Posted by: Laura Carter | April 6, 2014

Blessed Sacrament Academy is in for The Big Give SA

Blessed Sacrament Academy is in for The Big Give SA.

Posted by: Laura Carter | March 16, 2014

Little Zen Moments

I wonder, if like me, everyone occasionally experiences moments where the world seems to stand still and the cosmos aligns itself in perfect harmony.  These experiences might last for a few seconds or several minutes.  But, before the gears of chaos engage again, I always have the overwhelming feeling “Woo hoo, life is good!”

I’ve thought perhaps these moments of clarity and tranquility could be a spiritual thing…maybe a split-second glimpse of what heaven would be like.  Thomas Merton, a Trappist monk, believed there must be a little bit of Zen in all creative and spiritual experiences.  Not counting any drug induced euphoria, I believe each of us can experience our “little Zen moments” during our lifetime-if we tune in.

Here are some of my little Zen moments:

Sitting in the sun, by the pool. Watching the clouds drift by, listening to the birds, I feel my body and soul warming, the tension washing away, and I experience “the eternal happiness of the spotless mind.”  Although not all Zen moments can be recreated, this works for me almost every time.

Waking up in the morning and walking into the living room where all my grandchildren have flung themselves to sleep in the blankets on the floor.  I look at their beautiful, sleeping faces and think, “Yeah, this is the best moment of their visit.”

Walking downtown during my lunch break, soaking in the sights and sounds of the city, sometimes gives me the feeling of being so completely alive it is a Zen moment.  It is especially meaningful if you just say “howdy” to strangers.

At the Botanical Gardens, I sit on a bench and stare out at the riot of plants and colors and feel in ‘shock and awe’ of nature’s divine creativity of which all our lives are a part.

Listening to a “kick-ass” song on the radio driving home after a great workout at the gym.  Go endorphins!

Having a cup of Oolong tea on the back patio with my hubby.  Sitting in the breeze, watching the bats come out at sunset, I feel the multiple activities of the day moving out of my mind.  This unfortunately does not last as long as I would like, ’cause the evening’s tasks soon take up residence.

If you don’t recognize your Zen moments, I urge you to learn to do so and then, please share.

Posted by: Laura Carter | March 10, 2014

SA Zoo’s new carousel– horses of a different color

Eve and I went to the Zoo today. It has been one of our favorite places since I took her and her brothers there when she was just a baby.

In addition to the live animal exhibits, the Zoo recently installed a new carousel to help commemorate their 100th anniversary. It is stunningly beautiful with all kinds of creatures–cougar, shark, dragon, wolf, lizard–all decorated in brilliant colors and poses.  Eve, however, pronounced it disappointing at the ticket price of $2.50 for a 3 minute spin.

Carouse2 Carousel1 Carousel3 Carousel4 Eve on Carousel

Posted by: Laura Carter | March 6, 2014

Free Justin Carter

Justin Carter

UPDATE:

March 2014:Latest article from the Austin Chronicle. Pretty much sums up what’s been happening. Next court date is March 27, 2014.

December 2013:Justin is still going to court for pre-trial hearings, about once a month. The next pre-trial hearing is on December 16, 2013. It would be a nice Christmas gift if his case was dismissed and he was free to get back to his job and life.

Thanks to an anonymous donor angel, Justin’s $500,000.00 bail was paid in full and he was released to his family on July 11th. It is not over yet, as the charges are still pending. We are grateful he is no longer in jail. Check the news for other updates.

Laura

OK, I’m really diving in now. Since June 25, when my son did his first interview about Justin’s plight, the story has spread across the world. Never in my life did I think my family would be the center of a story that continues to make the airwaves, printed media and rounds on the internet.

I also find rather Kafkaesque Justin’s arrest and subsequent incarceration, the outrageous bond, and the unwillingness of the prosecution to even entertain the fact that they have blown a comment completely out of proportion.

I think one of the reasons this story hits home is because there is a whole generation of citizens out there who understand the propensity of ‘trash talk’ on internet forums and games. Facebook has become a repository of some of the banter. Cruise around the internet and you’ll find comments that certainly make my generation cringe. But, criminal? I think not. It’s also the reality of jailhouse abuse that has us angry and upset. Should it be accepted that every person behind bars is abused and that’s just part of the punishment? To me that’s criminal.

