Friday, March 31, 2006

It's Karaoke Time!

I've had this song on my mind for two days now. I just can't get it out of my head, so I thought if I shared it, I might get a break So here goes: (picking up the mike)

I'm crazy
crazy for feeling so lonely
I'm crazy
crazy for feeling so blue
I know
you'd love me as long as you wanted
then someday
leave me for somebody new


why do I let myself worry
wondring what in the world did I do
crazy for thinking that my love could hold you

I'm crazy for crying
I'm crazy for trying
I'm crazy for loving you

Hope y'all have a good weekend!

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Woo- Woo Wednesday

It's Weird Wednesday, and I decided to do some online research on ghosts and haunting in the Bentonville, AR. area. Unfortunately, I didn't turn up very much. The Peel Museum in Bentonville is supposedly haunted by "The Lady In White". It also has light poltergeists (whatever those are!) and 'corner of the eye apparitions'.

The Crescent Hotel in Eureka Springs is also reportedly haunted. The most often sighted apparition is that of an red-haired Irish stonemason, who the staff has dubbed "Michael." Allegedly, Michael was one of the original masons who worked on the building of the hotel in 1885. However, while working on the roof he lost his balance and fell to the second floor area and was killed. This area now houses Room 218 of the hotel and is said to be the most haunted guestroom. Michael is evidently a mischievous spirit who likes to play tricks with the lights, the doors, and television, as well as often being heard pounding loudly on the walls. Others have witnessed hands coming out of the bathroom mirror and heard cries of what sounded like a man falling in the ceiling. Yet other guests have been shaken during the night, and on one occasion a patron ran screaming from the room, professing to have seen blood splattered all over its walls.

Next, there is the Haunted Pizza Hut in nearby Springdale. I only found a couple of references to this spooky restaurant. Reports include glowing lights, knocking, murmuring voices from the men's room, and things flying off the walls. I'm not a big fan of Pizza Hut, but I'd love to visit this one, for the spooky chilly atmosphere, if nothing else.

Finally, the weirdest, strangest thing about my search? Everytime I entered the search terms "ghosts", "hauntings", and "Bentonville, AR" into the search engine, my computer froze up. Do you think it's trying to tell me something?

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

What Do Vegetarians Eat?

I thought I'd post our menu for this week. Note: We only eat one meal together a day, lucky me!

Homemade peasant soup, biscuits.

BLT's (made with Morningstar Farms veggie bacon, which is the best, better than real bacon!) Yukon Gold French Fries

Mexican Succotash (a new recipe from a new cookbook), Morningstar Farms Spinach Artichoke Veggie Bites.

Pennsylvania Dutch Potato Salad (another new recipe from the new cookbook) GardenBurger's Barbequed Riblets (another veggie substitute that's much better than the real thing, in my opinion)

Fresh Linguinie and fresh sauce, a mixed greens salad, and bread.

We usually eat out on the weekends, except when I make waffles, with Morningstar Farms veggie sausage links, and fresh fruit for brunch.

Monday, March 27, 2006

Eureka Springs

We went to visit Eureka Springs, Arkansas this past weekend, what a hoot! Eureka Springs is located in the Ozark Mountains, and it's very touristy, but a lot of fun as well.

The town is best known historically for it's healing springs. There are legends and lore dating from way back when. One local legend has it that a Sioux Princess suffered from an eye affliction that had robbed her of her sight. The young girl bathed her eys in the waters of Basin Spring, and within a short time, her eyesight was completely restored. Her people were overjoyed, and they told the story far and wde until it reached the ears of the first white people entering the area. We visited Basin Springs, and one other healing spring, though I can't remember the name of it. Each of the healing springs seems to be located in picturesque little parks, with bronze plaques detailing the history and lore of each spring.

Eureka Springs has lots and lots of bed and breakfasts, hotels, motels, cabins and inns. I was most enchanted by the darling cottage style bed and breakfasts, and I can never resist a log style cabin. Seeing all the different style choices to rest your head made me wish we were staying over night, rather than making just a day visit.

We had an excellent lunch in the smallest restaurant I've ever been in. Honestly, it was barely one and a half rooms, and only had ten tables. I have to reccommend, if you ever find yourself in Eureka Springs, and you're hungry for lunch, you just have to stop at the Oasis. The decor is definitely 'eclectic'. The food is nothing short of fantastic. They describe their menu as Ark Mex, and whether you're a vegetarian or not, it's as varied as it is excellent. I had the best Frito pie I've ever had, and my mate had the Mexican pizza. It seems everything on the menu comes with a salad and their own house dressing, which is fine with me. All the ingredients were fresh, and the only complaint I can think of was the service was a bit slow. The food is definitely worth the wait. You gotta try this place to believe it. Just don't go expecting fast food.

