Tadpole's Outdoor Blog

October 9, 2012

Turtle Man? – Naw, just a grand-son

Grand-son Garrett was visiting this weekend and look what he caught while trying to catch some catfish.   We took a couple photos before releasing the turtle back into the lake.

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The alligator snapping turtle has an unusual way of luring prey; the tongue contains a small, pink, worm-like projection (lure), which is grey at rest but suffused with blood when active, and is wriggled to attract prey into the turtle’s mouth.

One of the largest freshwater turtles in the world, the alligator snapping turtle (Macrochelys temminckii) is a prehistoric-looking species with a reputation as the ‘dinosaur of the turtle world’. There is an unverified legend that a 403-pound (183 kg) alligator snapping turtle was found in the Neosho River in Kansas in 1937.

It has a camouflaged, ridged upper shell (carapace), a large head and powerful, hooked, beak-like jaws, which, together with its thick, scaly skin and oversized claws, all contribute to its primitive look and set it apart from other freshwater turtles. The three large, pronounced ridges running down the length of the dark brown to blackish shell somewhat resemble those on the back of an alligator, and earn the species its common name. The shell also often has algae growing on it, which adds to the snapping turtle’s camouflage. The tail is almost as long as the shell itself and, together with the chin, throat and neck, is coated with long, pointed tubercles.

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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 7, 2012

Mom’s nursing home friends

 

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.

August 6, 2011

Just some of my girl friends at the Hemphill Care Center

One of mother’s favorite nurses is JoAnn.

Mother enjoys us acting silly

while Mrs. Tibbs is not amused.

(thanks to Rene for the photo)

July 7, 2011

On the Bright Side – Mary Howell – 7/6/2011

On The Bright Side

Mary Howell

 

Today is the day, July 6, which is National Fried Chicken Day.  When I found this bit of trivia, a lot of childhood memories raced through my mind.

 

I think I’ve been eating fried chicken since my baby days.  I remember that I was afraid of the live chickens next door in Brad Carter’s chicken yard.  I cried every time I heard the chickens cackle, since Brad Carter’s chicken coops were close to my window.

 

Being a preacher’s daughter, our family had lots of fried chicken served to us when we were invited to have lunch with church friends.  It seems to be a tradition that preachers love chicken.

 

Sometimes Dad was given live chickens which needed to be dressed before they were prepared for eating. I did not like “chicken-killing” days.  Seeing my parents twisting the chicken’s heads off or cutting their heads off was very gruesome for me. I remember watching Dad as he carefully pulled the feathers from the chicken’s body.  He would be bringing the chicken into the kitchen stove and hold the chicken over an open flame.  The smell of singed chicken feathers is still unforgettable to me.  Mom would then complete the task by cutting up the chicken to place in the freezer for a few days for later use.

 

By the time the chicken was finally served at the dinner table, we had all forgotten the ordeal of preparing the chicken to eat.

 

Good old country fried chicken became the favorite dish for me. Since Clara and I both loved drumsticks, Mother would cut the wings off the chicken and make two small drumsticks for me.  Clara ate the larger drumsticks and Jane and my parents had their favorite pieces.’

 

Fried chicken is probably the best-loved main dish for families today.  We can all be thankful for the modern convenience of going to the grocery store and purchasing chickens ready to cook.  We can also be thankful that we can go for fast food places and order a delicious meal of fried chicken, potatoes and gravy.

 

I hope you enjoy a fried chicken dinner today which means a day on the bright side.

 

July 6, 2011

May 11, 2011

On The Bright Side – Mary Howell – 5/11/11

On The Bright Side

Mary Howell

 

This week’s On The Bright Side is dedicated in honor of Mother’s Day and in memory of Freddie Weathered who passed away March 28, 2011.

 

Miss Freddie was the mother of 9 children, of which 4 are now deceased.  She was lovingly called “Mom’, “Grandma” and “Big Mama” by her 22 grandchildren, 48 great grandchildren and 21 great great grandchildren.  She spent her life in Geneva where she attended the County Line Baptist Church and served as an usher.  She often hosted  the Mission Ladies Meeting at which time she would ask her grandchildren and neighborhood children to stop their playing and sing for her friends.

 

She made sure that all her descendants went to church with her on Sunday.  They often filled the choir.

