Can You Believe?

January 28, 2009

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Can you believe that it was only a little over a month ago when everyone was singing glad tidings?

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Everyone was in good spirits and there were spirits everywhere?

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Beautiful Santa’s helpers were only too glad to help.

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Children excitedly waited for the annual visit by dear Old Claus and told him their deepest desires.

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He listened with patient ear…

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and was the most popular guy in town.

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These adorable reindeer were decorated and hung on the Christmas tree with care.

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I have found that the people here in this small town have the same giving and caring spirit year round.

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Today was 76 degrees, warm and sunny and these memories of Christmas are long gone in some people.  Toys have broken and gifts returned but I will never forget what a wonderful season it was.


Dolphin Heroes

January 24, 2009

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                                  (photo credit- spadre.com)

Dolphins have been said to be angels in animal form. Here is an example:

Dolphin Heroes Save Swimmers

Last November four lifeguards were on a training swim about 100 yards off
shore at Ocean Beach in New Zealand when a pod of six or seven bottlenose
dolphins suddenly appeared. “They started to herd us up,” said Rob Howes,
one of the four swimmers. “They pushed all four of us together by doing
tight circles around us, rather like a sheepdog rounding up sheep.”

Then they saw why. A great white shark was cruising toward the group only 7
ft below the surface, “as clear as the nose on my face.” The dolphins had
moved in to protect the swimmers, slapping the water with their tails,
presumably to deter the shark. They surrounded the swimmers for 40 minutes
and did not open their circle to allow the lifeguards to swim to shore until
the shark had disappeared. The four swimmers were saved thanks to the heroic
efforts of these gentle mammals. Auckland University marine mammal research
scientist Rochelle Constantine said that the dolphins’ altruistic response
was normal. “They like to help the helpless.”

(from animaltalk.us)


Todo Padre Is Back!

January 23, 2009

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This series I am doing for the South Padre Network has taken me from one end of the valley to the other to see the “best of the best” and record it on film. You can imagine how I felt when I typed in “TodoPadre” on a site and it said, “TodoPadre has been removed.” My heart sunk because of all the work I have put into this series. To think of all the work it represented and all the great photos I took, lost? Also, the students in my Spanish classes saw the triple meaning of “Todo Padre” and marveled at the beauty of the name once analyzed, to think I had lost that “spot” with that name on the Internet really saddened me. It darkened my day but I figured that since I had been trying to run with the wolves like JW and some other technical people, I figured I must have done it myself when trying to export and import blogs. I am horrible at beating myself up mercilessly in my head so I chalked it off to technical ignorance and wrote to  some people. Now imagine my relief and joy to see it back http://todopadre23.blogspot.com/  Somehow, somebody resurrected it from the dead for me. Here are just a few of the photos that represent some of the areas interesting spots and people.

Hearing the rush of the water is the best thing about being near to the Anzalduas Dam.

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Everyone is blessed to have so much water around to play in.

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This majestic building is the newest beauty on South Padre Island, the Sapphire, a true gem.

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As I traveled the valley, this picture and the story of these men who devoted their lives to spreading Catholicism kept resurfacing. It was neat to be able to link everything together: my path, their path, what they established, etc.

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 This earthen oven is still one of the coolest things in my book.

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This part of the world is beautiful, no matter how many people speak negatively and constantly put it and its people down. I see true beauty in it and the history behind it. Maybe we all should look at this as not a pile of bricks but wonder who the people were who used it and what their lives were like. There is so much more to the world than its surface and we have only scratched it. You are welcome to join me on my quest for the best of the best on Todopadre23.blogspot.com and join in discovering the beauty of the area. We will continue to feature the neatest and most interesting things around.


Spectacular Skies

January 13, 2009

These clouds reminded me of a Rorschach ink blot test. You know the one where you “see” something that tells a lot about you. For example, I saw flames of fire leaping but I know my friend, Sam, would’ve seen Farrah Fawcett in these clouds. (He could see Farrah in a palm tree.) Rob, a surfer, would have immediately seen waves and headed out to the beach to see if the sky was reflecting what was going on in the surf.  Everyone here has their own different perspective on life but we all agree on one thing: We are blessed because we get to live our lives here.

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 This is why we don’t need drugs down here. What for? Life blows you away without drugs here.

