Thursday, February 26, 2009


Whoa, rain is beatin' against the windows and they're rattlin' from the wind blowin' against 'em, I think we're havin' a Spring time storm here. We've got a tornado warnin' in the county just east of us. It was windy and cloudy here all day but the temps were in the low 70's so it was pretty nice out.

I went for a walk around our hay field, earlier in the day. I mow walkin' paths around it all summer and it makes it easy to walk all year long, and I could hear the frogs carryin' on. I love that noise. It's a good Spring/Summer sound The tree frogs and cicadas are two of my favorite summer time sounds. I also like the little brown shell of a body the cicadas shed after comin' up from the ground. My granddaughter loves to look for them and she puts them in a box or bucket and saves them. She's funny.

I love the sound of kids playin' outside in warm weather and the sound of lawnmowers, other than mine, off in the distance, and the smell of fresh cut grass.

I love the smell of fresh cut hay and there is hardly a prettier site than a freshly cut hayfield with bales of hay sittin' out across it.

There are so many memories, things we do or sounds we hear that we associate with Summer. What are your favorites? What makes you feel like Summer has truly arrived?

Wednesday, February 25, 2009


Sorry it's been so long since I've posted anything new. I thought we were goin' to avoid the flu bug this year but, alas, it caught my hubby.

Now I don't know about your husband's, but when mine gets sick he acts like he's dyin'. I take good lovin' care of him, I drop everything and am at his beck and call, but I have to admit, he's a big baby!

I've always said that when, if anyone in the family is gonna get sick, I'd rather it be me or if it's gotta be someone else, the kids. Not the hubby. He moans and groans and acts like nobody is ever as sick as he is. It's kinda funny comin' from such a big man guy. He's always the tough one and he rarely whines about anythin'. I usually have to get on to him about lettin' a cut or scrape go without doctorin' it. But let him actually get down sick......

So, I guess, since he rarely carries on about anythin', he's entitled.
I guess.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009


I'll never forget the first time I saw the Crescent Hotel in Eureka Springs, Arkansas. It was in 1967, I was just a kid and we drove to Arkansas to see the 'Christ of the Ozarks'. The more than 67 foot tall statue sits atop Magnetic Mountain overlookin' the Victorian town of Eureka Springs. It is in the park of the amphitheater of the 'Great Passion Play'. My mom had been wantin' to go see the statue since they had erected it the year before.

Now, as impressive as the statue is, I only had eyes for one thing. The Crescent Hotel. The mountain we were on top of was above the town but on the next mountain over sat this huge buildin' that looked like somethin' out of a movie. I remember askin' my Dad a million questions about the hotel and I begged for us to drive over to it so I could check it out. I was told maybe another time. I never forgot it.

This is an old picture taken when it was first built. Pretty impressive, huh? Especially sittin' out in the middle of Hillbilly Land, USA.

I think this is probably what it looked like when I saw it in the '60's.

This is a view of it today lookin' from the mountain 'The Christ of the Ozarks' sits on.

This is a current photo of the 'Grand Old Lady of the Ozarks'.

She has 78 guest rooms, a 4th floor bar with a balcony, a ballroom, crystal dining room, and many other rooms such as a rec room. Oh, and yes, a morgue.

And she's haunted.

She's touted as bein' 'America's Most Haunted Hotel'.
The Sci-Fi channel's Ghost Hunters has an episode where they visited her, and they got some ghostly apparition on film.

Before any of this ghost stuff was talked about, my husband and I stayed at the Crescent in 1979, my first visit. It was beautiful. I love old places and the Crescent did not disappoint me. There was a little room off of the front entryway that held the museum of the hotel with pictures galore. It told how it was built from 1884 to 1886 by the Eureka Springs Improvement Company and Frisco Railroad.

The first 15 years it was an exclusive year round resort hotel caterin' to the rich and famous. People traveled from all over the country to take in the waters from the town's natural springs, to hopefully ease and cure ailments. Business boomed from 1902 to 1907, but the latter part of 1907, the hotel closed when the waters were found to not have curative powers and the springs lost the interest of the wealthier class. The next 60 years were not good ones for the Crescent.

