Nighttime Walks


Even now that I’m living off campus, I often go back to school for a bite to eat and a stroll across campus. For me, there’s nothing quite like ATU at night. Nothing is perfect, nothing is pristine. Nothing is sharp and elegant. However, there’s a strange brightness glowing across the lawns and the walks from hundreds of globes lining main thoroughfares of the campus walkers.

After a visit to Baztech, I’ll typically walk back to my dorm – which I technically still have – and sit down to watch a little bit of TV. Then I’ll enjoy a nice walk back to my truck, stopping for another drink along the way. The peace and the buzz of the night are welcoming.

Antz

With the storm season upon us, ants are coming out to play. Great for them, terrible for us. With this being my first time being in my own place, I never thought much about what was going to have to be done if we ever had an ant problem. Even though they are tiny little creatures, they are close to one of the most annoying insects to come across. They are definitely even less fun when they are crawling around on the wall near your head while you try to sleep. With the much-needed help of Raid, we have been able to at least subdue this problem for a short time. Thank goodness for the many options of insect control.

Here Kitty Kitty

When getting a cat, you never really know what to expect from them. They can be mellow, feisty, or just plain odd. So believe me when I say I was just a bit skeptical about getting a cat. After having to get rid of our dog, Lyla, we decided that it would just be the smartest choice to steer away from dogs and decided on something that we knew for sure would not get very big. That is when we decided that a cat is exactly what we needed. Low maintenance, small, but still very loveable. We first went to Pet Smart, but unfortunately they did not have much of a selection. We checked a couple of other local pet stores but kept hitting a dead-end. I had almost given up hope on every being able to find one. Karla on the other hand, was not giving up. She went searching on Facebook until she finally found one. So there he was, sitting in our laundry basket when I arrived from work one day. He was absolutely he tiniest kitten and extremely shy. After days of trying to decide on the perfect name we finally came up with one, Paxton. Since Paxton has been with us, he has developed quite the personality. He is feisty, yet sweet, filled with adventure, yet calm and best of all, oh so loveable. Although we’ll never be able to forget Lyla, he is definitely fitting right in.

And the Rain Poured

Here in good ol’ Arkansas you never know what to expect when it comes to the weather. Will it be sunny, cloudy, or stormy? It is almost always completely unpredictable. For the most part it really is not much of a problem, but when it comes to working at West Fraser, it can be a bit of a hassle. What I do for the day is basically decided by the weather. If it is raining, I am probably going to be inside cleaning and if it is sunny I am more than likely going to be outside painting whatever the rain washed away the day before. You just never really know what is going to happen with this wonderful weather of ours.

In this climate, at this workplace, every day is an adventure. 

Groomsman

The tradition of a groom choosing several of his closest friends to stand with him on his wedding day is an old and practiced one. Being chosen as a groomsman is almost considered an exclusive honor; typically, only a few men are chosen to fill these positions.Crown

Although I was not my brother’s best man, I never expected to be. Ethan Sigle has long been Stevie’s closest and most loyal friend. As high schoolers, Stevie and I each played football with Ethan at separate times. He truly is a unique and amazing guy; he perfectly filled the position for Stevie’s big day.

 

 

Growing the Family

Wedding
Haley, Stevie and I. The newest generation of the rowdy Thomas family.

In high school, my brother was the ladies’ man. Stevie was a powerlifter, an All Conference football player, an Honors graduate, and one of the hardest workers a person could ever meet.

He still holds onto those same principles that make him the man he is. He’s a hard worker, a devout southerner, and loyal to his family beyond anything in this world.

After high school, he didn’t lose that “ladies’ man”quality; he abandoned it. Stevie found the woman of his dreams in a young woman from across the river named Haley Robertson. With her crazy antics, loud mouth, and unrelenting honesty, Haley immediately blended straight into our family. Her sweet disposition and sympathy for others endear her to everyone around her; and on March 19, the Thomas family had the privilege of welcoming her to our ranks.

