Postcards Magazine Lake Conroe Jan 2022

Page 1

Lake Conroe

POSTCARDS Zach Neil / Wichita Mountains / McKenzie’s Barbeque & Burgers


January 2022 Postal Customer


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January 2022  |  Postcards Magazine: Lake Conroe Edition 3


January 2022  |  Volume 11, Issue 1



Texas Talent

Business Focus

Zach Neil

McKenzie’s Barbeque & Burgers

20 Trippin’ Wichita Mountains


Cover Photo by Pam Johnson Submission in 2021 Postcards Cover Photo Contest

6 7 8 16 18 26 28 32

Publisher’s Post Let’s Celebrate From Our Readers Dear Gabby Glorious Grandkids Health Matters Pet Pals

34 What’s Cookin’ 37 Giggles & Grins 38 Sudoku Marketplace 44 Kidding Around 46 Vet Connect 48 Community Calendar 50 Mustard Seed Moments

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Publisher’s Post Karen Altom

Weighty Matters A new year tends to bring new resolve in many areas of life. This often manifests in the form of resolutions. For most, at least one usually has to do with weight. As I considered the new year and resolutions, I thought of weight first. And then I REALLY thought about weight…and decided 2022 could be the year to deal with it. To REALLY deal with things that weigh us down. Have you ever tried running while holding a sack of feed or carrying another person on your back? My guess is you may be doing it now. We all have things in life that weigh us down. While I can quickly think of things that apply in my life, yours may be different. Each carries our own baggage and cannot readily understand another’s. Here are a few things that may be weighing you down:

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If you would like to receive our magazine and are not currently on our mailing list, subscriptions are available. MAILED to select postal routes in Conroe, Willis and Montgomery. FREE rack copies at advertisers and businesses in towns listed above. Published Monthly by Altom Consulting & Marketing, Inc.

~ The way you’re accustomed to thinking. If you feel stuck in a never-ending cycle, stop to examine your thought processes. Changing the way you think can be the first step to changing your life, your reality, and your perspective!

Publisher Karen Altom

~ Your perspective. The way you see the world differs from your friend or neighbor. Different memories, life lessons, and theories all shape perspective. A person’s perspective is their reality. Sometimes, it is good to view life from another perspective.

Editor Wes Altom

~ Wasted time. We all waste time, but the trick is minimizing time wasted. I am not advocating to fill every minute (sometimes the most productive thing you can do is lie on the couch and daydream). ~ Past failures and relationships. Every single one of us has failed. Even computers fail. Learn from failures. Let them go. ~ Habits. You may love them or hate them, but down deep, you also know they aren’t good for you. Lighten your load and make changes. ~ Information Overload. Never have we had as much access to information. It’s easy to be overwhelmed without even knowing it. Avoid processing worthless information that takes time, energy, and memory space. ~ A job you hate. Many of us have been there, but life is too short to be in a job that makes you never want to wake up. Ask yourself, “If I could do anything…what would I do?” Then do it and smile. ~ Negative people and friends that hold you back. Sometimes we outgrow friends. Sometimes we change. I once heard God brings people into your life - sometimes for a reason, and sometimes for a season. If they were “reason” or “season” friends, move on. ~ Unhealthy lifestyle. Why are you doing this? I bet if you answer this question, change will be easier. ~ Poor self-image. There’s only one of you, and God made you just the way you are. If you don’t like something, change it, but change it for yourself. You don’t need to be weighed down by what others think of you. God loves you…and so do I. Happy New Year - lose the weight!



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Advertising Team Jennifer Abbrat Nancy Jolly Marshall Altom Design Team Mary Partida April Key Social Media Management Abby Altom Boyd

Printed in Texas by Shweiki Media Online: Address: PO Box 690 • Huntsville, TX 77342 Call our Office: 936.293.1188 We reserve the right to edit or reject any material submitted. The publisher assumes no responsibility for the return of any unsolicited material. No material from Postcards Magazine™ can be copied, faxed, electronically, or otherwise used without express written permission. Publication of articles, advertisements or product information does not constitute endorsement or approval by Postcards Magazine™ and/or its publisher. Business Focus stories printed in Postcards Magazine™ are drawn at random from contract advertisers. © 2022 by Altom Consulting & Marketing, Inc., All rights reserved.

Let’s Celebrate This Month’s Business Anniversaries:


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From Our Readers Thank you so much for your article on Grandparenting. I am also a new Grandma and have been thinking the very same thoughts you have pondered in your mind. I appreciate your honesty and your final conclusion of gratitude, and your encouragement for young parents. You are correct .... the time with your children is fleeting!! Renee Gosling PS - I really enjoy the recipes you share in Postcards. Keep up the good work.

Wishing you & your family a Happy New Year!

Thank you for writing this very thoughtful column. If you touched and changed just one heart, it was well worth. I am a great-grandmother now and I hear the words you have written from many of my life long friendships. I, and they, have been in situations with family members that place more value on gifts (as one said recently, “she likes me as long as I am gifting”) than the comfort and everlasting gifts of love that keep on giving. Perhaps, we are living in a world of too much of everything. Could this be one of the reasons many have lost the true values in this life?

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In my eighties, I can still smell and feel the loving touch of my grandmother’s worn and wrinkled hands. Her hands now mirror the ones I see when I look down. Her gifts couldn’t be bought in a store or online! Hers were the ones that are imbedded in the woman I am today. Karen, you are a treasure, keep writing! Jo Keller

Promises Made. Promises Kept. 4Reduced my salary and capped it! 4Removed Tolls from 242 flyover! 4Adopted the no-new revenue tax rate three years in a row. First time in county history!


January 2022  |  Postcards Magazine: Lake Conroe Edition 9

A Special Conversation Story by Amy Barnett Submitted Photos

Zach Neil Zach Neil was not supposed to be a country singer – it’s as simple as that. He grew up working on his family’s farm in Exeter, Ontario, Canada, where tending crops was the only way of life he knew. As a child he planned to graduate from high school, earn a degree in agricultural business, and become a third-generation farmer. But when he turned 16, a simple question from a stranger changed everything. Postcards Magazine sat down with Zach to learn more about the conversation that caused him to pivot and find his own path from rural Canada to Music City – and now to the Lone Star State.


