A Brand New Year!
Ready or not, 2006 is at the door! In preparing this article, several things came to mind about the new year. First of all, we all have the opportunity to make “our” new year different than the previous one. Not New Year’s resolutions that are too easily made and too quickly broken, but real and lasting change. Making significant changes in anything requires determination and dedication. We have to change on purpose, and that change must become a part of our everyday life, or it won’t last. Have you ever been on a diet? To lose weight successfully, you have to eat the right things, and avoid the wrong things, on purpose every day. If you do this consistently, over time good habits begin to form and replace the bad ones, and it gets a little easier. The second thing the new year brings to mind is that it’s like an empty book. The story of your life for 2006 has not been written yet. When it is, what will it say about you? Will it be a cohesive, orderly account of a life that was lived on purpose? Or will it be an unorganized tale of a life driven by circumstances and simply living to get through each day? Without clear purpose in our lives, we will be distracted by “things” that happen, because “things” happen to us all. Finally, the new year is like a blank check. Not one minute of it has been spent yet! While none of us know just how much time we have in this life, each of us can control to some extent how we spend the time that is given to us. Each day we have with those we love is truly a gift of time; spend it wisely. What will you do with “your” new year? How will you live your life and how will you spend your time? One thing is for sure, life is too short and precious to waste on things that don’t matter. Live your life on purpose!

Wagoner County Assessors Plan Annual Visit
On January 17th from 1:30 pm to 4:00 pm and January 18th, from 9:00 am to noon and 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm, representatives of the Wagoner County Assessors office will be in the Johanna Woods clubroom answering questions about Homestead Exemptions and taxes. A limited exemption, based on income and age, is available on manufactured homes sited on community land. If you need more information on this, come see these folks. If you purchased a home in 2005 from a dealer, your taxes were likely paid, but you need to make sure your home was added to the county roll for tax purposes. This does not always happen automatically and an oversight could be very costly. Check it out to be sure!

Mail Box Mix Ups!
I have heard from several residents recently that their mail is being put in the wrong box. Others then find the wrong mail in their box. If this happens and you get mail that is not yours, you can do one of two things. You can write “not at this address” on the outside of the mail and put it back in the outgoing mail slot for re-delivery. Or, you can bring it to the office and we will notify the resident so they can pick it up. We will also visit with the mail carrier to try and help correct the problem. Please let us know if you are having trouble with this.

Spotlight On Safety
For the second year in a row the city of Broken Arrow has been named the safest city in Oklahoma! While this is good news, we must never let down our guard. Personal safety is a matter that every citizen must be conscious of every day. Keeping cars and homes locked and always being aware of your surroundings will go a long way toward keeping you from becoming a crime statistic. Knowing your neighbors is another important

Winter Cook’s Corner
Slow Cooker Barbeque
Ingredients: Yield: 8 servings
1 (3 pound) boneless chuck roast
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder
Salt and pepper to taste
1 (18 ounce) bottle of your favorite barbeque sauce
Place the roast into your slow cooker. Sprinkle with garlic and onion powder, and salt and pepper. Pour barbeque sauce over meat and cook on low setting for 6 to 8 hours. Remove the meat from the cooker and shred with a fork. Return the meat to the slow cooker, stir into the sauce and cook for one more hour. Serve hot with your favorite trimmings or on buns for barbeque sandwiches. Enjoy!