It’s so hard to believe that it has been nearly a year since my last blog post. Well, my last post to my blog, that is.

Despite my efforts to discipline myself with a serial kind of post to share good things that are happening around us, I got caught up instead in helping others get their own blogs up and going.

Upstream Matters Blog

The blog I’ve been most involved with is called “Upstream Matters”. It is a blog for connecting the residents of the Illinois River Watershed, and sharing ways to cherish our rivers, lakes and streams and to protect and restore them for future generations.

One of the most amazing projects that they are undertaking is to create a preserve-like area on thirty plus acres. With its 6 acre lake, fresh springs, and natural woodlands, they can build a microcosm of sorts to help educate people about watershed management.

I had the opportunity to write a post for them this fall about this very special place… I’d like to share it here, so it can be a part of my history as well.


A New Chapter for the Lake at a Cave Springs

Tucked away in the urban headwaters of the Illinois River Watershed in the middle of Cave Springs, Arkansas is a six-acre lake, nestled in 24 acres of woods and fed by a fresh spring. Today, most people know the Lake at Cave Springs only from the glimpse through a chain link fence that they drive past on their morning commute, or in their rush to the airport.

Morning sun on the lake at Cave Springs

But there is much more to the lake than the partial view from Highway 112 can reveal. The Lake at Cave Springs has both a rich history and an inspired future.

Water wheel and water flow

The Lake at Cave Springs held an important place in the history of this community and region. In years past, it housed a fish hatchery and the springs were the source of drinking water for the area. The cool springs provided a retreat from the summer heat.

It was place where families spent the day together as families. Teaching their kids to fish and swim, spreading out a picnic supper, taking a stroll, and catching up with the neighbors.

Fish Runs

The Illinois River Watershed Partnership and the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission have a master plan to restore the lake to be a place where families and nature lovers can gather once again. To learn about with the wildlife, land and waters of our watershed. To fish and to canoe. To explore and to relax.

The Lake at Cave Springs

The transformation of the lake will begin over the coming months. Trails and nature walks will educate explorers about the natural wildlife and vegetation. Award winning architects will be constructing outdoor learning facilities, trails, a fishing boardwalk and pier.

Removal of the trout raceways to rehabilitate and restore that portion of the lake and the stream feeding the lake to a more natural state will utilize Low Impact Development (LID) methods and serve as a regional watershed education and demonstration project.

Experiential activities will engage participants in techniques to preserve, protect and restore this beautiful watershed in which we live.

Sun on the Lake

In a few weeks, the restoration process will begin with the draining of the lake. And in upcoming months, you’ll see the lake of the future unfolding. While we begin to see the vision for the lake take shape, we will also take a look at its rich history, though a series of “Throwback Thursdays” posts.

View of the Lake from Hwy 112

But just for now — in these few images — we can enjoy the lake as we know it today and appreciate the hidden beauty amongst us.


Click here to view the post in its original setting, and to browse the many interesting posts that the IRWP has produced!

How is it that I am in my 50’s and just learning how to clean a house? I admit it, I have been spoiled. I put in lots of hours at work, and was fortunate to have a spouse that was happy to stay home and take care of me… and of the house. (more…)

We are hoping that Santa won’t be mad… sometimes a Corgi just needs a cookie.


Enjoy this wonderful season with those you love… including those warm, furry friends that bring so many smiles.

Merry Christmas!


A June morning when I am finally motivated enough to weed my unusually unruly vegetable garden.

For the first time, I have chosen to focus on herbs rather than vegetables, hoping to keep things simple. It is only at Tom’s urging that I bought two tomato plants to join the chives, parsley, rosemary, thyme, basil, oregano and sage that populate the majority of my raised beds. Despite my careful planning, there are now almost a dozen tomato plants thriving in their midst — offspring of past tomato plants. The mystery of their variety will gradually reveal itself.

Anyway, the mundane chore of weeding doesn’t often attract me. But today I have at least felt obligated enough to attempt the chore. And as I am working my way through the boxes, I begin to smell the most wonderful things. Basil. Tomato. Oregano. Parsley. The fragrant air makes the chore so much more bearable.

I hate to admit it, but the iPad has had a bigger effect on me than I expected. I am embarrassed to say that I have consumed far, far more content than I have created. And much of it mindless. I believe there were some early critics that predicted this.

But after a year of almost constant contact with my iPad, I vow to look at things differently this year. Ironically, I am planning to buy the next version, but with the hopes that Tom will embrace some new technology if I give him my hand-me- down.

That could be the biggest advancement of all. Imagine. Being able to send Tom and email or message electronically. Something most of us take for granted. But a novelty for Tom.

Stayed tuned for this next frontier!

Oh, to wake up in the morning… and find your iPad dead.  A crushing blow to the start of the day.

At first it was difficult to believe.  If I just plug it in.   If I push the buttons in a different order.  If I attach it to the computer.  But nothing.  Dark.  Blank.  Nada.

The hardest thing was admitting that it really did affect me.  Does that make me a bad person?  The first 24 hours were the most difficult adjustment.  But on day two and day three, it wasn’t so bad.  Maybe I’m still a functioning human being without a tablet attached.

In my often dramatic way, I told the story to all my co-workers.  But in reality, I survived.

Its Dylan’s birthday today. Actually, the date we adopted him. Sometimes it’s hard to remember a time when we he hasn’t been around. Other time we look at each other and say ‘Do you realize we have a DOG?’

He has certainly changed our lives. Definitely for the better. There are so many ways he makes me smile. The tinkle of his tags as he walks into a room. The sound of his nails on the tiles. The moan that he gives during a really good rub. The feel of his tongue trying to get a treat out of my fist. The softness of his fur. His cute little smile.

What a miracle that we found him.

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