My Opinion

 
    
06
Oct 2009
12:36 PM CST
   

Pumpkin Patch Photography

� Today I did a shoot with a baby girl named Eliska. She was so adorable. She had several different halloween costumes. She was so easy to work with and her mom and grandmother kept singing this really cute song to get her attention. I really enjoyed the session and am sure the images will be beautiful. I think my favorites are the ones of her with the colorful toule. There was a cat that she really loved. We tried to put the cat in the pail with her but it immediately jumped out before we could even snap off one picture. I was kind of sad about that because it would have been very halloween like. We did get a few with the cut on the bench with her but then it decided to get down when she started petting it a little less than it liked. She wasn't even 2 so she was learning to be nice to the kitty. She didn't quite have it down yet but it was very cute to see her try. There were some great areas at the pumpkin patch to shoot. The only thing is that in the barn some fly kept landing on the baby but I got lots of shots without it so that will be okay. There were huge pumpkins and colorful gourds so I think these will be perfect for halloween.

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Current Tags: halloween, kids, pumpkin patch

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03
Aug 2009
3:05 PM CST
   

Uncertain, Texas

So, this weekend I made a little trip to Caddo Lake. Along the lake lies cities of all sizes and shapes. In the midst of them is a little town called Uncertain. Now, I was staying at the state park down the road but I had to venture out to see what was in this town with a curious name.
� Arriving there I came across a flea market where I met a man who makes amazingly beautiful baskets from old lasso ropes. Using nothing but his hands, a wooden board, and a wood burning tool he solders these lassos into amazing works of art. It takes him hours to do but he sells them for unbelievable prices. He said he gets the rope from the locals and that using the old rope is so much better for the strength of the baskets. It has less wax, making the baskets stronger. I watched as he was working on� another basket. He has them in all sizes and shapes. Some even have more than one rope with different colors layered together. If you get out to east Texas, you must stop into the flea market in Uncertain. It is open the first and third weekend of each month.
� My next stop was at the Uncertain General Store & Grill. They open at 11 am every day but Sunday. I like the fact that they keep their Sundays free. I think more people should give themselves just one day off for rest and relaxation. Speaking of rest and relaxation, this is where you check in to get a tour on a paddlewheel boat. The "Swamp Thing" as they call it was custom designed for clean and dependable tours. It is electric push and can go in waters as low as a foot. It has comfortable seating with awnings to keep the rain out and the sun off your shoulders. The owners are Johnny and LaLette Fletcher. These are some of the nicest people I have met in Texas. If you want some southern charm and to feel like you are at home, they will make you feel just that way.
� Their boat carries up to 16 passengers at a time. We were the only two there early so they welcomed us aboard. I thought we would wait til the boat was filled up but Johnny took us right out. He was so excited about giving us the tour and told us all of the stories of the lake and the truth behind the name Uncertain, Texas. He knew where all the animals were living and took us into the backwoods of the lake. He showed us beavers homes and he knew how big they were and how long they had been there. He told us about the various wildlife and wanted us to see one of each species. We learned all about the natural habitat and the plant life. He was proud of the "Swamp Thing" and told us where each part of it had come from and how it was built. I spent the rest of the night telling everyone I met that they must take a tour with him.
�� In the evening we came back to Uncertain to the General Store & Grill for a taste of Caddo Lake. The owner, Kay, is very friendly and welcoming. You can relax at the back of the diner and watch the lake as the sun falls. They serve frog legs, gator, shrimp, and catfish. You can keep it southern and have a chicken fried steak or even a burger. The sweet tea lets you know that you are home. We had ours and took a glass to go. The gumbo and etouffee was mouth watering and enough to fill us past the full mark. Be sure to get a few souvenirs on your way out the door. Something to remind you that you have certainly been to Uncertain.
�� I can not wait to make my next trip to Caddo Lake. I will definitely be stopping in to see Johnny, LaLette, and Kay once again. I am ready for my next paddlewheel boat ride.

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Current Tags: Caddo Lake, Paddlewheel boat, Texas, Uncertain

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28
Apr 2009
8:44 AM CST
   

Lost Soul Mate

� I know love and I know loss. I believe that everyone has a soul mate. Yes, there are others you will love but there is only (�I believe) one soul mate. Mine has come and gone. It hurts every day of every moment of my life. The worst days are days like this. The days that you feel it in everything you do. Everything you hear or see reminds you of them. Every breath you take makes you want to scream and your eyes hurt from the millions of tears you have shed. You can almost feel them there with you, holding you, smiling... you can almost feel their gentle touch. The worst thing is that you want to stay in this miserable moment all day just so you can be there with them once more. Then you realize that you must come back to your present reality, the one with your new love that is always there for you. You can't be in this state when they get home. The hard part is to pull yourself together and say good-bye to those cherished memories once again until that horrible day comes that�tortures you�all over again.

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Current Tags: cry, destiny, hurt, lost, lost love, love, pain, soul mate, tears, tragedy

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17
Sep 2008
2:12 AM CST
   

Finding Self

It is important for me to find out who I am and how I have become that person. I know that I have had some major life experiences that went very badly. They have and continue to effect every aspect of my life. I have found that I can not change the past and I can't decide on the future. The only things that I can work on and mold and create is the now. I want to find people that have interests similar to mine and work on these things together. I want to learn to put aside all influences from my past, from the people who have molded me into the person I am, and people around me. I want to figure out how much of the time I spend doing things is wasted time because of habit and influence or time spent on things I have chosen. I want to keep the positive but along with the positive I have had a lot of negative. I want to know how much I have gained from these experiences.so for now, I don't want any influence on my life. I want to be the one making the choices from now on.

1 comment(s) - 10:35 AM - 05/24/2009
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Current Tags: better life, finding self, goal setting, influence, self esteem, self help

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02
Sep 2008
7:22 AM CST
   

Am I Beauch or did Jiffy Lube just turn me into one?

