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Hills Hollows FEBRUARY • MARCH 2016


Roadside Arkansas


Trout Fishing


Comfort Food Craving

Daytrip Adventure

And How it Changed My Life

Hot Homemade Biscuits

C E L E B R AT I N G H E R I TA G E , FA R M A N D H E A LT H Y L I V I N G I N T H E H E AFebruary R T O• March F A2016 M E R| 1I C A

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DRESS TO IMPRESS Red Black Silver Gold


Saturday, February 13

10 a.m. – 3 p.m. Convention Center, Best Western Inn at the Ozarks 207 W. Van Buren, Eureka Springs, AR GENERAL ADMISSION $5


STARRING: Melonlight Ensemble DJ Testube Opal Agafia Mayor Butch Berry



Experience the Freedom.


February • March 2016 | 3

Fresh g spring





Stop by to see our large selection of custom furniture, complimantary lighting and finishing touches to get your home blooming with style.

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i gift wrap and gift cards




Local craftsman, Matt Hudgins, along with his wife, Heather, invite you to visit their store in Cassville. Unique Cross Grains furniture is crafted using superior hardware and the most durable finishes for quality that will last for years to come.

Custom orders available on furniture, lighting and linens

Let us find or make what you' re looking for. 805 Main Street Cassville, Missouri 417-847-7658


February • March 2016 | 5


Hills Hollows

Dogpatch Chapel, Dogpatch USA, Marble Falls, Ark. Photograph, Jerry Dean


Our hope is to provide a window into the lifestyle, passions and beauty of the people and activities that are going on all around the Ozark communities we live in. Our publication is widely available throughout southwest Missouri and northwest Arkansas. Please enjoy our February • March issue -- and if you want to support us, please do so by advertising! NORTHWEST ARKANSAS Brandi Newton ozarkhhbrandi@gmail.com 501-690-5999

SOUTHWEST MISSOURI Rob Lotufo ozarkhillsandhollows@gmail.com 417-652-3083

Our readers are your customers! Ozark

Hills Hollows Celebrating Heritage, Farm and Healthy Living in the Heart of America PUBLISHER Rob Lotufo ozarkhillsandhollows@gmail.com EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Sherry Leverich ozarkhheditor@gmail.com DESIGN AND PRODUCTION Veronica Zucca ozarkhhart@gmail.com

WRITERS AND PHOTOGRAPHIC CONTRIBUTORS Katrina Hine Jerry Dean Kim Mobley Nahshon Bishop Amanda Reese Stan Fine Kayla Branstetter Beckie Peterson Layne Sleeth Kate Baer PROOF EDITOR Barbara Warren

FACEBOOK Ozark Hills and Hollows Magazine TWITTER @ozarkhillhollow INSTAGRAM ozarkhillsandhollowsmagazine ONLINE www.issuu.com/ozarkhillsandhollows


Ozark Hills and Hollows is published bi-monthly by Exeter Press. In the pages of Ozark Hills and Hollows magazine, we hope to capture the spirit of country living in our beautiful region. Please feel free to contact any of our staff with comments and questions, and pass along any story subjects or ideas to our editor at ozarkhheditor@gmail.com. 417-652-3083 Exeter Press, P.O. Box 214, Exeter, MO 65647 6 |






Roadside Arkansas Ideas For a Quirky Adventure


Trout Fishing How it Changed My Life


Making Waves Local Saltwater Shrimp

42 Hot, Homemade Biscuits!


Creatures Great and Small A Veterinarian Story


Branching Out Getting Away at a Treehouse Resort


Rags to Riches Not Just a Flea Market

PLUS: 16

Gear & Gadgets Spring Creek Trout


Essentials for Your Horse Round Up Useful Products


I heart horses Do You Want a Horse?


Repurposing Revolution Old News into New Use

60 I ♥ Horses feature starts on page 46 with our On the Front Porch with Bobby Avila

A “Gourd-geous” Tradition Garden Grown and Artist Created


From the Ground Up Life on the Farm


A Horsewoman's Journey He Calls Me Out



Talk To Me Plain Mindful Fishing


4 Flies Early Ozarks Trout

Marble Falls is breathtaking in the spring. This moment was captured by photographer, Jerry Dean. Jerry had the opportunity to photograph the falls, as well as landmarks, of closed down Dogpatch USA theme park, during a fieldtrip his camera club was invited to attend.


Backroads and Byways Love Lore


Good For You Wonderful Bone Broth


Among the Wildflowers Spring Beauty February • March 2016 | 7

About Our Contributors: Beckie Peterson was born and raised in the Wheaton area, and is admittedly a small town girl. She enjoys her job in customer service, along with writing freelance and blogging. She admits to always carrying a pen and paper in case she needs to jot down thoughts and ideas to write later. She has three children, two at home and one in Nebraska, where she enjoys going to visit her two grand-daughters. Beckie spends her free time in church activities, gardening and baking.

Layne Sleeth grew up in Shell Knob, Missouri, on a 13acre hobby farm, where she developed a fondness for critters and all of the humble splendor that the Ozarks has to offer. Layne has a degree in communications, and works with the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission at the Ponca Elk Education Center in the Buffalo National River area. She and her husband, Brian, live on 12 wooded acres in northwest Arkansas. In her pockets of free time, Layne enjoys reading, gardening, and planning her next travel.

Kim McCully-Mobley is a local educator, writer, self-described gypsy and storyteller with a home-based project dubbed The Ozarkian Spirit. The essence of this project is anchored in keeping the stories, legends, lore and history of the Ozarks region alive for the generations to come. She makes her home in Barry County on the Mobley Chicken Ranch with her husband, Al. She is always looking for that next adventure on the backroads and byways.

Stan Fine is a resident of McDonald County in Missouri. Born in Long Beach California, he spent his childhood in the west, but went to high school in St. Louis. He then married his high school sweetheart, Robin. There they raised their two sons, David (who passed away with cancer in 2006) and Rob. Stan was a Detective Lieutenant in a St. Louis suburb and attained a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice Management, and a Master of Science in Administration. He retired in 2006 and he and Robin moved to Noel. Robin passed away, due to cancer, in 2013 after 46 years of marriage. Stan now plays golf, substitute teaches, and writes, especially in the wee morning hours. 8 |



Jerry Dean grew up on a 160-acre farm in the Ozarks near Mt. Vernon. He studied Agriculture and Wildlife Conservation specializing in fisheries at the University of Missouri. He retired as Hatchery Manager at Roaring River near Cassville in 2010. Since then, photography has become a passion. He loves to photograph natural scenes and his three grandkids who he adores.

Rose Hansen is a writer and photographer living on a cattle farm in southwest Missouri. Her work has appeared in Show Me the Ozarks Magazine, Oregon Public Broadcasting, Twin Cities METRO Mag, and more.

A NOTE FROM THE PUBLISHER RADISH SLAW 1 cup of shredded Radishes (hand grate or food process) 1 grated carrot (small) 2 Tbsp. white vinegar large pinch of salt pinch of black pepper 1/8 tsp Celery seed 2 heaping tablespoons Mayonnaise Mix the first 6 ingredients in a bowl. Cover, and refrigerate at least 2 hours. Drain off the liquid, it will be reddish/ pink. Stir in the Mayo and serve, or cover and refrigerate. THIS IS GREAT WITH BARBECUE, FISH OR ANY SPICY MEAT DISH.


ell, We've had a mild winter so far in the Ozarks. Maybe a little excess rain, and some scary ice, but all in all, we can't complain. We're down to harvesting just turnips and radishes from the hoop house, and collecting fresh eggs. I've got a recipe for Radish Slaw that may come in handy for your early harvests – I hope you like it. A couple of weeks ago, we had a young heifer that got bred a little too early, and had to have a C-section. She didn’t make it, but her calf is doing well, and being bottle fed. We continue to get great responses to our Ozark Hills and Hollows, and we are grateful to be working with Larry Dablemont, a legendary Outdoorsman and Author from Bolivar, Missouri on some joint projects. Larry and I are kindred spirits, and I hope to get the chance work with him for a long time. In this issue we'll explore a romantic tree house getaway destination, a quirky Arkansas road trip, ponder the quintessential biscuit recipe, visit a new shrimp farming venture, and learn about the healthy benefits of a good bowl of (bone broth) soup – just to name a few.

