McKinney Women

Making a (BIG) Difference  a review by J.B. Blocker
  I had heard about a book featuring several lady acquaintances from McKinney, Texas. The North Dallas community has blossomed over the past 20 years to become a nationally recognized Best Place to live in many categories. 
 Last week I obtained a copy. The two organizer/authors are Sheila Johnson and Michelle Prince who I have known casually for several years. When I sat down to read it, I expected a good read. I didn’t put the book back down except for more coffee.
  More communities should raise up leadership and encourage more open involvement. 
  I am a fan of collections of short stories that make a point and leave an impression. You can order a copy from Amazon at this link.
  The real surprise was not just the range of blessings and challenges each of the dozen paths had crossed and taken. I expected some variety. It was the fact that as a collection the range of inspiration was not just deep and wide, but was also much bigger than McKinney.  And the book is not just for women. I thought of my mom and several others as I visited each personal story.
  These ladies didn’t do inspirational things without the help of others who also believed, supported, and encouraged them whether parents, siblings, and even outsiders. (I like to think that we can be an Assistant Guardian Angels at times.)
   I was raised by a powerful Christian woman. Sometimes the leader, sometimes the cheerleader, and always committed.  She wasn’t ever wealthy, but she gave all she had. Her talents were many but her gifts were clearly engaging, empowering, and supporting others. We were raised in a competitive home where my father retired as Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy. Both were tremendous Bible students. Mom was better! I had the love of Bible study poured in to me and sometimes pounded in. I am so grateful. I am a big fan of Faith, Hope, and Love.
   She demanded a lot from everyone but in retrospect, she would always demand more from herself. As amazing as Nancy Lea Blocker of Perry, Oklahoma was, very few people got to bask in her ‘faith without works is dead’ mentality. Sunray, Texas has less than 2000.
 Very few will know of her. I like to think that she still has had an effect on many who are passing it on.
  As I read each short story, I wish my mother could have been part of such a collection. This book has many ways to inspire the readers. The group was not assembled to glorify the authors but to show what can be done with the right attitude and objectives.
  I am an adopted child. There are two adoption stories and they are quite different. I can relate a little to each. Maybe it’s because strong Christian faith helped mold the families. Each has surprising beginnings and happy results.
  Several of these ladies spend their lives motivating and inspiring others. They shine the light on people that need support and encouragement.
   It is a common trait of inspirational people. Several chapters have to do with orchestrating organizations and events for big causes. Most of this has to do with enthusiastic leadership.
  Although some of these ladies had financial or educational advantages, they discovered that life can throw many unexpected curves that are only overcome by faith, determination, and goals.
  Not everyone can pull themselves up from truly modest beginnings. But many do. Ladies like Sheila Johnson left deep country roots and literally dragged herself and child through many obstacles to achieve personal and financial security that she shares with others.
  There are a few common denominators among these Women of McKinney. Spirituality seems to lead the way. Faith is a powerful magnet! Responsibility and Determination belongs in this sisterhood. Humanity and Love too.  Every one of these ladies have found a way to help others in their own ways. Those effects radiate far and wide.  McKinney, Texas is their home base.



- J.B. Blocker is a media consultant based in Collin County in North Texas. Advertise with J.B. by calling 469-334-9962.

I'll Never Forget 9-11

'the Red Zone' click to enlarge
 I took this shot from about the 20th floor of the World Finance Center Building II on November the 1st, 2001. It's 'the Red Zone' inside Ground Zero. Smoke is still seeping out of deep pockets. The air is a fog of dust and will be for a few more weeks before the snow and rain bring the floating debris back to earth.
  Rising 400 feet above stands Big Red, the largest mobile crane in the U.S.A. It was perched on the spot that was once the World Trade Center 1 foot print.
  The Houston company that owns Big Red flew the American flag at its peak, just above the flag of Texas. Grapplers the size of semi trailers worked 24/7 in the dust and haze that never goes away. In the background on the left, the skeleton that was World Trade Center 2 leans against the remains of buildings 8 and 9. From back center to right are the burned shells of buildings 7, 6, and 5.
If you expand the photo and look closely you can see the billowing dust covering both vehicles and their operators as a grappler dumps its load in to the waiting semis. 

