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About the Cover From Us to You The Blended Family Dena & Jimmy Matcek Home Super Donuts Professional Directory Czeching Back Then Cheyenne Stress & Your Health Crabby Old Man Family Tales...Ties Flights of a Lifetime Times of Celebration No Santa...Ridiculous Made in the USA Celebrating the Family Juicy Fruit & The Women’s ..... Chocolate Cake Recipe Drug Muggers A Dollar’s Worth Giving Families Hope The Day We Shot Ernest Artist’s Giving Back The Path of Forgiveness Thank YOU for Your Time Basics of Pipeline Right-of-Ways A Teacher’s Influence A Christmas Gift of Love Secrets Your Veterinarian Should Tell You Lovely October Reyes, Burns-Reyes Porky’s BBQ

To subscribe to the Front Porch Magazine email imagemaker@airplexus.com or call 979-567-7871 or 979-567-6753 Note: Front Porch Magazine is published twice per year.


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rom us to you Editors Note

As the Summer heat begins to lessen here in Texas, we are appreciative and look forward to even cooler evenings and ultimately cooler days...at some point. We are, as ever, joyful about presenting another issue of the Front Porch Magazine. We feel certain you’ll enjoy our stories and jokes, and that you’ll be encouraged, entertained, and informed - That’s our goal. Over the weeks, we’ve heard from people far and wide, as you’ll see when you read some of the stories of readers from Georgia to West Virginia. Our website traffic is truly growing. Remember, if you’d like your ad linked to your website, contact us. As each holiday arrives, Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year’s and Valentine’s, we pray you’ll take time to count your blessings. We each have so many.

And don’t forget to vote November 6th.

Sincerely, Sandi Balcar Scarlette Taylor P.S. Be sure to go to www.frontporchmagazine.com to see us on the World Wide Web 5


Blended

The

Assuming innocence has never been more important. Family is used most often to describe those you were raised by, with, or related to by blood. A blended family, however, reaches further than the bloodline or any ancestry which can be traced for many years. It is often those we choose to love or choose to call our family. It is not, however, by any stretch of the imagination an ugly or denigrating term. It is endearing and special to those who understand it or can claim it. Although a blended family can mean many things for many people, it means something very special to my family. You see, we were the true sense of the word when it comes to a blended family. My mother, a sweet Hispanic lady who had a father (Salinas) from Spain and a mother (Longoria) from Mexico, was born and raised in Texas. My father was a wonderful Caucasian man with English decent who was also raised in the great state of Texas. Their families could both be quickly traced outside the US. My mother and father were both married prior to their marriage to each other. Both had children they brought together to this new family. I understand from my older siblings it was a rocky start as you can imagine when you blend families from diverse backgrounds. Soon, my older sister was born. Eighteen months later (following my mother’s massive stroke at the young age of 30), I followed up to make the blended family now at a whopping seven children! Needless to say, we were now a blended family. What a wonderful experience it was in my formative years. Holidays were amazing and really big! I remember one day in high school when a girlfriend’s mom wanted to tell me that those were not my “real” brothers and sisters. Our family in her mind was some sort of misfit or mistake. Not in ours. Those were fighting words in our fam-

Family

ily. Although they were technical terms to describe our family’s relations, nothing about it was step or half. Even today these terms often send chills down my spine. She had forgotten that there were people attached to those somewhat negative terms. Although they were accurate terms for our family they were not for what we lived. One must assume innocence if you have no understanding or experience with a blended family. It may be the reason it was easy for me almost twenty years ago to fall in love with a loving, kind man who was, first, an amazing dad to three adorable little girls. Perhaps, it was the reason it was endearing to me to be with them and ultimately accepted by them. I assumed innocence from the beginning so there were no unreasonable expectations or information. When my husband and I married, I never pretended to be the mother of the girls. I genuinely learned to love and accept them as individuals and to respect and honor the mother who gave them birth. It was a choice for me to give them “life” in our new family. They have to my knowledge really never referred to me as a step anything. Often it is, “my dad and bonus mom.” When my son came along, he was their brother they joyfully introduced to their young friends. We are a wonderfully blended family. Now with 3 sons-in-law and 3 grandsons, 12 sit at our table at a casual family meal. Step and half never enter our minds or our hearts. My son has an Aunt Niece who was there from the moment he was born, no blood relation but very loving and accepting. When there is a little trouble for him or sadness, you can often find him at Aunt Niece and Uncle George’s house eating his favorite meal or being counseled. Oh, and Uncle Robert, well although he was Chuck’s best friend in dental school and no blood relation, he did take the first fish off a hook for JC when he wasn’t old enough to tie his shoe! That has to count for some-


thing big, right? Don’t think the love and bond of these are not just as strong, and maybe stronger, than of some blood related folks. Many of us have those aunts, uncles or cousins we grew up believing couldn’t have been anymore “family” than they were. We have some young friends who recently adopted 2 beautiful children from the Congo. These two babies are part of an existing family of four. Now this beautiful, blended family is full of every bit as much love as a family who has birthed all their children. To watch this young mother juggle all her duties, adjusting to her family’s overnight change and growth by two, dramatically shows us true grace. They assumed innocence for their two new babies and for the community who would accept their blended family. At my mother’s funeral service, their pastor said something that I have never forgotten. We had met with him and told stories of how loving and accepting our mother was of everyone she met. With mother it didn’t matter if they were rags or riches born, she assumed innocence of everyone. In mother’s eyes, they had a chance to be their best or worst, but she would not accept someone else’s dirty laundry about anyone. She made her own opinions but you were the star of your story. This what their pastor shared as he closed mother’s service. He explained that on the night he met with her family we had talked of our beautiful, blended family. He said it was refreshing, innocent and authentic, then he spoke to me, “You know, JoAn, you talked of your blended family. Well, you know, God’s family is a blended family.” Then he turned to the audience and said, “I hope all of you here today make a choice to be part of His blended family.” It was so sweet and so much what my mother taught us about accepting others and assuming innocence. Don’t pretend to know what someone else is thinking or feeling. Assume innocence; it will take you far in any family you choose. "JoAn Majors is a registered dental assistant, published author and professional speaker. She is a member of the National Speakers Association and the Global Speakers Network, Association of Dental Implant Auxiliaries, Association of Dental Office Managers, Dental Podiums and various other organizations. In addition to speaking across the country and Canada, she holds the Team Training Faculty Position for the Misch International Implant Institute. Her systems deliver results and encouragement to the workplace and home. For more on her seminars and her latest book, “EncourageMentors: 16 Attitude Steps for Building Your Business, Family & Future,” please visit http:// www.joanmajors.com."

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Home of

Dena and Jimmy Matcek

At 301 West Fox, near the downtown area, sits the home of Dena and Jimmy Matcek. The location had long been the residence of Steve and Benita Schiller who sold the property about 1965 to A J and Zena Hamilton. The property then passed to Dee Orlopp, Zena’s sister, and Dee later sold to Ron and Lisa Pivonka. Then in 2004, Dena purchased the property from them. When the house was purchased, Dena checked with an architect, thinking of making some changes in the old house. Its extremely narrow stairwell created problems; re-locating furniture upstairs and normal stairway use were trying. When Dena was told the prohibitive cost of refurbishing, they decided to sell the 1½ story structure and have it moved. It was sold and relocated to CR 908. The new 301 West Fox residence, built 2006-2007, is a spacious house with almost 3,000 square feet of living space. It stands one and one-half stories tall and boasts a three-car garage. A master bedroom, other bedrooms, and a huge upstairs bedroom that she jokingly refers to as her daughter’s suite are parts of the home. A game room, dining room, and a spacious, well-equipped black and white kitchen are places they enjoy with family. A wonderful back porch with its ceiling fans provides a place for relaxing. And, originally a Christmas tree closet housed the seasonal tree, but later a dry sauna was installed, and the tree lost out to the sauna. The long front porch of their home reminds Dena of the porch of her grandmother Beatrice Boedeker, the place where

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family members ate watermelon and laughed a lot. Their porch on West Fox is a favored place also, especially when it comes time for parades and Kolache Festival. Other times, they simply sit on the porch, relax, and enjoy small town life. Dena Doonan Matcek grew up in Caldwell, and attended school here. Later she went to Sam Houston State and began her teaching in Aldine ISD, at Nimitz, where she was a busCont’d on Page 13


Sometimes.....Donuts are the Answer!

Down Highway 36 North, not far from the intersection of Highways 21 and 36 is located one of Caldwell’s newest busi- nesses, Super Donuts. This bright, clean shop’s physical address is 281 State Highway 36 North. It is in the new strip mall. Davann Ek (pronounced Ike) is the owner of the donut shop. Davann came to the United States in 2003 and began learning the donut business by working at a donut shop in Conroe. He was then able to buy a franchise through Super Donuts.

Super Donuts opened its door in 2011. The shop is in business seven days a week: Monday-Saturday 5am-1 pm. And Sundays 6am to 1pm. Davaan and his workers begin preparing food each morning at 3:00 and make pastries fresh daily. The shop has 6 small round tables with three chairs each, so there is room for several to sit and eat. Breakfast foods offered are tacos, croissants, biscuits, as well as a variety of sweets, fruit kolaches, donuts, bear claws, apple fritters, and pinecones, to name some of the choices. And they offer sandwiches. Drinks include soft drinks, coffee and tea. Davann is grateful to have the new business even though it requires many hours of preparation and service. He enjoys supporting the community, the school, and the library in Caldwell. He has given coupons for free items to motivate Caldwell’s kids to achieve. Next time you want to pick up a quick breakfast sandwich, or want something sweet, give the new busi- ness, Super Donuts, a try. Call 979-567-6897 for your donut or pastry needs.

Super Donuts 281 State Highway 36 North Caldwell, Texas 77836 979-567-6897

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professional directory Air Conditioning-Installation & Repair Reliant Mechanical Weaver’s Refrigeration Automobile Sales Caldwell Country Attorney at Law Burns & Reyes-Burns Rosas Attorneys Automobile Parts-Supplies-Repairs Auto Frame & Body Works Burleson County Motor Supply Groce’s Shell Wilde Auto Plus Auction Agglieland Auction Banks Citizens State Bank BarBQ Matus BarBQ Porky’s Bar B-Q Bed & Breakfast Rocking H Bed & Breakfast Boutique Sassy J’s Burleson County Events Fair Association Butane/Propane Gas Service HyPoint Energy, Inc Catering D&V Events Chemicals Project Chemicals Churches Church of Christ First Baptist Jubilee Christian Center City/Civic/Government Offices City of Caldwell City of Somerville Cleaning Service Michelle Orvis Construction C & H Building Construction McManus & Haddox NEI Construction Richard Boyd Construction Convenience Store Zip-In Copying & Printing Service ImageMaker Dentistry Caldwell Dental Associates Watson Orthodontics

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Country Club Copperas Hollow Dozer Services Albright Dozer H.L. Hoyak J7 Service S&S Dozer Service Electrical Service Stevenson’s Electrical Fax Service Imagemaker Feed Store Homeyer Feed & supply Funeral Home Phillips & Luckey Strickland Funeral Health Care Burleson St Joseph Manor Guardian Health Care Holistic Chips CieAura Home and Auto Burleson County Motor Supply Wilde Auto Plus Hunting Rocking H Bed & Breakfast Insurance Alford Insurance Company Charlie Law Doonan Insurance Agency Jaecks Insurance 17 Livestock & Commission Caldwell Livestock Commission Broken Triangle Lumber Company Woodson’s Lumber Company Massage Therapy Healing Hands Monuments R & C Monuments Oil Field Servies Kocurek Industries Pest Control Armstrong Pesticide Solutions Photography Charanza Studios Real Estate Double “O” Team Home & Ranch Real Estate Rio Brazos Real Estate Restaurants & Catering 1846 Deli Deanville Bar & Grill Freedom Ranch Golden Chick Mad Hatters

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Masfajitas Mexican Restaurant Porky’s BBQ Super S Donuts Shooting Range Gunsmoke Range Storage Mustang Storage Tax Preparers & Advisors Danny Koerth, CPA H&R Block Towing and Wrecker Service D&S Towing Truck-Auto-Tires-Supplies Burleson County Motor Supply Frank’s Truck & Landscape Supplies Mitchell Tire Service Wilde Auto Plus Veterinarian Brazos Valley Mobil Vet Service Vitamins & Dietary Supplements Roots & Shoots Water Well Drilling Loehr Drilling Co, Inc Welding & Fabricating Agee Services C&H Welding & Fabrication Outlaw Welding

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SANDI BALCAR & SCARLETTE TAYLOR PUBLISHERS

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SANDI BALCAR

LAYOUT & DESIGN

SCARLETTE TAYLOR ADVERTISING SALES

BRADLEY CHARANZA PHOTOGRAPHER CONTRIBUTING WRITERS

NEAL BEARD JIMMY BOEDEKER LES CALLISON BOB CLARK SUZY COHEN BEVERLY DIZZINE WAYNE EDWARDS PEGGY TONEY HORTON TAMMY KUBECKA SHARON ANN LAFFERE JOAN MAJORS DR. JACK MCKEMIE DVM CATHERINE MOORE RENITA ODSTRCIL DONNA VARNER PRESNAL CHRISTOPHER ROSAS SCARLETTE TAYLOR Phone 979.567.7871 979.567.6753 301 Hwy 21 E Caldwell, TX 77836 The contents of all articles do not represent the views of the Front Porch Magazine. The magazine claims no responsibility for the accuracy of information or content.

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Czeching Back THEN When my family moved to Caldwell in 1944, they often felt like they had moved to a new world even though they had been born and raised in Oklahoma - which was just across the Red River. With Dad’s Cherokee/Irish heritage and Mother’s Irish/ German lineage, neither was prepared for the process required in becoming acclimated to the spellings and pronunciations of Czech names. This account is about prounciation of German and Czech names. The German names, for the most part, were more familiar and therefore not so difficult to pronounce. Names such as Englemann, Brinkman, Mahlmann, Poehl, and Deutsch were well known in Caldwell. However, the problem was that you could never be sure which you were dealing with at any given time – a Czech or a German - because through the years there had been a lot of intermarriages between the two groups. It was not uncommon to find someone with a German name who was actually more Czech than German and vice versa. As a practical tool, sometimes the easiest way to determine anyone’s heritage was to simply ask, “Does your family belong to the Sons of Hermann (German) or the S.P.J.S.T. (Czech).” The pronunciation of many Czech names can be very difficult when seeing them written for the first time. A few keys are that the “a” is almost always pronounced as being a “short a” as in “Ahh”. The “c” is often spoken as “ch.” And certain letters (often vowels) are pronounced that do not appear in the written form for the names (e.g. Drgac (Der-gach). Some easier names to read and pronounce are: Urbanosky, Vavra, Hovorak, Blaha, Zavodny, Valigura, Siptak and Chaloupka. (remember the “a” as in Ahh). Some of the harder ones are: Vychopen (Vick-o-pin), Budnik (Bood-nick), Jancik (Yan-sick), Pivonka (Pee-won-kee), Pargac (Par-gach), Loehr (Lair), Matejka (Ma-tay-ka), Hlavaty (Ha-lava-tee), Matejowsky (Ma-tee-yah-ski), Hejl (Hale), Crynkolvic (Crink-o-vich), Hajovsly (High-yah-ski), and Manas (Mineyus). And some are even harder: Suehs (Zeese), Rychlik (Rick-lick), Svrcek (Swer-check), and Giesenschlag (Gee-zen-slaw), And the most difficult of all: Zgabay (Sky-bye) In a few cases, some just gave up and had their names changed to match the mispronunciation. Our local football hero, Charlie Krueger (Kreg-ger), an All-American at A & M and All-Pro for the San Francisco 49’ers, finally became to be known as Charlie Kruger. Dicky Moegle (May-gul), from our District rival Taylor High School, was a star running back at Rice University. Years later while living in Houston, he had his name officially changed to Dick Magle.

