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 23, 2012

When you see me on the lake, I will be wearing my life jacket!

Tadpole (photo by Martha’s World Wide Photos)
DANGEROUS: With lake levels up, TPWD is planning on lots of people out on the water this year. After a bad year last year, they are urging people to wear life vests.

Much needed rainfall has put water back in many Texas lakes. And after a dangerous year on the water last year, Texas Parks and Wildlife game wardens are anticipating a busy boating season.

“Last year we had 32 boating fatalities across the state,” said Jeff Parrish, assistant chief for marine law enforcement. “Tragic as that number is, we can learn something from statistics. Of those 32 deaths, all but five were of people not wearing a personal flotation device. That really underscores the vital importance of wearing a life jacket.”

State law requires that a personal flotation device be available for each occupant of a boat, but only those under 13 years of age are mandated by the law to wear one while the boat or paddle craft is underway or drifting.

“The numbers speak for themselves,” Parrish continued. “Wear a life jacket and your chances of surviving a life threatening event on the water increases 10 fold.”

While the life jacket requirement is not new, the last session of the legislature did make it mandatory that all persons born on or after Sept. 1, 1993 obtain a boater education certificate before they can legally operate a vessel with a rating of more than 15 horsepower. Anyone supervising the operation of a vessel by another must be exempt from the boater ed requirement (born before 1993) or have a boater ed certificate.

Six of the boating deaths in 2011 were alcohol-related, underscoring the importance of not drinking while operating a boat.

“If you want to drink when you’re out on the water, do so responsibly or have a designed operator,” Parrish said. “Anyone our wardens find operating a boat while intoxicated will be going to jail.”

In addition to the 32 boating fatalities in 2011 (up four from 2011), Texas saw 229 boating accidents that resulted in 121 injuries. State game wardens and other marine enforcement officers made 259 BWI arrests and issued 305 citations for no life jacket.

“Anyone stumped on a gift idea for a high school graduate could see that they get signed up for a boater ed class,” Parrish said. “That’s a gift that could end up saving a life.”

“Getting caught on open water in a storm is not a fun experience,” Parrish said. “If rough weather is anticipated, it’s best to stay off the water or close to shore.”

May 7, 2012

Mom’s nursing home friends

 

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.

June 9, 2011

On The Bright Side – Mary Howell – June 8, 2011

On The Bright Side

Mary Howell

 

Very few times in my life have I been left speechless but my first visit to the Patricia Huffman Smith Museum Remembering Columbia left me just that way.  I could not think of adequate words to describe the awesomeness of the museum.

 

Words like Wow, beautiful, fantastic, informative, spectacular could well be used to describe the museum.

 

The museum is adjoining the J R Huffman Library and was donated in loving memory of Patricia Huffman Smith by her husband.

 

The museum which opened its doors on February 1, 2011 which was the 8th anniversary of the Columbia tragedy which took the lives of seven brave astronauts.  Each astronaut is honored with a showcase of displayed personal memorabilia belonging to the astronauts and their families.  Many items are unique and depict the personalities of the honorees.  The museum is completely debt-free thanks to Mr. Smith. 

 

In the short time the museum has been open, thousands of tourists have visited from faraway places.  Even the families of the astronauts have made their way to pay homage to the fallen crew members.

 

A showcase also honors the two searchers who lost their lives in the recovery effort.  Part of the nose cone which fell a few hundred feet from Highway 83 is on display for public viewing.

 

For those who have never stopped by to view the Columbia museum, the experience will be a lifetime memory.

 

The admission fee is only $5.00 and tours of the facility are given from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday and from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday.

 

Belinda Gay and Marsha Cooper are just two of the volunteers who donate their time to keep the museum open. 

Sabine County residents are blessed to have such an awesome museum remembering the Columbia.  NASA has worked hand-in-hand and heart-to heart to make the museum endeavor possible and is a one-of-a-kind.  There is not another like it in all the world.  The museum is certainly a must-see.

 

June 8, 2011

December 11, 2010

Christmas Party (2010) at Hemphill Care Center

Filed under: Hemphill Care Center — Freddie Keel @ 9:22 pm
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The dining room was packed with residents and family.   After some Christmas carols, Santa makes an appearance, presents were passed out and then refreshments were served to all. Thanks to all the staff who works so hard to provide loving care to our love ones.

