12th Annual Children’s Health Festival Hosted by Williamson County and Cities Health District

Children's Health Festival Williamson County Your Local Color.ComThe Annual Children’s Health Festival is a showcase event highlighting the importance of physical activity, healthy eating, and child safety. For the past 12 years, the Williamson County and Cities Health District (WCCHD) has organized this fun-filled event to encourage local parents and children to “play for the health of it.” This year’s festival was held at the United Heritage Center at Round Rock’s Dell Diamond, with sponsor support from Seton Medical Center Williamson, BlueCross BlueShield of Texas, and Superior HealthPlan.

Those who attended the festival found a variety of information and resources on topics important to the entire family. The exhibit area was divided up into five zones that focused on specific health oriented information areas. There was Nutrition Station, Activity Zone, Wellness Square, Community lane, and Sponsor’s Row. [Read more…]

Grown, Raised and Made By Your Neighbors: Organic Foods From Greenling.com

greenlinglogoMy first memories of what the future might promise for us was watching The Jetsons. I would sit glued in front of our black and white TV watching George and Jane Jetson zip around in their futuristic flying version of today’s minivan, dropping off the kids, going shopping or heading off to work. They lived in this crazy apartment building up in the clouds and they had a robot maid named Rosie, or was it Roomba?

We’ve all seen the show, right? If you have, you might remember prepackaged meals the Jetsons enjoyed that came in a pill or popped out of a slot in the wall. It was all very simple and quick, and in those days it seemed rather farfetched. If we look around today, almost 50 years later, you might not think The Jetsons is all that futuristic, but for a five year old kid in the early sixties it sure was. [Read more…]

There’s Lots To Do This Fall At The Williamson Museum – Check Out The Upcoming Hut-Hut Williamson County Football Exhibit

The Williamson MuseumThe culture and history of Central Texas and Williamson County is very rich and interesting. One place you need to visit to catch up on our history is The Williamson Museum. You are not going to be disappointed. The calendar of events is filling up for the fall and there are a lot of museum sponsored events for you and your family to enjoy.

The Williamson Museum is opening a new exhibit on Williamson County football called the Hut, Hut Football in Williamson County, to The Williamson Museumdraw attention to the fact that Southwestern University is restarting its football program after a 60 year absence. The Williamson Museum Curator, Ann Evans, tells me the exhibit will not only include Southwestern football, but it will also feature several current and former Williamson County residents well known for their contributions to local football. I am particularly exited about the memorabilia donated by Dallas Cowboy’s superstar and Sun City resident, Bob Lilly. I grew up watching Lilly when he was a major part of the Dallas “Dooms Day Defense” back in the Coach Landry glory days. He was an amazing athlete, and I have always admired and respected him.

The exhibit will feature several items from Southwestern University’s football history as well as local Williamson County teams and individual athletes.  Jerseys, letter jackets and signed footballs will also contribute to the overall look and feel of the exhibit which will likely bring back memories to those Williamson County old-timers who’ve lived in this area for a while. Watch the video to get an idea of just what you might find at the exhibit [Read more…]

Habitat For Humanity ReStore Has Great Deals For Williamson County Do It Yourselfers

Habitat for Humanity ReStoreI have worked on a couple of homes doing volunteer work for Habitat for Humanity through my church. It was hard work in the hot sun, but it was so worth it. I had the chance to meet some really great people who were also volunteers, and I had the chance to meet the families who were going to live in the home after it was completed. Habitat for Humanity is a great organization and they are very active in our local communities helping our friends and neighbors find, help build and acquire their own home.

Habitat for Humanity does not hand out homes to people; they provide opportunities for people to own their own home. Each family helped applies for a home ownership opportunity from Habitat. The families are selected based not only on their financial situation, but also on their willingness to help build the home. Each new Habitat home owner puts in a lot of “sweat equity” into the home before they move in. These families are the working poor in our communities who are trying to get a home, but need a little help to get in that home.

