Monday, February 28, 2011

Teddy made 75 cents...


"Teddy made 75 cents for raking Mrs. Nelson's yard. He walked home on Main Street, cutting through Mrs. Johnson's backyard. He remembered he owed Tommy Johnson 15 cents for the candy bar the other day. When Teddy got home, his Mom told him to clean his room or he wouldn't get his allowance of 50 cents that week. How much will Teddy have left after he pays Tommy back?"

Remember those math problems? Always seemed impossible to figure out when I was in Mrs. Diffenderfer's fourth grade class. Looking back, and comparing with what our grandsons study, it was easy peasy. By the time they were in fourth grade they were learning some algebra applications. It's a good thing, preparing them early for what life has to dish out. Lots of situations where math will be the most important thing they ever learned at school. No matter whether they work in an office, or a clinic, or a factory...they will use the skills learned to manage their finances. One thing for sure, if you don't have money put back, you are in trouble. That "rainy day" comes around more often than we expect. One of the hardest things about growing up is the fact that no matter how hard you save, it's never enough!

They keep raising the bar on middle class, have you noticed that? If you made $40,000 a year when I was a kid, that was a very good living. The same amount now and you barely squeak by. Investing what we have been able to save is every bit as important as putting the money aside each payday. We leave that decision to someone who does this for a living. In a few short years, we are going to embark on retirement. That scary road that has doctor bills and unforeseen potholes that will drain our savings. I'm already worried but we do have a map that we've been carrying with us a long time now. It shows some of the roads that didn't turn out so well and we've marked them and won't go down that way again. We'll try to stay on the "straight and narrow," following the paths that have worked for us. I just hope there are no tests along the way with Teddy in them!

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Tell me a Story...


Well, if that don't beat a hen a-pecking...

Just a hoot and a holler down the hill...

The squeaky wheel gets the grease...

If you grew up in the Ozarks you speak this language. You learn it from your parents and your grandparents, it makes sense to you because it's used often. Ozark dialect came with Appalachian settlers, carried to Missouri from the Tennessee and Kentucky hills. These were my people, emigrants from England who first settled in Boston.

My Dad was extremely proud of his family, his heritage mentioned often. His family were hunters who ate what they killed. The deer, squirrels and rabbits taken were used to nourish their bodies during the hard years of the 20's and 30's. He talked about picking persimmons, wild grapes and greens, growing potatoes and even grinding the corn they grew into cornmeal. It was a hard life for his parents, both teachers in the small Peel Arkansas community, they grew tobacco as a cash crop. As lean as times were, he described his life to my brother and me as rich. They had everything they needed and the beauty of the Arkansas hills made for a happy childhood.

Daddy used to tell me stories of his childhood at bedtime. I'd beg him, "Tell me the one about the bull!" He'd laugh and say that I'd heard that one a million times, didn't I want to hear something else? No, no... I wanted to hear about the bull trapping him in a tree after he and Uncle Walton took the shortcut across a neighbors' field. His brother ran like the wind with the bull at his heels. Daddy was younger and his short legs just couldn't keep up, he ended up in the middle of the field with the bull looking straight at him. He was barely 10 but his decision to high tail it up the closest tree was a good one! The scrubby little apple tree offered little protection from that bull, really mad since his domain has been entered. Daddy skinnyed to the top of the tree and the bull repeatedly snorted and butted the tree. I could imagine this all, just how scared I would have been!

The story did have a happy ending, the bull eventually calmed down and walked away... happily munching on grass giving Daddy time to climb down and make his way to the other side of the fence. I'd lay there listening to every word and then think about it a long time after the lights were out. It made a big impression on my little girl brain. About how brave my Dad was and how if I was ever in the middle of a field with a mean bull to look around for a tree to climb. More importantly, I felt safe in  my bed cause I knew my Dad would protect me from the bad things in life. He did, and today on what would have been his 90th birthday I'm remembering him for all the good things that he meant to me and to so many people. Leaving those memories with us makes this a day to celebrate!

