Tuesday, May 7, 2019


As you'll see below, if you don't know already, I am a Stampin' UP! demonstrator. I placed a reasonable order last week from Clearance to build up my future Etsy shop plus put in a big order (the largest I've EVER placed) on our pre-order in preparation for the 2019-2020 catalog releasing June 4th. I have to pay for that so I'm turning in all of my change.

I am also in the danger zone of a diabetic. I have to make some serious changes to my life in able to stay off medications. 

So I REALLY need to buckle down and get back to eating properly. 

Stress also raises glucose numbers and I've been stressed a lot trying to get time in the garden between rain drops, keep up with blogs (which I'm only succeeding on 2 at the moment), get the house straightened up before the girls' arrival and stay on top of office stuff in general. Did I mention writing Book 2 in the series? LOL

 So yeah.. something has to give!

Last week was a perfect example of how crazy things are here... and with the girls' arrival on June 1 the time allotments will only get tighter. I HAVE to cut some things.

June 1 - the girls arrive
June 4 - Stampin' UP! new catalog release
June 20thish - Launch Etsy shop
July 1 - Book 2 in my series releases
Mid-August - the girls go back home
August 25 - Contest entries due
September 4 - Stampin' UP! Holiday catalog launches
October 1 - Book 3 in series releases
November 1 - Nano begins.. and the process of writing Book 4

Then the holidays are upon us!

While I've not been consistent with my postings as I'd like, I have tried to share things of interest. My biggest motivation for keeping this blog going is if I were getting comments/ conversation, etc. I'm not getting comments/ feedback.. lots of voyeurism. I'm okay with that as long as I know what I'm sharing is of value.

So here's the deal..
While we are in tornado season, but have avoided any of the surrounding destruction ourselves, I still feel like I'm caught in a vortex. I have to 


Based on the afore mentioned schedule, I have to step back from the blogs that are not part of my income flow at the moment.  My summer is dedicated to book writing, new product launch, prepping for the Etsy grand opening and most of all - TIME WITH MY GIRLS! We will be doing all kinds of fun stuff. Abby's my crafter and Adrian is my garden buddy. Plus there will be field trips and library days, time at the creek... well, you get the idea.

So until September 1, this blog will be ON HIATUS. I KNOW I can't plan anything else.

In the mean time, I hope to get some other posts organized so I can get us through the rest of the year without fail.

By the end of this year I will know whether or not this blog continues into 2020....

... and a big part of that decision will come from you.

If you want this blog to continue, if you get anything from my posts I NEED to hear from you.

For now... I'm stepping back and Enjoying the Journey

Thank you for being here... and for understanding.

Monday, May 6, 2019

WEEKEND TRAVEL - Back to Van Buren

Note: I inadvertently posted this to an alternate blog last week.

Before I get into today's post I wanted to give you an update on Zoey.

She and Honey got along until Zoey and her long legs would overpower HB and pin him. He would growl, then she'd growl and the fight would begin. We found a shelter group that deals in Weimer's (which we are pretty sure she is).  I've never missed a temporary dog as much as I miss that girl.  But HB had to come first. 

Okay, on to today's post!

Good morning, everyone. Cool, damp start to our week. I will admit that while Bob and I did travel this past weekend, we just went into the city for some thrifting and time together before he heads back to work sometime this week. We are back on the day-to-day, waiting for the call routine.

A couple of weeks ago I drove to Van Buren to check out the Saturday Flea Market that Hannah, from Springhouse Cafe told me about. I decided to start my day with breakfast at the Springhouse:

The food was good, for the most part. Everything cooked to perfection. This is probably the only place I've eaten where they actually know how to cook an over-easy egg... the whites cooked and ALL of the yolk runny and delicious. The hash browns were perfectly crisp on the outside and tender on the inside and that slice of ham fed me that morning plus an addition to breakfast for Bob and I later in the week.  The only thing I wasn't impressed with was the biscuits and gravy. I knew ahead of time it was not 'sausage' gravy, but white pepper. The biscuits were tough on the bottom. I ordered them mainly to see how they were so I could tell Bob ahead of time. He does not like pepper, period so pepper gravy is definitely not an option for him.