The days are already getting longer, soon the Spring Beauties and Bluets will be popping out of the ground. Trout season is almost upon us, and I need to be getting my gear in order and my turkey calls warmed up. On one of these chilly late winter days, I hope you get a chance to warm up with a fresh biscuit, and a bowl of hot, home made soup. I don't know about y'all but I can't wait for Spring! Robert Lotufo Publisher, Exeter Press

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Donnie & Tammy O’Brien, agent/owners 26 Peacock Lane, Jane, MO February • March 2016 | 9

About Our Contributors: Kayla Branstetter is a born and raised Ozarkian is an avid traveler and local educator who loves spending time with her family, reading literature, and running trails. She lives on a beef and chicken farm with her husband Chris and daughter, Berlin. Many reasons she enjoys living in the Ozarks centers on the culture, the friendly people and the beauty of each season.

Veronica Zucca has been an Ozarks resident for 10 years, moving from the sandy city of Virginia Beach, Va. She and her husband raise their two children in a quiet hollow in Southwest Missouri. When she’s not working as a freelance graphic designer, she enjoys time with her family -- taking in everything the beautiful Ozarks has to offer.

Jesse Woodrow lives on a small farm in southwest Missouri, where he enjoys building things, gardening and spending time outdoors. He chronicles his miniadventures in hunting, fishing and self-sufficient living through writing and photography. He loves to cook, eat and visit with friends. His current passions include establishing a Boer goat herd, training a couple of nutty Beagle pups and renovating a forty acre cattle ranch and home.

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Roaring River State Park Opening Day, 2014

Amanda Reese has spent most of her life training and teaching with horses. She has also studied journalism and is currently working on two books centered around her love of horses and God. When she is not riding or writing, Amanda enjoys spending time with her husband and two daughters on their farm.

Sherry Leverich is a native Ozarkian. Born in northwest Arkansas and raised in southwest Missouri, Sherry grew up on a dairy farm where she developed a love for agriculture and all things outdoors. She writes, farms and gardens on a small homestead with her husband and three sons, and raises produce for a local farmers market with her mom.

Mary Lowry, originally from California, has made her home in the Ozarks for nearly 30 years. She lives on a small farm, which she loves, with her husband, and two teenagers – and is still learning to garden. She graduated Summa Cum Laude in dietetics from MSU, is a R.D., L.D. and a massage therapist. She has a passion for nutrition, and encouraging others and herself to heal and be whole – body, mind and spirit.

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Hills Hollows

Springfield • Branson • Lebanon Monett • Mountain Grove • Bolivar

FACEBOOK Ozark Hills and Hollows Magazine TWITTER @ozarkhillhollow INSTAGRAM ozarkhillsandhollowsmagazine ONLINE www.issuu.com/ozarkhillsandhollows


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Find us on:

February • March 2016 | 11


groundUP From the


on the Farm Most days on the farm can be described as normal – chores are typical, the animals are content, and changes are expected or enjoyed. Plants come up, grass grows, eggs are It got about noon, and she was still layed, and cows just keep eating the hay. I walking and laying and pushing...and know that the rooster is going to crow, that there was no calf in sight. I decided to the guineas will be noisy, and the dogs will examine her, just to see if the calf was chase every rabbit they sniff or see. turned correctly. I reached in, and I could But once in awhile, something unfolds feel the front legs...a little further, I could that requires a farmers attention. feel it's head, and I felt it wiggle. Every time a cow starts calving, they After a bit, I decided that I should call the require surveillance. It's good to watch, make vet. If I tried to pull the calf on my own, and sure that she's comfortable, that nothing's there ended up being a problem, I would be bothering her, and that if in a situation I didn't know Little Miss Sadie continues to something does go wrong, how to handle. Luckily, a vet grow, and I will protect her you are ready to assist. A few was available, and he came and keep her from any kind of weeks ago, we had a calving out within an hour. reproductive exposure till she heifer that ended up needing Hard lessons are is well-grown. If I can help it, that extra help. learned on the farm, about she'll live to be twenty years I could tell early that responsibility, about making old on this farm, and raise morning that she was tough decisions, and about many beautiful calves. already in full labor. She life. After working with the would walk around a bit, then lay down to heifer for nearly an hour, I trusted the vets push. Luckily, I was working from home opinion that we needed to do a c-section. that day, and didn't need to leave for any He said it's a flip of the coin, the calf will reason. I kept my coveralls on all day. I probably be fine, but Sydney's chances are would go outside a watch her for a bit, 50/50 of surviving and recovering. then go back inside to try to work for a bit. Well, that's not fair. Sydney was a pretty red angus-cross I really thought about it, I asked the heifer, and she was young. We had vet many questions, and decided it was separated her from the bull for a few the only option. It's the first c-section months, and had just let her back with the I've ever had to have, and I hope it's the herd to get bred...but apparently, she got last. He carefully performed the surgery, bred before we had separated and weaned and I helped pull the baby calf right out of her. She was small, and I knew that could Sydney's belly. Wiped her mouth and she be a problem. Anyone who has cattle started breathing. While I was rubbing worries about calving heifers, even when and talking to the baby calf, doc got busy they are normal size. stitching everything back up. 12 |



The baby heifer (our friends son named her Sadie) was brought into the shop where she got the blow-dryer treatment and some warm colostrum. Sydney got up and seemed to be doing fairly well, given the circumstances. During the next few days, baby Sadie got stronger, and Sydney seemed to be doing fine. Within a week, though, Sydney got weaker – maybe something inside wasn't healing right, or maybe an infection started taking affect and she died. Whether you have cattle, sheep, backyard chickens, or a pet dog or cat, we are their keepers. Completely dependent on us for their every need – but thank goodness, they are also equipped with amazing instincts for living. Most of the time, it's very rewarding to have animals, and sometimes, traumas can be triumphant. Through the sadness I feel in Sydneys death, there is a happiness that Sadie is a healthy, thriving baby heifer. Even though death of an animal in your care is tough, it is a learning experience that drives us, as farmers, and as humans, to strive for better, and appreciate and work to keep healthy animals that have a good environment to live. Even though I might be more emotionally bound to my animals than some farmers (especially those with larger farm operations), I think overall, most farmers are responsible and know that the health and livelihood of their animals is beneficial not only to their satisfaction, but to their nerves and pocketbook as well. That being said; death will always be a part of living on the farm, just as it is for all of us, with or without animals. Fortunately, so is life.

