Tadpole's Outdoor Blog

May 31, 2012

Our favorite tennis player

Filed under: Family — Freddie Keel @ 6:04 am


May 30, 2012

On The Bright Side – May 30,2012 – Mary Howell

Filed under: Mary Howell — Freddie Keel @ 6:26 am

On The Bright Side

Mary Howell


The residents of Hemphill Care Center enjoyed a wide variety of activities during the month of May.

We celebrated important dates such as Mother’s Day, Coca Cola’s birthday, and National Nursing Home Week.

Our resident council selected Leola Miller as Resident of the Month, Brandi from Harbor Hospice as Volunteer of the Month, and Gina Jackson and Cassie Markham as Employees of the Month.

We received blessings when we sang and worshipped with the following churches throughout the month: Fairdale Baptist, Bethel Chapel Baptist, Community Fellowship, First Baptist, Church of Christ, Parkway Baptist, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and Bethany Baptist.         

The Care Center mothers were honored with a Mother’s Day party sponsored by the VFW Ladies Auxiliary Post 10351. Connie White took the honor of being the oldest mother, with Sherry Mobley as the youngest, and Bobbie Garrett as the mother with the most children.

We enjoyed playing bingo with Carletta, Juanita, Lorene, and Brother G as well as Parkway Baptist Church and Hemphill Church of Christ. We say ‘thank you’ for the great bingo prizes given by our volunteers.           

We enjoyed delicious summer-time treats such as popsicles, popcorn, ice-cream cones, pizza, chips and dip, pies and cakes, cookies and Kool-Aid, and doughnuts provided by our activities staff, Macedonia Baptist Mission Ladies, and other volunteers.        

The Hemphill Garden Club helped us make flower arrangements to decorate our rooms for Mother’s Day. They presented ribbons to the bouquet winners and showed pictures of activities sponsored by the Garden Club for the past year. We look forward to seeing our Garden Club friends again in September.

Our sympathy goes out to the family of Thelma Reed who passed away May 22nd.

Happy Birthday wishes are extended to: Lowana Walters, James Patterson, Edgar Smith, Baxter Faires, Lois Claborn, and Bennie Beckham.  

One of the highlights of the month was our outdoor movie night when we watched “We Bought a Zoo”. The movie along with the May matinee movies were furnished by Hornet Express Video in Hemphill.

On Friday, May 18, Gina Jackson was honored with a farewell party. She served as our dietary manager for the past 7 years. We say a great big ‘thank you’ for a job well done!

Rene Hyden will be assuming the duties of the dietary manager. She has served as our activities director for more than 10 years. We thank her for her dedication in planning all of our activities.

I say a personal ‘thank you’ to Rene for helping me write about Hemphill Care Center activities for the past 22 months. Karen Underwood has volunteered to assist me in writing about the Care Center’s activities during the upcoming months.

We extend a warm welcome to Melissa Williams who will be our new activities director. We wish her the best in her new position. We anticipate future events that Melissa has planned for us to give us a day on the bright side. 



May 30, 2012   

May 29, 2012

We try to teach our grand-kids no to fear God’s creatures

Filed under: Family — Freddie Keel @ 6:55 am

Luke learns to respect a turtle

and how to properly hold one.


Brett is not “The Turtle Man” but he is a little braver.

May 28, 2012

Top Five Foes of Fishing

Filed under: Fishing & Hunting — Freddie Keel @ 6:48 am

While spring means warmer waters, active fish, and anglers making casts across America, take note that there are groups working to prevent you from ever making another cast-or from catching any fish, anywhere. Here are the U.S. Sportsmen’s Alliance’s Top Five Foes of Fishing:

• Center for Biological Diversity: This Tucson-based, lawsuit-centered group has twice petitioned the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to ban the use of lead-based fishing tackle products. After a rejection in 2010, CBD filed a second petition in November 2011 requesting that the EPA again ban lead fishing tackle in all U.S. waters under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA). This was again rejected with more tax dollars wasted because of CBD’s efforts.

