Sunday, August 30, 2009

The Naked Lady: Reprise and Reprieve - Part 2

Thursday, Aug. 27th, finally arrived when my household would meet Pat - Arkansas (Pat - AR), a blogger interested in my prolific, overcrowded, enchanting stock of Naked Lady bulbs (NLBs). She was bringing her gardening daughter (PGD) and granddaughter (JGD).

Pat - AR, Remembrances of An Arkansas Stamper, loves lilies, and weekly posts beautiful photos of lilies and other flowers as part of a meme. If you are a rubber stamper, she also has a blog, Rubber Stampers - Visionary People.
Traveling 3+ hours from Central Arkansas is not a superhighway, Interstate journey, but a somewhat tiring drive on winding, narrow roads and highways with few passing zones.

Generally a rural state, Arkansas, especially northern areas, is not known for user-friendly highways, but winding roads through beautiful scenarios and vistas is a reward for the slower, tedious journey. In early 1960s while visiting the Eureka Springs area, I encountered dirt and gravel roads, some more reminiscent of trails; most of these roads are now improved with hard surfaces!

Arriving around 11 a.m. we introduced Pat, et al , to our favorite non-franchise hamburger joint, Pat's treat. We ordered our items to go and carried them to my home where we engaged in cordial informal conversation, as if we'd known each other for years. Husband (H) and PGD talked military life; JGD played with Luckie, Pat - AR and I talked about a million things it seems.

We all seemed to have survived the local cuisine, at least to the time of this post.

I am still amazed by the ease we all slipped in and out of multiple subjects as if we had known each other for years.

Blogging probably contributes to this ease as we write about personal subjects and events. Pat - AR once blogged about an earache which became life threatening. I could empathize and have a related story I'll write in the future.

Luckie was a star and on her best behavior. She is a sweet dog who seems appreciative of her new found life in "heaven" as opposed to the "hell" from which we rescued her. Some of her less desirable habits are likely related to her former life of survival. She offered her own flavor of hospitality but in her usual manner, simply rested among us without being a nuisance for attention.

After eating lunch the digging began. PGD brought the most awesome shovel sharpened to a knife edge, a dangerous weapon. She could sink the shovel a foot in my rocky flower beds with ease. She balanced herself on the shovel unbelievably well. I marveled at her balancing act.

I cannot do any balancing routines in my exercise class, so a person adept at balancing themselves atop a shovel with a razor thin edge is miraculous. Pat - AR pulled weeds and helped fill their container with the many onion sized bulbs. I supervised where the locations of bulb masses in front of our deck. H located other clumps in our front yard. JGD played with Luckie.

It seemed the bed was cleared rather quickly; I doubt Pat - AR and PGD thought the same as it was a rather humid, warm day in Arkansas. Sweat was dripping before the session ended.

PGD educated me in Arkansas botany and gardening, much more than I ever learned in collegiate botany class. I was amazed at her knowledge of Arkansan native plants.

When theye finished, a large green container was comfortably full of bulbs to carry home; we, also had an additional 5-gal bucket to further share wit others.

Several days earlier H had dug two clumps of NLBs in the back yard which yielded 56 bulbs: he added these bulbs to Pat - AR's green container.

After more pictures Pat- AR, et al, packed the bulbs in the rear of their nice van, loaded up and started the 3-hour trip home, a different winding route to see more scenery. Upon arrival aroud 6 p.m. they counted the bulbs: 213! More remarkably, they commenced planting a few. I am amazed they had the energy after a round day trip of six hours in a van!

I doubt they believe me, but I bet I have nearly that many NLBs still scattered around my property. My Best Friend wouldn't mind her yard being thinned. I gave her a start and she is now inundated with NLBs.

Knowing NLBs will adorn a church garden, several of Pat's friends' homes, and her daughter's home makes me smile.

Even though I had an overwhelming display this year, not all bulbs bloomed. In some of the huge clumps of bulbs, it was evident only a few had bloomed. Next season may be thin, but I've shared our yard for 30 years with NLBs, never fertilizing, never watering, virtually ignoring their existence.

