Lantana Living Magazine October 2021

Page 1








10 Fitness with Outlaw Fitcamp 24 Home Decorating 30 Gardening with Complete Solutions 40 Dentistry with Country Lakes Family Dental 45 Edit This with Steve Gamel 58 Travel with Terri Guthrie LANTANA PHOTO PAGE 51 Flower Mound Chamber of Commerce 2021 Clay Shoot ARTICLES 08 10 Hot Spooky Spots 12 Inside Community and Education 14 Becoming An Ultra 16 Thanksgiving Countdown Planner 18 Sheriff’s Corner with Sheriff Tracy Murphree 20 The Art of Charcuterie 26 Four Scary Cocktails 28 Clear Texas 36 Unique Thanksgiving Traditions 39 Tribute to Chief Asebedo 42 Vanilla Chai Latte Recipe 46 Plan of Action 48 Lauri Ragland 50 Foodie Friday DFW: Baja Rita’s 52 How To Throw an Adult Halloween Party 56 Cleaning and Disinfecting







Cover Image TCAP Team with Client Pets

61 5 Things to Make


Publisher of Murray Media Group, Publisher & Editor Scott & Kelly Murray


Goodbye Summer



y family and friends tease me a little bit for doing this, but by Labor Day every year, I’m out in my front yard like clockwork putting pumpkins and other fun decor items out in celebration of fall and the cooler weather ahead. It doesn’t matter if it’s still around 100 degrees outside — or that it’s not even October. I’m gonna be out there. I guess that’s what happens when you’re a geek for fall. I’m not alone, either. I read an article recently that it seems like everyone starts obsessing over fall as soon as September 1st hits. It’s all about pumpkin spice lattes, baking something delicious in the oven, fires in the fireplace, piles of leaves in the front yard for the kids to play in, pumpkin patches and hayrides, sweater weather, and football games with the family. It’s cozy time — I mean … who can argue with that? And, of course, the transition to fall means that Halloween is right around the corner. And that means kids trick-ortreating, adults having their ghostly costume parties, and families watching scary movies at 3 a.m. I’m not much for the scary movie stuff, but Scott and the kids try their best to rope me in somehow. How do you spend your fall months? What do your kiddos have planned for their Halloween costumes? Please send us your photos and share your stories! Who knows — you may see yourself in one of our magazines. Happy fall, y’all!

Managing Editor Jana Melton Sub-Editors Bobbi Byrne

Editor & Writer Steve Gamel


Caylie Howard, Diane Ciarloni Jade Kensington, Jean Eisenmann Leena Duwadi, Mark Miller

Advertising Inquiries


Graphic Designers Caroline Brock Cayla Thompson Michele Cunningham-Scott


Miranda Longoria Photography Your Candid Memories Photography What’s That Guy’s Name? Guy T Photography


Lantana Living invites reader feedback, story suggestions and general comments. Email

All submissions become the sole property of Murray Media Group.

Editorial Inquiries Call 972.899.3637 or email Address: 3513 Yucca Dr., Ste. 200 Flower Mound, TX 75028 Lantana Living is published monthly by Murray Media Group. Some articles and/or content may be sponsored by advertisers. Opinions expressed in articles or advertisements do not necessarily reflect the opinion of the publisher. Lantana Living is not responsible for omissions or information that has been misrepresented to the magazine. Advertisers and its agencies assume all liability for advertising content. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted without the permission in writing from the publisher. © 2021 Murray Media Group

Sincerely, Kelly Murray




1. Moxley Manor Haunted House | 510 Harwood Rd., • Bedford, TX 76021

Moxley Manor was voted one of DFW’s Scariest Haunted Houses in 2018 and must-see Haunted House of 2019. Moxley Manor is most definitely not for the faint of heart and is sure to leave you feeling spooked this Halloween season. 2. Lake Dallas Ghost Walk | City Hall, 212 Main St., • Lake Dallas, TX 75065

Take a walk down one of the best little ghostly towns where there is no shortage of paranormal activity at the First Annual Lake Dallas Ghost Walk. Be prepared to feel chills when you hear the spooky tales of the downright scary events that have taken place in this small town. The Lake Dallas Ghost Walk is sure to impress. 8 | LANTANA LIVING | OCTOBER 2021

3. The Pecan Haunt |

4722 Bayberry St., • Flower Mound, TX 75028 The Pecan Haunt is a unique experience where their scares are mostly decorative and

FX driven. If you’re looking for a spook for all ages, the Pecan Trail is perfect. The Pecan

Asylum, Manor & Wastelands are filled with more horror suited for teens and adults. The Pecan Haunt is the place to be this scary season.

4. The Parker House Haunted Attraction |

8550 W University Dr., • Denton, TX 76207

Explore the frightful mayhem of The Parker House. Take a walk through the murderous Mary Parker’s living quarters along with the entire Parker property. You can even enjoy an interactive ride around the property in their attack vehicles to defeat the zombies. You’re sure to feel the terror at The Parker House Haunted Attraction.

8. Cutting Edge Haunted House 1701 E Lancaster Ave., Fort Worth, TX 76102 Cutting Edge Haunted House is an intense, multi-story, multi-themed haunted attraction that is full of chilling detail and unbelievable scares. Located in a 100-year-old abandoned meat packing plant in historically dubbed “Hell’s Half Acre,” the Cutting Edge Haunted House is built on a foundation of fear.

5. Hangman’s House of Horrors | 4400 Blue Mound Rd., • Fort Worth, TX 76106

Hangman’s House of Horrors is Fort Worth’s original haunted house. It’s located at a 100+ year old military base that was built as a helium production plant in the early

1910s. But it’s believed it was only a guise for it to be used for top secret purposes. If you dare, take the 45-minute walk of fear at Hangman’s House of Horrors. 6. Strangling Brothers Haunted Circus | 2602 Mayfield Rd., • Grand Prairie, TX 75052

Expect nothing less than the thrill of a lifetime at Strangling Brothers Haunted Circus.

Voted the 7th Scariest Haunted House in the World, you’ll experience the 32 Haunted Rings of Terror and the Strangling Brothers Haunted House that feels like you’re stepping onto the set of a horror movie. You’ll feel bone-chilling scares at Strangling Brothers Haunted Circus.

7. Haunted Hill House | 501 NE 1st St., • Mineral Wells, TX 76067

With direct ties to Texas’ most haunted hotel, the Baker, this real life haunted house

experience is sure to leave you spooked. You can spend the night in this house that is known for its paranormal activity. Haunted Hill House is a night of fright that you won’t soon forget.

9. Reindeer Manor 410 Houston School Rd., Red Oak, TX 75154 Reindeer Manor is a thrillingly spooky experience for people of all ages. You can choose from four different spooky haunted houses to experience. Reindeer Manor also offers axe throwing, stage shows, and hay rides. You’re sure to have a frightening good time at Reindeer Manor. 10. Dark Hour Haunted House 701 Taylor Dr., Plano, TX 75074 Dark Hour Haunted House returns this Halloween season as the Coven Awakens in a brand new way. You can experience Dark Hour in its spookiest form with the 13 coven witches together in one terrifying nightmare. Dark Hour Haunted House will leave you with chills this October. OCTOBER 2021 | LANTANA LIVING | 9

Ask The Expert: Fitness


by Jesse J. Leyva, Owner of Outlaw Fitcamp

utlaw FitCamp by Jesse James offers the best 30-minute workouts you can find. With our classes and our one-on-one personal training sessions, we can give you effective and efficient 30-minute workouts that fit into your busy schedule. And if you’re 50 years or older, staying (or getting) fit becomes more important than ever for your quality of life and wellbeing.

Here are 6 reasons why it’s so important to stay fit after 50.

1. Reduces your risk of sickness and chronic disease

2. Reduces your Alzheimer’s or dementia risk

Studies consistently prove that exercise reduces your risk of many chronic diseases and illnesses. People who work out regularly have up to a 50% lower risk of developing osteoporosis, heart disease, type 2 diabetes, many types of cancer, stroke, and high blood pressure.

Exercise keeps your mind sharp as you age. In fact, studies show it can lower your odds of having memory and cognitive problems by almost half. Working out boosts blood flow to your brain and helps new brain cells develop.

Strength, flexibility, and balance prevent people from stumbling and falling—one of the major causes of injury for people as they get older. 3. Builds strength We’re not talking about the kind of strength you need for weight lifting competitions here (although we can help you with that too). We’re talking about the strength and stamina you need to get through your day more easily. One study of weight training in older people showed that this activity developed helpful genetic changes in their cells.



