Tuesday, January 27, 2009


Here's what it's doin' in my neck of the woods, right now.

This is ice not snow and you can't tell but it's comin' down out there as I write, I just took these photos.
Some people have more than us. Fun, huh?

Monday, January 26, 2009


We will open the book. Its pages are blank. We are going to put words on them ourselves. The book is called Opportunity and its first chapter is New Year's Day.

Written by the poet Edith Lovejoy Pierce
Early 1900's. This sets the tone for a gardener's New Year

January. Bleak, frigid temps, barren.

This is how I usually see January. It's after the hustle and bustle of the holiday's. It's purty much a let down. It's hibernation time and one of the boringest (is there such a word?) times of the whole year!

I feel like I'm waitin' for somethin'.

Spring, but that's still a couple of month's away. Even if the Ground Hog doesn't see his shadow, it's still gonna be a little while. No, I definitely feel like there's somethin'......

And then it happens! I go out to the mail box and there it is!

My first GARDEN CATALOG! That's it. That's what I've been waitin' for.

No more drudgery. No more bein' bored. No more, 'woe is me'.

I can dream in color once more!

I can plan my garden for this year! Oh, happy me, happy me.

When I start receivin' my garden catalog's it fills me with hope and excitement for the growin' season ahead. I enjoy lookin' through my garden books, makin' my lists, checkin' 'em twice. I can start figurin' out my plantin' schedule and what I'm gonna grow this year.

There is somethin' I can recommend to you, if you don't already use one. A garden journal.

A garden journal is a great place for all of your gardenin' information and all your thoughts and ideas. You can list the seeds and plants you grow or purchase, when and where you have planted them and how they grew,

or didn't.

I use to put my plants in the ground and use the little markers the greenhouse put in the pot, to mark what kind of vegetable I was gonna get. Markin' my plants like this was such a joke. I have a cat that loves to chew on those little plastic tabs. I went out one day after plantin' my garden a couple of years ago and everyone of the little tabs I had so lovingly put in front of their little namesakes was either gone or layin' askew.

One of my sisters was always askin' me what kind of pepper or tomato she was eatin', 'cause she really liked it, and I'd always say, "you're eaten a green pepper" or "you're eaten a red tomato".

Now I draw my garden out in my journal and label everything there. I cut out pictures of new items I haven't tried before and paste the picture to a page and make notes about the plant.

You can write in a garden journal like a diary, keepin' track of dates and observations. You can note weather events that may affect your plants as well as record dates that you fertilized your plant's or applied pesticides and so on.

If you keep an up- to- date journal, you have an excellent record from year to year to help in diagnosing problems or successes.

Sometimes I cut out pictures of how I want my garden to look. I pretend that I will keep every weed pulled and every vine tucked, every row hoed.

Ha! I can dream, can't I?

Now, if you've never put in a vegetable garden, let me tell ya, it doesn't have to be big to put out a lot of food. Here's a couple pictures of my corn and green beans from last year.

These rows were about 24 feet long, three rows of corn and two rows of green beans. I put up 14 bags of corn and about 50 pints of green beans. Plus we had fresh beans and corn to eat during the growin' season.

CD and I don't put out very much of any one thing, just a good variety of several veggies.

So you can see that a garden journal is a good thing and it's not just for vegetable gardens. You can benefit from keepin' a journal for your flowers too. And it's great to keep track of an orchard.

So let's all have a happy growin' season this year with our diaries for our garden's.

Friday, January 23, 2009


So last Sunday we were sittin', watchin' football when I notice the room had a pink glow, my livin' room is facin' west. I looked out the window, jumped up and grabbed my camera (I leave it sittin' on the dinin' room table) and out the door I went.

These are straight out of the camera shots. I did not use photo shop because I don't own photo shop or anything else. It was just a really beautiful picture perfect sunset. I used different setting's and kept takin' 'em as the sun went down.

I just had to share 'em with you.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009


One day while CD and I were out road trippin' this past summer on the old Route 66 highway, we drove to Waynesville. It was a beautiful day for taken photo's and checkin' out history. Waynesville has a lot of that goin' on for it. It was a hotbed durin' the Civil War.

Waynesville is located in scenic Roubldoux Creek Valley, and it became the county seat of Pulaski County in 1843.

