Sunday, September 30, 2012

What To Do With The Microwave

I remember the arrival of my family's first microwave sometime in the early 1980's.  It was, as I recall, a big deal.  My mom and a friend even took a microwave cooking class.  This thing wasn't just for reheating leftovers, oh no, you could make entire meals!  In a fraction of the time! :)
 In houses that were built before microwaves were standard kitchen fare, there isn't always a great place for the microwave.  Ours has set on our counter since the day we moved in.  Occasionally for parties, we'd plop it on top of the dryer to get it out of the way.  I knew I wouldn't want it to sit on our lovely new counters once they are installed, but what to do with it...To have one mounted above the stove would require some cutting down of the cabinets above the stove and that made me very nervous.  We'd talked about buying a front loading washer and dryer and stacking them to make more room in the utility closet, but that's expensive.  So...
 Above the dryer in our laundry room, er, closet, it went.  There used to be three long 12 inch deep shelves here.
 David made a new 18 inch shelf for the microwave to sit on and added some support for it and the remaining shelves.  My grand contribution was staining the new shelf.  He did an excellent job and it looks great!  It doesn't seem like having that off the counter will make a big difference, but it really does in a small kitchen.
 As a side note, this was the laundry palace in my old house.  I had no idea how spoiled I was by having room for a clothesline right there in the house!

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Ha Ha Tonka

Sunday afternoon, we headed out on a drive.  David knew where we were going but it was a mystery to me until I saw a sign for Ha Ha Tonka State Park.  I had never been there, and it had been about 15 years since David has.
 One of the main attractions at the park are the castle ruins from a great mansion that was built in the early 1900s and burned in 1942.
 It's had to imagine it as someone's home - and someone's vacation home at that!  It was huge!
 There is also a natural bridge at the park, the remains of a collapsed cave system.
 I thought this was so sweet, especially since it was done in chalk and not something permanent.
This is the Ha Ha Tonka spring.  The walking trail to it was a lush green and cool path.  So nice!

That's how we spent the first weekend of fall.  Lots of sunshine, fresh air, and time outside.  It was a wonderful weekend!

Monday, September 24, 2012

Silver Dollar City

After the boat show, we headed to one of my favorite places - Silver Dollar City.  As far back as I can remember, I've been going to SDC with my family.  David's first job out of college was at Silver Dollar City in sales, and though he was no longer working there when we met, he got a season pass after we started dating and we've been going there together since. My parents have given us passes for Christmas for many years now, and when my mom called to order the last year, the woman on the phone recognized David's name and used to work with him.  It's just a great place...and a small world! 
 Things do change at SDC - a new ride, a new building, an old building torn down.  But it happens slowly and carefully, so the change is hardly noticeable.  As one who is not a fan of change, I find that very comforting!  The picture above is a carriage waiting on the wedding that is taking place in the sweet little chapel in the background.
 I rarely take my camera in, but since I had it yesterday I decided to play tourist and take a few pictures.

 We joke about living in the park - in this house in particular!  It's a newer building there, and it is really cool. It's where they hold cooking classes, so the kitchen is huge and very neat.  On the back side of this is a long porch with 20 or 30 rocking chairs overlooking Echo Hollow Amphitheater where they have evening shows.
 David is likes to watch the cooperage, Doug Bratcher.  I'll have to admit that I'm fascinating by all that snow white hair.  Here's his website if you'd like to check it out:
 Violet Hensley is an Ozarks treasure.  She has been a craftsmen demonstrator at SDC since 1967 and is still going at age 96.  I found this great article about her life:
 This is another place at SDC that I'd love to live.  It currently houses the basket and apple butter store, but has been many things over the years.  Each time we go, I stand in there and plan out where I would put things if we were to live there. :)
 This man seemed to be finishing up for the day when we were there in the late afternoon, but he takes the round logs and turns them into square logs for building log cabins.  He uses only hand tools and lots of muscle and energy.
 We had a great day at the boat show and Silver Dollar City, and finished up with s'mores over our own little campfire on our patio.  I couldn't have asked for a better first day of fall!