• Sierra Club: This environmental group joined with Earthjustice, The Wilderness Society, and others to reinstate the Roadless Rule in national forests. Parts of the plan would block access for anglers to rivers and lakes.

• PETA: This anti-fishing group often performs weird and wacky stunts to make fishing less attractive to kids. PETA also sought to rename a highway rest stop near Troutville, Virginia as “Fishing Hurts” as well as promoted a nationwide anti-fishing campaign entitled “Save our Schools.” More examples of how PETA thinks fish are like people can be found at www.nofishing.org.

• Ocean Conservancy: Is an environmental group working to create Marine Protection Areas (MPA’s)-which are off-limit ocean parks-that will prevent anglers from having access to fish and waterfronts, including public lands and beaches. The OC is pushing to expand this restrictive “off-limits” system along California’s entire coastline-and beyond.

• Environmental Defense Fund: Another environmental group that’s also working to increase areas off-limits to fishing. The group’s website boasts that: “underwater wilderness areas, called marine protection areas (MPAs), are an important tool to rebuild fish populations and revitalize ocean ecosystems. Such areas are off-limits to offshore oil drilling and mining, and all types of fishing may be restricted or banned.” Yes, they are working to stop fishing, including your fishing access.

May 27, 2012








My grandmother, Mary, decided that this would be a great question to send in to the Crazy Water Crystal Program – “What is the horizon?”  My grandmother listened faithfully to this radio program which was broadcast  from the lobby of the Crazy Water Hotel in Mineral Wells, Texas from 1935 through 1941.

I was around five years old at the time.  My grandmother baby sat with me  while my mother worked in her beauty shop, and she listened to her favorite radio program which the NBC radio network broadcast  nationwide.  As I recall the program consisted of a variety of early country western and Bluegrass music, along with a few comedians.  And then there was a part of the daily program which invited listeners to send them hard-to-answer posers.

Of course I was too young to appreciate from whence the program emanated, or anything about the “Crazy Water” or the hotel.  The majestic Crazy Water Hotel was built in 1927 by Carr Collins at a cost of $1,000,000, a tidy sum in those days.  It was built on the site of the third well dug in Mineral Wells in 1881. The hotel contained over 200 guest rooms, a spacious lobby and incorporated the Crazy Water Pavilion.  The top floor of the hotel had a glass enclosed ballroom  which opened onto a rooftop garden.

Local legend holds that an insane woman was cured after drinking from the “Crazy Spring” located at the pavilion.  Thus the name Crazy Water and the “Crazy Well” came into use.  During the depression era, The Crazy Water Company focused on sales of their crystals – a snowy white residue left from the evaporation of their waters.  Their “Crazy Gang” explained how their elixir could be reconstituted with tap water, giving folks all the benefits without having to leave home.   The company’s motto was “Every Home Needs Crazy Crystals” and appeared on their box which sold for sixty cents.

The company claimed that its miracle crystals could cure hysteria, insomnia, rheumatism, diabetes, gout, Bright’s disease, malaria, or high blood pressure.

Mary Martin, a native of Weatherford, Texas, appeared in Crazy shows before she attained Broadway and Hollywood  stardom.  The hotel hosted numerous dignitaries to listen to prominent big-band orchestras.  It was also the site for weekly radio shows, weddings, galas, cotillions, and dinners.  A few guests who failed to correctly sign the guest register include Machine Gun Kelly as well as Bonnie and Clyde.

While all this history about the hotel was interesting, I was interested only in having my question “What, Is The Horizon?” answered and my name heard on the radio.  So, we mailed the letter and waited, and waited some more.  Finally, one day my grandmother received a letter from Mineral Wells which contained unwelcome news.  The Crazy Water Crystal Program had declined use of our question.  I was sorely disappointed as I knew the answer – “The horizon is the place where the earth and sky appear to come together.”

