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Arkansas Adventures: Shouse Ford

September 16, 2014

By Stephanie Hatfield

I feel blessed to have been born and raised in Arkansas. The natural state has so many beautiful places to explore and I have seen many. One of my favorite places to spend time is Shouse Ford Landing on Lake DeGray. To travel there, you drive Highway 7 North from Arkadelphia to Bismarck, take a left at the red light in Bismarck onto Highway 84 South toward Amity, drive about 8 miles and turn left on Shouse Ford Road, across from Point Cedar Grocery and Bait Shop, drive until the road ends. Shouse Ford is to the left and Point Cedar is to the right.

Stovetop popcorn "magic" amazes family

August 20, 2014

By Ronna Pennington, Editor

“Who wants popcorn?” I asked.
Nobody. Just me.
Okay. I got out a pot, poured some oil in the bottom of it and heated it on the stove top. I poured popcorn in and waited for the popping to commence.
A few short minutes later, the first kernel exploded and hopped out of the pot just as Sydney was getting a drink from the fridge.
“What was that?” she asked.
“Popcorn.”
She came closer and I showed her the white popping kernels through the clear lid.
“Daddy! You’ve GOT to come see this!” she yelled.

Honoring Claudia Mason and her contribution to Malvern newspaper

August 14, 2014

Claudia Mann Mason, 100, died at her home on Wednesday, Aug. 13. Mason knew a thing or two about newspaper. Her father, Claude Mann, owned the former Times-Journal here in Malvern. He bought the paper in 1901, and it became part of the Malvern Daily Record many years later. Throughout her father’s ownership of the paper, Mrs. Mason performed a number of jobs, including rolling newspapers to prepare them for delivery.

Turning off Internet could be good idea (By Gretchen Ritchey)

July 31, 2014

Ever been in a rut? Most of us have been in a rut at some point in our life. Whether it be daily routine activities, work or depression, it’s all still a rut.
Yep, I’m in a rut. One that I can’t seem to jump from and stay out of.
My daily routine isn’t my rut, it’s more of an artist’s block rut. I so badly want to draw, paint, sculpt, build, anything art. But, I have a blockage. Although visually I can see what I want, my hands are bonded and are unable to work with my brain to produce the image I so badly want to see in real life.

The tale of two grandmas (By Ronna Pennington)

July 28, 2014

It was the age of kitchen wisdom, it was the age of heat-and-serve TV dinners. Nothing sums up my tale of two very different grandmothers better.
One, Grandma Buck, was a kitchen ninja. She wasn’t tall enough to reach platters on the top cabinet shelf, but watching her cook homemade meals with the items within reach was like watching slow-mo Keanu Reeves in The Matrix. Her homemade cakes and pies were a hit at the family’s every-other-Sunday dinner ritual.

From: Me — To: You (by Sharon Smith)

July 25, 2014

My favorite ol’ horseman, George Thurber, once said, “Work is hard enough without people making it more difficult.” Most Christians understand the foundation of this, because at one time or another we are on one side of the transaction or the other. We are either the client or the clerk; buyer or seller. Most folks are raised to do unto others (you know the rest).

Music, ice cream and birthdays at the Senior Center (By Ann Ashcraft)

July 24, 2014

Margaret SEZ’S. “We want every senior in Hot Spring County to be able to enjoy their senior years and you can do this by eating a balanced meal each day and staying active. We want to encourage you to come into the Senior Center if you are not already doing so and socialize with others your age. We provide transportation to anyone who needs a ride. All you need to do is call 332-5374.

Tetanus pain in my arm (By Gretchen Ritchey)

July 24, 2014

Ever wonder why your arm hurts after receiving a tetanus shot?
Apparently there is not a definite answer as to what makes my arm hurt.
Sunday, July 20, I stepped on a nail. It had been nearly nine years since my last tetanus shot, so of course, I needed one.
When I was in seventh grade, a classmate passed away from tetanus. Since then, I have always had concerns of tetanus. Something I do not want. Always been told it was a serious disease that affects your nervous system that usually leads to serious pain of lock-jaw, which is what it is commonly known to be called.
There is no cure for tetanus at this time. That’s scary.
Because of tetanus vaccines, the number of cases in the United States are rare. According to the Mayo Clinic there are about 1 million cases reported yearly worldwide.
Since I have all sorts of critters running about in my backyard, I figured getting up-to-date on my vaccine was a good idea.
I was, however, surprised when I called my doctor’s office to make an appointment and they informed me that they did not give those shots in the office. They told me I would need to get that shot from the Health Department.
At the Health Department I asked the nurse if my arm would feel sore the next day like it did the last time. She said, “it shouldn’t.”
She was so very wrong. Yes, my arm has been hurting for a good 24 hours. While I am sure that the pain will go away as my body accepts the vaccine, it can’t happen soon enough for me.
I remember previous tetanus shots making my arm sore but I can’t remember them causing this much pain. But, this year the nurse suggested that I get the Tdap (Tetanus, Diphtheria and Pertussis) shot because it included a vaccine for whopping cough.
Some of you may wish not to get certain vaccines but for me tetanus is a must. Growing up I was always told that horses carried tetanus, so I was routinely given a vaccine. My doctor told me during my visit that she did not believe it to be true that horses carry it; she said tetanus is in the ground and I should be worried given the amount and variety of critters I have.
I told her that I vaccinate my horses and goats each year for tetanus. She laughed and said, “you vaccinate your goats better then you do yourself.” I guess that is one way to look at it.
Tetanus is caused by a bacteria called Clostridium tetani. A rod-shaped organism that hangs out in the soil that thrives in warm weather and well cultivated soil, according to www.horsetalk.co.nz. If you have horses you’re soil is probably well cultivated from their hooves.
According to www.horsetalk.co.nz tetanus bacteria can be ingested by horses and can be found in a horse’s gut and/or their droppings, but the spores themselves are not toxic to the animal.
According to the Mayo Clinic, when the Clostridium tetani bacteria enters a wound spores release a powerful toxin, called tetanospasmin, which actively impairs your motor neurons, nerves that control your muscles. The most common symptoms of tetanus are spasms and stiffness in your jaw muscles, stiffness of your neck muscles, difficulty swallowing, stiffness of your abdominal muscles, painful body spasms lasting for several minutes, typically triggered by minor occurrences, such as a draft, loud noise, physical touch or light. Some people may also suffer from fever, sweating, elevated blood pressure and rapid heart rate.
For your safety if you have not received a tetanus vaccine within the last 10 years you should consider one, especially if you have had a deep wound.

A week of random thoughts upon my return

July 22, 2014

By Eric Moore — As some of you may have known, I took the opportunity last week to go on vacation.
I secluded myself to an area with little-to-no television and purposely kept myself out of the loop when it came to all things sports... in a way.
I still went out to the local creeks and rivers and enjoyed my time off, but being the sports junkie that I am, the thoughts of competitive events will forever permeate my brain.
Even while I was spending time “relaxing” at a creek with my closest friends and their kids, I managed to turn skipping stones into a contest.

Outdoor concerts and child do not mix well

July 22, 2014

By Ronna Pennington —

I learned something new this weekend: my daughter and outdoor concerts don’t quite mix.
I thought if anything, it would be the gnats or other flying creatures that would bother her most about sitting outdoors for a few hours. As it turns out, I was at least partly right. We went to Magic Springs Saturday night to hear one of her favorite Disney performers in concert.

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