I’ve read so many stories, with so many spins on the facts, though I thank them all for getting the word out. I thought the one from the Christian Science Monitor was the most intelligent.  Plus a video from Sky Williams who also made a fundraising page.

Needless to say, we love everyone of you who has supported Justin in comments, by signing the pledge (86,918 as if post time). Please support the fundraisers for bail. I promise the money will go to getting Justin out of jail. I also thank the most excellent attorney, Donald H. Flanary III for his time and expertise on this case.

I look forward to hugging my grandson in the flesh very soon.

Posted by: Laura Carter | December 27, 2013

Lazy Fundraising: Six Rich Guys Strategy

Lazy Fundraising: Six Rich Guys Strategy.

This is a great article on #nonprofit funding. I would like to work for an organization that is willing to implement all the suggests for alternative funding. Really!

Posted by: Laura Carter | December 20, 2013

Billions and Billions of Stars

Billions and Billions of Stars

While some people try to change the science books in Texas schools to reflect humans lived with the dinosaurs, this amazing telescope will map the stars. A ray of hope and intelligence still abides.
Posted by: Laura Carter | December 8, 2013

My New Bike

20131208_084338_resized

Here is a picture of my new bike. I’m so grateful to my brother for helping select the perfect bike for me, and excited to have a new exercise adventure.

However, as usual, nothing is ever as simple as I envision, or wish it to be.

Hubby was having trouble assembling the bike, so I asked him to please help me take it to a bike shop for a final tune up. This he took as a direct assault on his manhood.

But, we go to a shop, $30 later it seems to be in perfect, safe shape. Only it’s not. The seat still wobbles back and forth when I get on it. Now I beg hubby to help me tighten the bolts so I can get on, and actually ride the bike around and get used to it. Sigh! Of course, it’s pretty cold right now to ride, But I’m going to try!

I’m sure it will be all be good in the end (ha-ha), and I’ll be pedaling through the neighborhood, wind in my hair just like when I was a girl.

Posted by: Laura Carter | October 13, 2013

TEDxSanAntonio surpasses expectations

TEDxSanAntonio-banner-logo_2012

Thank goodness for TEDxSanAntonio! For the past two weeks we’ve been wallowing in #governmentshutdown and #debtdefault mania. But, along comes Saturday, and the TEDxSA event comes live to Rackspace and via webcast at three other venues. Now we can give our attention to speakers that ‘open our minds’ and inspire us to ‘think differently.’ All the idiocy of the past few weeks is momentarily forgotten as we listen to the intelligent, creative, and thought-provoking presentations.

The speaking styles and topics were as diverse as the speakers themselves. As I mulled over the four years I’ve attended TEDxSA, I realized that I gravitate more to the stories which strike a personal note with me–which is probably the case with everyone. And, while it’s good to listen and learn from many different points of interest, I’m sure each audience member, just like me, has their favorites.

I have always been interested in the possibility of humans getting their shit together enough to colonize outer space. So, I like Samuel Ximenes’ suggestion of making San Antonio the center of a lunar base development.

I’ve always loved Cary Clack as a storyteller and miss reading his columns in the newspaper. His message included the definition of nonviolence as ‘love in action.’ I think what the world needs now is love and he said it well.

Nelson Guda is an interesting person–both scientist and artist. He gave a powerful presentation, ‘walking from darkness into life’, about his journey to an epiphany through his art project.

Jason Fischer encouraged us to free ourselves from using the word “need.” That advice I took personally as well.

Except that we do need to talk about mental illness, especially when 1 in 5 children have a mental illness that affects their life. Lisa Long had a personal story about her son’s mental illness and how she has become an advocate for bringing this huge problem out of the closet and into treatment.

“We need (oops, there’s that word again) less fear about death and dying,” said Martha Atkins. (This one hitting close to home.)

‘Women are drawn to ‘bad boys’ when their estrogen levels are high’, said Kristina Durante, backing it up with science.  Well, finally, an explanation!

