The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

November 15, 2012

Mike Pound: LifeChoices tour worth taking in this weekend

By Mike Pound

— I am right, and my wife is crazy.

That’s the word from a professional decorator who responded to what I believed was a thoughtful, carefully worded question regarding my wife’s penchant (it’s a word; I looked it up) for covering our home with pillows.

“What’s the deal with pillows?” I asked Margie Moss. She and Suzanne Boulware own Joplin Decorating Center at 2027 S. Roosevelt Ave.

It was by way of answering my insightful question that Margie told me that I was right and my wife was crazy. Well, she didn’t actually say my wife was crazy, and to be honest, she didn’t actually say I was right. But she didn’t say I was wrong, either.

I think that’s something.

“Pillows are a quick, inexpensive way to give a room a new look,” Margie said. That sort of sounds like my wife is right when it comes to pillows, but when I explained my side of the story, Margie changed her tune.

“Maybe your wife might want to minimize the pillows,” Margie said.

OK, so Margie didn’t exactly change her tune, and I guess she didn’t really say that my wife was crazy, but she did suggest that my wife get rid of all the pillows in our house.

At least that’s how I interpret what Margie said.

I was talking to Margie because she and a group of seven or eight other professional decorators are putting the finishing touches on the LifeChoices 2012 Holiday Homes Tour and Christmas Boutique. Rita Lawson is the development director for LifeChoices. She said the not-for-profit organization provides free, confidential assistance for people going through a sexual crisis such as an unplanned pregnancy and to those who have a sexually transmitted disease.

“In 2011, LifeChoices saw over 2,000 individuals and provided more than 6,000 services,” Rita said.

The folks with LifeChoices do good work, and the money raised during the Holiday Homes Tour makes much of that work possible.

The Holiday Homes Tour will be held this weekend. On Saturday, home tours will run from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and on Sunday, the tours will run from 1 to 5 p.m. Tickets are $20 in advance and $25 the day of the tour. Tickets are available at Oasis Salon and Day Spa, 2915 E. 29th St., or at LifeChoices, 531 E. Seventh St. Tickets on the days of the event may be purchased at any of the four homes on the tour. Information and a map of the homes on the tour are available on the LifeChoices website at, lifevoices is correct.

I spent about half an hour Thursday walking through one of the houses on the tour, and even a style moron such as myself was impressed. I was amazed at the number of folks who were running around the house doing decorating things. See, what the homeowners basically do is turn their houses over to strangers for two weeks. Of course, in return the homeowners get a nicely decorated home for the holidays.

Rita told me that it takes hundreds of volunteers working “millions of hours” to make the tour possible. She said the volunteers gladly give up their time, and the homeowners gladly provide access to their homes.

“They all do it because they believe so strongly in what we do,” Rita said.

The LifeChoices 2012 Holiday Homes Tour is a neat deal. If you can, you might want to take it in. If you do and you happen to run into a professional decorator, do me a favor and ask about the pillows.

DO YOU HAVE AN IDEA for Mike Pound’s column? Call him at 417-623-3480, ext. 7259, or email him at Follow him on Twitter @mikepoundglobe.