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g l a m p i n g


preserving A heritage public hunting program


the lovely outdoors

50 Plus Active Living in North Texas

May/June 2017


State Parksin Texas 26



May/June 2017



May/June 2017


Banana Brew

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r ro r

in North Texas




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State Parks

in Texas 26

The Outdoor Issue



L veI M g z


There’s fishing, then there’s state park fishing! Flip over to to page 6 for the 10 state park spots to visit this summer.

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50 Plus Active Living

We’re exploring 10 state parks that were recommended by you. Whether, you’re a hiker, mountain biker or birder, these are a must-see on your summer travels.





y ou

May/June 2017

10 tate Parks in Texas






liveit ov











Finding a rare winged gem in Texas has the butterfly community buzzing. The Garden Guy and his banana brew concoction is sure to bring them to your backyard.











Page 10






s ssu


200 Walnut St., Bowie, TX 76230 940-872-2076 •


Our ake Yourself at Home and Fresh Perspectives contributors joined forces to bring some glam to the great outdoors.



Publisher J. M. Winter itor Courtney McEwen

18 Local Flavor


Café Lavender

12 Actively Speaking

22 Feature, Part I

13 LiveIt List

37 Bookspiration

All-Natural Exercise

vertising xe utives Lana Hamblin Kathy Miller B

Public Hunting Program


Creative Dire tor Kayla Jean Woods Ad

Spokes 4 Hope


8 Good Works

um s

14 North Texas Wine Trail 16 From the Kitchen

Sausage Breakfast Cups

21 Trend Hunter

Wearable Wood Trends

30 Texas Hideaways Pace Bend Park

35 Fresh Perspectives Solar Chandelier

38 Two Cents Worth Composting 101



A tribute to Mother’s Day




Camping Gadgets

usiness Manager Brenda Bingham Cir ulation Manager Marnie Brown Contributing Writers Jean Bruns Nancy Arredondo Rebekah Bachman Shannon Gillette Aimee Hodges Ellen Miller Miles Shaffer Norman Winter

in association with

41 Event Lineup 42 Unleashed

Meet Sunshine & Starshine

LiveIt is not responsible for omissions or information that has been misrepresented to the magazine. Advertisers and their agencies assume all liability for advertising content. Reproduction in whole or part without written permission from the publisher is prohibited.


May/June 2017

editor talk


Find yourself in the middle of nowhere... S

ummer is camping season. Growing up in agriculture, long nights under the stars are a regular occurrence. Camping and planning outdoor activities were never considered a vacation because our life was just that, one constant (and priceless) outdoor activity. Fast forward to adulthood when not too long after the wedding, my husband proposed a weekend of summer tent camping in Palo Duro Canyon State Park. The country girl in me hesitated, the newlywed in me finally agreed, and the planner in me packed (and packed, and packed). He tells the story of an air mattress, extension cords and numerous kitchen gadgets. I just remember being a very happy (and comfy) camper, the details are irrelevant. That night, the majesty of the heavens was laid before us and we couldn’t count all the stars if we had every night to try. Two short days left the lasting impression that this is exactly what a vacation should resemble. Such adventure is the inspiration for this issue. We’re experiencing the magic of the great outdoors, beginning with 10 Texas State Parks you must visit this summer (submitted by LiveIt readers) on page 26. We also welcome a new travel contributor who shares his recent excursion to Pace Bend Park (page 29). If you’re a fellow

excessive packer, the latest and greatest camping gadgets can be found on the LiveIt List (page 13). Maybe your idea of camping is less rugged and more refined. Our Make Yourself at Home and Fresh Perspectives contributors teamed up to bring glamor to the great outdoors. See their sublime designer skills on page 34. Hiking, fishing and hunting are all part of the American outdoor experience. Read how the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department is working to preserve the heritage of hunting in our great state through the Public Hunting Program (page 20). May 14 is a very special day so we’re dedicating this issue to mothers because let’s face it, they’re awe-inspiring. A mother/daughter recipe for the most important meal of the day (page 16) and a book tribute to a very special lady (page 37) are a few ways we’re showing our appreciation to the women we love. Happy summer, LiveIt readers. May the twinkle of the night sky inspire you to slip away and find 7 yourself in the middle of nowhere. May/June‘17

Courtney McEwen Editor

Things I especially love in this issue:

The charming greeters at Café Lavender. (page 18) Find the hidden item in this issue and be the first to post it on the LiveIt Facebook page.

A fashion trend that's making wood extremely wearable. (page 21)

Our designers collaborate to glam the great outdoors. (page 34)


Check out our fresh face on the web with more of your favorites. Complete issues, exclusive stories, new contributors and the best of North Texas buzz.


good works

Spokes 4 Hope

T 8

May/June ‘17


here's something magical about a child experiencing their first bicycle. It's a bright, shiny key to a whole new world of adventure. Unfortunately, there are far too many children that never get this wonderful childhood rite of passage. The foster care system is saturated with children whose caregivers are only able to supply the necessities of food, shelter and safety but very little ancillary items that many take for granted. Spokes 4 Hope is a nonprofit organization passionate about closing this gap so more young people can experience the wonder of pedaling a bicycle for the first time. Spokes 4 Hope was established by retired Southlake police officer, Alton Wells in 2006. Law enforcement officers take an oath to serve and protect as part of their occupation but for many, these vows are ingrained in every fiber of their lives. This mindset is the organization's firm foundation. The story began when fellow officer, Robert Hodges, developed a terminal brain tumor, Wells and his brothers in blue sprang into action. Their fundraising efforts allowed Hodges the peace of mind knowing his family would be financially stable even though his End of Watch was close at hand. Wells, and the other officers involved, realized the magnitude of their efforts and felt the need to continue answering the call to serve. Their desire was to continue fundraising efforts for another worthy cause. One officer shared his personal story of being the child of a struggling single mother and receiving the gift of his first bicycle. The difference a simple act of kindness made in his life was the inspiration the group needed to create a Spokes 4 Hope movement. Working closely with child advocacy centers, churches, schools and law enforcement agencies, the group



















