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Hays Free Press
Kyle, Texas
December 28, 2011     Hays Free Press
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December 28, 2011

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Page 2C + NEIGHBORS Hays Free Press December 28, 2011 -[-- uring the festivities of this Saturday's NewYear's Eve, most will be making their standard resolutions, many of them connected to the nation's booming health and fitness industry. But we gardeners know better than that. Rather than hollow declarations of intent that will barely last through January, we must use this time to create plans to carry us through to the other side of our present drought, plans to make our land- scapes prettier to the eye, and our vegetable gardens more bountiful. Let's all keep in great shape in 2012 by using our gardens (rather than the gym) as our springboard ~: ........... You know how they were grown and ASK! what's been sprayed on them. Experiment. Central Texas is also perfect for asparagus, grapes, berries, artichokes, peaches, pears, apples, plums, olives, apricots, nectarines and pomegranates. These plants are perennials and will produce year after year without replanting. for our fitness, health and well- being. Some further thoughts and ideas: Grow more vegetables and culinary herbs. You can reduce your weekly grocery bill, cut down on the number visits to the doctor, and enjoy your food at the dinner table more, if you grow your own. Start composting. By saving and composting grass clippings, leaves, and kitchen scraps, you can make rich compost and mulch for your garden and flowerbeds. The material is free and just takes a little bit of ef- fort to convert it to something useful. Lower utility bills by xeriscape gardening. Remove some of your lawn and add new beds with xeric plants, and you can save on your wa- ter bill. If you plant deciduous trees on the east, south, and west side of your house, you can keep it cool in the summer and warm in the winter and save on electric bills. , Shop in garden centers. Gar- deners need quality specimens and knowledgeable staff.You don't find ei- ther of these in the big box nurseries. Make your landscape a"Knock- out:' This is easy; all you have to do is plant some knockout roses. These cherry bloomers are no muss/no fuss roses that bloom all the time, without pruning or any kinds of sprays. Volunteer. Start gardening proj- ects with your neighbor or perhaps the community. Target a piece of ground that's going to waste and produce some vegetables for the food bank. Reap the mental rewards of volunteering! Well, that'll make a good start for 2012. I'll have to get to work but only after I eat my good luck food for the year: cornbread for gold, collards for dollar bills, and black-eyed peas for pennies. Happy gardening in the NewYear! It's About Thyme: i 1726 Manchaca Road, Austin, TX 78748 www.itsab- avy Crockett spent Christmas I Day 1835 at Nacogdoches waiting for Ben McCulloch, but when the younger Tennessean failed to show, his hero went on with- out him to San Antonio. The pressing family problems that delayed McCulloch's departure for Texas saved his life. Had the 25-year- old frontiersman kept his date with the famous ex-congressman, a friend as well as a role model, he too would have perished at the Alamo. McCulloch was on hand; however, in the spring of 1836 for the glorious conclusion of the Lone Star Revolu- tion. At San Jacinto he took charge of one of the Twin Sisters, the cannons contributed by the citizens of Cincin- nati, and played a vital role in the rout of Santa Anna. A surveyor by trade, McCulloch found little time during the next decade to pursue his chosen profes- sion. When not doing his duty as a member of the Republic Congress, he defended the new nation against marauding tribes and invading Mexicans. His finest hour as an Indian fighter came inAugust 1840 at Plum Creek. A : TH!SWEEK!N huge Comanche war party, retreating west from a merciless strike deep into settled territory, paused to polish off a small band of pursuers. This mis- take cost the Comanches a hundred warriors and discouraged future at- tacks against the interior of Texas. Two years later, following the sec- ond Mexican seizure in six months of San Antonio, McCulloCh accom- panied the punitive expedition that chased the intruders back to the Rio Grande. After scouting the border town of Mier, he refused to join the mutinous troops who recklessly crossed the river. Luck again was on his side because the clear-headed decision spared him many months in a Mexican prison. When war broke out after an- nexation, McCulloch organized the Texas Ranger company that made saves youn the critical difference in the conflict. Ten days of secret snooping behind enemy lines provided the price- less intelligence upon which Gen. Zachary Taylor based his successful strategy. Excellent spies, MCCulloch and his men were even better at close com- bat. Inthe preliminary bout preced- ing the decisive battle at Monterrey, a wild charge by the Rangers swept the enemy cavalry from the field. Though pushing 40, the restless McCulloch did not give a second thought to settling down. The sensa- tional gold strike in California roused him from peacetime doldrums, and he eagerly joined