Pulaski County was organized in 1833. It was once roamed by Indians and French trappers. The county is part of land surrendered by the Osage in 1808. Southern pioneers were early settlers. They were attracted by the counties many springs, wooded hills, caves and the Big Piney and Gasconade Rivers.

The town of Waynesville was a stage stop on the St. Louis to Springfield Road. This road was later called Wire Road for the telegraph line strung durin' the Civil War. This road was a former Indian trail and traveled by French explorers in 1719. Cherokee Indians camped here on their 1837 'Trail of Tears' removal to Oklahoma.

Here's one of the old trestle bridges on the Mother Road, purdy neat, huh?

This is the old Stage Coach stop in Waynesville.
It was originally built of logs in pioneer days. Used as a stage coach stop and a tavern of rest for travelers headin' to the west.

In 1862, during the Civil War, it was used as a hospital.

After the war ended, it was remodeled and again used as a hotel for another half century.

We were there on a Sunday and everything was closed down but I looked through one of the windows, the whole time CD is tellin' me I'm gonna set off an alarm and we are just across the street from the police station. He was thinkin' about drivin' off and leavin' me when I went around back and rattled some doorknobs.
He just about had a conniption fit when I went up the stairs (they were roped off) and wanted him to take a picture of me (HE WOULDN"T). You'd think he'd be use to me draggin' him into tight spots after all these years. But I was able to get a decent picture lookin through the window. It shows the old log walls.

This is the current Courthouse and is a really neat and beautiful buildin'. This one was built in 1904.

I just love this bell tower.

Durin' the Civil War the Confederate Flag was raised at the Courthouse in the spring of 1861. Not this one, the courthouse buildin' before. In May 1861, the Union soldiers came to town. On June 7, 1862, the Confederate flag was cut down. I bet that was a long turbulent and bloody year. Union troops built a fort on a hill overlookin' the courthouse square to guard the military supply road to Springfield. The county suffered guerrilla raids and skirmishes for the rest of the war.

The Civil War brought about fierce division among the people of Pulaski County. Neighbor against neighbor, brother against brother and even members of the same household would disagree.

The end of the war found the county in chaos. Bushwhackers were runnin' rampant.

Prejudices and hatred were finally put aside and reconstruction began. After the war, immigrants began to come to this part of Missouri to settle. Most of those settlers were from southeast Kentucky, Tennessee, east and West Virginia.
I just love this old street clock that was out front of the courthouse.

This buildin' reminds me of some I've seen in California.

They've add on in recent years, but I really like the old part.

This is just beautiful country out here and with all the history connected to it, very interestin' to check out. I hope you will get a chance sometime to come to this part of the Ozarks, you won't be disappointed.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009


Good luck President Obama.
My prayers are with you and the American people.

Together we can make a difference.

Sunday, January 18, 2009


I recently found some information on the Weaver Brothers and Elviry. They were a family who pioneered hillbilly humor.

Most people have long used the stereotype of the hillbilly for entertainment. Many think that this all started at Silver Dollar City and at the Branson Music shows. But it actually got its start in vaudeville with one of the most popular groups out there that entertained across the nation and even overseas with homespun hillbilly humor and old-time country music with homemade instruments. They were known as the Weaver Brothers & Elviry, and the two brothers who started the group up were from Ozark, Missouri. This is a small town between Springfield and Branson.

Their great-grandfather built a mill and the first courthouse in the area. The home he built in Ozark before the Civil War is still standin' and is the oldest home in town.

His son Leon, who went by the stage name of 'Abner', was born in the house at Ozark in 1882. By the age of 12 he set out on his own to perform in medicine shows. He played the mandolin, guitar, fiddle and was the first to use a hand saw as a musical instrument. At 19 (1901)he became part of the largest traveling show in the country, Doctor A.B. Christy's Travelin' Medicine Show.

His younger brother, Frank, went by the stage name 'Cicero'. He was born in 1891. He and his brother 'Abner', started their vaudeville act in 1904, when Cicero was 13. They called their selves the R-Can-Saw Travelers.

'Cicero' never spoke on stage, he did pantomime and was the inspiration for Harpo Marx. He played the banjo and a one-man-band apparatus.

In 1917, 'Abner' married June, 'Elviry'. She was born in Chicago but grew up in Springfield, Missouri. She joined the act in 1923, as their sister, 'Elviry'. Her humorous poker-face made her a favorite with audiences. She and Leon divorced in 1927, but they stayed friends and she stayed with the act. 'Elviry' was also the business manager for the group. In 1928, she married 'Cicero' and was with him until he died in 1967.