Helping kids ride on to a better life identifies deserving children and families. Many individuals, companies and corporations support the cause by volunteering their time to help assemble the numerous bicycles (many say it sparks excellent team building). Each year Spokes 4 Hope distributes between 1,500 to 1,700 bicycles and helmets. Wells dreams bigger and hopes for 10,000 per year. Spokes 4 Hope has two major fundraising events each year. Community involvement is the key to their success. In the spring, Keller Williams Realty-DFW, along with Sky Creek Ranch Golf Club of Keller, host an annual golf tournament. In the fall, the Keller, Southlake, Watauga and Fort Worth Police Departments join forces to host a motorcycle rodeo. Donations can also be made through their website, Another avenue of fundraising comes directly from Wells. In 1997, he was involved in an on-duty motorcycle wreck. The accident left him with a broken neck and a level two brain injury. Against all odds, he survived. But even more miraculously, he learned to walk again, talk again and exceeded all the doctors’ expectations. He speaks to groups across the state about overcoming adversity, the will to never give in and never give up. The funds received from his motivational speaking goes directly to Spokes 4 Hope. One hundred percent of the donations received are spent on bicycles and helmets. None of it is used for administrative or salary purposes. All those involved in the organization are on a strictly volunteer basis. Please visit to find out how you can help a deserving child ride on to a better life.

March/April 2017


May/June ‘17


the garden guy


May/June ‘17

Clockwise: Tawny Emperor Butterflies, Red Admiral, rare Tailed Cecropian in Texas

the garden guy

Banana Brew



blog posting in September rang like a rifle shot through our butterfly community. A very rare butterfly, the Tailed Cecropian was seen at a banana brew feeding station in Starr County, Texas. Before everyone could pack up and make the journey, an identical one was found at a similar feeding area at the National Butterfly Center. While you won’t find a Tailed Cercropian in North Texas, putting out a banana brew log or two in your garden may bring your family an outdoor adventure like you’ve never experienced. The National Butterfly Center has 14 stations, selected tree trunks and fence posts, where the banana brew was placed and almost every native plant a butterfly could love or need. Many butterflies love the sap or sugars that flow through a plant. Similarly, ripening fruit is just as much of a temptation is the nectar that their counterparts relish. At the Columbus Botanical Garden in Georgia, we had seven stations. You will only need one or two areas, depending on the size of your butterfly garden. We used 24 to 30-inch oak logs that were either attached to steel rebar rods or hung from trees with wire. The recipe for Banana Brew is 10 overripe bananas, one pound of dark brown sugar, and one bottle or can of dark beer. You can also use yeast. The

ingredients are mixed with a blender and put into buckets or containers to ferment. Be sure to leave room for expansion of the concoction and adequate ventilation. We added vent holes to our buckets, making this easy. The brew can be used right away or stored, just remember to vent. (The stories of exploding buckets that weren’t vented properly or filled too full are both comical and legendary.) We normally waited a couple of days and poured or brushed the brew onto the grooves cut into the logs. In South Texas, it seemed all of the rare butterflies were seen feeding on the logs. In Columbus, we had Red Admirals, Question Marks, Red-spotted Purples, Emperors and the incredibly beautiful Morning Cloak. The botanical garden at Clemson has had incredible success with the recipe as well. Since you never really know what will be in your garden and it can change within minutes, it's thrilling to sneak up on a log for the first look of the day (or in the late afternoon) when temperatures have subsided. If your desire is to create an idyllic backyard wildlife habitat for your own outdoor adventure, I encourage the addition of a few feeding stations to go along with your plantings. Place them in the morning sun or filtered light like you would yard art, where both you and your visitors can enjoy the experience.













Creating your own outdoor adventure


May/June ‘17

Question Mark

Red-spotted Purple You can also visit the National Butterfly Center and the World Birding Centers in Mission and McAllen, Texas for the experience of a lifetime.

If you have questions on Banana Brew feeding, email me at or follow me on Facebook at Norman Winter “The Garden Guy.”


actively speaking

All-Natural Exercise


ummer is on the horizon and before we get overwhelmed by the Texas heat, let’s take advantage of the remaining cool breezes and jump into an outdoor workout. Embrace the beauty of nature while toning those winterized, well-rested muscles. The sweats are coming off and the shorts are coming out so let's get ready. With the beautiful Texas landscape, birds chirping and wildflowers blooming, you're sure to be distracted from your elevated heart rate. Begin with stretching. Never underestimate the importance of warming up your muscles, especially when exercising in the great outdoors. Reach to the sky, taking a moment to give thanks and envision stretching your spine upward. Next, transition by bending down and touching your toes. Stand with your legs straight, but not stiff, allowing your hamstrings to elongate. Reach your hand overhead, straightening your arm, folding at elbow and pulling back behind your head. Stretching your tricep, allow your free hand to rest on your elbow and hold it in place. Alternate arms. Hold each stretch for a minimum of 10 seconds. Plant your feet and extend your arms out, parallel to your body and move them in small circles, reversing directions. Next, slowly bend at the waist, take the left hand and touch the right foot allowing the right hand to reach behind you, extending in the air. Hold for a count of three then alternate sides. Repeat ten times, allowing your entire body to loosen. Shake it off by finding a trail or piece of land for a ten-minute nature power walk. If you're up for a challenge, continue with body weight exercises. Beginning with split body weight squats, move one leg in front, hands clasped in front for balance with the back leg extended behind you and toes bent (heels off the ground). Begin to bend legs, not allowing your knee to touch the ground but going down as far as is comfortable. Be careful not to allow your knee to shift past your toes. Squat up and down ten times then reverse legs and repeat. Tran12

sitioning to the ground, find a grassy area (or use a mat) and perform controlled push ups (modified push ups are good if you find the traditional too challenging). Be sure to keep your entire body straight as you lower (avoid pecking the ground), keeping your neck in alignment with your spine. Repeat push ups of your choice ten times. Donkey kicks are next, getting on all fours in a dog position. Keep your spine straight and draw one leg in to your chest and extend up to the sky, squeezing your glute the entire time. Repeat this motion 10 times then switch to opposite leg. Follow with hip hinges by staying on all fours and drawing one leg (bent at the knee) up and out to the side, squeezing the glute (like a dog and a hydrant). Repeat times then switch sides. Bent arm planks are last. While still in the dog position, extend legs straight behind



