Stuffed Skillet Chicken ∏ ∏ BY FORESTER FARMER’S MARKET

4 Forester Farmer’s Market™ boneless skinless chicken breasts 4 teaspoons olive oil 5 1/2 ounces frozen chopped kale (about 2 cups) 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped Kosher salt 1/3 cup frozen whole kernel corn 2 ounces pepper jack cheese, grated (about 1/2 cup) Freshly ground black pepper 1/2 cup low-sodium chicken broth 1 teaspoon all-purpose flour 1 1/2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice


Heat 2 teaspoons of the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the kale, garlic and 1/4 teaspoon salt and cook, stirring, until the kale is softened and the garlic is fragrant, about 5 minutes. Add the corn and cook, stirring, until warmed through, 2 to 3 minutes more. Transfer to a bowl to cool slightly, and then stir in the cheese. Insert a thin paring knife into the thickest part of the chicken breast and cut down the side to make a 3-inch pocket. Repeat with the remaining chicken breasts. Then evenly stuff with the kale mixture. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until very hot, 3 to 4 minutes. Rub the chicken breasts with the remaining 2 teaspoons oil and sprinkle with a total of 3/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Add all 4 chicken breasts to the skillet and cook until golden brown, about 2 minutes. Then lower heat to medium. Continue cooking, turning once halfway through, until just cooked through, about 14 minutes more. Insert a small paring knife into the top of the chicken to test for doneness. If any pink areas remain, cover the skillet and continue to cook until opaque. Use a meat thermometer to ensure internal temperature is at 170°F. Transfer the chicken and any bits of filling that fell into the skillet onto 4 plates. Stir the broth and flour together in a small bowl and then add to the skillet. Cook, stirring, until thickened, about 2 minutes. Remove from the heat, stir in the lemon juice and season with salt and pepper. Spoon the pan sauce over the chicken. Find more great recipes at www.foresterfarmersmarket.com

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My goal is to provide your family the same quality chic ken that Ma cooked for Dad. Trea t your family to chicken that’s chic ken. Dr. Ed Fryar, Foun der

foresterfarmersmarket.com February • March 2016 | 13

A Horsewoman’s Journey BY AMANDA REESE



y first experience showing at a National Reining Horse Association show was on a mare that was known to be a little herd sour. I rode her

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to the center of the pen, rehearsing the pattern in my mind and trying to remain relaxed. The mare didn’t seem focused on me, but she was guidable and her body moved where I cued. After completing our first four spins, she looked to some other horses and let out a high pitched whinny. We proceeded to make our run with her whinnying between every maneuver. Later while watching open riders, I was impressed with each horses focus and performance. By nature, horses are herd animals. Within the security of a herd, horses influence one another in many ways. For instance, if one horse lifts its head to lookoff in the distance, the other horses will also look.

“Therefore, “Come out from them and be separate, says the Lord. Touch no unclean thing, and I will receive you.” 2 Corinthians 6:17

When a horse is separated from the herd and brought to work with a trainer, the horse must learn to focus on the trainer. Even if other horses in the pasture are causing a distraction such as bucking or running, the horse must learn to keep his focus on the trainer and listen to the trainer’s instructions. The trainer is calling the horse out from among the other horses and asking him to quit being influenced by them – and to instead be influenced by the trainer. To be a great horse and stand out, a horse must eventually be at peace with separation from other horses. When the horse is turned out to pasture, he can refocus on his horse buddies!

Personal Application

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Are you more influenced by God and His Word than those around you? Are you prepared to listen to His leading and instruction over all other things? Do the things of this world, or the beliefs of others, shake your faith in God, or are you solid, focused and separate from things that are contrary to God and His will for you? Similar to a horse’s desire for companionship, God created people to be in relationship with one another. In fact, the Bible teaches us how to have healthy relationships with others. But, our first priority and main focus should be our relationship with God. God calls us out to give Him our undistracted focus and devotion. He wants to speak to us, to teach us things we don’t know, to grow us and pour His love out on us. Like a great trainer with a great plan for a horse, our great God has a plan for His children’s lives. He has a plan for you and needs your undistracted attention.

February • March 2016 | 15


t u o r T k e e r C g Sprin BY JESSE WOODROW

It's Trout Time in the Ozarks. There’s never a shortage of gear & gizmos coming out for the discerning angler. Some are super cool, some are just plain goofy. Here's my pick of the litter. BROOK TROUT I-SKIN Who doesn’t want their phone to look like it's wrapped in a beautiful Brook Trout hide case?

TY RITE JR. Here's an effortless way to tie flies and lures to your tippet or line. Clamp this handy tool on the hook and it acts like an easy-to-grip handle, eliminating dropped flies and hooked fingers. Clip it to your chest pack, vest lanyard or shirt pocket so it's always within reach.

KETCHUM RELEASE I try to catch and release my fish as quickly as possible. This little gizmo allows me to do it easily. You may never even have to touch your fish. Your hands stay warm and dry when fishing those bitter cold days.

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LEADER STRAIGHTENER An old stand-by. There are dozens of variations available, but I'm sticking to the basic. Squeeze your leader between the two rubber-lined layers, apply pressure and pull till it straightens out. No muss, no fuss.

TACKY FLY BOX Just when you thought fly boxes couldn't get any cooler. Sticky silicone sheets team with a unique, tear-drop cut-out slit system to create the ultimate in fly storage. The slim clear polycarbonate body is durable and shatterresistant, and fits unobtrusively in a vest or pack pocket. Magnetic closure system for ease of use. This case holds up to168 flies.

MAGNETIC TIPPET THREADER No more squinting. Adapted for those who can hardly see the eye of a hook, let alone thread it. Tie one on even in the dark. It's that easy. This handy little threader can help you when your hands are just too cold to easily thread your tippets through the eyes of those tiny flies. It is magnetic, and the hook automatically gets pulled into place for easy threading. Simply point the end of your tippet into the groove that directs it right through the eye.

HATLIGHT PLUS Clip-on articulating LED head focuses light where you need it. Low profile design won't block your view. For those early morning and late in the day tasks.

ZIP-CUT-PENN A line cutter that conveniently mounts onto your fishing rod and allows fishermen to cut fishing line quickly and easily. Gone are the days of fumbling for your pliers, knives, nail-clippers and scissors when you want to change lures quickly while in a boat or on a stream. Laser sharp stainless steel blade. Non-slip rod mounting base that can be mounted to a wide variety of fishing rod diameters and is securely attached even when casting. Integrated hook keeper for securing lures and hooks.

VINTAGE FLY OILER /DRYERS OK, so these newfangled gadgets are each over 100 years old! Each has one patch for oiling, and one patch for drying! I want one to give to my kids when they discover fly fishing, and the pocket watch type to take with me to fishing Valhalla someday – or do the flies always float high and dry over there?

A. G. RUSSELL SKORPION NECK KNIFE This is my secret weapon. Literally. Sharp as a tack, and weighing in at 1.8 ounces, this knife is at your disposal whenever you need it. Quick release sheath and beaded chain included. Whether you using it for cleaning fish, slicing lemons, cutting rope, whittling or self defense, don't leave home without one. Keep your flies high and your nymphs down deep. Good fishing, y'all. February • March 2016 | 17




alifornia has always been the hotbed for the adoption and promotion of America’s so-called, “New-Age,” spiritual and social movements: Transcendental Meditation; Primal Scream; Inner Awareness; Postural Restoration; Yoga (since superseded by Hot Yoga); Cognitive Restructuring; Buddhist Protestanism; Third Metric; and in a lighter vein, even Dudeism (inspired by the film, “The Big Lebowski”); Jediism (from, “Star Wars”); and Pastafarianism (for the food); et cetera. The list is endless. And, now comes the latest Eastern-influenced installment, Mindfulness. Like most of the genuinelytraditional concepts, the term Mindfulness has its roots in the distant past, the Orientalism of the 1530s in Ceylon (now Sri Lanka), where in the ancient Buddhist Pali language, the word translates loosely into, “memory of the present.” This seemlinglycontradictory definition was difficult for Westerners to grasp, so in the 1970s, British biologist and practicing Buddhist Jon Kabat-Zinn updated mindfulness to mean, “the awareness that arises through paying attention on purpose to the present moment.” As a nascent California movement, for years Mindfulness was just sort of making

