Wednesday, October 21, 2015

REVIEW WEDNESDAY - Haunted Legends of Arkansas - Layne Livingston Anderson

HAUNTED LEGENDS OF ARKANSAS - Thirteen Historic Sites in the (Super) Natural State
is the perfect book to kick off October. Okay, so I'm three-quarters of the way into the month posting this, but I read the book a couple of months ago then found myself referring back to some of the stories while on a trip to Arkansas.

On the first read, I felt the writing a bit slow-paced for my attention. But, as I read through the second time, I realized I had been expecting a bone-chilling hand around the wrist kind of grab. This book was not written as a 'ghost stories around the camp fire' kind of book. I was not expecting the historic background build-up to the ghost story itself, therefore I felt taken out of the scare factor I thought I would get.

HAUNTED LEGENDS is geared toward students in grades 8-12. In my opinion, this is going to be of interest to anyone interested in the history behind haunted places. The average person just wanting a good ghost story will have a challenge breaking ground to get to the corpse lying beneath.

As I read further into the stories, like any other pieces of history, I was interested more in some than in others. One of the things I found most interesting were that while seven of the sites were scattered like autumn leaves across the state, six are centered in Pulaski County.

Of the thirteen haunted legend locations, I have visited only one... so far. The Crescent Hotel in Eureka Springs has its share of entities - both non-threatening and others downright evil. I suspect the same can be said of the other twelve locations Ms Anderson focused on for this book. I am especially intrigued by the Keller Chapel & Cemetery in Jonesboro and the Old Confederate Cemetery in Helena - West Helena.

What interests me about those places in particular? You will need to pick up a copy of this book and find out for yourself. I am giving HAUNTED LEGENDS OF ARKANSAS;

You can purchase a copy through PlumStreetPublishers or Amazon

Friday, September 25, 2015


From here on out, Friday posts will be reserved for Prepping stuff. Before I go any farther, let me clarify....

For the most part I am not a SHTF kind of prepper. I was raised to be prepared for basically any emergencies. I've known since the 3rd grade about canning food, how to hold in the cold of the freezer or refrigerator for up to 4 days in the event of a power outage and that keeping bottles of water on hand is always a good idea. The way I see things.. between Mother Nature and people who don't think before they act, anything is possible. I want to be prepared.

So this article on Power-Grid Attack caught my attention and I think is worth a read.

Since this link is about finances, here's a youtube video I found interesting. While in a SHTF scenario, I'm not sure money in any form is going to be worth a lot... commodities on the other hand will have definite value, I like the fact that the nickel is worth exactly what it is. If nothing else, a roll of nickels in your fist is going to help pack a protective punch.

My prepping posts will become more organized and instructive in the coming weeks. I hope you'll become a subscriber and share your thoughts in the comments below.


Wednesday, August 12, 2015

REVIEW WEDNESDAY - Lost Treasures of Arkansas's Waterways - W. C. Jameson

LOST TREASURES OF ARKANSAS'S WATERWAYS is another installment in the lost treasure books by W. C. Jameson. You can see a list of his books HERE.  Over the years I have read many of them. Every time I have settled in for the evening with one, I've found myself transported to another time and place - a place where life was yours for the taking if you knew where to look. I've traveled from coast to coast throughout history via Mr. Jameson's books. Each journey left a nagging desire to find the treasures that have eluded others grasp. This latest link in the series brought me closer to home and the desire to find that raw silver of Moccasin Creek Valley or the gold suspected to be buried along the White River. 

As a treasure hunter himself, W. C. Jameson's mission is all about the quest. He meshes history and legend together. He has spent countless hours reading through microfilm, documentation and published sources to insure the information he provides is correct. But I think his greatest hunt in the research process is when he can sit and talk with people who have heard the stories from previous generations of their own families... people who were there. 
LOST TREASURES OF ARKANSAS'S WATERWAYS is more than a compilation of stories. Like all of his books previous, this one is a collection of stories about history and adventure and dreams. 


You can order your copy direct from Plum Street Publishers
For more about W. C. Jameson and his books, Please visit his WEBSITE 

Monday, July 13, 2015

GARDENING - Looking Good!

