Fulshear Living April 2021
‘In art, anything is possible’
Eugenia Garcia says art can be freeing for the mind
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Contents & Staff Fulshear Living
Fulshear resident and artist Eugenia Garcia opens up about art’s impact on individuals and society.
8 IN THE SPOTLIGHT
The Give Back —Move Forward initiative resulted in a $22,000 donation to five local charities.
10 IN & AROUND FULSHEAR
Houston Humane Society partners with Fort Bend County Sheriff’s Department
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14 ARTS &
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4 • Fulshear Living Monthly • April 2021
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The complex & creative
by MARQUITA GRIFFIN | firstname.lastname@example.org
ugenia Garcia remembers attending license from the State of Texas and earned an college classes with her mother M.B.A. from the University of Houston at when she was five years old. Clear Lake. Eugenia’s younger brother was in She also continued refining her skills and daycare at the time, and on her days off defining her style through art classes and from school, little Eugenia tagged along workshops and self-education via the public with her mother. library. “She had paper for me to color on,” Garcia When it was time for her oldest son to recalls. attend elementary school, Garcia decided to “I never did like coloring inside the lines,” shelve her accounting abilities (except for she adds with a laugh. personal use) and put her passion for art Perhaps that’s when Garcia’s curiosity and front-and-center. interest in the arts took root. Or maybe it The push she needed came from a framer grew from the visits to Wadsworth Atheneum framing a piece of work Garcia planned on Museum of Art in Connecticut, where Garcia donating to her son’s school. grew up. “The framer said I was crazy to donate it,” “When I would get lost, my mom said she she recalled. always found me in front of Salvador Dali’s Garcia was encouraged to donate or sell works. She said I was mesmerized by his prints of her paintings, and with that plan in artwork.” mind, she decided to generate a brand for Then again, it could be through her her works. discovery of Leonardo da Vinci, Garcia “I immediately thought about windows of Fulshear resident and artist Eugenia Garcia. ponders. the mind,” she said.“I’m always thinking, and “I remember learning about him and how he wanted to know how my process is a mindful one.” things worked,” said Garcia, who lives in Fulshear.“I’m like that, too. I Her brand, she decided, would be called Mindful Art. She pauses love solving problems to make connections.” thoughtfully. By the time Garcia approached high school, she, like da Vinci, “My brain is complicated, and it’s creative,” she said. “Creativity wanted to observe, test and experience as much as possible. comes from the uninhibited freedom from unspecified boundaries. “I wanted to be a well-rounded person,” she said, explaining she “And in art, anything is possible.”” took band and drama, the latter of which helped her cope with a major move when she was in middle school. A N A R T I S T UNDE F INE D “I was quiet and lived inside of a shell,” she said.“High school drama When Garcia settles into create, she said she uses all five senses: loosened that shell.” “You have to incorporate all of those senses to help your ideas come Garcia didn’t, however, attend any art courses. to life,” she said. “I didn’t take any art classes in high school because I wanted to She doesn’t throw away paint nor does she acknowledge mistakes. paint like me. There are no mistakes, she tells her students, just the beginning of a “I did not want to be told how or what to paint.” new element to their work. For some time now Garcia, as well as other local artists, especially CR EA T ING M INDF UL A R T those who are members of the Fort Bend Art Center in Rosenberg, One would expect that an immediate plunge into the art world have been asked to teach painting styles and skills to young and old would follow Garcia’s high school graduation, but her path followed a budding artists. different route for the next couple of decades. And just like with her own works, Garcia said she “aims to create an “When I went to college I thought about what I wanted to do. Of awareness that there is more to art than the picture”when she teaches course, I wanted to pursue art but Dad said it wouldn’t put food on her classes. the table.” “Art leads to creative thoughts and inventions,” she said.“It doesn’t Garcia, now 55, earned her B.B.A. from Texas A&M University- matter [what the art project is], my inspiration is the need to be College Station and started a career in public accounting before helpful, or help someone find something meaningful in their art. I love moving into the private sector. During this time, she received her CPA to get that lightbulb to turn on in my students’ minds.”
6 • Fulshear Living Monthly • April 2021
Limitations and rules have minor roles in Garcia’s instruction, however she notes that “limitations and rules can form a structure” to prevent an artist from being overwhelmed with the subject matter and ideas, but ultimately,“art is limitless,” she said. As an artist, Garcia’s “not one to paint inside the lines.” She also can’t be classified in a specific area of art. Paint. Pen.Watercolor. Oils.Acrylic. It’s doesn’t matter as long as she can use it to express what she needs to. “My medium is imagination,” she said. “And it changes based on what I’m using.” Interestingly enough, of all of her works — and there are many — Garcia has no preferred piece. “My favorite piece is whatever I’m working on at that time,” she said, explaining that each work is precious and significant. Emotion,memories,and curiosity drive her works — commissioned and non-commissioned, alike — and she never rushes or puts a deadline or time-frame on her work.To make her point, she shares that a personal piece of work (a self-portrait) took her seven years to complete. “Whenever anyone asks me how long it takes to complete a piece, I tell them “it’s taken my whole life,’” Garcia said.“It takes a lifetime of observations, experiences, and learning to have the confidence to express anything through your art.” A CR EA T I VE T OOL She adds that art doesn’t have to be a solely emotional or aesthetically pleasing creation — she stressed that art can be a tool through which a person can heal or process events or experiences. At least, she knows it works for her. In 2013, the day after Christmas, Garcia was plagued by ringing in her ears and reduced hearing. “I thought: ‘It’s two days before my 50th birthday, my warranty must have expired,” she said with a laugh.“I said I need to check in with my Maker.” After repeat doctor’s visits, Garcia finally received the correct diagnosis: She had a tumor in her ear, and one at the base of her brain that had the potential to be instantly fatal. “[The first doctor] told me I could just be walking around and never know that it happened.” The 2014 surgery was suggested, with the understanding that she might experience a 15 percent personality change. “I didn’t want a change in my personality!” she said.“I didn’t want my art to be affected.” So she sought a second opinion.That doctor said he could perform the surgery with no impact to her personality.
