Issuu on Google+

Photo by Sachiko Suzuki courtesy Ennis CVB

c o n t e nts feature 27 Game Changers

home and garden 44 L i v in g Large in a Tiny Ho use



50 7 Reas ons to Be Sha dy

travel 53 L i t tle Tow n , B ig Fun: Grue ne H i s tor ic Dis tr ic t

health & fitness 23

58 C le ar ly Focu s ed o n Eye Health 63 Tra in in g for Two : FItne ss fo r E x pec tin g Moms


10 14 17 20 23

calendar spotlight Ellis Air Systems, Inc. scene we ll fed head neighbor

in every issue 6 e d i tor ’s letter 66 t h erapy 4



editor’s letter


he real act of discovery consists not in finding new lands, but in seeing with new eyes. — Marcel Proust

Imagine playing a game of chess with Clint Eastwood. That stoic look he would have on his face as he carefully planned his strategy and next move. How slowly and methodically he’d reach out to make his move, then sit back in his chair and flash you those icy baby blue eyes of his-your signal ‘it’s your turn, move.’ Checkmate. And that is when he would do it. Start squinting up his eyes as he scanned the board in disbelief, before realizing, ‘yep, she got me’. Then slowly looking back up at you with those same squinty eyes that now appear to be looking straight through your soul…”Go ahead, make my day.” Talk about a game changer—beating Clint Eastwood in chess? This month Tex Appeal did not have to daydream to find some real game changers. We met six visionaries, who using their own imagination and ingenuity have changed the game for everyone living in Central Texas, and their industries. These individuals understand it is the things they are doing today, that will impact our lives the most in the future. I hope you enjoy reading about all the wonderful things they are doing here in our community. Game Changers, pg.27. Building a home is rarely associated to “game changing”. However, this month we discovered a young man who designed and built his very own home, a rather unique and “tiny” home to be exact. This Nomadic Nurse is living a “tiny” lifestyle, so he can live large-traveling the world to help others and living one big exciting adventure along the way. Meet Ben on pg. 44. Our Neighbor, Garfield Hawk, has also “changed the game” in his neighborhood and community by changing the lives of children. A truly inspiring story of how one man set out on a mission to change how children in Temple feel about being “un-included,” a feat he has successfully accomplished! Uniting the Un-Included, pg 23. And what does a Texas gal do when a plaque of grasshoppers strike? She turns lemons into lemonade of course, or in this case, something rather crunchy and sweet. For a Texassize serving of country humor, check out Kactus Kate’s, Chomp on this, pg 66. Thanks again for reading Tex Appeal Magazine and don’t be shy…we’d love to hear from you! Best wishes,

Teresa K. Hernandez Editor |

your voice Mary Hemmer of Killeen picked up the phone and called us to tell us how much she enjoys reading Tex Appeal. An animal lover, Mary said after reading the July Neighbor story about Breanna Farrel and her dog, River, she has decided to get Fred, her Yorkshire Terrier, trained for pet therapy too. “I read it cover to cover every month and this month, I stayed up very late reading it, because I just couldn’t put it down. I have read so many wonderful stories in Tex Appeal about the people in my community. I just love your little magazine and I watch for it to come each month in the Killeen Daily Herald.” —Mary Hemmer

Oops! We’re sorry we missed you in July, Khole. You “howl” Tex Appeal!

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Tex Appeal Life & Style in Central Texas

Published by Frank Mayborn Enterprises, Inc. Killeen Daily Herald 1809 Florence Road, Killeen, TX 76540 Temple Daily Telegram 10 S. Third Street, Temple, TX 76504 Publisher SUE MAYBORN Magazine Director TERESA L O’BRIEN 254.774.5264 Editor TERESA K HERNANDEZ Copy Editor LEE JAMES Graphic Designer CHRISTEEN CLARK 216.407.2777 Photographers PRISCILLA Z PHOTOGRAPHY


Tex Appeal Magazine is available by subscription for $24 a year. If you would like to have each month’s edition delivered to your home, please mail a check with your address and contact information to: Tex Appeal Magazine, PO Box 6114 Temple, TX 76503-6114.





alk ex TT S P OT L I G H T:

Ellis Air Systems, Inc. pg 14

AU G U S T C A L E N DA R pg 10












National Watermelon Day

F I R S T DAY O F S C H O O L August 26 Districts: Killeen, Copperas Cove, Belton, Temple and Salado

L E G A L LY B L O N D E August 2-4, 7pm-10p m Sorority girl and social maven Elle Woods can handle anything. So when her boyfriend Warner dumps her for someone “serious,” she decides to follow him to Harvard and win him back. With some help from her chihuahua Bruiser and some seriously loyal new friends, Elle proves that being true to yourself never goes out of style. Vive Les Arts Theatre, Killeen

T H E N I G H T I S YO U N G G A L A August 2, 6pm-9pm The Night is Young Gala remembering what it was to be young when life held endless possibilities. Let’s take part by providing our youth the resources needed for a brighter future! Enjoy the live band & bid on fun fabulous auction items throughout the evening. Cocktail hour starts at 6pm and dinner will be served at 7pm. Ending with an evening of dancing & fabulous fun! Gala tickets are $50 or $400 for a table of eight. or contact Coach Wilson at 254.432.7504. COURTYARD Marriot 1721 E Central Texas Expy, Killeen

Join Frames & Things for an evening of art, wine, food & fun! 216 Cove Terrance, Copperas Cove

MIDNIGHT MADNESS D OW N M A I N 5 K August 2, 11:30pm Salado will again be hosting the coolest 5K in Central Texas – the Midnight Madness Down Main 5K run! This race gathers at 11:30pm on Friday, August 2nd with the firing pistol starting the race at 12:01am in the Brookshire Brothers parking lot. The Salado Chamber of Commerce is proud to present this AUGUST 2013 TEX APPEAL

National S’Mores Day

Women’s Equality Day

F I R S T F R I DAY A RT A F T E R DA R K August 2, 6pm-9pm





third installment of the extremely popular 5K run, in the middle of the night, down beautiful Main Street Salado. The streets are lined with volunteers and a “cheer squad” staying up late to encourage runners and walkers alike. Main Street will glow like a landing strip, lighting the way for the competitors. The entry fee is $25 for adults and $15 for students. Registration is open until time of race; no late fees will be incurred. However, registrations after the due date of July 19th will not receive an event t-shirt or swag bag. So hurry and register today! You can find the applications online at or call 254.947.5040. Brookshire Brothers parking lot, Salado

2 1 S T A N N UA L S A L A D O L E G E N D S Au g u st 3 Written by playwright/lyricist/nationally honored Jackie Mills, and directed by Donnie Williams. This play was ensconced in the Library of Congress for depicting life in the 1850s. For the optional dinner, reservations are required. Dinner 7:15pm, $8 adult or child. Show 8:15pm, $17 Adult, $5 child under 12. Tickets online at or call 254.947.9205. Ticket office opens at 6:30pm. Tablerock Amphitheater, Salado

3 R D A N N UA L C I T Y W I D E G A R AG E S A L E Au g u st 3 Clean out the house this summer and get rid of your unwanted items. The 3rd Annual City Wide Garage Sale is an opportunity for citizens of Harker Heights to have a garage sale that waives the usual $5 permit fee. You must register for permit in person. Address, time of garage sale, and big sale items will be posted on the city’s website and all City buildings the week of the garage sale for free advertisement. Please feel free to advertise on your own through signage and local newspapers. Call 254.953.5660 for weather status of City Wide Garage Sale. Register at one of the following locations: Activities Center, 400 Indian Trail, Recreation Center, 307 Miller’s Crossing, City Hall, 305 Miller’s Crossing Location: Harker Heights’ residents’ homes

T H E 2 N D A N N UA L H E N RY H U R S T G O L F TO U R N A M E N T Au g u st 3, 9a m

Honoring the late Henry Hurst & Benefiting The First Tee of Killeen youth. Join us The First Tee Campaign for 10 Million Young People as we seek to raise funds. The First Tee is a World Golf Foundation initiative dedicated to providing young people of all backgrounds an opportunity to develop, through golf and character education, life-enhancing values such as honesty, integrity and sportsmanship. Shotgun (4 Person Scramble) at Stonetree Golf Club. Team entry fee is $300 ($75 a player.) or contact Coach Wilson at 254.432.7504. Stonetree Dr, Killeen

F L AVO R S O F C E N T R A L T E X A S Augu s t 6, 5 : 30pm-8pm This event is designed to please the palates of all who attend. Restaurants, catering companies and bakers set up beautifully decorated booths and offer samples of their finest foods. Many other non-food vendors and sponsors also participate by setting up booths to showcase what their business has to offer. There will also be a guest chef, silent auction, cooking demonstrations, two competitions resulting in six different awards and more! Killeen Civic and Conference Center 3601 S W S Young Dr, Killeen

B E LTO N M A R K E T DAYS Augu s t 17, 12a m-11:59pm Buying, selling and trading in downtown Belton. Come see our vendors and farmer’s market in our historic downtown on Central Ave. Enjoy food and entertainment. Every 3rd Saturday of the month. For more information contact the Downtown Belton Merchants Association 254.933.2819 or 254.939.5699. Downtown Belton

FA S T T E X A S F R E N Z Y 1 7 3 K CYCLING Augu s t 17, 7am-12pm Come out for a great challenge? Can you put down the fastest lap? The Texas road course will take you own two lanes of traffic and Farm to Market roads with some up and down hill transitions and curves. Can you overcome these challenges to beat your competitor? Salado Youth & Sports Field, Salado

CENTRAL TEXAS AREA MUSEUM L I V E / S I L E N T AU C T I O N Augu s t 17, 5 : 30pm-7pm Tickets are $25–Reservation required. Live auction featuring: Bluebonnet oil painting by B. Herd; TEXAPPEALMAG.COM






Children’s Eye Health and Safety Month National Immunization Awareness Month Cataract Awareness Month Bronze duck by Ronnie Wells; Antler chandelier by Charles Allen; Covered Wagon by Wilbur Foster; Limited edition lithography by George Boutwell; 20 gauge shotgun by Ducks Unlimited. 254.947.5232. Central Texas Area Museum, 423 S. Main Street, Salado

TEMPLE CHAMBER CLASSIC G O L F TO U R N A M E N T August 23, 12pm-8 pm Please join us at Wildflower Country Club for a day of fun, festivities, food, drinks and golf. Teams and individuals are welcome! A portion of the proceeds will benefit the Ralph Wilson Youth Clubs. For more information on sponsorships contact Judy Covington at 254.773.2105 or e-mail: Wildflower Country Club 4902 Wildflower Lane, Temple

G AU LT S I T E TO U R August 24, 8:30a m Join us for a tour of the Gault Site, located in southwestern Bell County. The Gault Site is recognized as one of the most important archeological sites in America. The 2.5 hour tour covers about one mile of gentle terrain. Space is limited to 30 persons. Participants will meet at the museum at 8:30am Fee is $10 per person, payable to the Gault School. Please call 254.933.5243 or email to register. Bell County Museum, Belton

G E T R E A DY, G E T S E T, LOOK GOOD BAC K TO S C H O O L E V E N T August 24, 10a m-4pm Get Ready, Get Set, Look Good is a community based event. It offers free haircuts to ALL students going back to school, free school supplies, and so much more. We want to send a message to the community that you can have fun while getting ready to go back to school. We are determined to help our community be excited about learning and looking good doing so. For more information call: 254.350.9995. 2600 South 1st St., Temple 12


2 8 T H A N N UA L L A B O R DAY USED BOOK SALE Au g u st 2 8-3 1 Thousands of books at bargain prices await book lovers at the upcoming 28th annual Labor Day Used Book Sale. An estimated 45,000 books have been donated for the semi-annual event sponsored by the Friends of the Temple Public Library. All types of paperbacks and hardback, and most books will be sold for $2 or less. Some current best-sellers, vintage books, and other specialty books will be priced slightly higher. Videos, books on tape and other specialty items also are available. This four-day sale will be held in the McLane Room on the third floor of the Temple Public Library. The traditional Members’ Preview Night will be Tuesday, Aug. 27.
 Shopping hours will be 10am–8pm Wednesday and Thursday and 10 am–4pm on Friday and Saturday. Hours for the members’ preview will be 5–8 pm on Tuesday. Memberships will be available at the door. Temple Public Library, 100 W. Adams Ave. in downtown Temple

C E N T R A L T E X A S S TAT E FA I R Au g u st 3 0-S ept emb er 1 Join us for BULLS & BANDS this Labor Day weekend! Featuring a carnival, PBR Touring Pro, and live Texas country music, we have something for the whole family to enjoy! August 30: 5:30pm-12am, Josh Grider and Aaron Watson; August 31: 12pm-12am, Cody Johnson and Kyle Park; September 1: 12pm12am. Matt Kimbrow Band and Stoney LaRue. Please contact the Bell County Expo Center about prices and fees or visit for pricing information. Bell County Expo Center, 301 W Loop 121, Belton

C O DY J O H N S O N I N C O N C E RT Au g u st 3 1 The Outback at Johnny’s Steaks & Bar-Be-Que will be featuring Cody Johnson in concert. Tickets available at Bring your lawn chairs and enjoy some Texas music under the summer stars. 254.947.4663. 301 Thomas Arnold Rd., Salado

L O C A L FA R M E R S M A R K E T Belton Saturdays, 8am-1pm Downtown on Water Street in front of The Gin Copperas Cove Mondays, 3pm-6pm & Saturdays 10am-2pm VFW 1506 Veterans, Ave. Harker Heights Farmer’s Market Every Saturday May-September 7am-12pm Carl Levin Park, 400 Miller’s Crossing Killeen Tuesdays, 3pm-6pm; Fridays, 3pm-6pm; Saturdays, 9am-1pm 717 N. 2nd Street, downtown Killeen Temple Tuesdays/Thursday; 7am-1pm 212 S. Main St. Troy Saturdays, 9am-1pm Troy Community Center 201 E. Main St. Scott & White Healthcare Farmers Market Every Wednesday, 9am-1pm (May 1- Sept 25) Healthy cooking demonstrations, 9:30-10:30am and 11:30-12:30pm. On lawn north of the Vasicek Cancer Center. 2401 S. 31st Street, Temple Burnet Saturdays, 9am-1pm Master Gardeners and specialists on hand to provide gardening tips. On the Burnet Square



g n 25 i t a r b e l e C Years of Service in Central Texas

The Ellis family would like to say THANK YOU to all of our loyal customers and friends! We couldn’t have done it without you!