Here is a two minute recap from Rackspace

The audience and sponsor list increased over last year, and the number of persons who made it happen. Susan Price is still the marvelous organizer at the tip of the spear for this event. But, a great leader surrounds herself with great people.

Check the TEDxSanAntonio website for a full list of 2013 speakers and for all the speaker videos, which will be posted once they are edited.

Posted by: Laura Carter | October 12, 2013

San Antonio Camaro Club holds 4th annual car show

Yellow car and trophies car show parking lotThe San Antonio Camaro Club (SACC), sponsored by Wommack Chevrolet and River City Creations & Lighting, presents the 4th Annual Autumn Classic Open Car, Truck & Cycle Show on Saturday November 9, 2013. Proceeds benefit Providence Catholic School’s Broadcast Journalism and Video Technology curriculum.​ The event will take place on the Providence campus located at 1215 North St. Mary’s Street at the corner of Brooklyn and St. Mary’s. Event times are 8:00am – 4:00pm.

There is NO CHARGE for admission and spectators are welcome to come see the hot rods, show cars, motorcycles and trucks on display. Spectators can also participate in voting for their favorite cars while children 12 and under can be a Summit Racing “Kid Judge” for a chance to win a prize. There will be food & refreshments available, a 50/50 Raffle, music DJ and more.

Individuals wishing to display their cars pay an entry fee to compete for awards in over 30 classes. There will be free t-shirts for the first 100 registered, various door prizes, and raffle items. Visit http://www.satxcamaro.com for more information or to register your car.

This year’s event will again include a model car Championship Competition for all ages sponsored by the 29th Street Model Car Club.

Darrell Martin, Providence Technology Director and SA Camaro Club President said, “Previous proceeds from this event has enabled students to experience television and movie production by supplying needed funds for digital video cameras, studio communication equipment, video editing software and more.” Some examples of the student produced videos are “Can’t Beat Love – Why Bullies Bully” and Lip Dub “We’re All In This Together”.

About San Antonio Camaro Club: Membership in the San Antonio Camaro Club (SACC) is comprised of individuals dedicated to the preservation and common love for all Camaro generations. SACC exists to create good fellowship, car safety, skill and sportsmanship; and participate in automobile related activities to include cruises, picnics, shows, rod runs, etc. SACC, a non-profit organization, supports other car clubs’ events whenever they can and with enthusiasm.

 About Providence Catholic School: Providence, a college preparatory school for girls grades 6-12, provides a program of academic excellence grounded in faith and trust in a Provident God. Providence prepares young women of diverse backgrounds for the world of tomorrow and encourages them to develop intellectual curiosity, deepen their faith, practice integrity, and seek justice. Established in 1951, Providence is sponsored by the Congregation of Divine Providence.

Posted by: Laura Carter | October 3, 2013

GoodwillSA’s “Partners for Good” campaign is muy bueno

Goodwill Industries San Antonio has a relatively new fundraising initiative that is based on a partnership between Goodwill and your nonprofit organization or school.

The deal is GoodwillSA brings in truck sized donation containers and your organization fills them up with items that include computers, clothing, household items and more. Then Goodwill gives you $1000 for each full truck. The restrictions on items are listed here and all items donated much be in good condition, so they can be resold in the Goodwill store–which in turn supports their awesome life-changing training programs.

Goodwill check presentationProvidence Catholic School just experienced their first “Partners for Good” Campaign. The school community filled 3.25 trucks! In a joint effort with the Sisters of Divine Providence, the school’s founders, the Convent filled eight large bins, resulting in a check from GoodwillSA for $5277.78 to Providence.

Goodwill’s staff helped load all the items into the truck, packing everything just right. They also made sure that smaller bins were filled and put on the trucks, and there was another truck on the way as soon as we needed it.

Goodwill San Antonio is a super good nonprofit organization with which to collaborate, and I recommend this fundraiser.

Also, Providence relied heavily on social media, community friends and other nonprofits to get the word out about the donation drive. We placed PSAs in print and online and sent several email reminders. All in all, we think it was a big success.

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