Tex appeal october 2015

Page 1



Got clutter?

lita Daniel can help

Beyond the grand foyer in the stately, inviting home of Temple resident Beverly Custer, one would never imagine there lurked an area, just down the hall, that she once considered a menacing black hole: her master bedroom closet. But those days are gone, thanks to Lita Daniel, professional organizer and owner of “Regain Your Space.” “Lita had a vision for my closet that I could not see,” Custer said. “She helped me sort, discard, and organize. Now it is a pleasure to walk into my closet where everything is visible and at my fingertips.” By SHARON WHITE



A plAce of their own

county women’s Bar MAkinG the hArD cAlls Bell Association began in March Meet ADA Anne potts Jackson

Anne Potts Jackson’s office at the Bell County Justice Center is filled with family, professional and private mementos. There are the coins she received from various military installations where she was asked to speak. An engagement photo of her and husband, Michael L. Jackson Jr. Lt. Col. USAF (retired) sits next to their wedding photo. Framed degrees and awards line the wall over her credenza and nonfiction books about military families and domestic abuse stand in her bookcase. Jackson calls the iconography in her office “a reflection of me.” By CATHERINE HOSMAN


Women in law now have a place to call their own in Bell County with the formation of the Bell County Women’s Bar Association that meets monthly. Founded last March by criminal defense attorney Mary Beth Harrell, it is still a work in progress. Harrell’s idea to form a women’s bar association is based on her experience working as an intern for the Justice of the 4th Court of Appeals in San Antonio. She was encouraged to join the Bexar County Women’s Bar Association that exposed her to a network of attorneys in other areas of the law who encouraged and supported each other. By CATHERINE HOSMAN


fAll fAshion

flash back to the 1970s

Fall fashion trends for 2015 take women on a journey back to the 1970s with the reintroduction of vibrant prints, faux fur trims and fringe. Story by CATHERINE HOSMAN Photos by JULIE NABOURS




From the Editor Dear Readers, Is it really October already? I’m waiting for that feeling of crispness in the air that signals it’s time to bring out some of our cooler weather clothing. Coming from a colder climate, pulling out my favorite sweater or jacket, or shopping for the latest style and color was always a passage of the season. Every year there is always a new style, fabric or color that seems to pop up from the designers for their fall line. And, as history has shown, styles do repeat themselves every 30 years and this year is no exception. If you remember the 1970s, or are stuck in the history and the romance of the era, get ready to fill your closet with that ’70s look. Making a comeback is fringe on just about everything you might wear. Also on the fashion comeback trail are ankle boots, faux fur trims, vibrant prints and flared bottom pants. Fall colors for 2015 include oxblood, deep reds, maroon, and plum paired with brown tones. Watch for a resurgence of leopard print. Classic work fashions include longer jackets, sleek lines and belted waists. There is something new for everyone this fall, page 36. Dressing for work is an every day occurrence for professional women and two of those women are Bell County Assistant District Attorney Anne Potts Jackson, 27th Judicial Court and Attorney at Law Mary Beth Harrell. Jackson opened her office door to Tex Appeal and let us peek into the life of an assistant district attorney. Read about Jackson and how she has to make the “hard choices,” page 29. Harrell is the founder of the Bell County Women’s Bar Association. Now women in law have a place of their own, and Harrell is quick to point out that all attorneys are welcome, page 33. Unwinding after a busy day or busy week gets harder and harder all the time. Meet Simone Tucker, a professional Yoga instructor who teaches the art of Yoga and how the exercises can be done anywhere at anytime, page 52. Busy women with families and pets need help sometimes when it comes to walking the dog while they are at work. Petsitters of Killeen offer a solution for at-home pet care, page 56. Everyone needs a day of respite and a good day off might include lunch at Salado’s Ambrosia Tea Room, known for its ambiance and light fare, page 16. Another great way to spend the day is to museum hop across Austin. Visit three museums and a park where graffiti is welcome, page 56. Take a break, pour yourself a glass or cup of your favorite beverage and enjoy the October issue of Tex Appeal.

Catherine Hosman

Tex Appeal Editor edittexappealmagazine@gmail.com 254-501-7511


On page 12 and 13 of the September issue, Bob and Mayelle Carlisle were misidentified in several photo captions.


Tex Appeal Life & Style in Central Texas

Published by FRANK MAYBORN ENTERPRISES, INC. KILLEEN DAILY HERALD 1 09 Florence Rd., Killeen, TX 5 0

TEMPLE DAILY TELEGRAM 10 S. Third St., Temple, TX 501

Publisher SUE MAYBORN Editor CATHERINE HOSMAN Copy Editor LEE JAMES Photographers/Graphic Designers


Tex Appeal Magazine is published monthly by Frank Mayborn Enterprises, Inc. 10 S. Third St., Temple, TX 76501. The cover and content of Tex Appeal Magazine is fully protected by copyright and cannot be reproduced in any manner without prior permission. SUBSCRIPTIONS: For the United States, $24 per year, 12 issues. Mail check to P.O. Box 6114, Temple, TX 76503-6114.

Questions about subscriptions, call 254-778-4444.

POSTMASTER: Send address changes to: Tex Appeal Magazine, P.O. Box 6114, Temple, TX 76503-6114. HOW TO CONTACT US: Advertising: Call 254-778-4444 or 254-501-7500. Editorial: Contact Catherine Hosman at 254-501-7511 or email edittexappealmagazine@ gmail.com.


shAron white is an award-winning children’s writer, a former teacher, author and avid volunteer. She writes a weekly lifestyle blog based on her book, “Quintessential Style: Cultivate and Communicate Your Signature Look.” She has been proud to call Central Texas home for more than 30 years.

freD AfflerBAch is an award-winning writer and novelist, college graduate at age 50, and former long-haul trucker. His stories and columns have been published in daily newspapers across Texas. His novel, “Roll On,” debuted in 2012, and is an interstate odyssey about a man afflicted with an incurable wanderlust despite pressure from family and friends to settle down. Fred lives in Cedar Park with his wife, Diane, and enjoys perusing Central Texas backroads with a keen eye out for roadrunners, old trucks and lipstick sunsets.

Mitchel BArrett is an award-winning photographer and owner of Mitchel Barrett Photography. Although originally from the British Virgin Islands, for the past 12 years he has come to call the city of Killeen his home. He developed his love of photography while attending high school and the KISD Career Center, and has enjoyed life behind the lens ever since. When not busy taking photos, you can probably find him at the movies with friends or at home with his family and two dogs.

JessA Mcclure is a part-time freelance writer and full-time mom to two energetic children. She is a long-time resident of Bell County and spends her time running around with her kids, volunteering and channeling her creativity. She finds inspiration everywhere and uses her experiences to create articles that inspire and touch those who read them.

crAiG lifton is a freelance photographer and has been shooting photographs since his early teen years in Detroit, Mich. A 24-year veteran with the National Guard Service and the Air Force, he now works as an Army civilian in public relations, video broadcasting and journalism at Fort Hood. Craig recently branched out on his own to study more about his interest in photography. A resident of the Central Texas area since 2005, Craig and his family now love the culture and landscapes of their new home.