October 13, 2010

On The Bright Side (10/13/10)

Filed under: Mary Howell — Freddie Keel @ 9:13 pm
Tags: , , ,

Ever so often, I have a good dose of writer’s block when I cannot think of anything to write for my column.  I thought of several subjects but the words just would not come to me.

All week, I pondered and as my deadline came closer, I became stressed.  Then Friday morning, a light bulb went off in my head! And I became on the bright side again.

I was reminded of a thought provoking question which was asked at a recent meeting of the Deep East Texas Literary Guild.  Our guest speaker, Terri Lacher, asked ”Why do we write?”  I’m sure that her question brought many reasons to the minds of writers and authors who were in attendance.

My number one reason for writing is that God gave me a talent and I want to use it for His glory.  I could never write without God’s help.  I often pray that He will give me just the right words to say.

I also write with the hope to inspire my readers to enjoy life and to do the best they can while they can.  I often share personal experiences that may bring hope to someone else.

Like all writers I enjoy seeing my name in a byline.  It gives me a thrill and a boost of energy to keep writing.

I remember my first Mary Howell byline which appeared on the front page of the Sabine County Report in 1977.  At that time I was just a typesetter and I only worked four hours a week for a salary of $7.00 per week.  That finally got my foot in the door and after six years, I was named editor of the Reporter, a position I held for four years.

Then for the next 18 years, I did not write anything except letters to friends.  Five years ago I had the opportunity to write my weekly column once again.  During that time I may have missed only one week.

It has been said that writers get ink in their blood reached that level!

Well, I think I have reached that level!  That came to light when I first saw my book Life On The Bright Side and held it in my hands.   Talk about a “high”  – that was the highlight of my life and the fulfillment of a life long ambition.

I just want to say thank you to my faithful readers. I am always amazed when someone realizes that I am the one who writes this column.  Some of them have never met me in person but they still read my writing.  I pray that On The Bright Side will be a blessing to someone.  May God’s love fill your days and give you a life on the bright side.

October 13, 2010

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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.

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July 27, 2010

On the Bright Side – July 28, 2010

The residents at Hemphill Care Center have enjoyed a wide variety of fun activities during this month of July. In celebration of the 4th of July the East Texas Playboys entertained us with country gospel favorites. The music was provided by Price Rhame and friends. Refreshments were provide and served by willing volunteers. We enjoyed wearing out 4th of July hats which we made earlier in the week.

On July 6, the Hope Family from Lakes Area Hospice came to bring smiles to us during a time of lively music and much laughter.

Our friends from the Hemphill Church of Christ, Parkway Baptist Church, Kelli from East Texas Home Health and Lacey from A Pineywoods Home Health sponsored lively bingo games,nice prizes were given to all the bingo winners.

We were blessed with worship services and gospel singings throughout the month of July. We want to express our deepest appreciation to our friends from the Hemphill First Baptist, Hemphill Church of Christ, Fairdale Baptist Church, Parkway Baptist Church, Macedonia Baptist Church, Little Flock Baptist Church, the First United Methodist Church and Bethel Chapel Baptist Church from Pineland.

We made an imaginary trip to the tropical paradise of Hawaii for a night of music, dancing and delicious Hawaiian treats. Friends who did not come missed a wonderful luau. We observed National Ice Cream Day on Sunday July 18th. Benton Poindexter provided several of our favorite flavors of ice cream.

Floyd Smith was named resident of the month by our own resident council. Our  volunteer of the month for July was the craft ladies (Carol & Linda).

Chere Parks and Linnie White were named the staff employees of the month by our resident council and Mandy Mitchell was voted as employee of the month by the staff. We congratulate each of these who make our lives happy on a daily basis.

Each Monday our residents gather to pray for each other and our family and friends who may be ill or having grief in their lives. We ask God’s blessing on our staff, residents and loved ones. We would like to invite you to join us in prayer as we pray for our community and country. We extend Happy Birthday wishes to Wilma Graves, Louis Scott, James Hardy, Maxine Ladner and Neva Poindexter.

We are looking forward to our homemade ice cream contest which will be at 2:30pm on Friday. We  welcome any friends who would like to participate.

We give thanks to God for his blessings upon our home and family at Hemphill Care Center.

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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.

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