And speaking of football, for a great laugh in the 1950’s, a good source we could always rely on came from the public address announcers at football games when we played in towns other than Caldwell. Before the start of the game, we would await the call of each player’s name over the loudspeakers with eager anticipation of hearing the local announcer’s pronunciation of the Czech names. I can tell you that it is very hard to sprint down the field on the opening kick-off when your sides are still hurting and you are out of breath from laughing. Of course, some of these differences between the written form versus the way it was pronounced became a source for boyhood humor, such as it might have been. The Pivonka family, mentioned earlier as being pronounced as Pee-won-key, believe it or not, actually owned a donkey which they kept in their back yard. So quite naturally, it became known as the Peedonkeys’s Wonkey. And one of my favorite memories comes from our first day of class in 8th grade English. Our brand new, first year teacher, Lou Ida Marsh, fresh from the Cajun Country near Beaumont and Lake Charles, Louisiana, was really struggling and was practically shell shocked during her attempts to get through all of the Czech names on the class roll. Then she finally came upon a French name that she knew that she could pronounce properly – Paul DeMottier. When she asked Mr. “Dee-mo’-tee-yea” to raise his hand, the class, previously snickering somewhat silently over her stabs at the previous names, literally erupted into howls of laughter. I have to give her proper credit since French and Italian are supposed to be closely related, and she was laughing along with us when informed how it actually was to be pronounced as (Dee’-mo-teer). And she went on to become, in my opinion, one of the best teachers of all time to grace the halls of Caldwell High School. Now I am not just referring to spellings and pronunciations here, but sometimes certain words would be placed in slightly different positions in a sentence. For example, there was this one really, good looking Czech girl that I took to the movies one night and heard her comment during the posse chase that was taking place on the silver screen, “Gosh, they run so fast already”. Being the beauty that she was, I found this to be endearing. One of the things that you sometimes noticed was the letters “V” and “W” being switched out - one for the other. During a conversation, the term “Vanilla Wafers” might come out as “Wanilla Vafers”. And, there must not be a “th” sound in the Czech language. When Milady would be working the meat counter at Valigura’s Super Market nearly every Saturday, it was always “Honey, do you vant dat meat cut “tick or tin?” That’s the way it was back then. Happy Trails to you, ‘til we meet again, Les Callison Class of ‘59


About the Cover Cont’d ness/English teacher like her mother. But Dena was drawn back to Caldwell because her Mother was her best friend. However, the opportunity did not present itself until her uncle, Jimmy Boedeker, gave her name to the State Farm manager as a possible candidate for the agency. So, her career started in January 1989. Jimmy Matcek was born and reared in Bryan, Texas. He finished his 12 years of schooling there, went into the service for a short stint, and then went into construction work, specifically highway construction. His parents live in Chriesman presently; however, his father is from the Harmony area. Back in 2002, Jimmy came to Caldwell to do reconstruction work on the square. During that time Dena and he met; later they were married in 2003. Dena’s mother Lee Boedeker Doonan was born and reared here in Caldwell. She went to Sam Houston for college, and there she married Bob Doonan, who was from Gladewater. The two met on a blind date at Sam Houston. The first time he came to Caldwell was when Lee brought him here. After college, they lived in Rogers, Texas, a short while. Then Lee was finally able to come back to her beloved Caldwell. Lee taught English and business at Caldwell high school till she retired in the 1993. Dena says her mother loved Caldwell, shopped at Manuel’s, ate pie at Mad Hatter’s, and went to church at First Methodist. She simply loved Caldwell and was content to live here. Dena’s siblings and children have lived all or part of their lives in Caldwell. Her brother Charles Doonan, and twin brother Randy Doonan, as well as sister Jeana Doonan O’Brien grew up here. Son Matthew James and daughter Lindsey Lee grew up here as well. Daughter-in-law Whitney and one year old grandchild Tatum Cheyanne “Tot,” live in Salado, with Matthew. A new path in Dena’s life is about to begin. Dena and Jimmy will be leaving Caldwell in order to be what she knew her mother to be, the one who was there, who was a love and support to her family. It is with mixed emotions that Dena and Jimmy leave, but Dena feels this is God’s will. It was put on Dena’s heart right after losing her mother and the conviction has tugged at her heart ever since. Dena said that one time she asked Don Laird how you knew when something was your ideal or if the tugging at your heart was God’s leading. Don told Dena, “If it’s from the Lord, it usually doesn’t go away nor does it always make sense!” Dena and Jimmy hope to relocate to the Salado area. Dena is in the process of finding someone to “fill her shoes” at Doonan Insurance Agency, Inc. a/k/a the State Farm office, and to take care of her clients. State Farm has begun the process of looking for the best candidate, and Dena hopes the plans will be complete by December 2013.

Three men were sitting together bragging about how they had set their new wives straight on their duties. The first man had married a woman from Penn. and bragged that he had told his wife she was going to do all the dishes and house cleaning that needed done at their house. He said that it took a couple of days, but on the third day he came home to a clean house and the dishes were all washed and put away. The second man had married a woman from West Virginia. He bragged that he had given his wife orders that she was to do all the cleaning, dishes, and cooking. He told them that the first day he didn’t see any results, but the next day it was better. By the third day, his house was clean, the dishes was done, and he had a huge dinner on the table. The third man had married a Texas girl. He boasted that he told her his house was to be cleaned, dishes washed, the cooking done and laundry washed. And this was all her responsibility. He said the first day he didn’t see anything and the second day he didn’t see anything but by the third day some of the swelling had gone down so he could see a little out of his left eye! Got to love Texas Women!

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Cheyenne By Catherine Moore

"Watch out! You nearly broad sided that car!" My father yelled at me. "Can't you do anything right?" Those words hurt worse than blows. I turned my head toward the elderly man in the seat beside me, daring me to challenge him. A lump rose in my throat as I averted my eyes. I wasn't prepared for another battle. "I saw the car, Dad. Please don't yell at me when I'm driving." My voice was measured and steady, sounding far calmer than I really felt. Dad glared at me, then turned away and settled back. At home I left Dad in front of the television and went outside to collect my thoughts. Dark, heavy clouds hung in the air with a promise of rain. The rumble of distant thunder seemed to echo my inner turmoil. What could I do about him? Dad had been a lumberjack in Washington and Oregon. He had enjoyed being outdoors and had reveled in pitting his strength against the forces of nature. He had entered grueling lumberjack competitions, and had placed often. The shelves in his house were filled with trophies that attested to his powers. The years marched on relentlessly. The first time he couldn't lift a heavy log, he joked about it; but later that same day I saw him outside alone, straining to lift it. He became irritable whenever anyone teased him about his advancing age, or when he couldn't do something he had done as a younger man. Four days after his sixty-seventh birthday, he had a heart attack. An ambulance sped him to the hospital while a paramedic administered CPR to keep blood and oxygen flowing. At the hospital, Dad was rushed into an operating room. He was lucky; he survived... But something inside Dad died. His zest for life was gone. He obstinately refused to follow doctor's orders. Suggestions and offers of help were turned aside with sarcasm and insults. The number of visitors

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thinned, then finally stopped altogether. Dad was left alone. My husband, Dick, and I asked Dad to come live with us on our small farm. We hoped the fresh air and rustic atmosphere would help him adjust. Within a week after he moved in, I regretted the invitation. It seemed nothing was satisfactory. He criticized everything I did. I became frustrated and moody. Soon I was taking my pent-up anger out on Dick. We began to bicker and argue.. Alarmed, Dick sought out our pastor and explained the situation. The clergyman set up weekly counseling appointments for us. At the close of each session he prayed, asking God to soothe Dad's troubled mind. But the months wore on and God was silent. Something had to be done and it was up to me to do it. The next day I sat down with the phone book and methodically called each of the mental health clinics listed in the Yellow Pages. I explained my problem to each of the sympathetic voices that answered in vain. Just when I was giving up hope, one of

the voices suddenly exclaimed, "I just read something that might help you! Let me go get the article." I listened as she read.. The article described a remarkable study done at a nursing home. All of the patients were under treatment for chronic depression. Yet their attitudes had improved dramatically when they were given responsibility for a dog. I drove to the animal shelter that afternoon. After I filled out a questionnaire, a uniformed officer led me to the kennels. The odor of disinfectant stung my nostrils as I moved down the row of pens. Each contained five to seven dogs. Long-haired dogs,

curly-haired dogs, black dogs, spotted dogs all jumped up, trying to reach me. I studied each one but rejected one after the other for various reasons too big, too small, too much hair. As I neared the last pen a dog in the shadows of the far corner struggled to his feet, walked to the front of the run and sat down. It was a pointer, one of the dog world's aristocrats. But this was a caricature of the breed.. Years had etched his face and muzzle with shades of gray. His hipbones jutted out in lopsided triangles. But it was his eyes that caught and held my attention.. Calm and clear, they beheld me unwaveringly. I pointed to the dog "Can you tell me about him?" The officer looked, then shook his head in puzzlement. "He's a funny one. Appeared out of nowhere and sat in front of the gate. We brought him in, figuring someone would be right down to claim him. That was two weeks ago and we've heard nothing. His time is up tomorrow.." He gestured helplessly. As the words sank in I turned to the man in horror. "You mean you're going to kill him?" "Ma'am," he said gently, "that's our policy. We don't have room for every unclaimed dog." I looked at the pointer again. The calm brown eyes awaited my decision. "I'll take him," I said.. I drove home with the dog on the front seat beside me. When I reached the house I honked the horn twice. I was helping my prize out of the car when Dad shuffled onto the front porch. "Ta-da! Look what I got for you, Dad!" I said excitedly. Dad looked, then wrinkled his face in disgust. "If I had wanted a dog I would have gotten one. And I would have picked out a better specimen than that bag of bones. Keep it! I don't want it" Dad waved his arm scornfully and turned back toward the house. Anger rose inside me. It squeezed together my throat muscles and pounded into my temples. "You'd better get used to him, Dad. He's staying!" Dad ignored me. "Did you hear me, Dad?" I screamed.


Cheyenne At those words Dad whirled angrily, his hands clenched at his sides, his eyes narrowed and blazing with hate. We stood glaring at each other like duelists, when suddenly the pointer pulled free from my grasp. He wobbled toward my dad and sat down in front of him. Then slowly, carefully, he raised his paw. Dad’s lower jaw trembled as he stared at the uplifted paw. Confusion replaced the anger in his eyes. The pointer waited patiently. Then, Dad was on his knees hugging the animal. It was the beginning of a warm and intimate friendship. Dad named the pointer Cheyenne. Together he and Cheyenne explored the community. They spent long hours walking down dusty lanes. They spent reflective moments on the banks of streams, angling for tasty trout. They even started to attend Sunday services together, Dad sitting in a pew and Cheyenne lying quietly at his feet. Dad and Cheyenne were inseparable throughout the next three years. Dad's bitterness faded, and he and Cheyenne made many friends. Then late one night I was startled to feel Cheyenne's cold nose burrowing through our bed covers. He had never before come into our bedroom at night. I woke Dick, put on my robe and ran into my father's room. Dad lay in his bed, his face serene. But his spirit had left quietly sometime during the night. Two days later my shock and grief deepened when I discovered Cheyenne lying dead beside Dad's bed.. I wrapped his still form in the rag rug he had slept on. As Dick and I buried him near a favorite fishing hole, I silently thanked the dog for the help he had given me in restoring Dad's peace of mind. The morning of Dad's funeral dawned overcast and dreary. This day looks like the way I feel, I thought, as I walked down the aisle to the pews reserved for family. I was surprised to see the many friends Dad and Cheyenne had made filling the church. The pastor began his eulogy. It was a tribute to both Dad and the dog who had changed his life. And then the pastor turned to Hebrews 13:2. "Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for by this some have entertained angels without knowing it." "I've often thanked God for sending that angel," he said. For me, the past dropped into place, completing a puzzle that I had not seen before: the sympathetic voice that had just read the right article.... Cheyenne ‘s unexpected appearance at the animal shelter. .. ..his calm acceptance and complete devotion to my father. . and the proximity of their deaths. And suddenly I understood. I knew that God had answered my prayers after all.

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Stress and Your Health Beverly Dizzine RMT, LVN

Over 35 years experience in Preventative Health Enjoy your family during the holiday season. Reduce Stress. Make time for a massage for your overall well-being. Giving gift certificates for massages makes great gifts and eliminates stressful shopping? Free gift wrapping with certificates at Healing Hands Massage located at The Cottage, 200 N. Echols, Caldwell, TX 77836. By appointment. Call 832.877.2387 or 979.567.3000.

Here “it” comes....HOLIDAY STRESS!

Some other simple things you can do daily to help with stress:

Wear comfortable shoes Color a picture Leave for work 15 minutes earlier Look up at the stars Breathe deeply Stop a bad habit Prepare for morning the night before Do it today Dance Stand up and stretch Say “No” more often Know your limitations Make copies of important papers Clean out one closet Break large tasks into small portions Quit trying to fix other people Laugh Get enough sleep Smile more Pray Be prepared for rain Get a massage Schedule play time Take each day one day at a time Avoid tight fitting clothes Put fresh flowers in your home/ office Take a bubble bath Close your eyes and relax for 5 minutes Develop a sense of humor Turn up the music Take lunch to a friend

You CAN survive it!!! 16

What is stress and how does it affect your health? Stress is any change in your normal routines. Stress occurs when bad things happen, as well as happy things. For instance, the stress of a job promotion can be just as stressful as the loss of a job. Speculative changes also cause stress: “Am I going to get that promotion or not?” Emotional and physical changes: extreme hot/or cold, attitude. And toxins, pushing your body beyond its limits, whether it be work or play, will deplete your body of the energy it needs to restore itself and results in being over stressed. Science is constantly learning about the impact that stress has on your overall health. Stress may be a contributing factor in backaches, insomnia, cancer, fibromyalgia, heart disease, headaches, emotional disorders, colitis…the list goes on. People under the effects of stress are also more susceptible to colds and infections due to a lowered immune system response. What are you to do about stress? Eliminating stress is impossible; however, implementing some stress management such as healthy diet, regular exercise, and uninterrupted relaxation most often helps.

Beverly Dizzine, RMT, LVN Over 35 years experience in Preventative Health


Chuckles, Giggles & Snickers This is a very funny story about an old lady whose husband died and she wanted to put an ad in the paper about the funeral. Story begins: The local newspaper funeral notice telephone operator received a phone call: A woman on the other end asked, “How much do funeral notices cost?” “$5.00 per word, Ma’am,” came the response. “Good, do you have a paper and pencil handy?” “Yes, Ma’am.” “OK, write this, “Fred dead.” “I’m sorry, Ma’am, I forgot to tell you there’s a five-word minimum.” “Hmmph,” came the reply, “You certainly did forget to tell me that.” A moment of silence. “Got you pencil and paper?” “Yes, Ma’am.” “OK, print this: “Fred dead. Cadillac for sale.” Kids Learn by Observing...or Not A priest was invited to attend a house party. Naturally, he was properly dressed and wearing his priest’s collar. A little boy kept staring at him the entire evening. Finally, the priest asked the little boy what he was staring at. The little boy pointed to the priest’s neck. When the priest finally realized what the boy was pointing at, he asked the boy, “Do you know why I am wearing this?” The boy nodded his head yes, and replied, “It kills fleas and ticks for up to three months.”

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877.272.9401 17


Crabby Old Man

When an old man died in the geriatric ward of a nursing home in North Platte, Nebraska, hospital staff believed that he had nothing left of any value.