Join the teX AppeAl teAM tex Appeal Magazine is looking for photographers and freelance writers with experience photographing and/or writing features for a newspaper or magazine. we are seeking candidates from the central texas area, including killeen, temple, Belton, salado, copperas cove and harker heights. candidates must be detail- and deadline-oriented and good storytellers, and must be familiar with Ap style. Ability for writers to take photos is a plus, but not required. interested candidates may send their resumes and three to five recent stories and/or photographs for consideration to catherine hosman at edittexappealmagazine@gmail.com. 10


TexTalk neighbors

A professional organizer transforms chaos to calm



eyond the grand foyer in the stately, inviting home of Temple resident Beverly Custer, one would never imagine there lurked an area, just down the hall, that she once considered a menacing black hole — her master bedroom closet. But those days are gone, thanks to Lita Daniel, professional organizer and owner of “Regain Your Space.” “Lita had a vision for my closet that I could not see,” Custer said. “She helped me sort, discard and organize. Now it is a pleasure to walk into my closet where everything is visible and at my fingertips.” Daniel started her business as a professional organizer in 2006. She is certified in the “Clear & Simple” system of organizing, where she was trained to use the STACKS approach to de-cluttering. The acronym stands for: Sort, Toss, Assign, Contain, Keep It Up, Simplify. The de-cluttering specialist’s primary objective when meeting new clients is to gain their trust, especially if they are apprehensive. “It takes a lot of courage to invite someone into a cluttered home,” said Daniel. “They may feel self-conscious or afraid of being judged. My job is not to judge my clients, but to support them any way I can.” When Daniel meets with clients for the first time, she asks one important question, “How does this space make you feel?” Answers may vary. Stressed, anxious, guilty, and embarrassed are all common answers. But the word that most often comes out is “overwhelmed.” Although Daniel isn’t a therapist, she often does the work of one. “Every job is different and every personality is different,” said Daniel. Her job is to try to understand why clients have become disorganized and introduce ways for them to deal with their particular situation. “Sometimes I find out there are issues clients must work through before they can get organized. Oftentimes people have a hard time getting rid of 12


hang like items together, then subcategorize by color for visual convenience.

things. There may even be psychological conditions such as attention deficit disorder, chronic disorganization, or even hoarding tendencies that can get in the way of progress.” Daniel never pushes a client to get

rid of anything they are not ready to part with. Although she does ask her clients probing questions such as: How long have you had this item? Do you ever use it? Do you think you are going to need it in the near future?

protect jackets and rarely worn clothing with dust covers. place a bench in or near your closet. here dress shirts and jackets hang on top, while casual shirts hang below, and women’s workout clothing is hung together for quick access. label and store shoes in see-through boxes (code w for winter, s for summer).

“Sometimes it only takes a few questions to get people thinking,” she said. “Once they realize they haven’t used an item in years (some can’t even remember why they have it), they recognize that there’s no reason to keep it.” On a typical day of organizing, Daniel comes ready for the task — armed with several small tables, garment racks, and bins for collecting discarded items. But the most important thing she brings to the job are energy, expertise and a positive attitude. Using the STACKS approach, Daniel quickly and efficiently tackles a project. “I always encourage clients to use their existing storage boxes and hangers. I like to repurpose items they already have.” Daniel’s services also include transporting and donating any discarded items to local charitable organizations. “I urge my clients to let me take away the things they no longer want. If I leave items in their garage, sometimes it is tempting for them to bring their castoffs back into the house.” Daniel’s job is more than profes-

sional — it’s personal. She understands that clients are allowing her to enter into their homes, their most private sanctums, intimate spaces where they spend each day and keep their very treasured possessions.

She said she considers it an honor to gain a client’s trust, as she shares concepts that bring convenience, efficiency and order to their lives. Continued TEXAPPEALMAG.COM


TexTalk neighbors

Keep it clean: Organizing suggestions from an expert

Daniel said we all have clutter in our lives from time to time. But there are some extreme conditions where disorganization begins to affect our families, our social lives and even our jobs. Here are two examples:

chronic DisorGAnizAtion Chronic Disorganization is a term used to describe someone with a history of disorganization. CD interferes with the quality of life. CD usually recurs no matter how many times someone has tried to get organized. Conventional organizing methods do not work for CD clients, because of the way they think, learn, and process information. (Source: Conquering Chronic Disorganization by Judith Kolberg) hoArDinG Hoarding is the acquisition of and failure to discard possessions that appear to be useless or are of limited value. This syndrome can cause significant distress or impairment. Those with a hoarding disorder may buy impulsively or pick up random items they find. They may not be able to sleep in their own beds or use kitchens or bathrooms, due to massive clutter. They often suffer from emotional issues, and their living conditions may become hazardous due to poor air quality, dust, mold and/or pet waste. (Source: The Institute for Challenging Disorganization) eXpert tips • Don’t get discouraged. Remember: the clutter didn’t appear overnight, so it isn’t going to disappear overnight. • Don’t put it off — make organizing a priority. • Tackle one job at a time: one drawer, one counter, one closet. If you take on too much at once, you can easily feel overwhelmed. • Make time each week for a “keep-it-up routine.” Spend time organizing and clearing out clutter that has accumulated over a few days. • When cleaning out closets, place a small table in or close to the closet. It saves energy from stooping and bending. 1


professional organizer lita Daniel, left, and Beverly custer celebrate the organized closet.

• When transporting seasonal clothing from one closet to another, use a rolling garment rack, if you have one. Daniel said organization saves more than just time and frustration — it can

also save money: “How many times have you gone out and bought an item you already owned, simply because you couldn’t find it or forgot you had it?”

TexTalk flavours

Tempt taste buds at Ambrosia Tea Room Story by CATHERINE HOSMAN Photos by MITCHEL BARRETT


Jenny Moore owns the Ambrosia tea room in salado.



mbrosia Tea Room in Salado offers its guests an atmosphere of geniality with its vintage décor that is reminiscent of a turn of the 19th century cafe. “It always feels like you step back in time,” said owner Jenny Moore. Big hats, lace tablecloths and vintage clothing provide the décor in three different “little quiet rooms that are separate from each other.” “This was an older home turned into a restaurant,” Moore said. The tearoom opened in 2000 and Moore started working there part-time in 2002 after she graduated from Salado High School. She said she fell in love with the whole idea of a tea room and eight years later, she owned it. The food at Ambrosia is simple, light and homemade. Guests can choose from sandwiches made with chicken salad, cucumber cream cheese, egg salad and pimento cheese, each accompanied with veggie straw chips and a fruit garnish. Watch for the cup of ambrosia that sometimes comes with a dish. Homemade soups change daily and a variety of salads and desserts complete the meal. “We have six different desserts every day: Queen’s cake, a three-layer white cake with coconut cream filling and a white butter coconut frosting; King’s cake, a chocolate butter cream cake; cheesecake, key lime pie, brownie a la mode and a seasonal featured dessert,” she said. “For summer we have Pink Lady Strawberry Cake and for fall we will have pumpkin crunch.” All the desserts are made in-house. Beverages include hot and cold teas, flavored lemonades, coffee, sodas, ice coffee, milk shakes and hot chocolates. The restaurant can seat up to 50 patrons and is open after hours for private parties. Ambrosia is a dine-in or carry-out restaurant and customers who live in Salado have the option of delivery service.

Beauty in the Bag


How do you stay beautiful on the go?

Each month Tex Appeal peeks inside the bag of one busy woman to reveal her best beauty secrets and must-have essentials.

Anne Potts Jackson Assistant District Attorney

Bell County 27th Judicial District

The esseNTiALs she cArries L’OreAL LipsTick: I am probably known for wearing vibrant colors of lipstick. My favorite colors are Raisin Rapture and Sunwash. It goes on smooth, lasts a long time and doesn’t taste funny. NiviA HANd LOTiON: Because I wash my hands a lot and hate to have dry skin. BAG Of exTrAs: It contains toothpaste, toothbrush, a hair brush, a mirror, and chocolates. There is nothing wrong that chocolate won’t fix. exTrA MiNT GuM: I always have gum or a mint to prevent bad breath. prOTeiN BAr: Because when I’m hungry, I am “hangry.” Just ask one of the Jackson boys. keys: Car and office keys to get to work and transport my three kids all over the state of Texas, and to the gym, so that I can work out in peace and keep my sanity.



suNGLAsses ANd cAse: Prescription glasses and sunglasses so that I can work on a computer all day long and protect my sensitive eyes from the blinding Central Texas sun. WALLeT: Holds my money, credit cards and forms of ID that prove I am a Texan, military dependent and mom of three sons. pAper ANd peN: A lawyer is useless without a pen and paper. There is always something I need to remember. My BAdGe: I usually have it. Rarely use it. It reminds me of the position I hold as an ADA, and the responsibilities that come with using it. uT perfOrMANce pAMpHLeT: I love live music. I love the idea of watching an artist create art in a live setting.