Taking healthy advantage of the beautiful Texas landscapes

you, up on bent toes. Bend your arms and rest on elbows/forearms, holding your body parallel and stiff as a board for 30 seconds. You have now completed one round of your outdoor circuit and can repeat two more additional times, if desired. Finish up with another ten minute brisk walk and you have successfully awakened those weary muscles for some serious summer fun! Good job! Get moving and if you need someone to help or have questions, Aimee can be reached at Fit-N-Wise in Decatur (940-627-2708) or at Opposite Way Training in Bowie (940-389-1229). May/June 2017

1. UBB X Klean Kanteen


2. Snow Peak Hozuki LED Lantern

liveitlist A few things we’re living with and loving

Happy Camper

Whether you’re a camping minimalist or the type that packs everything and the kitchen sink, here’s a few gadgets to make you an even happier camper.

3. Therm-a-rest Slacker Super Snuggler


May/June ‘17

4. Fish Knife

5. Antique Brass Compass with Tape Measure

6. Pendleton National Park Dog Leash

7. GSI Camper Cookset

North Texas

Blue Ostrich Winery & Vineyard 5611 FM 2382, Saint Jo

Brushy Creek Vineyards 572 CR 2798, Alvord

Fortunata Winery 2297 FM 2931, Aubrey

Marker Cellars 1484 CR 2585, Alvord

OG Cellars

704 County Road 1895, Sunset

Sugar Ridge Winery

212 Bolivar, Suite 100, Sanger

s Wine Trail


from the kitchen

of Tonya Garcia s



Sau age Breakfa t Cup Ingredients: ¾ lb pork breakfast sausage ½ cup chopped onion 1 can (4 oz) chopped green chiles 1/3 teaspoon salt 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese ½ cup bisquick baking mix ½ cup milk 3 eggs Directions: Heat oven to 375 degrees. Spray muffin tin with cooking spray. In medium skillet, cook sausage and onion over medium heat while stirring frequently. Drain and cool for five minutes. Add green chiles, salt, cilantro and cheese. In medium mixing bowl, whisk baking mix, milk and eggs until blended well. Spoon one tablespoon of baking mixture batter in each muffin cup. Top with a scoop of sausage mixture and top with another tablespoon of baking mixture batter. Bake for 30 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. Cool for five minutes before removing from pan. Yum!

Tonya and her mother, Joyce

“These delicious sausage cups are a tribute to Mother’s Day and each special moment we spend together. My mother, as a constant source of wisdom, firmly believes breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Enjoy!”


local flavor


ust off Highway 82, eight miles east of Gainesville, lies a lavender gem rich with family history. I arrived on a beautifully sunny afternoon and made my way down the winding, sun-dappled drive in search of a familiar aroma. I was greeted by owner and operator, Jane Ware-Dane and her four-legged greeting crew, Lilly and Buddy, quickly realizing there's more sweetness here than just the lavender. The purpose of my trip was to discuss food but, when spotting a group of ring-tailed lemurs, I couldn't resist a tour. Spring has just begun to show itself and the lavender wasn't quite in 18 bloom but the field of irises May/June ‘17 (yes, 1,100 varieties to be exact) were enough to leave me speechless. It rarely happens. With Jane's brother, Jerry Ware, being a horticulturist, it is eminently clear that each field is more than gardening, there's clearly science at work. As we made our way up to the café, we discussed the land's 150 year history and



the family connection it cultivates. Many family gatherings left members longing for more time away from the traffic and concrete of the city and more time in a place where it seems to stand still. Originally a strawberry and melon farm in the 1920s and 1930s, Lavender Ridge Farms opened in 2006 as a lavender, cutflower and herb farm. Jane admits she knew very little about the subject when they began but, looking around, I dare say she was being modest. Entering a grove of oak trees, we strolled past an old iron entrance that had perfectly preserved the weathering of time. It was adorned with a charming, hand-painted café sign indicating that delicious dishes were in my immediate future. The creak of a screen door led to a delightful covered patio and the tranquil trickling of an antique fountain. In amazement, I noticed irises growing in the water. Remember, science! Jane introduced me to a few of the menu favorites. The salad trio platter, requested by most, is a contender for the Best in Show


wen |


by Courtney M



CaféServing Lavender Plate of Peaceful




award and the hearty ham and swiss sandwich made this bread-lover swoon. There were many mouth-watering savory options but I was altogether distracted by the lavender lemon gooey butter cake. I mean, come on! My time at Lavender Ridge Farms and the Café Lavender was just as expected, peaceful. I left that day, along with the thousands of other visitors that have come before, feeling full - full of stories, garden scents and confirmation that getting your hands dirty really does pay off. If you have the time, take the back road and follow the little purple signs to explore the herb for all seasons. Pull up a patio chair, lose yourself in glass of lavender tea and enjoy your very own plate of peaceful flavor. For more information on Lavender Ridge Farms, their hours of operation or products from the gift shop, call 940-6656938 or visit their website at Mark your calendars for the Ninth Annual Lavender Festival on May 27-29.

May/June 2017

local flavor



May/June ‘17

Lavender is used often in the culinary world. It lends a floral and slightly sweet flavor to most dishes, pairing especially well with chocolate!



