Monday, March 27, 2017

WEEKEND TRAVELS - Kansas History

Unlike a lot of people I've talked to, I really enjoy driving across Kansas. There is so much history there and a lot of the rural topography hasn't changed from the days of the Youngers and James gangs rode the hills. 

One of my brothers in law lives in the north central part of OK about 15 miles from the KS/ OK line. So the shortest route there is to cut north out of Joplin MO then west through the southern part of KS, including historic Baxter Springs and Coffeyville.

The pictures below were taken about 45 miles east of Arkansas City if I'm not mistaken. My husband is great about stopping so I can take pictures.

I dubbed this first one a Saloon. Looks like it may have been a store front a hundred years ago. When I'm going through on my own, I hope to do some history research. I love the decorative wood work and painting.

This next one has to date back quite aways as well. Notice the arched windows and the bunting. 

In the next picture I've zoomed in on the west entrance. Notice the arch beneath the porch. and what appears to be a trio of garage doors. The entrance is mirrored on the east end as you see in the above picture.

Architecture and old buildings fascinate me. If those walls could talk, the stories they'd tell.

Do you have any buildings that speak to you? If you can, link me up to where I can see pictures. I'd love to explore.

Friday, March 24, 2017


Today I want to showcase an awesome business Bob and I found through local advertisement in Springfield MO... Wolf Hunter Solutions  Go ahead, follow the link. I'll be here when you are done.

While Bob focused on the AR stuff - of which they have one of the largest selections of AR components I have seen anywhere - I wandered the tactical side of the store. They don't focus on just 'prepper'... but all things tactical for personal and law enforcement use. Josh was kind enough to let me take pictures so I'm going to post those and let you do a virtual wander through that side of the store.

Personal Hygiene kits 

Firestarters and supplies

Medical Kits
Field Medic Packs

Micro fiber towels (very compact)

Supply kiosk

waterless body wipes

Variety of water bags

One of the camel bags up close

Trauma Kit varieties

Trauma Kit

Medic supply wall

Variety of  packs

If you're ever in Springfield MO, stop and check this place out. You can also order through there site but nothing beats seeing this place in person.

Monday, March 20, 2017

WEEKEND TRAVELS - Straw Bale Time!

While you might not think this most exciting travel photo, I'm ecstatic. Straw in southeast MO is hard to come by. We can usually get straw in the fall at the feed stores and box stores like Walmart but fall straw doesn't do a lot of good for those of us doing strawbale gardening - in the spring.

To make matters worse, the box stores want $6+ a bale. 

I've been blessed to find a local supplier. He has 40 acres that he plants in wheat, primarily for the straw. And he only charges $4 a bale!

So today I went out to his place and brought home 12 bales. With this cold, unloading was a chore and pretty much taxed my energy for the dale. Combined with the ones I bought at WM last fall and stored in the green house, this brings me to 20 bales -or there abouts. I'm going to spend some time this week figuring out the whole garden thing. If I have to make another trip out later in the week I might pick up 6 or so more... just in case. 

I also found a Straw Bale app. It's the official one from Joel Karsten. I downloaded the app today but it isn't wanting to open. I've deleted the app and will try a new download.

Next week I'll be showing pictures from a weekend travel to OK. I know it's not the Ozarks but I found some interesting buildings to share with you.

I know I've been absent. Bob was home for two months. He just went back out on Wednesday. I'm battling a horrid cold for the second time and the recliner is my best friend.

Have some Prepper stuff coming up as well as garden talk and sites from the Ozarks. I hope you'll come back.

Friday, February 3, 2017

STOCKING UP - Drying Bella Mushrooms

I've been wanting to dry Baby Bella mushrooms for awhile. When I'm home alone, I can't go through an entire #1 carton on my own before they start to fuzz over. This picture shows 1 of 4 racks on my food dehydrater. I also only use the caps. I don't care for the stems.

My trays are lined with wire mesh screen I purchased from the local hardware store and cut to fit.

This is what they looked like after 24 hours:

I didn't need to leave them for 24 hours I don't think, but I got up way earlier than I wanted so went back to bed... much longer than I wanted. LOL

And this is the final result:

#1 mushrooms dried to 1 cup. A tight fit in a jelly jar.

I tried some the next morning. I rehydrated about 4 T of the dried mushrooms in hot water for about ten minutes then added them to my egg scramble. Perfect!

Now that I know this works well, I'm going to buy a larger quantity at Sam's Club and get a bunch of them put into jars.

Have you tried dehydrating mushrooms? Do you find a difference between varieties? I'd love to hear your thoughts.

Thursday, February 2, 2017

FOR THE BIRDS - Homemade Suet Cake

This woodpecker is one of the reasons I make sure I have suet feeders available throughout the yard. Of course, I also have a chipmunk (Chip), a couple of squirrels as well as a variety of birds that enjoy them as well. 

I love watching the birds at the feeders. One feeder hangs on the side of an oak tree. I've noticed I have two varieties of woodpeckers, but one will only BACK down the tree. He never comes head first... and he beeps as he comes down. Is he afraid of heights? Or is this common for his species. I'm still studying him. 

While I could get suet cakes for as little as 97 cents a piece, I decided to make my own primarily because I know what's in them.  I also had a supply of lard in our freezer that had been there since 2009. I didn't care for it in pie crusts so the butcher paper-wrapped blocks have just stayed in the freezer unused. 

After scouring Pinterest for ideas, I revised a recipe from better hens & gardens. The Dump Cake method:

Mixed Nuts and Peanuts left in the pantry
Peanut Butter
Quick Oats (though I did use Old Fashioned, too)

Not shown:
Corn Meal
Cracked Corn wild bird feed
Dried Cherries

I used creamy peanut butter for two reasons. 1) I found that when I made the first batch, the crunchy wanted to stick to the pan and scorch. 2) I prefer creamy lol

She suggests 2 C. corn meal. For the first batch I didn't have corn meal. That's when I started using the cracked corn. Now that I have both, future batches will have 1 C of each. Also, in place of sugar I used molasses for one batch and honey for another. I have plenty of both.  I ran the dried cherries through my mini food chopper.

The Mix

I've saved the trays from store-bought suet cakes. But I also froze 9x13 pans for my larger feeders

This is one I've started cutting apart to fit the large square feeder. The end pieces I put a couple in the long, square block feeders. Smaller pieces were placed on the ground for Chip and the Squirrel.

This is a left over piece that I wrapped in plastic and put back in the freezer until I need it.

I put the last of the 2nd batch in my feeders today so tomorrow I'm going to mix up as many as I can with the ingredients I have on hand. I am going through one of the small squares about every other day. I wound up having to wire the cage shut to keep the squirrels from running off with the entire cake. Crafty little critters, they be.

Monday, January 30, 2017

WEEKEND TRAVELS - West Plains & The Journey

Yesterday, I took Bob out to Colton's Steakhouse in West Plains MO to meet Cowboy Rick, Arkansas Bev, some of the cowboys and The Journey stagecoach.

I'll be telling you more about The Journey in later posts. For now, just some pictures from our day.


The Boot

The Driver's Seat


These pictures were taken off a side road in Winona MO.  I love the sweeping cloud base. These pictures are from 2012. I still have a ton of pictures to get off another memory card and organize.