Photographs by JULIE NABOURS

Most valuable TOOL in her BAG

I feel invisible without my lipstick — putting it on is almost like putting on “armor” to face the day — but as a working mother of three sons, I feel helpless and anxious without my phone. Do you have a helpful hint you can share with readers? Beauty starts on the inside. I find more satisfaction in a busy day outside with my boys or a productive day at the office than I EVER do from a day where my hair and make-up are complimented. When my heart and mind are content, all other things seem to fall into place. Tell us about any other essential item that helps make your life easier. Having a big, durable, practical purse makes my life easier because I can throw snacks or bottles of water in it as we head to a football or soccer game. When the boys were young, any bag I carried was full of toy cars, baby wipes, crayons and other items that entertained them. I am not sure I will ever be anything but practical about purses (or backpacks — whatever gets the job done!).

TexTalk scene


Food, wine, brew & fun at Harker Heights festival 2


1. Long lines waiting to try local wineries’ wines at the annual Harker Heights festival. 2. Corie Walsh of Harker Heights, Samantha Beatty of Killeen, and Brenda Velazquez of Harker Heights enjoy the wine and food at Harker Heights Community Park. 3. Natasha Rogers of Copperas Cove, shows off her etched wine glass and a plate of cheese. Photos by CRAIG LIFTON 20


scene TexTalk







4. Michael McPherson of Killeen, tries a plate of cheese and crackers. 5. Anna White of Copperas Cove, laughs with Justice Telfare, while her 1-year-old daughter Nia watches at the annual Harker Heights Food, Wine and Brew Festival. 6. Sharon Clark, of Cedar Park, Cindy Dishpan of Georgetown, Greg and Lynette Newton of Round Rock take a break. 7. Derek Bannasch and his two sons, James, 5, and Andy, 4, of Fort Hood, wait for free samples at Chick-fil-A booth. 8. Sarah Carrera, with the Harker Heights H-E-B, distributes samples at the festival. 9. Nate and Demeter Frisch of Belton, enjoy the evening at Community Park. TEXAPPEALMAG.COM


TexTalk scene


Reading and Riding on the Chisholm Trail fundraiser

1. The Chisholm Trail Chorus performs for a group at the annual fundraiser Reading and Riding on the Chisholm Trail, recently held at the Bell County Museum in Belton. 2. Bill DiGaetano reads “Bosque County Bridge” by Jon McConal. 3. Radiance Leitner, 8 of Belton, prepares to eat a helping of trail beans and beef jerky provided by Temple Literacy Council volunteers Photos by CRAIG LIFTON 22




TexTalk calendar

miller’s bbQ, belton Billy Holt of the Billy Holt Band Oct. 2, 2015, 6 to 9 p.m. 208 N Penelope St,, Belton For more information, call 254-9395500 or visit www.billyholt.com Johnny’s outback Randy Rogers Band Oct. 2, 7 p.m. Advance general admission $20 The Josh Abbot Band Oct. 17, 7 p.m. Advance general admission $20 301 Thomas Arnold Road, Salado For more information, call 254-9474663; visit www.johnnysoutback.com or email infor@johnnyssteaksandbbq. com

Tablerock’s Fright Trail Three weekends: Oct. 17, 24 and 31 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. One-half mile walking trail presents thrills and chills. Drinks, snacks, candy available at concessions. $5 adults and $3 for children 12 and under. Tablerock’s Goodnight Amphitheater For more information, call 254-9479205, visit www.tablerock.org. or email tablerock1@aol.com harker heights 5th Annual city wide Garage sale Oct. 3, Sunrise-Sunset Clean out the house this summer and get rid of your unwanted items at the 5th Annual City Wide Garage. 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 sale. Apply in person for free permits until Oct. 2. City Hall, 305 Miller’s Crossing; Recreation Center, 307 Miller’s Crossing; Library/Activities Center, 400 Indian Trail. Addresses, time of garage sale, and big sale items available on the city’s website and at all city buildings the week of the sale. For more information, call 254953-5493 or email Heather Cox at hcox@ ci.harker-heights.tx.us. Transportation Family day Oct. 3, 11 a.m to 1 p.m. If you like cars, trucks and trains 24


kings of the river showcases 19th century photos of daily life in steamboats along the mississippi river.

come and join the museum’s transportation day. See all types of things with wheels. Vehicles from the past, present and perhaps even the future will be here to celebrate the things that get people from one place to another. Be sure to wear comfortable shoes for exploring. Railroad & Heritage Museum 315 W. Avenue B., Temple For more information, visit www. rrhm.org

Local and area merchants will display their wares inside a The Venue on College Street. Admission is $3, free parking and shuttles. The Village trolley will transport visitors from several Village parking areas to the entrance of The Venue on College Street. For more information, call 254-9475040 or 254-947-8634 or visit us online at www.salado.com.

kings of the river: steamboat Transportation in the American south Now through October 31 Kings of the River showcases 19th century photos of daily life in steamboats along the Mississippi River when steamboats and cotton still dominated transportation and commerce. Railroad & Heritage Museum 315 W. Avenue B., Temple For more information, visit www. rrhm.org

Temple cultural Arts center presents will sexton Oct. 17, 7:30 p.m. Pre-Show Dinner 6 p.m. Will Sexton credits range from work with Waylon Jennings and Stephen Stills to Joe Ely and Bill Carter. His lyrics blend the sounds of rock, pop and folk. Pre-show dinner includes garden salad, Thai chicken with crisp Asian vegetables served over Basmati rice with a crispy fried wonton. Chocolate mousse topped with fresh whipped cream and raspberries for dessert. Dinner is $14. RSVP by Oct. 16 at 4 p.m. Dinner catered by the Great American Grill at the Hilton Garden Inn. Show tickets are $22 in advance or $27 at the door. 3011 N. Third St., Temple For more information, call 254-773-9926.

christmas in october Salado Chamber of Commerce Ladies Auxiliary Oct. 9-10, 9 a.m to 5 p.m. This annual event is an introduction to the Christmas season and features the sights, sounds, smells, tastes and charms of the Village of Salado. Enjoy a bake sale, style show and Christmas shopping.

monster dash 5k run/walk Oct. 24, 9 a.m. 9:15 a.m. Little Monster Dash costume contest 10 a.m. Little Monster Dash Rotary clubs are joining together this year to raise funds for youth-oriented, local projects with our Monster Dash 5K walk/run, and 5K team (four person) competition. There will be a free costume contest and a 1/3 mile Little Monster Dash; $5 for children 10 years old and younger. All proceeds from this event will be used by the Rotary Clubs for local projects such as scholarships, vocational grants, youth character education programs (Early Act First Knight), school supplies for needy children and many others. Costumes are encouraged. This is a sanctioned race of the Cen-Tex race series. Sponsored by the Rotary clubs of Copperas Cove, Harker Heights, Killeen, Killeen Evening and Killeen Heights. Dana Peak Park, 3800 Comanche Gap Road, Harker Heights For more information, call Earl Williams, 254-702-7426 or Tom Malhosky, 254-698-1400. Register at https://redemptionrp.formstack.com/forms/ 2015monsterdash5k_ 3rd Annual howl at the harvest moon Oct. 24, 7-8:30 p.m. Pull on your costumes and join us again on this hallowed eve for family fun under the glow of a fall moon. Bring a

calendar TexTalk

Temple college orchestra concert Oct. 27, 7:30 p.m. Free and open to the public. Temple College, Mary Alice Marshall Performing Arts Center Auditorium, 2600 S. First St., Temple For more information, call 254-2988555

