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April 2021 | Volume 10, Issue 4
Let the Sparks Fly
Business Focus Heavenly Cakes & Flowers
16 Community Builders Kats Making New Tracks
FAVORITES 6 7 12 13 14 20 22
Dear Gabby From the Publisher Health Matters Glorious Grandkids Vet Connect What’s Cooking
28 29 30 31 32 34
Pet Pals “Seens” from our World What Are You Reading? Sudoku Marketplace Community Calendar Mustard Seed Moments
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Cover Photo by Rhonda L. Ellisor
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Dear Gabby Welcome back to the Dear Gabby advice column. Can you believe this year is already a quarter over? As I often say, “Life is like a roll of toilet tissue. The closer you get to the end, the faster it goes! With that in mind, I’m combining April Fool and Easter this year. I’m sending the great-grandkids out to look for eggs I haven’t hidden. And you know those chocolate eggs that are about the size of a grape? It’s really funny when you eat all the chocolate and wrap grapes in the shiny wrappers! Drop me a line at Dear Gabby at PostcardsLive.com/share if you need a no-nonsense solution to an asinine problem. They’re my specialty.
DEAR RABBIT When I was a little girl, our panties had the days of the week embroidered on them. Those would be very helpful right now. I have to believe we will all become ourselves again someday soon. Hopefully, we’ll be more thankful and more empathetic versions of ourselves. I would say to hang in there, but I hate it when people tell me that. At my age, I’m hanging everywhere. GABBY
DEAR GABBY I am barely middle-aged and still have all my faculties, but staying home for months on end has dulled my time perception. I’ve always been punctual, but now I’m always late, and I miss important dates. Please tell me this will go away when life returns to “normal.” WHITE RABBIT
CONFIDENTIAL TO “DO YOU BELIEVE IN MIRACLES?”: Yes, I do. He is risen!
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A Wonderful Mistake Don’t you just love it when an accidental frustration turns into something wonderful? As I write this, I am doing so on the notes in my phone--not nearly as simple as typing on my computer, but it’s important to tell you this because it goes with the story. As you well know, last month we experienced “Snowmageddon,” and we were certain our March magazines would be at least a week late because everything in Texas had ground to a halt (or at best, a slow crawl) the entire week. We were amazed when this was not the case. The reason? The employees of Shweiki Media, our printing company, worked crazy hard to get us out almost on time! Thanks to them, we were only a day or two behind our normal delivery! Our staff started talking about what a great job they always do for us and decided we wanted to do something for them, so we planned to drive to San Antonio and serve them lunch. One of our reps and her husband wanted to go and help, too. Since the best day for the Shweiki staff was a Thursday, we decided to stay and work from there on Friday to do some planning. I stayed up late the night before, packing all the things we would need for our planning session, along with the things I needed to finish my final responsibilities for the magazine you are holding (this column being among them). I rolled my briefcase and bag to the office door and, when we arrived at the hotel and began unloading, I realized that was where they still sat! Wes had loaded the car with our personal belongings, but I forgot to mention the office things, just assuming he would see them. I was so frustrated, but he said, “There’s always a reason for everything.” I admit, I still fumed for a bit, but then realized, short of driving back home, it “was what it was”...so relax and enjoy. And we did. We laughed and talked. We played cards and laughed some more. I didn’t realize how much good a “real” day off would do me. I am without my computer, but my column is still due, thus the typing on my phone…from the hotel room…in San Antonio. We will head home later, but as I spent the morning thinking about how much I’ve enjoyed my “wonderful mistake,” I just thought I’d share the lesson. The next time something discouraging happens, step back and remember… sometimes frustrating mistakes have the most wonderful results.
Until next time,
P.S. Our friends at Shweiki were very appreciative we recognized their hard work. What a special day for us, too. I challenge you to think of someone who makes your job easier, and take a moment to thank them. It will make you both feel great! April 2021 | Postcards Magazine: Lake Conroe Edition 7
Inspirations By Ruth Fields Photos by Gina Turner
A Feather on the Water Rose Sparks and her sister bobbed in the water off the coast of Panama City, Florida, enjoying a much-needed vacation. Suddenly, seemingly out of nowhere, a feather floated across the water toward Rose. “How does that happen?” Rose thought. But then she knew. Rose’s only daughter, Lauren, had passed away a few months before, just four hours before her 26th birthday. During her short life, she had often found feathers and presented them to Rose. Rose plucked the feather out of the water. “I still have it,” she says. Many times since then, usually on the saddest of days, she has seen feathers floating by. “I know that she’s thinking of me, wanting me to accept that it’s the best thing,” Rose says. “And it is; I know that. It was the best thing for her.”
