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Lake Conroe

POSTCARDS East Texas Mounted Search and Rescue / Postcards Photo Contest / ToyoMasters / Christmas in Crockett



Take Care

Health & Wellness Guide Special Advertising section

November 2021 Postal Customer


We are grateful & thankful for each of you who allow us to be of service to you!

Ward Furniture & Flooring

2  Postcards Magazine: Lake Conroe Edition  |  November 2021

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November 2021  |  Postcards Magazine: Lake Conroe Edition 3


November 2021  |  Volume 10, Issue 11



Community Builders

Business Focus

East Texas Mounted Search & Rescue




Take Care


Health & Wellness Guide

Christmas in Crockett

FAVORITES 6 7 8 17 19 20 26 28

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

Outdoor Furniture

Children’s Fishing Apparel 281-731-6974 4  Postcards Magazine: Lake Conroe Edition  |  November 2021

30 The Garden Post 40 Sudoku Marketplace 41 Giggles & Grins 46 Kidding Around 48 What’s Cookin’ 54 Vet Connect 56 Community Calendar 58 Mustard Seed Moments

Early Detection Starts With Your

ANNUAL MAMMOGRAM Advanced Breast Screenings Close to Home At Houston Methodist Breast Care Center in The Woodlands, our specialists review your mammogram history and track results over time — detecting changes earlier. That’s why getting your mammogram starting at age 40 — or earlier, if you have a family history — is so important.



The TheWoodlands Woodlands


Our Breast Care Center offers: • The latest 3D mammogram technology • Board-certified breast imaging radiologists • Acceptance of most major insurance plans Your health is our priority. To better protect you, we took it one step further by requiring COVID-19 vaccinations for all of our physicians, staff and employees.

Scan the QR code, visit or call 936.270.3600 to schedule your mammogram today. We do not require a doctor’s order for your annual screening mammogram. November 2021  |  Postcards Magazine: Lake Conroe Edition 5

Publisher’s Post Karen Altom

Your Local Community Magazine!

On the GRANDstand As we enter the season of holidays and thanksgiving, this year I find many of my most thankful moments have been for grandparents. Since becoming one last year, I have been thinking a lot about the roles mine played in my life. I have also been watching, listening, and learning from others. Because of the auto accident I was in almost 20 years ago, I have some physical limitations that are part of my life. As we raised our own children, we adapted, but I found I kept comparing myself to my grandson’s other grandmother because she is physically able to do some things I am not. FACT: I adore his other grandmother. She is my childhood friend and a precious person, but I kept thinking, “Would my grandchildren love me as much, because I can’t do as much?” One special friend’s observation of grandparents really resonated with me…and it made me realize the truth of what was said. She said, “I remember as a child that I just loved my grandparents because they were my grandparents. I respected them because of their place in our family. They didn’t attend everything I did; they didn’t buy me expensive gifts. They just loved me, and I loved them because of who they were.” I thought back to my own grandparents and realized the same thing was true. I spent the most time with my mother’s parents, and a lot of that was sitting beside them in church or with our entire family at their home for dinner after church. As I grew older, I would stay with them, and it always felt like the most special thing in the world when I did. My paternal grandparents lived in another city most of my childhood, and although I didn’t know them as well, I remember loving them deeply…because of who they were in our family, not because of what they did for me. Over the years, there seems to have been a culture shift that has turned being a grandparent into a competition of how much one can do, buy, or experience to prove how special the child is to them. Parents, I encourage you to pause. I encourage you to think about how much you love your child and remember--the way you feel about them is the way we felt about you. I encourage you to remind your children of the love and honor due their grandparents…not because of what they do or buy or how many events they attend…but because they survived raising YOU! Teach them the values of respect and honor because of who someone is, not because of what they do for you. Enjoy this time. I promise you, it is fleeting; one day you will blink, and you’ll be a grandparent, too. And like me, you’ll be very, very thankful.

Until next time,



6  Postcards Magazine: Lake Conroe Edition  |  November 2021


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.

Publisher Karen Altom Editor Wes Altom Advertising Team Janet T. Jones 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. © 2021 by Altom Consulting & Marketing, Inc., All rights reserved.

Let’s Celebrate This Month’s Business Anniversaries: 2012


Celebrating 9 years

Celebrating 1 year

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Call or Text 713-570-6095

Happy Thanksgiving!


2020 Celebrating 3 years

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Cookies • Desserts • Keto • Gluten Free Full Florist • Weddings • Birthday Parties Funerals • Flower Specials • More

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Celebrating 1 year HeavenlyCAKES & FLOWERS

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Rane Riley

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Attorney at Park Law Firm

KAT’S GUITARS / ALL PAWN Tel.: (936) 291-6660

Serving Walker, Grimes, Madison, Trinity and Montgomery Counties

25907 Interstate 45 North • Next to Dosey Doe y for a w a y La mas Christ Now!


Diamonds Wholesale

November 2021  |  Postcards Magazine: Lake Conroe Edition 7

From Our Readers I’m sending this with great thanks, appreciation and affection to Postcards! Having been a citizen and part of the Walker County area communities since 1986, every issue I have read that you put out is like getting a card or letter in the mail from family! Its always fun to read, and I look forward to each and every edition! Michelle Ives

WOW! Thank you for inspirational article “A Feather on the Water”, it was an amazing story and reminds us all how we should cherish every day and try to be kind to everyone. Thank you for your magazine…keep up the good work! Tish Humphrey

8  Postcards Magazine: Lake Conroe Edition  |  November 2021

Dear Karen and Staff, Everyone needs to be commended for a job well done. I love receiving your magazine and read it closely. All the sections are good. I especially look forward to the recipes. The Garden Post was great and packed with timely and much needed info. The GOOD EATS article is much appreciated, and I plan to visit each establishment. The spotlight on local people is interesting, as well as historical figures. I hate to leave any section out, they are all good!!! The magazine has a friendly and down home vibe. I laughed about your cell phone comments and can totally identify. Keep up the Good Work!! Linda Kovac P.S. The ads are even good AND helpful!

Deck the Halls

Put a tropical twist on your family gathering or office Christmas party during this most wonderful time of the year. Enjoy beautiful views of Lake Conroe from one of numerous event spaces and custom holiday menus inspired by the Caribbean but with enough Texas flair to make any cowboy feel right at home. Call or e-mail us today to learn about our exclusive 2021 holiday promotion and special overnight accommodation rates. EVENTS@MARGARITAVILLERESORTLAKECONROE.COM | 936.448.3103

November 2021  |  Postcards Magazine: Lake Conroe Edition 9

Community Builders Story by Ruth Fields Photos by Tom Miller

East Texas Mounted Search and Rescue On a recent Saturday morning, members of East Texas Mounted Search and Rescue (ETMSAR) listened as their leader, Novalene Thurston, gave them their marching orders. “The young woman did not have her purse or cell phone,” she says. “Friends have been calling. They want something

to be done. Come up with an action plan for tomorrow morning. You have fifteen minutes.” It was a practice scenario, but the group nonetheless split in half and began discussing options in earnest. After Novalene called time, the two groups compared notes.

Left to Right: Novalene Thurston, Frankie Young, Paul Hinton, Susette Renfro, Teresa Cook, Jo Ann Malarchick, Cal Monteith.

10  Postcards Magazine: Lake Conroe Edition  |  November 2021

Above: Jo Ann Malarchick & Paul Hinton-part of the grid search team.

ETMSAR, a non-profit organization, meets monthly to train. Sometimes the group works with their horses; at other times they work indoors, cross-training on a variety of skills. Twice a year, they perform simulations of mounted rescue operations. Teresa Cook, the group’s secretary, says this monthly training is what makes ETMSAR different from other mounted search and rescue organizations. “We are constantly training. We are all CPR certified. We have a monthly training event that we all participate in,” she says. Novalene agrees, “We try to do everything we are doing as professionally as possible even though we are volunteers. We want to do it right.” Mounted search and rescue organizations are common in other parts of the country, says Novalene, the chairperson of ETMSAR’s board of directors. For example, they are often deployed in the desert southwest when hikers underestimate the amount of water they’ll need and ultimately require assistance. Mounted search and rescue organizations in Texas are relatively rare, but they can be quite useful to local law enforcement. Because riders sit many feet off the ground, they can see much farther than people who are

searching on foot. Furthermore, although horses progress slowly in densely-forested areas, they are ideally suited for searches in open areas. “If you have open spaces like fields and pastures and roadsides, we can cover that area three times as fast as people on the ground,” Novalene says. People don’t seem to go missing as commonly in Texas as they do in other parts of the country, she says, but still, ETMSAR is typically called out two to three times per year on active missingperson searches. The group does not self-deploy, but waits for requests from local law enforcement agencies before activating. The group follows guidelines set up by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the National Incident Management System (NIMS), so it can easily work alongside other organizations that follow the same protocols. “We don’t want to be a part of the problem,” Novalene says. “We want to be a part of the solution.”

‘Better than any ribbon’ Members of ETMSAR live throughout East Texas, including Montgomery, Walker, Brazos, and Leon


November 2021  |  Postcards Magazine: Lake Conroe Edition 11

“We ride so that others may live.”

