Tadpole's Outdoor Blog

July 31, 2013

On The Bright Side – Mary Howell

Filed under: Uncategorized — Freddie Keel @ 6:32 am


The month of July kicked off with the residents of Hemphill Care Center celebrating America’s 237th birthday. We enjoyed eating hotdogs, hamburgers, ice cream, cake, apple pie, and watermelon, which are all America’s favorite treats. The 4th of July party was sponsored by the VFW Ladies Auxiliary Post #10351.

We sang patriotic songs during the Monday afternoon visit with the Hope Family Clowns of Lake Area Hospice.

Congratulations go to Resident of the Month Jim Curry. He often shells peas and cracks pecans for the kitchen staff.

The Resident Council named Lisa Lane and Lois Thomas as Employees of the Month. Lisa serves as Director of Nursing and Lois serves as Supervisor of Housekeeping.

Kelli from East Texas Home Health was named Volunteer of the Month of July. We enjoy playing bingo with Kelli.

We also had fun playing bingo and domino bingo with our July sponsors: Hemphill Church of Christ, Brother G from Heart to Heart Hospice, Parkway Baptist Church, Carletta from Consolidated Healthcare Services, and Blair from Texas Home Health.

We enjoyed singing along with the Pineywood Pick’rs.

Our laundry workers Molly, Patty, and Linny were honored with an appreciation party July 18th.

In recognition of the ice cream cone’s birthday our activities staff served us ice cream cones which we enjoyed very much.

Worship services and gospel singing were sponsored by the following churches: Fairdale Baptist Church, Bethel Chapel Baptist Church, Community Fellowship Church, Hemphill First Baptist Church, Hemphill Church of Christ, Antioch Missionary Baptist Church, Parkway Baptist Church, Bethany Baptist Church, and the Harvest Assembly of God Church.

Our appreciation goes to Billy and Mary Perimon for donating fresh black-eyed peas from their garden. The guys and ladies enjoyed a pea shelling party in the lobby Friday afternoon. Many hands made the job go quickly.

The July birthday party, hosted by Brandi of Harbor Hospice, was in honor of the following residents: Artie Rash, Wilma Graves, Louis Scott, Marilyn Riordan, Lorene Jones, Neva Poindexter, and Mary Green.

Today we look forward to our 5th Annual Homemade Ice Cream Contest which will be held at 2 p.m. We invite our friends to participate in the contest.

Thanks to all our staff, volunteers, and friends who help to give us days on the bright side.


July 31, 2013

July 30, 2013

Yamaha Pro Kelly Jordon Offers Summer Bassing Tips

Filed under: Fishing & Hunting — Freddie Keel @ 5:55 am

There’s a good reason tournament angler Kelly Jordon describes the hot months of summer as one of his favorite bass fishing seasons. The Yamaha Pro follows fish from shallow water to deep during the day, a technique he learned during years of guiding at Lake Fork in Texas.

Jordan advises starting around brushy cover at daybreak in depths as shallow as two feet–but says fish move deeper as the sun rises.

“The key to following bass in summer is fishing an area that has some type of route like an old roadbed, a tree line, or a creek channel leading from the shallows to deep water nearby,” Jordon emphasizes. “The bass move back and forth between shallow water and deep, so finding a shallow flat, a long point, or a cove that gradually falls into deeper depths is always worth trying.

“This movement may not be more than a hundred yards, or it may be 300 to 400 yards. It depends on what the deeper water offers the bass. At the same time, if there is abundant shallow cover, particularly hydrilla or some other thick vegetation, the bass will usually stay shallow longer, too.”

Jordon strongly recommends starting a July or August day of bass fishing 30 to 45 minutes before daylight because that is when fish are most likely to be in very shallow water. He believes these bass may be the same fish that moved shallow to feed during the night, and they’re extremely susceptible to topwater lures like buzz baits and frogs.

Jordan throws a buzzbait at dawn, but often switches to a crankbait as the morning draws on.

“This shallow bite does not last long after the sun rises,” the Yamaha Pro continues, “so I really like a buzz bait because I can make long casts and cover a lot of water. I try to key on cover like logs and laydowns, lily pads, and rocks, and generally in just two feet of water or less. I work the cover thoroughly, too, usually making two or three casts to the same object with a slow, steady retrieve to give a fish plenty of time to hit it.”