“Know from whence you came. If you know whence you came, there are absolutely no limitations to where you can go.” James Arthur Baldwin (American Essayist, Playwright and Novelist, 1924-1987)

Friday, February 25, 2011

Buffalo River Honey Company



I love to blog about Arkansas and it's beauty~we are so lucky to enjoy thousands of acres of wilderness that remain virtually untouched by man. The beautiful Buffalo River Area in Arkansas' Boston Mountains is home to a company that prides itself in producing a wild honey completely free of chemical pesticides. The wilderness and the bees join to make the floral scents and tastes of honey unlike any you've ever tasted. I first had Buffalo River Honey when Mom and I stopped at the Neighbor's Mill Bakery and Cafe in Harrison, Arkansas. It was served with our meal to be drizzled over their homemade Artisan bread. I have to tell you that my Dad had bee hives and we are spoiled for "the best"....  that would be this honey!


Eddie and Carla Watkins and their twin girls operate only 100 hives at their Newton County aviary, each season bringing a harvest of honey that varies in taste and fragrance. If you can't visit Buffalo River Honey Company, just click on the link below and you can order directly from this artisan company dedicated to the century old art of beekeeping.


*If you've wondered how beekeepers gather the honey, Rural Arkansas did an informative article on the Watkins'  this month. They share how everything that's used in the process is re-purposed into other products, like beeswax candles, perfume and lip balms. Read the article at...

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Elvis is in the building...



Jamestown residents couldn't believe their eyes yesterday,


...they actually were spellbound,


speechless...


Because Elvis was in the building!
 

He serenaded the ladies...


He made their hearts go pitter~patter...


Time stood still... nurses stopped nursing, cooks stopped cooking!


They were carried back in time, back to 1950 when they used to hear Elvis on the radio. Favorite songs like Blue Suede Shoes and Jailhouse Rock.



Who would have ever dreamed he'd be here now so close, singing I Can't Help Falling in Love With You?



He kissed every hand...


He sang to each lady's heart...


He made them feel like kids again!


Memories brought back...


... just enjoying the day.


Some of us almost swooned...


Some danced again...


Love was definately in the air!


These 3 gentlemen are in for a fun afternoon with a gaggle of gals who have hearts in their eyes!



Elvis gave his all, he wowed us!



We can thank this sweet little lady for having friends in high places...



It may have been a cold day in Arkansas... but Jamestown was on fire with a Hunka, Hunka Burning Love!


Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Does your vacuum suck?

I heard a very interesting show on XM the other day when I was running errands. It was about vacuum cleaners and their ratings according to Consumer Reports magazine. You don't think vacuums are THAT interesting??? What's wrong with you... knowing how to pick the best vacuum rates right up there with choosing a family doctor! If you had Ben living at your house your ears would have perked up too, it's a constant battle to stay ahead of the furry mess he leaves everywhere! It was open lines and people spilled their guts telling how many vacuums they owned and what their favorite brands were. I am embarrassed to say we own 7 vacuums and I use each and everyone of them on a regular basis. One thing about living in a multi-floor house you NEED vacuums on each floor. I can remember when we were building I scoffed at the price of a central vac, it was over $1,000 and that was "too rich for my blood" as Mom always said! Well...if I add up how much I've spent on vacuums for each floor, and the trouble of plugging in cords and dragging hoses I have to say I made a big mistake not just sucking it up (get it?) and shelling out the big bucks. They mentioned Hoover Anniversary Wind Tunnel upright was one that rated very high in their tests. The first vacuum we ever bought was a Hoover and it lasted 19 years!  I now have the Wind Tunnel P.AW.S. model that I use on the upstairs carpet and the Hoover Nano Cyclonic bagless for the first floor, perfect for our hardwoods and wool rugs. Mostly it's dog hair, dog hair and more dog hair. It's gotta suck good or I'm in trouble!They also said the Eureka's Airspeed AS100A performed well in tests because of wide tubes that increase the amount of airflow for better suction.  I have 3 Eureka Vacuums, a Eureka Maxima that I use downstairs in the family room and 2 Eureka Boss Super Lites that I use for the stairs (it's perfect for the 12" wide tread) and one we keep at the boat dock for vacuuming the pontoon boat. Two of our best vacuums live in the garage, the Craftsman wet/dry vac has saved our lives several times when rooms got flooded or the job was just too big for the other vacuums. My favorite vac, I know we shouldn't have favorite children or favorite vacuums but I can't help it when we are talking about suction...  is my handheld 15.6v Black and Decker Dust Buster. He's my buddy, he's my best friend. He's been with me for several years now and I love him, I'm not ashamed to say that...he's been very good to me! He never complains about having to work overtime on dog hair or spilled coffeegrounds. The other vacuums would rebel if  I made them work as hard as him. So you can see I'm a little dedicated to the brands I like best! Raise your hand if you are having  a similar love affair going with your vac right now...

