Wednesday, March 15, 2023

Not a Lumberjack

April 3, 2013, just after moving home (with my kids), my Dad had me

follow him across the farm to where a tree had been cut down.  

When we arrived he handed me sledgehammer and a wedge; then told me to “learn how strong you really are.”

After I split the log up he said “document this, so you never forget how strong you are and where you get that strength from.”

Every hard day, I try to remember that day and the lessons I learned: 

* Carry the biggest hammer you can swing. 

* Your arms will wear out, but your heart will keep you going.  

* My Dad is my Cheerleader no matter what.  

* I am not a lumberjack.

Sunday, February 26, 2023

Rural Southeast Missouri Antiques & Treasures Trail: Jackson, MO to Piedmont, MO

 Jackson, Missouri to Piedmont, Missouri

67-mile scenic drive filled with treasures and unique stops.  

The Old Pioneer Market:  2008 West Jackson Blvd, Jackson, MO 63755

Heartland Harvest Market & Antiques: 3277 State Highway 72, Jackson, Missouri 63755

Knowlan Family Farm:  3243 State Highway 34, Burfordville, MO 63739

Ava Craft Center 2.0 SEMO:  134 State Highway U, Burfordville, MO 63739

Bollinger County Coop: 200 State Highway 34 W, Marble Hill, MO 63764

The Rusted Vault: 107 High Street, Marble Hill, MO 63764

J & R Resale: 402 High Street, Marble Hill, MO 63764

Sunset Floral & Garden Market: 115 State Highway 51 North, Marble Hill, MO 63764

Serenity House Floral & More: 214 Conrad Ave, Marble Hill, MO 63764

Second Time Around: 114 First Street, Marble Hill, MO 63764

First Street Market: 206 First Street, Marble Hill, MO 63764

Old Lutesville Emporium:  203 First Street, Marble Hill, MO 63764

Grojean's Snack Shack: 205 First Street, Marble Hill, MO 63764

Unique Treasures:  112B First Street, Marble Hill, MO 63764

Bill Peters Hardware: 313 First Street, Marble Hill, MO 63764

Twin City Pharmacy: 106 North First Street, Marble Hill, MO 63764

The Personal Touch: 205 St Hwy 34W, Marble Hill, MO  63764

One Stop Farm Shop: 501 State HWY 34W, Marble Hill, MO  63764

573 Coffee House:  600 Hwy 34 West, Marble Hill, MO  63764

The Mason Jar at Mesta Meadows: 12005 State Highway 34, Glen Allen, MO  63751

Grassy General Store: 4834 State Hwy 34, Glen Allen, MO 63751

Northtown Thrift Store:  154 N Front Street, Greenville, MO 63944

Frankie Mart:  250 E Maple St, Greenville, MO. 63944

Richard’s Supermarket: 110 Main St., Greenville, MO 63944

Trail's End Coffee and Cafe: 101 Main Street, Greenville, MO

Soul Threads:  95 State Hwy 143, Patterson, MO  63956

Angie’s Stop n Shop: 106 N Main St, Piedmont, MO 63957

Johnson's Farm and Pet:  13303 State Highway 34 Piedmont, MO 63957

​Piedmont Florist: 227 N Main St, Piedmont, MO, 63957 

Rick's Pawn:  115 N Main, Piedmont, MO, 63957

​The Nature Cottage:  302 Legion Park RD, Piedmont, MO  63957

Friday, January 20, 2023

Born a Female, Made a Feminist

Sunday over lunch I told my family “I am a feminist” and they laughed at me.  

As I sat there, I remembered we have forgotten what a true feminist is.  It’s not someone fighting for entitlement; it is someone fighting for equality.  

I was not born a feminist; I was born a female. As I got older, I realized there was “man’s work” and there was “women’s work” in some folk’s eyes.  I did both.  I mostly didn’t have time to wait on a man or there wasn’t a man around to do the work.  

When I was a young adult, I realized that some folks expected me to do “man’s work” for a “woman’s pay” even though “woman’s pay" really didn’t exist in any employee handbook. 

Thursday, January 19, 2023

Responsible for Sunflowers?