In 1908 the hotel opened as a college for young women. After the school closed in the 1920's, the hotel was reopened as a Summer resort.
In 1937, the hotel was turned into a cancer hospital. I remember sayin' to my husband, "Ooooo, I bet this place has some ghosts. Can you imagine how many people have died here?"
The hospital closed, in 1940, after it was discovered that the doctor who opened it was practicin' without a license.

The Crescent Hotel reopened in 1946 and has slowly been restored through out the years by various owners.

We have stayed at the Crescent six times through the years, sometimes goin' by ourselves or with friends and family. One particular time we went with my brother and sister-in-law. We stayed in connectin' rooms and sat up half the night playin' cards and havin' a blast.
About 3 o'clock in the mornin', SIL and I decided we had the munchies and were goin ' to go to the lobby and hit a vendin' machine we had seen earlier. We had rooms on the second floor, and as we're walkin' down the hallway I'm tellin' SIL the history on the place, about it bein' a girls school and one of the girls supposedly hangin' herself (I was tryin' to scare SIL, and it was workin'). I told her it had been a cancer hospital and LOT'S of people had died there. When we got to the lobby there was one young guy workin' the desk, we said hi and went on to get our goodies.

Now this place is totally quiet. Nothin' goin' on anywhere. No other people about. We're back on the second floor headin' to our room at the opposite end of the place, I bring back up all the ghosts who must inhabit the place. About this time, directly behind us is this noise. I don't know how to describe it except it was like an evil ugly monster makin' some kind of unearthly sound.
My SIL and I both let out blood curdlin' screams. I mean BLOOD CURDLIN', and we ran, both of us screamin' down the hall to our room. About the time we get to the door, we're hearin' my husband laughin' his _ _ _ off. He was the monster in the hall. About 10 minutes later, after I finish beatin' on my husband, we looked out into the hallway. No one was up and about, no cute guy workin' the desk upstairs checkin' on us, nothin'. Now I know there had to be some people sittin' straight up in their beds . I happen to believe this is when all the ghost stories started. hee hee

Now when you stay at the Crescent Hotel they give you the option of takin' their haunted tours. The rooms of 218, 202, 424 and 419 are suppose to be their most haunted. There is suppose to be a nurse who walks the hallways and a cancer patient who introduces herself to guests and housekeepers. I think that most of the hauntin's are suppose to be connected to the cancer hospital period of the hotel. The man who operated it was evil, they now know. Some say he did experiments on poor sick people sufferin' from cancer.

There are legends of dozens of human skeletons secreted in the walls somewhere within the place and jars of preserved body parts. These have never been found.

I haven't been there in a few years and when I stayed there last the haunted tours were not offered. I had a friend and her husband take the tour but nothin' happened. You get to take the tour around midnight to add to the spookiness.

Would I stay at the Crescent again after hearin' about all of the ghost activity. You betcha, in a minute. I love the place. And hey I figure, as loud as my SIL and I screamed that night, we probably scared some ghosts. I have some pictures I took years ago and when I dig them out I'll post 'em. But it may be a while, they are really packed away.

They say whatever the reason for the strange happinin's, the Crescent Hotel remains one of the South's most visited spots.

It also remains haunted.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009


If you have memories like mine about your Grandma, then you know what I'm talkin' about. There is no food like Grandma's. Most of my memories of Grandma are of her in the kitchen, performin' only the magic that Grandma could do. Now my Mom was a great cook but there was just somethin' about Grandma's food. Maybe it was the fact that she always made your favorites when you came to stay. Now that I am a Grandma I do the same thing. When my Granddaughter comes to stay she has favorites that I know I need to fix while she is here. She was here this past weekend and I made some of her all time favorites (she informs me these are her all time fav's, but she has many more she says).

I love the fact that when the yungin gets here, one of the things she quickly asks is , "Gamaw, you got sum'ndeet?" I love it! I'm a Grandma and I can give her wonderful memories of Grandma's cookin'. In her eyes I am pertneer the 'Best cook in the whole wide world'. And that is one of my favorite parts of bein' a Grandma.

I thought I'd share some of her favorites with you.

This salad, I made one Sunday when we all got together for dinner. My Granddaughter was four years old and that itty bitty girl just about ate her weight in this salad. The next time she was over she wanted to know if I had any California salad. It took me a few minutes to figure out what she was talkin' about. My daughter and I never could figure out why she called it California salad, I think it was because she was enamored with the state of California at the time.