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the rounds with what the New York Times described as a typical West Coast, “behere-now, Eastern-inflected exploration of self-improvement” – embraced mostly by movie stars, high-tech CEOs, trust fund babies and such ilk. Then, in 2005, Kabat-Zinn published his groundbreaking (and best-selling) book, “Wherever You Go, There You Are,” and suddenly the previously-idling Mindfulness train rocketed out of the station, picking up other trendy passengers all along the line: The cover of Time Magazine; a flood of books like, “Mindful Work,” “Mindful Birthing,” “Mindful Eating,” and the “The Mindful Teen,” an essay in the Huffington Post entitled, “The Mindfulness of Mind-Blowing Sex,” a Reuters article called, “Meditation and

the Art of the Investment,” as a nearly wordless (and sold-out) play in New York City entitled, “Smallmouth Sounds,” and even as “Mindful Meditation during the last World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. Clearly, any movement that can seduce Bill Clinton into 90 minutes of silent introspection is highpowered stuff. Inevitably, this suddenly-hip popularity lead up to a groovy new app invented by British mediation expert and Buddhist monk, Andy Puddicombe. It is call Headspace, and although introduced only last April, it already has over three million high-profile users, including Katie Couric, Sir Richard Branson (of Virgin Airlines), media mogul Arianna Huffington, the Seattle Seahawks NFL team, and many employees of General Motors and Target. By offering, “three-hundred and fifty hours of guided meditation lessons,” authorizing access to your own mindfulness for only $13.00 per month. Headspace led one well-wired New York City devotee to gush that the app is, “Like having a monk in your pocket!” And, ever-eager to be surfing the leading edge of any New Age tsunami, Google has already jumped on board with its own Mindful app, Search Inside Yourself, a, “mindful-based emotional intelligence course,” since taken by thousands of its workers.

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Yet, in typical American fashion, the true meaning of Mindfulness has obviously gotten lost both in translation and intent, with the original spiritual content so bleached out that personal introspection has now become just another high-tech commercial hustle, aimed at transforming citizens into more efficient, compliant, and content workers and consumers (at least until the Next Big Thing comes along). But there remains one important aspect of life where the founding premise of Mindfulness can be quite useful and worthwhile, and that is while fishing. For angling is the perfect forum for meditation, defined by the American Heritage Dictionary as, “calming the mind, by focusing on a single object, task, or idea.” Alone, on the water, hearing only the true sounds of nature – waves, breezes, animals, birds – is as close to what Buddhist monk, L. W. Paramananda describes as, “A sense of profound relaxation and alertness... where you become aware of the touch of wind against your face...and allow your skin to soften against the air.” In fact, in his book, “A practical Guide to Buddhist Meditation,” Paramananda writes that, “Probably the most widely employed method of developing some degree of mindfulness... is fishing...because it is often done in a beautiful, peaceful setting...in a calm, relaxed state of mind.” To be continued...




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Celebrating Heritage, Farm and Healthy Living in the Heart of America

The best of the Ozarks, right to your mailbox. In the pages of Ozark Hills & Hollows magazine, you’ll find the spirit of country living in our beautiful region. SUBSCRITION ORDER FORM

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www.ozarkhillsandhollows.com 20 |






for Early Ozarks Trout BY JESSE WOODROW


t's almost here. The spring thaw. Although many die hard anglers have been fishing all through the winter, and a lot of them cleaning up on cold weather trout, most trout fisherman wait for slightly milder weather to hit the streams. I'm going back to basics in this group. Two nymphs and two dry flies. For the most part, these are simulator patterns, not attractors. Get your big wool socks, long johns and neoprene waders out. Make sure you've got a dry set of clothes and a thermos of hot coffee in the truck, and get out in the water!

BLUE QUILL I read this on the internet: “picky trout love the blue quill,” so it must be true. This early season winger comes off after the water temperature rises above 50 degrees and stays there for a few days. This is generally the first mayfly hatch of the season. These small dries are best fished with light tippets. The blue quill offers you late winter and early spring topwater trout action. I'd go with a size 14, 16, or 18.

BLUE WINGED OLIVE This is one of the most prolific group of mayflies in North America. Their small size permits the growth of up to three generations per year, and they are good dry-fly insects because they often hatch in impressive numbers, and the duns ride the water for a long time before taking flight. A classic pattern, try this when you see the little buggers coming off, or when the water is clear, and the sun is strong. In cold weather, a #22-26 size is the closest to what should be actually coming off this time of year.

LITTLE BLACK STONEFLY Rumor has it that these bugs will mate and can hatch even in the snow. A high contrast fly, I'd fish an 18-20 size LBS on a free downstream drift any day in February or March. In a jam, you can sink a black ant pattern to simulate the little black stone.

LITTLE BROWN STONEFLY Although the name sounds similar, this is a bug of a different color for sure. You should present the nymph by casting up and across the stream and bringing the fly back to the bank along the bottom. If the weather is cold, you may find the adults crawling on the banks, in a fairly inactive state. On very cold days after a hatch starts, you may find them in the road on the black top pavement. A gold ribbed hares ear or brown wooly bugger may represent this nymph as well, but the realistic LBS in a size 8-10 may just draw a strike when others fail. Good luck landing those picky trout!

If you’re in Barry County, I’m for you.

Chad Yarnall (417) 847-3399

February • March 2016 | 21



Love Lore, Love Letters & Love Potions "Why, what's the matter, that you have such a February face, So full of frost, of storm and cloudiness?"

--William Shakespeare, Much Ado About Nothing


ebruary and March ease the way from winter’s painful grip to a spring of new beginnings, fresh circumstances and hope for lovers old and new. I am pretty sure that having a February face is not a compliment. It seems a bit like indicating you are aware someone has either had a rough night or could be having a rough day. Whatever the month may bring in terms of facial expressions, it also brings us Valentine’s Day on February 14. This will find frantic kindergartners and preschoolers making their treasured Valentine boxes for those memorable school parties. In turn, people of all ages will stop from their busy schedules to send some flowers, deliver some chocolates or woo their perfect mate. Folklore tells us that bay leaves on the pillow will give us dreams of our perfect lover. Legend has it that St. Valentine was a Roman priest who found himself jailed in the 3rd Century. Supposedly somewhat infatuated with the jailer’s daughter, he sent her a note, “from your Valentine,” to profess his feelings for her. We do not know if she responded, but most lovers still seem to appreciate a love note, a love letter, an original poem or heartfelt message penned in the sender’s own handwriting. Later years would find people sending “Valentines” as the stories grew and the hero earned the distinction of becoming a saint.

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Social media, cookie-cutter memes and Hallmark cards may be easy to grab and put your name on, but nothing beats an old-fashioned love letter. 'The frankest and freest product of

the human mind and heart is a love letter," stated Mark Twain in the introduction to his autobiography. He would write several over the course of his lifetime to his soul mate, Livvy.

The Old Farmer’s Almanac tells us of a variety of ways to find that perfect lover. If you have a sense of adventure and are interested in trying these sure-fire remedies, here are a few suggestions: Get some hummingbird hearts. Grind them into a fine powder. Sprinkle them on the person who makes your heart flutter. Kiss as many people as possible. Science tells us that real chemistry occurs when we lock lips and taste that saliva. At some point, if you kiss enough people, someone is bound to stick. Find a four-leaf clover. Close your eyes. Think of the person you adore. Swallow the clover whole and open your eyes. Good things will happen. Find a snail. Place it in a pan of corn meal. The tracks it makes by morning will spell out the initials of your beloved. Take a big gulp of water. Hold it in your mouth and walk around the block. If you make it all the way around the block without swallowing it, you will get married within the year. Upon hearing your first coo of a dove in the spring, remove your left stocking. Put your eye up to the opening of that stocking and look down. You will find a single hair belonging to the person you are to marry. Pick an apple. Poke it full of tiny holes. Place it in your armpit and walk around with it as long as you can. Give it to your lover. Wait for the magic to happen. (An apple in your armpit a day…keeps something away!)

