Saturday, May 6, 2023

The Good Old Days


I'm so glad you are here for my first blog post on this first Saturday of the month. I plan to have every "The Art of Positive Living" post on the first Saturday of every month from now on. I will post my blog, "Spirit Photographs," on the third Saturday of each month.

I've been thinking a lot about the subject of my post for today, something that is close to my heart, the good old days, since my newly revised book, "Down Memory Lane,"* is about the good old days!

Although we perhaps romanticize days in the past, there is much we can learn from the positive aspects of those days.

And, here are many of them-

~People were very patriotic.

"I pledge allegiance to the flag...."

~People read books, had hobbies, and played board games.

~School students were generally well-behaved. Those few who weren't, were disciplined. The worst thing that I can remember when I went to school was that one boy had to be sent home because his hair was too long in the back.

~Most people graduated from high school, and many went on to higher education.

~People dressed nicely. Here's an excerpt from a chapter in my book that Greg wrote - "Personal appearance was important. Most people looked neat and well-groomed. Shirt tails were tucked in and shoes were shined....Most people looked fit and trim."

~People were honest. If they found a missing wallet, they'd return it. Also, they kept their word. If they said they were going to do something, they would do it. If they found out they couldn't do it, they'd let it be known.

"Do what you know to be right." -David Icke

~Religion was important to most people.

~In fact, two of my high school graduation gifts were two small gold crosses that two different people gave me. 

~People were generally complimentary to each other. They tried to make people feel good about themselves. Things like this mean a lot to others.

~People helped their friends, relatives, and neighbors when needed.

~One day, Greg and I were at a garage, and a woman who was a receptionist there was so nice. She was pleasant and very efficient. She seemed happy, and she made you feel better by just being around her. 

~Most television shows and movies were G-rated. They were good, decent. quality shows. The characters set a good example. The good guys won. There was a moral to every story.

~People were industrious, hard-working, and ambitious. Most kept the same job or profession their whole lives. My grandfather was a doctor who truly cared about other people, and he charged his patients very little.

~The man was the breadwinner, and his wife stayed home and kept house and cared for their children.

~Families had fun times together, like going on picnics with made-from-scratch dishes like homemade potato salad or fresh green beans.

~Most leaders were honest and respected.

~Music was harmonious.

~In the early days, all food was organic.

How does life today compare to the good old days?

Thankfully, we generally stack up pretty well overall, but, of course, there is plenty of room for improvement. Any areas in which we are lacking can be turned around. Anywhere that we're falling short can be remedied with some positive planning and some work, but it can be done, individually and/or by people working together.

If we do that, then we can then truly say, "The good ol' days are being made right now." -From Blue Bell Ice Cream commercial

Coincidentally, I just recently found out about a really neat festival, the "Good Old Days" street festival in Pacific Grove, California this weekend. There will be a parade, a pie-eating contest, and much more! It sounds like fun!

Appalachian Author Feature: Linda Hudson Hoagland  


Linda Hoagland lives in Southwest Virginia. She is a talented author who has won several writing awards for her poetry, short stories, and books. Some of her book titles are "Snooping Can Be Dangerous," "The Backwards House." and "The Best Darn Secret." Do these sound intriguing! If so, be sure and check out her work. 

Also, Linda makes beautiful angel afghans that are for sale. If you are interested in these, contact her at 

*For more information about my book, "Down Memory Lane," please see the widget above. It's available on Amazon in both the paperback and Kindle versions.

Positive thought: "We are all here to 'practice being godlike'-to treat others how we'd like to be treated." -From "Tools for Freedom"

Thanks for visiting! Until Saturday, June 3, 2023, Becky 

Sunday, April 9, 2023

Inspirational Thoughts


Here are some positive, inspirational thoughts, etc. to consider-

Spring symbolizes "rebirth, joy, and love...." and that "good always triumphs over evil, light over darkness, life over death."- Twinkl USA

Especially in today's world, we just have to believe, and to think and feel positively.

