Wednesday, October 10th


by Melissa Jones

Posted on October 10, 2012 at 8:11 AM



6101 Chapel Hill Boulevard #103  Plano, TX 75093
(469) 467-4880







Jennifer Boswell Pickens is a White House social expert, speaker, and event planner.  She has personally interviewed dozens of White House insiders, including First Families, social secretaries, chiefs of staff, presidential aides, and White House Executive Residence staff.  Her first book, holiday top-seller Christmas at the White House, was the first to fully and accurately document the lavish public and private Christmas decorations, celebrations, themes, traditions, and memories of more than 50 years of First Families.  And, like its predecessor, Pets at the White House includes intimate contributions from living former First Families.  An accomplished historian, Pickens has served on the Texas Historical Records Advisory Board, Friends of the SMU Library, and on other civic and prominent boards.  She is a graduate of Southern Methodist University and lives in Dallas with her husband, four daughters, and their pets.



In her first book since her bestseller, The Orchid Thief, Orlean, a New Yorker staff writer tells the extraordinary story of the most famous dog in the history of movies and television. The story begins when a young American soldier named Lee Duncan discovers an orphaned German shepherd puppy near a battlefield in France and smuggles him home to California at the end of the war. Duncan, a lonely soul who came of age in an orphanage himself, saw star potential in his new companion, whom he named Rin Tin Tin, or “Rinty.” He shopped Rinty around to the then-fledgling movie houses, and Warner Brothers picked him up—eventually casting him in 23 blockbuster silent films and making him Hollywood’s No. 1 box-office star.

Rinty and his descendants spawned a multi-generational character who lasted well into the 1960s, starring in “talkies,” radio programs and one of the most popular television shows of the Baby Boom era, ABC’s The Adventures of Rin-Tin-Tin. Under Duncan’s devoted guidance, Rinty weathered periods of hard luck and good fortune to become an adored hero and a symbol of America’s limitless promise. Filled with humor and heart, RIN TIN TIN is a dazzling blend of human interest, history, and masterful storytelling, and a testament to the enduring bond between humans and animals.










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Tips for helping a friend through breast cancer


Some friends will run away in fear. Some will disappear because they don't know what to do. Some will stay, cry and make a nuisance of themselves. Don't be that type of friend- be a breast friend.

  Along with the standard friendship support such as going to the doctor with your friend, taking them to chemotherapy and radiation and shopping for wigs, here are additional tips on being a breast friend.


Avoid comparisons. Do not talk about your other friend who had cancer and things went terribly wrong. Do not talk about another friend who bounced back quickly. This puts your friend in the position of comparing her cancer to others. Every case is different and has different results and experiences.


Distract them from the disease. Don't dwell on upcoming surgeries or treatments. Don't allow the conversation to be dominated by facts and stats about the disease. Your friend does not need to feel like a patient in your presence.


Make space for their emotions, but do not let them stay there.  If you can give your friend permission to vent and cry about her cancer, it will give her the release she needs. Remain non-judgmental about her emotions, and keep it moving, do not let her stay there.


Add life.  Take your friend out to events, the park, or shopping. Having cancer sometimes makes people feel boxed in, isolated and lost. Getting out can make a huge difference.


Don't be passive; be assertive with your friend.   Often people will say, "If there is anything I can do, let me know." This comment places the burden on the person with cancer to follow up with the specific ask. Rather offer to do a specific thing. "I can come by and cook dinner on Thursday."  "I am free this week; let me take you to your radiation appointments."



Laugh a lot.   Laughter is the medicine of the soul.  A good laugh takes the pain away for a moment and lets the mind relax. Learn some good, corny jokes, watch sitcoms on TV or go to see a funny movie.