Tadpole's Outdoor Blog

December 25, 2012

From a Tadpole to a Santa

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Tadpole had the privilege of being Santa

for Hemphill Care Center’s Christmas Party.

Santa got lots of hugs from visitors and residents.

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and several hugs from staff

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July 18, 2012

On The Bright Side – Mary Howell – July 18, 2012

On The Bright Side

Mary Howell

 

A few weeks ago, I had the most crazy “sleepless in Hemphill” night.  No matter how hard I tried to doze off, I could not make my brain stop going 90 miles an hour.”

 

It seemed that everyone I knew was having chaos in their lives. I was so worried about my friends that sleep just would not come.

 

A friend was struggling to stay alive after having a critical surgery.  Another friend was having surgery the next day.  A member of my family was scheduled to have a heart procedure facing possible surgery afterward.  Another friend’s grandchild had been hospitalized and in my immediate family my sister had eye surgery.  Two of my dear family members were going to be jobless and homeless the next morning. My prayer list went on and on.  I prayed for each one during the late hours of the night.

 

I was beginning to think we had a full moon that night since everyone seemed to be awake and on the prowl at the Care Center.  I could hear several of my good friends talking and walking in their sleep.  One 90-year-old plus lady walked into my room.  I could not tell if she was awake or rolling her chair in her sleep. She situated her chair beside my bed and propped her feet up.  I began talking to her softly. She did not respond but she made herself comfortable and went to sleep while I was still gently talking to her.

 

So many times,  things look worse and problems look bigger during the night.  But when morning comes, God seems to give us peace when we just turn everything over to him. The Bible tells us that all things work together for good to those who love the Lord and are called according to His purpose.  When we have problems, we should remember that if God brings you to it, that He will take us through it.

 

Phil. 4:13 I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. 

 

July 18, 2012 

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Biography for Mary Howell

Mary Howell is a cerebral palsied quadriplegic who has resided at Hemphill Care Center in Hemphill, Texas since November, 2009.  She lived with her parents until their deaths and then lived in her home with 24/7 caregivers.  Mary has spent her life turning defeat into victory.  Her determination and strong faith in God have been an inspiration to all who know her.

Mary attended Hemphill High School, Wharton Junior College and served as the Editor of the Sabine County Reporter.  She has received numerous awards from the Texas Press Women and the Texas Press Association. for her writing.  Mary wrote and published her autobiography in 2007, Life On The Bright Side.

She has received various awards for her services in the community. She was named as an outstanding citizen, communicator of achievement, and Texas Handicapped Professional Woman of the Year in 1986.  She was among the “Nine Who Make A Difference” selected by KTRE-TV in 1986..

Mary’s love for God makes the difference in her life, enabling her to turn sadness into happiness and apparent defeat into victory.

June 6, 2012

On the Bright Side – June 6, 2012 – Mary Howell

 

The Singer Sewing Machine brings back happy memories of my childhood.

 

Isaac Merrit Singer developed the first commercially successful sewing machine.  Singer spent much of his youth devoted to acting.  When his acting career proved to be unsuccessful, he turned to inventing.

 

Singer was asked to repair a Lerow and Blodgett sewing machine.

A few days later he had designed and built an improved model. His version of the sewing machine was the first to allow continuous and curved stitching with an overhanging arm that held the needle bar over a horizontal table. This made it possible to sew on any part of the work. 

 

Elias  Howe also invented a sewing machine and had the first patent on the machine in 1846.

 

My mother was given her first sewing machine by the friends of the First Baptist church shortly after I was born in 1948.  Mrs. Bobbie Minton gave her sewing lessons and accompanied her to Nacogdoches for the sewing lessons. 

 

Mom’s sewing machine-made it possible for her to sew clothes for Jane, Clara and me. She made all kinds of garments for us.

 

I remember going to sleep by the hum of mother’s sewing machine.  She sewed until the wee hours of the morning to finish a garment for us to wear to school the next day.  I loved to sit at the end of the bed and watch Mother sew. She would give me scraps of material to play with.  I always enjoyed playing in Mom’s button box until one day, I stuck a button up my nose.  That caused an emergency trip to Dr. Winslow’s office to let him remove the button from my nose.  Needless to say, I never did that again! and Dr. Winslow wouldn’t let me live that down.   After almost 60 years, he still teases me about my predicament.

 

Mon’s sewing machine still works even though Mom is not here to sew clothes anymore.

