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December 2019 | Issue 3 | Vol. I * Kingsville Monthly Magazine December 2019 2 * Kingsville Monthly Magazine December 2019

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3 * Kingsville Monthly Magazine December 2019







Happy Christmas! I would like to take this opportunity to thank each and every one of you who have picked up this issue and our previous ones, and have found our content helpful, inspiring, and entertaining. In this, our third issue, we feature a very new and very welcoming new business in Kingsville: The Novel Blend. I’ve known Tom and Jill for a few years and having them bring something so unique, cozy, and fun to Kingsville is a real joy. If you’ve never been, I invite you to stop by and buy a cup of coffee or hot chocolate and cozy up with a great book and enjoy the warm atmosphere. You won’t be disappointed. December also brings articles on the importance of shopping small, our regular guest columns, and much more. Don’t forget to visit our website at to get yummy recipes, an upcoming blog, event calendar, and a whole lot more that is coming in 2020. A great bug THANK YOU to our local advertisers who have chosen us to promote their businesses. We are constantly working on the best way to promote and make you shine. We hope you have a fantastic holiday season with many blessings and endless smiles. Claudia Perez Rivas Publisher/Editor-in-Chief


Kingsville Monthly Magazine

Claudia Perez Rivas

4 * Kingsville Monthly Magazine December 2019

Kingsville Monthly Magazine is a complimentary monthly publication for Kingsville and the Brush Country communities. Copies are available for pick up at various locations around Kingsville.


PHOTOGRAPHERS Belfort Visual Design

CONTRIBUTORS Tom DiFrancesca III Adrian Garcia


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5 * Kingsville Monthly Magazine December 2019

Tom DiFrancesca III

Now that we’re in full ramp-up mode for Christmas after having enjoyed yet another amazing Ranch Hand Weekend, I thought we’d dive into the history of shopping malls in Kingsville.

Malls have always been synonymous with Christmas and Christmas shopping; one reason being they contained a great amount of real estate in which to install traditional holiday displays and lights. And we can’t forget that Santa always ended up at the mall as he would listen to all of the children’s Christmas gift requests.

Having been a resident of Kingsville for seven years, the only building that ever comes to my mind when the word “Mall” is mentioned in reference to Kingsville is Wild Horse Crossing which is located near Highway 77/I-69 and I’ve been calling that place “Ghost Town Mall” for some time now.

Lifetime resident Rudy Longoria said that he was really surprised back in the early 1980’s when he learned that a new outlet mall was going to be built in Kingsville. “I mean, why another mall when we already have two was my question back then,” said Longoria. “Wild Horse Crossing just never really took off”.

So you’ll notice that Longoria stated that there were already two malls in existence in Kingsville back in the 80’s and I don’t know about you but that statement certainly took me by surprise. I mean, I’d already been aware of the fact that Southgate Mall had been built on 14th Street across from the high school in the late 1970’s but learning about the existence of yet an even earlier shopping mall was a total shock to me. I’ll get back to the Southgate Mall story shortly.

Longoria was around fourteen or fifteen years old when Kingsville Mall opened up with great fanfare in the early 1970’s and he was really thrilled when he learned that a record store had opened up inside the mall. “As a kid I lived right back behind where the mall was built, it’s where Coastal Bend College is located now,” said Longoria. “In fact the anchor store where CBC is now was a Super “D” grocery store and on the other end where Asian Buffet is now was an Anthony’s Department Store. 6 * Kingsville Monthly Magazine December 2019

Besides Craig’s Record Store, Longoria fondly remembers that there was also a Levi Straus outlet store inside the mall. Although Mrs. Joy Beth Whittington, a lifetime resident of Kingsville who graduated from the old Kingsville High School in 1960, can’t remember exactly when Kingsville Mall was eventually transformed into a shopping center, she does remember that her kids, when they were teens in the 1980’s, used to still buy their jeans at the Levi Straus outlet.

Sam Gonzalez Jr., a lifetime resident of Kingsville remembers the mall being renamed Kings Court Mall for a while before it was converted into a shopping center. He also mentioned that he recalls a Baskin Robbins, Winns, and a pizza place which was possibly a Pizza Inn.

I’ll have to be honest with you I had previously never had any inkling that the current shopping center located at 14th and Ailsie Avenue had actually once been a conventional shopping mall. But now that I think about it, it should not have been a big surprise at all.

Surprised is what I really was when I recently discovered that the shopping center where Hobby Lobby is now located was once in fact, a very nice contemporary shopping mall with interior stores. Come to think of it, the sign at that shopping center currently reads “Southgate Mall” and yet, it’s not a mall, and I’ve always found that to be just a little confusing.

