Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Dear Mickey, It's Over Between Us...

...and, it's not me, it's you.  You've changed.  You've thrown away your innocence and been led astray by celebrity and wealth.  You've lowered your standards while raising your prices.

I will always remember the way it was in the beginning.  You enchanted me with your talented cast members, your attention to detail, and your unceasing efforts to please me and my family.

Actually, I'm sure I will be back to see you sometime in the near future.  But only because I still have Disney Dream Dollars that need to spent there.  Gotta spend that free money! (Thank you Visa)

But, now, I've found a new love.  After years of telling my Cowboy that we really ought to go to Silver Dollar City while we are in Branson, we finally did it.  And we did it up good.  We got season passes (which cost less than your one day price!) We stayed at Branson Ridge RV Resort (less than 2 miles from SDC!) for two weeks, so we were able to go to the park several times, stay for a while, then go back to the resort and rest or swim or play pool in the recreation room or whatever.

Silver Dollar City reminds me a little of the way Six Flags over Texas started.  It tells a story, in a way.  A story about the way things used to be.  Besides the rides and other attractions, there are crafts people throughout the park, demonstrating things like candy making, blacksmithing, pottery, and glass blowing.  There's a real honest to goodness cave to explore.  And there is entertainment all over the place!

Championship Cloggers

Sons of the Silver Dollar

Beautiful landscaping everywhere we looked!

Me and Tim after we rode the log ride (my favorite!)  I'm soaked, but Tim just got a little damp.  Sorry about the glare behind him.

There's lots of water features, and it's all clear as can be, not colored some weird blue green like most amusement parks.  I assume that's because it's fed by the clear mountain streams in the area.

There are log cabins that are 100 years old.  There's even an old log church where they hold actual church services on Sunday!  The rest of the week they have hymn sing alongs in the church several times a day.  

At the "Saloon" there's a show called Mean Murphey Rides Again...so much talent!  We laughed til it hurt!

At McHaffie's Homestead, another log cabin, the Homestead Pickers play and sing lots of blue grass and gospel songs.

In Heritage Hall, we saw the world famous Harlem Globetrotters!

But our favorite show of all was at the Echo Hollow Ampitheatre.  It's built into the side of the mountain, and it's huge, but we managed to snag a seat on the very front row.  That was important, because we were there to see a very special performer...

  Allen Asbury

It was a wonderful show, and we got to talk to him afterwards.   He performed my favorite Somebody's Praying Me Through, and a bunch of older hymns, and even a bit of rock and roll!  It was great! For those of you who don't know, he married a girl from our hometown, and he has performed at our church twice. 

So, Mickey, you simply no longer measure up.  I will forever hope and pray that you will return to your original shining ideals.  Soon.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017


Today is a travel day, so I don't have anything new to report.  But I promised you a funny story.
So, here goes.

I already posted about going to Little City Baptist Church while we were at Texoma Shores last week.

It's a nice little church.  We've been there before, and we feel very comfortable there.  Friendly people.  Good teaching and preaching.  Probably about the same size as our church at home.

But it seems that they have had a small problem lately.  Many of their members just weren't coming to Sunday School.  They came to church, but I guess 10:00 Bible Study was just too early for them.

And this bothered the preacher.  It must have bothered him a lot.  Because he made a crazy desperate promise.  He promised that if they could get 100 members to attend Sunday School on the first Sunday of June, he would dye his hair purple and orange.  And get a mohawk haircut.

There were 117 in Sunday School that day.

So, this happened.

I blurred his face because I didn't ask his permission to use his picture.

I'm thinking this really goes above and beyond.  Perhaps, even, above and beyond good sense!  Lol!  He did reassure us that the dye was temporary.  But, oh my.  I laughed so hard!  I'm glad we were there for this.  It was just a coincidence.  We had no idea that this was in the works.  So funny.  

We've been to many many different churches since we started traveling in our fifth wheel.  Although they've all been Baptist, they have all been different.  Some are large, some small.  Some are friendly and relaxed.  A few are cold.  Some preachers use a lot of humor.  Some can say so much using few words.  Some sound like boring college professors (sorry, but it's true), some seem determined to scare you into heaven, and some just want to tell you how to live without mentioning the Bible at all.  And some, like our pastor at home, are simply sincere Bible teachers.  They love the Lord and it shows.  They love their wives, their children and their congregation. Their main goal as a pastor is to reach as many as they possibly can for Christ.  This perfectly describes our pastor at home, and we are blessed by him every day.

I enjoy visiting other churches.  I got a big kick out of the preacher at Little City.  But, to my mind, none can compare to our preacher.  We are blessed indeed!

Whatever type of pastor you have, don't forget to pray for him!
He will be better for it, and so will you.

