Saturday, June 28, 2014

From cow to cone

June 16 - 29, 2014

We are still at the Cedar Creek Rally in Branson, MO. I'm starting to get socialized out. Our fellow Creekers (Cedar Creek RV owners) are in no way overbearing or needy. In fact most days, I spend inside with just socializing in the morning and evening. But that is totally enough for me. My smile muscles are aching.
Scott bought small rack of ribs that he's been wanting to smoke in his Cobb Grill, but every day there is either a large breakfast or dinner to mess up his plans.
Don't you love pot luck dinners??? There is usually always at least one dish that I've never had before. It's also fun to try the variety of the ole' standbys made slightly different by people from other parts of the country. There is usually some kind of pasta casserole, corn pudding, potato salad or deviled eggs with a person's own twist on it.
The rally hasn't been as organized as I'd like or as organized as the other rallies I've been to, but we're still glad to be here. Normally, we are given a welcome bag or at least a printout of the schedule for the week. We weren't handed a schedule (sort of) until Wednesday. A book discussion? When? What book? I didn't know. Crafting with Creekers? When? Where? I found out at breakfast, that the crafts were happening that same day right after breakfast. Things seem to be posted on the Cedar Creek Forum, but I don't want to search through Forums to figure out what's going on. There's gotta be a better way.

I keep thinking of the little conveniences of living back in a house again. I will always have an awning aka covered porch out and ready for me no matter what the whether. No worries about having to roll it up when the wind kicks up. As I think of these little conveniences, that does not mean that the RV life is bad. We have been very happy with the small inconveniences of living in an RV and reaping the huge benefits of little responsibility, travel wherever we'd like, no lawn mowing, quick whole house/RV clean up, meeting new friends, and dog rescue contacts. I would not trade our 3 years of  RV life, and in the back of my mind, I see us returning to that life again!
CRAFTS: Crafting with Creekers
Toilet paper roll crafting
I almost didn't participate in this craft. But I'm glad I did. I really like the way this turned out! My tastes are simple and I would not be ashamed to hang this on the wall of not only the RV but our house also.  This was a very simple design. If you do a search for "Toilet paper roll wall art", you'll see some nice work.

As I window shop via the internet, one thing leads to another. Our home will definitely be furnished with 2nd, 3rd, or more hand items. I buy used cars, we bought a used RV. The savings are tremendous if you just purchase a gently used model. So, I've been on the lookout for Goodwill and Salvation Army stores nearby. The more I search, the more I find out about our new home area. Coming from living in congested NJ for 54 years, living in the "boonies" will be quite an adjustment. Full time RV'ing has helped to prepare us though. We have stayed many times in areas with little around, but nature. We've had to drive 30-45 minutes to find a decent grocery store. There have been times when I never left the RV park for 2 weeks. I am fine living off what's in the pantry. Scott, on the other hand, has to always have milk in the fridge and more options for dinner. Scott is the one that will take the drive to find groceries, and I reap the rewards.
In looking for 2nd hand stores, I have so far found plenty in our area!!!! I am thrilled that we are in the country, but within a half hour, there is a decent sized town with big box stores and 2nd hand stores.
I discovered another blogger who loves to renew used items. Second Wind of Texas was posting about ReStore, which is the Habitat for Humanity retail store. They not only have gently used items, but they also have new items. I put in my new zip code 38321 and search for the nearest ReStore. I have been assuming that most things I will have to travel 2 hours to Nashville or 1.5 hours to Memphis. I have been THRILLED to find most things I'm looking for are in Jackson, "just" 30 miles away. That will become our norm to drive 30 miles to go into town. In NJ, if we drive 30 minutes, we'd be going through 15 towns!
So far, I have found a ReStore, Goodwill, Hobby Lobby, Big Lots, & Walmart. There is a smaller town of Huntingdon about 15 miles from home. It will be fun to explore and learn our new area.

Just another little thing that feels good, is my REAL zip code. Now when I sign up for something on a website or when a cashier asks for my zip code, I can be proud to state 38321, instead of a TX zip code that I don't really relate to.
Help! They've fallen and can't get up!
Any guys reading my blog, you are forewarned, this is a girl subject. If you want to eavesdrop and maybe find out how to better understand the females in your life, read on.
A Little Off Color is a recent blog I've found and love. She doesn't post often, but she is raw and honest. She is a struggling stand up comedian, so her posts are usually spiced with humor along with her struggles of life and emotions.

Let 'em go! 
Supersized Sunday
     Mammogram Monday
          TaTas Tuesday
               Whip 'em Out Wednesday
                    Thrill him Thursday
                         Free 'em up Friday
                              Sagging Saturday

I am so thankful for my wonderful husband. I've said it before...he knows how to deal with my moods, he accepts my weight gain, he accepts my aging face. I feel very loved even though many times I avoid the mirror and when I do look in the mirror, I'm not happy with what I see. Even if I lost weight, I'd still have droopy eyelids that are no long large enough to hold eye shadow. Even if I lost weight, I'd still have the ugly skin tags that seem to appear. Even if I lost weight, I'd still have droopy tatas.

