Greetings To All Of Our 2005 Guests
Table Of Contents:
As another year passes, we hope you all had a happy, healthy, prosperous 2005, and we wish you the best in 2006.
Our year seemed to fly by. We think it’s partly because we seem to stay busy, and we have a theory that time definitely speeds up as you get older.
Our plans to retire are gaining steam, so look for all the details in “Our Plans” section.
Please read on and find out all that’s happened this past year. Also, what’s in store for next year.
Thank you all again
for a very good 2005. As always, we look forward to seeing you again in
Our own Sarah Nelson, who has worked for us ever since she was 14, graduated from Mountain Home High this year. She is so bright, she is now off to Arkansas Technical University, as a music major, with a full scholarship. We’ve talked about how well Sarah was doing in the high school band (first chair clarinet). We predict big things for Sarah. Happily for us, Sarah will be back at Black Oak for the summer.
We have been looking to sell Black Oak Inn for several years. We considered this as our first phase towards retirement. We’re very happy to report that we’ve sold this business to our own guests of many years: Doug and Heidi Potts. They have been coming to Black Oak Resort for many years, and had already purchased a great piece of property in Oakland where they plan to build their future home in a few years.
They are extensively remodeling the rooms with all new interiors: new carpeting and tile, new bathrooms and kitchens, and more. We have agreed to manage the place for at least two years. Doug and Heidi welcome you to come and take a look. We look forward to working with them and wish them much success.
We still have Abby and Sam. Abby, our miniature lab, is six years old now. Abby contracted a very serious illness this past year. It’s a tick-borne disease, ehrlichiosis. It causes symptoms similar to lyme disease. It causes lethargy and loss of appetite, and can cause joint inflammation, anemia, and organ failure. In most cases, if caught in time, the dog can be treated with antibiotics and fully recover. Or it can become chronic or cause death.
In Abby’s case it was caught in time, and she’s pretty much back to normal. Betty didn’t even realize that Abby was sick. Betty just thought she was getting older and slowing down. Abby was still taking her walks and swimming. Well, when Betty brought Abby in for her annual check-up, part of that check-up is a blood test to check for tick-borne infections. Doctor told Betty, Abby was testing positive for ehrlichiosis as well as lyme. Since Abby had received a vaccine against lyme, Doc said this was a false positive, but he immediately prescribed a course of antibiotics for the ehrlichiosis.
Betty felt terribly guilty, blaming herself (rightly) for Abby getting sick. Betty is averse to overmedicating, so was not treating for ticks at all, just for fleas, thinking that Abby was safe because she had been vaccinated against Lyme disease. The course of antibiotics was for three weeks. But Betty did some research on the Internet, and found much difference of opinion on treatment. Some recommended treatment for as long as three months, and some recommended an ongoing therapeutic dosing to prevent re-infection. So Betty asked Doc for more antibiotics after the first course of treatment. The doc did give additional antibiotics, but then said no more without a repeat blood test. This was after six weeks of treatment. Well, Betty was right, because it was still showing up in Abby’s blood. So doc not only gave Abby another six weeks of antibiotics, but increased her dosage. After this, Abby was retested, and there was no longer any sign of the disease.
Abby has slowly regained her vitality, and is almost back to her old self. Betty asked Doc if the Frontline Plus treatment would completely eliminate the chance of re-infection. He recommended that Abby additionally wear a Preventic tick collar since she runs in the woods almost daily, and has greater exposure.
Abby did put on some weight, since she was getting all her pills encased in cheese. But she’s getting back to her old girlish figure now that she’s exercising more. We are so grateful for her full recovery, and will be more careful with her care in the future.
First off, for all of you who constantly ask, yes we still have Jitterbug, our most outgoing cat who has visited or at least tried to visit each and every one of our guests. He did have a few close calls: He wound up in several of our guests boats as they were leaving, and had to be routed out. Trust us, he can cram himself through the slightest opening to get into a boat to sleep, and has already taken two trips out - one as far as St. Louis. So, Betty watches like a hawk on checkout days for Jitterbug’s whereabouts.
We also have Cutie-Pie, our oldest cat, who likes to stand with both front feet in the dog’s water bowl to take a drink. Then there’s Handsome, Igor, and Fluff-Fluff to complete our list of inside cats. Pinky, Scaredy-Cat, White-Foot, Newman and Studly are our outside cats. Newman and Studly are our only “intact” males, and they manage to keep all other foraging cats away, which thankfully keeps our cat population from rising.
