Category: outdoors



Sometimes, it is funny how my mind works.
It all started today, when my daughter, Tara Banks, posted this on her blog. I highly recommend that you click the link and read the post.
http://craftytara.wordpress.com/2013/06/25/so-there-i-was/
Reading it brought back a lot of memories. Mother used to make these ‘toad in a holes’ on her big square griddle, and in later years we would whip them out to hungry kids while camping.
Enjoying many a sunrise on the river or at the beach, Hubby and I used a cast iron skillet for the delicious morsels. Sometimes on the trusty Coleman stove and more often over an open fire nest to the coffeepot. Kids waited patiently, or not for their plates to be filled.
The thought of those camping trips reminded me of some books we bought long ago. Dian Thomas produced “Roughing it Easy” and “Roughing it Easy 2”. I went to look and sure enough I do have them! Worn and well used.
That led me to a search on Amazon.com. Both books are still available.
http://www.amazon.com/dp/0962125733
http://www.amazon.com/Roughing-easy-2-Dian-Thomas/dp/0446874302/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1372192710&sr=1-1&keywords=roughing+it+easy+2
If you are a seasoned camper or are thinking about it for the first time, there are many fun and interesting ideas to make your trip more enjoyable.


Arizona, painted desert, grand canyon 062
Visit the Painted Desert in Arizona!

Brett as we start our adventure

Brett as we start our adventure

I have made some amazing discoveries in the past two weeks. A little off the beaten path or the interstate, in Arizona for instance…
Arizona, painted desert, grand canyon 082

Arizona, painted desert, grand canyon 083

Arizona, painted desert, grand canyon 086

Arizona, painted desert, grand canyon 108

Arizona, painted desert, grand canyon 135


blooming lilacs 002a
I have nursed and coddled this lilac bush for several years. Last year, it had one tiny bloom, the first since my father dug it and gave it to me.
It is more than just a bush, it is part of my life. When I see it, blooming or not, I am reminded of some of the wonderful women in my life.
My mother, grandmother, aunts and great-grandmother, who had these flowers before me. Perhaps not the same bushes, but the lilacs, their scent, wraps me in rich memories each year.


Baby bluebirds
>blufbird 016 fledgling 2</a

Plenty of work for Dad to bring home enough groceries

jay in the peach tree 025 Mr. Blue brings food


gooseberries, blueberries blooming 003
Today on our walk, Hubby and I came across a troup of ballerinas, pirouetting just for us.
Clad in gossamer, swaying in the slightest breeze, these delicate ballerinas dance.
I look at them and see not only the beauty in these blooms but the promise of ripe gooseberries to come.
Chubby, tart, basketballs of purple and green.
Sturdy enough not to crush when picked and make a jam or jelly with a distinct tangy flavor.
Two patches endure, and have for 30 odd years, over at the ‘old house place’ where my late mother-in-law first started them.


Over the past few days, we realized that the time has come to get a start on the garden. Realization seems to come with the first sprouts of asparagus breaking through the soil and the discovery of blossoms on the strawberry plants. Growing things signal time to get gardens prepared and planted.

I love the plants and seeds going in and even more the products of all the work.

fielld flowers, stoplight 007asparagus

fielld flowers, stoplight 010 strawberries in bloom

Sunday afternoon, Hubby and I planted tomato and cucumber seed so those plants will get the needed head start.

Yesterday, a trip out to the local Feed & Seed was necessary. Along with the hog feed we came home with packets of seed. Ready for the correct weather and some tilling to be done.

A shower or two of rain last night has knocked the petals off the fruit trees, under the plums, it looks like white snow, the peach trees have a carpet of pink.


Years ago, our family and many others made frequent trips to this little spring to bring home water for household use. Back then, the water came down a moss – covered wooden trough and flowed across the road to the creek.
Often the kids played in the creek while the adults filled the water containers. I remember more than once, hearing my grandmother say, “I wish we could turn it off, so it won’t run out.”

Spout Spring, B Highway, Reynolds County MO

Spout Spring, B Highway, Reynolds County MO


I have no idea when the trough was replaced by pipe, I had not been there in years, but this morning while Hubby and I wandered about, we thought it would be a good plan to stop by for a drink and a look.

red sunrise, spout spring, old places 073
I followed the pipe up under some rocks and found the ‘real’ spring flowing out of the hillside. May-apple umbrella leaves have sprung up around it and some water cress is growing in the tiny pool formed before it runs into the pipe.

We were a lot more conscious and conservative of our water use back then. Each use was considered and each drop accounted for, not like we are today, with a seemingly endless supply at the turn of the tap.

I took an empty water bottle from the truck, filled it and enjoyed a deep satisfying quaff of cold clear water. Ah, the taste, and even more the memories.


I often post photos in a ‘photo a day group’ on Facebook. Each day has a topic, and folks are allowed to interpret it and post their own pictures.
Today’s topic was ‘tiny’ and I posted this picture:
clearwater lake trip 128tiny flowersA
I looked in my “Missouri Wildflower’ book and did not find a ‘match’, so I indicated that in my post about the picture.
This is how things work: A lady in the UK posted that she thought the flower was called ‘speedwell’.
My daughter in California looked it up http://greennature.com/gallery/weeds/weeds-in-lawn.html and sure enough, the flower is speedwell.
I found this very interesting, as long ago ancestors arrived at Plimouth on a ship called the Speedwell.
And that, friends, is ‘how things work’ sometimes…


These pictures were taken of the plum trees, as you can see by the dates about 2 days difference.
kids, stuff 018
Just barely showing the white of the blossoms.
clearwater lake trip 002
Fully bloomed and abuzz with insects.
Now for rain and sun to bring a crop.


In spite of all the fuss, false starts and fury of wind and snow, it appears Spring has arrived on Sunrise Ridge.
How do I know? Well of course, I do not, but the peaches have started to bloom.

peach blossom

peach blossom


Although nothing is planted, the greenhouse is started and work preparing the garden has begun.
A little travel shows that fishermen and women are out, enjoying the warmer days and trying to fill stringers.
Let's go fishing

Let’s go fishing


Yet, I have not heard the gobble of wild turkeys early in the mornings, and I wait in expectation for it.
The sounds of evening include peep frogs and owls, I remain still impatient for the return of the whip-poor-wills, but these fulfilled promises encourage me.
They will come!