When an old man died in the geriatric ward of a nursing home in North Platte, Nebraska, hospital staff believed that he had nothing left of any value. Later, when the nurses were going through his meager possessions, they found this poem. Its quality and content so impressed the staff that copies were made and distributed to every nurse in the hospital.

A young boy of Sixteen . . . . . with wings on his feet Dreaming that soon now . . . . . a lover he’ll meet. A groom soon at Twenty, . . . . . my heart gives a leap Remembering the vows . . . . . that I promised to keep At Twenty-Five, now . . . . . I have young of my own Who need me to guide, . . . . . and a secure happy home. A man of Thirty, . . . . . my young now grown fast, Bound to each other . . . . . with ties that should last.

One nurse took her copy to Missouri. The old man’s sole bequest to posterity has since appeared in the Christmas edition of the News Magazine of the St. Louis Association for Mental Health.

At Forty, my young sons . . . . . have grown, and are gone, But my woman’s beside me . .. . . . to see I don’t mourn. At Fifty, once more, . . . . . babies play ‘round my knee, Again, we know children . . . . . My loved one and me.

A slide presentation has also been made based on his simple, but eloquent, poem.

Dark days are upon me . . . . . My wife is now dead. I look at the future . . .. . . I shudder with dread For my young are all rearing . . . . . young of their own. And I think of the years . . . . . and the love that I’ve known.

And this little old man, with nothing left to give to the world, is now the author of this ‘anonymous’ poem winging across the Internet. Crabby Old Man What do you see, nurses? . . . . . What do you see? What are you thinking . . . . . when you’re looking at me? A crabby old man, . . . . . not very wise, Uncertain of habit, . . . . . with faraway eyes? Who dribbles his food . . . . . and makes no reply When you say in a loud voice . . . . . ‘I do wish you’d try!’ Who seems not to notice . . . . . the things that you do And forever is losing . . . . . A sock or shoe? Who, resisting or not, . . . . . lets you do as you will, With bathing and feeding . . . . . the long day to fill? Is that what you’re thinking? . . . . . Is that what you see? Then open your eyes, nurse, . . . . . you’re not looking at me. I’ll tell you who I am, . . . . . as I sit here so still, As I do your bidding, . . . . . as I eat at your will. I’m a small child of Ten . . . . . with a father and mother, Brothers and sisters, . . . . .. who love one another.

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I’m now an old man . . . . . and nature is cruel. ‘Tis jest, to make old age . . . . . look like a fool. The body, it crumbles; . . .. . . grace and vigor depart. There is now a stone . . . . . where I once had a heart. But inside this old carcass . . . . . a young guy still dwells, And now and again . . . . . my battered heart swells. I remember the joys, . . . . . I remember the pain. And I’m loving and living . . . . . life over again. I think of the years, all too few, . . . . . gone too fast, And accept the stark fact . . . . . that nothing can last. So open your eyes, people . . . . . open and see. Not a crabby old man. Look closer; . . . . . see ME!! Remember this poem when you next meet an older person who you might brush aside without looking at the young soul within . . . . . we will all, one day, be there, too!


Just Stay A nurse took the tired, anxious serviceman to the bedside. “Your son is here,” she said to the old man. She had to repeat the words several times before the patient’s eyes opened. Heavily sedated because of the pain of his heart attack, he dimly saw the young uniformed Marine standing outside the oxygen tent. He reached out his hand. The Marine wrapped his toughened fingers around the old man’s limp ones, squeezing a message of love and encouragement. The nurse brought a chair so that the Marine could sit beside the bed. All through the night the young Marine sat there in the poorly lighted ward, holding the old man’s hand and offering him words of love and strength. Occasionally, the nurse suggested that the Marine move away and rest awhile. He refused. Whenever the nurse came into the ward, the Marine was oblivious of her and of the night noises of the hospital - the clanking of the oxygen tank, the laughter of the night staff members exchanging greetings, the cries and moans of the other patients. Now and then she heard him say a few gentle words. The dying man said nothing, only held tightly to his son all through the night. Along towards dawn, the old man died. The Marine released the now lifeless hand he had been holding and went to tell the nurse. While she did what she had to do, he waited. Finally, she returned. She started to offer words of sympathy, but he Marine interrupted her, “Who was that man?” he asked. The nurse was startled, “He was your father,” she answered. “No, he wasn’t,” the Marine rplied. “I never saw him before in my life.” “Then why didn’t you say something when I took you to him?” “I knew right away there had been a mistake, but I also knew he needed his son, and his son just wasn’t here. When I realized that he was too sick to tell whether or not I was his son, knowing how much he needed me, I stayed. I came here tonight to find a Mr. William Grey. His Son was killed in Iraq today, and I was sent to inform him. What was this Gentleman’s name?’ The nurse with tears in her eyes answered, “Mr. William Grey.....” The next time someone needs you...just be there. Stay.

When you are courting a nice girl an hour seems like a second. When you sit on a red-hot cinder a second seems like an hour. THAT’S RELATIVITY. Albert Einstein

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Family

TALES

&

Family TIES

by Tammy Kubecka

“If I could just ask my mother a few more questions!” How many times have you heard that line while talking about family history? If only Grandma were here, or someone who knew all the connections, and all the stories. Now’s the time to start saving those family stories. Record it, write it down, save it. In the preservation world, we call this doing “oral history,” and it can take on many forms. You can interview someone, or even record yourself. There is an abundance of information online, especially via the Texas Historical Commission and Baylor University, outlining the proper procedures of doing oral history. If you want to interview a family member or someone else, you need to do a lot of planning ahead. Know what to ask, how to ask it, and know the result you’re seeking. Don’t just ask “yes and no” questions because you’ll likely get “yes or no” answers. For instance, don’t ask if someone was in the Army. Ask how it felt to enlist and leave home for the first time. Don’t ask if someone was a farmer during the depression. Ask more specific questions about growing a certain crop, how they worked on shares, or how they butchered a hog and canned food. Don’t plan on an interview being finished in an hour either. It might take hours, days and weeks of sessions to really cover one subject. The real trick is to let the person you’re talking to take you on a journey. Steer the conversation, but let them lead you to the end of the story. Making notes is good for double checking names and places. Make copies of tapes whether it’s real tape or digital. Backups are insurance! And the biggest tip….transcribe the tapes as soon as possible while it’s fresh on your mind. Tapes will disintegrate over time, and digital sound files can be lost as well. There are many horror stories of someone dragging out dozens of

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tapes to listen to Grandpa’s stories, and nothing is audible on the tapes. A lot of people are skittish about formal recording sessions, so learn to be a good listener at family gatherings. Leave the living room once in awhile, and listen to the stories in the kitchen when the dishes are being washed. Find the aunts huddled in the bedroom, whispering about diseases, voicing opinions on the absent relatives, and relaying stories you may never hear again! Sit with the older men on the porch, ask a few lead in questions, and you’ll not only learn about individual relatives, but what kind of vehicles they drove, what kind of tractor or gun they owned, when they took their first drink, and who served as pallbearers for every family funeral. Write it down. Start a journal of those random family stories. You may be the oldest generation in your family now, and these are stories that your kids and grandkids will wish they could ask you about someday. Be a step ahead of them, and leave them the greatest gift you can…. your memories, the family tales. These are the ties that bind.


Chuckles, Giggles & Snickers After the christening of his baby brother in church, Jason sobbed all the way home in the back seat of the car. His father asked him three times what was wrong. Finally, the boy replied, “That preacher said he wanted us brought up in a Christian home, and I wanted to stay with you guys.” A little boy was overhead praying: “Lord, if you can’t make me a better boy, don’t worry about it, I’m having a real good time like I am.” The preacher was wired for sound with a lapel microphone, and as he preached, he moved briskly about the platform, jerking the mike cord as he went. Then he moved to one side, getting wound up in the cord and nearly tripping before jerking it again. After several circles and jerks, a little girl in the third pew leaned toward her mother and whispered, “If he gets loose, will he hurt us?” A father was at the beach with his children when the fouryear-old son ran up to him, grabbed his hand, and led him to the shore, where a seagull lay dead in the sand. “Daddy, what happened to him?” the son asked. “He died and went to Heaven,” the dad replied. The boy though a moment and then said, “Did God throw him back down?” A Sabbath school class was studying the Ten Commandments. They were ready to discuss the last one. The teacher asked if anyone could tell her what it was. Susie raised her hand, stood tall, and quoted, “Thou shall not take the covers off the neighbor’s wife.” A wife invited some people to dinner. At the table, she turned to their six-year-old daughter and said, “Would you like to say the blessing?” “I wouldn’t know what to say,” the girl replied. “Just say what you hear Mommy say,” the wife answered. The daughter bowed her head and said, “Lord, why on earth did I invite all these people to dinner?”

The Front Porch Magazine would like to thank our advertisers for their continued support. 21


Flights of a Lifetime by Jimmy Boedeker

Kenneth Lauderdale, a seasoned pilot, has approximately 20,000 flight hours. This man of many talents still flies just inches above the crops and ground, and then split seconds later clears power lines and tree tops, sometimes scattering dust from the gear wheels and sometimes even the wing tip while making a turn at the end of a crow row. While spraying at Buffalo Ranch in Burleson County, he once said, “Putting on a little show is sometimes expected of me.” I personally told him, “You just about screwed up. You need to be more careful.” Kenneth was one who encouraged me personally during my own flight lessons. I finally soloed at the Caldwell Airport on May 22, 1986, and gave up my student license for the real thing. I believe that without Kenneth’s encouragement I would not have ever gotten my license. He just would not let me give up. I was age 49 at the time and enjoyed about 10 years of flying before giving it up due to a heart condition, which eventually led to having heart bypass surgery, which might have made it too difficult to pass the required biannual flight physical. A pilot may always have a license but must have a current physical and pass a bi-annual flight review to fly legally. Kenneth exudes confidences. He believes in himself, and it radiates to others around him. A personal example was the day I loaded the Sundowner with several cans of chemicals and took off from a sod field near San Marcos for a flight to Caldwell.

Putting on a little show is sometimes expected of me. Kenneth’s instructions for this short field take-off were, “Hold the brakes, full power, rotate, stay in ground effect (approximately half the distance of the wing span where left is greater), clear the fence.” Then he added, “We don’t have time to fix fence.” It was a safe solo flight to the Caldwelll Airport and a thrill for this low time pilot. Enough about me and on to the real inspiration for this story, Captain Bradley Lauderdale, son of Kenneth Lauderdale and Kathy Spruill, who flies the C-5 Galaxy, which is one of the largest military planes in the world. Recently, Brad and his dad Kenneth were together in the same cockpit of the magnificent C-5, with two other qualified pilots, and Brad as flight commander. The flight originated and ended at Kelly AFB in San Antonio, TX, along with about 100

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passengers. It was Boss’ Day, and the crew members, who were made up of reservists, were allowed a guest for this particular four hour flight. One can only imagine the rush Kenneth must have felt having his son fly one of the largest planes in the world. And he was privileged to be at his side to witness it, all the while knowing it wouldn’t take long before he could fly the plane himself. The C-5 has a crew of six, one pilot, one copilot, two flight engineers and two loadmasters. It has a unit cost of $152.8 million. It is powered by four General Electric Turbofan engines, with 43,000 pounds of thrust each. Each weighs 7,900 pounds, and each engine pod is c. 27 feet long. The C-5 is 247 feet, 10” long, with a wing span of c. 222 feet, and is some 65 feet high. It weighs 374,000 pounds (empty) and 840,000 at takeoff wartime. It can fly 518 mph, with a ceiling of 35,750 feet, and unlimited range when in-flight refueled. The plane can take off fully loaded within 8,300 feet and land within 4,900 ft. Nose and aft doors open wide and permit ease of loading. The internal wing tanks are large enough to fill c. six regular size railroad tank cars. That’s pretty big potatoes, for one of our own Burleson county boys. Captain Bradley Lauderdale is now a reservist and lives with his wife and two children in San Antonio. Brad remains current in the C-5 program and may be called to duty at any time. Brad has been in training with a Jet powered spray plane, as his dad has, and will soon have one of his own to take up the family tradition of flying low enough to spray the crops and high enough to clear tree tops and power lines.


Chuckles, Giggles & Snickers Actual quotes of what people said in court, word for word: Q: Did you see my client flee the scene? A: No, sir, I didn’t. But subsequently I observed someone running several blocks away who matched the description of the offender. Q: Who provided you with the description? A: The officer who responded to the scene. Q: A fellow officer of yours provided the description of this socalled offender. Do you trust this fellow officer? A: Yes, sir, with my life. Q: With your life? Let me then ask you this, officer. Do you have a room where you change your clothes in preparation for the day’s duties? A: Yes, sir, we do. Q: And do you have a locker in that room? A: Yes, sir, I do. Q: And do you have a lock on your locker? A: Yes, sir. Q: Why is it, officer, that if you trust your fellow officers with your life, that you find it necessary to lock your locker in a room you share with those some officers? A: You see, sir, we share the building with the court complex. And sometimes lawyers have been known to walk through that room. Q: Doctor, before you performed the autopsy, did you check for a pulse? A: No. Q: Did you check for blood pressure? A: No. Q: Did you check for breathing? A: No. Q: So, then it is possible that the patient was alive when you began the autopsy? A: No. Q: How can you be so sure, Doctor? A: Because his brain was sitting on my desk in a jar. Q: But could the patient have still been alive nevertheless? A: It is possible that he could have been alive and practicing law somewhere. Q: All your responses must be oral, OK? What school did you go to? A: Oral.

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As we are putting together the Front Porch Magazine this edition, I am mindful that our magazine will be on the stands over months of major celebrations. Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Valentines are all times of celebrating, and recognizing our blessings.

are decorated in lights and bright colors, and Christmas trees bring delight to sight as well as emotion. Don’t you just like to sit down and look at the Christmas tree…just look at its beauty, and remember where certain ornaments came from? (Or is that just a girl thing?) I enjoy doing that each year. This time of celebrating is certainly something the children look forward to. Some children get far more than others, yet the joy of receiving still brings smiles and laughter for beautiful, innocent faces. This season is about giving and receiving. It’s the time of year we Christians realize afresh that our Savior Jesus Christ came to the earth, and came to give us a relationship. His birth began the plan to provide for us a sacrifice… One who would take on our sins, and free us. Now, is that something to celebrate!

Do you remember fondly previous Thanksgivings? I do. Though the time in the kitchen is exhausting, and the prepared food is gone in a matter of a few minutes, it is not the work that I remember. It’s the family. My family has gathered with my sister’s family for over forty years now. Our children have grown up going to Aunt Judy’s and Uncle And then, there is Valentine’s Day. Have you always been Del’s for Thanksgiving Dinner. fond of this day? Have you joy-filled memories of making It has been there that we have all been drawn a your Valentine Box at school with red construction paper bit closer to each other. Wednesdays through and lacy white valentines, and then getting to open the box Fridays give time to talk and share…to en- at the school party? Do you remember your first Valentine courage and occasionally to weep together. from that special someone? Do you remember spending time finding just the right card for him/ her? Or did you, like I, write your own cards, stating exactly the things you so treasure about the one you love? Though this time of year is just one day that has been singled out to focus on love, isn’t it great when we do? There is no time that expressing our love of others, friends and family. And even in this season should we not forget our God? Should we not express our love to Him? He, of BY SCARLETTE TAYLOR all, should be loved for who He is and what He is to us.

Times of Celebration

Though the seasons of celebration often get us out of sorts because we allow ourselves to get too rushed, spend too much money, eat too much rich food, or commit ourselves to too many endeavors, we still need to celebrate…still need to treasure special times and be thankful people. We Americans are truly blessed. We have so much, even we who have less than others around us. Three-fourths of the world’s people are paupers in comparison to any one of us.

