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The Rockwood Files: No mood for rude

rockwood files colorBy Gwen Rockwood, newspaper columnist and mama of 3

People are rude.

Not all people. And definitely not you. (My research has shown that the people who regularly read this column are not only kind but are also much smarter than the average bear. Congratulations.)

But some people – and you’ve no doubt met many of them – are just plain rude. It isn’t a new realization and yet, when I come across blatant rudeness, I’m still astonished every single time.

We could “why” this situation all day long and sometimes I do. Did their mamas not raise them right? Were their mamas rude? Do they have some kind of personality disorder that predisposes them to rudeness? Are their shoes too tight? There are a million possibilities.

No matter what the explanation, there’s never an excuse for being rude. There just isn’t.

grinch2But since being on the receiving end of rudeness seems inevitable, the big question is “What should we do about it?”

That’s what I struggle with most. Let me give you an example. My mother, who is the polar opposite of rude, once worked with a person who cruised right past rude and didn’t stop until she hit the exit for “hateful.” This lady made the Grinch look like the Pillsbury Dough Boy. She was mean-spirited in nearly all her interactions – a school-yard bully in a grown-up workplace. Mom was her favorite target.

(Obviously, I’m biased in this situation. She is my mama, after all. But hundreds of friends, co-workers, church members and acquaintances spread out over more than 60 years cannot all be wrong. All of them would tell you that Mom is like Mrs. Butterworth. She just wants to feed you pancakes and love you – in that order.)

So back to the big question of what to do when someone is rude. The angel on my shoulder agrees with Mom when she says we should pray for rude people. In my heart, I know that’s right. But sometimes, especially when I’m lying in bed at night trying to pray, the devil on my other shoulder starts helping me craft the exact thing I would say to this person if I got the chance. Do you ever do that?

These middle-of-the-night internal monologues are beautifully constructed and delivered with real zing – the perfect mixture of “how dare you” blended with in-your-face truth. But then I wake up the next morning knowing I’ll likely never deliver those stinging words, and I wonder if I’ll ever learn how to stop wanting to spew them at people like the one who was mean to Mom.

The good news here is that prayers were answered. Although Mrs. Rude never changed her hateful ways, she did move away. Mom managed to wish her well as she left. (I wanted to stand by the highway as she drove out of town with a big sign that said “And don’t come back!” But Mom said that would be rude, so I didn’t.)

One thing I’m slowly accepting is that those clever comebacks I’m tempted to say when people are rude won’t solve the problem (although I imagine it would feel awesome to say it.) It wouldn’t make a light bulb go off over that person’s head. It wouldn’t make their heart grow three sizes. And they might never feel bad about what they’ve done, the same way a scorpion doesn’t regret its sting. Perhaps it’s just who they are.

Maybe that’s exactly the reason we should pity and pray for those for whom rudeness comes so easily – because they’re the dark part of everyone’s day and they either don’t know or don’t care or both. What a terrible life sentence to live.

gwen-headshot-2014Gwen Rockwood is a mom to three great kids, wife to one cool guy, a newspaper columnist and co-owner of nwaMotherlode.com. To read previously published installments of The Rockwood Files, click here. To check out Gwen’s book, “Reporting Live from the Laundry Pile: The Rockwood Files Collection,” click HERE.

Where to watch fireworks in Northwest Arkansas + July 2015 Calendar of Events

fireworks at the crossFourth of July holiday events:

Fireworks at the Crosses

8th Annual Fireworks at the Crosses at the Pinnacle Hills Campus, will include a patriotic celebration featuring live music, outdoor baptisms, and fireworks. Lots of food and drink options for purchase.

Date: June 26

Time: 5-10 p.m.

Location: Cross Church, Pinnacle Hills campus, Rogers

More info: Click here

Rodeo of the Ozarks, Springdale

July 1, Rodeo Parade

Fourth of July weekend parade! Join us to observe a patriotic display of cowgirls, floats, bands, entertainment and candy for the kiddos at our Rodeo kick off parade. Beginning at 3:00 pm at the rodeo grounds and proceeding west through downtown Springdale. To win monetary prizes by participating in the float contest, find the rules and entry forms available online.