Monday, June 12, 2017

Bartlesville/Pawhuska, Oklahoma

This is a great place for history lovers like me!

This building right here is what we actually came to see.  The Pioneer Woman's Mercantile, in Pawhuska.  You might have seen her cooking show on the Food Network.  I've been reading her blog,  http://thepioneerwoman.com/ for years.  She and her family have been renovating/remodeling this building in Pawhuska for a couple of years.  She has documented every step of the way, posting lots of pictures of their progress, and even asking her readers' opinions on the type of flooring, walls, etc.  It's been fun to watch her progress online, so when I knew we were going to be in Oklahoma anyway, I asked Tim if we could make a slight detour to this area.  (I know that's a lousy picture.  It was just the wrong time of day.  Too much glare from the sun.)

I was so excited about eating breakfast in her restaurant, I got up at 5:30 to get ready, so we could be there by 7:00, when they opened.  Since we are staying in Bartlesville, we had a 30 minute drive through lush, rolling green hills to get to Pawhuska.  We arrived at 7:02.  Can you see the line out the door in the above photo?  (Click on the picture to enlarge)  It was over a block long.  Ummm, no.  Not gonna do that.  Luckily, she has opened a separate bakery upstairs.  I had a cream cheese danish, Tim had an apricot croissant, and we were happy.

Then we went back downstairs and looked around in the store.  We were glad we'd gotten there so early.  All the crowds were in line for breakfast, but the store and the bakery were not crowded at all.

This building was right across the street.  Looks like maybe someone is in the process of renovating it, too.  There are many beautiful buildings in this little old town, but a lot of them need work.

I liked this mural.  There are several huge ranches in the area.

This public statue is called "Osage in the Enemy Camp." 
The warrior is proving his bravery by reaching down to touch his enemy.

This is their city hall.  The bell in the tower was once used to call councilmen to meetings.

After walking around town a bit more, we headed back to Bartlesville.

This is the Caney River.  It runs in front of Riverside RV Park, where we are staying.  Tim took this picture when he was out riding his bike.  Or on the golf course.  I'm not sure.

I know he took this picture at the golf course.  It's a carving of K.B. "Boots" Adams, 
who evidently donated the golf course to the town.  Carved from a dead tree.

Unfortunately, this is the only view of the river from the RV Park.  Too many trees and bushes.

Today, we went exploring in Bartlesville.  This town is a lot more interesting than I knew.  There is a LOT of money here.  This is an oil town, for sure.  Phillips Petroleum is headquartered here, and their logo is on everything from buildings to ambulances to the fire station. 

But before the oil boom, and before the white man, Native Americans inhabited the area.  Many came to be here because they were run out of their original territories.  Some came on The Trail of Tears.  Some of the local tribes were the Delaware, the Cherokee and the Osage. 

The Osage Mineral Estate is owned by the Osage tribe and held in trust by the Federal government.  All lease royalties were paid to the tribe, and allotted equally to each member.  Sadly, the Osage oil boom brought with it many criminals and scam artists.  Some Osage people were cheated by their court appointed financial managers.  Some were even killed for their wealth.  A series of Osage murders, many unsolved, made national news in the 1920's.  

Okay, on to happier subjects.  We toured the Bartlesville History Museum this morning.  We learned a lot, but most of the exhibits were behind glass, so I couldn't get many photos.  Too much glare.  This room was an exception.  It represents the first school in town, the Nelson Carr one room school.  Nelson Carr was the first permanent white settler in the area.  
Hmmm...wonder if there's any relation to the Oklahoma Carrs that I know?

And this is the Price Building.   Designed by Frank Loyd Wright, and completed in 1955.  Enlarge this one and look closely.  The iron work is gorgeous.  I read that FLW had always wanted to see one of his skyscraper designs actually built.  He finally accomplished his dream with this one.  
The only Frank Loyd Wright skyscraper ever built.

And.  Did you know that little old Bartlesville, Oklahoma was the site of the first cable television station?  Neither did I!  Not that I really care.  And you probably don't either.  But it was.

AND.  The very first Boy Scouts of America troop was formed in Bartlesville in 1911.  

There is so much more to see and do here.  I've already told Tim that I want to come back someday.

One last thing.  There are buffaloes all over this town.  Not regular buffaloes, either.  

Painted buffaloes!
Evidently, this was a girl scout project a few years ago, to raise money for charity.  Now almost every business has their own buffalo, painted to suit their preference.

Tomorrow we are on the road again.  This time to Branson.  I have a funny story about something we saw back at Texoma that I will share with you tomorrow.  Or the next day.  Or sometime.

I know my friends and family back home pray us through these trips.  Sometimes, not often, but sometimes,  I get nervous, being on the road so much.  But I try to always remember this:

"In peace I will both lie down and sleep; for You alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety."  That's from Psalms, chapter 4 verse 8.  And I believe with all my heart that the Lord our God is our only real protection in this beautiful dangerous thrilling world.  I hope you understand that, too.