When this early, shallow water action ends, the Yamaha Pro changes to a shallow running crankbait, often a square bill model, and begins fishing slightly deeper water down to five or six feet. He may also try flipping soft plastics if the cover is thick enough, but his primary choice is the crankbait.

“What I’m trying to do is take advantage of all my options in relatively shallow water before the fish move,” Jordon continues. “Frequently, I’ll fish the same cover with the crankbait that I fished with the buzz bait, simply because it has such a different action. Buzz baits bring reaction strikes, while the crankbait may entice more of a feeding strike.”

When this bite does end, Jordon moves further out to 12- to 20-foot depths, studying his electronics to locate both steeper depth changes as well as possible schools of baitfish. If he has found a creek channel or even a ditch leading from the shallow water toward deeper water, this is where he concentrates his search. If he’s been fishing a point, he just keeps following it further and further out in the deeper water.

The Yamaha pro says fish may move up to 400 yards seeking deeper water as the sun rises, but smart anglers can learn to follow them and continue the action.

“I’ll really cover this water thoroughly with a deep diving crankbait, grinding it along the bottom across any breaklines from shallow water to deep,” he explains. “Places I really look for are bends in a channel, and cover like rocks, stumps, and flooded timber. I just keep working further out into the deeper water because I know eventually I will find the fish again.

Jordon emphasizes the importance of looking for baitfish, especially shad, as he moves into this deeper zone. Baitfish make this same movement, and the bass follow them. They show up on electronics because they’ll gather in large schools, and the bass will hover just below them.

“Summer bass fishing doesn’t need to be a long, hot exercise in deep water crankbaiting or dragging plastic worms along the bottom,” concludes the Yamaha Pro. “As long as a fisherman is willing to start fishing early, he will nearly always find some bass in shallow water, and this can be a truly magical time to be on the water.

“Then all you need to do is change your lures and gradually work out into deeper water. You really can follow the bass as they make this movement.”

July 29, 2013

lots of hogs on our farm

Filed under: Fishing & Hunting,Hogs — Freddie Keel @ 6:30 am

hogs_070613nice healthy pigs


hogs_071413they should be healthy,

as they feed under our feeders

day and night.

But lo unto them,

they better watch for the Tadpole.

July 28, 2013


Filed under: Neal Murphy — Freddie Keel @ 5:53 am



The spittoon has just about disappeared from the scene.  In the late 19th century United States, spittoons were a very common feature in pubs, brothels, saloons, hotels, stores, banks, court rooms, and other places where people gathered. I recall seeing spittoons scattered around in our Court House, and even in churches as a young lad.spittoon

The present generation probably has never seen one of these receptacles as they have about worked their way out of our society.  However, I can almost guarantee that most of their great grandparents used them.  Most men used chewing tobacco, Days Work, being a good example.  Most women dipped snuff, Garrett Snuff, another good example.  Chewing and dipping tobacco required a place to spit, and in the late 1800s it was usually the floor or sidewalk.

I remember my father, Cecil, who was a painting and paperhanging contractor before he was elected County Clerk in 1936, telling of giving the pastor of a rural church an estimate on painting the inside.  He asked the preacher what color of paint he wanted from the floor to about three feet up the wall.  The pastor thought a moment then said, “The closest color to Garrett snuff that you can find.”  Apparently the chewing members were often missing the spittoons and splattering tobacco juice on the walls.

Brass was the most common material for the spittoon.  However, materials for mass production of spittoons ranged from iron to elaborately crafted cut glass and fine porcelain.  At higher class places like expensive hotels, spittoons would be elaborately decorated.

Spittoons were flat-bottomed, often weighted to minimize tipping over, and often with an interior “lip” to make spilling less likely if they tip. Some had lids, but they were rather rare.  Some had holes, sometimes with a plug, to aid in draining and cleaning.

Amazingly, the use of spittoons was considered an advance of public manners and health, intended to replace previously common spitting on floors, streets, and sidewalks.  Many towns passed laws against spitting in public other than into a spittoon.  Around 1909 the Boy Scouts organized campaigns to paint “Do Not Spit On The Sidewalk” notices on city sidewalks.  This campaign caught hold with members of the Anti-Tuberculosis League who painted thousands of such messages in a single day.  Soon signs were seen in saloons that read:

If you expect to rate as a gentleman

Do not expectorate on the floor.