4. Improves your flexibility and balance Balance and flexibility are always important to have. But the older you get, the more crucial this is. Strength, flexibility, and balance prevent people from stumbling and falling—one of the major causes of injury for people as they get older. 5. Elevates your mood and boosts your energy level The endorphins produced during exercise help reduce feelings of stress and depression. Working out releases chemicals that make you feel more relaxed and less anxious right away, and these feelings stay with you after your workout ends. 6. Helps you look and feel younger Research shows that working out makes almost every tissue in your body healthier

and better. This means you not only feel better on the inside but look better on the outside too. In fact, one study showed that women who exercised regularly had the skin composition of women 20 to 30 years younger. This is because exercising produces proteins secreted by muscles and sent throughout your body. Try to find a cream that can do that! It’s Never Too Late to Get Fit Research shows that a sedentary lifestyle decreases your fitness level even more than biological aging does. Fortunately, you can do something about a sedentary lifestyle! Let Outlaw FitCamp by Jesse James show you how efficient and effective our 30-minute workouts are. They give you a healthier body, happier spirit, and greater sense of wellbeing. After all, getting fit is not just about adding years to your life, but adding life to your years!




CELEBRATE SPOOKY SEASON WITH THE MONSTER MILE NOMINATE OUTSTANDING CITIZENS In attempts to recognize citizens that selflessly offered service to others, the Town of Flower Mound is in search of nominations for the 2021 “Outstanding Citizenship Award”. Anyone can nominate an individual or group as long as the nominee is a Flower Mound resident or group, and displays at least two of the three criteria required.


The annual Monster Mile is one of the communities of Lantana’s biggest events of the year. Both kids and parents dress up in their festive costumes for trick or treating on the community’s Halloweendecorated “Monster-Mile” that features everyone’s favorite bigger than life characters that hand out thousands of pounds of candy to Lantana children.


LIBERTY CHRISTIAN STUDENT NAMED COMMENDED STUDENT Liberty Christian is proud to announce that their student, Amalya, was named a Commended Student in the 2022 National Merit Scholarship Program. Amalya placed among the top 50,000 students who entered this year’s competition by taking the Preliminary SAT. Photo courtesy of the Liberty Christian Instagram page

DENTON ISD PARTNERS WITH STOPIT Denton ISD partnered with STOPit, a leading technology reporting platform for schools that deters harmful or inappropriate conduct. STOPit empowers students to stand up for themselves and others while giving our schools the insight we need to keep students and staff safe. Students can download the easy-to-use STOPit app which allows them to report safely and anonymously anything of concern to school officials.


2021 SKIRT THE RULES SCRAMBLE LANTANA PTA’S HOSTS ANNUAL UNITE FESTIVAL Adkins, Blanton, and E.P. Rayzor Elementary PTA’s hosts the annual, community wide UNITE Festival set to take place on Saturday, October 30th at Harpool Middle School from 11 am to 3 pm. With the purchase of a wristband, guests can enjoy all of the fun activities, games, inflatables, and more. Children under the age of 2 are free, toddlers are $5 and preschool and up are $10.

On Monday, October 18th the Lantana Golf Club hosted the Communities in Schools of North Texas Skirt the Rules Scramble. This is a golf tournament is meant for golfers who prioritize the fun of the game as opposed to following the rules. The theme of this year’s event was Golden Girls and encouraged you to dress up as the iconic characters.

DPSF AWARDS DISD SCHOLARSHIPS AND CLASSROOM GRANTS In partnership with the district, local businesses, and community leaders, the Denton Public School Foundation awarded $133,118 in scholarships and classroom grants to 163 Denton ISD teacher and staff members across 38 campuses. For more information on the Denton Public School Foundation or an individual grant or scholarship, please contact Jackie Jackson, executive director at 940-369-0064 or by email at

ORDER THE LIBERTY CHRISTIAN YEARBOOK The new school year at Liberty Christian has begun. It’s time to get your hands on this year’s yearbook. Josten’s offers two separate buying options to choose from. You have the option to buy the year book alone, or you can choose the yearbook & signature option. To order yours visit





by Diane Ciarloni | photos courtesy of Miranda Eserman

very passionate pursuit develops its own following, becoming a mini society with a specialized vocabulary, goals, newsletters, standards, magazines, competitions, and awards. Car racing enthusiasts have such a world, as do swimmers, weightlifters, joggers, computer geeks, animal advocates, slow cooker lovers, and many more.

Ranking high on the list of specifically focused groups is the world of runners. You see them on hot, humid Texas afternoons; running, sweat pouring from their foreheads and soaking their clothes. You see the toned legs and lean bodies. Runners fall into a variety of intensity levels. There’s the casual runner, who frequently becomes the half-marathoner and, maybe, the marathoner. Whether or not there is advancement depends almost exclusively on an individual’s sense of personal challenge; on whether he/ she asks can I go faster and can I go longer. Miranda Eserman of Lantana, a 44-year-old mother of four and a personal trainer for Body Bionics, began running recreationally 30 years ago. “It was 10-years ago when I began training and becoming disciplined,” Eserman said. “That’s also when I started challenging myself. The first question I answered was, yes, I could run a half-marathon. Since then, I’ve completed six marathons and one triathlon.” For those not familiar with the runner’s vocabulary, a marathon is 26.2-miles, with 16 to 20 weeks of preparation training. The word “marathon” is rooted in Greek history and the story of Pheidippides, who ran 25 miles (from Marathon to Athens) to deliver the news of a Greek victory on the battlefield. Anything longer than 26.2-miles is referred to as an ultramarathon, and Eserman is on the cusp of “Becoming Ultra.” “I was on Instagram within the running community when I saw a post about Becoming Ultra,” Eserman said. “I read about the project and 14 | LANTANA LIVING | OCTOBER 2021

“We have four months of prep this

season,” Eserman said. “That’s a little less than usual due to COVID. I’m

training about 60-miles per week. Unlike road running, trail athletes must pack

hydration and food supplies. This year’s route will be at an elevation of 4,000

feet, which means I’ve trained in parks for the trail effects and on an elevated treadmill.”

There are four, highly regarded,

professional coaches. There is Scott

“Running at this level is almost addictive and, yes, I’m pretty sure I’ll go for another one.”

Jones; Amanda Basham, a professional trail runner and endurance coach, with a BS degree; Hillary Allen, an

endurance athlete specializing in ultra

marathon distance trail running; and Ellie was fascinated. It was started by Scott Jones, a lifelong coach with an MS

Greenwood, an awesome athlete who brings her own coaching style.

degree in exercise science. His goal is to

The athletes are “hooked” to their

running, and he uses Ultra as

training detail to the coach (elevation,

get as many people as possible to start

coach via an app, which transmits every

the vehicle.”

speed, heart rate, blood pressure,

This year marks the 10th season for

Becoming Ultra. The program wraps

around high-level coaching, extensive media coverage, and extreme

accountability from the athletes. “Applications to participate come from

around the country,” Eserman revealed. “Based on those applications, plus

videoed interviews by the coaches,

eight individuals are chosen as featured athletes. They are matched, two-each,

with four professional coaches. Among

recovery time, etc., etc.). In addition to

scheduled virtual appointments, athletes may call their coach for consultation

at any time. Runners do pay for these coaching services but, according

to Eserman, “being chosen for the

opportunity to sit under these coaches is an honor.

“My kids are 11, 13, 15, and 17. All four are very athletic but my husband, Brice, is not. It’s a different world for him but he’s our biggest fan and supporter.

numerous other things, the athletes must

“The kids and I talk about things such

minimum of twice each week. This can

importantly, they see my commitment

commit to posting training podcasts a

be as simple as telling what happened in training on a particular day. For example, we have a husband/wife team where the husband has lost 150 pounds.”

This year’s race is 50K (31 Miles) on the

Virginia/West Virginia border, on October 16, just in time for the beginning of fall

foliage. One major deviation is it is a trail

as training and nutrition. But, just as

and my refusal to quit, along with my

dedication. They see me continuing to

grow as a person and trying to become a

better version of myself. If something like this is your dream or your goal, there’s

no reason to put the fitness portion of it on hold. You can do it – even if you’re a 44-year-old mom with four kids!

ultramarathon, which means contestants

“Running at this level is almost addictive

roots, rocks, boulders, and more.

another one.”

must clear obstacles such as giant tree

and, yes, I’m pretty sure I’ll go for


Thanksgiving Countdown Planner by Steve Gamel


f you’re planning on hosting Thanksgiving dinner this year for your larger-than-life family, it’s likely that your

stuffing and cranberry sauce to homemade dishes, family recipes, and desserts.

worried about. This way, you don’t run the

risk of showing up to the grocery store last minute and not being able to find what

mind has already begun processing all

Take Stock of All Your Supplies: Do

ensure the day goes off without a hitch.

supplies to make this thing happen? We’re

Clean The House: This is a biggie. A lot

advance for Turkey day, especially if it’s

plates, silverware, additional tables for

countdown, but if you start two weeks

the things you must do well in advance to

you have the necessary equipment and

After all, you can never plan too far in

talking about pans, dishes, serving dishes,

your first time being in charge.

children, tablecloths, etc.