Now my Mom is gone, and many older family members who joined with us are gone as well. But, we continue our Thanksgiving tradition, and we are thankful to God that we have been able to be together and share our lives. Is your Thanksgiving day one of tradition, of honoring God, thanking Him for all that you’ve been blessed with…life, security, peace, family? If not, it is never too late to start your own tradition. Whether there are Let’s keep perspective in life, as God would have us. Let’s entwo or three of you, or ten or twenty, get to- joy the life God has graciously given us…where He’s placed us. Let’s live with grateful hearts and open hands…let’s live gether and tell God of your thankfulness. lives of purpose and joy and peace for Him and for others. Christmas! What can I say? It is THE time for celebration. It is the time when most homes Happy TG, Xmas, and Valentines.


Chuckles, Giggles & Snickers Dog For Sale A guy is driving around the back woods of Montana and he sees a sign in front of a broken down shanty-style house: ‘Talking Dog For Sale’ He rings the bell and the owner appears and tells him the dog is in the backyard. The guy goes into the backyard and sees a nice looking Labrador retriever sitting there. ‘You talk?’ he asks. ‘Yep,’ the Lab replies.. After the guy recovers from the shock of hearing a dog talk, he says ‘So, what’s your story?’ The Lab looks up and says, ‘Well, I discovered that I could talk when I was pretty young. I wanted to help the government, so I told the CIA. In no time at all they had me jetting from country to country, sitting in rooms with spies and world leaders, because no one figured a dog would be eavesdropping.’ ‘I was one of their most valuable spies for eight years running... But the jetting around really tired me out, and I knew I wasn’t getting any younger so I decided to settle down. I signed up for a job at the airport to do some undercover security, wandering near suspicious characters and listening in. I uncovered some incredible dealings and was awarded a batch of medals.’ ‘Later, I got married, had a mess of puppies, and now I’m just retired.’ The guy is amazed. He goes back in and asks the owner what he wants for the dog. ‘Ten dollars,’ the guy says. ‘Ten dollars? This dog is amazing! Why on earth are you selling him so cheap?’ ‘Because he’s a liar. He never did any of that stuff.

OUT OF THE MOUTHS OF LITTLE ONES! 1. After putting her grandchildren to bed, a grandmother changed into old slacks and a droopy blouse and proceeded to wash her hair. As she heard the children getting more and more rambunctious, her patience grew thin. Finally, she threw a towel around her head and stormed into their room, putting them back to bed with stern warnings. As she left the room, she heard the threeyear-old say with a trembling voice, "Who was THAT?" 2. I didn't know if my granddaughter had learned her colors yet, so I decided to test her. I would point out something and ask her what color it was. She would tell me the answer and was always correct. It was fun for me, so I continued. At last, she headed for the door, saying, "Grandma, I think you should try to figure out some of these, yourself!" 3. When my grandson Billy and I entered our vacation cabin, we kept the lights off until we were inside to keep from attracting pesky insects. Still, a few fireflies followed us in. Noticing them before I did, Billy whispered, "It's no use Grandpa. Now the mosquitoes are coming after us with flashlights."

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story provided by TruthBook.com

No Santa... Ridiculous!

I remember my first Christmas adventure with Grandma. I was just a kid.

I remember tearing across town on my bike to visit her on the day my big sister dropped the bomb: “There is no Santa Claus,” she jeered. “Even dummies know that!” My Grandma was not the gushy kind, never had been. I fled to her that day because I knew she would be straight with me. I knew Grandma always told the truth, and I knew that the truth always went down a whole lot easier when swallowed with one of her “world-famous” cinnamon buns. I knew they were world-famous, because Grandma said so. It had to be true. Grandma was home, and the buns were still warm. Between bites, I told her everything. She was ready for me. “No Santa Claus?” she snorted.... “Ridiculous! Don’t believe it. That rumor has been going around for years, and it makes me mad, plain mad!! Now, put on your coat, and let’s go.” “Go? Go where, Grandma?” I asked. I hadn’t even finished my second world-famous cinnamon bun. “Where” turned out to be Kerby’s General Store, the one store in town that had a little bit of just about everything. As we walked through its doors, Grandma handed me ten dollars. That was a bundle in those days. “Take this money,” she said, “and buy something for someone who needs it. I’ll wait for you in the car.” Then she turned and walked out of Kerby’s. I was only eight years old. I’d often gone shopping with my mother, but never had I shopped for anything all by myself. The store seemed big and crowded, full of people scrambling to finish their Christmas shopping. For a few moments I just stood there, confused, clutching that ten-dollar bill, wondering what to buy, and who on earth to buy it for. I thought of everybody I knew: my family, my friends, my neighbors, the kids at school, the people who went to my church. I was just about thought out, when I suddenly thought of Bobby Decker. He was a kid with bad breath and messy hair, and he sat right behind me in Mrs. Pollock’s grade-two class. Bobby Decker didn’t have a coat. I knew that because he never went out to recess during the winter. His mother always wrote a note, telling the teacher that he had a cough, but all we kids knew that Bobby Decker didn’t have a cough; he didn’t have a good coat. I fingered the ten-dollar bill with growing excite-

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ment. I would buy Bobby Decker a coat! I settled on a red corduroy one that had a hood to it. It looked real warm, and he would like that. “Is this a Christmas present for someone?” the lady behind the counter asked kindly, as I laid my ten dollars down. “Yes, ma’am,” I replied shyly. “It’s for Bobby.” The nice lady smiled at me, as I told her about how Bobby really needed a good winter coat. I didn’t get any change, but she put the coat in a bag, smiled again, and wished me a Merry Christmas. That evening, Grandma helped me wrap the coat (a little tag fell out of the coat, and Grandma tucked it in her Bible) in Christmas paper and ribbons and wrote, “To Bobby, From Santa Claus” on it. Grandma said that Santa always insisted on secrecy. Then she drove me over to Bobby Decker’s house, explaining as we went that I was now and forever officially, one of Santa’s helpers. Grandma parked down the street from Bobby’s house, and she and I crept noiselessly and hid in the bushes by his front walk. Then Grandma gave me a nudge. “All right, Santa Claus,” she whispered, “get going.” I took a deep breath, dashed for his front door, threw the present down on his step, pounded his door and flew back to the safety of the bushes and Grandma. Together we waited breathlessly in the darkness for the front door to open. Finally it did, and there stood Bobby. Fifty years haven’t dimmed the thrill of those moments spent shivering, beside my Grandma, in Bobby Decker’s bushes. That night, I realized that those awful rumors about Santa Claus were just what Grandma said they were -- ridiculous. Santa was alive and well, and we were on his team. I still have the Bible, with the coat tag tucked inside: $19.95.

May you always have LOVE to share, HEALTH to spare and FRIENDS that care... And may you always believe in the magic of Christmas


Chuckles, Giggles & Snickers

Once in the air, the photographer instructed the pilot, 'Fly over the valley and make low passes so I can take pictures of the fires on the hillsides.'

Always Ask, Never Assume !!!

'Because I'm a photographer for CNN' , he responded, 'and I need to get some close up shots.'

'Why?' asked the pilot.

His request approved, the CNN News photographer The pilot was strangely silent for a moment. Finally he quickly used a cell phone to call the local airport to charter stammered, 'So, what you're telling me, is . . .. You're NOT a flight. my flight instructor?' He was told a twin-engine plane would be waiting for him at the airport. Arriving at the airfield, he spotted a plane warming up outside a hanger. He jumped in with his bag, slammed the door shut, and shouted, 'Let's go'. The pilot taxied out, swung the plane into the wind and took off.

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Costco sells Goodyear wiper blades for almost half the price that you will pay on the outside and they are made in the USA . Did you know that there is no electric coffee maker made in the USA and that the only kitchen appliances made in the USA are Viking? This information came from a report by Diane Sawyer. Hopefully, this has or will change soon. I didn’t know Hallmark cards were made in China . That is also why I don’t buy cards at Hallmark anymore; they are made in China and more expensive. I buy them at Dollar Tree; 50 cents each and made in USA . I have been looking at blenders available on the internet. Kitchen Aid is made in the USA . Top of my list already………… Yesterday, I was in WalMart looking for a wastebasket. I found some made in China for $6.99. I didn’t want to pay that much so I asked the lady if they had any others. She took me to another department and they had some at $2.50 made in USA . They are just as good. Same as a kitchen rug I needed. I had to look but I found some made in the USA. What a concept! And, they were $3.00 cheaper. We are being brainwashed to believe that everything that comes from China and Mexico is cheaper. Not so. One light bulb at a time……………. I was in Lowe’s the other day and just out of curiosity, I looked at the hose attachments. They were all made in China . The next day I was in Ace Hardware and just for the heck of it, I checked the hose attachments there. They were made in the USA . Smart looking, people! In our current economic situation, every little thing we buy or do affects someone else….most often their job. My grandson likes Hershey’s candy.

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I noticed, though, that it is now marked, “Made in Mexico.” I don’t buy it anymore. My favorite toothpaste, Colgate, is made in Mexico. Now, I have switched to Crest. You have to read the labels on everything. This past weekend, I was at Kroger. I needed 60 watt light bulbs and Bounce dryer sheets. Right next to the GE brand that I normally buy was an off-brand labeled, “Everyday Value.” I picked up both types of bulbs and compared them.. They were the same except the price. The GE bulbs cost more than the Everyday Value brand but the thing that surprised me the most was that the GE was made in Mexico and the Everyday Value brand was made in, you guessed it, a company in Cleveland , Ohio , USA . It’s way past time to start finding and buying products you use every day that are made right here. On to the next aisle….Bounce dryer sheets, yep, you guessed it…..Bounce cost more money and is made in Canada . The Everyday Value brand cost less and was made in the USA . I did laundry yesterday and the dryer sheets performed just like the Bounce Free that I have been using for years….at almost half the price. My challenge to you: Start reading the labels when you shop for everyday things and see what you can find that is made in the USA . The job you save may be your own or your neighbor’s. If you accept this challenge, pass this on to others so we can all start buying American….one light bulb at a time. Stop buying from overseas companies…you’re sending the jobs there. (We should have awakened a decade ago.) Let’s get with the program and help our fellow Americans keep their jobs and create more jobs here in the USA .

And so, my fellow Americans, ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country. - John F. Kennedy


Celebrating Family

This edition we at the

Front Porch have decided to celebrate the family. Whether your family is the traditional husband, wife, children, or is mother and child/children, or father and child/children, or the ever known grandparent and children, or even newly weds, we celebrate you. Family is truly important in the life of America. Without the backbone of family, where would we be? Though no family is the totally functional one (I used to think only mine was dysfunctional), each family should be the place for members to feel the security, acceptance, and love each member deserves.

We do not live to ourselves or just for ourselves if we are truly living a life of worth. Helping

others

is

great, but take care of family, young, older, or aging. If we take the initiative, much can be accomplished. It is our hope that each family member in some way, large or small, is inspired to be a better family member over these holiday months, and into the year ahead. As the old saying goes, “Blood is thicker than water.� It truly is, and each relationship is important to the whole of the family. From newborn to grandparent, celebrate your own family and its indivuality, its uniqueness. Look for the good and you’ll find it.

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Juicy Fruit & The Women’s MIssionary Union I am the only male who ever held membership in the WMU at Prays Mill Baptist Church. I had this distinction in 1947 and 1948. At that time the Women’s Missionary Union met during the daytime in the church auditorium. There being no child care services provided I went to the meetings with my mother. If you need to know anything about WMU work in the late 40’s I’m the authority. Actually, my memories of the proceedings are fuzzy. My most robust recollection is being terminally bored. It had nothing to do with the meetings. It’s just that the meetings weren’t designed to hold the attention of a seven year old boy. I devised a diversion to occupy my mind while the ladies met. I was the right size to lie in the floor on my back and explore underneath the pews. In this cozy hideaway my inventive juices flowed like lava. WWII two was a fresh memory. I had heard horror stories of kamikaze attacks on our war ships, and thrilling accounts of brave airmen in their fighter planes, engaged in dogfights with the fanatical enemy. In the under pew heavens of Prays Mill Baptist church the bravest fighter pilot of them all pulled on his goggles and battled the enemy. Lying on my back zig zagging back and forth I pushed my P51 Mustang straight up, dodging enemy planes and watching their smoky trails as they fell victim to my relentless guns. In the pew bottom sky over my head I made a delectable discovery. Stuck around in various places were wads of gum. I chewed slightly used Juicy Fruit, Dentyne, Wrigley’s Spearmint, and some undetectable brands. The gum became my award for bravery in battle. In my cozy world it was a chewy sort of war medal. I began to look forward to WMU day so I could continue my heroics.

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by Neal Beard, a retired pastor living in Douglasville, Georgia. He writes history/humor about the rural northwest Georgia community where he grew up in the 40s and 50s. Unknown to me I was about to get a shot down in humiliation and be stripped of all my war decorations. I skidded my plane in under the last pew and was enjoying the adoration of my fellow aviators, along with yet another award - a jaw filled with second hand gum. When Mama saw me whacking away on the gum she snapped, “Where’d you get that gum?” Isplutteredaround my chew, “under the pew; there’s plenty more. Do you want some?” She didn’t. She made me eject my gum and convinced me I was doomed. The phrase that stuck with me was, “that filthy stuff is full of germs.” I didn’t know what germs were but they sounded worse than crazed kamikaze pilots. The lecture that followed was more frightening than all of my dog fights. I brushed my teeth three times that night. When I went to bed I could feel creepy stealth germs plundering my body. The lasting lesson learned from my WMU days is that vile things may happen to you if you chew ABC gum. I did learn, however, that the Dentyne bite and mellow Juicy fruit together makes a good chew. Try it sometime. You might want to use fresh gum - unless you can fit under a pew at Prays Mill church.


Chocolate Cake so good....

It’s Sinful!

If you are a chocolate lover, or if you have a chocolate lover in your family, this is the cake for you. It’s really chocolate, and makes a big cake. I remember way back to the 1970’s when my Sunday School teacher Del Dunn made this cake for us girls. Then she shared the recipe with us. So, I am sharing with you. It is my hope you’ll enjoy it.

by Scarlette Taylor

Mrs. Dunn’s Cake

Sift together in lg bowl 2 c sugar and 2 c flour Mix in a saucepan: 2 sticks oleo or butter 4-5 Tbs. cocoa 1 c water. Bring the saucepan mixture to a rapid boil. Pour it over the flour and sugar mixture and mix well. Add ½ c buttermilk, 2 eggs slightly beaten, 1Tbs. Soda, 1Tbs. cinnamon, 1Tsp. vanilla. Mix well. Bake in a greased 11 X 16 for 25 minutes at 400 degrees.

Icing

Make 5 minutes before cake is done, and spread on cake in the pan while it is still hot. Mix & bring to a boil: 1 stick oleo, 4 Tbs. Cocoa, 6 Tbs. sweet milk (or more). Remove from heat and add: 1 Box powdered sugar (4 c) 1 Tbs. Vanilla. Beat well with a spoon. Add 1 c pecans. Pour over hot cake still in the pan.


How Drug Muggers Can Slowly Steal the Life Out of You TIRED AND DEPRESSED? . CHRONIC PAIN? BRAIN FOG? . LEG CRAMPS? . DIZZINESS? HAIR LOSS? . WEIGHT GAIN?