I thinned them unmercifully in 2002; this bumper crop of NLBs is a result of that thinning. In 7 years or less, we'll probably be looking at another 200+ bulbs!

If you, who follow Remembrances of An Arkansas Stamper, don't find many posts for awhile, Pat - AR and gardening daughter are planting Naked Ladies throughout central Arkansas!

Thus the Coward's Corner with Luckie Naked Ladies population received a reprieve from destruction, courtesy of Pat - Arkansas, her daughter and granddaughter.

***Photo ID (Some day I'll have to figure how to add cutlines to photos in blogger, if that is possible) From the top:

1. [Left] Pat - AR (l), NitWit1 -Carol (r) {Photo, courtesy of Pat - AR}
2. [Right] (l-r)Pat- AR, NitWit1 H, Pat's - granddaughter, Pat's - gardening daughter
3. [Left] Pat - AR granddaughter and Luckie
4. [Right] Pat - AR (l), gardening daughter (r)
5. [Left] (l-r) NitWit1 Carol, Pat - AR gardening daughter {Photo, courtesy of Pat - AR}
6. [Right] NitWit1 Carol {Photo, courtesy of Pat - AR}
7. [Left] Garden tub of Naked Lady bulbs

Other posts you may enjoy:

A couple of web site information about Naked Ladies (there are many others)

Friday, August 28, 2009

The Naked Lady: Reprise and Reprieve - Part 1

They stood tall in their naked beauty, now faded into old age, reflecting a cycle of life, all nature demonstrates, birth, life, death, and rebirth. See Summer Nudity Has Arrived.....

If these Naked Ladies could speak, what an interesting witness to history they might be. The Naked Lady bulbs (NLBs) occupied our property when we moved here in May, 1980. A previous owner planted common day lilies, field daffodils, Arkansan wildflowers, flowering quince (Japonica), yucca, climbing miniature roses, lilac bush, mock orange bush, native strawberries, blackberries and blueberries and NLBs, some of which exist to this day.

The surviving plantings include a few strawberries, field daffodils, yucca, japonica (produces quinces), climbing roses and NLBs. The survivors have a strong will to live as my husband(H) does not garden; cutting grass is his full time job. I suffered through gardening in the resistant northern Arkansas rocky soil (residium of sandstone, siltstone, shale and/or limestone) until knee surgeries in 2002, 2003. Gardening and knee prostheses do not amicably co-exist.

In August 1980 a strange single stalk (pole) erupted and grew several inches overnight; I asked a neighbor what it was, and he grinned, "Naked Lady." I missed Act 1 in 1980, the bulb's spring showy prelude of dense greenery, i.e., thick leaves similar to other spring bulbs, but no flowers. But Act 2 was spectacular as 5-7 pink trumpet shaped flowers adorned a single stalk; I was hooked. A very descriptive web site about Naked Ladies, in Arkansas is here.

I separated and transplanted the onion-sized bulbs several times over nearly 30 years,until all available locations were filled with Naked Ladies, or so I thought. Not only were these Ladies promiscuous, they proliferated and moved about my yard to locations I never planted. At first I blamed squirrels, but I have come to believe they, like Japanese honeysuckle in Arkansas, have naturalized and possibly sprout from seed, which is not normal. This year was a bumper crop in northern Arkansas.

Since I look for every day happenings as subjects for blogs and photos, quite naturally a post was right under my nose, waiting to be written and posted. The result: Summer Nudity Has Arrived...

Unexpectedly the post drew a lot of comment and inquiry, including Pat - Arkansas (Pat - AR), of Remembrances of An Arkansas Stamper, who loves lilies, and weekly posts beautiful photos of lilies and other flowers as part of a meme. If you are a rubber stamper, she also has a blog, Rubber Stampers - Visionary People.