So how far in advance should you start

Order The Turkey: You want to get this

start your Thanksgiving countdown three

if you need several or if you’re ordering

you’re stress-free on the big day. Here are

until the last minute. The Food Network

planning? Experts say you should at least

purchase out of the way now, especially

weeks to a month in advance so that

a specialty bird. Bottom line: don’t wait

a few basics to get you started:

suggests that you assume two pounds of

3 WEEKS BEFORE THANKSGIVING Create Your Guest List and Send RSVPs:

turkey per adult and one pound per child. 2 WEEKS BEFORE THANKSGIVING

you need.

of people panic over this piece of the ahead of time, you’ll be able to break

up the task over a longer period of time rather than doing it on the morning of. FINAL WEEK Start Meal Prepping: During the final

few days leading up to Thanksgiving, go

ahead and start prepping the pies, sauces, etc. to get some of that out of the way ahead of time.

Consider how many people you can

Finalize Guest List: By this point, you

Pick Up The Turkey: If you’re defrosting

family either by sending formal invitations,

to be able to make it, including any out-of-

ahead of time. If you’re buying it pre-

making a phone call. This is particularly

with the next item on the to-do list.

entertain, and then reach out to friends and

should have a good idea of who’s going

email, group invites on social media, or

town guests. This will help you a great deal

important if anyone is coming in from out of town. Also, it’s an opportunity to ask about any dietary restrictions.

Plan Your Menu: Write down your ideal

menu, from the turkey and classics such as 16 | LANTANA LIVING | OCTOBER 2021

a turkey, go ahead and get it a week

cooked, you can safely grab it two or three days ahead of time.

Start Grocery Shopping: A lot of fanatics

Start Setting The Table AND ENJOY:

items, and that’s fine. But at this point,

in stone now, go ahead and set your

suggest starting with the nonperishable why not get everything you need — and if necessary, freeze anything that you’re

Since your guest list is pretty much locked table. It’s almost showtime, so take a deep breath because you’re almost there.








nfortunately, no community or neighborhood is immune to crime. The good news is that with teamwork and preventative measures, you can help make your Denton County neighborhood a safer place. Here are some tips our Deputies recommend to help prevent crime in your neighborhood. • Join the neighborhood watch group. There are groups on social media such as Lantana Crime Watch to help you stay informed of what is going on in the community. Town watch groups have helped communities experience a reduction in crime compared to communities that are not involved in a town watch. • Get to know your neighbors. The more familiar you are with your neighbors, the more you can help each other keep your neighborhood safe. Build relationships so that you can watch out

for each other’s homes and loved ones. • Close windows and blinds at night. If a burglar doesn’t see enticing items inside your house, they are less likely to steal from you. Don’t give uninvited guests a reason to target your home.

WE ARE HIRING If you are interested in a career in Law Enforcement, join our family and be a part of a great organization. Detention Officer I positions start at $38,752.00 per year. Visit our website to apply. careers/dentoncounty

• Install a security system and/or cameras. This is the best option to keep your home safe. • Create a good rapport with your local Law Enforcement. By creating a trust with your local law enforcement, you can communicate concerns more effectively. When you focus on a safer neighborhood and community, you are taking steps to protect you, your family and your home.

940.349.1600 | 127 N. WOODROW LN., STE. 300 • DENTON, TX 76205 | DENTONCOUNTY.GOV/707/SHERIFF 18 | LANTANA LIVING | OCTOBER 2021


the art of


by Brooke Ezzo | photos courtesy of Ann Starkweather

wo years ago, Argyle resident Lane Tunstall was on the verge of heading back to corporate America when she put together a charcuterie board for her children’s school event. The joy of arranging good, quality food on a board that brought people together gave her the idea to start her own business.

817.693.1908 | 400 N. Oak St., | Roanoke, TX 76262




Life is simply better when we leisurely graze on wonderful foods with our favorite people. Board + Brie is located in Roanoke, Texas, and has become a household name. From custom boards and cones to grazing tables of any size, Lane and her team really can do it all. Her passion is to bring people together over a delicious bite to eat. Lane began her business during the holiday season. So when frosted cranberries and cranberry cheeses hit store shelves, her excitement soars. “I truly care about people and every box, board, or table I create,” Lane said. “I love a challenge, I love seeing the vision come to life, and I am a foodie who loves the presentation of food.”

DIY charcuterie classes helped launch Board + Brie nationally. Lane has hosted classes for business teambuilding meetings, retreats, and online networking events, including teaming up with Nickelodeon. “Boards don’t always have to be meat and cheese,” Lane said. “I love finding fun props, creating kid boards with all their favorite sweets, and themed boards based on holidays and what’s in season.” During Christmas, you will find Lane’s trademark Brie with a rosemary wreath topped with frosted cranberries on most of her charcuterie creations. It’s definitely a crowd-pleaser. OCTOBER 2021 | LANTANA LIVING | 21

“I get a lot of inspiration from looking at cakes on Pinterest,” Lane said. “Then I try to recreate the idea into my boards and tables. I love trying something new.” Charcuterie has become an easy yet elegant addition to weddings, birthday parties, baby showers, and any gathering. Lane’s boards and boxes are even given as gifts, with Father’s Day being one of her busiest holidays. Lane loves interacting with her community: talking cheese and helping others to create charcuterie masterpieces through her in-person and virtual classes. With Board + Brie, life is gouda! For more information about Board + Brie, visit


How to create a beautiful board: Let it Brie - We love a good centerpiece. Brie is a beautiful choice to base the entire board around. Add honeycomb on top, frost cranberries, fruit, or greenery. Also, select three to five cheeses to fill the board. We prefer soft and hard cheeses like Manchego, dill Havarti, Gouda, sage derby, or any of your favorites.

Spread the Love - Every good cracker needs a good dip. Depending on the vision for your board, a spread could include spicy mustard, hummus, spinach artichoke dip, pub cheese, or jams.

Add Greenery - To make each board pop, we love to add fresh basil leaves, sprigs of rosemary, beautiful sage, and eucalyptus.

Nice to Meat You - Most boards include Italian meats: salami and pepperoni, but the world is your oyster. Prosciutto, thinly sliced deli meats, and jerky can be delicious additions. Zing! - Add in stuffed olives, cornichons, or pickled anything for something tangy. Not only does it add extra color to the board, but it gives guests a pop of flavor.

Be Creative - Creating depth on the board is very important. Stack cheeses, decorate with fresh and dried fruit, sprinkle smoked nuts, or top with a sweet treat. Wood boards tend to be popular for the rustic feel, but almost anything can work as a harcuterie board.


Ask The Expert: Home Decorating


COLOR forecast


by Allison Fifer, POSH Home Staging & Redesign

herwin Williams has pulled a collection of 40 current colors from which four distinct palettes were drawn, all designed to welcome four unique transitions.

There is so much more to color than we can see. It’s part of our identity. It moves us. It inspires us. It can energize or ground us. It has the power to change the very essence of all it touches. Color can set a mood, create a conversation, soothe us or even sedate us. Through color, we navigate the world. It speaks to us, and we can add our own personal touch to all that is around us. Each fall, the team at Sherwin Williams releases a Colormix Forecast for the coming year. This year, they have a collection of 40 current colors curated differently into four varying palettes. The acronym MODE defines each. M = Method, described as the natural order of things. Nature’s processes, the gentle act of becoming, showing themselves s in a collection of organic neutrals and tonal luxury. This palette is earthy and rich in warmth with sepia softness. Influences include art deco,

intention, modern organic, and postmodernism.

D = Dreamland, a world of wonders, softly awakening. Dreamland is enchanting, nurturing, hospitable, and healthcare

oriented. It gives the sense of safety and has a life-giving energy like the start of a

new season. You will find yourself adrift in a realm of pearlescent tones, new-growth greens, and lavish pinks. These colors

will inspire us to dream and flourish with

new ideas. Influences for dreamland are biomimicry (how nature works), renewal, eco-style and wellness of our emotional and physical well being.

The Colormix for Dreamland comprises

High Reflective White (SW 7757), Natural Linen (SW 9109), Rose Tan (SW 0069),

Rosemary (SW 6187), Felted Wool (SW

The Colormix for Method is Accessible Beige (SW 7036), Evergreen Fog (SW 9130), Urbane Bronze (SW 7048), Uber Umber (SW9107), Woven Wicker (SW 9104), Shoji White (SW 7042), Chartreuse (SW 0073), Bakelite Gold (SW 6368), and Beige (SW 2859).

