Pin on Pinterest
Vivian Castleberry and Kevin Ann Willey

The annual “Visionary Women” luncheon sponsored by Juliette Fowler Communities was held Tuesday at the Dallas Convention Center.


While guests enjoyed lunch prepared by Omni Dallas Hotel, they were welcomed by WFAA-T.V Anchor Ron Corning, who emceed the program.


Located in the Lakewood neighborhood of Dallas at 1234 Abrams Road, Juliette Fowler Communities is the only intergenerational residential community in Dallas. It provides a loving, Christian environment to senior citizens, those living independently or in need of assistance; long and short-term rehabilitation care; foster care residences for children under age 18 and the newly constructed “Ebby House,” which provides a residential home and mentoring programs for young women who have aged out of foster care. Juliette Fowler Communities is affiliated with the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ).

The 2014 “Visionary Woman” was Vivian Anderson Castleberry and the recipient of the newly established faith and service award was Texas Christian University student, Effie Husbands.


Guest speakers included other Dallas women of vision, Kevin Ann Willey, vice president and editorial page editor of the Dallas Morning News and local icon, Gloria Compos, who spent nearly thirty years at WFAA-TV (Ch 8).


Vivian Castleberry was a Texas Trailblazer in a city known for a “male dominated business culture,” Willey said. When met with opposition, Castleberry chose to go “over, under or around.”


Campos said that Castleberry paved the way for women. As a young journalist from Harlingen, Texas, Campos said she often wondered if she should have even come to Dallas, but that Castleberry encouraged her to stay, telling her that she could do whatever she set her mind to do.


In 1956 Vivian Castleberry was a news reporter in an era when there were few women in the industry.


She became the first editor of the Dallas Time Herald Women’s News — a section of the paper normally devoted to brides, weddings and feminine topics. However, Castleberry began writing about child care, women’s health and other issues plaguing women of the 1950s. 


The name of that section of the paper devoted to women was changed from “Women’s News” to “Living” under Castleberry’s editing.


She was also the first woman to use the title “Ms.” when appropriate in her editorials.


After retirement from the Dallas Times Herald, Castleberry began a new career as activist and humanitarian in the community. She wrote four books and she was inducted into the Texas Women’s Hall of Fame.


She was founder of the Women’s Center of Dallas, The Dallas Women’s Foundation, the Greater Dallas Community of Churches,  Peacemakers Incorporated and she co-founded the Family Place—the first women’s shelter in Dallas.


At 91 Castleberry is still active in the community, saying that she just doesn’t have time to retire.


She is also a very entertaining speaker, proven at Tuesday’s luncheon. When talking about her late husband, Curtis Castleberry, she shared how he would encourage her to do whatever she wanted to do and promised to help her accomplish it. “He always did” she said, “although I had to sometimes remind him.”


As Castleberry spoke to the audience, there was a reaffirmation for all mothers and grandmothers, “girls with dreams, become women with vision.”


“I was raised in East Texas during the Great Depression, but my mother kept the vision of college alive. She never said “if” you go to college, but “when” you go to college. She was the most influential person in my life.” Castleberry said.


This year’s “Visionary Woman” and others like her are role models for women across America.


Pin on Pinterest
Enjoying a game of Mexican Train after Sunday Worship

Following Sunday worship, members of Central Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) celebrated Cinco de Mayo with a South of the Border fiesta and a game of Mexican Train.  

 Fellowship within a church is a vital part of Christianity.  “It builds a community that loves, ministers and supports each other as family and friends,” said Co Pastor, Dr. Debbie Chisolm.  

Central is the oldest continuously operating protestant church in Dallas, but it keeps the spirit of fellowship youthful and new.

At the Cinco de Mayo celebration members and guests enjoyed a buffet of chips, salsas, tamales, guacamole, fruits, dips and a variety of pan dolce. 

In keeping with the festive-Mexican theme, door prizes included a pillow (hand-embroidered in San Miquel de Allende and donated by local company Dolce Sueños) and a silver cross studded with Milagros— little miracles.

