Tuesday, September 29, 2009

(Almost) Wide Open Spaces

In June, 2008 we moved our travel trailer to its new home in AD's shop. We also started spending the weekends in it, mainly because it was closer to the race tracks where G1 and G2 race.

So we needed an enclosed area for Elliott, Smoke and Dani to get a little exercise and to take care of their business. AD bought some cattle panels and some chicken wire and put this little "yard" together for them.

When we moved into the house AD bought a few additional cattle panels and enlarged their area.

Last week we had a real fence put in with real gates that are easy to open and close. Their space was vastly enlarged and they are happy, happy, happy with their new "digs" - no pun intended because they'd better not try digging out!

Now that the fence is in we can start thinking about where trees should be planted. That little project will probably start next spring.

Monday, September 28, 2009

A Weekend Filled with Grandkids

Son came for a visit this weekend because we were having a mini family reunion for AD's mother's birthday on Sunday.

After they got in on Friday evening, the Disney Candy Land game was brought out for them to play.

On Saturday morning I went with Son and the kids to Lowe's so they could build a fire engine. I really enjoyed taking pictures of the kids assembling their trucks.
There was a real fire truck there too. They raised the ladder as high as it would go. Then 2 firemen climbed all the way to the top - each carrying a pumpkin.

People were saying the firemen were going to drop the pumpkins. I really didn't think they'd do it, but they sure did.

Boy, did those pumpkins make big splats! Unfortunately I didn't get a picture of the squashed pumpkins.

After that, we drove out to Woolaroc. Son thought the kids would enjoy it and he wanted to share some of his favorite memories of Woolaroc with them. Me too - me too! I wanted to share some of my favorite childhood memories with them too.

Buffalo roam free on the grounds. Son and I took lots of pictures of them and the other animals. This is one of my favorite shots that Son took. This buffalo decided to walk down those rocks and it was very interesting to watch just how he did it.

Then we finally got to the museum. It's like "coming home" to me. That light blue area there by the doors is all mosaic and shows Native American figures.

Those cannon-looking things are telescopes. They aren't usually there but Woolaroc was hosting a special "Sun-day on Saturday" this weekend. The telescopes were set up with special filters for viewing the sun.

Inside the museum Son and I shared our special memories with the kids. Son has always liked this elephant head.

Ever since I was a little girl I've always enjoyed watching this mechanical Indian dance. Back in the day there was a button you could push to watch the figures dance. Now you have to ask an attendant to turn it on. (Please excuse the bad coloring of the photos. There's no flash allowed in the museum and this is the best I could do with my color correcting software.)

This stage coach was actually in service between 1869 and 1912. Years ago when I was a little girl and Roy Rogers and Gene Autry were tv heroes, kids could actually play on this stage coach. My sister and I used to have a good time climbing on it.

The museum is filled with western art. I have many favorites, but this is probably my favorite-ist one of all.

Once outside again, the kids took advantage of the chance to look at the sun through the telescopes.

Woolaroc also has a petting zoo. Among other animals, they have goats, sheep, a miniature horse, some burros and this llama. The attendant said this particular llama didn't know how to spit and it didn't bite. I think it also liked to have it's picture taken because I got several good shots of it.

I think everyone had a good day at Woolaroc but the day wasn't over yet.

G1 and G2 were racing at the track closest to home. G3 and G4 made it through their cousins' heat races but they were pretty tuckered out so Son took them back to the house for some much needed rest for the party on Sunday.

It's a good thing they did too because AD and I left the races right after the boys finished theirs and it was little before 1:00 am then. We just couldn't make it through the rest of the races.

G2 won both the Pure Stock race and the Turf race. G1 placed 3rd in the Turf race. I think if G1 had had a few more laps he might have given his brother a run for his money.

The birthday party on Sunday went well. And I slept really, really well last night!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

2 GREAT Recipes and 1 Request

We've been really busy around the house this week because we're having a mini family reunion here this weekend to celebrate my mother-in-law's 77th birthday.