Suzy Cohen, RPh www.DearPharmacist.com People call me “America’s Most Trusted Pharmacist®” because I’ve been a licensed pharmacist for over 22 years and I am able to share the pros and cons of medication use as well as offer natural substitutions for most any of your health concerns. While I pride myself in ‘thinking outside the pill’ let me just say that I am still very proud to wear my white coat because I realize that there is a time and place for medications. We need to consider all of our options, and often, a combination is best. I’ve spent the the last 13 years writing a syndicated column called “Dear Pharmacist” which focus on health and explores the use of natural supplements, as well as the safe use of medications if you are taking them. This has been printed in many newspapers nationwide. Dear Pharmacist, I bought your Drug Muggers book and learned that coffee is stealing iron from my body. I’ve had chronic fatigue for years, and now that I’m supplementing with the iron, I’m feeling MUCH better, so thank you! I’m not giving up coffee though. Suzy, would you be willing to share more drug muggers, as a public service, because some people can’t afford to buy your book, but they really need your help. –K.M., Kansas City, Kansas Answer: Yes, of course and I’ve been sharing this information freely since 1999. The drug mugging effect can explain everything from nagging aches to life-threatening diseases. Replenishing the missing nutrient(s) might be just what the doctor should have ordered! Most people don’t know this but years ago, I asked major publishers to make a book out of this information, but none understood the importance of it, and some felt it would step on pharmaceutical toes. So I spent my own savings to publish “Drug Muggers” and now that book is sold at Amazon.com,

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NaturalNews.com and my own website, www.DearPharmacist. com where I offer free articles on the topic. For now, here are some very common ‘diseases’ that might be due to to the drug mugging effect: Depression, osteoporosis or irregular heartbeat- It could be caused by a deficiency of the mineral magnesium. Common drug muggers include female hormones, diuretics, raloxifene, tea/coffee, anti-inflammatories and aspirin. Bald patches, loss of taste/smell, erectile dysfunction or chronic diarrhea- It might be zinc deficiency. Common drug muggers are anti-inflammatories, antibiotics, antacids, ulcer/ heartburn meds, diuretics and estrogen drugs used for birth control and menopause. Leg cramps, muscle spasms, memory loss or fatigue- May be a deficiency of CoQ10 (ubiquinol). This life-sustaining antioxidant gets demolished by hundreds of medications including statin cholesterol drugs, metformin, anti-depressants, beta blockers and diuretics. I’ve posted a “Big List of Drugs that Mug CoQ10” for free at my website. Cell damage, high homocysteine, cataracts, macular degeneration, liver problems- It could be tied to low glutathione, a powerful antioxidant needed to detoxify poisons in your body. Acetaminophen is a possible drug mugger of glutathione. Pins and needles nerve pain, depression, fatigue, anemia, weight gain- This could be related to a deficiency of B vitamins. Your stash gets depleted by female hormones (menopause and birth control), antacids, ulcer meds, diuretics, raloxifene, cholestyramine, diabetic drugs, tea/coffee. If you read this and just said, “Aha!” then get approval from your doctor to supplement, or order “micronutrient” testing. For pennies a day, you can get your life back! If you decide to wait and see if I’m right (and not replenish what the drug mugger is stealing), then expect these so-called side effects to get diagnosed as a new disease. You’ll get on a medication merry-goround and it’s a hard ride to get off.


Chuckles, Giggles & Snickers A Message For The Moon When NASA was preparing for the Apollo project, they did some astronaut training on a Navajo Indian reservation. One day, a Navajo elder and his son were herding sheep and came across the space crew. The old man, who only spoke Navajo, asked a question, which his son translated. "What are the guys in the big suits doing?" A member of the crew said they were practicing for their trip to the moon. The old man got really excited and asked if he could send a message to the moon with the astronauts. Recognizing a promotional opportunity for the spin-doctors, the NASA folks found a tape recorder. After the old man recorded his message, they asked the son to translate. He refused. So the NASA reps brought the tape to the reservation, where the rest of the tribe listened and laughed, but refused to translate the elder's message to the moon. Finally, NASA called in an official government translator. He too laughed and reported that the moon message said, "Watch out for these guys; they've come to steal your land."

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A Dollar’s Worth

Continued from the April 2012 Edition of the Front Porch by Bob Clark

Cleotilde took the bill from him and her face clouded over. “What’s this, little boy? Looks like Monopoly money. I’m sorry, but I need two dollars.” The boy looked up at her unsmiling face and then to his Daddy who frowned at the cashier. Secure in the knowledge that his father would take care of the woman, Joel began to take his toys off the mat. He had the Homeland Security Defense Action Play Set complete with gun and badge in hand and was reaching for his other toy, the gold chrome friction power pickup when the woman clamped a hand over it. “Sir,” she said to Clint, “this is grand opening day. I can’t hold up the long line to play games with you and your kid. I need real American money.” “Ma’am,” he said as politely as his Momma had taught him, “this is a two-dollar bill. It is American money.” He picked it up off the rubber mat and held it closer to the cashier. “Look here, it has Thomas Jefferson on one side and the signing of the Declaration of Independence on the other. Couldn’t be more American than that.” Cleotilde took it and glanced at the patriotic tableau on the rear of the bill and sighed. “Excuse me sir. You might say today is the store’s birthday. That does not mean that I was also born today. I have seen dollar bills with Bill Clinton, Mickey Mouse, and some with Michael Jackson. You can’t fool me with phony money. Now, please give the boy two real dollars to pay for his purchases or find another place to pass that junk.” She punctuated her demand by giving the bill a contemptuous toss in the direction of the boy. “I’m telling you, miss. That is a genuine two-dollar bill. I got it from the bank this morning.” She pursed her lips as though she had just finished a lemon sandwich and her eyes threw a barrage of daggers at the man who was making her job impossible. She tapped a key on the register and the cash drawer popped open. “Look here,” she hissed. “You see spaces set aside for ones, fives, tens, twenties, and fifties. You do not see any spaces for twos. If you still can’t get that through your thick skull, you are forcing me to call the manager.” Clint stood his ground. “You do what you have to do, miss. I’m sure he’ll set you on a straight path. Might be, you gonna learn something today.” The hairs in her eyebrows bristled at the affront to her intelligence. She swiped at the intercom phone and yanked it off the hook so roughly that little Joel cried out, “Daddy, why is the lady so mad? I wanna go out and play now.” Emmy Lou took one quick look at the woman’s unpleasant demeanor and began crying. She tugged at her father’s hand as if to lead him away from the difficulty. Big Tom stepped around his siblings and came to his father’s side. “Is there something wrong with the money, Dad?” “No, there is nothing wrong. The store manager will iron this out.” “What is this?” asked the cashier. “All these kids suddenly show up in the store and try to run a scam. You’re the ringleader, I suppose. I’ve seen this kind of thing on ‘Oprah.’ You’re trying to gang up on me. OK. You’ll be sorry now,” she threatened as she held up the phone for Clint to see. “Why don’t you just march your street trash army out of here before I make the call?” Overhead light bars ablaze, two Pearsall police cars pulled into the dollar store’s parking lot and four officers climbed out. Two went to the

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front door of the store where a gathering of city and county dignitaries was assembled. The other two quick-stepped back to the street and began rerouting traffic so that a white stretch limousine would have lots of room to maneuver. The limo turned into the lot and came to a halt at a specially reserved spot next to one of the police cars. The driver’s door opened and a Texas State Trooper hopped out, rounded the luxury car and opened the rear passenger door. A tall man in a light blue dress shirt with a tie emblazoned with the Lone Star emblem of Texas emerged. He squinted in the bright sunshine after being in the dim interior of the limo’s window tinting. He turned and reached back into the car as a disembodied hand passed him a suit jacket and sunglasses. Howard E. Montoya, the Attorney General of the great state of Texas hated these meet and greet get-togethers, but he had only yesterday announced his candidacy for governor and his consultant insisted they were necessary. The consultant told him Frio County was not extremely important in the grand scheme of voters, but several wealthy ranchers might make some hefty donations to the campaign war chest if Montoya pressed the flesh in the county. Jim Dandee himself had already pledged twenty thousand. Montoya slipped on his jacket, adjusted the sunglasses, and said to the consultant, “I see you got San Antonio and Austin media out. You did good, boy.” Store manager Garth Timmons was the first to spot the big man and nudged Jim Dandee who was engaged in making points with an attractive woman in a business suit. He promised her the store would happily join the Chamber of Commerce which she headed. Timmons said, “Montoya is here. I’ll tell the audio system guy to get things cranked up.” He started to move away, but a beeping stopped him. “Mr. Dandee, my pager just went off. Might be trouble inside the store.” “Well kid, you’re the manager. That’s what I hired you out of college for. Now go and manage. I have a ribbon cutting to deal with right now.” When Timmons stepped through the doorway, he was appalled at the jam up behind register one. The cashier spotted him and waved a hand in the air. “Mr. Timmons, this man here is causing an incident. He’s using his children to pass counterfeit money.” Clint spoke up before the young manager could say a word. “Sir, all I want to do is buy my children some toys. I gave each of them a two-dollar bill and your cashier refuses to accept legal U.S. tender.” A puzzled look swept over Timmons’s face. “Two-dollar bills? I never heard of such a thing. Let me see them.” Clint beckoned to Big Tom to give him his bill. He handed it over to the man in the suit who scrutinized the front, then turned it over to examine the reverse. When Timmons was through giving the money a thorough examination, he said in a conspiratorial tone, “Very clever. It’s amazing what you can do with a computer and a copier these days. I want you to know that outside of this store right this moment are four city policemen and two state troopers. If I wanted to be evil, I could turn you and your pack over to them, but I have a heart. Please take your brood and leave the store. I won’t press charges if you go now.” As he wrapped up his demand, he ripped the money in half and handed the two pieces to Clint. ******************************************************************* ********************************************************************


A Dollar’s Worth by Bob Clark

Abby Turner heard police sirens nearing her house. Odd, she thought. Police and ambulances rarely came down this stretch of Highway 2779. She and Clint purposely chose a rural section of the county to live in. It was close enough to be on the school bus route, but far enough outside of Pearsall to be away from any of the bad elements. “Besides,” she told him, “it was lot cheaper than living in town.” She quit sweeping the kitchen floor and walked through the living room to the front door, broom in hand. Her fingers lost their grip on the broom at the sight of two Pearsall police cruisers pulling up to the mailbox outside of the white picket fence. “Oh no,” she muttered. “Clint or the kids must have had an accident.” She looked to the heavens and asked, “How will we pay for that?” At the same instant, all four doors of the lead car popped open and four of her five children tumbled out. The twins ran up the porch steps shouting, “We got a ride in a police car. It’s so cool,” said Jake. Joel added, “And wait till you see the toys we got.” She looked up to see Big Tom carrying several puffed out shopping bags and Tina still struggling to pull more bags from the car. Her attention switched to the other car when her handsome husband stepped out cradling Emmy Lou in one arm. In the other hand, he hefted six sacks packed with household needs and knick-knacks for his wife. Clint carried the little girl up the grassy walk to the porch, but held back as each of his exuberant children related their version of what transpired at the Dandee True Dollar Store that afternoon. Inwardly, his heart leaped at the joy their enthusiastic, but disjointed tales brought to her. In the last few months she had precious little to smile about. Abby hugged each one and broke free of the little hands tugging at her dress, telling the kids she had to talk to Daddy. She went down two of the steps and met Clint on the way up. “I’ll bet two dollars that you’re Mrs. Turner.” The voice came from behind Clint. It was that of Jim Dandee who had arrived in the stretch limo while the kids held her attention. “You have a great husband here,” he told her. “He disrupted my grand opening by quietly, but firmly insisting he was right.” Abby laughed. “Yes, that’s Clint all right. I hope you’re not too put out by his actions. I really don’t understand what’s going on here. He hasn’t been arrested, has he?” Dandee’s face slipped on a wry smile. “Well, you might say that I took him into custody. To make a long story short, starting tomorrow, Assistant Manager Clint Turner will be learning the retail business under the tutelage of Manager Garth Timmons who will be transferred to store number four in Waxahatchie when it opens in six weeks. At that time, Mr. Turner will assume the duties and the salary of Store Manager. For the time being, our former head cashier will be stocking shelves and is on probation until such time the new store manager feels she may get her job back.” Abby took a small leap into the air and when she came down, launched herself at Clint. She blasted his left ear with a Texas yell and hugged him until he dropped the bags and hugged her back. “Nice to see there is still love in the world,” said Mr. Dandee. “I hate to break up this delightful family scene, but I have to get back to the store for the TV cameras. You see, your husband’s little episode of standing up for his rights set off a firestorm of news reporters. His ten-

dollar purchase is giving me about ten million dollars worth of free publicity. Besides that, he came up with a fabulous marketing plan. I think he’ll go far in my organization.” And so it was that the Dandee True Dollar Store came up with “$2 Twos-day.” Jim Dandee decided he could keep the store filled on a usually dead day with a special promotion. Now, when a customer brings in a two-dollar bill on any Tuesday, it’s three items instead of two for the money. And you can thank Clint Turner for that idea. END

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Giving Families Hope

H

ope Pregnancy Center’s purpose is to meet the needs of those facing crisis pregnancies. Many of us, when we think of a “crisis pregnancy,” envision a young single girl facing the prospect of parenting alone. While this is often true, over thirty percent of the women coming to Hope Pregnancy Center are married. In addition, many of our singles do have support from the baby’s father along with their own parents. Finally, there are those brave single women who have chosen life for their baby and are building a new family alone. Initially, these families are seeking a verification of pregnancy to begin care either with a prenatal clinic or their own doctor. Our little ultrasound room can fill up quickly with various combinations of dad, grandparents, siblings and various other family members. All are there to meet the new addition to their family for the first time. Even in difficult circumstances, the image of a ten, eight or even a tiny sixweek old baby can bring joy to a family. While we offer a variety of services, our Parenting Education Program seems to impact families the most. The courses offered are designed to equip and educate the baby’s parents, extended family and even friends to help make the pregnancy and the new life of the child happy and healthy. All classes are free and open to the public. We encourage extended family and friends to attend with the new mom as part of her support system. More than one new grandmother has said they needed the refresher course! Classes cover several areas with the first group focusing on the immediate concerns of new mom. The Nutrition class covers everything from nutrition during pregnancy to food safety and even exercise. Intro to Breastfeeding will review the basics of breastfeeding and why it is the best option for the whole family. The Postpartum Depression class has been well received and it is so beneficial to understand causes and symptoms before it happens!

Even if this isn’t the first child, parents and grandparents can benefit from the next set of classes. Bonding With Your Baby will show how to form a secure attachment with baby including the importance of play and eye-to-eye contact. Baby Care covers all the details from the day of birth until the end of the first year. First Aid for Children will prepare the family for those little baby injuries and illnesses. Have you ever tried to understand the thought processes of a two-year old? What Mommies and Daddies Know discusses the behaviors of kids aged one through five, including the dynamics of first child, middle child and youngest child. Dr. Dad is a special class for fathers only, currently taught by local doctors. This class gives practical, hands on experience to help men in their new role as dad. Finally, there are a couple of classes to help families in the area of finances. The What’s in Your Wallet class will teach a young family on how to build a solid financial foundation including how to get and stay debt free. The Coupons 101 class shows how to utilize coupons to save money at the grocery and other stores. By enrolling in the Parenting Education Program, families not only learn valuable information on how to care for and raise a baby, but they can also earn points to be used to purchase a new crib, new car seat, stroller, baby clothes, diapers, wipes and much more. Hope Pregnancy Center celebrates life and we celebrate families. It is our desire to help build healthy families by providing peer counseling, education, material assistance and most important of all, spiritual life through the gospel of peace to those who do not know Jesus. Hope Pregnancy Center of the Brazos Valley is a faith-based, non-profit organization providing a safe and confidential refuge for those in crisis. Free services include: pregnancy tests, ultrasounds, one on one peer counseling, parenting and life skills classes and materials through the Parenting Education Program. For more information about Hope’s services log onto www.hopepregnancy.org. Those wishing to partner with Hope as a volunteer or through giving may visit www.partnerwithhope.org.