 

In 1998, she suffered the loss of two of her grandchildren who died in a house fire. This tragedy started a decline in her health and mental ability.  She entered Hemphill Care Center about 5 years ago.

 

The Care Center became her home and the staff and residents became her family.  She loved everybody regardless of the color of your skin.  We were all her children whether we were young or old. 

 

One of our caregivers said it all when she said “Miss Freddie was everybody’s grandma”.   Miss Freddie often rolled herself in her wheelchair up and down the halls in search of her babies. 

She sang at all hours of the day and night.  One of her favorite songs was The Morning Train.

 

          I’m going home on the morning train.

          Back, Back, train and get your load.

          I’ve got my ticket in my hand.

          I’m going to tell my mother

          Howdy Howdy do you do?

          I’m coming home, I’m coming home.

 

Miss Freddie also sang about Sweet Home, Swing Low, Sweet Chariot,

Trouble in my way. Jesus will fix it, and my Jesus.

 

She never saw a stranger.  She would stop and speak to everyone even though her friends at times, could not speak an audible word.

 

Miss Freddie was in a Nacogdoches hospital and she wanted to come back to the Care Center from where apparently she wanted to go to Heaven.  Her last words were “Lord, I’m Coming Home.”

 

Miss Freddie endeared herself to all who knew her.  Our loss is Heaven’s gain.

 

May 11, 2011

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Granny  (5/9/10) Mothers Day 2010 with grand-daughter, Earnie Mae


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THANKS TO FREDDIE KEEL FOR POSTNG THIS.

MY GRANNY WAS A VERY UNIQUE WOMAN.

WE ALL LOVED OUR GRANNY BUT GOD LOVED HER BEST. MAY GOD BLESS MARY HOWELL

Comment by EARNIE MAE GARNER —

May 12, 2011 @ 7:02 pm

         


May 7, 2011

Mother’s Day Party at Hemphill Care Center

Festivities began with following prayer.  Then the oldest mom (101 years old) and mom with most kids (13) were recognized.
*Most Gracious Heavenly Father, *We thank You for our mothers to whom You have entrusted the care of every precious human life from its very beginning in the womb. You have given to woman the capacity of participating with You in the creation of new life. Grant that every woman may come to understand the full meaning of that blessing, which gives her an unlimited capacity for selfless love for every child she may be privileged to bear, and for all Your children. Watch over every mother who is with child, strengthen her faith in Your fatherly care and love for her and for her unborn baby. Give her courage in times of fear or pain, understanding in times of uncertainty and doubt, and hope in times of trouble. Grant her joy in the birth of her child. To mothers You have given the great privilege and responsibility of being a child’s first teacher and spiritual guide. Grant that all mothers may worthily foster the faith of their children, following the example of Mary, Elizabeth, and other holy women who follow Christ. Help mothers to grow daily in knowledge and understanding of Your Son, Our Lord Jesus Christ, and grant them the wisdom to impart this knowledge faithfully to their children, and to all who depend upon them. Assist all “spiritual mothers”, those who, though they may have no children of their own, nevertheless selflessly care for the children of others — of every age and state in life. Grant that they may know the joy of fulfilling this motherly calling of women, whether in teaching, nursing, religious life, or in other work which recognizes and fosters the true dignity of every human being created in Your image and likeness. We beseech You to send Your Holy Spirit, the Comforter, to all mothers who sorrow for children that have died, are ill or estranged from their families, or who are in trouble or danger of any kind. Help grieving mothers to rely on Your tender mercy and fatherly love for all your children. We ask your blessing on all those to whom You have entrusted motherhood. May Your Holy Spirit constantly inspire and strengthen them. May they ever follow the example of Mary, mother of Our Lord, and imitate her fidelity, her humility, and her self-giving love. May all mothers receive Your Grace abundantly in this earthly life, and may they look forward to eternal joy in Your presence in the life to come. We ask this through our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, world without end. *AMEN.*
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April 24, 2011

Easter Party at Hemphill Care Center

The Hemphill Care Center celebrated Easter with family and friends.  There was egg hunting for the kids and finally hot dogs for everyone.  The weather was perfect for a very large crowd.   Thanks to the staff and volunteers.

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