Pat -AR had missed a couple of opportunities for NLBs. Learning that my beds were packed with bulbs which needed thinning she offered to dig NLBs. Sounding like a winner to my back, bones and knees, not to mention allergies and COPD, I eagerly exchanged several e-mails where we arrived at a date compatible with every one's schedule, including NLBs: August 27. The NLBs' blooms would be gone by this date, we estimated.

I was excited to meet a blogger, actually one of the first to be a follower of my young blogging efforts. Bloggers do sometimes meet,but I never expected to meet anyone so soon in my short blogging career. Arkansas Patti of The New Sixty posted such a meeting in a blog entitled Meet and Greet .

Who would have though NLBs, which I planned to discard, would be a common denominator in bringing two bloggers together?

It just goes to show one person's trash is another person's treasure. I'd been through this separation/thinning routine in 2002. I couldn't give the NLBs away, so I pretty much planned to throw this crop away!

Part 1 is the Reprise (repetition of a phrase or return to a theme).

Part 2 Reprieve (for the NLBs) who will witness another chapter in their history but most important, my delight in meeting a fellow blogger, her daughter and granddaughter all of which had a triple bonus in meeting H and Luckie, too!Things are fixin' to be more fun..well everything but the diggin'!!!

[ First 3 photos, Naked Ladies and bulbs ( my photo). Last (4th) photo: Pat, left; Carol right; photo courtesy of Pat - AR]

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Surnames and Forenames

Working in Baltimore in 1969-71 as a relief pharmacist, I changed neighborhoods and ethnic cultures almost weekly. One of the most important parts of a prescription is the correct spelling of the name of the patient, and physician. The correct pronunciation leads to better pharmacist/patient relationships.

In Maryland we were addressed as "Doctor" even though I nor many pharmacists had a degree entitling us to the title in those days.

One area of Baltimore had a large Polish concentration. I could neither pronounce nor spell their surnames and or many forenames. These kind, humorous people would patiently spell and repeatedly pronounce their names until I quit stuttering. The pharmacist with which I usually worked was Polish and had a most difficult name. The entire pharmacy chain (Read's) called him by his given name.

Recently married in 1969, I learned the humor of having an unusual, but easily spelled, and, I perceived, easy to pronounce surname, COWARD.

Easy pronunciation seemed to escape a majority of people. Perhaps they could not believe a person would have a name like "Coward," and surely it must have some exotic pronunciation.

I remember a visit to a new physician's office in Baltimore. As always there were reams of paperwork to complete, and then the wait for your name to be called.

A nurse in a crisply starched white uniform loudly called CO-WART, long "O" like co-ed. I looked around for somebody with cohabiting warts. Nope! Then she repeated it with a long O, CO-WARD. Momentarily, I thought maybe she was relaying some kind of information about a ward in the clinic/hospital. Then it hit me she was calling me! I grinned and corrected her pronunciation, "COWard with a D."

This became the usual response when asked my name: "The name is COWard with a D, pronounced just like it sounds. I married him." I thought it kind of funny. Hurried personnel failed to see my humor, and often give me disgusted looks. Geez! no sense of humor-they need to chill out.

If something arises I did not want to confront, I simply say, "My last name is Coward and I don't want to do that, whatever it is." This refrain usually gets me off the hook!"

But, I never figured how people got HOWard out of COWard unless my Texas drawl was really terrible. Or did they, too, hate to call me a COWard?

Surprisingly, in Denton, TX there was a woman with my identical given, middle and last names. We turned our film in at the same drugstore and regularly they were mixed up. I would have changed stores, except I worked there and received an employee discount as one of my benefits.

In Marion Co., Arkansas, we are the only Coward(s) of the County, both a play on words of a song by Kenny Rogers, and a 1981 movie of the same name based on the lyrics of the song. More fun!

When campaigning for city council, I introduced myself and husband as the only Cowards in the County, which seemed to break the ice. Or I would introduce myself and say, "I guess you wonder why anybody with a name like "Coward' would run for office!" Oh yes, last election all my campaign materials were printed on yellow background. I was elected almost 2-1.
My husband's birthplace is near a community in South Carolina, appropriately named Coward. It was known as a speed trap when he and I made frequent trips from Baltimore down I-95 to South Carolina.