The Weaver Brothers and Elviry played the vaudeville circuit makin' the princely sum of $700 a week. They later were earning as much as $5,000 per week as their popularity grew. That was an enormous amount of money back in those times. We're talkin' about the time period of the Great Depression.

They even started addin' family members to the act. They called their selves, The Weaver Brothers & Elviry and the Home Folk.

They shared the stage with George Burns and Gracie Allen, Jack Benny, Al Jolson, Will Rogers and a stilt-walker named Archibald Leach. Now do you recognize the name? He later became know as Cary Grant. They played in New York, Chicago, Boston, London, Paris and Stockholm and thousands of other towns and cities.

In the 30's they started to appear in movies. Their first "Swing Your Lady," and it co-starred Humphrey Bogart and the bit player, Ronald Reagan. It's world premiere was at the Gillioz Theatre in Springfield, MO on Jan. 14, 1938.

They appeared in 13 films altogether. They worked with performers like Roy Rogers, Alan Ladd and Roy Acuff. They quit makin' movies in 1943.

The Weavers continued to live and perform in the Springfield area. In 1935, 'Cicero' and 'Elviry' bought the Heer's mansion, which overlooks the James River between Nixa and Springfield. Many famous people have lived and visited this mansion through the years. Heer's Department Store in Springfield was a landmark for years.

They continued to work on radio and were on KWTO's "Korn's-Krackin". Abner played with the Ozark Jubilee Band , there was a national Tv show that got its name from it. He appeared with area musicians, Slim Wilson, Bob White, Willie Wells, Jerry Osborn, Lennie Aleshire, Doc Martin, Zed Tennis, Googoo Rutledge and BoBo Pike. Later this program had more famous people appear on it such as Willie Nelson and a young man who went by the name of John Cash.

The Weaver family also contributed to Springfield theaters, the Mulliken, Landers and the Gillioz, and one of their younger brothers later worked as the projectionist at the Springfield Drive-In Theater. Oh boy, could I ever tell you some teenage stories about that drive-in! I cried when they tore it down in the 90's to put up an office complex. Lot's of good times there.

While the Weaver Brothers and Sister Elviry are not well-known today, they were some of the most successful entertainers from the Ozarks and entertained people worldwide.

We do have some local hillbillies that have made it big in the entertainment field, I'll do another post to list 'em all, cause there's a lot, but just a couple, Kathleen Turner, John Goodman, Don Johnson and oh yeah, Brad Pitt.

Mustn't forget that home boy. He went to Kickapoo H.S. where one of my girlfriends attended school. She thinks, she sorta, kinda remembers him. He comes to town a lot, his mom and brother and other family members still live here. I've never been able to catch a glimpse of him but I personally know a girl who knows a guy who knows a girl who's brother's old girlfriend's family had him and Jen to supper one night when they were here durin' the holiday's. And I know that last Christmas, not this past one but the one before, he and Angelina came to town durin' the holiday's.
Well I hope you enjoyed readin' about some of our famous ol' hillbillies. Some of the information I found about the Weaver's was written in a local paper by Paul Johns.
Sorry the pictures weren't better quality, there's just not that many left out there of this musical family.

Friday, January 16, 2009


I thought I'd share with you what we had for supper last night. I just love bakin' on cold winter days. Not much else you can do. I certainly don't want to go outside and I'm tired of cleanin' house. I was so busy at the holidays and the last couple of weeks that I've taken off this week. I decided this week I would read and watch a couple of movies I've been wantin' to see, and bake some bread.

Didjya ever get the hankerin' for some home made bread but didn't want to go to a lot of trouble? Well, I've got the perfect recipe, doesn't take long and is so easy AND you don't have to knead it!

Now I know a lot of people don't make bread because they don't think they can. But bread is probably one of the easiest things to make. Don't let kneadin' bread intimidate ya, just get smackdab inda middle of it and you'll be surprised how much you'll like workin' that dough over. I've never met a homemade bread I didn't like. Even if it comes out sunk in the middle or dry from too much flour it still has that great yeasty bread flavor. So I don't think you can really make uneatable bread. Just ask your man.

But today I'm gonna show you how to make French Bread that you don't need to knead.