9171), Cucuzza Verde (SW 9038), Lite

O = Opus, a masterpiece of your own making. Opus is darker, moodier, and leans toward the industrial. With these colors, movement is created. And according to Sherwin Williams, composing a unique masterwork of dynamic transitions and stirring rhythm. This palette hosts “dusky deep tones and unexpected accents” created to be the new classical approach. It will set drama and emotion to the art of good style and not fade into the background. Influences include modern maximalism, glam industrial, theater and moody eclectic.

come, we remember the anticipation

The Colormix for Opus is Cocoa Whip (SW 9084), Garrett Gray (SW 6075), Iron Ore (SW 7069), Aleutian (SW 6241), Coral Clay (SW 9005), Naval (SW 6244), Samovar Silver (SW 6233), Red Bay (SW 6321), and Blackberry (SW 7577).

(SW 6426), and Rejuvenate (SW 6620).

Lavender (SW 6554), Rose (SW 6290), and Dynamo (SW 6841).

E = Ephemera, a piece of your past and a

look into the future. Characterized by the fond memories of our past and bearing an unwavering optimism of what could we felt in these favorite tones. Pushing forward with burnt oranges, wood-rich

ebonies, and dark chocolate, we relish in

days gone by and gain a sense of comfort

in vintage items. Influences for this palette are nostalgia, retro futurism, meaning and memory, and optimism.

The Colormix for Ephemera is quite

familiar. It includes Alabaster (SW 7008),

Pink Shadow (SW 0070), Sierra Redwood (SW7598), Peace Yellow (SW 2857), Inky Blue (SW 9149), Cascades (SW 7623),

Moody Blue (SW 6221), Basque Green AND FINALLY, Sherwin Williams’ Color of the Year

for 2022 is Evergreen Fog (SW 9130). Welcome Back!




Four Scary cocktails

Candy Corn Cocktail 1 ½ oz Smirnoff Whipped Cream Vodka 3 oz Sour Mix 2 oz Pineapple Juice ½ oz Grenadine Whipped Cream for topping 1. Combine Smirnoff Whipped Cream Vodka, Sour Mix and Pineapple Juice in a shaker with ice 2. Pour mix into a martini glass 3. Slowly pour Grenadine into mix so it settles at the bottom 4. Top with whipped cream

Green Goblin 4 8 oz mason jars or spooky jars (must be sealable) 4 oz Blue Curacao (1 oz in each jar) 2 oz Irish whiskey (1/2 oz in each jar) 4 oz Peach schnapps (1 oz in each jar) 2 oz Reposado tequila (1/2 oz in each jar) 16 oz Pineapple juice (split evenly in all jars) 4 tsp. silver shimmer dust for cakes 1. Add all liquor into each jar 2. Seal and shake to combine 3. Top off with pineapple juice 4. Seal and Shake to combine 5. Add your shimmer dust when you are ready to serve and shake to combine 6. Seal and shake

The Mad Scientist ½ oz Blue Curacao ¾ oz Chambord 1 oz Vodka Equal parts Cranberry Juice and Lemon Lime Soda Dry Ice

Bloody Halloween Wine

1. Mix your first three ingredients in a cocktail shaker with regular ice. Strain into your glass or beaker. Fill glass with equal parts Cranberry Juice and Lemon Lime Soda. Add Dry Ice just before serving.

1 Bag of Frozen Raspberries

2. *Do not handle dry ice with your bare hands. It can cause severe burns or frostbite. Use tongs to add dry ice to your drink. The dry ice will smoke for about 5 minutes.

Mix all ingredients in a blender. You can either drain the raspberry seeds or leave them. It looks creepier if you leave them, but seeds can be unpleasant to drink. Garnish with vampire teeth or an eyeball.


1 Bottle of Red Wine 8 Packets of Sweet n Low




TEXAS by Mark Miller | photos courtesy of Don Gaston

ne day while fishing on the western shore of Lake Lewisville shortly after moving to the area from California, Don Gaston couldn’t help but notice all the trash accumulating around the lake shore.

“Where I was at was not indicative of the entire lake, but there are certain places where there’s a lot of trash

— especially where I like to fish.” the Lantana resident said. “The second time I went out there, I decided to

take a garbage bag and clean it up. I also noticed the trash collects in


areas only accessible by boat, and it got me thinking it was going to take more than a walk around the lake to clean it up properly.” When he later snagged what turned out to be a slipper shoe instead of a fish, he decided to take it a step further. After much research and

due diligence, he launched a 501(c)3 non-profit organization called Clear Texas Lakes, a full-scale lake clean-up initiative dedicated to the continuous removal of trash and debris from Texas lake shorelines.

Gaston learned no one organization formally is in charge of cleaning Texas lakes, nor is there a budget within the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. In fact, Corps officials indicated he was the first person to ask about developing such a program. He also came across the Texas Department of Transportation’s long-running Don’t Mess with Texas campaign but found it pertained to roads and highways only. He wanted to create something like this for the area lake shores, and as a new retiree, he was looking to do something meaningful and fun. So far, everything is paying off as he recently received a memorandum of understanding from the Corps to do his good work. “It’s a simple concept,” Gaston said, “It’s not necessarily a ‘green’ thing it’s a ‘clean’ thing. You see trash, you pick it up, you throw it in a garbage can. “We are unique in that our cleanup effort is continuous rather than periodical. The

trash buildup is very prevalent with each new storm bringing in and moving trash

and debris all around. This can be harmful

to people while recreating at the lakes and can be detrimental to wildlife as well.”

Gaston grew up in Oregon and around

1990 moved to a small town on the coast of northern California where he met

his wife Kathy and raised their children,

Dustin, Darik, and Delaney. After working about 10 years each in the lumber

industry, electrical construction, property

management, and owning an automobile glass business, he decided to retire and

was looking for a change. Kathy, a timber industry IT professional, retired around the same time.

While he said Northern California is

beautiful, the often foggy, cold, damp weather no longer suited them. They

accessible in their retirement. This brought them to the Dallas area. As a bonus, Delaney was accepted as a transfer

student and is now a junior at Southern Methodist University.

“I feel at home in Texas,” he said. “It’s a good fit for me and my family – the

people, the BBQ, the Texas Pride and all has been a delightful change.”

Gaston is no stranger to community

service. He has held several leadership

roles including boy scouts, youth baseball, site and parent council, and fund raising. Not having experience in forming nonprofit organizations, however, Gaston reached out to SCORE Mentors, an

organization that helps people start new businesses.

Currently, Clear Texas Lakes focuses

primarily on Lake Lewisville. The team

uses a pontoon boat donated by Vista 1 Construction plus nets, grabbers,

stabbers, cables, and other equipment to remove the trash and debris. He

purchased and donated a truck and

currently funds all operational costs.

Gaston hopes to raise awareness about his organization and plans to secure

sponsorships, partnerships, and grants to support existing operations and eventually expand to other area lakes. “I want to hire people and pay a living wage in support of the effort,” he said. “So far, we’ve relied on volunteers but need a permanent crew in addition to volunteers to be successful in the long run. It would be challenging to rely solely on volunteers to support a regular cleanup program.” To find out more details about Clear Texas Lakes, visit, email or call Gaston at 707.616.7411. Donations can be made online or mailed directly to P.O. Box 271164, Flower Mound, TX 75027.


wanted to be somewhere warmer and


Ask The Expert: Gardening

October by PJ Kratohvil, Owner of Complete Solutions


hese cooler night time temps allow for a great start to the day if your out and about in the mornings! It’s a very exiting time of year to be in the business as everyone is getting “Fall Fever” Patio business is in FULL SWING & Landscape Teams have plenty to do!


October is one of the most critical months when it comes to the exterior and landscape maintenance around your home. Here are a few things to contract out or add to your “To-do” list over the next few weeks: EXTERIOR: • Ensure windows and doors are properly sealed. Restricting unwanted airflow will keep things comfortable inside and help reduce any unwanted guests. • All exposed wood surfaces are painted or sealed to ensure as the cold weather and rain moves in and

out, things are protected and less effected by weather.

• Check out your roof to make sure no

shingles have come off during our last round of summer storms and that the gutters are clean and free of debris.

LANDSCAPES: • Cutback and prune this year’s

growth. This will not only help to

keep your beds organized but also promote new growth come spring.

• Remove, cultivate, fertilize and add new 2” layer of mulch. We lean

towards a shredded mulch vs. bark



or large cut. It will hold the best,

not float, and as it breaks down to

offer a great weed / moisture barrier (ensure the mulch is kept below

the brick line so you don’t chance having rainwater get in the weep holes during a rain event).