When I asked Rudy Longoria how impressed he had been with the new Southgate Mall after it opened in the early 1980’s he responded very enthusiastically. “It was a great, it had a bowling alley on the end where the old call center and Big House Burgers are now located and on the other end where Tractor Supply is now was a Wal-mart,” he stated. “Southgate Mall had a couple of nice jewelry stores including a Zales and there was a J.C. Penny located where Hibbets is now.”

Longoria went on, “In fact, I bought my high school graduation ring at that Zale’s,” he informed me. “And I remember buying George Strait tickets at a record store when Strait was going to perform in Kingsville. When I asked Rudy if a Radio Shack once existed inside that mall he replied that it had, as well as a Bealls.

Barry Anthes informed me that he and his family once owned the Sound Safari record store which was located next to WalMart at Southgate Mall and that they in fact sold George Strait concert tickets. Anthes also remembers the Mall Video store. According to Noreen Oliver who visited the Southgate Mall often, she remembers Godfather’s Pizza, Gilbert’s Jewelry, and Payless Shoes. Continued on page 11

7 * Kingsville Monthly Magazine December 2019

For many families, the holiday season is the most expensive time of year. Americans spent over $707 billion dollars during the 2018 holidays, according to the National Retail Federation, and it would be no surprise for spending to increase in 2019. “It is important to ensure you are spending wisely and not turning the new year into a time of new debt,” says Michael McAuliffe, president of Family Credit Management, a non-profit credit-counseling agency. To spend sensibly and with good cheer this season, consider these tips from McAuliffe and the experts at Family Credit Management. • Set a budget: While you should be following a budget throughout the year, it’s important to have a holiday-specific budget too. Figure out how much you are able to spend on each person’s gift and stick to it. This will help you consider

8 * Kingsville Monthly Magazine December 2019

those big-ticket items more seriously and make it possible for you to stay on track. • Decorate wisely: With a tight budget, consider using last year’s decorations or making homemade decorations, as a fun, money-saving project to do with the whole family. While there’s no real need to buy new, expensive decorations every year, if you are so inclined, don’t forget to include that in your holiday budget. • Think about shipping: Online deals might look great, and many times they are. Other times, they’re not really deals at all because of shipping costs. If you are going to shop online, make sure to keep an eye out for free shipping days offered by many retailers and to factor in shipping, when necessary, into your overall spending plan. • Don’t shop because you’re “supposed” to: Just because it’s Black Friday or Cyber Monday, doesn’t mean you have to shop. While there are some good deals offered during these events, just as frequently, the deals are not super special once you look at the normal price and product reviews. Unfortunately, marketing teams are great at knowing how to access wallets through product placement and signage, and shopping during these times will increase impulse spending and make it much harder to stick to a holiday budget. • Use apps to price check: Technology is great! There are many apps out there to price-check items while you’re shopping, so you can make sure you are getting the best deal. Some retail stores will even adjust the price in-store when you have found a better deal online. • Leave the credit cards at home: Put your holiday budget on a pre-paid debit card or gift card that you can use anywhere. Going shopping with only that card will help ensure that you don’t spend more than your budgeted amount. Not only will it help you stay within budget, but it will also help your purchase stay interest-free. For free money-saving and budget tips that you can use year-round, visit Don’t let the holidays take a toll on your 2020 finances. A few key strategies can help you celebrate within budget. * Article courtesy of StatePoint Media

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Research shows that afterschool programs not only help

Grant, executive director of the Afterschool Alliance. “And

keep kids safe, but also help them succeed in school and

any cuts would mean that more children are unsupervised

life. Unfortunately, there aren’t enough such programs in

in the afternoons and more working parents are left with-

the country today, experts say.

out the assurance that their children are safe until they return home from their jobs.”

While participation in afterschool programs has increased to 10.2 million students nationwide, for every child in an

The positive effects of afterschool programs are broad.

afterschool program, two more are waiting to get in, ac-

More than 5,000 sheriffs, police chiefs and prosecutors of

cording to “America After 3PM,” a household survey com-

the organization Fight Crime: Invest in Kids recently issued

missioned by the Afterschool Alliance, a nonprofit public

a report confirming that the hours between 2 and 5 pm are

awareness and advocacy organization.

still prime time for juvenile crime. The report also documented positive outcomes for youth who participate in

“At this time when afterschool programming needs more funding, federal investments are under threat,” says Jodi

high-quality afterschool programs.

10 * Kingsville Monthly Magazine December 2019

Continued from page 7

Brittany Stewart remembers learning to play pool at the Nickelodeon Arcade and recalls a Montgomery Wards store as well as a Gordon’s Jewelers which she seems to recall was located right across from Zales. Stewart also reports that she can remember both a beeper store and a Claire’s being there at some point.

As far as mall Christmas decorations go, neither Longoria nor Whittington remember anything special about the decorations at the Kingsville Mall, but Longoria does remember that the new Southgate Mall always had nice decorations including a really big Santa Claus display in the middle of the mall.