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What was it like growing up on the family farm in Canada? We grew rutabagas, wheat, and soybeans. It was hard work, but what I loved the most about it was the sense of accomplishment each day. You saw the tangible results of your hard work daily, as well as over the course of the 7-8 month growing period. It was cool to be able to take something from start to finish and have that sense of accomplishment. Is the farm still in your family? Yes, my mom and dad are still there, along with my brothers and sister. My parents are retired now, but my sister and brother in-law are still farming. What made you change your career path from farming? Music and life happened. My parents made me and my siblings take music lessons – piano lessons, specifically. And I did not enjoy those at all. I begged them for a guitar and, looking back on it, I don’t really know why, but I thought playing the guitar would be cool. That was it. So, when I was 12, they got me a guitar for Christmas, and I never stopped playing it. They had to tell me to put the guitar down because there was farm work to be done. They had to beg me to practice the piano, but they had to beg me to stop practicing the guitar so I could get some chores done. I still really enjoyed farming, but when I was 16, I did a Battle of the Bands competition in high school, and one of the judges, who was an engineer on a lot of rock records on the west coast, pulled me aside and basically asked, “Hey is this what you want to do? I know a couple people, and I could make some calls for you.” And so, at 16, of course I said, “Yeah, sure, that sounds great.” And that was it. That really got the ball rolling. I made trips to Nashville and got introduced to people there, and the

Happy New Year! 281-731-6974 12  Postcards Magazine: Lake Conroe Edition  |  January 2022

rest, as they say, is history.

get UR Cut…

So, that one question really was the turning point for you? Yeah. And, going back to my band in high school, what made us unique wasn’t that we were good – because we weren’t, but we were a bunch of young teenagers playing traditional country music. Everybody our age was playing rock, and we were playing Randy Travis, Keith Whitley, and George Jones songs. So that kind of separated us and got people’s attention. I got steered toward Nashville, got to know some people in Nashville, graduated high school and boom – made the move. What happened when you got to Tennessee? I made the move to Nashville, and we were going for major label deals. We did a showcase for a major label, and they loved everything about us, but said we were “too country.” But you know, it is what it is. We didn’t fit into that box. The business side of music is a big part of it, and I understand that. But I just didn’t fit into what was hip or trendy, and because of that, they passed. That’s when I decided I would go out and play my kind of music, because there are still a lot of people who like that kind of music. So, the focus really changed for me, especially in that time when social media and streaming platforms were really starting to take off. There were other avenues to get your music out there for people to find you and hear you. Who are some of the singers who helped shape you as a vocalist? Randy Travis, Mark Chesnutt, George Strait, Alan Jackson, and Brooks and Dunn – you know, a lot of guys from the ‘90s. That’s the era I grew up in. And then there was an oldies show on the local station at home growing up on Saturday mornings. It was basically everything from the early ‘80s and before. So, sometimes on Saturday mornings, it would be on in the house, and you would hear George Jones, Conway Twitty, and really old-school stuff like Hank Williams. You can definitely hear a ‘90s country sound in your voice. Major labels may have said you were “too country,” but that’s what we like in Texas. You seem to have found a great fit here in the Lone Star State. How did you get here? I’ve got nieces that live in the Houston area, and I had family in the Austin area for a long

time, so I used to come down and was getting exposed to the Texas Music Scene even while still pursuing the Nashville thing. But I was understanding that Texas is much more receptive to the kind of country music I love to do. And Texas feels a little more like home to me. Country music in Texas has fiddles, steels, and songs that have something to say. Your current single Half Bad made is to the Top 40 on all Texas Country charts. What was the inspiration behind this song? I showed up to write with Neal Coty and Jeff Silvey, and I really didn’t have anything that I wanted to write, but I hoped one of them had something. I had actually watched a Rolling Stones documentary two or three nights before, and I don’t know if that influenced me or not, but I started playing this guitar riff and Neal goes, “that’s like a Rolling Stones kind of thing,” and Jeff just spit out, “Well, she’s really good, and I’m not too bad,” and I think Neal said, “and me, I ain’t half-bad.” And boom, like that, we all said, “there’s the idea.” We just had fun with it and wrote it in less than an hour. It just kind of fell out and the next thing you know, I started playing it at a couple of acoustic gigs that I was doing, just to test it out and see. I played it, and people loved it. So, we released it as a single. Texas radio has really embraced it, and Texas has embraced you. You were a nominee for the Emerging Artist award at the Texas Country Music Awards. What was that like? It was exciting and an honor. I know


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January 2022  |  Postcards Magazine: Lake Conroe Edition 13

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that’s what you’re supposed to say, but it’s the truth. We’ve really been relative newcomers to the Texas Country Music scene, which is why it’s called emerging artist. But there’s a lot of talented people, so to be selected and narrowed down to that group of people is a real honor. It’s an indication that we’re fitting into the Texas music scene. What are you doing when you’re not playing music? Outdoors stuff. I like being outside, and that can be fishing or getting the chainsaw out and trimming up trees. I’ve got some property, so the stuff I used to have to do on the farm growing up has turned into the stuff I enjoy doing – the kind of stuff that’s an escape. Of course, I also like getting together with friends, kicking back around a campfire, and just relaxing. Now that you are an honorary Texan by choice, what are some of your favorite things about our great state? I love the strong and independent spirit of Texas and Texans! And of course, the BBQ!

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14  Postcards Magazine: Lake Conroe Edition  |  January 2022

Zach has been taking his Texas country sound across the state and across the United States. Visit to find out when Zach will be playing near you and to sign up for his official fan newsletter.


Jude & Paulina Loya-Martinez celebrating 4 months old. Grandparents, Juan & Mago Loya are from Conroe.

Happy 38th anniversary to Pam & Rick Thaler

Share your Milestone!

JANUARY Art ORGAN MEAT EXHIBITION January 13 - 22 Satellite Gallery Free Admission Art 62ND ANNUAL FACULTY EXHIBITION January 18 - February 26 Artist Talk | January 20 | 5 p.m. Reception | January 20 | 6 p.m. University Gallery Free Admission


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January 2022  |  Postcards Magazine: Lake Conroe Edition 15

Manage Your Future Well!

We Guide You Through The Entire Process!

Dear Gabby Happy New Year, and welcome back to the Dear Gabby advice column! Stop me if you’ve heard this one. Is it weird that 2021 is pronounced “twenty-twenty won” and 2022 is pronounced “twenty-twenty too”? No, it’s scary! With that being said, I’d like to apologize for all my annoying behavior last year. Please give me another chance to do it again this year. My resolution advice this year is to ditch the “New Year, New Me” that never works and replace it with one I learned from my dog. “Pay more attention to the people that care and less to those that don’t.” It’s a win/win! Drop me a line to Dear Gabby at PostcardsLive. com. I’ll be waiting. DEAR GABBY

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When you’re trying to accomplish everything before the holidays in November and December, time seems to fly! Why does it stand still in January? WHAT GIVES? DEAR W G I guess you haven’t heard the adult version of the children’s rhyme--30 days hath September, April, June, and November. All the rest have 31, except January, which has about 234. GABBY

DEAR GABBY This is the time of year we usually do a little air travel. With tests and vaccines aside, what tips do you have to make the ordeal more survivable? GET OUT OF TOWN DEAR GOOT Fifty years ago, we used to wonder how luxurious airplanes would be in 50 years. Boy, did we get a wrong number! They tell you at the counter that your luggage is too heavy for the plane. Then they make you remove some items and put them in your carry-on, which is going on the same plane. And if a 747 could carry a space shuttle, I’m calling foul on overweight luggage fees, anyway! One important tip I will offer is to never complain about delays if you ever want to see your luggage again. GABBY

CONFIDENTIAL TO STRONG MAN: If you think women are the weaker sex, try pulling the blankets back over to your side. 16  Postcards Magazine: Lake Conroe Edition  |  January 2022