Betty is still attending her book discussion group, which started in July 2003, and is still going strong with all original members. There’s six charter members, all still with the group. Besides Betty there are four women and one man. Ages run from mid-fifties to mid-seventies. They come from all over the country: Florida, California, Minnesota, Indiana, and Illinois. They each bring their own unique perspective to the group discussions. None of the group considers themselves old, and the discussions are lively and stimulating. We share a common love of books, and we all enjoy the lively discussions that ensue over each book. Even though our ages and backgrounds are diverse, we come together eager to share our thoughts, opinions, and stories. Of course our discussions wind up covering politics, religion, sex, etc., with lots of laughter thrown in. It’s positively addicting, and Betty hopes it continues for a long time.
Here’s what we read, or attempted to read in 2005:
The Source, James Michener. Fiction. A novel which presents the history of the Jewish faith from its origins to present times. This a long book (1078 pages), and comes highly recommended by those who were able to finish reading it. 4 stars.
To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee. Fiction. A classic about bigotry and racism as told from a child’s perspective. This was universally loved by the group and receives our highest rating. 5 stars.
Public Enemies, Bryan Burrough. Non-Fiction. First-rate story-telling, covering the crime wave that swept the country during the great depression of the thirties, with all the legendary outlaws that sprang up during that time in our country’s history: John Dillinger, Bonnie and Clyde, Pretty Boy Floyd, Baby Face Nelson, and the Barker Gang. Intertwined in their stories is the story of the beginnings of the FBI, and the rise to power of J. Edgar Hoover for almost half a century. 4 stars.
The Plot Against America, Philip Roth. Fiction. A “what if” look at what might have happened if Charles Lindbergh had run for president against FDR and defeated him. Lindbergh is portrayed as an anti-semite and Hitler loyalist, who changes the course of history, as told through the eyes of a young seven-year-old Jewish boy. Mixes fact with fiction, bringing to life many colorful historical figures along the way. 4 stars.
Under the Banner of Heaven, Jon Krakauer. Non-Fiction. A fascinating look at the Mormon faith and its history, with a “hook,” recounting the tragic story of the murder of a Mormon wife and her infant daughter. A shocking eye-opener, blending a chilling crime story with a hard look at the Mormons. 5 stars.
No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency, Alexander McCall Smith. Fiction. Written by a man in a woman’s voice. This is the first in a series of books about a woman in Botswana who sets up business to make a living doing what she is best at. Sweet, charming, we all loved the little tales she weaves. 4 stars.
Founding Mothers, Cokie Roberts. Non-Fiction. A look at the women behind the great men during the founding of our nation. These wives and mothers deserve their due for their part in history and are often overlooked. What some of them had to endure will amaze you. Our hats off to the ladies! 4 stars.
Memoirs of a Geisha, Arthur Golden. Fiction. Reads like a memoir, but is actually written by a man in a woman’s voice. We all loved this book, which takes you behind the scenes of the life of a geisha as told by Chiyo, who becomes the famous geisha Sayuri. 4 stars.
Smilla’s Sense of Snow, Peter Hoeg. Fiction. Another book written by a man in a woman’s voice. For a mystery, this book is beautifully written, with lyrical prose that will touch your heart. Set in Greenland and Copenhagen, with lots of artful descriptions of snow and ice. Smilla, in heart-wrenchingly beautiful prose, tells of her relationship with and love for a young boy who dies mysteriously, and the ensuing journey she embarks on to find out what happened to him. 5 stars.
Middlesex, Jeffrey Eugenides. Fiction. Another book written by a man in a woman’s voice-er, sort of. The story of a Greek family, and the central character Callie, who becomes Cal. Set in Greece, then ultimately in Detroit, tells the story of Callie, who was born a hermaphrodite, but doesn’t find out until she’s well into her teens. Interesting stuff, the author does an outstanding job of expressing the sexual feelings of a teenager, regardless of gender. 4 stars.
One Hundred Years of Solitude, Gabriel Garcia Marquez. Fiction. We are currently in the process of working through this difficult, but hopefully worthy work of great story-telling.
So to sum
Books set in:
Books told through the eyes of a child:
Books written by a man, but told in a woman’s voice:
Books of history:
Books about religion:
Honestly, there wasn’t a bad book in the bunch. A book club expands your reading to other areas where you might not have ever gone. It makes you aware, makes you think, and teaches.
Betty started taking computer courses at Arkansas State University (Mountain Home). Betty finally learned to use a mouse, so wouldn’t you know it, she gets a laptop with no mouse!
She’s completed courses on Microsoft Windows, Internet and Email, Microsoft Word, Excel, Access and Front Page. The courses were just covering the basics, and she will have to try them on her own. Betty is especially interested in the Internet and Access. Word was easy to use. Excel is good, but Access can do much more. The next course she’s scheduled to take is Digital Photography. After that, she’ll have to wait till fall.
As far as comedy, we don’t like most of them, but two we do like a lot are:
HBO’s “Curb Your Enthusiasm.” This show features Larry David, who was the inspiration (creator, producer, and writer) for Seinfeld. (Besides Seinfeld himself). This is an R-rated version of Seinfeld. Hilarious.