Located at 4711 Westside Dr. in Dallas, Central also reaches out to the community through its dog park and garden and other community activities like the Friday family film night on the church lawn and the new “Sit and Fit” exercise class that begins May 13.

For more information about life at Central, visit or listen to WRR 101.1 FM on Sunday mornings at 9 a.m.  :

Pin on Pinterest

As we get closer to the end of the school year, “where to go to summer camp” becomes a household conversation. However, camp is not just for kids.


Several Dallas women, members of Central Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) attended the Spiritual Life Retreat at Disciples Crossing this past weekend.


About an hour and a half drive from Dallas (just outside Athens, Texas) Disciples Crossing is a beautiful campsite, featuring rustic lodging, meeting facilities and recreational amenities.  Set in the midst of towering pine trees, on Lake Underwood, it is ideal for relaxing with friends, communing with nature and renewing spiritual commitment.  


The focal point of the campsite is the 30ft. high cross that overlooks the lake. 


Hiking, swimming, volleyball, “frisbee golf” and basketball are available for recreation.


“Facing Change with Strength through Joy” was this year’s theme. Besides attending lecture sessions on various related topics, there was a silent auction, book sale and craft making sessions.


Central Christian Church, 4711 Westside Dr, may be the oldest church in Dallas, but it is young in spirit and it was well represented at the camp.


Colleen Oates shared the beautiful gift of her voice and led group singing.  Mary Chris Gibbons hosted a lunch table, featuring one of her greatest joys— jewelry making. Other women attending from Central were Lisa Church, Becky Riggins, Carol Archer, Peg Dicken and Shelia Huffman proving that camp is not just for kids.

Pin on Pinterest

“The Diviners,” a play by Jim Leonard, Jr., opened April 5 at the Contemporary Theater of Dallas.


The story takes place in the fictional town of Zion, Indiana during the Great Depression of the 1930s.


It begins and ends with elegies spoken by two of the townspeople describing what happened the day of Buddy's final tragedy.


Buddy Layman, (played by Brandon Kinard) is now 17 years old. He nearly drowned in the river when he was a small boy. The accident did take the life of his mother, who was trying to save him —  leaving Buddy not only motherless but mentally challenged and guilt ridden, as such a tragedy often does.


Buddy is childlike, uncontrollable and deathly afraid of water, but he has a sweet spirit and he is loved by his father Ferris Layman (played by Greg Holt), his sister Jennie Mae Layman (played by Zoe Kerr) and the townsfolk of Zion.


Buddy’s fear of water has resulted in his ability to find water with a divining rod, a tremendous gift to the drought-besieged farm community where he lives.


When a disillusioned preacher from Kentucky, C. C. Showers, (played by Daylon Walton) comes to town looking for work, Buddy’s father gives him a job in his garage. A strong bond develops between Buddy and the preacher precipitating a chain of events; sometimes humorous, sometimes tragic.


I had the opportunity to see the play Friday night with my two sisters (one is an actress) and two of my friends, a retired college drama professor and a current college drama teacher.


I would say that put me in the company of the “theater circle.”


I thought the play was beautiful and moving and I enjoyed every scene and sound, from the storyline to the acting to the old-time hymns that were sung acapella throughout the play.


In addition to sharing my thoughts about the play, I asked for input from those who accompanied me to the performance.


“I was mesmerized by Luella’s (played by Marianne Galloway) account of the preacher lifting her off the road after her bike accident. I wanted to get even closer to the stage to hear that story,” my sister, Terry Gwynne, said. (We were already on the front row.)

 Gwynne also felt the final scene was well crafted. “The commotion on the shore (available only when the preacher came out of the water for a breath) put the audience right under the water with him,” she said. 

 Michael Raines, teacher of drama and English at Eastfield Community College referred to experiencing “The Diviners” as a blessing itself.  He was moved by the irony of the preacher who had lost his faith and the ‘divining boy’ and how they complemented one another.