What Are You Reading? Maria Busby reading

The Gospel Comes with a House Key By Rosaria Butterfield

Kara Tipton

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Crucial Conversations

The Silent Patient

By Patterson, Grenny, McMillan & Switzler

By Alex Michaelides

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January 2022  |  Postcards Magazine: Lake Conroe Edition 17

Glorious Grandkids

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Grandchild of Rick & Carol Barnett

Grandchildren of Dee & Steve Everett

Grandchildren of Bryan & Dolly Rasco

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18  Postcards Magazine: Lake Conroe Edition  |  January 2022

Ollie & Travis

Lucy Kellar

Cade & Corbin Collins

Grandchildren of Jeannie & Barry White

Grandchild of John & Mary Kellar

Grandchildren of Lois Stehlik


Maesyn Ann


Grandchild of Derrick Amanda Hylton

Grandchild of Jenny & Danny Witt

Grandchild of Cyndi & Paul, Carolyn & Gary, Randall & Amy

Share Your Grandkid Photos with Us! January 2022  |  Postcards Magazine: Lake Conroe Edition 19

Trippin’ Story & Photos by Mike Yawn

The Bewitching Wichitas There are mountains in Oklahoma. They aren’t large mountains—Coloradans would probably think of them as “cute”—but they are mountains. Indeed, the state has four distinct mountain ranges: the Arbuckles, the Ozarks, the Ouachitas, and the Wichitas. The latter of these, the Wichita Mountains, are mystical and enchanting, offering a diversity of flora and fauna, numerous recreational activities, and beautiful views, making for a perfect long-weekend visit.

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The History This area has been inhabited for at least a thousand years by the Wichita people, whose full territory covered Texas, Oklahoma, and Kansas. Their religion reflected what was important to their lives, with a focus on the land and wildlife surrounding them and, according to one ethnologist, “more than the ordinary consideration of the infinite.” They were semi-nomadic, living in beehive-shaped lodges for most of the year, but following the bison for sustenance in the winter months. By the 19th century, however, the Wichita people’s largest village was in southwestern Oklahoma, near the mountains that now share their name.

These mountains are geologically unique, having formed some 500 million years ago, in what geology textbooks describe as a “failed continental rift.” If so, it was a magnificent failure, producing a pleasing line of rolling mountains, massive boulders of exposed granite, and an unusual habitat for wildlife and plant life. Indeed, the area’s history, beauty, and attractiveness to living forms prompted President Teddy Roosevelt to designate some 60,000 acres of this region as a wildlife preserve in 1905, making it the oldest site managed by the Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS).


January 2022  |  Postcards Magazine: Lake Conroe Edition 21

hour and are—I find this almost unbelievable—“extremely agile, able to turn quickly and jump high fences.” You really don’t want to anger a bison. Helpfully, the FWS notes that you can “judge a bison’s mood by watching its tail,” which, apparently, operates as something of a middle finger, rising in periods of anger. Wild herds of Texas Longhorns also roam the Refuge, along with many deer and elk. The elk, however, are mostly out of sight, dwelling in

The Wildlife and the Legends Today, there is much to manage. It is home to almost 1,000 plant species, including the intriguing gold cobblestone lichen; more than 200 bird species; and 50 species of mammal. Among the mammals is the bison, which once numbered some 20,000,000 in the Great Plains, but by the turn of the 20th century had vanished entirely from Oklahoma. They were reintroduced in 1907 by—again—President Roosevelt, who suggested that 15 of them be moved from, of all places, the Bronx Zoo. Today, there are almost 700 American buffalo on the Refuge, and they can be seen regularly in most areas of the park. In fact, in half a dozen visits to the Refuge, we have never not seen them. They are large creatures—the largest land mammals in North America—weighing up to 2,000 pounds. They take up a lot of space, and when we have witnessed them, they moved slowly, when they moved at all, giving us much time to gawk, point, and photograph. Looks, as they say, can be deceiving. According to the Fish and Wildlife Service, bison are as fast as horses, capable of speeds up to 35 miles an

less-travelled areas of the Refuge. In September and October, however, the Refuge offers special “Elk Bugling Tours,” allowing visitors to access these areas with the hopes of spotting bull elk engaged in their aggressive competition for cow elk, bugling all the while. Perhaps the most entertaining animal to observe on the Refuge is the prairie dog. With more than 20,000 acres of mixed grass prairie, these creatures have their choice of homesites. Early travelers described miles of prairie dog villages, and from the vestiges visible today, such reports are credible. It is, perhaps, damning with faint praise to call these animals the cutest among the order rodentia, but they really are entertaining to watch, and children will enjoy seeing them sun themselves, dine on grass, or occasionally frolic with friends. The prairie, of course, is also a birder’s haven. There are the horned grebe, several species of woodpecker, and the endangered and elusive black-capped vireo. Also living in the Refuge are numerous birds of prey: merlins, kestrels, and several species of hawk—including northern harriers, which can be seen swooping down on other birds, field mice, and even prairie dogs. Such sights may have given rise to the legend of Piamempits, who, according to the rich and mystical lore of Wichita elders, was a “giant cannibal owl.” This creature lived in a cave in the Wichita Mountains, but he prowled at night, searching for and devouring naughty children while they slept. If this wasn’t sufficient to keep children in line, there were stories of Teihiihan, a “race of cannibal dwarves,” who had sharp teeth, one eye, and a penchant for kidnapping small children.

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, s e

e e d h l y n

Of course, we may have been overly sensitive to such tales, inasmuch as our first visit to the Wichitas corresponded not only with Halloween, but also with a full moon. We lingered in the Refuge after sunset, and as this Full Hunter’s Moon arose behind a veil of clouds, we tried to dwell more on the Wichita people’s moon deity, Bright Shining Woman—a generally beneficent deity and Mother of the Universe—and less on Piamempits and Teihiihan.

The Mountains In absolute terms, the elevation levels of the Wichita Mountains are modest. Even the highest mountain peaks in the range reach only about 2,500 feet above sea level. But this is Oklahoma, which is otherwise largely flat, and even small elevations allow for expansive views across the entire southwestern part of the state. And, this being Oklahoma, even the same views are altered throughout the day, as weather events come and go. These views are best reached by hiking, although the summit of Mt. Scott, the second highest peak in the Refuge, can be reached by car. Mt. Scott offers 360-degree views of the Refuge; nearby communities; and a few of the Refuge’s 13 lakes, some of which can take on a mystical quality during periods of fog or heavy weather.

Elk Mountain Trail is also recommended, offering wonderful views of the Refuge and numerous opportunities for wildlife spotting, all while intersecting numerous water features. Our most recommended hike, however, is Little Baldy Trail, which offers almost perfect views at sunset, providing a lot of punch for a round-trip less than two miles in length.


Loved Ones

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One of these, the Jed Johnson Lake, is particularly picturesque. The Jed Johnson Tower, constructed by the Civilian Conservation Corps in 1941, is 60 feet tall, and was formerly used as a fire watch tower. Because of structural issues, it is no longer open to the public, but it is visible from many spots in the park and is accessible via a two-mile hike.