Three of the best new Dramas are:
HBO’s ”Deadwood.” The greatest (after The Soprano’s, of course). This caught us by surprise. The language is unbelievably bad, but if you can get past it, you are in for one of the best “Dramedies.” Our favorite characters are…all of them!
FOX’s “House.” We love Hugh Laurie (Dr. House). And a great ensemble cast also. This obnoxious, lovable doctor will grow on you.
“CBS’s Criminal Minds." Another criminal profiler drama, but with a terrific cast and taut, creepy drama.
Michael’s favorite afternoon feasts: Still “Judge Judy” and "Dr. Phil.”
Betty’s favorite guilty pleasures: “Denise Austin” (workout routines), which has just recently disappeared from Lifetime. Also “The Biggest Loser” and “American Idol.” Both are addictive, so if you haven’t started watching, don’t say we didn’t warn you.
In Good Company, March of the Penguins, War of the Worlds, Wedding Crashers, The Island, Bad News Bears, The 40-Year Old Virgin, Red Eye, In Her Shoes, King Kong, Memoirs of a Geisha, The Family Stone.
A History of Violence (we're going to have to install some stairs!), and Walk the Line were the standouts we saw this year. It seems lots of the movies we liked this year were comedies. We don’t usually care for action movies, but we made exceptions for War of the Worlds, The Island, and King Kong. We liked them all.
Michael has been golfing at all three of our 18-hole golf courses: Big Creek Golf & Country Club, Twin Lakes Golf Course and Rivercliff. Both Big Creek and Twin Lakes are in Mountain Home, while Rivercliff is on the White River in Bull Shoals. We are arranging special pricing for our guests. Check with us before you go golfing, but by all means bring your clubs, or better yet, go golfing with Michael, since he is going once a week now anyway. Big Creek received Golf Digest’s highest accolade - awarded 5 stars-for “Golf at its very best”-in 2004.
Big Creek Golf & Country Club
Big Creek Golf & Country Club was built over nearly 200 acres of rolling terrain featuring four lakes and Big Creek itself.
Twin Lakes Golf Course
Twin Lakes Golf Course (TLGC) is a beautiful 18 hole - par 70 golf course with rolling tree-lined fairways and bentgrass greens.
Betty did get in a trip to visit the Clinton Presidential Library in Little Rock with friends Mark and Karen Lamb. Despite what people say (that it looks like a trailer), the building is beautiful. Lots of interesting exhibits, and some good history on his presidency. Though it seemed to Betty that it was a bit biased, glossing over things like Whitewater and the philandering. Still, it’s worth going to see.
White Sox – Go Bears!!!
Betty is also doing well, with the exception of her Rheumatoid Arthritis, especially her wrists. She got her first ever cortisone shot in her wrist, and it seems to be a little better. The swelling has subsided, and even the other wrist seems better than before. (Placebo effect, maybe?) She still needs to lose weight, but has stopped going to Weight Watchers for now.
Betty did have major dental work done this year (instead of a new car). She had some 30-year old crown and bridge work redone, and another bridge, root canal and crown. Dr. Gould, her dentist, is the best. Michael lost another tooth. It just dropped out. Betty has the good gums, Michael the good teeth. (except they keep falling out). Look for Michael to have work done this year!
Both of us got flu shots this year. Betty hasn’t had a cold in two years, Michael gets sick (really sick) with colds two or more times each year. Betty attributes her good immune system to her exercise habits and to drinking Pom Wonderful juice every day. (See New Products section ).
Dick loved Arkansas, especially Bull Shoals Lake, and never missed a year coming down to visit and squeeze in as much fishing as possible. He always talked of moving here. He was a spectacular billiard player, and was well known in Chicago circles, winning many tournaments. He was a terrific salesman, loved music and his family. He was also a wonderful cook. We had many great times together. We miss him.
Betty lost her cousin Ann Martin this July to cancer. Betty hadn’t had any contact with Ann for over 40 years, and had just started writing to her about six months before. She had written Ann, bringing her up to date on her life, and Ann had written a very nice detailed letter back. Betty told Ann that she would come to visit her in Florida on her next trip. Unfortunately, Ann died before that could happen. Betty knew that Ann was ill, but she hoped she would get the chance to visit her. She was so sorry to hear of her death. Ann was a beautiful, smart woman, loved by many. Betty regrets that she waited so long to make contact with her. In life, there’s no time like now to let people know you love them.
Fish must be 1 pound or more.
Spear-Fishing Category: Can be any species that can legally be caught by spear-fishing. Only one winner in this category, regardless of species.
We are re-carpeting Cabins 3, 5, 8 and 9 this year. They need it. We also will be replacing flooring in the bathrooms in 3, 5, and 9.
