Rainy Sunday


On Flikr, the most often used camera is the iPhone.

After showing you all the photos of Heber Springs taken with my iPhone4 – and becoming used to seeing that quality of photo – I decided to dig my ‘real’ camera out for a few shots this morning.

The difference is astounding, even on the crappy laptop I have. There is much more color capacity, which gives a great sense of depth to the photos.


Caught up in big


This week, I started working out of a satellite office in Heber Springs, Arkansas. It’s about a 30 minute drive over winding country roads through the mountains, and the trip is filled with amazing sights. The most shocking sight to see is Sugarloaf Mountain.


Are things getting better or worse?


"Things are getting better, yet people always think things are getting worse."

When I heard that, it stopped me in my tracks. It seems to be completely opposite of the way I’ve been thinking lately: Things are getting worse, yet people think things are better. I think it’s worth looking at, peeking around the corner a bit, just to see what’s on the other side. Hey, if something comes out of the blue that affronts a long-held belief, then it’s worth a look-see, right?

One of the major things about getting old is that it’s harder to remember things. Well, no shit, Sherlock. As time goes on, there’s a lot more things that happen, it all accumulates, piles up and gets deep. What, we’re supposed to remember it all? I mean, isn’t it logical that a 20 year old with only 7,300 days to his name could remember something that happened a few years ago compared to a 50 year old with 18,000 days to sift through? See what I mean?  There’s no Fading Memory Syndrome; it’s just plain math. There’s just way too many things to remember, even for the sharpest Crayon in the box. It’s the needle-in-a-haystack thing, and my haystack is reaching mountainous proportions, ok?


What being on welfare is really like


No, no one can live on $162 a month. It’s not possible.

$162 a month for a single mother with a young child with mandatory participation in work search, school (GED, vocational education), paid work, on the job training, or unpaid work, minimum of 30 hours a week.

That is “being on welfare” in the state of Arkansas.

There is a long list of “musts” that go along with it, with a much shorter list of assistance in the form of Food Stamps, Medicaid, limited childcare and, once in awhile, mileage reimbursement. A mother must turn over all child support money received, must put in that 30 hours a week work activity, must participate in counseling, must vaccinate her child, must report any changes in circumstances, must meet with the caseworker twice a month, must sign a release of information…

To dispel a common misconception, if a woman becomes pregnant and has another child while participating in TANF/TEA, the amount received does not increase. To dash another myth, that 24 month limit is a lifetime cap. 

Can you imagine what it would be like if this were your reality, your life?