cooling rack~

So what's on the cooling rack today?  Well, nothing yet... but yesterday it was five loaves of homemade potato bread:

They didn't rise as well as I would have liked them too.  I guess I rushed them to the oven a little too soon; so they came up a little short on the height.  It didn't affect the flavor though ~ just made it a little bit more denser of a bread.   I had some this morning made into toast to go along with my little breakfast concoction.  It still turned out pretty good.

My breakfast concoction consisted of some bulk breakfast sausage fried with Yukon Gold Potatoes, white onion rings and button mushrooms.   All a rather tasty combination. I just love Yukon Gold potatoes ... they have such a distinct flavor; as far as potatoes go. 

Last night we took a drive over to the Walmart store in Minocqua; 45 minutes to the East of us.  Before we left, I had gone online to check out the television sets and to get a general idea on the prices.  Luckily, for me... I printed out the one that I saw online; at a cheaper price than what the store was offering.  All done and said, we were able to get a new TV with a home theatre surround sound system, dvd player and a television console all for the price of what just the television alone was at the store.  I was a happy shopper.  I did end up having to order it online though; but it's being shipped to the store (free of charge) and I'll have to go back some time between now and Dec. 8 to pick it up.  I can wait ... besides that ...  now I have some house cleaning to get done before it gets here.  I'm putting my upstairs, in the living room, television and console downstairs in the family room.  The television that is presently in the family room is getting trashed.  I can't wait now for the Super Bowl ~ watching it on our new set up.

Only bad thing about this little spending spree of ours... I still need to come up with the money to get my computer where I want it to be.  I need a job!  Whenever I start to get the money saved up for one thing ... it seems another thing comes up and the allocation of funds gets side tracked.  I hate budgets! I wish I could afford to spend as I'd like to.  bummer ... such is life
I've also been surfing the internet for a vacation get away in February to Branson Missouri.  I'm looking for tickets to some shows and trying to set up some reservations at a bed and breakfast for a couple days.  So far, I haven't gotten anywhere.  Anyone with some suggestions on where to stay and play down there?

We're going to Texas to visit my sister and her hubby and then plan on making the run over to Branson on the way home.... or possibly skip Branson all together and just cruise the Ozark Mountains for a couple days.  I wish someone was coming along as a tour guide who knew the country.

Years ago, we came home from Texas through the Ozarks and it was so interesting.  I guess what really stuck with me the most was the amount of poverty of some of those poor souls who live up in the hills.  We had stopped at this one place that had a sign, EAT, painted on it.  When we walked in, what looked to be just a small house, there was a counter with a few stools at it and two booths against a wall.  My sister Darla and her husband Bill were with us.  We sat in one of the booths.  Towards the back of the 'dining room' was a table where it looked to be the family of the house, sitting having their breakfast.  A mom and dad, and about eight little kids.   It kind of reminded me of myself when I was a kid sitting at the table with all my siblings.... oldest to youngest, Linda, Lana, Darla, Doug, Cheryl, Randy, myself, Colleen and Eric. 

When we came in, the oldest looking girl got up from the table and came over to welcome us.  The sun was shining in our eyes and she had reached up to pull down a shade over the window by our booth.  When she did some dried up flies fell on the table.  She quickly swished them off, and took our order.  I wish I had a picture of the place, because it really was a little ram shackled shack ~ and we were even considering leaving... but we were hungry and adventuresome.

The little gal that took our order seemed a bit flustered, not because she had just swished flies off our table; because half the things that were on the menu; they didn't have.  Every other thing that we ordered, Mom or Dad would call out, "we don't have that."  We all ended up ordering the same thing.  Hash browned potatoes, 2 eggs, toast and a piece of ham.

Well... let me tell you ... that was the biggest breakfast plate you ever saw.  The ham was a slice of REAL ham.  It looked like it was cut right off of a prime smoked hind quarter of a well raised hog.  The jelly for our toast wasn't from a little packet that Smuckers makes; it was straight from a jar of homemade. The toast was from homemade bread.  The eggs were REAL eggs, not those pale yellow yolks of store eggs but the rich golden orange of a farm fresh egg.   The meal was delicious!