We also visited Pivot Rock and Natural Bridge, made famous by Ripley's Believe It or Not. From what I understand, Eureka Springs is also a great place to go ghost hunting at, via the Crescent Hotel. And for other top rated things to do, there's The Great Passion Play, rivers to paddle in kayaks and canoes (one of my favorite activities!), hiking and biking and horse back riding trails. There are lakes to swim, fish and ski in, gardens galore, and for the truely brave, you can climb a bluff or an observation tower.

The houses and town were all 'cute', the scenery beautiful. I want to go back and take a trail ride, which they have in plentitude, also. As you can probably guess, I'm planning on visiting Eureka Springs again. This time, I'm taking my camera with me!

Sunday, March 26, 2006

A Sad Day

My heart sunk this morning when I read the news that Buck Owens died yesterday at the age of 76. My dad was a big fan of country music, and I grew up watching "Hee-Haw". Who could ever forget such hits as "Together Again", "I've Got a Tiger by the Tail," "Love's Gonna Live Here," "My Heart Skips a Beat" and "Waitin' in Your Welfare Line." I think my personal favorite of his hits was "Act Naturally". The world has lost a great entertainer, and a great man. I'll miss you, Buck.

Friday, March 17, 2006

Friday Food Review

Since arriving in Bentonville, AR., my mate and I have done a lot of dining out. I thought I'd share my impressions of some of the restaurants we've tried:

Bentonville, AR Restaurants

Pepper Jacks - Fast food Mexican - My mate and I were hungry for mexican food and happened upon Pepper Jack's. What a lucky find for us! We shared a burrito made with a basil tomato tortilla and grilled veggies, and an order of nacho's. The burrito was quite possibly the best I've ever had, the servings are huge, and the service excellent. You can't beat the prices, either. I used to think Moes was the best in franchise mexican fare, but Pepper Jack's beats them, hands down."

Simon's Pancake House - This place reminds me of the small town diners I grew up with. The decor is definitely not high-class, but who cares? The menu is simple, but the food is great, and you can't beat the prices or service. You get a real family feel here.

Dennys Restaurant - I love the decor of this classic dinner. The service left a little to be desired. I had the hash brown potato's with tomatoes, mushrooms, peppers, and over-easy eggs, which was yummy. My mate had the silver dollar pancakes, and hash brown potato's, which he said were very good, nice and crispy (the potato's, not the pancakes).

Maria's Mexican Restaurant - My mate and I have mixed opinions about this restaurant. I enjoyed it for the most part. He wasn't so impressed. I love their chips and salsa, in fact, I'd rate their salsa as the best. It wasn't spicy enough for him. I had the chile relano's, one of my favorite dishes, and wasn't disappointed with it. I didn't care for their Spanish rice, but their refried beans were the best I've had in a restaurant. My mate had the variety enchiladas, and was disappointed that the red and green sauces were mixed together. I have no complaint about the prices or the service, which was excellent, by the way.

Sonic Drive-In - My mate and I are vegetarians, so the only thing on the menu that we've tried are the banana splits. My first visit, and I have no complaints.

Jimmy John's Gourmet Subs - Jimmy John's is always good! In my experience, they use the freshest of ingredients, and their potato chips are the best. My favorite chip flavor is the salt and vinegar, my mate prefers the jalapeno flavor. We first discovered this franchise in a suburb of Minneapolis, Minn., and have found them in 5 other states since. The quality is consistent, where ever they are. Excellent subs, service and price. What more could you ask for?

Johnny Carino's Italian Restaurant - We had lunch here yesterday. At 12:05, the parking lot was packed, and we were afraid that there would be a long wait for a table. Fortunately, that wasn't the case. I ordered an Italian Creme Soda, vanilla flavor, which was excellent. My mate ordered lemonade, and wasn't impressed, it tasted very watered down. I ordered the angel hair pasta with artichokes, which proved to be a lovely, light dish. My mate had the eggplant Parmesan which he declared was equally delicious. I have to admit, my favorite part of the whole meal was the bread, hot, fresh, and oh so yummy. The service was efficient and fast. The only complaint that I have was about the tomato balsamic vinaigrette I had on my salad. I'm a balsamic vinegar addict, this dressing had no balsamic flavor that I could detect, a real disappointment. Never the less, we'll be back.