"The writer gets his limitless freedom of statement and expression from his sense that no stranger is going to see what he is writing," he added. Napoleon Bonaparte, the infamous French commander who met his ultimate waterloo, chastised his wife, Josephine, for failing to, “scribble” him a letter while he was out and about being the commander of the French forces in 1796. He wrote her and called her: horrid, awkward and stupid. “What do you do, then, all day, Madame? What matter of such importance is it that takes up your time from writing to your very good lover?" (I wonder. Did he think he was “very good” or did Josephine tell him that?) Groundhog Day greets us on February 2. Folklore tells us that if the critter sees his shadow in the sunlight, we will have six more weeks of winter. If it is cloudy and overcast, we stand the chance for an early spring. The end of the month of February this year is Leap Year on the 29th. This extra day is tossed into our calendars every four years. Tradition has it that “Leap Day,” (also known as Ladies’ Day) would allow for the women to propose marriage to the men on that one day only. (Folklore seems a bit sexist at times, wouldn’t you say?)

If none of those things sound good to you, you can always create your Love Potion with these ingredients: Dried jasmine leaves Dried rose petals A handful of cloves A dash of ginger A spoon of honey A teaspoon of vanilla extract And several sticks of cinnamon


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H Wild Water Rampage in operation in 1986. Photo by Jacqueline Hunstock Bentley from Denham Springs, Louisiana.


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opping in the car and hitting the road to explore new-tome places can't be beat in my book, especially when you throw in various delightfully tacky or historical roadside attractions. The Ozarks are home to decades of artists and downright quirky people who have contributed lasting monuments to the landscape. Whether these manifestations of human expression are eyesores or endearing, or a little of both, naturally depends on perspective. Do you remember when dinosaurs roamed Arkansas? Well . . . life-sized dinosaur sculptures then? I'm speaking of none other than Dinosaur World, the abandoned tourist attraction in Beaver, Arkansas on AR-187. It definitely didn't rival Jurassic Park in realism, but it was something spectacular to behold back when it was in operation. Regretfully, this jewel of a roadside attraction closed its prehistoric doors for good in 2005. One fine summer day, about 15 years ago, my dear mother schlepped my little brother and me along to experience these dinosaurs. Upon arrival, we were

reluctant to get out of the vehicle and, honestly, a little flabbergasted at these absurd cartoonish, primitive creatures in Northwest Arkansas. It didn't take us long, though, to warm right up to the amusement-- we laughed at the silly ones, thrilled at the tall ones, and scanned the souvenir shop shelves that were stuffed to the brim with kitschy dinosaur knick knacks. Initially, the park was created in 1967 when Emmet Sullivan was commissioned to design a handful of life-sized dinosaurs. Sullivan was also the sculptor of the nearly 66-foot-tall Christ of the Ozarks in Eureka Springs that was finished in 1966. The concrete dinos were constructed based on Sullivan's designs. At that time, the 65-acre property was owned by Ola Farwell and he cleverly dubbed the park "Farwell's Dinosaur Park". About a decade later, the park changed ownership and was rebranded as "John Agar's Land of Kong". According to RoadsideAmerica.com, Ken Childs, the then-new owner, was friends with actor John Agar (who had been in the 1976 film King Kong) and received his permission

"The Honey House" was a honey shop and a fudge shop back in the day. It's unique honeycomb entrance is in relatively good shape, compared to most of the park's superficial structures.

The old grist mill stands tucked away in a scenic corner of the park that borders Highway 7. The concrete footbridge that goes over the dam is still sturdy enough to cross over. Quaint canoes float abandoned in the algae covered water. The mill was originally built in 1840, but then rebuilt again later on when it was incorporated into the theme park.

A former "Abner", Tom Phillips, posing in the town square in front of General Jubilation T. Cornpone.

to use Agar's name. Not long after, a 40foot statue of King Kong was erected with red glowing eyes and a chomping jaw, that, reportedly, didn't actually chomp very long after completion.

Altogether there were one-hundred sculptures of dinosaurs, cavemen, and the like scattered over the acreage where you could drive and walk through. The park boasted several claims to fame, including being the world's largest dinosaur park and having the world's largest King Kong. Additionally, the park was featured in the opening scenes of the 1969 horror B-movie "It's Alive!" It was also featured in a part of the 2005 film "Elizabethtown" with Orlando Bloom and Kirsten Dunst. The Arkansas tyrannosaurus is on the film's front cover, too. If that's not fame, I don't know what is. For now, though, Dinosaur World remains closed and sadly unkempt. In 2011, the park's main building burned down. A few of the sculptures can still be seen from the road and at the front gate, but that's as far as one can venture through the old Land of Kong now, as

The Riverbend Music show building is one of the very few buildings with signage that still exists. During its years of abandonment, many props throughout the park were stolen and suffered vandalism and graffiti. This building used to be a live music theater, where one could always count on some pickin' and grinnin'.

the front gate is posted "no trespassing". However, I have high hopes that the future holds something good for the dinosaurs that live by Beaver Dam. The 1960s saw many tourist attractions cropping up across the U.S. Disneyland had been extremely successful in California, and Silver Dollar City had been drawing in visitors locally since 1960. These tourist destinations have stood the test of time, but some of our humble Ozarks attractions obviously didn't. Insert another of my historical roadside favorites – the derelict and delightful Dogpatch, USA. That Ozarks hillbilly stereotype… some resent it, some embrace it, and Dogpatch USA, a now defunct amusement park, perpetuated that stereotype. If you find yourself on scenic Highway 7 (scenic is no understatement here) between Harrison, Ark. and February • March 2016 | 25

A few of my favorite offbeat Ozarks roadside stops that are alive and thriving:

TERRA STUDIOS An artisan community southeast of Fayetteville off of Highway 16 with shops, classes available, an eatery, labyrinth, gnomes, trolls, art installations, and picnic areas. It's a magical place to spend the day.

OZARK FOLK CENTER An Arkansas State Park that preserves Ozarks cultural heritage, holds traditional pioneer craft classes, features live mountain music, and has cabins to stay in, gift shops, and a restaurant-- The Skillet. Ozark Folk Center is in Mountain View, Ark., ("Folk Music Capital of the World") east of Marshall, Ark. on Highway 65.

ARKANSAS ALLIGATOR FARM If you find yourself as far south as Hot Springs and you're in the mood for something a bit odd, hit up this attraction that's been in business since 1902. They claim to have a "merman" on display, but I'm not quite convinced it's the real deal.

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Jasper, Ark., you'll buzz right through the community of Marble Falls. From 1968 to 1993, Marble Falls was known as Dogpatch, when the town was turned into a theme park based on the popular comic strip Li'l Abner by creator Al Capp. Characters from the comic strip included a menagerie of backwoods and simpleminded folk: Li'l Abner Yokum, lovable and lumbering, and Daisy Mae Scragg, blonde and busty – just to name a few. On opening day, May 17, 1968, 8,000 visitors moseyed through the park's gates. There were roller coasters, a water slide, various hillbilly-themed photo opportunities, food, "Kickapoo Joy Juice", and all of the trappings of a good amusement park. Dogpatch never became as popular or as profitable as hoped and,

Online resources for searching out the roadside oddities: roadsideamerica.com atlasobscura.com abandonedar.com roadtrippers.com

with the retirement of Al Capp and the Li'l Abner comic strip in 1977, Dogpatch USA slowly lost cultural relevance, revenues declined, the park changed hands a few times, and finally closed for good in October of 1993. Yet, Dogpatch has maintained quite the impressive fan base, even though it's been shut down for 21 years. The official Facebook page is sitting at nearly 30,000 likes. People repeatedly chime in with their fond childhood memories of the park in its glory days. In 2014, Bud Pelsor purchased the acreage that the defunct theme park sits on and began efforts to bring life back to Dogpatch. The place now goes by the name The Village of Dogpatch, and a group of dedicated individuals are helping Bud actualize his vision for the old theme park.