Three different surgeries. Two different scars. One fine outcome, Garcia said. Still,there was a troubling period after her first surgery (she suspects she was not fully sedated), and an uncomfortable feeling nagged her until she addressed it by attending a painting workshop. Garcia created four works, which then became her “Brain Series.” One of the paintings, “Promise of New Horizons,” provided Garcia with the comfort she needed. “It gives me this calm feeling, like it’s telling me “God is taking care of you, and you’re OK.” CONNEC T ING US AL L Garcia also has a slew of other series to her name, including, of course, her Fulshear Series. She initiated her Fulshear Series because of the now-defunct nonprofit Arts Fulshear. “They wanted a Plein-air event years ago, before my surgery,” Garcia recalled. “I participated and did one picture, but as I was working on it there were so many ideas that popped up that I wanted to capture.” She started with Dozier’s, a Fulshear Police Department vehicle, a cow under the train bridge, and a painting of Downtown Fulshear that includes the Sweet Tooth and Rays, both of which have long since closed. “Old Fulshear is disappearing as growth takes place,” she said. She considers the positive and negative impacts caused by a rapidly growing population and said it’s almost a responsibility of artists to capture moments and periods that are slowly transforming to days-longgone. “I wanted to capture that country feel of the town before it disappears and looks like the rest of Houston.” Garcia’s paintings have been exhibited internationally on-line, and locally, in various juried and non-juried exhibitions. Her works are or have been displayed at the Fort Bend Art Center in Rosenberg, the 310 Gallery in Richmond, and occasionally her works are displayed at Cross Creek Ranch in Fulshear. Some of her works are also in private collections. These days Garcia enjoys hosting her art classes and developing new series of work. She will also encourage any soul she meets to give art a try. There’s no right or wrong way to create art, she said, so don’t let doubts soil the imagination. “Art is a universal language,” she said.“It connects us all.”
• Fulshear Living Monthly • 7
In The Spotlight GIVING BACK
One Fulshear community raises $22K for five local charities
ne Fulshear community stepped out of the box with its homebuyers promotion last year, and as a result five Fort Bend County charities collectively received $22,000 in donations. In November 2020, Cross Creek announced the launching of its Give Back—Move Forward promotion that ran the entire month of December. During the promotional period, Cross Creek Ranch donated $500 to one of five charities — Abigail’s Place, Family Hope, Fort Bend PAWS, Rainbow Room, and Texana Center. The new homebuyers could choose which of five charities would receive the donation. “Being a good community partner has always been a focus, but now, it’s more important than ever to support these local charities because demand is high, but donations for many of them are slipping,” said Rob Bamford, the general manager of Cross Creek Ranch, in November.“Each of these charities is Fort Bend local, so the donations we give will directly impact people in need right here.” A few months after the promotional period ended, Bamford announced 44 homes were sold during “what turned out to be a record-breaking December.” “This promotion easily exceeded our expectations,” he said.“We’ve always tried to be a good community partner, but ramped up our efforts last year because of the pandemic. Each of these Fort Bend charities had been impacted.We were glad to give back.” THE GIVING BACK IMPACT The new homebuyers selected Family Hope more than any other charity, with the organization receiving $6,500. Family Hope specifically helps those in northern Fort Bend County with food as well as assistance with medical, rent, and utility costs. Last year, Cross Creek Ranch partnered with the charity to both collect non-perishable food items and distribute prepared meals, with people driving up to 30 minutes for the free take-out meals. Family Hope has reported a 730 percent increase in clientele during 2020. Rainbow Room received $5,500 to help furnish new school supplies, clothes, toiletries, snacks, diapers, and other items for families in crisis. Caseworkers can access the room 24 hours a day, seven days a week to meet the basic needs of children between the ages of newborn to 18. The Rainbow Room also holds a Back to School Drive and a holiday drive to fulfill children’s wish lists. “Thank you so much for helping us provide emergency supplies for those in need,” said Tonya Lewis, Rainbow Room Executive Director. Abigail’s Place, which serves single mothers facing episodic homelessness, received a $4,500 donation. The Richmond-based organization provides emergency shelter and helps guide clients toward self-sufficiency. The charity’s transitional housing includes on-site shelter units, rental assistance, short-term hotel stays, and security deposits. Fort Bend PAWS (Pets Are Worth Saving) received $3,500 to help them continue to raise awareness for Fort Bend County Animal Services so they can maintain a high save rate as well as provide
8 • Fulshear Living Monthly • April 2021
Tonya Lewis, right, accepts a $5,500 check and toys from Cross Creek Ranch Marketing Director Carrie Roehling for the Rainbow Room.
heartworm treatment and preventative as well as special events that benefit the community. “We are so fortunate to be able to work with such amazing organizations to benefit our pets and shelter,” said Rene Vasquez with Fort Bend PAWS. Finally, Cross Creek Ranch donated $2,000 to Texana Center, which provides behavioral healthcare, autism treatment, and intellectual disabilities services to a six-county region that includes Fort Bend County. It recently opened a Fulshear campus that includes the third location of the Children’s Center for Autism and a new program, the Center for Advancement.This new program will provide training for teens and young adults in a community college-like setting, offering an array of classes where they can learn social and employment skills, explore their strengths and prepare to lead productive lives. “Cross Creek Ranch has been a long-standing community partner, helping us reach our vision of opening a campus in Fulshear and also lending their own facilities to jump-start program until our building was complete,” said George Patterson, Executive Officer with Texana. In addition to the monetary donations, Cross Creek Ranch collected items such as unwrapped toys, pet supplies, diapers, school supplies, non-perishable food items, and more for the charities.
