Happening in Kansas City
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Ahhh, spring in the Ozarks. After an especially long winter, the grass is greening, the trees are budding and the Ozark Mountain village of Eureka Springs, Ark., is hosting its annual Spring Diversity Weekend.
Looking at the atlas, you realize that as the crow flies, it’s really not a bad trip. As the GMC drives, it’s about 3.5 hours from door to door. We decided that we would leave Kansas City on a Thursday morning, hit 71 South and be on our way. Taking into consideration breakfast at McDonald’s in Harrisonville and pulling a fifth-wheel trailer, we would arrive shortly after lunch. Check, check and check.
Having celebrated many Gay Pride events around the country, I was not sure what to expect from Eureka. The quaint and celebrated hillside village of 2,200 people was as picturesque as I remembered. Most of the shops, if not all of them, displayed a rainbow-colored welcome sign, a rainbow-colored wind sock, a rainbow-colored windmill or a blue and gold “equals” sign, all in an effort to show solidarity with their weekend guests and in part, no doubt, an effort to show the big-city folks just how far removed Eureka Springs is from the rest of the state. I must admit that it works well for them.
However, Thursday is not a big day for a Diversity celebration in Eureka, and after an hour or so at Henri’s, we decided to head back to camp and enjoy the cool evening breeze.
Having picked up a weekend events calendar, we noticed that the real start of Diversity Weekend began at 6 p.m. Friday with a mixer at the Pizza Slut’s (yes, that’s what they call themselves) Pizza Bar. I’m not sure what I was expecting, but for the most part the buffet was fine, the drinks were cold, and the lesbians were well-represented.
Feeling somewhat despondent and out of place, we were lucky that Sparky, the Chamber of Commerce’s unofficial one-man welcome band, was also having pizza and shared with us a wealth of information.
Yes, there are more lesbians at Spring Diversity. Yes Jacque’s is a lesbian bar. Yes, Eureka Springs is also host to a weekend UFO convention. Yes, Eureka Springs is also hosting a motorcycle-riding club whose members are dressed in leather. Yes, Friday is leather night at Henri’s but don’t confuse the biker men with leather daddies. Yes, the Pizza Bar seats 22 people and is quite small for a mixer. Yes, there are two men down the street who own and operate a gift shop called A Byrd’s Eye View. Yes, these same two men also operate a private and exclusive men’s resort called Magnetic Valley Resort.
“You should really walk down the street,” was Sparky’s advice as he went back to the pizza buffet. “Introduce yourself.” And so I took his advice and walked one block to meet the shop owners.
Alvin Byrd and Charlie Thomas are probably the friendliest two guys in Eureka. They may be the only two guys in Eureka, but they are no doubt the friendliest. We stopped into Byrd’s Eye and introduced ourselves to the two gentlemen. Yes, they just opened the resort. Yes, they are taking reservations. Yes, it’s exclusive. Yes, they have six rooms on the property. Yes, they have a saltwater pool (keeps the skin from drying out and doesn’t burn the eyes). Yes, it’s clothing-optional and yes, please stop by and see the place. No, none of their weekend guests has been abducted by aliens, but there is a first time for everything.
Having rearranged our Saturday schedule to meet at the park for the thrice-annual PDA (public display of affection) at 11 a.m., we set about to watch the crowd. Noticeably different from other Gay Pride events was the presence of a ring of aliens arm-in-arm around the water fountain. In fact I was caught with a little green alien under my arm. Also unique was a rag-tag bluegrass three-man band playing some excellent music. I couldn’t confirm or deny that they were family, but the cash tips they received surely paid for their trip into Eureka.
After we learned of a nice side trip to a rescue park for tigers (as in Bengal, Siberian, etc.) south of town, we headed off for a three-hour tour culminating in a trip back into Eureka and a stop at Magnetic Valley resort.
The six-room resort was small, but Byrd and Thomas went out of their way to make sure guests were comfortable. I had to request that the poolside guests put on some type of swimwear in order for me to take a few pictures. The pool was cool and inviting, and the weekend guests were all very friendly. Thomas gave me a guided tour of the three houses that serve as guest quarters. The Barn’s “top” and “bottom” guest suites were rustic but very comfortable, as were the rustic duplex and the building that had three other rooms and a common area for preparing one’s own meals.
I’m not sure when I will be back to Eureka Springs for a weekend visit but the thought has crossed my mind to leave the fifth wheel at home and stay at Magnetic Valley instead.
After the last 2 years of dealing with the pandemic and packing on those COVID pounds here are some motivational quotes that can be the spark plugs to our wellness engines. You can have a full tank of gas, a clean carburetor, all the fluids topped off, and 300 horsepower of Detroit’s finest under the hood, but you’re going nowhere without that initial spark. In your quest for well-being, you need a catalyst to move you from idle to ideal. Here are some motivational jolts to inspire you to get your health and fitness vehicle moving.
Make time for exercise each dayPhoto by Victor Freitas on Unsplash
Thomas Paine said, “The harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph.” You will have conflicts with making time for exercise each day. The treadmill will conflict with your enjoyment of the living-room couch and its fluffy pillows. Your body will engage in conflict with dumbbells and exercise balls as it seeks better health. Embrace these conflicts with excitement, and walk through the smoke and fire. Triumph is waiting on the other side.