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Queen of the Outlaws

"I am a friend to any brave and gallant outlaw."
Belle Starr

Belle Starr, tagged "The Queen of the Outlaws" or "Bandit Queen" by the tabloids and dime novels of her day was brought up in a well-to-do, genteel family in Missouri, where she and her brother first met the James boys and the Younger brothers.  She adored her brother, Bud, and trailed after him and his friends, learning to ride (sidesaddle) and shoot as well as any of them.  This was quite unusual for a young lady who went to finishing school, made good grades, and spoke several languages.  Although she looks kind of  rough in most of pictures I've seen of her, she was said to have been a charming and lovely young lady.

I found this photo of the young Belle on the internet.

We've been at Belle Starr Corps of Engineers Park on Lake Eufaula for the past few days.  Tim played golf on Tuesday and today, but yesterday we went to find Belle's old home place, which she called Younger's Bend, on the other side of the lake.  Of course, there wasn't a lake back then, but the Colorado River ran very close to her cabin.

  The cabin is actually long gone, (although there is some interest in rebuilding it, I've heard), and her grave, which was in front of the cabin had also been vandalized over the years.  But the new owners repaired the grave and graciously opened the site up to visitors.

We parked the pickup just off the main road, and hiked about a 1000 feet to the old homeplace/
gravesite.  I was hoping to see at least the foundation of the old cabin, but all we could see was the grave and headstone.  But it was a nice day for a short walk through a lovely wooded area, so I still feel it was worth the hike.

I'm glad we went.  And doing some research on Belle beforehand made it that much more interesting.  If you'd like to learn more, you can find books about her, or you can do like I did, and search the internet.  There's lots of information there, although it's kind of difficult to sort out what's true and what's legend.

The stone has a picture of a bell, a horse and a star.  It was ordered and paid for by her daughter, who also wrote the epitaph at the bottom:

Shed not for her the bitter tear
Nor give the heart to vain regret
'Tis but the casket that lies here
The gem that filled it sparkles yet.

The folks around here seem to be mighty proud of their legendary outlaw queen.  We ate dinner today at the Belle Starr Grill.  There's a Belle Starr Rd, Belle Starr Flea Market, Belle Starr Marina, Belle Starr Inn, and Belle's West Ladies Boutique, to name a few.

We will leave here tomorrow and go on to Bartlesville.  But before we go, I had to get a photo of the beautiful view right outside our door.

Lake Eufaula, Oklahoma
Belle Starr CoE

One last quote from Miss Belle:

"I regard myself as a woman who has seen much of life."

Her real name, by the way, was Myra Maybelle Shirley Reed Starr.  Her family called her Myra or May, but when she started on her outlaw life, she started calling herself Belle.  Perhaps to remind herself that, no matter how dark and unlawful her life had become, inside, she was still the Southern Belle she was raised to be.

Monday, June 5, 2017

Of Mice and Men and Roadtrips

I really didn't get a lot out of Literature in high school.  We studied Edgar Allen Poe (dark and dreary, indeed) and some Shakespeare (I wouldn't appreciate him until years later), and we read Of Mice and Men.  Yuck.

But as much as I hated that depressing book, the origin of the title has stuck with me, and I think about it every time we plan a trip.  It comes from a poem called "To a Mouse", written by Robert Burns in 1786.  The original line, written in the old Scots/English language, goes, "the best laid schemes o' mice and men gang aft agley"  or, in modern English, "the best laid plans of mice and men often go awry".

Ain't that the truth?!  We've had trips interrupted by illness, by mechanical problems, by floods, by an emergency back home and, last year, by a hurricane.  Most of the time we simply decide on new destinations, make a new plan, and keep on going.  A few times we've limped home with a sick RV.  Once we rushed home to attend a funeral, once, a birth.

There have also been happy interruptions.  We decide we'd rather go to a place we just learned about instead of our original destination.  Surprises can be fun.

Anyway, I said all that just to say this.  I'm going to go ahead and post here our plans for this trip.  They are certainly not written in stone, and are subject to change at any time, but for anyone who cares, here they are.

Our first stop was at Texoma Lake, on the Oklahoma side.  You already know we went to Hugo while we were there.

We are now at Belle Starr Corps of Engineers Park on Lake Eufaula.  Tim is planning to play golf tomorrow and Thursday.  Wednesday we plan to go to Robbers' Cave State Park and see Belle Starr's cabin.  We will probably also look for her gravesite.  When we were little, my cousins and I played a lot Cowboys and Robbers.  The boys were the cowboys, and my cousin Linda and I were Belle Starr.  She was Belle, I was Starr.  I don't know why we both wanted to be Belle Starr, and not Annie Oakley or Calamity Jane.  I guess Belle Starr just sounded so glamorous.