Today, an elderly couple walked into our shop, and we started chatting about what was here and what is here now in our little town.  So many things have changed over the years.  The Dime Store, Wallis Family Store, Ricketts Boot Store, Chandler Drug Store, Barkers Furniture Store, ect..  Names of the past, but not forgotten.  We established kinship.  Who she knew that I was related to and who I knew that she was related to.  This is normal in a small business.  

As our conversation continued, she looked straight at me and said, “are you the lady responsible” and I stopped her, I said, “mam, I am not responsible.”  She laughed and said, “I am not here to complain, I was going to say the sunflowers during the summer.”  

Wednesday, January 4, 2023

Rural Economics - Bollinger County, Missouri

As I am writing this, I am sitting on the banks of the Gulf of Mexico listening to the waves beat against the sand.  The clouds are dense, the fog is heavy, the locals are wrapped in warm layers as the temperatures have not climbed out of the fifties yet.  I keep replaying in my head that my son, my money wise son, was swindled out of $60 yesterday at the local Coach Outlet - it was a wallet that he could not pass up, or it was a saleswoman who told him that men should carry the best.  Either way, that was an entire day of wages for him at the Rhodes Farm.  He stacked wood, moved tree limbs, and fed cows for the money - all of those things I doubt the saleswoman had ever done or heard of. 

We are tiny little consumers in a big world of money.   These thoughts play over and over in my head. Where does the money go?  How do we spend so much?  Where are we spending our money?  Money Matters.   Money Talks.  Money makes the world go around.  

I recently read and heard about the talk of a new sales tax coming to town.  My heart sank.  As a multi-business owner, I already know how hard I work to get people to walk through my doors.   Hours are spent marketing, posting, begging, pleading, resetting, unpacking, and marketing again to get people to recognize our community is the place to shop.  My main marketing tool - things cost less here.  Yes, things overall cost less here, unless we are talking about eggs and they are just ridiculous everywhere you go - where I am today, I paid $8 for a dozen eggs.  Salt water must reduce production.  

A little over a year ago I wrote the same sort of column about sales tax, I suspect next year I will write again, but nonetheless the facts do not change.  A half cent of nothing is still nothing.   No marketing, no advertising, no anything can change that.   We cannot tax ourselves out of business.   

Tuesday, December 6, 2022

It’s Just Me

Hi it’s just me.  I feel like it is has been ages since I actually used this silly little blog I built.  That was what I use to refer to it as.  When I was secretly proud of The Missouri Mom, but thought I annoyed people.  

Lately inside of me there has been a war, a war for writing, a war for overcoming, and a war for why I even care what people think about me.  

I didn’t build The Missouri Mom for attention.  I built it to share my experiences as a mom, a woman, and a person, in hopes to help others navigate similar obstacles I faced. 

A lot has changed since my first post, but nothing has really changed.  I still want to help people and I still help people every day.  It is my calling. 

But why no writing?  No Blogging? Embarrassment, Social Pressure, Idea Differences.  Below the skin level, I am a people pleaser. 

Every week I think back to the day I received a copy of one of my articles, with my daughter's picture attached to it, at my home address.  I held that letter with tears rolling down my cheeks.  I needed to give it all up; someone thought I was dumb.  I called my editors who all begged me not to quit but suggested I take an alias writing name.  We jumped through hoops, confused the world, and to this day I find the whole mess annoying.  

I later learned through conversations the letter likely came from a close relative that still to this day takes jabs at me on social media.  Battle Wounds. 

I hide, they win.  

In 2012, I went through the darkest moments of my life.  I tore apart what appeared on social media to be the picture-perfect marriage.  It was all a lie.  There is no picture-perfect marriage. 

He blamed me, I blamed him, no one blamed the fact that I likely got pregnant the night I met him and were not matched equally.  The only things that survived that mess was two amazing children that God gifted us and lots of life experience that I could use to help others.  

During that dark time, I went on a luxurious press trip to Dallas, Texas and Grapevine, Texas.  Stayed at the Omni in Dallas, there were televisions in the bathtub, and we snuck into Jewel's concert.  It was a trip of a lifetime; no it was the trip my life needed at the time.  

Sunday, October 2, 2022

Amidon Memorial Conservation Area

Amidon Memorial Conservation Area is a 1,630-acre area located on the upper reaches of the Castor River in Bollinger and Madison counties. 

