BlogathonATX 2014 brings together bloggers, writers, information and fun

Blogathon ATX 2014 swagOnce again, BlogathonATX has offered Texas bloggers an amazing full day conference covering the need-to-know and want-to-know details for blogging better, protecting intellectual property and monetizing our creative work.

Okay, all of that plus a whole lot of sugar, hugs, caffeine, breakfast, laughter,  catching up, lunch….and did I mention sugar and caffeine?

Blogathon ATX 2014

Who goes to Blogathon ATX?

The simple answer is, well, it’s not so simple. This is a conference for for beginners. And pros. It’s for people who are just getting the courage to start that blog they’ve been thinking about for the past two years, and people who are thinking about rebranding an existing site. It’s for people who love to write for the joy of it, and for people who are looking for ways to turn writing a blog into a source of income.

But isn’t Blogathon ATX 2014 over?

Yes, this year’s event has come and gone. But I wanted to mention it because it’s not too early to start thinking about Blogathon ATX 2015. After all, there will be treats!

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iACT is changing lives in Austin – Make A Difference Monday


iACT Hands on Homes project AustinYesterday, my family and I got to help change someone’s life. Now that might sound like an big, unlikely thing, but it’s true.

We spent the day working with other iACT (Interfaith Action of Central Texas) volunteers to paint someone’s home. The woman who graciously allowed us to work with her on her home is a senior and a recent widow. Her husband had been ill and disabled for some time before he passed, so between time and lack of income, things on the home they had owned for three decades had fallen behind.

Her home repairs and painting were part of iACTS’ Hands On Housing program which brings together willing volunteers and skilled home repair professionals to “repair the homes of senior citizens and disabled individuals who are living in deep poverty.”  Teams gather for work days at the clients’ homes, and fix them up so these struggling long-term residents can remain in their Central Texas homes, giving continuity to our neighborhoods.

So what was it like? It was wonderful! And hard. Our group of volunteers and professionals ranged in age from teens to 60+. There were lifetime locals, transplants and immigrants. There were Christians and Muslims and Jews. And everyone worked. We scraped and painted. We worked and we got to know each other. And we were blessed to get to know the homeowner, too. We all shared our stories from the tops of ladders, over pizza when we took a break to eat, and while we were stirring paint. We painted trim and shutters. We painted the sides and the back.

Painting shutters at iACT Austin

At the end of the day, the whole house was painted and beautiful. Earlier in the project, plumbing issues had been addressed. At the end of the project, a valuable member of Austin had a home she could once again safely live in with pride. And a group of strangers had gotten to know each other.

I am always amazed by the power of volunteer action to bring together people who might never otherwise meet. And to accomplish so much with so little time and limited resources. So yes, yesterday my family and I got to help change someone’s life. Thank you iACT! And thank you to the wonderful lady who invited us to her home to help.

iACT is a registered 501 (c)(3) non-profit. They work with faith communities and partner organizations throughout Central Texas. If you would like to get your faith community involved, volunteer for projects or donate your professional skills or building materials, new paint or make a monetary donation, please check out their website or contact them at iact@interfaithtexas.org. 

The Specs

2921 E 17th Street
Building D, Suite 3
Austin, TX 78702

(512) 386-9145

http://www.interfaithtexas.org/

Texas Conference for Women 2014 is almost here!

1-20131119_082619    It’s hard to believe it’s already been a year since the last Texas Conference for Women here in Austin. I loved hearing from Rachael Ray and Esmerelda Santiago. Jenny Lawson kept us laughing…oh how she understood our lives!  And Leymah Gbowee, the 2011 Nobel Peace Laureate brought tears to our eyes — it’s amazing what one powerful, committed and compassionate woman can do to change so many lives.

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As amazing as last year’s event was, I am counting the days until this year’s conference on November 13th. I want to hear Diana Nyad, who will remind us that dreams don’t come with an age limit. Dr. Cynthia Ackrill will be teaching us how to take stress and turn it into accomplishments, and Jenny Bowen who works tireless on behalf of the world’s orphans and other forgotten children will inspire us to make a difference. And then there’s Soledad O’Brien and Debbie Sterling and author John Gray (yes, a few men are on the agenda!)

I don’t know what your plans are for the 13th of November, but if you’re a woman in Texas and you want the tools to change your life or make it better or figure out how to get over that last sticky obstacle, let me suggest this conference. It might just have the answers you need.

I don’t advocate for many events. But this incredible gathering of wisdom and advice and experience is not to be missed. I think tickets might still be available. Do check it out.

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The Specs

November 13, 2014

Austin Convention Center
500 East Cesar Chavez
Austin, Texas 78701

http://www.txconferenceforwomen.org/

7:30 am – 5:00 pm

Round Top Antique Heaven on Wordfree Wednesday

I had heard about it for several years. I wanted to go last year and the year before, but something always got in the way. This year, finally, was my time to visit Warrenton, Round Top and the rest of antique heaven in Central Texas for Antiques Week(end) — hard to stick to the “weekend” label when it runs for almost three weeks now. And I loved every second of it!

Now it’s time for the pictures to tell the story…

weird looking machine

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An unfortunate pairing!
4-Steampunk Hat Old bird cage

Antique Crib

Old church windows

weird door

Metal people

Old stage light

Dead Peoples StuffBecause, yes, that pretty much is what it is!!  Antiques WeekJunk Gypsies Trailer(More about the Junk Gypsies in another post…too good for just one picture!)