8 Postcards Magazine: Lake Conroe Edition | April 2021
and barrel racer. “She could outrun seasoned runners at a young age,” Amy says. “She was tiny, but outrunning everybody. She was very, very good.” Lauren and Lane participated in youth rodeos and barrel races for years, unaware that another terrible diagnosis was about to shatter Lauren’s future. When the twins were 16, a series of mysterious symptoms ultimately resulted in a diagnosis of dyskeratosis congenita, an exceedingly rare progressive genetic disorder that causes early aging, organ failure, and bone marrow failure. Lauren required increasingly-frequent blood transfusions, but that didn’t stop her from
Born to ride When Lauren Sparks was five years old, she was diagnosed with aplastic anemia, a rare congenital condition that made her bone marrow incapable of producing enough blood cells to sustain life. Although no other member of the Sparks family was a match, Lauren’s twin brother Lane came to the rescue, donating bone marrow to save his sister’s life. For many years, Lauren was a healthy child, and she took up barrel racing at an early age. She was a fierce competitor. Amy Pierce, who has been friends with Rose since before the twins were born, remembers Lauren as a young girl, already a capable horsewoman
barrel racing. She competed—and won—at the high school, collegiate and professional levels. At just 84 pounds, Lauren had an advantage over other barrel racers, Rose says, and her skill, combined with the efforts of her mare Belle, produced a winning synergy. “They were a team,” Rose says. Rachel Wood, who was a friend of Lauren’s since the two were members of Lone Star College’s rodeo team, remembers Lauren’s accomplishments. “For sure she was the best, but she was always so humble about it,” she says. “There was never any kind of bragging whatsoever.” “She didn’t let her health struggles slow her down,” Amy says. “She always had a smile on her face no matter how bad she felt. And when it was her turn to compete, she was mighty and fierce and would set the pace with a blazing run.” In 2015, Lane once again stepped up, donating stem cells in the hope that it would save Lauren’s life, but on January 27, 2018, Lauren passed away.
Let the Sparks Fly Before Lauren’s passing, friends had hosted benefit barrel races for Lauren, and her twin brother remembered how much she appreciated them. “She enjoyed the benefit races and was completely humbled by all the people who showed up and supported her,” Lane says. “They came out in droves for her.” So, Lane had the idea of continuing those races, but as an event that awarded scholarships in Lauren’s memory. “I wanted to keep her name alive and make it an annual event to honor Lauren,” he says. And so, the inaugural Lauren Sparks Memorial Barrel Race, with the slogan “Let the Sparks Fly,” was held in 2019. It was one of those spring weekends with temperatures in the 30s, but more than 400 barrel racers attended anyway. Lane, riding Lauren’s horse Belle, won the men’s division. “It was a blast. She’s a wild beast. I think she came in on two legs,” Lane says. “It was a lot of fun. It was an honor to run her. I don’t do as well as Lauren did, but Belle took care of me.” Last year, about 700 barrel racers participated. One lucky participant won a horse trailer, and two $2,000 scholarships were awarded. The Sparks family hopes this year’s event will be even more memorable. It will be held on April 30 and May 1 at the Montgomery County Fairgrounds in Conroe. “It’s truly
April 2021 | Postcards Magazine: Lake Conroe Edition 9
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a family event.” Lane says, with his older brothers Brian, Chris, and Jeff cooking and manning the concession stand, and with their father Bennett Sparks and mother Rose doing everything from opening stalls to overseeing a silent auction. Lane’s wife, Dr. Amy Sparks, an equine veterinarian, will be there to help out with horses’ medical needs. And friends pitch in, too. “I help out however I can,” says Lauren’s friend Rachel. “It turns out that setting barrels in the arena is where I am most needed. It’s one of those jobs nobody wants to do, but it has to be done or the race can’t go on.”
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Lauren’s friends and family members agree--she’d be pleased an annual barrel race is held in her memory. “I think it would make her very happy. These are her people. Some of them are always looking for races to go to, but a lot of these people knew Lauren personally,” Rachel says. “She would be thrilled,” Lane agrees. So does Rose, who says, “It pleases me because I know it would please her. It was important to her to be carried on.” It makes Rose sad when people reminisce about Lauren, but it’s getting easier. “I do smile. I am happy to see them, and I am happy they are there. I don’t cry as much, but sometimes I become overwhelmed, and it just happens.” She finds comfort in the fact that so many people remember Lauren with such fondness, like Lauren’s friend who recently told Rose her memories of Lauren. “She told me, ‘There was never a day that she didn’t smile and have something good to say to people and about people,’” Rose says. “She said, ‘I will never forget her.’” “She was just the sweetest, most genuine person,” Rachel agrees. “I became friends with her and her family very quickly, very easily. She was nice to everyone. She was never discriminatory. She was so nice.” Rachel finds it heartwarming that this “super-amazing person” is remembered every year at a barrel race in her memory. “She was such a positive person—so positive and so competitive that
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people may not have known she had any health struggles,” Amy says. “She was always smiling, always happy, always complimentary. Knowing what she was going through, it was always impressive to see how much strength she had and how competitive she was. To participate in her race is an honor. It means so much, because Lauren meant so much to so many people in so many ways.”
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For more information about the Lauren Sparks Memorial Barrel Race, visit its Facebook page: www.facebook.com/ laurensparksmemorialrace/.
