Inspirations by Frances Durisseau

Have you noticed that negativity is often used to help you buy things? I was just thinking about that when needing to purchase a few items recently. By pointing out our flaws, such as aging, we buy anti-wrinkle creams, lotions and potions. By convincing us our homes are full of germs and bacteria, we seek out anti-germ and bacteria-killing cleaning products. The proverbial “they” in our lives, by putting our focus on the negative things we encounter, sell us on products, thoughts and beliefs.
Negativity sells. But it can also lead us to a place of change, which brings us back full circle to my last article, on decision making. We tend to think of negativity as bad most of the time. We want to remain positive and hopeful. If the things in your life that are negative, or that we perceive to be negative, lead us to making better “purchases” or decisions, then the negativity is just a step in our ultimate journey in life.
When you are facing any wrinkle, germ or other negative challenge in your life, let it lead you to finding its positive answers. You very well might come out feeling younger, cleaner and a few steps more advanced in your journey! Negativity sells. Use it to your advantage, not your detriment.
Contact Frances by e-mail at


MARDI GRAS is in its last few days – which means more and more excitement in Galveston as the island’s annual pre-Lent season marches on to Fat Tuesday.
Today, Sunday, and on Tuesday, celebrations are under way big-time, with three family-fun parades this afternoon alone!
At noon, the Shriners Hospitals For Children and Sunshine Kids will host a free parade featuring Masonic Shriners in their world-famous mini-cars, along with Shriners clowns, among the floats and bands.
At 1:30pm, it’s pet lovers’ turn as they take their four-legged friends to watch the Krewe Of Barkus & Meoux parade and the city firefighters’ children’s parade follows hot on their heels at 3:00pm.
Entry to the parade of pets costs $20 but the price includes entry to the firefighters’ parade too. If you can only make it to the latter, it will set you back $10 but it’s all in a good cause.
On Tuesday, head back to downtown Galveston for the Mystic Krewe Of Aquarius’ annual Fat Tuesday parade, the krewe’s 21st and the Mardi Gras grand finale.
Clear Creek Community Theater’s production of the comedy Last Of The Red Hot Lovers is under way on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays until March 12. To book seats, call the theater at 281-335-5228.
Today, Hitchcock’s public library is kicking off a monthlong exhibit of the works of artist Bobbie Sander with a reception at 2:00pm. For more details, refer to our announcement of the event in Coming Soon on Wednesday.
And so to Wednesday, when people from all over the county will head to Austin to give state lawmakers their opinions on critical issues facing the community. It’s too late to book a seat on the free transportation being provided by the county’s economic development department, but you could fill up your car for the drive! For details, look back at our February 15 issue, when we highlighted the event in Coming Soon and in a longer article on page six.
Also on Wednesday, Peruvian designer Giuliana Testino will be debuting her spring 2017 collection during an international charity fashion show in downtown Houston. We first told you about it on Wednesday, so make sure you have your wallet – its cost ranges from $39 to $99 – before heading up the I-45!

Mardi Gras Galveston
WHO: Galveston convention and
visitors bureau
WHAT: Pre-Lent parades
WHEN: Today, Sunday – noon: Shriners Hospital For Children and Sunshine Kids parade; 1:30pm: Krewe Of Barkus & Meoux parade; 3:00pm: Firefighters children’s parade; February 28 – 6:30-8:00pm: Mystic Krewe Of Aquarius Fat Tuesday parade
WHERE: Downtown Strand district, Galveston
HOW MUCH: Sunshine Kids free; Barkus & Meoux $20; Firefighters $10; Fat Tuesday free
CONTACT: Sunshine Kids and Firefighters – Leah Cast,; Ivette Wilhelm,; Mary Beth Bassett,; Barkus & Meoux – Galveston Island Humane Society, 409-740-1919; Fat Tuesday – East End Historical District Association, 409-789-4101

Last Of The Red Hot Lovers
WHO: Clear Creek Community Theater
WHAT: Comedy about a middle-aged man who wants to experience “one affair, one day of pleasure and that’s all”
WHEN: Fridays and Saturdays 8:00pm, Sundays 2:30pm, until March 12
WHERE: Theater, 18091 Upper Bay Road, Nassau Bay
HOW MUCH: Adults $15, seniors 60-plus and students with ID $13
CONTACT: 281-335-5228