 

Like all good seamstresses, God has given us a pattern to use for our daily lives.  God’s Word, the Bible, is the greatest pattern that we can follow and ask God’s blessings for a life on the bright side.

 


May 10, 2012

On The Bright Side – Mary Howell – May 10, 2012

On The Bright Side

Mary Howell

 

Sunday, May 13, 2012 will be Mother’s Day.  It is a special day passed down for many generations to honor all mothers, living and deceased.  Mother’s Day was started in Europe in the 1600’s and through the years, it was called several names such as Mothering Sunday, Mother’s Day Peace and Mother’s Peace Day.

 

Anna Jarvis is given credit for the official designation of Mother’s Day after her own mother died in 1905.  Supported by her friends, Anna decided to dedicate her life to her mother’s cause to establish Mother’s Day to honor “mothers, living and dead”.

 

She started the campaign to establish a national Mother’s Day.  With her friends she started a letter writing campaign to urge ministers, businessmen and congressmen to declare a national Mother’s Day holiday.  The first Mother’s Day was observed on May 10, 1908.  Anna’s dream came true when on May 9, 1914, President Woodrow Wilson proclaimed that the second Sunday in May would be set aside to honor mothers.

 

Mother’s Day tradition varies from families who honor their mothers and grandmothers.  A tradition that I remember and still enjoy is to wear a red flower for a living mother and a white flower to honor a deceased mother. 

 

While my Dad was serving as pastor of Hemphill’s First Baptist Church, my Mother would pick red and white flowers from her flower garden to take to church on Mother’s Day.  She would pin a red flower on ladies who had a living mother and a white flower on those whose mothers had died. 

 

Mothers are so special.  They love us unconditionally and take care of us from birth.  Having  a mother is one of the greatest gifts that God gave to all of us.

 

I take this opportunity to wish all mothers a happy and blessed Mother’s Day.

 

May 10, 2012

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Biography for Mary Howell

Mary Howell is a cerebral palsied quadriplegic who has resided at Hemphill Care Center in Hemphill, Texas since November, 2009.  She lived with her parents until their deaths and then lived in her home with 24/7 caregivers.  Mary has spent her life turning defeat into victory.  Her determination and strong faith in God have been an inspiration to all who know her.

Mary attended Hemphill High School, Wharton Junior College and served as the Editor of the Sabine County Reporter.  She has received numerous awards from the Texas Press Women and the Texas Press Association. for her writing.  Mary wrote and published her autobiography in 2007, Life On The Bright Side.

She has received various awards for her services in the community. She was named as an outstanding citizen, communicator of achievement, and Texas Handicapped Professional Woman of the Year in 1986.  She was among the “Nine Who Make A Difference” selected by KTRE-TV in 1986..

Mary’s love for God makes the difference in her life, enabling her to turn sadness into happiness and apparent defeat into victory.

May 7, 2012

Mom’s nursing home friends

 

March 15, 2012

On The Bright Side – 3/14/12 – Mary Howell

 

Did you ever stop to wonder what life was like before Alexander Graham Bell invented the telephone?  Well, much to my dismay, I got a sneak peek into what it was like not to have a telephone! 

 

A few weeks ago, my handset phone disappeared.  My sister and friends turned my room upside down in search of my phone. No phone could be found.

 

We punched the “search” button to listen for a beep but no sound could be heard.  My friends and family tried calling the phone but all that I would hear was their message on the answer machine.  My sister, Clara, who calls me every morning at 7:30 a.m. missed talking to me for two weeks.  I could hear her sweet voice every morning as she said “Good Morning, Mary! How are you today? I love you.  Bye bye.”  Her messages always brighten my day even though I couldn’t respond.

 

The staff and residents at Hemphill Care Center joined in the search. They carefully looked in every possible place that they could think of. They searched through the laundry but no phone there.   Finally after two weeks, we gave up the search and decided that my phone somehow had ended up in the garbage dumpster.

 

After two Fridays, Clara could not stand it anymore. So she went to ALCO and purchased a AT&T phone for me. That’s when the fun began! Ha  Clara is no engineer by any means. She even had trouble getting the box open and taking the pieces out that would not fit.  After trying to find plugs, she finally found them. At first she tried to plug the old cords into the new phone. That did not work. Then she searched to the bottom of the box and found the instruction booklet, which looked like a Sears catalog!  There were two handsets and she had handset # 2 hooked into base # 1.  Installing the batteries in the handsets was a big challenge for Clara but she finally get it connected up. She worked until she got the battery in the right place and got the cover back on.