From one generation to the next, you can rest assured that Ellis Air Systems, Inc. is here and will always be here to handle all of your HVAC needs.


2010- 2013

by Killeen Daily Herald Readers

Experience the highest quality of services and customer satisfaction in the region with Ellis Air Systems, Inc. where we specialize in all of your residential and commercial air conditioning needs. Ellis Air Systems, Inc. is an old fashioned, family owned and operated company whose number one priority is YOU. Each department at Ellis Air is headed by a family member, so whichever service you require, you can rest assured that customer service is a priority. Fred Ellis, company owner and in charge of oversight, began his dream over 25 years ago with one truck and one employee, himself. Scott Ellis joined his big brother a few years later and is now the install manager who oversees our booming install department. With over 30 home builders to serve, Scott manages everything from large commercial jobs requiring metal fabrication to cleaning duct runs in residential homes.

“We sell SERVICE, not excuses” - Fred Ellis Preston Ellis and Mason Ellis, Fred’s two sons, have been involved in the company since their elementary school years. While other kids were enjoying their summer breaks, Preston and Mason were helping out with a variety of tasks from sweeping the floors to running service calls with their father. Preston is now the service manager and also head of commercial estimates. With over 10 years of experience in the HVAC field, this young man is truly a seasoned professional. Mason, who attended Texas A&M University, is the office manager and your go-to guy. He handles all of your administrative needs from accounts receivable all the way to managing relationships with business associates. Ellis Air Systems, Inc. strives to make their customers feel like family by always going that extra mile. From accommodating customers with loaner window units to providing you with a one stop shop for all of your air conditioning needs, no other air conditioning company in the area offers the diversity of services that Ellis Air Systems, Inc. brings to you. We don’t want to fail to recognize the rest of Fred Ellis’ family for all of their constant support. Tammy Ellis, Fred’s wife and mother to Preston and Mason, is a perioperative nurse coordinator at Scott & White in Temple, Texas. His daughter, Emily Ellis, is 21 years old and currently living in Austin, Texas pursuing her dream of owning her own salon.




Preventative Maintenance and Energy Saving Tips 1. Check/change your filter every month. It’s good practice to change your filter at the same time every month, this way you’ll have a pattern and won’t have to be stuck with a broken a/c on a hot summer day. 2. Spray your outside unit with a water hose. Turn your thermostat off before cleaning your unit. Cleaning debris off of your outside unit will benefit it’s performance tremendously. A dirty condenser means your system cannot perform at it’s peak efficiency, which in time can lead to compressor failure 3. Ceiling fans make cents and save dollars. During the Texas heat, your air conditioner works hard to keep you cool. Ceiling fans can reduce the strain on your A/C and your bank account. 4. Don’t cut yourself short. Be careful when mowing and weed-eating around your condenser. Thermostat wires can easily be overlooked and cut. 5. Have a spring and fall check up. Get a spring and fall check-up. Call Ellis Air Systems, Inc. and have one of our highly-trained service technicians come out, inspect your system, and check it’s efficiency. Ask us about joining our “Cool Club,” which provides both check-ups for one low price and includes discounts and priority call scheduling.

Read what our customers are saying…

Everyone I know uses these guys, if they don’t, I tell them to fast! They put new units in both my house and my neighbor’s. We got quotes from everyone and these guys blew them out of the water with the same equipment–truly comparing apples to apples. My mother’s A/C went out this past summer and I told her who to call. These guys came out quick and fixed the problem in about an hour, for only $50 bucks too! Don’t hesitate to call these guys! They are the best in town, just ask around.

“Wow! Incredible service! I was treated very well with dignity and respect. If you want HONEST WORK for an HONEST PRICE, call Ellis Air System. I used another company about a month ago. They told me that I had a leak in my system. They never told my wife where it was. The only thing he said was“We’ll just add Freon (1 lb.) and that should hold you off for a year or so.” Wrong! Here I am, one month later writing a review for a legit company. Really…this is a great company. They’ve been in business over 25 years in Killeen. Call them today!” – Rich M.

– Johnny2smart at Citysearch “Best prices and quality service! I called almost every A/C business in the area to get a quote after another local business told me I needed to replace my outside unit. Ellis Air was the last to come out to give me a free estimate when they found the problem to be a much less expensive board. Turns out, the other company was just trying to pull one over on me. If you need any A/C work, give these guys a call. They are one of the only honest service companies around.” – John Ellis Air Systems, Inc. 3513 Florence Road Killeen, TX 76542 Email us at: Follow EllisAirSystems



“Great Service I just used them for the 2nd time – great price quick service. The last time they came out they even supplied me with a temporary A/C while they were waiting on a part.” – Turbo











The Small House Book BOOKS

Small Eco Houses

By Àlex Sánchez Vidiella,  Cristina Paredes Benitez This book provides fresh perspectives on how a good design can create stylish, yet ecologically sound living spaces in small-scale homes. Anyone who has faced the challenges of limited living space will find inspiration in this survey of the latest trends in environmentally sensitive, small-scale residential designs. More than 50 residential spaces are profiled—from woodsy houses and repurposed barns to cool apartments and urban lofts—both inside and out. Most of the projects were designed by upand-coming architects, and each design proves that small-scale efficiency as well as beautiful, thoughtful design can overcome the apparent constraints of a small setting. Environmental impact is a growing concern, so each project was chosen because of its ecological sensitivity. Each case history describes the challenges confronting the designer and the solutions. Creating color schemes to enhance the feeling of openness, taking advantage of high ceilings to make multiple levels, and using collapsible furniture and sliding doors to maximize space are some of the design solutions that can be applied in any situation. Filled with beautiful color photographs and helpful floor plans, this book is a remarkable showcase of how good design can transform any small space into a comfortable, modern— and environmentally sensitive—home. Paperback, 420 pages Published November 2, 2010 by Universe

By Jay Shafer

In 2008, a used house in the U.S. averaged $244,000. That is far more than the average American can afford. Jay Shafer shatters the myth that affordable housing needs to be cheap. In his book, Jay reveals the ugly truth about residential planning and the needless overbuilding that is, in part, to blame for today’s mortgage crisis. Did you know that you can’t build a house as tiny as the one Jay lives in? That is, unless you know the loopholes! He’s done the research and is happy to share it with you. You’ll learn why it is necessary to build on wheels, and see the process of attaching a house to a trailer with step-by-step instructions and pictures. Jay Shafer, the author, has personally built a dozen tiny houses and lived in three different ones. He is recognized as a leader in the Small House Movement. 197 pages Published 2009 by Tumbleweed Tiny House

Superb Cabins by Carles Broto

If cabins make you think of lumberjacks; Camp Grenada, circa 1974; or “Deliverance,” then you need a copy of Superb Cabins: Small Houses in Nature. Paul Bunyan would be proud to call any of these 25 magnificent cabins home for himself and Babe. Each cabin has been designed to maximize limited living spaces and create a warm, appealing place for living, relaxing, and entertaining. Full-color photographs, ground plans and sketches, and in-depth technical commentary by the architects themselves make these cabins truly inviting for design professionals everywhere. Hardcover, 190 pages Published July 10, 2007 by Links International



The Tumbleweed DIY Book of Backyard Sheds and Tiny Houses by Jay Shafer These tiny backyard buildings, no more than 110 square feet, can become guest cottages, art or writing studios, home offices, and craft workshops. For the DIY enthusiast, here are photos, elevation drawings, and door/window schedules for six Tumbleweed box bungalows, plus an extensive how-to set of instructions that can be applied to any backyard building project. What they are not is home-center garden sheds. Though conventionally built, handsome little buildings have real doors, windows, and skylights with interesting and practical details throughout. Paint them and finish them to suit your tastes and needs. The term “Box Bungalow” is a trademark of Tumbleweed Tiny House Corp. It refers to their idea of packaging these backyard buildings on a flat skid, for weekend DIY assembly. They’ll also sell a prefab building for delivery to your prepared site, or complete sets of plans for any of the houses shown in this book. Paperback, 144 pages Published September 23, 2011 by Fox Chapel Publishing

Carry On, Warrior by Glennon Melton In Carry On, Warrior, Glennon Doyle Melton shares new stories and the best-loved material from She recounts her mistakes and triumphs with candor and humor, and gives language to our universal (yet often secret) experiences. She believes that by shedding our armor, we can stop hiding, competing, striving for the mirage of perfection, and making motherhood, marriage, and friendship harder by pretending they are not hard. In this one woman trying to love herself and others, readers find a wise and witty friend who will inspire them to forgive their own imperfections, make the most of their gifts, and commit to small acts of love that will change the world.



How Will You Measure Your Life? by Clayton M. Christensen,  James Allworth, Karen Dillon In 2010 worldrenowned innovation expert Clayton M. Christensen gave a powerful speech to the Harvard Business School’s graduating class. Drawing upon his business research, he offered a series of guidelines for finding meaning and happiness in life. He used examples from his own experiences to explain how high achievers can all too often fall into traps that lead to unhappiness. The speech was memorable not only because it was deeply revealing but also because it came at a time of intense personal reflection: Christensen had just overcome the same type of cancer that had taken his father’s life. As Christensen struggled with the disease, the question “How do you measure your life?” became more urgent and poignant, and he began to share his insights more widely with family, friends, and students. In this groundbreaking book, Christensen puts forth a series of questions: How can I be sure that I’ll find satisfaction in my career? How can I be sure that my personal relationships become enduring sources of happiness? How can I avoid compromising my integrity—and stay out of jail? Using lessons from some of the world’s greatest businesses, he provides incredible insights into these challenging questions. How Will You Measure Your Life? is full of inspiration and wisdom, and will help students, midcareer professionals and parents alike forge their own paths to fulfillment. ebook, 240 pages Published May 15th 2012 by HarperBusiness

Hardcover, 288 pages Published April 2, 2013 by Scribner TEXAPPEALMAG.COM






Uniting the Un-Included By Teresa K. Hernandez Photos by Priscilla Z Photography


even years ago, Garfield Hawk noticed there were a lot of children in his neighborhood who were growing up without any positive role models or supervision. “Out of sheer boredom and a lack of access to any structured activities, these kids were just hanging out on the streets unsupervised. The younger kids were trying to be like the older kids—who were their only role models—and they were all just fighting amongst themselves and getting into trouble. Trying to fulfill a sense of ‘belonging’ to something, or a group, they were falling in with the wrong company and getting caught up in drugs and other juvenile delinquent activities,” says Garfield.



That’s when Garfield decided to step in and help. He purchased a few basketball goals and countless basketballs to give the younger kids something to do so they would not get into trouble following the older kids around. “Without any help from anyone, these kids were practically raising themselves. They weren’t doing well in school, were at high-risk for becoming drop-outs or eventually the problems of our legal system,” says Garfield.