July 1 – 4    71st Annual Rodeo of the Ozarks

With 71 years of proud tradition, you won’t want to miss the opportunity to see some of the roughest and toughest cowboys and cowgirls from all around in one of the Top 5 Largest Outdoor Rodeos in the U.S! Gates open at 6:00 pm. Mutton Bustin’ begins at 6:30. Rodeo begins at 7:30 pm.

July 4   Rodeo Parade

What is red, white, and blue and makes lots of noise? Our Fourth of July weekend parade! Join us to observe a patriotic display of cowgirls, floats, bands, entertainment and candy for the kiddos at our Rodeo parade. Begins at 10:00 am beginning at the rodeo grounds and proceeding west through downtown Springdale.

The last day of the 71st Annual Rodeo of the Ozarks. A fireworks display will take place after the rodeo.
Gates at 6 p.m., the rodeo starts at 7 p.m., and the fireworks begin after the rodeo.


NWA Mall kids’ activities/ fireworks on Friday, July 3rd

Uptown Fayetteville Freedom Fireworks, NWA Mall

7- 9 pm: Free Family Activities. Concert by Boom Kinetic in the upper JCPenney parking lot. Inflatables Outside. Activities Inside. Fireworks Display will be at approx. 9:25pm. *Rain date: Sunday, July 5th

Date: July 3

Time: 7-9 p.m. free kids’ activities (inflatables outside, activities inside) and the fireworks start around 9:25 p.m.

Location: NWA Mall, Fayetteville

More info: Click here

Freedom on the Hill

Christian Life Cathedral and KLRC invites you to a family-friendly celebration that includes food, inflatable water slides, activities for children, a horseshoe tournament. Then you can watch the Northwest Arkansas Mall fireworks.

Date: July 3

Time: 6-9:30 p.m.

Location: Christian Life Cathedral, 1285 Millsap Rd., Fayetteville

For more info: Click here

Celebrate Prairie Grove!

The third annual Celebrate Prairie Grove celebration will be held Friday July 3rd beginning at 7   pm at the Prairie Grove Aquatic Park. The pool will be open free to the public, hot dogs and treats will be provided, and the evening will be capped off with a fireworks celebration.

Date: July 3rd

Time: Starts at 7 p.m., fireworks at dusk

Location: Prairie Grove Aquatic Park

More info: Click here

Fireworks Spectacular featuring SoNA

The Walmart AMP and the city of Rogers are presenting a brand new July 4th Fireworks Spectacular this year featuring a patriotic concert by the Symphony of Northwest Arkansas (SoNA). SoNA, under the musical direction of Paul Haas, will present a concert celebrating both the beauty and grandeur of America as well as honoring those who have served in our nation’s armed forces. The program will include beloved music like “The Stars and Stripes Forever,” “Overture of “William Tell,” “Bugler’s Holiday,” an Armed Forces Salute and so much more! The uplifting and celebratory concert will lead right into the City of Roger’s beautiful fireworks show. FIREWORKS begin at 9:30. A musical salute will be broadcast on KIX 104 to accompany the fireworks. Blankets are welcome, no chairs.

ALSO at the AMP on July 4th, City of Rogers Family Fair:

You and your family can enjoy inflatables, games, hydration stations (provided by Kendrick Fincher Hydration for Life), free watermelon (provided by Regions Bank), face painting and more! You don’t need a ticket to attend the City of Rogers Family Fair.

In the north parking lot of the Walmart AMP
Free and open to the public!

NOTE: For this show, ticket holders will be able to go back and forth between the Family Fair outside the Amp and the Amp (normally re-entry is not allowed).

Date: July 4

Time: For fireworks spectacular, gates open at 6 p.m., music starts at 8 p.m.

Location: Walmart Amp, Rogers

More info: Click here for more info and to buy tickets.


4th at the Field, NWA Naturals

The Northwest Arkansas Naturals and The Walmart Museum will be partnering on 4th at the Field at Arvest Ballpark on Saturday, July 4.  In addition to the fireworks show, 4th at the Field will include an exhibition baseball game between two teams from the M.I.N.K Collegiate Baseball League, the Joplin Outlaws and the Nevada Griffons, which will begin at 6:35 p.m. Gates will open to the public at 5:30 p.m. for the special event and the Naturals will have Kansas City Royals Kid Zone passes available for purchase for the four inflatables located down the left field concourse.  The Kids Train, Speed Pitch, and the Bella Vista POA 5-hole Mini Golf Course will also be open throughout the game. The Arvest Ballpark concessions stands will be selling food and beverage throughout the night and ALL seating is General Admission within the seating bowl. Following the exhibition game, the Fireworks Spectacular will start at approximately 9:05 p.m. to conclude the night.