So here is granddaughter's California salad.

We'll make the dressin' first. You are gonna need:

1/4 cup canola oil
1/4 cup ketchup
1 T. sugar
1 T. rice wine vinegar or white wine vinegar
1 T. lemon juice
1/2 t. paprika
1/4 t. salt
1/8 t. black pepper

In a screw top pint jar combine oil,


lemon juice,

rice wine vinegar,


salt and

pepper. I like to use fresh ground black pepper.

Put lid on jar and shake until creamy and well blended.

Get you lettuce greens ready in a bowl. About 10 ounces.

Crunch up about 2-3 handfuls of corn chips.

Sprinkle about 3/4 cup of grated sharp cheddar cheese over top.

Drizzle dressin' all over the top. Toss all ingredients together.

Now you have a California salad. It is really good. And addictive. Just ask my granddaughter!

This next dish is the only way Granddaughter will eat corn. And it is only eaten at my house. Her mom fixed it one night but Granddaughter said it just didn't taste the same and she didn't want to hurt her mommas feelin's, but she didn't really care for it. What a hoot! My daughter fixed it exactly the same way as I do. That's too funny.

We call it Indian Corn and I've been fixin' it since I was in high school.

For this recipe you are gonna need:
4-6 slices of bacon
1 green pepper or 1/2 green and 1/2 red pepper
1 bag (10-16 ounces) frozen corn or about 4 cups fresh off the cob
2 T. canola oil
salt and pepper to taste

Fry your bacon strips crisp. Remove bacon and crumble and set aside. Save 2-3 tablespoons bacon grease in the skillet and to this add 2 tablespoons canola oil.

Chop up your sweet peppers.

Add peppers to grease/oil in skillet and fry over med-high heat about 5 minutes or until crisp tender.

Add your corn, crumbled bacon and the salt and pepper. Continue cookin' until corn is hot, stirrin' frequently. With the frozen and fresh corn you will need to cook about 10 minutes.

And we are now to the Ham and Cheese Muffins. They are really biscuits but granddaughter calls 'em muffins. Who am I to argue with an angel?

These are sooo good.
They are even great cold, so they make a good travelin' snack.

You are gonna need:

2 cups flour
3 t. bakin' powder
1 t. salt
1/2 t. bakin' soda
1 to 1 1/2 cups of buttermilk
1/2 cup mayo (I always use the real stuff)
1 cup finely shredded or chopped, cooked ham
1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1/4 cup milled flax seed

Mix dry ingredients together in a bowl.

Mix 1 cup buttermilk, mayo, ham and cheese together in small bowl.

Add buttermilk ingredients to dry ingredients and mix just to moistened addin' more buttermilk to make soft but firm dough.

I use a small ice cream scoop to dip out the mixture but you can use two spoons.

Place on cookie sheet. I line pan with parchment paper because these things stick, bad.

Bake 16-18 minutes or until 'muffins' are browned in a 425 degree oven. See how the cheese is melted and runs off from biscuit a little? Just break off these baked cheese parts and the cook or granddaughter gets to eat these and nobody else is the wiser.

Now they are gonna be sneakin' these out in their pockets so you may want to make a double batch.

I went to my granddaughters school to eat lunch with her one day and afterwards I went back to her classroom to meet her teacher. The teacher said, "I'm so glad to finally meet THE BEST COOK IN THE WHOLE WIDE WORLD!"

Yep, that's my granddaughter's opinion.

Thursday, February 12, 2009


After Tuesday nights devastatin' tornadoes, today is a little quieter. A small, is there such a thing, tornado touched down in Springfield. Nothin' like what Lone Grove, Oklahoma experienced. Those poor people. The death toll right now is at 9 but there are still people unaccounted for. My blogfriend Darlene who lives about 3/4 of a mile away from the hardest hit area, has a few pictures on her web site if you'd like to check it out, go on over there. Please pray for Lone Grove.

We drove over to my daughters in Springfield yesterday and drove past some of the damage. We saw a business in her neighborhood that had fence post driven through the walls of the buildin'. I guess 'tis the season is here. The last two years we have had twisters go through my neighborhood and destroy homes and take lives. I've never been afraid of severe weather but when it hits that close to home, ya get a little tense.

