A Day In The Life

The Taverns
December 21, 2008, 10:34 pm
Filed under: Life in the South, Nature, Seasons, Travel

These are some interior shots from Historic Washington State Park taken on December 6, 2008, at the 22nd Annual Christmas and Candlelight.


The taverns are the most rustic interiors on the tour. The Morrison Tavern Inn and Kitchen is a reconstruction of the original building.


A bowl of dried hydrangea blossoms and greenery on the kitchen table.


A table and bench in the tavern room.  Smilax, pine cones and a red ribbon add a festive touch.


A lovely Willow ware collection on display in the kitchen.


The Williams Tavern Restaurant serves a lunch and dinner buffet under chandeliers hung with cedar, pine cones and red ribbons.


Pine, cedar and magnolia leaves are used extensively in the holiday decor along with dried sumac and holly.


Christmas and Candlelight
December 17, 2008, 9:51 pm
Filed under: Life in the South, Seasons, Travel

Each year on the first Saturday in December I travel to Historic Washington State Park for Christmas and Candlelight.  Old Washington served as the Capitol of the Confederate Government of Arkansas for a brief period and is located between Nashville and Hope in southern Arkansas.


Every sidewalk, driveway and street is lined with luminaires. The Methodist Church was built in 1861.


A hand-made wreath adorns almost every window in every building, over three hundred wreathes in all.


The court house, built in 1874, serves as the visitor center.



The Crouch House (1856)


Smilax decorates every picket fence.


Choirs and instrumentalists perform in the churches and outside the Williams Tavern Restaurant.


At dusk, hordes of Boy Scouts and Cub Scouts light the tiny candles in every luminaire.


And the magic of Christmas illuminates the hearts of those fortunate enough to visit Historic Washington.

A Fishing Tale
July 6, 2008, 12:54 am
Filed under: Fun Monday, Life in the South, My Life, Nature, Travel

This is my kind of Fun Monday. Olive wants us to share fishing tales. She doesn’t care if they are total fabrications or true stories. We just have to write about fish.  My story happens to be true.

I very rarely eat fish.  I just don’t like the taste.  Give me shrimp, lobster, scallops, crab, oysters… I’ll eat them all, but fish I don’t like.  However, I love to go fishing.  I grew up fishing in Grandpa’s pond and fishing in the creek behind my parents’ house.  In my twenties, I lived on the coast of Virginia and Maryland and never once went fishing in the ocean even though it was something I’d always wanted to do. 

In June of 2000, I had the pleasure of vacationing in the lovely southern city of Charleston, South Carolina.  I traveled to Charleston with a male friend that I’ll call Jerk because that is what the man turned out to be. 

Charleston is a beautiful city full of southern charm and friendly people. I highly recommend it as a vacation destination. There are a multitude of plantations and gardens to tour and many historical sights to visit. Jerk and I planned the bulk of our vacation via the Net. We went armed with a list of restaurants to try and I must say the food was superb everywhere we ate. We also booked an entire day of fishing in the coastal waters with a guide service. While sitting at my computer in Arkansas, we made our fishing plans. I tried so hard to persuade Jerk to request a private fishing excursion, but he felt we should save the little bit of extra money it would cost to have the boat to ourselves. Big mistake.

The fishing trip was booked for the fourth day of the seven we spent in Charleston. It was the first cloudy day of the vacation.  We arrived at the dock nice and early, met our guide and sat on the boat waiting for the other people who would be fishing with us to show up. Our guide hustled around organizing the fishing gear. The minutes ticked by. Finally, the guide told us if the other folks didn’t show up in the next five minutes we would leave without them. Alas, the Whiners arrived and we set off almost 15 minutes late. But, hey, why should a schedule matter when you’re going fishing, right?

Now, I honestly don’t remember the name of the family who joined us on the boat.  It was a husband, wife and two kids.  I call them the Whiners because that is about all the wife and kids did all day.  I think the husband was the only one who really wanted to fish, but he couldn’t leave his family behind so we all had to put up with the whining.  The poles were too heavy, there wasn’t a bathroom on the boat, it was too hot, the bait was too icky and when it began to rain, it was too wet.  Thank goodness, Jerk and I knew what we were doing because our poor guide had no time for us.  The Whiners couldn’t bait their own hooks, cast their lines, reel in their lines or do much of anything EXCEPT WHINE.  The husband tried to help out for awhile then he just gave up and tended to his own fishing.  Luckily, I was having the time of my life because I was the only person who was catching any fish. 

I caught ten baby sharks and one fish that our guide said was a white fish. (It looked like a pale bass to me.) I was THE ONLY PERSON who caught fish the entire day. It was awesome!

A couple of notes before I conclude my fishing tale:  1. My relationship with the Jerk ended so  badly (two years later) that I destroyed all my Charleston vacation pictures.  It was a childish thing to do, but it felt right at the time.  The baby sharks I caught looked exactly like the one the man is holding in the picture above.  Some were bigger and some were smaller.  2. I released all the fish that I caught.  3. It rained off and on until the early afternoon.  At one point it rained so hard the guide took us to a public dock on an island where we sat under a large gazebo for 30-45 minutes. 