So there you go boys and girls, yet another time-travelin’ tour down memory lane and I hope you enjoyed it. Whenever you’re reading one of my columns and fond memories start to flood back into your noggin’ you can always send me an email missive at and share them with me. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year, ya’ll. Tom and his wife Jill own and operate The Novel Blend bookstore located in historic downtown Kingsville. Look for the bookstore on Facebook.

In many cases, these programs serve as a lifeline, offering nutri-

competitions and more. Events focused on the environment,

tious suppers to children from low-income families who might

growing and cooking healthy food, space exploration, technolo-

otherwise go hungry.

gy, arts and literacy, and other issues, providing an opportunity

Organizers of the recent “Lights on Afterschool” rally say the 20th anniversary celebration underscored the need to invest in

for community members to see the skills and talents students hone at their afterschool programs.

afterschool programs, which offer students homework help, men-

“Financial support is needed to expand access to afterschool pro-

tors, college and job readiness, healthy snacks, as well as pro-

grams and help keep their lights on,” says Grant. “Every citizen

gramming in subjects like robotics, computer programming, arts,

can urge lawmakers at every level, as well as businesses and

music and sports.

philanthropies, to invest in these programs, which help children,

The only national rally for afterschool, the celebration, organized by the Afterschool Alliance, included some 10,000 events, includ-

families and communities.” (Article courtesy of StatePoint)

ing roundtable discussions, open houses, science fairs, fun runs, student showcases, academic contests, community service, sports 11 * Kingsville Monthly Magazine December 2019

Claudia Perez Rivas

“Books are a uniquely portable magic”, bestselling author Stephen King once said. They truly are. For those that like or rather, love to read, The Novel Blend is a truly magical place. Walk through their glass doors and you are transported into another realm where you can go back in time or forward into the future. Once inside, you feel giddy as a child in a candy store. There are mystery books, history books, cooking books, children’s books, teen books, to name a few. “I’ve always loved bookstores,” owner Tom DiFrancesca III said. “I'm always buying books. I've got quite a collection at home.” Tom and his wife Jill have always had an entrepreneurial spirit. Before they opened The Novel Blend, they would often walk downtown after having breakfast at Harrel’s Pharmacy. Wandering through the two downtown blocks, they would look through the empty buildings and dream of what they could open. In their walks, they also noticed one area of downtown was well-developed with interesting shops and lots of traffic while the other side lacked the same charm as the first. When Sarita Farms opened on the less-trafficked area, Tom and Jill took notice. "We just loved what they had done to the building and how they brought a little bit of life to this block,” DiFrancesca III said. With the idea of a bookstore, the husband and wife team began to look at empty buildings for the perfect one. Their search ended at 311 E. Kleberg. As soon as they entered the space, it seems it was meant for them. It had the feel they were looking for and they set to make it a reality. The Novel Blend has been opened for about five months now and in addition to books and gifts, you are able to enjoy a delicious cup of your favorite Keurig coffee, hot chocolate or tea. 12 * Kingsville Monthly Magazine December 2019

"We've always liked the idea of having a place to relax and have a cup of coffee,” DiFrancesca III said. “We really thought if we just opened a bookstore, people would say, ‘do you serve coffee?’." Offering Keurig (K cups) coffee instead of specialty coffee such as a latte or iced coffee was a decision they made when they realized they would need to build a commercial kitchen. According to DiFrancesca III, this expense was a bit much and offering Keurig-brewed coffee and bottled water did not require additional expenses or per-

mits. However, he added, if business is going well, they do have plans to maybe add a commercial kitchen in order to add much more than specialty coffees to their menu. Besides, Jill adds, “It's hot and delicious every time". In the few short months they’ve been open, The Novel Blend has managed to become one of the best promoters of small businesses. Through their social media and in their place of business, it has managed to share countless posts from other small businesses in Kingsville simply to help broaden those businesses’ reach. "I think we all have to stick together,” Jill said. “It's so hard. The more we build each other up the more successful everyone can be." In relation to other cities, Kingsville does not have many organizations small businesses can turn to or become a member of that offer what is needed to truly promote their fledgling business. Small business owners wanting to promote turn to each other for help. Cross-promotion is something The Novel Blend, along with other local businesses have