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January 2022  |  Postcards Magazine: Lake Conroe Edition 23

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A Holy City The Wichita Mountains, where tales of Piamempit and Teihiihan were once passed around campfires and in beehive-shaped grass lodges, might seem like an unlikely spot to build a simulated Jerusalem. But Native Americans are not the only people to find a religious quality to the mountains and its inhabitants. Reverend Anthony Mark Wallock began offering sunrise Easter services in the Mountains in 1927. The annual service proved popular, and a “Passion Play” was added. By the mid-1930s, during the height

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of the New Deal, the federal government provided a grant to build a Holy City. The Works Progress Administration undertook the construction, and using locally quarried cobblestone, workers built key landmarks from Jesus’ life: Herod’s Court, Mary’s Garden, a Lord’s Supper building, Pilate’s Judgment Hall, the Gateway to Jerusalem, and even a Golgotha. Nearly 90 years later, the structures still stand—and the Easter pageant is still performed, making it one of the longestrunning annual Passion Play performances in the country.

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The Magic of the Wichitas This enchanting land, marked by granite mountainous outcroppings, rolling hills, and diverse wildlife, is a natural wonder. It is no wonder, then, that the people who have encountered it have projected their own spiritual beliefs on the land. From the terrors of the Teihiihan to the spiritual rebirth and renewal associated with Easter, the Mountains, the wildlife, and the elements provide a rich land for “more than an ordinary consideration of the infinite.”


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Monday-Thursday 8AM - 5PM • Friday By Appt. Saturday & Sunday Closed 1336 League Line Road, Suite 400 Conroe, Texas 77304 January 2022  |  Postcards Magazine: Lake Conroe Edition 25

Health Matters By James W. Jones, MD, PhD, MHA

Do Not Have Confusions About Resolutions—Instead, Let Them Provide Solutions By the time you read this, we will be into the month of January (named after the Roman god Janus, which is the god of beginnings and endings). Indeed, having a unique profile of two faces: One in the back of the head to survey pasts and in the front looking to futures. Learn from your past to shape your future and thrive.

has abridged to mean freedom from physical maladies. The World Health Organization defines health as: “A state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.” AMEN!

So as the phrase “New Year’s Resolution” suggests, January is a wonderful opportunity to better our lives by means of thoughtful examination of our lifestyle practices and how they can be enriched. First, it is important to consider what is most important in your life. What will give you the most long-term lifespan satisfaction? Consider that question sincerely (which I do each time I log in another 584-million-mile trip around the sun). My answer is a resolute retain GOOD HEALTH and perhaps even improve it. The word “health” derives from Old English roots meaning wholeness (or in olden times, the state of being uninjured). Originally, the word meant, “being fit” for life— having health was a good omen for all of one’s activities. Well-being is a near synonym. Health’s meaning, however, currently

or social living, especially if you are older. You don’t have to just let your abilities sag in some aspect of your functioning. GET GOING. Carefully plan the details of how you will accomplish reaching the goals you desire and the satisfactions you will enjoy as you do so. If you are increasing your exercise routine, outline the place you will go and the times you will be there. To eat healthier, plan for a more nutritious diet by serving more fish, vegetables, and fruits. Reduce fatty meats, sugar, and reduce portions. Include incremental improvements over time. A foremost New Year’s Resolution is to lose weight, and the obvious answer is to reduce calorie intake, get your body to burn more calories, or both. There are a number of successful plans; the safest and most reliable is to join a medical weight loss clinic.

Ask what small but meaningful improvements can be made to lifestyle, nothing major, because going overboard with resolutions is a foremost reason for failure within the first month. First, realize that gaining a healthier lifestyle will have many benefits for you, your loved ones, and friends. You will be able to function better with value-added physical, mental, emotional,

You might desire to expand your knowledge base by enrolling in courses online. I personally am going to return to a habit of reading at least one nonfiction book a week. I did that for many years, but have gotten out of that habit, I resolve to resume in January.

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26  Postcards Magazine: Lake Conroe Edition  |  January 2022

Member of Walker County Chamber of Commerce License: TPCL 0774786

From the Mouths of Babes... I was showing my husband my new coat when my 4 year old walked in and said, “I like your coat mama, it looks like a rug.”

When our son, who has two white parents, was a toddler, I was giving him a bath during the summer and commented on how tan he was getting. He said, “Yeah, I know. When I grow up, I think I’m gonna be black like my friend Isaac.”

My 3 year old calls Flonase “mommy’s special nose medicine” and now my neighbor thinks I do cocaine.

My six year old was watching me pour Draino down his bathroom sink. 6 year old: What’s that? Me: It dissolves whatever gunk is clogging up your drain. 6 year old: Cool! Even the screwdriver down there? Me: The wha…?

During my pregnancy I battled with lots of heartburn and indigestion. Right after our second child was born, our first son would go around telling people he had heartburn!

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Email: January 2022  |  Postcards Magazine: Lake Conroe Edition 27

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Conroe families have trusted our practice for over 35 years, and that’s because we constantly provide honest, friendly, and high-quality dentistry that always puts patient satisfaction first. 28  Postcards Magazine: Lake Conroe Edition  |  January 2022

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January 2022  |  Postcards Magazine: Lake Conroe Edition 29

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Alpha Omega Academy Favorite Movie: Forrest Gump Favorite Music/Artist: Country/Cody Johnson Favorite Food: Chick-fil-A

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don’t believe in themselves.”

Favorite Food: Steak (cooked medium) Favorite Quote: “Life is tough, but it’s tougher when you’re stupid.” -John Wayne


ason is a senior at Alpha Omega Academy and is the son of Weldon and Amanda Wallace. His activities include basketball, football, and baseball. He plans to attend college to pursue a degree in general business. Mason believes “Work first, then you play.”

Haden Coleman Trinity High School


esse is a senior at Alpha Omega Academy and is the daughter of Dave and Kelli McMahon. Her activities include volleyball, softball, House Leader, Interact, shotgun, FFA, 4-H, and planning activities for her school. Jesse plans to attend college to pursue a degree in agribusiness. She believes in being kind to others, always looking for a way to help, and reaching out to new people.

McKenna Perkins Alpha Omega Academy

Favorite Movie: The Hobbit Favorite Movie: The Color Purple Favorite Music/Artist: Snow Aalegra Favorite Food: My Mom’s Bacon Wrapped Green Beans Favorite Quote: “Yesterday is history. Tomorrow is a mystery. Today is a gift; that’s why they call it ‘the present.”


aden is a senior at Trinity High School and is the son of Misty Coleman and Barry Coleman. His activities include tennis, track, cross country, and showing Charolais cattle all over Texas! Haden plans to attend Texas A&M University or Texas Tech University to pursue a field in veterinary medicine.” 30  Postcards Magazine: Lake Conroe Edition  |  January 2022

Favorite Music/Artist: Ateez, Enhyphen, Treasure Favorite Food: Kimbap Favorite Quote: “What you do makes a difference, and

you have to decide what kind of difference you want to make.” –Jane Goodall


cKenna is a senior at Alpha Omega Academy and is the daughter of Christa Ashworth-Perkins. Her activities include Art, National Honor Society, National English Honor Society, and Mu Alpha Theta. She plans to attend Texas A&M University to pursue a degree in biomedical engineering. McKenna believes, “You should never give up trying.”