• Oct. thru Dec. is a great time to plant larger shrubs and trees.

Allowing them to start rooting

over the winter months will make


the heat of summer a lot less hazardous to their health.

• Go ahead as things cool off and cut back on the irrigation. Watering a couple of times a week and

ensuring your rain sensor is operating effectively should be sufficient and help your monthly spending.


Changing Li 32 | LANTANA LIVING | OCTOBER 2021



WE DO by Brooke Ezzo

photography by Your Candid Memories (


ach year, 6-8 million cats and dogs enter animal shelters throughout the United States. Due to low adoption rates, most of these animals never find a forever home. Animal shelters are forced to cope with animal overpopulation through euthanasia. That’s where Texas Coalition for Animal Protection steps in to make a difference.

“The answer to stopping euthanasia and overpopulation starts with prevention” says TCAP Executive Director, Stacey Schumacher. The Texas Coalition for

Animal Protection (TCAP) has been a

leader in animal welfare since its formation


in 2002. TCAP provides compassionate solutions to pet overpopulation and

euthanasia. As a Denton-based non-

profit, TCAP provides the lowest prices

for preventative animal care throughout North Texas.

TCAP’s sole mission is to keep pet

ownership affordable for families so that

pets remain in their homes. In 2020 alone, TCAP’s caring and highly skilled team

spayed and neutered more than 63,000

dogs and cats. Since founding, TCAP has

sterilized more than 577,000 North Texas animals and has vaccinated more than

1.1 million against the deadly rabies virus.

TCAP’s ultimate goal is to substantially reduce animal overpopulation and euthanasia throughout North Texas, while promoting animal welfare. Spaying and neutering pets is the most effective way to reduce animal overpopulation and many problems that result from overpopulation such as malnutrition, abandonment, high euthanasia rates, and neglect. “The staff was very friendly and professional. The whole process was quick and simple. I will continue to use Texas Coalition for Animal Protection for my vet pet needs.” — Jessica O. TCAP currently operates standalone clinics in Denton, Fort Worth, Hurst, Burleson, Allen, Weatherford, Garland & Arlington, but chances are that TCAP is never far from your home with one of their travel


...REDUCING ANIMAL OVERPOPULATION... LOWERS THE COST TO NORTH TEXAS TAXPAYERS. “MASH”-style clinics. “We understand that people have jobs and cannot always make the drive to one of our main clinics, so we make ourselves available throughout DFW at local animal shelters and community centers,” says Schumacher. In addition to providing invaluable service to pet owners, Texas Coalition for Animal Protection strives to provide its support to animal shelters and rescue organizations. “We truly value these institutions for their contribution to their communities. We want to be there to help make their rescued animals more adoptable and improve the number of animals they can help as a result” says Schumacher. TCAP’s Executive Director goes on to state that the combination of reducing animal overpopulation and increasing adoption rates can actually lower the cost of city-funded programs and in-turn lower the cost to North Texas taxpayers.

If you have a pet that you would like to get sterilized, scheduling an appointment is easy. You can call TCAP at 940.566.5551 or visit their website at and click “Appointment”. Prices for sterilization begin as low as $35.00. Annual vaccinations for a dog or cat can be purchased for $25 on a walk-in basis from 9 am – noon at all eight TCAP locations and 10 am – noon at all travel locations. North Texans can learn more by visiting TCAP’s website at 34 | LANTANA LIVING | OCTOBER 2021





by Caylie Howard

hanksgiving is a holiday filled with good food, family, and traditions. It’s a time of reflection, giving back, and thanks. Every family has their own unique way of celebrating this festive season. But just in case you’re looking for a few new unique ways to celebrate, here’s a list of Thanksgiving traditions to add to your family holiday this year.


COLLECT CANNED GOODS Food banks are usually overrun with volunteers during the holidays. Instead of volunteering, have every person bring a food item to donate. You can even have the kids decorate a box to deliver the goods in so that everyone can take part.

HAVE A FESTIVE COCKTAIL COMPETITION Many families like to enjoy a drink with their Thanksgiving dinner. Why not make it a fun competition? Have everyone make a festive cocktail, and the one voted the best is what is served for Thanksgiving dinner.

festivities? Try adding a dish from around the world to your table this holiday season. It’s a fun way to enjoy good food and experience new cultures.

INVITE SOMEONE CELEBRATING ALONE The holidays aren’t always a joyous time of year for some people. Not everyone has family to celebrate with. Whether their family has passed on, or they live too far away, it can be hard to spend the holidays alone. Why not invite them to celebrate with you? It’s an

easy way to brighten someone’s Thanksgiving Day.

SIGN THE TABLE CLOTH Thanksgiving is a time to reflect back on the past years. It’s a time to remember the people that you’ve lost and to

TRY A RECIPE FROM A DIFFERENT COUNTRY Thanksgiving isn’t a world-wide tradition, but why not bring the world to the


reminisce about the good times had.

Try having everyone that attends sign a

table cloth. It will be nice to see all of the

generation’s signatures for years to come.

PIE FOR BREAKFAST Have you ever gotten so full from all of the delicious food from dinner that you didn’t have room for pie? Why not play it safe

and start off your day with a slice or two?

This ensures that you don’t miss out. And holiday calories don’t count, right?

THANK YOU JAR Why wait to give thanks once a year? Try creating a thank you jar. All year, write

down something that you are thankful for, and then on Thanksgiving Day, you can

open up the jar and read all of the notes that you’ve added throughout the year.



Making a full Thanksgiving dinner can be extremely overwhelming. Add on a whole list of desserts and you’ve got a stressful day. Have everyone come over the day before Thanksgiving for a pie making party. That way, you’ll have a delicious display of pie on the day without all of the work or stress.

Running short on decorating ideas for your Thanksgiving festivities? Cut some colorful construction paper into thick strips, and have each person attending write something that they are thankful for on them. Then loop them all together until they make a chain and display your gratitude garland for all to see.



The holidays can be financially hard for a lot of families. Not everyone is able to afford a Thanksgiving feast. You could donate a Thanksgiving dinner to a family that can’t afford one. Even if you don’t have time to prepare it, you could put together a Thanksgiving dinner kit with everything the family will need to make it themselves.

A great way to reflect on not just the past year but also generations of past years is to have a Thanksgiving journal. Each year, have every member of the family write what they are thankful for in the journal. You can even have young children draw pictures so that everyone is included. These journals will be wonderful to look back on for years to come.


TRIBUTE Chief Asebedo TO


by Dawn Cobb | photos courtesy of Dawn Cobb

ept. 14, 2021 - Denton County Fire Marshal Roland Asebedo, 56, passed away on Monday, Sept. 13, 2021, from complications with COVID-19. A 23-year veteran law enforcement officer with more than 30 years in emergency services, also as a firefighter/EMT, Chief Asebedo saved countless lives in his dedication to serving others.

“Chief Asebedo spent his entire adult life in service to others – the epitome of a public servant,” Denton County Judge Andy Eads said. “Roland was a one-ofa-kind leader, organizer, coworker, and friend who will be greatly missed as a vital part of our Denton County family.”

Before joining the Denton County staff,

Chief Asebedo joined the Denton County Emergency Services in May 2004, working his way to Assistant Fire Marshal and Assistant Director of Development and Emergency Services. In October 2020, Judge Eads officially pinned Chief Asebedo as Denton County Fire Marshal and Director of Development and Emergency Services.

Asebedo studied Fire Science Technology

Chief Asebedo served as Fire Chief with

the Highland Village Fire Department, Fire

Marshal with the Coppell Fire Department, and Assistant Fire Chief and Fire Marshal

with the Plainview Fire/EMS Department. Originally from Silverton, Texas, Chief

at South Plains College. He obtained his

Master Peace Officer certification in 1998 and his Associate Degree in Applied

Sciences in 2002. He received Firefighter Master, Arson Investigator Master and

Inspector Master Certifications from the Texas Commission on Fire Protection in

2002. He received an Instructor License from TCOLE in 1993 and his EMT Certification in 1999.

Funeral service arrangements are pending.

Roland Asebedo is survived by his mother, Mary Asebedo of Silverton; his wife,

Michele “Mickey” Asebedo of Denton; his son, Jordan Asebedo of Highland

Village; his daughter, Lorrin Underwood of Flower Mound; his brother, Able Asebedo of Silverton; his sister, Marilyn Leal of

Pottsboro; and a number of aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews and cousins. He was

preceded in death by his father, Johnny Asebedo, and his sister, Venita Howell.


