Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Leaf Carving

How more info, click here!

Friday, September 24, 2010

Hot Springs

About an hour and a half east of Mena is the town of Hot Springs, Arkansas. 

This area of the Ouachita Mountains is known for its thermal springs. About a million gallons of 143-degree water flow from the springs each day. The rate of flow is not affected by fluctuations in the rainfall in the area. Studies have determined through carbon dating that the water that reaches the surface fell as rainfall in an as-yet undetermined watershed 4,000 years earlier. The water percolates very slowly down through the earth’s surface until it reaches superheated areas deep in the crust and then rushes rapidly to the surface to emerge from the 47 hot springs in the area. 

The town of Hot Springs wasn't settled until 1807 even though Native Americans had been enjoying the healing properties of the springs for years. In 1832, the Hot Springs Reservation was created by the US Congress, granting federal protection of the thermal waters. The Reservation was renamed Hot Springs National Park in 1921. It is America's oldest Federally protected area.

Bath House Row

The Civil War left the town of Hot Springs nearly destroyed but with the rebuilding came growth. Bath houses (or spas), utilizing the thermal waters, were built along Central Avenue. This section of street would later be known as Bath House Row. Many of these Bath Houses were lavish with brocade, stained glass, and rooftop conservatories.

People would ride a train into Hot Springs to stay at one of the luxury hotels and soak in the healing waters. And because of these therapeutic properties, the early 1900's saw several Major League Baseball teams make their training camps in Hot Springs. 

The years following the Civil War brought many unsavory characters to Hot Springs. And gambling became firmly established. Political graft was rife. Hot Springs became a gambling mecca and many a gangster could be seen on the streets of Hot Springs. Al Capone's favorite spot was the Arlington Hotel. 

Arlington Hotel

Legal gambling came to a halt in 1948 but illegal casinos continued to operate until 1967 when a company of Arkansas State Troopers were sent to the town to close all casinos and destroy all gambling equipment. 
Oaklawn Park, a thoroughbred horse racing track south of downtown, is the only remaining gambling establishment.

Today, Hot Springs is still a mecca for those seeking the area's natural Beauty as well as the healing waters.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

The Winners are....

May this Autumn 
Equinox bless you
 with a warm hearth, a full
 pantry, and a
 host of friends.

I would like to say THANK YOU to everyone who stopped by my blog & entered the giveaway.  ♥

And now the Winners are....

Stephanie of Walks By Night
The Little Pumpkin Girl
Halloween Candy Container
Pumpkin Photo/Namecard Holders

Please send me an email with your snail mail addy so I might get your goodies out in the mail to you!

And now for the answer to that burning question....

WHAT  is that cane made from?

Made from the Reproductive Organ of a Buffalo

I used the word "WOOD" quite loosely in the comment I left. 

Monday, September 20, 2010

New eBay Listings

Don't miss out on the wonderfully wicked Halloween decorations I currently have listed on eBay.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Leaf Painting

Remember to enlarge a picture, click on it!

Saturday, September 18, 2010


I know. I know. It took me long enough to post the
that I promised.
But it is oh, so worth the wait! 

Because I am giving away not one!

Not two!

But  three  of my original creations. 

Someone will receive this Lovely Little Pumpkin Girl.

Or maybe you'll win a Halloween Candy Container

Or possibly a set of two of my Pumpkin Photo/Namecard Holders.

Here's how you can get your name entered into the cauldron !

1.  Leave a comment on THIS post. The comment has to be on my blogspot blog!
Not the one on Facebook or Creating The Hive or Blog Frog.
And please tell me which prize you would like. I will do my best to accommodate you. But no guarantees.

And for two additional chances to get your name in the cauldron ~

1.  Post about my giveaway on your blog. (please leave me a comment that you have done so)

2.  Send me an email with the correct answer to the following question...
What is the cane in the pictures below made from?
(click on the pictures to enlarge)

email addy ~

The winners will be posted on September 23 about 9am CST, the day of the Autumnal Equinox.


**Sorry, this giveaway limited to US residents only.**

Friday, September 17, 2010

Ace of Clubs House

Located 100 miles to the south of Mena is the city of Texarkana. Texarkana straddles the Arkansas/Texas stateline. In fact there is a road named State Line Avenue and it follows approx. 11 miles of the actual Arkansas/Texas state line. 
Our story today is about a location in Texarkana, Texas ~ the Ace of Clubs House.

