Monday, February 23, 2009

Social Workers

I'm feeling a bit teary today. One of Josh's co-workers was shot and killed this morning at his place of employment. For those of you that don't know, Josh works at the largest homeless shelter in the state of Arizona, CASS. It is awfully scary to hear that one of his co-workers got shot just doing his regular day-to-day job. I send my best wishes and warmest thoughts to Kevin Collin's family. I don't know what I'd do if I got a phone call that Joshua had been shot at work, and I don't even like to think that it is a possibility. Thank goodness for social workers who put their lives on the line everyday just like police officers or firemen. They are the unseen warriors that work to make the community a better place to live and they really don't get the credit that they deserve.

In memory of Kevin Collins by CASS

Central Arizona Shelter Services (CASS) continues to mourn the loss of Mr. Kevin Collins who died Monday after being fatally wounded on the Human Services Campus.

We at CASS had the absolute pleasure of working with Kevin for the past five years. During this time, Kevin’s caring and professional manner resulted in his receipt of numerous CASS “Above the Call of Duty” and “Everyday Excellence” awards.

Always with a smile on his face and a “hello” for everyone, Kevin was a patient man who was a trusted staff member, as well as, a friend and supporter to many of the homeless men and women served by CASS. Kevin was always willing to stop and help a client solve a problem. As one client remarked, “he was one of the best.”

Kevin’s patient manner and his ability to problem solve often placed him in a leadership role as CASS and the Human Services Campus piloted new services. Kevin was one of two shelter managers responsible for the opening of what is now known as the Men’s Outreach Shelter. In a similar manner, Kevin helped manage the weekend operations of the Lodestar Day Resource Center when it first began operations three years ago.

Kevin’s thoughtfulness and commitment to helping those in need extended beyond CASS’ walls. Originally from Window Rock and a member of the Navajo Nation, Kevin remained concerned about the needs of his tribal community. Years ago, as CASS moved from its first location to a new building on the Human Services Campus, Kevin dismantled and moved a large commercial water heater to an older building without sufficient hot water located in the Window Rock community.

Kevin’s commitment to his fellow CASS staff members and to client safety was evident in even his final minutes. Although mortally wounded, Kevin was the first to alert staff to the incident and to make the first call to 911. This care, concern and compassion for his fellow staffers and clients will be remembered and treasured.

The Collins family has established an account in Kevin’s name at Desert Schools Federal Credit Union.

CONTACT: Jennifer Dangremond
602-256-6945, Ext. 3025
230 S. 12th Avenue
Phoenix, AZ

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Pizzeria Bianco

On Tuesday, I met Erin downtown at Pizzeria Bianco. Tuesday was Erin's Mom's birthday. Erin lost her Mom to cancer about 10 years ago. So, I always make sure to do somethign special with her to celebrate Cindi's birthday. This year, we decided on one of our favorite restaurants. The only problem is that Pizzeria Bianco has become so fabuloulsy successful in the past few years, the wait it atrocious. We arrived at 4:30. There was already a long line of people waiting. The bar was open but the restaurant doesn't even open until 5pm. So we stood in line until opening and then filed through to our name on the waiting list. We weren't seated until 7pm. The food is wonderful. It is well worth the wait every once in a great while. However, I would eat there far more if it is was more accessible. Can't they build "Pizzeria Bianco To Go" or take seating outdoors when the weather permits? Oh, if I ran the world, it would just be such a better place or at the very least, I could have Pizzeria Bianco more frequently.

Speaking of birthdays, Josh's mom was born on a pretty unusual day, February 29th. Yep, so she doesn't really have a birthday once every 4 years. Regardless of her lack of an actual birthDAY, we plan to celebrate the passing of another year with her this weekend with lunch in Tucson. I still need to work on her birthday present. I purchased the parts and pieces at the Best Bead Show but haven't put it together yet. Jamie showed me how to make my own fun boxes at CHA. So, I might have to do that too!

ATC Production of "A Raisin in the Sun"

Yesterday, I went to the Arizona Theatre Company's presentation of a "A Raisin in the Sun" . My cousin Loretta turns 18 today, so I invited her and her mom to join me. "A Raisin in the Sun" is part of ATC's American Play series, celebrating great American stories. As always, ATC knows how to do it right.

A gripping and explosive tale of one family living and learning together on the South Side of Chicago in the 1950s, A Raisin in the Sun was the first authentic voice of an African American playwright to hit the Broadway stage. In this award-winning drama, the Younger family searches for a way to grab their piece of the dream, even in the face of prejudice and discrimination. Since the play’s premiere exactly 50 years ago, Lorraine Hansberry’s towering masterpiece has moved audiences and broken down barriers wherever it has played. “The play that changed American theatre forever…a seething interplay of past and present, of wisdom and passion.” – The New York Times

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

An Update

My weekend, for the most part, was rather nice. We spent Valentine's Day searching for a new couch. We finally found one that we could both live with and felt like it was a pretty good deal.

BEFORE - itty bitty blue love seat:

AFTER - big brown, comfy sectional!

Honey got her hair done and had her Valentine over on Friday & Saturday night. Cash visited us while Erin was out of town.

Mostly we just spent quality time with each other and our loved ones. Being that I was gone the past few weekends at CHA, To Bead True Blue and Tucson Best Bead, I was ready for some R and R. We went to lunch with Josh's family. Yesterday, Erin & I caught a double feature of girlie movies. We saw "He's just not that into you" and "Confessions of a Shopaholic". They were both entertaining and cute! It was just what I needed. I especially loved Ginnifer Goodwin in "He's just not that into you." She was adorable. I suggest this movie to anyone that loves a nice love story. It was sort of a "Love actually" but only about relationship love not all kinds of love.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Back to normal....almost

For every day that I am gone, I need a day and a half to get caught up again. So, 3 days back and I feel like I have made a dent (a very small dent) in the catch up. Even things like laundry or dishes or remembering to water the flowers, it all takes time to get back into the swing of things.

I'm looking forward to the long weekend.

On Valentines day, Josh & I are looking for a new couch. We want something big and comfy. What we have now is hardly big and is absolutely not comfy. I think it will be really nice to have something new in here. Wish us luck! I plan to make a big meal for us and then let Josh pick a movie for us to see since he is my valentine.

On Sunday, Josh's parents & brother Jody as well as his girlfriend Meredith are coming up to Phoenix for brunch. We will all meet up with his Grandparents. It is always so nice to spend time with family.

And finally on Monday, Erin and I are going to a girly movie....maybe "He's just not that into you" or "Shopaholic"....I love those silly girl movies that make life seem so much more simple than it really is.

Mostly, life is good even if I'm not exactly on top of my chores or my overwhelming inbox. I do what I can do....and then let go and enjoy the rest of the time. :)


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