The Queen of hearts is among those guests will see on Tablerock’s Fright Trail in october in salado.

flashlight, friends and a Halloween bag to gather treats along the spooktacular trail. Admission: One canned food item. Miller Park, 1919 N. First St., Temple For information, call 254-298-5403

Temple college Fine Arts Van Cliburn Recital Oct. 24, 7:30 p.m. Presented by Temple Symphony Orchestra & Central Texas Orchestral Society featuring Nikita Mndoyants, a finalist from the 2013 International Van Cliburn Piano Competition. $25 adults, $10 students Temple College, Mary Alice Marshall Performing Arts Center Auditorium, 2600 S. First St., Temple

halloween splash bash Oct. 30, 6-8 p.m. This haunted pool party is wickedly fun for the whole family. Enjoy spooky music, tasty candy, games and a splashing good time for all. Admission: $15 for the entire family. Sammons Indoor Pool 2220 W. Avenue D, Temple For more information, call 254-2985930 haunted house & hayride Oct. 31, 6-10 p.m. Enjoy spooky story time, food, vendors and more. Bend O’ The River 7915 General Bruce Drive, Temple For ticket information, visit templeparks.com 10th Annual halloween hoopla Oct. 31, 5:30 p.m.– 8:30 p.m. Community Park, 1501 E. FM 2410, Harker Heights Email upcoming local events to edittexappealmagazine@gmail.com.



TexTalk well-fed head

Crimes of Fashion: Mysteries with a stylish twist



ethal Black Dress” is the 10th book in the “Crimes of Fashion” series written by novelist, playwright, reporter, and former Washington, D.C., journalist Ellen Byerrum — who also happens to be a graduate of private investigator school. The protagonist, Lacey Smithsonian, is a sharp, spunky, super-chic reporter for one of Washington’s lead newspapers. She writes a weekly style column, but her investigative reporting inevitably leads to more than just fashion fodder. She cunningly manages to solve mysterious ‘whodunits’ by using her “ExtraFashionary Perception,” or EFP. This finely honed sense (decoding messages through dress) helps her solve crimes while others remain clueless. Smithsonian’s latest adventure begins very elegantly at the famous White House Correspondents’ Dinner, one of the most exclusive media events in Washington, and reputedly the most secure, because the president is the guest of honor. What could possibly go wrong? Everything. At the end of the evening a woman is dead, multiple skirmishes have taken place, and a string of colorful characters have been introduced. But how can Lacey Smithsonian possibly cull fashion clues from a sea of ubiquitous black gowns and tuxedoes? Using her uncanny memory and her expertise for all things vintage, she manages to pull out threads of evidence and weave them together — all while in the midst of danger, love, and a hodgepodge of eccentric characters. A bustling Washington newspaper office sets the stage for this fun mystery, where readers meet a host of Smithsonian’s quirky coworkers, threatening rivals, and a seasoned, good-humored detective. Adding to the mix is a slew of high-profile politicians, and one very charming love interest. Lacey Smithsonian comes up with



“If you put a little of yourself into your clothes, you can use them to reveal things that are personal and meaningful about you.” — Lacey Smithsonian more than style advice for her “Fashion BITES” readers, as she tries to solve the mysterious murder of one of her fellow journalists. As one of Lacey’s coworkers observes: “...there’s more than meets the eye, when it comes to the fashion beat.” Author Ellen Byerrum recalled, “When I was a working journalist in Washington I was delighted to attend the White House Correspondents’ Dinner three times, accompanied by some of my witty and knowledgeable news sources. Never did anything remotely like what happens in this book ever occur when I was there. But, I ended up

using the experience as inspiration for LBD.” Besides a balcony looking over the Potomac, a love of vintage clothing, and a humorous viewpoint on life, love, mystery, and fashion, Lacey Smithsonian and her creator, Byerrum, have plenty in common. They started out as reporters in small western towns and had a hankering to get to the big city, which, in both cases, led them to Washington, D.C., Byerrum also confesses to being a ‘vintage clothes hound’ like her main character, and says her favorite fashion era is the 1930-40s, but admits garments from that decade are becoming extremely hard to find. Inspiration for Byerrum’s novels comes from everywhere and anywhere. “Lethal Black Dress” was inspired by something her brother mentioned about a mysterious Paris green dye. The plot for “Raiders of the Lost Corset” was inspired after Byerrum read about the 1918 execution of the Romanov family, where three of the daughters were discovered wearing corsets filled with diamonds. And the idea for “Shot Through Velvet” came together after she toured a velvet factory in Virginia (the last dressgrade velvet factory in America) on its final day of operation. When asked if there would be more “Crimes of Fashion” books Byerrum said, “Lacey’s adventures are not over yet, and I plan to write at least a few more books in the series. I know my readers are waiting for the crazy nuptials of food editor Felicity Pickles and deathand-dismemberment reporter Harlan Wiedemeyer, but they may have to wait a while. After all, it’s not easy to live up to those expectations! Weddings and danger are both murder to write.” In the meantime, Byerrum is working on two other mysteries. “Lethal Black Dress” is packed with fascinating vintage style information, and its endearing characters, clever humor, and unpredictable intrigue all combined to make this mystery a charmer.





Making the hard calls A Story by CATHERINE HOSMAN Photos by JULIE NABOURS

nne Potts Jackson’s office at the Bell County Justice Center is filled with family, professional and private mementos. There are the coins she received from various military installations where she was asked to speak. An engagement photo of her and husband, Michael L. Jackson Jr. Lt. Col. USAF (retired) sits next to their wedding photo. Framed degrees and awards line the wall over her credenza and nonfiction books about military families and domestic abuse stand in her bookcase. Jackson, an assistant district attorney for the 27th District Court for Henry Garza, calls the iconography in her office “a reflection of me.” “I feel like I live here. I want to make it feel like me.” Jackson’s career in Bell County began in 2007 when she worked as an assistant county attorney for Bell County Attorney Richard Miller and later Jim Nichols. In 2013, she became an ADA. “Some of the things I look for in individuals that come to work for the DA are good skill, good judgment, a good heart and passion for doing the work we do day in and day out,” Garza said. “If you don’t have those characteristics it makes it really difficult for anyone to be able to deal with what are, at times, really horrible circumstances.” In her down time, which isn’t often, she reads books that will teach her something about her career, and always end up teaching her something about herself. She especially enjoys books that discuss the vicissitudes of military life. As a military wife she said she can relate to other women who have felt the emptiness when a spouse is deployed overseas and returns quiet, unable to talk about his experiences because it brings back the memories of war. By reading these types of books, she said she feels less alone, and realizes that she isn’t the only one who “feels that way.” “It also helps to have friends in the community who are fighting the same

TexAs council on FAmily violence oFFers supporT Although abusers are 80 to 90 percent men, ADA Anne Potts Jackson said “sometimes it’s the other way around and women can be abusers.” Jackson’s advice to survivors of family violence is to: • Be honest and forthright with someone you know and trust so that when the violence occurs or you are ready to leave, someone can help you — someone who understands what has been going on. • Having a “safety plan” goes right along with this. • Make a plan and incorporate people you know and trust so that when the situation becomes dangerous, you can protect yourself (and your kids). And, as always, call the police — they are trained to intervene and can access government resources for any and all victims of family violence. They also will make a report, which helps us prove how long the violence has been going on — and that’s one thing people always ask in family violence situations — has this happened before? Or is this the first time? For more information, visit the Central Texas Family Violence Task Force at www.centexfvc.com and the Texas Council on Family Violence www.tcfv.org.