You will need:

1/2 cup milk
1 cup boiling water
1 package yeast
1/4 cup lukewarm water
1 - 1/2 tablespoons olive or canola oil
1 tablespoon sugar
4 cups flour
2 teaspoons sugar
2 teaspoons salt

First we're gonna mix up the bread dough.

Scald milk in saucepan. My pan is clean, it's just stainless steel and has water marks on it. I promise I do not cook in dirty pans! Add 1 cup boiling water. Cool to lukewarm.

Combine flour, 2 teaspoons sugar and salt in large bowl, make well in center.

Dissolve yeast in 1/4 cup of lukewarm water. Let stand for 10 minutes.

Add yeast mixture, oil and 1 tablespoon sugar to milk.

Pour in milk mixture.

Mix to form a soft dough. Do not knead.

Cover bowl with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place for 1-1/2 to 2 hours or until doubled in bulk. I set my bowl on my stove where it is nice and warm while I prepare the rest of my supper.

Now while that is risin' lets make up some oyster stew. You can keep this simmerin' on the stove or dish it up and put in the ice box and you can reheat when it is time to serve.

You will need:

1 - 8 ounce can of oysters. If you are lucky to live in an area where you can use fresh oysters, go for it. But if you're like me, landlocked, just use the canned ones on the shelf, it will still be good.
1/3 cup thin sliced celery
3 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1/4 cup sherry
3 cups milk
2 cups cream
salt and pepper to taste

Saute your celery in the butter in a large deep pan. Cook the celery about 5 minutes stirrin' frequently. Drain your oysters, savin' the broth. Add oysters to the celery and butter mixture and heat 'til oysters start to curl.

This is the type of sherry I use when cookin'. The drinkin' kind gives a much better flavor than cookin' sherry. But either will work.

Add the broth to the pan of oysters, celery and butter. Add the Worcestershire sauce and add the sherry. Slowly stir in the milk and then add the cream. Salt and pepper to taste and then heat over low heat.

Tarnation this is good stuff!

Now we'll get the Cornish hens ready. Have you ever had these little chickens? Well they are dem near about the best tastin' and this is one of the best ways to fix 'em. Now if I had these cute little chickens runnin' around my farm, there's no way I could chop off their little heads and eat 'em. They's be my pets and part of my family. And I haven't 'et any family member, yet. Since I can buy 'em frozen and all ready to cook, I've got no problem enjoying 'em. They are mighty tasty.

You will need:

2 rock Cornish hens for this recipe
1/2 cup chicken broth
1/2 cup honey
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon sherry
1 large clove mince garlic
Preheat oven to 375 degrees
They come packaged like this, all 20 ounces of 'em, in the freezer section of grocery store. Thaw in ice box and take out of plastic and rinse inside and out in cold runnin' water. Let drain and pat dry with paper towel.

Place breast down in foil lined pan. This is about a 10"x 6" dish.
Sprinkle chicken with salt.
Add the chicken broth and cover tightly with foil and bake 45 minutes.

Now mix up the glaze. Combine honey, soy sauce, my kind of cookin' sherry and minced garlic in small bowl. Set aside.

After 40 minutes bakin' time, remove chickens from oven and carefully remove foil, watch out for the steam.

Baste the chickens with the honey/ soy sauce/ sherry glaze ingredients. Turn chicken's over and baste breast side and bake breast up. Bake uncovered, basting every 5 minutes, 30 minutes longer.

Don't these look good? Just increase your glaze ingredients for cookin' more than two chickens.
You can put off the second bakin' of the Cornish hens until your french bread dough has risen. It will all be ready about the same time.

With my oven bein' on it made it warm enough for the dough to be ready in 1 1/2 hours.

Punch dough down.

Divide dough in half. On heavily floured surface, I put wax paper down and flour on it, pat our your bread dough into two rectangles, one at a time I roll divided dough up into two long french loaves.

Place on greased or parchment lined bakin' sheet. Let rise until almost doubled in bulk, about 30 to 40 minutes. You can finish bakin' your Cornish hens now.
Bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes. Reduce temp. to 350 degrees and bake 15 minutes longer. If you want to make one large loaf of french bread, only roll out one and bake same temps. just increase the second time to 30 minutes instead of 15.

This bread is so good with butter smeared on it or just dip it in olive oil with herbs added to oil.
Add a baked potato and a salad and you have a complete, great meal. It only takes about 3 hours from start to finish. It's a good meal.
Let me know how you liked my supper on this cold winter day.
Youn's come back dreckly, ya hear?