May/June 2017

trend hunter


Premium Wooden Headphones C Crane Co

Designer Wood Clutch Tesler Mendelovitch

Wood watch All Zebrawood 57

Once a staple for furniture alone, fashion and tech designers are now using wood to find innovative ways to create unique and classically-styled accessories. Combined with modern good looks and environmental sensibility, wood brings a little warmth to every wardrobe.

Handmade Twig Necklace

Men’s Wooden Sunglasses Top Gun // 52

Zebrawood Bifold Wallet Slim Timber

Zebrawood Phone case


Public Hunting Program Preserving the heritage of hunting



May/June ‘17


By Courtney McEwen | Photos courtesy of TPWD & NWTF

n a family cow/calf operation in Canadian, Texas, a young boy finishes his daily chores and rushes to grab his beloved BB gun and fishing pole. The sun will soon set and chances of squirrels scampering and fish biting will be lost until tomorrow. Day in and day out, these many adventures are moments etching their forever place in the memory of a youthful hunter. Fast forward a few decades and Tom Isaacs still cherishes his childhood memories on the family ranch, acknowledging that hunting has always been an integral part of the American experience. Spending his adult years in the hunting, outfitting and agriculture industries, Isaacs decided to direct his passion and experience toward helping the next generation of Texas hunters obtain access to dove, quail, waterfowl and small game hunting. As a private lands leasing biologist for the National Wild Turkey Federation (NWTF), Isaacs joins many others in an effort to preserve this rich tradition and the powerful connection it creates to the outdoors. Hunting develops relationships like no other activity. It requires enthusiasts to become intimately knowledgeable of the land and game they hunt while cultivating relationships with family and friends who share the same passion. For this reason, the NWTF has joined forces and combined resources with the Texas Parks & Wildlife Department (TPWD) to preserve the generational heritage of hunting by increasing opportunities on private lands throughout Texas, resulting in the Public Hunting Program (PHP). Isaacs says, “97 percent of Texas is privately-owned land and our hunting heritage is being threatened by the financial barriers and lack of opportunity that prevents kids from being introduced to the sport. In many cases, Texas hunters find they do not have the personal contacts to secure hunting land or can't afford the associated lease prices. These issues negatively impact our hunting tradition as fewer and fewer generations of Texans are able to take to the field. This was the motivation for TPWD to create the Public Hunting Program.” Through the PHP, Tom and two other NWTF biologists (located in Lubbock and San Marcos) scour Texas for hunting leases on behalf of TPWD. Securing land and recruiting hunters is the goal but education is their desire. It's important to understand private properties rights,

production agriculture, and the challenges producers face in today’s markets. Isaacs says, “The profit margins in agriculture are getting tighter every year, unless we reevaluate operating costs and get a handle on our capital expenditures, producers like myself are looking at tight margins for the foreseeable future.” He says that successful produc-

Some of America’s historic larger-thanlife figures have been hunters. Daniel Boone, Davy Crockett, Kit Carson, and Theodore Roosevelt, to name a few. ers are diversifying their operations as much as possible by leasing hunting access. This is not news to some landowners who have been taking advantage of hunting in their operations for years but he says, “Not many producers have heard about Texas Parks and Wildlife Department’s leasing program.” Isaacs and other state biologists are working to inform landowners about the different leasing options that are available. Through their experience, they've found landowners typically fall into three categories: production agriculture, leases gone wrong and generations removed. The production agriculture landowner, as referenced above, is one who works the acreage every day through livestock and/or crop production. While private sector and public hunting may seem initially unattractive, these participants have realized the increased land revenue generated by allowing regulated hunting. The leases gone wrong landowners are those who have experienced hunting headaches with nightmare, out-ofcontrol hunters leaving them feeling like enough is enough. These owners find extreme value in the program for the walk-in property rules and regulations being enforced by patrolling TPWD game wardens. The third category is generations removed landowners who have inherited family acreage. In this category, the land is not being utilized and the owner is interested in seeing a financial return on his/her asset. The program also benefits all types of hunters and is (Continued on page 25) May/June 2017


May/June ‘17

Tom Issacs and cousin, Trey

Raising generations of hunters

Photo by Earl Nottingham, TPWD


“Hunting heritage in Texas is on the chopping block, hunter recruitment and retention rates are at an all-time low. The public hunting program is working to combat this by giving an 24 May/June ‘17 affordable option for access to over one million acres of hunting. The future of hunting relies on each of us introducing new people to the sport. Take a kid, coworker, friend or family member into the field this season and do your part.” - Texas Hunter


Photo by Steve Lightfoot, TPWD

Photo by Steve Lightfoot, TPWD

May/June 2017

quickly gaining popularity. In 2015, 38,000 permits were issued around the state. Participating is as simple as purchasing a $48 annual hunting license (and the optional Annual Public Hunting permit that allows for big game hunters to participate in postcard hunts). There's also the option to purchase a $12 Limited Public Use Permit that allows non-hunters to enjoy non-consumptive activities (fishing, horseback riding, bird watching, etc). When registered, permit holders are mailed an information booklet and directed to the TPWD Public Hunting website ( hunt/public/). Both resources list all available properties (registered privately-owned land, TPWD wildlife management areas, state parks, and other federal land), the legally hunted species, specific dates of operation and any special rules pertaining to each property and permit. Temporary registration stations are installed at entry points of the hunting unit shortly before the season begins. These stations contain all rules and regulations of the property, its boundaries and any special concerns the landowner may have. Hunters complete a registration card and deposit it into a locked box at the registration station. The registered hunter is then permitted access to the property through walk-in only (no vehicles, ATVs or UTVs). Prior to exiting the property at the end of each hunt, the hunter then completes another card that reports their success by number and species of all game harvested. Stations are checked on a weekly basis to make sure everything is in order and retrieve existing reports from the registration box. TPWD game