Then it came time for the check.  The total bill was under $20 for the four of us.  BUT... did any of us have anything smaller than a twenty dollar bill on us.  Nope... the smallest bill in any of our wallets was a $100.  Slim paid the girl with the hundred dollar bill.  She took it  back in the kitchen to her mother.  The mother stepped out of the kitchen and told us to hang on a moment while she got change.   She went over by the table by her husband and an eldest son.  She said something to them and they got up and left.  We heard a back door slam.  We waited and waited. The mother kept peeping her head out of the kitchen telling us to hold on for just a few minutes more.  After about half an hour we heard the back door slam again.  Here comes our little gal of a waitress with our change from the hundred dollar bill.   I'm sure the father and son had to go somewhere to a neighbor or something to get the change.

By this time ... Slim already knew what he was going to do with the change.  He left all of it for their tip.  Oh... if you could have seen the expressions on those faces of that family.  Priceless!

The whole family by this time was up from the table and was walking us to our vehicle.  They were wishing us well and happy travels and telling us to please stop by again.  

I hope we can find that place again on our next trip.

I know I balk on occasion about lack of funds ~ and cry about living pay check to pay check ~ having to scrimp and save for everything we do; but I am grateful for all I have.  There are many out there who are more affluent than I am; but there are also many out there who are not.  Life isn't about the money. It's about people.
"Make it your ambition to lead a quiet life, to mind your own business and to work with your hands, just as we told you, so that your daily life may win the respect of outsiders and so that you will not be dependent on anybody." ----- 1 Thes. 4:11-12

Until next time...
So it goes in my neck of the woods.


  1. I don't care how many times I hear that story Mel, it still makes me smile that they got the best "tip" of their lifetime from you guys. It came from your generous hearts.
    p.s. - I guess on your next visit I'll serve you that breakfast and see what happens ~ lol

  2. love it - you brought a tear to my eyes.

  3. Forgot to ask, do you have Mom's bread
    recipe? It was the best! I need to get that
    one too.

  4. Oh my, I have not thought of that trip for years. The Ozarks were awesome. and so right on about the food and the people. We have often wondered too, what side road we had taken on that trip, so we could repay a visit. I hope you find it again. Too bad I was not journaling our trips at that time.
    Goodness comes from the heart...
    Blessings Be Yours

  5. Good morning, Mel

    Loved the photos of your bread and your potatoes and sausage. May I come have breakfast with you sometime? :)

  6. P.S. Loved the story about your breakfast at the mom and pop restaurant!

  7. I love home made bread. My problem is that I am the only one who will eat it :( Your Ozark trip sounds great and you all sure made a litte family happy.

  8. Your potato bread makes me miss my Mom. She made such beautiful and scrumptious breads and everythings.

    The restaurant story just makes me want to squall my eyes out. I love that you all made such a wonderful gesture. What a blessing you all are.

    I totally agree with you, Amen my sweet friend, "Life isn't about the money. It's about people."

    Wishing you a wonderful rest of the week!

  9. Oh that bread (and your breakfast!) looks so very yummy! =D

    And I absolutely love your story of that breakfast; I'm sure that family still remembers all of you and that they all love you guys so much for your generosity. There should be a LOT more people like you in the world. =)

  10. lol Your Bailey sounds like my kind of kid. I love the banana story.
    Hey, I understand how she feels, I eat pizza with a knife and fork. lol

    Thanks for giving me a giggle this morning.
    You're a peach!
    Wishing you a happy day!

  11. Hello.... Just got your site info. Its great by the way!!! Your Lil Sis told me you were wondering why noone had left any comments and I was in trouble..... my reply was I did'nt have your site. I also told her if she had time to go to lunch with us she had time to reply to you!!!! She hung her head in shame LOL!!! We laughed. Your food is making me hungry love the pictures and music. Nancy