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Three-fourths of all adults in the United States regularly take prescription medicines, which are remarkable aids to maintaining healthy lifestyles. OH, MY! When taking these lifesaving components, it is very important not to manage them unless you are a health professional. I am, but I use my doctor’s management for my meds without alteration--always. Over time, you may decide to see about taking fewer meds because you seem to be doing well. Don’t do it on your own--especially with meds intended to treat heart problems, cholesterol, blood pressure, or diabetes. Instead, when appointments are made for routine checkups, ask if any meds can safely be diminished or discontinued. Generics are rigorously tested by the FDA to be sure they are identical to branded meds and are absorbed the same by the body. YES, SAME. Since generics average costing one-fifth as much, ask your doctor if they are available and will meet your needs. Choose to use one pharmacy so medications will be checked to be certain they won’t interact badly, and you can get to know the pharmacist; as trained medical professionals, they can certainly be helpful to you. They can tell you which over the counter (OTC) meds they recommend (because not all are the same) and which might interact with your prescription meds. Be sure to ask about safety of OTCs for you before taking meds for a cold. You can also ask your pharmacist to get all your medicine on the same refill schedule, which will help you manage your medicine replenishments more conveniently. Additionally, your long-term prescriptions can be filled for 90 days for further convenience. Follow instructions for taking meds carefully; they are there for a reason. Meds to be taken with food may irritate the lining of an empty stomach. Avoid grapefruit juice with meds and taking calcium (milk, etc.) with antibiotics. Take statins at bedtime, advises the British Heart Foundation. Here’s why: Cholesterol production in the liver is highest after midnight and lowest during the morning and early afternoon, so statins are most effective when taken just before bedtime. New research suggests the best time for people with hypertension to take their blood pressure pills is at bedtime rather than in the morning. “Antidepressants called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, or SSRIs, are taken in the morning, because they can interfere with sleep, especially as you begin taking them,” an expert says. Heartburn meds (Protein Pump Inhibitors, PPIs) really need to be taken on an empty stomach, 20 to 30 minutes before breakfast. But if you have mostly evening or nighttime symptoms, ask your doctor about taking omeprazole 20 to 30 minutes before dinner on an empty stomach, since none of the PPIs truly lasts 24 hours,” However, there are a number of meds that last 24 hours, and this can reduce missed doses; plus, one might arrange to take all their meds at the same time. YES!
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Vet Connect: By Dr. Steve Van Wagner
The Pregnant Mare and Newborn oal There are multiple areas of concern regarding the pregnant mare that can help ensure a healthy newborn is obtained. These areas include nutrition, deworming and vaccination of the pregnant mare, and the care of the newborn foal during the first month of life. Nutrition is a common area most pregnant mare owners overlook. I recommend starting with a balanced ration and feed according to normal feeding recommendations until the last trimester (8 to 11 months). During the last trimester, the mare’s ration should be increased by 20% (both grain and hay). I advise feeding a vitamin supplement that provides an adequate intake of both omega-3 fatty acids and antioxidants. After foaling, the ration should again be increased by 20% (both grain and hay). The pregnant mare should have a Fecal Egg Count (FEC) performed at some time during early pregnancy. Your veterinarian will be able to advise you on a deworming protocol based on the FEC. I recommend deworming the mare just shortly after foaling (within 48 hours) to decrease the passage of intestinal parasites, such as strongyloides westeri, in the milk to the foal. Regarding vaccines, it is best to give Rhinopnuemonitis Vaccine (pnuemobort K) at 5, 7, and 9 months of gestation. I also recommend a pre-foal exam with vaccinations administered 4 to 6 weeks prior to foaling due date. Consult your vet to determine the appropriate vaccines needed. This will increase the level of antibodies in the mare and allow transfer of antibodies in the colostrum to the foal during the first 24 hours of life. I do not recommend strangles vaccination due to inherent risks involved (as well as it is not passed in the milk). The average mare has a pregnancy of about 340 days, but can range from 320 to 370 days. The pregnant mare undergoes 3 stages during parturition (foaling). Stage 1 consists of the nesting stage. This can consist of the mare being up, down and even rolling. The mare is somewhat in control of this stage because, if she is startled, she may stop it completely. Stage 2 is the actual expulsion of the fetus. This stage usually happens at night and should only last around 45 minutes. Stage 3 is the expulsion of the placenta (afterbirth). This stage should not take more than 3 hours after foaling. If Stage 2 or 3 last longer than the times listed above, contact your vet immediately. It is also advisable to save the placenta in a cooled environment to be examined by your veterinarian for abnormalities and to ensure none was retained in the mare’s uterus, as this can result in laminitis. I recommend examination of the newborn foal by a veterinarian between 12-24 hours after birth. An onsite IgG (antibody) test should be performed to determine if foal had adequate passive transfer of antibodies (colostrum). This will help determine if the foal needs a supplement and when the foal’s first vaccines should be given. The navel should be dipped in a dilute betadine or nolvasan solution, and an enema should be administered to help pass meconium (foal’s first bowel movement). The areas listed above are critical to ensure the birth of your foal goes smoothly for mom and baby.
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Community Builders By Janet Davidson Photos by Libby Rogers
Kats Making New Tracks
Honor. Tradition. Strength. Grit. When alumni, current students, coaches, faculty, staff, and other individuals were asked, “What do you think of when you hear Sam Houston State University?”, these words were repeated across the polled populace. How does one take those words and pare them down so they are reflected in a logo, through a mascot, and ultimately into a strong, unwavering future of a university? Russell Martinez, Associate Athletic Director for External Operations, explained the process of updating the symbols that project the valor and sense of community future Bearkats and alumni hold dear. “Tradition is not just for the time you spent at Sam Houston; tradition dates back to when this institution started in 1879. Then, it is built on every year, by every class.” “In this day of the power of the brand, it is important to have some 16 Postcards Magazine: Lake Conroe Edition | April 2021
consistency, not only in terms of a logo, but also what represents the institution,” Martinez, shared. “Under the original SH-Paw, we experienced one of our most successful decades in the university’s athletic history.” A Bearkat that looked more like a tiger was added in the mid-90s, but it did not sustain any official longevity. “The logo had a very 90s feel to it, with graffiti edges, etc. As digital media became more in use and textiles became more detailed, our mark became difficult to reproduce. Since there was no consistency in the logos being reproduced for us, it was too difficult to obtain a federal copyright.” Case in point, as six coaches arrived for a focus group, six different logos came through the door. “Not one of them had the same SHPaw logo on. Dependent on where you ordered the merchandise, that determined what logo was received. Our licensees were not replicating
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Russell Martinez, Associate Athletic Director
April 2021 | Postcards Magazine: Lake Conroe Edition 17
Martinez at Bowers Stadium
our logo correctly. There was a lot of brand confusion, and the orange and white was getting lost. It was also important to us to bring Sammy back to the forefront,” Martinez pointed out. The licensees now have an easier logo to reproduce, and the cost of reproduction has decreased. “The paw is modernized with a lot of motion to it. It is moving forward with aggression. It is a very clean mark, and each team has its own wordmark.”