Well, I'm postin' the rest of the Trail of Tears pictures. I probably should have made three posts out of this because there are a lot of pictures. I so want you to see everything there because it is so neat and I know it won't be there forever. From some researchin' I've done, I have found out the land is for sale.

I have googled about this place and not found much info but one of my loyal readers and friend Mary gave me the location of some web sites to check out. Thank you Mary, it helped a lot.

When I have referred to this place as an amusement park, it wasn't really a park with rides and such. Rather a place, a lot like several places in MO, that you can go to and walk around and see the sites and maybe there would be a gift shop and good food available. But actually, Trail of Tears was a memorial built by Larry Baggett, a local of Jerome, Mo. It was a tribute to the Cherokee Indians plight.

In the Spring of 1838, more than 15,000 Cherokee Indians were forcibly removed from their homes. They were required, or rounded up if you may, by the US Army. They were forced to leave their ancestral lands in North Carolina, Georgia, Tennessee, Alabama, Kentucky, Illinois and Missouri. They were held in concentration like camps, then they were placed on a death march to Oklahoma. The march lasted nearly a year. Nearly 1/4 of their members perished along the way. They died from cold, hunger and illness.

The Cherokee called the march, Nunahi - Duna - Dio - Hilu - l or Trail where they cried.

So now these pictures show what is left of Larry Baggett's tribute to the memory of one of our saddest times in our American history.

When I came up over the crest of the hill, here's what awaited me.

How cool is this? A stone buildin', octagon shaped!

I looked back over the hill behind me. Doesn't it look like he's chargin' at me? Maybe protectin' his area.

This sign says:

The east, west Osage, Kickapoo Indian Trail. From Vedigess River in Okla. to St. Louis, MO.
Later the pioneer's moved it north 1,000 feet.
Looking south you now see old 66 and new I-44.
Reference book First 200 years.

And behind the octagon shaped house is a larger house.

Old rustin' wheelbarrow just sittin' where Mr.Baggett probably left it. He died in 2003.

Back up the hill I saw this.

The eyes were like little windows with red glass in them. I didn't dare venture inside, but I sure wanted to. It was big enough for kids to go into. I'm sure that's what he built it for.

This was out back too.

This is more of the big house.

Call me crazy but I wanted to go inside sooooo bad!

I want a glassed upstairs room! I could so have a glass roofed bedroom. Can you imagine how cool at night this would be?

This is another buildin' back from the main house.

There's CD standin' in the doorway. WHAT has gotten into the man? He is always holdin' me back and tellin' me to be careful and we're gonna get caught and I turn around for a minute and he goes out there and goes inside for like 5 minutes.

I'm standin' back at the house hollerin' for him. I was gettin' worried. He finally came out and told me to calm down. Ha, I'll calm him down!
You do have to be very careful when you are out in areas like this and for him to just go in there without sayin' anythin' to me, well..........

I said, "I'm goin' in", I meant the big house.
He said, "No way in _ _ _ _.
I said, "You went back in that old rickety barn lookin' thing."
He said, "Yeah, but you're not goin' in a closed up, probably locked door, old house, where we don't know what's in there or what condition the floors are in."

Know it all man! I hate it when he's right.

Over the crest of what had once been a yard was the bank of a pond with a little house sittin' on the bank.

On further inspection, I think it is a dog house.

There's still a little water in the pond or I should say ice.

Neat old stone wall.

Here is a gate way in the old stone wall. I wonder what it use to look like on the other side and where it went to.

Lookin' back down the hill at the entrance to this enchantin' place.

I love this tee pee at the bottom of the hill.

NO, he is not doin' what it looks like he's doin'! I liked this picture and never saw what it looks like what's goin' on until I put it here on my post.

CD said, "Well take it off."
I said, "I can't, I don't know how." hee hee

Can you see the water comin' out of this guys mouth?

The first time we came here I just assumed this was suppose to be Mark Twain, all dressed in white like he normally is. This is actually a self portrait of Larry Baggett. He was an extremely talented man, wouldn't you say? I am sorry Mr. Baggett that you lost your hand.

Goodbye Trail of Tears Memorial. I will never forget you.