They plan to renovate the buildings that are still standing and preserve as much of the history as possible, while fostering a community of art, music, and food amidst the natural backdrop of the ArkansasOzarks. There are plans to restock the trout farm and promote the area as an "ecotourism destination." Dogpatch has events throughout the year when the gates stay open to the public. You can find the most recent news on their Facebook page. The Dogpatch story is still developing, and that's something to celebrate! These hills and hollers hold so much character thanks to previous and current generations of creative folk. Whether the destination be abandoned and packed with history or still flourishing, get out and explore our backyard! February • March 2016 | 27

Trout L Fishing Changed My Life BY ROB LOTUFO

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would drag us out fishing sometimes. We ike many of you, I have a back would hurl out a big pyramid shaped lead story I don’t visit much. I grew weight, with a snelled, sturdy hook and a up across the street from a chunk of blood worm or sand worm on it – concrete schoolyard in Brooklyn, and then wait. I’d always get impatient, and New York. You could play stickball, reel mine in early. Sometimes we’d hook a handball, roller skate or if it was windy, sea robin, a horrible fly a kite there. looking winged fish Mostly, you with what we were leaned against a told were deadly wall and talked poisonous dorsal like a big shot. If spines. Or a porgie, you were lucky, a bony, fishy tasting a big bully didn’t little bugger that come along looks about like and put you a pale, colorless in your place. bream. I almost Sometimes we’d wished we wouldn’t go fishing with Small, but scrappy. A hard fighting little Brownie. catch anything, lest our neighbor, Wes Wagner, when the bluefish, stripers or Mom would try to make me eat them. I grew to dislike the fishing very much. herring were in season. It always seemed Fresh water fishing was a mystery to to be very cold and stinky, and I didn’t care me, like game bird hunting, or skydiving. much for it. In my seventeenth year I somehow found In my middle school years, we myself smack dab in the middle of the moved out to the “country” which was the deep South, going to college in Auburn, northeast coast of Long Island. My dad

A little Brookie took the hookie.

Alabama. We had a hidey hole there called Chewacla Park. You could camp, swim, fish, jump off a rope swing or do just about anything you wanted there. I discovered my inner Huckleberry Finn in that place. For my eighteenth birthday, I talked dad into letting me get an ultralight spinning outfit. I was going to fashion myself into one of those field and stream type anglers, casting delicate artificial lures into pristine rushing waters, doing battle with beautiful leaping trophy fish. I wasn’t sure of the details, but I had the general parameters in mind. To my recollection, I never caught a thing. But I did learn about leeches, scorpions and water moccasins. I graduated and moved to Atlanta, and cultivated my fantasy further. I ordered a khaki fedora from a mail order

catalog. Part Indiana Jones, part Brad Pitt from, “A River Runs Through It.” I would be a weekend sportsman, and a master trout fisherman. I used to launch my aluminum jon boat up at Jones Bridge Road, float it past the manicured minimansions of the north Atlanta suburbs, and take out at Holcomb’s Bridge crossing. It was a beautiful 2-hour float. Not exactly a purist, I learned pretty quickly that I could toss a little rainbow trout colored Rapala crankbait with some six-pound test mono-filament on my ultralight rig and limit out on stocker trout by the end of that float pretty

consistently. I’d drift past those old fly fishermen, with their long graceful rods, waving that green line back and forth in slow, weightless arcs. It was as foreign to me as transcendental meditation. They all had khaki waders, and fishing vests with little sheep’s wool patches and longbilled caps and sunglasses with Croakies keepers so they wouldn’t fall off. Just like the guys on the cover of the Orvis catalog that I got every month at my little apartment off Peachtree Road. That next winter, I started to ogle the catalogs, and read the books, and visit the mysterious fly shops. One birthday,

Reliance, Tennessee

The sweet taste of success.

maybe my twenty-second, I ordered a fly fishing rig. It was an Abu Garcia, fiveweight, eight-and-a-half footer with a matching reel, line – the works. I learned about knots, backing, weight forward, level and double-tapered lines. I learned that gink makes you float, and xink makes you sink. I picked out some royal coachmen, elk hair caddis, and griffith gnats. I bought some nylon waders, and felt bottomed boots. I found a marked down canvas fishing vest at Kmart. I was ready to go. I was loaded for bear, or bull trout, so I thought. I’d drive my little Toyota pickup to the north Georgia mountains, and follow the map to some tiny creek I’d read about called Punkinseed, Apple Blossom, Turtletown, Coosawattee or Turnip Valley. I’d wander around like a lost pilgrim, February • March 2016 | 29

Balancing act on a moss covered stone.

trying to see just how fast I could hang all my flies in the tree branches, or snap them off with a jerky back cast, never to be found again. I think all in all, that season I caught two creek chub the size of my pinky toe, and once I even snagged a poachers deer carcass that came floating down the water in front of me. Still, I held on to the dream. When I got really frustrated, I’d

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go bream fishing with crickets and my ultralight rig – and slay them. Then fate moved me to eastern Tennessee. This was God’s country for trout. We had the wide pastoral tailwaters of the Hiwassee, and a myriad of mountain streams in the Cherokee national forest. There were so many places to fish, I never even made it to the Smokies. I bought a

Jeep Cherokee Sport four-wheel drive, the most beautiful vehicle I’d ever seen. I joined Trout Unlimited, so I could learn from the masters and get the window sticker. I was a born again trout fisher. I remember distinctly the first trout I ever caught on a fly. A cold February day. A couple hundred feet upstream from the bridge at Webb Brothers Texaco station/ general store/ outfitters. It was cold and cloudy, but my spirit wasn’t dampened. The water was fast as hell, probably because they were running water through two generators. I’d haul in my line and cast upstream into the danged wind. It was an Elk Hair Caddis, probably #12, because I couldn’t thread the eye of the smaller ones yet. It was a Rapala knot, which was the only knot I’d mastered. The instructions were on the bottom of the box of one of my old Rainbow crankbaits. I had a 4-weight tippet on a 15-foot, 4-weight tapered leader, tied to my double-taper #5 fly line with a little Chinese handcuff looking gizmo, finished with a little crazy glue. For those long runs you encounter with the big ones, I had 100-yards of braided Dacron backing.

YOUR LEGACY So, for 30 or 40 minutes, I’d fight the wind, looking just like those guys in the movies, except the current would sink my fly right away, and swish it downstream so fast I couldn’t even keep it in sight.

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There was a pile of debris down there, and I knew I didn’t want to get in all that, I did not want to be losing any flies this trip. On cast 47 or 53, I got distracted, maybe a hawk or an airplane or something like that. I felt it. Like a thunder boomer. Bump, bump, bump. I set the hook – he jumped. Down by the trash pile eddy I had been avoiding. He ambushed my sunken dry fly! It was on, the fight I had dreamed of all this time. My reel clicked as I wound up the slack. I held the rod up high to keep pressure on him. I dragged that bad boy upstream with vigor, until he finally relented. He splashed and flopped as I lifted him out of the water. He was a beautiful 8 or 9-ounce rainbow. I grasped him with my left hand, and dislodged the fly from his jaw. A little smear of blood on his lower lip. I raised him to my own mouth and gave him a kiss, then released him to the depths of the mighty Hiwasee. Little did I know, my life would never be the same again.

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No other bread seems quite as comforting on a country table as hot, homemade


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here did you experience your first home-made biscuit? You probably don’t remember. It’s just too far back in the memory banks. Maybe it was on Grandma’s lap taking your first bites of biscuits and gravy. Is biscuits and gravy still your favorite comfort food, or have you moved on to the hearty coupling of sorghum (or molasses) and butter on your biscuit? On the other hand, maybe you are a die-hard fan of homegrown strawberry, or bramblegathered blackberry jam. Personally, for breakfast, or a sweet snack, I crave a warm biscuit with butter and honey.