I have to take a long trip and want to be sure my vehicle is in good order before I go. My transmission service is coming up shortly so I figure I will just get it done now.

So... I took my vehicle into Jiffy Lube for a transmission service. I am immediately greeted by a man who I later find out is the newest manager. He asks if I would like an inspection and I say no just a transmission service. He says okay. I get out and give him my keys.�I go into the waiting room and sit down for about 10 minutes. The other guy comes part way in the door and�motions for me to come over there.�They can't find me in their computer. This is strange because I am a long time customer of that particular store. As with any other fast paced business this store has new employees who do not know me from any other person on the street. They seem to find every vehicle I have owned and brought into their store except the one I am currently driving. Yes, it has been serviced by them before. We go through the computer and I give them all my information again. They can't just use the account with one of my other vehicles. They have to start over from scratch as if I am a new customer. I start to notice that the guy under my vehicle is taking a very long time to get the machine hooked up for service. I have been out in the pit area for a while now as the guy is telling me all the things he wants me to buy from him. He thinks I should get a fuel filter, air filter, windshield wipers that he says won't pass inspection and on and on... I tell this salesman that the guy seems to be taking a long time getting the machine hooked up. He says it is because he has to take a plate off the van. I said okay, as long as he knows what he is doing.

Over�30 minutes later, I am finally sitting in the cool waiting room with a couple other clients. The new manager who just started at the store last week comes into the waiting room and calls to a couple to come pay for their service. They begin to pay and realize they are being over charged. I listen to see if this is going to be something that will possibly effect me as well. The manager states that he forgot to apply the discount that they are giving. It is labor day weekend and they are running a special on several services. I see the male of the couple is getting angry and he believes that he has been charged twice because they had already swiped their credit card. I asked the manager if I will need to remind them of my discount as well. He said yes. The customers are getting more upset because they do not know if they have been charged and the manager can not figure it out or cancel their ticket. He leaves and gets another man who I later find out is just the assistant manager. He is polite and explains to the customers that they have not been charged and that he can fix their ticket. They finally leave with the male still unsure if he has or has not been charged twice. He was told that if it ends up being charged twice they will refund the money.

I am now sitting in the waiting room with a male and a female. We have�been reading�magazines. I hear the manager yell across the pits of the lube shop that he has lost pressure in bay one. Well, bay one is me so I of course pay close attention. I am sitting only 3 seats away from the door to the shop and can see everything from the windows. I said to the�people in the room with me that something was going on with my van. I don't wait for a reply and get up and go to the window. The two men, manager and assistant are looking at the machine. They are talking back and forth but I can not hear what they are saying at this point.� The assistant starts to walk away and he is saying something about getting the pressure up to pull the fluid through. I look at the other�people in the room with me and state that something is going on.�The man�says he hopes they don't have any issues with his truck. The assistant manager gets into my vehicle and starts it up. I am wondering why they are starting my vehicle if it is not finished. He starts to rev and rev and rev my van. I am watching him and he is going through the gears�now.

I immediately get onto the phone and tell my husband what is going on. I ask if he can hear him reving my vehicle and he can. He is P.O.ed and says he is on his way. I told him not to come up there if he is that mad. He says to call our friend who is a mechanic of 30 years. I hang up but am unsure if he is coming up there or not. The guy in the waiting room looks at me and I said that I thought my husband was coming up there.

I am walking back to the window and I see the manager signal for him to shut it off. He shuts it off and gets out. The guy says it didn't work. At this point another vehicle gets pulled out of the shop from waht I assume was an oil change. The manager comes in and starts to check the woman out. I ask what is going on with my vehicle and he states that the machine quit working halfway through the service. He said that it took the fluid out but is not putting the fluid back in. I asked why they are starting my vehicle and stuff if it doesn't have fluid in it. He says it has fluid in it just not all the fluid and we are trying to get it to push it in. He says they know what they are doing and guarantees it 100%. He says they are going to have to switch machines and finish the service. He then walks off and goes back into the shop.

I try to call our friend but he is away from�his desk.�I continue to call and sit there watching them with my van. I am shaking my head and the guy still in the waiting room is shaking his head too. I get a hold of one of the guys where my friend works and he is a mechanic as well. He is saying thats not good over and over. He gets my friend on the phone by paging him. As soon as he gets on the phone I fill him in on what is going on and�he says it is not good. He tells me to get everything that happened in writing and signed by their manager. I am still watching what is going on and telling him everything. He insists that I write everything down no matter what. The guys in the pit area keep looking at me on the phone. I am sure that I look upset. I am!

I go away from the window where they can not see me so I can do what my friend is telling me to do. I hang up the phone and start writing everything down on the only piece of paper I have available, an envelope! The manager comes in and says they are almost finished with my vehicle. He calls the other guy to the counter for check out. I ask him if everything is okay on my vehicle and he says it is and that they got the machines switched over just fine and it will be done shortly. The other guy goes out and gets in his truck. He starts to drive off and then he stops and gets out. He is really mad and yelling from the moment he steps out of his truck. He is saying�they overcharged him. I go back to the window area to see what is going on. Everyone stops working on my vehicle to go over to the man. It takes three men to talk to the guy to get things right with him. One guy goes back to my vehicle and is checking the fluid. He adds some more transmission fluid and then goes back down in the pits. The manager and his assistant are still taklking to the guy. They are out there with him for a good 15 minutes. I have now been at their shop for almost an hour and a half. I go back to my seat and start writing again.

I am still writing when the manager comes in and comes over to me. I ask if my vehicle is okay. He is polite and uses the ma'am word more than once. He says everything went well after they got the machines switched over and that the fluid went in just fine. He said they didn't need to add any and that they will have me out of there in a few minutes. ( I saw them add the fluid.) He said he could see that I was upset and he likes his customers to be satisfied so there will be no charge for the services. I said that's fine but I would like to get everything that happened in writing. He was still polite and stated that the service went fine and he guarantees his work 100%. I said that I would still like to get it in writing and he said that was fine but he would have to charge me. I told him that was fine I had every intention of paying when I came there. He was angry and I could tell. He walked off and went into the pits. He went over to the other guy and they started talking.