the Forty-Niner rush. Since there was far more trou- ble than nuggets, he gave up pros- pecting for law enforcement before wandering back to Texas in 1852. McCulloch was summoned to Washington, ,dhere he was appoint- ed a U.S. marshal. Any doubts that the aging Texan could still handle himself were dispelled by a lively encounter in a local restaurant. An old critic rashly picked meal- time to resume an unresolved quarrel. Without a word of warning, McCulloch knocked his nemesis to the floor with a pitcher, shattered several plates on his bloody skull and beat him senseless with a chair. The lawmen then sat back down and quietly finished his supper. Besides volcanic violence, Mc- Culloch was also capable of rational dialogue under very trying cir- cumstances. Sent as a presidential commissioner to Utah in 1857, he conducted the delicate negotiations with the Mormons which prevented a possible war. After arranging for his brother Henry to take his place, Ben resigned as marshal in 1859 to aid another personal hero - Sam Houston. For several mysterious months, Mc- Culloch toiled behind the scenes to sa tisfy the General's latest ambition. Houston hoped with a single of the daring idea, McCulloch pre- dicted in a letter to Houston that the plan "will make your name greater than if you were President of the U.S." But when the moment came to carry out the plot, Houston hesitated and the historic opportunity was lost. Action was the best balm for a dis- appointed McCulloch, and secession offered that in spades. He command- ed the militia that forced the sur- render of the federal garrison at San Antonio in February 1861 and three months later accepted a Confederate commission as brigadier general. Never one to order others to take risks he was not prepared to take himself, McCulloch insisted upon doing his own reconnaissance at the Battle of Pea Ridge. Stumbling into the sights of a Union sniper, he was dead before he hit the ground. ingenious stroke, to the Civil War and to restore the Lone Star Republic on a far grander scale. His hush-hush scheme called for the military conquest of Mexico, a cause he believed would interest Texans infinitely more than a protracted struggle with the distant North. In his wholehearted endorsement keep Texas out of Ben McCulloch's ~ said it all: "I leave my soul to God and my body to the State of Texas." Though 26 years late, he finally caught up with Crockett. Bartee Haile welcomes your com- ments and suggestions at PO. Box 152, Friendswood, TX 77549 or his website Texas Crossword and Sudoku sponsored by ACROSS 4t female doc= OBL ........... 1 Seat of Oldham Co. 42 attribute to 5 head ot JFK cored 45 flies high mission, Warren 46 TX*born pro wrestler 6 TXism: "safe as a Sue (intt.) squirrel up a. 47 Tyler is in ___ TX 7 wood chopper 48 TX B&Bs 8 TX flag since 1865 49 SMU grad TV 9 "Leap of Faith"producer Aaron was in TX52 how to pronounce but not 15 TXism: "when you're spet~ ex-Cowboy Sanders up to your neck in53 north Atlantic fish manure, don't your mouth" 16 description of TX Waiter Prescott Webb 19 TX[sm:" a frisky __" ] (enthusiastic) 21 dance bent back- wards under a pole54 month of the 22 first black person Texas Folklife to travel to TX Festival (abbr.) 27 TXism: "still wet 55 fixed line of behind the __~" travel (abbr.) 28 early TX cattle drives went to DOWN this state f horse dec 29 San Antonio street: 2 TXism: "within Lon shot" 30 those engaged in 3 TXism: "fast as a wild disturbance ................................ lightning" 32 Biblical division 4 Dallas was named (abbr.) for this commodore 33 famous TX soccer 8 TXism: "my player stomach is bailed 36 TXism: from ...... a knot" to riches" 9 TXism:" 37 "also known as" . .................................. of (abbr.) the box" 38 in Starr Co.: 10 series for TX Betty La __, TX Bucktey: "Eight ~_ 39 TXism: "no hill for Enough" " 1 t Gov, Dewhurst 12 TXism: "stow as ~January" I3 a pen name for TX romancer Sandra Brown 14 lowers the t~ght 15 Rembrandt work in Fort Worth's Kimball Ar~ Museum: "Portrait ............ Jew" "16 anyone who died at the Atamo t7 TXism: "popular as _ ~ daughter" I8 Cloudy night (2 wds.) 20 critter's den 22 TX fiddler Robertson See Solution, page 4C i i!~ :iiii! ......... .... ~ ':IL ~i i See Solution, page 4C i iii 2i' ::::::::::::::::::::::::: !i? il i!i:ii i !!!~!!!~!!!:!!!~!'~! :::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::: :::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::: :!:ii:i!:i:i:i:i;i: i:i:i ii::~i:i:!i i TEXAS by Charley & Guy Orbison Cop*/r~ht 2011 by Orbisor~ Bros, P~1043 23 TXism: "a few bricks __ of a load" 24 ex-Astro GM Smith 25 TXism: "sneaky as .................. -sucking dog" 26 __ Creek, TX aka "Johnsonvil!e" was in Williamson Co. ~8 LPTV station in Rio Grande City 31 reduce stress 34 TX singer Trini (intl.) 35 UT grad Wallach 37 TXism: "flat as _ _handle prairie" 40 ping-...~ ....... 43 baby food 44 previously owned vehicle (2 wds.) 50 house in a state park 51 TXism: "as much chance as a steer ........ a packing plant' DEC. 31: Music by People's Choice Blackeyed peas and party favors will be provided 9 p.m.-I a.m. $25 per person. Tickets are on sale now. BYOB (Beer or Bottle) Setups and soft drinks will be sold For more info call 512-294-9578 1750 FM 1626, BUDA, TX -+