Aug

03

Posted by : Erik Walsh | On : August 3, 2013

kimpix mystery squirrel

By Loretta Humble
Special to The News

We’ve had a lot of wildlife action down here at the farm lately. Let’s start with the rodents.
The mystery squirrel has returned. I saw him once, from a distance, snapped a really grainy picture before he disappeared. He is a little larger than the average squirrel, with a regular squirrel-colored belly, but the top of his head, his back, and part of his sides, look like they’ve been dredged in flour. Or maybe like he just got a frosting job. I couldn’t find anything like him on the Internet, and nobody I asked had ever seen anything like him. This time I got good pictures so I can prove I’m not nuts. I don’t know if they would show up in the paper, but I’ve posted it on www.facebook.com/aroundthetown.

Then there is rat situation. Some of you may remember I had a big battle going on with some huge good looking rats two years ago.
Finally trapped them and carried them off to a pasture near Post Oak cemetery, and haven’t seen another one since. Till now. And this one is a doosie. The last ones just ate my wiring, and shoved insulation out from under my steam shower unit. This one started there, then – you know those folding cloth boxes you sit on shelves to hide your messy stuff – he came out and demolished two of them. One of them had nothing left but its wire frame to guard all the stuff it was supposed to hide, and since it was black, black shreds all over the floor. We are setting the live trap again. So far we’ve only caught and transported a small one, but the big one is still getting away.

Moving on from rodent to ruminant, we have a deer with mossy antlers and an orange collar hanging out with us. The dogs bark at him a lot but he kind of ignores them. He is very friendly, and licks our hands when we pet him. We all tried to find something to feed him. When Shelly heard deer eat corn, she opened a can and offered to him. We tried pears and dog food. He did take a bite of the canned corn, maybe just to be polite, but totally ignored the other offerings. His name is Giselle. He is the ward of Susan Kjeldgaard, who now owns the land and red barn house we used to visit when the kids were young and Ben and Patsy Johnson owned it. Susan adopted him as an orphan and raised him to young manhood.

Now he has wandered off to seek his fortune, which he seems to think lies around here. Susan has come and picked him up a couple of times, but he keeps coming back. We asked Susan what he eats, but she said she would prefer we didn’t feed him, as she fears he never will come home if the pickings keep getting better over here.

And then I’ve been watching the birds. I’ve always fed them, but this is the first year I’ve really paid attention to them. I know what kinds are feeding at my feeders, and I know what they want to eat: Sunflower seed. Period. The ones that are here now do not care for the cheaper grains, or the fancy stuff that adds fruits and nuts to the sunflower seed. They want pure unadulterated sunflower seed. The ones here now are cardinals, tufted titmice (yes, titmice, I looked it up), chickadees, a couple of doves, and purple finches. If purple finches have been around, I have never noticed them before. And they aren’t purple. They are brownish with a raspberry colored head and breast. They particularly love to eat my sunflower seed. Oh, and two hummingbirds. At least two at a time is all I ever see, and they are usually fighting. And they ignore my pretty feeders in favor of the cheapest plastic one you ever see. I finally put the pretty ones away because they were just wasting hummingbird food.

Then I saw the other birds trying to perch on the little plastic feeder, so I figured they were thirsty. So I got them a big hanging waterer. I thought I’d see them bathing and drinking and having a big time. Every now and then I see one sneaking to take a drink, but very little. They are still perching on the hummingbird’s cheesy little feeder. Now I’ve set up a regular bird bath. Nothing. Not one bird bathing or drinking. So then I read about a water wiggler, a little battery-operated thing that sits in bath and wiggles the water to attract birds and repell mosquitoes. Still no luck. I did see one chickadee on the edge of it one day. But I think he was just looking.

Jul

13

Posted by : Erik Walsh | On : July 13, 2013

By Loretta Humble
Special to The News

Christmas will be here before you know it. Really before you know it. Like in another week or so here in Malakoff, where downtown merchants are getting out their Christmas decorations for their second annual Christmas in July event. And this year they plan to have twelve days of it, like the song, having some special event every day, starting Friday, July 19 and going through Tuesday, July 30. There will be an art show, and a couple of teas, and a book sale, and cash drawings, and demonstrations, and I don’t know what all. There will be refreshments in many shops, and of course, extra special specials. My Cedar Lake companies are going to be participating by offering some checkups like blood pressure, glucometer and oximeter readings, and whatever else we can think of. Maybe we’ll even weigh you if you want us to. The list of events will be elsewhere in the paper, and in Henderson County Now and all over the Internet. I sure don’t have room to list them all here. Don’t miss the fun!

