Friday, October 29, 2010

Haunted Getaway

If you happen to live in my neck of the woods and you are scouting for something spooky to do, Eureka Springs offers a whole week of eerie activities. Visit the Crescent Hotel, known as  “The nation’s most haunted resort hotel!” Check in, if you dare, but definitely sign up for the ghost tour. You can explore the halls nightly, and even venture underneath the hotel while you hear the tale of its long, strange history.

 Perched on the crest of West Mountain above the Victorian village is the historic 1886 Hotel & Spa. The 78-room resort hotel is not only known as one of America’s most distinctive and historic destinations, but it is also said to have spirits that walk the palatial grounds!

There was an editorial by Mike Masterson in Sunday's Arkansas Gazette. He recounted the terrifying experience of friends who spent the night in Room 101, The Governor's Suite last April. Beth Shibley of Burgaw, N.C. had joined her mom Lou Ann Moles (wife of Harrison's mayor Pat Moles) and her sister Lorie Baker for a fun weekend. After a full day of shopping and sightseeing, the three turned in around midnight. Beth and her Mom shared a one bedroom and Lorie was in the other. Shibley, 42, says that while sleeping in a double bed with her mother, something held down her legs and arms and began suffocating her.

"It was like a great force of intense pressure pressing down over my whole body, and I couldn't breathe," Shibley, who works as a graphic artist, says of the 2 a.m. experience.

Her account as told in USA Today in a special feature on haunted hotels:

“I was awaked by something that started to suffocate me,” Beth said. “I couldn’t breathe and felt an intense pressure on my chest like I was being squeezed against something hard. I couldn’t even draw a breath to shout. . . . I tried reaching to my mother, but my wrists were pinned together on the bed and my arms were being held down with great force.

“My legs wouldn’t move either, except for my right foot, and I started reaching for Mom’s foot under the covers. As soon as my foot touched hers, the pressure stopped and I could breathe, speak and move again. My heart was pounding. I was covered in sweat. There was a horrible smell in the room that was like damp earth and sour sweat, but stronger, almost like sulfur.”

She said she first thought the odor might have come from her sweat soaked nightgown, but the stench had left the room after about 30 minutes. The next morning, the gown still smelled of laundry detergent.

Her mother never awoke during the incident, Beth said.

“I went back to sleep,” she continued. “At 2:30 a.m., I felt something grab both ankles and jerk me very hard. It pulled me completely under the covers, which had been tucked into the bottom of the mattress. I ended up in the middle of the bed with the covers entirely over my head and my feet off the end of the bed.

“This time, I could still breathe and shout, so I started yelling and hitting Mom in the area of her kidneys, since I was so far down in the bed. She sat up and asked if I was all right.”

Beth said she tried to explain what was happening, but her mother said the story of a bad dream could wait until morning, so Beth leapt from the bed and retrieved her camera, all the while reciting reassuring Scriptures.

Lying back down with the camera around her neck and snuggling close to her mother, Beth said she fell asleep with her finger poised on the camera’s shutter button, then lapsed into a vivid dream.

“Mom watched me asleep because by now she’d become freaked out. She also watched me taking photographs with my eyes closed even as I slept soundly the rest of that night.”

In her dream, a man wearing a black suit and tie and a top hat appeared at a center fourth-floor window of the hotel. Then six people came up behind him in three pairs. They picked up the man and threw him out the window, but his fall was broken by a rope wrapped around his neck.

“I saw his neck jerk to the side, and his hat fell off his head and landed to the right of where I was and watching,” Beth recalled. “I was holding my camera and I focused on the window and snapped a picture. Then I said, ‘Gotcha!’ ”

The scene began to fade, but as others came to the window wearing clothing of another period, she continued taking pictures and repeating,“Gotcha!” By then, she said, “I’d come to realize in my dream that I was dealing with something not of this world,” she said. “But I also was no longer afraid.”

In all, Lou Ann had watched her daughter snap five pictures in her sleep.