The menu for the party is fried chicken, potato salad, baked beans, and THE BEST macaroni salad anyone has ever tasted. It's Melinda's recipe over at Mickey and me. If you don't know Melinda, she's from Pennsylvania and she calls this her "secret and best recipe - ever". She is NOT kidding.

Oh, my goodness! You're supposed to make it the night before, then refrigerate it overnight. Well, the night I fixed it I just had to have a little taste before putting it in the fridge. It was still a little warm and I do believe I could have eaten the whole bowl of it right then. It is SO YUMMY - warm or cold!

For dessert we'll be having angel food cake with "sticky frosting" (aka 7-minute frosting) and German chocolate cake. Maybe some ice cream too if I ever remember to stop by and buy some.

I'm going to digress here for just a second. We've had plans to put up a "real" fence for our kids who live in the house. Up to this point they've only had a temporary fenced-in area where they go out and take care of their business. It's made out of cattle panels and chicken wire. In the midst of everything else that's going on this week, the fence guy called yesterday and said he'd be here today to start putting it up.

Elliott, Smoke, Dani and even Mikey, will really enjoy the new space when it's complete. Hopefully the crew will be able to finish it up tomorrow because they don't work on Saturdays. And the party is on Sunday. We'll make do whatever happens but it would be wonderful if the fence was all in place.

The second recipe that's mentioned in the title is one of Suzanne's over at Chickens in the Road. It's her version of a West Virginia favorite called Pepperoni Rolls. It seems to me Suzanne is West Virginia's version of our own Oklahoma Pioneer Woman.

I've made a spaghetti bread for years that has pepperoni in it so when I saw Suzanne's recipe for pepperoni rolls I knew it had to be tried out. It's not like the spaghetti bread recipe at all. And while the bread is pretty darn good, Suzanne's pepperoni rolls blew me, AD and Daughter away!

It's this wonderful bread dough that's way easy to make, then rolled out, cut into 16 rectangles, each topped with shredded mozzarella cheese, sliced pepperoni and banana pepper rings. Then the pieces are rolled up rather like a jelly roll, the seams are pinched, they are left to rise a little while, then baked. I made one batch. Next time I'm going to have to double it.

Pepperoni rolls would be great for taking to parties (I'm thinking Super Bowl party), lunch (hey, we had them for supper), snacks, etc.

So now that I have a recipe from Pennsylvania and one from West Virginia I think I'm going to have to start actively pursuing "local favorites" recipes from the 50 states. If anyone has a favorite and it's posted on your blog, please add a comment and I'll be sure to come right over.

And finally, the one request I have is on behalf Joan over at Notes from Oklahoma. She has no clue I'm posting anything about this on my blog, it's just something I feel moved to do. Joan teaches 6th grade at a lower income school.

If you don't know any teachers that are participating in Sonic's current "Limeades for Learning" program I'm sure Joan would appreciate you voting for her project, "Cameras for Storytelling". She's trying to get 3 digital cameras to use in her classroom.

If you're unfamiliar with the promotion, right now through the end of the month (I think) all Sonic drink cups have little tags attached to them with a different code on each one. If you have any of those little tags you can go to the website, search for Joan's project (Cameras for Storytelling), enter the code that's on the tag and vote for her project. I know Joan would appreciate it very much.

That's it for now. It will probably be next Monday before you hear from me again. It's busy, busy, busy through the weekend. I hope you have a great one too!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Let Sleeping Dogs Lie

Yesterday is rained and there were lots of thick clouds. That meant our internet was down the biggest part of the day.

So I had lots of time to clean house, try a new recipe which was WAY GOOD (I'll share it sometime soon) and catch our 3 inside kids asleep in their favorite places.

Elliott spends a great deal of the day under our bed, usually with only his nose sticking out from under the dust ruffle. Yesterday I was able to catch a photo with a little more of his face.

Smoke likes to lay on his back on the couch.

Dani doesn't look a bit comfortable in this little dog bed but this is how she likes to sleep during the day. We originally bought this Build-a-Bear bed for Elliott when he first came to live with us. Then, when Smoke came we bought a second bed just like the first one. Smoke eventually out grew it and Dani took it over when she came into the family. Elliott can still fit in one and occasionally you'll find him in one and Dani in the other.