The team preparing to perform another grid search.

counties. Some are retired, but others still pursue a variety of careers, such as medicine, finance, and information technology, says Novalene, who is now retired. During a long career in education, she taught biological sciences at Conroe Independent School District’s Academy of Science and Technology, as well as Lone Star College. Although ETMSAR members share a love of horses, Novalene believes it is their desire to help others that is most important. “They are looking for a way to be of potential service to their community,” she says.

“If you don’t have that, then you might have all the love of horses in the world, but this is not the activity for you. A willingness to serve is just a key component.” ETMSAR’s motto says it all: “We ride so that others may live.” Almost every member has some skill with horses, but ETMSAR is different from other equestrian organizations in a remarkable way: horses and riders do not compete. “You have to be ready to work on a team, not out of individual glory,” Novalene says. “There are no prizes in our


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Cal Monteith & Teresa Cook taking coordinates of evidence located during the search. Info is input using USNG search app.

Left: The team finishing a grid search. Preparing to meet with other members riding in an ATV.

Below: Teresa Cook taking a photo of a found footprint.

organization. The prize is we save somebody’s life, and that’s better than any ribbon you can hang on the wall.” Not every member of ETMSAR is a rider. Some have spouses in the organization who ride, while others have ridden in the past. Non-riders often provide ground support, performing such necessary tasks as manning radios and setting up the group’s communication trailer. Those who wish to serve as riders must go through a certification process with Cal Monteith, ETMSAR’s lead evaluator. Riders and horses are certified as pairs, says Cal, an information technology program manager who keeps his horses

at his weekend property in Huntsville. He has been riding with ETMSAR since 2014. Riders must show that their horses are willing partners, that they have control of their feet, and that they are desensitized to outside influences, such as sirens, barking dogs, or whistles. Riders and horses are evaluated on about 25 tasks, Cal says. For example, a horse must be able to cross a wooden bridge, clear an 18-inch obstacle (such as a fallen tree), and must be able to cross a three-foot wide body of water that is six inches deep. In addition, riders must be able to go backward on their horses in an L shape.


Service Area Magnolia Conroe Montgomery North Houston New Waverly

Huntsville Willis Spring Tomball Pinehurst

The Woodlands Shenandoah Cypress Klein

Call or Text 713-570-6095 November 2021  |  Postcards Magazine: Lake Conroe Edition 13

Above: Susette Renfro: Taking photos of objects located during the search.

Above: Jo Ann Malarchick & Susette Renfro receiving instructions from Cal Monteith regarding search protocol.

“We could go out either on one of our monthly rides or meet separately at any arena and go through all the steps in a couple of hours,” Cal says; however, the horse and rider are not considered qualified

to participate in mobilizations until they have participated in one of the organization’s biannual simulations. Horses and riders must also participate in one simulation per year to stay qualified.

Above: The horses are key to the team’s search success. They are trained in many areas and work well together.

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14  Postcards Magazine: Lake Conroe Edition  |  November 2021

That means you should do it now.

‘Our finest hour’ On Saturday, November 11, 2017, ETMSAR members learned that a 70-year-old man from Grapeland had not returned from walking his dog, Sunshine, the previous day. The man, Frank Roth, suffered from Parkinson’s disease. “He was not spry or physically fit,” Novalene recalls. Frank’s usual routine was to walk around the lake near his home, but because he was not located near the lake on Saturday, local law enforcement invited ETMSAR to join in an expanded search on Sunday morning. “We found his sweatshirt in the middle of a pasture,” Cal remembers. The location of the sweatshirt indicated that Frank had become disoriented—possibly because of dehydration—and had ventured in an unlikely direction. Soon, members of ETMSAR found Frank, tangled in brambles. Sunshine was still by his side. Novalene, who was providing ground support by manning

a radio, well remembers the moment when she heard from one of the riders. “She came over the radio and said, ‘We found him. He’s alive!’” Frank had been missing more than 48 hours. “It was really pretty satisfying,” Cal says. “Members agree that was our finest hour so far,” Novalene says. “We don’t go to find somebody because they are a good person. We go to find them because they’re lost. It was just the icing on the cake to discover that we’d found someone who had spent his life serving the environment and serving people, and he had lived a very productive and honorable life. He was a remarkable man. Finding him brought joy to a lot of people. It emphasized to us the importance of our work.” The memory of Frank’s dramatic rescue inspires members to continue training so that they’ll be prepared for future operations. They will deploy to any county in East Texas

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after being invited by local law enforcement agencies, and members of ETMSAR agree that they’d like to be included in more search and rescue operations in the future. So that they can seamlessly integrate when needed, they actively train with other search and rescue groups. “We train to be able to do the planning and to be able to take over, but also to fit into a plan,” Novalene says. When a county sheriff contacts ETMSAR, the group activates its phone tree. “Hopefully within 30 minutes, we know what it’s all about,” Novalene says. “We have discovered which of our members are available, and they are packing their gear.”

For more information, visit ETMSAR’s Facebook page: EastTexasMountedSAR

Real Volunteers Real Results

Assistance League does fashion shows! Whaaaaat! Our models will bring fun to your meeting along with our best boutique fashions and accessories. You can buy great fashion items at great prices, right on the spot!

To learn more about how your group can schedule a fashion show fundraiser for Assistance League Montgomery County Call our Thrift Shop at 936-760-1511 126 N. San Jacinto Street • Conroe, TX 77301

Thrift shop hours 10-3 Tuesday - Saturday November 2021  |  Postcards Magazine: Lake Conroe Edition 15



c p y d


s d c


Miguel and Cruz Pulido’s first day of 7th Grade. They are the sons of Jorge & Leslie Hoot Pulido

Kenneth and Vicki Ahrens recently celebrated 55 years of marriage. Congratulations!

Share your Milestone!




16  Postcards Magazine: Lake Conroe Edition  |  November 2021

Dear Gabby Welcome back to the Dear Gabby advice column. It’s November, and Thanksgiving has been putting the “dys” in family dysfunction since 1621. The complaint I hear most about family gatherings is people don’t communicate with each other. Want your relatives to talk to you when they come to dinner? Change your wifi password. We all have much to be thankful for, so please take a moment to make a list of all your blessings. Here are a couple of suggestions to make this task easier: Do not watch the news, and stay off the bathroom scale.” When you’re done trippin’ on tryptophan, drop me a line to Dear Gabby at PostcardsLive. com. I am thankful for you!

May your heart be filled with gladness and your home be filled with joy! Wishing you and your families a

Happy Thanksgiving!


DEAR GABBY What is the deal with surveys nowadays? I can’t buy anything online, visit a doctor’s office, or even buy underwear at a department store without being sent a survey to ask me how I enjoyed the process, the product, or both. They ask a lot of personal questions, too. It’s getting annoying.

Brian B. Smith, CFP


Bryan M. Masten, CFP®• Paula Armstrong Linda Smith • Riley W. Smith • Ally Grounds

DEAR NONE I’ve noticed the same thing! I love to give credit where credit is due, but the surveys are getting ridiculous. At my age, do you know how long it takes for me to scroll down to the year I was born? I don’t have that kind of time left! If it was an outstanding or appalling experience, send your survey. If it was as you expected, just ignore it. They’re just in it for your information.

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DEAR GABBY Wince the pandemic, I have been working at home. I kind of like it, so I may try to arrange it with my office to keep working here. I have all the necessary equipment here and none of the drama of an office. My production has gone up, so I don’t think they’ll object. What are your thoughts. SELF-MOTIVATOR DEAR SELF Working at home is absolutely the answer for some people. There are others who are too easily distracted by important things at home (like the cell phone or the refrigerator). I will give you a clue which category I am in. A train station is where the train stops. A bus station is where the bus stops. On my desk, I have a work station. GABBY


10075 Interstate 45 North • Conroe, Texas 77304 Between FM 830 & League Line Road

November 2021  |  Postcards Magazine: Lake Conroe Edition 17

What Are You Reading? Deidra Stephens reading

The Four Winds By Kristen Hannah

Elaine Brown reading

Where the Crawdads Sing By Delia Owens

THANKFUL Sudoku #1 5






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



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

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Jan Nell


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#52021 18  Postcards Magazine: Lake Conroe Edition Sudoku |  November

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





Sudoku #2 5 9 2 6 7 3 1 8 4 7 4 1 8 5 2Megan 3 9 6 Spencer 6 8 3 4 1 9 7 2 5 3 5 4 7 8 1reading 2 6 9 In Five 8 6 9 2 3 5 4 7Years 1 1 2 7 9 6 4By Rebecca 8 5 3Serle 2 1 8 5 4 6 9 3 7 9 3 6 1 2 7 5 4 8 4 7 5 3 9 8 6 1 2

Suduko Solutions

EASY Sudoku

from page 40

#4 4 7 1 3 6 9 2 5 8 3 8 6 7 2 5 4 1 9 9 5 2 4 8 1 7 3 6 6 9 8 2 5 4 1 7 3 1 3 4 9 7 8 5 6 2 5 2 7 6 1 3 9 8 4 7 6 3 5 9 2 8 4 1 Share Photos 8 4 6 2 1Your5 Grandkid 3 with 9 7Us! 8 9 1 3 7 6 2 5 Sudoku #6 7 1 4 6 3 5 2 8 9 8 6 3 7 2 9 1 5 4


Glorious Grandkids

Leigh-Ann Hoot

Elizabeth & Emma Kloecker

Charlee Marie

Grandchild of Matthew & Trena Quick

Grandchildren of Sarah Williams

Grandchild of Tricia Powell

Share Your Grandkid Photos with Us!