After the great 1918 flu epidemic, both hygiene and etiquette advocates began to disparage public use of the spittoon, and use began to decline.  Chewing gum replaced tobacco as the favorite chew of the younger generation.  Cigarettes were considered more hygienic than chewing and dipping tobacco.  While it was still not unusual to see spittoons in some public places in parts of the United States as late as the 1930s, vast numbers of old brass spittoons met their ends in the scrap metal drives of World War II.spittoon1

While spittoons are still made, they are no longer commonly found in public places. A rare profession which commonly uses spittoons is that of a wine taster.  A wine taster will sip samples of wine and then spit into a spittoon in order to avoid alcohol intoxication.

Strangely, each Justice of the United States Supreme Court has a spittoon next to his or her seat in the courtroom.  However, the spittoons function merely as wastebaskets; the last time the spittoon was used for its customary purpose was in the early 20th century.  In addition, tradition makes it necessary for the U.S. Senate to have spittoons spread across the Senate Chamber to this day.

In this the 21st century, people who still chew and dip tobacco have generally made for themselves a small portable spittoon called a “spit cup”.  This consists of a Styrofoam cup with a paper napkin stuffed inside which is carried on their person and kept rather private and hidden.  For this we are very appreciative.

Spittoons are now the objects of collectors.  The largest collection of the cuspidors can be found at Duke Homestead State Historic Site in Durham, North Carolina.  This museum boasts of 382 spittoons, claimed to be the world’s largest collection.  Personally, they are welcome to all of them.






PO BOX 511


July 27, 2013

Boat Thievies Beware

Filed under: Fishing & Hunting — Freddie Keel @ 6:13 am

Texas Parks and Wildlife Creates New Marine Investigations Unit

AUSTIN – Texas Parks and Wildlife Department’s Law Enforcement Division has formed a new Marine Investigations Unit made up of Texas game wardens who will work to combat boat theft, personal watercraft theft and related fraud.

The new unit, part of the Law Enforcement Division’s Special Operations section, will operate on a statewide basis. The nine game wardens assigned to the new unit met together for the first time earlier this week for initial training and equipment issuance.

“While all 532 Texas game wardens handle boat and personal watercraft theft as part of their routine duties, we believe this new unit will help TPWD better focus on these high dollar crimes,” said Chief of Special Operations Grahame Jones. “Not only are we interested in apprehending thieves and recovering stolen boats, we think the new unit will be able to proactively prevent some offenses.”

The wardens assigned to the new unit will be the regional contacts for all marine theft, tax fraud, and title fraud investigations, said Capt. Greg Williford, who will supervise the new unit along with Sgt. Ned Nichols.  Williford said all wardens will continue working these types of investigations, but will be passing on intelligence to the new unit and otherwise working with the wardens assigned to the unit.

“TPWD handles $47 million a year in boat registration fees,” Williford said. “Unfortunately, it’s pretty tempting for boat owners or thieves to try to dodge registration fees or otherwise commit fraud.  And when it comes to boat theft, Texas always ranks in the top three states nation-wide. There is only a 10 percent recovery rate compared with roughly 70 percent in vehicle theft. With this new unit, we want to get that boat recovery percentage heading upward in Texas.”

By TPWD Law Enforcement Division region, the wardens assigned to the new unit (and their office telephone number) include:

Region I

  • Ryan Hunter — 806-683-6207

Region II

  • Mike Stephens — 214-632-6107
  • Clint Borchardt — 817-343-8812

Region III

  • Turk Jones — 254-534-4212
  • Tracy Large — 830-660-6553

Region IV

  • Alan Biggerstaff — 979-412-3101
  • Robbie Smith — 409-658-4446

Region V

  • Derek Reeder 361-727-7051
  • Michael McCall 830-660-9447

Anyone with any information regarding boat theft or boat registration fraud in Texas is urged to call the 24-hour Operation Game Thief hotline at 1-800-792-4263.