“Negativity is not an option.” Recognizing these kids needed a regular outlet for positive and empowering activities, and educational and mentoring opportunities, Garfield formed the non-profit organization, “The Un-Included Club.” “First you need to know the definition of the word ‘included,’ which is ‘to contain, make something or someone apart of a group, or put in a total category’,” explains Garfield. “My definition of the word ‘un-included’ is ‘to be excluded from the included’. Therefore, the mission of the Un-Included Club is to break the life cycle that continues to put our communities at risk.” Garfield began inviting the children in his neighborhood to become members of the Un-Included Club. “The only rules of membership are to be good,” says Garfield. “The kids must pledge to be un-included from anything negative.” By teaming up with parents, educators, role models and guest

speakers –doctors, attorneys, pastors, and retirees from the community, the Un-Included Club offers the kids access to tutoring, mentoring, and a host of fun activities that teach them the importance of leadership, civic responsibility and education. Garfield even provides the kids with transportation to and from the Wilson Recreation Center, where they meet weekly. He also provides transportation to all of their field trips and hands-on learning activities and projects. Some of the learning activities include growing a community garden; cooking demonstrations to learn more about where our foods come from and the benefits of eating healthy; nature hikes and explorations–identifying trees, insects, fish and learning about the ecosystems; studying in the science lab at Temple Junior College where they examine specimens under microscopes; fun art projects, including summer art camp at the Cultural Activities Center in Temple; creative writing and more. The logo of the Un-Included Club is a red heart latched with a padlock. “I explain to the kids that there is no key hole on the lock because no one has the key to their lock, except for them. Their lock is unbreakable and their brain is unbreakable,” says Garfield. “ They are in complete control of their brain and all of their decisions. Their brain controls their heart. I tell them, ‘it’s not hard to be good. You can do it. If you decide to be good, nobody can make you be bad.’” “You’ll also notice our t-shirts are yellow. If you look up the color yellow in the dictionary, it is associated with cowardly. I tell the kids 24


of the Un-Included Club is to break that life cycle “The mission that continues to put our communities at risk



it’s OK if someone calls you a coward because you won’t do drugs. It’s OK if they call you yellow because you won’t drink alcohol. Be proud to be yellow. Be proud to be unincluded from negativity. Be proud to be un-included from drugs and alcohol. Un-included from illiteracy. Un-included from bullying, teen-pregnancy, and obesity.” Garfield has received numerous awards for his work with the Un-Included Club, but he claims the biggest reward is watching the kids grow and excel in school, go on to college or join the armed forces, and turn into bright, compassionate young leaders and productive citizens. “It is amazing to look back and see how far these kids have come and it proves that investing some time, tutoring, mentoring, and activities in these kids really works. Now we just need to expand and reach more children,” says Garfield. “Hopefully, we will be able to find some grants or resources that can help the Un-Included Club get its own building so I can create a permanent safe haven for these kids and expand our activities. We also need more help with transportation so we can reach more neighborhoods. The Un-Included Club has been quite an undertaking and an investment for me. However, when I see the difference the Un-Included Club is making in the lives of these kids, and how it’s changing our neighborhood and community, it’s priceless.”



fe ature

GAME CHANGERS By Teresa K. Hernandez Photos By Priscilla Z photography

Leaders who create or inspire game changers are nothing if not aware. Not only are they self-aware, they are aware of the emotions and needs of others, and they are also clearly aware of what will be embraced in the market. They possess a refined blend of intrinsic curiosity and extrinsic focus. Perhaps most of all, game-changing leaders are in touch with a greater purpose–they understand the value of serving something beyond themselves. —Mike Myatt

While most people are content with playing by the general rules, there are a handful of others, who are naturally inquisitive and internally wired to think “outside the box.” These visionaries are quick to recognize the potential for improvement and are driven to find meaningful ways to help everyone advance to the next level. Never dissuaded by crisis or obstacles of any size, these leaders are relentless when it comes to pursuing a greater purpose. Fearless and focused, not even the disparaging jibber or ridicule of naysayers can make them second-guess their next move. Tex Appeal has discovered six such game changers right here in Bell County. All of them have already achieved many extraordinary and profound accomplishments, and are committed to changing the game in order to continue to advance their communities and industries. TEXAPPEALMAG.COM


Eddy Lange Bell County Sheriff ix months ago when Sheriff Eddy Lange was sworn into office, he wasted no time in rolling up his sleeves and getting down to the official business of organizing and restructuring the sheriff’s department to improve efficiency and operations. “To be effective in law enforcement, the key is to be ‘proactive.’ We should be preventing crimes before they 28


occur, rather than only taking reports and ‘reacting’ to them after the fact. Especially things like home burglaries. This is a perfect example of the things our deputies may encounter on their rural patrols. A suspicious car that appears to be lost or out of place, may actually be casing homes. And we need to start asking questions if the backseat is loaded down with electronics and a big screen TV. That is how we become a proactive agency,” says Sheriff Lange. The department was originally comprised of only two divisions; however, Sheriff Lange has now expanded them to six, and is currently in the process of adding a seventh. This has

required a major realignment of personnel in order to support each division. Divisions now include patrol, criminal investigations, corrections, emergency management services, special crimes, and support services. “We are also creating a critical incident division so we’ll have a team ready to respond to calls involving mental health issues. This team will trained to work collaboratively with MHMR, to evaluate the individual and determine if we need to transport them to jail, or if they need to go straight to a local hospital or treatment facility. The last thing we want to do is fill up our jails with non-threatening, non-violent individuals who need mental

health services. That isn’t beneficial to anyone,” explains Sheriff Lange. Technology, or rather a lack of technology, created another glitch that required his immediate attention. According to Lange, there wasn’t a single video camera in the entire department, not even in the jail or in any of the 75 patrol cars. For the safety of the deputies, jailers, and inmates, the jail is now equipped with a state-of-the-art video surveillance system, and the patrol units now have dash cameras to record video and audio. “We’ve taken a great step forward in bringing the Bell County Sheriff Department into the 21st Century,” says Sheriff Lange. To ensure that all of his deputies have the tools they need, Sheriff Lange has had to purchase a lot of new equipment and replace many of the older, worn out patrol cars. When he took office, none of the patrol units were stocked with any emergency response equipment. Not even the most basic emergency items such as fire extinguishers, road flares, or first aid/ trauma kits. “When my deputies answer an emergency call, it

is critical for them to have the right tools to respond. There are lives at stake,” says Lange. The department also received its first tasers under Sheriff Lange. “Tasers are a very important and vital life-saving tool for an officer. It’s one more tool they can carry to protect themselves, and the last resort before deadly force. I don’t want my jailers getting hurt fighting inmates, and a taser enables the jailers to get a situation under control without anyone getting hurt.” In July, all of the deputies received brand new, top of the line bulletproof vests, which were a major upgrade over their former outdated, 20 year old vests. All of the new divisions, equipment, and trainings are improving the department’s overall efficiency and providing more protection for the deputies and the community. The new uniforms and department issued badges and service weapons have also been a great morale boost for the department. Prior to Lange, the deputies were responsible for purchasing their own badges and service weapons. Aside from patrol and investigations, the Sheriff’s Department is also responsible

for operating both jails, providing all of the security and bailiffs for the Bell County Courts, transporting prisoners, and delivering civil process papers. “Twenty years ago, the population was around 140,000 and now we are sitting at around 340,000, but we are still operating with the same number of field officers that we were 20 years ago,” explains Lange. To account for every dime, and to maximize every cent spent, Lange created a position for a chief deputy financial officer (CFO) to manage the department’s budget and maintain all of its financial records. “It is our duty to hold ourselves accountable to the citizens and the taxpayers of this community. We’re trying to save money every way possible; researching grants, and even looking at contracting out food services for the jail. We think we can really save a lot of money there. There’s just no room for waste, anywhere,” explains Sheriff Lange.



Dr. Sharon Souter, RN, PhD, CNE Dean, College of Nursing University of Mary Hardin-Baylor, Scott and White College of Nursing 30


he Isabelle Rutherford Meyer Nursing Education Center is not just your average college building with classrooms. It is one of the most advanced, futuristic, state-of-the-art simulated hospital and clinical learning centers in the nation. Featuring over 76,000 square feet, the entire second floor is the simulated hospital where nursing students have their hands-on clinical learning labs. “During the design phase, we traveled all over the country looking at other learning facilities to see what features were the most important and which features to avoid. We also considered futuristic technologies, because we wanted to ensure our building would not be outdated 20 years from now,” explains the College of Nursing Dean, Dr. Souter. Large learning labs with the latest technologies in audio and video, including smart boards have replaced the traditional style classrooms and lecture halls. According to Dr. Souter, these learning labs have revolutionized the learning process. “’Teaching in the round’, is what we refer to it as, because it allows so much more interaction between the students and the faculty. An instructor can actually go around the room teaching and interacting with the students.” The College of Nursing is a collaborative program between the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor and Scott and White Memorial Hospital in Temple. “Our students not only have access to a great facility and faculty here on campus, but a wonderful adjunct faculty from Scott and White, who they get to work alongside, while doing their clinicals at the hospital,” says Dr. Souter. The simulated hospital on the second floor was designed to have the identical features of a hospital. There is a large ER and trauma room complete with overhead lighting and emergency equipment and supplies, a critical care unit, a labor and delivery suite with a simulated mother mannequin that actually gives birth to a simulated newborn mannequin, four medical surgical beds, a home healthcare suite designed like an actual home, and several family clinic examination rooms. “Simulated clinical labs are invaluable for nursing, because students receive immediate feedback from the instructor. They go over what they did right or wrong,

point out any areas where they should have done things differently, or need improvement. As a result, the students are more confident when they go to the hospital to do their clinicals, because they’ve have hands-on experience working in that setting,” explains Dr. Souter. Although she may be an Oklahoma Sooner at heart, Dr. Souter loves UMHB and living in Belton. One of her favorite places in the Isabelle Rutherford Meyer Nursing Education Center is the beautiful chapel. “It’s a beautiful and inspiring room to visit; and it accurately reflects the passion nurses’ have for healing and helping others.”



Dawn Cole President, Kerberos International, Inc. hen a disaster strikes, pull out “the yellow box,” it’s a lifesaver. Temple native, Dawn Cole designed this satellite-based portable communications system, aka the yellow box, for the military and emergency management and homeland security industry. In the event of a disaster, this solar powered Commander Portable Communications Series provides first responders with access to critical communication services such as phone and internet. The Commander can also be customized as a portable surveillance system with radios and cameras for law enforcement. “These units could be used along the border or in other remote areas to record audio and video surveillance. And this system can even help the agents catch the bad guys by providing their location based on their cell phone signals,” explains Dawn. A former IBM systems engineer, Dawn has worked for several large international companies, such as Fischer International and 32


Control Break International. In 2006, she founded Kerberos International, Inc., where she assisted numerous European companies launch into the U.S. commercial and government markets. Dawn chose the name Kerberos for her company, because Cerberus is an archetype for a protector. Cerberus is the three-headed guard dog in Greek mythology, that stood guard at the gates of Hades. There he would escort and protect the “pure souls” who came to visit the lost souls in hell. “At Kerberos International, we too, protect ‘pure souls,’ first responders, law enforcement, the armed forces, peacekeepers, aid workers, or other U.S. agents,” says Dawn. In an effort to help her clients’ with all of their emergency management needs, Dawn created When Moments Count ( This online store

carries a wide array of innovative solutions for the emergency management industry, such as, go kits, satellite phones, portable water purification systems, handset radio systems, and more. As luck would have it, when Dawn moved back to Temple, she found a couple of engineers right outside Dallas in Rockwall, who had the right experience to make her products. “It worked out perfectly. Plus, we hire Veterans to make the systems, which is very important to me,” says Dawn. This inspiring local entrepreneur and businesswoman has successfully created a unique niche for herself within the communications and emergency management industries, all while protecting “pure souls” and creating more jobs for Texas Veterans.

roudly representing her community has been a longstanding family tradition for Cyd West. A descendent of one of Bell County’s earliest settlers and first county officials, Joseph Dennis, Cyd’s family has been in Central Texas for eight generations. Dennis was appointed chairman of a commission that helped establish the county seat at the site of Nolan Springs, present day Belton; and served eight years as the first treasurer of Bell County. Cyd has worked in the mortgage and banking industry for over 31 years and currently serves as the Senior Vice President of First Community Mortgage. This energetic, outgoing, self-professed “people-person,” is often the first to meet and greet newcomers to the community. “When they arrive one of the first things they need is a home. As I work with them throughout that process, I get the opportunity to tell them all about the area and highlight all the many wonderful things our community has to offer. I really just want them to enjoy living here as much as I do,” says Cyd. An active leader in the community, Cyd takes great pride in serving on a variety of community boards and organizations. “It really keeps me busy, but I wouldn’t trade it for the world,” she says. This past year she chaired the Viva le Arts Theatre and the Harker Heights Chamber of Commerce’s Inaugural Vision XXI leadership class. “I am so proud of my class. They adopted the Harker Heights Food Care Center and developed a website and an amazing campaign to raise awareness and funds for it,” says Cyd. Another organization very dear to her heart is the Bell-Coryell Counties Communities in Schools where she serves as the VP of finance. “I love kids and this organization really makes a difference in the lives of kids right here in Central Texas.” Another big project for her this past year has been preparing for the Metroplex Hospital Gala, which she cochaired with her niece Hillary Shine. “We’re really excited about the upcoming Gala, November 7, 2013, and this year we’re going to have The Temptations. Tickets are already selling fast.” The view outside Cyd’s office window has changed drastically over the past 10 years; what was once open fields with cows