 Ed DeLatte, retired professor of drama at The University of North Texas and current director of “Westside Players” said the “The Diviners” develops our consciousness.  “In a sense, we are all diviners,” he said.

 “This play helps us understand the true purpose in life. It is about good intentioned people who are flawed — like all of us,” DeLatte said. 

 “Turn the earth to the earth like a child to his mother.  And we think a the boy and we call it a blessin’. We turn to each other and we call it a blessin’.”~from “The Diviners.”

 The Contemporary Theater of Dallas is located in an old church at 5601 Sears St. Being inside the theater is interesting on its own.  Combine that with award-winning entertainment and you have a great theater experience.

 “The Diviners,” directed by René Moreno will run through April 27. For ticket and performance information contact the theater at 214-828-0094, or purchase online.


Pin on Pinterest
One year old Bryce Taylor is ready for his first Easter egg hunt.

A pancake breakfast and an Easter egg hunt were enjoyed by over 100 Dallas children Saturday morning. Hosted by Central Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), the event was free and it was open to all!


After a breakfast of pancakes, sausage links and scrambled eggs, kids had an opportunity to color pictures and participate in a sing-a-long before teaming up in designated ae groups to hunt for Easter eggs. Over 2500 eggs were hidden on the church’s six-acre grounds.

 Central Christian Church is the oldest continuously operating Protestant church in Dallas, but it is young in spirit. This year Central has renewed its focus on children and families!

 Activities such as “family movie night,”  “art camp day” and Vacation Bible School are planned to educate and engage children in activities to help build their faith.

 The first family movie night is April 25 at 7:30 p.m.  Bring a blanket or lawn chairs (Central has the popcorn and bug spray) and enjoy a family friendly movie on the church lawn.

 The Acres community garden on the church grounds is another way for families to spend time together and literally grow together. Contact the church office at 214-526-7291 for information about leasing a plot.

 Realizing that families come in “all  different sizes and all different kinds,” Central even has a community dog park.  It was voted “best dog park in Dallas” by the Observer and it is open to the public.

The church is located at 4711 Westside Dr. just off Mockingbird Lane and all are welcome at 11 a.m. Sunday worship.  However, if you would like a pre-view, tune in to WRR, (101.1 FM) at 9 a.m. Sunday mornings—the services are broadcast.  

Visit Central’s website and Facebook page at to learn more about the church and its activities.


Pin on Pinterest
Book Club at Times Ten Cellars

On April 7, the Lakewood book club, The Book Trotters, visited New York City through the humor and wit of the late Nora Ephron.  


Having loved her romances, like “Sleepless in Seattle,” and “Harry Met Sally,” the book club turned to “I Feel Bad About My Neck" for their March read. The book is a composite of  stories about being a woman, life, aging and everything in between..


Ephron had experienced her share of heartbreak with infidelity and failed marriages, was not particularly happy about aging, and she died at the young age (by today’s standards) of 71.  But she loved her kids, her last husband, Nick, realizing her dream to become a journalist and she loved New York.


When she got her job at The New York Post she wrote, “I have never been happier.  I have achieved my life’s ambition and I am only 22 year’s old.”


Born on the Upper West Side of Manhattan, many of her stories took place in New York City and her passion for its landmarks came through in her writing. 


Book Trotter Debbie Simurda chose the selection and she handed out several of the writer’s favorite recipes.  The group enjoyed her crab dip and “take out” chicken salad.  One of Ephron’s favorite things about the City was the convenience of having everything right there in your neighborhood.     

Pin on Pinterest
Westside Workers


Olive Henderson holds up one of her afghans (lap blankets, as she calls them).   “I think I have made about 200 in the last couple of years.” she said in her English accent.


That’s a lot of knitted blankets!  Where’d they go?”  I asked.


They went to Parkland Memorial Hospital.  Henderson donates the afghans to cancer patients, to help keep them warm and as comfortable as possible during chemotherapy treatments and recuperation.  