At night all three of them sleep in our bed. Elliott and Smoke have their favorite spots. Elliott is at the head of the bed between AD and me and Smoke lays at my feet. Smoke gets very upset if anyone moves near his space!

Dani wanders around the bed, sleeping here and there. Regardless of where she lites on the bed, she wants either AD or me to be touching her. If we don't, she whines until we do. Sometimes she jumps off the bed and sleeps on the floor for awhile. Then when she's tired of the floor, she whines until AD or I get up and put her back on the bed. She's one spoiled kid!

That's how our kids sleep. How about yours?

Friday, September 18, 2009

Solution to the Mystery

If you read my post from earlier today you'll know that I was very perplexed how a rat could possibly end up on the barb of a barbed wire fence.

I had debated with myself about posting the picture because it's kind of a gross picture. Now I'm glad I did because I learned something new today from Leilani Lee over at Ozark Oddments.

She posted the following comment:

"This is typical of what a shrike will do (it's a bird -- Google it) It catches small animals and reptiles and hangs it on barbed wire. Great shot! I am glad you posted this."

As soon as I read her comment I googled to find a picture of a shrike. Then I called AD in, showed him the picture of the bird and Leilani's explanation. We're going to be doing some bird watching and see if we can spot a shrike or two.

I just love learning new stuff! Don't you?

Freaky Friday

After debating the issue with myself I decided to go ahead and post the kinda gross picture I took the other evening.

It's of a dead rat but this rat died in a peculiar manner. I really don't know if the rat was male or female. I didn't get close enough to check its - um - credentials but let's just go with the male gender.

Was the scenario one of a very tired rat being chased through the fields by Mikey and his sidekick, Cosmo, and so he just made the decision to end it all himself?


Was Mikey playing with the little guy flinging him through the air like he's done with other rats but this one landed just right - or wrong from the rat's point of view?


Did he somehow escape the grip of a passing bird and so landed this way?

It will forever remain a mystery.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Hunting For Fairies

With all the rain that we've had recently, toad stools are popping up everywhere. Yesterday afternoon seemed like a good time to go fairy hunting.

After all, I believe fairies use mushrooms for tables and chairs, don't they? Maybe the fairies would consider using toad stools somehow too.

This toad stool was kind of pointy - probably too hard to stay seated on. The fairies would slide right off. Oh! Maybe they use toad stools to play on.

But this toad stood has a very firm foundation. Maybe tomorrow the top will open up more and it will be more suitable for use as a chair or a table by the fairies.

Now here's a toad stool that's just beginning to open. Maybe the fairies will use it for shelter.

Oh, but look at this one hidden in the grass! Let's have a closer look underneath.

Nope - no fairies here. But maybe they're off riding on the backs of the grasshoppers or toads. Do they do that? Or maybe they're off sleeping so they can dance under the stars tonight.

I "googled" fairy lore and found http://www.efairies.com/fairy_lore.htm. From the word spellings I think it must be a British website. There's some interesting information on fairies there.

Like how to attract fairies to your garden:

"There are several ways to attract the wee folk to your home. First you need to decide what type of faery you hope to attract. If you hope to attract flower and garden faeries you need to have some of their favorite plants around. Some of these are: Foxgloves Fairy like to make their clothing from them. Ferns these make nice soft beds for the little guys. Apple and or Oak trees Fae often inhabit these trees. The oak is held sacred by many of them. Tulips the faery like to use the tulip bloom to put their babies to bed. Rosemary, heartsease, forget-me-nots are some others. While there are many others that fairy like these are some of their favorites. You can also build a little faery house from twigs, stones, crystals or other items found in nature. Put a crystal on the house to attract the faery to it. Place it in your garden and soon a faery may make it home. Faery are attracted to bright and beautiful things. Oh and very important, if you want to keep the wee folk around keep the cat out of the garden!"

and how to attract fairies to your house:

"Fairy love honey cakes, honeyed milk or plain milk and sweet butter. Put some of the above in a bowl or plate and put outside on a stoop or in your kitchen. Don't be dismayed should you wake in the morning and find it still there. Though it may appear untouched, the fairy may have taken nourishment from the food's essence. They will often leave the food for their animal friends to enjoy. Most house fairy (elves, pixies, brownies) are very fussy about the homes they live in. It is important to keep your home clean and clutter free (sometimes they will lend a helping hand). They won't stick around long if you are a foul tempered person or unpleasant to animals and children. Most Fairies are offended by a spoken thank you. Leave them food or trinkets as thanks. One you've offended one of the wee folk they will leave and never return. Enjoy your small house guests. Most can be helpful and often playful. Some are quite fond of playing pranks. A happy home is a home with Fairy."

