Happy Holidaze

 

The holidays all run together now. I don’t mean literally, I mean at the store.

Used to be, when you went into a Ben Franklin 5 & 10, Western Auto, Otasco, or Sears, you knew what holiday it was.

If it was almost Halloween, the appropriate decorations, costumes, and candy were on the shelf. My mom would take my sister and me to the store and we’d pick out a costume and then patiently wait for October 31 to roll around so ...

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The Chicken Fried Stakes

 

There is a short list of things in the South that you’d better know how to do correctly or someone will quickly say, “Bless your heart.”

Making a good chicken fried steak is near the top of that list. There’s a lot at stake when it comes to claiming you make a good one. Pun intended.

For the most part, cooks south of the Mason Dixon Line know how to make a decent chicken fried steak. Those who don’t, know which restaurants ...

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The Fouke Monster

 

When I was a kid in the early 1970s, the Fouke Monster was around every corner. At least, that was how I saw things as a 10-year-old.

For those who aren’t familiar with this Sasquatch-like creature, the Fouke Monster allegedly roamed (some say, still roams) the river bottoms and woods in and around Fouke, Arkansas, which is about 40 miles southeast of where I grew up in Ashdown.

At the time, several newspapers were reporting about people who had not only seen ...

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Bacon

I was rummaging through the freezer when something caught my eye. Bacon.

But, this wasn’t just any bacon, this was fully-cooked bacon.

I reached into the door of the freezer and removed the smaller-than-normal package. I read the label. It said that it did not require refrigeration or freezing. So, this bacon presumably could last forever, putting it in the same class as Hostess Twinkies and Velveeta.

I’m guessing that my wife put this bacon in the freezer out of habit.

So, how was ...

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I’ll Do It Myself

I understand that people have to make a living, but sometimes, the markup on repair services borders on ridiculous.

Case in point: I was recently walking on the treadmill, when it suddenly just stopped.

Now, I know that this is shocking, but try to get past the part about me being on a treadmill and focus on the rest of the story.

We bought a state-of-the-art treadmill from Sears back in 2002. The guy sold me this newfangled piece of exercise equipment that ...

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I Get Mail

 

When I began jotting down my thoughts each week back in 2013, I didn’t plan on what started out as a blog meant to document my life, becoming a newspaper column.

This blog also appears as a weekly column in the Tyler Morning Telegraph and The Little River News.

The first is near where I live in East Texas, and the other is in my hometown of Ashdown, Arkansas.

However, I’m glad that it did. Each newspaper was kind enough to ...

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The Pioneer Skillet

My momma’s skillet and this columnist are featured in the fall issue of the Pioneer Woman Magazine.

Well, it used to be my momma’s skillet. She gave it to me when I left home almost 40 years ago.

And there it is on page 72 of Ree Drummond’s new magazine.

If by chance, you aren’t familiar with Ree Drummond (The Pioneer Woman), she has built a media empire that grew out of a blog she began writing in 2006. It chronicles her daily ...

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I Love You, Too

You can always tell from the timbre of the voice of the person on the other end of the line when bad news is coming.

A thousand things go through your mind during the milliseconds between the realization that what you’re about to hear will change your life forever and receiving the rest of the message.

It was my father. He asked if I was sitting down.

My mother had just left a couple of hours earlier from a visit with my wife ...

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Not That Dirty of a Job

If you don’t know who Mike Rowe is, you should look him up online. Mr. Rowe represents what the average man in America used to resemble only a few short years ago.

He’s level-headed, smart, tries to avoid talking about politics or religion, and he is doing what he can to help other people.

Mike tried several different jobs (300 according to his website) between 2003 and 2012 when he starred in and worked on the TV show Dirty Jobs on The ...

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Life Lines

 

“Life is what happens while you are busy making other plans.” – John Lennon, “Beautiful Boy” 1980

I recently glanced at the calendar and discovered that somehow, I got old.

I don’t mind birthdays. As a matter of fact, having them is quite preferable to not having them. It’s just that most folks, regardless of our age, never feel old. We may be old, look old, and act old, but inside, we don’t think of ourselves as aged.

In my head, I’m still ...

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