Tom Issaacs with friends and family. Steve Rader, Justin Rader, Rex Hollaway, Ryan Hollaway and Bill Isaacs. dens actively patrol the leases to ensure all rules and regulations are being followed and hunters have the appropriate Annual Public Hunting Permit. Weekly collections enable TPWD to monitor lease usage and hunter success. As an organization, TPWD take harvest rates very seriously and use the recorded information on each card in coming seasons. At the end of the applicable hunting seasons, all lease-related signs and registration stations on the property are removed and biologists make a point to gain feedback from the landowners and hunters. As you can see on the map shown, the areas of land availability vary across the state. For North Texas, Isaacs is looking to lease access for all legal game species that TPWD manages. However, the primary focus of the program is for dove, quail, waterfowl and small game hunting. “I am working with landowners that have not capitalized

on the bird hunting potential either because they don’t know there's a market or don’t have the time to manage the hunting.” Isaacs says “The payments for these leases are very competitive. Ideally, annual leases for all species of game including deer and hogs or seasonal leases for dove, quail, waterfowl or small game are what we'd like to secure.” The program currently consists of over one million acres of land across the state. TPWD feels the benefits of the program on our hunting heritage is substantial and the future of the industry relies on getting youth in the field to experience the tradition, just like their parents and grandparents. The hunting industry has proven to be economic stimulus to the local


May/June ‘17

economy, bringing in hunters from all over. With the high quality hunting opportunities in our region, TPWD and the NWTF are excited to expand the program across North Texas to help ensure that the next generation of Texans have a place to carry on the rich tradition. At the end of the day, Tom and others involved in the program share the same passion, creating access to lasting memories on the land we love with the people we cherish. For more information on the Public Hunting Program (land participation and various permits), contact Tom Isaacs at NWTF. 817-900-2763 (office) or 406-599-9996 (cell). You can also send all email correspondence to

“I used to do quite a bit of hunting and this program is well worth it for the people that don’t have the access and opportunity to hunt.” - Texas Landowner


10 Amazing State Parks in Texas Texas state parks are our pride and joy. Whether you’re a hiker, mountain biker, paddler or weekend camping adventurer, you’ll find what you’re looking for in every corner of the Lone Star state. Plan your next summer getaway at one of these 10 locations, recommended by our most trusted camping experts.

Photos courtesy of Texas Parks & Wildlife


May/June 2017


Enchanted Rock State Natural Area

Fredericksburg – As the most visited park in the state park system, the massive pink granite dome rising above Central Texas has drawn people for thousands of years. It is also home to 120 designated State Archaeological Landmarks.

Find your perfect state park escape using the Texas State Parks Official Guide free app. It locates campgrounds, cabins, trails and places to hike, bike, swim, fish or kayak. It will also give you details on the 95 state parks in Texas. Learn more at tpwd.texas. gov.


Fort Richardson State Park

Jacksboro – Home to Lost Creek Reservoir State Trailway. Celebrate National Trails Day on June 3rd by taking the 10-mile hike that runs adjacent to historic Fort Richardson and along Lost Creek reservoir. It’s also a bike and equestrian trail with many opportunities to fish and swim. The park abounds in scenic beauty.


Lake Mineral Wells State Park

Mineral Wells – Mineral Wells has always had a love affair with water. When a historic water well was believed to have curative powers, people came from all over to immerse themselves. Once a popular health resort and now a state park where water is still the main attraction. Don’t forget your fishing pole.


Big Bend Ranch State Park

Presidio – The largest state park in Texas, 300,000 acres stretch to the other side of nowhere along the Rio Grande. With rugged mountains, steep canyons, amazing views, unparalleled night skies and high desert solitude, there's so much to explore.


Caprock Canyon State Park

Quitaque - With Spanish explorers crossing the plains of this park in the 1500s, you never know what you’ll find. Bison, bats and possibly the discovery of an ancient arrowhead are what keep visitors making their way to Caprock Canyon – where the bison roam.


Pedernales Falls State Park

Johnson City – The Pedernales River, most often tranquil, cascades down tilted and layered slabs of 300 million-year-old limestone. In the heart of Texas Hill Country, beautiful vegetation and wildlife abound.


Palo Duro Canyon State Park

Canyon - It’s the Grand Canyon of Texas, the second largest in the country. From the rim, drive all the way to the bottom for some of the best camping, hiking, biking and enjoy the summer musical drama, Texas, in the outdoor amphitheater. Be sure to snap a photo with the longhorns on your way out, they’re very photogenic. 28

May/June 2017


Lost Maples State Natural Area

Vanderpool – Lost Maples may be known for its fall brilliance but it’s spectacular year-round. Protecting a special stand of Uvalde bigtooth maples, this park attracts over 200,000 visitors each year to experience the symphony of colors.


helpful tips for visiting the parks: - You’re encouraged to turn off your digital devices at the parks. However, that’s not always possible. You can view a list of parks that offer wifi at - New to camping? Sign up for outdoor family workshops at You and your family will learn the basic outdoor skills needed to enjoy a great camping trip. No experience necessary. - Make sure to call ahead for camping reservations to ensure the perfect spot. - To join the National Trails Days festivities on June 3, visit for a complete listing.

Garner State Park

Concan – The deep history of family and hospitality established this park in the early 1900s. Cool, clear waters of the Frio River keep people returning to experience the ideal camping adventure. Don’t forget your putter for an evening of family fun on the 18-hole miniature putt-putt golf course.


Eisenhower State Park

Denison – Named after the 34th United States president that was born nearby, this 463 acre park is perfectly situated along the banks of Lake Texoma. Rich with history and breathtaking views, this is definitely a park to add to your list. 29


texas hideaways

Pace Bend Park

Finding Adventure Nearby by Jean Bruns, Realtor – Realty Austin


n a world that's moving faster every day, we often forget to slow down and enjoy our surroundings. Long days of working hard often leave me dreaming of exotic vacations or new adventures in faraway lands. Stopping to think about it, I realized there are many exciting discoveries to be made in my own backyard. Recently, a few friends suggested we go camping at Pace Bend Park for the weekend. With Austin being home, my initial thought was, “That’s not really going anywhere.” I was expecting a getaway. I couldn’t pass up a weekend in nature - in spring – with great company. I was inspired.