Remember, "It's always darkest before the dawn."- Thomas Fuller

"Unlock the power of 'instead'! What if instead of imagining the worse-case scenario, you pictured the best? What if instead of worrying, you wished? What if instead of bracing yourself for the bad, you opened your heart to the good? Great and wonderful things happen every single day." "Woman's World" magazine

"It's Time to Pray"-

"If you spend your time praying for people instead of talking about them, you'll get better results."- Jaron Alexander

"Everything Will Be Okay"- Dana Perino

Interesting, intriguing website-

"Expect a miracle. Miracles happen everyday."- Unknown

In my newly revised memoir, "Down Memory Lane,"* I write about, among a lot of other things, memorabilia. I like to collect and to keep things that are special to me, things that remind me of the best, the special times in my life. 

One of those things is my-

 cell phone.

To anyone else, this just looks like an old beaten-up phone, but to me, it's special. I only carried it with me when I'd go away from home, but that cell phone went through a lot. It got run over by a car when it fell into the street. It had scuff marks, but it kept on working. It even rode all the way on top of the trunk of my car for several miles, after I had accidentally left it there. It was dropped several times, and I even had to tape the back of it to hold it together.

Because of what all it had been through, and survived, I call it my miracle phone. It served me well, and it never let me down, so I felt it deserved a special place among my memorabilia when I was forced to retire it.

How many of us or the people in our lives would have that much tenacity, would go through all of that, and still be that loyal and giving?

How to stay warm on a cold spring morning?-

Our Mitzi seems to have the right idea!

Small Business Feature: Hoot Books Publishing

Victoria Fletcher is the owner of successful Hoot Books Publishing where she not only publishes books, but she also offers other services such as proofreading, website design, as well as many other services. She publishes books for people all over our country.

In addition, she is a highly acclaimed Appalachian author, with such books as "Daily Dose of Encouragement," as well as many others.

FYI- and

Just like spring, the Easter lily symbolizes new beginnings. It also symbolizes hope. And, I hope you had a very happy Easter.

*For more information about my book, "Down Memory Lane," please see the widget above.

~ Here's a special, important note about my blog, "The Art of Positive Living,"-Starting next month, I'll be publishing my "The Art of Positive Living" blog post only on the first Saturday of each month, so I'll have more time to write another book that I hope to have published by early fall. I have several other projects that I'm working on, as well. I'll continue to publish my "Spirit Photographs" blog post the third Saturday of each month.

Positive thought- "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life." -John 3:16
Thanks for visiting! Until Saturday, May 6, 2023, Becky

Sunday, March 26, 2023



First of all, during this time period in our lives, we all need people we can count on, to confide in, and to celebrate with, in victories both large and small. Instead of pulling apart, we need to stand together, united. These people might be in our family or they may be outside of our family. In any case, anyone who cares about us as we do them would be considered our friends.

Traditional friends could be childhood friends, teenage friends, workplace friends, social friends, or lifelong friends. We might see these friends often, but there may be others that we connect with only occasionally.

Some might come into our lives for a while, and then go out as quickly as they came, but we can learn something from every type of friendship.

In my newly revised book, "Down Memory Lane,"* I mention friendships.

Here are some things that weren't in my book, but they could have been:

I was invited to go on a cruise to the Bahamas by two of my friends who are sisters. I'd never been on a cruise before, and it was quite an adventure, soaking up all of the local culture and the sun, and enjoying the fun and fellowship.

With One of My Friends (Incognito) in the Bahamas

One day on the cruise, we got off at one stop, and we decided we wanted mangos. We didn't have any transportation so we had to walk, and it wasn't a short stroll. I don't remember how good the mangos were after we got them, but I do remember that my brand new sandals were in shreds when we got back from our little walk! I also remember how one of us had said, "I'd walk a mile for a mango!"

We were all single girls, having a lot of fun, but none of us had any shipboard romances like on "The Love Boat" which was a popular television comedy/drama from 1977-1987. However, after our cruise, a few months later, I was lucky to have found Greg who became my best friend and soulmate, and six months later, we were married. My friend from the cruise (pictured above) was my maid of honor at our wedding.

When I was growing up, everybody on our part of the street in our small town knew each other, and some even became friends. I dated a couple of the guys, and some of the other people and I are still in contact.