Overall, we both have really liked the place. They're never overly busy, the waitresses are right on top of things and friendly.  Their food has always been good, making it hard to pick a favorite whenever we go back. We do like their 'handmade' burgers. Bob also liked their hand-pounded, hand-breaded pork tenderloin. There's usually at least one decadent dessert on the menu but I've avoided due to the sugar content, but their triple chocolate cake is drool-worth at $3 - $3.50 a slice, leaving me only to add that the prices are very reasonable. - Update (May 30, 2019) Bob and I caved and tried the Triple Chocolate Cake. Super Rich - Delicious - Decadent for sure! I suggest an glass of milk with this one!

To find The Springhouse Cafe, traveling West on Hwy 60 from Poplar Bluff (or St. Louis), turn right just as you come past the 55 mph sign (road just before McDonalds) You'll go about 1 to 1-1/2 miles and you'll see the place on your left.

Please tell them you heard about it on An Ozarks Journal blog. Doesn't get me anything, but I do like to let business owners know that the few minutes they took to chat with me was worth their time. Thanks to Nick Dorris for the friendly update. 

Where will you travel to this week.  Where ever you go, be safe and Enjoy the Adventure!

I have a big announcement coming tomorrow. Please stop by. 
Safe Travels!

Monday, April 8, 2019


A couple of weeks ago I was headed to Poplar Bluff. On my way through Van Buren I had a taste for the chicken tenders.. good ones. Not those tasteless breaded things but real breast meat tenders battered and deep fried til golden. Crisp on the outside, juicy on the inside.  I knew just where to go...
The Float Stream Restaurant in Van Buren.

Bob and I've eaten there several times. They have the best Hot Roast Beef With I've had in awhile... the kind served with REAL mashed potatoes. We've done the all you can eat cat fish buffet and breakfast on occasion. We've always been happy.

Until a few weeks ago...
Bob was on his way to Poplar Bluff and decided to pull in for lunch. The hostess showed him his seat and gave him a menu.... fifteen minutes later he still hadn't been waited on. The waitress totally ignored him. He finally got up and left.

Now, I have to stress THIS IS NOT THE NORM at The Float Stream. Someone was just having an off day.

What I DO WANT TO STRESS... is that Joey Crafton will make anything right if you give him the chance. He never knew my husband had issues until I stopped in. Here's the thing... if an owner doesn't know there's a problem, he can't fix the problem. That doesn't mean throwing a fit and trash talking the establishment. What you do is have an adult conversation... remember those?

So I pulled in, order my tenders and iced tea... prepared to work on my manuscript over a quiet lunch. The waitress was friendly and right on top of things. I asked to speak to the manager and he was happy to come out and talk with me. Joey Crafton is a good guy. He wants his customers to have an enjoyable experience and good food... to walk away with a plan to come back again.. and bring friends.

So if you're ever passing through Van Buren MO on Hwy 60... stop in to The Float Stream and enjoy a  meal... Oh.. and leave room for dessert.

Monday, February 25, 2019


No weekend travel post this week.

I spent yesterday getting some things tidied up around the house before Bob came home. He arrived late afternoon after being on the boat for 31 days.

He pulled into the drive to be greeted by this pretty girl.

Who wouldn't love that face?! 

Bob put her picture on FB in hopes of finding her owner. We did, but according to the man's mom (who identified her) it's more of a 'good riddance' attitude. As she said, if it's up to him we can keep her. I'm thinking there is family involved that might not be as willing to see her gone.

At first we thought she might be a Silver Lab. Folks on FB told us we had a Weimaraner . We've since found out she will be 1 year old in March. Her name is Zoey.  She is 1/2 pitbull, 1/4 Aussie and 1/4 Neo-Mastiff. If she'd been a Weimer, we could not have kept her. 

She is soooo loving and sweet. Gets along with HoneyB - whom she'll be sharing the run with and even the 2 female cats. Spirit wants no part of her. And she's okay with Tabby as long as Tabby doesn't run. Then Zoey thinks the game is on and I'm afraid she'd be too rough on Tabby, just based on the size difference. She is very gentle. 

If we get the all clear by tomorrow, Zoey will make a trip to the vet to get complete determination, see if there are medical records/ shots on file. We'll bring her up to date on shots and get her fixed. 

While I said I didn't want any more dogs, HoneyB does need a playmate, though even he gets tired of her antics after awhile and we bring one of them inside to catch a break. LOL  The girls are going to love her this summer. 

I hope to be traveling later in the week and have pictures to share. 
I'm also getting things back up to speed and will be starting the Emergency Prepper posts again in March so, stay tuned!