July 26, 2013

snake eats Goanna

Filed under: Misc — Freddie Keel @ 6:45 am

It took a total of 5 hours for the snake to finish off the Goanna (Sand Monitor).  As you can see, they put some signs up so it wouldn’t be run over.” Snake eating a lizard in Arizona
Snake eating a lizard in Arizona
Snake eating a lizard in Arizona
Snake eating a lizard in Arizona
Snake eating a lizard in Arizona
Snake eating a lizard in Arizona
Snake eating a lizard in Arizona
Snake eating a lizard in Arizona
Snake eating a lizard in Arizona
Snake eating a lizard in Arizona
Snake eating a lizard in Arizona
Snake eating a lizard in Arizona
Snake eating a lizard in Arizona
Snake eating a lizard in Arizona
Snake eating a lizard in Arizona
Snake eating a lizard in Arizona
Snake eating a lizard in Arizona

July 25, 2013

On The Bright Side – Mary Howell

Filed under: Mary Howell — Freddie Keel @ 6:42 am


The children of today are missing out on lots of fun!  They do not know about the simple things with which to play.  They would never dream of playing the simple games of yesteryear. 


Since I am classified as a baby boomer, I remember how much fun it was just to play games or play with an imaginary friend.


Some of my earliest memories bring thoughts of Ring Around The Roses, London Bridge, and Red Rover.  London Bridge and Ring Around The Roses had songs that we sang as we played.  When we played Red Rover, the boys and girls would line up together and form a hand chain. Then we took turns saying “Red Rover, Red Rover, let Susie or Johnny come over”. Then the one who was called would run over to try to break the chain.  The winning chain had the longest line.


In the late 1950 hula hoops became the popular toy.  Kids of all ages wanted one and we were even allowed to take them to school to play with during recess.


Little boys would come to school with their pockets full of marbles or jacks. They would dig a small hole in the ground and then get so many feet away from the hole and try to shoot as many marbles as they could in the hole.   They also loved to pitch washers and sometimes, horseshoes.


Little girls enjoyed making playhouses by laying sticks to mark off the outline of the house and rooms.  Sometimes we used leaves and branches for dishes on which to serve our mud pies.


Children of yesteryear enjoyed playing hopscotch and Mother, May I.  We also would spend hours searching for four-leaf clovers.  Sometimes we would lace flowers together to put in our hair and pretend we were fairies.


Mumbly Peg was a favorite game to play with a pocket knife.  If a child took a pocket knife to school today, he would be sent home! It was fun to catch lightning bugs and put them in a jar and see how bright the light would be.


At our house, we played dominoes, Old Maids, Pick Up Sticks, Scrabble and ping-pong.  We put together jigsaw puzzles and played with Slinkies.


My young friends and I had fun cutting out paper dolls from the McCall’s magazine and Sears Roebuck catalogue.  One of my sister’s favorite games was to play hide and go seek. We would try to hide so that our boy cousins could not find us.  One would cover their eyes while the others ran to hide.  It was more fun to play at night.


After a hard day of playing outside, we would come in the house, eat supper, get ready for bed, do our homework, then we were treated to a snack of popcorn and kool-aid or cookies and milk.


Children of today miss out on the joy of reading books such as The Bobbsey Twins, Heidi, The Hardy Boys, Nancy Drew mysteries, and Little Women.  Who could ever forget the Little Golden Books such as The Poky Little Puppy, Pantaloon and the Night Before Christmas. 


It is my hope that this column will bring back happy memories of childhood days to my readers who are now considered to be seasoned adults.


Today’s technology has robbed children of the pleasures that gave the baby boomers a life on the bright side.

July 24, 2013

you need this for your boat

Filed under: Fishing & Hunting — Freddie Keel @ 6:18 am

The Brandon, Florida, flats-angler turned CEO of a very successful national company thanks to introduction of his Power-Pole automatic anchor some 13 years ago, scored another big first at the International Convention of Allied Sportfishing Trades-ICAST–in Las Vegas, Nevada July 9-12 when his new electric anchoring system for small boats, the Power-Pole Micro Anchor, was named Best of Show among the hundreds of new products debuting at the event.

The new anchor is one more step in Oliverio’s development of the Power-Pole lineup, which began on the flats of Tampa Bay when the angler sought a fast, silent way to anchor his flats boat. Prior to the Power-Pole, anglers used a push-pole plunged into the bottom, or struggled with a noisy, messy anchor to secure their boat within range of prime fishing holes.

Oliverio built the first model of his original Power-Pole out of Lego blocks, and cobbled the first working model together in his garage. He found a partner to invest some seed money and began building the first production models in a rented shed in West Brandon about 2000.

“When we put one on a boat in the Redfish Tour competitions, the demand went crazy,” Oliverio recalls. “Everybody wanted one when they saw how easy it was to position the boat or just stop it cold when you saw a tailing fish.”