Later, when the film was developed, Beth said that the three women were startled to find one of a misty image leaning over the edge of the bed. A second picture showed the room’s ceiling fan and drapes in focus.

“In the top right corner is the outer outline edge of a window with three ropes coming from it in the exact colors of what the pairs of people were wearing in my dream,” Beth said. “They also were holding three ropes in my dreams and the ropes came out of a window.

“An enlargement showed more glowing red and blue spots in the mist as well as three pairs of little white X’s in a triangle pattern, similar to the way six people came up behind the man in pairs.”

The next day, she told me, she wandered outside the hotel, which as an institute in the 1930s housed thousands of cancer patients. There she saw the fourth-floor room as she’d seen it in her dreams. It was exactly two floors above her bedroom’s window.

Beth’s story was among several told in a special feature about haunted hotels that was published last week in USA Today. I’ve seen the photos and they are inexplicable.

“This experience has made me aware of things I’d never thought were possible,” she told me. “These manifestations felt demonic. . . . I believe I’m one of the good humans and that’s why the evil spirits hated me so much. I’m thankful everything ended well.” -

This story just sends chills down my spine! If you'd like a little "excitement" here's the link to the Crescent Hotel!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Steamy Windows

Bedtime meant a story when our girls were growing up and before we'd be halfway through the book, they'd be out like a light! One of their favorites was
The Grasshopper and the Ants. 
All  Aesop's fables teach a lesson and this one was to prepare for winter.

Old Man Winter arrives tonight with lows predicted in the 20's. I knew he was coming, the last few days have been blustery and overcast. Autumn in the Ozarks can mean crazy weather, too much rain or too little rain. Warm days and cool nights. But when the sky turns gray and the wind whips up, there's usually a front coming in and it often dramatically changes our temps. We've enjoyed a long Autumn this year with sunny days and crisp cool nights. The leaves are really coming down now after the rain we had on Monday. When I look out the windows now I can see the lake again. The changing of the seasons makes me feel melancholy... a gentle sadness tinged with thoughts of how fast the year has zipped by me, again. I think we're prepared,...plenty of food in the pantry and freezers, ice melt stacked in the garage and the propane tank has been topped off. Every year I look forward to snow, I blame it on my "Missouri blood!" As much as I love winter, my husband hates it. He grew up in Florida and sees no correlation between a Merry Christmas and snowfall!

This morning I've got a chicken stewing  in a big pot on the stove. Not sure what I'm going to make with it for dinner, chicken dumplings sound good. The aromas from that delicious bird transport me back to my childhood kitchen on Summit Street, steamy windows and the anticipation of us all being home sitting around the table.
Maybe that's why I love Winter so much...

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Flamingo Knees

I think I may be getting old. I hate to admit it, but I may be headed for problems with my creaky knees. Lately my right knee wants to do the "flamingo thing." I notice it first if I overdo, too much fun/walking sets me off and I limp like Chester on Gunsmoke (if you are under 50, call your Mom and ask her who Chester was)! I have to say it really cramps my style, I can imagine the bargains that are at TJ Maxx and it kills me. Missing out on a Kathy VanZealand bag that's 50% off is almost more than I can bear!

It's not like it hurts all the time. My first experience was 2 summers ago, too much climbing in and out of the boat. I didn't notice it until it was too late, the day the kids went back to Texas and suddenly, I was out of commission. Good thing it didn't happen on the first day of vacation or I would have missed out on a lot of fun. I took pain relievers, wore a knee brace and in a few weeks it went away.

Then last winter, out of the blue I woke up with a limp. Now it was my left knee. This time I put the brace on and actually wore it under jeans so I got better pretty quick.

This time I think I know what caused it...

It could have been this...

...or this

I'm just gonna try and stay positive though, just keep on going!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

House Hunting

Why is it that I've been out of High School for 40 years and I still dream I'm trying to find my junior year's Algebra class? Or I can't remember which one is next? It's not like I haven't moved on, conquered many situations that are much more complicated than what I faced in High School. Out of the blue, without any warning I'm transported back to those teen years where I didn't feel confident. Even when I'm dreaming it, I think "I'm dreaming this and I'm gonna wake up soon."