I called my friend back and told him about them saying they weren't going to charge me but then changing their minds. I had been in business management for 15 years before I opened my own company and this is not good ethics or customer relations. He agreed and said it smelled like a skunk and didn't believe I would get what I needed in writing. He said he was coming up to help me and be there in case I needed him.

I sat and watched the manager in the pit area as he continued to talk to the other guy in a manner too quiet for me to hear. He would go to the phone and make a call every once in a while as if he was trying to get a hold of someone. I waited 20 more minutes for him to come in and tell me that my van was ready. I started writing the check and then asked him what was written as the explanation of what had happened with my vehicle. I started reading it and asked why everything wasn't on there. He stated that it only had room for so much notes. I asked if he would write the rest by hand and he said he would but I would have to pay first in order for it to print out the slip. It just didn't seem right to me so I told him that my friend was on his way and I would just wait on him. He got very angry then and stated that he thought he should call his district manager and have him come down as well. I said that would be great, I would love to talk to him. He went in the office. Just then my friend arrived and I started telling him what was going on. The manager in the office could hear and when I said something about how long it was taking just to get the machine hooked up he came out of the office yelling. He was saying that I needed to be fair that the plate had to be removed and that he is a certified transmission mechanic and that he guarantees his work 100%. My friend asked about the vehicle being started and going through the gears. He admitted all of that but said there was fluid in there. My friend said that running it even low on fluid could cause damage and the guy admitted that but said it had to be really low. They argued back and forth about who knew the most and then the manager said he was getting his manager up there. We both said good. He went out in the pit area and got on the phone.

I am now starving because I missed breakfast and was going to have lunch with my husband but now missed that as well. I fill my friend in on every detail and we wait another 30 minutes as we watch the manager on the phone.�My friend goes outside to smoke. I wait for the manager to come back and I tell him that my friend went outside to smoke. He says great, I'll join him so I go out in front of the store as well. He says that he can't get a hold of the district manager and with several cuss words�says that the manager for the store just changed today and that these upper management people don't tell you____ about what is going on. He has a call into his old district manager who don't know____ about what is going on or who the new guys are but it's a bunch of bull____. He says you know how it is with those guys we're always the last to know____. My friend asks what he's going to do then. He says well, I can give you the numbers I have and you can do whatever. My old district manager said not to give you any more ____. You can have whats on the paper and thats it. My friend said lets see what you have on the paper then.�We walked inside�and looked over it. He said no, you need to put on here what you said about shifting it without fluid. He said no, you take it like it is I was told that's it your not getting any more. The guys are on vacation and I'm not calling him back. I gave you my word that my work is guaranteed 100%. I asked if he would write that on the receipt because I have to go on a long trip this weekend. He said yeah lets get this done. I asked if he was going to give me his district managers number and he said yes. I paid him by check and he printed the receipt. My friend told me to have him initial what was written on it. He refused. He then asked for him to add the other stuff he said he would and he refused. Then he asked for him to put his name and information on it and he refused. He had me sign both copies and put the date and time and that manager refused to sign. The manager then stamped it with numbers and stated that the men were no longer his store managers but we could call any way. He said he didn't know where the stamp for the new managers was and asked another employee who said that it was there somewhere. He stamped it with the old one anyway. I told him that I was going to call them as soon as I left. He said go ahead.

We are walking out and he says something under his breath and then in a crappy way hope you have a nice day. My friend stops and says there was no call for that. He tells him that he is young and still has a lot to learn about customer service. I am halfway out the door and an older couple is coming in so I hold the door open for them. The older lady stops and asks what is going on. The manager either didn't hear or didn't care and says to my friend don't get stupid now. This does not make my friend happy and I can tell. I said come on lets go. He says no this guy is wrong. You don't treat customers like that. He says don't call people stupid when they have years of experience working with clients. The manager says get out of my store before I call the cops. He says I'm going but you have a lot to learn about how to treat your customers. The lady asks what happened and the manager doesn't say anything. We start out the door and my friend says buyer be ware. The manager comes around the counter in a fighting motion and yells to get out or he's calling the cops and that goes for me to. I get in my vehicle and there are no keys. I yell out the window to one of the other guys to get my keys. My friend gets out and comes over to me and asks if I'm okay. I said yes but I don't have any keys. The manager is yelling out the door at us to leave and I yell back that I need my keys. He is flustered and throws some keys to one of the employees. My friend gets my receipt and writes down the phone number for the main headquarters as the guy starts toward us. The employee turns around and goes back in and I can see he is arguing with the manager who then comes out and pretty much shoves keys into my hands and walks off. By this time my friend is back in his vehicle waiting on me. I yell to the manager that those are not my keys, which is probably what the other guy was arguing with him about. He snatches them from me and startrs back to me. Another guy comes running out yelling to him but he keeps walking and brings me yet another set of keys that are not mine. Before I can say anything he puts them in my hand and walks off. The other guy runs up to my vehicle and trades them out for mine. Thank God I�got out of there!

More about the Jiffy Lube issue ...Read other blogs

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Current Tags: bad service, heartland automotive services, Jiffy Lube, lube, poor customer service, transmission

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20
Aug 2008
12:27 AM CST
   

Who I Am

This is my list of Who I Am today... My 15 minutes in the morning to think about nothing but me, which is going to be hard with everything going on at the present moment. Anyway, here goes my list of who I am...