4th at the Field w Walmart Museum LogoTickets for 4th at the Field are $9 for adults and $3 for kids 12 and under. Tickets are on sale now and can be purchased at the Arvest Ballpark Box Office, at www.nwanaturals.com, or by calling our toll free ticket hotline at (877) 444-2637.

Date: July 4th

Time: See event info in italics above

Location: Arvest Ballpark

More info: Click here

An Evening at Orchards Park, Bentonville

Entertainment  will be 19-year-old singer Kaylee Rutland first, then the Arkansas Winds Orchestra. Concessions will be available. Fireworks start around 9:30 p.m.

Date: Saturday, July 4

Time: 7-10 p.m.

Location: Orchards Park

More info: Click here

Devil’s Den State Park Games, West Fork

Join us as we celebrate the 40th year of the Devil’s Den Games! Enjoy a fun filled family day of horseshoes, softball, parades, and much more. Top it all off with homemade ice cream! Make your plans early and plan to join us for a July 4th celebration your family won’t soon forget! 

Date: July 4

Time: 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Location: Devil’s Den

More info: Click here

July events in NWA:

Special Event Thursdays at the Springdale Public Library

Thursdays, 10 am:

July 2 – Tommy Terrific’s Wacky Magic

July 9 – Weather Wise with Dan Skoff

More info: Click here

Opera in the Ozarks

Opera in the Ozarks, an annual summer musical summer music festival featuring emerging opera professionals from across the country, celebrates its 65th anniversary season from June 19-July 17 with 22 performances and a trio of operas that are sure to entertain. This year’s featured operas include Giuseppe Verdi’s La Traviata, Gioacchino Rossini’s La Cenerentola (Cinderella), and Jacques Offenbach’s The Tales of Hoffmann. 19 performances will take place at Inspiration Point in Eureka Springs and three performances will be hosted at the Arend Arts Center in Bentonville. Tickets are $20 and $25 and may be purchased online here or by calling 479.253.8595. Visit www.opera.org for season details.

Date: Now through July 17

Time: Varies

Location: Varies

More info: Click here


5th Annual Fleur Delicious Weekend, Eureka Springs

Eureka Springs is excited to announce that they are once again throwing the exciting Fleur Delicious Weekend.. This event is a French-themed celebration in which restaurants, bars, art galleries, boutiques, spas and music venues participate in French-inspired indulgences. Fleur Delicious Weekend (FDW) is an event that treats all the senses, including sight, hearing, smell, taste and touch.. The celebration will take place in the historic village of Eureka Springs.

Date: Tuesday, July 7, through Sunday, July 12

Time: Varies

Location: Varies

More info: Click here

Dive-In Movies at Wilson Pool: The Lego Movie

The witty and satirical family comedy that brought you the Grammy and Oscar nominated song “Everything is Awesome,” dares the ordinary to be amazing when everyday construction worker Emmet Brickowoski is thought to be the prophesied chosen one to take down the tyrannical President Business. Break the mold with Fayetteville Parks and Recreation and Fayetteville Firefighters Association and join us for the Dive-In Movie, “The Lego Movie.”

Date: July 17

Time: 7:15 pm

Location: Wilson Pool, Fayetteville

Play it Forward Concert Series at The Walmart Museum

play it forwardThe admission fee is only $5 and all ticket proceeds will go towards the hosting nonprofit for that concert.

Saturday, July 18: Blues and rock with Fayetteville native, David Starr on Saturday, July 18th, at 6:30 pm in the Walmart World Room at The Walmart Museum. Tickets are $5 with proceeds benefiting Open Avenues. Doors open at 6. Tickets can be purchased in advance:

Click here to purchase tickets in advance.

Saturday, August 22: Piedmont blues with Little Joe McLerran on Saturday, August 22nd, at 6:30 pm in the Walmart World Room at The Walmart Museum. Tickets are $5 with proceeds benefiting the Ozarks Blues Society. Doors open at 6.