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Boats to Build

I'm gonna build me a boat 
With these two hands 
It'll be a fair curve 
From a noble plan 
Let the chips fall where they will 
Cause I've got boats to build 
Boats To Build, written by By Guy Clark and Verlon Thompson 
Performed by Jimmy Buffett with Alan Jackson
 Saturday morning we went to the Antique and Classic Boat Society's boat show at Big Cedar.  The great majority of the boats were made of wood and had been restored to a pristine condition.
 Someone said there were 110 boats in the show, but I didn't count. ;)
 No detail was too small for the craftsmen who built and restored these boats, even down to the paint on this motor.
 The oldest boat we saw was built in 1927.  The one above looks pretty retro, but is a 2012 model.
 I thought this was pretty clever!  The boat's name is Time Machine.  On the left, you "select" month and day, and the year on the right.  Pretty neat!
 These two little dogs cracked me up!  They were dressed in little nautical dresses.
It was neat to see the boats in the dock where we could check them out up close, but it was also fun to see (and hear!) them out in the water.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Happy Fall Ya'll!

Happy first day of Fall 2012!  The pumpkins we bought last weekend are at home on the porch, joined by a mum and some pansies.
 The few blooms on the mum are so pretty!  I resisted the temptation to buy one that was already fully bloomed so I'm hoping this one will last until Thanksgiving.
Fall is definitely my favorite season.  How about you?

Monday, September 17, 2012

Sunday Drive

We often can be found on a Sunday driving somewhere.  Sometimes we wander, sometimes David has a destination in mind but I don't know it (like our trip to Oark, AR), and sometimes we have a particular mission.  Today we set off to check out Devil's Den State Park in Arkansas, where we hope to camp in October.

 On the way there, we took a detour to Jane, Missouri to check out another campground.  We were fortunate to run into the campground owner/manager/host?, Bill, who graciously gave us a driving tour.  It's quite a ways from anything, and I suspect it gets very DARK at night!  It was a beautiful area, with lots of moss-covered rocks.  The picture above was taken in the greater Jane metropolitan area, and we suspect it was once the post office though there was no sign.  I just thought it was such a neat building, especially with its fade patriotic bunting.

Next stop was at Five Guys Burgers in Rogers.  We had a certain furry traveler, so we opted to tailgate.  Ah, the things we do for that dog!  Five Guys did not disappoint.  We are eagerly (and impatiently) waiting for the 2 that have been promised in our own town.

 Next it was on to Devil's Den State Park, where we manage a picture with all three of us looking in the general direction of the camera.  It's a beautiful state park.  I checked out the shower facilities and deemed them acceptable. ;)  I even spoke words that I'm sure I'll live to regret..."I'm looking forward to coming back to camp!  I bet it's really pretty in the fall."  Yes, David, you can remind me of those words when I'm shivering and sniffling in the tent.
 After leaving Devil's Den, we came upon Winslow, AR which had a very cool tiny downtown area.  David read that the rocks on the front of this building came from the creation of a nearby railroad tunnel.
 On our way home, we stopped to check out a pumpkin stand that we'd seen on the way down.  They had the biggest selection of pumpkins and gourds that I think I've ever seen.  The white ones caught my eye as we drove buy, but we selected these beauties (and a tiny white one hiding) to bring home.
It was a great Sunday drive!

Sunday, September 16, 2012

2.4 Miles

Last weekend we camped...2.4 miles from home.  It was part of Bass Pro Shop's Outdoor Days.  There were quite a few groups highlighting many ways to enjoy the great outdoors.  One of the most interesting parts is the Mountain Man Rendezvous, which consists of a small village set up as it would have been in the 1840's.  They demonstrate various skills such as soap making, blacksmithing, and bow making.  It's pretty interesting.  There was also a Boy Scout Village this year where boy scout packs hosted a rope bridge, bird feeder making, rocket launch, and other free activities for kids.  We were part of the Off-Road Camping Club part of Outdoor Days.  David met this friendly group at this event a couple of years ago, and has gotten to know them online since.
 Camping so close to home proved to be a really good thing for me.  It rained Friday night, and in my sprint to the car (ha ha!  This body does not sprint!) I manage to pull a muscle in my neck.  So Riley and I wimped out and slept in our own respective beds at home that first night, leaving David to camp without us.  We joined him again Saturday morning just in time for breakfast, then spent the day checking out the things to see and do.  After spending some time with my mom, dad, aunt, and uncle at the event, I headed home for a teeny nap and to pick Riley up.
 We braved the tent Saturday night.  Riley is a little weirded out by being able to hear but not see things from inside the tent, but he did pretty good.  When I hobbled out of the tent around 2 a.m. to trek up to the bathroom, he growled at a suspicious looking (to him) trash can.  Good thing I had my guard dog with me!
I got to take a shower at home, then returned to camp for the rest of Sunday.  I am a pretty wimpy camper, and really like the comforts of home, so as it turned out, this was a pretty good way to camp!