I am a mother, I am a SISTER, I am a daughter, I am a girlfriend, I am an aunt, I am a granddaughter, I am a woman, I am a push over, I am a fool, I am selfish, I can be hateful, I am inventive, I am creative, I am fat, I am a photographer, I love sitting by a fire, I love research, I hate my teeth, I hate my legs, I love my eyes and lips, I love music, I love chocolate, I want everyone to like me, I love camping, I love the ocean, I love a light rainto walk in, I love to sing, I am a listener, I am a traveler

Well, I am going to stop because my phone rings every 2 minutes with my boyfriend calling to talk about this and that. I guess I won't get my 15 minutes today. I knew this morning that this was not going to be a good day for me.

2 comment(s) - 09:15 AM - 09/17/2008
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Current Tags: list, mental health, self esteem, self help, time out

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20
Aug 2008
12:03 AM CST
   

Busy Day

My sister called crying. She is moving and has to handle it while her husband works. This is hard for me because this is the sister who rarely talks to me, slept with every boyfriend I had, and has torn our family apart piece by piece over the years. On top of that she lives an hour away. Why would I even bother driving all that way with gas prices the way they are just take her some boxes? Because she is my sister and no matter what I still love her. She's crazy, twisted, and a trouble maker but there is always something I see that makes me think she could be a better person. Too bad she won't try. She does have 3 children there who could help her. They are all 10 and up so it's not like they can't help pack but then she says, the issue is,�she can't get boxes. I know once I get there she will want me to stay and help. How do I get out of that? I have a huge list of things to do today but that won't matter to her. I guess I will have to complete as much as possible from my to do list. This way it is done before I get stuck at her house. My mom and I are the only ones left in the family that feel sorry enough for her to stop and do things for her. Everyone else would rather go about their day as if she was not around. I always think about what Mom said while we were growing up... Be nice to each other and never say I hate you. Something bad will happen and you will never forgive yourself. I am also one of those family peace makers just like my Mom. This burden can be extremely stressful especially between my older and younger sisters. There is no fixing that and my brother avoids my older sister and is civil if their paths happen to cross. Our family is perfect and everyone gets along but only without the oldest in the picture and this needs to be fixed!

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19
Aug 2008
1:44 PM CST
   

Finding Me!

I have had a problem with low self esteem for years now and sometimes I just lock myself up and avoid people for weeks. This all stemmed from a husband who beat me and the next who cheated, a large weight gain after quiting smoking,�along with a little teasing from the kids�in school and you are bound for disaster. Counseling did not help. I believe this is because they ask all kinds of questions about who I am. How can they help when I don't even know who I am? I have started something on my own to fix ME! Nobody knows me better than I don't know myself! LOL So, I am on a quest to find out who I am. I now set aside 15 minutes a day for me. It can not be about my children, work or boyfriend. This is about me. I get out paper and a pen and write down who I am. My list is not always the same but at least I will figure out who I am. Every day I evaluate the list from the day before and then write a new list for today. I am slowly learning the statements that truely define me and the ones that I was tricked into believing is me. You should do the same. Some examples from my list today was... I am a mother, I am a daughter, I am a granddaughter, I am a woman, I am a sister, I am an aunt, I could be a best friend to someone some day, I am a photographer, I am an animal lover, I am lazy, I am fat, I love my lips, I love my eyes, I hate my teeth, I hate my legs, I am controlling, I can be hateful, I am over eager to please, I want everyone to like me, I am selfish, etc... My list is very long and has some horrible things in it but that is who I am to ME and nobody knows me better than ME! It changes all the time and the things I don't like about me, can be changed by ME and only ME!

I think, over time, this will be very helpful to ME!

1 comment(s) - 10:42 AM - 05/24/2009
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Current Tags: building ego, love, mental health, self esteem. cousel, strength

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18
Aug 2008
2:15 PM CST
   

Building a Goals List...

I think that in order for me to accomplish everything I want within the time this life has allowed me, I will need to build a goals list. This isn't something I have to stick to daily. It can be changed as I grow and change mentally and physically. I may add to or subtract from it as I like but this will help me to do the things I dream of and discover myself along the way.

1. Do something new every week. Something I have never experienced even if it is just eating a strange food I have never heard of.

2. Make a true difference that is everlasting to one person.

3. Do everything by giving 100% no matter how crappy I feel about doing it.

4.�Travel and photograph the world.

5. Build trust in my relationships.

6. Lose weight

7. Make 10 new friends this year

8. Double my clients list and give them 100% in all I do for them

9. Save money and Send Jen to England

10. Forgive someone completely even if it takes a lifetime

11. Smile even if it hurts

12. Cry if I need to

13. Spend more time in nature

14. Have an enormous amount of fun while I am young enough to

15. Laugh daily

16. Stop being lazy

17. Dance in the rain every chance I get

18. Love like there is no tomorrow

19. Slow down, turn off phones, and breath for 15 minutes each day

20. Spend my life being happy and surround myself with people like that

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Current Tags: better life, finding self, goal setting, self help

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22
Jun 2008
7:35 AM CST
   

Review of Texas Park (not State Park)

Padre Island National Seashore was amazing. We did not get to drive the 50 plus miles of beach but I wish we had four wheel drive. We camped here and the sunset and sunrises were amazing.� They had just completed a controlled burn so there was a slight smell and it wasn't as pretty as it could have been. I had to come to Corpus Christie to shoot a wedding.

Padre Island National Seashore is the world's largest barrier island. It is quiet here and there is some good fishing. Me and the girls dove into the salty waters to pull sand dollars from the sandy ocean floor. While Stephen and Halley were fishing a shark came right up and swam by. Halley was not to keen on this but I bet it was amazing to see. We missed it because me and Jen were shooting a wedding.

They have a program for sea turtles here and you can see them nesting on the beaches. Watch for dolphins here as well. Five stars. I loved it. You have to pass through a ton of cameras when entering but the fees are minimal.