STRAWBERRY SHORTCAKE The not-so-distant cousin of the biscuit, the shortcake, is delicious and tender, and definitely worthy of generations of devotees. A great dessert for your sweethearts when strawberries begin to become widely available in February. Shortcake is also very similar to another biscuit relative, the scone. This recipe for shortcake can be made as scones, simply by cutting into rectangular sections, then cut corner to corner to make triangles. Brush tops with cream and dust lightly with granulated sugar. If desired, add a handful of raisins and chopped nuts to the batter.

Filling: 2 quarts hulled strawberries 1/2 cup sugar 2 tsp. fresh lemon juice Whipped cream for garnish

OLD-FASHIONED BISCUITS 2 cups flour 1/2 tsp. salt 2 tsp. baking powder ¼ cup shortening ¾ – 1 cup milk

Sift together the flour, salt and baking powder; cut or rub in the shortening until the fat is thoroughly blended with the flour. Add milk, then mix to a very soft dough, having this as cold as possible. Turn onto a well-floured board, knead just enough to give a smooth upper surface, then roll out or pat with the hand about 3/4 of an inch thick. Cut into biscuits and lay them, not touching each other, on a baking pan. Pat tops with melted butter (or soft bacon grease) to encourage browning. Bake in a 450 degree oven, 12 to 15 minutes.

Biscuits are so amazingly versatile. Breakfast, lunch or supper, biscuits can play a roll in bringing the meal together. This is the recipe I grew up on, and many of us started out with. The recipe on the back of the Clabber Girl Baking Powder is probably the most well known. It’s a good one to start with, especially if you are new to biscuit making. Need a round cutter? Make a great cutter using cans. Simply cut both the top and bottoms off with a can-opener. A tomato paste can makes a perfect small biscuit for supper, while a tomato sauce can works great for a larger, “biscuits and gravy,” sized biscuit.

Shortcake: 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour 1 tsp. salt 1 Tbsp. baking powder 3 Tbsp. sugar 1/2 cup (one stick) butter, or 1/2 cup shortening 1 tsp. vanilla 1 large egg 1 cup milk (1 tsp grated lemon peel optional) Preheat the oven to 425°F. Whisk together the dry ingredients, and cut in the cold butter or shortening. Whisk the vanilla and egg with the milk (add lemon peel if desired), then add all at once to the dry ingredients and stir until the liquid is absorbed. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead 4 or 5 times, just until it holds together. Pat the dough out to 3/4 inches thick, and cut it into circles. Place the biscuits onto an ungreased baking sheet, brush the tops with milk or egg white for a shiny surface, sprinkle with sugar if desired, and bake for 10 to 12 minutes, until the tops are golden brown. Remove from the oven and cool for 15 minutes before serving. To Assemble Shortcake: Mash 2 cups of the strawberries. Slice the remaining strawberries, and mix all of the berries with the sugar and lemon juice. Let rest 1 hour. Just before serving, split open the biscuits, spoon half the berries and whipped cream on the bottom half, top with remaining biscuit halves, and spoon on remaining berries and cream. February • March 2016 | 33

Here are a couple of quick biscuits that are a spin-off from the mainstay recipe. These short-cut recipes are hard to beat!

TOO EASY BISCUITS Measure out two cups of self-rising flour. Melt one stick of margarine or butter in a liquid measuring cup. Stir milk into butter to make 1-1/4 cup. Stir milk/ butter mixture into flour just till blended. With spatula, pour onto floured counter, fold a few times, flatten and cut out. Place on ungreased cookie sheet. Bake at 400 degrees for 12 minutes, or until brown and baked through.

BUTTER-DIP BISCUITS 1 stick unsalted butter 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour 4 tsp. granulated sugar 4 tsp. baking powder 2 tsp. salt 1 3/4 cups buttermilk (or 1 ½ cups milk) Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Place stick of butter in 8×8 pan and melt in heating oven. As butter is melting, combine dry ingredients in a large bowl. Pour in buttermilk and mix everything until just combined – be careful not to overwork the dough or biscuits will turn out tough.


Pour dough out of bowl into pan, right over melted butter. Spread the dough out as evenly as you can and pat it into the corners. score the dough into 9 squares with a sharp knife. Place pan in preheated oven and bake for 20-25 minutes, until golden brown on top.

TOP IT! Try your next biscuit with some of these delicious additions:


SAUSAGE GRAVY 1 pkg. (12 oz.) pork sausage 1/3 cup all-purpose flour 3 to 4 cups whole milk – depending on desired thickness 1 tsp. Salt 1 tsp. ground black pepper, more to taste Heat a large cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. Add the sausage, break it up with a wooden spoon, and cook, stirring occasionally, until well browned and cooked through, about 7 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the sausage to a bowl, leaving the rendered fat in the skillet. Whisk the flour into the fat and cook, stirring, for 2-3 minutes, until just starting to brown. While whisking, pour the milk into the skillet and bring the gravy to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer gently for 2 minutes. Stir in the sausage and season with salt and pepper. Split the biscuits in half and divide them among plates. Top each biscuit with some of the gravy and serve immediately.

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HEARTY AND SAVORY SHEPHERD’S PIE Mom used to make this with leftover roast beef and veggies, and top with her home-made biscuits and bake.

1 to 2 cups leftover roast beef cut into 1/2” to 1” pieces 3/4 cup sliced cooked carrots 1/2 cup sliced cooked celery 1/2 cup cooked peas 1/2 cup chopped onion. Salt and pepper to season to taste 2 Tbsp. flour 1 cup gravy or milk



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Blend flour with beef and veggies. Add gravy or milk and mix well. Place mixture in well-buttered shallow baking dish and cover with biscuits (Biscuits can be homemade, canned or frozen). Bake 25 minutes in 400 to 425 degree F., oven. Check pie after 20 minutes, bake till bubbling and biscuits are golden brown. *Can omit peas and add a diced cooked potato.


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February • March 2016 | 35

their operation, their goals and exp to s plan h Wit IS G IN RM SALTWATER SHRIMP FA are increasing as fast as their sales BIG BUSINESS IN SOUTHWEST MISSOURI


riving down the back roads of Stella, Missouri, it’s normal to see barns, livestock, crops growing and rows of poultry houses. But there is a business that has come as a surprise to many of the locals in the area. On Terrier Road, between Stella and Fairview, is the Circle Sea Shrimp Farm. Rick Clymer and his son Nathan began the venture in February 2014 and it continues to grow.


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Rick has spent his entire life in the Stella area, having raised turkeys for Butterball for nearly 30 years. Over the years his sons, Nathan and Anthony have helped in the turkey houses. But changes in the economy over the past few years made them start searching for something else. “There needed to be diversification of the farm,” stated Nathan. “Because of changes in the economy, the avian influenza epidemics and the down turn in the cattle market, we needed to have a back up plan. It was kind of dangerous to have all of your eggs in one basket.” They started looking into other ideas. They had a barn that had been

underutilized and decided to find a way to make it more profitable. One suggestion was growing Tilapia, but research showed that it was not very profitable. “Some of our neighbors had looked into raising shrimp but had never really pursued it,” said Nathan. The closest salt water shrimp farms are over 600 miles away, in Indiana, and the other is in Florida. “There are freshwater farms in Central Missouri, but these are grown in ponds outdoors, which makes the growing season much shorter, due to weather fluctuations in the fall and winter months. The freshwater shrimp are much more susceptible to the weather.”