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Artisan Bread, despite myself


Jayme Goffin did a tutorial last week and shared her deeelicious artisan bread recipe. If you go to her blog Tales from the Coop Keeper it's one of the header pictures, the one that looks like it was baked at a fine Parisian bakery. Jayme listed the 4 ingredients and made the recipe step by step. I knew I could do it.


The night before at bedtime I stirred up the ingredients, then yesterday bright and early I logged onto the blog so she could "talk me through it."



That's when I realized I didn't have 3 very important elements for baking the most beautiful artisan bread I've ever seen. I didn't have parchment paper. I have looked at it before at the grocery store but when I saw the price $3.16, I jumped back and ran away fast. I was already knee deep in sticky dough so I had to figure something out, aluminum foil seemed the best substitute.


Next Jayme used a fancy knife that cost $130 to crisscross the bread but I all I had was one of Ron Popeil's Showtime bread knives so I just had to make do.



It's looking good despite the fact that I'm woefully unprepared for bread making. The smell in the kitchen would have brought a grown man to his knees. I wish I'd had one here this morning, I'd have sent him to town for parchment paper.


Jayme keeps saying, "Don't be afraid, it will turn out perfect no matter what you do!" She throws it in the cast iron pot to bake, a bead of sweat is now on the tip of my nose since I realize I don't even have the right pot to bake in. How is this ever going to be remotely like hers?


I plop mine in the heated pot, cover and slip into the hot oven lowering the temperature and whispering a prayer. Thirty short minutes the timer dings and I take off the lid and peer down into the stainless pot that should have been a cast iron Lodge dutch oven.

Fifteen more minutes and it's ready to make it's arrival into the world. It did peel off the foil ok, but it's not perfect like Jayme's bread. It has lumps and bumps and the crisscross is woefully nondescript due to the fact that it was just a cheap Ron Popeil bread knife. I put an ample serving of butter out, hoping to hide the fact that my loaf was a little misshapen and a little too pale. About that time Hubby walked in from work. The first words out of his mouth were, "How did the bread turn out?" He had watched the night before as I stirred it up. He'd evidently been thinking about it all day long.


I had already eaten the end piece and it was better than good, it was delicious. The texture was soft and heavenly, just like a cloud. He grabbed the second slice, buttered it and carried it away with him to the bedroom while he changed. At dinner we had two more slices, warm and buttered it was the main attraction of the meal. We have half a loaf left, two people did quite a bit of damage to this loaf of bread that didn't look perfect, but was.

For complete instructions for this easy to make bread that will improve your marriage, cure cancer and impart world peace...click HERE! 

Monday, February 21, 2011

Best BSCB


I'm guessing I've made chicken over 4,000 times in 42 years of marriage... and that's if I made it two times a week. Fried chicken, baked chicken, broiled chicken, boiled chicken, chicken casseroles, chicken and dumplings, chicken and noodles, chicken and dressing, chicken noodle soup, chicken salad, chicken pot pie...you get the idea!

So when I came across this recipe at The Kitchn for boneless skinless chicken breasts (BSCB) that are juicy and succulent, not dry and tasteless--- it got my attention. Boneless skinless is possibly the healthiest, easiest way to get dinner on the table known to mankind. No matter how tired you are or how bad the day has been you can have a homecooked meal in less than 20 minutes--- tops. This method cuts that time in half! When I read the instructions I was skeptical, but after trying it I have to tell you it works perfectly every time. You can do several breasts in the pan, that way you will have leftovers for salads or soups or casseroles or pot pies... I love to have something in the fridge to make dinners easy to put together!