1 comment(s) - 02:19 PM - 08/17/2008
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07
Apr 2008
8:28 AM CST
   

Texas State Parks- Review #5

Welcome to Review #5 of the Texas State Parks reviews. I want to talk about Lockhart State Park this time. This is a nice park. It is nothing fancy but the people here are awesome. This will be one of my top three favorites for Friendly people up along side Lake Texana and Goose Island. It's a pretty tight three way race. A lot of people come here for the golf course. Not us. We come to... what? Fish. Yes, you can fish here. The water is pretty shallow in some places but you catch a few.�There is also some great trails and I love to go to the top of the hill to the pavillion or rec hall they have. It has a great spread of picnic area behind or to the side of it. The back has a huge space to use for dancing. Inside has a kitchen and a couple small rooms/bedrooms and a huge dining area with a fireplace. This is a nice building with lots of space for a party or even Thanksgiving dinner. It's better than having to be stressed when everyone leaves your house in a disaster. There is bathrooms too. From the back patio/dance space you have a clear view of the basketball court by the park. People don't realize that is the park when they see it. You get turned around going up the hill/mountain. There is a nice hiking trail behind the building and more all around in the wooded area. Watch for snakes. This state park also has a swimming pool to use. It does have a fee but I'm not sure how much. In the very back, go across the little bridge by the waterfall and take a left. Follow it to the end, there is a nice trail that goes along the waters edge. You can also see various remains of the old part of the campgrounds. I assume this�was used for primative camping. I'm not sure if they still allow it because there is usually available space in the front along the water. The playground area here is very nice and while you are there look for the alligator tree. My children gave it that name because it has branches that come out and look like a head on an�alligator.�Watch for snakes. We have seen them here, both in and out of the water. Also be prepared for poison ivey and such. My son usually has a problem with this in the late spring and summer months. If you have a severe allergy don't go�on the trails that are more over grown and remember, leaves of 3 let them be.

This is a great park. I go here a lot. If you get a chance you should too. Just my opinion.� :)�

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Current Tags: Camping, Golf Course, Lockhart, State Park, Swimming Pool, Texas, Trails

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27
Mar 2008
6:05 AM CST
   

Texas State Parks- Review #4

Another review by me. Remember this is my opinion based on my experience with the specific State Park. Each person's experience will be different.

State park #4 is on the chopping block. It is time to tell you about a park that we give a very low rating when it comes to the people who work there. Palmetto State Park. This park is convenient because it is close by. It is an absolutely gorgeous drive in to the park off the highway. You should stop at the small pull over area and look out into the fields below. This park is between Luling and Gonzales. (these two cities have some history, especially Gonzales so check it out if you can.)

The park itself is divided up into, basically 3 points. The first is the office area where you check in. Try not to spend too much time in there or you won't want to stay and see the amazing trails. After you check in, you will drive a small way up and on the left will be the first part of the park. Here you can enjoy the Oxbow lake. It is great for fishing and you can rent pedal boats at the office (these are at a very good price.) I can't recall the exact amount. Renting it for the day is the best deal though. You can also get canoes, I think. You can tube here as well but I would watch for snakes. You can view wildlife, including snakes, on the trails that go through the woods. It is beautiful at this park. The palmettos are dwarf like palms and they grow thick in the marshy waters. On the trails you will pass over wooden bridges and lots of marshy areas. The birds are every where. Please watch for snakes. I am not kidding at this park. I have never gone to Palmetto State Park without seeing at least 3 snakes each day. They don't usually bother you but just be careful not to step on them or anything. You see them more around the ponds, spring, and Oxbow than on the trails. If you want to do any activity other than fishing this side of the park is where you should do it. Now, to get to the otherside you will need to go back the way you came and then take a left and go across the bridge. Your next park entrance will be on your left. This side is where the best trails are. I have already told you about them. There is an area that you can walk down to the water and cross over from this side of the park to the other. This is usually where they take tubes out at and small boats. Sometimes the crossing will be covered with water. At this time they close the trail gate. If you have a boat in or something don't bring it this way to get it out of the water if the gate is closed. The people at this park will jump all over you. They would prefer you fight the rapids, get the boat to the side of the huge cliff you are camping on top of and drag your boat up the side. If you fall in just remember you are swimming at your own risk. While we are on that subject, PLEASE watch your children if you are camping at one of the sites on the bluff. These are very steep, straight down falls in most cases. Your child could be over the side in the blink of an eye. I would camp closer to the bathrooms or on the other side in the more primative sites if I had very small children. Both sides do have playgrounds.

We never stay overnight at this park except our first visit ever. It was a huge ordeal. This parks office closes early so be sure to be there no later than 3:30pm. I would not risk any later check in. Remember, unless you bring your own wood, you will need to purchase some from the park store. Most parks prohibit the gathering of firewood. You may want to get enough ice to last until they open back up too because in the summer it can be hot and ice will melt quickly. This park office is closed more than it is open. It is closed for about 15 hours plus a day. You may arrive to find them already closed even though it is 15-20 minutes before office closing time. Once you get all that taken care of and you�pick out a site, don't get too relaxed because although you were not allowed to reserve a specific site, the guy coming in at 10:30 pm reserved your specific site. You argue but he insists.�You are cooking on that pit and the tents are all setup, have been for hours. It doesn't matter because he wants your site, he reserved it specifically. My husband talks to the park host. He says no, the guy can't reserve a specific site. We are already there. We can stay where we are at. Husband comes back, the guy gets angry and drives over to the park hosts home. They talk for a while. Then we can hear laughter. Then more talking and finally the guy drives back. A few minutes later the park host comes and asks us to move, the guy reserved this site. (sites can not be reserved at any state park. you can only reserve a site�in a specified camping area. Example: Campsites 1-20 are water only. You pay for water only so you get one of those sites but you can not say which one. That part is on a first come first serve basis.)�My husband argues and then we end up packing up and about 11:30pm we finally have everything done and the park host wants to know if we would like another site that also has water, since that is what we paid for. We ask why he didn't just put the guy over there since we were already setup. The answer was, He reserved that site! So, we left the park and now we only go there for the day since we have a state park pass and we do not spend a dime there but we spend plenty at all the other parks.