After high speed driving on I-95 we exited to a smaller highway with reduced speed. Travelers did not reduce their speed quickly....nice place for a speed trap. I told my husband, facetiously, I thought I-95 was the speed limit. At times he believed me. We had an 8-cylinder Ford LTD that could hit 90 in a hurry.

But the surname is only half the story. My husband's Forename (given or first) name is Shelly (his correct spelling), a name used for both male and female, but seemingly more females. Johnny Cash posthumously needs to rewrite A Boy Named Sue, to "A Man Named Shelly. First line could be: "My name is Shelly, REALLY." Hmmm, maybe a poet and songwriter, I am NOT.

I have had lots of fun with this. When my husband's physician's office calls, the office personnel usually say, without taking a breath: Shelly, we have your test results and everything was normal. Ha!!! I say , "Thank you, very much." and hang up. Of course, I tell him, but he sort of forgets to tell me anything that transpires about his medical visits.

At times a caller will ask: Is this Shelly Coward? I return: This is Mrs. Shelly Coward -no lie. Sometimes they don't know if they supposed to be calling a male or female and just blab on. If it is soliciting, surveying polling, or other nuisance junk calls, I save him lots of time since I am known for slamming the receiver down. If it is a legitimate call for him, I 'fess up: Shelly is my HUSBAND, hold on a minute.

However, one occasion was a tad annoying when the AR drivers' license bureau seemingly had misinformation about an expired CDL license he once had, a requirement of his employment. The wording referred to him as HER and seemed to imply some kind of infraction. Because several facts were erroneous the police chief had to clarify them to the licensing agency. I told the police chief it seemed to insinuate this was not a traditional marriage, stirring up my dandruff a bit, but I'm over it--that is also amusing.

I had trouble using my given and middle names as the name to which I answer: Carol Ann. It is my legal signature. However, too many times it is run together into Carolyn, Caroline, Carol Lynn, so I answer to Carol. Mother called me both: Carol, normally, but Carol Ann was a call to discipline. Whoops!

Professional women often keep their maiden names: mine was Richardson. I have have too much fun to change, and after 40 years, why should I?

[Photos: Earlier in my life I had a passing interest in coat of arms for families. I ordered this plaque with both families' Coat of Arms. I have no idea if these are authentic design, or just a ploy to get my dollar!]

Monday, August 24, 2009

A Simple, Single Phone Call

The phone rang 12 times at 9:45 a.m, no answer. At 9:50 a.m. the phone rang again, 12 or more times, no answer. The concerned caller dialed a friend to please check on their friend, a 50+ year old female with uncontrolled diabetes and heart problems and a cancer survivor.

The friend found her unconscious on the floor and called 911. How long had this person been in an unconscious state? Of course, it could not accurately be determined on scene, but because she received a phone call at the same time daily, no more than 24 hours, which could have been too long, but a phone call a day is better than no inquiry for days, weeks or months.

She was a client of a locally organized, FREE daily calling service, TeleCare. Besides a wellness check, the call provides at least one social contact with another human being daily.

IntelliHealth On-Line weekly cancer bulletin this week emphasized how a simple phone call could materially improve the self-assessment of cancer patients and others with long-term diseases which severely limit their contact with people or are essentially house-bound alone.

Some of you live alone, perhaps with disabilities or chronic illnesses. At the present time I have a spouse and a dog. Occasionally, Husband (H) and Luckie (dog) take a trip to a nearby town for shopping or man-stuff--like nails, boards, sheetrock, etc.

Sometimes these excursions are days I am having breathing difficulties or some other manifestation of one of several chronic diseases I have. All alone in a 1500 square ft. manufactured home, I may become anxious with a long lists of "what ifs." I try to be busy so time will fly by and realize I'm OK. But this self-described period of home alone is as near as I come to empathizing with the plight of many elderly persons who are alone, often house-bound, 24 hrs./7 days/week.

