The Letter that started it all......

Tell me what you like about Pike County, Georgia! Let's tell everyone!

I live in the best part of the biggest state east of the Mississippi river in the most generous and best country in the world. I really like my home and my neighbors. This blog celebrates that fact!

Let's get the word out! Just click on where it says "# comments" (where # is the number of comments) and use the comment form to tell me what YOU like about Pike County! Put your name in the comment. Bookmark this page!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Good News!

Rising sales point to better year for housing


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WASHINGTON (AP) — The housing market is flashing signs of health ahead of the spring-buying season.
Sales of previously occupied homes are at their highest level since May 2010. More first-time buyers are making purchases. And the supply of homes fell last month to its lowest point in nearly seven years, which could push home prices higher.
Sales have now risen nearly 13 percent over the past six months. While they are still well below the 6 million that economists equate with a healthy market, the gains have coincided with other changes in the market that suggest more sales are coming.
"The trend is clearly upward," said Ian Shepherdson, chief U.S. economist at High Frequency Economics.
The National Association of Realtors said Wednesday that re-sales increased 4.3 percent last month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.57 million.
Single-family home sales rose 3.8 percent. And the number of first-time buyers, who are critical to a housing recovery, increased slightly to make up 33 percent of all sales. That's still below 40 percent, which tends to signal a healthy market.
One concern is the market is still saturated with homes at risk of foreclosure, which lower broader home prices. Those increased to make up 35 percent of sales.
But the supply of homes on the market has plunged to 2.3 million, the lowest level since March 2005. At last month's sales pace, it would take more than six months to clear those homes, consistent with a healthy housing market. Fewer homes on the market could help boost prices over time.
Most economists said the January report was encouraging, especially when viewed with other recent positive housing data.
Mortgage rates have never been lower. Homebuilders are slightly more hopeful because more people are saying they might be open to buying this year — and they responded in January to that interest by requesting more permits to construct single-family homes.
"The rise in existing home sales in recent months adds to the indication from housing starts, building permits, and homebuilder sentiment that the sector has improved modestly since the middle of 2011," said John Ryding, an economist at RDQ economics.
Much of the optimism has come because hiring has picked up. More jobs are critical to a housing rebound. In January, employers added 243,000 net jobs — the most in nine months — and the unemployment rate fell to 8.3 percent, the lowest level in nearly three years.
Analysts caution that the damage from the housing bust is deep and the industry is years away from fully recovering. Since the bubble burst, sales have slumped under the weight of foreclosures, tighter credit and falling prices.
Many deals are also collapsing before they close. One-third of Realtors say they've had at least one contract scuttled over the past four months. That's up from 18 percent in September.
Realtors say deals are collapsing for several reasons: Banks have declined mortgage applications. Home inspectors have found problems. Appraisals have come in lower than the bid. Or a buyer suffered a financial setback before the closing.
Sales rose across the country in January. They rose on a seasonal basis by nearly 9 percent in the West, 3.5 percent in the South, 3.4 percent in the Northeast and 1 percent in the Midwest.

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Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Old Dogs

Bocephus, my good friend.

I love dogs.  No doubt about that.  The thing I don't like about dogs is my memory.  It's not necessarily that I remember things about my dogs, it's that when I do remember things, it's like it happened yesterday.  I remember Bo (above) climbing in to my lap while we were waiting for our run in the National Championships in 2001.  I can smell the humidity, see the pines, feel his fur.  And now, old Bo is 14 and a half.  He still has "game", but his rear end doesn't, he's half blind and his hearing is not what it was. He's not in pain and he still gets around pretty good, he has a heated dog house, designer dog food and medicated baths.  And, he's an old dog.  When I go to the pen to see the boys, he holds back some, staying aloof from all the barking and jumping and begging.  After a minute or so, he comes up to get his scratch on the back and stroking along side the face that he likes so much. Some days, I just sit in the sun and he puts his head in my lap and we laugh and talk about the hunts around this country, about the times he's taken a "walkabout" in most of the states we've hunted, about his bullfight, wolf encounter, coyote love.  I do love dogs and I love this dog.  It's my memory I hate. 

Saturday, February 18, 2012


More rain on the way for us!  I'm trying to get all the fertilizing out of the way this year.  It seems most years I just don't get to it and then I pay for it in the summer. I like to give the lawn a good dose of fire ant treatment, too.  I hate those little critters!  I know God put everything here for a purpose, and, when I see him, maybe I'll ask him about that little issue.....

I'm putting more muscadines in the ground, 2 more to replace the one's I lost a few years ago.  Nothing is better in late August and early September than grabbing a handful of grapes on the way by the arbor- yum, that's good!

Elizabeth and the horses
I still think we are due for a major snow storm in the next two months....remember, you heard it here, first!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Winter Never Arrived

For  a short time, I thought we would get some winter here in Georgia, but it just never showed up!  Here it is the middle of February and I can count on one hand the number of nights it's been real cold!  I'm wondering if this means we'll have a blizzard in March? Are you ready?