Alamo commemoration
WHO: Texas General Land Office
WHAT: Events to mark the 1836
battle’s anniversary
WHEN: March 3, 6:30-9:30pm, An Evening With Heroes; March 4, 10:00am-5:00pm, Fiddle Fest
WHERE: The Alamo shrine, 300 Alamo Plaza, San Antonio
HOW MUCH: March 3, $20; March 4, free
CONTACT: Brittany Eck, 512-463-5708,

State Of The City address
WHO: League City Regional chamber
of commerce
WHAT: Presentations by mayor Pat Hallisey and city manager John Baumgartner
WHEN: March 10, 11:30am-1:00pm
WHERE: South Shore Harbour Resort, Marina Plaza, 2500 South Shore Boulevard, League City
HOW MUCH: Chamber members $25,
non-members $35
CONTACT: Jane McFaddin, 281-338-7339,

Saint Patrick’s Day parade
WHO: Texas City Little League
WHAT: Opening day for baseball stars of the future
WHEN: March 11 – 9:00am lineup; 10:00am parade starts
WHERE: Lineup, Texas City high school, 1431 9th Avenue North, Texas City
CONTACT: 409-643-5990

February 5
Dorothy Louise Hanlon
Born November 6, 1911

February 9
Christopher Dewayne Smith
Died at age 44

February 14
Claudius Rathel Lee
Born July 13, 1947
Gloria Loup
Born August 29, 1939
Jessie Medina
Died at age 88
Madaline Magarite Renchie
Born December 10, 1922
Floyd Ray Woodford
Born July 13, 1939

February 15
George Garcia
Born October 29, 1947
Neil Smith
Died at age 79

February 16
James Michael Burkhalter
Born September 25, 1949
Angela Marie Young
Born October 16, 1962

February 17
Audrey Mae Mills Bearry
Died at age 77
Alto James Bolton
Born February 23, 1923
Jose Angel Castro
Born November 13, 1943
Lena Bell Miller Hicks
Born July 3, 1929
Mary Hobbs Evans
Born May 12, 1929
Sanderia Lee Gray
Born July 2, 1952
Jacqueline Ruth Meyer
Age not advised
Virginia Pearl Monk
Born September 10, 1925
Brenda Joyce Parson
Died at age 68

February 18
Ruby Baker
Died at age 91
Randall Harold Cole
Born January 11, 1928
Sharon Elaine Deeds
Born September 30, 1953
Angelon Renee Epps
Died at age 58
Rodney Dale Mull
Died at age 59

February 19
Viola Francis Hart
Born January 15, 1929
Mary Lea Sumner
Born March 4, 1943
Doyle Eugene Williams
Born October 14, 1938
Kimberly Reed-Voigt
Born February 13, 1964

February 20
Katherine Wilson Compton
Died at age 73
Dulce Maria Mavil Everts
Died at age 40
Doretha Holmes
Died at age 87
Helen Roberson
Died at age 85
Jo Ann Robinson
Born December 4, 1947
Richard Earl Stephens
Born April 18, 1942
Marvin Edgar Wicher
Age not advised

February 21
Jean Bember
Born September 10, 1925
Lorenza Deal Davis
Born December 27, 1930
Debbie Green
Died at age 59
Gloria Jean Cook Morgan
Born July 7, 1948
Brenda Taylor
Died at age 68
John Warthan
Died at age 66

February 22
Gilbert Salinas Garza
Died at age 92
Frances Jordan Hillman
Born August 25, 1929

In loving memoriam is a free service offered by The Post to the Galveston County community each Sunday and records the known passing of citizens up to the previous Thursday. Mourners wishing to publish additional details of their loved one’s passing are invited to call 409-943-4265 for details.