Abuelo's Mexican Food Embassy - This franchise happens to be one of my mates favorite Mexican restaurants. I love the one located in Lubbock, TX. I'm not so impressed by the food in this branch. The CHILE RELLENO was adequate, the rice was good, but the beans were too dry for my taste. The service was very good, and the prices are competitive. I can't remember what my mate has ordered, but he had no complaints.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Good Memories, and the Not-So-Good Memories

I'm sure everyone has their favorite memories from when they were a child. I was laying in bed the other night, remembering some of my own, and came up with the idea of tracking the bad (or not-so-good) memories, as well as the good memories. This is what I have so far:

Good memory:
Playing in the silky soft dirt of our yard, building roads and towns and cities for our toy cars and pretend people.

Not-so-good memory:
Not being able to sleep in my bed after watching the black and white movie "Little Shop of Horrors" on t.v. I slept in the bathroom because my dad had planted sunflowers outside our bedroom window, and they bore a unpleasant similarity to the blooms on the man-eating plant in the movie.

Good memory:
My dad waking me up while I was sleeping on the toilet, and explaining the difference between movies (not real) and (real)life.

Not-so-good memory:
Hitting a parked car while riding my brothers bike. (I didn't know he had disabled the brakes.) I flew over the handle bars, bouncing off the car, and landing in the street. I sprained my wrist very badly, and ended up with a major case of road rash all down the one side of my body.

Even-worse memory:
Getting my mouth washed out with soap a few days later when the neighborhood bully twisted the same wrist, and I screamed some swear words I didn't even know I knew from the pain.

Good memory:
Pretending to be wild ponies with my best friends, and galloping all over the neighborhood. I wonder now what the adults thought of our strange behavior. No one ever said anything to us, so maybe we weren't as weird as I think we were.

Not-so-good memory:
Having my sister stab me in the eye with a butcher knife when I was in the third grade. No, it really was an accident. Seriously.

Good memory:
The weekly parties at the local roller-skating rink. I couldn't ice skate, I couldn't do fancy foot tricks but I loved zooming around that rink on wheels. I felt almost like I could fly! And if you've never done the Hokey-Pokey on roller skates, man, you just haven't lived!

Not-so-good memory:
Waking late in the evening of December 25th, standing next to the festively decorated Christmas tree, and watching with tears in my eyes as my best friends house burned to the ground. There were no survivors, a family of five lost forever. I've never forgotten you, Cathy, you'll always live in my memories.

Good memory:
The annual family trip to Presque Isle State Park. We spent the whole day at the beach, cooking breakfast, lunch and dinner on the grill, swimming, building sand castles, and just having fun as a family.

Not-so-good memory:
Dreading the daily walk to the bus stop in elementary school. The kids would tease me, calling me "Little Orphan Annie" when my mother would set my hair in rag-curls. Or because I wore hand-me-down clothes.

Good memory:
Playing dolls with my sister. We each had our favorite baby that went everywhere we went. They were kewpie style dolls if my memory is correct. I can't remember what the name of my baby was, but I remember how dearly I loved her.

Not-so-good memory:
Getting bit by a fire ant while staying at my grandfathers house. Oh the burning pain! It bit me right in the underarm area, and it seemed like nothing my parents or grandparents did gave me any relief from the blazing agony of that bite. I couldn't put my arm down for days.

Good memory:
Visiting my grandma. Picking blueberries with her every summer. Picking wild strawberries with her every spring. Just being with her, spending time with her, it's all good with my beloved grandma.

Not-so-good memory:
Getting my head slammed in the trunk of the car by my sister. Three times, right in a row. No, she's not psychotic, really. It was an ACCIDENT. She just couldn't get the trunk to close, and 'didn't know why it wouldn't close'. Seriously.

So, what about you? What are your favorite good and not-so-good memories from your childhood? I'd love to hear them if you'd care to share.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006


We received word today that we could move into our new apartment starting tonight! I've been busy packing up the stuff that we've accumulated just since arriving in Bentonville. I'm so excited!
We're moving from a too-small-for-two motel room, into a beautiful two bedroom, two bath apartment. We hope to be able to spend our first night there tonight. I'm so happy! Picture me dancing with joy!
I'll write again as soon as I can.

In MY World

Have you ever imagined a world of your own creation? I have, and the following is a result of that musing.

In MY World...

There would be no sleepless nights, unless you wanted to remain awake. You would inhale the scent of a lovely bedside flower and fall fast asleep. Magic would be real, it would truely exist in my world, the world of my dreams.

You would always know your soul mate, even if you could never physically be together. You would have an hour or two each evening to converse, to share your thoughts, dreams, longings, wishes and troubles, via any mirror you choose.

