29 July 2009

So Much for a Staycation

Since our lives are on the brink of chaos with a major move, law school and 120-day assignment in Atlanta, Mark and I decided to take a little time off to enjoy our last days in Hot Springs. We had some serious plans, which included catching some rays, grabbing a game of golf and of course eating good food. When we were awakened this morning at 6:00 with a call from the automated weather warning system saying we were experiencing flash flooding, I knew it wasn’t good. So after teaching my last Jazzercise class in Hot Springs (I’m a little sad about that), I drove our one-year-old Jeep in the pouring rain back to the dealership to fix what $456 neglected to do last time. Of course, all Enterprise had to offer was a big bad truck or minivan. (Which do you think I picked?) I then cruised on home to finish cleaning our oven and bathroom, my two favorite projects. Around 5:00 pm, with Sonic drinks in hand, Mark and I jumped in my Dodge Ram pick-up truck and headed to Lake DeGray State Park for what we knew was going to be the best staycation ever. Um, that’s when this story gets really good. The lodge was without electricity, but have no fear; they had glow sticks to light our way down the darkened steps to our un-air conditioned room. No problem I thought, we’ll just cool off in the pool. Forget that, it’s closed until tomorrow along with the hot tub, which was the reason we chose this destination in the first place. Okay, so Plan C, watch a little TV. A flat screen beats our 19-inch any day. Well, not this day, because all we could see was snow. So now, Mark and I have resorted to our usual extracurricular activity, which is conducting work on our respective laptops. Okay so he does work and I search People. Let’s hope Day 2 of the staycation is a little better. It can’t get any worse!

Last Days as an Arkansan

I’m winding down my days in the Natural State. By the end of the week, I’ll be heading west to our new home in OKC. While I can’t wait to step foot on Sooner (or shall we say Cowboy) soil, believe it or not, I am going to miss a few highlights of living in Arkansas. I’ll miss the beautiful scenery, friends who made living far from home somewhat bearable, horse racing, The Pancake Shop and running around the promenade (minus the part where the junior high boys join me). However, Mark and I will never reminisce about the curvy highways, crazy Southern accents, fanatic razorback fans, neighborhood crime and confusing tax laws. Each year, I write a Top Ten to culminate our anniversary. Following are the Top Ten Reasons Why We Must Escape the Natural State…
10. Wal-Mart is sure to run out of Dramamine soon.
9. Everything is plural in Arkansas. Example: “I says, we gots to go to MACDonalds to eats.”
8. Fort Smith is a heck of a long ways to drive to buy decent ice cream.
7. People think we’re cousins just because we’re married.
6. First the beast. Then masked men carrying AK-47’s. What’s next?
5. This Cowboy is suffocating in this razorback-obsessed world. (Is there another school in Arkansas? Didn’t think so!)
4. Two canoes + One not-so-strategically-placed electrical wire = One BIG Oops! (Think the hippy dude will ever find us?)
3. When the right wingers find out we voted for the other guy, we might be exiled anyway.
2. Four words: “You gotta get assessed.” Enough said.
1. God’s Country is calling us home!

03 March 2009

Fatty Masters ? -- Feb. 21, 2009

On Feb. 21, 2009, our beloved dog Fatty passed away from natural causes. For those of you who do not know his story, it is a heroic one. In the spring of 2007, Mark was scouting the wilderness of Northwest Arkansas for fires when he stumbled upon two starving Beagles searching for food among a dump in the middle of nowhere. Mark didn’t think twice. He scooped up Fatty and his brother Skinny (now known as Roscoe) and brought them home to Gilbert, Ark. (population 33). Extremely sick, malnourished and badly beaten, it was unlikely the little guys would make it through the night. However, Mark and his coworker Tex nursed them back to health, and before too long, the puppies were flourishing. Tex took Skinny to the hill country of Texas to live the sweet life where he was adopted by Tex’s cousin and renamed Roscoe. Fatty moved with Mark and Paige to Hot Springs. He was known for his happy demeanor and his enormous appetite. Mark says Paige could be to blame for his death. While he was in Oklahoma on a two-week fire detail, Paige was responsible for feeding Fatty. When Mark returned, the pup had gained approximately 10 pounds. Fatty is survived by his owners, Mark and Paige Masters and one brother, Skinny. Condolences may be posted on this blog in remembrance of Fatty Masters, the happiest dog in the world.

Outing at Oaklawn

This weekend Heath, Holly, Brooke and Audrey traveled to Hot Springs for a mini-family reunion in the Valley of the Vapors. Mark and I played tour guides, showing them all the hot spots. The girls hit Buckstaff Bathhouse for manicures and pedicures. Next stop – Oaklawn – for the horse races. Of course, the girls were the big winners at the track. They cashed in on their votes for Undercover Sister, Mr. Grumpy Stripes and Hold ‘Em Tiger. Bet you can’t guess our strategies! The guys were up until 2:00 a.m. “handicapping” their picks. We had our chosen ones in less than a minute. After the races, we drove home in the SNOW just in time to see our Cowboys defeat Texas. We had so much fun but missed Mom, Dad, Tanner and Jillianne.