Sometimes my dreams are easily "diagnosed." A real good indication that I'm watching too many House Hunters on HGTV, I go house hunting in my dreams! I will be looking at huge houses with so many rooms I get lost, or apartments and I'm thinking, "Where are we going to put all our STUFF???" 

When I was younger, I had a re-occurring dream about flying high above the treetops. I could look down and see the tops of houses and I was amazed I could fly just like a bird! That type of dream denotes overcoming problems, coping well. Isn't that funny I dreamed that as a young adult and now that I have lots of experience under my belt I dream about high school and getting to first period class?

Monday, October 25, 2010

Berry Delicious!

We have a new store that's opened recently, Ulta. It's like Sephora and has almost all the major brands of makeup, creams, lotions and potions to make you feel beautiful. They have been tempting me with coupons in the Sunday paper so I made a trip out to the mall to see if their prices were as good as the flyer said.

I have a real weakness for bath products, and this time of year my favorites all revolve around food. Anything that you might find in a bakery or a coffee shop...things that are made with at least a pound of butter and sugar. If it's vanilla, chocolate, coffee, or caramel scented then I have to have it! 

The ad mentioned Graham Webb products, my all time favorite mousse. My hairdresser uses this and when I leave the salon I look like a different person...for two days! Until I wash that mousse out of my hair I have close to perfect hair, Farrah Fawcette hair!

They also have Tarte cosmetics. I love their lipsticks, they are made with a 15 fruit complex and no parabens, sulfates or other synthetic ingredients. They have Borba skincare in the lipstick too so they actually improve the look of my lips with each use. Multi tasking is one of my fav-o-rite things!

Ulta has their own brand of cosmetics, for much less than name brands. I am a brand buyer though so I will most likely stick with my favorites but I might as well save a little money! Just for coming in they gave me this nice bag of generous size products! For FREE, can you believe it??? I'm gonna love this store...

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Old Fashioned Halloween Treats

I don't think my Mom ever bought a bag of Halloween candy when I was a kid. She, like so many Moms of the 1950's made treats for the little Goblins! One of our neighbors, the Rathbone's would invite Trick or Treaters into their home for a little "Sweets Buffet" complete with punch! Mrs. Rathbone was so nice and truly enjoyed seeing the neighborhood kids in their costumes. Mrs. Freeman, another elderly neighbor would make pumpkin bread and serve slices of that at the door. Another neighbor set a big bowl of apples on their front porch!
Can you imagine doing that now?Mom would make popcorn balls or candy apples, then wrap them up in the little wax paper bags that she used for packing my lunches. I made a new Popcorn Ball recipe for the "Ladies of Windcrest" this week. It was simple, with few ingredients and they really enjoyed them. It's a twist on the tried and true Rice Krispie Treats and wasn't too hard to bite like the traditional popcorn balls.

Candy Corn Popcorn Balls
1/4 cup(1/2 stick) butter or margarine
1 pkg. (10-1/2 oz.) JET-PUFFED Miniature Marshmallows
1 pkg. (4-serving size) JELL-O Gelatin, any flavor
12 cups (3 qt.) popped popcorn
1 cup candy corn
MICROWAVE butter and marshmallows in large microwavable bowl on HIGH 1-1/2 to 2 minutes or until marshmallows are puffed. Stir in gelatin until well blended.
POUR marshmallow mixture over combined popcorn and candy corn in large bowl. Mix lightly until well coated.
SHAPE into 16 (2-inch) balls or other shapes with greased or wet hands.

This one sounds good too...