Cyd West Senior Vice President, First Community Mortgage and horses on it, now has a Wal-Mart and multiple restaurants and retail stores. “It used to take me only three minutes to get to work, but now with all this traffic, it takes me a good ten minutes,” laughs Cyd. However, “seeing progress” is one thing Cyd takes seriously. “If I see things I’m not happy with or that I think need improving, I’m not one to just

complain about it. I figure out a way to fix it. This is my community, my hometown. I have a long and vested interest in it, not only for myself, but for my family and friends. I want to see it continue to grow and prosper for them, our children, and for our future generations TEXAPPEALMAG.COM


Scott Herald Director of the KISD Career Center magine all of the time and money you would have saved if only you could have graduated from high school, then walked straight into a new job the following week—already trained, certified, and ready to work. This is the concept behind the Killeen Independent School District’s Career Center. The Career Center is a $25 million stateof-the-art facility and campus where students from all four KISD high schools can attend a half or full day to fulfill their graduation requirements. They also take courses in their choice of career fields. Career Center 34


consists of business partnerships, student internships, certifications, licensures, college credit and hands-on educational experiences. “If students begin early enough, they have the opportunity to earn a certification by the time they graduate. We are a CISCO Academy and an Apple Training Center and offer some of the same advanced IT certifications you’d find at technical colleges,” explains Scott Herald, new director of the Career Center campus. The programs are coordinated by “career clusters” and they include health sciences, Arts, A/V Technology and Communications; Information Technology; Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources; Transportation, Distribution and Logistics; Architecture and Construction; Law, Public Safety, Corrections and Security; Manufacturing; and Human Services. Each cluster has its own department, complete

with labs, classrooms, and the computers, software, machinery, and tools for hands-on training. “Students have access to some of the most advanced, state-of-the-art machinery and technologies available in these classes. They’ll be able to walk out of here and go right into a shop and go to work,” says Scott. The cosmetology program features a large salon where students can earn all of their classroom and practicum hours required to take the state exam for a Texas cosmetology license, and it even provides services to the public on select evenings. The health science department offers training in a simulated hospital, complete with simulated mannequins and science labs. Students interested in pursuing a career in broadcasting, film or commercial photography can get hands-on experience working in the KISD-TV studio, learning how

to operate sound boards, cameras, lighting, editing software, and special effects in the green room. “Community partners are an important element to this program. Local business leaders and owners can come in and assist students with hands-on projects, and share their invaluable insight about their industry with the students,” says Scott. “These collective partnerships frequently offer internship opportunities, both unpaid and paid, which is important to help a student gain that professional experience they need to enter the workforce. Essentially, they are helping to train the next generation of their workforce,” says Scott.



Sharon Davis Director, Distance Education & Education Technology, Central Texas College 36


nowledge is power, and nobody knows this better than Sharon Davis, the director of the Distance Education and Education Technology department at Central Texas College. Throughout her 30 year career at Central Texas College, Sharon has witnessed the revolution of education. Technology has propelled access to education and opened doors to students, who because of family or job commitments, could have never committed to a schedule for a traditional class,” says Sharon. In 1997, Central Texas College joined the Army U network, which launched it to military installations worldwide. “Military students have access to campuses across Europe and the Pacific-Far East, and even when they are deployed to war zones like Afghanistan. We even have instructors who teach on Navy ships, because the sailors do not have access to the internet,” explains Sharon. CTC now offers 21 associate degree plans and 40 certificate programs online and has over 300-plus course offerings. Most of these courses are 8 weeks long, which gives the students the flexibility to choose when they want to begin a new class. On average CTC enrolls 5,000 students every 8 weeks. The DEET department has it’s own in-house technical support team that is available to students 24 hours a day, seven days a week. “With students all over the world and in different time zones, it is important to have someone available to assist them,” says Sharon. Ollie the owl, aka Professor DEETS is the student’s liaison to the Distance Education and Educational Technology. “DEETS stands for ‘distance education and educational technology’ and students can email him with any questions they may have about their classes, instructors, or the department,” says Sharon. As part of the adjunct faculty, Sharon also teaches online math classes. “The online math classes feature interactive math labs, which provides the students with stepby-step lessons and tutorials. I can look at my students’ labs and see their progress, or

if anyone is having a problem, I can see which steps they are struggling with. I believe these interactive math labs are more effective than the classroom, because instead of just watching an instructor at the front of the room, the students are having hands-on lessons; and I think this helps them retain the information better, too,” says Sharon. As technology continues to evolve, so will online education. In fact, phone apps are already the latest buzz in online education, which could give new meaning to the “smart” phone.

Call for details. Offer expires 8/28/13. Promo code: TEX APPEAL

Call for details. Offer expires 8/28/13. Promo code: TEX APPEAL



E N D O F WAT C H : 0 7 . 1 4 . 1 3 Officer Robert (Bobby) Hornsby Killeen Police Department, Texas

Officer Robert (Bobby) Hornsby, age 32, was fatally wounded in the line of duty on July 14, 2013, from gunshot wounds.  Officer Hornsby was a four year veteran of the Killeen Police Department and was a member of the Tactical Response Unit (SWAT). Killeen Police Officers responded to a 911 call at 11:40 pm on Saturday, July 13, 2013, when witnesses told them there was a man causing a disturbance in the pool area of the Grandon Manor Apartments located at 1611 Grandon Dr.  Upon arrival, officers found a male inside his apartment holding a long rifle in a threatening manner. The Tactical Response Unit was deployed and as they attempted to speak with the armed male, he fired one shot.  The officers attempted to take the suspect into custody when he backed into his apartment and armed himself with an AK-47 and began shooting at the officers.  Bobby will be missed greatly. He was a loving husband, father, and friend to many. He leaves behind his beloved family, wife Kimberly and their two small children, four year old Layden, and one year old Braxx. In memory of Officer Hornsby, an account has been established at the Extraco Bank in Harker Heights for his family. To make a donation online please visit or stop by your local Extraco bank. Checks may also be mailed directly to: Extraco Banks Account Name: Benefit for Robert Hornsby Attn: Benefit of Robert Hornsby Account Number: 20396883 PO Box 2330 Harker Heights, TX 76548





Photo Priscilla Z Photography

G me Ch ngers

Garden Estates of Temple, Retirement and Assisted Living Community Judy Grayson, DSM, Family Advisor 5320 205 Loop, Temple 888.434.6395 |

If “staying in the game” in your retirement years is important to you, then look no further than Garden Estates of Temple. Judy Grayson, a local “game changer,” can assist with the many aspects of finding the perfect home for your senior family member. Judy brought her passion for seniors to Garden Estates in 2007. She has been working with them and their families for more than 12 years. She provides guidance to adult children and family members, explaining long term care options. From discussing services and showing accommodations to assisting with the many aspects of a resident transitioning to Garden Estates, she is dedicated to simplifying the process for the resident and their family. Judy’s “passion of helping seniors” increases every day. When she walks through the door of Garden Estates each morning and greets the residents, she feels an unbelievable sense of responsibility and gratitude that she is able to serve seniors. Judy says she can’t imagine being anywhere else. Garden Estates is a Senior Lifestyle community which opened in 1998. It was the first in Temple to offer both retirement and assisted living options to seniors. Unique programming for residents is designed to stimulate engagement through novelty, variety and challenge. Each resident is encouraged to participate in Garden Estates’ game changing, awarenesswinning “Wellness Everyday” programs, classes and experiences.


There's no place like home unless you live at Garden Estates of Temple!


Wellness programs include: ▪ Physical Wellness involves exercising and eating nutritious food to fuel movement. This program can increase a resident’s knowledge of self-care and healthy lifestyle choices. ▪ Intellectual Wellness is promoted through seminars, discussions about current events, book reviews, outings, arts and craft projects, puzzle building and game playing. ▪ Emotional Wellness is accomplished through reminiscing, humor, laughter, yoga and intergenerational opportunities. ▪ Spiritual Wellness includes religion, personal values, philosophy, bible study, gospel music and uplifting readings. ▪ Social Wellness puts residents in contact with other people and our community. ▪ Vocational Wellness involves resident counsel programs, teaching and participating in series of projects in the local community. ▪ Dining for Wellness complements the Wellness Everyday lifestyle with special menus offered throughout the year. One of the most successful programs at Garden Estates is “Brain Health University,” which is a program designed to promote a brain-healthy lifestyle and stimulate engagement. Residents can sign up for 30 classes over a 60-day period. They receive a certificate of completion and participate in a graduation program when they finish 18 of the 30 classes. The purpose of these selected classes is to demonstrate that brain health and cognitive engagement can be pursued through an assortment of experiences and lifestyle choices. Brain Health University is unique to Senior Lifestyle communities, a family owned business with family values.

Photo by Priscilla Z Photography

Risk T kers

Fort Hood Area Association of Realtors 306 W. Mary Jane Drive, Killeen 254.634.4412 |

Michael DeHart, executive director of the Fort Hood Area Association of Realtors, has lived in Killeen since 1974 and has been the association’s executive director since July 2010. His passion for real estate has blossomed over the years, along with his desire to help the 525 primary members of the non-profit organization.

The association has also led the battle against imminent domain reform. “No longer can a government entity come in and just take your property from you,” he said. “They have to pay fair market value, they have to use it for its stated purpose within 10 years, or the consumer could buy it back at the price they paid for it.”

The Fort Hood Area Association of Realtors is a professional trade organization that consists of two corporations. DeHart is in charge of managing the policies set by the association’s volunteer board of directors. “Our members have a very stringent code of ethics,” he said. “We are very lucky here in Central Texas because a lot of the national (housing) markets have seen some big debts.”

The association also assisted the victims of the West explosion. “People don’t realize that property taxes are due no matter what happens to the property unless it’s part of a natural disaster,” DeHart said. “Those people in West were going to pay property taxes on homes that didn’t exist anymore, but by identifying one word in the law - natural disaster - and taking that out and redefining disaster being any manmade or natural event…they will now only pay on the land that’s left.”

The housing market is making a comeback now, DeHart said, attributing the positive trend to the area’s military population. About 65 percent of combined real estate in the area is veterans affairs related, meaning more than half of people buying, leasing, renting and selling property are active duty or retired military. “We have a very transient population here,” he said. Fighting for consumers and legislative advocacy are some of the biggest benefits the association provides. The Texas Association of Realtors has led the fight against tax increases for consumers who use their vehicles for personal and business purposes, as well as against mandatory transfer fees in real estate transactions. “It’s not that we don’t want the state to generate revenue but we think that consumers are taxed enough,” DeHart said.

Aside from serving the members through advocacy and continuing education, the association supports the 41st Fire Brigade on Fort Hood, helps with Habitat for Humanity and Relay for Life. Pictured above with Michael DeHart is Laura Segarra, 2013 President of the board of directors.

We're members who live and work in this community. The realtors are the people standing next to you in line at the H-E-B, at the movie theater or sitting next to you in church. Michael DeHart



Texas Bariatric Specialists 2201 S. WS Young Dr., Ste. 111-B, Killeen 254.213.6556 |

Founded in 2005 by Dr. Nilesh Patel, Texas Bariatric Specialists is one of largest and most successful weight-loss practices in Texas, serving communities throughout Central Texas including Killeen. As a holistic weight loss practice focused on delivering long-term weight loss solutions for patients, Dr. Patel is nationally recognized as a fellowshiptrained Bariatric surgeon with over 8 years of experience. Dr. Patel specializes in surgical weight loss procedures including Lap Band, Gastric Bypass, Gastric Sleeve, Gastric Band, and the revision of failed weight loss surgery. He has performed or participated in nearly 3,000 Bariatric surgeries and his results exceed the national average for successful weight loss management. With a commitment to surgical expertise, compassionate care and exemplary preoperative and postsurgical consultative services, Dr. Patel and the staff at Texas Bariatric Specialists ensure successful weight loss management for their patients through long-term relationships to support good health. • Dr. Patel is recognized as a “Center of Excellence” surgeon by the American Society of Metabolic Surgery and Bariatric Surgery, and the Surgical Review Corporation. • Faculty of the American College of Surgeons, October 2007. • Chosen by peers as a “2006 Top Doc” (bariatric surgery) in poll of San Antonio doctors conducted by “Scene in SA”, a regional San Antonio magazine. • Author of over 25 peer-reviewed articles in surgical journals. • Selected by BLIS Care as the exclusive provider of their complication related protection for Bariatric surgery patients throughout South Texas. Call today to attend a free seminar. 42


Photo by Priscilla Z Photography

Photo by Priscilla Z Photography

G me Ch ngers

Holloway’s Sports Center 8307 W. Adams, Temple 254.780.1181 |

Holloway’s Sports Center has been “changing the game” in Central Texas since 1991, providing quality team sports equipment, custom screen printing and laser engraving for all of your trophies, plaques, medals and awards. What began in a 200 square foot building in downtown Temple, has progressed to a 3500 square foot building with complete screen printing facilities and a retail floor second to none in the area. The emphasis has always been on team sports but whether it’s 12 shirts for your T-Ball team or 500 shirts for your business or special event, Holloway’s can give you the look you want at a price you can live with! Owner Bob Holloway has been in the screen printing/sporting goods business since 1974 while still a student at Sam Houston State University. “I always try to treat every order as if it were my own,” said Holloway. Holloway has also been active in the community as a member of Temple Chamber of Commerce, Past President of the Temple Jaycees and Past Vice-President of the Texas Jaycees and was recently inducted into the City of Temple Walk of Fame for his sponsorship and support of Temple Youth Baseball. Being a “Game Changer” definitely applies to Holloway’s Sports Center. “We try to make every team look their best and take a personal interest in the needs of our customers. Let Holloway’s help you become a “Game Changer” by giving you the look you want at a price you can afford and on time delivery. When you’re serious about your game, visit locally owned and operated Holloway’s Sports Center.

