Wednesday, March 27, 2013

SCAC Does the Bake Sale


I helped with the Student Community Action Club bake sale last Saturday. The club, usually referred to as SCAC, has, for too many years to count, but I believe it would be 30, hold this bake sale as their fund raiser for the year, the proceeds from which they donate to the Muleshoe Heritage Foundation. (See “Muleshoe Heritage Center,” January 31, 2012, for the history of this student organization.) The bake sale is quite a to-do, broadcast on Channel 6, and now also on and its Facebook link.  SCAC members host the event, run it as a call-in auction,  announcing and displaying each item as it goes up for sale while other members man the telephones taking bids as they are called in. After the bidding is closed on items, other members deliver the items and collect the bid.

Gina and Chris Mardis, Sarah Whitworth, Colton Clarkson, and Gilrobert Rennels work the bake sale.

Priya Patel, Stepanie Infante, and Evelyn Contreras man the phones and take the bids during their shift at the sale.

I enjoyed watching the kids work the sale. I  missed Garrison Myers handling the first shift  in front of the camera, as I was helping Gina Mardis catalog the dishes as the kids brought them in. Bailey Bales and Ryan Johnson took the second shift, and it was fun to listen as they kept up a patter worthy of sportscasters calling a football game making sure there was no dead air. Sarah Whitworth and Colton Clarkson took the last shift, and Sarah got especially wound up giving sponsor Chris Mardis a hard time. Mr. Mardis has been the sponsor for the last 15 years, taking over for original sponsor Jean Allison when she retired from the club.

IMG_1139 Bailey Bales and Ryan Johnson during their turn as announcers for the sale. I didn’t catch them with smiles, but they did have a good time selling the items.

Sarah Whitworth and Colton Clarkson had fun with their turn at the microphone as well.

The club, limited to juniors and seniors,  has 23 members and meets once a  month in homes of some of the members. They share a meal, have a program, select a citizen of the month, and in at the appropriate times discuss their various projects for the year, including the bake sale, rest stops during the Tour de Muleshoe bike ride, decorating the buildings in the Heritage Center and helping during its Christmas open house, and other opportunities that may come up .Officers are: Garrison Myers,  president; Priya Patel, vice-president; Veronica Morales, treasurer; Ryan Johnson, secretary; Cristian Zaragoza, parliamentarian; Chris Cage, reporter; and Sarah Whitworth, historian. Other members on hand to work the sale were Marion Gutierrez, Adrienne Precure, Diana Salcido, and Eli Leal.  Other members who brought baked goods were  Kalie Lovell, Dalia Melendez, Daniela Mendoza, Don Ann Rempe, McKenna Dunham, and  Mandy Scolley.

Quite a variety of dishes were brought in: cupcakes, cakes, cobblers, cookies, salsa, lasagna, chicken spaghetti, cinnamon rolls, all kinds of good things to eat. Bids ranged from $5 to $60. Friendly bidding wars even broke out on a few items, sometimes because the dish was especially appealing or the reputation of the cook widely known, and sometimes just as friendly rivalry between people, since the names of the bidders are also announced. The announcers had fun with that, challenging the callers to up the bid against each other.

IMG_1142Colten Harris, Caleb Wood, and Chris Cage were the main crew who delivered the goods to the people who won the bid.

Logistics of the sale have changed over the years.Originally the sale was broadcast out of the Channel 6 studio, located in the home of Jack and Magann Rennels. Channel 6 at that time was a staple in most homes in Muleshoe via cable. These days many people have turned to Dish or Direct TV which do not carry Channel 6, so Gil Lamb Advertising and Facebook have taken up the slack. This year the sale was broadcast from the Muleshoe High School library. Mr.  Mardis said that so far the bake sale has brought in $1,200, which will make a tidy sum for their donation to the Heritage Foundation.

The bake sale is usually held about this time every March , so next year if you would like to help the Heritage Foundation and the kids, tune in to Channel 6,, or their link on Facebook, and buy yourself something good to eat.

It will be a win-win situation.

A special thanks to Chris Mardis for his help in writing this article and for all the work and time he has devoted to SCAC over the years.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

A Comment About Leaving Comments

For some reason, the powers that be at Blogger, the program/system/website, whatever it is technically labeled,  that I use for this blog, saw fit to either change or delete the gadget for leaving comments after the posts. Or perhaps it is just a glitch in my computer or something. All I know is that four different tech support people tried to fix it, or at least put it back like it was originally, and couldn’t.

What I have discovered is that you can indeed leave a comment, but it doesn’t show up with the blog like it used to. At least a few people have been able to leave comments. Now you actually have to connect to the comments.  Here’s how it works now- or may work if you hold your mouth just right or something:

At the end of the blog you will see a line that says No Comment or if some have been written, will say 6 Comments, or however many have been left. Click on that line and a screen will come up for leaving comments. Write your comment and then click on the identity you wish to use, and there are several to choose from, including one that will send comments to my email. If you use Anonymous, you could simply add your name at the end of the comment you type in the box.  Make sure to check  after you click on Publish Your Comment that there is not another step to follow, like sign in to your Google account or something like that.