According to local legend, money to build the Ace of Clubs House came from the winnings of a poker game won with the draw of the ace of clubs.  Local lumberman, entrepreneur and Confederate Veteran, James H. Draughon, built the home in 1885 in a trefoil design resembling the shape of the ace of clubs playing card.

In 1887 Mr. Draughon sold the home to William Whitaker, another prominent local businessman.  Mr. Whitaker sold the home in 1894 to Henry Moore, Sr., a local attorney and planter.  For ninety-one years, three generations of the Moore family occupied the home.

In 1985 Olivia Smith Moore , the last occupant of the house, deeded it to the Texarkana Museums System.

This unique Italianate Victorian style structure features a floor plan said to be inspired by James Draughon's lucky card.  One rectangular and three octagonal rooms are arranged around a central octagon, which serves as the rotunda of the home.  In the early 1900s, the Moore family added bath and kitchen wings.  The Moore family also replaced the original iron galleries with a Spanish Revival porch by 1920.

 Restoration of the house, which began in 1987, included returning the interior to the 1901 Edwardian appearance featuring gilt-trimmed ebonized woodwork and re-creations of original wall coverings where possible.  Exterior colors were matched as closely as possible to the 1900 vintage colors.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

It's Trick or Treat Time!

Craving some Halloween Treats?
Finding it hard to wait till October 31st to go trick-or-treating?
Then take a stroll down Trick or Treat Street with three Fantabulous Bloggers!
Visit their Blogs for a fun-filled time, a wonderful feast for the eyes!
{And they're all having a giveaway!}
Just click on each blogger below to travel to their blogland home.

Earthy & Fresh Blogs

For a GOLDEN view of Life in Virginia, visit

If you're into Dirt, Retro anything, & Raising Chickens, you'll like to visit

If you're longing for a visit back home where Life isn't rushed, stop by

For a taste of Life in the North Country (& some incredible photography!) head over to

And finally, if you dare, step through the creaky Garden Gate into

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

An Award and a Thank You!

I recently received a blog award from a most wonderful gal over at I Hope They Have Pudding.  
THANK YOU !!!!  You make me blush!
If you haven't had a chance to visit with her, you're missing out on a treat! She always has the most luscious items to eat  over at her place and she even shares the receipts (recipes)! 

I must now share seven things about myself! 
Hhhmm...this may be hard, I'm not sure I have any tidbits left that I haven't already shared......
So forgive me if I have mention something already.

1. I have a fern fetish! I love ferns of all shapes and sizes and varieties.

2. I hate washing dishes by hand. I will spend two hours organizing the dishwasher so all the dirty dishes will fit, rather than spend 15 min. washing them in the sink.

3. I have an aversion to having my picture taken.

4. I love to decorate with the color red but can't stand wearing the color!

5. I am a hoarder of books.

6. I am also a hoarder of Pumpkins.

7. I know there is something large and furry living under my bed ('s just a dust bunny!)

And now I leave this award for YOU! 
Just leave me a comment so that we might all come for a visit!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Leaf Cutouts

An insect makes exquisite cutouts in a leaf.” – Mitsuru Koga
(Click on photo for a closer look - these are just incredible!)

For more info about Mitsuru Koga, click here.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

On this Anniversary....

Mena, Arkansas (where I live) recently recieved a very special gift. Almost 300 volunteers from across the U.S. gave of themselves to assist Mena in the continued recovery from last year's deadly tornado. The volunteers were with an organization called 'New York Says Thank You'. Each year on the 9/11 anniversary, this generous organization sends hundreds of volunteers from New York along with other disaster survivors to help rebuild disaster ravaged communities around the United States.  It is a way of saying "Thank You" for all the love and support that Americans extended to New Yorkers in the days, weeks and months following the September 11th attacks. 

volunteers working on 4H Office Building

And in addition to the volunteers who worked on at least 4 different build sites, Mena was host to the National 9/11 Flag. This 30 ft. Flag was destroyed when the twin towers of the World Trade Center collapsed. It was soon discovered and hung tattered and shredded at a site across from Ground Zero. This flag is now being stitched back together with flags that have survived disasters in other areas. Mena contributed the Polk County Courthouse flag which sustained a direct hit from last year's tornado.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Ft. Smith and The Hanging Judge

A couple weeks back, I mentioned driving to our nearest (80 miles away!) "Big City" to do some school shopping. Yes, we live in a very rural area!