Texas Land Bank

2552 Blue Meadow Drive, Temple 254.778.8111 | Beginning his career in investments and banking with a large commercial bank, Jason Collier made the decision to “change his personal game” in 2011 when he made the move to agricultural lending. Jason, who was raised in Belton and graduated from Belton High School, holds a BS in Business Administration from Howard Payne University and an MBA from Texas A&M Commerce. “I made the change to agricultural lending in 2011 in order to serve the local farmers and ranchers in the community where I was raised,” Jason said. “Making the change from a commercial bank to agricultural lending has been an exciting challenge and I am convinced that Texas Land Bank is the best lender for Agricultural Loans with the most local experience and expertise.” A leader in financing for farms, ranches and recreational property owners in the heart of Texas for more than 90 years, Texas Land Bank embraces their mission to serve the agricultural and rural community by being a reliable lending source in both good times and bad.




Livingin Large a small house By Teresa K. Hernandez



ith a huge heart for helping others and an insatiable appetite for adventure, exploring, learning, and meeting new people, it’s no surprise that Ben Baecker, a University of Mary Hardin Baylor nursing student and life-long resident of Rogers, jumped at the chance to build his own home and join the “tiny house” movement. Initially, intrigued by the Tumbleweed Tiny House Company and its concepts for affordable and sustainable living and Jay Shafer’s book, The Small House Book, Ben quickly realized they held the key to living a very productive lifestyle. This was especially important to Ben because after he graduates this December, he plans to focus his life, time, and resources on doing the things he loves most—helping others through nursing and traveling. A lack of carpentry and construction experience did not dissuade Ben from building his own tiny house. In fact, not only did Ben embrace the challenge, but he did so with great humor as “Your Future Nomadic Nurse” in the email newsletters he shared with friends and family following his building project. Along with pictures, Ben excitedly documents the details of each stage of the build and his progress. He also humbly acknowledges his building novice goofs and a couple funny encounters he had with some annoying and pesky trespassers who attempted to move in and establish residency in his new home. At only 160 square feet, Ben’s “tiny” house is an inspiring example of how size really doesn’t matter when it comes to living large. “Life isn’t about what’s inside here, it’s about out there,” Ben says, pointing outside. “That is where you really live.”

May 16, 2012 —“Tiny House Kick Start!”

Hello Hello!  If you are getting this email it is because you have shown interest in following my latest project or think I am completely crazy in doing this and want to see what comes of it. The summer has brought upon the time for me to finally put nails into wood for my future Tiny House. The model is a mixture of multiple Tumbleweed Tiny House designs with a unique dash and enough individualistic traits to make it my “own” and not just another model kit that hundreds of people have made. Where is the fun in sticking with the current anyway :) Yet is does bring upon some questioning, like one I will ask you all later in the email. Yes, that means you can have a say in the house too! Trust me, I am in no way a carpenter and know what I am doing, so I will take all the advice I can get. So sit back, relax and enjoy the pictures of my adventure through the summer and perhaps then on.   The question I have is about the wall size, height-wise. Originally, I planned to build normal 8-foot walls. The interior would come out just as a normal house wall, hence everything would fit and be built up normally. The only problem with that is it leaves the exterior wall 5 3/8 inches over 8 feet. This brings up slight complications because we were planning on using our sheathing plywood as the main exterior wall, give it a solid coat of primer and paint and attach 1x1 boards vertically to give it the board and baton Back to the basics. An adventurous and outdoorsy guy, Ben embraces look. It simply causes a few horizontal seams to be visible around the house if we were the simplicity of living in his rustic Tiny House. to splice in the extra ply material needed, yet could be potential problem with water draining off the sides of the walls (and doesn’t look as good). I am doing research tomorrow at our local lumber yards, but has anyone ever heard of them selling 10-feet-long plywood? Or should I cut the studs to where a normal piece of 4X8 plywood could fit on the outside? Or does anyone have other ideas for exterior siding? (Keep in mind I am trying to go as simple and inexpensive as possible.) Thanks for your input and I can’t wait to hear your opinions! God bless. Your future Nomadic Nurse

May 30, 2012 —“Standing on it all”

That’s right, you can now stand on my tiny house’s floor! The past week has been a great one with all of the learning and accomplishments that have been made towards the house. Every rafter for the roof is cut and along with it came the skill of making a square cut with a hand-saw. Twelve bottles of caulk was used to seal the inside rim of the floor along with the edges of the polystyrene insulation between studs. Another huge lesson learned…nothing works perfectly, haha. We purchased tongue and groove plywood to sheath our floor, yet what we didn’t know is that they used normal 4x8 plywood and tongue and grooved it. That left us with 1/2 an inch off in areas on the floor. No problem in the long-run, but it was definitely one of those things that will be in the back of my head for future projects. Be ready for anything! The next thing is raising the walls! It’s imaginably hard to think that we are that close to my house becoming 3-D, but I can’t wait and will be sure to send plenty of pictures. Lately, it has just been me by myself, or Dad and I working, so we haven’t been able to get as many pictures but here are a few.  For the walls we have decided to go metal. It’s the simplest, less maintenance and better long term quality choice to make. Since that is aways off, I am going to try not to buy the metal brand new, or maybe if I am lucky not at all. I have started stalking Craigslist for barn tin or metal left over from other peoples projects. So if you happen to know of anyone having metal sheets up for grabs please let me know. Or really anything that could be used in this house. Again feel free to ask questions. I would be glad to talk.  Have a great week! No built-in water tanks, means Ben must manually carry in water. He created a hanging water dispenser to hang over the kitchen sink.

June 7, 2012 — “We’re 3-D!!”

Good Morning, Good Morning friends! I hope this email catches you in the middle of a great week. My dad and I have been hard at it! After countless do-overs and re-measuring, we finally reached the point of this Tiny House looking like a house. Long story short we again have



learned the lesson that nothing works perfect and that making rafters from reaching. But we accepted the fact that we weren’t true carpenters unless you have a pro do them. So hopefully in the years to come with be something we finally attain.  We ended up re-cutting all the rafters. My sore shoulder had a hard it would have put the ridge board at 13’ 7’’ which is 2’’ higher than and 7 inches taller than I wanted it to be. It was late when we finished last the pictures! Enjoy! P.S. I now know why carpenters like doing what they do so much. having a big belt full of nails and screws hanging at your side along with Life.  And again if you have any questions just ask, I realize my typing mainly because the further along with the house we get, the more tired to work ha-ha.

June 12, 2012 — “Sound the Alarms!”

are a gift that we are a ways off and they would never be perfect practice and more learning it can time accepting that, ha ha, because standard drivers license permits night but I hope you can make out There isn’t a better feeling then a drill and hammer. The Good in the emails has gotten shorter, I get, and the less my mind is able

Sound the alarms. This crazy kid is one major step closer to living the small life! As I type this, only hours after sheathing our last piece of exterior wall, the house is being tested by Mother Nature herself to see ‘weather’ or not she can survive the wind’s toughest blow. I only hope my house, and all the work put into it will pass the test so I can move onto the next step. Which Dining for two with a view. RIGHT: The small kitchen has all the necessities Ben needs for basically is the decorating stage.  preparing meals, a blender, crockpot, and hotplate. With some creative ingenity and slide Lately I have been through one of the most unknown stages of out shelving, Ben maximized the storage space in the cabinets. A mini-fridge will be storaged building the house yet. In terms, I have bugged my dad the most during behind the burlap curtain hanging on the right side of the cabinet. the past week and a half doing my best to figure out and understand the purposes and means behind it all. So much credit goes out to him, and mother for the constant refills of water. This stinking Texas heat will make my coming adventure to Idaho and Montana so much more the merry. That is partly why I am sending this to you now. I am building this house once, it has been a current of life that I have wanted to let flow for some time and two, in hopes to travel the world, experience cultures and nurse in those areas. So as you can see I have been testing and living out only 1/3 of my future and we all know life must remain balanced. So I am heading on a trip with a friend of mine to take a Wilderness First Response Medical Course in Victor, Idaho (Teton Valley area). Building-wise, we used normal OSB for all sides of the trailer and foil-bottomed OSB for the roof. I don’t know if this will have a positive result heat-wise in the house, but it is worth a shot. As soon as I get back from our trip I plan on making the exterior part of the house complete, because it isn’t but a couple of weeks that I will embark on my next adventure outside the Lone Star State. Practice makes perfect. What is nice about this part is that the inside is sealed from the rain and I honestly have no timeline to follow anymore besides the ones I set on my own. Not only that but I will be paying back my labor in shoveling hands and sore backs helping Dad in the garden. All fun and games, but like I said earlier, I couldn’t have gotten this far without him.  Short story. Part of me thinks I was hard-headed and didn’t care to call up bunches of people for help but whatever lead to it, my dad and I ended up heaving the roofing OSB onto the house all on our own, something which I never thought was possible. Desperate times call for lunatics to think and come up with stupid ideas which work GREAT! We knew we couldn’t lift them up in any way, so we put our Egyptian pyramid/African hut making hats and came up with a sled...sort of, ha ha. We parked the truck next to the house and slanted two 12’ 2x4’s from the bed to the top plate of the wall. Crafted together a wooden sock to fit the board into and with a couple of feet of rope. Voilà!! Your roof is sheathed. It really was fun and wished we had more to pull up there than 6 sheets. I attached a video of my mom recording it. I hope it works through the email. It was dark when we did it so I edited it as much as I could to lighten the setting a bit but you can make out what we are doing and at Behind curtain number two…there’s least you can see our beautiful contraption in action.  enough space and privacy to hang a Enjoy the pictures and God bless!  Have a wonderful week! manual hanging shower near the porta potty.



July 23, 2012 — “Back in Business!”

Hello Fello’s!  Not realizing it’s been a month since I have sent out my last email update on my Tiny House, I have a lot to catch everyone up on! Tiny House-wise, it’s up and going quite well. When I got back I started attaching the facia and eve, or soffit, boards all around the house, along with the dummy rafters on the gable ends. I used 1x6 rough-cut cedar for both and faced the rough side outward with no stain or sealant. I am going for the weathered look later on down the road. Once the whole house was finally dressed in its cedar skirt I took to the final measuring for the metal roof and siding. I ordered through Mueller Metal Company where they cut the exact length I need for the roof and siding. It was pricy but I figured this would be the part of my house that if I was to invest anything in it should be the outside. (Meaning it’s gotta look good on the side of the lake in front of a couple of mountains later on in life, ha-ha) And as dad keeps telling me, and I am starting to believe him, this will not be my last Tiny House to build in my life. So Repurposed fencing provided a beautiful and natural interior. The spacious Master bunk has with that in mind, it also is a good plus to being able to sell it to the next open storage space below. When a friend comes over to “hang out,” Ben ties the other end of the red/white hammock to a beam in the kitchen to create a comfortable guest bunk. crazy guy wanting to live exclusive.  As you can see from the pictures, it’s coming along nicely! The slight imperfections of the house not being perfectly square are not causing to much of a problem and the look and colors are exactly what I was hoping for. What’s next you say?? Well, once all sides of the house are finished, then it will be time to tie the shoelaces a little tighter and start to tackle the inside. Starting with the electrical work, then siding, and kitchen.  Not much else, I will save more to say for the next email, I am running out of space usable since I am sending a good amount of pictures ha ha. But as always feel free to ask questions or make comments.  Take care and stay cool for those of you who are in Texas and for those of you who aren’t.....just be happy you aren’t. ha-ha

September 15, 2012 — “It’s Alive!!”