13 * Kingsville Monthly Magazine December 2019

Continued on page 16

Dogs are important and adored members of their families, however, millions go missing every year. The reasons are varied and probably not all that surprising. A curious dog might jump over a fence or dig a hole under one. A pup might sneak out a door or gate inadvertently left open. Worn or broken leashes or collars could also allow a dog to escape your control. Regardless of how a dog is lost, what matters most is getting your pup back home. Here are three important steps to take before and after a dog goes missing: 1. Before your dog ever goes missing, you can help protect your pup. Leverage innovative technology designed to reunite dogs with the people who love them, like the recently launched Wag! Tag, a smarter dog tag from the dog walking and sitting app Wag! Pet parents can use their smartphones to scan the unique code found on the tag to create a profile for their dog with important information, such as emergency and veterinary contacts, vaccination history, food and medicine allergies, and other relevant notes. If your dog ever goes missing, the person who finds your pup can scan the Wag! Tag with their smartphone to access the dog’s profile and contact you. The additional information on the profile can help that person contact someone else if you’re not available, as well as ensure your dog receives good care until you’re reunited. “Our love for dogs is what led us to launch the Wag! Tag,” says Wag! CEO, Hilary Schneider. “A smarter dog tag will help a lost pup return home more quickly 14 * Kingsville Monthly Magazine December 2019

by allowing a pet parent to share a lot more information than is possible with a traditional dog tag.” Wag! is launching the tags by first providing them free to animal shelters and rescue organizations to help ensure that once rescue dogs find forever homes, they can be quickly reunited with their families if they ever go missing. The company has a long commitment to helping shelter dogs, donating a portion of its dog-walking proceeds to’s Rescue Bank. To-date, Wag! has provided more than 8 million meals to shelter dogs in the U.S. For more information,visit 2. Use social media to get out the word. Post to your own feed, asking friends and neighbors to share your post. Reach a wider audience by sharing your post on the pages of local community groups. 3. Of course, don’t neglect the traditional tactic of pounding the pavement, asking your neighbors if they’ve seen your pup, as well as posting fliers in highly-trafficked areas in your community. Be sure to include a recent high-resolution picture of your pet. And of course, keep your eyes open! You can imagine the heartbreak that a lost pup brings. Luckily, new technology as well as old-fashioned neighborly networking, can help ensure a happy reunion. (Article courtesy of StatePoint Media)

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Continued from page 13

turned to and have from helped each Continued page 12 other with. For example, Finders Keepers Village has a small display for the Novel Blend in their shop while The Novel Blend has a small display promoting them as well. The Novel Blend has hosted an innovative event called Game Night, where the community is invited to participate in a good, old-fashioned game night. The event is hosted two times a month and lasts from 7pm to 10pm. The community is invited to stop by, pick their favorite game from among the many they offer and enjoy a few hours of fun. The games are available to use for free or you can bring your own. Enjoy coffee, water, hot chocolate or tea and maybe a few goodies while you play. Poetry Night, is the newest event that began in November at The Novel Blend. Arispe of the Poetry Café is the organizer for this event.. DiFrancesca said it was well received in its first night and are looking forward to hosting more in the future. In addition, the DiFrancesca’s have plans for more events in the coming year and hope to be able to attract more customers to their store. In “Phase II”, DiFrancesca III said, there are big plans for The Novel Blend. "We can double the size of the store," he added. “It will take more work. We want to do a dedicated children's section so there are lots of books available and they can sit on little tables and look at the books.” “I want to build a radio internet station and we want more sitting areas,” DiFrancesca said. “We're also going to have a chair massage available for a few times a week. We might have a dedicated area for like open mic night, a little stage, something like that.” The Novel Blend are always thinking of way of helping other small businesses as well as local artists. “We're trying to help local artists so we help sell their work on consignment,” DiFrancesca III said. Several local artists display their one-of-a-kind items exclusively at The Novel Blend. “We try to offer merchandise that not everyone else around has like jewelry bookmarks,” DiFrancesca III said adding other items they carry are coffee cups, metal art, candles, wine stoppers, and bookmarks. The Novel Blend welcomes ideas from customers such as a regular client asking if her daughter could have her birthday party there because “she wanted to have her party someplace fun”. DiFrancesca III said he and his wife talked it over and decided it was something they were open to. The party was hosted when the store was closed and it was well-received, DiFrancesca III said. 16 * Kingsville Monthly Magazine December 2019

One of the challenges The Novel Blend faces is “getting people to walk on this side of the street,” DiFrancesca III said. Taking a note from Sarita Farms, the DiFrancesca’s have made an inviting seating area outside the shop. There are two small, round tables each surrounded by two chairs were customers may sip their coffee and read a book they just purchased. A little café feel. Their storefront is decorated with beautiful flower pots and vibrant colors. "When someone walks in the door, they almost always have a big smile on their face,” DiFrancesca III said. “They really like the way it feels." Looking forward to 2020, the DiFrancesca’s are excited for what the year may bring. There are big plans in the air and a desire to help one another. Kingsville is rich with small businesses, helping each other to grow is something the DiFrancesca’s believe in doing. The best thing about owning a shop? DiFrancesca tells it best: “For me, it’s when someone walks in the door for the first time and gets a big smile on their face and then begins complimenting on how well the place has been designed. For Jill, it’s about how many relationships have been built because of this store.” “People who have attended events met strangers and are now friends,” he added. “We’ve made friends with some of our customers. Jill loves the community building and so do I.” 17 * Kingsville Monthly Magazine December 2019