Sometimes it's fun to pretend, isn't it?

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

At Just the Right Time

There's a small half-bath just as you walk in our back door. It's AD's bathroom mainly because that's where he washes up when he comes in from working outside.

Since it's his bathroom, it's decorated with his two favorite sports themes - OU sports and racing.

The little plaque on the wall just above the stool is one AD got when he did a ride-around at Daytona Speedway in 2006. The figurines are of Richard Petty, his favorite Nascar driver of all time.

There's no M&Ms in the dispenser. AD received it as a gift and it fit the theme so we used it here.

The OU poster print was made from hundreds of photos taken around OU. The clocks are photos of G1 and G2 when they were racing karts.

The collage frames are really neat because it's easy to change out photos whenever the mood strikes. Up until yesterday there were several that held no pictures.

Weekend after next we're having family in to celebrate AD's mother's birthday so I've been trying to get little things finished up around the house - putting out fall decorations, finding places for odds and ends and finding pictures for those empty slots.

As I was going through all the racing photos I've taken this year I happened on this one. I didn't even realize I'd had the opportunity to take one that had G1, G2 and their dad all racing together at once.

That's the boys' dad in the white 99, then G1 in the red 99 and G2 in the 9 bringing up the rear (something G2 rarely does). I had an extra one printed for Daughter and she was excited to get it. It's a pretty rare occasion when her husband races with the boys in the turf class so I was lucky to snap the picture at just the right time.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

More Barns

I saw something quite interesting but kinda on the gross side the other afternoon as I was pulling out of the driveway. When I got back to the house I hollered to AD to come see what was across the road. I just happened to have my camera with me and took some photos thinking I might do a posting. When I mentioned that to AD he kind of rolled his eyes and asked if I didn't think it was kind of a gross thing to put in my blog. So, while I'm still considering that as a possibility I thought I'd show you 5 more of the barns that I was able to snap photos of as we were making our way back home from Branson.

I love that this barn is part rock and part wood.

Even though you only see the roof of this barn I liked the picture. Maybe it's the barb wire fence. Anyway I just like the photo.

This barn looked like it was built with brick instead of rock. And isn't that little extra room on the side cute? I wonder what it's for.

The color on this barn was really nice.

The shape of this barn was interesting. Kind of like some military buildings I've seen before but can't recall their name - something like kwanzaa huts? But I could be totally wrong on that so forgive me if that's the case.

That's it for now. I'll continue debating with myself on the issue of the gross but interesting thing I took pictures of. If I do decide to post it there will be a warning at the top and the photo will be further down in the post.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Sometimes You Just Never Know . . .

. . what will show up in/on a photo. Below is one of my best examples -

See that "headless" buffalo right there? I took that shot back in 2004 at Woolaroc in the Osage Hills of northeast Oklahoma. I don't know how I managed to take the photo at just the right second and just the right angle that creates the illusion of a headless buffalo. Other than just a little tiny bit of color enhancement, nothing else about the photo was digitally changed.

Of all the pictures I've taken over the years, this one is one of my very favorites and it was captured on film at one of my favorite places in Oklahoma.

Woolaroc was originally built by Frank Phillips, founder of Phillips Petroleum Company, as a ranch retreat. It is a wildlife refuge and there's a wonderful museum there filled with western art and artifacts. There's an animal barn and a hiking trail and many wonderful sights to see.

The name Woolaroc is a combination of 3 words - woods, lakes and rocks.

I have no idea how many times I've visited Woolaroc as a child, as a mother and now as an Oklahoma granny. It's just so peaceful out there.