Happy change in weather friends! So it’s raining now in Central Texas, who would have imagined? No worries though, all is appreciated. The ground no longer has calf-deep cracks, grass is turning actual shades of green, and all could be witness from the inside of my electrically flowing, water-sealed, insulated Tiny House.  That’s right. As excited as I am to say, the house is fully functional with outlets, switches, and a patio light. Upon returning from my last exhibition in Jamaica the electrician books were dusted off and wires started to be strung. My hopes were to complete the task before school. It was possible, yet that meant many do-overs and sweaty shirts. I now give electricians credit for what they do. My mind was just about to blow configuring and comprehending all the wires and their different connections on a Tiny House scale while working in a sauna, I couldn’t imagine it in a normal house with multiple people working on the same project. Yet I enjoyed the experience and grew from it as I have with every other challenge.  Two rough-cut cedar beams are bolted on across the tops of the wall frames for support and aesthetics. I love how every beam I searched through in Lowe’s and Home Depot was different and each had their own personal grain texture. It brought a great deal of variety to the house, and smell :), and the walls aren’t even up yet! I hit the jackpot a few weeks after school started and my Craigslist post for old cedar fencing paid off. I was able to pick up 20 cedar panels with about 15 pickets on each one. Tap that onto the 50 pickets I collected from a neighbor and we are looking pretty solid for the interior. Not a lot is set in stone interior wise but then again what has been with the whole project haha. It have had a go with the flow vibe backing it up the whole way and though I wish I had things planned out so I can run through them and start living in the house, it’s made it enjoyable and discovering. I honestly don’t know what I will do when it’s finished. I’m starting to wonder if living in it will be as enjoyable as building it!  The idea so far on the inside involves a historic paint I have recently discovered and am already falling for it. Milk paint. Sand a piece of the cedar fence just enough to get rid of the splinters, paint a watered down coat of Milk Paint on it, and wipe it off instantly, leaving it with a beautiful shade of color that doesn’t stick out nor cover the history and character of the old cedar. Next I am going to do my best waking up my artistic side by incorporating as much of the leftover material and metal I have from the build to liven it up a bit. Leaving it with a authentic look, I hope ha-ha.  Besides that, all that is left is finding a place to park it when the time comes. The start of visiting city councils has just begun and with every



suburb, town and area being slightly different, I know I will be able to find a place to quietly settle down with me and my little abode.  Enjoy the pictures, and remember when life brings you different circumstances, they aren’t necessarily bad, they’re just different and meant to be looked at in a new way. A more open way. God bless you and your families. 

November 30, 2012 — “Tis the Season!”

Sorry I haven’t updated you all on the recent progress of my lil freedom shack, but I have been busy building.....A house of 3x5 cards and reviews for my final exams which are next week. But school aside, the tiny house is coming along GREAT! Over Thanksgiving break I was able to tackle installing the weathered cedar on more of the interior walls and ceiling and with each board bringing a broader glimpse of what this will actually feel like on the inside. It’s exciting and mind blowing.  I wish I had more to say to fill you in and give you more insight to all that has been happening; the joy, the beauty and even the down times, ha-ha, yes there are many of those. But it’s all of these combined with the lessons of life and going through school that have made this process an amazing one to look at and keep walking through. For now, it’s back to the books!!! Thanks for your support and encouragement. I will be off the continent until Christmas Eve, but until then I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas holiday. Remember why we celebrate it and enjoy the time you have at hand with family and traditions. I will have much to share when I get back :) 

March 24, 2013 — “Tiny House Time!”

Long time I know!       For those of you who have been getting the email updates on my house, I sent out one last email prior to me leaving for Mozambique, Africa, in December and haven’t updated ya’ll since. So, to clarify, I am alive! Ha-ha and life could not be better. I met some AMAZING people during my time there, made many connections with clinics, doctors, orphanages and ministry groups, not to mention friends. My time there, as it has come to my attention, is not done, however. So with all joy I am proud to say I will be returning there to spend a couple more months and really dig into the culture, life, friendships and nursing opportunities.  I am happy to announce that the interior of the house has done just that, become a house!! It’s incredible to see, and sit in. No longer looking at the walls and eyeing the studs and window frames that were labored together, but seeing what I will awaken to for many mornings to come. It also helps to enjoy the inside when it is completely sealed off from the outside. haha. Kyle (a friend of mine from the hospital) came out last Friday and together we knocked out the flooring! Once some prep measurements were made and aligning so that the pieces would fit together straight, it really wasn’t too bad. So we had fun doing what we called man’s version of a puzzle. The flooring is a total blessing and would not be in place if it wasn’t for companies coincidentally (I say divine) running out of the original design I ordered. The second I got the call referring to that I knew there was a reason for it and decided to go back into the store and have one more look around to find the right one. Hours later and again another divine moment from a friend who I had lunch with afterwards (which upon seeing a sample, insisted on paying the remaining sum on what I owed) the flooring was ordered. The best part about the flooring is that it has a true meaning. On top of it all, the flooring is in the design of the mats you see woven out of small bamboo shoots. The ones of which I stood and sat on during my time at Mozambique. As you can see I am very fond of my flooring :) and am excited to see it tie the bamboo chairs, potato sack cabinets and curtains made out of fabric I bought in Mozambique.        For those who are wondering, the flooring was a vinyl plank style which came in 7 3/4 x 36’ish length pieces. You spread the glue, let it become tacky (45’ish minutes) and then lay it on. Whether it is shameful or not to say, YouTube helped a lot in the learning how to do this ha-ha. Now that the flooring is down I can continue with trimming the corners and framing the door. The exterior trim work of the house is officially finished. I stripped multiple 1x6 rough-cut cedar boards in order to nail the small trim piece where the facia and wall meet. In the process and outsiders opinions (thanks, Mom and Dad) we decided to trim the bottom edges of the house with the same size and style. Needless to say, it turned out GREAT! It aids in the aesthetic look and makes the house pop out a little more rather than just fade off into the trailer. All that’s left exterior wise would be determining which color or what to do with the door. 

May 26, 2013 “One step closer to reality!”

Hello friends, OMG, IT’S MORE THAN JUST A BOX NOW!!! Yes, you know what that means, the kitchen cabinets are set in place, shelves are above looking stylish (with actual utensils on both of them :), and the raised bed/hang out spot is set and ready for a cushion. This is just unbelievable! I can honestly say that today when I stepped back from hanging a few pots and filling the cabinets with cooking necessities, I had the biggest, joyous and jumping feeling about my house than any time throughout the past year of my adventure in building it. Today topped everything and is so incredibly amazing to look upon and hard to believe ha-ha.  Some other changes is that I have applied a quick cote of Cabot Australian Timber Oil (natural color) to all of my cedar trim. I held my hard



head about not wanting to stain or touch up with anything related to my cedar for a full year but when looking at the house from a distance and comparing pictures of when it was first nailed up, it was looking pretty dead... So of course if you go to Lowe’s or any store looking for stain/ sealer or any product that will prolong and bring back life into cedar you get bombarded with aisles longer than the amount of cedar you are going to be covering! My main concern with applying anything is that with time and multiple coats it would start to change/cover up the uniqueness and natural flavor of the cedar. Luckily I have a great friend who just finished redoing his backyard, patio and privacy fence. He coated his cedar with the Timber oil and I was amazed what it did and continued to do months after applying it. So I was sold and am very glad I made the decision :)    Back to the kitchen shelves. Did I mention I LOVE THEM! I want to say a great big thank you to Walker’s Honey Farm in Rogers who donated a few of their locally milled cedar boards. Once I uncovered them, smelt the sweat smell of cedar and got lost in their individual grain patterns, I was set on using them some way in the house. The fun part Ready for adventure? Hitch er’up and go. was constructing its use in a way that would enable them to flaunt their magnificent designs. When the shelves took form I did not want to lose the bark that remained on the outer edge of the boards. That was my favorite part, it made the shelves and house feel a little bit more untouched and squared by the human hand. So I grabbed the wood glue and brushed a thin coat over the bark and outer edge in hopes it would hold onto the bark and extend its life. Wow was I in for a surprise! The glue worked WONDERFULLY not only as glue but the glossy coat it gave it really brought the shelves to a new level!

July 9, 2013 — “TA- DAHH!”

Hello all once again! Hmm, where to start??? Let’s see we have curtains, table, door, kitchen countertop, and a comfortable bed. Where to start first is a tough decision because all my brain can grasp right now is my HOUSE IS COMPLETE!! Yep, It’s been moved, stocked and slept in for a week now and boy, do words have no say with how I feel about it. It may take a few months for the top layers of my teeth to grow back from the gnawing that took place between them during the houses first move, but all is well!  Chronologically, from the last email the next step undertaken was the curtains. Thanks goes to my wonderful sister who visited during this time with helping me pick out great colors and texture, need I say if I did it the interior would look like, well, a young boy who has no knowledge of color scheming designed it haha. The fabric we bought at Hobby Lobby along with small leftover strips of the Capulana I brought back from Africa, turned out wonderfully and tied everything together is more than I could have imagined. Even when I was the one that sewed them ;-) Next was painting the door and installing the countertop. You would think that painting the door would have been the easier and quicker task. Well, leave it to me to learn the lesson about painting the hard way. I attempted to paint the door the cheaper/easier way with spray paint and needless to say, it turned out costing more money and time. Whether it was the paint, or technique of application the spray paint did not want to cooperate when it came to sticking and sealing to the door. It ended up with Dad and I going through a whole can of lacquer thinner rubbing the door down to remove it all and prepare it for a brush on coat. Once it was all removed I made a trip to the local Home Depot to get them to match the paint of my blue roof with some solid semi-gloss latex paint. But hey, the countertop went on no problem!!! With that said, all that was left was making it my own. Besides the basics, which you can see in the pictures, most of what I will bring in and how I will start the trek of living in this great masterpiece will be done en route. Which is what will be great about starting out in the parents’ backyard. I can start to get a feel of how life will be and figure out minor details while here so that later on down the road when I move away, I won’t need to be making constant trips to Wal-Mart or home to fix or acquire anything.   I plan to piece together a broad email thanking you all for being there for me and your interest, recapping the whole adventure of this past year and possibly bringing up the times for an open house party! I would love to see as many of you as possible and give you the opportunity to step foot in it and truly feel what it›s like to be in the Tiny House. Pictures don’t suffice! Photos by Teresa K. Hernandez TEXAPPEALMAG.COM


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Little town, Big Fun



By Gruene Merchants Association


rriving in Texas in the mid 1840s, German farmers became the first settlers of what is now known as Gruene, Texas. Ernst Gruene, a German immigrant, and his bride Antoinette had reached the newly established city of New Braunfels in 1845, but acreage was scarce. Thus, Ernst and his two sons purchased land just down river, and Ernst built the first home in Gruene in early fachwerk style. His second son, Henry D. Gruene, built his home (now the Gruene Mansion Inn) and planted his surrounding land with cotton. Having become the number one cash crop,

the cotton business soon brought 20 to 30 families to Henry D.’s land.  Henry D. built houses in various styles — a Victorian cottage (now Lone Star), a large brick home, and a frame house for the foreman of his farm. The first mercantile store (now Gruene General Store) was built in 1878 and a cotton gin (now Gristmill River Restaurant and Bar) powered by the Guadalupe River was added soon after. Further construction during this profitable time included a dance hall and saloon (Gruene Hall), which became the center of the community’s social TEXAPPEALMAG.COM


life. As the town continued to prosper, a new mercantile building (now Gruene Antique Company) sprang up in 1904. However, the death of Henry D. in 1920 marked the downfall of Gruene’s development and good fortune. In 1922, the original cotton gin burned and was replaced by a modern electric model down the road (now Adobe Verde). Yet, the economic disasters of the boll

Friday Afternoon Club

A Gruene Hall tradition, now in its 16th year, and still going strong! Get your weekend kickin’ at Gruene Hall every Friday from 4-7 p.m. Enjoy happy hour, prize giveaways and the best in Texas tunes, broadcasted live by KNBT 92.1 FM Radio New Braunfels with Mattson Rainer. Need another reason to come out? You never know who might stop by – Ray Benson, Steve Earle, Delbert McClinton, Radney Foster, Hayes Carll and Ray Wylie Hubbard have all stopped by for a chat, just to name a few. Good times!

Two-Ton Tuesdays & Swing Dance Lessons Tuesday Nights: May 28 - August 20 It wouldn’t be summertime without popular rock-a-billy band, Two Tons of Steel, holding court in Gruene Hall every Tuesday evening. If you haven’t caught Two Ton fever yet, grab your dancing shoes and get ready. The band takes the stage at 8:30 pm. Come early for Swing Dance Lessons from 6-7 pm. weevil and the depression were too much for the family businesses and they went under, except for Gruene Hall, which never closed.  Today, Gruene is once again a thriving community, but for decades it was little more than a ghost town. This all changed the day that Pat Molak, frustrated with big-city life, wandered into town and began to breathe life back into this piece of Texas history.  Molak purchased Gruene Hall in 1975. A few unavoidable repairs were made to the Hall, but little else was necessary. Left uncorrupted, the 6,000-square-foot openair dance hall became a virtual magnet, a starting point for many of Texas’ up-and-coming performers, and once again, the heart of Gruene.  With the help of his friend Mary Jane Nalley, he worked to preserve the authentic, turn-of-the-century look and feel of Gruene by purchasing and repairing several of the town’s most notable structures and transforming them into thriving businesses. These developments seemed to rekindle the spark of Gruene, and soon the town’s familiar charm began to shine again.  Gruene itself has been added to the National Register of Historic Places, and many of the buildings that were rescued by Molak and Nalley have been awarded a Texas medallion from the Texas Historical Commission. It has also been recognized by the Texas travel industry as a premiere attraction for visitors, which is no surprise to its merchants and guests.  Even with the remarkable growth of this once sleepy little town, the main focus of Gruene is, and continues to be, bona fide Texas. Everything from the wares they sell to the music they play speaks to Molak and Nalley’s commitment to preserving the authenticity of Gruene and providing its guests with an experience that has the signature seal of the Lone Star State.