I also remember when my knees had immobilized to the point of nearly being house bound. I was dependent on someone to assist me from Point A to Point B, if there were more than 50 feet involved. If I should fall, we all were in for a tough time as it was less painful to not get up. thinking the safest strategy was not to move much, I became very sedentary. Fear of falling was utmost in my mind, but the possibility of someone taking advantage of me with my immobility also crossed my mind.

In our retirement community there are persons house-bound by infirmatives and chronic illnesses, who never hear a human voice for days. They may or may not have pets. People are social beings, even if they don't admit it. Mental derangement in the elderly can develop from nothing more than isolation and lack of social contact with other human being.

To this end my best friend (BF), myself, and another person organized a loosely organized group, called TeleCare. The sole purpose of this group is to call persons (clients) once a day, 365 days/year [yes, weekends and holidays] to check on their well-being.

This volunteer service anyone can organize or even do by themselves, should they so desire.

The genesis for this service was an incident my husband (H) encountered while delivering Marion Co. Senior Meals on Wheels.

He arrived at an elderly woman's small apartment, knocked and called to her to alert her he was coming in. He had permission to enter homes with the meals. She called back, "Come in."

Upon entering with her meal(s), he found her on the floor, having fallen that morning. He called 911 and waited for a rescue unit to arrive. The lady said this was not the first time she had fallen; the previous time she had remained on the floor TWO DAYS until somebody found her.

Even though the meals for his route were getting too hot or too cold, depending on the weather, he stayed until rescue arrived. [The meals were stored in very large insulated containers but only retained serving temperatures for a short period of time. The route usually took an hour after he picked them up in a town 15 mi. away.]

He came home, lamenting, there ought to be some way to avoid such incidents.

BF and I had read an article in the Arkansas Democrat about a group in Horsebend, AR who created a similar FREE service which had been in existence nearly 30 years. We set up an appointment with the founding ladies.

Along with our city's Mayor (also female) we traveled over 50 miles to Horseshoe Bend, for an interview with the ladies who were delightful. They shared their procedures and regulations with us, treated us to dinner and enlightened us on other subjects of their beautiful planned retirement community.

Walking on clouds, we left with high hopes for a successful venture.

It has been over five years now and we are still calling. We have never had the enrollment Horseshoe Bend has. But every client we've had is most gracious about our service. We have a core group of 9 faithful volunteers.

We just had our 5th annual luncheon for clients and volunteers at a nice restaurant in the city. It was our best attended event ever.
Here is a simple outline of the service. [I will gladly provide additional details, if desired.]

1. One FREE phone call daily 365 days per years, holidays and weekends included, between 8:30 - 9:30 a.m.
2. If the call is not answered by 2-3 attempts of letting ring at least 12 times, we call a client designated contact to check on the person.
3. If the designated person is not available, we send the police.
4. A client may request we not call, on any given day, or for a period of time by notifying one of us, or leaving a message on our recorder.

5. As a TeleCare group we provide no other services, except a single phone call daily.

However, we tell our volunteers, they may provide any service, such as grocery shopping, rides, etc. personally as their conscience dictates, but be sure to emphasize it is a personal act. [This may seem uncaring, but it is necessary as we have no insurance, are not incorporated, and currently use city property as our calling location.]

TeleCare prefers to contact persons everyday, which is for their own safety, but we accommodate a client if they prefer not to be called weekends, Sundays or only 3/days per week, etc.

I, personally, have met some very interesting persons through this service. Older people love to regale stories, much like we bloggers. Some tell me jokes. Yes, because of their age, some stories are repetitious, but so are mine. I probably chat more than some volunteers, but this is entirely up to each volunteer. Average age of clients at sign-up is approximately 80.

We would love to expand into surrounding towns, but we are limited by our telephone service. Everything outside our city limits is long distance. Our budget could not stand one of my 15 minute chats at long distance rates!

A cell service would allow expansion of the area served, but the cost/minute would eat up our small budget.