How to cook moist and tender chicken breasts: 
1 to 4 Tyson boneless skinless chicken breasts
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup flour
1 teaspoon freshly chopped herbs (optional)
Olive oil
1/2 tablespoon butter
1. Pound the chicken breasts to an even thickness, I use a pie plate edge.
2. Lightly salt and pepper the chicken breasts.
3. Mix about a half teaspoon of salt in with the flour along with a little pepper. Chop the herbs finely, if using, and mix in as well.
4. Dredge the chicken breasts in flour mixture lightly.
5. Heat the sauté pan over medium-high heat. When hot, add the olive oil and butter. Let them melt, and swirl the pan.
6. Turn the heat to medium, add the chicken breasts and cook for just about 1 minute to get a little golden on one side (don't brown them), flip each chicken breast over.
7. Turn the heat to low. Put the lid on the pan. Set a timer for 10 minutes, and walk away. Do not lift the lid; do not peek.
8. After 10 minutes, turn off the heat. Reset the timer for 10 minutes and leave the chicken breasts in the pan. Do not lift the lid; do not peek!
9. After the 10 minutes are up, take the lid off, and tada! Soft, tender, juicy chicken breasts that aren't dried out in the least. Double check them to make sure there is no pink in the middle. Slice and serve.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Bff's

Bff's Donetta, Stephanie and Alisha and little sister Amy (1987)

When old friends get together, the years melt away just like time has stood still! Yesterday our daughter and her bff's got together for lunch. They each went different directions after high school and over 20 years has passed. How can that be?  It seems like only yesterday they were running around, going to the Hi Di Ho and spending Friday nights together. "Mom....can Alisha spend the night?" Mom, can I go to the movies with Donetta? "Mom, can I go to the game with Alisha, Donetta and Michelle?

Stephanie said they took up where they left off, kidding each other and all talking at once! I feel sorry for the other diners at MarketPlace Grill, they probably got and earfull! Lots of things to catch up on... they talked about their kids, some are teenagers now and even a new baby on the way. They ate lunch, laughed and shared just like when they were at Elmwood Junior High, long before they knew what life had in store for them. Marriages and failed marriages, worry and heartbreak, sleepless nights and days they thought would never end when they were raising little ones. But they made it through and life is good, for all of them. They are blessed beyond measure and best of all, they still have each other.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

The bad news is time flies. The good news is you're the pilot~ Michael Althsule

Blink, it's Christmas. Blink, it's Spring. Blink again and we are back to Christmas! At least that's what it feels like that to me. Most people say that comes with age, it seems that time just flies by. My mother in law says she looks in the mirror and wonders who the 86 year old woman is looking back at her. The good news she doesn't feel her age. She swings her legs out of bed every morning with a plan. She works with purpose cleaning the house, making the beds, getting the wash done and put away. Then there's lunch to fix, always a dessert planned and finally onto her passion, her quilting. She attacks her day, almost like when she worked and had to budget her time. I encourage her to leave her robe on after breakfast and read the paper, but that's not her style. She's still" flying her plane" and she doesn't need any help from me!

Friday, February 18, 2011

Big ol' World


Since I started blogging 2 years ago, I've learned some very interesting things. I've learned that in one click of the mouse, you can lose an entire year of pictures...the Picasa Boo Boo. I've learned that even if I don't have a single comment, I got something from just writing my post. Finally, I've learned just how small this big old World is. I've met some amazing people in the last two years and I've Googled lots of information that has improved my life. Last May when I posted the following poem, I had no idea who the author was... but it spoke loud and clear to me. The person who penned it knew a little something about tough times and doing without. Yesterday's email from the great granddaughter of Adeline J. Haws, the author of this wonderful poem was so exciting! Adeline's words, written in 1929, couldn't be more current. The message is still important for us to hear. Read and soak up these words of wisdom...then go visit Rebecca's wonderful blog A Decision to Dance where she shares more of her Great-Grandmother's poetry! Her first post is the amazing story of how her Great Grandmother made it to America and the losses she faced along the way that made her so very strong.

