Wednesday, October 30, 2019

We had company!

I have been trying to get this Hawaiian blacksmith to our place for a couple of years. He's really not Hawaiian, but his choice of shirts indicate that he is!

I had changed the sheets in the guest room before we went to Oklahoma, hoping he'd stop on his way to the conference,  but it didn't work out. 

We had only been home from Oklahoma 1 day and look who showed up! He not only showed up but he brought his parents.

The Yoders came from Tennessee. They were traveling several states visiting family and friends. Glad we are included in that group.

It was funny after Mark took this picture, in typical mother fashion, his Mom said, "son they will know there's no fabric under that needle"!

It was so much fun pulling out a few quilts to show to a fellow quilter!

Mark's phone takes the coolest pictures. It's a Samsung Galaxy 10, with 3 cameras. 

This is my adoption picture, I hope they take me! Mr. Yoder was a preacher and played a couple of church songs on his harmonica. I wished they could have stayed for the lemon pound cake I had made, but they had places to go, and people to see.

We sure enjoyed their visit!

One last picture . . . Mark took of the blacksmith shop, such a neat view!

Friday, October 25, 2019

A quick trip to Branson

We slept in Monday morning to a little after 8.  It was then time to re-tape the fantastic roof vent. I'm pretty sure the Walmart bag and inexpensive tape was not going to hold the highway winds from ripping it off. 

Together we worked as a team, as we have done for more than 49 years. He stepped on the bumper, up to the spare tire,  and then I gave him a shove, I mean boost.

Gorilla tape and the heaviest garbage bag we could find in the store was taped down. 

The highway we took led us through northwest Arkansas, through some beautiful mountain views. We pulled over several times on the switch backs just to see the view.

We arrived at Treasure Lake RV Resort  shortly after our host, John and Beth had arrived. Beth met us at the gate to get us in. 

This is the largest gated RV park in Branson. It has 577 sites on 340 acres. We got set up just across the street from them. We did a quick tour of their new RV and then took off for Montana Mikes Steak house. There we met Blacksmith Pat McCarty and his wife Mary Jo. They are working the craft fair in Branson for three weeks. 

We were next to last of the groups to leave the restaurant that evening. It was just so much fun catching up. It's hard to separate 3 good blacksmiths deep in conversation.

Back at our little Casita, John and Beth toured ours. We then called it a night. 

The next morning we rode along with the Lovin's to Grandmas Kitchen.  I had a huge cinnamon roll made with cream cheese, I couldn't eat it all.

After breakfast was over we visited the landing before heading north. The guys went to Silver Anvil Blades. They enjoyed visiting with owner Jo Smith. So while they were there, Beth and I caught a few other near by shops. 

Bernie, Jo, and John, blacksmiths once again talking away!

After leaving the downtown landing, John was nice enough to give us girls one more stop, the Quilt shop! 

Quilts and Quilts is huge. I made quick scans, picked up a couple of quilt templets and before I knew it the guys were back from the Coleman store and our shopping trip was over.

We covered a lot of ground and visited a whole bunch in a very short period of time. 

Life is Good!

Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Oklahoma OK

On Friday morning we headed west. It was about 480 miles to Sulphur, Oklahoma where we would be attending the Saltfork Blacksmith Conference. 

We arrived at Country Days RV park right at dark. That's never good when you have to  set up camp. Debby our host had given us the gate code and we proceeded to our lot. After set ting up I went to open the fantastic fan vent on top.  It felt different cranking it up, so I cranked it down. Or so I thought. We discovered it parted ways with the Casita some where along the road.

We had needed to cover it regardless. The forecast was no rain that night.  We found a plastic Walmart bag and the RV duct tape Lizzie our 10 year old granddaughter had given us. It worked in a pinch. No ladder to the top, no problem, we're a team. The blacksmith stepped from the bumper to the spare tire, and then I gave him a shove, I mean a boost!

Wouldn't you know it after we got in bed later that night, it did rain. The plastic and tape worked.

The conference started bright and early the next morning at 8 AM, we just didn't make it there quite that early.