Ask The Expert: Dentistry

How Advanced


Dental Office? by Dr. Matt Artho, Owner of Country Lakes Family Dental


ost days, it seems technology is taking off at the speed of light. Other days, you feel you spend hours watching the spinning circle while you wait for your program to stream. Technology is a wonderful thing when it works, but it does no good when technology underutilized. In medicine, major advancements have allowed for more predictable, precise, and comfortable treatments. The same is true for dentistry. But the question is: is your dental office up to speed? Regarding the utilization of dental technology, the first must-have dental gear is digital radiology. Digital radiographs are not only safer due to less needed radiation exposure, but they’re also a time-saver for advanced dental treatment and providing instant visualization of structures. This reduced time means less time in the chair and likely less need for additional anesthesia. Digital impressions combined with digital smile design and restoration

fabrication also allows for predictable, accurate, and faster results. Not only

do digital impressions create complete, detailed images of teeth, but they

avoid the potential for the gagging and discomfort that comes with antiquated tray impressions. Digital impressions

combined with CAD/CAM and digital software not only allow for potential

smile outcomes be displayed for veneers or Invisalign, but fabrication of the restorations is possible same day.

Laser therapy is a growing aspect of

modern dentistry. Advanced laser therapy not only allows for soft tissue surgeries

with minimal time and quicker recovery, but laser use in dentistry can treat both

sleep and TMJ disorders. Recent laser technology development permits for the treatment of cavities without the need of anesthetic. This work great for anxious children or adults who shudder at the thought of numbing. Prudent dental offices know that incorporating technology into practice makes the dental experience safe, predictable, and comfortable. Technology also paves the way for the improvement and development of future technologies. If your office is up to speed in dental advancements, you can rest assured your dentist cares for your overall experience and oral health. Happy Smiling!







chai VAN


Some chai latte recipes recommend ground spices rather than the cracked whole spices as described here.


hai tea features a fragrant blend of brewed black tea and warm spiced milk. Here, the tea bags are steeped directly in the warm milk, rather than water, for a rich and satisfying treat. If preferred, you can also brew the tea first in one cup hot water and stir it into two cups of the warm, spiced milk before serving. Although whole milk is used here, you can use your choice of milk, a combination of milk and heavy cream, or plant-based alternatives such as coconut or almond milk. However, be advised the plant-based alternatives will impact the final taste. Although ground spices are a bit easier to use, they can leave an unpleasant gritty residue behind even after straining. If you can’t find the whole spices in your local grocery store, you can find them online. For example, you can purchase the cardamom pods here: https://amzn. to/3dxsFt9 (replace with own affiliate link)


Ingredients: 3 c. whole milk 2 T. cardamom pods 1 T. whole allspice 1 T. whole cloves 5-6 whole star anise 3-4 2” cinnamon sticks 2-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and chopped 1 t. real vanilla extract 2-3 T. honey (adjust to suit personal preference) 3 black tea bags, preferably organic Optional Garnish: Ground cinnamon and/or whole star anise


1. Pour milk into a large skillet set over slightly less than medium heat. Tip: Set temperature between medium and medium-low. The milk should get very warm, but not scald. 2. Place the cardamom pods, allspice, and cloves in a plastic bag and place on a cutting board. Gently pound on the spices with a meat mallet or rolling pin just until they crack. (They should remain mostly whole, but opened up a bit). 3. Add the cracked spices, star anise, cinnamon sticks, ginger, vanilla extract, and honey to the skillet and stir to combine. Simmer until the milk is very warm and fragrant, approximately 5-6 minutes, then add the tea bags to brew for another 5 minutes. 4. Remove from heat and discard the tea bags, squeezing first to release as much flavor as possible. Strain the mixture through a fine mesh strainer, reserving the liquid. Discard the solids and divide two-thirds of the remaining liquid between individual serving mugs and set aside. 5. Pour the remaining mixture into a blender and blend on high for 1-2 minutes, or until a nice foam develops. Tip: Make sure the blender cap is properly vented to prevent the hot liquid from exploding. 6. Divide the liquid from the blender among the serving mugs and top off each with a big spoonful of foam. Sprinkle with some ground cinnamon and garnish with a star anise, if desired, and serve immediately. Enjoy!



What Makes a

Edit This: Ask The Expert



by Steve Gamel

sk anyone what they think makes a good writer, and the answers will run the gamut. Is it their attention to detail? Absolutely. How about their strong vocabulary and command of the English language? Must-haves, every time! What about an undying passion for storytelling, a knack for hooking a reader, and making complex thoughts simple and easy to read?

Q: What are the essential components of

Yes! All of that – and so much more.

word choice. Putting a human face

The list of qualifications for what makes a good writer is long – and deservedly so. I tried to answer this question, and

many more, in a recent interview with We discussed writing, writers, the journalism profession in

general, and, of course, my new book,

Write Like You Mean It: Mastering Your Passion For The Written Word.

Visit this website to read the full

makes-a-good-writer-/s2/a858576/. But below is a quick teaser for what you’ll read.

Q: What are your Top 3 tips on good writing?

A: Number one is to be a storyteller and put a human face on whatever story you are trying to tell. Regardless of whether

you are a journalist, blogger, or nonfiction writer, you should have the innate desire

to go beyond the normal process of putting words on paper and instead tell the story people want to read. As I say in my book, “people want to read about people. It just makes what you’re writing about more understandable and compelling.” The second tip is to become a pro at using the active voice (when the subject of a sentence performs the verb’s action). This is one of the best ways to materially strengthen your writing. Each sentence is stronger, more direct, and impactful. And more importantly, the reader feels the emotion in your writing. The third tip is to allow yourself to be open to constructive criticism and feedback and use those golden nuggets as opportunities to be a better writer tomorrow than you were today. Surround yourself with other writers. Share your work with each other, and look forward to when another writer or mentor shares how you could have written something better.

an engaging story?

A: Good, clean writing at its basic level – perfect grammar; an active, powerful voice; a varied sentence structure and on the piece and quality, compelling storytelling.

Q: What advice would you give to a young writer starting out today?

A: Take the leap and put yourself out

there. You were born to write, and the

last thing you want is some of your best

work collecting dust on a bedroom shelf somewhere. Once you have put yourself

out there, determine what it is you enjoy writing about the most, seek guidance

from other writers in that genre who can help you push forward, and constantly strive to be a better writer tomorrow than you were today.

Read, read, and read some more, but

please do so with a critical eye. What did you like about what you read? What did

you not like? How would you have written it better? These are great habits to start early in your career. They will serve you well years down the road.




by Denton County Judge Andy Eads photo courtesy of Judge Andy Eads


their personal decisions on whether or not to become vaccinated.

We also worked with and continue to work with all of our Denton County schools

districts in dealing with the challenges

they faced last year with virtual learning

and this year as they re-opened campuses. We meet frequently with state, local, and school officials to keep them informed

of the latest information available about

COVID-19 and to address any concerns. And, at each Commissioners Court meeting on Tuesdays, Dr. Matt

Richardson with DCPH provides the

latest information about the pandemic to

feel it is important to remind our Denton County residents of our ongoing efforts in dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic. From the beginning of the pandemic in early 2020, Denton County has been at the forefront of providing assistance to our residents. We initially took steps to mitigate the spread of this virus, following constitutionally allowed measures.

the public – information that is available on our Facebook page and on our website.

With the availability of vaccines, testing

and PPE currently available in the market, I believe we continue to find ourselves

I firmly believe these measures were appropriate at the time with the limited knowledge we had of COVID-19 and its effects on our population. We quickly rolled out programs designed to address the needs of those facing eviction and homelessness, needing food assistance, and owning businesses that faced significant economic challenges. We assisted non-profit organizations with personal protection equipment (PPE) and funding to ensure services could still be provided to residents in need. We also supplied PPE to our long-term care facilities, first responders, and health care providers to ensure their safety. We expanded the capabilities of our Denton County Public Health (DCPH) team to investigate and report with transparency on the growing number of cases and rolled out extensive COVID-19 testing locations across the county.

When the COVID-19 vaccine became

today in a place of personal responsibility.

available in January, we immediately

While being considerate of others, each of

Motor Speedway, efficiently providing

individual steps we deem necessary to

thousands of residents. The White House

our loved ones.

launched a major vaccination hub at Texas

us has the responsibility to take whatever

COVID-19 vaccines to hundreds of

ensure our own safety and the safety of

followed our model in rolling out federal

We ask that everyone show compassion

vaccination hubs nationwide. In fact,

people from 45 states came to Denton County to receive their shots.

We continue to provide COVID-19 vaccines to any and all who want

them. And, soon, we will ramp up our

vaccination clinics when booster shots become more widely available to the public.