Butterfinger Popcorn Balls
6 cups popped popcorn
3 (2.1-oz. each) NESTLÉ® BUTTERFINGER Candy Bars, chopped
1/4 (1/2 stick) cup butter or margarine
3-1/2 cups miniature marshmallows
Nonstick cooking spray
COMBINE popcorn and chopped Butterfinger in large bowl.
MELT butter in medium saucepan over low heat. Stir in marshmallows. Heat, stirring constantly, until marshmallows are melted and mixture is smooth.POUR over popcorn mixture; quickly toss to coat well. Spray hands with nonstick cooking spray. Form popcorn mixture into six 3-inch balls. Place on wax paper to cool. Store in airtight container.

Printable Recipes

Friday, October 22, 2010

Can I take your order, please?

I have my fingers crossed that GRANDson Jackson will get the job at Subway. It will be his first one, unless you count mowing yards. That was a hard one too in San Antonio Texas...ever try mowing in an OVEN??? He's been filling out applications, going everyplace that might hire a 16 year old. That almost always means fast food or some other minimum wage job.

My first real job was at a flower shop. I was in the DECA-VICA program in high school and they tried to pair you with a job that would develop into a career. I had a wonderful boss who wanted to teach and she shared so much that she had learned though the years. There were two of us who were student employees that year. Lana and I attended school half days and afternoons we worked at the shop. Some of the work was hard, putting away a big order of flowers was time consuming and you ended up with "battle scars" from de-thorning the roses. Water had to be changed daily and cleaning the shop was all part of our duties. We delivered flowers to the nursing homes and hospital daily, Harrison was a small town so deliveries were a piece of cake. My favorite was the wedding work. In the 1960's flower shops also provided wedding consultation. From picking out your china, crystal and silverware to pre-wedding showers to the ceremony, the shop was there to set up and service the event. Can you imagine what that costs now??? I worked there the last three years of high school and really learned a lot. I've used what I learned in my own home and over the years it's been great to see an arrangement I love, then come home and make it!

Every job we have prepares us in some way for life. If you are a waitress, you learn to balance life like plates....

If you work in an office you learn how to muliti-task...

If you are a dish washer you learn the importance of working fast...

...and no matter how young you are, service with a smile means everything!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Little Things

Love this, isn't it the truth? I had Grandparents, Aunts and Uncles who "molded me," I had teachers (Like Mrs. Hayes) who made me realize I could do anything if I put my mind to it and I've had friends who didn't give up on me because I never seem to have time for them.

I don't know about you, but my life is a little crazy. Not "Mommy-worked-all-day-and-now-I-have-to-cook-dinner-and-do-3-loads-of-wash-crazy," but busy enough that I am worn out at the end of the day.

Maybe I should get a day timer and schedule my to do list, to make me realize I HAVE a list. I store my list up here in my head, and if I get to it I get to it. If I don't, and I don't a lot anymore...well then, there's always tomorrow!

On my list this week are two parent's doctors appointments, getting the flowers on the decks and patios into the garage before frost gets them, cleaning the windows inside and out, giving the dog a bath, washing and ironing, cooking, cleaning, going to Ulta...I have to go there, I have a coupon for free lotion! 

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

1947~A Very Good Year!

When we go to Steak and Shake, my mind zips back to 1966. My soon to be SISTER-in-law took pity on me and would invite me to go cruisin' with her. We'd circle through Taylor's and Steak and Shake out on Glenstone, laughing and having a ball! Those were not carefree years, my brother was serving his country in Vietnam and she and I were forging a friendship that would last a lifetime. Something very special happened on this day in 1947... Happy Birthday Terry! Thought it would be fun to go down "Memory Lane" a little and see what was going on that year. She loves trivia so here goes...

1947 Cadillac Convertable
•Americans are able to purchase the first new cars manufactured since the beginning of World War II

•First airplane to break the speed of sound
The first pilot who achieved a supersonic speed in this aircraft was U.S. Air Force Captain Charles "Chuck" Yeager, on October 14th, 1947 'Glamorous Glennis'. The plane was christened by him after his wife.