Carrie Roehling with Cross Creek Ranch presents a $6,500 check to Dale Olson, left, and Juan Palomares with Family Hope, an organization that helps people in need in northern Fort Bend County.
From left, Carrie Roehling with Cross Creek Ranch gave a $4,500 donation to Brandi Barnett, Aaron Groff and John Kelly with Abigail’s Place, which helps single mothers facing episodic homelessness. The community also collected a large amount of needed supplies for the charity.
Rene Vasquez with Fort Bend PAWS accepts a $3,500 check and pet supplies from Carrie Roehling, Marketing Director for Cross Creek Ranch.
Cross Creek Ranch has donated $2,000 to Texana Center. Shown here, from left, are Andi Wallace with Texana, Carrie Roehling with Cross Creek Ranch, Sherre Prather with Texana and George Patterson with the Texana Center.
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• Fulshear Living Monthly • 9
In & Around Fulshear The Katy Area Chamber elects three new board members
he Katy Area Chamber of Commerce elected three new members to its board of directors, and they represent a broad range of industry. Each director will serve a three year term than began at the end of January when the board met for its annual strategic planning retreat. The new directors are Mary Beth Cameron who is an Attorney with Goodnight Law Firm, Dr. Robert Long who is the Director of Advocacy and Outreach for Raise Your Hand Texas, and JR Richardson who is a Senior Account Representative with Consolidated Communications. “We welcome these respected leaders to the Katy Area Chamber of Commerce board of directors,” said Matthew Ferraro, the president and CEO of the Katy Area Chamber.“Each of them brings a wealth of business experience that will diversify and strengthen our board and help us achieve our goal to strengthen, connect, and advocate for our business community.”
Mary Beth Cameron
Returning Directors: Executive Team Denise Einkauf, Chairman, Waggin’Tails Pet Ranch Marcus Dillon, Vice-Chairman, Dillon CPAs Marcus Henneke, Past Chairman, Dagley Insurance and Financial Services Margaret Laney, Secretary, Dubois Laney Enterprises Cristy Fontanilla,Treasurer, FAS Bookkeeping & Tax Services Directors Josh Black, Frost Bank Vivien Bond, Memorial Hermann Katy Fran Dahl, DTP Realty R. Michael Erskine, BB&T now Truist Ida Franklin, Venus Construction Dr. Karen Jagger, PsyD, Stokan Jaggers & Associates, LLP Del Lawson, Modern Pest Control Rodney McLaurin, Houston Community College Portia Willis, Houston Methodist West Hospital The Katy Area Chamber of Commerce also has partnerships with the City of Katy and Katy ISD as Mayor Bill Hastings and Superintendent Dr. Ken Gregorski serve as ex-officio members of the board. “I’d like to thank our retiring directors for their dedication to service and commitment to our business community over the last six years that they served on the Katy Area Chamber’s board. Special recognition to Greg Henry of XperNet Services, Jason Hodge of Medical Fitness Pros, and Nicole LeBoeuf of AMP Lending,” said Matthew Ferraro.
10 • Fulshear Living Monthly • April 2021
Houston Humane Society partners with Fort Bend County Sheriff’s Department by AVERIL GLEASON | email@example.com
hen Fort Bend County Sheriff Eric Fagan was running for office, he expressed a clear vision for the future of animals in the area. So partnering with the Houston Humane Society to hand out free pet food to county residents was a no-brainer. One Saturday morning in early March, dozens of cars lined up outside of Gus George Law Enforcement Academy to receive pet food, toys and treats. “We’re working with sheriffs, DA’s and constables across the area to give out free pet food for pet owners in need all over the region,” Katie Fine with the Houston Humane Society explained.“Before the pandemic, we learned people’s pets are going hungry. We realized that there was a need for pet food banks.And then when the pandemic hit, and more recently, the freeze, the need was extremely high.” Fine explained that by giving away free pet food, it relieves the burden of extra spending on households. Set up outside the law enforcement academy was more than 6,000 pounds of food. According to Fine, people started lining up over an hour before the event began at 10 a.m. “This was mutually beneficial,” Fagan said. “My kids, when they were small, volunteered at the humane society.When I became sheriff, I reached out and they were nice enough to collaborate with us.” Fagan said when he was running for office, he realized there was a need for pet safety. Just months after winning the election in November, Fagan appointed Jordan Kelley as animal cruelty investigator, the first of its kind. “The great thing is the humane society is offering this to anyone in need,” Fagan continued.“They’re working with law enforcement hand-in-hand to help the people of Fort Bend County.” The Houston Humane Society is dedicated to ending cruelty, abuse and the overpopulation of animals while providing the highest quality of life to those in our care. For more information, call 713-433-6421.
The Fort Bend County Sheriff’s Department partnered with the Houston Humane Society over the March 6 weekend, when 6,000 pounds of pet food were given to families across Fort Bend. Pictured is Animal Cruelty Investigator Jordan Kelley, Sheriff Eric Fagan and Houston Humane Society Executive Director Gary Poon.