I am really liking the Container Corn from Burpee. Although I did have a bit of a scare last week. Heavy winds and rain attempted to demolish my bales. Corn was laying over and I thought for sure I'd lost them. I gave everything a day to dry up a bit then I went out and stuffed them a bit farther down in the bale. As you can see, they are doing well. Here's a close up of Tassle and Silk:

Silk peeking out on that center stalk about 2/3rds of the way down.

Tomatoes are doing well:

If you look almost center of the picture, near the bottom you see an Amish Paste getting ripe. Now if they would just all do that at once so I can put up Spaghetti Sauce!

Plum Tomatoes finally setting fruit. They are also loaded with blooms. And when these fizzle out, I have a volunteer. This little guy came about when my MIL and I were tying up the vines, a couple broke off. I tossed them into the leaf compost in the center of the bales.

Potatoes are going crazy. Even the Sweet Potato vines are spreading out.

Onions are starting to die back. They seem a bit small. Wondering if shoving them down in the bale a bit farther will help.

In spite of the heat and the tiny plants, I have green beans! LOL These will definitely be a fall replant in a couple of weeks:

Finally seeing Banana Peppers. I could use these to produce a bit heavier though as I only have 2 jars left in the stock-up.

2 yellow banana peppers peeking out at the bottom left.

My best producer this year has to be my cucumber plants. Both the Pickling and the Burpless are going gangbusters:

I am picking an average of 4 a day from each plant.

Last weekend I put up 11 pints of bread and butter pickles. I prefer them on a burger. In fact, The Rodeo Bar inside the Adolphus Hotel in Dallas TX serves B & B pickles on their burgers. Yum!

Since I'm the only one who eats pickles here, I'll probably gift a jar or three around the holidays.

How is your garden growing? Leave a comment and let us know how yours is blessing you.

Monday, July 6, 2015

GARDENING - Strawbale Improvements

Sorry I didn't have pics the last few weeks. I did not get as many blog posts scheduled before company arrived as I had hoped. Everyone is gone, my desk is in it's 'forever home' and I can get back to some semblance of a routine.. at least until Bob gets off the boat in two weeks.

For now I have pictures of the garden progress. These were taken about two weeks ago while my Mother -in- law  and her husband were here.  The potatoe plants are looking good. The red ones are even blooming. and you'll see in the bottom right that even the sweet potatoes have improved.

I took this picture of the cucumber plants after my MIL and I had tied them up. Wait til you see the pics next week! The taller plants are the pickling cukes, while the shorter ones are salad cukes. I have since picked enough picklers for several jars of Bread and Butter Pickles. I'll have those to show you next week.

First sign of banana peppers. Not seeing much activity on the bell peppers, though.

In this picture, the cherry tomatoes are looking a bit lean. And very few blossoms. I've never been one to feed my plants but I might have to. Strawbale gardening requires doing things a bit differently and I need to remember that.

I have peas! Okay.. not enough to count as a meal but they are there. I will be replanting these for a fall crop. They just prefer cooler weather.

Green Beans. yeah.. another replant in their future.

Tomatoes, both the Amish Paste and the Big Boys are doing okay. The Amish Paste (pic 1) seem to be producing where as I've not seen much from the Big Boys. Again, feeding might be an option.

I'll have updated pics next week as well as ones of the first batch of Bread and Butter Pickles.
Have a great week!

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

GARDENING - Straw Bale Progress

I had planned this post for yesterday but woke up to storms so I dove into cleaning the house and didn't stop. I didn't want the cleaning to be yet another 'partial' project. So I did not plug the internet in, even after the storms passed.

While not planted in straw bales, I do have my potatoes planted in straw - in tires. As you can see, the two red potatoes in the background are ready for a third tier. I'll add another tire, more straw and continue to water. The reason for using the tires rather than the straw bales is that by using the bales, I would only get one year's use out of them. This way I can use the tires from year to year. 

The red potatoes are Ruby Sensation. They are about the size of new red potatoes and are only 100 calories per 4 potatoes. The two tires in the middle are Yellow Golds. Similar to the red ones but yellow ;-) They are not doing as well as their red cousins. Then the tire in the foreground is one of 4 that have Sweet Potatoes. They got a later start.