To show you this is not a hand out, each family has to not only help build the home, they have to be able to afford a small down payment that covers taxes and insurance. These families also have to be able to make a mortgage payment on the home after it is completed. This mortgage is also a way that the new homeowner can pay their blessing forward. Habitat does not profit on the mortgage at all. The 20-year mortgage covers the cost of all of the building supplies used on the home, and part of this mortgage payment goes toward funding Habitat’s efforts to build homes for other families. It is really a great program. [Read more…]

Your Neighbors Making Life Better For Blue Dogs

Blue Dog RescueMy mom was an animal person. If you have read any of my past posts, it is likely that you are familiar with her. If you have read all of my past posts, you probably know her pretty well. She was amazing. She was a through and through animal person, and it seemed that her enthusiasm for taking care of misfit and outcast critters was inexhaustible.

I often imagined that there was some kind of “word of snout” underground network that informed lost cats, dogs and other homeless critters that the lady on Crow Drive with the funny accent was good for food, drink and a little shelter. She never turned any animal away and would post advertisements in the Waco Tribune until she found someone to take them home. That’s a fact. She was a one-woman animal rescue service.

While I was growing up in the 60s and 70s, I don’t remember there being any sort of organized rescue of abandoned and mistreated animals. If there had been one, mom would have either known about it or would have been involved. What did we do with all of those poor creatures in those days? Outside of the local animal shelter it was probably people like my mom that took up the slack. I guess the need grew and grew until the kindhearted among us had to do something to get help with the burden. I know there was nothing to spread the word in those days besides TV, radio, newspapers and word of mouth or snout. [Read more…]

Georgtown’s Own – The Williamson Museum

The Williamson Museum Georgetown TexasMy dad, MSG Philip Speasmaker, passed away from cancer in 2003 and for me it was a devastating blow. At the time I didn’t think it would be because we were never that close. Dad didn’t let anybody get too close to him. I didn’t think I would miss him so much but. I found out later that it left a huge hole in my life. A wound that I didn’t know was there and one that took years to find and to heal. I would give anything for just 5 more minutes with him.

Dad was a quiet man when he was at home and would sit for hours by himself reading some book on history (his passion), smoking cigarettes or just staring into space. I now realize he was hiding, to the best of his ability, the horror of war. I am sure now he had to live and relive every day those experiences. Towards the end, in the last few years of his life, he found great satisfaction and, I think, some peace from watching birds on his deck and taking care of a little Yorkshire terrier he rescued named Little Bit.

The Williamson Museum Georgetown Texas

MSG Philip Speasmaker front row left

Dad was a veteran of both World War II and Korea, and he saw combat both over Germany and Korea. But I think it was his World War II experiences in the 8th Army Air Corp that affected him the most. It wasn’t enough for this child of the depression to have to endure the crushing poverty of his upbringing, but he was also forced to see almost all of the buddies that he flew with die, go missing or be horribly wounded. It is unimaginable what people had to face and live through in those days. Unimaginable. [Read more…]

Sweet Seven Designs – Ashlyn and Vicki Henderson at Georgetown’s Market Days

Georgetown Texas Sweet 7 Designs Ashlyn and Vicki Henderson

Ashlyn and Vicki

I mentioned Ashlyn and Vicki Henderson in my most recent article on Georgetown Market Days. Ashlyn and Vicki were kind enough to give me a few minutes of their time to talk about their business, Sweet Seven Designs.

Ashlyn makes soap and Sweet Seven Designs is the business she founded to sell that soup. She started Sweet Seven Designs so she could earn a little extra spending money and two years later she is still going strong. She sells her soap at Market Days and she has an Etsy account she uses as well.  Oh, I forgot to mention that she started this when she was seven years old and now she is nine.  Impressive.