34th Annual Spaghetti Dinner goes virtual
he Exchange Club of Sugar Land’s 34th Annual Spaghetti Dinner, the club’s primary annual fundraising event, will be held virtually on April 17at 6 p.m. The club typically hosts this event in-person, however due to COVID-19 and associated challenges, the club chose to hold the event virtually this year. “It’s amazing how wonderful the community support has been for this event, and this year’s fundraiser is more cr itical than ever,” said President Paul Barnett. Raffle tickets and sponsorships can be bought by texting NOODLE TO 71777 and filling out the donor form, or by connecting online at app. mobilecause.com/vf/Noodle. The Live Event link is www.facebook.com/ sugarlandmorningexchange. The Silent Auction link is www.32auctions.com/Spaghetti2021. The auction opened April 1. Previous events included local law enforcement agencies and fire departments preparing a variety of spaghetti sauces and competing to win the cook-off trophy. This family-oriented dinner will feature great raffle prizes, a live auction, a silent auction, and a children’s area with fun and games.
The funds raised allow The Exchange Club of Sugar Land to continue supporting local non-profits including Child Advocates of Fort Bend, Fort Bend County Women’s Center, Texana Children’s Center for Autism, Fort Bend Council on Substance Abuse, Fort Bend Seniors Meals on Wheels, Crime Stoppers, YMCA, Literacy Council of Fort Bend, and many others. These funds also support our community service projects: • Santa’s Exchange distributes over 10,000 toys annually to underprivileged children. • Back to School Bash provides backpacks, school supplies, and new shoes for kids needing a head start before the new school year. • Give a Kid a Flag to Wave distributes over 30,000 American flags along the Fort Bend County Fair and Houston Rodeo parade. • Service to Seniors provides a monthly party for Fort Bend Seniors as well as health and entertainment events. • Youth of the Month recognizes FBISD students for outstanding academic achievement and good citizenship. • One Nation Under God breakfast honors our veterans and active military members. For more information visit www.ECSL.org or email President Paul Barnett at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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• Fulshear Living Monthly • 11
Fort Bend Women’s Center hosts Denim Day Challenge to recognize Sexual Assault Awareness Month
ith the need for emergency intervention and support services steadily increasing, Fort Bend Women’s Center serves more than 1,000 domestic violence and sexual assault survivors every year. In 2019, 185 Texans were killed by intimate partners, 42 of these victims resided in Harris, Fort Bend, and surrounding counties. This April, Fort Bend Women’s Center is holding a Denim Day Challenge in recognition of Sexual Assault Awareness Month to honor Survivors and to raise awareness and support for much needed programs to help sexual assault survivors recover from the violence. Fort Bend Women’s Center offers numerous programs for survivors including: emergency shelter, case management, counseling, children’s programs, court advocacy — each with the goal of helping each victim achieve healing and self-sufficiency, free of violence and fear. Denim Day was derived from a sexual assault court case in 1992, Rome, Italy when a 19-year-old girl was sexually assaulted by a driving instructor during her very first driving lesson. The young girl reported the incident, and he was convicted of rape and sentenced to jail. But soon after, the driving instructor appealed his sentence, claiming that the sex was consensual. The man was released, and the conviction was overturned by the Italian High Court because the victim was said to be wearing “very tight jeans,” so she had to help remove them,and by removing the jeans it was consensual sex, no longer rape. This became known as the “jeans alibi.” The women in the Italian Parliament launched a protest wearing jeans on the steps of the Supreme Court, gaining international attention and starting the movement we now know as “Denim Day,” where supporters all over the world wear denim to support sexual assault survivors. The Denim Day Challenge is a way for everyone to Stand with Fort Bend Women’s Center in support of victims’ rights. “This year’s Denim Day Challenge is a unique event for us. While Denim Day is always a special day for us during Sexual Assault Awareness Month, this year we thought we would ask our supporters to stand with us and participate by donating directly to survivors, having fun with it by donating a decorated pair of jeans, or volunteer their time to help with our services,” said Fort Bend Women’s Center CEO Vita Goodell.“We are so grateful for the incredible support we receive for survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault helping fill the critical need to bring life-saving services to more victims.” The Fort Bend Women’s Center is encouraging the community to join the effort through monetary donations to the center at fbwc.org, or by donating denim to any PennyWise Resale Store. Decorate a pair of jeans in support of survivors of sexual assault, drop off at a local FBWC PennyWise Resale Store, where participants will be entered into a drawing for a $100 gift card to a local business of their choice in Fort Bend County. Decorated denim will be sold to bring awareness and raise funds for survivor services. The center added that people can also advocate for survivors by volunteering time. Visit www.fbwc.org to find the right opportunity, or advocate by following @ftbendwomensctr on social media and sharing posts to spread awareness. Fort Bend Women’s Center has a 24-Hour Crisis Hotline for those in need of assistance. 281-342-HELP (4357).