At the opposite end of the bed from the potato tires is the base of the U-shaped bale bed. This is where I've planted the cherry tomatoes. Their trellis is the springs base from my granddaughter's old crib. (though you can see 2 cattle panel sections leaning behind it. Those will be moved for cucumbers)

This is to the right of the cherry tomatoes down the side. In the background you can just make out my pepper plants - 5 bell peppers and 3 banana peppers. Then in the foreground I have 28 sweet onions.

This is the left side... Four bales of Cucumbers. Then in the background there is a bale of carrots and one of beets.

Sad Peas

 Sad Beans

Neither of these are doing well. I think probably because they were planted too late. I'll do better next spring. But at least I know these do work.

Amish Paste Tomatoes

Better Boy Tomatoes

There are 10 bales along this fence line. Prior to using the straw bales, this was my traditional tomato row. (though I did test-run 8 plants in bales on this fence last year).  Tomatoes are doing well, but then they are one of the easiest garden plants to grow with the brownist of thumb.

You will notice some empty bales between the 2 varieties of tomatoes. Next week, I'll show you what I'm putting in there.

While I'm trying to breathe life back into my blogs, posts will not be numerous for the month of June. We have family visiting nearly every day this month. So hang with me ;-)

Tuesday, June 2, 2015


Anyone who lives where there is an abundance of rocks in the ground, poor soil and clay know these are not the best conditions for growing plants. There has to be an easier way. Some of gone to raised beds, square foot gardening and container gardens. These are all excellent ways to provide good soil for growing and fewer weeds to pull. 

Last year, I came across the above book and knew I wanted to give it a try. Basically, you spend 10-15 days prepping the bales so that they begin to break down inside, providing compost to plant in. While you can not plant in them year after year as you can the ground, you can possibly get 2, maybe even 3 years of bale use. Then you simply turn them into mulching compost and start new bales. 

I tried a short row of four bales last year for tomatoes and was very happy with the outcome so this year I stepped into full straw bale garden mode. The previous link takes you to the one shown. There has since been an UPDATED version released by the same author. I've gotten my sister involved and we've joined a Facebook group.

While I have stuff growing in them now.. here are pics of the set-up process.

The main bed. There are now a total of 15 bales forming this horseshoe. The rack in the foreground is not there anymore. That is an old card rack from a store that will become a flower tower next year.

The two trellis' are for green beans. I broke down the tomato bales from last year and used them as the planting medium. The empty space on the left now has a bale with a trellis for Snow Peas

You can just see the edge of this in the previous picture. These 6 bales are planted with Peas. The swing set frame is covered in chicken wire.

You can see how the main bed finished out in the back ground. These are the first of a total of 7 towers of tires for potatoes. I have 2 each of Red and White potatoes plus 3 for Sweet potatoes.

Putting this garden together has been a lot of work but I'm happy with the results so far. Next week I'll show you some pictures of growth as well a share a green house 'oops' courtesy of my husband.

Monday, June 1, 2015


I took this picture at the fish hatchery in Roaring River State Park last fall. I love visiting the hatchery and driving through the park. I also enjoy stopping to watch the trout just short of beg for food in the large pond fed primarily from this underground spring and fall. Very relaxing place to visit.. and to rejuvinate the spirit.

After an incredibly lost year in 2014, I'm trying to get back in the swing of things and this blog has been let go far too long. I will need some time to get things back up to speed and where I truly want them to be. I'm searching for a balance. About the time I posted last, the freelance opened up for me in a torrent of connections and options so that is where I directed almost all of my energy.

Then in June of last year, my first book was released through Borroughs Publishing Group. Somewhere Down the Line is one of those stories my heart just had to spill and I'm very proud of the book. I spent the rest of my free time promoting the book and planning my next.

In October we signed to build an addition to our house. My dream office/ art studio began going up in November... most of the time of which I was sick with a sinus infection and vertigo from both ears. Add the holidays to follow and that about sums up my 2014.

2015 got off to a rocky start where I just had a challenge finding my groove. After six months of being pulled in different directions, I'm finally on the road I want to be on. 

I'll be making some schedule changes over the coming weeks. There are still things I want to include, but probably not right away. For now I'll be focusing on Photo Journey and Gardening. Everything else will find its home in time. 

I hope you'll join me as I rejuvenate An Ozarks Journal
~ Kelly