November 2021  |  Postcards Magazine: Lake Conroe Edition 19

Postcards Photo Contest

And the Winners are……!

Grand Champion Lisa Pogue


Postcards first Cover Photo Contest went way beyond our expectations. We certainly have some talented readers!

Since we had never done this before (and didn’t know what to expect), let me share how it worked. The Postcards staff met and looked over entries in all categories. There were almost 200 photos submitted in 9 categories. 20  Postcards Magazine: Lake Conroe Edition  |  November 2021

Finalists in each category were selected; those photos were then sent to a panel of independent judges who cast anonymous ballots. Those ballots were scored, and a first, second and third place in each category emerged.

T o M P s

W P f u


1st Runner Up Michele Miller


2nd Runner Up Pam Johnson

The first place winners in each category were then eligible for the overall grand prize award which includes: 2 nights at Lake Conroe’s Margaritaville Resort, a guaranteed Cover on an upcoming issue of Postcards, an exclusive Postcards winners’ T-shirt, and Postcards mug set. We are proud to announce the Grand Champion award goes to Lisa Pogue for her “Summer” submission! First Runner-up is Michele Miller for her first place finish in the “Animals” category, and Second Runnerup is Pam Johnson for her first place finish in “Local Living.” Please enjoy looking through the top three photos in each category. Thank you to all who entered and congratulations again to the winners. Thank you, especially, to our judges; we know we gave you a tough job!

Watch for some of these amazing photos that will be showing up on covers throughout the year. We will look forward to the next time. Keep your cameras handy – you never know when you might snap the perfect picture that will turn you into a cover photographer!


November 2021  |  Postcards Magazine: Lake Conroe Edition 21

Animal Category 1st Place Michele Miller

2nd Place Cade Crippin

3rd Place Teresa Smith

Wishing you and your family an abundance of happiness, good health, and blessings.

Children Category 1st Place Courtney Ehlert

McCAFFETY ELECTRIC (936) 539-5411

(936) 295-2831

1610 A North Frazier • Conroe

1711 Sycamore • Huntsville TECL-19206 22  Postcards Magazine: Lake Conroe Edition  |  November 2021

2nd Place Leah Wright

3rd Place Brittany McClure

Spring Category

Summer Category

1st Place

1st Place

Lori Slott

Lisa Pogue

2nd Place

2 Place nd

Jayden Hearn

Leah Wright 3rd Place

3rd Place

Kristi Dreher

Barry Stubbs

Fall Category

Winter Category

1st Place

Lori Slott 2nd Place Michele Miller 2nd Place Cade Crippin 3rd Place

1st Place

3rd Place

Michele Miller

Lori Slott


Brittany McClure

Need an attorney? Criminal Defense • Expunctions Occupational Licensees • TDCJ Defense Wills, Trusts, Estates • Civil Litigation • Commercial Litigation Contract Disputes • Personal Injury • Car or 18-Wheeler Wrecks • Employment Law

Rane Riley

227 SH 75 N., Ste. 230 Huntsville, Texas 77320

Tel.: (936) 291-6660

Attorney at Park Law Firm

Serving Walker, Grimes, Madison, Trinity and Montgomery Counties

November 2021  |  Postcards Magazine: Lake Conroe Edition 23

get UR Cut…

Nature Category 1st Place Barbara Carter

2nd Place Michele Miller

The man Shop In Salon Bei Elle 13185 FM 1097 W Willis, TX 77318

3rd Place Lori Slott

Holidays Category 1st Place Maci Shuck

2nd Place Cade Crippin

Dawn 936-672-5060 Tony 765-385-8888 24  Postcards Magazine: Lake Conroe Edition  |  November 2021

3rd Place Michele Miller

Local Living Category 2nd Place Lisa Pogue

1st Place Pam Johnson

3rd Place Frank Matthews

Conroe 1351 W Davis St, Suite B Conroe, TX 77304 (936) 283-5450

Mon-Fri: 9:00am - 7:00pm Sat: 10:00am - 6:00pm Sun: Closed


November 2021  |  Postcards Magazine: Lake Conroe Edition 25

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

What is the Causation for Hesitation in Vaccination? The worldwide Covid scourge has caused more death and despair than any pandemic for over a century…and is continuing with no end in sight. Such goes away only when a large enough percentage of the population are immune and cannot be infected to infect others. The immune proportion necessary is about two-thirds, and just over 50% of Americans have been fully vaccinated. Covid is much more infectious than influenza and 20 times as deadly. Hospitals presently are filled with those suffering. CDC currently estimates over 200,000 are requiring hospital care, and only 3% of those suffering are vaccinated. Let’s examine the reasoning that triggers hesitation to get the protection the Covid vaccine delivers. There is a strong relationship between social media output and Covid vaccine hesitancy. The belief initially was that the vaccine was being rushed, because the FDA did not give full approval until August 23, 2021. The Emergency Use Authorization was approved on December 11, 2020, and widespread vaccinations were begun starting with vulnerable populations. This emergency approval was after several phases of testing were completed. First, healthy people were injected,

Monday - Saturday 10 am - 7 pm Sunday 11 am - 6 pm

with monitoring of side effects and certainty that sufficient protective antibodies were produced. Next, hundreds were selected based on age and ethnicity and vaccinated. This brought up concern that it was unsafe. Upon Emergency Approval, Acting FDA Commissioner Janet Woodcock, M.D. said “The public can be very confident that this vaccine meets the high standards for safety, effectiveness, and manufacturing quality the FDA requires of an approved product.” Perhaps doubters have considered that this is the first vaccine to use the genetic system to make us immune. After all, our genes put together our bodies and will allow future generations to exist. The possibility modifications could occur is concerning. The vaccine places messenger RNA into the muscle cells where injected, and it instructs their RNA to make a viral protein which stimulates the bodies’ immune cells. People who don’t understand our genetic system’s workings could easily conclude that they don’t want their genes altered, and thus hesitate to be injected. Our cells have two major sections: the nucleus and the rest of the cell, composed mainly of cytoplasm. The mastermind DNA resides in the nucleus and the RNA in the cytoplasm. The DNA tells the RNA what molecules to make. DNA does this by making and sending messenger RNA. Messenger molecules cannot do anything else. They are errand molecules. They also are eliminated when their messages are processed. Those opposed to vaccination on a genetic bias frequently consider the erroneous conclusion that vaccines can cause autism and other genetic defects. This has been misinterpreted, because most vaccines in infants are given at 12 months of age, when the signs of autism first appear. It is just a false correlation. There have been a few of those vaccinated that have had severe initial reactions, but in the studies, an equal number of participants were injected with harmless placebos…and an equal number had of these had reactions. Bias is an often present source of human error that is particularly concentrated in the Covid Vaccine refusal debacle. One can choose to disregard facts that disagree with their preferred conclusions. The riskbenefit ratio is overwhelmingly in favor of getting vaccinated. The decision to be vaccinated is very important indeed, because it can potentially save your life or health, and that of your loved ones. Choose wisely.

26  Postcards Magazine: Lake Conroe Edition  |  November 2021

From the Mouths of Babes... My 6 year old son asked, “Dad, can we get a cat?” Me: “Your Mom is allergic to cats, so no.” My Son: “When Mom dies can we get a cat?” Me: “Sure.”

I was on the phone with my wife discussing dinner plans when my 7-yearold informed us that, “Salad is ruining my life.”

My son just turned two and is barely saying complete words. On Halloween, we took him trick-or-treating and, when someone would hold out their hand with candy, he would inspect it. If he didn’t care for what the candy was, he would look up and say, “No thank you,” then start toward the next house. It was hilarious.

When I was a little kid, I had to pee in a cup at the doctor’s office. It was my first time doing it, so my mom helped me. After I finished, I looked at her and said, “I don’t have to drink it, do I?”

Frr OO HHse to YYrs,

HAPPY THANKSGIVING!! My father was driving with his granddaughter in the back seat. At one point, she said, “How old are you, Granddad?” “59,” he replied. “Oh, so next year you’ll be 60?” “Yes.” “And after that, you’ll be dead.” Then she just kind of shrugged her shoulders and looked out of the window.

November 2021  |  Postcards Magazine: Lake Conroe Edition 27

Pet Pals




loved by

loved by

loved by

Royce, Carmen & Rachel Meadows

Ron & Kathy Cleere


• • • • • • • •

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


Our professional motorcycle services include:

• V-Twin Cycle Services & Repairs 808 W. Montgomery (FM 1097) Willis, TX 77378

(936) 890-4707

Email: 28  Postcards Magazine: Lake Conroe Edition  |  November 2021




loved by

loved by

loved by

Tracy, Sarah & “The Dude”

Judy, Tom & Matthew

Jared L Payne




School of Music



November 4 - 6 Reception | November 4 | 6 p.m. Satellite Gallery Free Admission

November 16 | 7:30 p.m. Payne Concert Hall, GPAC

Dance November 4 - 6 | 8 p.m. Dance Theater, GPAC

November 18 - 20 Reception | November 18 | 6 p.m. Satellite Gallery Free Admission

Mass Communication

School of Music



Ceremony | November 10 | 6 p.m. Olson Auditorium, Academic Building IV Free Admission Art


November 11 - 13 Reception | November 11 | 6 p.m. Satellite Gallery Free Admission



November 18 - 20 | 8 p.m. Dance Theater, GPAC




November 18 | 7:30 p.m. Payne Concert Hall, GPAC College of Arts & Media


Presented by SHSU Opera Performed in French with English supertitles November 18 - 20 | 7:30 p.m. Erica Starr Theatre, UTC

College of Arts & Media

School of Music


November 22 | 7:30 p.m. Payne Concert Hall, GPAC School of Music


November 23 | 7:30 p.m. Payne Concert Hall, GPAC School of Music


November 30 | 7:30 p.m. Payne Concert Hall, GPAC


Featuring Houston Jazz Orchestra with singer Anthony Caceres December 2 & 3 | 7:30 p.m. Payne Concert Hall, GPAC


Dana G. Hoyt Fine Arts Building 1741 Bobby K. Marks Dr. Huntsville, TX 77304 Monday - Friday | 10 a.m. - 6 p.m. Saturday | 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.


1216 University Avenue Huntsville, TX 77304 Thursday - Friday | 12 p.m. - 5 p.m. Saturday | 10 a.m. - 2 p.m. FOR TICKETS & INFORMATION | | 936.294.2339 To view our full list of events, visit

November 2021  |  Postcards Magazine: Lake Conroe Edition 29

The Garden Post By Kim Bius

The Holidays Begin in the Garden The holiday season has arrived. This means many different things to people. The excitement, the joy, the preparation, the decorating, the cooking, the shopping, and time with loved ones are items that come “to mind” (and of course, making memories).

prepared bed of 1/3 peat moss, 1/3 humus, and 1/3 growers sand (loamy topsoil). Must water consistently and prune after the spring flush.

Our Southern “nesting” DNA takes over (it cannot be resisted), and our thoughts turn to how to make our living space--inside and out-festive, cheerful and enjoyable. The amazing part is that nature has so much of what is needed right outside your door. Try these inexpensive tips to add nature to your interiorscape: Fresh pine boughs (8”-15” small branches) with pinecone are perfect added to your fresh fall roses and flowers…cut straight from the garden. Berried Yaupon, Pyrcantha, Nandina, and Indian Hawthorne make excellent filler for arrangements. For fall, do not forget to add a few of those perfect leaves you found on your walk (in hues of reds, purple, yellow and orange) to bowls, tables, mantels, or added to potpourri…the ideas are endless.

Camellias – the Grand Dame of the winter garden. Camellias come in two varieties: sasanqua and japonica. Sasanqua are more open, bloom profusely from November –December, and often have single blooms with yellow stamens visible. They can reach heights of 18’ with age and require morning sun with shade after 1:00 pm. Grow as you would an azalea…..once established, these are hardy. Japonica camellias are evergreen glossyleaved upright blooming shrubs that can make a blooming tree. Japonicas are noted for their semidouble to double “porcelain rose” blooms that appear from Late January –March. Japonicas has the same growing conditions and required soil. Camellias are available in all shades of white to purple (actually a ruby red).

As we walk in the garden, tired summer annuals are ready to be removed, and winter annuals will thrive until the heat returns in late May. Winter sun annuals for your sunny areas are: pansies, kale, cabbage, snapdragons, viola, calibrochoa, and wave petunias. If you prefer sunny perennials, consider dianthus, chrysanthemums, calendulas, salvia, or lantana. Each of these plants are deer-proof, and the dianthus will grow beautifully through ice and snow. Our falls are often mild in temperature, and several landscape shrubs come to mind on providing fall color. A book could be written on the varieties and care of each, but we will give each a short description.

Oakleaf Hydrangea – stunning hues of ruby to orange. Requires morning sun, shady after 1:00 pm, prefer northern exposure, bloom white cone shaped brachts in summer till early fall. Rich, welldrained, acidic soil.

Firepower Nandina – the colder the temperatures, the more red appears. Evergreen, dwarf nandina (grows to 3’) great for second tier landscaping and color. Requires ½ to full sun daily for color, welldrained soil…..easy and grows in just about any soil.

Encore Azaleas – these lovelies bloom year-round, thus the patented price tag! The Autumn series has beautiful smoky orange reds….autumn embers, autumn fire, and autumn cheer are great choices. Like all azaleas, ½ sun to full sun, well-drained, 30  Postcards Magazine: Lake Conroe Edition  |  November 2021

Red Leaf Maple – the #1 tree for fall color, if the native sumac is not on the list. These trees grow to 40’ with a branch span of 30’. Hues of deep rust to bright yellow, including reds will begin appearing in the next few weeks. The red leaf maple is a Texas native but does not have drought tolerance, so be vigilant in ensuring a new planting is watered 3x a week until temperatures drop to a high of 55, then twice a week unless Mother Nature is providing 1.5 “ of rain a week. Enjoy the season, relax, walk in the garden, breathe the crisp air, and thank God for those amazing moments that make gardening such a joy. Happy Gardening! Kim Bius is the president of Kim’s Home and Garden, a Texas certified nursery professional with 37 years in the garden, landscape, design and retail industry. Please direct all comments to kim@

Take Care 2021



Wellness A guide to services for the whole family.

postcards magazine special Advertising section

November 2021  |  Postcards Magazine: Lake Conroe Edition 31

Building a healthy community, one family at a time. Lone Star Family Health Center provides compassionate, affordable healthcare and preparing tomorrow’s family medicine professionals. The health center is a is a full-service, state-ofthe-art family health center, nonprofit 501(c)3. From newborn to the elderly, the health center provides services for all ages from your traditional annual checkup to counseling services for youth and adults. In partnership with HCA Houston Healthcare Conroe and Conroe Medical Education Foundation, Lone Star Family Health Center operates the Conroe Family Medicine Residency.

r e e n s r e r e

Lone Star Family Health Center (LSFHC) is a nonprofit community health center with a mission to provide compassionate, affordable healthcare and prepare tomorrow’s family medicine professionals. Founded in 2002 and recognized as both a federally qualified health center and patient centered medical home, LSFHC is locally governed by a patient-majority volunteer board of directors. LSFHC board members collectively represent our diverse patient population. Primary care services are delivered by over 60 licensed and certified professionals across five clinic locations in Montgomery and Walker Counties. Our flagship state-of-the-art facility in Conroe, along with HCA Houston Healthcare Conroe, also serve as a training site for 30 family medicine residents under the Conroe Family Medicine Residency (CFMR) program. Since 1983, the locally run, ACGME accredited residency program has produced over 260 board certified Family Medicine physicians. LSFHC’s doors are open to everyone - families and children, healthy and those with preexisting conditions, anyone uninsured, on Medicaid or with private insurance. We focus on providing access to basic health care services in the communities that need them most. LSFHC offers a sliding fee scale to low-income patients, based on household income and family size. Patient fees on our sliding fee scale for medical and dental visits start at $25. Annually, this program provides over $2 million in discounts directly to patients. In 2020, we provided services to over 35,000 individual patients across 95,000 visits. LSFHC quality scores related to diabetes, hypertension, heart disease, adult weight screening & follow-up and cervical cancer screening beat national averages. Approximately 93% of our patients have reported household income live below 200% of the federal poverty level. We employ a staff of 213 across five locations and invest $25 million annually into the local economy. LSFHC kicked off 2021 serving as a COVID-19 vaccine hub provider for Montgomery County. In a collaborative effort with Montgomery County Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Management and Montgomery County Hospital District, over 60,000 COVID-19 vaccines were administered at no cost to the public by the end of June.

Lone Star Family Health Center Building a healthy community, one family at a time. 605 S. Conroe Medical Drive Conroe, Texas 77304 936-539-4004

When Dr. Clayton Toole left his hometown to pursue a medical degree in Podiatry in Cleveland, Ohio and later a residency in Brooklyn, New York, he never forgot the slogan from the movie Friday Night Lights: “Texas Forever.” But this Texas Native was not satisfied with returning anywhere in the Lone Star state: “There was only one place I wanted to be, where I wanted to raise my family. I have so many friends and mentors in this town who made me who I am today. Giving back to the community that raised me, means everything. “Huntsville Forever.”

Innovative Care

Foot & Ankle Specialists of Huntsville A Step Ahead 640 I-45 Huntsville, TX, 77340 281-909-7722

In 2019, Dr. Clayton Toole teamed up with Foot & Ankle Specialists of The Woodlands to bring more expertise and resources to the Huntsville community. Together, Dr. Marcin Vaclaw and Dr. Clayton Toole provide the full range of podiatry services including wound care, sports medicine, surgical procedures, intervention, conservative treatment, diabetic foot care, ingrown toenails, fungal toenails, and more. The fully equipped FAS Huntsville clinic includes some of the latest and most effective technology and products for treating and alleviating foot and ankle issues. For example, Dr. Vaclaw is one of the pioneers of a no-incision plantar fasciitis surgery for heel pain. They also offer a non-invasive foot procedure to heal weakness, numbness, and pain from nerve damage.

House Calls “In addition to seeing patients in our office, a large part of our practice is visiting people with podiatric needs in their homes. We have a House-Call-Podiatry Department within the company. Many of our elderly patients can’t get out or don’t want to get out, especially during these times,” Toole noted. “I don’t think very many people in this-day-and-age have seen a doctor inside their house. It is a great feeling to bring that service to them.” Toole and his medical assistant Christina Orgovan see individuals in Huntsville, Livingston, Conroe, New Caney, and surrounding areas.

Jan Nell-Health Coach


Jan Nell, Health Coach I get it. I tried it all and faltered, too...until I found a better way. Four years ago, if someone told me that I could lose 45 lbs. and shrink from a size 14 to a size 6 in six months, I would have rolled my eyes and just smiled at them. It is empowering to find something that is so simple and works! That little three letter word, “YES!” gives you the power of taking control of your health. If you are ready for a “new you,” then I can help you get there. As your Health Coach, I’ll be there to guide you for every step of your Health Journey. Are you ready to transform your life and create Optimal Health? Let me help you get started today! We offer four powerful components:

A Coach, who delivers guidance and inspiration on your journey.

A Community of warm, like-minded people providing real-time encouragement.

Clinically proven plans and scientifically-developed products, designed by dietitians, scientists, and physicians.

Our Transformational System offers easy steps to sustain a healthy lifestyle. The mental gymnasium is a big part of our program.

Are you ready to write your life story?

Rejuv’ MB Spa & Aesthetics Giving you relaxing spa treatments, with aesthetic results 1109 University Ave. Huntsville, TX 77340 936-439-6353

I am Moneé Burke, owner of Rejuv’ MB Spa & Aesthetics, located down on the square in Huntsville. I just celebrated my 17th year as an esthetician. Through my journey, I have become licensed in two states, received over 34 certifications, and became a Paramedical Skin Revision Therapist. I am very passionate for helping others build their self-esteem and bringing out the confidence within them. My Spa offers a soothing environment in which you can rest, relax, and feel completely rejuvenated while knowing you will be leaving with aesthetic results. From the moment you walk through our doors, you will encounter a fresh scent of aromatherapy, followed by one of our friendly staff members to accommodate your needs. At Rejuv’ MB Spa & Aesthetics, we offer something for everyone. Whether it is a lunch break escape, an afternoon of bliss, or an entire day of pampering, we will help you forget the pressures of the outside world and return you to a state of inner serenity. I am dedicated to only using clinical grade products and equipment on all my treatments with my patients. I also carry multiple products in the spa to ensure you can continue your skin journey at home. We also carry Kelley Baker Brow products, sunless tanning items with Infinity Sun, and professional grade teeth whitening kits. Although I would like to say I did it all on my own, I could never have fulfilled my dream career without the help of my family and God himself. I have been married to my husband Joe for 27 years, and together we have 3 beautiful kids: Josey, Jase, & Jeb. I will forever be grateful for them always being there to support me!

D i U f R T d

D d m a p a h

“T A d t

O o a w e

S s P s w a t p

n e n

e l e y, & f d

h n y



Comprehensive Dentistry Aesthetics-Implants-Occlusion-Reconstruction-TMD-Wear Dr. Stephen Vargo is regarded as a young leader in cosmetic and implant dentistry. He graduated the top of his dental school class at University of Texas School of Dentistry at Houston, and was selected for the prestigious South Texas Veterans Health Care System Advanced Residency Program at the Audie L. Murphy Hospital in San Antonio, Texas. He provides first-class cosmetic, reconstructive, and implant dentistry services at Conroe Advanced Dentistry.

Conroe Advanced Dentistry 2040 N. Loop 336 W. Suite 207 Conroe, TX 936-756-2420

Dr. Vargo believes in a patient centered approach to dentistry. His patients’ comfort and care are Dr. Vargo’s main priorities, and he provides a warm and relaxed atmosphere while catering to the health and beauty of his patients’ smiles. It is Dr. Vargo’s goal to work with patients and develop a plan that will help maintain exceptional oral health for a lifetime.

“Together We Can Overcome.” The mission of Physical Therapy Associates has always been to enable patients who walk through their doors to leave with improved skills and abilities, able to perform tasks that may have been lost, and to enjoy as pain-free a lifestyle as possible. Owner Dallas Williams states, “We consider ourselves to be an outpatient orthopedic facility with therapists who have great diagnostic abilities and are specialized in a wide variety of skills. They constantly work as a team to solve problems and provide our patients with excellent care.” Some people think physical therapy is only needed for postsurgical conditions; however, the top conditions treated at Physical Therapy Associates address back, neck, knee, and shoulder pain, as well as balance issues. Aquatic therapy with a certified therapist is available at both the Huntsville and Conroe locations where a therapist can work alongside the patient in the pool. As Dallas says, “We try to fix the problem before surgery is necessary.”

Physical Therapy Associates 1020 Riverwood Court, Ste 120 Conroe, TX 77304 936-494-1292 Facebook: PTAHuntsville

Healthy living requires healthy cognitive skills -- the fundamental tools your brain uses to perform mental tasks. LearningRX has helped more than 100,000 adults and children learn easier, think faster, and perform better. The simple fact is, you’re never too old to improve your cognitive skills. It just makes sense that when these skills are stronger, life and learning are easier. Maybe you need help with memory, attention, logic, focus, reasoning, reading comprehension, or you’re experiencing post-Covid “brain fog.”

LearningRx 8111 Ashlane Way Ste 114 The Woodlands, TX 77382 832-482-3082

Our one-one-one brain training is customized to help maximize your results and enhance your life. As you get older, cognitive skills become even more important to maintain. At LearningRx®, we can help you do just that.

Lauri Wenzel – Independent Licensed Agent I’m happy to introduce myself as a representative for United Healthcare Medicare plans servicing the Houston area, with an emphasis in Montgomery and Walker Counties. I’m here to personally help you find the Medicare solution that best meets your needs, whether you’re turning 65 and need help understanding Medicare or need to review and compare your current Medicare coverage.

United Healthcare Medicare 8000 Research Forest Dr, Ste 115-195 The Woodlands, TX 77382 832-244-1973

With my background in Psychology and my lifelong desire to help people, I like to individually get to know my members and make sure they’re comfortable with their decisions. My previous volunteer experience as an Ombudsman advocating for Nursing Home residents and my work experience with retirees’ benefits led me to my current position working with UHC. Contact me today!

When they sit down for coffee, B U S I N E S S


A G R E E . . .


9 3 6 - 2 9 3 - 1 1 8 8


2021 Health & Wellness Directory



Conroe Advanced Dentistry

Foot and Ankle Specialists of Huntsville

2040 N. Loop 336 W. Suite 207 Conroe, TX 936-756-2420

640 I-45 Huntsville, TX, 77340 281-909-7722

Family Medicine

Spas & AesTheticians

Lone Star Health Care Center

Rejuv’ MB Spa & Aesthetics

605 S. Conroe Medical Drive Conroe, Texas 77304 936-539-4004

1109 University Ave. Huntsville, TX 77340 936-439-6353

Health insurance

Wellness- Physical & Cognitive

United Healthcare Medicare

8000 Research Forest Dr, Ste 115-195 The Woodlands, TX 77382 832-244-1973

Physical Therapy Physical Therapy Associates

1020 Riverwood Court, Ste 120 Conroe, TX 77304 936-494-1292 Facebook: PTAHuntsville

Jan Nell - Health Coach 281-850-6426


8111 Ashlane Way Ste 114 The Woodlands, TX 77382 832-482-3082

November 2021  |  Postcards Magazine: Lake Conroe Edition 39

Neuwirth Slaughter & Associates, L.L.P. Certified Public Accountants

John McKinley, Agent 405 N. Loop 336 W Conroe, TX 77301 M 713.598.5984 O 936.756.4461 E

168 Col. Etheredge Blvd. • Suite B Huntsville, TX 77340



Suduko Marketplace Easy Sudoku

Receive one-on-one service

3 9 832-244-1973, TTY 711 Fax: 832-201-5359

TAX ime Individual Returns • Small Business Returns All Schedules • All Tax Related Forms

Tax Services Plus 924 West Dallas St. Conroe, TX 77301

936-788-5990 main 936-788-5992 fax 832-378-6200 Spanish ph.