12 • Fulshear Living Monthly • April 2021
GARDENING TIPS How to treat our landscaping after the Big Freeze by CHRIS TAYLOR | Fort Bend County Master Gardener
ebruary’s Arctic blast was one for the books! All of us were cold – both in our homes and outside.We are now in recovery mode and working hard to fix any freezerelated home damage. Included in that damage assessment is the damage dealt to our landscaping. In many ways, our landscaping suffered from very low temperatures and even lower wind-chill temperatures. Our first thoughts may be to start pruning back the dead foliage on our plants and trees. But we should wait before starting to prune our shrubs and plants! I know that in my yard, the damaged plants and shrubs look bad. For example, the shrubs here in southeast Texas are usually able to handle the normal cold temperatures that we get each year and don’t show much stress. However, in most of the shrubs that I have seen, the leaves are brown and looked like they are “wind-burned”. In fact, they are wind-burned from the strong north wind that we received. BELOW are three photos from my landscaping.As you can see in all three (sadly there are more) suffered. Since the Bird of Paradise is a tropical plant, it is not surprising that it received damage. However, the boxwoods are very hardy and rarely show stress.As you can see in the photo, the yellowed leaves on the boxwood show the extent of the damage.The orange tree has sustained damage as well as indicated by the drooping, brown leaves. Why wait to prune? We need to wait before we start to prune back any dead foliage. There is a short write-up on the Fort Bend Master Gardeners website (www.fbmg.org) with this advice. As well, the website has further information as well as a link on how to correctly prune once that time comes. Larry Stein,Texas A&M Horticulturist, has a short video on the Aggie Horticulture Facebook page entitled,“What’s Growing on with F r e e z e D a m a g e ” ( w w w. f a c e b o o k . c o m / A g g i e Horticulture-26803072143). He recommends that we all wait at least two weeks before deciding where to start our pruning. We want to wait and see if the plants start to put out new leaves. If so, they are coming back and you probably do not want to prune that particular branch. As Larry recommends,“hurry up and wait, and, learn to love ugly” — at least for a while. Uncover your plants For the plants and trees that you had covered or wrapped during the freeze, remember to uncover them. They need exposure to sunlight.They may have foliage or limbs that droop after having been covered. Mostly what they need right now is some time to rebound from the shock of the cold weather. Sprinkler/Irrigation System Given that many of us have broken water pipes in our homes, it is
very possible that we also have broken pipes outside. One area to check is the sprinkler/irrigation system that you use to water your yard. Areas that can break are the pipes above the ground that surround the backflow valve.You probably have these pipes wrapped, but you may want to consider unwrapping them and checking for any leaks. Also, repairs done on the main water lines to our homes may have brought debris in the water that may clog the sprinkler heads or valves. It is recommendable to hire a local licensed irrigator to evaluate your system before turning it back on for spring. Finally, the cold weather did bring snow and ice with it. This is beneficial for the roots of our plants and shrubs and did provide some support. But don’t forget to continue to check your plants for moisture as they try to recover. Wishing you warmer temperatures – and electricity! Happy Gardening! Fort Bend County Master Gardeners are trained volunteers who assist Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service in educating the community using research-based horticultural information.
Learn about sustainable landscaping & soil preparation
ort Bend County Libraries will present an online program, “Gardening Success Begins with the Soil,” on Tuesday, April 20, from 2 to 3:30 pm. Part 1 of the Texas AgriLife Extension Office’s “Landscape Success” series for homeowners, this program will be live-streamed via Webex; it will not be in person. James (Boone) Holladay, County Extension Agent with the Texas
AgriLife Extension Office in Fort Bend County, will talk about how to create and install a sustainable Earth-Kind® landscape by starting with proper soil preparation. Hear about different researchbased water-saving technologies, irrigation systems, and turfmanagement techniques to maintain attractive, dense lawns and landscapes without wasting water. Holladay will also talk about landscape diseases and pests, and ways to manage them while reducing fertilizer and pesticides. Gardeners of all experience levels who are interested in learning more about sustainable landscaping are welcome to attend. Holladay received his undergraduate degree in Horticulture from Stephen F. Austin State University and his graduate degree in Agricultural Education from Texas A&M University. He helped to develop an urban youth horticulture program in Houston, and has also worked at Moody Gardens in Galveston. The program is free and open to the public. Registration is required for the program so that a link to the Webex session can be emailed to all who register. To register online at the library’s website (www. fortbend.lib.tx.us),click on“Classes & Events,”select“Virtual Programs,” and find the program on the date indicated. Participants may also register by calling Fort Bend County Libraries’ Communications Office at 281-633-4734.
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• Fulshear Living Monthly • 13
Arts & Entertainment
Celebrate National Poetry Month
with poetry-performance artist Deborah D.E.E.P Mouton
n recognition of National Poetry Month in April, Fort Bend County Libraries will present a special online “Author Spotlight” event, featuring internationally recognized poetr yperfor mance ar tist Deborah D.E.E.P Mouton, on Saturday, April 10, beginning at 2 pm. This event will be livestreamed via Webex; it will not be in person. Hear about Mouton’s journey to having her works published, challenges she has faced along the way, and the inspiration behind her passion for writing and performing. Viewers will have an opportunity to submit questions and ask
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about her work and her experiences. An internationally-known writer, educator, activist, and performer, Mouton is a Poet Laureate Emeritus of Houston. Formerly ranked the #2 best female performance poet in the world, Mouton has established herself as a notable force in the performance- and slam-poetry world. Her work has appeared in Houston Noir, The BreakBeat Poets Black Girl Magic, the Texas Observer, and Fjords Journal, and on platforms such as NPR, BBC, ABC, Apple News, Blavity, Upworthy, and across the TedX circuit. This event was previously scheduled in February, but was postponed because of the winter storm. This online event is free and open to the public. Reservations are required; a link to the Webex sessions will be emailed to all who register. To register online at the library’s website (www. fortbend.lib.tx.us), click on “Classes & Events,” select “Virtual Programs,” and find the program on the scheduled date. For more information, call FBCL’s Communications Office at 281-633-4734.