Peter Ross a blacksmith, who does beautiful historical work, was one of the demonstrators. It was not the first time we have seen Peter work. However it was the first time I had spare time to watch the demonstrators. I always love watching a craftsman who is left handed! 

Then there was Ken and Marylou from Ken's Custom Iron.  This husband and wife team are so much fun to watch. You can feel the love and see the love between them. They work together perfectly! And man, or should I say woman, can she swing a hammer!

My friend Mark, talks with Oklahoman Ed McCormick. The works this man has done are amazing! His niece put together a book of his works. 

This pocket knife was BIG. probably 24 inches long and worked just like a small pocketknife!

Ken and Bernie are caught sitting down for a chat.

Mark, Bernie and Ken are discussing the shape of anvils. As the saying goes, you're never too old to learn. Right Ken??

Marylou served dual purpose for the conference, sales woman and demonstrator.

The Saltfork group prepared the best meals ever!  3 meals Saturday and 2 on Sunday. All could be had for a donation. One of my favorite things Saturday night was the smoked bologna!

Besides smoked bologna, they had smoked ribs, brisket, ham, and pulled pork. The dessert was always Mrs. Fields pecan pies. If you went away hungry it was your own fault.

There were not many vendors, in fact only three the first day and two the second day.

There were a few more tailgaters, including me. I sold Osage Bluff tongs along with jewelry and tee shirts for the BAM boutique.

My luck wasn't so good as when I attended this conference 6 years ago. I bought a few more tickets this time but  did not win their tool box.

Look at this piece of coal. Does anyone have a stocking that big???

On Sunday evening after break down, a room was reserved in town at a Mexican restaurant for those who wanted dinner. 

I'm hoping we convinced several of their guys to come to our conference.

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Mountain View take 2

This was our second trip to the beautiful Mountain View Arkansas. The first time we went was October 2011.

This time we were leading a caravan!  Two other couples each took their own Rv's and followed us.

One of our first stops was just across the Missouri state line at Mammoth springs Arkansas.

The water is beautiful, as are the grounds . . .  minus the goose poop.

It was onto Ozark RV Park. There we set up camp for three nights. Never mind it's a dry county, or the RV park posted no alcohol. We never saw those warnings. But luckily we were never turned in to authorities. 

Thursday night we went to music at Ozark Folk Center. Six different groups played and danced the night away. This area is full of traditional music and folk dancing. 

Friday after breakfast at Iron skillet, we walked just a few steps to the Folk center. 

There we saw the broom maker, 

the stained glass artist, 

the potter (never mind his frog cups!)

the copper jeweler, 

the printer, 

the gourd artist, and

we visited with the lady in the cabin, (who had to be freezing).

Saturday morning the six of us, Bernie, myself, Terry, Debby, Tim and Rita headed to P.J.'s Rainbow cafe. What a menu they had!

I had fried bologna (it would have been my dad's choice). I also opted for fried grits. It did not disappoint.

Rita went for chocolate gravy and biscuits. She shared it with us willing to taste it. It's made with real Hershey's cocoa. It was similar to warm thin pudding.

We were very cozy around this small table. We had to wait outside to be called because the waiting line would not fit in the door!

There were hundreds of cookie jars on wall top shelves, all were for sale. 

After breakfast we took in some of the shops along the main street. We then went to Blanchard Springs  to tour the cave. You go down via an elevator about 11 stories. The great room you walk through is as wide as 4 football fields end to end. The tour was a comfortable 58 degrees, year round. You walk out to a waiting bus that returns you to the hospitality shop. 

This is our official (LOL) group photo!

After touring the springs we took about an 11 mile trip to the county where it was legal to consume alcohol! We visited Gravity Brewworks. The girls opted for wine, the guys tried a couple of the beers. We took along cheese, sausage and crackers. 

Back at camp, while soup was heating up, someone presented the Casita with a cast iron FROG. #idonotlikefrogs

This was our hilarious neighbor who told us we were breaking all kinds of rules drinking alcohol beverages. However after he had a few samples, he wasn't about to tattle on us! The retired policeman was hilarious. Here he's showing us his pocket knife (a mini box-cutter).

So in summary, we went to music shows Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights. Plus we took one in at the afternoon session at the Park.

A fun trip was had by all!!!