The last few years, one of my childhood friends has been sending me little gifts that had belonged to my grandparents which they had given to her grandmother. I really cherish these since I love memorabilia, especially things that belonged to my family members that have passed on. I'm sending my friend a copy of my latest book.* (My friend [Susie] is also mentioned in my book.)

Those early times seemed simpler, more wonderful, because now, most people in neighborhoods hardly know each other. It would be great to get back to that same sense of camaraderie. We need it now more than ever!

*For more information about my book, please see the widget above.

Small Business Feature: Adda Leah Davis, Appalachian Author


I'd like to tell you about a local Appalachian author in Virginia,  Adda Leah Davis, who has written several books including "The Beckoning Hills," "The Whisperer," (a mystery), "Lucinda's Mountain," and "A Heaven Sent Wife," to mention a few.

This prolific author is currently writing yet another book, and it should be equally as good as the others are.

If you love Appalachia, as I do, please be sure and check out her wonderful website. Bet you'll be glad you did!

PS: Addie knows the value of friendship since she really cherishes her friends.

Positive thought: "Friends make the world beautiful." - Unknown

Thanks for visiting! Until Sunday, April 9, 2023, Becky

Sunday, March 12, 2023

Positive Memories

Spring is almost here, and it officially begins on Monday, March 20, but this year, it looks like it got an early start! 

My cousin Bruce and I recently celebrated our birthdays together, and his gifts to me were two pieces of art that my grandmother had done, and old handmade quilts that were the handiwork of other family members.

 These pretty quilts are in a nice quilt display case.

These gifts mean so much to me since I enjoy collecting memorabilia.

One of our gifts to Bruce was my newly revised book, "Down Memory Lane,"* which now contains old (and a few new) photographs from our personal photo albums.

In my book, I tell about the positive memories that I had living in the beautiful Southern Appalachian Mountains of Virginia and East Tennessee. In the book, I also briefly mention memorabilia, and how I display it.

Small Business Feature:
The Antique Barn
Abingdon, Virginia

If you love old things, vintage pieces, glassware, jewelry, art, memorabilia, etc., you'll love this antique mall in Abingdon.

Here is a beautiful piece that Greg and I bought for a bargain price at The Antique Barn-

Every few weeks, I enjoy visiting this antique mall to see what all is new. Their inventory is always changing.

So, for really nice pieces at reasonable prices, be sure and check out this wonderful place.

 *For more information about my book, and to purchase on Amazon, please see and click on the widget above.

Positive thought: "If you focus completely on the things you love, then you are on your way to a beautiful life." "May the joy be with you," Rhonda Byrne

Thanks for visiting! Until Sunday, March 26, 2023, Becky

Wednesday, March 1, 2023

Do Something Different!


Right now, we're having some nice weather for this time of year. Here, at least, spring is in the air! It's a good time to go out and do things, to even do something that's a little different!

Just recently, Greg and I were invited to go to an event that was new to us, a middle school robotics competition in which our young nephew was taking part.

Since we had never even heard of a robotics competition before, we did a little Internet research on the subject before we went. Basically, small teams of students work together on robots that are supposed to perform certain tasks in the competition. Each team member has a specific duty, like to design the robot, which is what our nephew, James, did in his team. Several teams compete against each other, and judges decide which teams win the competition.

We really enjoyed our time there with our relatives as we showed our support for a family member. 

Also, it's good to get out and do something a little different as often as possible.

Book Feature- "Down Memory Lane" by Becky Arnott

A few weeks ago my book, "Down Memory Lane," was republished on Amazon. (For more information on ordering, etc., please see the widget above.) It now contains quite a bit more information, and it also has photographs from my personal photo albums which helps to tell my story even better since you may have heard that "a picture is worth a thousand words."

On each of my new blog posts now, I'm showing a photograph along with a short narrative that is similar to what is in my book. (However, not all of the narrative in my book has accompanying photos.) 

This photograph is not in my book, but it could have been-

The photo above shows Greg and me a few years ago, enjoying the RC Cola-MoonPie Festival in Bell Buckle, Tennessee which is June 17 this year. It has music, contests, games, dancers, a parade, etc. As you can see in the photo, we even got to sit on bales of hay. Also, the refreshments there were great! This festival was something simple, inexpensive, a lot of fun, and- different! 