Honky’ tonkin

Get ready to do boot’scooting and enjoy some of Texas music’s finest musicians at Gruene Hall, Texas’ oldest dance hall, built in 1878.



Gospel Brunch with a Texas Twist in Gruene Hall Second Sundays: August 11 In the tradition of a New Orleans-style gospel brunch, enjoy the aweinspiring gospel music coupled with a mouth-watering buffet catered by Gristmill River Restaurant & Bar. Brunch hours are 10:30 am – 12 pm.

Ride the River & Live Tunes at Gruene Hall Everyday!

Beat the heat with the cool water of the Guadalupe River. Whether you choose an inner tube, a raft, or a canoe, jump in the water and enjoy a leisurely float along one of Central Texas’ most beautiful waterways. Dry off and head on over to Gruene Hall! Gruene Hall features live music every day year ‘round. Most shows are free Monday through Thursday evenings and Saturday and Sunday afternoon. Friday and Saturday evenings are generally ticketed or cover shows.

Coming to Gruene Hall in August:

Junior Brown

Friday, August 2, 8pm

Saturday, August 10, 9pm

Bob Schneider

Delbert McClinton

Saturday, August 17, 9pm

John Hiatt & The Combo

Thursday, August 29, 8pm

Jack Ingram

Friday, August 16, 8pm

Tickets available online at www.

Gruene FUN Every Month Old Gruene Market Days

Third Full Weekend: August 17-18 Nearly 100 vendors offer uniquely crafted items, collectibles and packaged Texas foods. Open at 10 am. Free admission. Visit or call (830) 832-1721 for information.

Come and Taste It

Third Thursdays: August 15 Meet Texas’ best winemakers and craft brewers at The Grapevine the third Thursday of each month except January. Throughout the year, 11 wineries and their winemakers are showcased on the patio and garden of this popular tasting room in Gruene Historic District. With The Grapevine’s new addition of select craft beers on tap, each month will also feature one brewery that will offer samples alongside the wine. Complimentary tastings will be offered of the craft beer and three of the wineries newest releases, top-selling and hardestto-find wines. This is a great opportunity to learn direct from these craftsmen, engage with other visitors interested in wine and beer, enjoy the natural surroundings as well as all the other offerings of Gruene Historic District. Samples of food that is offered for sale will be provided, and each event features live music and prize giveaways. For more information, visit or call (830) 606-0093.  TEXAPPEALMAG.COM


Texas-Style Eats Fickle Pickles Antiques and Pickles  A unique blend of interesting antiques and one of the best pickle recipes you’ve ever tasted. 

Gristmill River Restaurant and Bar  Since 1977. Unique Texas style dining in an 1870s cotton gin beneath the water tower on the Guadalupe River. 

items. Housed in H.D. Gruene’s Texas Landmark mercantile building (c. 1903) with original bank vault. 


Celebrating 30 years of hand crafting pottery. Come see a craftsman at work. Located in a “turn of the century” barn, featuring hand-thrown, wood-fired pottery. Also showing the handiwork of other skilled potters, jewelers, metal smiths and wood workers. 

Gallerie at Geuene 

Contemporary fine art created by six local artists. Paintings, stone sculpture, pottery and handcrafted jewelry. 

Giddyup Gruene 

Texas western chic for women and men. Boots, apparel, hats and more.

Got Toys

An eclectic mix of toys and gifts for ages 0 - 102.  

The Grapevine 

Gruene Coffee House 

Full espresso bar, gourmet coffee, fruit smoothies, free WiFi, TV and ATM and unique gifts. Open 8 a.m-6 p.m. Come on in for a “perk” me up! 


Original food. Cool bar. Premium well liquors, select wines and specialty beers. All day menu of favorite American classics. Sports TVs and air conditioning! 

River House Tea Room 

Casual dining experience inside or umbrella dining outside. Choose from a selection of lovely salads, homemade soups, marble bread sandwiches or grilled specialties.

ANTIQUES  Black Swan Antiques

Old World antiques and collectibles shipped directly from England and Europe. Furniture, porcelain, stoneware, copper, bottles, books, McCalls Country Candles and more. 

Cactus Jacks 

Beautiful handmade and antique furniture, original Texas artwork. Fine-decor items, gifts, gourmet foods and Vera Bradley.

Gruene Antique Company 

More than 6,500 square feet of antiques, collectibles, gifts and decorator 56


Complimentary daily tastings; large selection of Texas, New World and German wines, craft beers on tap, specialty beers, champagnes, wine gifts and decor. Outdoor porch, patio, garden & seasonal misters or fire pit.  

The Great Texas Pecan Candy Co.  Handmade Pecan Candies. 

Gruene General Store 

Selected as one of the 40 best places to visit in Texas: soda fountain, homemade fudge, Texas foods, unusual gifts, books, cards, antiques, signs and tins, all in a nostalgic setting.  

Gruene Granite and Iron Company

 Specializing in exotic granite and iron furniture. Unique handmade one of a kind pieces, home decor and gifts. Truly Gruene’s hidden treasure.  

Gruene Outfitters 

Top-of-the-line outdoor wear, fresh and saltwater fly tackle, footwear and fine accessories such as hats, sunglasses and travel gear. Also, fly fishing lessons.  

Gruene With Envy 

Spirited apparel, shoes, jewelry, and accessories. The look you’re looking for.  

Hunter Junction

Since 1981, Gruene’s first retail shop. Suppliers of quality t-shirts, sportswear, gifts and souvenirs. Located in the 1854 Rudolf du Menil building. Open daily, year round. 

Lone Star 

Featuring an eclectic blend of Texas-inspired gifts! Candles made in Tyler, Texas, jewelry and accessories for men, women and ‘tweens’, furniture and home decor. 

Natural Selections

Located in the Casa de Pablo Lopez. Specializing in rocks, fossils, jewelry, antiquities from abroad with arrowheads and artifacts. Including home accents, framed art and unique gifts with a Texas twist.

Pookie Jane’s 

A unique boutique filled with women’s apparel, jewelry, shoes, gifts and much more. Home of the original “MANCAVE”. Find Pookie Jane’s on Facebook.  

Smiling Eyes Photo Gallery

Old-time photos since 1975. Award-winning western-themed portraits. Costumes and props provided. Individuals, couples, families and groups.

Texas Homegrown 

Offering sassy ladies clothing, a loaded purse room, handcrafted jewelry, items with a Texas flare, crosses and chimes. Home of the $6.99 earrings. Open daily. 

Tipsy Gypsy

A fun and funky boutique for women featuring imported clothing from around the world, gifts, purses, biker gear, lighted toys, red hats and whimsical sunglasses. 

UPCOMING EVENTS 27th Annual Gruene Music & Wine Fest

October 10-13 This Americana event benefiting the United Way of Comal County features the best in live Texas music and the best in Texas food and wines at Gruene Hall and The Grapevine. All four days will be filled with vintner and music events, wine & food samplings and the Great Guitar Auction.

21st Annual Texas Clay Festival

October 26-27, 10 am – 6 pm Respected potters and sculptors from around Texas display, sell their wares and demonstrate a variety of techniques. Hands-on activities are available for children.

Spend the night in Gruene Historic District After a big day of Texas fun, come rest your weary bones at the Gruene Mansion Inn. This premier bed and breakfast, features 30 rooms and is formerly the home of H.D. Gruene. The property features its original carriage house, corn crib, and barns. Discover this rustic Texas Victorian treasure, and enjoy a taste of elegance and a wonderful breakfast.



h e al th

Clearly Focused on

Eye Health By Brenda Cox, PHd

Eyes are a vital part of our overall health, yet they are often overlooked when considering preventative health measures. It may surprise you to learn that by taking the appropriate proactive measures, you can reduce your chances of having vision problems, maybe even avoiding them altogether. For example, did you know that the average person blinks for three-tenth of a seconds each blink, allowing for about 30 minutes per day in darkness? The process of blinking alone can decrease eye strain and improve overall eye health. This is only one of many tips to keep those beautiful eyes looking revived and healthy.



The most important thing you can do is to have a comprehensive dilated eye exam at least every three years up to the age of 50, then annually after 50. You may think everything is going fine with your vision, but this exam is the only way that you can be sure that common vision problems are not beginning to surface. An acquaintance of mine recently relayed the story of how she didn’t even know that leaves on trees had texture or lines until she had an eye exam and began wearing glasses. If you have never had good vision or if your vision deteriorates slowly over time, you may never even notice a problem. The truth is many common eye diseases such as glaucoma, diabetic eye disease and age-related macular degeneration often have no warning signs. According to the National Eye Institute (NEI), a dilated eye exam is the only way to detect these diseases in the early stages. During dilation, an eye care professional places drops in your eyes to widen the pupil, causing the pupil to allow more light to enter your eye. This works much the same way that opening a door or pulling back a curtain allows more light to come into a dark room. While your eyes are dilated, a physician can get a good look at the back of the eyes and

examine them. People who have a family history of eye disease should be especially cautious, because many diseases of the eyes have strong hereditary links. Knowing this history will not only help your doctor determine what exactly is going on with your eyes, but also alert you to any risk factors you may have for developing an eye disease or condition. Known risk factors may indicate a need for more frequent eye exams. You may not think that what you eat plays a major factor in the health of your eyes, but a healthy diet is important. You have probably heard that eating carrots is good for your eyes; however, maintaining a diet rich in fruits and vegetables, especially those dark leafy greens such as spinach, kale or collard greens, also enhances eye health. Along with fruits and vegetables, there is additional evidence that fish, high in omega-3 fatty acids, such as salmon, tuna and halibut, have beneficial effects

S u m m e r h e at i n t e n s i f i e s chronic skin conditions By Brenda Cox, PhD



on maintaining healthy eyes. A healthy diet also helps you maintain a healthy weight, which can lower your risk of developing diabetes and other systemic conditions that can affect the health of your eyes. Wearing eye protection when participating in sports or doing activities around the home or work is essential for protecting your eyes. Fortunately, there are tons of stylish protective goggles, safety glasses, safety shields and eye guards available in our modern era of health consciousness. Modern eye wear is made of strong polycarbonate that is 10 times stronger than plastics of past generations. Most sporting goods stores and eye care centers sell eye protection. This is an especially good habit to start with children. OSHA sets minimum standards for employers. Employers must provide eye protection when employees are exposed to eye hazards such as flying particles, molten metals, liquids, chemicals, acids or other caustic liquids, chemicals gases, or vapors as well as potentially injurious light radiation. In addition to the above health habits, many other factors can impact vision. According to the surgeon general, smoking increases your chances of developing age-related macular degeneration, cataracts, and optic nerve damage, all which can lead to blindness. Wearing shades or sunglasses not only helps you look cool, but they can protect your eyes from the sun’s ultraviolet rays. The National Eye Institute says that when you purchase sunglasses, look for ones that will block out 99 to 100 percent of both UV-A and UV-B radiation. If you follow these tips and give your eyes a little rest, as well as keep hands and contact lenses clean, you will stand the best chances of avoiding infections and maintaining healthy eyes. A rule of thumb for eye rest is that for every 20 minutes you work on a computer or focus on a visual task, you should look away about 20 feet in front of you for 20 seconds. According to The National Eye Institute, worldwide one 60


adult goes blind every five seconds and one child goes blind every minute. Additionally, more than half of all people in the United States use or need some type of lens to correct their vision. With children heading back to school, it is especially important to note that vision

problems are one of the leading contributors to poor academic performance. Do not rely solely on the school nurse’s standard vision test, because it will not detect serious eye movement problems such as convergence insufficiency or oculomotor dysfunctions (OMD). In fact, children can pass a 20/20 eye chart and still have a serious eye movement or teaming problem. Only a comprehensive vision test can detect these conditions. Eye-tracking problems occur when one or both eyes cannot smoothly follow from one object to the next or from one line of text to the next. As a result, children cannot read or copy text correctly because they frequently lose their place or skip lines while reading, and even misread short words. Sentences may appear to “float,” separate incorrectly, or even shadowed or doubled. Because of their inability to focus and read, they cannot follow the teacher’s lessons and appear

distracted. Children with these eye problems are commonly and unfairly accused of not “paying attention,” or “being lazy and not working hard enough.” As a result these children are also frequently misdiagnosed as having dyslexia, ADD, ADHD, or other learning abilities. Eye movement problems may be present from a very early age; however, it generally goes undetected until the child begins to have serious problems in school. It is not uncommon for this to go completely undetected until high school, college or even adulthood. As a result, many children spend their entire school years struggling or in learning disability classes, all of which can contribute to a low self-confidence or self-esteem issues. Research indicates these problems are contributing factors to high school drop-out rates and juvenile delinquency when left undetected and untreated.

