Monday, April 16, 2018


Each year in April, Twin Pines Conservation and Education Center holds it's Heritage Festival... usually the second Saturday. In past years, I've been unable to attend for various reasons so I was excited to be home this year and be able to check it out while bringing you some of  my own photographs.  Alas, Mother Nature had other ideas.

We began with severe thunderstorms and tornado watches/ warnings the night before. I have NEVER heard the gale-force winds we experienced Friday night. We wound up with 1.5" of rain and thankfully, no damage anywhere.

Saturday morning dawned misty, rainy, cold. Ugh. Is Spring EVER going to arrive? So I stayed home. I'm sure the event ran as scheduled. I've not checked to be sure. The afternoon did turn decent enough but by then I was into other projects at the house.

Instead, I bring you photographs from past Heritage Festival events, courtesy of their website:

As you can see, they demonstrate how things were done back when this logging community was formed. I especially like the Union Jacks hanging from the line. :-) And while the participants in the bottom picture are not in garb, they are demonstrating the hands-on approach to this event.

As I type this, the weather is again cold and dreary. I woke up to 32* on the thermostat and very gloomy skies. I will venture out to take my beast of a dog to the vet. After all my worry, it appears his problem stems from an abscessed canine. Poor baby, Bear. Loading him into the Suzuki should be fun but he trusts me to do just about anything to him - except groom him. That is definitely a two-person job. He is in sad need of a shave/ brushing but will have to wait until Bob comes home.. hopefully this week.

My next post will be the Friday Prep as I spend the rest of this week finishing up projects I want done before Bob gets home Wednesday night. Wish me Luck!

Safe Travels!

Friday, April 13, 2018

EMERGENCY PREPAREDNESS - Tornado Season Approaches!

I was planning to kick this feature back in this week. With the approach of severe weather for us tonight, I'm more inclined to ask everyone to pay attention. 

We have overcast skies, a decent but non-threatening wind and pleasant temperatures at the moment. Like most severe weather striking at in cloak of darkness, our storms are not to arrive until after 8 p.m. But there's no time to relax.

First, I'd like to remind you of THIS post I originally did on Emergency Preparedness Week. The BASICS supply list in preparing for inclement weather can be found there.

Being Prepared for a storm is important, but you also need to think about what you'll need after the air has cleared. When it comes to having supplies on hand for following a Disaster, read THIS POST

To you have Weather Radio or a Weather Alert App on your cell?
You'll find a good selection on AMAZON  Consumer Reports recommends THESE

When it comes to Weather Alert Apps, often times your local News/ Weather channel will provide these. Nothing beats having local eyes on your location. For me, I use KY3 Weather. I love their app. Not only can I tell the weather here but where my girls live out west or my in-laws in south Texas. Whichever location I choose as 'HOME' will give me the weather alerts for that area... making it the perfect weather option for where ever I am. 

I've listed some FREE apps below with good ratings. Most offer an in-app purchase. My KY3 app does not.

NOAA Weather
     Note: NOAA does have a Weather Alerts app for $1.99
Weather Bug 
WeatherBundle - Forecasts, Alerts

If you are depending on your phone REMEMBER to charge BEFORE BEDTIME. You don't want your battery today at a crucial time. Know where your charger for both your home and your car are located. Consider purchasing a separate charger for your Emergency surplus bag. Also consider a back-up charger such as THIS one, allowing you to recharge your phone even when the power is down. Make sure you have this device charged as well. I know these seem like simple points, but often the easiest things are left undone. 

Do you have Preparedness Tips to share? Please do so in the comments.
Please no long list of post links. My blog is to share and be informative but this is NOT instagram. Thank you for understanding.

Be safe!

Monday, March 26, 2018

WEEKEND TRAVELS - The Old Home Place

I've not traveled much in the past couple of weeks. I just don't leave the house much.  I did go to West Plains on Friday for a book launch at Wages Brewing Company. Nice little place. I tried a 4 oz of Irish Red. Very smooth beer. The owner seems to know what he's doing. Normally, I don't drink even one drink and drive but I felt safe in having a 4 oz. without issues. They offer various forms of gathering fun nearly every night of the month... from live music to Trivia and card games. I look forward to visiting again soon.

My pictures this week are from my own back yard.
From the time we moved here, there have been daffodils. Lots of daffodils in large groupings like this one in the back yard I've dubbed 'On Golden Pond' for it does look like a miniature yellow pond.