Dietary supplements help people get the nutrients they need

senior vice president of communications at CRN. “Larger man-

to thrive, and 77 percent of Americans take them, according to

ufacturers will comply by January 2020, and many other man-

the Council for Responsible Nutrition (CRN). However, ex-

ufacturers will be introducing the new labels early, so it’s

perts say that in order to make smart choices down the line, it

smart for everyone to get familiar with the updates now.”

is necessary to understand changes being made to product

Eighty-two percent of Americans agree that the information on


the label helps them make purchasing decisions, and being

“The Food and Drug Administration has mandated that all

label wise, according to Wommack, means being committed to

dietary supplement products feature updated labeling by Jan-

reading product labels, having knowledge of what information

uary 2021 to reflect the evolution of the American diet, as well

is featured and why, and making smart, well-informed pur-

as advancements in nutrition science,” says Brian Wommack,

chasing decisions.

18 * Kingsville Monthly Magazine December 2019

“While some of the changes to the label are more obvious than others, all of them are important to understand,” says Wommack. To help you understand the transition, CRN has identified some of the noticeable aspects of the new Supplement Facts label: • New Daily Values (DVs) will reflect the latest nutrition science and changes in American diets. • Vitamins A, D, and E will change from amounts in International Units (IU), to the more common measures of milligrams (mg) and micrograms (mcg). • Folic acid, an important nutrient before and during pregnancy, will be listed as folate and measured in micrograms of dietary folate equivalents (DFEs). • If sugar is added to the product, you will see the amount and percent DV. To learn more about the coming changes, as well as for more tips and advice on reading supplement labels, visit or follow the conversation at #labelwise. “We all have unique nutritional needs. So, talk with your healthcare practitioner to understand how these label changes might impact you,” says Wommack. (Family Features)

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Driving can be expensive if you lack basic car-care knowledge or proper insurance. Regular maintenance can prevent costly breakdowns and extend your car’s life, and the right coverage can protect your wallet in the event of an accident. Here are five need-to-know basics: 1. Know car insurance basics. Before getting behind the wheel, know these terms: • Liability. Every state requires you to carry liability insurance, which covers injuries to others or damage to others’ property. You may hear it referred to as Property Damage (PD for short) or Bodily Injury (BI for short). • Collision vs. comprehensive. Collision pays for repairs to your car if you hit another vehicle or crash into an object. Comprehensive covers other incidents. For example, hitting a deer, hailstorm damage, vandalization or theft. • Deductible. This is the amount you’ll pay out-of-pocket for repairs before insurance kicks in. • Endorsement. Sometimes referred to as a “rider,” an endorsement refers to a change or addition to existing coverage. For example, Erie Insurance has an endorsement called ERIE Rate Lock which customers can add to policies so their rates will increase only if they change their policy, drivers, vehicles or their address, even if they file a claim. “Car insurance can be complicated, so we don’t expect drivers to know everything, but we do recommend understanding a few basics,” says Jon Bloom, vice president, personal auto, Erie Insurance. “Working with an insurance agent can help you get the right coverage for you, based on your car and budget.”

20 * Kingsville Monthly Magazine December 2019

2. Read the owner’s manual. Learn the car’s bells and whistles and how often to rotate tires, check belts and hoses and change the oil. Check dashboard warning lights. Red typically indicates your car may be unsafe to drive. Yellow or orange usually means you should get it checked but it’s not urgent. Green generally indicates a feature is working.

3. Check tires monthly. Proper tire pressure promotes good gas mileage and can extend tire life. Reference the sticker found inside the driver’s door for the recommended pressure. Don’t over inflate. Consider learning how to change a tire, a handy skill when assistance isn’t available.

4. Get regular oil changes. Some companies, like GM and Ford, equip vehicles with oil monitors so owners know when to change oil. If you don’t have this feature, reference your owner’s manual. Most manufacturers recommend changing oil between 5,000 and 7,500 miles, while synthetic oils are likely good for 10,000 to 15,000 miles.