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January 2022  |  Postcards Magazine: Lake Conroe Edition 31

The Garden Post By Kim Bius

The Great Reset of American Gardening The Great Reset of American Gardening is in progress. What is the “great reset” you ask? It is a return to Truth. It is a return to the simple joy of creating, growing, and producing your own food source in one capacity or another. It is the journey in learning and creating. Many of us are not that far removed from working the garden with grandparents, pulling weeds, and knowing how and when to plant. The science/art became lost to the masses for about 30 years but is making a tremendous return. Why?

natural materials: stone, wood, glass, and gravel. In the plant world, new tissue cultures are being developed to give different twist to plants we know and love; variegation, longer blooming cycles, dwarf size, etc. Heirloom varieties and “own root stalk” over grafted varieties are also big. Many citrus and fruit trees are going “non-grafted.” So, what happens then? Non-grafted citrus are in bush form, but can withstand colder temperatures…as is true, in the non-grafted fruit trees, such as peach, pear, and pecan (although yield and fruit size are diminished).

Growing your own allows us to control our food source. Gardening is the most therapeutic activity (physically and mentally). It gives you physical exertion as well as joy and contentment in getting that rose to produce the most beautiful blooms. Gardening allows you to be creator and creative in the same mindset and enjoy the journey. Yes, even after 40 years of gardening, I will have a failure, and that is what keeps us learning and striving to correct mistakes and stay on course--sounds like life! It is very exciting to share the enthusiasm and “know-how” of gardening to these lost generations.

Speaking of fruit trees, January is fruit tree planting season. The cold and wet is a tree’s perfect planting time, and January will give you the best selection. Ensure you shop at a garden center that is carrying trees specific to your area. This is almost 100% true in an independent garden center, but not so much in box stores. You will need to know the meaning of chilling hour. A chilling hour is the amount of time below 43 degrees a tree must receive to set fruit. For instance, a peach tree in the Dallas area requires a ch (chilling hour) of 850-900 to produce. So, if we plant this same tree in the lower Houston area, the chances of it getting the chilling time required to set fruit is slim to none. Last year was a doozy, and I suspect we received enough chilling hours to grow any variety of fruit tree for that year, if the tree was not damaged.

A quick review of the top gardening trends for 2022 is much the same as it has been for years. Indoor/outdoor living with an emphasis on

January is also the time to plant winter bulbs. Winter bulbs actually bloom in early spring and can be planted later in the season in our area. Why? Our winters are often wet, and soft winter bulbs will rot if not planted in an area with excellent drainage. Bulbs such as tulips and hyacinth will require 6 weeks of pre-chilling hours before they will bloom. So, these bulbs will need to be stored in the refrigerator, away from apples (they exude a gas that will rot bulbs). Bulbs that naturalize in our area are daffodils and narcissi. For a bulb to naturalize, it must be planted in a full sun area with great drainage, and it will multiply and return year after year to grace your landscape with beauty.

We look forward to serving you! From our family to yours, Happy New Year!

Independently Owned & Operated TACL A010432C

We’re the ones to call!


32  Postcards Magazine: Lake Conroe Edition  |  January 2022

January is also the best time to find and plant roses. A good rule of thumb in gardening--if it’s blooming or producing fruit, the time to plant was two months prior. Refrain from purchasing roses coated in wax. The wax is to seal in the moisture, but you never know when that was. A waxed rose has a 60-day window to plant, and they never do very well. A healthy, premium quality rose bush is not going to be “cheap”….. nothing worth the time and effort to grow ever is. We have heard, “I do not want to buy an expensive rose, because they just die.” Why do they die? “I don’t know, we did everything we were supposed to do, but they never last more than two years.” My case exactly! Given the right growing conditions and care, roses will outlive us. Our area was predicted to have a severe winter, but long-range weather is barely showing temperatures dropping to 32 degrees on 5 nights until March. We are due for an early spring, and this may just be the year! Wishing all a year filled with blessings, good health, prosperity, and successful gardening.

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1203 Candy Cane Lane • Conroe January 2022  |  Postcards Magazine: Lake Conroe Edition 33

What’s Cookin’ Oreo Cookie Balls Ingredients 1 (8 oz) pkg cream cheese, softened 36 Oreo cookies, finely crushed 16 oz semi-sweet baking chocolate, melted

Directions Step 1: Mix cream cheese and cookie crumbs until well blended. Step 2: Shape into 48 (1-inch) balls. Freeze 10 min. Dip balls in melted chocolate; place in single layer in shallow waxed paper-lined pan.

Slow Cooker Low-Carb Santa Fe Chicken

Step 3: Refrigerate 1 hour or until firm. Ingredients 1 (15 oz) can black beans, rinsed and drained 1 (14.5 oz) can fat-free chicken broth 1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes with green chile peppers 1 (8 oz) bag frozen corn ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro 3 scallions, chopped 1 tsp garlic powder 1 tsp onion powder 1 tsp ground cumin 1 tsp cayenne pepper, or to taste salt to taste 1 ½ lbs skinless, boneless chicken breast halves

Directions Step 1: Combine black beans, chicken broth, diced tomatoes with green chile peppers, corn, cilantro, scallions, garlic powder, onion powder, cumin, cayenne pepper, and salt in the crock pot. Season chicken breast with salt and lay atop the bean mixture. Bakers Tip: When melting chocolate use a double boiler. Don’t fully boil the water in your double boiler. Get it hot enough to melt the chocolate, but not to a rolling boil.

Step 2: Cook on low for 9 1/2 hours or high for 6 hours. Step 3: Remove chicken from slow cooker to a cutting board; shred into strands, return to the slow cooker, and stir into the bean mixture. Step 4: Continue cooking on low for 30 minutes more.

34  Postcards Magazine: Lake Conroe Edition  |  January 2022

Creamy Pasta with Cauliflower

Step 3: Meanwhile, bring the cauliflower cooking water back to a boil. Add farfalle and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender yet firm to the bite, about 12 minutes. Drain.

Ingredients 1 med head cauliflower, broken into small florets

Step 4: Add tomatoes to the cauliflower sauce; cook until heated through, about 1 minute. Add 1 cup Parmesan cheese to the cauliflower sauce; cook and stir until melted, about 1 minute more.

½ cup salted butter 1 med onion, diced 1 Tbs red pepper flakes, or to taste 2 pints heavy cream

Step 5: Combine pasta and sauce; toss until well coated. Sprinkle with additional Parmesan cheese to serve.

1 (16 oz) pkg farfalle pasta 1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese, or more to taste

Directions Step 1: Place cauliflower into a large pot of salted water; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until tender, about 10 minutes. Remove cauliflower with a strainer, reserving the cooking water in the pot. Step 2: Melt butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion and cook until transparent, about 5 minutes. Add cauliflower florets and red pepper flakes; saute until browned, 7 to 10 minutes. Add heavy cream; cook until reduced by half, 10 to 15 minutes.