We ended up at Coleto Creek Reservoir. That is not a state park so I will tell you about it another time.

Final words, go to Palmetto State Park, enjoy its beauty, hike the trails, fish the San Marcos River, and picnic under the live oaks with their dangling spanish moss. Have a great time but avoid the people who run this park. They are not so friendly and don't play well with others.

Another thing, if it rains, even if it is not flooded the park closes its gates and you can't get in. It has happened twice to us.

This is my opinion. Go see the park and create your own.

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Current Tags: Fishing, Hiking, Palmetto, Parks, San Marcos River, Snakes, State Parks, Texas, Tubing, Wildlife

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11
Mar 2008
4:53 AM CST
   

Texas State Parks- Review #3

I am back to give my opinion, or rating, on another state park in Texas. Which one will it be...? Okay, I've got it, Inks Lake State Park. This one I know better than most, well all except one (you will find out about it later). I lived in Burnet/Bertram area for almost 6 years while I was growing up. We spent many summers at Buchanan Dam or Inks Lake State Park. It was amazing, of course when you are a child anytime you get to go swimming at the lake it is amazing so, I had to go back to my younger years to see if it was still amazing! It was. I had my husband take me, just me, for my birthday. We got a small (limited use) cabin. We normally just throw up a tent but it was my birthday and I wanted to relax, not work. (these are very affordable, $45 for the night). We loved our cabin. We got one back near the water and it was actually somewhat secluded. It was so quiet and peaceful. The hiking trails are really nice and if you get to hike across the road in the primative area, it is really beautiful. Be sure to go up on the rocks and see the world. Watch for snakes, this is the Texas Hill Country! Be sure to checkout Longhorn Caverns. It is just up the road and the drive up the hill is nice. Stop at the picnic area and get a view from above. Be sure to get a look at the Castle as you go up but there is a better view of it as you come down. The hill country is beautiful from that high up.

Anyway, back to the state park. They rent pedal boats and , I think canoes too, at the park store. They also have learning activities for the children at times. They actually bring in hawks, eagles, and owls that your child can get their picture with. They teach about wildlife and stuff. I am not sure of all the details but it is something you should check out. There is also good fishing and piers at the park. We are a fishing family so most of the parks I rate will have fishing there. Inks Lake has beautiful sunsets from the fishing pier or on top of the big rocks and sunrise is just as amazing. Again, we had very few problems with any type of bug or mosquito.

The reason I love to camp is because it gives you family time. My children are all teenagers so it sometimes is a lot of bickering but in the end we usually have a good time. It is a very inexpensive way to get a good family vacation without going bankrupt. Try it sometime!

Remember this is my opinion. Your experiences may be different!

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Current Tags: Camping, Hiking, Hill Country, Inks Lake, State Parks, Swimming, Texas, Wildlife

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18
Feb 2008
7:46 AM CST
   

Texas State Parks- Review #2

� I really love reviewing the Texas State Parks so here I go again. As I said previously, this is just my opinion. (Go check out the state parks and get an opinion to share.)

Goose Island State Park. I think this is my favorite. I absolutley love it. If you are a bird watcher you better be ready. It is just above Rockport and a hop, skip and a jump from Port Aransas. The people here are very friendly. Camping is spread out all along the park. My favorite is in the front along the wall or whatever they call it. Each of these campsites has a covered picnic area with water and electricity. I believe they are $20 a night. I like the ones right on the waters edge. I put the tent up just far enough from the ocean to keep the tide from coming inside. It is so relaxing to hear the waves along the wall. Be sure to bring extra rope to tie from each leg of your tent. It is very windy here. Closeby this camping area is showers and bathrooms. A long lighted fishing pier goes out into the ocean. You can also wade fish off the little islands and shallow waters. Be sure to get up early in the morning between 5 and 6am and get out to the pier. Most mornings the dolphins will come in to play. They are amazing. If you don't catch them you can go to Rockport around 9am and catch a dolphin tour. I think it is around $20 per person. They also have sunset cruises to watch the sunset on the ocean. Cranes, pelicans and seagulls are numerous along the parks waters. You can also head a little north on I-35 and watch for the signs to Aransas National Wildlife Refuge. This is a must see and is only about 30 minutes from Goose Island. There you will be able to drive thru the area and also stop along the way and hike the trails. This can be an all day trip if you would like. At just $5 for the day, you can't beat it. If your kids are curious, like George, they will love it here. Please watch for snakes. We saw a Cottonmouth our first time there. These are very poisonous water snakes. Besides snakes there are wild turkeys, armadillo, wild pigs, javalina (javalina and pigs are not the same thing.), numerous types of birds, alligators (big ones), rabbits, deer, and other wildlife. You can�hike up the trails or up the big tower to the observation deck. It is beautiful. They allow fishing in designated areas. You can also get� binoculars at the office, on loan of course. There are bathrooms at the observation deck and the front office but I don't recall seeing any�else where. Be sure to have some snacks and water. Also make sure you have gas in your car. The drive thru is about 15 miles long and go slow so you can see all that the refuge has to offer. You can also purchase gifts and a few refreshments at the front office.�

I know, I got off subject. We must get back to the state park. So, we were discussing camping areas. When you first enter the park, to the right are some roads for primative camping. Remember these areas have no electric or water and bathrooms and things are�scattered. There is a lot of nice shady spots and some nice hiking trails in this area. This park has a bait shop and rents Kayaks. There is also a boat ramp.�Once you pass all that and go across the bridge, you will find to the left an RV area. Almost directly in front of you, if you continue to drive straight, you will drive right into Stinky�Beach. I believe it is called this due to�the algae that grows there in the summer. Don't take my word on it though, check it out and read the sign they have posted. It does kind of smell sometimes. This is where a lot of people swim or�seine for bait. I can't see how�people can swim right there. Every time we seine we get a net full of jellyfish. Wear your shoes in the water at�Stinky Beach. The Exxon up the road�sells some medication for jellyfish stings. You may want to carry some with you anytime you go to any beach. Don't forget the sunblock while you are getting ready to go out in the sun for the weekend. This park is always clean and the people who run it are helpful. I think they even have stuff they do in the summer such as wildflower trails, fishing with a Ranger, and tours of Big Tree. Big Tree is a very, very old live oak. I think it is over 1000 years old. Can you imagine, surviving hurricanes and gulf coast storms. Wow!��It is a must see.