By 2005 he had sold 5,000 and had eight employees. That turned out to be just the beginning, however.

As soon as the popularity of the poles spread to the bass fishing community-far larger than the flats angling population along the coasts-demand skyrocketed. Most tournament anglers now boast not one but two of the $1995 units on the transom of their competition boats, and the anchoring systems are sold from Maine to California. Models designed to anchor at depths from 4 feet to 10 feet are available, all with silent, fast remote control systems.


This year, the company, JL Marine Systems, moved into a large, modern factory on Palm River Road in Tampa, and with the Best of Show Award, seems poised to make the same sort of impact on the burgeoning kayak/canoe market as they have on inshore and bass fishing boats.

The new Micro Anchor weighs just 10 pounds and can be run on a lightweight, portable lithium-ion battery as well as a conventional 12-volt battery. It can anchor at depths to 8.5 feet, and includes a remote fob-type control. A USB connection allows for quick software updates, and there’s also Bluetooth connection which allows controlling the motor via Android cell phone.

“Kayak anglers will be a big market, but the Micro can stop a boat up to 1500 pounds, so it’s going to be a good choice for aluminum bass boats, jon boats, any small boat,” says Oliverio.


Price is about $995 for the small boats.    For the large bass boats, the cost might be $5,000 for a pair depending on factors such as length (depth), remote, hydraulics, etc.    These will not help the deep water fisherman.

July 23, 2013

Dogs to find wounded deer?

Filed under: Fishing & Hunting — Freddie Keel @ 6:11 am

Public comment sought on using dogs to find wounded deer

HELPING THE SEARCH: Most hunters can follow a bloodtrail that looks like this, but having a dog can prove invaluable when tracking a wounded deer that doesn’t leave much blood.

Hunters that wound deer in 12 East Texas counties could receive some four-legged help this hunting season.

Hunters could use dogs to trail a wounded deer in 12 counties in East Texas, a practice that has been prohibited in this area of the state since 1990, under a proposal being considered by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department.

A series of public meetings will be held to provide details of the proposal and give the public an opportunity to comment. The Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission is expected to take action on the proposed change at its August 22.

In 1990 TPWD adopted rules prohibiting the use of dogs to trail wounded deer in 34 East Texas counties. The rulemaking was necessary because the department determined that dogs were being used unlawfully to hunt deer, which was causing depletion of the resource.

By 2000, TPWD determined that the practice of using dogs to hunt deer had declined to the point of being nonexistent in some of those counties and removed the prohibition in 10 of those counties. TPWD now believes the prohibition could be lifted in an additional 12 counties, including: Harris, Harrison, Houston, Jefferson, Liberty, Montgomery, Panola, Polk, Rusk, San Jacinto, Trinity, and Walker.

Details about the proposal, along with an opportunity to provide public comment, can be found online at http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/business/feedback/public_comment/proposals/201308_deer_dog.phtml . Comment may also be made in writing to Robert Macdonald, TPWD Regulations Coordinator, 4200 Smith School Rd., Austin, TX 78744, in person at any of the following public hearings or at the TPWD annual public hearing on Aug. 21 at 2 p.m. at the above address.

TPWD Public Hearing Calendar

All meetings are set to begin at 6 p.m.

  • Tuesday, July 30 in Woodville at the Woodville Elementary School Community Room, 306 Kirby Drive.
  • Wednesday, July 31 in Lufkin at the Angelina County Courthouse District Courtroom, 215 East Lufkin Avenue.
  • Thursday, Aug. 1 in Hemphill at the Sabine County Courthouse District Courtroom, 201 Main Street.

July 22, 2013

time to pick cucumbers and make pickles

Every year about this time,

my wife gets into the pickle making mode.

IMG_1194This year was tough on getting good stand of cucumbers.

We planted three different times

as each time we planted,

it seem to flood and drown the plants.


Once we get plenty of cucumbers for pickles,

we will put out a sign for

“free cucumbers”.


After collecting cucumbers.

they are washed.



Then the jars are washed.



The cucumbers are stuffed into pint jars.

Then she adds Dill, Garlic and Pickling Salt

plus other ingredients.



About every ten days the jars are

turned over.



She will make around 300 jars of  pickles

which will include ‘bread n butter’, hot dill

and regular dill.


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