A couple of closer looks:

Last fall I planted over 100 bulbs in various places throughout the yard. My main focus was under the big Maple. I'm seeing some fruits of my labors in the Hyacinths. Nothing from the Tulips yet except for green leaves.

I hope to be out and about more in the coming weeks if the rain will ever stop and the temperatures warm up enough to want to venture outside for more than a few minutes.

Have you planted flowers? Do you have favorites? Link in your comments below so I can come wander your garden.


Monday, March 5, 2018


We got our first 'major' snow on January 14th. Pretty, isn't it? 

As we make the slow dance to spring, I thought I'd show our grand hurrah. As I type this mid-February, I'm not expecting any big snow. Ice has been an issue north and west of us and we're too see more this week. Measurable snow, however, has been elusive. But there's always next year, right?

Monday, February 26, 2018

WEEKEND TRAVEL - Wintery Splendor

Early last month, I took a drive to Poplar Bluff. Something about dogs needing food. ;-) Just West of Van Buren, I saw a beautiful sight:

The contrast of running water cascading over the bedrock to meet with nature's ice sculptures was breathtaking. 

The reason for the live water run as opposed to the ice on the left is due to a fresh spring farther back in the hill that constantly runs, preventing the freeze.

Sights like this abound in the Ozarks and is one of the reasons I prefer avoiding interstates when I travel. The beauty lies beyond the norm... in everything.


Tuesday, February 20, 2018


I’ve been wanting to do history posts since this blog began. I just never seem to ‘get there’. As I sat here in the recliner, working on blog posts I decided this is the week to step up and start sharing information about the state I’ve chosen to call home.

This week, I want to take you to St. Louis.

The City of St. Louis was founded on February 15, 1764 when French explorers arrived in the late 17th century but their hold wouldn’t hold for long. Spain took over in 1763. Pierre Laclede and Auguste Chouteau, recognizing the value of their location, started a trading company and established the settlement of St. Louis.

With its connection through the Ohio River to the east, the Mississippi to the south and north, and the Missouri to the west, St. Louis was ideally located to become the main base of inter-regional trade. In the 1840s, the city became a destination for massive immigration by Irish and Germans and the settlement grew exponentially.

While Missouri was a slave state, bordering free states made it the center hub for filing of ‘freedom suits’. Many slaves became free as a result.

Eads Bridge

Recreation and tourism began to grow following the Civil War. Not because of the post war rebuild (though the city only held a small skirmish on the outskirts) but due to pollution of the river as a result of the rebuild and expansion. During the 1870s, Eads Bridge was erected and several parks were established, including Forest Park. Eades Bridge holds the #1 spot on the National Historic Landmarks.

Today, the attractions continue to grow. The Gateway Arch is getting a face-lift and there is talk of renaming the park at its base. Aside from the arch and the zoo, there are a lot of top notch attractions including Forest Park, which hosted the 1904 Worlds Fair. Home of the infamous Clydsdales, you can tour the Budweiser facility or the Botanical Gardens. There are science and art museums and the Missouri History Museum.

But the City Museum ranks high on the list of places to visit.  For some of the best pictures, visit Kristy at Have Kids Will Travel. She is a great photographer and has multiple views of the museum on THIS post. City Museum is created mostly from repurposed materials such as the plane in the photo above. With a maze of tunnels inside and out, places to climb and explore, you could entertain the kids - and yourself - for hours from what I understand.

Until I get over my fear of traffic, I'll never visit this place personally, but if you do I'd love for you to share your experience with us by leaving a comment below. Take us with you when you go!

Plan that summer vacation now and enjoy quality family time exploring St. Louis Missouri


Monday, February 19, 2018

WEEKEND TRAVEL - Cruising on the River

This week,  I want to give you a totally different view of my world... or rather my husband's world.

I don't know if I've mentioned before that my husband is a river boat captain. His life's work has had him on the river for over thirty years. Over the course of his job, he has shared many pictures he has taken while cruising down the river. They've included Bald Eagles perched in a tree, geese on the barges enjoying bread bits from crew members as well as deer and fox along the banks or attempting to navigate floating ice chunks in an effort to cross the treacherous waters.

But my favorites are of the sunsets. On a recent long-trip down the Illinois from Joliet to just north of St. Louis. He doesn't normally make this long haul but the ice required tow boats to make the run rather than one and Bob was willing to bank some time.

I hope you enjoy these pictures he took.

This first shot is just approaching a bend..

As he capped the turn... behold: