Monday, July 13, 2015

When you Coummnity is Made to Look Bad

I live in a small town in Northeast Arkansas. I have lived her for 26 years. I truly believe that my little town is a great place to live - but lately the media has been focusing on the bad things that occur in our community.   Now don't get me wrong - we do have crime, I am not trying to cover up what has happened in our community. Every town / community in America has crime, but crime should not define a community -the people of the community define the community.

My favorite way to describe Blytheville is: "Blytheville may not have a lot of commercial things to offer, but Blytheville has a big heart."  I could list example after example of how the community has rallied to help out another member of the community. From simple bake sales to auctions to building a free clinic.

It is not just the local residents that care for each other, the local businesses and industry are active parts of our community.  Like Nucor-Yamoto Steel, Nurcor Steel Tenaris  and Lowes, who give both of time and resources. They are a huge part of our community. 

The community members know that Blytheville has has a period of decline, but they also know that Blytheville can over come anything.  Community member's big and small are working to revitalize Main Street Blytheville.  The Blytheville Ministerial Alliance works diligently to solve social issues and help build a stronger community.

So why is their crime in Blytheville? Like other communities in America, big or small, there is a segment of our community that feels hopeless and helpless. These members of our community lack the imagination to see a better life or the solid foundation to recognize that life is precious.  They often act out of anger, greed, or mental health issues (mental health is a whole other blog and then some - out mental health system is broken).

How do you change the image of Blytheville? How do you focus the media on the good and not the bad?  How long will it take to see a change?

Adding more police officers might keep residents safer, but the addition of police officers will have little impact on fixing the feeling of helplessness and hopelessness.  Lately our local elected officials seem to think that prayer is the answer.  I do believe that prayer can fix anything, but like the joke about God sending multiple rescuers to get a man off the roof - God has given us the intelligence, resources and tools to start fixing the issue, to rescue those need hope and help. We need to be active - this activity has start in homes and schools.

How long will it take to fix the social issues that lead to crime, a lifetime. Until then, pray that our elected officials use their knowledge and tools to help save those in our community that feel helpless and hopeless. Me, I plan to continue to focus on my community as having a "Big Heart" by continuing my work with the free health clinic and the local humane society and urging others quit talking about the issues and put your "Big Heart" to work, making Blytheville a better place to live and letting the world know - Blytheville is a good place to live.
~ Connie ~

Sunday, July 05, 2015

My Newest Obsession - Coop Dreams

A few weeks ago I was visiting the Chicken Chick I found  her post about a new reality TV show -
Coop Dreams.  Being a new chicken farmer (I guess that is what you call someone who owns backyard chickens) I set a reminder in my calender so I could watch the first show.

Getting home for work at midnight I decided to find the channel and set up the TV to record the first episode.  I had no clue the show would air at 5 AM...thank goodness for the technology to record TV shows.

So, first thing the next morning before my feet hit the floor I had to watch the first episode of Coop Dreams.   The Big Man watched it with me...the show was awesome.

We are struggling with where and how to build our feathered girls and boys a new coop.

As we try to incorporate the extra acres we purchased a year ago, into the land our home sits on we have encountered some water issues.  Deciding where to place our new coop, has been challenging.  Every time we decide on a location, we get rain, and we realize that location holds water or is all clay and the spot will not work.
We have finally decided on a location - no trees but we will build some shade into the structure.
This weekend my guys built me a bridge joining the two pieces of property - as you can see from the picture we had drainage put in a few weeks ago, that has resulted in me having to walk out to the road and back up the drive to the kennel to keep form walking in the mud.  I am so proud of the Big Man and the boys they built the bridge without out any plans, just their imagination.
If you notice the first telephone pole behind the bridge, that is the new location of the chicken coop.  We are going to have dirt hauled in before we start building so the girls will be out of the water, but we have a location!!!!! I am so excited. I can't wait to get the coop built - I also have a new swing that The Big Man is going to set up near the coop so I can have my coffee in the morning and watch the feathered children play.

We are also finishing up the youngest son's apartment.  That is the building you see in the background.  Stay tuned for the next couple of weeks as we work hard to build our little urban farm.
Do you ever wonder what to do with your land or your yard? For those that have chickens, any hints you want to share about building a chicken coop?