by The numbers 2014 • Women killed: not available yet • Family violence incidents: not available yet • Adults and children sheltered: 23,311 • Adults and children receiving nonresidential services (i.e., counseling, legal advocacy, etc.): 61,119 • Adults denied shelter (due to lack of space): not available yet • Unmet requests for shelter: 14,801 • Hotline calls answered: 185,373 2013 • Women killed: 119 • Family violence incidents: 185,453 • Adults and children sheltered: 25,392 • Adults and children receiving nonresidential services (i.e., counseling, legal advocacy, etc.): 49,758 • Adults denied shelter (due to lack of space): 31 percent • Hotline calls answered: 183,836 Source: www.tcfv.org fight,” she said. “We can talk about the dark things we see and find out if we are the same, and hopefully realize: I am not incompetent. I have not lost my humanity.” Jackson said she works on all kinds of cases but has a specific interest in family violence cases. Garza said two of Jackson’s passions are domestic abuse and post traumatic stress disorder and dealing with the effects it has on military families and individuals. “Many times we find that we are dealing with a situation that may be

involving domestic violence, but also has these other underlying issues,” Garza said. “Dealing with PTSD is one of the things that distinguish Anne.” “When you are in the military your whole life and it comes to a sudden stop, how do you go on?” Jackson asked rhetorically when talking about life after military service. “You have to figure out what to do with the demons and ask yourself, ‘am I doing enough?’” “It’s her background in these areas that she brings to the office when lookContinued TEXAPPEALMAG.COM


every week in each of the three Bell County district courts that hear criminal cases (the 27th, 264th and 426th District Courts). “Preparation for jury trials is very time-consuming,” she said. “The Bell County grand jury meets every Wednesday morning. Once a case is indicted by the grand jury, it is the prosecutor’s job to pursue justice in that case. Oftentimes, this means proving the case beyond a reasonable doubt to a judge or jury.” Jackson said it is the job of the ADA to talk to the witnesses in their cases, some of whom are children. “We are constantly talking to witnesses and local police departments.” Jackson said domestic violence happens behind closed doors and she said ADAs need to find ways to help. When you are married to someone who is hurting you and you make the decision to call the police, then it becomes a crime and it can change one’s status in life — someone can go from being a husband or wife to an accused criminal. “That’s a big deal,” she said. She said finding the best way to help families affected by domestic violence “often depends on the cooperation of the victim, as well as the perpetrator.” “It is very hard to tell a jury what happened ‘behind closed doors’ unless the victim is willing to speak to police and prosecutors, and speak the truth.” Doing the job is easier when you know more people in the community, she said, such as the police, social workers and nonprofit organizations, including the Children’s Advocacy Center of Central Texas. ”I’m a fan of multidisciplinary community coordinated response to family violence. The goal is to empower the victim to make a decision based on truth, not circumstances,” she said. Once it is clear that family violence occurred, Jackson said ADAs have to look deeper into the situation to determine how to prosecute the case. “How we prosecute is determined by what kind of evidence we have, which is often tied to what the victim is willing to tell us.” One of the greatest challenges Jackson said an ADA faces in the courtroom is the ability “to overcome the clinical environment to portray the crime in the

dramatic way in which it happened.” “We are portraying what happened on the street or in the privacy of someone’s home,” she said. “We need to convey all of that to the 12 people in the jury box.”

TexAs born And bred Jackson is a small-town girl who enjoyed life and athletics growing up. “There were only 1,200 people (in Gruver) who were farmers, cattle ranchers — good, hard working people who promoted education, and took care of one another,” she said. She was a shooting forward on her high school basketball team, and later her college basketball team. Growing up in rural Texas, sports and church were the nuclei of the community. She went to every football game, played clarinet in the band from sixth to 10th grade, and always had a basketball in her hand to shoot hoops in her driveway or play with the boys at the local basketball gym. (Now this mom of three boys coaches her son’s elementary school basketball teams and just finished her ninth season.) After Jackson graduated from Texas Tech in Lubbock with a degree in secondary education, her hometown high school offered her a job as the basketball coach. But she said she knew she couldn’t do it, that she wanted to do something else with her life. When friends asked her what she enjoyed most about her college studies she answered, “government, history and political science.” When they suggested that she should go into law, it didn’t take her long to decide. Jackson applied to three law schools, including Baylor School of Law, and was accepted by two, including Baylor, which she chose. She earned her Doctor of Jurisprudence and was admitted to the bar in 1995. She worked as a research attorney, assistant district attorney, assistant county attorney, and stay-at-home mom before becoming an ADA in Bell County. Her gratification as an ADA, she said, is when a victim calls her, writes a letter or email to say “thank you.” “The notion that something I did helped someone else is the greatest reward,” she said. “It’s a huge honor that I get to do this.” TEXAPPEALMAG.COM




Bell County Women’s Bar Association gives members

A place of their own

Story by Catherine hoSman Photos by mitChel Barrett


omen in law now have a place to call their own in Bell County with the formation of the Bell County Women’s Bar association that meets monthly. Founded last march by criminal defense attorney mary Beth harrell, it is still a work in progress. harrell’s idea to form a women’s bar association is based on her experience working as an intern for the Justice of the 4th Court of appeals in San antonio. She was encouraged to join the Bexar County Women’s Bar association that exposed her to a network of attorneys in other areas of the law who encouraged and supported each other. the monthly meetings hosted guest speakers who spoke on important legal topics and satisfied state bar continuing-education credits for the members. harrell said the state bar is a professional licensing organization that oversees the professional legal community to make sure lawyers attend required continuingeducation forums and maintain a level of ethical balance in their careers. lawyers are expected to earn 15 continuing-education credits each year — 12 in education and three in ethics. “We never stop learning,” harrell said. “We practice what we know. attorneys specialize in a field and stay within that field. there is so much to know, we can’t do it all.” Because most attorneys are solo practitioners, harrell said the demands of their practices don’t always leave time to socialize with other attorneys and share the burdens of being a lawyer. “the demands on your time, the emotional stress,” she said. With the BCWBa, guests gather in groups before the meeting to share what is happening in other areas of the law. Currently, the BCWBa has an average of 20 members who attend the meetings, but have had as many as 40. “We don’t limit our membership to

Paralegal Teresa Stubblefield, left, reviews a case file with attorney Mary Beth Harrell.

women,” she said. “any attorney, paralegal, law students, men or women, are welcome to attend. at our last meeting we had four male attorneys attend to hear our presentation on hiPPa (health insurance Portability and accountability act) laws. We don’t discriminate. “Young attorneys are welcome to become a part of the BCWBa. rekha akella, one of our founding members and a young attorney, would like to start a speakers’ bureau where attorneys would go out to speak to high school students on career day and talk about their roles as lawyers,”

harrell said. attendees gather before or after the meeting to ask each other what is going on in their law specialty. For example, harrell said as a defense attorney, she gets to meet women in other areas of law. if a client calls her and asks for a referral to a family law attorney, she can help them find that person. harrell said the BCWBa is still a work in progress and a corps of women is working on bylaws for the group spearheaded by Stephanie newell, assistant district attorney for Bell County. Continued TEXAPPEALMAG.COM


Mary Beth and Bob Harrell with granddaughters at the ranch: From left kneeling, Alexis and Kayla Harrell; standing from left: Flash, Mary Beth, Kelsey and baby goat, Bob and his horse, Connie. Photo courtesy of Heather Hitt Photography 34


“i am offering my services with drafting the bylaws and trying to cater it to the needs of our local women’s bar association,” she said. “Since we are a fledgling association, we have formed a committee and we are still in process of drafting the bylaws. at some point when we feel like we have a finished product that reflects the mission and the needs of our particular bar association, then we will have a ratification of the bylaws. they are a work in progress, but getting close to completion.” “Stephanie is leading the charge researching how other women’s bar associations across the state work,” harrell said. newell said harrell has led the creation of the BCWBa with the concept and ideas of offering a service to the state bar association by holding monthly meetings and offering continuing legal education. “(it) came from an abstract concept to offering a service that is useful to attorneys in this area,” newell said. newell, a prosecuting attorney, and harrell, a defense attorney, often find themselves on the opposite sides of a trial. however, newell said that although they meet each other in adversarial cases, they are able to maintain a professional friendship outside the courtroom. “We still have to be strong in the courtroom and we have to be strong as advocates, this is critical,” harrell said. “But you also want to encourage trust and a good working relationship even though you are opponents. there is a level of trust there so you can do the best job for your clients. You can be opponents and still have the fundamental respect and civility with each other.”