•The "New Look" of long, full skirts becomes the rage of female fashion

•Inventor Earl Tupper invents Tupperware, and with it the "Tupperware party," a unique way of marketing the products directly to homemakers

•First documented sightings of "flying saucers"

•Drive-in theatres become a booming industry


The Hotties were Ava Gardner, Gene Tierney, Dorothy Dandridge, Rita Hayworth,
Lauren Bacall, Lana Turner, and Betty Grable.

Edward Lowe invented Kitty Litter®

1947's Most Popular Christmas gifts were Steel Pogo Sticks, John Deere Die-Cast Tractor, Lionel Trains Milk Car and Tonka Trucks.

Top Songs of 1947

(This is what was playing on that old Rambler Radio in 1966!)


Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Go Home!

We had a visitor over the weekend that wouldn't leave. She saw the welcome mat and decided that she liked the accommodations and was going to just stay for the winter. Normally I would roll out the red carpet for guests at my house, I want them to feel comfortable and consider our home their home while they are here. If I know they are coming, I bake a cake or a pie and of course have fresh sheets on the bed. But this visitor came unannounced, just slithered right into the garage... yep, that black snake that wanted to stay last spring returned and she had her bags packed to stay the winter. Hubby told her the inn was full though and encouraged her to leave.

I put this mat out, hoping to deter any others who are looking for a vacation home for the winter. That and keeping the garage doors shut are probably good ideas until after a hard freeze!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Tump Over

In the South, we have words...phrases that confuse, bewilder and infuriate English teachers. By the time our children start Kindergarten, they have heard these words countless times and have stored them in their vocabulary. It truly is the first time they have ever considered that the word they have used since they were two is incorrect...

chester drawerschest of drawersChester may keep his drawers in a chest of drawers but this phrase contains three words, all of which must be pronounced.

If they are farm kids, they know what Bob Wire looks like. They just are surprised it's spelled barbed wire! But kids are a sponge and it doesn't take long for them to learn that the liberry/library isn't a berry patch it's a fun place to go and read books!

It's not just kids or Southerners who mispronounce the most common words, adults are guilty too.

If you say one of the following, you probably mispronounce all three! 
excetera/et cetera
But it sounds right the wrong way...  It's February, Febuary is wrong!
This is is really common these days...irregardless should be regardless.

Really Bad English... these are the ones that make the teachers cringe in horror!
idn't for isn't
bidness for business
wadn't for wasn't
aks for ask

Klu Klux Klan should be Ku Klux Klan. Now, there's an L in the other two, why not the first? Well, that is just the way it is.. don't expect this group to be rational!

Lots of people call it mannaise, but don't forget "mayo" is the shortened version of mayonnaise!

A whole nother mess is the word other.

When we go to the drug store we need to ask for a prescription, not a perscription.
You're probly, prolly, probably getting tired of this English lesson right about now,so I'll just end with these words of advice...
If things are not going your way, do not lose your tact (that would be tactless), but take a different tack.

oh, and tump over means to overturn...
"You're about to tump that thing over."
or to fall over... 
"Is that wheelbarrow going to tump over?"

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Home's Warm Glow

Have you ever noticed that warm glow as you pass by homes this time of year? After the time change, even my trip home shortly after 5 o'clock requires headlights. As I leave town and wind my way out Highway 12, the street lights disappear and the countryside is dark. But every home has a few lights on, illuminated for those inside already home, or welcoming those who've yet to arrive. Along the lake the reflections of lights double the pleasure. It's a warm, homey feeling seeing the glow though the windows. Inside families are gathering for dinner. Home is our haven, our nest, our castle. It's that place where we can be ourselves with those we hold most dear, our family.

If you have something in the Crockpot, then dinner is waiting on you. Gourmet cooks out there, cover your ears...I am about to give the recipe for Crockpot Roast. It's delicious and has loads of gravy to put on fluffy mashed potatoes or rice. This is Paula Deen's recipe out of her first cookbook "The Lady and Sons," but if you look in any church cookbook ever published you will find an almost identical recipe. It's just down home good and your family will think it took great skills to turn out such a tender roast. Whoever invented the Crockpot, Thank You from the bottom of my Grandma heart!