The forest's timber species range from mixed hardwoods to shortleaf pine to cedar glades. A granite shut-ins on the Castor River adds an interesting geologic feature. 

Amidon Memorial Conservation Area makes a beautiful fall hike with the mixture of colors.  The area is family friendly, but good walking shoes are recommended as the rocks can get slick.  

More information:

Sunday, August 7, 2022

Splurge for a fishing guide, it is well worth it.

There is always that moment in life that you think nothing will top this - I had that moment while on a boat in the middle of the lake with Ed Franko of Big Ed's Guide Service. 

In 2014, I was asked to visit the Lake of the Ozarks area.  I am first and foremost a Mom, I think that is pretty obvious.   Like all Moms there are things that I wish I could give my kids that are not always possible, one of those things is a day they will remember forever.  That goal was accomplished with Big Ed.  

We were invited to go fishing with Big Ed as part of our trip but fishing with Big Ed turned into more than just a story - it turned into a life altering event.  

I am confident Big Ed was more use to fishing with men that had experience with fishing poles and at least some experience, but he didn’t seem to mind these young kids climbing all over his boat and acting all crazy.  

We did catch some fish, nothing prize winning, but we caught some fish!  

Every time the kids would reel something in, Big Ed would loudly say: 

 "Sometimes it's Chickens, Sometimes it's Feathers"  

what chickens an feathers has to do with fishing I have yet to know!  What I do know is every time he would say it, my kids would bust up laughing.  

Moms (and Dads) Splurge for a fishing guide, it is well worth it, and when you are in Lake of the Ozarks call up Big Ed.  Tell him we said Hi and  "Sometimes it's Chickens, Sometimes it's Feathers"   

Here is a video of my kids on the lake with Big Ed:

Read More:


(Disclosure:  all of part of my visit mentioned in this post was sponsored, however my thoughts cannot be bought, all opinions are my own.) 

Thursday, August 4, 2022

Texas Tachometer over Missouri Grapes

I guess Missourians have an accent you will never forget, especially if you are flying a plane and the tachometer goes out somewhere over Cape Girardeau, Missouri. 

While touring Cross Timbers Winery in Grapevine, Texas I met the “Texas Wine Man” and while discussing
  winemaking and the wine industry he interrupted me to ask me where I was from.  

Not that my accent is that strong, but it apparently stuck out to him.

Instead of saying “Marble Hill, Missouri” because that is hard to explain, I said two hours south of St Louis, Missouri.  Which he replied “oh I know Cape Girardeau well, I was flying to Ste. Genevieve to look at some wine grapes and my tachometer went out right over Cape Girardeau.   It was a bit of a ride until I got landed.”   

He insisted my friend Megy and I pose for a picture since we were from the “North”…from there it was all wine history.  

Grapevine is home to the Urban Wine Trail in Texas, as well as the Texas Wine and Grape Growers Association and GrapeFest, the largest wine festival in the Southwest, held annually in September. Texas is the fifth-largest wine-producing state in the U.S., and Grapevine has served as a trendsetter and leader with award-winning wineries and winemakers.

Saturday, July 30, 2022

Klepzig Mill, Missouri

Klepzig Mill sits along Rocky Creek east of Eminence and Winona.  An article on the National Park Service website says, “Klepzig Mill is not much to look at with its various accouterments and modifications-- cement spillway, scrap metal hinge from the hood of a Model "A" Ford truck, old corrugated iron roof.” 

Which I disagree, these styles of mills are the history of our area and much of Ozarks.   They were small family operations that kept the areas alive and provided the lumber to build barns, homes, stores, churches, and schools.  

The timber industry was rich in Missouri and ran north to south and east to west.  Every family had a timber man and often a timber woman.  

I stumbled on Klepzig Mill one time after making a wrong turn.  I felt I had been deprived as this mill could be recognized more, it could be better marked, and be as popular as Bollinger Mill or Alley Springs - after once you go and see it’s surroundings, you will go back for just that.  

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Not a Lumberjack

April 3, 2013, just after moving home (with my kids), my Dad had me follow him across the farm to where a tree had been cut down.   When we ...