A little bit about our camping destination, Pace Bend Park is a 1,368 acre public park with over nine miles of shoreline on Lake Travis. The terrain transitions from limestone cliffs to the other gently sloping sandy gravel beaches. There are over 400 primitive camp sites and 20 improved campsites with basic amenities. Now, let’s be real, I prefer glamping over primitive when the opportunity presents itself. However, the campsites at Pace Bend Park are beautiful, many lie next to private swimming coves where not even boats are allowed. The park is so big you can plan your trip with the intention of not seeing anyone at all. It also boasts

two boat ramps, many barbecue grills, firepits and miles of hiking/mountain biking trails. Our trip began parking Airstreams and drinking champagne. Once settled, we explored the many cliffs, which all happened to be the highest. Some individuals may or may not have jumped to the water below (not recommended). Later that evening we enjoyed grilling lakeside, but I highly recommend keeping Apis Restaurant and Apiary as a delicious option. It's conveniently located right outside the park and it's bustling with energy at night. The following day, we awoke to a storm brewing in the dis-

tance. It managed to miss us, but made for a powerful backdrop against the lake and trails. We hiked nature trails and enjoyed swimming coves all day without a concern in the world. The beautiful wildflowers were in bloom and even the dogs had a great day. This is definitely a trip we will be doing again soon, but not without my boat. If you're not much of a camper, I recommend looking into nightly vacation rentals just across the water at The Island on Lake Travis. Keep in mind they also have units currently for sale (starting at $159k) and docks available as well. Cheers.

As a realtor, Jean appreciates the rich history and adventure that awaits discovery in our great state. Learn more at www. 30

May/June 2017



This upscale bed and breakfast is located in the Historic Town Square, the heart and soul of Decatur. The Courthouse Suites is within walking distance to shopping and dining and also an ideal location for a romantic getaway, wedding or business retreat. For more information please call 940-627-7005 or visit www.

ugar idge Winery B&B R



courthouse suites


Rest, wine and unwind in Sanger, where peace and quiet is just a phone call away. Sugar Ridge Winery has two locations with wine for everyone; the original winery in Bristol and the second location in downtown Sanger. You can also stay the night at the winery. Call and book your stay 940458-3588.

A room at the Come and rest and relax in the trees, in your very own Treehouse Ha'ven located in Bulcher north of Saint Jo and Muenster. Get away from all the hustle and bustle and enjoy life. Treehouse rentals sleep five. The treehouses feature kitchenettes, full bathrooms, fire pits and more. For more information or to book your stay call 520-559-0542.

The Victorian Mansion was built in 1896 by John Hill Matthews. The house is located in the historical district of Bowie and just two blocks from downtown shopping. The house consist of five bedrooms, three bathrooms, a dining hall that seats 12 comfortably, music room and parlor. It also has a breakfast room and large den. For more information call 940-531-0109.

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John . Matthe s ouse w



wildcat ha’ven ranch



Located in the small German Catholic town of Muenster, Schillinghaus is a tranquil retreat just north of the DFW metroplex. Life-long residents, laine and Dale Schilling, built Schillinghaus as an upscale place to stay for people passing through the area. The building is located directly across from the park where Germanfest takes place. For more information on Schillinghaus, please visit


Bo ie

Unwind at the Gazebo Bed & Breakfast located in the Wichita Falls/Fort Worth area in Bowie. The Gazebo is a two-story Georgian-style home designed and built by owners Clyde and Janet McMurray in 1981. For reservations or more information call 940-872-4852.

Discover new retreats that make you feel right at home

veranda nn B&B About a mile down the road from the Veranda Inn is the Veranda Bed & Breakfast. This is a stunning home away from home, perfect for reunions, family stays or retreats. Located just blocks away from downtown shopping and restaurants. Rooms book up fast, so call for more information or to book your stay at 940-8255111.



aze o Bed & Breakfast


Plan your escape from the busy life and lavish in the essence of luxury. Fortunata Winery has six unique villas to accommodate you and your guests. From romantic rustic Italian, to hip modern elegance, you are invited to experience the one that suits you. For more information call 940-440-9463.





Fortunata Winery B&B





make yourself at home


, e


nancy d










h, the great outdoors. There are two schools of thought about becoming one with nature. There's sleeping under the stars, waking to the sound of singing birds and enjoying a day of quiet solitude. Then again, consider the lack of facilities, leaky tents and all manner of creepy crawlers. I happen to subscribe to the second (they don’t call me Fancy Nancy for nothing). I admit, my prehistoric gene that causes humans to desire a camping adventure is recessive. nter, glamping. Who says you must sacrifice comfort, style and convenience to experience the great outdoors? The Oxford dictionary defines glamping as a form of camping that involves accommodations and facilities more luxurious than those associated with traditional camping. Glamping is likely to satisfy any city slicker, seeking a little refuge in nature – without foregoing life’s luxuries. Remember the episode of Oprah when she and Gail made Moscow

Mules and sea bass in Yosemite? Now, that’s what I’m talking about. This might seem a little extreme, but the point is while you're enjoying the rugged outdoors, you can surround yourself with things you love, not sacrificing even an ounce of comfort from your own home.Your outdoor time can feel luxurious, even over a delightful campfire meal. With your favorite piece of art, a charming chandelier (see on opposite page) and a planter doubling as a wine bucket, you'll never look at another picnic table the same way again. Get out there, let your rugged flag fly and embrace your Survivor side. Just do so sitting by the fire, in your comfortable lounge chair, wrapped in your softest quilt and wearing your favorite fuzzy socks.