That is a really nice gesture on Henderson’s part. When you learn that she is 92 years old, the knits and the pearls are more impressive.   


Pictured next to Henderson, at the sewing machine, is Katheryn Livengood.  Livengood is stitching “arm pillows” that she donates to Parkland for the cancer wing. 


However, the pedal on the sewing machine is not the only one 86 year old Livengood pushes. She delivers “meals on wheels” to those in need and she takes fresh produce from Acres Community Garden to North Dallas Shared Ministries.


Both Henderson and Livengood are members of Central Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) located at 4711 Westside Drive in Dallas.  They call their two-team production line “Westside Workers.”  


Apparently these ladies don’t know when it’s time to quit.  They are working right into their golden years to give comfort to those who need comforting.


Knitting for others is nothing new to Henderson.  She knitted socks for the soldiers during World War II in her home in Glouscester, England.  She came to America when she was 28 years old. She married and lived in south Texas.


It was at a dance that she met her husband.  To this day, ballroom dancing remains one of the great loves of her life.    


She recalls dancing with Dallas’ restaurateur, Shanghai Jimmy (of Jimmy’s Chili Rice fame) on a T.V. documentary about Jimmy’s life.


Besides dancing, she enjoys word games like scrabble and crossword puzzles.  In her sixties, she learned to drive.


What she doesn’t like is cooking.  “I did it when I was married because I had to, but I quit as soon as I could,” she said.


Livengood was born in Independence, Missouri.   Growing up in the Midwest and being brought-up in a Christian Church, sewing and “doing for others” was a part of her daily life.


“I was literally raised in the church.  It was during the depression and my mother volunteered in the church kitchen preparing food for the staff and parishioners,” she said.


“In addition to cooking, my mother sewed all the time,” Livengood added   “Although I was influenced by her sewing, I actually learned to sew as a girl scout”.


After Livengood married and had children, she continued to sew for her family, making everything from clothes to a cello cover for her daughter’s instrument.


As well as stitching pillows for Parkland, delivering food and generally lending a helping hand at Central, Livengood’s busy life includes volunteering at the Audelia Road Library in Lake Highlands.


The ladies each joined Central Christian Church over three decades ago and they are an inspiration to the congregation and to the community they serve.


Fifteen years ago, during the Easter season, they began The Westside Workers.  And they don’t seem to be slowing down. You will find them at the church every Tuesday morning— knitting and sewing.



“How old are you?" "Ten," answered Tangle. "You don't look like it," said the lady. "How old are you, please?" returned Tangle. "Thousands of years old," answered the lady. "You don't look like it," said Tangle. "Don't I? I think I do. Don't you see how beautiful I am!” ~from The Golden Key by George MacDonald


If you have a member in your church or organization, or a friend or neighbor who has a story that needs telling, please email  BubbleLife may want to feature them in a future column.

Pin on Pinterest
seated l to r Gloria Shouse, Alice Adams, Katheryn Livingood, Margaret Wilson standing Olive Henderson and Jo Spalti

A spring tea party honoring the most senior members of Central Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) was hosted by Senior Co-Pastor, Dr. Debbie Chisolm, and the Disciples Women’s Ministries on March 22. 


Guests of honor were Alice Adams, Marybess Grisham, Anna King, Jessie Rodgers and Gloria Shouse.


Some of the honorees attending the tea— now residing in various East Dallas senior communities— are no longer able to be present at Sunday worship services on a regular basis, due to health and mobility limitations.  The tea was a way for the congregation to spend some special time with those members.  Elders provided them transportation to and from the church for the occasion.


The menu included traditional “tea” fare — scones with jam and clotted cream, consommé, assorted finger sandwiches and sweets.


Musical entertainment was provided by pianists, Carolyn Shinn and David Aston, violinist, Rosie Ninesling and soloist, Colleen Oates.


Guests of honor received a corsage of cymbidium orchard and baby’s breath upon arrival, and each went home with a “potted plant of spring flowers” made especially for them by children who attended Central’s Winter Bible School.