Crockpot Roast1 (3-pound) boneless chuck roast
1 1/2 teaspoons House seasoning, recipe follows
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 onion, thinly sliced
3 bay leaves
3 or 4 beef bouillon cubes, crushed
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 (10 3/4-ounce) can condensed cream of mushroom soup
1/2 cup Chardonnay
Sprinkle roast on all sides with house seasoning. Using a skillet over high heat, sear roast until brown in oil. Place roast in a slow cooker, and layer onions, bay leaves, crushed bouillon cubes, garlic, and cream of mushroom soup. Add the Chardonnay and cover with enough water to cover all of the ingredients. Cook on the low setting for 8 hours.

House Seasoning:
1 cup salt
1/4 cup black pepper
1/4 cup garlic powder
Mix ingredients together and store in an airtight container for up to 6 months
Printable Recipe

Friday, October 15, 2010

I hope no one's facing any surgery, but this group of singing anesthesiologist on YouTube cracked me up! Thanks to my sister-in-law Terry for passing this along!
Have a great weekend...

Thursday, October 14, 2010

How to Make a Penny Oink

I used to clip coupons, I used to buy bulk, but now I shop a little differently to save money. We are lucky to have a "company store" where we're able to buy our protein. We are a family of 2, yet when I buy my chicken or beef or pork, it comes in a 20 lb. case. I bring it home, package it up and put it down in the freezer. I have my Mom's buying traits, buy often and buy plenty... just in case there is a famine! For the rest of my list, I shop Sam's Club, Walmart and Aldi. But not in that order. Forty years of shopping and I've learned a few tricks. After all, we had a budget of only $10 a week when we first married 40 years ago!

 Aldi runs ads every week and it will be tucked into your Sunday or Wednesday paper. They always have next week's at the door as you check out, to tempt you to come back!

The first thing you need when entering an Aldi is a quarter. This is my "Aldi Quarter" that I keep in the ash tray of my Santa Fe!

Insert it into the slot and ta-da, the cart is now yours to use for your shopping. This encourages you to take it back to the buggy rack and keeps costs down.

One of the things you will notice first off is how fresh the produce is... 

The prices will shock you, sometimes half what other stores advertise.

They proudly post information about their dairies being free of growth hormones.

Butter, cream, yogurt and cheese...even gourmet cheeses!

 Ask your Aldi manager and he'll share with you that Tyson provides all their meat... beef, pork and chicken, even deli meat!

 Not every canned item that you need for a recipe, but the basics.

 Aldi even has a great selection of organic products now. I read they were the first grocery chain to introduce organic!

 If you keep your eyes peeled and read labels, you'll find some wonderful gourmet foods. Olive oils, balsamic vinegar, coffees and teas from regions of the world that sell for much more at upscale groceries.

Basic cleaning supplies that work every bit as good as name brand and cost so much less.
You'll be saving money around every corner! Now comes the catch, you knew there would be a catch didn't you? When you get to the checkout, you'll see a sign...
Please don't be afraid, you can do it! It doesn't have to be in any order, just pile it on. Well...don't pile cans of tomato juice on top of the eggs or you'll be sorry. But put it up on the belt in an orderly fashion. By now you will notice the bags under the counter provided for you for a paltry sum. Remember, this is all  about cost cutting!

 For $1.99 Aldi sells a gigantic reusable bag that can carry a weeks groceries and I've even used these to move heavy items from my house to my daughter's house!

By now you can see the checker. He will be busy scanning and placing your groceries back in another cart that you will take over to a bagging area. I just take the cart out to my car, and leisurely sack my stash.

I forgot to tell you about their Belguim chocolate. They carry a premium line of milk, dark and 70% cocoa bars that are out of this world! Godiva good. Eat in the car good. Skip dinner good.

 So, if you have an Aldi in your neck of the woods plan a trip as soon as possible. Don't forget your "Aldi Quarter!"

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