Your Far North Dallas Connection

The Far North Dallas Region is exploding! 
Janice Berg, Realtor

   People are arriving from all over the country and the world. They are a diversified blend that has transformed Far North Dallas. With many corporate headquarters now choosing Collin and Denton Counties as their home, the demands are overwhelming the residential market. Families move here with those new employers. Seniors come to be near their families. Singles and couples have much different requirements.
  Adding to that mix are the many who are coming from other Dallas Ft. Worth communities anxious to fill those new job opportunities. 
  There is no telling how the lure of the new Dallas Cowboys headquarters will eventually beckon not only Cowboys staff and families but also their devoted fans.
  Your realtor really needs to have a broader understanding of the many neighborhoods in order to point you to that perfect home and then help you to confidently make this important decision.
Shopping, Dinning, Church, School, Work, and Play

School Lunch 101

 This is my friend Chef Steve DeShazo. He is the Director of the El Centro College Food & Hospitality Institute in Downtown Dallas.
  El Centro is a hotbed for cullinary arts and has produced many fine chefs in it's history that spans nearly 60 years.
  With the new school year underway comes the responsibilities of providing easy, nutritious, and enjoyable lunches for your ravenous little ones.
  On this video clip provided by CBS, Chef Steve gives some simple and practical tips to packing a lunch fit for your prince or princess.
  If you believe in the Apple a Day theory, there is a clever tip included!
School Lunch 101

- J.B. Blocker is a media consultant based in Collin County in North Texas. Advertise with J.B. by calling 469-334-9962.


Civic Duty and The Note

by J.B. Blocker                                                                                                                                              
Lana, red dress w/sign, David top row 3rd from the right
  Little David had a problem. There weren’t enough Valentines in the packet they had bought for his 4th grade class Valentines card exchange.  
  You remember, those shoe boxes with your name on it.  We wrapped them, drew on them, or decorated them leaving a slit on top to slide in those little cards. Those cards had a mixture of sentiments. You had to think about which ones were proper for your buddies as well as the 4th grade girls.
  It’s a big deal. At that age, it’s not about love. It’s about friends and mutual recognition. Those little cards have vague little notes that make the giver and the receiver feel better. It’s amazing what a little note can do to make someone feel better.(remember that!)
   There were a few more kids in his class than there were cards in the Valentines kit, and David didn’t want to leave anyone out.  

   Mom came to the rescue with a few extra ‘grown up’ cards.  Now, there’s another problem. “Who do I give the bigger ones to? Well, there are my friends. And Lana Rolf is nice. We almost have the same birthday and she’s always nice to everyone. That was easy.” 


Recruiting a Winning Team

The Andrew Principle
Campaigning 101
jb blocker

John 1: 40  One of the two who heard John speak and followed Him, was Andrew, Simon Peter's brother. 41 He found first his own brother Simon and said to him, "We have found the Messiah” (which translated means Christ). 42 He brought him to Jesus. Jesus looked at him and said, "You are Simon the son of John; you shall be called Cephas" (which is translated Peter)
  You don’t hear much about Andrew the apostle. We know he was one of the first to be chosen by Jesus along with James and John. Later in the Bible, he is the one who brings the boy to Jesus with the fish and loaves that feeds thousands. He is also at the resurrection. But Andrew is also mentioned for one other thing that has resonated throughout the ages. He took his brother Simon to meet Jesus! Simon became Peter!
  That is some really good recruiting! That is like finding Babe Ruth and introducing him to baseball. If the Babe is Peter, then Lou Gehrig might be considered to be an Andrew.

I call it ‘The Andrew Principle’.
  In campaigning for a civic office, you really need a few Peters. He or She are the one who thousands listen to. They have a network, respect, and usually access to donors.
  But Peters are hard to get to.  They are very protective of their resources and are exceptionally aware of how their good name can be used or misused.  You often have to go through others they trust just to get to them.
  Every Peter has their Andrews. They can’t be that successful without dependable trusted people in their lives. Whether those are family or friends, they are the people who can unlock the doors that lead to the Peters.

Looking for Andrew

Simply refreshing Gazpacho

By J.B. Blocker
   When my eat healthy gene or sensibility kicks in I have a tendency to go on auto-pilot when I grocery shop around the fresh produce section.  
  That is when the spirit of my recently passed chef mentor, the great French Master Chef Jean La Font speaks to me.
  “Gazpacho”, he whispers! It has become my go to dish. My healthy comfort food. It gets even better on day two and three but it rarely last that long. I don't even use a bowl. I fill a mug and add some chilled shrimp if I have it ready.


Cleaning up an infestation!

When the government won't help, what do you do?
by J.B.Blocker

  You are on a family vacation and anxious to get to your cousin’s home. It is night and you pull off to a side road at Mile Marker 13. You really have no choice because nature is really calling loudly and it is a few more miles to the next town. The boys have got to go and so do you.
  To your wife, 13 is already a bad sign and she decides she can wait. But the boys can’t and now neither can you. In the moonlight you find yourself in an area that is dried and desolate with dead fall and the remains of a recent fire. 
  The scene is spooky. You can’t wait to get done with your business and leave this stop far behind.  It is so daunting that no one even steps off the road. The boys just stand in front of the car and hope no one comes from the other direction. It is a place you never want to see again.
  If you had been here a month earlier there would have been a real problem.
  You arrive at your cousins home in the next town and make plans for a picnic the next day.  Morning comes and your families are headed to a favorite local swimming hole. There will be picnic areas, a clean sandy beach area, hiking paths, and great fishing. 

Paradise is what they call it.