We encourage clients to also protect themselves with the personal devices that send a signal to rescue services. We've had three clients who used us and wore these devices, too.

You cannot have too many checkpoints when living alone.

And yes, we have initiated rescue calls on behalf of clients who have fallen (some with broken bones), diabetic coma, and heart attack. The most common event is fallen and cannot get up. That event is also the most common call for rescue units according to our scanner, and fire and rescue reports. Next most common event is probably breathing difficulties.

An even better contact might be a knock on a door!

A simple, single phone call...Have you made one today? Why not make a call today and brighten the life of a lonely person?

Postscript: Our group accepts any one, regardless of age, who is apprehensive about living alone. The elderly are the most likely to use the service. We have had two clients in their 50s one of which is the person mentioned in 1st paragraph, and has died.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Did We Catch Fish?

The SHORT Answer is YES, we caught fish. We learned to fish for walleye, something we had never tried, so first few days were zilch, until we decided to pay for an half day guide.

August is a hard month to fish for anything on Bull Shoals Lake due to water temperature; surface temperature currently averages 85 degrees. Most fish are 30-40 ft. deep or deeper. To some extent this is true on most bodies of water.

Husband (H) went and I stayed at cabin. Since I side-arm cast, we did not think it wise to kill the messenger/guide! H has learned to duck when I cast. :)

After the guide trip, we bought recommended equipment and our luck changed.

Next trip out with new, strange equipment we begin to catch fish: some keepers, some too short. I caught a 22" and 18.75" walleye, and one blue gill - photos below). H caught several non-keepers.

On a subsequent trips H caught a 18.25 walleye (photo below); we both caught spotted bass (kept 2) and blue gills.

We harvested two quart bags of fillets.

PHOTOS: The one of H and me was taken by a friendly guy from St. Louis who tried to use my new little Canon A102. Guess my instructions were poor because it was terribly out of focus and dark. I really had to work it over in the editor to get this.

The rest of pictures were taken by me. A couple of thunderstorms ran us off the Lake once or kept us off the Lake.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Old Folk's Mini-Vacation - Planning

Once upon a time in a somewhat remote, semi-impoverished, perceived uneducated and undeveloped state called Arkansas, there lived a retired couple past the age of 70 who decided to rejuvenate and replicate their fishing vacations of nearly 35 years ago. These were vacations along a large lake running the Arkansas-Missouri state line near Peel, AR and Peel Ferry - yes, a ferry that transported vehicles and passengers across Bull Shoals Lake, between the two states.

In May, 1980 the couple chose to semi-retire in Bull Shoals, AR at the somewhat early ages of late 40s. Both found work and continued to fish, their shared interest. As years past and retirements in 1996 and 1999, their ages and medical problems somewhat diminished the frequency of their fishing, but never extinguished it.

This year they longed to recreate the magic of long past vacations. One dream was to travel the upper Northwest by car with stops in Yellowstone, etc., but the realization that may never happen has set in, so they curtailed their dreams to a smaller vacation, simulating the earlier fishing forays into their now home state.

Yes, that describes us pretty well. So we decided to recreate our fishing vacations to small resorts. Most resorts around Bull Shoals Lake are similar to fishing cabins in other states. Most resorts are comprised of small cabins with equipped kitchens, a bathrooms, living/eating areas and 1-2 bedrooms.

Our small city is a recreational area with numerous resorts. Since 9/11/01 and the on-going economic decline, most recreational activities and the associated businesses that depend on those revenues are in steep decline. Some resorts have converted to essential housekeeping apartments leased monthly to yearly.

Staying ahead of the curve in guest accommodations includes adding such things as free cable or satellite TV, free Internet connectivity, preferably dependable WiFi, modern dock facilities for various marine vehicles, non-fishing and/or non-water related activities and swimming pools. Most resorts are struggling to keep up with modern motel facilities (like Holiday Inn Express) and continued upkeep of existing facilities.

The vulnerable tourism industry in our part of the state has had several capricious events that have damaged their livelihood, besides 9/11 and recession.