SME out of New York City, who are connected to CLC Licensing, the school’s licensee, was tasked with giving Sam’s logo its facelift. “We told them to take the wheels off. ‘We want to see the widest scope of what you think represents the university.’ We knew that anything too far ‘out there’ would not work, but we still wanted to see it. We made sure to pay attention to every detail,” Martinez commented. Although he had not been involved in a branding process or logo design before, Russell enjoyed watching the evolution of previous elements of the logo into a modern, yet traditional symbol. After culling the number of 20-30 designs down to two, focus groups of alumni donors, student athletes, students, faculty, staff, and coaches were shown the end product. “We received mixed results. It takes a while to digest and accept change. Once the participants got past the initial shock, the overwhelming majority of participants really liked the new look. The company emboldened the primary mark. We also were not sure how Sammy was going to be depicted in this new direction. We viewed about four or five different versions: from a “Tom and Jerry” looking cat to the strong mascot from the 1950s. We are going back to the tradition of orange and white. Since we have launched the new look, we have received great, positive feedback from leaders in the collegiate athletic marketing and branding industry. Change can be shocking, but I encouraged everyone to ‘let it breathe like a wine’. The updated Sammy has some battle-marks and scars, with one of his teeth showing. We have the brand showing the fullsized Sammy and also a representation showing just his head. This gives us all sorts of options when we are creating apparel for our athletes or items for retail. Now that people have seen the SH-Paw in reproduction, on helmets, uniforms, caps, etc., they love it! We now have consistency across the board! Each team possesses its own wordmark.” A great internal committee of people worked alongside Russell to successfully bring this project to fruition: Trevor Isaminger, Kyle Barnard, Josh Weitz, Travis Lies, Nick Olsson, and Stephanie Knific. “Athletic
18 Postcards Magazine: Lake Conroe Edition | April 2021
Director Bobby Williams and the previous University President, Dr. Dana Hoyt, put me in charge of this project and let me run with it. I told Bobby the day the logo launched, ‘You gave me the keys to your car, and entrusted me with this task,” Russell stated. They worked together to ensure the new mark would be polished, professional, and powerful. “Everything was completed strategically. From the planning to the design to the rollout, I was able to use my background in politics to guide the strategy. It was a true team effort! This was one of the most exciting and rewarding things I have done in my life…I will always be part of this effort to leave a mark on this university. As an alum and an employee, that means a lot… to know that when we play on television, a project I worked on will be visible.” The university created a video to launch the new, strong, consistent logo. “We really wanted to tie into the community. My memories of Sam Houston as a kid were the Homecoming Parade, the football games at Pritchett Field, Sammy, Orange and White everywhere. That is the emotion we wanted to strike with people. To get people to buy in, you want to pull at their emotions. We wanted to pull in those who felt they had been disconnected from the university and pay homage to the men and women who had been here before us. Community is Bearkat, and Bearkat is community. The video ties into a lot of history. We reached into the archives and pulled as many things as we possibly could, and married it with the modern,” Martinez said. The video won a gold rating in an industry awards competition and will be entered in the Major Athletics Association contest as well (The video can be viewed on the Bearkat Athletics Facebook page). Sam Houston’s Videographer, Mike Foster, filmed and edited this project along with Jason Barfield, Sports Information Director, who provided the athletics footage. “We worked collaboratively on an overall theme. The final piece, where Mike was able to take our new marks and animate them in the video, made me very emotional. Everything we had worked on for two years was finished!” Russell reflected.
Come to the games and support the athletes as they don the new look and continue to carry on
Tradition with Strength, Honor, and Grit!
April 2021 | Postcards Magazine: Lake Conroe Edition 19
melted butter in a second, larger bowl until well combined. Whisk in eggs, lemon juice, vanilla extract, and almond extract until thoroughly combined.
What’s Cookin’ Make-Ahead Blueberry-Cinnamon Muffins Ingredients 3 ¼ cups all-purpose flour 4 tsp baking powder 2 tsp ground cinnamon
Step 3: Add in milk and sour cream and beat until mixture is smooth, and no lumps remain. Pour in dry ingredients and fold in a few times until just moistened; there should still be some clumps of dry flour. Step 4: Sprinkle blueberries over the batter, and fold in until just incorporated. Batter will be lumpy, but should not have patches of dry flour remaining in it. Do not overmix.
¾ tsp salt ½ tsp baking soda ¼ tsp ground nutmeg
Step 5: Place batter in the refrigerator for 8 hours to overnight.
¾ cup white sugar ½ cup firmly packed brown sugar ½ cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled
Step 6: Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Grease two 12cup muffin tins and line with paper liners (Recipe yields ~18 muffins).
2 large eggs at room temperature 2 Tbs lemon juice 2 tsp vanilla extract
Step 7: In a small bowl, stir together turbinado sugar and cinnamon.
½ tsp almond extract 1 cup milk, at room temperature
Step 8: Fill each muffin liner to the top with the batter. Sprinkle sugar and cinnamon mixture over the top of each muffin.