If you're ever in the area it would be a shame to miss this wonderful place.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

G3's Birthday Party - What an Occasion!

A few years ago we were at Silver Dollar City in Branson, MO during Worldfest (one of the festivals that Silver Dollar City has each year.) Many countries are represented and there are various booths where you can purchase products/souvenirs from the different countries.

A few years before that, Son had made a business trip to China. While looking at the various items in one of the Chinese booths at Worldfest I came across this dog marionette. Having had a marionette from another country when I was a little girl I thought G3 might like this one from China so I got it for him.

Fast forward to this year. Son always asks the boys what kind of birthday cake they would like. For the past couple of years or so it's always been one of the cars out of Pixar's Cars movie.

Not this year. G3 decided he'd like his cake to look like his Chinese dog marionette. Son called me to say "Gee, thanks, Mom!" My response was, "Not my fault!"

NOTE: When Son was 6 or 7 I asked him what kind of cake he wanted for his birthday like I did every year and that year his answer was "A R2D2 that really stands up. I don't want it to lay down." Being a good mom I came up with a reasonably good R2D2 cake baked in a 3-pound coffee can and a half-ball cake pan. But R2D2 wasn't nearly as intricate as the marionette - NOT by a long, long way!

Son is incredibly talented in the area of art whether it's drawing, painting, designing, etc. You name it - he can figure out a way to do it. Plus he has tremendous small muscle coordination/dexterity. He gets that from AD. I do ok with my large muscles but tiny stuff - NOT AT ALL!!!

You know how tiny gold chains can get tangled? AD and Son, even with their big man fingers, can get those chains untangles lickety split. If it was up to me, I'd just have to toss the chain and buy another one. NO KIDDING!

But back to the Chinese dog marionnette cake. You might want to scroll back up to take another look at the real marionnette. Now take a look at the cake Son made. Incredible isn't it!

I've done my fair share of cake decorating but there is no way I could do anything as intricate as this. Son is so talented and G3 is one lucky kid!

G3 really likes the Pirates of the Caribbean movies so the party theme revolved around the cake and Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End.

Chinese type food was served - lettuce wraps, chicken egg rolls, fried rice, sticky rice, sesame seed meatballs, fortune cookies and a couple of different kinds of Chinese candy. Son bought all the kids chop sticks to use but had forks and spoons available. It was fun watching the kids trying to master the chop sticks.

Son also had everything for the kids to use to construct ping pong ball slinging catapults. Each one was made out of a block of wood, a mouse trap (with some parts removed), a nail, a plastic spoon and duct tape. It was fun seeing whose ping pong ball would go the furthest. (Later a spontaneous ping pong ball fight broke out among the adults. That was fun to watch too.)

There were a couple of games to play - pass the Pirate's gold earring (lifesaver) using chopsticks and a game played with Pirate goblets and water.

There was also a Pirate's chest pinata filled with gold (chocolate) coins and various other candies. A pirates sword was used to break the pinata.

A lot of work went into the party but I think it was well worth it. It was really a lot of fun and I think G3 will remember it as one of his best birthdays ever.

Oh, and the rain I was worried about the other day - it sprinkled some but no one melted.


This is Jasmine. She lives on the corner down the road from us - at least for now. Isn't she cute!

I've never met her up close and personal but whenever we drive down the road she runs out to the fence as if to greet us and then she'll run on ahead of us. When she reaches the corner she stops, turns and waits for us to catch up. Then she runs to the end of her property fence, turns, waits and then looks at us as if to say, "Hey, it was nice seeing you today. Come back soon."

Jasmine's family's house is up for sale. I don't know where they're moving but I'll miss Jasmine a lot!

Friday, September 11, 2009

I Remember

Eight years ago today a great tragedy occurred in our country. Please take a minute to remember those who lost their lives and their families.

Also remember those who willingly protect our country each day and their families.

Thank you!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Rain, Rain Go Away

I can't remember the last day that it didn't rain at least part of the day. That's not necessarily a bad thing though.