CALL FOR ARTISTS: 8th Annual Texas Juried Exhibition
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The competition includes eligibility for 2D and 3D artwork. The exhibition will be open from July 10 through Aug. 28 with an opening reception on July 17. Due date for entries is Monday, May 24. Contemporar y 2D and 3D works that follow the requirements detailed in the prospectus are eligible for acceptance. Artwork selected by the juror from the eligible submissions will be included in the Texas Juried Exhibition at Artspace111 and are eligible for cash awards. A total of $5,000 will be awarded, and the “Best In Show” prize will include a cash award of $2,000 and the opportunity to exhibit at Artspace111 in a separate solo or group exhibition in 2021-2022. All entrants will have the option to be included in the Texas Now Online Showcase 2021 following the 8th Texas Juried Exhibition. After a successful pilot program, Artspace111 will include all entrants to the juried exhibition in an online showcase where the artwork can be collected online by Texas art collectors. For more information visit artspace111.com.
WANTED: Entries for livestreamed‘Dare to Hope’ poetry slam
ort Bend County Libraries is hosting an online Poetry Slam Competition for teens and young adults. The theme for the competition is “Dare to Hope.” Entries may be submitted online April 5 through May 3. The live-streamed perfor mancepoetry competition will take place on Saturday, May 8 at 2 pm. Students who are 14 to 20 years of age are invited to compete for prizes in this performance-poetry event by reading original works they have created themselves. To participate in the competition, contestants should complete an online entry form on FBCL’s website (www.fortbend.lib.tx.us) and upload copies of three original poems they wish to read for the competition. One poem will be read for each round to which the participant advances. There will be two qualifying rounds and one final round. A panel of five judges will determine which competitors advance to the second round and the final round. The order of
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• Fulshear Living Monthly • 15
performances will be randomly chosen on May 8 at the start of the event. Judging will be based on language, idea, theme, tone, mood, vocal strength, emotion, body/facial movement, and fluency. Each poem must be limited to no longer than 3 minutes and 10 seconds in length. Poets may read from a copy of their poem, but they may not use props, costumes, or musical instruments. Poems must be family friendly and may not include any profanity or sexually explicit content. Poems containing incendiary, offensive, discriminatory, or inflammatory language will be disqualified. Participants who submit poems online during the entry period will be sent a link for the Webex session for the competition. Submissions will not be accepted after 5:00 pm on May 3. Prizes will be awarded to the top three competitors. Sponsored by the Friends of the George Memorial Library, the Poetry Slam is free and open to the public. For more information, call 281-633-4734.
Local libraries offer free online programs for children
ecause of the COVID-19 social-distancing recommendations, Fort Bend County Libraries is continuing to offer children’s programming virtually, so families can participate from the
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comfort and safety of home Videos of Mother Goose Time, Toddler Time, Preschool Story Time, After-School Breaks, and Middle School Programs will be posted on the online Virtual calendar on FBCL’s website each week. Several special online Family Programs, for children of all ages, will also be featured in April. Age-appropriate stories, songs, and puppet shows are featured in the Mother Goose Time, Toddler Time, and Preschool Story Time videos.The schedule is as follows: Tuesdays: Mother Goose Time (infants 1-12 months of age) Wednesdays: Toddler Time (1-3 years of age) Thursdays: Preschool Story Time (3-6 years of age) Families of toddlers and preschoolers may pick up to-go activity packets from the library for the month. These packets contain fun craft activities that can be done at home. Call the libraries to request to pick up the packets through the Curbside Pick-Up service. The After-School Breaks – which take place on the second and fourth Mondays – include crafts, stories, and more for schoolaged children in grades K through 5. The schedule for April is as follows: April 12: Rainbow Fizzy Bath Bombs. Make your own DIY fizzy bath bombs. April 26: Coffee-Filter Flowers.Try this easy experiment using coffee filters and water to see if markers have any hidden colors in them! Then discover how to turn those colorful coffee filters into DIY flowers for Mother’s Day! The Middle School Programs – which take place on the first and third Mondays -- include activities specially designed for kids in grades 6 through 8. The schedule for April is as follows: April 5: Make Your Own Fan! April 19: Drawing Class: Bat Girl. SPECIAL FAMILY VIRTUAL EVENTS April 3: “Sleeping Beauty” Marionette Performance (prerecorded video) Master puppeteer Jean Kuecher, producer of Marionette Playhouse, will entertain with her beautifully handcrafted marionettes on an
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elaborate stage, with music and lighting. In this puppet show, the Good Fairy helps the Handsome Prince battle the Wicked Witch’s dragon, but then the prince can’t remember how to awaken the Princess Sleeping Beauty! After the performance, learn some of the backstage secrets and special effects. Recommended for families with children of all ages, this virtual performance is presented in conjunction with Young Audiences of Houston. April 10:“Give Me a Reaction – Science Experiments” (prerecorded video) In three STEAM experiments, discover the best way to clean old pennies, how to make foamy playdough, and why Ivory soap floats.This program is recommended for families with children of all ages. April 17:“Will Parker’s Children’s Concert” (pre-recorded video) Recommended for families with children of all ages, this virtual performance is made possible by the Friends of First Colony Branch Library. April 17:“Everybody is Smart! Music Performance by JAWAD” (pre-recorded video). This performance inspires young learners to feel empowered and embrace expression through music, art, singing, and character creation. Recommended for families with children of all ages, this virtual performance is presented in conjunction with Young Audiences of Houston. April 24 :“Preschool Story Lab: Vehicles” (pre-recorded video) The Preschool Story Lab is a creative story time event that encourages children to discover and explore concepts in science, technology, engineering, arts, and math (STEAM). FBCL’s children’s
librarians will read books, sing songs, and demonstrate a variety of STEAM activities that can be done with simple supplies found around the home. For more information visit www.fortbend.lib.tx.us or call 281633-4734.