In my world, everyone would have a valuable talent. Even if your talent was only for listening, it would be acknowledged and treasured. Every person would be treasured, not only for their talent, but for simply who they are, a one of a kind (which we all are, really) human being. You would be measured for the abilities you have, and not what you lack.

Children would be raised without hate or prejudice. They would not be taught violence in any form, but especially not by example. The pure spirit of a child would never be crushed. There would always be someone around to answer their questions, like - why is the sky blue, or - what makes the thunder roar so?

Children would be children for as long as they needed to be. No more would they be encouraged to hurry up and grow. They would have all the time they needed to explore the world and people around them.

In my world, no one would ever want to stop learning. People would always have the desire to know more, to find out the whys and wherefors. The only time the hunger to learn would slow would be when they were sharing what they loved learning about. Everyone would be a teacher of some kind. You would always find time to learn from others, too, everyone sharing their discoveries equally.

In the land of my dreams, no one would ever go hungry. Unless they wanted to. Food would be plentiful on the bushes and trees. The animals, the birds and the bees, even the reptiles and snakes, would be our brothers and sisters. We would share labor, love, and concern for each others well-being equally.

This is not to say that my world would be a perfect world. There would still be sorrow, still be pain, and at times, loneliness would exist. For how can you know true joy until you have experienced sorrow? Would you know what bliss it was to be healthy if you had not suffered some pain? And how could you be a true friend, lover or soul mate if you had never felt loneliness or loss in your heart? It is part of growing and learning, of life, to discover the meanings of these words, sad as they are.

In my world, sunrises and sunsets would be a time for reflection and meditation. That time would be a time of peace, a time to feed your soul and your imagination, a holy time if you will. The first notes of a bird would be your anthem to greet the day, the stars and moon a path to light your way to slumbers and restorative dreams.

Sunday, March 12, 2006

I've Been Dreaming Of...

Dream Vacations

Where would I like to go for a vacation, if I could go anywhere, spare no expense?

One of my dreams has always been to go on a cruise to Alaska. For one thing, I grew up watching "The Love Boat" series on television, and it always seemed so dreamy, so romantic, the ideal existance. To have a luxurious cabin, with porthole windows looking out onto the waves *sigh*. There's all the activities on board a ship, nightclubs, grand dining rooms, imagine getting dressed up to go to dinner? How often do you do that in real life? Plus dancing, nightclub shows, and walks on the deck under the moonlight. Plus the gorgeous scenery of the wildderness of Alaska! That's one dream vacation.

Another place that I've always dreamed about visiting is the Great Barrier Reef. I don't even scuba dive, but I'd learn in a hurry if I had the opportunity to visit this marine park off the northeast coast of Australia. When, or I should say, IF I got tired of diving and observing the wonderous displays of underwater life, I'd take a break by going with one of my other passions, shell collecting. There, too, is a once in a life time opportunity. I can just imagine the joy of finding a giant triton shell, even if I wasn't allowed to add it to my shell collection. The thrill of finding one, and holding it in my own two hands would be worth the trip.

I've also dreamed of touring the lands of my ancestors, Ireland and Scotland. I want to kiss the Blarney Stone, though I've heard that's a slightly risky endevour. I dream of a walk along the moors. Who wouldn't want to try and spot the Loch Ness monster drifting through the early morning mist? Not I, I wouldn't miss that for all the tea in China. I want to see all the things I've read and heard about all my life, live and in person!

Last, but not least, I'd love to be pampered and spoiled on the white sands of Acapulco. Reputedly, one of the most exciting cities in the world, Acapulco is famous for its explosive nightlife (not sure how well I'd fit in there), postcard beaches, unlimited watersports, first-class hotels, gourmet restaurants and the breathtaking physical beauty of Acapulco Bay. I want to lay under an umbrella, gazing at the pristine blue waters of the bay, sipping on a tall, frosty, exotic drink. *sigh* Would you care to join me there?

These are just a few of the 'real' places I'd like to take a vacation in. Check back again to see the 'imaginary' vacation areas I've dreamed of. Ciao!

Monday, March 06, 2006

Adventures In Hunting, Part Deux

An update on our hunt for a new apartment in Bentonville, AR.

After a hectic, frantic weekend of apartment hunting we finally decided on one. It's a 2 bedroom, 2 bath, ground floor apartment on a golf course, no less. Guess I'll have to keep my ears open for the sound of Fore! Can't have my birdfeeders or a garden but you can't have everything, I guess. I'll be glad to get out of this glorified motel room, but that won't happen 'til next weekend.