Click here to purchase tickets in advance.

firefly fling

Firefly Fing

Firefly Fling: The Summer Festival for Families returns to the Botanical Garden of the Ozarks on Saturday, July 18 from 6 to 10 p.m. This year’s festival features some of Firefly‘s popular traditions as well as exciting new adventures and entertainment. New Firefly directors Dani Dingman and Jules Taylor are planning another fantastic festival. Admission will be $7 for adults; $4 for children over 3; 3 and under free. At the gate admission will be $9 for adults; $5 for children over 3; 3 and under free.

Date: July 18

Time: 6-10 p.m.

Location: Botanical Garden of the Ozarks, Fayetteville

More info: Click here

frozen at the jones center

Special Family Ice Skating Event, The Jones Center

Join the characters of Once Upon a Party in Northwest Arkansas on the Jones Center’s Ice Arena for a magical afternoon. Come dressed as your favorite character from the movie Frozen. $3 per person, no cost for ice skates rental.

Date: July 25

Time: Noon to 3 p.m.

Location: The Jones Center, Springdale

More info: Click here

Savvy Banking: How much house can we afford?


Time for our next installment of Savvy Banking, where you’ll find great advice for your money questions.

Click here to read the first two Q&As with First National Bank of NWA about saving for college and how to bank from your smartphone.

Today’s question is: My husband and I are expecting a new baby and are considering a larger home. How do we find out how much house we can afford?

A: It’s amazing how house hunting can be both exhilarating and incredibly stressful all at the same time. One second you’re obsessing over the thought of a larger home and all of your Pinterest boards coming to fruition, then suddenly you begin to worry about a higher payment, not to mention moving all of your stuff from your old home.

When considering the purchase of a new home there are several variables to think about. Listed below are a few things to ponder before making the big move:

  • Do you have a home you will have to sell first?
  • How much down payment will you have to put toward the new purchase?
  • What is your budget for monthly house payment?

Budget, budget, budget!

house numberIt’s important to understand that just because you may qualify for a certain loan size doesn’t mean that the payment will fit into your budget. When qualifying you for a loan, mortgage lenders will look at your debt to income ratio which is comprised of how much money you make per month and your monthly debt payments (car, credit cards, student loans, etc…).

Set a budget for your new house payment and stick to it and account for all other monthly expenses.

Remember, your house payment will consist of not only principal and interest but taxes, insurance, PMI and POA fees. Of course your loan amount and interest rate will factor into the bulk of the payment.

Rates and Loan Types

Your interest rate will be determined based on your credit score, down payment, and what loan type you choose. While there are loan options out there that allow for little or no down payment, they might have limitations on what homes you can purchase.

For example, an RD loan will allow you to put zero money down but will restrict you to homes located in RD eligible areas. A FHA loan allows for just 3.5% down payment but has a limit on loan size depending on your area. In my area our max FHA loan size is $271,050. A Conventional loan will be the most flexible in regard to area, condition of home, and loan size. While there are 3% down options for first time home buyers (those individuals that have not owned a home in the past 3 years) most commonly conventional loans will require at least 5% down.

If you are considering a new home and are interested in finding out what you may qualify for you should contact a local mortgage professional to help you understand how all of these items mentioned effect your scenario.

Jason, FNBNWAJason Hedden is a Vice President and Mortgage Manager for First National Bank of NWA. He has 13 years of mortgage experience. Jason is a graduate of the University of Arkansas and is a member of the Rogers Rotary and the NWA Mortgage Bankers Association. Jason and his wife, Suzanna, reside in Cave Springs with their two children.

Sponsor Spotlight: Maids in Red, a new, conscientious cleaning service in NWA

maids in red large

Here at nwaMotherlode, local mamas are always asking us for cleaning service recommendations.

Moms are busy, and in between work, taking care of kids, outside activities, committees and you fill in the blank, we need HELP with keeping our houses clean. Enter our newest website sponsor, Maids in Red. We like that Maids in Red has flat rates (plus add-on services) so you don’t have to guess how much they’ll charge.

They also offer an overall outline of everything they’ll clean while they’re at your house, so you know what you’re getting.

We interviewed Andrew Flocks, the Maids in Red founder, about the company so all you mamas out there could learn more about this local, independent new cleaning service:

Q: What inspired you to launch Maids in Red in Northwest Arkansas?

I saw a way that I could use technology to improve the cleaning industry in the Northwest Arkansas area.  We offer online booking, online schedule management, online payment and you know what a cleaning will cost you before we come to your home.