Living on purpose with William Holland

We are all growing older. Thanks a lot, right? I realize that many will think this is not a very optimistic or positive thought but, nonetheless, it is a reality. I could have gone all day without hearing that; however, as with other topics, this too has a certain amount of accountability attached to it that can make a huge difference between dreading the future and maintaining
a healthy and positive attitude.
Recently, I could not help but notice a picture of Stan Lee on the front cover of a magazine, and was amazed at how great he looks for 94 years old. He is no doubt enjoying the fruits of his labors from creating fictional characters such as The Incredible Hulk, Iron Man, Thor and Spider Man, just to name a few.
Amazingly, he is still creating new figures, creatures and comic books and, of course, providing the inspiration for an endless supply of highly successful super-hero movies.
As I continued reading about Mr Lee, it appears that his highly active imagination gives him the energy and excitement that fuels his relentless work ethic. He does not entertain the retirement mentality because his imagination provides him with a continual supply of enthusiasm and motivation.
I am in and out of nursing homes every week and know several men and women in their nineties who will astound you with their outward appearance as well as their very sharp minds. I always ask about their secret to enjoying a long life and the common reply is that hard work made them tough.
I have also noticed that most of them keep busy and have certain activities to which they look forward. As with Stan Lee, we notice that people who are active, whether physically or mentally, seem to possess a built-in optimistic anticipation that motivates them to keep pushing forward.
Older people who are still mentally strong are keenly aware of current and future events. They keep up with what is happening and have their own opinions, which
is a healthy form of independence and inspiration.
May we keep a tight grip on our faith in God and focus on positive thoughts that can increase our awareness and help keep us young at heart. Frank Lloyd Wright once said: “The longer I live, the more beautiful life becomes”.
I cannot overemphasize how important it is to retain hope and faith in order to retain a positive attitude for the future. If we lose our expectation that good things are coming just around the next corner, we will have nothing joyful to live for and will become vulnerable to falling into a state of negativity and discouragement.
I have heard throughout my life that you are as young as you feel and I can say that some days I still have a pep in my step, for which I am grateful.
One tip that I will pass on to readers who are now being given “senior discounts” is the benefits of walking. My wife and I walk around the neighborhood in the evenings and I am amazed at how good I feel once we get going.
Stretching the legs, relaxing and taking a breath of fresh air can do wonders for the body and mind. Deuteronomy 34:7 tells us: “Moses was 120 years old when he passed away. His eyesight was not impaired and he was still vigorous and robust.”
As we become more mature, another great idea is to stay in contact with family and friends. It’s good to explore new adventures, to write letters, visit acquaintances, attend church and other types of event and make some lasting memories with those we care about.
Maintaining a hobby is another excellent idea that can help keep us mentally, physically and spiritually stimulated.
Raising a small flower or vegetable garden is a wonderful activity that not only gives us some physical exercise; watching something grow can also invigorate us with expectation and a sense of appreciation from day to day.
I like this quote from Betty Friedan: “Aging is not lost youth but a new stage of opportunity and strength”.
Kentucky resident William Holland is an outreach minister, chaplain and author who has his own Christian website,, and sets out each week to find thought-provoking messages of inspiration, hope and encouragement for our readers.

Beautiful gardens by William Johnson

THE WEATHER was ideal for the master gardeners’ spring plant seminar and sale on Saturday. However, our bar for ideal weather for the sale is quite low – no freezing, no heavy fog, no heavy rain and no hail on the day.
Even though there was a heavy rainstorm the day before the sale, several hundred gardeners made the trip to see what they could buy and many of them commented on the quality of the fruit trees on hand, as well as the quantity.
The sale is conducted each year to raise funds for operating the master gardeners’ demonstration garden in Carbide Park in La Marque and to educate area residents on gardening techniques.
This year, home growers were able to select from a wide array of tomato varieties – a total of 39 – as well as different types such as heirlooms, hybrids, determinate, indeterminate and bush types.
If you were not able to attend the sale, you will be afforded a second opportunity to purchase citrus and fruit trees, as well as spring vegetables, at the horticulture demonstration garden in Carbide Park from 9:00-11:30am tomorrow, Thursday.
For information, go online to the master gardeners’ website at or contact the county’s Agrilife Extension Service office by e-mail at or by phone at 281-309-5065.
People attending Saturday’s event had a variety of questions on growing vegetables and citrus and other fruit trees, as well as a variety of non-fruit-tree questions. Below is a sampling of the questions asked.
Along with the sale’s master gardener volunteers, I did enjoy meeting and interacting with the customers at the sale. Here’s to next year’s!