This park is one of the Texas State Parks that loans out fishing equipment. McKinney Falls and some others do as well but we will discuss that park and others later.

In conclusion, if you want a nice park, with nice people, and a great view- this is your park. I would love to be a park host at Goose Island State Park!

Just my opinion! :)

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Current Tags: Aransas, Birds, Dolphins, Goose Island, Gulf Coast, Texas, Wildlife

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11
Feb 2008
4:26 AM CST
   

Texas State Parks- Review #1

I love Texas Parks & Wildlife. I wish I could work for them, to be out in the open air and so close to the wildlife.It would be amazing. But, since I can't work for them I can most definitely rate them. This will be my first rating. Remember,�it is my opinion and does not mean that your experience will be the same.�

��Lets start with�Lake Texana State Park. It is on Lake Texana, of course, outside of Edna, Texas. It is close to the Gulf coast.�This state park is great. The people who work at this state park are probably the friendliest of all the places I have been. Super sweet! A campsite is $10-15 per night (as of 2008).�My favorite thing about the campsite was that there were no bugs. I mean absolutely no bugs. No ants, mesquitos, or anything. Mesquitos at Matagorda will carry you off. They got so bad at about 6pm that we had to leave. That's how we ended up at Lake Texana State Park. Plus, my husband had gone there when he was a child. Lake Texana has alligators so if you have children you should keep an eye on them. Swimming is allowed but it is at your own risk. A risk I did not take with my children because...

�We decided to fish and the kids have not quite learned how to tell if they have a bite�so we put bobbers and corks on all the rods. It was dark and the fish would nibble a bit but nothing was really biting. We were about to real in when my youngest daughter said she had something after her bobber. My husband had one of those headlights that the�fisherman always wear at night, so he shines it out on her bobber. It was an alligator. It went under and then so did the cork on my rod. Then a huge tug and then the fight was on. I couldn't handle�it so I passed it on to my husband who fought this thing for almost an hour.�The alligator would roll and twist and drag line out forever. Then when he got tired my husband would reel him half way in and the thing would take off again. We figured it would break the line but it never did. He finally reeled it in about 2 feet from the bank and we all said that was close enough so he cut the line. It was a 6 ft. plus alligator and he gave my husband something to talk about for a while.�

� Another great thing about the park is that it has lighted fishing piers so you can fish all night.�It also has hiking trails that are great for seeing birds and even getting near the marshy water areas to see alligators. Watch out for snakes. We did not see any but in that kind of environment there�is sure to be one or two.�

�� So, if you ever get down that way and you want an adventure with some really nice people then you should stay a night or two at Lake Texana State Park. :)�

�Just my opinion...

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Current Tags: Alligators, Camping, Fishing, Hiking, Parks, State Parks, Texas, Wildlife

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29
Jan 2008
10:34 AM CST
   

Zilker Park Area- Austin, Texas

This is my review of Zilker Park and�its affiliated surroundings.They did not ask me to write this and I am basing these opinions on my experience with the area. Your opinion may differ from mine.

There is a ton of stuff to do here, especially if you have children. Start at Zilker Park (entry to the park is free). Take your children inside Splash to learn about the Edwards Aquifer and�Barton Springs. This is a great way for children to have fun while being educated and its free. It has a hands on exhibits and child friendly computers for them to learn from. The short movie will keep your children engaged with its sound system and presentation. After that take your children to the playscape. It is awesome, with soft flooring to protect your child as she/he plays. They have tables where your child can figure out how sand and gravity work and other interesting things. This park has one of the nicer and more child friendly playgrounds in the Austin area. If your child gets bored, take them on the miniature train ride through the park. (There is a fee) Children love this. In the summer the park has live music (Zilker Hillside Theatre) at times and the kite festival. It also has Shakespeare in the park, which is great. Just sit on the lawn somewhere and enjoy. In late fall they have a haunted trail for trick or treaters. If you want to bring your children this is great and if you don't have children you can hand out candy. Winter brings on the trail of lights. This is huge in Austin. Try to go during the week because on weekends the cars make their own trail of lights. Christmas lights are twisted into�all kinds of Christmas designs. The first night they do the "Lighting of the Tree." Get there early or you want be able to find a place to park.

For the adults (children, if yours can swim) Barton Springs pool is great. It is always the same temperature year round. That's because it is fed by a spring so it never gets over 68 degrees. People swim here in the summer and the winter. In the summer it feels great when it is 101 in Texas but your body almost goes into shock when you hit the water. This water is deep. It is over my head in most places. I am�not short either. Pay attention to your children if they can't swim. There is a lifeguard on duty but a parent is their child's first and most important Life Guard. There is a per person fee to get in to the Pool area. Also,�sometimes you will come across someone sunbathing topless or I have even seen them nude near the bathroom area so, if you don't want your child to see this, it may not be an appropriate place to take your child.