The Old Black Hen
(This poem was written in 1929 at the start of the depression)

The little red rooster scratched his head, "Gosh, but things are tough!
Worms are getting scarcer and I cannot find enough.
What's become of all those fat ones is a mystery to me---
There were thousands through the rainy spell, but now where can they be?"

The old black hen who heard him, didn't grumble or complain.
She had gone through lots of dry spells; she had lived thru floods of rain;
So she flew up on the grindstone, and she gave her claws a whet
As she said, "I've never seen the time there were no worms to get."

She picked a new and undug spot; the earth was hard and firm.
The little rooster jeered, "New ground!  That's no place for a worm."
The old black hen just spread her feet; she dug both fast and free.
"I must go to the worms,"  She said, "the worms won't come to me."

The rooster vainly spent his day,thru habit, by the ways
Where fat round worms had passed in squads, back in the rainy days.
When night-fall found him supperless, he growled in accents rough,
"I'm hungry as a fowl can be.  Conditions sure are tough."

He turned then to the old black hen and said, "It's worse with you,
For you're not only hungry, but you must be tired too.
I rested while I watched for worms, so I feel fairly pert;
But how are you--without worms too,--and after all that work?"

The old black hen hopped to her perch and closed her eyes in sleep,
And murmured in a drowsy tone, "Young man hear this and weep;
I'm full of worms and happy, for I've dined both long and well.
The worms are there, as always,-but I had to dig like hell."
~Adeline J. Haws

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Belly Ache

No warning, zap my desktop is sick, down with a virus. She's not been anywhere to catch a bug so I'm not sure how it happened. She gets lots of exercise so that's not it. I feed her daily does of blogspot tonic and she always wears her Norton Security Suite coat when she goes outside. Nonetheless, she's sick, but I know just who to call. This happened once before with her brother the laptop, I'll just ringy-dingy the doctor...

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Beautiful Morning

Wash on Monday, Iron on Tuesday.... I remember Mom standing on the service porch in our house on Summit ironing away, a big basket of starched clothes that had been "sprinkled." Mom's big wash was put out on the lines right after  the breakfast dishes were done, carried in at the end of the day Monday and the starched shirts, pants, pillowcases, handkerchiefs and doilies were sprinkled down with the green coke bottle just for this purpose. The following morning Mom set up the wood ironing board on the enclosed back porch, turned on the little brown Emerson radio and tuned it to KWTO's morning show. Bill Ring's distinctive voice would boom across the airwaves with songs to pick up your spirits. The jingle that introduced the show is stuck in my brain today, my earliest musical memory!
Oh, what a beautiful mornin', Oh, what a beautiful day. I got a beautiful feelin' Ev'rything's goin' my way! Music stays with you,  it adds a layer of goodness to memories that we hold most dear!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

We said goodbye to a faithful friend yesterday, our grandsons dog River was put to sleep. He came into their lives and filled it with the happiness that only a dog can give. Devoted, River never met a stranger and wagged his tail to welcome all. He shared his life and his dish with Seymore, never noticing that Seymore was a cat. He was always up for an adventure and overcame his fear of water to ride with the family he loved so much on boat rides. River dedicated his life to ridding the world of his nemesis the squirrels. RIP dear Rivey, you will be greatly missed.

All Dogs Go To Heaven
Inspired by a story by: Earl Hamner Jr.


An old man and his dog were walking down a dirt road with fences on either side. The country they were traveling through was strange to them and a little unsettling. On both the left and right the man saw a magnificent panorama of fields,streams, hills and valleys - just the sort of country a man and his dog can only dream of - but all along the fences on either side large "NO TRESPASSING - KEEP OUT" signs were posted every few feet, so they walked on. Soon the two companions came to a magnificent gate chased with gold and encrusted with precious stones. An imposing figure in a flowing robe of the purest white stood there beside it. "Welcome to Heaven" the man in the robe said.
 
The old man was stunned beyond words. He hadn't even realized that he was dead! At least, he thought, his hound, the closest friend he had in all the world, had made the trip with him. With a sigh and a smile, the old man started through the gate with his dog at his side, but  the gatekeeper stopped him.
 