Circling the wagons and other queries

THESE questions were among those asked by enthusiastic gardeners during Saturday’s spring plant sale:
Q: How can I persuade my moth orchids to re-flower?
A: This question was asked when customers were told that the moth – or phalaenopsis – orchids on display had been grown from plants that had been discarded because they had flowered once and had not flowered again.
I think most folks buy moth orchids for their elegant and exotic flowers produced on long, graceful and arching flower spikes that somewhat resemble a flight of pale moths in moonlight – hence their common name.
The master gardeners were able to stimulate the discarded plants, which, at the time, were not flowering but were otherwise healthy, to flower because of the expertise of Clyde Holt, a master gardener who excels at growing orchids of all types.
Extracting the most value from moth orchids — four to eight weeks of bloom and repeat flowering in a few months — is not impossible but does demand a methodical approach.
Clyde’s remedy to stimulating them to repeat their flowering is straightforward. He notes that they should be exposed to bright sunlight but not direct sun exposure. He says the single biggest reason that moth orchids crash or “refuse” to repeat-flower is improper watering – usually under-watering but sometimes over-watering, or a combination of the two.
He waters his moth orchids at home twice a week and fertilizes them at least once a month using a diluted – half-strength – soluble fertilizer and says fertilizing twice a month with a quarter-strength soluble fertilizer would be worthwhile also.
The proof is in the pudding in this regard as the master gardeners practiced Clyde’s recommendations and grew the stunning moth orchids with new flower buds that amazed visitors at the plant sale. Needless to say, the moth orchids quickly sold out.
Q: What kind of planting hole do I need to prepare to plant my peach tree?
A: When a gentleman asked me this question, I thought about Mrs White, my high-school English teacher, as I responded. I asked: “How much did you pay for that peach tree?” – Mrs White thought it to be rather rude for anyone to answer a question with a question, even if it is an indication that one is listening and paying attention.
I explained to the buyer that he should put a $20 tree into a $20 planting hole. A $20 planting hole is not a time-consuming activity. It should be no deeper than the root ball of the tree but at least twice as wide as its diameter.
Save the excavated soil because it needs to be placed back into the planting hole. Do not try to improve it with amendments such as a commercial garden-soil mix or even compost. Roots have a tendency to not “venture out” from the fluffy amended soil and the tree can become root-bound.
This is particularly true for heavy gumbo clay soils. Water tends to pool in a planting hole amended with a garden soil-mix or compost. If its root system becomes waterlogged, the fruit tree will die.
As it is moved back to fill the planting hole, be sure to lightly tamp the soil to settle and firm it as well as to avoid creating large air spaces in the backfill. Don’t use your foot to hard-pack the soil as doing so is likely to result in excessive compaction around the roots.
Q: Will my citrus trees do well if grown in containers?
A: That would be a definite “Yes”. Many types of citrus tree will do well in containers if adequate care is provided and if you have a sufficiently big container. However, do not expect as big a tree as one grown in the ground.
Also, it is most important to purchase citrus trees grafted onto Flying Dragon rootstock as it dwarfs the tree but still produces full-size fruit. Citrus grafted onto Flying Dragon rootstock also has a few extra degrees of cold hardiness.
It is important that a large enough container is used – at least a 15-gallon container should be used for most dwarf-type trees while up to 30-gallon containers should be used for larger specimens. Many gardeners use half-whiskey-barrel planters, which are available at many gardening outlets, to grow citrus plants.
Be aware that fruit and citrus trees grown in containers must be watered often and throughout the year including winter.
Q: What is the difference between “clingstone” and “freestone” peaches?
A: Almost all fresh peaches sold in grocery stores and at roadside fruit markets are freestone. They are generally softer and juicier and, because their pits pull away from the flesh so easily, they can be cut nicely into uniform pieces for tarts or pies.
Clingstone peaches are used mostly for canned fruit and work best in recipes calling for diced or pureed peaches.
One note of importance is that a clingstone peach’s fruit contains more pectin than the fruit of a freestone, so clingstone peaches are the best type to use when making jelly. I find both types of peaches to be flavorful when left to mature on a tree and picked fresh.
Q: Will you sell this wagon?
A: The pros and cons of American capitalism have been debated time and time again. I hear this question at each of our plant sales. Some customers are ready and very willing to pay an unfair cash-on-the-spot price based on the market demand for our wagons after we open the sale yard, but I always respectfully decline the offers as our wagons are already in short supply.
Q: Does the cost of a fruit tree include planting it in my landscape?
A: Several such questions, and variations of them, were asked at this year’s sale.
Two customers were aware that I consider chocolate to be one of the major food groups and pledged that ample chocolate could be provided to seal the bargain. President Donald Trump would probably consider them to be savvy dealmakers.
I have not yet read his book but my answer to the offer was still “no”.
William Johnson is a horticulturist with the Galveston County office of Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service. Visit his website at

Linda Garren-McKillip, left, and Cindy Croft groom plants grown by master gardeners for last Saturday’spring plant sale. The master gardeners are offering a second opportunity for the public to purchase plants at their horticulture demonstration garden in Carbide Park, La Marque, tomorrow. William Johnson