For more tips from Fancy Nancy, visit To see more of Ellen’s fresh perspectives, follow her on Facebook (Retrospective Home). 34

May/June 2017

fresh perspectives












e e









Backdrop Painting by: Kristan Garner Photos by: Bradford Mendenhall

t’s that time of the year again when we relax a bit, enjoying longer days and outdoor adventures, even if they are close to home. In this issue, we're adding some unexpected glam to an already naturally stunning outdoor space. Adding a little sparkle, a solar garden chandelier is easily made using a thrift store fixture and inexpensive solar garden spikes. Gather outdoorfriendly spray paint, weatherproof caulk, clear glue (E6000) and various crystal beads. Before getting started, make sure your chandelier is clean and remove hanging chain, if desired. Unscrew top ring, clip off the top wire and screw ring back on. Depending on your style, remove the light fixture mechanics on each arm, keeping the candle holder cups (this is where the solar lights will be attached). Weatherproof by caulking over open areas (where the wire came out of the top and each light was removed). Allow caulk to dry. Remove solar light from stakes and it's time for spray paint. I chose an off-white paint to add a shabby chic element, don’t be afraid to try a sassy turquoise or sunshine yellow for an added pop of color! Hang chandelier outside and spray. Spray solar light caps as well. (Tip: Put caps in a box to spray for no-mess painting). When dry, replace caps on each light. Glue light to each chandelier arm. (Tip: Put caps on lights before you glue on chandelier.) Allow glue to dry. Add crystals and/or beads to your fixture and remove tab on each light to activate. Hang and enjoy the glamourous glow during your next outdoor adventure - turning camping into glamping. Easy, portable, downright adorable and sure to make some very happy campers!

Tip: Some solar lights have a AA battery

inside the top that holds the solar charge. When the light no longer illuminates, the battery might need replacing. So look for solar lights that have accessible batteries for easy replacement.


May/June 2017

Two Old Women By Velma Wallis

“Two Old Women” by Velma Wallis is a tale based on a tribal legend passed on for many generations from mothers to daughters in the upper Alaskan Yukon River Valley. When I first read this little book, the message that struck a chord was that of loyal, unwavering friendship. Years later, now in a different season of life, I am touched by the strength and resilience of those considered “too old.” Sa’ and Ch’idzigyaak were, as was customary, left behind to die as hunger and cold took a toll on their nomadic tribe. What follows is their journey of survival in the wilderness. These two old women remind me a bit of my own octogenarian mother, whose words and actions have been key in shaping who I have, and continue to, become. Her lasting faith, commitment to 57 years of marriage to my father, confidence in the value of education, unmatched work ethic, aversion to crudeness, lifelong support of the 4-H program and young people, tedious attention to grammar, strong conviction regarding the power of association and certainty that all food is better when well-done. While I don’t always agree with her views (especially in regard to well-doneness), I honor her for what she continues to model and pass on. This, I believe, is a tribute to all parents that their children continue to carry on the best of them and abandon the less desirable fragments. This fable is, in part, about the value our elders bring to our existence. It's about fear and tenacity, pain and forgiveness, disregard and respect. As you read this moving book, your thoughts will be drawn to the more mature members in your circle who still have much to offer. I challenge all of us not to allow what has already been shared to go unappreciated and the things yet to be shared, to go untapped.



Happy Mother’s Day!

{This is dedicated to my mother, Martha.} 37


two cents worth

Composting 101

Practical Composting for Small Space Living T

he idea of composting might seem overwhelming and unrealistic if you have limited space. Even with a small yard or balcony, a little bit of knowledge and a few practical tips can make it simple and achievable. What is compost? Compost is nothing more than a rich soil consisting of decomposed organic material. The composting process takes our greens (grass clippings or food scraps) and browns (fallen leaves or straw) and naturally converts them into usable organic growing material. In fact, many farmers refer to compost as “Black Gold� because of the immense benefits it adds to the soil. Why compost? First, $180 billion dollars is spent on disposing of food waste in the United States. 95 percent of all the compostable food waste from restaurants, grocery stores, households and other industrial sources end up in landfills and incinerators. This is a cost composting can eliminate. Second, it helps reduce our reliance on chemical fertilizers, pesticides and protects the ground from soil erosion by creating healthy soil and plants. Lastly, compost also revitalizes hard to work soil (such as clay) and replaces essential nutrients and minerals that can be lost from continuously used gardens. How do you compost? Begin by considering your space availability, budget and purpose for composting. There are sev38

by Miles shaffer

eral options available for people who want to get started composting in small spaces. If you are someone who lives in a single-family home or duplex with a small yard, you can compost both indoors and outdoors. The best options for indoor/ outdoor composting are a worm bin (also known as vermicomposting), worm tube or basic compost bin. Once you've decided the best option for your

space, gather the appropriate materials. A worm bin is a good option because all waste (vegetable scraps and even shredded paper) are used as food. The worms housed inside the bin do all the work in a short amount of time and produce the best source of composting money can buy. You can always buy an assembled worm composting system, complete with worms, online

( or assemble one yourself. Do not use any dairy, meat or fatty food scraps to feed the worms. Vegetables, fruits, eggshells, coffee grounds, grass, leaves and shredded paper are ideal. A worm tube is similar but even simpler than a worm bin. A four to six feet PVC pipe, wooden or plastic tube with holes drilled in the side is buried two to three feet in the

Raw food waste that is able to decompose naturally takes approximately one to two months composted compared to raw food waste that sits in a landfill for up to a year or more before it disintegrates. May/June 2017

ground. While the bin contains the worms, the tube allows the worms to move in and out of the soil, transferring nutrients. Container composting requires a combination of brown material (carbon), green material (nitrogen), water and oxygen to produce compost. The mixture does not have to be exact but a good rule of thumb is half brown and half green materials. As mentioned above, brown materials include leaves, wood chips, shredded paper, cardboard, twigs, sawdust and dried hay. Green materials include fruit, vegetable scraps, grass clippings and manure. The mixture needs to reach about 120 degrees Fahrenheit for the bacteria to activate and turn the materials into compost. All you need is some sort of container with a lid and holes to begin. Tip: Invest in a container with a

charcoal filter in the lid to eliminate odor if you are considering composting indoors. Trash cans, buckets and wooden creates are great choices for the yard or balcony. When you're set and have the desired container and mixture, don't forget to periodically sprinkle with water and stir. Depending on the size or your container and how often it’s mixed, the compost should take about a month. When the compost turns dark/black, it is finished and should be spread in a garden, flower beds or pots. The best way to begin anything is by diving in, getting your hands dirty and learning as you go. Speaking as someone with a disability, the process seems daunting but the reward is worth the investment. Get busy and let's help the world go from garbage to garden.