5. Master the jump-start. Usually a car battery needs to be replaced every five years. While a dead battery is never convenient, it’s easy to jump start a car. Attach one red clamp to the positive terminal of the dead battery. The other red clamp goes on the positive terminal of the live battery. The black clamp attaches to the negative terminal of the live battery. The final clamp goes onto an unpainted metal surface on the dead car’s engine block to prevent hazardous sparking. Turn on the live car. Allow the dead car to run for at least a half hour to charge. Always double-check your owner’s manual to be sure your vehicle doesn’t require special jump-starting procedures. By knowing the basics, you can hit the road with confidence. Article courtesy of StatePoint Media

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21 * Kingsville Monthly Magazine December 2019

Adrian Garcia

Introduction In my twenty-six years of leading men and women within various public safety organizations the one common denominator that always comes up is communication. I don’t believe that I have ever prepared or participated in a postincident debriefing without communications, not being mentioned as one of the areas of improvement. Therefore, we must pose the following questions: why is communication always a common issue? Furthermore, how important is communicating within effective leadership? Finally, can leaders be mediocre at communicating and still be considered effective leaders? These are all great questions, but we must remember that leaders are not necessarily born with the appropriate skill set, but true leaders will always strive to improve in all aspects of leadership, including communications.

Unfortunately, history has proven that leaders that are charismatic communicators, tend to inspire individuals to follow them into the future or other endeavors. The unfortunate thing is sometimes great communicators can lead us in the wrong direction which may bring or have devastating effects on ourselves or others. Once more, these are the times that we must seek out our own path and as stated before choose the kind of leader we are striving to become. Lastly, we must remember that communications is not just speaking effectively, but also being able to read, write, and actively listen well to others to truly understand the meaning of the message being passed on to us. As stated by Andy Stanley, “Every time I stand to communicate, I want to take one simple truth and lodge it in the heart of the listener. I want them to know that one thing and know what to do with it.� Origins

22 * Kingsville Monthly Magazine December 2019

The word communication derives from the Latin word ‘communize’ which means common. Therefore, communication implies having a common experience, sharing of knowledge, information, feelings, or ideas with others in hopes that each will gain understanding, intent, and use of the message. Importance Theo Gold said it best, “Communication is your ticket to success, if you pay attention and learn to do it effectively.” What we must understand as leaders is that communication comes in many forms and we must strive to improve at all levels of communications i.e. speaking, writing, interpersonal dynamics, and active listening. The ability to effectively communicate at all levels is vital in leadership. The skill to communicate is important to succeed in any field, so ideas can be translated into action through the communication process. As stated in my earlier article, leadership is not easy, but we must work at it every day, in hopes that one day we will achieve the level of leadership potential we are seeking. Nevertheless, we must have the willingness to evolve and become a lifelong learner of all topics of leadership, including communication. Application Furthermore, as a leader you must be willing to hone your communication skills by seeking out opportunities to public speak, instruct, or write an article for a publication. Throughout my career and personal life communications has been a struggle, but I will always continue to work on improving. Effective ways to enhance your public speaking ability might be to join a Toast Masters Club, which meet and practice public speaking techniques on a regular basis. Become an instructor, allows for opportunities to conduct a class in front of a captive audience. In efforts to improve your writing ability, volunteer to research and write a proposal for your organization, or ask to write an article for a publication. Lastly, learn to engage and interpret individuals, you can practice this by joining a local civic group, attend networking opportunities, or attend a class. This will give you occasions to practice your active listening and interpersonal skills. Furthermore, communications will always be a common issue in all organizations, because we live in a diverse society with multiple cultures, languages, and customs that require on-going education to be effective communicators and leaders. “To effectively communicate, we must realize that we are all different in the way we perceive the world – use this understanding as a guide to communicate with others.” Anthony Robbins In addition, communication and leadership go hand-in-hand, remember leadership is about influence and inspiring others to follow you, unfortunately, without effective communication it will make this a difficult task. Lastly, a mediocre communicator can still be a good leader, however an effective communicator will always be a great leader. Remember, great leaders aren’t afraid of challenges, they look forward to them, they have a can-do attitude, that others will follow in overcoming any obstacle. Max Cesar said, “Having a vision is important, but it will not serve if the leader is not able to communicate it to give the expected changes any chance of taking hold.”

Adrian Garcia is a leader with over 26 years of experience within the Fire Service industry and is a graduate of the University of North Texas. He recently joined the John Maxwell Team in efforts to continue his personal leadership development and share what he has learned with others through speaking, coaching, and training opportunities for multiple industries.

If interested in a session, please contact Adrian Garcia via his website:

23 * Kingsville Monthly Magazine December 2019

Wow your friends and family by using a wood pellet grill and smoker to create every dish on your holiday party menu this season. With these tips and recipes from the chefs at Louisiana Grills, you can craft festive gourmet dishes infused with sophisticated hardwood flavor. Appetizer Course Smoked cheese is a savory delicacy that offers a delicious flavor profile when served alongside crackers or bread. Unfortunately, the “smoked” flavor of store-bought cheese typically only comes from liquid smoke. With a cold smoking cabinet on your wood pellet grill, smoking cheese the old-fashioned and authentic way is uncomplicated, particularly when using one from Louisiana Grills, as it produces layers of delicate flavor by circulating cool smoke around the cheese, and eliminating the need for rotation. Cold Smoking Cheese Tips: • Let it reach room temperature before smoking. • Keep the temperature inside the cabinet below 90 degrees F.