According to the American Optometric Association, more than 60 percent of children who have difficulty with learning have undiagnosed vision problems that are not detectable by routine vision screenings. Dr. Carol Scott, a developmental optometrist from Springfield, Missouri and the president of the College of Optometrists in Vision Development (COVD), states that, “85 percent of all juvenile delinquents nationwide have reading difficulties and it is vital that juvenile delinquents and prisoners are screened for learning-related vision problems, as well as all children who have any difficulty with learning – even the bright underachievers.” However, the good news is that vision therapy can reverse these conditions. Using a variety of game-style activities, vision therapy can help strengthen the eye muscles, help them to team and track properly.

Symptoms of Eye Movement Problems • Short attention span • Tired, eyestrain • Blurred vision • Double vision • Headaches, dizziness • Sleepiness during activity • Motion sickness or vertigo (some people report these symptoms when watching a 3D movie, or they may not even see the 3D effects) • Squinting or closing one eye • Reads very slow or below their grade level • Skips entire words, lines, and loses their place often • Uses a finger to keep their place • Moves their head excessively when reading • Poor reading comprehension • Trouble catching a ball • Misjudges distances, frequently stumbles or spills things • Avoids eye contact • Difficulty in copying from the chalkboard • Refuses to do their homework and gives up easily because they feel defeated Ask your school counselor or nurse for a list of community resources that may be available to help with vision exams and glasses for school-age children. It is important to make vision a health priority for your family. As children head back to school this year, make sure they have one of the most important school supplies on the list for success—healthy eyes. TEXAPPEALMAG.COM


Ten Signs of Vision Problems in School Age Children • Consistently sitting too close to the TV or holding a book too close • Losingt their place while reading or using a finger to guide their eyes when reading • Squinting or tilting the head to see better • Frequent eye rubbing • Sensitivity to light and/or excessive tearing • Closing one eye to read, watch TV or see better • Avoiding activities that require near vision, or distance vision • Complaining of headaches or tired eyes • Avoiding the use of a computer because it “hurts their eyes” •Receiving lower grades than usual



fitne ss

Training for Two

F i tne s s fo r ex p e c ti ng m o m s By Jessie Oestreich, CPT

In the real world of high-calorie diets and sedentary pregnancies, more women today are gaining beyond what is considered a healthy “baby weight.” In addition, the idea that the weight can easily be lost after the baby is born has proven to be not very realistic. Taking the phrase, “I’m eating for two” overboard will increase your risk of obesity. There is no excuse for carrying around extra “baby weight” two, three, even four or five years after giving birth. Exercise is an important aspect of a healthy lifestyle, and pregnancy is no exception. Physical activity not only improves your physical health, but mentally as well. Every woman and pregnancy is different, so it is important to discuss your exercise routine with your doctor to ensure it’s safe for both you and the baby. The key to any successful work-out program-pregnant or not, is finding something you enjoy that is safe. Choosing activities that can improve balance and flexibility are always great options such as yoga or Pilates. You will still strengthen your muscles and burn calories, but without the risk of high impact on your joints. Routines that can provide a full-body workout are especially beneficial. Larger muscle groups burn more calories than smaller muscle groups, so by training all of them, you are maximizing your opportunities to build more muscle, reduce more fat, increase strength, burn more calories, and support a healthy metabolism. According to doctors, women who have a healthy weight or are in good shape are more likely to have easier labors than women who are overweight or obese. Your body has to work hard during labor and if you are already out of shape, it will not only have to work over-time, but double-time. Working out with light resistance bands or small hand-weights (5-10 lbs) is easy to do at home and can give you a full body workout. If you do not have any bands or weights, no worries; just pull a couple soup or vegetable cans out of the pantry, because remember the key is to just add a little resistance.



Full B o dy Ho me Wo r ko u t

Before beginning any new exercise program, it is important to consult with your doctor for approval.

Weighted squat: Holding your dumbbells in each hand, slowly bend at the knee, sitting rear back and down (like sitting in a chair). Keep your knees over the ankles and weight back to the heel. Curl-press: Starting with weights at the side in each hand, curl up to shoulder, then press weights up overhead fully extending slowly and bring them down the same way.

Side lunge: Stand with feet shoulder-width apart, weights in each hand. Step out to the right with the right leg, sitting back and down into the right heel. Push up through the heel and rear end to bring your leg back to starting position. Repeat on the left leg. Plie’ squat: Stand with feet a bit wider than shoulder-width apart and your toes pointed out at 45-degree angles. Place your hands on your hips, or if you are holding weights, your hands are in front of the legs. Bend your knees to lower your body until the thighs are parallel to the ground. Push through your heels to return to the starting position.

Upright row: With a weight in each hand, pull weights up to your collarbone, keeping your elbows above your wrists. Seated bicep curl: Sitting on a bench, holding a weight in one hand, prop your elbow on the inside of your thigh for stability. Curl the dumbbell up to the armpit, and then extend back down straight. Repeat on the other arm.

Dumbbell lunge: Standing with feet shoulder-width apart, holding a dumbbell in each hand, step forward. Bend both knees until your front thigh is almost parallel to the floor and your back knee approaches, but never touches the floor. Drive through your front heel to push back to the starting position. Repeat with the other leg.

Cat/Cow: Kneel on your hands and knees. Keep your back flat, your hands directly below your

shoulders and your knees below your hips. Starting with your gaze focused downward, inhale and look up. Lift your tailbone slightly. Exhale, then round your back towards the ceiling. Bring your chin to your chest and repeat. ***As a circuit workout, perform each exercise back-to-back with little rest between exercises (unless needed). Perform each exercise for 3-4 sets with 10-20 reps, or as many as you can with comfort and control. Rest for 1-2 minutes between circuits, 4-5 times per week, using different intensities, weights and tempos regularly to keep things interesting. Working-out while pregnant does not have to be an intense feat. Slow down and enjoy the time you spend exercising and focus on you. Walking around your neighborhood or park in the evening after it has cooled down, or swimming is a great way to get in a little extra physical activity without overdoing. If you have a regular fitness routine, you can probably continue it throughout your pregnancy. However, again consult with your doctor first and always remember to listen to your body and slow down if it tells you too.



Sa m p l e Nutritional Plan: Breakfast: Oatmeal or a slice of whole-wheat toast with an egg-white omelet with veggies.

Mid -morning snack: Apple with peanut butter or a 100-calorie pack of almonds with piece of fruit.

Lunch: Large salad with lots of veggies and lean protein (6 ounces of chicken, fish, or lean ground turkey), whole grain crackers. Snack: Smoothie with Greek yogurt and fruit Dinner:

A palm-size serving of salmon/ lean steak/chicken with a sweet potato topped with a little butter and cinnamon. A side of green veggies or a salad.

Snack: A glass or cup of tea with two graham crackers, or a slice of whole grain toast with natural peanut butter Nutrition Plan:

Tips for a healthy baby and a fit body 1. Eat 5-6 small meals a day to avoid heartburn and energy crashes. 2. Eat a balance of complex carbs, healthy fats and lean protein every

Outdoor Climbing time you eat. This will help to avoid crazy cravings.

3. Drink at least 96 ounces of water a day and ditch all the sugary, chemical-filled drinks. Your baby does not need that. Stick to water with lemon or drinks sweetened naturally with fruit or Stevia. 4. Eat natural, unprocessed foods with one ingredient. Oatmeal, brown rice, sweet potato, chicken, Greek yogurt, fruit and nuts are all great. 5. Do NOT eat calories for two! You only need 300-500 extra calories per day in the second and third trimesters. That is not a lot of calories, so be careful with the ice cream! Your Central Texas guide to rock climbing! 6. Crazy cravings? Indulge smartly! You do needofthat triple-decker A great place to learn thenot basics mountain climbing bacon cheeseburger. Have a small kid’s burger with a side salad. Thecravings state’s guide all great and rockwithout climbingeating hot spots! Chances are your will betosatisfied, too A great resource for climbing lessons many calories!

Rock Climbing Resources




Slightly Sharp & Twisted

By Kactus Kate

Chomp on this Pickled grasshopper… anyone?

There is nothing more rewarding than picking a big bounty of fresh vegetables out of the garden. Especially after spending hours toiling over it all spring. I had big dreams for my little packets of seeds. Visions of my pantry shelves lined with quart size jars full of pickled jalapenos, pickles in two varieties- regular and bread n’butter, homemade salsa, and jalapeno jelly and tomato preserves to sweeten up some hot biscuits. And I was willing to sacrifice a few things for that pantry dream, and I sure enough did, too. I sacrificed pretty fingernails. I sacrificed a few camping trips I had planned to take before the weather turned too hot. I sacrificed the ability to stand up straight for a few days after that first weekend of hoeing up weeds and unloading sacks of compost and top soil. I even sacrificed a few meals because I didn’t have time to come in and eat, I was losing daylight. Ok, well maybe that sacrifice I needed. When it was over but the crying, I had put in some serious woman hours into that garden. Every ounce of pain in my back disappeared, the moment I laid eyes on all those cute little sprouts popping up. It was like Christmas morning every day around here those first two months after planting. I couldn’t wait to run out and check to see how much my plants had grown over night. As my plants grew bigger, so did my pantry dream. I was going to need a whole lotta’ jars to fill that dream. 66


By early June, my garden was so beautiful; I couldn’t stop myself from walking outside several times a day just to stand there and stare at it. By now, not only was my pantry dream humongous, but I was already beginning to think about all the things I wanted to plant next year! Gotta plan ahead! Yep, to say I was one big happy, gardening fool is an understatement. Green had become my new favorite color and it had me thinking of all kinds of ways to “be green.” Then one day in mid-June, I got dealt a blow that brought me down to my green knees. A sight so unbelievable, so graphic, violent and horrendous, at first, I couldn’t even believe it with my own two eyes. It happened when I walked outside to get my mid-afternoon “garden stare fix,” but instead of seeing the big, full healthy leaves and blooms that covered my plants only a few hours earlier, it was a sight straight out of an apocalyptic nightmare. Gone. Everything. Nothing was left but a few gangly, yellowed, wilting chewed up stems and stalks. I tell you, for a moment, I actually lost my breath… and my mind. Swarms of grasshoppers flew up out of the grass as I took each step towards the ruins. Within mere hours, my entire garden, along with my big pantry dream had all been annihilated, crushed by the jaws of those vicious little devils. Hell hath no fury like a woman plagued by grasshoppers. In the days that followed the garden massacre, those vile little bastards ate their way through the rest of my yard. Mowing down a

vibrant, healthy giant peony tree, devastating two Rose of Sharon trees—including eating the bark off them, demolishing every basket of hanging flowers on my porch, and turning the leaves on my three angel trumpet trees into Swiss cheese. Yet, apparently, slaughtering my garden and yard was not enough for them. Even with little left to eat, they’re still here, hanging around in great masses, just to harass me. There’s no escaping them. One even snuck into the house and ate one of my houseplants. I even find them in my car. The creepy thing is, they don’t even try to run; they just sit there on my dash and stare at me. When I wash dishes, they sit on the window sill and stare at me through the glass...gloating. Very clever. Well, I got news for em’, I’m on to their little game. They can stalk me, mock me, or stare at me all they want, but they’re never going to break me down or kill my inner “green” spirit. That’s right, I’m planting another garden next year, and this time, I’m gonna be armed, ready and waiting with Semaspore*. Yeah, that’s right, chomp on this. Chocolate Covered Grasshoppers 2 Squares of semisweet chocolate  25 dry-roasted crickets and/or grasshoppers with legs and wings removed. Melt chocolate as directed on the box. Dip insects in chocolate place on wax paper and refrigerate. Courtesy of Orkin Popcorn Crunch  Here’s an easy treat to prepare and take to the drive-in movie. The kids will love it. 1/2 cup butter, melted  1/2 cup honey 3 quarts popcorn, popped 1 cup dry roasted grasshoppers, chopped Blend the butter and honey together in a saucepan and heat gently. Mix the popcorn with the insects and pour the  butter-honey mixture over it. Mix well. Spread on a cookie sheet in a thin layer. Bake at 350° 10 to 15 minutes, or until crisp. Break into bite-sized pieces.  Courtesy of Orkin

*Semaspore Bait contains Nosema locustae, a naturally occurring and organic grasshopper control.





TexAppeal August 2013