HAPPY NEW YEAR! Zippy Tuna Ingredients 1 (5 oz) can chunk light tuna in water, drained and flaked 2 Tbs mayonnaise 1 Tbs prepared yellow mustard 1 ½ tsp creamy prepared horseradish 1 tsp lemon juice 1 tsp garlic powder 1 pinch salt

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936-228-0990 January 2022  |  Postcards Magazine: Lake Conroe Edition 35

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Herbed Pomegranate Salsa

Ingredients 1 ½ sprigs fresh mint, chopped 1 ½ bunches fresh cilantro, chopped 1 ½ bunches Italian flat leaf parsley, chopped 1 small red onion, chopped 1 pomegranate, skin and light-colored membrane removed 6 Tbs fresh lime juice 2 tsp grated lime zest 1 jalapeno pepper, chopped 1 serrano pepper, chopped 1 small tomato, diced 2 Tbs olive oil salt to taste ground white pepper to taste

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Directions Step 1: In a medium bowl, toss together mint, cilantro, Italian flat leaf parsley, red onion, pomegranate, lime juice, lime zest, jalapeno pepper, serrano pepper, tomato, and olive oil. Season with salt and white pepper. Step 2: Cover, and chill in the refrigerator at least 2 hours before serving.

Roasted Green Beans

Ingredients 2 lbs fresh green beans, trimmed 1 Tbs olive oil, or as needed 1 tsp kosher salt ½ tsp freshly ground black pepper

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Step 2: Pat green beans dry with paper towels if necessary; spread onto a jellyroll pan. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Use your fingers to coat beans evenly with olive oil and spread them out so they don’t overlap. Step 3: Roast in the preheated oven until beans are slightly shriveled and have brown spots, 20 to 25 minutes.

36  Postcards Magazine: Lake Conroe Edition  |  January 2022

Giggles & Grins Q: Why couldn’t the leopard play hide and seek? A: Because he was always spotted.

Q: What did the husband pen say to the wife pen? A: You’re always write.

Q: Did you hear about the kidnapping at school? A: It’s okay. He woke up.

My wife told me to take the spider out instead of killing him. We went out. Had a few drinks. Nice guy. He’s a web designer.

A shop assistant fiercely fought off an armed robber with his labeling gun yesterday. Police are now looking for the man and say there’s a price on his head. David McGann

I cook with wine. Sometimes I even add it to the food…” W. C. Fields

January 2022  |  Postcards Magazine: Lake Conroe Edition 37

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January 2022  |  Postcards Magazine: Lake Conroe Edition 39

Business Focus Story by Ruth Fields Photos by Gina Turner

At 4:00 a.m., while most local residents are (of course) still asleep, Darin McKenzie arrives at his restaurant’s Conroe location. Soon, he’s stoking the fires to smoke the brisket, ribs, sausage, and turkey breasts that have made McKenzie’s Barbeque and Burgers a popular local eatery. Although he sometimes has to arrive even earlier (at times most people would call “the middle of the night”), he does not complain. Darin has spent the past 26 years of his life diligently managing his eponymous restaurant, serving legendary barbeque, sides, and desserts. Some of the restaurant’s offerings—like the pecan pie, coleslaw, and mac and cheese—are family recipes, and Darin prides himself on providing consistency loyal customers can count on. “I think that is why they come back,” he says. “When your name is above the door, you tend to care about what is being served.”

Darin and Colin McKenzie

Darin reports he often welcomes diners who discovered the restaurant when it first opened in 1995. A 2,200-square foot cubbyhole at 1501 North Frazier, the original restaurant seated just 70 people. Although it is still in the same location, McKenzie’s has expanded twice and now includes a burger bar, as well as a spacious banquet room used by many local organizations. In addition, McKenzie’s Barbeque and Burgers has had a location in Montgomery (on Walden Road, just north of the Walmart Supercenter) for more than a decade.

Barbeque ~ Pecan Pie ~ Coleslaw ~ Potato Salad ~ Mac & 40  Postcards Magazine: Lake Conroe Edition  |  January 2022


your name is above the door, you tend to care about what is being served.”

Learning the family business Colin McKenzie was just six weeks old when parents Darin and Kathy McKenzie opened their barbeque restaurant. Darin and Kathy remember Colin spending the first few months of his life in a playpen at the restaurant, or being passed from Kathy to the arms of willing customers. His sister Lauren arrived in 1998, and their baby sister Abby joined the family in 2006. When Colin and Lauren were in elementary school, Darin bought three candy machines he positioned by the restaurant’s door. Colin and Lauren paid Darin for the machines with profits made from selling candy purchased at Sam’s Club. They took inventory, restocking when needed. They also paid attention to which kinds of candy were purchased most often. “Some candy wasn’t as popular as others,” Colin says. “We didn’t realize it at the time, but it was a great introduction to business.” Years later, after completing his freshman year at Louisiana Tech University, Colin learned he was able to apply concepts learned in his college finance classes to the restaurant. The following summer, he began to consider making McKenzie’s Barbeque and Burgers a career, following in his father’s proverbial footsteps. “I really enjoyed working with my dad,” Colin says. Father and son discussed the idea, and Darin suggested Colin speak to people he knew who had worked for their fathers in family businesses. In the end, Colin knew he wanted to be a second-generation restauranteur, and Darin approved enthusiastically. “He was all about it,” Colin says. When Colin went back for his junior year of college, he had a different perspective. With a clear career path in mind, he

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January 2022  |  Postcards Magazine: Lake Conroe Edition 41

looked at every class as a way to learn something applicable to the family business. “It completely changed my outlook on college,” he says. After completing his degree in finance in 2018, Colin joined McKenzie’s full time. For now, Darin has no immediate retirement plans, so the father-son duo plans to work in harmony for years to come. Local barbeque aficionados can feel secure in the knowledge that the McKenzie family will be barbequing well into the future. Catering is one aspect of the business Colin likes best, and he is pleased the operation is thriving. Every catering job is a little different, he explains, and he enjoys making each client happy, whether it’s a bride and groom or a representative from a business, church, or family. Word is spreading, and McKenzie’s has recently catered events as far away as Louisiana and Lubbock, Texas. “We are always looking for ways to improve,” Colin says. “Every day I come to work, I try to get a little better.”

Barbecue, Burgers and Breakfast From the very first days their restaurant was open for business, the McKenzie family has been dedicated to friendly customer service and good food known for its consistent quality. This tradition of excellence begins with the meat. Using only the best cuts of meat and quality spices, barbeque is slow-smoked up to 22 hours over hardwood fires. It’s always served fresh, and never cut until ordered. The delicious ‘Q—especially the lean brisket, which is the restaurant’s biggest seller—have made McKenzie’s Barbeque a lunch and dinner destination; however, always looking for ways to please his clientele, Darin added classic American burgers to the menu in 2005. On Memorial Day 2011, both the Conroe and Montgomery locations officially became McKenzie’s Barbeque and Burgers. A few years ago, Darin began cooking breakfast one morning a week for a men’s group from his church. The event was so popular, he decided to open the Conroe location for breakfast on Mondays through Saturdays from 6:30 until 11 a.m. More and more people are showing up in the mornings, as word gets out about the breakfast-y goodness at McKenzie’s. Breakfast tacos (made with the barbeque made famous at lunch and dinner) are a popular choice; the breakfast menu also features such great southern favorites as biscuits and gravy, bacon, pancakes, waffles and eggs (scrambled or fried). Over the years, the McKenzie family has earned the loyalty of many local people, and some customers are so pleased with the good food at McKenzie’s they come to the restaurant every day it is open. (McKenzie’s is closed on Sundays so the McKenzie family and their employees can rest and attend church.) “Successful restaurants are built on bringing customers back time and time again,” Colin says. “We exist because of our customers. That’s something we have been really focused on lately.” Some customers like McKenzie’s barbeque so much, they take a bit of the flavor home with them. Sauces and spices are now available for sale at the restaurant, and can also be ordered online for delivery anywhere in the U.S. For more information, visit 42  Postcards Magazine: Lake Conroe Edition  |  January 2022

“We exist because of our customers.”