7 1


5 4 1 2 8 1 7 6 9 4 7 4 5 2 6 8 7 3 5 9 8 1 1 5 8 7 3 6 2 see answers on page 18

Do you owe the IRS $$$ Chester Crawford, EA Since 1981

Conroe • 936-890-7299 Huntsville • 936-295-3900

Income Tax • IRS Representation • Insurance • Notary Public 100 Hwy 190 East (936) 291-1887 (Direct) Huntsville, TX 77340 (936) 661-0692 (Cell) Email: (936) 291-1789 (Fax) National Association of Enrolled Agents • National Society of Tax Professionals

40  Postcards Magazine: Lake Conroe Edition  |  November 2021

Giggles & Grins Hear about the new restaurant called Karma? There’s no menu: You get what you deserve.

Q: What’s a chiropractor’s favorite genre of music? A: Hip pop.

Helvetica and Times New Roman walk into a bar.“Get out of here!” shouts the bartender. “We don’t serve your type.”

Thankful for our Patients, our Staff, our Friends, and our Family. We are also grateful for all those who are away from their families at this time of year serving our country. May God bless you all!

While shopping for a bathroom scale, I found one that tracks not only weight but also body fat, bone mass, and water percentage. I nixed that one in favor of a low-tech model. As I told the salesperson, “I don’t need to be depressed four ways; one is quite enough.”

It’s the World Series Final, and a man makes his way to his seat right next to the dugout. He sits down, noticing that the seat next to him is empty. He leans over and asks his neighbor if someone will be sitting there. “No,” says the neighbor. “The seat is empty.” “This is incredible,” said the man. “Who in their right mind would have a seat like this for the Final and not use it?” The neighbor says, “Well actually the seat belongs to me. I was supposed to come with my wife, but she passed away. This is the first World Series we haven’t been to together since we got married.” “Oh, I’m so sorry to hear that. That’s terrible….But couldn’t you find someone else, a friend, relative, or even a neighbor to take her seat?” The man shakes his head. “No,” he says. “They’re all at the funeral.”

127 Medical Park Lane Huntsville


1020 Riverwood Ct. • Suite 120 Conroe


November 2021  |  Postcards Magazine: Lake Conroe Edition 41

Business Focus Story by Linda W. Perkins Photos by Gina Turner

ToyoMasters is a name that sounds like something out of a sci-fi action movie. In Willis, however, it is a name people trust when they are needing any maintenance service or repair done on their Toyota, Lexus, or other Asian import vehicles. The name ToyoMasters is fitting: the mechanics there are true masters of their trade. Owner Mark Strong spent almost 30 years with Toyota before he opened the business in 2016, and his right-hand man Cliff Cross is a master diagnostic technician with 30 years’ experience of his own working on Toyota vehicles. “I started out working out for Toyota in 1987 and spent most of my time – about

19 years – working at Fred Haas Toyota. I stayed in the dealership business with the factory training as long as I could, but knew at some point I would break away and start my own business,” Strong said. While the shop specializes in Toyota/ Lexus, ToyoMasters also has customers with other imports such as Hyundai, KIA, Honda and Acura. Strong says their engineering is similar to Toyota’s, which is why he sticks with them. “I tend to stay away from European imports. I have a friend a couple of miles from here I usually refer people (with European cars) to, and he will send me Toyota work and other issues he hasn’t seen before. People come here for our expertise on their vehicle. If they have a vehicle we’re not too sure about, I’m not going to learn about it on YouTube, like a lot of other places do. That’s not how I do business. I want to

ToyoMasters 11631 FM 830, Willis, Texas 936-701-5236

42  Postcards Magazine: Lake Conroe Edition  |  November 2021

Strong believes in keeping an immaculate work area

understand the engineering of the car. That’s the only way you’re going to fix it, and fix it right.” Doing things right is a core value for Strong. The business has grown from just Strong to a total of five people – four mechanics (including himself) plus Strong’s wife Tracy, who helps with the front desk part-time – and its growth can be attributed to its solid reputation. “What makes us different is the personal care we give our customers. A good price for a good job well done. That’s been my motto all along. You treat

others the way you wish to be treated,” Strong explained. “It’s the entire experience, start to finish. It’s treating people fairly and honestly. People come in here based on the reviews they read and the rapport I have with their neighbors. They come here because they trust their friend or family member who told them about us. I am trustworthy and I trust them, too,” Strong said, explaining that, unlike some businesses, ToyoMasters takes checks. “With all the factory training and experience I have, and knowing the


Owner Mark Strong

November 2021  |  Postcards Magazine: Lake Conroe Edition 43

vehicles so well, when people are describing their issues or want certain things out of their vehicles, I key into it really quickly. I know what they want and need.” Stressing the importance of trust in the relationship, Strong continued, “I never try to capitalize on a situation. Let’s face it, everyone is on a budget, so the last thing people need is someone pressuring them into buying something they don’t need. I address what they need first, and then we talk about what they’d like to have done.” A full-service shop, ToyoMasters does everything from oil changes and brakes to A/C and electrical work. Two of the services

Eddie Berg, Mark Strong & Cliff Cross

they specialize in are diagnostics and hybrids/ electrical vehicles. “Diagnostics is the most difficult aspect of car repair right now. While the cars are very advanced and they have advanced computer systems onboard, it is still difficult to understand how they all work together and, if there is an electrical problem, how it affects all the other systems. It can be difficult to track down the actual area that’s causing the problem and that takes experience, a lot of tenacity, and the ability to stay with the problem until it’s solved,” Strong explained. “It’s the intermittent issues that frustrate customers the most. And it seem like every time they bring it in, it’s not doing it...and

CONROE ADVANCED DENTISTRY Aesthetics-Implants-Occlusion-Reconstruction-TMD-Wear

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. 44  Postcards Magazine: Lake Conroe Edition  |  November 2021

Stephen Vargo, D.D.S., F.A.G.D 2040 N. Loop 336 W- Suite 207-Conroe, TX

936 – 756 – 2420

then it is even more frustrating. But if they are willing to leave the car with us, we will take the time to continue to look at it, and based on the description of what they say is happening, we will try to simulate that so we can identify the issue. Then from there, once we are able to experience the vibration or noise or the electronic intermittent working of some device in the car, or how the car drives down the road, spits and sputters at certain times, then we are able to key in and track down the problem,” he continued. People with hybrids or electric vehicles typically have a hard time finding people to work on them, but this is where Strong feels ToyoMasters shines because of Strong’s and

building and maintaining relationships with his customers. “I really enjoy it. I enjoy the conversations I have with people, and I enjoy taking care of their vehicles. As a company, and as an owner, I want to be able to give that customer the confidence, a feeling they are going to be taken care of, no matter what issue they’re having, and they can get good advice. We may not have an answer for everything, but we give them the most honest opinion of the direction they should go.” “People will come in and ask whether they should fix their car or buy a new one, or say ‘I want to fix my car and give it to my son. What do you think about that?’ I enjoy spending time with my customers and having

Happy Thanksgiving!

HeavenlyCAKES & FLOWERS Cookies • Desserts • Keto • Gluten Free Full Florist • Weddings • Birthday Parties Funerals • Flower Specials • More 15% Discount on: • Tuesdays for First Responders • Wednesdays for Military • Thursdays for Medical Staff • Fridays for Teachers

(936) 760-3499

806 N. Loop 336 W. • Conroe, TX

Your New Waverly Pharmacy Retail Pharmacy Compounding & Custom-Made Medications Cross’s backgrounds working on them at Toyota. “We specialize in hybrid technology. That is a growing industry, and Toyota has expanded its lineup. Even the Tundra is coming out this year with a hybrid.” Strong expounded, “Actually, Toyota was the very first company to have a hybrid on the market. It was the Prius in 2000. They have been the leaders in hybrid technology ever since then and have continued to produce the most efficient, most reliable, problem-free, maintenance-reduced vehicles. Their hybrid systems are really remarkable. Both Cliff and I have extensive experience and all the factory training.”

those kinds of conversations with them. Those are the kinds of things we really care about,” Strong said. Strong likens his customer base to a family, “A lot of our customers know each other, so when they come in, they’ll start up a conversation, and pretty soon there’s a little party going on! It’s fun. That’s the way I think car repair should be: it should be a low-pressure, good experience for people.”

Happy Thanksgiving 936-344-2424 Mon. - Fri. 8:30 - 6:00 Sat. 9:00 - 1:00 9320 C Hwy 75 South • New Waverly

ToyoMasters is located at 11631 FM 830 in Willis. For more information, visit For an appointment, call 936-701-5236.

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Thanksgiving Word Scamble | Woo! Jr. Kids Activities : Children's Publishing

10/14/21, 8:19 PM

Joke for the Month: What do you call a running turkey? Fast Food!