"Dogs aren't allowed." he said. "I'm sorry but he can't come in here with you. He'll have to stay out on the road."
 
"What kind of Heaven won't allow dogs?" asked the old man. "If he can't come in, then I won't either. I'll just stay out here with him. He's been my friend all his life. I can't walk away from him now."
 
"Suit yourself," said the robed figure, "but I have to warn you, the Devil's on this road and he'll try to sweet talk you into his place. He'll promise you anything to get you inside, but the dog can't go there either. If you won't leave the dog, you'll spend Eternity on this road. There's no room in Heaven or in Hell for a man's dog." 
So the old man and his dog went on their way. In time, they came to a rundown fence with a gap in it - no gate, just a hole where a few boards had fallen off or been removed. Another old man, humble in appearance, was fishing in a pond just inside the fence. The man and his dog stopped at the gap. "Excuse me, Sir", the old man said. "My dog and I have been on this road for a long time now. We're getting mighty tired. Mind if we come in and sit for a spell?" "Of course!" said the man inside the fence. " Come right on through.There's some cold water under that tree over there. He gestured toward a huge old oak tree with majestically spreading branches. At it's roots a bubbling spring rose, cool and refreshing. "Make yourselves comfortable. You're welcome to stay as long as you please."
 
"You're sure my dog can come in, now?" the old man asked.
 "The man down the road said dogs weren't allowed anywhere around here."
 
"Would you come in if you had to leave the dog?" asked the fisherman.
"No sir, I would not!" the old man replied. "That's why I didn't go to Heaven back down the road. The man there said my dog couldn't come in with me." He shrugged and continued. "We'll be spending Eternity on this road, I suppose, just the two of us. A glass of cold water and some shade would be mighty fine right about now, but I won't come in if it means my friend here has to wait on the road."
 
The man behind the fence smiled a big smile and said, "Welcome to Heaven friend."
 
"Hold on, now! You mean THIS is Heaven?" asked the old man, quite surprised. "Dogs ARE allowed? How come that fellow down the road told me different?"
 
That was the Devil back there." St. Peter replied, for indeed, the old, ordinary seeming man behind the fence was none other. "He gets all the people who are willing to give up a lifelong companion for a little comfort. They soon find out their mistake, but by then it's too late." "The dogs can still come in here," he continued, " but the selfish people stay back there. God wouldn't allow dogs to be banned from Heaven. After all, He created them to be man's companions in life, how could he separate them in death?"

A smile that went from ear to ear broke out on the old man's face. He reached down to his side, ruffled the fur on his dog's head and said,"C'mon, boy!" And with that, the two of them passed through to the other side of the fence. The two of them walked up the gentle rise to where the shade of the oak and the cool water from the spring awaited their coming.

Monday, February 14, 2011

True Love~ Grandma's Sour Cream Raisin Pie


Love can make you act crazy, do foolish things and sometimes love makes your heart grow so big that you can't do enough for your sweetie. When I think of true love, my Grandparents are at the top of the list. Their marriage spanned the Depression, WWII and the test of time. They breezed through the hard times because they leaned on each other. When one would be down, the other helped them up. There was financial stress during the Depression, uncertainty during the war, and later sickness and loss. But all along the way they doted on each other, bff's and partners in life. Partners in everything. Grandpa farmed, Grandma kept the books. Grandpa gardened, Grandma canned. Grandma cooked and Grandpa ate!

Just for him she would make his favorites. Never a meal without hot bread with homemade jams and jellies. On Sundays two meats on the table, for choice Grandma would say! Desserts were his weakness and even though she never ate a slice, Sour Cream Raisin Pie was made often to satisfy his sweet tooth. Old fashioned love, the kind that is lasting and true can be yours... this is how you make it!



Grandma's Sour Cream Raisin Pie
2 cups sour cream
4 egg yolks (save whites for meringue)
1 cup sugar
4 heaping teaspoons flour
1½ cups raisins
Stir sour cream and egg yolks in a saucepan. Add sugar, flour, and raisins and mix. Cook over medium heat until raisins are plump and mixture is glossy. Pour into a 10-inch baked piecrust.