I got a late birthday present last week, when my daughter Liz and daughter Tina and her whole family took me blueberry picking at Echo Springs Blueberry Farm. That was fun. I’ve posted a lot of pictures of that on www.facebook.com/aroundthetown. They have great muffins and free coffee and all sorts of other delicious goodies. It is a nice place to go even when the blueberries aren’t ripe.
Another good thing that happened is that I got a garden fence. I got that because my grandsons Hunter Norwood and Jon Baker needed to get to Costa Rica. They are both studying Hospitality Management at North Texas University, and they’ve chosen to learn Green Hospitality in Costa Rica for their summer semester. We all chipped in to help them get the funds they needed, but they were still short. They asked me if I had a job for them, and I told them I needed a good garden fence. So they made me a great one, with a lot of help from their parents. I also have pictures of that adventure posted on aroundthetown.

Now I have a fantastic fence which encloses a really pitiful garden. I had a great crop of lambsquarters, which got old and tough and were just a hideout place for the millions of grasshoppers who ate every onion blade, every bean, every flower the zinnias tried to make, and nibbled on everything else. So we mowed down what had been my best crop, which was the lambsquarters. Luckily grasshoppers seem to not like tomatoes, which is the second best crop. They’ve done okay, but nothing in that garden is one-third as great looking as the Malakoff Housing Authority’s garden. Or one-fifth as great as Don Hughes’ garden right down the road from me. But mark my word. Next year my garden is going to be a beautiful thing to behold. I’m going to spend from now till next spring feeding that soil compost, and next year I’m going to have a garden worthy of that fence.

Meanwhile, we continue to spread Humbles throughout the health care industry in East Texas. Granddaughter Ariel, who recently graduated from TCU, is our latest success. She just landed a job with Navarro Regional Hospital as marketer for their Healthy Woman Program. Then, there is Ashley Humble, bride of grandson Beau Humble, who has recently been hired as vice president for development of Cornerstone Hospice. And of course I’ve already told you that Beau is administrator of the beautiful new Kemp Care Center. That means everybody in our family named Humble works in healthcare. And they all work for excellent companies. We are very proud of all of them.

I have another piece of good news, but I don’t have room to tell it like I want to, so I’m just going to tell you a little and tell you more later, because I think this might be valuable information for some of the rest of you. As many of you know, I have been doing everything I can to keep from having a knee replacement. And some of it helped, but lately I’ve been having a lot of pain. I went to the doctor and he set me up on a new program I’d never even heard about. He fitted me with a knee brace that promises not only to relieve pain from my arthritis, but also has been proven to actually improve the condition of the knee, eliminating the need for surgery in a lot of people. I’m pretty excited about it. You can learn about it at www.vqorthocare.com. And I will be keeping you updated on how it works for me.

Jun

26

Posted by : Erik Walsh | On : June 26, 2013

kimpixHumble Enough Pic

By Loretta Humble
Special to The News

I’ve been thinking about body size. I think about it a lot because I have been real proud of myself for losing thirty pounds in the last few months.

I did it because I wanted to get weight off my arthritic knee, so maybe I wouldn’t have to replace it. I’m not sure I’ve saved the knee, but in other respects, I’ve felt like I got a nearly new me. It has been wonderful fun every time I found I could get into another size smaller jeans. I gave away my men’s golf shirts and baggy jeans, which had been my normal attire, and started dressing like a normal person. I bought me some earrings. I bought some makeup, and sometimes, I put it on.

I met a really nice (and trim) man that I now enjoy going places and doing things with. Could be he would have liked me if he’d met me when I weighed a few pounds more than he does, but I probably wouldn’t have been where he could find me if I hadn’t got to feeling good about the way I look. I was getting lots of compliments and I was loving it.

Then I discoved this wonderful painting by Celene Terry. It shows a beautiful woman with a self-assured twinkle in her eye, and beside her this quote from Anna Quindlen:

“After all these years as a woman hearing not thin enough, not smart enough, not this enough, not that enough, almost overnight I woke up one morning and thought, ‘I’m enough.’ ”

I totally fell in love with the picture, and have posted it all over the Internet.

Now I’m having this dialog with myself. Maybe I shouldn’t have gone so crazy patting myself on the back for losing all that weight and looking better. Why did my self-esteem go up so much when I became thinner? I didn’t become a better person when I got thinner—in fact, maybe I got worse, as I got to thinking how cute I was getting.

On the other hand, that woman in the painting, like Celene herself, is slim and beautiful, so why shouldn’t she say she is enough?
I called Donna Rinn to see what she thought. Donna has long been preaching the message that we are okay just like we are. A while back she was passing out stickers telling us all we are beautiful, or perfect, or something like that. But in the meantime, she got busy losing weight. She has lost more weight than I have. I asked her how she reconciled this. She said she watched one of those documentaries on how obesity can kill you, and decided while she was okay just like she was, she wanted to stay around to love on her grandkids. She is doing great—she has discontinued a lot of her medicines, cut others in half, and is feeling much better. She says she is glad she can find some clothes that fit her now, but she doesn’t make a big deal out of it like I have. She has a bigger goal.