Mom, Vickie, tells the story like this: Ashlyn needed to find a way to earn some extra cash. She didn’t want to do chores around the house as Vickie proposed so Vicki offered another solution. Ashlyn had just learned how to make soap along with some of her friends and so Vickie suggested that making and selling soap would be the way to go. Ashlyn liked the idea and they immediately set to work to bring this idea into the market place. I am just amazed at the strong entrepreneurial spirit that is on display in this little girl. [Read more…]

Bubba’s Beez – Georgetown Market Days Treasure

Bubba's Beez Raw Local Honey Georgetown TexasWell, we’re going to spend a little more time with James “Bubba” Duke who is the mastermind behind Bubba’s Beez. Bubba’s Beez is a local, family owned business that sells raw locally produced honey. We found Bubba’s Beez at Georgetown’s Market Days.  This is supposed to be one of the best things you can eat to help you get over the allergies you may be suffering. Some people believe that because it contains local allergens that you may be sensitive to, when you eat them in honey, you may be slowly making yourself less sensitive to these allergens. Also, eating the honey raw and unheated keeps the nutrients that make this natural sweetener so good for you. To tell you the truth, I really don’t know all of the details about its health benefits but I can tell you that I tasted Bubba’s honey and it is delicious. Even if it is good for me, I loved it.

Bubba’s story is just as amazing as his honey. Bubba comes from a long line of beekeepers but mom and dad tell me that he is pretty much self-taught. Bubba got the “bug,” so to speak, for bee keeping when he was in the fourth grade after he wrote a research paper on beekeeping. He got his first beehive a year later with the money he earned working for his grandfather building fireplace mantles and helping his dad, John, with landscaping. What started with that first hive has now turned into ten hives, and it is now officially a family business. Mom is very involved, and she is working with the bee’s wax to make hand creams and lip balm. [Read more…]

Market Days in Georgetown

Georgetown Market DaysCentral Texas, Williamson County in particular, is an amazing place to live. I have had the most fun I have had in a long time in the past few weeks as I have ventured out in search of all of its hidden treasures. I found another one this past Saturday in Georgetown at Market days. Market Days, as its sign says, is a second Saturday of the month event in Georgetown’s beautiful, award winning, courthouse square This year it’s schedule is from March 9th through November 9th. 

It is a “European inspired open-air market” that has everything that you would want to find. There are traditional businesses that are displaying their products and services and then there are the crafters, artists, specialty food vendors and much, much more. It is a great place to find that special gift for that special person and, last Sunday being Mother’s Day, there were a lot of shoppers out there looking for that special gift for mom. Remember, Father’s Day is June 16th and, there is a Georgetown Market Days conveniently situated the weekend before Father’s Day so mark June 8th on your calendar’s so you can swing by Georgetown and find dad something special.

I spent a couple of hours meeting vendors, shooting video and doing interviews with Market Days Event Coordinators Stephanie Hill and Laurie Wendel and some of the vendors as well. I was able get Laurie Wendel to spare a few minutes for a short interview. Please click on the YouTube screen to find out more about Market Days and get an idea about some of its background. [Read more…]

Round Rock Market Days on Main Street

Round Rock Monday Music On Main StreetI’m gonna start calling Round Rock and Williamson County “the place of a million hidden treasures.” Austin and Travis County get a lot of the attention. I guess you can say that Austin is the “Marsha” of the Central Texas Brady Bunch. But the rest of the Central Texas Brady Bunch of sister communities have nothing to be ashamed of, especially Round Rock.

I am sure that others have heard about Round Rock’s Round Rock Market Days, but I wasn’t as up to speed as you folks in the know. I’m catching up. I was snooping around on some calendars and found it listed as an event and decided it needed to be checked out. I am glad I did.

Sherri Arrington and Annie Urban put their heads together and decided to form Mainstreet Productions which is responsible for Round Rock Market Days. Round Rock Market Days happens on Round Rock’s old town Main Street across from the Round Rock Public Library. There are scores of really great craft and arts booths, food vendors, jewelry booths and lots of other local businesses selling their wares. Round Rock Market Days is a monthly event usually happening on the first Saturday of every month (except for October 2013) and is currently scheduled through December 7th of this year. Sherri and Annie are also responsible for the Pflugerville Pfood Ranch and, if you want to learn more about that event click here. [Read more…]