Q: What inspired the “in red” part of the name?

The “In Red” part honest is simply paying homage to the Hogs.  I went to the UofA to get a degree in Economics and I am a Hogs fan through and through.

Q: Where do you find your cleaning people and are they background checked?

maids in red, safety firstI find cleaners the same way many other folks find cleaners, I post ads looking for cleaners.  But from there I devote time to multiple interviews and test cleanings.  I look at their work history and I run background checks to make sure they are going to perform a premium cleaning.  I do what you would want to do if you had the time to devote to it.

Q: What would you say to a busy mom who’s on the fence about whether to book Maids in Red?

The simple answer is they should book a clean, right now.  But the longer answer is all about time.  Make a list of things you want to be doing and who you want to be doing those things with, if cleaning is on that list great, want a job?  But likely, you want to spend time with your family and do things that enrich your life and theirs.  The act of cleaning does not enrich your life, having a clean home is enriching.  So let us do the work and we’ll let you enjoy the pleasure of having a clean home.

maids in red, clean house

A clean house. Ahhhhhhhh.

Q: Tell us about your flat rate service charges:

We use flat rate pricing for one reason, it is simple.  Most homes have similar needs as far as cleaning goes and you don’t need to re-invent the wheel each time.  If a family has needs that are outside the norm they can let us know and we will figure things out.  I have found that 95%+ of homes out there fit easily into the flat rate pricing model.  We trust our customers to accurately let us know what their needs are and we haven’t had any issues with this yet.

Q: And you offer extra “add-on” cleaning services, correct? What kinds of extra cleaning jobs can we request?

We have standard cleaning that covers most needs but we also offer extras that allow customers to get exactly what they need.  We offer a green cleaning option, oven clean outs, frig clean outs, extras to handle cleaning up pet hair, etc.  The biggest thing we see people use is our Deep Cleaning add on.  That just covers your bases for a good thorough cleaning if you haven’t had your homed cleaned professionally in a while.  A deep cleaning will get your home ready for your boss to come over for dinner.

Q: What if we need someone to clean our house on a regular basis? Is there a discount?

If a customer wants to have us handle their cleaning on a regular basis we have two different discount levels.  If they are looking for a monthly cleaning they get a 15% discount to their total bill.  If they are looking for a weekly or a bi-weekly cleaning we offer a 30% discount.  The idea behind the discount is that will get to know your home and learn the ins and outs of it, allowing us to clean it much faster than normal.

Q: Can you explain what your 200% money-back guarantee involves?

The 200% money-back guarantee is something pretty special, I think.  If we clean your home and you are not happy enough with the work to share us with your friends and family then we will come back out and re-clean your home.  If you are still not satisfied with our work then we will refund your payment for the cleaning.

maids in red, what they do

Q: We noticed you have move in/move out cleanings. That’s awesome! How much extra does that cost?

We definitely offer move out cleanings.  A normal move out cleaning is going to cost an extra $60 and cover a cleaning that will take care of all the extra real estate that comes with an empty house.  If your house is particularly in need of a Deep Cleaning as well as a Move Out/Move In Cleaning then you may want to consider combining them to make sure every nook and cranny is polished.

Note from the mamas: We have an awesome GIVEAWAY starting on Monday, so stay tuned! Hint: The giveaway will make your abode feel squeaky clean. CLICK HERE to watch a testimonial from a local mom about Maids in Red. CLICK HERE to visit the Maids in Red website to book online or call Andrew at:

maids in red, phone number

Summer Snapshots in Northwest Arkansas

Bedford Camera category logoWe are LOVING the snapshots being sent in by local mamas for our Summer Snapshot Contest sponsored by Bedford Camera & Video. It’s so much fun to see what kids in Northwest Arkansas are up to this summer.

Remember that we’ll name a grand prize winner in early August and that person will get a huge print on canvas of her favorite snapshot. (Click here to get the details and rules for the Summer Snapshot Contest.)

Here are a few of the great shots sent in last month by nwaMotherlode readers. (Stay tuned for more snapshot finalists later this month!)


Born to ride!


“I see you, Mr. Grasshopper!”


He said, “Meme, will you narrate your garden and I’ll make a video?” Priceless.


Double trouble? Nah, we think they’re double the cuteness.


Perfect summertime memory captured in this one special shot.


Look at this gorgeous green framework of trees! Great shot, mama!