(1) After 9/11 national tourism business changed dramatically, partly because of the event, and partly because citizens were working longer hours, taking salary instead of time, in order to simply live what was perceived as a comfortable life.

(2) In Spring, 2008 Bull Shoals Lake crested above 695.02 flood level which flooded many accesses to the Lake and posed dangerous navigation by boaters unfamiliar to the Lake. Major fishing tournaments were canceled so potential participants canceled reservations throughout the area.

(3) In Jan./Feb. 2009 a 1000 year ice storm damaged many facilities and delayed early spring reservations (some fish spawn in February).

(4) Despite a change of national administration and their efforts, the recession continued to deepen through June.

Because over 30 years have passed, and we now live in the area, we decided to physically inspect several resorts before making reservations.

We did some searching on the Internet. BEWARE! Things are not always as the appear as you will soon read.

The first day we drove to the Peel area where we not only enjoyed fishing vacations, but once considered building sites. The resort we favored long ago apparently no longer exists. Another resort and restaurant we used for a small fishing club tournament was unimpressive and no Internet.

But one place was abominable. Its Internet web page was succinct but had WiFi . We found the dirt road, which needed grading badly; I could not decided if I had received an unassisted chiropractic adjustment, or needed to seek a chiropractor's services! We finally arrived at the resort but decided to check out their boat dock facilities before stopping--we continued down the narrow, badly washed, rutty, back-cracking road. Dock appeared decent and accessible.

We drove back to the resort--read : repeat the underlined road description - paragraph above. We stopped at the office, the windows of which were illuminated with many neon beer logos. For non-drinkers this is not appealing nor reassuring. On each side of the front steps were 30+gallon black garbage bags filled to bursting, stacked higher than either of our heads.

Nevertheless we entered the dark, stifling hot, office, absent personnel. It was so hot I could have crawled into either of two double sided, refrigerated, beer cases to cool off. I noticed there were no soft drinks nor water for sale, ONLY beer.

Finally, a person in a 2-piece, frayed night gown with holes in it and belly button exposed, entered office from backroom. It was 11 a.m.

We politely inquired about reservations. The registrar pulled out a loose leaf hand-written reservation book and said, "I can probably accommodate you on a certain date," spoken as if it was some imposition to our being worked in.

I know that place could not be overloaded with reservations, so I peeked at the open pages. There were six units and over two weeks there were only two reservations.

After a polite "Thank You" we could not get out of there fast enough. On the way out I noticed weeds growing as tall as the garbage bags in front of the units.

We decided to drive further away to Diamond City, AR. After lunch in a lovely restaurant in Lead Hill we drove 9 miles to Diamond City to a unit we also found on the Internet. We were not disappointed here, but access to the resort's private dock would have killed me. It was a steep hill without steps, but even if it had steps, I would not have made it up and down that hill.

After some discussion the owner offered to pullt his pontoon from a rented stall at a public marina, except we would be charged his monthly rental rate.

We drove over 100 miles and did not find a resort solution that was comfortable and provided access to our boat that would accommodate my artificial knees.

Bull Shoals Lake is so big (700 mi. shore line), you can drive 20 miles from home and be in a different par of this beautiful clear water lake.

The next day my husband (H) set off with Luckie in a different direction, closer to home. He spent the greater part of one day looking at as many options as i could find on Internet. My best friend suggested we check out Black Oak Resort as she knew they stayed ahead of the game. After two days and two tanks of gas, Black Oak Resort, Oakland, AR is where we landed. It turns out H & I know the owner, who is fire chief at Oakland, AR.

[See Cabin, Lake and SUNSET for photos of our cabin which is not the deluxe offerings. Or visit Black Oak Resort website (sorry their photos are copyrighted, mine are not! I do not use photos obviously marked as copyrighted.]

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

SUNRISE on the Bull Shoals Lake, etc.

SUNRISE ON THE LAKE, sailboat, deer, grasshopper, spider web and Crape (Crepe) Myrtle.

