August Newsletter Poetry Corner: To My Guardian Angel

To My Guardian Angel

By Frances Armstrong

When my life was shrouded in darkness you brought me light,

When my mood was black, you brightened it.

For this I have to thank you, my Guardian Angel.

You showed me that no matter what happens, there is still love to be found.

You took my broken spirit and you cared for it,

Showing me that not all was lost.

You made me believe in myself, when all hope was gone.

Thank you for being there and supporting me when I needed it the most.

And most of all, thank you from the bottom of my heart for loving one as dark as me,

And showing me there is still hope.

Guardian Angels were said to be nonexistent,

But that is wrong.

I have proof right now that a guardian Angel exists,

And that is you.

You who always gives me and others a hand when we need it most,

You that always puts others before yourself.

Member Spotlight

February Newsletter Member Spotlight: Frances Gomez Armstrong

53661787_419608328806577_5601485768938749952_nFrances Armstrong was born in Uvalde Texas. She was raised in California, Mexico and Montana for the early part of her life. At the age of 6 years old, her father started working on ranches. Frances grew up with three younger brothers that always ignored her when they played. She was a girl and not allowed to play with the boys. So Frances read anything that she could lay her hands on. After she moved to Buena Vista ranch close to Fort Stockton, TX, she made trips to the library in Imperial to check out all the books that they would allow her. She read and daydreamed of being a writer just like the ones she read about. Frances kept many notebooks with ideas of stories to write. But she never thought she could do it. After her mom passed away, she remembered her mother telling her to write and get published. Frances did write a poem for her mother’s funeral that won a first place prize at Midland College. About two years ago Glenda Bonham invited Frances to one of the meetings at Critique Cafe. She loved it and has been going to the meetings regularly. Frances loves to read everything, but her favorite is Fantasy. She also writes different genres, not sticking to just one. At the moment Frances is working on completing a book she started during National Novel Writer’s Month.


Spotlight Feature Article: Frances Gomez Armstrong ~ Texas Evenings

Sun goes down and lights come on
People flock to the field like moths to flame.
Trumpets blare and flutes twiddle,
Feet stomping through gravel.
All becomes quiet as eight gather in the center,
To toss a coin and see who begins.
The horn is blown and the players assemble ready
to protect the side that they’ve been given.
They take to the field and form a line,
A slap is heard, the games afoot,
The pig skin flies high into the air,
Bodies collide with massive force.
They shake it off
And the scene resets. The players are ready to try again.
People brag as the announcer calls out stats,
“That’s my son” someone call from across the field.
Half time comes and the horn blows to get the attention of those on the field.
People chat in anticipation; time for the Band.
Cheers and whistles are heard as the band marches in step
to the music notes they play.
The drill team shows skill with the flag and button throwers
Catch the baton on a finishing note.
The crowd settles down as the horn announces the second half.
Plays are changed and moves repeated.
The ones behind try to make up time.
The last second ticks and the horn is blown,
Letting everyone know the game is done.
People groan and people cheer,
It was a long tough game, but only one team will win.
People leave the stands and the light slowly fades,
Another Texas evening of bright lights and half time shows comes to an end.

~~Frances’s poem will be featured in the upcoming issue of Best of Critique Café/Texas Edition coming in March 2019.



December Newsletter Writers/Readers Quick Snack: Monster Munch Popcorn


Submitted by Frances Armstrong


  •  1⁄2 cup white or yellow popcorn kernels, divided
  •  1⁄2 tsp salt, divided
  •  11⁄2 cups mini pretzel twists, divided
  •  1⁄2 cup bear-shaped honey or chocolate graham snacks, divided
  •  1⁄2 cup lightly salted, dry roasted peanuts (optional), divided
  •  1/2 cup candy corn, divided
  •  1/2 cup candy coated chocolate pieces
  •  2 oz vanilla-flavored almond bark

Purple concentrated food gel (optional)


You can change up the color of the melted chocolate depending on the season or holiday!


1. Add 1⁄4 cup popcorn kernels into the Microwavable Popcorn Maker. Microwave, covered, on HIGH 2–21⁄2 minutes. Place the popcorn in the Large Serving Bowl, being careful not to add unpopped kernels. Sprinkle with 1⁄4 tsp (1 mL) of the salt.

2. Top popcorn with half of the: pretzels, graham snacks, peanuts, candy corn, and chocolate candy.

3. Place almond bark in 1-cup Silicone Prep Bowl. Microwave, uncovered, on HIGH 1 minute; stir. Continue microwaving 30–60 seconds, stirring after 30 seconds until the bark is melted and smooth. Add food coloring until the desired color is reached.

4.Pour half of the melted bark into the Chocolate Drizzler. Drizzle over the popcorn mixture.

5. Microwave the remaining popcorn kernels. Add popcorn to the bowl and sprinkle with the remaining salt. Top with remaining pretzels, graham snacks, peanuts, candy corn, and chocolate candy. Drizzle with the remaining almond bark.

Let stand 5–10 minutes or refrigerate until set.



October Newsletter: The Wizarding World of Fort Stockton

The Wizarding World of Fort Stockton

by Frances Armstrong


People talk about not having anything to do in Fort Stockton. Well I must say that those that say this don’t really want to do anything. For instance, on September 1, 2018 The Wizarding World of Harry Potter made an appearance at The Garage Coffee, Music and More.

During the Wizarding World visit, many children and adults that felt the power in them were sorted into their appropriate houses. I have to say there were a lot of muggles that also came to visit the Wizards from Hogwarts just to see what their children that were sorted would be getting into. Those that were brave tried out the Bertie Bott’s Jelly beans and chocolate frogs.


Those that were brave enough to try them had a jelly bean tasting contest. Both wizards and muggles partook of this testing. It seems that a muggle won the jelly bean tasting contest, but ran away before anyone could get her name.


Many treasure hunts were conducted and only the brave few came away with the spoils. Magical beasts had to be outwitted and out run. Those that survived it, were handed the spoils of the night.

So if you ever find yourself without anything to do or bored, take a trip to The Garage, Coffee, Music and more and find a new adventure.