Lake Life

& Such

BNI (Business Network International) - Cedar Creek Professionals - meets every Wednesday at 7:30 a.m. at Comfort Suites, located at U.S. Hwy. 175 and TX 198 in Mabank. For more information, call Larry Williams (903) 887-2847 or
Boy Scout Troop #398 meets at the Cedar Creek Bible Church from 7-8:30 p.m. each Tuesday. For more information, call (903) 498-5725 or (903) 498-3830.
Cedar Creek Art Society meets from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. the last Thursday of each month at the Mabank Volunteer Fire Department. A $3 donation per artist is asked.
Cedar Creek Domino Club meets each week on Wednesday at the Mabank Volunteer Fire Department. For more info, call (903) 887-6549.
Cedar Creek NAR-ANON meets at 8 p.m. on Thursday at 715 S. Hwy. 274, Ste. D in Seven Points. (903) 432-2405.
Cedar Creek Narcotics Anonymous meets at 8 p.m., Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday, at 715 S. Hwy. 274, Ste. D in Seven Points. (903) 432-2405.
Cedar Creek 49ers Club meets every Thursday for fellowship and dancing. Doors open at 6 p.m. The club is located off Arnold Hill Road in Seven Points. Call for more information, (903) 432-3552.
Cedar Creek Lake Kiwanis Club meets at noon each Wednesday at The Jalapeno Tree in Gun Barrel City, except the second week of the month, when the club meets Thursday in conjunction with the area chamber of commerce luncheon.
Cedar Creek Optimist Club meets every Tuesday at noon at the Dairy Queen in Seven Points. For more info, call Danny Hampel at (903) 778-4508.
Cedar Creek Republican Club meets every fourth Thursday. For more information call (903) 887-4867.
Cedar Creek Rotary Club meets at noon each Friday at Vetoni’s Italian Restaurant. For more information, call Dee Ann Owens at (903) 340-2415.
Celebrate Recovery meets each Friday at Rope, Catch & Ride Church in Mabank, located at 570 VZ CR 2807. For more info, call (903) 603-8051.
Cub Scout Pack #333 meets at the First United Methodist Church of Mabank the second and fourth Monday at 7 p.m. For info, call Mary Harris at (903) 451-5280 or Tonya Capley at (903) 498-4725.
Disabled American Veterans Chapter 101 meets the second Monday of each month at the Senior Citizens Center on Hwy. 31 in Athens.
Girl Scout Troop #112 meets at the First United Methodist Church in Mabank on Fridays at 6:30 p.m. For more info, call GeriLeigh Stotts at (469) 323-7943, email,   or (800) 422-2260 or visit
Girl Scout Troop 2667 meets every Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. at the Aley United Methodist Church. For more info, call Suzann Smith at (903) 887-3889.
GriefShare Recovery support group meets at 7 p.m. each Tuesday at Cedar Creek Church of God, located at 142 Rodney Dr., Gun Barrel City. Call (903) 887-0293 for more information.
Gun Barrel Quilter’s Guild meets from 10 a.m. on the second Wednesday of each month at the Tri-County Library in Mabank. For more information, please call (903) 451-4221.
Kaufman County Republican Women’s Club meets the third Saturday of each month at the Farm Bureau Insurance Company, located at 2477 N. Hwy. 34 in Kaufman. For more info, call (972) 287-1239 or (903) 880-6770.
Kemp Kiwanis Club meets at noon each Thursday at La Fuente Mexican Restaurant in Kemp. For more info, call Dr. Jim Collinsworth at (903) 887-7486.
Lake Area Council of the Blind meets at 6 p.m. on the second Saturday of the month at West Athens Baptist Church.
Lake Area Democrats Club meets at 6:30 p.m. on the third Tuesday of the month at the Library at Cedar Creek Lake in Seven Points. Email   for more information.
Mabank Al-Anon Family Group meets at 6 p.m. on Tuesdays at Mabank First Baptist Church Fellowship Hall. Families of alcoholics are welcome. Call (903) 887-2781 for info.
Mabank/Cedar Creek Area Lions Club meets at 6:30 p.m. on the fourth Tuesday of each month at the Tri-County Library in Mabank. Call (903) 887-5252 for info.
Mabank Garden Club meets at 2:45 p.m. at the Tri-County Library on the third Tuesday of every month (different times in May and December).
Oak Harbor/Tanglewood Crime Watch meets at 7 p.m. on the second Tuesday of the month at the R.T. Beamguard Community Center in Oak Harbor.
Rainbow Girls, Masonic Youth organization meets on the second and fourth Saturdays at 10 a.m. at the Cedar Creek Masonic Lodge. For more information contact Donna Dean at
Roddy Masonic Lodge meets at 6:30 p.m. the second Monday each month. Call (903) 887-6201 for info.
RootSeekers meet at 7 p.m. on the third Monday of the month in the Tri-County Library in downtown Mabank.
Southeast Kaufman County Senior Citizens Center Board of Directors meets at 1 p.m. on the fourth Thursday of each month at the center, located at 300 N. Dallas Street in Kemp. For info, call (903) 498-2140.
Tamarack Ladies Club meets at 11 a.m. the first Wednesday of each month at the TLC Hall.
TOPS (Take Off Pounds Sensibly) meets at 9 a.m. each Wednesday at the First United Methodist Church of Athens. Call (903) 489-0563 or (903) 675-2600.
Trinity Valley Community College Band meets at 7 p.m. every Tuesday in the TVCC band hall. Group is open to any community member who plays an instrument. Call (903) 675-6222 for info.
Trinity Valley Singles Support Group meets at 7 p.m. each Monday at Athens First United Methodist Church Fellowship Hall on Lovers Lane. This is a support group for singles of all ages. For more info, call Jean Love at (903) 451-4697 or Donna Stinson (903) 675-7270.