Mitchell’s Tire Service

Chuckles, Giggles & Snickers

New Tires - Service Farm & Ranch Car & Light Truck Hwy 36 South * Caldwell

Medical Notes

979-567-6375

These are sentences exactly as typed by medical secretaries FROM DR. NOTES!!! • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

The patient has no previous history of suicide. Patient has left her white blood cells at another hospital. Patient's medical history has been remarkably insignificant with only a 40 pound weight gain in the past three days. Patient has chest pain if she lies on her left side for over a year. On the second day the knee was better and on the third day it disappeared. The patient is tearful and crying constantly. She also appears to be depressed. The patient has been depressed since she began seeing me in 1993. Discharge status: Alive, but without my permission. Healthy appearing decrepit 69-year old male, mentally alert, but forgetful. Patient had waffles for breakfast and anorexia for lunch. She is numb from her toes down. While in ER, she was examined, x-rated and sent home. Rectal examination revealed a normal size thyroid. She stated that she had been constipated for most of her life until she got a divorce. Skin: somewhat pale, but present. Patient has two teenage children, but no other abnormalities.

• • • • •

When she fainted, her eyes rolled around the room. The patient was in his usual state of good health until his airplane ran out of fuel and crashed. She slipped on the ice and apparently her legs went in separate directions in early December. Patient was seen in consultation by Dr. Smith, who felt we should sit on the abdomen and I agree. The patient was to have a bowel resection. However, he took a job as a stock broker instead.

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The Day We Shot Ernest by Wayne Edwards

Wayne Edwards is a native Texan, graduate of Texas A&M University, and retired Air Force officer. He lives, with his wife Ruth, on a fish farm in Texas, in an underground house he built himself. Wayne can be reached via e-mail at wayne@familypoet.com.

(Early 1950s) It was a cold Saturday morning and the duck hunt we had planned all week was off to a great start. Glenn, Ray Mervin, and Janelle came in one truck and Garnet and Earnest came soon after. Glenn and Ray Mervin and I quite frequently got together for Friday night coon hunts with my dog Pepper and their dog Dallas. When coon hunting season came to an end, we would spend Friday night at Edwards Lake and set trout lines to catch bull head catfish. We called them mud cats and we didn’t think there was any finer tasting fish. This was the first time that this bunch had gotten together for a hunt and for a bunch of high school kids, we were heavily armed. If you had asked any one of us if we had a duck hunting license, our answer would have been, “What’s that?” Edwards Lake was clear as drinking water because of the heavy aquatic vegetation and was a magnet for migrating ducks. There was no need to construct blinds, I had told the others that the ducks would already be there waiting for us to come shoot them. We loaded into one of the trucks and drove about a mile, as close to the lake as we could get. Our plan was to come up the back of the dam and all rise up at once and start shooting. Our arsenal consisted of shotguns ranging from 410 through 12 gauge. We spread out along the back of the steep dam that was well populated with plants with thorns and stickers. Someone said, “We aren’t going to shoot them while they’re swimming are we?” and the answer was, “We’ll wait until they stop.” Six heads poked up out of the vegetation at once and we were all in awe of the number of ducks on the lake. The open part of the lake covered about 30 acres and there wasn’t room for another duck to land. I think the thunder of those six shotguns going off at once had a lot to do with the fact that later,I was disqualified for flight training in the Air Force because of my hearing. The carnage was great but not great enough to satisfy the built up excitement of the hunt. The surviving ducks broke up into several flocks and we watched one of the larger flocks circle and land on a small pond about three quarters of a mile away. The brush was thick and the cow path that led to the pond

forced us to go single file. Our plan of attack remained the same, we would climb the dam and all rise up at once and start shooting. One small difficulty, the dam was horseshoe shaped! Earnest was on one leg of the horseshoe, Janelle was on the other leg. No one thought about the fact that they were facing each other. All blasting stopped when we heard Earnest scream, “I’m shot!” Earnest was under the opinion that if you get shot, you’re going to die and he kept screaming, “I’m going to die! I’m going to die!” All the time Janelle was yelling, “Don’t die! Don’t die!” The pickup was over a mile away! Garnet, being the largest of the bunch, decided that he could piggyback Earnest to the truck. We took off through the woods with Garnet in the lead followed by Janelle who answered each of Earnest’s screams, “I’m going to die!” with “Please don’t die! Please don’t die!” The trek was made in record time, whatever the record is for piggybacking a wounded friend through the woods. Earnest was loaded into the pickup bed and all but me clambered into the truck. I was left with the task of gathering our bounty and field dressing it. If I remembered how many ducks I dressed, I would tell you because I am sure the Statute of Limitations has run out but as you can imagine, everything is a bit muddled by now. I can only relate what I later heard about the trip to Bryan, (which was the closest hospital back then). They drove through Deanville to tell Earnest’s parents. I did hear that Janelle burst into the house yelling, “I shot Earnest! I shot Earnest!” which resulted in Earnest’s dad being added to the victim load in the back of the truck. Earnest was treated and released, as was his dad. It seems that leaving the shot in was an accepted treatment, affording Earnest with an interesting “Show and Tell” at school and the pleasant pastime of rolling one of the shots around, under his skin, with his finger. As I remember, he was hit in both arms, both legs and his belt buckle. The moral of the story, if there is one, is that getting shot is a whole lot easier than cleaning ducks!

Ernest was under the opinion that if you get shot, you’re going to die and he kept screaming, “I’m going to die!”


ARTISTS GIVING BACK by Sharon Ann Laffere Hunger affects an estimated 900 million globally. Local food banks and international organizations, such as Stop Hunger Now, are devoted to eliminating hunger by providing nourishment for millions of people worldwide. In support of anti-hunger efforts, I recently coordinated an online cookbook. For this project, I collected recipes from artists, actors, and musicians and posted their recipes online. If readers enjoy the recipes, they can contribute to Stop Hunger Now or volunteer at a local food pantry. To help the cause, I also shared a family recipe for Mom’s marinara. As with any recipe, adjust measurements and ingredients to suit your palate.

Happiness is having a large, loving, caring, close-knit fimily in another city. George Burns

MOM’S MARINARA 32 oz. crushed tomatoes 1 peeled onion 1 peeled garlic clove 1 carrot 1 celery stalk salt & pepper to taste This is a simple recipe for beginners. No slicing or dicing is required. In a saucepan, combine the tomatoes, onion, garlic clove, carrot, and celery stalk. Add salt and pepper to taste and any of your favorite herbs. For a spicy marinara, add a pinch of red pepper flakes. Simmer one hour. Remove the onion, garlic clove, carrot, and celery stalk. If you prefer a smoother consistency, puree the sauce. This marinara sauce is very versatile and tastes great in lasagna, pasta, pizza, and eggplant parmesan recipes. Enjoy with family and friends! Visit www.artistspotlight1.blogspot.com for additional recipes. Visit www.stophungernow.org for more information about Stop Hunger Now. Thanks to all the artists who generously shared their favorite recipes. Thanks to Stop Hunger Now for their efforts to eradicate hunger.

Front Porch Magazine would like to thank our Advertisers and Writers for their continued support. 41


The Path of Forgiveness by Renita Odstrcil

As we approach the time of year when people are spreading good will, giving thanks and getting ready for the holidays, it is the perfect time to think about forgiveness. If you've been holding on to a grudge, make the choice right now to forgive and let go of the anger and bitterness that is holding you back. It can be a hard process, but keep in mind that the person who truly reaps the benefits of forgiveness will be you. Have you ever heard the saying, "He who angers you, conquers you"? What this means is that when we continue to harbor resentment against someone, we are creating a negative emotional link to that person which, in its physical sense, is stronger than steel. The only way to break this link and move forward is through forgiveness. Forgiveness means we have reached a point in our hearts and minds where we can think about the situation and no longer feel the hurt, the anger or the resentment we previously felt. It is about letting go. As the Bible says, "Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you" (Ephesians 4:31-32). Why do we find it so hard to forgive? It is probably because many of us do not fully understand what forgiveness means. Some feel that forgiveness means forgetting what happened. Some may feel that forgiving minimizes the person's responsibility for what he/she did. While others may feel that they cannot forgive people until they say they are sorry or ask to be forgiven.

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What we need to remember is that forgiveness is not about the other person, it's about us. Forgiveness does not mean forgetting. Forgiveness is not about getting the other person to admit his or her wrongs and it is not in any way minimizing their responsibility. Forgiveness is for our own benefit, our own peace of mind. It is about our obedience to what God has commanded us to do. Sometimes though, it is not others that we need to forgive. Sometimes, we will blame ourselves for something that has gone wrong in our life that we really had no control over. It could be something that happened in our marriage, or maybe an accident we were involved in that may have hurt someone or maybe something happened at work, it could be anything. The guilt we feel from these situations can wreak havoc in our daily lives and also to our health. It is important for us to realize that when we hold on to resentment and guilt, we are only hurting ourselves. If we do not practice forgiveness, for others and ourselves, we will suffer in all areas of our lives. Studies have shown that those who harbor anger and resentment tend to have more health problems such as suppressed immunity, anxiety and depression while those who are able to forgive tend to be healthier and happier. Carrying these negative feelings inside of us will always spill over into our daily life. If we are full of anger or bitterness, then that is what our world will give back to us, and if we are full of love and peace, then our world will give us love and peace.

We cannot expect to feel the peace that comes from forgiving to happen overnight. We must continue to pray and ask God to guide us and give us the ability to empathize so that we may be able to fully forgive. We must forgive others if we expect to be forgiven ourselves. In the book of Mark it reads, "And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive them, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins� ( Mark 11:25-26). Only by forgiving can we expect to have complete emotional, physical and spiritual healing in our life. Forgiveness is a healing process. If we turn to Jesus, the master of forgiveness, he will provide us with the guidance and the direction we need as we begin our journey down the path of forgiveness.

Renita Odstrcil is a licensed Texas Realtor. She is a member of the National Association of Profesisonal Eomen, the National and Texas Association of Realtors, and the local B/CS Association of Realtors.

He who angers you, conquers you.


Chuckles, Giggles & Snickers Have a Laugh!!! Life After Death “Do you believe in life after death?” the boss asked one of his employees. “Yes, sir,” the new employee replied. “Well, then, that makes everything just fine,” the boss went on. “After you left early yesterday to go to your grandmother’s funeral, she stopped in to see you!” Support a Family The prospective father-in-law asked, “Young man, can you support a family?” The surprised groom-to-be replied, “Well, no. I was just planning to support your daughter. The rest of you will have to fend for yourselves.” First Time Ushers A little boy in church for the first time watched as the ushers passed around the offering plates. When they came near his pew, the boy said loudly, “Don’t pay for me daddy - I’m under five.” The Water Pistol When my three-year-old son opened the birthday gift from his grandmother, he discovered a water pistol...he squealed with delight and headed for the nearest sink. I was no so pleased. I turned to mom and said, “I’m surprised at you. Don’t you remember how we used to drive you crazy with water guns?” Mom smiled and then replied...”I remember!!” We Are But Dust A visiting minister prayed during the offertory prayer: “Dear Lord,” he began with arms extended and a rapturous look on his face, “without you we are but dust...” He would have continued, but at that moment one very obedient little girl (who was listening very carefully for a change) leaned over to her mother as asked quite audibly in her shrill little voice, “Mommy, WHAT is butt dust?” Church was pretty much over at that point.

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From the Back Porch A young woman was about to finish her first year of college. Like so many others her age, she considered herself to be very liberal, and among other liberal ideals, was very much in favor of higher taxes to support more government programs., in other words redistribution of wealth. She was deeply ashamed that her father was a rather staunch conservative, a feeling she openly expressed. Based on the lectures that she had participated in, and the occasional chat with a professor, she felt that her father had for years harbored an evil, selfish desire to keep what he thought should be his. One day she was challenging her father on his opposition to higher taxes on the rich and the need for more government programs. The self-professed objectivity proclaimed by her professors had to be the truth and she indicated so to her father. He responded by asking how she was doing in school. Taken aback, she answered rather haughtily that she had a 4.0 GPA, and let him know that it was tough to maintain, insisting that she was taking a very difficult course load and was constantly studying, which left her no time to go out and party like other people she knew. She didn’t even have time for a boyfriend, and didn’t really have many college friends because she spent all her time studying. Her father listened and then asked, “How is you friend Audrey doing?” She replied, “Audrey is barely getting by. All she takes are easy classes, she never studies and she barely has a 2.0 GPA. She is so popular on campus; college for her is a blast. She’s always invited to all the parties and lots of times she doesn’t even show up for classes because she’s too hung over.” He wise father asked his daughter, “Why don’t you go to the Dean’s office and ask him to deduct 1.0 off you GPA and give it to you friend who only has a 2.0. That way you will both have a 3.0 GPA and certainly that would be a fair and equal distribution of GPA.” The daughter, visibly shocked by her father’s suggestion, angrily fired back, “That’s a crazy idea, how would that be fair! I’ve worked really hard for my grades! I’ve invested a lot of time, and a lot of hard work! Audrey has done next to nothing toward her degree. She played while I worked by tail off!” The father slowly smiled, winked and said gently, “Welcome to the conservative side of the fence.”

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Amusing Stories From Here and There

Got Dad’s Number

One summer evening during a violent thunderstorm a mother was tucking her small boy into bed. She was about to turn off the light when he asked with a tremor in his voice, “Mommy, will you sleep with me tonight?” The mother smiled and gave him a reassuring hug. “I can’t, dear,” she said. “I have to sleep in Daddy’s room.” A long silence was broken at last by his shaky little voice: “The big sissy.”

Three Wise Women Do you know what would have happened if it had been Three Wise Women instead of Three Wise Men? They would have asked directions, Arrived on time, Helped deliver the baby, Cleaned the stable, Made a casserole, Brought practical gifts and There would be Peace On Earth

The Speed of Light My new father-in-law is a research engineer. He contends that people would better understand the speed of light if it were broken down into smaller increments. Traditionally it has been taught that light travels 186 million miles per second. He feels that people could more easily relate to light traveling 10.8 inches per nanosecond, which is approximately one-billionth of a second. He says, “If you still have trouble relating to the speed of light in terms of nanoseconds, just think of the time it takes for the car behind you to honk its horn after the light turns green. That’s a nanosecond!”


Thank YOU For Your Time Over the phone, his mother told him, “Mr. Belser died last night. The funeral is Wednesday.” Memories flashed through his mind like an old newsreel as he sat quietly remembering his childhood days. “Jack, did you hear me?” “Oh, sorry, Mom. Yes, I heard you. It’s been so long since I thought of him. I’m sorry, but I honestly thought he died years ago,” Jack said.. “Well, he didn’t forget you. Every time I saw him he’d ask how you were doing. He’d reminisce about the many days you spent over ‘his side of the fence’ as he put it,” Mom told him. “I loved that old house he lived in,” Jack said. “You know, Jack, after your father died, Mr. Belser stepped in to make sure you had a man’s influence in your life,” she said “He’s the one who taught me carpentry,” he said. “I wouldn’t be in this business if it weren’t for him. He spent a lot of time teaching me things he thought were important...Mom, I’ll be there for the funeral,” Jack said. As busy as he was, he kept his word. Jack caught the next flight to his hometown. Mr. Belser’s funeral was small and uneventful. He had no children of his own, and most of his relatives had passed away. The night before he had to return home, Jack and his Mom stopped by to see the old house next door one more time. Standing in the doorway, Jack paused for a moment. It was like crossing over into another dimension, a leap through space and time The house was exactly as he remembered. Every step held memories. Every picture, every piece of furniture....Jack stopped suddenly... “What’s wrong, Jack?” his Mom asked. “The box is gone,” he said “What box?” Mom asked. “There was a small gold box that he kept locked on top of his desk. I must have asked him a thousand times what was inside. All he’d ever tell me was ‘the thing I value most,’” Jack said. It was gone. Everything about the house was exactly how Jack remembered it, except for the box. He figured someone from the Belser family had taken it. “Now I’ll never know what was so valuable to him,” Jack said. “I better get some sleep. I have an early flight home, Mom.” It had been about two weeks since Mr. Belser died. Returning home from work one day, Jack discovered a note in his mailbox. “Signature required on a package. No one at home Please stop by the main post office within the next three days,” the note read.