When we leave here, we will go to Bartlesville and Pawhuska to see The Mercantile, Ree Drummond's store, bakery and deli.  Ree Drummond is also called "The Pioneer Woman."  She has a cooking show and writes a blog.  And now she's opened this place in an old building in Pawhuska that she and her family have renovated.  I've been wanting to go ever since it opened.

After that, it's on to Branson, Missouri.  Kansas City for our family reunion.  Amana, Iowa.  Madison, Wisconsin.  Perhaps Marinette, Wisconsin, or maybe some other place nearby.  Around the upper peninsula of Michigan to St. Ignace, Michigan and Mackinac Island.  Holland Michigan.

Then Elkhart, Indiana to see the RV History Museum.  Shipshewanna, Indiana.  New Paris, Ohio/Richmond, Indiana.  Williamstown, Kentucky to see the Ark Encounter.  Memphis, Tennessee.
Hot Springs, Arkansas.  Millwood Lake, Arkansas.  Then we will head home, with maybe one more stop.

So that's the plan.  For now.  If you have any suggestions about RV Parks, scenic drives, or places to see, let us know.

I hate to leave you without any pictures at all, so here's one that Tim took the other day.  Because he knows I love pictures of old barns.

Isn't it lovely?  When I was a kid, Daddy would often take us on drives through the country, going to visit our grandparents, or just riding around on an easy Sunday afternoon.  Sometimes we'd take a picnic lunch.  And every time Mama would see a rickety old house, she'd exclaim, "There it is...my dream house!"  And we would all laugh as if that was the first time we'd heard it.  It never got old.
It's funny, the things you remember isn't it?

Here's my final thought for tonight.  It's from Proverbs.  Chapter 16 Verse 9:

"The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps."

Be sure to include the Lord in all of your plans!

Good night!

Sunday, June 4, 2017

Last Full Day at Texoma Shores RV Resort

Tomorrow we will be leaving here and driving to Belle Starr Corps of Engineers Park on Lake Eufaula.  Today was a good day. First there was church.

We worshipped this morning at Little City Baptist Church.  
We've been there before when we've stayed here.

This is where we stay, right on the shore of Lake Texoma.  Everything is so pretty and green right now, and the lake is pretty clear.  If only it hadn't rained most of the weekend, it would be perfect.

The rest of the day was spent at our campsite, eating, reading and napping.  
Tim didn't even go fishing.  Sometimes we just need to hang out and play with Charlie Chihuahua.

And, this is the cemetery we went to yesterday in Hugo.  It's Mount Olivet Cemetery, but one huge section is called Showmen's Rest.  It's where the circus people are buried.

Here's a few of the headstones we found:
(Don't forget, you can click on the photo to make it larger)

See the tigers at the top?

There were several Millers here.  
Guess this circus got the whole family involved.

They must have been big cat trainers.

 A circus wagon wheel?


 This one says "CONCESSIONS" 
"Circus, Fairs, Carnivals, Rodeos, Ice Shows, Street Corners" 
 "We have had the good life but the season ended"







(The lovely bareback riders in their beautiful costumes were always my favorites at the circus.  
What was your favorite?)

Click to enlarge - It's a sweet poem.

 "We actually live the life that most people only dream of"

Evidently, Herbert Weber became "The Great Huberto" under the big top.  
And when performing with his wife, they were "LOS LATINOS"


 This one is so shiny.  I didn't notice that you can see my reflection in it until we had left the cemetery, and I was scrolling through the pictures!  Oops.

There was more information engraved on the top of this unusual bench headstone, 
but my picture was too blurred to read.

This was in the Circus section.  It's pretty, but kind of plain.
But look at the backside.
Well.  I've never been to California.  But I am very sure that Heaven is a much better place.  
I sincerely hope that she is there.  
(Am I weird because my first reaction to this was to laugh out loud?)

 There were also a lot of rodeo performers, ranchers and cowboys buried in other parts of the cemetery.

I don't keep up with rodeos much, despite being married to a man who used to ride bulls.  But I remember when World Champion Bull Rider Lane Frost was killed.  He was only 26 years old.

Click on the photo to enlarge and read the rest

But that's not all, folks!  Showmen and Cowboys weren't the only ones with cool headstones.  Here are some more interesting ones that I found:

A truck driver
"God Called Home His Ramblin' Man"

A railroad man

Even a golfer

There was one that I couldn't get close enough to for a good picture, but I really liked it.  It was a picture of a sewing machine, with the epitaph MOM WAS "SEW" SPECIAL.  Sweet remembrance.

Okay, enough of cemeteries for a day or two, anyway.

Good night, dear friends.  God bless.