We made it back to our original starting point around 5:30 P.M.  As soon as we got in our vehicle, Jerk and I began laughing about the Whiners.  I’m telling you.  We heard some of the goofiest complaints ever!  Both of us had been thinking about the Whiner’s skits on Saturday Night Live all day.  We returned to our hotel to clean up and rest an hour or so before eating a scrumptious meal and embarking on a night tour of The Battery .  It was a perfect day.  Neither the rain nor the Whiners managed to dampen my spirit or ruin my first time to fish in the ocean!

State Capitol
December 18, 2007, 11:31 am
Filed under: School Buzz, Seasons, Travel

Last Friday I took my fifth grade choir to sing at the State Capitol in Little Rock. Aren’t they a good looking group of singers?!!


The Arkansas State Capitol is a smaller version of our nation’s Capitol. Both buildings are magnificent structures.


Isn’t this a beautiful shot looking down from the rotunda? The kids sang from the opposite side.


Each county in Arkansas has a Christmas ornament on the tree.  I love the ‘Joy’ banners.  One of them would cover the entire roof of my house. 


The Arkansas State Capitol is especially beautiful during the holiday season, don’t you think?  I love taking my fifth grade choir over to sing every year.  The atmosphere is so festive and it is the only opportunity that some of my students will ever have to see our State Capitol. 


The View
November 26, 2007, 10:23 pm
Filed under: My Life, Travel

Random scenes from my life….places I’ve lived….places I’ve visited…..things I’ve seen……..


The Cotton Bowl from the parking lot, Dallas, Texas, July 2000



Giraffes from the sidewalk, Little Rock Zoo, Little Rock, Arkansas, June 2000



The Grand Tetons from the side of the highway, near Yellowstone, Wyoming, June 1998


From the 86th floor observation deck, Empire State Building, New York City, November 1972


From the sidewalk, Chinatown, Chicago, Illinois, July 1974

Horn of the Moon Cookbook
October 18, 2007, 6:32 pm
Filed under: Food, Travel

Although I am not a vegetarian, one of my favorite and most used cookbooks is “The Horn of the Moon Cookbook” written by Ginny Callan.  The book is full of the delicious offerings Callan served at her Horn of the Moon Cafe in Montpelier, Vermont.  I always meant to eat at the Horn of the Moon when vacationing in Vermont, but I never did.  Callan sold the Horn of the Moon Cafe  in 1990, however she is still writing cookbooks.

I don’t know about you, but I can make a meal out of a potato.  I am constantly experimenting with new toppings for baked potatoes.  I also try many different ingredients for potato casseroles, mashed potatoes and stuffed potatoes.  However, one of my very favorite recipes for baked stuffed potatoes is not an original.   It is found on page 176 in the “Horn of the Moon Cookbook”. 

Baked Stuffed Potatoes

4 medium to large baking potatoes
1 cup chopped broccoli, stems and florets
3 tablespoons butter
1 cup sliced and slightly chopped mushrooms
6 scallions, chopped
1 cup sour cream
1 1/2 cups grated sharp cheddar cheese
1/4 cup minced fresh parsley
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Bake potatoes on cookie sheet until tender when pierced with a fork (approximately 1 to 1 1/4 hours).

In a 10-inch fry pan saute’ the broccoli in 1 tablespoon butter over medium heat. When it just begins to get tender, add mushrooms and saute’ until lightly done. Drain if needed.

Cut the top off each potato so that the insides can easily be scooped out, cutting off just the skin layer. While holding potato with pot holder, carefully scoop out insides and put into medium-sized bowl. Mash with remaining 2 tablespoons butter. Lower oven temperature to 400 degrees. Add scallions, sauteed vegetables, sour cream, cheese, parsley, salt, and pepper to mashed potatoes and mix well. Fill potato shells with this mixture. Sprinkle top of each potato with paprika. Yes, they will be overflowing with filling and delicious. Bake 15 minutes more and serve.

This is just one of many yummy and easy-to-prepare recipes from the “Horn of the Moon Cookbook”.  The book contains an array of recipes including breakfast dishes, soups, salads, simple meals, main courses, and desserts.  There are some really good vegetarian Mexican recipes and some excellent crepes.  The Avocado Cheese Crepes are yummy!  The desserts section includes pies, cakes, brownies, strudels, crisps and cookies. 

The View
October 17, 2007, 10:58 am
Filed under: My Life, Travel

Random scenes from my life…..places I’ve lived…..places I’ve visited…..things I’ve seen……

Fayetteville, Arkansas, from Mt. Sequoyah in October 1981


I was one of those students who couldn’t decide where to go to college. First it was to Louisiana, then Colorado, but I ended up at the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville.  I finished my degree there in 1983. 

Stained glass window, November 1980


The only thing written on the back of this photo is ‘stained glass window’. Duh….I can see that, but where is the window located?!!! I visited the National Cathedral in Washington D.C. and the Cathedral of St. John the Divine in New York City on my trip so the window is in one of those architectural wonders.


The Lincoln Memorial, Washington D.C., November 1980


I always liked the lighting in this shot and the fact that I could actually read the inscription from the photograph. 


Wildflowers along the shore of Lake Champlain, New York, October 1988


It was very cold and windy on the day I took this picture.  My parents and I were on a New England vacation together.