1 cup sour cream, at room temperature 2 cups fresh blueberries ¼ cup turbinado sugar, or as needed ½ tsp ground cinnamon Directions Step 1: Whisk together flour, baking powder, cinnamon, salt, baking soda, and nutmeg in a bowl until well combined..
Step 9: Bake in the preheated oven until muffins are golden and spring back lightly when touched, 20 to 25 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool in the pan for a few minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.
Step 2: Whisk together white sugar, brown sugar, and
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20 Postcards Magazine: Lake Conroe Edition | April 2021
Salmon Patties Ingredients 1 (14.75 oz) can canned salmon 1 egg ¼ cup chopped onion ½ cup seasoned dry bread crumbs 1 Tbs olive oil
Directions Step 1: Drain and reserve liquid from salmon. Mix egg, onion, bread crumbs and salmon together. Step 2: Make into patties. If mixture is too dry to form into patties, add reserved liquid from salmon. Step 3: In a frying pan, heat olive oil. Place patties in pan. Brown on each side, turning gently Step 4: Drain on paper towels and serve.
Bakers Tip: As a general rule, fill your muffin cups about 3/4 full. That should leave enough room for the muffins to rise without making a mess.
Mark Peters, D.D.S. Dentistry With Excellence! A WIN-WIN SITUATION!!
My goal for my patients is to help them to “win the game” – in other words, to keep their teeth as long as they need them. My recommendations are not based on “How much dentistry can I do for my patients”? They are based on “How can I help this patient ‘win the game’ with the least amount of dentistry to predictably get there”? Thankfully, I have been blessed to be able to do a level of dentistry which few in my profession have been able to do. I have been blessed again with talent to do this level of restorative excellence and the benefits for my patients have been very gratifying for them, my staff, and me.
Mark Peters, D.D.S. www.markpetersdds.com
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2040 N. Loop 336 W • Suite 207 Conroe, TX
April 2021 | Postcards Magazine: Lake Conroe Edition 21
The Garden Post By Kim Bius
How to Care for Your Landscape…After the Freeze The record cold temperatures were devastating to area landscape, but take heart, all is not lost. Many plants are heavily damaged, foliage was burned and froze to the root system, but will return. Perennials such as variegated ginger, hydrangea, and banana trees are beginning to show signs of viability. Whether this is a portion of the root or the entire plant is yet to be determined. Be careful and patient, many plants may not show signs of life until late April or even May. Keep in mind the soil temperature is still very cool (by our standards), and this will determine your plants rate of return. How do we “check” for live tissue? Cut into the tip of the stem--is it green? Does the branch bend and is supple to the touch? This is a good sign it is alive. Is the branch/stem dried and brittle and breaks easily upon bending? The tissue is dead at that area and will need to be pruned off. How far back can I prune? Prune until 60% or greater of the inner stem is green and visible on the cambium layer. If less than 40% of the inner green cambium layer is visible to the soil, the plant is too damaged to
return. Perennials that are not grafted can be easily pruned to the root system with no repercussions. Woody-stemmed shrubs should not be pruned more than 12” from the soil level. If you do prune to the ground, the plant may return multi stemmed (if it returns). The following will help guide on what to replace and what to “encourage” to grow. ANNUALS AND TROPICALS - The annual bedding plants, tropical plants (hibiscus, bougainvillea), indoor plants (ficus, ivy, orchids, bromeliads, violets) and citrus trees (lemon, lime, grapefruit, etc.) will need to be replaced. Tropical plants damage at 32 degrees, and 6 degrees is lethal. Keep in mind that everyone lost these plants (including growers), and these plants will be at a premium this year, if available. It will take growers two years to replenish their inventory on larger plants--so please, do not chastise the retailer or grower. It is not of their control, and the further away the plants are brought in from, the higher the freight bill.
8 WEEKS UNTIL SUMMER BREAK!! ARE YOU READY TO FEEL BETTER?
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22 Postcards Magazine: Lake Conroe Edition | April 2021
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AZALEAS – the foliage is burned, but the plant is alive. Some azaleas will bloom this year, with burned foliage. If you cannot stand the “look,” prune to the desired height now and fertilize. Fertilize again in 6 weeks with Fertilome azalea food. Strip the burned foliage off with a good pair of leather gloves. Start at the base of the branch and run your hand to the end of the stem to strip away dead leaves. Will they eventually drop? Yes, but this speeds up the “new” leaf return rate by 100%. WOOD SHRUBS – prune as discussed above. PERENNIALS – Prune to the ground, and check to see if the bulb/root is white and firm. If the roots are brown, mushy or “smell,” the plant is ready for replacement. Roses did not fare for the worse and are already putting on spring buds. SOD – In many areas, St. Augustine burned badly, but the roots are alive. The dead top growth will need to be raked out with a soft rake for a quicker return. Fertilize now with a weed and feed or a straight fertilizer, and add your pre/post emergent separately. Weeds are returning at a normal rate (so, no luck on the winter being a deterrent on weeds). Sod growers had damage, too and have been waiting to release their product in order for it to show viability……sometimes the proof in is new growth. PALMS – those of you who are further south may not have the damage we see in Walker County. Tropical palms, such as Queen, King, and Robellini, will need to be replaced. Sagos will need to have the side fronds pruned off. If you wait, the dead fronds will become very difficult to prune when
mixed with new foliage. The trunks will look like stumps for a period of several months, but growth will return. If the trunk is soft on any variety, the palm will need to be pruned to 6” below the soft growth. This is a difficult job and will require a chainsaw. This year, plants that you never “really fertilized” will need that extra boost to come out quickly and make the root system stronger. We love Bioblast and Root Stimulator, to name a couple. If you have a question, please drop us an email to sales@kimshomeandgardencenter. com or drop a question on our Facebook page. Happy Gardening.