AT HoMe on THe rAnge harrell knew she wanted to be a defense attorney from the time she was 10 years old and watched Gregory Peck’s portrayal of defense attorney atticus Finch in the movie “to Kill a mockingbird,” based on the harper lee novel. She said that when she saw that movie she wanted to “be that guy.” “he defended the innocent, defended the underdog,” she said. her aspirations to become a lawyer, however, didn’t happen until later in life. an army wife and mother of two sons and a daughter, her family moved around a lot. “the best part of being an army wife was the moving around and ability to live and work in Germany twice as a family,” she said.

her husband, Bob, is a retired U.S. army warrant officer. her sons, robert and Joshua, both married with children, are on active duty also as U.S. army warrant officers, and her daughter, tonya, is a teacher and the wife of a border patrol agent. She and Bob have nine grandchildren. once the children were grown, harrell, who already had a degree in history from Caldwell University in new Jersey, entered St. mary’s law School in San antonio. She was in the middle of her life when she went back to school to fulfill her childhood aspiration. She graduated with her law degree and passed the bar in 1998. “i was a late bloomer,” she said. harrell was 41 when she earned her law degree. Some of her accomplishments as a defense attorney in Bell County include serving on multiple civic and nonprofit boards, including the Gatesville lions Club, Boys and Girls Club, american Cancer Society and Central texas Children’s advocacy Center. She produced and hosted a talk show on KnCt-tV called, “insight with mary Beth harrell.” She as been a featured speaker at the Central texas Business Women’s exposition and taught business law at mary hardin Baylor University, just to name a few. When she needs to unwind, she retreats to her family ranch surrounded by rolling hills and pecan trees where she and her husband live on 100 acres. their home is a 1924 farmhouse they kept adding on to. the harrells share a love for animals and the outdoors. She and Bob have three horses, five dogs, and share 40 goats with a neighbor. She calls her ranch life therapeutic. on any given Sunday she is washing her three horses and tending the goats while Bob trims hooves. “there is always something to do, like mending fences,” she said. harrell makes time to ride her horses a bit, but she said they are spoiled because they don’t “get ridden enough.” the ranch provides a petting zoo and menagerie for her grandkids, and a place to roam. When she is not spending time at her ranch, she is in her office preparing for the next trial. “i became a defense attorney because of the challenging cases,” she said. “When the evidence is overwhelming, and the accused said he wasn’t guilty and i am able to show that he wasn’t guilty, it doesn’t get any better than that.” TEXAPPEALMAG.COM



Yoga: An exercise of mind and body

Story by Sharon White Photos by mitChel Barrett and Sharon White


elax your body. Slow, lengthen, and deepen your breathing. Clear your mind. these are the gentle, calming directives Simone tucker typically gives students at the beginning of every yoga class she teaches. tucker is a physical educational instructor at the University of mary hardin-Baylor. She has master’s degrees in exercise and sport science. She is a triathlon coach, sports nutritionist, cycling instructor, distance running coach, and personal trainer. She also has been a certified yoga instructor for more than 10 years. every semester tucker teaches yoga classes that are filled to capacity. her course introduces the ancient discipline of personal development that balances the body and mind. Students learn a series of physical postures as well as practical methods for relaxation, proper breathing, and concentration that promote health, alleviate stress, improve skeletal alignment, and increase muscular strength and flexibility. tucker said the practice of yoga can be done alone, but its benefits can also complement any other sport or activity one might participate in. “Yoga increases flexibility, muscular strength and endurance, breath awareness and the ability to stay focused.” “every day we are hunched over computers, sitting at desks, and riding in cars — constant forward flexion,” said tucker. “the stretching benefits of yoga can relieve pain, stiff muscles, and stress.” When asked what her definition of yoga was, tucker replied: “Yoga is a form of exercise, not only for the body, but for the mind. it is a way to slow down, to become intentional with one’s movements, while staying completely in the moment. So many times during exercise, people are plugged into a phone, an iPod, or a television show to get them ‘through’ the workout. Yoga focuses not only outward, but inward, on the mind/body connection.” any sport you are involved in can be 52


Simone Tucker teaches yoga and other types of physical education at the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor.

enhanced by incorporating yoga into your fitness routine.” last year, she had the opportunity to teach members of the UmhB Crusader football team ways to integrate yoga into their training to help players strengthen muscles and increase flexibility.

BenefiTS of yogA tucker notes there were many bene-

fits to practicing yoga including: increased flexibility, muscle strengthening, endurance and increased breath awareness. She added, “Yoga is a great way to build stamina, improve balance, and, of course, stretch tight muscles.” another added benefit of yoga is that once you learn the poses, you can practice it anywhere, anytime. there is no special equipment needed. inside, outside — you

Jocylin Francis takes the Warrior position with yoga teacher simone tucker.

“There is no perfection in yoga. … We are all on a journey at our own pace.”

— Simone Tucker, Exercise

& Sport Science Instructor, UMHB don’t have to go to a scheduled class. You can even follow along to a program on your computer or TV. “I was in California this summer vacationing with my family, and I practiced yoga in the hotel parking garage,” Tucker said. According to Tucker, you can also choose yoga classes to meet your specific needs. “Over the years, yoga instructors have molded the original forms into their own personal style of teaching, and some have chosen to trademark their practices. That is why there are so many versions of yoga, for example, Bikram (hot yoga), Continued

Misunderstandings about yoga There seem to be many misunderstandings about yoga as being equated with meditation and/or religion. Yoga is rooted in Hinduism, however, Tucker explained, “The postures practiced in western yoga actually find their roots in gymnastics, bodybuilding and other forms of physical exercise. Due to its meditative quality however, many yoga students find that it (yoga) aligns very well with their faith. did you KnoW? In 2012, a National Institute of Health survey indicated that approximately 21 million adults and 1.7 million children practiced yoga in the United States. The NIH study also showed an increase in yoga occurring across all age, racial, and ethnic groups. Most notably: • Among Americans age 18-44, yoga practice nearly doubled since 2002. • Among older Americans age 45-64, practice increased from 5.2 percent in 2002 to 7.2 percent in 2012. • About 400,000 more children aged 4-17 practiced yoga in 2012 than in 2007. The high rates of practice may be partly due to growing research showing that some mind and body practices can help manage pain and reduce stress. Another factor that may have influenced the popularity of yoga is increased access—for instance, industry reports show that the number of yoga studios in the United States has increased substantially in recent years.” National Institute of Health 2012 study on yoga: https://nccih.nih.gov/ health/yoga/introduction.htm Source: www.channelsignal.com/fresh-signals/by-the-numbers-the-growth-of-yoga



simone tucker demonstrates the Crow position.

Yogafit and Yin. There are also specialized programs such as prenatal yoga, aqua yoga, yoga for seniors, and yoga for kids. Scientific research studies continue to build a mountain of evidence that suggests yoga may reduce chronic back pain, aid in reducing heart rate and high blood pressure, and relieve anxiety and depression. “Along with most all forms of exercise, yoga reduces our response to stress and improves mood.” Tucker said one of the many misconceptions she hears from people is that you have to be flexible in order to begin a yoga class. “Actually, that couldn’t be further from the truth,” said Tucker. “You come to yoga class to loosen up tight areas in the body, whether those are muscles, joints, or attitudes.” She says not to become discouraged if you can’t get every move down flawlessly at first. “One of the things I tell my students is to let go of any judgments when they come to yoga — judgment of self and judgment of others. I let them know that ‘there is no perfection in yoga … we are all on a journey at our own pace.’” The popularity of yoga is not slowing down. According to Channel Signal, a company that collects and measures consumer comments: “When compared to similar forms of indoor recreation, yoga not only dwarfs the competition, it’s the only activity experiencing steady growth. This growth has not gone unnoticed by the thousands of studios, apparel, and nu54


simone tucker encourages people to stay positive even if they don’t get a pose perfect at first.

tritional companies reaping the benefits of the $27 billion-dollar industry.” It seems that yoga isn’t just for meditating gurus, the limber, or the super-athletic. People of all shapes, sizes, ages, and abilities are embracing its benefits, and adapting it to suit their individual needs and lifestyles. According to the BhagavadGita, a book of wisdom from ancient India, “Yoga is the journey of the self, through the self, to the self.”