Early the next day Jack retrieved the package. The small box was old and looked like it had been mailed a hundred years ago.. The handwriting was difficult to read, but the return address caught his attention. “Mr. Harold Belser” it read. Jack took the box out to his car and ripped open the package. There inside was the gold box and an envelope. Jack’s hands shook as he read the note inside. “Upon my death, please forward this box and its contents to Jack Bennett. It’s the thing I valued most in my life.” A small key was taped to the letter. His heart racing, as tears filling his eyes, Jack carefully unlocked the box. There inside he found a beautiful gold pocket watch. Running his fingers slowly over the finely etched casing, he unlatched the cover. Inside he found these words engraved: “Jack, Thanks for your time! -Harold Belser.” “The thing he valued most was...my time” Jack held the watch for a few minutes, then called his office and cleared his appointments for the next two days. “Why?” Janet, his assistant asked. “I need some time to spend with my son,” he said. “Oh, by the way, Janet, thanks for your time!”

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A Landowner’s Guide to the

Basics of Pipeline Right-of-Ways

by Christopher C. Rosas

A resurgence of natural resource plays in Texas has created the need for additional pipelines to transport the oil and gas produced to terminals and refineries. Many landowners have been or will be contacted by pipeline representatives in regard to such right-of-ways. As such, landowners should possess a basic understanding regarding the creation, obligations and rights associated with the grant of a right of way for the purposes of a pipeline. First, pipelines generally fall into one of two categories—gathering and transportation. Gathering systems are smaller pipeline systems which may be connected to several wells. These systems “gather” the gas from each of these wells for delivery into a larger pipeline system called a transportation system. The transportation pipeline system is typically a much larger pipeline and as its name implies, is used to “transport” the gas from several gathering systems to a terminal or refinery. Think of it in terms of a tree, if the entire pipeline system were the tree, the gathering system would be the branches and the transportation pipeline would be the trunk. For a pipeline to be laid upon a landowners’ land, a contract must be signed between the landowner and the company or individual desiring to lay the pipeline. These agreements are typically named Pipeline Easement and Right of Way Agreements. Since the landowner is the party granting the right-of-way, he or she is referred to as the “Grantor.” Since the pipeline company is the party receiving the grant, it is referred to as the “Grantee.” After signature by all the parties, this agreement will be recorded in the real property records of the county where the land upon which the pipeline is to be laid is located. Easements, including pipeline easements constitute an interest in real property and can be sold and assigned by the Grantee just as any other real property interest. Each pipeline company has its own form that it has developed over the years, but all of them must contain certain important provisions. The Right-of-Way Agreement must include a description of the land upon which the pipeline is to be laid, as well as the uses to which the pipeline is to put. As an exhibit to the pipeline rightof-way agreement, there may be a map attached reflecting the proposed route of the pipeline. The route of the pipeline should be discussed and agreed to before any right-of-way agreement is signed. The landowner and pipeline company’s names and address will be reflected for identification purposes. The width, both during initial construction and on a permanent basis will be set forth, as well as the duration of the agreement. Typically, the pipeline right-of-way will exist so long as it is being used for the purposes described in the Agreement.

money to be paid to the landowner for the grant of the right to lay the pipeline and use of the land. The amount of damages is negotiable between the landowner and the company representative, but is usually measured in linear feet or rods (1 rod= 16 feet 6 inches). Some pipeline right of way agreement provided for an initial payment and a second payment at some later point, such as ten (10) years later, while others require annual rental payments. The depth that the pipeline is to be buried should be set forth in the agreement and should be no less than thirty-six (36) inches from the top of the pipe to the surface of the ground. It is customary to allow the landowner to continue to use the surface where the pipeline runs for agricultural purposes, but, generally, the right to build any structures over the pipeline is prohibited. Provisions should be included in the right-of-way agreement that address damages to any livestock, cattle guards, gates or fences during or after construction of the pipeline. Further, it is advisable to include in the right-of-way agreement provisions addressing the distribution of the keys to any gate lock as well as a provision prohibiting the pipeline company or any of its employees from bringing any pets, guns, or any other weapons on the premises. Hunting (and fishing) from the easement is customarily prohibited as well. A Landowner should also insist that a pipeline company agree to indemnify it for any claims (including environmental) arising from or related to the installation, operation, or removal of the pipeline on the landowner’s premises. One important point to remember in negotiations with a pipeline company is that some, but not all pipeline companies, have the legal right to condemn (or take) the right-of-way regardless of whether the landowner desires a pipeline to be laid on his or her property. This right, known as eminent domain only exists in certain pipeline companies (transporting certain products) which are classified as a “common carrier.” For a pipeline company to be a “common carrier,” it must transport crude oil to or for the public for hire, or engage in the business of transporting crude oil by pipeline. In other words, if a pipeline company only transports crude oil produced from its own wells, it is most likely not a common carrier and will not possess the power of eminent domain. In conclusion, while many of the provisions discussed above are standard in pipeline right-of-way agreements, each situation is different and will require a careful examination of the language of any proposed agreement. The existing use of the surface by the landowner as well as intended future uses should be taken into consideration when drafting the right-of-way agreement. However, with a little careful planning and cooperation, there is no reason that a mutually beneficial agreement cannot be reached in The Right of Way Agreement will also set forth the amount of most cases.

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Chuckles, Giggles & Snickers Actual ad taken out of the classified section..... FREE PUPPIES 1/2 Cocker Spaniel, 1/2 sneaky neighbor's dog. FREE PUPPIES. Mother is a Kennel Club registered German Shepherd. Father is a Super Dog, able to leap tall fences in a single bound. WEDDING DRESS FOR SALE .

her sight now blurry. She was desperate and began to get upset, so she prayed to the Lord to help her find it. When she got to the top, a friend examined her eye and her clothing for the lens, but there was no contact lens to be found. She sat down, despondent, with the rest of the party, waiting for the rest of them to make it up the face of the cliff. She looked out across range after range of mountains, thinking of that Bible verse that says, “The eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth.” She thought, “Lord, You can see all these mountains. You know every stone and leaf, and You know exactly where my contact lens is. Please help me.” Finally, they walked down the trail to the bottom. At the bottom there was a new party of climbers just starting up the face of the cliff. One of them shouted out, “Hey, you guys! Anybody lose a contact lens?” Well, that would be startling enough, but you know why the climber saw it? An ant was moving slowly across the face of the rock, carying it on its back. Brenda told me that her father is a cartoonist. When she told him the incredible story of the ant, the prayer, and the contact lens, he drew a picture of an ant lugging that contact lens with the words, “Lord, I don’t know why You want

Worn once by mistake. Call Stephanie. FOR SALE BY OWNER. Complete set of Encyclopaedia Britannica, 45 volumes. Excellent condition, 200 or best offer. No longer needed, got married, wife knows everything. The Ant and the Contact Lens Brenda was a young waman who was invited to go rock climbing. Although she was very scared, she went with her group to a tremendous granite cliff. In spite of her fear, she put on the gear, took a hold on the rope, and started up the face of that rock. Well, she got to a ledge where she could take a breather. As she was hanging on there, the safety rope snapped against Brenda’s eye and knocked out her contact lens. Well, here she is, on a rock ledge, with hundreds of feet below her and hundreds of feet above her. Of course, she looked and looked and looked, hoping it had landed on the ledge, but it just wasn’t there. Here she was, far from home,

me to carry this thing. I can’t eat it, and it’s awfully heavy. But if this is what You want me to do, I’ll carry it for You.” I think it would probably do some of us good to occasionally say, “God, I don’t know why you want me to carry this load. I can see no good in it and it’s awfully heavy. But, if you want me to carry it, I will.” God doesn’t call the qualified, He qualifies the called. Yes, I do love GOD. He is my source of existence and my savior. He keeps me functioning each and every day. Without Him, I am nothing, but with Him...I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” (Phil. 4:13)

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A Teacher’s Influence “Come on kids,” Dad shouted, “let’s go find our Christmas tree.” My sister, brothers, and I were so excited as we hurried out the back door. We climbed into Daddy’s pickup truck heading for the densely wooded countryside behind our family home. Finding the perfect holiday tree was a family tradition. We bounced along, sitting in the back of our work truck, breathing in the wonderful smell of frosted cedar trees and dreaming of Santa, pecan pies, and Mama’s homemade dressing. “I think it might be less expensive if we just bought a tree,” Mom always teased. Dad almost always tore the knee of his freshly ironed khaki pants, cutting down that precious tree. This was part of my story and my first writing experience for our third grade writing contest. My teacher, Mrs. Smith announced “Donna is the winner of, “What Christmas Means to Me.” My reward was the classic, Little Women. Her show of faith said volumes to me. After so many years, I still think of how Mrs. Rae Broaddus tried to teach me to play her black upright piano. Two times a week during recess, I walked to her little music house outside the front of my first grade class. Sitting in that tiny one room building, I learned how to play chop sticks and numerous other simple melodies. She was very kind and extremely patient. Every lesson, Mrs. Rae asked if I had practiced. I would shake my head, affirmatively, although obviously, I had not. She always pretended to believe me. Even if music was not my strong suite, she still showed me respect. One hot Texas summer Mrs. Ford, and Mrs. Ward, both tall and slim, with long dark hair scooped in a bun, entertained themselves with square dancing lessons. That school year, on rainy days during recess, all of first and second grades danced the Do-Si-Do and Allemande Left. Another summer, stylish Mrs. Ford visited the pineapple state, Hawaii. We all learned to dance the Hukilau. Some years later during the Viet Nam War, I met my Lt. hubby in Hawaii for a three week R & R. When I saw the native dancers sway to the local tunes, it meant more because of the efforts of those energetic ladies. I discovered, through them, that people all over the world, are The Same Kind of Different As Me. Experiencing different cultures is a lifelong passion for me. The year I started first grade, the powers that be, decided it was okay for kids to write with the left hand. Before that, a whack with a ruler discouraged our writing with the “wrong hand. “ Mrs. Ripple considered Carol Ann and me unique individuals. Thank goodness, we were freed from the stigma; right handed challenged. It’s okay to be different. High heels, hose, and business suites were our professional teachers’ attire, saying to us, teachers are important. During

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class they slipped off the high heels and glided around in bedroom slippers; a secret practice, I’m sure Mr. Faulds, the principal, never knew about. A cough or any unusual symptom earned us a free pass to our school nurse’s first aide room. We naively walked in, ready for the cure all. Looking like little innocent ketchup cups, the neatly filled honey and whiskey dispensers sat waiting on the grey school tray. Somewhat mellower, we glided back into math class. No meds for fidgety kids needed. The nurse’s second very important school function was the twice a year ritual of measuring and weighing each student. I’m still not sure for what purpose. We could hear the menacing machine rolling along all the way from the other end of the hall. Two muscular students pushed it to the front of our little classroom. “Let’s start with the A’s,” she told a favored student, who recorded our weight and height, repeating her leader’s vocal announcement, “five feet tall, and 150 pounds.” Poor Cecil A. turned beet red. I held my breath waiting for my dreaded turn. She reached the V’s; Donna Varner. It was my turn for the long miserable walk to that looming giant scale; my height and weight repeated distinctly. Last, the lengthy walk back to my desk, eyes straight ahead, embarrassment showing on my face. Would it have killed the woman to do this in the hall? A sensitivity workshop would have been nice. `During the school year Mom enrolled us in private tap, ballet, and jazz classes. Although still a little chunk, my dance lessons, and recitals were amazingly good experiences; thank you Mrs. Jane Orsak. She was a good actress, pretending that we were beautiful swans instead of fat little ducks. She saw not what was, but what could be. Time took care of some of my physical deficiencies. The summer of seventh grade I miraculously lost the baby fat. I had an outstanding high school experience; due to great friends, a better self- image, and inspiring teachers. Mrs. Princess Easter introduced us to the world of literature. Mrs. Marsh directed our senior play, “Our Miss Brooks.” Being in the play, and speech classes, gave me confidence to follow my dreams. A few years later Mrs. Marsh sang at my wedding. Mrs. Loehr’s typing tests led to several secretarial jobs, before I became a teacher. Mr. Darby, a treasure, and our history/government teacher, showed us that those subjects are important. Every teacher in my life made a profound difference. Their encouragement and continuing faith, taught me much about character, kindness, and perseverance. Nine-tenths of education is encouragement. Donna (Varner) Presnal, Retired Teacher & Caldwell High School graduate.


They Walk Among Us, and They Vote Recently, when I went to McDonald’s I saw on the menu that you could have an order of 6, 9 or 12 Chicken McNuggets. I asked for a half dozen nuggets. “We don’t have half dozen nuggets,” said the teenager at the counter. “You don’t?” I replied. “We only have six, nine, or twelve,” was the reply. “So I can’t order a half dozen nuggets, but I can order six?” “That’s right.” replied the teenager. So I shook my head and ordered six McNuggets. Several years ago, we had an intern who was none too swift. One day she was typing and turned to a secretary and said, “I’m almost out of typing paper. What do I do?” “Just use copier machine paper,” the secretary told her. With that, the intern took her last remaining blank piece of paper, put it on the photocopier and proceeded to make five “blank” copies. A mother calls 911 very worried, asking the dispatcher if she needs to take her kid to the emergency room, the kid was eating ants. The dispatcher tells her to give the kid some Benadryl and he should be fine. Then the mother says, I just gave him some ant killer.... Dispatcher: RUSH him to emergency! When devastating hurricanes struck the Gulf Coast, even houses of worship were not spared. A local television station interviewed a woman from New Orleans and asked how the loss of churches in the area had affected their lives. Without hesitation, the woman replied, “I don’t know ‘bout all those other people, but we haven’t gone to Churches in years. We get our chicken from Popeye’s.” A noted psychiatrist was a guest speaker at an academic function where a noted politician happened to appear. She took the opportunity to schmooze the good doctor a bit and asked him a question with which he was most at ease. “Would you mind telling me, Doctor,” she asked, “how you detect a mental deficiency in somebody who appears completely normal?” “Nothing is easier,” he replied. “You ask a simple question which anyone should answer with no trouble. If the person hesitates, that puts you on the track.” “What sort of question?” she asked. “Well, you might ask, “Captain Cook made three trips around the world and died during one of them. Which one?” She thought a moment, and then said with a nervous laugh, “You wouldn’t happen to have another example would you? I must confess I don’t know much about history.” Sadly, they walk among us.