We have seen a couple of things not normally seen on the part of Bull Shoals Lake where we live in a small town by the Dam.

For example, sailboats, much less large sailboats, are not seen in our more populated area where marine traffic is often heavy, endangering sailng safety.

We have deer in our town, and a lot of our motor vehicle accidents (MVA) are with deer. The police report of MVAs is often 100% deer/car accidents. However, the deer below is peacefully grazing while we watch from our deck.

A fox squirrel (red tail) is hopping around, but manages to evade my camera.

The green bug, which appears to be a grasshopper, was clinging upside down on the electric meter encasement.

The Crape (Crepe) Myrtle trees here at the Black Oak resort are full grown and beautiful with some kind wild white morning glory vine, maybe hedge bindweed, intertwined among the tree's blossoms.

The first sunrise photo is straight out of the camera shot! The rest of photos have been somewhat manipulated, usually cropped.

[Postscript: we caught (keeper) fish today. We are learning to wall-eye fish which is a whole different game from bass fishing. We both caught fish today. I was fortunate that 2 of my three wall-eyes were keepers as well as one huge blue gill, all pulled from 50 feet m/l water. My arms are aching from reeling the wall-eye with a heavy rig upfrom deep water. Pictures later in the week, probably after we return home.]

Monday, August 17, 2009

The Time has come to talk of many things...

"The time has come," the Walrus said,"To talk of many things:

Of shoes--and ships--and sealing-wax--

Of cabbages--and kings--

And why the sea is boiling hot--

And whether pigs have wings."

--Lewis Carroll

I love that verse from The Walrus and the Carpenter, some of which is quoted by Tweedledee and Tweedledum in Through the Looking-Glass, and What Alice Found There, by Lewis Carroll;, Tweedledee and Tweedledum were subjects of a nursery rhyme, t00.

Actually, I felt sorry for the young oysters who were led astray and eaten. I see a number of metaphors in this poem. I wonder if this ditty is the first reference to the phrase "when pigs fly."

Instead of shoes, ships, and sealing wax, etc., I am speaking of sailboats, deer, Crepe Myrtle, sunRISE, a grasshopper (I think) but that photolog will have to wait as I have a few Slider hours or a day. We had a severe storm last night and WiFi was turned off by resort owner. I certainly don't blame him as rural electricity is more erratic. He did not want to fry his electronic equipment which has already happened at least once.

I had been catching up on surfing, blogging, e-mail at night which is a normal habit. This a.m. I am going fishing till more storms roll in. Husband and guide only got one keeper yesterday, so not optimistic. August is tough on this Lake. However, we've enjoyed this mini-vacation enough we may repeat it for gifts to ourselves. We really do hate gift buying as we have all we need, and usually, get what we want when we want, although we confer on high ticket purchases, like cars, computers, etc.

So am posting this unedited format -- with a small challenge if you wish to expound on various metaphors of The Walrus and the Carpenter.

Great Balls of Fire! - Apologies to Jerry Lee Lewis

These photos are multiple shots of one sunset, August 15, in order of setting colors which started in yellow orange and ended with reddish sun with hues of magenta and blue. I took them from a road behind my cabin, not at the exact spot but general area, so some may appear out of order, but I may have been at a slightly different point on the road a tad to the right or left of center of the sunset.

I took another set today, Sunday. not sure they vary enough from these. To get the brilliant reds and oranges which reflect in water, it needs to rain and clear out the haze so there are sufficient colors in the sky AFTER the sun has already set. There is not much now.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Cabin, Lake, and SUNSET!

A few photos of our cabin at Black Oak Resort, Bull Shoals Lake shots from the deck of our cabin and a sunset from somewhere in Mountain Creek. The sunset is not the prettiest I have witnessed on BS Lake, but a sunset, nevertheless!

Just put my uv/Haze filter on to see if future shots are better It is very hazy here right now...reminds me of the Smokies!!I was able to photo a young deer very near the cabin and a sailboat out on the lake. Wish I had had a higher range Telephoto for each.