I tried to reach Celene to get her take on this, but I couldn’t reach her. Maybe she will tell me later.

Best I can figure, the point is, each of us, and nobody else, gets to say what our “enough” is. If or when we decide to get skinnier or smarter or whatever—or not—that is our business. And what other people do is their business. And it is probably fine to be pleased with our choice if we don’t over do it. We need to be gentle with ourselves and one another. We need to let one another be what we will be.

Mar

30

Posted by : Staff Reports | On : March 30, 2012

By Loretta Humble

I love my little place in the country. It is especially great to be near to nature in the spring, planting flowers and watching little animals.

But this week nature has not been very nice to me. First, I got hassled by a wild calico pig. Really. He first showed up at my granddaughter Shanna’s place, where he tried to climb up on her front porch. When he headed my way, she called to warn me. That gave me time to call the puppies in and lock the doggie door before he arrived, which didn’t take long. He was big and he was calico colored, just like a calico cat. He poked around the house, nosing in my compost bucket, acting like he owned the place. He tried to come up on my porch too, but Gus, a neighbor’s giant cocker spaniel, tried to run him off. I don’t know whether the hog scared him or hurt him, but he let out a big yelp. I wanted to bring him in to safety, but my dogs kept trying to get out when I opened the door. Finally the pig ambled off. When

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Mar

23

Posted by : Staff Reports | On : March 23, 2012

By Loretta Humble

I got a thank you card from JoAnn Surls this week. It was beautifully written in her fine flowing longhand, in a lovely card with a picture that looks sort of like it could have been. This is not the first thank you card I’ve received from her. JoAnn knows and observes all the fine social graces, some of which I just fail to observe, and some of which I never learned. But I really think

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Mar

16

Posted by : Staff Reports | On : March 16, 2012

This wonderful rain we’ve been having is a mixed blessing for some of us. The big flat roof at Cedar Lake Nursing Services is leaking. We’ve been fixing at it for several years now. We’ll get the leak stopped for a while, then it starts again. Now when we leave we cover one desk with a tarp, and have a bunch of buckets sitting around where we know it leaks. We’ve finally given up on half measures and are going to have to get something like a big swimming pool fitted over the whole top of the building. But it takes time to find the right person to do it, and then for the weather to get just right. Or we just work around our tarps and buckets.

Also, that same rain is washing out some culverts in the road on the way to the back of my place. Billy Quinn came down this morning and took a look at the situation.

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Mar

08

Posted by : Press release | On : March 8, 2012

People don’t need nearly as much stuff as they think they do. I finally figured that out, and I’m trying to cut down on my own extra stuff. A lot of us have been talking about this on a Facebook page called Friends encouraging Friends. I’ve been passing on some stuff lately, and it’s been a lot of fun. Maybe this will sound like bragging, but, hey, it’s Monday night and I’ve got to fill a column with something.

One thing I gave away was Pam Jenkins’ drapes. Actually, I guess they were Cedar Lake Nursing Home’s drapes, since Pam gave them

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Feb

09

Posted by : Staff Reports | On : February 9, 2012

By Loretta Humble

Did you ever make a quilt? Did you ever think you would someday? Did you maybe save up pretty scraps of fabric, thinking someday things would slow down and you would really make one?

OK, if you are a guy, you probably haven’t given quilts must thought, and maybe not all younger women have, but I’ll bet if you are a little old lady like me, you’ve either made a bunch of them, or at least meant to when you got around to it.

(READ MORE IN THIS WEEK’S PRINT EDITION OF THE MALAKOFF NEWS, ON STANDS NOW.)

Jan

27

Posted by : Press release | On : January 27, 2012

By Loretta Humble

I’m going to write this quick because I am busy, and I am tired. I am tired because I am working hard on something good I can’t tell you about yet. It is one of a number of wonderful things that are happening in this town right now. It is fun to think about them.

The latest of these is the sculpture garden JoAnn Surls and James Surls are creating to honor their husband and father, Joe Surls. You can read the details on the front page of this paper. Believe me, this is very big news. James is a Malakoff boy who went off and made it as big as you can make in the art world. JoAnn already had created a magic place where James grew up, and where

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Jan

20

Posted by : Press release | On : January 20, 2012

This is how I blundered into making new friends and coming up with a new project in Kerens last week.

First, if some of you don’t know, I used to be in the online bookselling business. It just kind of happened. I sold a few extra books on Amazon.com, and it worked out so well, I got some more and sold them. It was great fun looking for a book that might have some value. But sometimes I found whole libraries that were for sale at bargain prices, so I would buy them all to get the valuable ones. I filled one storage room, and then bought a storage building and filled it. It was fun until I got so many listed online that sometimes

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