Discovering the yarn and fiber arts
Girl Scouts get close encounters with alpacas
By Pearl Cantrell
Monitor Staff Writer

KEMP–A little-known treasure right in our own backyard is the Trinity Ridge Alpaca Ranch on Farm-to-Market Road 85 going toward the Trinity River, but if you cross the bridge you’ve missed it. (It’s easy to get distracted by the wild deer on the side of the road.) It’s on the right.
The gracious owners, Janet and Steve Hancock, invited two local Girl Scout troops to spend the day with them and their 27 alpacas Oct. 30.
The ranch holds open farm days for the public to visit on the fourth Saturday of every month, except November and December, due to the busy holiday season.
The scouts, ages 7 to 16, learned a great deal about the animals, which are suitable as pets and for the many uses of their luxurious wool.
The Hancocks shear their herd every April, and send a good deal of fiber off to be processed into roving and yarn. Roving is fiber ready for spinning into yarn, Ms. Janet explained.
She said the alpaca has the most colors of any animal on the planet, 22 different hues, shades and varieties of colors. They also have different quality of coats, from super fine to thickest fiber.
Besides getting to plunge their hands into the animal’s rich coat, which was about two inches thick but gets to be four inches at shearing time, they witnessed a simple way of spinning the fiber into yarn, using a drop spindle. This form of spinning is used today in Eastern Europe and in South America.
Ms. Janet also showed them several spinning wheels, which brought to mind the story of Sleeping Beauty, who pricked her finger on a spindle of a spinning wheel, as foretold, and fell into an 100-year death-defying sleep.
With the help of Ms. Janet’s friends Cynthia Beck and Kim Burroughs, the girls enjoyed working with some of the young male alpaca on halter and lead. Each girl got to walk a gorgeous alpaca. The thrill of being so close to such a beautiful animal caused lots of smiles and giggles of joy.
When the 11 scouts first arrived to the ranch, Ms. Janet got them going on a dyeing project. Each girl had brought a glass jar. By mixing an unsweetened Kool-Aid packet with warm water and a little vinegar, the girls were able to sun-dye two ounces of natural fiber yarn (wool and cotton, not acrylics).
The jars with the yarn and the dye were placed in the sun, and by 3 p.m. the process was complete, leaving the water clear and the yarn dyed.
The yarn was gently rinsed and hung to drip dry.
The girls also got a tour of their hostess’ shop, where she teaches several yarn arts, such as weaving, knitting, felting and crocheting.
All the scouts could tell Ms. Janet really enjoyed her hobby turned business.
Formerly residents of Rockwall, the Hancocks, having finished rearing their children, began to look for a suitable place to retire and a second career close to home.
When Mr. Hancock was introduced to alpacas, he knew it would be a fit for both of them.
Ms. Janet continues as a labor and delivery nurse in Dallas, but looks forward to the day she can retire to her new business full-time. Mr. Hancock also operates a second business.
You’d think the highlight for the scouts would be their time with the alpacas, but no. The girls were fascinated when introduced to tube knitting.
Ms. Janet had made each girl a simple tool for the job by cutting swimming noodles into three-inch lengths and sticking through the top four cut wooden dowels to hold the yarn as it was woven round and round, and stitches picked up with a simple wooden skewer.
The girls marveled as their tube of knitting began to grow. They were hooked. They also got to try their hand at weaving potholders.
The day ended all too soon for the scouts, who vowed to come back and help Ms. Janet with the animals and perhaps see a cria (baby alpaca) being born.
Learn more about the Hancocks and their farm business at

Copyright 2010, MediaOne, L.L.C.