For the meringue
4 to 8 egg whites
¼ teaspoon cream of tartar
4 to 5 tablespoons sugar
Beat egg whites and cream of tartar on high speed until frothy. Add sugar slowly until peaks form. Using a rubber spatula, spread meringue over warm pie filling. Spread over pie edge to ensure firm seal. Swirl top of meringue with spatula to create peaks. Bake at 350ºF until peaks are golden brown.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Blah, blah, blah


My sister in law is fighting a battle of wills with her cable company. Have you ever had to do that and no matter who you speak to in customer service, you don't get anywhere?  Round and round she goes like she's on a merry-go-round, but I can tell you she's not having any fun. Something is wrong when it's company policy to treat people badly. Just trying to get an address and phone number of their corporate offices has proved a struggle. That should be a flag when they don't want this to go any further than the local offices. The Internet has changed everything about how we deal with our problems. We can go online and in seconds find out everything we need to know about a company. We can find out their performance and we can see if there are other complaints from disgruntled customers. There's always going to be customers that no matter what the circumstances a company can never please them. But when you see page after page of formal complaints posted, you quickly realize maybe this company doesn't really care.

For years my sister in law has had the same cable company. For years she has paid her bill and they would remind her in correspondence that she was a valued customer. Last week she realized she really wasn't valued at all. She now knows just where she stands with them and that she just needs to hush and go sit down. I don't think she's gonna do that.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Did he just wave at me?

 Wednesday's snowstorm was record breaking amounts for NW Arkansas ranging from 18- 27 inches, all coming in just a few hours. The weatherman had some new "ciphering equipment" that he couldn't wait to try out, measuring the amount of snowfall per hour. We went from an inch an hour to two, then for a while it was four inches per hour! That's when you couldn't see anything outside, just shy of a whiteout. Roads closed, airports closed and for my husband who was here simply because he couldn't make it to work...he just did his best to shovel us out. We ended up with 20" at our house and when it was over, it was time to try out the new SUV!


Highway 12 is curvy and mountainous, making it impossible after snow or ice. The good news, we have a "back way" home. Cloverdale Road is part asphalt/part dirt road, but it's our way to and from town until they get the main roads clear.


The locals who live out our way know the shortcut as well as we do, some even live along this country road. We were enjoying the scenery and driving at a speed safe for the conditions when a pickup gets up on our bumper and wants us to get out of his way. I couldn't believe anyone would want to pass on the one lane that had just been graded, but he did. We got over as far as we could and he waved at us as he flew by, not a neighborly wave though! Jerry returned the favor and he quickly was out of sight, out of mind.


The rest of the drive was totally enjoyable. The beautiful snow made everything look like a Christmas card!


As we got near town the road improved only slightly.


The roads had been graded and sanded but there were few brave souls out. We decided we'd get a bite to eat while we were in town.


We kept our eyes peeled for a place open. The parking lots were piled high with snow, a really good sign that they were closed!

Then we remembered a new place that's just went in where the old Hi D Ho operated for years.  Once a hangout for junior high and high school kids, Rogers was sad when Hi D Ho closed it's doors for the last time.


The new Lucy's Diner fills a void for a restaurant that is open 24 hours and day, serves breakfast anytime, has great burgers and homemade french fries but also serves a great selection of "blue plate" meals. The menu showed  beef roast or meatloaf, chicken and dumplings, pork chops and fried chicken. The long list of sides were favorites like mashed potatoes and gravy, brown beans and cornbread, fried okra, green beans with bacon and your choice of freshly made pies, cakes and cobblers. It was warm inside and as bad as the weather was outside, there was a good crowd! We chose the cheeseburger basket, the true worth of a cafe can be judged quickly by a good burger! It was delicious, wish I'd taken a picture...but trust me on this, it was yummy! 


We headed home just as the sun was setting. Tonights low is supposed to be -5, we are insane to have left our warm house to go out, but it sure was fun!


I know you get tired of hearing me say I love small town America, but I do. I hope the guy that passed us on Cloverdale Road got home safely and someday we'll see him again I'm sure. We have a nice policeman who occasionally sets along the lake waiting for those impatient types!
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