24 * Kingsville Monthly Magazine December 2019

• Smoke outside in cooler temps for two to four hours.

Wrap well and let rest refrigerated for at least 24 hours.

Main Course Purchasing high-quality meat can make a significant difference in the overall flavor of your dish, so be sure to select locallyraised, grass-fed meat. Livestock raised on grass-fed farms have lower amounts of lactic acid in their muscles, which offers superior taste and texture. For your party’s centerpiece, consider this Grilled Pork Tenderloin with Blackberry Sauce recipe for a gorgeous roast that’s rich in holiday flavor. Ingredients: • 1 pound pork tenderloin • 1 Tablespoon olive oil • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt • 1 1/2 teaspoons freshly ground pepper • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder • 6 ounces thinly sliced bacon • 1/2 cup fresh blackberries, washed and dried • 1/4 cup seedless blackberry preserves • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire Sauce

1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard

Instructions: • Pierce the pork tenderloin all over with a fork and rub with olive oil until fully coated. Season well with salt, pepper and garlic powder. Then, wrap in bacon and let rest at room temperature for 30 minutes. • Next, puree the fresh blackberries in a blender and strain into a saucepan. Add in seedless blackberry preserves, balsamic vinegar, Worcestershire sauce and Dijon mustard, stirring frequently over medium heat until thickened. • Fire up your Louisiana Grill and set the temperature to 225 degrees F. Place the pork tenderloin directly on the grill grates and smoke for 1-2 hours, flipping once, until the temperature in the middle reaches 145 degrees F. • Remove from the grill and allow to rest for 10 minutes. Slice thinly and serve with the fresh blackberry sauce.

A Sweet Finish End the night on a sweet note by smoking your favorite cobbler or pie. Place it in the grill and bake for 40-45 minutes, or until the topping is golden brown. Add a festive touch by serving with your favorite gourmet holiday ice cream. For more tips and recipes for holiday meals and more, visit By preparing your holiday party menu with a wood pellet grill this year, you can impress your loved ones with an extraordinary wood-fired feast.

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What if everyone spent a little more time and energy celebrating everyday moments, tiny victories and microachievements? Rather than focusing on the negative, directing your attention toward what you are grateful for, and making a special occasion out of those things, is the secret to a happier life - according to many psychologists, writers and self-help experts. So what can you do, right now, to add a little more sparkle to your life, to celebrate those little occasions that actually make the difference between a bad day and a great one? 1. Tune up your tablescape Whether you just made it through a grueling day of meetings at work, you managed to take the car in for an oil change or you got through the holidays unscathed, it's worth celebrating! So roll out a tablecloth and light a few candles for dinner tonight - even if it's takeout or delivered. Turn off your phone and relish the moment! 2. Dress to impress

Going out to dinner with your significant other for the first time in ages? Or maybe you're staying in for a night with friends? What's stopping you from dressing up as if it was your first date or as if you're headed to a cocktail party? Toss on that little black dress or a fun, festive outfit just because. Add some sparkly accessories or makeup and enjoy the reaction when you show up looking like a million bucks! 3. Drink something sparkly For those everyday moments that you want to celebrate, fill a glass with a delicious sparkling wine, like Riondo Prosecco Spago Nero, or use it to create a tasty cocktail. Riondo Prosecco has a light effervescence and fresh notes of apple and pear that make any ordinary occasion seem extra special. Follow the lead of media personality, author, entrepreneur and restaurateur Giuliana Rancic by embracing the authentic flavor of Italy while you enjoy Giuliana Prosecco. Elevate your everyday dinner as you savor the fruity and elegant prosecco - or serve it to guests at your next awards show viewing party!

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Or for a bigger occasion, make a statement with another great prosecco worthy of New Year's Eve, a wedding or an anniversary. Nino Franco Rustico Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore DOCG will impress your guests or fellow revelers with its crisp, bright, refreshing and fruity taste. 4. Celebrate someone you love Stop at a party store and pick up banners, glitter, confetti or other decorations to celebrate someone you care about. Surprise them by decorating their doorway with a sign that says "Congratulations" or "Welcome Home" - even if they've just been at work all day. Bring flowers, cupcakes or other special treats to celebrate being together and whatever mini-accomplishment your loved one may have achieved recently - or simply for being there for you when you needed them. Show that person how much you love that they are a part of your life, and have a mini-party, just the two of you. 5. Crank up the music Instead of the drone of the TV or talk radio, play your favorite upbeat tunes on the way home from a long day at work. Crank up songs you love at home while you do your household chores to put some pep in your step. Make a "victory playlist" to celebrate finishing a tedious appointment or completing a project. Then set your favorite song as your ringtone. Let each day be an opportunity to enjoy everything life has to offer, and to celebrate being a part of it. By adding just a little extra sparkle, everyday moments can become special occasions. (Article courtesy of BPT)

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During the holidays, no matter where you turn, you find food,

gram, the holidays can trigger unwanted thoughts and com-

food and more food. From vendor treats filling the office break-

ments surrounding food. Whether you are actively treating your

room to celebratory dinners with family and friends, virtually

eating disorder or suspect you may have one, you can take steps

everything and everyone seems to be focused on food. For some-

to make this holiday season more comfortable with these tips

one working to overcome an eating disorder, it makes the season

from eating disorder expert and licensed therapist Dawn Delga-

anything but festive.

do, director of clinical development at Center for Discovery.