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Truly Shocking Christmas Photos

December 27, 2008

I was hit by nothing but bad news today from many different issues going on so I had feelings of anger, frustration, disappointment and sadness taking turns at #1 in my head. This upset was so bad that no chocolate or candy could console me. My husband asked, “Is there anything else you want?” when we were at the grocery store and I snapped back, “Do they sell happiness in a bottle? Oh yeah, its at the bar,” and he glared at me because alcohol has ruined so many lives as these following pictures I took today in Port Isabel, Texas will attest. Please, remember that alcohol is a drug too and it should be used in moderation. These images are graphic so please, if there are small children around or if you have a weak stomach, please, go no further. These shocking images are called, “Christmas, The Day After.”

The first step is admitting you have a problem.

 

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This havoc was created by some very strong winds and none of these decorations were injured in this filming. Seriously, I have some friends who DO need your help. My friend, Bill Plouffe, fell 30 feet in a horrific accident a few days ago, broke his back and is paralyzed. He is in critical condition and his distraught family needs your help. Please donate whatever you can to help defray expenses as their income is now zero. They don’t know what they are going to do, but for now, let’s help them get through this horrible tragedy. Please contribute to the “William A. Plouffe Fund” at Lone Star National Bank Acct No. 2905004843. The bank can be contacted at 956-982-8530.


Love, Faith, Peace and Joy

December 25, 2008

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ELEGANT!

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and … CREEEPY

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That is how you can describe some of the lights we saw in Brownsville, Tx.  this Christmas.

Remember the old-fashioned lights from yesteryear? Well, this is them on steroids.

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 Lit up, they looked beautiful.

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This was the side of somebody’s garage and their front window.

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 This was a very large Nativity scene.

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This trailer parked in front of a house made us wonder how they made the money to pay for their fancy country club house.

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 It was nice to see the ones who went all out.

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This Santa with the reindeer in mid-flight looked cool.

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This was a garden in someone’s back yard.

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This tiny ladder caught my eye.

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 These tiny creatures climbing a ladder to the roof had to have been the most adorable decorations I saw.

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 Some houses looked spectacular in just plain white lights.

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While others jazzed it up a bit with bright colors.

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 This house lit up one corner on Boca Chica Blvd.

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  This house was beautifully decorated.

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The girls put the reindeer’s size into perspective when they stood by it.

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This was the sight I longed to show them: Christmas lights reflected off a resaca’s surface. A resaca is the kind of bodies of water we have down here in this tropical area.

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We live in a tropical area so seeing a decorated palm tree was nice. This one was 40 feet tall. They had to have thrown the ornaments up there because they were waaaay up there.

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This was a regular tree but the lights created the illusion of a palm tree.

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 These girls were pooped and tried to sleep on the way back to Port Isabel.

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 Tried to, anyway. 

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The night I took this picture was the night the father of these beautiful twins was injured in a horrific 30-foot fall. His back was broken and he is paralyzed. Please pray for him, these girls and their mom and brother. If you can contribute to the fund that was set up to help them with the incredible blow that has befallen them, please donate whatever amount you can to the : “William A. Plouffe Fund” at Lone Star National Bank – gift account 2905004843. He is in critical condition and the family needs your help badly. If you and 99 other people give just $5.00 that would be worth a million to us. These girls are only 13 and their world has been rocked by this tragedy. Their daddy was the major breadwinner and now Mom has taken a leave of absence from her Walmart job to be by his side. There is no other income but what is donated out of the goodness of people’s hearts. Please help them for as time passes, people’s interest will wane but their dad’s condition will stay very, very serious. Thank you for your kindness and know that we appreciate everyone’s prayers. May God bless you and your family as well as the family of these beautiful girls who brighten up a room like a ray of sunshine when they enter it. Have a blessed Christmas.


A Christmas Tragedy

December 22, 2008

My incredible father was a very handsome and intelligent man. He was a civil engineer and graduated from A&M Summa Cum Laude. Because he created things, it was not hard to dream and see those dreams become reality. He would draw things up as blueprints and then make them. Next thing you knew, there was another building or street he made, so it was not hard to believe that what he said, would happen. He was my symbol of strength and possibilities being made reality. With him dreams came true. He was strong and handsome and smart and our everything. He worked everyday to provide for us as best he could. We were not rich but our needs were met. We had plans, too. He had blueprints of the nice house we were going to live in that even had a pool. We never got to live in that dream house. It never made it off blueprints.