 

We finally called the Care Center’s Mr. Fix-it, Perry, to help.  He discovered the phone line was not pushed in tight enough. This gave Clara and me a big laugh!  With Perry’s help, Clara was able to record a new message on my answering machine.

 

So now I am O.K. again.  I can talk to my friends and family once again.  I am back in the life on the bright side again.

 

 March 14, 2012

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Biography for Mary Howell

Mary Howell is a cerebral palsied quadriplegic who has resided at Hemphill Care Center in Hemphill, Texas since November, 2009.  She lived with her parents until their deaths and then lived in her home with 24/7 caregivers.  Mary has spent her life turning defeat into victory.  Her determination and strong faith in God have been an inspiration to all who know her.

Mary attended Hemphill High School, Wharton Junior College and served as the Editor of the Sabine County Reporter.  She has received numerous awards from the Texas Press Women and the Texas Press Association. for her writing.  Mary wrote and published her autobiography in 2007, Life On The Bright Side.

She has received various awards for her services in the community. She was named as an outstanding citizen, communicator of achievement, and Texas Handicapped Professional Woman of the Year in 1986.  She was among the “Nine Who Make A Difference” selected by KTRE-TV in 1986..

Mary’s love for God makes the difference in her life, enabling her to turn sadness into happiness and apparent defeat into victory.

February 29, 2012

On The Bright Side – February, 29, 2012 – Mary Howell

On The Bright Side
February, 29, 2012

Today is Leap Day. The residents and staff are happy to have one extra day this year for God to bless us!
On February 1st our Resident Council met and selected Estella Tibbs as our resident of the month, the Domino Guys from the LDS Church as our volunteers of the month and Ashley Bumstead and Elisde Carranza as our employees of the month. The next day we were curious to know if the groundhog would see his shadow….and he did! The groundhog legend tells us that winter is not over yet.
We enjoyed playing bingo with Carletta from Texas Medical Enterprises on the 1st and 3rd Friday of this month. We also had fun playing bingo with friends from Hemphills Church of Christ,  Parkway Baptist Church and the American Legion.
On Superbowl Sunday we had a party with Juanita, she served great snacks while we watched the pre-game show and activities on our big screen tv. The Lakes Area Hospice Clowns entertained us Monday afternoon with their lively tunes and funny antics and skits. In honor of February being Black History Month, the movies we watched at our Tuesday afternoon matinees were created by black artists. We sure want to thank the Hornet Express Video for loaning us all our movies this month. On Wednesday afternoon Katherine Crippens from Texas Parks and Wildlife came and taught us about all the various types of woodpeckers that we have in this area. We sure learned a lot! This month our craft ladies(Carol & Linda) and our friends from the Hemphill Garden Club came and helped us make beautiful decorations for Sweetheart Day.
Thank you to the following church’s and people for providing worship services and gospel singing; Bethel Chapel Baptist Church, Fairdale Baptist Church, Hemphill First Baptist Church, Hemphill Church of Christ, Little Flock Baptist Church, Parkway Baptist Church The Pineywoods Pickers, First United Methodist Church Community Fellowship Church Bethany Baptist Church and Quincy Martindale from Odyssey Hospice. We would also like to thank our newest volunteer Brandi Chapman from Harbor Hospice for the interesting bible studies this month.
The highlight of the month for us was our Sweetheart Dance, which was held on Valentines Day .Our king this year was Edgar Smith and our Queen was Estelle Granger, they sure made a good looking couple. Our wheelchairs were rocking and rolling for sure. If you’ve never seen wheelchairs swing to the music come and join us for our Spring Fling Dance on March 20th at 6pm. Another highlight was our Mardi-Gras party, which was sponsored by the
VFW Ladies Auxiliary Post 10351. We had a fun-filled afternoon dancing to zydeco music and eating King Cake.
Last Wednesday afternoon the Care Center stars came out and enjoyed singing karoake with Marti Bible. On Thursday we held our 6th Annual Chili Cook-Off. We say thank you to everyone that made chili to enter in the contest. And the winner was…….Gina Jackson our Dietary Manager.
We enjoyed a Friday afternoon jamboree with C.J. Michaels, the One Man Band.
Ya’ll should have been here Monday. We celebrated National Chocolate Cake Day with several of our favorite yummy chocolate cakes. Today we will celebrate Leap Day with Quincy Martindale from Odyssey Hospice, he is coming by to tickle the ivories for us.
We would like to extend Happy Birthday wishes to Barbara Bickerstaff and Jo Kelley.
We express our love and sympathy to the families of our dear friends; Shay Felts, Ebb Dickerson, Bobbie Gross, Ann Strickland and Dot Hamilton, they will be truly missed.
We at Hemphill Care Center wish everyone a day On The Bright Side.