Fort Smith is located on the stateline between Arkansas and Oklahoma, at the confluence of the Poteau River and the Arkansas River between the Ouachita Mountains and the Ozark Mountains.

The city began as a U.S. Army outpost in 1817, its sole purpose being to "keep the peace" amongst the Native Americans who were being relocated to Indian Territory. Confederate troops occupied Fort Smith during the early years of the Civil War. But in 1863, Union troops took control of the fort and remained there until 1871, at which time the military left for the last time.

Fort Commissary 

But even though the troops were gone, Fort Smith continued to grow. A variety of people were settling in the area; Southern Unionists, Run-away Slaves, Orphans, Native Americans forced from their homelands, victims of the fierce guerrilla warfare that was taking place in many mid-western states. And Fort Smith had more than its share of saloons, gambling halls, and brothels (we will visit the red-light district of Fort Smith in November during ANCESTOR MONTH - might prove to be a bit 'colorful' ).

This was a tough and rugged locale as Fort Smith was located at the edge of  The Indian Territory (later to become Oklahoma). Many an outlaw, wanting to escape apprehension by the law, would flee across the Arkansas River to hide in Indian Territory. Law enforcement soon became a priority.

Judge Parker's Court

Judge Isaac Parker was appointed U.S. District Judge in 1875. He was nicknamed the "Hanging Judge" because in his first term after assuming his post he tried eighteen people for murder, convicted fifteen of them, sentenced eight of those to die, and hanged six of them on one day. Over the course of his career in Fort Smith, Parker sentenced 160 people to hang, of those 79 actually were executed on the gallows. Judge Parker and his court were the only real law that area saw for quite some time. Judge parker served until 1896.


Today Judge Parker's courtroom and a reconstructed gallows sit on a National Historic Site along the Arkansas River. It is said that on some moonlit nights the screams of those who were condemned can still be heard in the gallows area........

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Fun and Wacky Blog Haunts

For a refreshing and 'in the moment' view of Life, visit ~

For a fun filled SLIDE, visit

If you want Laughs and some Armchair Traveling, visit

For a most Enjoyable Time & some unique receipts (recipes), visit,

If Frank, Wolfie & Drac were to read blogs, this would be their first stop!

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Roses From Maple Leaves

At first glance this gorgeous bouquet could be dried roses. But would you believe they are made from Maple Leaves? 

For a complete How-to, click here!

Friday, September 3, 2010

The Ouachita Mountains

I am fortunate to live in a very scenic and unique area of Arkansas, the Ouachita Mountains.
The Ouachita Mountains are a mountain range which extends from central Arkansas to southeastern Oklahoma. The Ouachita Mountains are the only mountain range in the United States which run east to west instead of north to south.

The name Ouachita was probably derived from the Choctaw words owa (hunt) and chito (big). The Choctaws would speak to the French explorers of their Owa Chito (Big Hunt) far away from their home territory of what is now Mississippi and Alabama. The Choctaws would cross the Mississippi River and hunt buffalo in the region of the Red River and later further north toward the Ouachita Mountains.

The Ouachita Mountains are fold mountains, just like the Appalachian Mountains. Where oceanic crust meets less dense continental crust, the oceanic crust is forced under the continental crust. The continental crust is buckled by the impact, and fold mountains are the result. Geologists from all over the world come to the Ouachitas to see the strange and curious rock formations.
At one time the Ouachita Mountains were very similar in height to the Rocky Mountains. But millions of years of wind and water have eroded them leaving only the heart of the mountain exposed.

The Ouachita Mountains are also noted for the quartz crystals deposits. The Mount Ida region has numerous crystal mines, many of which are open to the public. 
The eastern portion of the Ouachita Mountains is also home to many novaculite mines. Novaculite or Arkansas whetstone is the rarest and finest abrasive stone in existence. Natural springs can also be found throughout the eastern part of the mountain range. With the majority of the hot springs located around the city of Hot Springs.

The Ouachita National Forest , established in 1907 and covering 1,784,457 acres, covers most of the Ouachita Mountains. It is the oldest National Forest in the southeastern United States. The Forest contains numerous hiking, biking, and horse backing riding trails with the most extensive being the Ouachita National Recreation Trail - 223 miles long. The Talimena Scenic Byway extends from Talihina, Oklahoma to Mena, Arkansas and travels the majority of the route along the mountain ridges and provides many breathtaking views.

If you enjoy outdoor adventure, then I encourage you to vacation in Arkansas, The Natural State.