Once vaccines became available, we asked everyone to thoughtfully and

prayerfully consider getting a vaccine. We also encouraged people to do their own

research about the vaccine as they made

with each other as individuals make their own decisions about their health and

safety. Love and understanding for others,

their viewpoints and their individual health choices is an important part of coming together as a broader Denton County community.

We do not need government oversight to

supersede our individual rights. But what we do need is to be educated and informed. I

truly believe individual choice is what makes America the land of the free.

We owe it to ourselves to maintain our

individual rights while, at the same time,


If you have any questions or comments, please let me hear from you. 940.349.2820 | | 46 | LANTANA LIVING | OCTOBER 2021

being respectful of others’ rights

event you get COVID. This plan of

for themselves.

have in case of a tornado, flood,

and the choices they make

I believe that it is important to

provide grace and understanding with one another whether that be

the medical researchers, scientists, or your own local doctor. This

is a new disease, and we are all

learning more about it each and

every day. What we knew early on in the spring of 2020 is limited in comparison to what we know today.

If you want to be vaccinated, you

can visit covid19vaccine to register for a vaccine with DCPH or to find a location near you (scroll to the bottom).

Whether you choose to get a

vaccination or not, I encourage

you to have a plan of action in the

action is much like one you would or ice storm. Know a doctor with whom you can contact, do your

homework about what symptoms to look for, purchase an oximeter to monitor your blood oxygen at home, and know what to do in

case of an emergency, i.e. where

the nearest hospital with available space is located. And, lastly, know what treatments you plan to take and have them available.

I say all of this because I have had so very many people contact me after they get sick who do not

have a plan of action. And, often times, they do not even have a

relationship with a doctor to treat

them. So, please, think ahead and have a medical plan of action.

Together, we can continue to keep #DentonCountyStrong.


LAURI RAGLAND by Caylie Howard | photos courtesy of Lauri Ragland

“I’m so overwhelmed with the amount of support that I have. It’s really given me the inspiration to keep going.”


n recent years, it has become more common for women to make big moves to change the history of womankind. It has become increasingly obvious that women are taking back their power and using it for the good of others. This is why the Denton County Commissioner’s decision to make Lauri Ragland the Judge of County Criminal Court #1 is such a huge step for our local community.

Ragland has worked in the District Attorney’s office for the last 15 years. “I worked as the Felony Chief for 12 years and then as the Chief of the Child Abuse Unit for three years. I’ve held several different positions in my time with the DA’s office.” Lauri said. The process of being appointed as Judge of County Criminal Court #1 began in

August after Judge Jim Crouch retired. Lauri was officially appointed on the 30th of that month and on September 13th, Lauri was sworn in and her journey as Judge officially began.

Despite all of these big changes, Lauri’s husband and four daughters have adjusted well to her new role, as well as with the duties that come along with this prestigious title. “It’s been an adjustment, but they are all so proud. It is such an honor for me to be able to be a role model for my girls.” Lauri said. While adjusting to her new role as Judge, Lauri is also having to make preparations to keep her seat in County Criminal Court #1. She is already up in the next election cycle. She hopes to continue to have the opportunity to serve Denton County and make its citizens proud. Lauri said that the usual filing period to run for her position ends in the middle of December, however the date may change. But Lauri is not alone in her campaign for her position. “I’m so overwhelmed with the amount of support that I have. It’s really given me the inspiration to keep going.” And Lauri isn’t taking the responsibilities of her promotion to Judge of County Criminal Court #1 lightly. “There’s only been one other woman County Court Judge in Denton County.” Lauri said. “This is a huge step for women and judges in general. There aren’t enough women judges, and I’m really proud of the fact that I am one of those few women.”

“Denton County Judge Andy Eads was the one that made that call to tell me the good news and congratulate me on being appointed judge. It was such an exciting moment.” Lauri said. Making the decision to pursue becoming a judge was an easy one for Lauri. “It’s always been my dream to be a judge.” Lauri said. “I loved working in the DA’s office for the last 15 years. And it really gave good perspective on Judge’s duties. But it was time to progress my career. This has been a goal of mine for the last 10 years.”



Baja Rita’s by Jay Marks | photos courtesy of Foodie Friday DFW


t’s been exciting to see some new restaurants coming to Old Town Lewisville to reinvigorate the downtown dining scene. We recently visited Baja Rita’s, a BajaMexican inspired restaurant that perfectly combines the best foods land and sea have to offer with a Mexican flair.

When you walk into Baja Rita’s, you’ll feel a lot like you’ve been transported to a seaside restaurant in Mexico with its decor and ambience. There are beautiful murals on the walls, chandeliers made from bottle caps, bikes, and surfboards. At the center of Baja Rita’s is the bar fully stocked with cervezas, tequilas, and wine. And they have a couple of signature drinks you can’t miss out on. Of course, Baja Rita’s, is known for its expansive margarita menu with options like Spicy Blood Orange, Kickin Berry, and their

signature Margarita Swirl. But Baja Rita’s

also has a couple of other cocktails they’re famous for like the Old Town Smash

which is made with local whiskey from Lewisville’s Bendt Distillery.

When it comes to their food, Baja Rita’s

has mastered how to serve authentic Baja cuisine with their own Texas twist.

One of their most popular dishes is their Ceviche en Vidrio made with a mix of

red snapper, shrimp, diced mango, and

citrus juices topped with cucumbers and served in a large Rita glass. One of their

customers saw them bring this out to us and said emphatically, “That is the best

ceviche I’ve ever had. And I don’t just say that about anything!” Baja Rita’s has also become popular for their Street Tacos Plate, which comes with an assortment of four street tacos: pork, brisket, chicken, and carne asada stuffed inside their housemade tortillas. And then to perfectly illustrate how Baja Rita’s has been able to master combining land and sea, they’ve got their Surf & Turf Tacos filled with sautéed shrimp, steak, avocado, queso fresco, and drizzled with a chipotle cream sauce. If you’re into more traditional TexMex cuisine, they have enchiladas, a chimichanga, and flautas — plus other classics like loaded queso, nachos, quesadillas, and roasted corn. And to top off all the amazing food and drinks is most definitely the lively atmosphere Baja Rita’s offers. There’s live music, outdoor games, and an amazing patio that makes it a great place to meet up with friends or bring the whole family to and have a great time. We can’t wait for you to try Baja Rita’s and experience being transported to Baja, Mexico yourself!

972.724.2540 |





n e TH lowe l a h PARTY N A W O R


by Caylie Howard

ave you ever thought that Halloween was just for kids? With the holiday being famous for dressing up and trick-or-treating, it’s easy to have that mindset. But not anymore! This guide will show you how to have a spooky good time by throwing a classier Halloween Party that all of your adult friends will enjoy.



Take a spooky twist on a classic garnish. These bloody vampire cocktails are sure to impress your guests. Use red food coloring to make any cocktail of your choice a bloody sensation while garnishing with a set of vampire fangs to take your party drinks to the next level.


Give your photos a chilling new look by adding antique black frames to your photos. You can even switch out your photos for more fitting photos you find online. And if you don’t want to switch out your photos, just add a layer of black lace over the frame for a haunting appearance.


Red Velvet is all the rage this time of year. Coat your cake in white icing and drizzle blood red icing over the top and sides for a sinister look. And if you want to take it up a notch, place a sharp knife at the top of your cake for an added effect.


PUT A TRANCE ON YOUR GUESTS WITH FESTIVE TREATS These swirly lollipops are the perfect

treat to offer your guests. Just add ribbon around the sticks and even add a spooky custom label. Display them in a witches

hat or cauldron. These spooky treats will give your guests something to enjoy on the way home.

PUMPKINS ARE FOR MORE THAN JUST CARVING Who needs a punch bowl when you’ve got

a plethora of pumpkins? Just cut off the top

of a large pumpkin, scoop out and clean the

insides, and you’re left with a festive bowl for all of your Halloween party drinks.

diamonds to create a sophisticated look to your decorations. You can keep it festive by sticking with black, white and orange color schemes.

GIVE YOUR GUESTS A HAND This is an easy way to add a frightening

twist to your Halloween party. Fill a rubber glove with water and put it in the freezer until it turns to ice. Carefully remove the glove from the ice, and then you’re left with a spooky way to chill your festive punch.

VINTAGE IS ALL THE FRIGHTENING RAGE Vampires, goblins, and monsters aren’t

the only way to add a spooky edge to your


party. If those things aren’t your style, try

Skip all of the messiness of carving by

great way to add a haunting feel to

painting your pumpkins. Add stripes or

adding skulls, crows, and old maps and

pictures to your decorations list. This is a your festivities.