Eating disorders affect 20 million females and 10 million males in

1. Always have a safe plan. If you plan on attending a holiday

the United States and can be diagnosed in boys and girls 7 years

party or gathering, you may want to consult with your dietitian

old and sometimes even younger.

to have a plan beforehand, especially if you feel you may be in-

Eating disorders are not a lifestyle choice; they are mental health disorders similar to depression, bipolar disease or schizophrenia. It is not an individual choice to develop an eating disorder, but rather severe underlying pathological factors which drive individuals to take part in self-destructive behaviors associated with eating disorders.

clined to binge. If you feel triggered to binge, or if you feel pressured by another individual, create an escape plan, which may mean having a friend accompany you to the party or even come pick you up. Your plan may also involve finding a safe place at the party where you can be alone to gather your thoughts until you feel comfortable re-engaging with others. 2. Be prepared to say "no." Many individuals, with good inten-

Genetic, environmental and social factors all play a role in the development of an eating disorder. Interpersonal issues, past trauma, low self-esteem, abuse, co-occurring mental health disorders, substance abuse disorders and unhealthy family and personal relationships can all contribute to the environmental and social factors associated with eating disorders. Even for someone who is well into a successful recovery pro-

tions, will push food your way. They will want you to try their favorite dessert or their new recipe without understanding your struggle. Know that it is OK to say "no" and to take care of yourself in these situations. You can choose to clarify why you are saying "no," but do not feel obligated to do so. Also give yourself permission to decline joining holiday office parties, family parties or other holiday-themed get-togethers if your recovery could be

28 * Kingsville Monthly Magazine December 2019

compromised, or plan to bring a supportive friend. 3. Know your triggers before you engage in social situations.

have mastered one, try a new one. Over time, eating mindfully can become second nature.

Understanding your triggers and learning how to use coping skills

1. Practice mindfulness: Start by eating one meal a day in a slow-

to control them at holiday functions can help keep negative

er, more aware manner.

thoughts and self-sabotaging at bay. If there are certain topics of conversation that trigger you then avoid those topics or change the conversation when those topics arise. Be honest with yourself, be honest with others, recognize your emotions and learn to take

2. Hunger check: Before eating, check in with yourself to determine how hungry you are. Are you hungry enough for a meal or just a snack? 3. Emotional check: What are you feeling? Are you happy, con-

control of your scenarios. Learn more and find options for treatment at centerfordiscov-

tent, stressed, bored or something different? 4. Senses check: What type of food are you hungry for? Do you

want savory, sweet or salty? Do you want something hot or cold?

Supporting a Loved One Watching someone you care for battle an eating disorder can be emotionally challenging, but your love and support can make a

5. Time check: Do you have time to sit and savor? Or are you crunched for time?

big difference during the stressful holiday season with these tips

6. Time crunch: Planning to nourish your body is an act of mind-

from the experts at Center for Discovery:

fulness. Taking the time to grab some food or packing food to eat

* If you're uncertain how you can help, just ask then be prepared

on the go is being mindful that your body needs fuel. 7. Focus: Concentrate on the meal in front of you. Avoid doing

to listen without judgment. * Make it clear you are willing to be a sounding board or assist your loved one in getting to a safe place if he or she is triggered

other activities while you eat such as working, talking on the phone, watching TV, driving or reading. 8. Savor: While eating, notice the colors, smells, flavors and tex-

during an event. * Voice concerns privately. Public comments about weight, body

tures of the food.

shape or food choices can only exacerbate the angst your loved

9. Food awareness: Notice your reaction to the food you are eat-

one is feeling, and when you put him or her on the defensive, he

ing. What do you like, what don't you like? If you are enjoying

or she is less likely to be receptive to your genuine concern.

your food, savor it. If you don't like your food, choose something more appealing.

Mindful Eating Tips These simple steps can help you rediscover your natural intuition about food and hunger. These tips can be used all in one meal or you can choose one tip at a time to focus on. When you feel you

10. Patience and grace: Mindful eating is a practice that takes time to learn and develop. Since there is no judgment in mindful eating, give yourself grace and patience as you learn.

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December 2019  

December 2019