The spring tea honoring senior members will be a new tradition at Central.


Central Christian Church is located at 4711 Westside Dr. just off Mockingbird Lane.  It is home to a dog park (voted best in Dallas by Dallas Observer) and the Acres Community Garden named in honor of Central member Ebby Halliday Acres and her late husband, Maurice Acres.   The garden is the largest contributor of fresh produce to North Dallas Shared Ministries during the growing season.


Worship services are broadcast on WRR (101.1) at 9:00 on Sunday mornings. 


Central Christian Church is the oldest continuously operating protestant church in Dallas, but it is young at heart.  Come and see!





Pin on Pinterest
Students From Booker T. Washington And R. L. Turner High School

Central Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) celebrated St. Patrick’s Day Sunday afternoon in the church’s fellowship hall following morning worship. 

After enjoying a green-themed buffet, members and guests of the church, had the opportunity to enjoy a special performance by students from Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing Arts and R. L. Turner High School, under the direction of their private voice teacher, Marsha Anderson.  Anderson has recently joined the soprano section of Central’s choir.  

 The students will be competing in the National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS) on March 22 in Ft Worth at Texas Wesleyan College. NATS is one of the largest and most respected singing pedagogy organizations of its kind in the world. 

At Sunday’s concert, the students performed art songs in the classical tradition with piano accompanist, Courtney Guion,  

Central Christian Church is located at 4711 Westside Dr. just off Mockingbird Lane.  It is home to a dog park (voted best in Dallas by Dallas Observer) and a community garden that is the largest contributor of fresh produce to North Dallas Shared Ministries during the growing season.  

The services are broadcast on WRR (101.1) at 9:00 on Sunday mornings.  All are welcome at Central.  Come and see!

Pin on Pinterest
Irish Stew Served At Trinity Hall Irish Pub

With St. Patrick’s Day approaching and Dallasites all around becoming Irish for the weekend, my friend Laura (knowing that I love to cook and consider myself somewhat of a knowledgeable “foodie”) asked me if Irish stew is made from beef or lamb.


"Lamb,” I assured her, confident with my response.


However, the closer we get to St. Patrick’s Day, “everything Irish” becomes more and more prominent.  Grocery stores begin advertising corned beef and cabbage and displaying end cases of green beer.


In my Lower Greenville neighborhood, restaurants and bars begin planning for the crowds of leprechauns that will create a sea of green on Greenville Avenue during the annual street party.


With all of this “Irish” influence, I started questioning if the traditional Irish stew was really made from lamb or the more popular beef we find on menus today.


To get an answer, I asked the source— the restaurants that serve Irish fare.


 I discovered that while Dubliner on Greenville Avenue and Malarkeys on Trinity Mills serves up a bowl of beef, Trinity Hall Irish Pub in Mockingbird Station ladles a dish of lamb.


All three restaurants are equally proud of their Irish stew, each considering their dish to be both delicious and traditional. 


Now, I’m even more confused.  In need of help, I decided to phone a friend—a friend in Boston.


After all, the first St. Patrick's Day Celebration in America is believed to have been held in Boston in 1737. Today the South Boston St. Patrick's Day parade is the second largest parade in the country. Boston, with its large Irish population, has numerous Irish Pubs and restaurants catering to both tourists and locals.


Emmets Pub and Restaurant on Boston’s Beacon Hill boasts, “You could be in Ireland in here.” Customer testimonials reflect, “This is one of the few places I have come across with born and bred Irish owners.”


With that reference for documentation, I called Emmets and spoke with General Manager Oran McGonagle.  When I asked if the stew at Emmets was made with beef or lamb, he said, “Irish stew is made with beef.  Shepherd’s Pie is made with lamb.”


“Is the stew traditionally made from beef?” I asked.


“Irish Stew is a stewed beef. The cheapest cut of beef, but nonetheless— beef.  Our stew here is made with beef, and my mother makes her stew with beef,” he said. 