ESC4P3 - A Tribute to Journey
Cristina Tribute ShowTo the Queen of Tejano
Derek Spence- A Tribute to George Strait
The Spicolis - 80's Tribute
September 2 Hamilton Loomis
April 2021 | Postcards Magazine: Lake Conroe Edition 23
Business Focus By Claudia Kirkwood Photos by Gina Turner
Front - Rachael Leblanc, Dorothy Sherling, Leslie Moore; Back - Britney Swinner, Kevin Chapman, Sarah Moore
DREAMS DO COME TRUE! In the Fall of 2020, Leslie Moore was busy designing swimming pools for their family pool business in Conroe. As she was working with a client one day, she mentioned that her life’s passion was to have a bakery and bistro. To Leslie’s astonishment, her client’s immediate response was, “I’m selling my bakery. Would you be interested in buying it?” After the shock wore off, enthusiasm set in, and within a month Leslie became the new owner of “Heavenly Cakes & Flowers.” The dream became reality, and the sweet journey began! And, as Leslie puts it, “God said, ‘I’m going to give you the chance.’” Heavenly Cakes & Flowers is located on Loop 336 in Conroe and offers a full line of floral products and services, as well as a growing list of bakery and specialty food products. In fact, Leslie and her team can meet the complete array of needs for all events where flowers, light catering, and specialty cakes are a must, and can do so in unique and creative ways. Leslie earned several degrees, including degrees in art, interior design, and interior architectural design and taught high school art for 24 years. Her creativity and ingenuity have taken center stage in this new endeavor, and her customers are truly blessed to enjoy the pleasing and delicious results! Her daughter Sarah has shared this same dream and, from her earliest years, has been beside her mom baking and decorating cookies by the thousands. Her creative touch shines as well! Upon entering, a charming collection of tables and chairs greets and beckons each guest to relax, enjoy the ambience of friendships and soft music, sip a cappuccino, and treat yearning tastebuds to the freshly baked creations of the day. These may include one of the several varieties of alcohol-infused cupcakes including Peach Wine, Pink Moscato, Lemon Vodka, or Champagne flavors. Oh! And don’t forget to try the Dark Chocolate Red Wine or the Fireball Whiskey varieties, along with traditional favorites of chocolate and vanilla. Every
day offers its own selections, and bakery manager Rachael Leblanc, along with Britney Swinner, are constantly moving new ideas from the drawing board to the bakery shelves, ready to delight when you visit this eclectic, funky, vintage, halfway hippie and comfortable coffee, bakery, and flower shop! Sink into a cushy chair and enjoy free Wi-Fi as you get your day in order! Peruse the delightful works of art which adorn every nook and cranny of wall space. Do you need cookies for a special occasion? You have come to the right place. With hundreds of specialty cookie cutter shapes on hand, any occasion can be accommodated in the sweetest of ways! Additionally, a nice variety of cookies and brownies are always available, as well as new lines of bakery goods, inspired by Emma Kemper, a new member of the team. Through her influence, the bakery now offers several gluten-free, vegan, and keto products which are becoming immensely popular. When not at the shop, she will text new ideas to Leslie, who is always eager to “try something new.” It is always a treat to check the Facebook page to see what theme is being celebrated and what flavors are “in store” for the day. Leslie and her staff welcome you and your friends to utilize the comfort and charm of the shop as you meet for your study club, bunko group, or birthday party. Call ahead of time, and they will eagerly do their best to accommodate the needs of your group. Leslie, Dorothy, Rachael, Julia, Britney, Kevin, Emma, and daughter Sarah (when in town) look forward to making you feel at home and to provide you with top-of-the-line service within their specialty areas. Julia Pavelock, the floral manager, has been with the business for 40 years, and at the age of 75, can outdo many a younger person in hard work and commitment. She and Kevin Chapman are known for their stunning floral arrangements and will make every attempt to accommodate the customers’ every wish. From
Julia Pavelock and Kevin
April 2021 | Postcards Magazine: Lake Conroe Edition 25
weddings to funerals, each detail is important. Gorgeous flowers and the timeless tradition of “something old” were beautifully wedded together into a one-of-a-kind bridal bouquet featuring “the old” lace from the mother’s wedding gown gently adorning her daughter’s bouquet as the new bride enjoyed her own special day. And commenting on the flowers at a funeral, a family member remarked, “This is really lovely and nice.” The mourner’s shattered feelings were soothed by the artistry and beauty of the lovely florals. Your floral needs are in good hands at Heavenly Cakes & Flowers.