On the upside our (small) pond is completely full and was even overflowing for a couple of days. And I do like rainy days, dreariness and all. AD has always said it's the Adams family in me. You know the family he's referring to - Gomez, Morticia, Pugsley, Wednesday, Lurch, Thing, Cousin It . . .

On the downside we've had several toad frogs on the back patio and all 3 of our inside dogs have learned that it's not wise to try and eat one. Talk about frothing at the mouth and the gnashing of teeth! But it only took each one of them once to experience the bad effect. They have since seen other toads and with one look, each one of them gives the little guys a very wide berth. The expressions on their faces were priceless the first time they saw a toad after "the incident" but unfortunately I couldn't get to my camera fast enough to get it on film, er memory card.

But we really do need a little break in the weather. For now the flowers down the road are reminders of what the sun looks like

and here's what our forecast looks like for the next few days.

See that 70% chance of rain for Saturday evening? If it is going to rain on Saturday I really hope the forecast is correct and the rain doesn't come until the evening.

G3's birthday was Tuesday and he'll be celebrating with a "friend" party this Saturday afternoon. It's the first party he's had where he's invited some of his friends. Son has taken G3's theme idea and has really gone to town. I'll be driving down for the party and can't wait to see what all they came up with. I just don't want it to rain on the party.

Anyway, look for photos next week from the festivities. I know it's going to a lot of fun!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

As We Go Rolling Along

One of the ways I like to pass the time when AD and I are driving down the road is to look for old barns. There's just something about them that calls to me and I've always thought that I should have my camera ready to snap pictures of them. Up until this past weekend I haven't ever done that. Don't know why - I just hadn't.

As it turned out I took pictures of over 20 barns on our trip to Branson. There are many more between here and there but sometimes we just came upon barns and I wasn't quick enough on the snap.

Here are 5 of my favorites. Please know that I was taking them through a bug splattered windshield and out my rolled-up window. If you see some glare or bits of bugs or the photo isn't too straight, just know the pictures were taken while we were going about 65-70 mph. Some cropping and a little bit of color correction was done to make the pictures a tiny bit better than straight out of the camera.

Old barn wood is just plain lovely to me.

Peeling barn paint appeals me too - no pun intended, yeah, right!

Silos are pretty neat too even if they are no longer of any use.

Seeing the old in the shadow of the new made a good photo.

This barn is obviously falling down but the fact that the photo was taken at an angle didn't help matters any. There was only so much correction that could be done.

Obviously I don't know the owners of any of these barns but if you happen to recognize one - and what a coincidence that would be - please let the owner know that I think their barn is wonderful.

That concludes the tour of Kansas and Missouri barns for today. Plans are to post a few more sometime soon.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Weekend Fun & Lots of Photos

Our Labor Day weekend started out with football on t.v. First AD watched the OSU game and kept commenting on how they were "really stinking it up". I told him he'd better be careful because OU still had their game to play. (We're a divided family when it comes to OU and OSU.)

The Pokes won! Yea!

And then the Sooners played. I happened to take this picture just as OU scored their 1st touchdown of the season, and as it turned out, their only touchdown of the game. I am an OSU fan but I really hope Bradford gets better really quickly.

AD didn't get to watch much of the game because we had to get to the boys' races. This weekend G2 was racing both his pure stock and his turf car. G1 raced his turf car too. I couldn't get any pictures of either of them racing because I was videoing but this is a picture of both boys in the pure stock as G2 helped to "pack the track".

Dwarf cars also race at this particular track. I think those cars are just cuter than bugs' ears!

AD and I aren't really "spur of the moment" people. We like to have things planned. Guess who's in charge of all the planning? Well - it isn't AD.

On Friday however we did something quite out of the ordinary. After confirming G1 would be available to stay at the house and dog sit, we decided to make a short trip over to Branson after church on Sunday. Just a short trip - over on Sunday, come back on Monday afternoon.

We haven't been to Branson in a couple of years! Let me just point out that from the time our kids were little we would make at least 1 trip to Branson each year. Then after we bought our first 5th wheel we were there about once a month from March thru November. So this trip was way overdue.

It was like going home.

On our way to Branson there's a creek named Pumpkin Creek. A picture of the sign and the creek was in order since fall is on the way.