Marathon runnersPhoto by Miguel A. Amutio on Unsplash
John F. Kennedy said, “Things do not happen. Things are made to happen.” The firefighter’s 55-pound weight loss did not just happen one day on a call. The computer programmer’s success in the Chicago Marathon did not just happen on a Sunday in October. The 4th grade teacher’s significant drop in cholesterol level did not just happen the day before spring break. These people made things happen…and it took time.
Ralph Marston of The Daily Motivator website, wrote, “What you do today can improve all your tomorrows.” Let today be the first day in 28 years without a cigarette. Stay an extra five minutes on the recumbent bike at the gym today. Start training today for the three-day breast cancer walk that is scheduled for the fall. Tomorrow is always waiting to see what you put in your piggy bank today. Invest wisely and watch the dividends grow.
Full MoonPhoto by CHUTTERSNAP on Unsplash
Jill McLemore once said, “Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you will land amongst the stars.” Set that goal to trim 75 pounds from your body. Only losing 42 pounds puts you way out there with the North Star. Aim to run 750 miles this year. Coming up 68 miles short will still put you past that former planet Pluto and on your way to the Orion constellation. Dropping eight waist sizes by Christmas instead of the projected 10 will let you glow with the luminescence of several brilliant wonders in the sky. By the way, I think there’s a full moon tonight!
Zig Ziglar stated, “You don’t have to be great to start, but you have to start to be great.” Tom Cruise was another aspiring pretty face in Hollywood about 30 years ago before starting to audition for parts in TV shows. Jared Fogle was a morbidly obese college student at Indiana University in the 1990s before beginning his Subway diet. Mark Zuckerberg was just another starry-eyed Ivy Leaguer until he began to implement a social network idea. They all have that common bond: They started something.
These motivational quotes should help get your wellness engine running and once your car is started there’s no telling where your health and fitness can go. Don't forget to end me a postcard when you get there!
This health and fitness article is brought to you by that guy who’s sneaky like a black hole and bright like a nebula. My name is Ron Blake and I can be found playing with my telescope at email@example.com.
Curative has announced that it is currently providing COVID-19 no-cost testing in your area at Metropolitan Community College.
Stay safe and get tested!
You can schedule COVID-19 Test at curative.com, and receive results in 24-48 hours.
Curative is the leading provider of COVID-19 testing in the United States. Curative’s mission is to end the COVID-19 pandemic by providing simple-to-use and painless testing at scale to produce reliable data for patients and health officials. We know that broad access to testing, robust contact tracing, and a vaccine are necessary to end the pandemic.
Is there any cost?
Regarding the tests, there is no out of pocket cost to the individual. Through the CARES act, all individuals with health insurance will be covered for a COVID-19 test. No one is ever charged a copay or deductible.
For uninsured individuals, they are covered under the HRSA fund under the CARES act. Curative will never send a bill to any individual getting a COVID-19 test through any of our testing sites.
How soon do I get the results?
Curative provides results within 24 hours of arrival at our lab (if not sooner). We pride ourselves on our ability to distribute tests rapidly, test patients easily, and send them their results quickly. Other highlights include:
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Please visit curative.com to schedule your no-cost appointment TODAY at a site nearest to you. Together we can end this pandemic!
Curative believes that communal well-being is fundamental to individual health.
Curative is building infrastructure to make essential health services easier to access for everyone. Their infrastructure is designed to change as the world does—offering nearby access, affordable services, and science-based guidance.
Their efforts are supported by the optimism and ambition we share with communities across the US, and together we’re imagining new ways to help more people stay safe, healthy, and informed wherever they are.
“I wish I could work out, too, but I just don’t have the motivation!”
Give me a dollar for every time I’ve heard that and I’d be in Cabo San Lucas with an umbrella drink right now. Let’s identify a few of your motivations to get you on the right path. They are there … you just need to realize them so you can make it a great 2022.
How about getting healthy so you can be at that Christmas celebration in 30 years with all the family gathered around and exchanging presents? There will be nieces, nephews, brothers, sisters, children and maybe some grandchildren, all enjoying the sounds and sights of the season. That would be amazing!
How about being healthy so you can watch the first man land on Mars in 2030? You hear all the talk about preparing for a mission to Mars, but it will be a long time in coming. Just think if you were alive and well to see it happen!
How about being healthy so you can attend that 60-year class reunion? It might even be nice to walk into the function with a spring in your step and a glow of health about you! Many of your classmates will have walked past St. Peter and those pearly gates by that time, but you can give yourself a chance to stay here with some proactive measures.
How about being healthy so you can spend more time being relaxed and retired? It would be awesome to just not have to do anything you didn’t want to do! Get up every day and use that watch they gave you as a fashion accessory only. With a healthy body, you can spend ample time in the lap of leisure well into your 90s.
How about being healthy so you can walk your dog with your grandkids or great-nephews after that Thanksgiving meal many years down the road? It will be so cool to have that turkey dinner with all the relatives, but it’ll be even more fun to be able to move around without having to catch your breath between steps.
How about being healthy so you can continue to enjoy vibrant sunsets, thrilling football games, colorful leaves in the fall, summer barbecues, or birthday cards in the mail?
Everyone can find the motivation to work out! You just have to identify which motivation will get you to your starting line each day and which will help you get to your daily finish line.
There are plenty of great things to enjoy in life. Find your motivation and start earning your frequent flyer miles for your healthy life. Then soar into the future with excitement about what will be!
This article of motivation is brought to you by a guy who knows a good thing when he sees it. That guy of good vision is Ron Blake, and he can be spotted on that bright horizon at firstname.lastname@example.org.