business, expanding the product and gift lines to include more fun, fanciful, and tasty offerings. Going forward, Leslie plans to add a simple breakfast menu and eventually an abbreviated lunch menu as well. From weddings, quinceaneras, birthdays, graduations and other celebrations and events, Heavenly Cakes & Flowers can serve as your “One stop shop!” A visit to the store will treat all your senses- taste, touch, smell, hearing, and seeing to an endless variety of good things! Come with friends, and make
In addition to the bakery and floral products, a fanciful collection of jewelry, crafted by local artisans, along with t-shirts, candles, fragrances, and home décor items are all available for purchase. Celebrate the occasion with a gift from Heavenly Cakes & Flowers, adding a cookie, cupcake, or flowers to sweeten the deal! Your gift will be remembered with fondness. Leslie, with the help of business manager Dorothy Sherling, continues to grow the
Sarah Moore baking cookies
Monday - Saturday 10 am - 7 pm Sunday 11 am - 6 pm • • • • • • • • • • • • • •
FREE Estimates Locally Owned and Fully Insured 10 Year Labor Warranty Military & Senior Discounts Residential or Commercial Insurance Claims Welcome Roof Repairs (Architectural) Hardie Siding Gutter and Down Spout Repairs Fascia & Soffit Repair Exterior Painting Sheetrock Work Emergency Repairs 24/7 References Available Upon Request
26 Postcards Magazine: Lake Conroe Edition | April 2021
new friends as you enjoy a full menu of coffee selections along with that moist and delicious cupcake that melts in your mouth and absolutely makes your day! The location is easily accessible and ample parking makes
the trip an easy task. Leslie and staff welcome you to come in, sink into a comfy chair, and get acquainted! See you at Heavenly Cakes & Flowers!
from page 23
Suduko Solutions EASY
Heavenly Cakes & Flowers
806 N Loop 336 W Conroe, TX Monday – Saturday, 8 am – 5 pm. 936-760, 3499 firstname.lastname@example.org Heavenly Cakes & Flowers
Vegan brownies & chocolate chip cookies
April 2021 | Postcards Magazine: Lake Conroe Edition 27
Partners Submitted by: Brian B Smith, CFP®, Bryan M Masten, CFP® & Riley W. Smith
Preparing for Financial Emergencies
In February, Texas and a lot of the United States were hit with an extremely harsh and abnormal winter storm. It froze interior waterlines, rivers, lakes, even bays in of the Gulf of Mexico! In Texas, we tried as best we could to prepare, but we are not used to that type of weather. It does not show up often, but you can bet your boots, we will be ready next time!
PICKLE POPS loved by
Michael & Chris Moydell
Add to this, the pandemic we have experienced over the past year. Not only has this impacted our lives from a social standpoint, but potentially from a financial standpoint as well. These types of events are out of our control, but we can try to prepare for whatever comes our way. Were you ready? If not, what will you do differently? Acting and preparing now, could pay huge dividends later! What kind of rainyday fund do you have in savings, or investments that is easily accessible? Many people rely on a 401k, or some type of retirement plan because it often has the bulk of their liquid net worth. There may be issues in utilizing this style of account in the form of taxes and penalties that many are not aware of. Others may have a nice nest egg in money market accounts or Certificate of Deposits (CDs) at a bank. Although these are good tools, having too much of your net worth in these may be costing you potentially earned interest, or taxes, as opposed to being in some other investment vehicle. The low interest rate environment we are currently in, and have been in for more than 10 years, makes it tough to find a competitive rate of return is these types of bank instruments. So, what balance in the savings or investment account works for you? Every person or couple’s financial picture looks different. Find a financial advisor, or a team to work with and build a plan for you, and your family’s financial prosperity and security. With a good strategy in place, you can weather the storm and Live Life On Purpose! Diversification and asset allocation strategies do not assure profit or protect against loss. Past performance is no guarantee of future results. Investing involves risk. Depending on the types of invests, there may be varying degrees of risk. Investors should be prepared to bear loss, including loss of principal.
www.financialpartner.net (936) 294-0201 • 1211 Financial Plaza • Huntsville Securities offered through Cambridge Investment Research, Inc., a broker-dealer, member, FINRA/SIPC. Advisory services through Cambridge Investment Research Advisors, Inc., a registered investment advisor. Cambridge and Global Financial Partners are not affiliated. Cambridge does not provide tax advice.
28 Postcards Magazine: Lake Conroe Edition | April 2021
BUDDY loved by
TEDDY loved by
Kevin & Bonnie Cox Share your pets with us by submitting a photo and information to:
“Seens” from our World
Sad, not sad to see Joe go!
Wonder if this one’s half price?
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We want to see what you’ve seen! When you see the unusual, funny or absurd, break out your camera, take a picture, and submit to us with a description at:
$ • Braces • Bridges • Crowns • Dental Implants • Dental Warranty • Root Canals
*Must present coupon at the time of service. Some restrictions may apply, please contact our office for complete details. Not redeemable for cash. Cannot be combined with insurance, discounts or any other special offers. Expires April 30, 2021
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Monday-Thursday 8AM - 5PM Friday By Appointment Saturday & Sunday Closed
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1336 League Line Road Suite 400 Conroe, Texas 77304 April 2021 | Postcards Magazine: Lake Conroe Edition 29
What Are You Reading? Carolyn Laskie reading
My Dog Can Preach By Roxanne Worsham
Emily Langley reading
Get Out of Your Head By Jennie Allen
THE EXPERTS IN PEST CONTROL SINCE 1981!
Frankie McCaffety reading
You are Never Alone By Max Lucado
We serve Conroe, Willis, Montgomery & surrounding areas!
Rodent Control • Household Pests • Mosquito Control Roaches • Ants • Spiders • Termite Control & Inspection Lawn and Ornamental Treatments • Weed Control
Sara Bartee reading
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Tell us what you’re reading!