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Tragically, he died of a sudden massive heart attack brought on by too many sequential insulin reactions. His heart just couldn’t take it anymore in spite of how strong he was. I was crushed. I was twelve, my little sister ten and my brother became the man of the house at fifteen. Losing your father, the cornerstone of your house, family and heart, the symbol of strength and stability in your family can be a devastating blow. You can read an extraordinary and fascinating tale of how my father was able to come back from Heaven to let us know he was all right here. I believe in the eternity of the human soul. I believe that the bonds of love last forever. I don’t know why there is so much tragedy on Earth and why we have to go through it; I just know it is a part of life and no one knows when it is going to befall us. When it does, it can destroy all the plans and dreams you had for the future. My first marriage was destroyed by alcohol. I thought it was going to be the end of the world. One night I was fighting with my husband (ex) and I couldn’t take it anymore. I walked outside, looked up into the stars and thought, “God, I want to find a man who loves me for me, who is intelligent, interesting, admirable and funny, who doesn’t drink or do drugs, who is older and settled and doesn’t cheat on his wife or go out to bars at night. I want someone romantic, who doesn’t have a wife and kids, maybe has a dog he loves.” Then I pictured an older man with his dog by his side in a mobile home pulling into my driveway to deliver me from the hellish life I was living. Wouldn’t you know three years ago I met him. He is a local captain with a great reputation for honesty, intelligence and had all the qualities I was looking for. He owns Gladiator II Offshore Adventures which means he takes people fishing and helps them catch fish either offshore or in the bay. You know the funny part? When we met, he did not live in a mobile home. That was the only part different from my dream image. He lived in a 5th wheel which is pretty darn close. Can you believe that? Is God wonderful or what? We got married six months ago on June 21st.

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My brother stood where my father would have been.

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God’s gift to me was willing to take on a child from another marriage and love her as his own.

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God allowed our paths to cross and we are perfect for each other. May God continue to bless our marriage and I hope all others searching for that special someone KNOW that God will provide the right person when it is time. Only in God’s time will it happen.

I am asking for special prayers of healing to be sent to the father of these beautiful twins who are my daughter’s best friends. They have just had their world devastated by a horrific accident in their family. Their father fell 30 feet and is paralyzed. We need prayers for healing for the whole family. I would be so lost, scared and devastated had that happened to us. Please keep them in your thoughts and prayers this Christmas. The hole for their pool in their dream house was already dug and concrete poured.

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Today I am going to see how to set up a gift account at the bank to help them pay the electricity, water, and other bills. Their mom works at Walmart and there is no way that that meager paycheck can cover what needs to be covered. They don’t know what they are going to do. Losing the business is a given. If he can’t walk, there is no way he can do construction. He can’t even move from the chest down. His wife said they will lose the house and car so I want to help find some kind of Plan B since Plan A has been destroyed. I know you will find it in your heart to help these beautiful 13 year-old twins, their 15 year-old brother who has just been thrown into being the man of the house, and their devastated mother. This man was a healthy 41-year-old man yesterday and today is paralyzed. Please help.

I just got back from work. A lady walked into the office. She had no business with us – just walked in and gave me some pamphlets for her bank. Since the bank I had called to see how to set up an acct. never called me back, I told her somebody had gotten hurt and I needed to find out how to set up a gift account. She asked who got hurt and I told her. Her hand shook from the shock and she had to sit down, shaken. Turns out she has known them and the family for years. She said she would do what she could to help out. She said before she left, “I don’t know why I came in here. I didn’t know you were here. I just felt I needed to open that door and come in here.” I said, “I know why you came in here. Because you were EXACTLY what was needed and God works in mysterious ways.”

The information is “The William A. Plouffe Fund” and the acct. no is 2905004843. It is set up so nobody can take money out but you can deposit whatever you can to help this poor family out. The banker lady and I were just instruments needed to relieve the fear and terrible pain that family is feeling right now. The bank is Lone Star National Bank, 601 Padre Blvd., South Padre Island, TX 78597. (956) 761-1130. Thank you so much for your angelic help and may you have a Merry Christmas. God bless you and yours.