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A Christmas Gift of Love

Depressed and brokenhearted, a man named Bob May

stared out of his drafty apartment window in to the chilling December night. His four year-old daughter, Barbara, sat on his lap quietly sobbing. Bob’s wife, Evelyn, was dying of cancer. Little Barbara could not understand why her mother could never come home. Barbara looked up into her dad’s eyes and asked, “Why isn’t mummy just like everybody else’s mummy?” Bob’s jaw tightened and his eyes welled with tears. Her question brought waves not only of grief, but also of anger. It had been the story of Bob’s life, which always had to be different for him. As a child, Bob was often bullied by other boys. He was too little at the time to compete in sports. He was frequently called names he would rather not remember. From childhood, Bob was different and never seemed to fit in. However, Bob completed college, married his loving wife and was grateful to get a job as a copywriter at Mo nt g o m ery Ward during the great depression. Then he was blessed with his little girl. B u t it was all short-lived. Evelyn’s battle with cancer stripped them of all their savings. Now Bob and his daughter were forced to live in a two-room apartment in the Chicago slums. Evelyn passed on just days before Christmas in 1938. Bob struggled to give hope to his child, for whom he couldn’t even afford to buy a Christmas gift. But if he could not purchase a present, he was determined to make

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one - a storybook. Bob had created a character in his own mind and told the animal’s story to little Barbara to give her comfort and hope. Again and again, Bob told the story, embellishing it more with each telling. Who was the character? What was the story all about? The tale Bob created was his own autobiography in fable form. The character he created was a misfit outcast like he was. The name of the character? A little reindeer named Rudolph, with a big shiny nose. Bob finished the book just in time to give it to his little girl on Christmas Day - but the story doesn’t end there. The general manage of Montgomery Ward caught wind of the little storybook and offered Bob a nominal fee to purchase the rights to print the book. Wards went on to print “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” and distributed it to children visiting Santa Claus in their stores. By 1946, Wards had printed and distributed more than six million copies of “Rudolph”. That same year, a major publisher wanted to purchase the rights from Wards to print an updated version of the book. In an unprecented gesture of Kindness, the chief executive officer of Wards returned all the rights to Bob. The book became a best seller! Many toy and marketing deals followed. Bob, now remarried with a growing family, became wealthy from the story he created to comfort his grieving daughter. But the story doesn’t end their either..................... Bob’s brother-in-law, Johnny Marks, made a song adaptation to “Rudolph”. Though the song was turned down by such popular vocalists as Bing Crosby and Dinah Shore, it was recorded by Gene Autry, the singing cowboy. “Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer” was released in 1949 and became a phenomenal success, selling more records than any other Christmas song, with the exception of White Christmas. The gift of love that Bob created for his daughter so long ago kept on returning to bless him again and again. And Bob learned the lesson, just like his dear friend Rudolph, that being different can be a blessing.


Chuckles, Giggles & Snickers 3 Men on a Hike Three men were hiking through a forest when they came upon a large raging, violent river. Needing to get to the other side, the first man prayed: "God, please give me the strength to cross the river." Poof! ... God gave him big arms and strong legs and he was able to swim across in about 2 hours, having almost drowned twice. After witnessing that, the second man prayed: "God, please give me strength and the tools to cross the river." Poof! ... God gave him a rowboat and strong arms and strong legs and he was able to row across in about an hour after almost capsizing once. Seeing what happened to the first two men, the third man prayed: "God, please give me the strength, the tools and the intelligence to cross the river." Poof! He was turned into a woman. She checked the map, hiked one hundred yards up stream and walked across the bridge. *** Lesson: If at first you don't succeed, do it the way your wife told you!

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Secrets Your Veterinarian Should Tell You Recently, my wife Sandra brought an article in Reader’s Digest to my attention. The title of the article was: “50 Secrets Your Vet Won’t Tell You.” It was a compilation of statements from 18 DVM’s or staff members from all over the United States. I suspect most of the statements were taken out of context or paraphrased by the author. However, the article did have some helpful information and spurred me on to get on my own soapbox today. One of the most important things you should remember is that veterinary medicine is a constantly changing/evolving industry that is mirroring other medical fields and society. Huge changes have come about in the past 20 years. Folks would have a dog to guard the house or protect the livestock. Cats were to catch rodents and kill reptiles. Livestock were the most important because they could be sold for a profit and horses were used for gathering livestock and for pleasure. Now days dogs, cats, horses, goats and pigs are members of the extended family, and owners request the most up-to-date care for them. The pharmaceutical corps, medical supply companies, and vets all recognize this trend and price their products and services according to demand. That is one of the biggest reasons you have seen the cost of veterinarian care increase over the normal business growth. In the end, more demand means better drugs and improved standards of care for your animals. Like most small business persons, vets have seen an explosion of governmental regulations and litigation from our clients. The amount of paper work to hire lay staff, comply with OSHA regulations, pay all taxes and document the standard of care of your pet has increased dramatically over some 20 years. Our industry has also seen an increase of malpractice law suits and state board medical complaints which in turn drives up cost of doing business with the additional insurance and attorney fees. One change now causing vets heartburn is the competition from Wal-Mart, grocery stores, feed stores, on-line pharmacies and brick and mortal pharmacies. These corporate owned stores have increased buying power and can buy medications at bulk prices, undercutting the DVM. My personal philosophy is this: I will do my best to meet other competitor’s product pricing and move my inventory first. Some vets will do the same. But some will not give in to the pressure of the inevitable. Regardless, if your pet has an examination by a DVM, and receives a diagnosis, then you should be able to get an in-house medication, OR a prescription for a comparable medication/generic through a pharmacy if they are cheaper. Be advised, this is a touchy subject to speak directly to the DVM or office manager. Please be courteous but firm. If you have done your research, it should not be a problem. Bottom line, if the vets lose income from pharmaceuti-

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cal sales, they will make up lost income with additional professional fees to clients. The internet can be a good source to learn about a particular medical condition of your pet, provided you stick with credible information sites like Vetpartner, Merck, TVMA, AVMA, and breed association web sites. These sites can provide valuable information but please stay away from private blogs that give medical treatment advice without proper credentials. Never start treatment for medical conditions without consulting your vet first. Only use the net to educate and become a more informed guardian for your pet or livestock. Always consider carefully the pet (species, breed, size, demeanor, activity level) as a FULLY GROWN ADULT before adopting/buying. All young animals are cute and fuzzy, but as they mature, their true breed characteristics and natural instincts will take over. Pure breed animals typically have less hybrid vigor and more problems. Any breed of dog can be aggressive, but I see more problems with intact males (any breed), Rottweiler, German Shepherd, and Pit Bull/Mastiff breeds. Please do not be rude to our staff. Unhappy staff means an unhappy DVM, and we will mark your file for future references. Pet parks are not necessarily the healthiest place for your pets, especially if you have unvaccinated or poorly vaccinated pet. STAY AWAY!! No kill shelters do not always have the animal’s welfare in mind. I have seen animals with inhumane conditions simply because euthanasia is not an option. By definition these facilities collect unadoptable pets to be warehoused until they die or are euthanized when the shelter becomes insolvent. There should be a place in everyone’s heart for an adoptable pet; however, aggressive, severely fearful or diseased animals without a suitable care giver will have a much happier life under Rainbow Bridge. Well, I have opined too long. I fear Mrs. Balcar’s delete key, so we will stop. Please feel free to contact the Front Porch for articles you’d like to see. Be kind to people and pets. And VOTE this November. Jack F Mc Kemie, DVM


Sherry & Tanya, Owners

Sherry Gloyna and daughter Tonya Parker are pleased to announce that the Deanville Bar and Grill will celebrate its first anniversary October 6, 2012. For the celebrating they will have live music. The business has been going very well, and they have expanded just recently, adding a nice size dance floor. They would like to thank their loyal customers and Deanville community for such great support. Good home-cooked specials are offered daily…from beef tips and rice, to liver and onions, to chicken and dumplin’ dishes. And, of course, there are chicken fried steaks, a crowd pleaser. They have a full grill, and have been told their burgers are the best in Burleson County. The grill is open Tues-Sun till 9:00 pm. To get to the Deanville Bar and Grill, take Hwy 21 West ap- Sherry and Tonya would like to thank cook Shirley Schinder, picproximately seven miles to Hwy 60. On the left side of the road tured in the middle, who has worked for them since the first three you’ll see a red and white tin roofed building with a front porch. months they opened. You will have arrived. For information, call 979-535-7776 . Karaoke is offered Wednesday, Friday, & Saturday. And Pool tournaments are on Sunday and Tuesday nites.

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Like a child eagerly anticipating Christmas morning, my enthusiasm for fall has intensified each day for the past month. It’s hard to say exactly when it happens, but sometime in late August, those who are “attuned” to the changing seasons, as I am, begin to notice a gradual transformation. Mornings and evenings become cooler while sunny afternoon temperatures continue to climb to the mideighties. Crickets fill the evening air with their mournful refrain in quest of one final mating before frost, and lightening bugs disappear. Even my cat notices the change. Liza Jane is keenly aware that just a short while ago, she owned a large spot of sun on the kitchen floor where she enjoyed late morning naps, and now, that same bright spot has moved to the front of a cabinet. She stares longingly at the sunlit cabinet, obviously wondering what happened. It’s useless trying to explain to Liza that, in June, the sun is directly overhead and therefore, shines straight down on the floor through the kitchen skylight, affording her a blissfully warm place to nap, but that, by

late August, the sun has moved downward in the sky and no longer shines on the floor. She merely gives me that “you have mistaken me for someone who cares” glance that cats invented and leisurely strolls off to my husband’s den where the sun comes in at a different angle. Feline contentment aside, it is an ideal time of year. Summer is over and we are slowly moving into fall. School is back in session, children are in bed earlier and life has become more relaxed. It is a good time to catch up on things that there was little or no time for during the busy summer months. - like curling up with a good book, listening to music, watching a movie you’ve wanted to see or spending more quality time with your spouse. Then Lovely October makes her debut! Each time it occurs, it seems more beautiful than the last. Mother Nature paints surrounding hillsides with brilliant shades of red, yellow, orange, gold and brown, creating a breathtaking landscape. The sunny days become shorter, the sky bluer, and the air crisper. As leaves begin to turn, a few opt

to give up and fall to the ground early. In a short while, lawns are covered with a crispy remains of summer foliage and all too soon the raking begins, removing the last vestiges of nature’s most spectacular season. “October means winter is not far behind... and everything dies,” some complain. But in reality, there is no death in fall. It is a season of rest - a time for bringing our lives back into balance. Most of us have family, work, church and social activities to coordinate and, in the busyness of our days, it is sometimes difficult. We find ourselves spending more time in one area than we do the others and our lives drift out of balance. Fall, with its slower pace, helps us correct that. Just as plants are resting while their underground roots prepare for a rebirth and the flourishing of new blooms in spring, we, too, should rest and get ready for a new surge of growth and development. If God, Himself, rested from His work after creating the search, we should not be surprised that we also need rest...and I, for one, am grateful He gave us such a lovely season in which to begin it.


Chuckles, Giggles & Snickers The World's Largest Army... America 's Hunters! I had never thought about this..... A blogger added up the deer license sales in just a handful of states and arrived at a striking conclusion: There were over 600,000 hunters this season in the state of Wisconsin. Allow me to restate that number. Over the last several months, Wisconsin 's hunters became the eighth largest army in the world. More men under arms than in Iran. More than in France and Germany combined. These men deployed to the woods of a single American state to hunt with firearms, and no one was killed. That number pales in comparison to the 750,000 who hunted the woods of Pennsylvania and Michigan 's 700,000 hunters, all of whom have now returned home. Toss in a quarter million hunters in West Virginia and unknown numbers in Texas and it literally establishes the fact that the hunters of these states alone would comprise the largest army in the world. The point? America will forever be safe from foreign invasion with that kind of home-grown firepower. Hunting -- it's not just a way to fill the freezer. It's a matter of national security. ******************* That's why all enemies, foreign and domestic, want to see us disarmed. Food for thought when next we consider gun control advocates.

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Locations in Caldwell and Somerville Burns & Reyes-Burns, P.L.L.C., a general civil practice law firm, is a new firm to Burleson County, with offices to serve you in both Caldwell and Somerville, Texas. Jeffrey M. Burns and wife, Lina Reyes-Burns, are encouraged and en¬thusiastic about their law practices. Their practice covers a wide variety of clients, including large and small corporations, banks, and individuals. Jeff and Lina work out of both offices; however, you can generally find Lina in Caldwell and Jeff in Somerville. This husband and wife team met in college while seeking undergraduate degrees from Texas A&M University in College Station. Both continued their education at South Texas College of Law in Houston. After being licensed, Jeff worked in Houston and then went on to become a partner with the law firm of Youngkin and Burns, in Bryan, Texas. Lina joined the same law firm after she graduated. After several years of practicing law, Jeff and Lina determined that it time was right for them to branch out on their own. So in 2011, they took the big step. They had a good feeling about Burleson County, with its great location, history, communities and growing need for local legal representation. Jeff says the Burleson County communities have embraced them. They’ve felt so welcomed and accepted. Since beginning this business together, they’ve hit the ground running with the recognition that each of their clients’ legal matters are of utmost importance to their clients’ lives. The Burns & Reyes-Burns law firm feels fortunate to have such a well-trained, highly motivated, and enthusiastic staff: Ni¬cole Ofczarzak and Kelsye Halliwell of the Somerville office, and Rameeka Pickens and Lindsay Halliwell at the Caldwell office. Jeff says they are fortunate to have such a hardworking staff and that Lina and Jeff have to work hard to keep up with them. While they have a general practice law firm that can meet most of the Burleson County’s legal needs, Jeff says he works

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more with real estate, estate planning, probate and oil & gas. Lina primarily practices family law and criminal law. But, he quickly add¬ed, they both do everything. Their firm has grown over the year, and is expected to continue to grow. You can read more about Burns & Reyes-Burns, P.L.L.C. by going on line to www.brblawfirm.com. They also have a blog with much information, including all the services they offer their clients.


Chuckles, Giggles & Snickers A Prayer Before Dinner

Everyone was seated around the table as the food was being served. When little Logan received his plate, he started eating right away. "Logan, wait until we say our prayer," his mother reminded him. "I don't have to," the little boy replied. "Of course you do," his mother insisted, "we say a prayer before eating at our

house." "That's at our house," Logan explained, "but this is Grandma's house and she knows how to cook."


100 South Echols . Caldwell, Texas (across from the Court House) 979-567-6300 Mike Laughlin and Steven Charanza, friends though the years as well as fellow barbequers, have teamed up to open Porky’s Bar B Q, one of Caldwell’s newest businesses. Their place is located on the square at 100 South Echols, where the old Chevrolet place used to be. The large dining room seats 48, and the outside area around 50, so they have much room to accommodate large groups. Of course, their specialty is bar-b-q. And they have a variety of meats, beef, chicken, pork butt, pork ribs, turkey breasts, and sausage, both regular or with jalapeno and cheese. A variety of sides include: potato salad, twice baked potatoes, pinto and green beans, and corn casserole. And, they provide desserts: banana pudding and peach or pecan cobbler. Of course, they have ice cream to go on top. Porky’s also offers meat by the pound, as well as half or whole chicken. And they offer dinner packs of beef, ribs, and sausage that will feed 2-3, 4-5, or up to 8-10. Mike and Steven have chosen to provide line service at their restaurant because of the speed. Anyone can walk in, choose his/her food and drink, then sit, eat, and relax or get back to work in a timely fashion. Future plans in November are to offer Steak Nite. These two men have been involved with bar-b-q since they were young. Steven’s grandpa and daddy bar-b-qued on weekends, so he learned by observation and practice. As high schoolers Mike and Steven were cooking their bar-b-q for friends and family. They later entered bar-b-q competition, and succeeded greatly.

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They’ve won several awards over the years and will be representing Burleson County at the Houston Live Stock Show in February 2013. Both men are from Caldwell; Steven Charanza is the son of Milton and Geraldene Charanza, and Mike’s the son of Ruel Laughlin and Sandra Bell. Steven grew up here, and Mike came to Caldwell in the eighth grade. After high school, Mike did refinery work and now has his own oilfield business, ML Oilfield Services of Caldwell and Victoria. His one daughter is Morgan Taylor Laughlin. Steven’s work after school was his self-employed mechanic, & paint and body work. His life now centers around his wife Carmen and children Cherise Stevenson, Cassandra, and Colt, as well as Braden and Clair, grandchildren. They are open everyday except Wednesday, and their hours are 11:00-2:00, except on Friday and Saturday when their hours are longer. Call 979-567-6300 for take-out or to order Dinner Packs.

country club


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