To add insult to injury several weeks later we heard our question being asked by another person on the program.  I felt sure that we had been done an injustice.  It never occurred to me that they probably already had the question from someone else when they received mine.  So much for my escapade into radio programs.  But, even today, when I recall that event of so long ago I feel a slight rush of disappointment that our plan did not work out.

For over one hundred years, the Crazy Hotel has served four strengths of water from its pavilion.  It can no longer claim that it cures many illnesses that plague man.  It also cannot claim a letter from a young boy and his grandmother who asked a simple question.


About the Author

Neal Murphy resides in his birthplace, San Augustine, Texas, with his wife Clara. He has two children, Kay Fatheree, a pastor’s wife now living in Abilene, Texas, and Douglas Murphy, a police officer in North Carolina, and has five grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. Neal earned a bachelor of business administration degree from Stephen F. Austin State University in Nacogdoches, Texas, and a master’s degree in insurance from the Insurance Institute of America. He also attended Baylor University in Waco, Texas, where he studied religion courses. He is a deacon at a Baptist Church, has taught Sunday school classes, and directed church choirs for many years. He began his writing in 2005, and many of his short stories about his life growing up in a small Texas town have been published in Reminisce Magazine, Good Old Days Magazine, Looking Back Magazine, and the Town Square Magazine. He had a story included in Memories of Mother, a book published by Xulon Press. Another story was published in the book Dear Old Golden School Days published by the DRG Publishing Group. He published a book, From the Heart of a Country Preacher, by Xulon Press in 2006. His second book entitled Those Were the Days was published by Xlibris Inc. in 2007. In 2008 he published another book, The Psalms—From the Heart of a Country Preacher, by Xlibris Inc. He is a founding member of the Deep East Texas Literary Guild of San Augustine, Texas, founded in 2009. He has weekly stories in the San Augustine Tribune and the Toledo Chronicle, an online newspaper. He has a monthly story in the Shelby County Today online newspaper.

May 26, 2012

Watch these brave boys release a big boar raccoon.

Filed under: Family — Freddie Keel @ 6:43 am

We are covered-up with Raccoons, Squirrels and Rabbits.

Our live traps are catching animals daily.

The grand-sons bait, set the traps

and release the animals.

May 25, 2012

Mother having a good day.

Filed under: Family — Freddie Keel @ 3:48 pm

Jug Fishing

Without his good help,

he would not catch many fish.

May 24, 2012

Golf Champions

Filed under: Buddies — Freddie Keel @ 6:46 am

Rev. B. T. Skelton  (fourth from left) led his team of Jay Pennington, Clyde Brewer, Ed Johnson and Freddie Keel

to the winner’s circle in the Pendleton Harbor Golf Tournament with a score of eleven under par.

On The Bright Side – May 23, 2011- Mary Howell

Filed under: Mary Howell — Freddie Keel @ 6:41 am

On The Bright Side

Mary Howell


An Open Letter to the Class of 2012.


You will soon be completing your high school education,  This will be the biggest accomplishment for you thus far.


You have completed twelve, thirteen or fourteen years of study with your friends.  Some of you may not see each other on a day-to-day basis as you have in the past.  You are now going separate ways and you may not see each other but once or twice in the future.


I would like to encourage you to put God first in your life and love your parents and family members. They are the ones who care about you the most.  Life will be different for you now.  You will be responsible for the decisions you make.  You will no longer be secure under your parents roof.


Some of you will continue your education in college.  I encourage you to choose the subjects that interest you the most.  Some of your friends may choose a military career in service of our country.


When you choose a career, make sure that it is one that will be  financially secure and one that will bring satisfaction to you.  Respect your bosses and your co-workers.  Save your money for your future.  If possible, put aside one to two hours pay each day for a rainy day.  Never spend your money before you earn it and never spend your last dollar.


Save time for your family if you choose to marry and have children.  Make their care a priority.


Avoid habits that will be harmful to your health.  The way you take care of your body when you are young will determine your health when you are old.



I congratulate you on your graduation from Hemphill High School. West Sabine high School and Brookeland High School.  May God bless you as you begin a new journey in your life.


May 23, 2012

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