Don’t know what to do with your empty wine bottles? Turn them into elegant and festive candelabras. Just paint the bottles black and place black stick candles to the opening of the bottle. These make the perfect spooky yet classy display for your guests to admire.



DISINFECTING YOUR HOME WHEN SOMEONE IS SICK by Dr. Rebecca Butler (Lantana Resident), Board Certified in Pediatrics by the American Board of Pediatrics



s the Delta variant spreads, more and more families are having to care for someone in their household with COVID-19. So how do you protect yourself and other members of the family? Isolation, vaccination, social distancing, and masking are readily discussed on every media outlet 24 hours a day, but what do you do when your home has been affected? Disinfect, disinfect, disinfect! Disinfect

who is sick. Supplies include tissues, paper towels, cleaners, and EPA LIST N disinfectants.

your home when someone who is positive for COVID-19 has been in your home

within the last 24 hours. At this point, it is about reducing the risk of spread.

If the person infected with COVID lives

in your home, keep a separate bedroom and bathroom for a person who is sick

(if possible). Apply covering to tablets, screens, remote controls, etc., to make 940.455.7200 74 McMakin Rd., Ste. 100 Bartonville, TX 76226

Mon, Tues, Thurs: 7:30am-6pm Wed: 7:30am-1pm Fri: 7:30am-5pm | Sat: 9am-12pm 56 | LANTANA LIVING | OCTOBER 2021

cleaning these surfaces easier.

If the infected person can do the cleaning, that would be ideal: •

Provide dedicated cleaning and

disinfecting supplies to the person

In shared spaces, the person who is sick should clean and disinfect surfaces and items after each use.

If the infected person cannot clean, you and the infected individual should put on a mask before you enter the room. •

Wear gloves if needed for your cleaning and disinfection product(s).

Only clean and disinfect the area around the person who is sick, if necessary, to limit your contact with the person who is sick.

Open outside doors and windows; Use fans and HVAC ventilation as much as possible.

Wear gloves when handling dishes and utensils for the person who is

sick. Consider disposable utensils

and other dishes and dispose of trash immediately in a well-ventilated area (out of common spaces). •

Use a dedicated, lined trash can for

Use gloves when removing garbage

the person who is sick.

bags and handling and disposing of trash.

Wash hands after disposing of the trash.

When Someone Is No Longer Sick:

Cleaning and Disinfecting Your Home •

After the person who was sick no

longer needs to be separated, wait

at least 24 hours, if possible, to clean and disinfect. •

If it has been less than 24 hours, wear a mask when you enter the room,

open windows, and use fans to help increase airflow. And always use

disinfectants safely. After three days,

go back to routine cleaning as usual. •

Clean the soft surfaces (carpets,

rugs, and drapes) with soap and

water or with cleaners made for use on these surfaces. •

Launder items using the warmest

appropriate water setting and dry items completely.

Disinfect using an EPA List Nexternal

icon product for use on soft surfaces, if needed.

Vacuum. If vacuuming an area occupied by a sick person or

someone positive for COVID-19

in the last 24 hours, wear a mask when vacuuming.

For more information refer to:


Ask The Expert: Travel

there, be sure and give yourself plenty


Sunniest City


by Terri Guthrie | photos courtesy of Terri Guthrie

uma is a hidden jewel! It’s nestled halfway between Phoenix, Arizona, and San Diego, California and just 12 miles north of the Mexican border. It’s also home to the Marine Corps Air Station that houses thousands of Marines and their families. And from January to March, the Yuma population nearly doubles with sun-seeking snowbirds. Word has gotten out about this beautiful southwestern Arizona city. Yes, it has earned the title for being the “Sunniest City on Earth” because they have sunny skies 91 percent of the year. The average summer temperatures range from 76°F to 106°F, usually cooling down for pleasant nights. The average winter temperatures range from 41°F to 68°F with an average of only three inches of rain annually.

of time to read about all the prisoners

and learn their stories because this is one fascinating “Wild West” landmark from another place and time!

Castle Dome Museum, is another place

worthy of a stop! Here you can take a tour of this ghost mining town bursting with

history. I was in awe of the underground

fluorescent and phosphorescent mineral walls. You can easily spend the day

moseying through this mine museum and looking at artifacts from over 300 mines. Another favorite was our stop at one of

the many date farms in the Yuma area.

We had an educational tour at Martha’s Garden, which is a family-owned and

operated Medjool Date Farm. It was truly fascinating learning all about Medjool Dates and the very involved scientific

process of growing these delicious sweet

dates and stunning trees. We finished our tour with a tasty date milkshake!

Also, we discovered more of Yuma’s rich history at the Colorado River State Park

and Museum. It was really informative! We learned how the Colorado River was once the lifeline to area military posts through

the Yuma Quartermaster Depot. Here you will learn the history and importance of

the Colorado River, then and now. It plays such a significant role in this area.

I did not realize that Yuma is a year-round

USA Today’s “Best Haunted Destination

cuisines, outdoor adventures, historic

for history buffs. Original prison cells and

history, with buildings that have been

artifacts, will take you back to 1865...

famous Hollywood stars who have visited

actually go inside the prison cells. And the

Yuma features numerous outdoor activities

travel destination. They boast unique

landmarks, and events that attract visitors from around the globe. In fact, the

historic downtown looks like a movie set. It’s packed with lots of cute local shops

and restaurants. And right in town is the

Colorado River, which offers water sports, trails, and scenic views.

in the U.S.” This museum is a must-see

Historic Downtown Yuma has its own

stories of the inmates, as well as preserved

wedding chapels. There are tales about

before Arizona was even a state! You can

Yuma and even gotten married there.

“Dark Cell” is a place and story that I will

never forget! The Yuma Territorial Prison

might just be one of the most interesting

Major Attractions in Yuma include The

Yuma Territorial Prison Museum: Voted as

historical places we’ve ever toured in the entire United States. So, when visiting

from tubing on the Colorado River to

off-roading at the Buttercup Sand Dunes. They even host extraordinary events like

the Medjool Date Festival, Rio de Cerveza, and Midnight at the Oasis.



And this may have been the biggest surprise of all about Yuma…they produce 91% of the leafy greens eaten in North America during the winter. Literally, thousands of trucks leave this area daily to deliver fresh produce all over America. This makes Yuma the “winter vegetable capital of the world.” Yes, Yuma is in the middle of the desert, but being on the banks of the Colorado River, makes for a wonderful water source, and has created some very rich and fertile soil from thousands of years of flooding. Who knew? There’s so much to do, see, and discover in Yuma. I never knew it, but it’s really a great vacation destination. Yuma, Arizona is more than a desert oasis; it’s absolutely a place to experience!



Things 5 TO MAKE

PUMPKIN PIE 15 ounces of pumpkin

14 ounces sweetened condensed milk 2 large eggs

1tsp. ground cinnamon ½ tsp. ground ginger

½ tsp. ground nutmeg ½ tsp. salt Pie crust:

2 ½ cups all-purpose flour CARAMEL APPLE CIDER 8 cups Apple Juice

1 tbsp. sugar

¼ cup lemon juice

4-8 tbsp. ice water

PUMPKIN BREAD 2 cups all-purpose flour

1 cup caramel flavor syrup

1 tsp. baking soda

2 cinnamon sticks

1/2 tsp. salt

½ tsp. baking powder 1 tsp. ground cloves

1 tsp. salt

1 cup cold butter

1 vanilla bean

1 tbsp whole allspice

1 tsp. ground cinnamon


1 ½ sticks of unsalted butter

3 ½ tsp. cornstarch

2 large eggs

1 tsp. baking soda

1 tsp. ground nutmeg

3 ¼ cups all-purpose flour

2 cups sugar

1 tsp. cream of tartar

½ a can of 1 lb pumpkin pie mix

½ tsp. baking powder ½ tsp. salt

½ tsp. ground cinnamon ½ tsp. ground ginger

½ tsp. ground nutmeg ¼ tsp. ground allspice

1 cup granulated sugar

¾ cup packed light brown sugar 1 cup softened unsalted butter 1 large egg yolk

For the Drink:

3 ounces vodka

3 ounces pumpkin spice creamer 1 ½ ounces of Kahlua

¾ cup canned pumpkin puree

Whipped cream and pumpkin spice for garnish

Top With:

1 tsp pumpkin pie spice

1 ½ tsp vanilla extract

¼ cup granulated sugar

1 ½ tsp. ground cinnamon


For the Rim:

1 tsp sugar or sparkling sugar

3 tbsp. crushed graham cracker OCTOBER 2021 | LANTANA LIVING | 61

Millions discover their favorite reads on issuu every month.

Give your content the digital home it deserves. Get it to any device in seconds.