Call us at 254-501-7500 or 254-778-4444 TEXAPPEALMAG.COM



Eight reasons a pet sitter or dog walker might be right for your

furry family member By JeSSA MCClUre


hile you are busy working, running the kids to their activities and picking up groceries on the way home, there’s one member of the family who isn’t getting any playtime — your pet. With increasingly busy lives, we are spending more and more time away from home, and sometimes that means more time away from our fourlegged friends. While doggie daycares and kennels can be a good option for some, others who want more personalized care for their pets might consider a pet sitter or dog walker. Daniela Price, owner of ease My Mind Pet & House Sitting in Killeen, said having in-home care can be beneficial to both pet and owner. 56


Here are some reasons why you might consider choosing a pet sitter or dog walker for your furry family member.

1. no paCKing “Having a pet sitter is very convenient for pet owners because they don’t have to pack up their pet’s belongings and take them to a boarding facility,” Price said. “They can keep them at home and the pet can stay in almost the same routine as when the pet owner is there.” 2. Less anxiety Many pets develop anxiety about staying in a boarding facility, especially if they once lived in an institutional setting. “When you have a rescue animal or an animal you got from a shelter, and they had a previously bad experience, they

could associate boarding with shelter life,” she said. “Staying at home relieves that to a large degree.” Price said even cats need human interaction to improve their mental wellbeing. “Although they are independent, cats still need to know someone is there,” she said.

3. CatCh siCKness earLy If you are working 12-hour shifts and don’t have time to check on your dog or cat during the day, then you might be missing signs of illness. “Animals are sometimes so stoic that if they do come down with something or become ill, it will be too late by the time your recognize it.” Pet sitters, such as those who work for

ease My Mind Pet & Home Sitters, are with animals several times a day, assessing their health. Price tells her clients up front that she requires each sitter to visit at least once a day for cats and twice a day for dogs in order to prevent injury and scope out illness. “even if they have access to the backyard while their owners are gone, things can happen,” she said. “They could be bitten by a rattlesnake or find their way through a fence, putting them in danger.”

4. saFety For your hoMe Because the pet sitter will be their several times a day taking care of your pet, they will also have the opportunity to check on your home and make sure everything is safe and secure. “If you have in-home care like ours, you’ll get security checks, trash take-out, plant watering, and someone to bring in the mail,” she said. 5. prevent bad behaviors When animals are left alone for hours on end, they get bored. This is when bad behaviors can develop. “They’ll eat your furniture, chew on window sills, or dig through the trash to find something exciting. They just have way too much pent-up energy,” Price said. “Just taking a dog on a walk can really relieve a lot of those behavioral issues.” Price also said that exercise during the day can also keep your pet calm, even when they are excited to see you at the end of the day.

6. enCourage good heaLth “Dogs and cats don’t exercise themselves,” Price said. “They aren’t driven internally like a human being. So giving them opportunities to exercise and play is important to their overall health.” Having a pet sitter or dog walker can help keep your pet from becoming obese. 7. avoid deaLing With business hours When a pet owner goes on vacation, or in the case of many military men and women — goes for extended training, they often return at all hours of the day and night. If their dog or cat is in a boarding facility, then they might have to wait until the facility is open to get their pet. “When the owner uses in-home care, they can come home in the middle of the night and their pet is already there,” Price said. “They don’t have to wait until the next morning or until the end of the weekend to be reunited with their pets.” 8. hands-on, CustoMized Care If you can’t be with your pet during the day, then you want someone who will treat them like you would. With in-home pet sitting, your pet will be getting one-onone attention they wouldn’t be getting at a larger facility. “When we’re there, it’s really about this pet or these pets. It’s very customized,” Price said. “We collect a lot of details from the pet owners so we can mimic their routine. The only thing different is that mom and dad aren’t there.” TEXAPPEALMAG.COM


bob bullock state history Museum in austin. 58



Explore Austin’s museums Story and photos by FreD AFFlerBACH


ou don’t have to be weird, or a live music fan, to enjoy a visit to Austin. And you don’t have to wear burnt orange attire and join the legions flocking to football, basketball and baseball games to have a good time in the Capitol City. That’s because Austin has a slew of museums that celebrate art, history and politics. Visitors eager to learn the story of Texas, from the first european explorers through the space age, should visit the Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum. A short hop away, the lBJ Presidential library brings to life a native son’s rise from his hardscrabble roots in the Hill Country to being sworn in as our 36th president aboard Air Force One only hours after President John F. Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas in 1963. Other, smaller museums off the beaten path, enlighten and enrich your Austin adventure. For example, the oldest house still standing in Austin was built by a French diplomat in 1840, and today it’s the French legation Museum. And you can visit the studio of a pioneering woman sculptor, elisabet Ney, whose marble sculptures of Sam Houston and Stephen F. Austin are on permanent display at the Texas Capitol and the U.S. Capitol. The following compilation is nowhere close to exploring all the museums and galleries Austin offers, but it’s a good

in preparation for creating this statue of stephen F. austin (full figure on left), elisabet ney interviewed relatives and borrowed his rifle from his family.

starting point. rather than pulling up a stool and ordering a drink at one of the countless nightspots on Sixth Street, why not slip on your favorite walking shoes and pound a little pavement? A wellspring of inspiration and information awaits.

eLisabet ney MuseuM Headstrong, determined and talented, sculptor elisabet Ney displayed an independent and stubborn streak early in life. As a young woman in 19th century

Formosa, elisabet ney’s studio, was established in 1892 on 2.5 acres in austin’s hyde park neighborhood. the building, designed by ney, was built with local limestone in the Classic and gothic architectural styles.

Germany, she rebelled when her parents denied her request to study art in a large city. “She went on a hunger strike. Two weeks, to encourage her parents to let her follow her dreams and go to art school in Berlin,” said elisabeth Abell, museum docent. “It apparently got pretty bad. So the bishop was brought in. Her family was very Catholic. In the end, he said they needed to come up with some sort of compromise. She was going to be an artist, or she was going to die.” Ney built a promising career sculpting in a neo-classical style portrait busts of european notables such as prominent politicians, chemists, philosophers and educators. But in 1870 when political unrest and a war with France reached a tipping point, Ney and her husband, edmund Montgomery, fled to the United States. After a short stay in Georgia, they traveled west and quietly lived on a plantation near Houston for 20 years. But Ney finally picked up her sculpting tools and resumed work. On the outskirts of Austin in 1892, she built Formosa, her studio Continued TEXAPPEALMAG.COM


TexAdventures and site of the museum today, and landed a commission to carve statues of two Texas titans — Sam Houston and Stephen F. Austin. Although the original marbles are on display at capitol buildings in Austin and Washington, D.C., plaster statues, the artist’s copies from which they take measurements, provide insight into the painstaking process of creating a human image from a slab of marble. Although much of Ney’s work on display at the museum are busts of influential europeans, a few full figures stand out in contrast. Prometheus, the mortal who stole fire from Zeus in Greek mythology, is shackled at his ankle. King ludwig II of Bavaria stands vaingloriously with his head back, chin up. And lady Macbeth wrings her hands in anguish, head tilted to the side. Aside from Ney’s sculptures, the building itself is worth a visit. The sturdy limestone structure is listed on the National register of Historic Places, and the National Wildlife Federation has designated the large lot a Certified Wildlife Habitat. Elisabet Ney Museum 304 e. 44th St. 512-458-2255 Open noon until 5 p.m. Wednesday — Sunday. Free admission, donations helpful.

