For Geocaching enthusiasts, Eastland, TX. is located at 32° 23′ 55″ N, 98° 49′ 16″ W.
Just 96 miles west-southwest of Ft. Worth, Texas, this little community has about 3700 people and reminds me of my home in Neodesha, Kansas. The only difference..this community has a Starbucks!
Kara and I spent a pleasant Saturday in three training sessions at the AHS Northview Development Center. Sharing the Therap system with approximately 45 staff, the day pretty smooth.
We decided to be a bit adventerous in the late afternoon and drive east to Dallas so that we could find a cool theater for viewing the new Dark Knight movie.
My son, Andrew has seen the movie. Andrew is working in Okoboji, IA. this summer as a member of the Stephens College summer stock theatre. He has been cast in five of their productions. Andrew gave the Dark Knight an “A”. I have to tell you, when Andrew gives a performance an “A” it is definately a “must see”. He never misses when it comes to great theatre, be it stage or the big screen!
In fact, Drew enjoyed Heath Ledger’s performance so much that he tried his hand at re-creating the character. He’s creepy looking huh?! That’s my boy…Wow.
One other family tid-bit. Elliot, my second born, that currently lives in Colorado, studying Zoology at the University of Pueblo, turns 19 today. Geez! Where does all that time go?
You are a bright light in this world. We will celebrate your b-day “family-style” when I get home from Texas!
C/O Kara Blevins at her email address.
Yep, the Kare-Bear was a out of commission today, after waking with something that appeared to be a flu bug. Could be a Texas-sized mosquito bug…they are as big as a hummingbird…NO KIDDING!
Despite being without my #1 training partner, I forged ahead and met up with Phyllis Taylor and the staff of Southpark Development Center…da-ta-da… and the Awesome Miss Nancy Newberry, who joined the team for both a morning and afternoon training session. What a little kidder she is. I love this lady!
Phyllis and her team were super-excited to dig into Therap. All-in-all we trained about 80 new Therapites today. Whew….!!!!
In the late afternoon, Kara and I ventured North toward Eastland, TX. where we will spend Saturday training around 65 staff in three different sessions.
Can’t wait…more Texas hospitality. Its actually growing on me. I’ve decided that if I ever want a change of scenery from the Flinthills of Kansas…its going to be Austin or Mason, TX. for me! Who cares that its 100 degrees in the shade…its the people that make this part of the country COOL!
Thanks Brownwood, Phyllis Taylor, Lisa Robinson, Lisa Hernandez, Lorrie, Vickie, Glenn and Miss Nancy. You guys made this training experience one of the best!
Kara and I got a surprise today…Nancy Newberry, COO of AHS, gave us the day off from training. What do two girls with a day off do for fun? Sleep in, of course! Well at least until 8am.
We did take in a bit of tourist fun by stopping at the Austin Gift Market. This place has everything “Austin” that one could imagine. My goal – get Hunter (my 14 year-old) a Texas Longhorns tee-shirt. The kid LOVES those Longhorns so much that he actually wants to play football for them one day.
FYI – be prepared blog readers: Football season is coming soon and you will have to indulge my passion for watching my son play that game. It is a beautiful thing!
Our late afternoon was spent driving a few hours north to Early, TX.(home of ZERO cellular service). That’s right. You didn’t think that such a thing could happen did you? Well, apparently the people of Early. TX. don’t have much use for Verizon because Kara and I were both in cell-withdrawal…its a terrible thing to have to witness…no calls from the outside world….just silence. How sick are these people?!
The good news, a couple miles up the road was a Starbucks and a Sonic. My two passions, iced coffee (light with 2 Splenda, thank-you) and Diet Coke with that special Sonic ice. It just made the entire withdrawal period far more bearable.
The good news…we got the opportunity to meet up with Nancy Newberry and her husband, Glenn, for a wonderful pasta dinner and great company later in the evening. It was the highlight of my day!
PS. A very special birthday wish to my friend and colleague, Maureen Noonan. Happy 40th Mo!
This sculpture sits on an unassuming corner off of Staples street, near the AHS office, in Corpus Christi, Texas.
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Its been a little over a week since I landed in Texas and began my
“adventure”. Logging about 420 miles so far, I have visited 9
cities and met some really terrific people…that support some really terrific people with disabilities.
With only 11 days left to go, it seems as though there are not enough days to accomplish all that still needs to get done, but I’m hopeful.
Today we enjoyed the hospitality of the Corpus Christi staff that work for the Human Development Center. I was pleased to meet Patricia Torrez, Administrator for the site. She, along with her team, helped to make our training experience really pleasant.
Enjoy a few pics from my day.I found this group to be fun and engaging. I’m also getting used to being called “Miss Anna”. At first I thought it was too Southern. Now, I’m finding myself addressing staff as “Miss So-and-So.” It grows on a person.
PS. Speaking of names…when do I get to be called Anna Apu? Priyanka… can you tell me this? Perhaps…Miss Anna Apu??
I had the Kare-Bear with me today. We trained about 50 people from Sweetbriar one of the AHS agencies located in West Columbia.
What did I find BIG in Texas today?
So, Kara says to me, “what’s a Texas potato?” (This was going to be good!)
My response, “I don’t know, but I’m guessing its BIG.”
When lunch arrived Kara opened her sack and I thought her eyes were going to pop out. It was so hilarious to see her expression when confronted with a potato nearly as big as she is. Not really…but it was a BIG potato!
After saying goodbye to Kiana (good luck with baby!) and the rest of the W. Columbia team, we moved on down the road toward Corpus Christi.
About 40 miles outside of the city we decided that dinner by the water would be delightful. First order of business was to take in the scenery. The gulf coast is beautiful. Especially in the early evening.
We found a quaint Italian restaurant, Bellino’s, right on the water. The restaurant is a very small family establishment. The owner is originally from Palermo, Italy. Kara and I enjoyed a great dinner with authentic Italian cuisine. Simply delicious!
The next two days we take on Corpus Christi and 270 AHS employees. Woo Hoo!!!!
Its true, Kara Blevins arrived early Sunday morning with a smile on her face and a skip in her step.
Ready to take on Texas and her fear of tornadoes, she deplaned her Continental flight and landed smack dab in Houston, Texas.
Her first sentence after getting in the car, “I need sleep”. My response, “Don’t you want to go see the Space Museum?, How about a water park? I hear the Galleria is pretty cool.”
The look I got said it all….there would be no tourist trappings for me today.
We arrived at West Columbia, TX. in the early afternoon. Kara went straight to nappy-land with the promise to wake in time for dinner at this joint we found down the road. I camped out by the pool and caught up with friends and family on the phone.
Dinner was an interesting place…A seafood joint and donut shop. NO KIDDING!
We dined on the Seafood side of the restaurant. To our surprise, the food was really terrific. Dessert was even better. We capped off the evening with a power-walk across West Columbia. I don’t get the impression that many people walk around here, as we couldn’t find a single sidewalk. We took to the streets for our walk, risking life and limb to oncoming pickup trucks (no joke, Texans LOVE their pickup trucks!). Obviously we survived our walk, although a detour past a cemetery had Kara a bit jarred (she’s such a scared-i-cat).
That was it for my day. Kara is SOOOO losing the job of entertaining me. Yep…not anymore…
Stay tuned for more adventures from the Texas Tornado Therapites as we continue our travels. Next up…West Columbia!