Oh yeah, the last apartment we looked at yesterday told us they wouldn't accept our guinea pig, can you imagine that??? I said they were probably worried he'd get loose and mate with their mice, then they'd have a bunch of huge, hairy mutated tail-less mice-pigs running around THEIR golf course, destroying their ninth hole. 7 out of 10 apartment complexes down here have golf courses connected to them, I swear!

Oh my gosh, now that I think about it, my guinea pig, Valentine, REMINDS me of that gopher from Caddyshack! I think he shares that gophers temperment and sense of humor, too.

I tried golf once, at a driving range. I don't think I did very well, as all the other golfers suddenly decided they had enough practice after my fifth practice swing shot the ball over the top of the pro shop behind the driving range. I do pretty well at miniature golf tho'...

Sunday, March 05, 2006

Adventures In Hunting

A Hunting We Will Go...

...A hunting we will go, a hunting we will go, hie hoe the dairy oh, a hunting we will go.
What's that? What are we hunting for? Why, apartments, of course! I know I'm sounding silly about it, and after spending almost eight hours yesterday driving around Bentonville and nearby Rogers, looking at too many different apartments, I realize there's nothing silly about it.

In fact, it's downright frustrating! For me, at least. We saw some nice apartments, and some not-so-nice apartments. My main problem is I want to live close to town. That shouldn't be a problem, you say? It is when your idea of 'close to town' and his idea of close to town differ in the miles, not city blocks.

I thought we had a good compromise yesterday, a lovely apartment close to a couple of shopping malls, though not right downtown Bentonville. We even discussed putting a security deposit on it today. But when we got back to our room last night, he got out the newspaper, and got on the internet, and decided there were a few more places we should check out. So my ordeal isn't over yet.

I haven't figured out why apartment hunting causes me to go into a near anxiety attack stage. I start out okay, all hopeful and excited about hunting for our new home. But as the day wears on, I develop a headache, my stomach begins to twist into knots, and I find myself silently chanting the mantra, "please let this be over soon, please let this be over soon."

I think it might be basically the fear of the unknown. My mate is a great navigator, has an impeccable sense of direction, for the most part. There are times though, not to sound disloyal or anything, when he's not -shall we say- the greatest at writing down directions. He's also the type of man who, when assembling something, takes one look at the instructions and says, "Instructions?!!? We don't need no steenking instructions!" In a cheesy fake accent, of course!

As a result, sometimes we spend what seems like hours driving around, while he says things like 'let's try this way', or 'if I turn here, and then turn there', or 'let's see that map again!'... While I cringe in my seat, trying desperately, though not always successfully, to keep my mouth shut. And I pray. A lot.

So, again today, a hunting we will go. Wish me luck, please?

Friday, March 03, 2006

T.G.I.F.? I Don't Think So!

T.G.I.F.? I don't think so. I know I should be thankful that it's Friday, meaning tomorrow is the weekend, and we can go shopping and explore our new home area. But frankly, I'm a little bummed, and more than a little blue.

First off, my day started with a headache banging behind my eyes. No problem, I'll take some tylenol, and go back to bed for awhile. Maybe some extra z's will help, couldn't hurt, right? Good theory. Unfortunately, the phone kept ringing, one legitimate call, two from an 'unknown caller' who either didn't have the intelligence or the balls to speak. I mean, what's wrong with admitting you've made a mistake, dialed the wrong number? Come on now, it's a matter of good manners, of respect, for goodness sakes!

Giving up on the hope of anymore sleep, I went to the office of this extended stay place we're at, knowing they sell coffee, filters, and coffee machines, hoping they sell sugar, as well. No such luck. So no caffiene for me today. My mate finished off the lemonade last night so my choices for morning beverage are: lukewarm instant coffee with no cream no sugar, lukewarm hot chocolate - neither very appealling to me, or iced tap water YUCK

I'm not real happy living this way...

I am getting so frustrated! Our internet, provided by the extended stay place is DSL. And it sucks! I miss our cable internet service. It was so fast and DSL is so very, very slow. When I'm web surfing, some pages never load at all! I tried to relax earlier by playing my favorite Jeopardy! game, and I spent 10 very irritating minutes waiting for the d**n game to load, a process that would have taken 30 seconds to run using cable internet.

Maybe you can tell, I'm also more than a little bored here. I mean, I can watch t.v., crochet, read, all the things I do at 'home'. I can't dig out any of my art supplies, too much of a pain to do when we're only going to be here a short time. So what is it, why is it so frustrating, so boring here? When I figure it out, IF I figure it out, I'll be sure to let you know.