FrenCh Legation MuseuM “The Oldest House in Austin” takes you back to when a nascent republic was trying to find its way in the international

this replica kitchen, a freestanding building behind the original house, is complete with period piece cooking utensils. it replaces the original one that burned in the 1880s.

community. After the Treaties of Velasco granted Texas independence from Mexico, the first european nation to recognize the young country was France. Alphonse Dubois, the French dignitary assigned to Texas, built this Creole cottage house between 1839-1841, in an attempt to forge economic and political ties. “We want people to know more about the republic,” said museum director Martha George Withers. ”We talk a lot about the war. We talk more about statehood. But we don’t get into that 10year period of the republic as we should. Those were the same people. They had been through coming out here as settlers

the French Legation Museum opened to the public in 1956 and is under the custodial eye of the daughters of the republic of texas. 60


to the frontier, war with Mexico for independence, and creating a new nation.” Dubois built the house on 22 acres east of town. But a refined Frenchmen did not fit in with rough-and-tumble early Texans. In what is known by historians as the “Pig War,” Dubois ordered his servants to shoot a neighbor’s pigs when they tromped onto the estate, eating what they pleased. The pig owner filed suit, and by some accounts assaulted Dubois, but nothing much came of the conflict. Yet this anecdote underscores the failed attempt by Dubois to forge relationships. In 1841, when President Sam Houston moved the Capitol to Houston, Dubois sold the house to a Catholic priest. In 1848, Dr. Joseph robertson, an early mayor of Austin, bought the house and raised 11 children there. “The family always recognized the importance of the site,” Withers said. “They always referred to it as the French embassy. So the estate continued to be called the French embassy.” Inside the house today, the walls are painted original colors, yellow and pink, thanks to modern technology that recognizes pigment. The sloping parlor floor is the same as Bastrop pine workers laid 175 years ago. A painting of the house by one of the robertson daughters, 12-year-old Julia, hangs on a bedroom wall. Next door is a replica kitchen, complete with fireplace and period cookware. The original burned in the 1880s. The museum is celebrating 175 years

visitors at the LbJ presidential library can sit before this drum set, don headphones and take a drumming lesson from ringo starr while the beatles exhibit is on view through Jan. 10.

since the house was built by hosting events such as Archeology Day and Texas French Market in October. More information is on the website. French Legation Museum 802 San Marcos St. 512-472-8180. Open Tuesday-Sunday 1 to 5 p.m. Admission $5.

LbJ presidentiaL Library Who was lBJ? A crusader, some historians say, who did more for civil rights than anyone since Abraham lincoln? A hawk who escalated the Vietnam War, sending thousands of young soldiers to their deaths in jungles 8,000 miles away? A powerful politician who could cajole, connive, or just flat-out intimidate adversaries? These types of caricatures, fair or not, are examined here at the lBJ Presidential library through telephone conversation recordings, photographs and videos. Quotes by both foes and allies call lBJ everything from a force of nature to a human dynamo to a tornado in pants. A timeline walks you through the 36th president’s life, pointing out how his early work as a public school teacher on the Texas-Mexico border in the 1920s had a profound effect on legislation he would push throughout his political career. His domestic programs, called the Great Society, are examined through a display called “Did lBJ make a difference?” Inasmuch as lBJ’s domestic legisla-

tion is heralded for advancing voting rights, education and health care, and fighting poverty, his foreign policy is examined with sobering details. Through documentaries, letters, and especially recorded telephone conversations, lBJ’s anguish over the Vietnam War is both painful and revealing. Johnson alternately calls the war the “biggest damn mess,” and laments that “I can’t win ... and I can’t get out.” But he also tells a senator “if we quit Vietnam, we’ll be fighting the North Vietnamese in Hawaii tomorrow and San Francisco next week.” While lBJ was agonizing over these complex issues in the early 1960s, four boys from liverpool were setting the music world on fire. Another exhibit at the library, “ladies and gentlemen . . . The Beatles!” celebrates the impact the Fab Four had on “American pop culture, including fashion, art, advertising media and music.” A black-and-white recording of the Beatles’ first TV appearance on the ed Sullivan show captures young women pulling their hair, screaming at high pitch, and sighing with infatuation and adulation. These same women today, likely in their 60s, are featured in an interview describing the surreal experience. Another interview features a producer explaining how John lennon worked to cultivate a voice like someone shouting from a mountaintop, or the Dalai Continued TEXAPPEALMAG.COM


bleached concrete walls at a stalled condominium project have been turned into a de facto outdoor art gallery, austin-style. visitors can buy spray paint on site and take their turn at this free-form motif.

lama. And a press release from Capitol records attempts damage control regarding lennon’s infamous comments that the Beatles were more popular than Jesus. (lennon’s comments were taken completely out of context, the press release states.) You can also have your picture taken high-stepping before a mural of the iconic zebra crossing outside Abbey road Studio just as the Beatles did for the cover of the album Abbey road. The exhibit will be on display until Jan. 10, 2016. LBJ Presidential Library 2313 red river St. 512-721-0200 Open daily 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission: $8 adults $5 ages 13-17. Free ages 12 and younger.

bob buLLoCK texas state history MuseuM It’s easy to find this museum in downtown Austin: point your car toward the giant, steel lone Star just a block north of the state capitol. Inside, you could spend a full day reliving Texas history, from the first known european to visit, Cabeza de Vaca, to the first transmission from the moon, “Houston ... The eagle has landed.” The museum examines Texas independence through the eyes of three 62


parties: Mexico views the revolution as an insurrection; Texas says it’s seeking a new identity, and the United States mulls annexation. Throughout the museum, reminders of Texas’ checkered past regarding civil rights reveal some dark chapters in the state’s history. For example: A letter to President Sam Houston, dated 1842, from the chief justice of refugio County, sounds an alarm about people terrorizing Tejano citizens. “The enemies of Don Carlos have taken their advantage to conquer him and his property — various reports have been circulated among the volunteers to induce them to destroy the ranches and murder its citizens.” A photograph of a Ku Klux Klan initiation ceremony in 1922 in Decatur also chronicles the long struggle for civil rights in Texas. A new exhibit here features the hull of a French ship, the la Belle, that sank in Matagorda Bay on the Texas Gulf Coast in 1686. Painstakingly reassembled, the la Belle is tiny by today’s standards — 54 feet long. Its wooden planks reek of the history and danger sailing a small ship across the Atlantic in the 1680s. Also on display are artifacts from the ship, such as a cannon, a shoe and a ring. The museum is named for Bob Bullock, Texas’ 38th lieutenant governor. According to the museum’s biography,

Bullock championed a state history museum in the Capitol City, but died in 1999 before the project was complete. Bullock Texas State History Museum 1800 N. Congress 512-936-8746 Open Monday-Saturday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Sunday noon to 5 p.m. Admission adults $12; Ages 4-17 $8.

graFFiti parK at CastLe hiLLs A vacant hillside near downtown has been transformed from an eyesore into a public art venue. The terraced property, once slated to be home to a condominium project, is testament to Austin’s creativity. Visitors can buy spray paint on site from an approved vendor and try their hand at free-form painting. Concrete walls, rocks, tree branches — people have left their mark on just about every square foot of the property. A climb to the top up a series of rocky steps affords a panoramic view of the Austin skyline. (Bring a camera.) However, a word of caution, broken bottles and other tripping hazards litter the trail. Sturdy shoes are a must. Graffiti Park at Castle Hills 1100 Baylor St. No phone. No admission. Open daylight hours.



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