Word Scramble Solution: pilgrim, family, corn, turkey, rolls, feast, mashed potatoes, cranberries pumpkin pie, stuffing Spot the Difference Solution: sun mouth, butterfly, owl eye, rain drop, snail, extra grass blades, spider, owl finger, spot on butterfly, mark on ground

d Staff, Dear Karen an e. I a job well don r fo ed d en m ds to be com osely. Everyone nee e and read it cl in az ag m r u o y love receiving d to the lly look forwar ia ec p es I . d o s are go with All the section eat and packed gr as w st o P arden S article is recipes. The G he GOOD EAT T . fo in ed d ee ch n blishment. timely and mu visit each esta to n la p I d an ated well as much appreci interesting as is le p eo p l ca e on lo ion out, they ar ct The spotlight se y an e av res. I hate to le historical figu all good!!! I wn home vibe. o d d an ly d n has a frie totally The magazine ments and can m co e n o h p ll t your ce laughed abou identify. ood Work!! Keep up the G

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November 2021  |  Postcards Magazine: Lake Conroe Edition 47

What’s Cookin’ Pasta with Roasted Butternut Squash and Sage Ingredients 2 Tbs olive oil 1 2/3 cups cubed butternut squash 1 large onion, chopped salt and pepper to taste 8 oz uncooked penne pasta ½ lb turkey sausage ¼ cup heavy cream 2 tsp dried sage 3 cloves garlic, minced

Breakfast Crisp

3 ½ Tbs balsamic vinegar

Ingredients 1 ½ cups quick cooking oats ½ cup unbleached all-purpose flour 1 tsp baking powder ½ tsp ground cinnamon ½ tsp salt ½ cup brown sugar ¼ cup margarine, softened 1 egg Directions Step 1: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease 9x9 inch baking pan. Step 2: In a large bowl, stir together oats, flour, baking powder, cinnamon and salt. In a separate bowl, cream together brown sugar and margarine. Beat in egg. Stir mixtures together just until blended. Pour batter into prepared pan. Step 3: Bake in preheated oven for 30 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into center of pan comes out clean.

Bakers Tip: Make sure all ingredients for your pie dough are cold before you start. For best results, make it the day before you plan to roll it out.

48  Postcards Magazine: Lake Conroe Edition  |  November 2021

Directions Step 1: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Coat a roasting pan with the olive oil. Place the squash and onion in the pan, and season with salt and pepper. Roast 30 minutes, or until squash is tender. Step 2: Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Place penne pasta in the pot, cook for 8 to 10 minutes, until al dente, and drain. Step 3: In a large skillet over medium heat, cook the turkey sausage until evenly brown. Transfer the cooked squash and onion and the cooked pasta to the skillet. Gradually pour in the cream. Season with sage. Continue cooking until heated through. Mix in garlic. Transfer to a large bowl and toss with balsamic vinegar to serve.

Pumpkin Bars with Cream Cheese Filling Ingredients Crust: 2 cups crushed gingersnap cookies ¾ cup finely chopped pecans

Directions Step 1: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Step 2: Combine crushed gingersnaps, pecans, and melted butter for crust in a bowl. Mix until evenly moistened; press into the bottom of a 9x13-inch baking pan.

½ cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly Cream Cheese Layer: 2 (8 oz) pkgs cream cheese, softened ½ cup white sugar 2 large eggs 1 tsp vanilla extract Pumpkin Layer: 1 (15 oz) can pumpkin puree 1 (12 fl oz) can evaporated milk 2 tsp pumpkin pie spice ½ tsp salt ¾ cup white sugar

Step 3: Bake in the preheated oven until crust is lightly browned and smells toasted, about 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool while preparing cream cheese layer. Leave the oven on. Step 4: Combine cream cheese, sugar, eggs, and vanilla extract for cream cheese layer in a large bowl; beat with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Spread over cooled crust and place in the refrigerator while preparing pumpkin layer. Step 5: Beat pumpkin, evaporated milk, pumpkin pie spice, and salt in a bowl until well blended. Beat in sugar and eggs. Pour over cream cheese layer. Step 6: Return to the oven and bake until pumpkin layer is set, about 50 minutes. Cut into bars.

2 large eggs


November 2021  |  Postcards Magazine: Lake Conroe Edition 49

Trippin’ Story by Courtney Burleson Submitted Photos

The joyful spirit of Christmas, and all things holiday, is alive and well in Crockett, Texas. On November 20, the Saturday before Thanksgiving, festival goers and holiday enthusiasts can stroll along the streets of downtown Crockett and experience the small-town charm of “Christmas in Crockett, on the Square” first hand.

Festivities will begin at 10 a.m. and last until 5 p.m.

50  Postcards Magazine: Lake Conroe Edition  |  November 2021

Celebrating its 40th anniversary this year, the festival will fill the downtown square and neighboring streets with a variety of booths for pre-Black Friday holiday shopping, food vendors, live entertainment, a car show, and activities for the kids.

booths out 4 to 6 feet apart, with some not returning due to being lost to COVID,” said Clark. “It’s sad for me that we lost vendors due to COVID, but it’s all the more reason to make sure this holiday tradition continues and brings us all a little bit closer together.”

“The festival has always been held the Saturday before Thanksgiving. When you think about it, what better way to welcome in the holiday season than by attending the very first holiday festival in the heart of the first county in Texas,” said Liza Clark, Crockett Area Chamber of Commerce Executive Director. “I absolutely love seeing the delight on the children’s faces as they nibble on cotton candy or slide out of the bounce houses.”

Vendors and booth types range from local churches and youth groups to boutiques and local artisans and craftsmen. For Clark and others who regularly attend the festival, it’s more than a great shopping experience and family fun. It’s about family and tradition.

“Christmas on the Square” is an annual Christmas tradition in Houston County that dates back to 1981. Patty Meyer and Dianne Rhone began the tradition many years ago with a handful of booths from local vendors that spread out around the downtown square. Now, it has now grown to over 250 vendors in 2019, with approximately 165 scheduled for this year. “Due to COVID-19 considerations, we had to cut back on vendors so we could spread our

“We have some vendors that have been attending for 30 plus years, returning to the same booth every single year,” said Clark. The excitement is apparent in Clark’s voice as she talks about the families that come back to the festival year after year to begin their holiday season. For instance, Clark talks about families coming from out of state to continue the tradition of starting their holiday off with the festival – even after the original festival attendee has passed. “I marvel over the stories I hear of families coming together every year to attend Christmas in Crockett,” said Clark. “For me, that’s what it’s about – bringing

families together and creating that experience for them.” “As much of a tradition as it is for us, it’s become even more for some families,” said Clark. “Yes, it benefits our community by bringing in visitors to our beautiful downtown area and our unique boutiques and shops, but it has grown into so much more, and I’m honored to be a part of it.” So, along with a sense of tradition and holiday spirit, ‘what exactly does the festival have to offer?’ you may ask. Live entertainment for the day will consist of performances by local dance studio dancers. The first performance will be at 11 a.m., followed by another performance at 1:30 p.m. There will be a map of performance locations and schedule posted on the chamber’s website at


Kid activities For all the animal lovers big and small, Aardvark Animal Entertainment will be at the festival with a variety of animals for viewing and interaction with the public. Admission to this event is free. People will not be allowed inside the pens, but will be able to pet them through the fence. Pony, and possibly camel, rides will also be available. This attraction is sponsored by Smitty’s Bar-B-Q and Hamelinck Guns in Crockett.

as face painting, sand art, and various carnival midway style games. Bakers of all ages get ready – it’s cookie time! There will be a cookie contest, which includes three age groups: ages 6-11; 12-18; and adults. The two categories will be decorated and holiday cookies. Contestants will need to bring cookies already decorated and have them turned in to the Chamber of Commerce booth by 1 p.m. Judges will consist of local fire, EMS, and police officers, as well as city officials.

Those wanting still more animal encounters, Stormy’s Place, which is full of creepy, crawly reptiles, will be back again this year. From a variety of spiders and lizards to nonpoisonous snakes, there will be many reptiles to view and purchase. An all-time favorite, says Clark, the Bounce Houses are back! To help with the COVID-19 concerns, Clark says the houses will be continuously disinfected throughout the day. There will also be a rock wall available for climbing enthusiasts. New and improved this year will be a kid favorite - train rides around the square. This year’s train is motorized, with a replica train engine and cars. The train will be running throughout the day. Clark said there will be other kid related activies located around the square such

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Food vendors

Retail vendors

There will be more than 20 food vendors from all over Texas, with a variety of choices including typical fair food and Mediterranean style food. Also available will be old fashioned kettle corn and local honey producers, with live hives for festival goers to view. The Houston County Area Go Texan Committee will be on hand again to serve their soughtafter brisket and hamburgers.

“We have one vendor, Antlers by Frank, who does artwork completely out of antlers,” explains Clark. “From lamps to tables, he has anything you can imagine.”

As a healthy alternative, specialty teas, homemade sparkling water, Italian sodas, and homemade syrups can also be found at the festival.

One vendor who Clark says is a hit every year is the Howling Mad Hot Sauce booth.

Foodies will have a place all of their own at this year’s festival with the new Food Pavilion, sponsored by Pulse Physician in Crockett.

For those with a sweet tooth, Clark says there are plenty of options to go around. From pecan pie cheesecake that is “to die for” to handmade pies and Pecos Pete root beer, Clark says the options are endless.