Receive one-on-one service John McKinley, Agent 405 N. Loop 336 W Conroe, TX 77301 M 713.598.5984 O 936.756.4461 E email@example.com
www.myuhcagent.com/Lauri.Wenzel 832-244-1973, TTY 711 Fax: 832-201-5359
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Custom Metal Art by Jeff Sullivan
• Gates • Ranch Signs
• Entrances • Fireplace Screens
6753 FM 244 • Anderson, TX 77830
see answers on page 27
Sam Houston Memorial Museum & Homestead Exhibit Now Showing
Cartooning Texas: One Hundred Years of Cartoon Art in the Lone Star State
March 30 – May 29, 2021 Exhibit Gallery
Katy & E. Don Walker, Sr. Education Center 1402 19th Street, Huntsville, TX Samhoustonmemorialmuseum.com Cartooning Texas, by Ben Sargent
April 2021 | Postcards Magazine: Lake Conroe Edition 31
GOOD HAIR EVERY DAY
FEATURING THE MOST REALISTIC WASH & WEAR WIGS YOU'VE EVER SEEN!
9-10 College Station Professional Bull Riding – Aggieland Classic
Conroe Free Concert-Cody Hibbard
Brenham Michael Martin Murphy in Concert
Huntsville Pineapple Run 2021
New Waverly Market Day
Conroe Conroe Service League New Member Tea
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15-25 San Antonio Fiesta San Antonio
16-17 Jefferson Outlaw Nationals Car Show outlawnationals.com
32 Postcards Magazine: Lake Conroe Edition | April 2021
16-25 Houston Disney on Ice:
Mickey’s Search Party
Huntsville Diva Night
Get all of the benefits of clean, great-tasting alkaline water from the comfort of your own home!
New Waverly Blood Drive at NW Public Library
Drink Smart Plus can now provide and install our own Reverse Osmosis (RO) + alkaline water system, which can be installed on or under your counter.
23-24 Magnolia Magnolia Showdown Barbecue Cookoff magnoliashowdownbbqcookoff.com
23-25 Palestine 1836 Chuckwagon Races
Please call for details.
• • • • • • • •
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Transmission Service Fuel Injection Service Tire Rotation Differential Service Brake Service • Tune-Ups A/C Service • Radiator Flush Check Che Engine Light Diagnostics BG Products Flush Services
“Run with Your Imagination!” 5K
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Dinner and Dance
Madisonville Sidewalk Cattlemen’s Association
808 W. Montgomery (FM 1097) Willis, TX 77378
Due to concerns over the spread of coronavirus, some events have been postponed or canceled. Please make sure to check the event website, social media, or call ahead to confirm an event is still taking place if you are interested in attending.
April 2021 | Postcards Magazine: Lake Conroe Edition 33
Mustard Seed Moments by Linda W. Perkins
Testing to Know the Truth Not too long ago, I made a shocking discovery no parent wants. I found a bag of gummies in my child’s bag labeled as a medical marijuana product. Everything looked as real as it could be. There on the blue cellophane package was a colorful logo, the manufacturer’s name, and the dosage amount. To say I was a little upset would be an understatement. When I confronted my daughter, she became equally upset because she insisted it wasn’t real, but a joke. She said a friend gave her the bag, and it was just filled with regular gummy candy. I told her I was not taking her word for it. One way or another, I had to know the truth. I was relieved when a drug test proved my child was not lying – the packaging had deceived me into thinking they had drugs in them, when in fact they didn’t. Everything still went into the trash, and we discussed how foolish she had been to go along with such a prank, but it got me thinking--How often do we fail to recognize the truth about people and situations? How do we know what we believe is true? In 1 John 4, we are taught the way to know the truth about people – to know if they are from God or not--is to “test the spirits.” One of the tests is their theology. Does it line up with the Bible and who does it say Jesus
is? A second test is the way the person acts. I John 4:8 says God is love, and anyone who doesn’t love others has never known Him. Galatians 5 elaborates on the second test by giving us a list of qualities that should be evident in the life of someone claiming to be a Christian: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. This is also a good “mirror test” with which to evaluate our own hearts. In a world of uncertainty, it is comforting to know the Bible gives us the tools we need to discern the truth from falsehoods. For as Jesus said, when you know the truth, the truth will set you free. “Dear friends, don’t believe everyone who claims to have the Spirit of God. Test them all to find out if they really do come from God. Many false prophets have already gone out into the world.” – I John 4:1 “Then you will know the truth and the truth will set you free.” – John 8:32 “Behold, I send you out at sheep in the midst of wolves. Therefore be wise as serpents and harmless as doves.” – Matthew 10:16
Spring is right around the corner!
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806 N. Loop 336 W. • Conroe, TX 34 Postcards Magazine: Lake Conroe Edition | April 2021
We have hundreds of designer frames with the best lenses known to man! We carry Costa, Maui Jim and Oakley Sunglasses
WE HAVE DESIGNER FRAMES Women:
Dr. Cameron has been selected by Johnson and Johnson for their new Patented Dry Eye Procedure. We are now officially one of the only Dry Eye clinics with the only known procedure that can cure it! Schedule an appointment to see how we will be treating this disease that is the cause of 86% of dry eye issues. Please share to help us help someone who suffers from dry eye.
Therapeutic Optometrist & Glaucoma Specialist Family owned and operated with over 60 years of combined experience
15260 Hwy 105 West Suite 127 Montgomery, TX 77356
Dr. Bonnie J. Cameron Glaucoma Specialist Pediatric Specialist Therapeutic Optometrist
Located in the WaterPoint Marina and Shopping Center next to CVS
SCHEDULE YOUR APPOINTMENTS ONLINE AT: WWW.CAMERONOPTICAL.COM April 2021 | Postcards Magazine: Lake Conroe Edition 35
737 I-45 South Huntsville, TX 77340