College of the Ozarks aka "Hard Work U"- Pt. Lookout, MO (near Branson)
When most people think of Branson, MO, they think of all the music and variety shows, or tourist trap. I avoid the main strip if possible. I've seen enough shows to not bother with any more. But there are a couple of restaurants that may force you on to the strip.

We are in an RV park about 5 miles from the "wildlife" center of Branson. So we are enjoying the views. We are about a mile from Table Rock State Park, and we avoid the traffic.
Scott eyed a billboard advertising home made ice cream. Thank you honey! So off I went to find it. I'm sure glad I did. It opened up a whole new place to visit...College of the Ozarks.

The home made ice cream is made from cow to cone by the college students. This is a really interesting college. The students do not pay tuition. The are required to work 15 hours a week on the campus and one 40 hour week per semester. This is a Christian based college (been there done that). There are about 40 majors. The campus is also sort of a working farm. They mill their own flour, they milk and pasteurize their own milk from cows on the campus. They have an agriculture department where they grow veggies, flowers, etc.
The beautiful lodge is also a hotel. That is one of the college majors, hotel management and hospitality.

My biggest complaint is that once on campus, there is no real info. I drove all through the campus looking for the ice cream parlor. It ends up it is in a beautiful lodge just outside the entrance to the campus.
I also heard via people talking that there is a tour you can take to see the grain mill, basket weaving, etc. But I saw no brochures about how to take the tour.

I did find the Tractor museum which was next to the Farmer's Market.
Before restoration

After restoration
Samples of the thousands of type of barbed wire below.

We tried the ice cream, we ate at the restaurant and I picked up some items at their Farmer's Market. Reviews to follow.

College of the Ozarks - Pt. Lookout, MO (near Branson)
After Memorial Day on Fridays from 7:30 - 12:30  Cash only

Small indoor market, but beautiful fresh produce available. Also available garden plants, baked goods, fresh milled grains, fresh baked bread, jams, meats.
All the available items are from the labors of the college students, even the meat.
Good prices and worth the visit. Take a tour of the campus while you're there.
I picked up these two plants. One is a purple pepper for my garden I plan to have at our new property in TN. The other is chocolate mint! A lesson learned from having grown spearmint and and peppermint in NJ. Contain your mint! They are invasive!! So I will make sure to put my mint in containers above ground. I love mint plants. Add some mint to iced tea, yum! The chocolate mint I bought is amazing. It really smells like a chocolate mint candy!!! I had to buy it because I've never seen it before. Other mints I can get anywhere.
I also purchased some muffin mix, a rib eye steak, some bratwurst and also a 1/2 gallon of fresh milk!
Where the cows are milked.
College of the Ozarks - Pt. Lookout, MO (near Branson)
Dobyn's Dining Room  
Our rating 5 out of 5

Beautiful rustic lodge look dining room in the beautiful Keeter Center.
Upon waiting to be seated, we were asked if we had any food allergies. That was a nice touch.
All wait staff was very attentive, although our waiter, Sam was definitely new and nervous. He had a heavy Asian accent and was TOO attentive. But he was so sweet, I held my Joisey attitude and smiled sweetly instead. Sam asked Scott if he could clear his plate...NO! Scott still had food on his plate AND he was in the process of cutting up his potato to eat!
The food was excellent!!!!!

Two wheat rolls and 2 cranberry muffins were in the bread basket, along with soft whipped butter and home made apple butter.
Salad does not come with dinner, but since we are now used to having salad every night, and since we don't go out to dinner much, we decided to splurge on the extras. We both ordered a simple caesar salad. Crisp, nicely chopped romaine with cheese and croutons.
We also ordered the signature smoked tomato soup with basil cream and the soup of the day being Asian Beef Veg. soup. The tomato soup was again, just a simple dish, with a definite smokey flavor. I liked it, but did not taste any basil..  Although the beef soup was very good, it had no Asian flavoring that either of us could tell.
For the main course, Scott had a 10 ounce prime rib which was delicious. This entree came with perfectly steamed broccoli and cauliflower, plus a baked potato. Very nice meal.
I chose to have the smoked catfish cakes, an appetizer as my entree. They were not only colorful and beautiful, they were also light and delicious!
For dessert Scott had the Coconut creme pie and I had the Chocolate cake with chocolate flan. Both were excellent!!!
This restaurant is higher priced that we normally go to, but I would not say it's really expensive. We're just cheap.
I would highly recommend you try Dobyn's Dining Room.

Nettie Marie's Homemade Ice Cream
College of the Ozarks - Pt. Lookout, MO (near Branson)

I was so looking forward to the cow to cone ice cream. The college students milk the cows, pasteurize the milk and then make the ice cream. Although the home made waffle cones were delicious, like eating a lovely butter cookie, the ice cream was just fair. I had the chocolate walnut. The ice cream had a deep chocolate flavor, but was lacking in walnuts. I sampled the espresso flavor which is delicious if you really like coffee. It has a very strong coffee flavor.


  1. Next time in MO we hope to visit that area.

  2. I think there is one of those mIles long garage sale that goes on around you. Glad you'll be fairly close to Hwy 45 :) In fact smack dab in the middle of everywhere!

  3. College of the Ozarks sounds like a great find. Thanks for the reviews.


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