE understands (but her, now!).
· She set up the PH Connect system that we use for meeting and document management and continues to

manage and update it.
· She has created some of the coolest Power Point presentations ever.
· She screens my calls, protects me from weird solicitors, second-guesses what I need before I need it, keeps

all my correspondence catalogued and filed correctly, knows my calendar, and has such a pleasant demeanor
that most people would rather talk to her than me!
· She has served as translator more times than I can count and translates documents into Spanish whenever we

need it.
· She plans and organizes meetings like nobody’s business!
· She ALWAYS gets the catering right!
· She kept an orchid alive for almost 2 years that was given to me as a gift when my step-mother died (if it had

been up to me, that poor orchid would have been dead in a month!).

I’m sure I could go on forever, but here is the best part: I have NEVER heard her say anything but, “I’d be glad to”, “No problem”, “Don’t worry, we can fix it”, “I’ll get right on that”, “I’ll be happy to”, “Do you need me to work late?” Who does that??? From day one she kept a running list of her daily activities (she used to work for a law firm) which she emails to me at the end of each day, along with her plans for the next day. How cool is that??

By now she is probably hiding under her desk, but I can’t help bragging on her. I’ve often said that you can train someone on just about anything. But you absolutely CANNOT train someone to have the kind of attitude Paloma has.
So, thank you Universe for sending her to me…...and thank you, Paloma, for being you.

Happy Anniversary. Here’s to many more.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Fair Frump

So, am I a frump for not wanting to go to the Fair this year? Fried Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwiches? Fried Frito Pie??? Fried Beer???? Now, Fletcher’s Corny Dogs are sacred, but I’m not sure a trip just for them is on the books this year. Yes, the weather is gorgeous, but I think it will be much more fun sitting on my screen porch than fighting the madding crowds.

This doesn’t mean I haven’t enjoyed the Fair in the past. My childhood is replete with great memories of the Fair, and the admonishment from my parents that if we got lost, FIND BIG TEX and WAIT THERE! There were six of us, so someone always got lost. I will never forget the first time I rode the big wooden roller coaster with my Dad (I was about 6). As we crept up the first long hill, he’s saying, “See, Harriet, it’s not scary. Look what a great view you have of Dal……..” Then, WHOOOOOOSH, and the bottom falls out of the world, and I am so traumatized that I am unable to speak for the next 3 hours. Needless to say, I NEVER rode THAT thing again!

Then during high school, we bused down to Dallas every year from Sherman to march in parades, ride the rides, and eat all the gross food. It was a blast.

As my kids grew, an annual trip to the Fair was mandatory, with the numbers of kids to be chaperoned growing every year (as you know kids move in packs, with adults ALWAYS bringing up the rear). These were mostly fun times; HOWEVER, the year my kids were old enough to DROP THEM OFF at the front gate, I felt like I had been released from prison!!

I’ve been to the Fair in great weather, when it was 100 degrees in the shade, when it was pouring rain, on Texas OU Weekend (really bad mistake), during pregnancy (another bad mistake), in the evening when only a few people were there, and on a Saturday, when 10 million people were there. I’ve seen all the animals, new cars, pies, cakes, cooking gadgets, exercise equipment, “freak” shows, acrobats, folk singing groups, bird shows, etc. every year for at least 55 out of my almost 60 years on this earth.

I think I can take a year off. BUT…..I will really miss getting to ride the Carousel. It was the only ride my mother would ever get on, and I LOVED riding it with her every year. I just love those horses….and the music.

And....I have to admit, I will also miss Big Tex’s “HOWDY FOLKS!”

If you go, have a GREAT time and ride the Carousel once for my mother and me.............maybe next year.