You don't have to go to Bell Buckle to a festival since there's probably a great festival or other neat event near you.

Restaurant Feature- Luke's Cafe

For a unique place to dine, you might want to try Luke's Cafe the next time you're in Abingdon, Virginia.

"Luke's Cafe ain't it Kool"

This cafe is different from the very artistic sculptures outside to the retro images of movie stars, etc. inside

And, the food is great!

My favorite is the Pimento Cheese Fruit Plate. So good! 


Why not try something a little different this week! 

Positive thought: 

Thanks for visiting! Until around Sunday, March 12, 2023, Becky

Tuesday, February 14, 2023

"Down Memory Lane"


Today I have a blog post that is special to me, and I hope that it will be special for you, too.

My book, "Down Memory Lane A Nostalgic Memoir of Life in the Southern Appalachians," was recently republished by Hoot Books Publishing. This book is about the "joys of growing up and growing older and about the people and pets along the way that inspired (me) and touched (my) life in a positive way."

In this republished version of my book, I added more chapters with more memories, and I also added several personal photographs for the first time. A picture does often seem to be "worth a thousand words," so I believe these photographs do help me tell my story much better. The photos were taken not only by me, but also by my husband, Greg, my brother, Nick, my mother, Jean, and my father, Bill, as well as others.

I tried to include as many wonderful memories of my life in the beautiful Appalachians as I could, but even after I'd finished revising my book, and had sent it in, more memories kept coming to me, and I still have hundreds of photographs that I could have included in my book, but didn't.

So, each time I write my "The Art of Positive Living" blog post, I plan to include a photograph, along with a description, similar to what is in my newly revised book. (However, some, but not all of the memories in my book are accompanied by a photograph.)

~"Down Memory Lane" Feature-

Here is a picture that could have been in my book, but isn't.-

(Since we've just had Valentine's Day, I thought that this photo would be very appropriate for this blog post.)

I attended my brother and sister-in law's wedding when I was lucky enough to catch my new sister-in-law's bridal bouquet. No wonder I caught it, because I remember how high I leapt up into the air (and I'm not that athletic!), determined to catch the bouquet. It paid off, since only three months later, I was married to my sweetheart, Greg!

"Moments come and go, but memories last forever." -Unknown


"Down Memory Lane" by Becky Arnott (For more information about this book, please click the widget above.) 

Cookie from Our Local Food City Bakery

Valentine's Day may be over, but we can still love and cherish our loved ones every day!

Positive thought: "God loves you. I love you. God bless you, and have a wonderful day." -Julie Green (Ditto! -Becky A.)

Thanks for visiting! Until Sunday, February 26, 2023, Becky

Monday, January 23, 2023

We Are All Special, Unique


Greg and I recently visited a unique store a few miles from our home in Southwest Virginia...

and we were impressed.

It was a Mennonite store where things were a little different. 

There's an area in the store where you can place an order for soup, made-to-order sandwiches, and salads. While waiting, you can look around and perhaps pick up some potato salad or small fruit pie to go with your order.

Also, you might want to check out their jellies, breads, desserts, Amish snacks, etc., ice cream, and bulk candies of all types. They also have kitchen items, home decor, toys, religious items, fresh vegetables, as well as many other things.

Greg and I enjoyed our sandwiches, and we took a couple of their desserts home with us-

An Apple Turnover

Banana Pudding



The Dutch Pantry, 6891 W. Lee Highway, Rural Retreat, VA 24368

All of this made me think of how special and unique this experience was. Mennonites have a different way of life, and they express who they are in their own unique way. In this store, they are just living their lives, and they are sharing with the world who they are and what they do, and those that go there benefit from what they have to offer.

In the same way, each of us has something special to offer just by positively expressing our God-given talents, whatever those happen to be.

~ Don't "hide your light under a bushel." means not to hide your talents or abilities. This is from the Sermon on the Mount.

~ "Being different means you have something unique to offer to offer the world." -Unknown

We are all different expressions of God. We are all very special.

Positive thought: From a sign in The Dutch Pantry-

Also important- 

Thanks for visiting! Until Tuesday, February 14, 2023, Becky