Remembering Mother Machree, I questioned McGonagle no more.


 So what’s the beef?


The beef is that I still did not know my answer, for sure, but that it was starting to look like I was wrong. Lamb was not the traditional meat in Irish stew.  However, still not totally convinced, I hunted on, digging into the history of this one pot meal from Ireland. 


I discovered that the original stew, "ballymaloe” or “Stobhach Gaelach,” (as it is called in Gaelic) is a traditional stew made from lamb or mutton.  Mutton was most often used because it comes from less tender sheep (those over a year old), is fattier and has a stronger flavor.  Potatoes, onions, parsley and, sometimes, parsnips and carrots were added to the stew pot.    


If the traditional Irish stew was made with mutton or lamb, why is it served more often today with beef? (Even the world famous Guinness Storehouse in Dublin is using beef in place of lamb in their famous Irish stew.)


Many Americans prefer the more familiar taste of beef over that of lamb. But besides a taste preference, when the Irish people began immigrating to the United States, fleeing from the ravages of starvation caused by the potato famine, they naturally brought along their wonderful hearty food traditions.   Lamb was not as plentiful in America as it was in Ireland, so they adapted their recipes to include the local offerings.


That all makes sense.  Today, beef or lamb is a personal preference, but one thing is for sure—eating Irish stew is a St. Patrick’s Day tradition.


Following are two recipes, one using beef and one using lamb, for Irish stew that you can serve on St. Patrick’s Day.



Irish Stew With Lamb

Cook Time: 2 hours, 20 minutes


2 tbsp vegetable oil

1 lb mutton or lamb cutlets (bone removed) cut into 2"/5cm chunks

2 lb potatoes, peeled and cut into quarters

1 cup onion, roughly chopped

1 cup leeks, cleaned and finely sliced

1 cup carrots, roughly chopped

1½ pints dark beef stock

2 or 3 cabbage leaves, thinly sliced (optional)

Salt and Pepper


Heat the oven to 350F

In a large frying pan heat half the oil to hot but not smoking. Add half the lamb pieces and brown all over. Remove the lamb and place in a casserole, cover with a half of the potatoes, onions, leeks and carrots.

Add the remaining oil to the frying pan, heat again, then add the remaining lamb and brown all over. Add to the casserole and cover with the remaining vegetables.

Add the stock, cover with a tight fitting lid, cook in the oven for 1 hour. Add the cabbage (if using) replace the lid and cook for another hour. Check from time to time to make sure the stock isn't reducing too much, if it is add a little boiling water. The meat and vegetables should always be covered by liquid. If the sauce is too runny at the end, cook a little longer with the lid removed. Season with salt and pepper.



Beef and Irish Stout Stew


Cook Time: 2 – 3 hours



2 pounds lean beef stew meat, cut into 1-inch cubes


3 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided


2 tablespoons all-purpose flour


1 pinch salt and ground black pepper to taste


1 pinch cayenne pepper


2 large onions, chopped


1 clove garlic, crushed


2 tablespoons tomato paste


1 1/2 cups Irish stout beer (such as Guinness®)


2 cups chopped carrot


1 sprig fresh thyme


1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley for garnish




Toss the beef cubes with 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil. In a separate bowl, stir together the flour, salt, pepper, and cayenne pepper. Dredge the beef in this to coat.


Heat the remaining oil in a deep skillet or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the beef, and brown on all sides. Add the onions, and garlic. Stir the tomato paste into a small amount of water to dilute; pour into the pan and stir to blend. Reduce the heat to medium, cover, and cook for 5 minutes.


Pour 1/2 cup of the beer into the pan, and as it begins to boil, scrape any bits of food from the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon. This adds a lot of flavor to the broth. Pour in the rest of the beer, and add the carrots and thyme. Cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer for 2 to 3 hours, stirring occasionally. Taste and adjust seasoning before serving. Garnish with chopped parsley.