We also will re-paint the pool this year.
135 HP Motor For G3
For Cabin 6
Betty got a laptop for Christmas so she can work on her stuff anywhere. She doesn’t have much stuff yet, but now with the digital photography class and all her newfound computer skills, it will be put to good use.
We continue to work on plans for our future retirement. Michael turns 66 and Betty 64 (can you believe it). At this stage we are looking forward to beginning a new chapter in our lives.
It’s funny how your plans change over time. Last year we talked about selling off our cabins individually. After mulling it over thoroughly, we’ve decided against it. The process would take years, and we would still be saddled with the responsibility of managing the whole property anyway. This won’t allow us to have the freedom we want to do other things.
So that leaves putting the resort up for sale. We have dearly loved the life change that we made when we decided to become resort operators 21 years ago. It’s been a great ride, and we never regretted it. It gave us the opportunity to make our living doing exactly what we wanted to do, making many great friends along the way, and living close to nature in clean air, where we can still see the constellations in the sky, and not having to deal with the crowds and traffic and stresses of more urban areas. But its only a matter of time before our bodies (or minds) start to give out. Therefore, we realize that we must prepare for the inevitable.
So, friends, we now plan on retiring in 2007, or soon thereafter, when Betty reaches the age where she will be eligible for Medicare and Social Security. We won’t advertise that the place is for sale just yet because several of you have expressed interest in buying the resort as a whole, and it would be in both of our interests to not bring in a third party (and the costs involved) if it turns out not to be necessary. So if you ever considered becoming the owner of your own resort, get with us, and we’ll talk.
Some of the happenings we enjoyed this past year might be something you’d want to enjoy during your stay. So you might want to time your vacation for maximum enjoyment. There are an abundance of happenings in this town, many surrounding our university, and many sponsored and supported by local business. So take your pick.
Home Marathon and Half-Marathon
Home High School Band
And So Much More. There’s usually a jam session in one or another surrounding towns each night that’s worth the price of admission – free. We have an abundance of talent in this area, as you’ll see. Bull Shoals has a Community Choir that gives several performances each year at the Bull Shoals Theater of the Arts. Mozark Regional Orchestra (Missouri and Arkansas) gives several free concerts a year at Dunbar Auditorium. Festivals such as Hootin’ & Hollerin’ in September, Turkey Trot in October, to name a few. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Tournaments, art fairs, auctions, sporting events, and many more festivals. So, whenever you come, there’s sure to be something happening.
Center at Bull Shoals Dam
The center will highlight the area’s numerous attractions, and interpret its history and culture. It will share the story of the fisheries of the White River system, and tell of the purpose of the White River projects in the areas of recreation, flood-control and hydroelectric power generation. It will serve as a traditional tourist information center as well as an education center for students and adults of all ages to come and encounter volumes of information about the Ozarks.
The museum restaurant, Café 42, for 42nd president, is a sparsely decorated chrome-lined dining area with four-star cuisine, including an $18.95 brunch.
So, whether you loved or hated President Clinton, consider taking a day trip to see a magnificent structure, reflect on history, and take in the sights for awhile.
Fred Berry Conservation Education Center at Crooked Creek
Sun Valley Movie Theater
Trout and Game Ranch
Lakes Gun Club
O Lakes Spreadable Butter with Canola Oil
Teeth Dog Biscuits
Try a new treat for your canine furry friend. Solid Gold brand of the healthiest dog foods has a new winner with our three doggies. Molly and Buster (Pekingese) and Ruger (Rottweiler) love Dragon’s Teeth.
Dragon’s Teeth are small treats shaped like a, yup, you guessed it, a dragon’s tooth. They are made to help reduce tartar and maintain healthy gums and teeth. Solid Gold has included them in their line of functional foods. How about these ingredients: (People should eat such healthy treats) oatmeal, spelt, krill, canola oil, flax meal, dry spinach, olive leaf extract, green tea, chlorophyll, avocado, peppermint.
If you love your doggies, feed them healthy treats. Check out Solid Gold on their Web site www.solidgoldhealth.com.
P.S. They make great stuff for kitties, too.
Our Web site is updated often, so if you haven't checked it out lately, you might want to take a look at it.
It has every fishing contest result going back to 1991, and shows the biggest fish ever caught at Black Oak in each category. It also has all the recipes published in past years' newsletters, as well as the complete newsletter from every year. So it's loaded with information.
Also, please visit our Favorite Links page, where you'll find restaurants and things to do in our area, as well as informative Web sites such as the Arkansas Web site. You may also set up a reciprocal link with our Web site.
We also encourage you to send us your photos for inclusion in our e-newsletters. Please provide caption information in detail!
| Cabins | Fishing
| Pets | Services & Equipment
Copyrights & Credits
02/14/2008 blor358 BJM