The sign

The creek (although I think it looks more like a small river than a creek!)

After about 3 hours we got our first glimpse of Branson's Labor Day traffic

About all we were able to do was some shopping. We got there too late to get tickets for any shows and we were leaving too early on Monday to see any shows.

This is the backside of Branson Landing. It's a fairly new shopping area down by the river. There are no pictures of the stores because I didn't want to carry my camera. I planned on shopping!

There was a new store that we'd never heard of before called "Ridemakerz". It's kind of a boys' version of Build-a-Bear. Boys of all sizes and ages - as well as girls, I would think - can pick out a car and add all kinds of accessories from wheels to sounds. It really is a cool store and one I think any boy would find fun.

A better picture of the river

Besides shopping it was just fun to relive old memories of other trips. This is Dick's 5 and 10. It's in old downtown Branson (walking distance from Branson Landing if you're up for it.) Dick's is quaint and just like an old 5-and-dime. And it's always crowded!

One of the newer things to do in Branson is to take a tour of the Titanic museum. I'm actually the only one in the family who has taken the tour. It was fantastic and the day I was there happened to be the anniversary of the sinking. I'm a planner but that was one item that got by me.

G1 and G2 wanted to play miniature golf the day I went. It's probably a good thing too because they called me twice to see if I was ready to be picked up. When I said no, they were pretty happy because that meant they could play more miniature golf.

Branson is known for its shows and Jim Stafford's is one of the best. Even G1 and G2 had a good time when they went several years ago. They still talk about "seein' ole' Jim" and how funny his show was.

Another one of the things the boys like to do in the summer is go to White Water. There's all kinds of water rides. Personally I like the lazy river. I don't know if this last weekend was the end of their season or not but there were a lot of people enjoying the park.

There are lots of miniature golf courses in Branson. This one is really fun. It offers two different courses. (The pool belongs to the motel next door.)

Before G1 and G2 raced real cars they loved the go-carts at Branson. The Lumber Jack is their favorite track.

There are lots of places in Branson where they make fudge. Grand Country is Daughter's favorite place to buy some.

The Ducks are a favorite ride. They not only drive you out to the lake but into the lake too. G2 always tries to make sure he sits in the back of the car on the driver's side so he can roll down the window and wave at the folks on the Duck as they drive down the strip. I don't know which he enjoys more - waving at the folks or the fact that he's embarrassing his brother at the same time.

The Dixie Stampede is a great place for food and entertainment. We've been there numerous times and the boys are always ready to go back. The food is great and the entertainment is out of this world. Christmas time is the very best time to go in my opinion. Not only do they have the regular show but they also have a live Nativity. One thing I find particularly interesting is when the wise men come in riding on their camels and then watching the camels lay down for the them to disembark.

Only Son and his wife have been to Ripley's Believe It or Not. The building is one that draws a lot of attention.

The highway leading out from Branson to Silver Dollar City is not only curvy but hilly too. We can remember when this highway was only a 2 lane road - and not a very good one at that!

Years ago when the road was only 2 lanes we were coming back into town after a day in "the City" and it was terribly, terribly foggy. That trip back to our motel was scarier than any ride I'd ever been on!

We were on our way home as I took this picture of Highway 76.

Coming into Springfield I noticed a sign for Andy's Custard. I've heard about it many times but had never been to one. I'd also heard about "concretes" but never tried one. AD said if we saw it before our turn off that we'd stop. Then there it was - this big red and yellow sign RIGHT BEFORE our turn off. WOO! HOO!

I don't know for sure but I'm thinking this must be a new location because when we got close the traffic looked like this trying to get into Andy's - and we were on the highway.

Eventually we were in line and when we were finally close enough to read the menu I saw a sign that said that the "Askinosie Woo Hoo" concrete was now there to stay. I checked description and it said it was vanilla custard with Askinosie dark chocolate nibs swirled into it. Now I'm all about dark chocolate so I looked no further than that. It was de-lish! What better way to start the closing of our trip than with a Woo Hoo!!!!!!

The trip was a short one but lots of fun!

I hope each of you had a wonderful Labor Day holiday too.