Stevie, you found an amazing woman. I love you two, and so does the entire family; best wishes and long love.

 

Indulgences

Over spring break, Karla and I decided to take a little time to spoil ourselves.

Although our trip ended up involving quite a bit more driving than we had counted on, it ended up being well worth it. We never left our home state and still managed to have a good time; in fact, we never left our corner of the state and enjoyed several things we’ve never had the opportunity to enjoy.

We drove to the northwest corner of Arkansas and visited Gentry, a small town, where they have a famousĀ drive-through safari. Full of zebras, prairie dogs, peacocks, ostriches, warthogs, monkeys, hippos, and more, the safari was especially a treat for me. On the way back south, we stopped by the home of the Razorbacks and walked around campus for a bit, admiring the football and baseball facilities. Although no games were played that night, we went to the U.S. Pizza Co., had dinner, and continued our journey south down to Fort Smith.
We planned on spending a short time in the casino before retiring for the night, but, in the midst of a thunderstorm, resorted to enjoying a long night of rest that we very rarely have the opportunity to do so.
Egg & IThe next morning, I immediately located the best breakfast in town and shortly
traveled just across the highway to a restaurant franchise called The Egg & I. A franchise boasting to have the best breakfast in a large Arkansan town is impressive to a southerner, so I was prepared to be disappointed. HOWEVER, two omelettes, several slices of toast, and two orders of loaded ranch potatoes later, Karla and I were more satisfied with our morning meal than we perhaps ever had been.

For us, a trip as simple as this was a gigantic release of stress and a nice, therapeutic trip. A little bit of self-indulgence is always a nice distraction amid the turmoil of classes, activities, work, and bills.

 

Mutts

Lyla Thomas is a bonafideĀ mutt. That is to say, Lyla’s blood has everything and the kitchen sink floating around in it. Blue heeler, border collie, Jack Russell, walker, feist, Rocky Mountain cur. Various breeds of all shapes, sizes, and personalities came together to create the beautiful puppy in Karla’s arms.

The problem with Lyla is that, despite what her combination of bloodlines would more than likely suggest, she is growing quite rapidly. Despite the typical signs of teeth and paw size to indicate her adult size, she’s becoming a rather large dog. Will she be the size of a lab, ahusky, or even a boxer? HIGHLY doubtful. However, she’ll at least be knee-height and, at a guess, more than 30 punds. Sadly, this means that she isn’t able to stay in our little apartment with us according to the landlord’s policies.

Fam
Karla and I with our baby, Lyla.

This is the landlord’s right and it is his decision; we’ll respect that. However, it IS painful to know that we’re letting go of a little puppy that had so quickly become a part of our family. “Baby Girl.” I actually called her that far more often than I ever referred to her as “Lyla.”

She really is a beautiful puppy, and some day I hope we can get her back. At the same time, I’d hate to see her shuffled around between homes and confused. For now, she’ll be living with Karla’s sister; at least I know Lyla will be well taken care of. Bertha is quite the animal lover.

 

Who Let the Dog In? (Who, Who, Who-Who?)

Arkansas Tech University is a school of old honor and persistence through the years. Starting in 1909, the Second District Agricultural School underwent two name changes to finally find its current title.

Jerry’s Road

Until 1937, Jerry the Bulldog played a major role at the school as campus ambassador. In that year, he passed away. Then, nearly eight decades later, the symbol of ATU returned to him home in October of 2013.

Tech’s team names are the Wonder Boys and Golden Suns; however, Jerry is the closest thing to a mascot tJerryhat the school has ever had or, more than likely, ever will have.

Jerry the Boss

Since his re-introduction to campus, Jerry has become an integral part of the heart of ATU. This is evident by the area for Jerry specifically drawn into the plans for the newest construction on Tech campus, the Brown building. This new administration building features a small dog pen just to the right of the entryway with a bed and access for students and other passersby to pet and love their favorite English bulldog.