Category Archives: Decatur Happenings

Spotlight: Vinnie and Feed The Homeless Block Party

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A little bit ago I was talking about opportunities that come our way and often go unnoticed.  I have made it my passion to not allow this to happen to me and I am LOVING it !  There is a man named Vinnie here in town, he and his wife own a BBQ restaurant, for 10 years now they have made it their goal to sponsor a block party to feed the homeless.  Vinnie works hard to get the funding for this event by also sponsoring a Father’s day car show where all the proceeds go to the block party.  He also has gotten local people to come and offer their hearts, hands and services to help make it all happen.  My friend David Lee offers his DJ services for music and audio for the performers that come to entertain and through his involvement is how I learned of the event.   My contribution is actually very minimal, I just go full of enthusiasm and support for the event.  I help where and when I can and if nothing else I am a smiling participant in all the days events.  I feel happy and fortunate to be able to be a part of it all.  This is Vinnie:

The Block Party took place on a beautiful August day , the weather could not have been more pleasant.  I sat down in the middle of everything and got my camera out to record all the smiles that were absolutely everywhere.  The event ended with many people receiving blessings from the different groups of young people that came to provide their own unique kind of ministry.  They blessed me too and I truely felt blessed.  I didn’t know any of these people and I don’t know how well they may or may not have known one another but the fellowship that was being experienced there that day was Amazing.  It reaffirmed my conviction to not let opportunities pass me by where I can see humanity at its absolute best.

100 Pictures:  Here are a bunch of the pictures that I took that day.  There are many, as they scroll by you may not want to see them all but pause your busy lives for just a few images and see what I saw that day.

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Spotlight: The Journal Ladies Unexpected Surprises

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Sometimes unexpected pleasures come along and the feeling they bring is one of inner joy.  I have been journaling for 25 years.  I love journals, pens, colored pencils, really anything that I find that I can have fun with in my journal.  I love to draw things and stick and paste.  This is an exercise that has helped me along in life for many years.  And as much as I love to work in my journal I also love finding new journals.  I love leather most of all and I love the moleskin style journal for its size, line spacing or blank page and the flexibility of its soft cover.  Besides a moleskin journal feels and looks like a journal should.  🙂   However, having said that, I do love to find unique journals of all kinds and varieties.  This past weekend was what is called here in Decatur, The Decatur Celebration.  It is a very large street fair event which brings a carnaval to town as well as many craft and art vendors.  They set up 6 or more large stage areas all around the downtown and have bands performing on all stages for 3 days straight.  I enjoyed this event for many reasons, the first is probably because I am back in my home town and enjoying becoming familiar with all the goings on here.  Secondly, Decatur like so many small cities/towns in the USA is trying very hard to promote it’s downtown and keep it alive.  The huge superstores while convenient in many ways, are taking their toll on the small businesses of small town America.  So I am happy to involve myself in the activities that make survival possible for all.    As I was wandering the downtown area, visiting the food vendors and listening to music and feeling one with the crowd, I began to wander down the streets where the crafts were displayed.  There were many things to see, some were more interesting than others but one stood out in my mind and heart.   The Journal Ladies.  When I stumbled upon this I almost walked by without looking but then my eyes spied all the vintage book coverings that they use for their journals.  The sentence that popped into my head was ”  What a GREAT idea !!! ”   The journal ladies are a mother and daughter team that work together, the daughter in Georgia and the mother here in Illinois, to create unique and beautiful books using recycled vitage books.  They use the cover and select some of the interesting pages and excerpts from the book and sprinkle in blank acid free pages for journaling.    Well I couldn’t praise them more.  How many journalers will enjoy looking at pictures or reading excerpts from well loved books, while they consider what to write that day?  Really the proverbial ” sky is the limit ” phrase hits my mind when I think of all the ways one could adapt and enjoy journals like these. 

I of course got 2.  The first one I picked out, hits home with the moment I am living.  It is an 81/2 x 11 size journal made from an old Time Life book on ”  The Age of Exploration ”  Really !!!  It is so perfect I am at a loss for words.  The text and picture plates these women left in the book inspire one to explore their world.  What more could a journaler ask for ?   Well I would like to promote the work that these women are doing and to give them my two thumbs up on the creative niche they have found.

http://www.thejournalladies.com/Home.html

Go take a look at their web site to see the beautiful work they do and to see where they will be selling their wares next.   And to all my fellow journalers, I guarentee you will love their books/journals.