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• Fulshear Living Monthly • 17
Business Buzz Rosenberg Carpet & Flooring Embodies The Golden Rule by MARQUITA GRIFFIN | email@example.com
osenberg Carpet & Flooring will continue to stand the test of time if the past six-plus decades are any indication. 1958 was the year when Tony and Hope Lopez planted their eyes firmly on their future and stepped toward their family’s legacy. The family-owned and operated business has withstood significant tests and trials, the most recent being the current COVID-19 pandemic. Despite the hardships, Tony and Hope’s son, Michael, who is running the family business, projects a message of hope, not of fear or bitterness. No matter the harsh blows, Rosenberg Carpet & Flooring will continue its commitment to the community, Lopez stressed. Rosenberg Carpet & Flooring has long provided sales and installation of carpet, sheet vinyl, laminate countertops (Formica), wood flooring, wallpaper, and draperies, but this year, it expanded its services and products, adding shower, bath, and kitchen remodeling services to its repertoire. “We do more than floors,” Lopez said. “We do all types of countertops, backsplashes, shower, and bath remodels as well as interior reconfiguration. Our vision is to become a one-stop-shop. A new decade has begun with the third generation of our family. Our son and his wife, Joshua and Ruby Lopez, with the help of Amador Olvera, Chris Frazier, Lorne Darlin, Francisco Gomez, and some of the best installers in the business are here to work for our clients. “It seems like a fresh new start,” Lopez continued.“This young generation has so much knowledge, so many ideas, and compassion to share all that they have. Everyone has to start somewhere or re-start somewhere. We believe with our experiences and dedication to serving, that we are going to see our customers more than satisfied.” In this exclusive interview, Lopez discusses the history of his family’s company, and just what inspired the company slogan and business philosophy. Marquita Griffin: What motivated your parents, Tony and Hope, to open the business? Michael Lopez: My father Tony Lopez began as a floor covering installer. A sales manager he worked under always had him calculate customer’s floor plans for him. My father thought to himself: ‘I know this business from installation to configuring all projects.’ Looking ahead to the future, and for the sake of his family, they became his motivation. With my faithful mother Hope, they set out to begin their dream. MG: Has the business always been located at 1006 1st St. in Rosenberg? ML: Our business started out of our home. We then moved into a location near the then-Texas Grill Restaurant. In 1975, we moved to our current location at 1006 1st St.
18 • Fulshear Living Monthly • April 2021
MG: What is Gary Tavener’s involvement with Rosenberg Carpet & Flooring? ML: Gary Tavener joined our family almost 50 years ago. He was studying to be a schoolteacher at the time. My father offered him a share of the family business. Gary bought in and became an owner/partner. He has been a most faithful and honorable man. If there is anyone in my life that I would say I could trust, he would be at the top of the list, next to my father. MG: Why would you say a potential client would immediately know Rosenberg Carpet & Flooring is a family-owned business? ML: Being a family-owned business, we believe in “family.” Customers come in all the time and say we are unique, and we believe that because we treat them like family. Yes, we are a business, but I have watched my father and mother, including Gary, treat everyone like a neighbor.As a matter of fact, our slogan was: “We carpeted your neighbor’s home!” It seemed like everyone that walked into our store said those words, so my father made it our slogan. MG: What would you say is Rosenberg Carpet & Flooring’s business philosophy? ML: Our business philosophy is to go the extra mile or “the extra half mile.” I remember my father telling a story years ago. He was installing carpet at a hotel in Pampa, Texas. In those days carpet runners for stairways were made of wool and were 27 inches wide. The hotel owner liked the color and pattern so much that he wanted the whole lobby floor carpeted with it. In those days carpet seams were hand-sewn. My father would say:“If you forgot your thimble, you might as well go home.” After the completion of the lobby, my father calculated that he had sown a half-mile. By the way, he still has that thimble!
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MG: How has Rosenberg Carpet & Flooring withstood the test of changing or challenging times? ML: Since 1958, our business has withstood many tests and trials. We have been through six decades of every kind of test.The most recent ones are Hurricane Harvey and the COVID-19 pandemic. I believe in my parents’ commitment to righteous principles of hard work, honesty, and integrity. Doing everything it takes to make sure that our customers receive all that they’re expecting and more. It is in these times of testing that peoples’ hearts are revealed.We will always remember our foundation which is to do unto others as you would have it be done to you. That’s our Golden Rule. MG: How has Rosenberg Carpet & Flooring fared during this pandemic? ML: We were thankful for many reasons. The pandemic made us realize there were situations and people we have taken for granted. I don’t believe hardly anyone had a clue on how to prepare or handle the pandemic. I would have to say with God’s help, we have fared well. MG: You’ve touched repeatedly on your passion for the community in previous conversations. Why is community important to Rosenberg Carpet and Flooring? ML: We have served our community for 62 years because our community is especially important to us. We were raised here. We raised our children here and now our grandchildren. Our vision is to work with our community and make a positive impact. A community that cares thrives. If the community thrives, it is because of caring people. We serve because we care. We believe in supporting our community by shopping local, allowing schools, churches, and other organizations access to our parking lot for fundraisers such as barbecues, car washes, etc. Since recent hardships, we are focusing on ways to help our community even more.