May/June 2017

Event Lineup

Once Upon A Ballet

May 6 • Wichita Falls 2 - 4 p.m. Memorial Auditorium, 1300 7th Street. Experience a young girl’s journey through the classic fairy tales of Snow White, Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, and Peter and the Wolf. Bring the family and fall in love with these stories all over again. For more information, visit

Putting for Polio & Shelter Box Scramble May 11 • Trophy Club 11a.m. - 7 p.m .Trophy Club Country Club, 500 Trophy Club Drive. Your support of Rotary is heard around the world. Join them in raising $20,000 in the Putting for Polio and Shelter Box Scramble – a kickoff to the District 5790 Annual Conference celebration - A Salute to Our Rotary Stars. In Service Above Self, register your team today. For more information visit crsadmin. com.

Patterson's Annual Jeep Miracle Meet May 13 • Wichita Falls 8 a.m. - noon. Patterson Dodge Chrysler Jeep Ram, 2900 Jacksboro Highway. Everybody is welcome. All proceeds go to the Children’s Miracle Network. With fun and festivities for the whole family, a good time will be had by all. For more information, visit

May 16-18 • Wichita Falls

10 – 11:15 a.m. River Bend Nature Center, 2200 3rd Street. The Dallas Zoo is coming to River Bend Nature Center. There will be two animal shows each day at 10 a.m. and 11:15 a.m. This interactive program features animals from around the world. Don’t miss your chance to see these exotic animals up close. For more info, call 940-767-0843.

PWHF 16th Annual Induction Week

May 18-20 • Wichita Falls

Professional Wrestling Hall of Fame, 712 8th Street, Suite 100. Thursday night enjoy a comedy show, and tours of the museum. Friday night is Wrestling Under the Stars, and Satuday’s events include a trade show, meet and greet and the induction ceremony. For more information cal 940264-8123.

Lavendar Festival

no th texas walk f om obesity

North Texas Walk From Obesity June 3 • Decatur

9: a.m. - 5 p.m. Lavendar Ridge Farms, 2391 County Road 178. Enjoy your visit touring the gardens, lavender field, shop the more than 40 vendors, and gift shop stocked with handmade bath, body and home products. Great food also available from the Lavender Cafe. For more information, visit

7:30 – 10:30 a.m. Wise Health System, 609 Medical Center Drive. Lace up your sneakers and walk to raise awareness of the disease of obesity. Proceeds will help the ASMBS Foundation continue to support obesity research, education, and access to treatment. Check in is at 7:30 a.m. and the walk/run will begin at 8:30 a.m. This event is sponsored by Wise Health System. For questions, please contact Lisa Greene at 940-2499009.

June 1 • Wichita Falls

June 6 • Grapevine

7 - 9 p.m. Kemp Center for the Arts, 1300 Lamar Street. Sculpture Garden After Dark is a relaxed evening on the Kemp grounds in which guests enjoy live music, art, ambiance, and fellowship with other guests. For more info, visit

Noon – 2:00 p.m. Grapevine Convention Center, 1209 South Main St. Join in this exciting event and experience the Best of the Best Wines. The public is invited to attend to taste the wine winners. For more information, call 682-888-3519.

May 27-28 • Gainesville

Sculpture Garden After Dark

34 Annual Lone Star Wine Competition



8:30 a.m. - 11 p.m. Delaney Vineyards, 2000 Champagne Boulevard. A 5K has never been more fun. With a free wine tasting, you’ll have the ultimate motivation to sprint across the finish line. For ticket information, visit


May 6 • Grapevine

Dallas Zoo Animal Show!


Vineyard Run

Mar/ pr ‘17

Old West Events Fort Worth Show & Auction June 10-11 • fort worth June 10, 9 a.m.-4 p.m; June 10, 9 a,m,-3 p.m. Amon G. Carter Jr. Exhibit Hall; 3401 W. Lancaster Ave. Buy, sell or trade with more than 100 vendors For more info visit

Legends of Western Swing Music Festival

June 15-17 • Wichita Falls

Noon - 11 p.m. Ray Clymer Exhibit Hall, 1000 5th Street. Three days of toe-tappin’ fun. Each band plays an afternoon set and then returns after a dinner break to play again. For more info visit

Jerry Seinfeld Live! June 24 • Thackerville 8 p.m. WinStar World Casino, 777 Casino Avenue. Be prepared to be entertained in a comedic show like no other, Jerry Seinfeld Live! Get tickets today at

Don't forget to submit your companion on the LiveIt website at by clicking on Carefree Companions. 42



Meet Sun hine & Star hine...

Pet Family: The Satterfields Pet Type: Birds, Cockatiel Home: Aurora, Texas Profile: Sunshine is a happy male (named for his color and sunny personality) and sings the Andy Griffith theme song at 2 p.m. every day. Amused, the Satterfields researched and discovered he and his previous owner tuned in faithfully. Who needs a clock? They always know when it's 2 p.m. Starshine is a sweet female (named for her celestial color) and enjoys taking baths in her water bowl. Despite the offering of more appropriate bathing dishes, she prefers a relaxing soak in her beloved bowl. May/June 2017



May/June 2017

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