And none of this may work at all! After re-reading what I just wrote, I must admit it doesn’t make much sense and clearly shows that I am not as computer-literate as I need to be! I just know I am getting frustrated with the blog and spam and the computer world in general. No doubt that is why I was an English teacher and not a math teacher. And those of you who are of the computer generation are just shaking your heads and lamenting the grousing of yet another old person who just doesn’t get it.

But I digress. I hope that those of you still reading, and thank you for sticking with me, will try a comment now and then if you are so inclined. And I will try to learn more about all this technical stuff that is driving me crazy.


And just so you know, Poopie Cat, who is always on hand when I work on the computer,  was not one of the four tech support people who tried to fix the problem. Indeed, the computer doesn’t seem to drive her crazy at all…

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Sisyphus and My Walk Path


When I work on my walk path, I am reminded of Sisyphus from Greek mythology, the king of Corinth who was punished for his deceitful ways by being sentenced to the eternal task of rolling a giant boulder up a hillside in Hell, only to watch helplessly as it tumbled back down to the bottom, where he would have to begin the whole process again. Upkeep on the walk path has become a Sisyphean task like that. Weeds have to be controlled, and as the wood chips decompose, they have to be replaced,after which the whole process starts over again. But then, the everyday walk on the path could be looked upon the same way, couldn’t it, walking being upkeep for the body. Both of which become an analogy for life, I guess. Much of the business of living has to be repeated on a daily basis. And we don’t complain about repeating another day of life, do we now?

You are perhaps wondering what walk path? That would be the little project I began years ago as a place for me to walk after I gave up running. For years I ran down the dirt road behind the house, two miles down and two miles back, doubling and tripling that distance when I trained for the two Houston marathons I ran in 1987 and 1995. And I sometimes ran around the pasture. Then sciatica problems developed, and I had to fall back on walking. Boring as all get-out, but less painful. By this time the path in the pasture was a bit uneven thanks to soil and wind erosion, and it was not pleasant or safe to walk on the path, much less run.

So it was obvious that unless I wanted to sprain or break an ankle I needed to do something to create a a level walking surface, and for some reason I hit upon the idea to use wood chips to make a flat path. Before this we had hauled loads of wood chips, which were free for the taking, dumped by the Asplundh tree-trimming company out on the Morton highway and used them for mulch in the flower and cactus beds; now I could use them to pave the path. Then one day we were able to catch the truck in town and asked them if they would empty their truck in our pasture. Since they needed a place and our pasture was handier than the place out of town, they were glad to do so. This was a much more efficient way to get the mulch, and the project now started in earnest.

IMG_7785I am pretty sure  that this all started sometime in 1997 and continues to be a work in progress. Over the years three different crews have unloaded in the pasture three different times. I think we hauled the mulch ourselves around 1998. They brought the first batches in 2000, then  in 2005, and the last load came in 2011. And when I say batch, I am talking abut a truckload every other day or so for the duration of the contracted job in Muleshoe, which would take several weeks. Boatloads of the stuff.  I am halfway through using that third batch right now.


The process went something like this: I marked off the path to be 7 feet wide, laid out overlapping  wet newspaper sections as a base to inhibit grass and weeds, and then dumped wheelbarrow loads of mulch over the newspaper and spread and leveled it with a rake, dragging and leveling it with a chopping motion with the rake till it looked like I wanted it to. That process was pretty time-consuming and labor-intensive, but it took that to make a good base foundation for the path. Then as the wood chips decompose, which they inevitably do, I would go back and repave with more mulch, just resurfacing he original path. And that is where Sisyphus lurks in the shadows as the mascot of the project.

 IMG_9418IMG_9419IMG_7787To keep the path usable, the Sisyphean upkeep must continue. But over the years I have improved the process. First I moved mulch one wheelbarrow load at a time. Then Bill bought me a little 3x4 foot utility trailer that I loaded and pulled with the riding lawn mower and later with the golf cart. Then he used the tractor to load a bigger single-axle flat trailer and pulled that to the path to be unloaded. Then we just scooped up the mulch in the tractor front-end loader and dumped it directly on the path for me to spread.

IMG_7790But the fact remains that it is a never-ending process, which is not necessarily a bad thing. Repaving the path is good exercise just like walking the path. And both activities get me outdoors, quiet time to myself, and time with the cats and dogs, as one of more of them is always there to keep me company.


So when life gets to feeling as heavy as Sisyphus’ rock, I retreat to my paving or walking, and things don’t seem so bad.