MG: Speaking of community, tell me about this mural on the side of your building. ML: The Rosenberg Mural on our building was not planned by any means. A young man that I met years ago, Dagoe Marse, came to us with his idea of a mural welcoming people to our city. I showed everyone in the store his idea, and in less the one minute, everyone agreed. I think the mural is monumental and may even become iconic. We hope that visitors and locals will feel the warmth of our beloved city through the mural. Feel free to come by and take selfies with the mural. MG: Lastly, what can clients expect from Rosenberg Carpet & Flooring? ML: Customers can be assured that in serving our clients, we care about your family. We know how important, especially in these times, it is to provide appointments, service, and quality products to accommodate everyone. Our commitment will always be to make sure that all our customers feel safe and secure knowing that we honor their trust. We take our business seriously and have the highest respect for all.
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Health AUTISM AWARENESS Myths and misconceptions about autism spectrum disorder
Autism spectrum disorder, or ASD, is a class of neurological conditions present from early childhood and is often characterized by difficulty communicating, using langua ge and understanding abstract concepts. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that an estimated one out of 42 boys and one in 189 girls are diagnosed with ASD in the United States. The CDC uses health and school records for children who are part of the Autism and Developmental Disa bilities Monitoring Network to arrive at these statistics. ASD is now diagnosed in roughly one out of every 68 children in Canada, and has become the fastest growing and most commonly diagnosed neurological disorder in that country. Even though ASD is widely recognized, studied and discussed, myths and misconceptions about the disorder continue to circulate. Shedding light on ASD can help caregivers, peers and anyone who routinely interacts with individuals who fall on the spectrum. ASD is multifaceted Although “autism” and “ASD” are often used interchangeably, these names do not define one
specific disorder. The American Psychiatric Association merged four previously distinct diagnoses together to form the umbrella term of ASD in 2013, which was revised in the fifth edition of the “Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders.” However, it’s important to note that an ASD diagnosis is ever-f luid and medical professionals continue to conduct extensive research that may modify earlier definitions of the disorder or render previous classifications outdated. Generally speaking, ASD is often perceived through communication deficits that can include misinterpreted or nonverbal interactions. Individuals also may have challenges in bonding/ friendship development. People with ASD can understand and express emotion Although communication troubles may be present, people with ASD can and do feel emotions. But they may not be able to express these emotions as easily or as clearly as others can. Also, just because someone has ASD doesn’t mean he or she is unable to understand the emotions of others. But the person may need firm
• Fulshear Living Monthly • 21
and direct indications of how another person is feeling to understand. Reading body language or tone of voice alone may be inadequate to someone with ASD. School-aged children can learn from this, recognizing that someone with ASD may want to have friends and socialize, but he or she may not know how to facilitate these engagements. ASD does not produce carbon-copy symptoms Characteristics of ASD can vary widely from person to person. One person’s limitations or abilities may not be present in another. ASD is not just a children’s disease There is no cure for ASD, and symptoms may not be reversible, which means that ASD is a lifelong condition. Children who are diagnosed will grow into young people and adults with ASD. Many treatments and therapies are geared toward early intervention, but adults can benefit from continued work as well. Adults with ASD can lead successful, independent lives. Autism spectrum disorder is more prevalent than ever. However, despite the recognition of ASD, many people do not understand the nuances involved with a diagnosis.
Recognizing the symptoms of autism
Autism is a complex bio-neurological developmental disability that is complicated even further by the various ways people exhibit its symptoms. No two children with autism behave in the same way, so symptoms that are identifiable in one youngster will not necessarily be present in another. Learning the various ways that autism can manifest itself can be a good first step toward understanding the condition. The National Autism Association notes that autism is a spectrum disorder, which means it can range from very mild to very severe cases. But the organization Autism Speaks notes that many people with autism have sensory issues that typically involve over- or under-sensitivities to sounds, lights, touch, tastes, smells, pain, and other stimuli. Autism Speaks also indicates that people with autism may experience social communication challenges and exhibit restricted and repetitive behaviors. Social communication challenges Difficulty with verbal and non-verbal communication affects both children and adults with autism.Treatment, especially when
it begins in early childhood, can help people with autism overcome some of these difficulties, which include: • understanding spoken language • using spoken language appropriately • understanding or appropriately using gestures • making eye contact • understanding or appropriately using facial expressions • understanding or appropriately using tone of voice People with autism also may not understand that certain expressions are not meant to be taken literally. Autism Speaks also notes that additional social challenges may indicate the presence of autism. Such challenges can include difficulty with: • recognizing emotions and intentions in others • recognizing one’s own emotions • expressing emotions • seeking emotional comfort from others • feeling overwhelmed in social situations • taking turns in conversation • gauging personal space Restricted and repetitive behaviors Behaviors associated with autism vary greatly across the spectrum. Someone with mild autism may not exhibit any such behaviors, while they may be instantly recognizable in others elsewhere on the spectrum. Autism Speaks notes that these behaviors may include: • repetitive body movements, such as rocking, flapping, spinning, or running back and forth • repetitive motions with objects, such as spinning wheels, shaking sticks and flipping levers • staring at lights or spinning objects • ritualistic behavior, such as lining up objects or repeatedly touching objects in a set order • narrow or extreme interests in specific topics • a need for unvarying routine and a resistance to change. For example, someone with autism may need the same daily schedule and may need to eat the same meal menu and wear the clothes each day. Autism is a complicated disorder that is often recognizable in young children by the time they reach their third birthdays. Parents who suspect their child might have autism can discuss their concerns with their child’s pediatricians.
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