Month: July 2016

Arkansas, the worst state to live in?

arkansas-flag-hog-card - Small

Whoa now big boy…. that’s a quote! That’s not my own personal opinion. That’s according to a piece written by Scott Cohn who develops in-depth features, special reports and documentaries for CNBC and CNBC.com, including the influential annual series America\’s Top States for Business, which he created in 2007.

At any rate that’s the news that greeted me first thing this morning as I was reviewing the latest news on some of my personal news sources. Reading that your home state is considered the worst state in the United States to live in is not the news one cares to be greeted by first thing in the morning but this morning that was indeed the case. I’m sure many of my fellow Arkansans will be just as shocked as I am when they find out about their poor choice of states to live in. 🙂

During my tenure of some almost 75 years on this planet, during both my military service and civilian career I have lived and/or worked in several states to include Oklahoma, Missouri, Georgia, Mississippi, Alabama, Kentucky, South Carolina and Texas. And as for Arkansas, well I was born and raised here and that is where my family has always lived. As reflected in the referenced news release, the worst ten (10) states to live in are listed below with Number 10 being the best of the worst and Number 1 being the worst of the worst. And it seems I have lived in most of them. For more detailed information and the news release itself, you may click “here”. Additional information is also available in links available in the article itself.

  1. Arkansas
  2. Missouri
  3. Oklahoma
  4. Louisiana
  5. Tennessee
  6. Indiana
  7. Mississippi
  8. Alabama
  9. Kentucky
  10. Nevada

According to the author and the statistics used in the compilations, Arkansas’ “Quality of Life” ranking was 44th out of 50; it’s primary weaknesses were crime rate, air quality and health citing the high rate of heart disease, diabetes and cancer; and it was concluded that Arkansas had ‘no strengths’ whatsoever since it was rated at the bottom in every metric used in the ratings.

When I decided to go into semi-retirement and move back to Arkansas it was certainly a conscious decision but admittedly, I have always been partial to Missouri since living there. I have to honestly say it was probably in total the state I most enjoyed living in of all the places I have lived including my home state of Arkansas. But if you refer to the list above you can see I’m not very good at picking favorite places to live since Missouri is only saved from last place of the worst places to live by the grace of Arkansas!

Then there is the Pacific Northwest which I have almost always been attracted to although I have never actually lived or even visited there. But that’s a place I shall never see, at least not in person. But then that’s why Al Gore invented the Internet I suppose, so we could visit places via Cyberspace we couldn’t otherwise visit!

But that is all water under the bridge at this point of my life. Here in Arkansas is where I live and here in Arkansas is where I will die. And although I haven’t as of yet run across any statistics addressing the fact, I hope Arkansas ranks a little better as far as the best states to die in, or maybe I should say buried in. I suppose as long as Arkansas is ranked somewhere above “Boot Hill” I’ll be gratefully dead (no pun intended)! 🙂

A Piece of “Middle Earth” Found In America….

Rivendell

As is reflected in the painting above, that wonderful secluded and picturesque cottage is located in “Rivendell” which is part of a quite fictional location known as Middle Earth which is located on the planet Arda. This locale was well documented in the film series “Lord of the Rings” as well as “The Hobbit” with which many are surely familiar. This particular cottage rendering has for some years now been the only physical representation of the location where I have so wanted to spend the final days of my life after retiring. A place especially inviting to someone like myself of a reclusive nature, fictional or not!

Of course as one who has their feet firmly planted in reality, to dream and fantasize about such a place is at best all one can do. Or at least so I thought until a few days ago. It was then that I came right up against the moment when fantasy meets reality. My dream cottage did in fact actually exist and it wasn’t located in Middle Earth on the planet Arda but rather near Olalla, Washington on the planet Earth. And its present owners had it up for sale in all its glory for only $825,000.

But of course, as home costs go that is quite expensive but it seems quite a cheap price to pay for a dream. The pictures of the home almost don’t look real but they are quite real and oh my, so very inviting. See for yourself and be sure and click on the pictures to see a much larger version….

Middle Earth01
Middle Earth02
Middle Earth03

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Middle Earth05
Middle Earth06

According to media reports the original owner built the home in stages beginning in the 1970’s. The most current owner who purchased the property in 2005 converted the home into a ‘bed and breakfast’ catering primarily to weddings. The property operated under the name “Storybook Cottage Inn” during its tenure as a bed and breakfast as I understand it. It is also known locally and referred to by recent media reports as “Snow White’s Cottage”.

And as previously mentioned, the property is now listed for sale for $825,000. Now granted I am not of such financial status that I can even in the least consider such a purchase but I have to say the price seems quite reasonable to me. But then it’s my kinda’ place! 🙂

Just for informational purposes only, I have included two very short videos below apparently created to advertise the property as a wedding venue, one showing mostly property assets while the other more of the interior. If you are as interested in the property as I was, then you can see the actual real estate listing “here“.