�Across the street, a little caddy corner to Zilker Park is the Zilker Botanical Gardens. This is beautiful. It is FREE. You may go in and enjoy the coy ponds, fountains, and waterfalls. It is amazing to see. Take a stroll through the bamboo and take the little bridges across the ponds and streams. Don't forget to see the huge window that looks like a key whole. It was actually in someone's home at one time. There is a rose garden and you can't forget the Dinosaur part. It has larger waterfalls and is gorgeous. It has large dinosaur sculptures as well. Stop and rest at the top of the hill in a huge butterfly chair. You can also see the butterflies eat while you are in this area. Before you leave, check out the old school house and small buildings. These are historical and can add a little to your learning experience. On your way out you have to stop by the herb garden. Smell the aromas of different herbs such as rosemary and mint.

Next stop, Austin Nature and Science Center... Did you peak out into the street when you were headed back to the Dinosaur part of the Botanical Gardens? That big gate that looks out on the street and to Town Lake (Lady Bird Lake), is the first thing you will see when you head over to the nature trail. Just head up the hill and check out the sidewalk while you are headed up. As you can see, this is about the children. For some, this may be a hike getting up all those steps. They have a few benches along the way so take a rest if you need to. This is an amazing place. Let the children check it all out in the exhibit room. They are allowed to touch. They can also see the pond and waterfall from the huge glass window. Watch for turtles and things here. Then head out on the trails. Do not get off them because this place is all about preservation and you wouldn't want to destroy the foliage or flora. These trails will take you by the water and around to the wildlife area. It is great for the kids. Check out the wildlife exhibit. Most of these animals could not return to their natural habitat and survive so they keep them here so you can learn from them. These are not pets so do not allow your children to put their hands inside these cages. They look adorable but they still may bite. Here you will see a coyote, skunk, a cotymundo (not sure if I said that or spelled that right) I call it a coty. There is a racoon that is adorable. More animals are there as well and you should check with the center for feeding times if you would like your children to watch them eat. If you have children who are frightened easily you should check for sure because some of these animals eat baby chicks, whole. Grouse! Continue on and go inside the reptile/amphibian building. Here you will find snakes, turtles, frogs, and much more. Including salamanders. Keep going like you are going to leave the park but instead turn left when you get back through the big building. This is a great trail. If you are tired you must at least go to the start and see the birds. Here you will find hawks, buzzards, several types of owls, and lots more. There are turtles and such in this area as well. If you are ready you can leave this part of the area and head back down to the parking lot. Watch out for the pigions. They will do the deed on your head. They nest under all the bridges around this lake. Fishing here is great due to all the bird doo. This is the hike and bike trail area. At least go out and cross the bridge. Your kids will love it. Watch for wildlife in and on the water. You can rent canoes and canoe the lake if you feel up to it.

Back over to the Zilker Park area. Across Barton Creek from the park is another great picnic area where the Sunken Gardens used to be. I am not sure what is going on with this but if it is back up you should check it out. You can also walk the trail along the water and get below Barton Springs Pool here. There will be a ton of people in the water here if it is summer. (Free area). Across the street from this is Umlauf Sculpture Gardens and Museum. If you can say it then you are doing better than me. This is a fee based garden. It is really beautiful so if you have a little extra pocket change, check it out.

Finally, you can find great places to eat along Barton Springs road. There is also a fun put-put golf course and in the summer you can catch free concerts on the lawn next to Sevie Ray Vaughns statue. You were going there to see the statue anyway, right? Usually concerts are on Wednesday nights. Bring a blanket an icechest full of drinks for the kids and a frisbee in case they get bored. All set. �

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Current Tags: Austin, Education, Flowers, Gardens, Live Music, Museum, Science Center, Train, Wildlife, Zilker Park

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13
May 2003
8:32 AM CST
   

Search for Robyn's Mother Results Thus Far

So far I have found a woman with her mother's name who I believe will be the correct one. She got married in Hill County to a Harris.Someone had stated that there was medical things such as high blood pressure or diabetes that may have run in the family.� These things would cause other problems so I will continue my search with the following criteria...

Possibly divorced again. Search for records under Harris for divorce and last known address. Robyn sometimes wears glasses and with high blood pressure and diabetes possible in her family, glasses would be a complication of those diseases.� Robyn also has a lead foot and gets tickets a lot so her mother may as well.

Hippa laws prohibit doctors from giving information so here is my game plan. I will call the optometrist and medical centers in the area I believe she is in. I will tell them that she is searching for her mother and give them here information. I will just ask that if she is a patient of theirs that they give her the information. I will also call police stations to see if they may have any information that is free to the public. Such as, tickets, accidents, etc... Wish me luck!!!

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29
Apr 2003
8:22 AM CST
   

Search for Robyn's Mother

Robyn is Stephen's sister in law. She has been looking for her real mother for the past eleven years. She was adopted when she was two. She has been unable to find her mother but she has given me all the information she has available to her. I have made about 300 phone calls so far. I have run into a few dead ends but I have also received some good leads. It has only been a week so hopefully I will find her soon. I have narrowed it down to 3 possible women so it may get easier. Her father will be the harder part because she is unsure if her father is her father. Her mother gave a lot of misleading information at the time the children were taken. She also had a brother and a smaller sister born after she was taken and then her sister was taken as well. It gets complicated.

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19
Mar 2003
8:01 AM CST
   

Book UUUGH!

Ugh, I can not figure out where I am going with this book. I am so stuck. I know what I want for the ending but what now. I have lost perspective. I need to extend the entire thing and make some changes for more build up possibly. AAAHHHHH!

1 comment(s) - 10:43 AM - 05/24/2009
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21
Sep 2002
7:23 AM CST
   

Pictures for the Book

I went hiking again today. I saw a ton of great things that could work in my book. I took 2 rolls of film and used them both. I'm not sure if I will use the actual photographs or maybe have them drawn out and then add them to the book. Joe, Stephen's brother, can draw very good. I can't draw at all. Everything I do looks like it was done by a 5 year old.

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Current Tags: book, draw, photographs

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CreateSomething's Profile

  • Username: CreateSomething
  • Gender / Age: Female, 49
  • Location: USA - Texas
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