Monday, February 18, 2019


Welcome to my backyard
As I type this on Sunday afternoon, the temperature is 35*F. 
Some ice is starting to drip but at 4 p.m. and the sun going down, that won't last long.
Nearly every branch is still coated in a frozen protection.

Like many places across the country, we have been drenched in freezing temperatures as well as a mix of snow, sleet, rain... you name it, Mother Nature has shared.
I keep telling myself this is nourishment the ground will need for spring planting.
I am blessed that I do not have to go out in this horrid weather.
Every time I hear of major accidents like the one  that occurred on I-70 on Friday, I have to ask 
"What were they doing on the road to begin with?"

Like the tragic duck boat accident in Branson last summer, these people were given 
Even if by chance they missed the news/ weather reports, being out there should have given them just a moment to think - we better pull off at the next exit and wait this out. 
If you are an employer, I would hope you would have sense to tell your people
"Weather is going to be dicey, take a personal day. Be safe"
"Looks like the weatherman was right. Why don't you folks head out early today. Be safe"

Then there's the folks who can't afford to lose a day of work. They've gotten themselves so deep into the 'gotta have' mentality that they have to get a full check.

Well, folks. I'm here to tell you.. and something I've always believed.
NO Employer is going to pay you enough to be critically injured, lose your life or take someone else's in an accident. If you are hurt, chances are you're going to be off a lot more than ONE DAY!
While you are out, 
your employer is going to be looking for someone to fill your spot while you're off.

I think if roads are bad enough that schools are off or dismiss early, then businesses should at the very least, go down to a skeleton crew. No should be out shopping/ eating, anyway.
They should be home - SAFE - with their family. 

I'd love to hear your thoughts.
Please comment below. 
In the meantime, BE SAFE - BE SMART - LIVE!

Monday, February 11, 2019

WEEKEND TRAVEL - Amazing Herd!

On a trip to Poplar Bluff on Saturday I spotted a field loaded with a herd of deer. I have never seen so many deer on private land... on  preserve, yes. But never in an open field. Between the ridge to the left out of camera, across the field to the far side of the pond out of camera on the right, I counted THIRTY!

This was as close as I could get. I pulled over and took a couple of shots then about a block up, I found the farmer's entrance to the field. The gate set back from the road a bit so I was able to get a bit closer. With cropping, this is the best view out of all of them.

With all the rains we've had, the fields are greening up and these beauties were enjoying the bounty.

As cars and trucks whizzed by, I had to wonder how many of them were missing this amazing site. I'm glad I was able to see them.

While we're talking deer (okay meat in general) I had dinner at my favorite restaurant in Poplar Bluff last night. Castello's is an Italian restaurant connected to the Holiday Inn. They offer Prime Rib on Friday and Saturday nights. Folks, if you want the BEST prime rib in the Ozarks, I suggest a drive to Poplar Bluff.

I'll leave you with these two pics.

The 20 oz. King Cut... medium rare. This is an end-cut.

The depth of the fork tines tell you the thickness of this juicy piece of meat .

Monday, February 4, 2019


Okay.. so this isn't really a travel type article but I had to make a trip to West Plains on Saturday. Never thought about taking pictures. Just doing what I needed to do and get home. I had things here to do before the sun went down. 

To get a better scope of West Plains, you can visit WestPlains.net

I love spending time in the Visitor's Center. I get turned around direction-wise when it comes to West Plains but you'll find the VC on your right as you're coming into town on Hwy 63 from the west (Springfield/ Willow Springs)  They have some great displays including a pants suit previously owned by hometown country girl, Jan Howard and a rhinestone suite by the late Porter Wagoner, also from West Plains. You'll see those HERE

I'll never forget the first time Bob and I went to West Plains. We'd not moved here yet but had purchased the house. We were looking for some building supplies. We stopped at the local fire station for information. Their directions to where we needed to go included Porter Wagoner Blvd and Jan Howard Ave.  You know you're in a small town when....

Finally, the 14th Annual Library Chili Cook-off was held at the West Plains Civic Center. This is a big fundraising event for the local library and the great programs they offer. Dr. Julie Hart of Hart Family Eyecare is the reigning Chili Queen! She's our optometrist and one of the sweetest ladies you'll ever meet... and I guess she makes a mean bowl of chili!

For the rest of this month I'll only be posting on Monday's and Friday's. I should be back up to speed and able to bring some Ozark history posts back in. Wednesday posts will only run if I have Ozark books to review and Thursdays... well, we'll see where my mind wanders.

Hang with me. You know we don't move real fast around here :-)