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8 6 7 2 5 4 1 9 5 6 3 9 7 8_________ 2 4 to complete91Mr. 5 ____________! 9 7 4 6 and 2 _______ 2 4 8 1 7 3 6 exclamation vegetable person 5 6 9 2 4 1 3 7 8 6 9the8 best 2 5part, 6 8 1 7 he’s 4 1 7 3 9 done! Finally. Now __________ 3 1 8 5 7 9 4 adjective 6 2 1 3 4 9 7 8 5 6 2 3 9 2 5 4 ____________. 4 2 7 8 3 6 9 1 5 5 2 7 6 1 3 9 8 4 5 2 6 8 3 noun 7 3 5 9 2 4 6 8 1 8 4 7 9 1 7 6 3 5 9 2 8 4 1 2 8 4 1 6 3 5 9 7 2 1 5 8 4 6 3 9 7 1 6 8 2 5 6 9 1 7 5 8 2 4 3 8 4 9 1 3 7 6 2 5 7 5 3 4 6 4






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Jan Nell

44  Postcards Magazine: Lake Conroe Edition  |  January 2022


do _____ more and stack them on top of each other. number Sudoku #4 #1 Sudoku We __________ for _________ in the driveway for the 8 4 2 6 1 5 7 3 9 verb noun 7 1 3 6 9 2 5 8 4 3 9 1 7 __________, eyes and ______. 3 4 gives 8 2us1a scarf, 9 7 Mom 5 6 hat

IT’S FINALLY HERE! 2022!!! Sudoku #5

5 9 2 7 color 4 1

day. Watching all that _________ snow fall makes me

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Suduko Solutions

Sudoku #3 EASY Sudoku #6 6 4 3 5 7 1 4 6 1 8 9 7 8 6 3 7 2 5 7 4 5 2 9 1 9 2 4 6 1 9 8 2 7 6 8 2 6 5 7 4 5 3 1 9 4 3 2 9 4 9 2 3 9 4 1 8 3 1 6 8 3 7 6 5 8 7 5 1 2 8 5 3 #5 Sudoku #8 3 9 5 7 1 6 9 7 1 2 6 8 2 7 4 5 8 7 4 9 5 8 3 1 2 3 7 5 4 9 6 3 6 4 9 1 75 58 81 92

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4 6 2 3 8 5 3 7 8 9 6 2 1 5 6 2 9 8 4 6 13 7 7 2 8 26 69 33 3 2 1 4 5 8 7 9 5 3 6 1 2 4 9 1 7 6 3 4 5 7 6 2 4 9 8 1 64 41 28 83 97 55 19 8 3 5 2 7 1 4

Sudoku #7


1 5 4 1

7 9 4 4 6 6 1 7 5 3

2 8 8 5 9

2 3 1 8 2 9 3

6 3 7 4 9 1 8 5 5 2 4 1 7 4 9 6 8 7 2 8 3 5 32 76 6 9

Things my Grandaddy said...

Don’t spread your blanket where a cat’s been diggin’.

You can’t bury a fella just ‘cause he’s been dead for years.

Two can live as cheap as one if one don’t eat.

Don’t stand in the trough when you feed the pigs.

Don’t sell your mule to buy a plow.

The sweetest peaches are just out of reach.

Stuff tends to break when it’s loaned or borrowed.

Some folks have to snore in self-defense.

For tickets call the Crighton Theatre Box Office (936) 441-7469 or go to Crighton Theatre •234 N. Main Street •Conroe, TX 77301

Funded in part by the City of Conroe. January 2022  |  Postcards Magazine: Lake Conroe Edition 45

Vet Connect: By Kim VanWagner, D.V.M.

New Year Pet Resolutions What better time of the year than now to begin making changes for a healthier lifestyle? The holidays have just passed and if you’re like me, now is the time to make compensations for all the holiday indulgences. The start of a new year can signal a fresh start for your pets as well. Some may be needing a change in their routine or just encouraged to become more active, especially if the recent weather has caused them to lay around and not get as much activity as they typically do. There’s no better time for you to commit to a new diet and exercise regimen for your pets, esp. if you are considering that for yourself. This might also be a good time to enrich and enhance their environments. Here are some ideas to help your pet live a healthier lifestyle: 1. Take the time to measure your pet’s food every time! Many owners “eyeball” their pet’s daily intake usually resulting in overfeeding and weight gain, not to mention the extra calories consumed in treats. Instead, use an actual 8 oz measuring cup, not Big Gulps or Folgers coffee cans. For example, did you know that large dog greenie dental treats have 145 kilocalories, which is 20% of a 50lb dog’s daily needs? Recommended feeding guidelines on bags are a good place to start to figure your pets’ daily needs, but make sure

Real Volunteers Real Results

Assistance League® - Fostering health and wellness in Montgomery County through these philanthropic programs... • ASSAULT SURVIVOR KITS® … Helps assault and trauma survivors by providing clothing, toiletries and comfort items. • TENDER LOVING CARE DOLLS… Provides hand-crafted dolls to counselors who use them as a tool to encourage children to express their feelings during difficult times. • FANS FOR FRIENDS… Provides seniors and individuals in need with large box fans for the summer heat and warm blankets for the winter cold. • PASSPORT FOR GOOD HEALTH ™… Provides booklets for recording immunizations, medical information, and prescription medicines. If serving your community is your passion, join us! Call Sandra Katri at 936-760-1151 126 N. San Jacinto Street • Conroe, TX 77301