February 18, 2012

Glenda applying lotion to a nursing home resident

Our family (my two sisters plus Glenda and I) have volunteered to apply lotion to the Hempill Care Center residents.

I do the hand massages with Glenda applying lotion to their legs, feet and face.

Their skin is so dry and they really appreciate the lotion.

January 26, 2012

On The Bright Side – Mary Howell – January 25, 2012

On The Bright Side

January 25, 2012

The residents of Hemphill Care Center are thankful for Gods blessing of another year. We have slowed down just a bit after all the busyness of the holidays. Our year got off to a great start with the Lakes Area Hospice Clowns stopping by. They entertained us with their gospel and fun songs. We observed Elvis’s birthday and ate one of his favorite treats, fried peanut butter and banana sandwiches, while we were being serenaded by Elvis singing some of his greatest hits such as Blue Suede Shoes, Don’t Be Cruel etc.

Our January bingo games were sponsored by the Church of Christ, Carletta from Texas Home Health and Parkway Baptist Church. Thank you to these faithful volunteers for the wonderful prizes they provide.

Early in the month our Garden Club friends helped us make bird feeders out of pine cones, peanut butter and birdseed. Then we have had the pleasure of watching our feathered friends get a treat out our dining room windows.

We enjoyed worshiping and singing with Hemphill’s First Baptist Church, Fairdale Baptist Church, Bethel Chapel Baptist church, Community Fellowship Church, Parkway Baptist Church, Hemphill’s Church of Christ, Little Flock Baptist Church , The Pineywoods Pickers, First United Methodist Church and Bethany Baptist Church. Our hearts are always blessed when we get to worship together.

A Memorial Service was held here last Sunday afternoon in honor of Don Caraway, who was a dear friend and a former professional football player. We express our love and sympathy to his wife Kathy. Our condolences also go to the families and friends of John Horn and Elouise McLemore.

Our resident council selected Freddie Keel as our volunteer of the month, Lillian Pearce as our resident of the month and Debra Frost and Lois Thomas as our employees of the month. This month we celebrated Maintenance Day with our favorite maintenance man Perry Bice.

Residents who celebrated their birthdays this month include Verle Wright, Lillian Pearce, Darwin Stroud and Dorothy Horn.

We are looking forward to C.J. Michaels the One Man Band. He will be here Friday afternoon for a toe-tapping good time.

The residents and staff say a great big thank you to Lances Grocery for providing a wonderful pizza party for our enjoyment to help us celebrate New Years eve. Our thanks also go out to the Hornet Express Video for loaning us wonderful movies to watch every week.

Our families and friends are welcome to stop by for a visit anytime. May God bless each one of you who helps us to have a life on the bright side.

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Biography for Mary Howell

Mary Howell is a cerebral palsied quadriplegic who has resided at Hemphill Care Center in Hemphill, Texas since November, 2009.  She lived with her parents until their deaths and then lived in her home with 24/7 caregivers.  Mary has spent her life turning defeat into victory.  Her determination and strong faith in God have been an inspiration to all who know her.

Mary attended Hemphill High School, Wharton Junior College and served as the Editor of the Sabine County Reporter.  She has received numerous awards from the Texas Press Women and the Texas Press Association. for her writing.  Mary wrote and published her autobiography in 2007, Life On The Bright Side.

She has received various awards for her services in the community. She was named as an outstanding citizen, communicator of achievement, and Texas Handicapped Professional Woman of the Year in 1986.  She was among the “Nine Who Make A Difference” selected by KTRE-TV in 1986..

Mary’s love for God makes the difference in her life, enabling her to turn sadness into happiness and apparent defeat into victory.

January 15, 2012

An honor bestowed on Tadpole

From the Hemphill Care Center Bulletin Board,

the monthly ‘stars’ are announced.

The residents select the recipients  for

each category and I thank them

for choosing me as

Volunteer of the Month.

Unless you have a reason to be in a nursing home on a daily basis,

you might not believe the number of volunteers

that come daily to make it a better day for our love ones.

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