Clark says one of the best parts of the festival’s vendors are the unique craftsmen who return each year.

Festival goers can also find a variety of allnatural soaps and bath essentials. There are numerous boutiques that line the streets with everything from holiday wear to stylish shabby chic attire.



“Every year, he wears a kilt and is just hilarious,” said Clark. “The crowd loves him.” There will be a complete vendor map on the chamber’s website at www. There will be four PPE stations throughout the festival to help attendees stay safe. Each station will be manned with masks, sanitizer, and gloves available to the public. “I love this festival so much, and I hope it is a success for my community, the vendors, and for the people who come,” said Clark. “I feel it is important now more than ever to keep the tradition going and give families some sense of normal again.”

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November 2021  |  Postcards Magazine: Lake Conroe Edition 53

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

Holiday Emotional Experiences Everyone focuses on being thankful or having gratitude during this season, but there are other common emotions we experience as we approach the upcoming holidays. Stress, fear, and anxiety are some other feelings we experience during this time. Pet owners can take advantage of having that human-animal bond to help share and calm the mix of emotions that holidays can bring. Other than the common notion of being grateful and sharing thankfulness, stress is the second most common emotion faced. The feeling that we’re going to lose control cultivates stress and fear. Most wisdom traditions tell us that nothing is within our control in the first place, so letting go of the idea that everything will be perfect is the first step. On a more practical level, be as organized as possible and tackle tasks ahead of time. Do not wait until the last minute. For example, if you know you are going to be traveling, make sure your pets are caught up on their wellness visits and vaccinations in case the need arises for boarding care. Go ahead and make that boarding reservation or get that pet sitter lined out for the holidays. The holidays can really ramp up the stress levels. The holidays and what they bring on top of our regular lives can lead us to feeling overwhelmed. Stress spins our gears wildly, wasting our much-needed energy and focus. Pets can even sense the added stress and may start showing physical symptoms of stress themselves, such as gastrointestinal, urinary, and behavioral issues. Taking the time to stop, take a few deep breaths, and bring yourself back into your body, into the present, can interrupt the cycle of stress and help you to refocus on what’s important. Make sure to take the time to walk the dog, play with your pets, or just sit and have a calming petting or cuddling session. These activities have been proven to lower blood pressure and calm our nerves. There are many ways to

support your pet during these stressful seasons with supplements, food, and medications. Contact your local vet ahead of time if you think these things might be an issue. Science tells us unpleasant experiences carve deeper neurological grooves in our brains. In other words, as humans, we’re programmed to remember the less pleasant events, so it’s especially important to also notice when we’re happy. So often we remember our failures, our mistakes, but most of the time things really work out. When pleasant things do happen, let them sink in deeply and really register them. When you’re feeling happy, pay attention! This positive feeling gives us a sense of abundance, which in turn helps us to be more generous, which then makes us feel happier. Happiness is gold. It’s the secret ingredient! Don’t let successes pass unnoticed. Finally, gratitude, true gratitude, is not something we can force or feel obligated to experience. True gratitude rises naturally when we’re confronted with the ways in which we are supported and provided for. Thanksgiving can be kind of tricky: We’re supposed to feel grateful, which can sometimes make us feel guilty, or crabby, or highlight all the ways that we aren’t feeling it. Still, recognizing what is abundant in your life and bringing that to the forefront is always worthwhile, no matter the season or circumstance. Allow the gratitude to flow forward and let it inform your thoughts and actions. Share this sense of abundance at every opportunity! If Thanksgiving isn’t such a great deal for you, if you’re not in a place to feel the gratitude, look for ways, no matter how small or ordinary, in which you’re supported and provided for. Focus on that, and let it guide you towards some sense of belonging. Happiness and blessings to your families during these holidays.

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Wildlife Wonders MONARCHS ARE ON THE MOVE By Cheryl Conley The most amazing event happens at this time every year. It’s the migration of monarch butterflies. There are two populations of monarchs in the United States. One is the Eastern North American population that migrates to Mexico. The other is the Western North American population that overwinters in California, along the Pacific coast near Santa Cruz and San Diego. Migration takes eight to ten weeks and, depending on the starting point, some butterflies travel over 3,000 miles. Can you imagine this delicate insect traveling through high winds, rain, hail, and heavily traveled roads to reach its destination? The Eastern North American population of monarch butterflies are of special interest to those of us in Texas. The monarchs fly south using several flyways. When they reach central Texas, they merge into a single flyway until they reach their overwintering grounds in the Oyamel forests in Central Mexico. The forests provide an almost ideal microclimate, with temperatures ranging from 32 degrees to 59 degrees Fahrenheit. At night, in order to stay warm, the butterflies cluster together. It’s not uncommon to have thousands of butterflies in one tree. How do they know where to go? Scientists believe they use the position of the sun as well as an internal magnetic compass that directs them south towards the equator. As they near their final destination, they are able to smell and pickup on social cues to guide them. So, what happens when they reach Mexico? They hibernate until February and March. After hibernation, they find a mate, quickly get down to business, and then start heading back up north. They stop many times along the way to lay eggs in milkweed plants. After enduring a long migration south, hibernation, traveling north in the spring and laying eggs along the way, this generation of monarchs dies. These butterflies are considered the fourth generation of monarchs per year.

The first generation happens between March and April when the eggs from the last generation hatch into caterpillars and then become butterflies. They start their journey north to find food. Their lifespan is 2 to 6 weeks. The second generation is born in May and June and they travel north as well. Their lifespan is 2 to 6 weeks. The third generation is born from July to August and they journey north to their final destination. They lay eggs along the way and those hatched eggs become the final generation of the year. Lifespan is 2 to 6 weeks. The fourth generation is born from September to October. This is the only generation that doesn’t die in 2 to 6 weeks. This is the group that migrates south. This generation always returns to the same trees as the fourth generation before them. No one really understands how they do this. Monarchs are indeed amazing, but in recent years, fewer and fewer butterflies have been returning from their migration to Mexico. This is due to habitat loss and extreme weather conditions. Here are some things you can do to help save the Monarchs. • Plant native milkweed. Local nurseries usually stock these plants. • Other plants to purchase are the butterfly bush, cosmos flower, lantana, lilac and zinnia. • Create a Monarch way-station. For more information, check out this link:

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November 2021  |  Postcards Magazine: Lake Conroe Edition 55



Thru 7 Conroe “Whodunnit?”


Brenham Radney Foster in Concert

Henderson Heritage Syrup Festival


Houston “Sister Act”


Galveston Lone Star Motorcycle Rally

New Braunfels Wurstfest



& Fun Run

A Time 2 Read Storybook Character 5K

16-21 Houston “Tootsie” 18

Lufkin Ruthie Foster in Concert

18-Dec 23 Galveston Polar Express Train Ride

Plantersville St. Mary’s 2021 Rummage Sale

The Woodlands

18-20 Huntsville SHSU Opera: “Cendrillon-A Cinderella Story”

Chris Stapleton w/ Jamey Johnson and Yola


18-21 The Woodlands Junior League Holiday Market

Holiday Market



Celtic Thunder in Concert

Sugar Land



College Station

19-Dec 19 Palestine Grinch’s Lair

“Charlie and the Chocolate Factory”

12-20 Conroe “Shrek JR: The Musical”

19-Dec 26 Palestine Polar Express Train Ride 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.


Tomball Holiday Parade

Crockett Christmas in Crockett

Willis Calvary Baptist Church Drive-thru Thanksgiving

20-21 Conroe Big Top Shopping Festival


Lufkin Straight No Chaser in Concert


Huntsville The Michael Hix Christmas Party


November 2021  |  Postcards Magazine: Lake Conroe Edition 57

Mustard Seed Moments by Wes Altom

Being “In the Know” I heard a preacher say this week, “We live in a world where we are drowning in information but starving for wisdom.” This is a profound observation. Our “Information Age” has spiraled into a “Be Your Own Truth” era…how’s that working out for us? And how do we navigate through the ever-growing maze of facts hidden among misinformation, narratives, and agendas? Much wisdom can be found in the Book of Proverbs, and the key to the proper mindset to begin comes in the very first chapter: “Start with GOD—the first step in learning is bowing down to GOD; only fools thumb their noses at such wisdom and learning.” Then we can walk with the Author of all wisdom through our maze and follow the clues he left us in the Book of James, “If any of you need wisdom, you should ask God, and it will be given to you. God is generous and won’t correct you for asking.” Later in James, he adds, “But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere.” Much can be gained through prayer and reflection. We know the source of wisdom, and with thoughtful contemplation and help from the Holy Spirit, we can certainly eliminate much of what wisdom is NOT! May each of our paths lead us to the treasure of wisdom.

Blessed is the one who finds wisdom. Blessed is the one who gains understanding. Wisdom pays better than silver does. She earns more than gold does. She is worth more than rubies. Nothing you want can compare with her. Long life is in her right hand. In her left hand are riches and honor. Her ways are pleasant ways. All her paths lead to peace. She is a tree of life to those who take hold of her. Those who hold her close will be blessed. Proverbs 3:13-18

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