Thrift shop hours 10-3 Tuesday - Saturday 46  Postcards Magazine: Lake Conroe Edition  |  January 2022

to choose age appropriate diets. Growing pets have very specific nutrient requirements to ensure their bodies grow healthy and strong. Some senior pets may have lower energy requirements, and have other medical issues like degenerative joint disease that may be helped with appropriate diets. You can also offer your pet a smaller food bowl if you are working on weight management. Both you and your pet will perceive to actually have more food instead of a smaller portion when a smaller bowl is used. 2. Try a new activity with your pet. It is easier than ever for people to incorporate their pet into a new exercise routine. It’s a great way to bond, it’ll get you both moving around and maybe out of the house, and both of you will reap the rewards of healthy physical activities. There are several apps available such as Charity Miles that encourage dog walking. Interact with your cat using laser and feather toys and cardboard boxes to enrich their environment by stimulating that predatory instinct, getting them off the couch and engaged in a little aerobic activity. Try putting pet food and treats in puzzle bowls and other reward based systems to enrich their minds while they’re eating. 3. Make a Date with your Vet. Veterinary visits are also the perfect time to ask for advice, update your pet’s food, or get an expert opinion on any behavioral issues that may be affecting your bonding with your pet or even training advice. It is also a good time to update Pet ID info, microchip status, and wellness visits if needed. 4. Practice Good Oral Hygiene Habits. Daily tooth brushing is the best way to keep tarter and plaque at bay, just be sure to use toothpaste meant for pets, no fluoride. Water additives, dental diets, and treats designed to reduce tarter can also be helpful tools in protecting teeth. Oravet chews are a great dental treat if used daily to help clean and apply a temporary sealant over the teeth. Even with all these tricks, regular cleanings under the care of a licensed vet are the best way to keep those pearly whites in tip top shape long into your pet’s senior years. With dental month right around the corner in February, be on the lookout for discounted dental prices. 5. Consider fostering or adopting. You think you want a new pet but you’re not 100% sure it’s right for you? Try fostering. Many animal shelters and rescues are in great need of loving homes to provide safe and temporary living arrangements for pets. It’s the perfect way to test the waters of pet ownership without the lifelong commitment, since you are simply hosting a pet while they wait for their forever home. If you’re not able to adopt or even offer fostering care, your local shelter and rescue groups would love other forms of support financially or through volunteering. Make the beginning of this new decade count for you and your furry family members! Happy New Year and a new beginning.

Wildlife Wonders TEAMWORK LESSONS FROM GEESE By Cheryl Conley Look, up in the sky. It’s a bird, it’s a plane. No, it’s Canadian geese flying south in their iconic “v” formation, typically during the months of September and October. However, I just saw a flock last week, so obviously it can be later in the year. Normally, I hear them before I see them because they “honk” while they’re flying. This is their way of keeping the flock together. They don’t let bad weather or nighttime keep them from flying, so when it’s cloudy or dark with limited visibility, they are able to keep track of each other by honking.

As human beings, we often (but not always) choose our leaders because of their knowledge and abilities. Not so with geese. When migrating, the duty of leading the flock (or skein) is a shared responsibility. The vertex of the formation is a difficult and exhausting position to be in, so it changes frequently. Each bird in the “V” flies a little higher than the bird in front of them. This reduces wind resistance and conserves energy for every bird in the formation except the lead bird…so when the leader tires, it will fall back, and another bird will take the lead. This is teamwork in action.

Migrating Canada geese can fly up to 1500 miles in 24 hours and fly 2,000 to 3,000 miles in total to get to their destination. Some will spend their winters in the southern United States or Mexico. It’s interesting to note, however, that some geese don’t migrate at all. If there’s open water and available food, they may become year-round residents. They are highly adaptable.

A goose’s body size can range from 30 to 43 inches with a wingspan of 4.2 feet to 5.6 feet. You’ll be pleased to know that wild Canadian geese mate for life, but domesticated geese prefer to play the field and can have many mates. Wild geese will stay loyal to their mates until death, at which time they may seek out another mate. Interestingly, geese exhibit signs of mourning when they lose a mate. They separate from the flock and will often make mourning-type sounds.

Come spring, you may hear or see geese heading north. Normally they will return to the same nesting site every year. The female chooses the nesting site and does most of the nest construction while dad stands guard. The female lays between 4 and 9 eggs and will lay one every 1-2 days. The incubation period is about 30 days; during this time, she will only leave the nest for very short periods of time to eat and drink. Soon after hatching, the goslings are taken to the water to eat. Mom and dad are very protective of their broods for 10-12 weeks after hatching. As the goslings grow older and learn to fly, the parents become less protective.

The Canada Goose is protected under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918. This means that it is illegal to capture, kill, trade, transport, or damage eggs or their nests without permission from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. There is, however, a hunting season for geese in Texas. Here is the link for the regulations: https:// regs/animals/goose

Nominate Senior Your

Tell us about a High School Senior who is involved and making a difference!

We want to feature them! POSTCARDSLIVE.COM January 2022  |  Postcards Magazine: Lake Conroe Edition 47



Thru 4 Conroe Affordable Art




Houston “Hadestown”

Conroe “The Rainmaker”

Houston Elton John



Galveston Mavis Staples in Concert

Sugar Land George Lopez: OMG Hi! Comedy Show


22-23 Galveston The Oak Ridge Boys in Concert

Rockport Gospel Music Festival



College Station Aaron Watson in Concert

Houston Hops n’ Hot Sauce Festival

14-15 Galveston Yaga’s Chili Quest and Beer Fest

Orange CeCe Winans in Concert




Dave Halston: The Sinatra Experience

Montgomery The Fun One-Day Wedding Expo

20-22 Huntsville “Creature”

26-Feb 20 Houston Houston Auto Show

21-30 Clute “The Lion in Winter”

Houston “No One Owns Me”

Due to concerns over the spread of coronavirus, some events may have schedule changes. 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.


Corsicana Asia in Concert


Sugar Land Tom Segura


Bay City


Wild Game and Camofest



Conroe Lorrie Morgan


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Monster Jam

Lake Jackson Paul Shaffer in Concert


Galveston “Neil Berg’s 50 Years of Rock ‘n’ Roll 2”

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281-513-6263 January 2022  |  Postcards Magazine: Lake Conroe Edition 49

Mustard Seed Moments by Scott Moore

Be a Peacemaker I saw a scripture misquoted today, and it’s been bugging me. In fact, I often see this scripture misquoted, and I felt the need to speak out. Today, I saw a perfectly well-intentioned group in a public forum misquote Matthew 5:9. Their version read, “Blessed are the peaceKEEPERS (my emphasis), for they shall be called the children of God.”

I have no doubt that this group meant well. In fact, I fully and wholly support this group. But, the misquoting of this scripture is very problematic for our understanding of peace.

I referenced seven different translations and versions of the Bible to check myself. I chose some colloquial versions and some academic translations. These included: NIV, NRSV, CEB, Good News, HCSB, KJV, and NLT.

Every single one of these translations/versions quotes Matthew 5:9 in a different way—but every one refers to “peaceMAKERS” or “those who WORK for peace.” This is not simple semantics. There is a huge difference

in “keeping” and “making.” I KEEP a cake someone else baked for me. I MAKE a cake from scratch using my own efforts. A peaceKEEPER merely maintains the status quo of a state of non-conflict. There is no action. There is no intention. A peaceKEEPER gets by on “not rocking the boat” and not causing any problems.

A peaceMAKER actively works toward mediating a peace in times of conflict. There is action. There is intentionality.

Jesus clearly said that those who ACTIVELY seek peace over conflict will be the ones blessed. There is no such promise to those who simply don’t rock the boat. May we all strive to be peacemakers.


50  Postcards Magazine: Lake Conroe Edition  |  January 2022

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SCHEDULE YOUR APPOINTMENTS ONLINE AT: WWW.CAMERONOPTICAL.COM January 2022  |  Postcards Magazine: Lake Conroe Edition 51