Friday, September 7, 2012

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Dog Swim 2012

Since  I first heard of the Dog Swim, I've wanted to take Riley.  The last day our public pools are open is Labor Day.  The day after Labor Day every year, one of the pools hosts a Dog Swim for the four-legged variety.  Riley is an excellent swimmer, but I'm always worried that he won't stop when he gets tired.  So with a gift card from Grammy, we got Riley a stylish orange life jacket.  I was pleasantly surprised to see that he wasn't the only one wearing one!
 We started out in the baby pool, but it was soon time to check out the big pool.  Riley considered his options for a while, then headed in.
 I'm not sure that his first entrance was on purpose, but it worked.
 He swam way out into the middle of the pool and didn't seem at all concerned.
 He met a few friends, including this Great Dane that he tried to walk under.  Mostly though he was interested in sniffing and the water.
 Once we found a few stray tennis balls, he was really into it.  He went in time after time and chased down the tennis balls.  It kind of looks like he is bobbing for apples.
I think he would have stayed all night chasing those tennis balls.  He spent the evening snoozing on the couch.  I think he was worn out!

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Blue Moon

I know the blue moon has passed, but this is an event that might be even more rare.  Gracie, lower right, and Riley get along pretty well, but Henrietta, lower left, can't stand the sight of him.  And he usually chases her if he sees her downstairs, as it is a rare sighting for him.  Monday afternoon as I began to work on a few blog posts, Henrietta found her way downstairs and on the couch next to me.  Gracie soon joined us, and eventually, Riley jumped up into his spot at the end of the couch.  Amazingly, Henrietta didn't move.  Her eyes got very big and she refused to turn her head to look at him, but she stayed perfectly still.  I wonder how long this will last?  It is a fragile magic for sure and certain.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012


Our good friend Kevin stayed with us over Labor Day weekend.  I try to be a good hostess - I wash sheets, dust, and freshen up his room.  However, locking someone into their room was not, I believe, in the good hostess manual.  His first night here, I woke up to hear rattle rattle rattle.  Pause.  Rattle rattle rattle.  I decided that Gracie had perhaps decided to mess with his door, so I crept down the hallway.  No Gracie on my side of the door, and no Gracie shadow on his side.  Here's where I should have asked if he was alright, but it was 2:00 in the morning.  I shuffled back to bed and continued to here rattle rattle rattle.  Soon, I heard the door open, bathroom door shut, then the bathroom door open and bedroom door shut.  The rattling ceased, and I went back to sleep.
 The next morning, Kevin says, "I have to tell you something.  I had to take the doorknob apart last night."  As it turns out, when he attempted to leave the room, the doorknob on his side just spun and spun.  He was trapped in his room!  Instead of waking us up to tell of his plight, he used the only tool available...nail clippers from his over night bag.  By disassembling the clippers, he was able to MacGyver his way out by taking the knob apart.
Kevin, here's the door to your room's safe to come back!

Monday, September 3, 2012

And...a sink!

I ordered the sink!  It should be here a week from today.  I searched looking for pictures of the sink and faucet I picked in real peoples' homes, and didn't find anything.  So when this is all put together, I plan to write a post including all the brands and models so hopefully someone searching can land on it and find what they're looking for.  For now...I've borrowed this picture from Kohler's website.  Hopefully they won't mind, since I did buy their sink.