Taking a Chance on a New Venture In July of 2014 they decided to take a chance and work began to start raising Pacific White Shrimp. Rick and his sons did a complete overhaul of the barn, taking out the old equipment, taking down the curtains and doubling the insulation. They purchased 12 swimming pools and set them up inside the barn. “The swimming pools have antimicrobial agents built in to the plastic that would leech in to the water, causing issues with the bacteria needed for the shrimp,” said Nathan. “We added a potable water liner, which solved this problem and also acts as an extra barrier against leaks.” Propane water heaters were installed to warm the water, which has to be between 86-90 degrees. The Pacific White shrimp are native to Ecuador and are not hardy in cooler temperatures. A system was also set up to circulate the water and aerate it. The floors are lined with pond liners which keeps any water from going outside. The water has a high level of salt in it and could be harmful to vegetation. “The EPA and DNR told us that as long as we kept the water inside the barn it is not a danger to the environment, and they will not regulate us or have any intervention,” said Nathan. “There is no certification or water treatment needed as long as we keep the water contained.” The water contains a probiotic agent that processes the shrimp waste and uneaten food. “Shrimp probably only eat 30% of the food we give them,” said Rick. “The probiotics help take care of the rest.” In October of 2014 they received their first shipment of baby shrimp and the process began. “We order the shrimp from Shrimp Improvement Systems in the Florida Keys.” They order 35,000 shrimp at a time, and put 7500 in each tank.

When the babies arrive they are ten days old and about the size of an eyelash. They are put into smaller tanks and spend four weeks there. At that time, they are moved to the bigger tanks where they stay until harvest. Each tank in the barn is at a different age, so that they can keep a steady supply growing. “It’s about 120-140 days to harvest, so the shrimp spend 14-16 weeks in the bigger tanks. Because of the warmer weather, they grow faster in the summer months,” said Nathan. “It’s definitely a family business,” said Rick. “We share duties so that everyone knows what needs to be done so that there is always coverage.” Rick added that he spends most of his time in the barn caring for the shrimp, Nathan handles the marketing, moving the shrimp from tank to tank and harvesting. Rick’s son, Anthony, helps with the shrimp as does their employee Troy Begey. “It’s really opposite of regular farming and poultry production. With turkeys and cattle, you see how they are growing and adjust their feed,” said Nathan. “But with the shrimp being in the tanks, you watch how much they are eating and that gives you an idea how much they are growing. It’s a lot of constant adjusting.”

Rick added that there is a science involved as well. “We are constantly testing the water, we test for water quality, oxygen, pH levels, temperature and acidity. Once a week we run a chemical test for cO2 and ammonia. The only thing we add to the water is baking soda to help with the alkalinity of the water.” Rick went on to add that they are a near zero water exchange operation. They recycle and reuse the water from the tank, draining it from one tank to another while they clean out the tank from the previous harvest. At the end of the growing time, the shrimp are finally ready for harvesting. “We specialize in jumbo shrimp,” said Nathan. “We sell the shrimp by the pound and try to get them to the size of 20 shrimp per pound. Sometimes we have to harvest a little smaller due to the fact that at times we have 4-6 week waiting lists.” The Clymer’s had the first harvest of marketable shrimp in February of 2015. They shared that most times they have a waiting list, but at times the harvest is larger than their orders. “We do all of our marketing on Facebook. If we have extra shrimp at harvest we put a notice on our Facebook page and within hours they are spoken for,” said Nathan.

Each tank holds 4,000 gallons of water, and 1000 pounds of salt. “It’s not a matter of how much salt is in the water, but of how much water is in the salt,” said Rick. February • March 2016 | 37

Harvesting for Maximum Freshness “We want our customers to get their shrimp as fresh as possible. We harvest for same day pick up,” said Nathan. “We really need a 24-hour notice for an order so that we can put them in a sand vein tank, which allows the sand vein to clean itself out. This eliminates the need to de-vein the shrimp.” Fresh shrimp only have a 3-4 day shelf life, so they suggest getting them as close to possible to the time they are to be eaten. “Fresh shrimp have no odor. If you are buying shrimp at a store and they have an odor to them, they aren’t fresh.” Rick went on to add that customers need to realize that there is a 50% live weight to meat ration. A pound of live shrimp will make a half pound of edible meat. He added that there are different ways you can process the shrimp to increase it slightly.

The shrimp stay in the sand vein tank until shortly before they are due to be picked up. At that time, they are scooped out of the tank and plunged into a bucket of ice water, which kills them within 20-30 seconds. They are then weighed, bagged up and packed in ice to await being picked up. The morning of each harvest they pull the shrimp from the tanks, and put them in the wait tank. They drain the water

from the tanks to ensure that they get all of the shrimp out. “You never know until you start scooping the shrimp out just how successful your harvest is. You can take a net and dip out a few to check, but you never know until harvest day,” said Rick. “You start with 7,500 shrimp and if you get 40% to market that is considered outstanding. They are not a real hardy animal,” said Nathan.

The father and son admit that they have learned many lessons along the way. One interesting thing being that shrimp can jump. Anytime there is a change in the barn, the shrimp react. If there is a power outage which affects the lights and air to the tank,

the shrimp will start jumping. Rick shared a story about the first time there was a storm and the lights went off in the barn, that when the lights came back on there were shrimp jumping out of the tanks. “I yelled at the boys to hurry and pick the shrimp up and get them back in the tanks. We had to install nets around the pools.” Rick added that shrimp farming is very similar to poultry farming. “It requires a lot of attention. It is just as labor intensive but less taxing physically.” So far their venture has seen a measure of success. Coverage by a local television station has created a surge in calls for their shrimp, and they are even in the midst of expanding their business into the other part of the barn they are using. They are planning to add another ten swimming pools, to nearly double their production. “Right now we are marketing straight to the consumer. We would like to get built up to where we could market it to local restaurants, but right now we just don’t have the steady supply for something like that,” said Rick. “I think this will be sustainable, because of the lack of availability of fresh shrimp in this area,” said Nathan. “The industry is emerging and no one is doing really great, but we are doing well so far. The potential is there. Between us and the others trying to do it, it’s a race to see who gets there first.”

A Time for Learning

d or more.

PRICING: $15 per pound for 4 pounds or less • $12 per pound for 5 poun SHRIMP PREPARATION:

Rick and Nathan both shared that if you are boiling the shrimp it is better to do so with the heads on, as it gives them a really sweet sugary flavor. They suggested that if you are going to grill them, then be sure to take the shell off first, but if you boil them, boil them whole, then clean them and prepare the dish. They also suggested you could save the heads and boil them wrapped in a cheesecloth to make stock for gumbo.

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Circle Sea Shrimp Farm 19840 Terrier Road Stella, MO 417-319-4319 www.circleseashrimp.com

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February • March 2016 | 39

Good For You... Wonderful Bone Broth BY MARY LOWRY


lthough the name “bone broth” doesn’t sound very enticing, it truly is an amazing food. It may be one of the most healing, nutritious, and possibly the least expensive item you can make and eat.

Did I say delicious? It can definitely be that also. This is a traditional food that is cherished in almost every culture. Typically made from poultry, beef, bison, lamb and fish. It wasn’t until more processed foods and modern fast paced living has the regular making of it been nearly lost in the home kitchen. We often buy and eat the meat alone, and have ignored, discarded and wasted the bones, which would help us digest the lean meat, and also add other nutrients that are seriously needed in our diet. Bone broth is similar to a stock, however, it is cooked longer to release minerals from the bones. Stocks may be cooked for a few hours, however, a bone broth is simmered at low temperatures for a day or two. The low temperature and long cooking allows minerals and other nutrients in the bones to be leached into the broth. 40 |



So, what makes bone broth so good for us? Bone broths contain a high amount of minerals, and in forms that are easily absorbed. We get calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, sulphur and silicon. As the bones, tendons, ligaments and cartilage, are simmered, they release collagen, chondroitin sulphates, hyaluronic acid and glucosamine. These are all popular nutrients and are often pricey supplements which are known to help reduce arthritis pain, help reduce inflammation, help rebuild, repair and lubricate joints, and give a suppleness to skin. Bone broth is also a great source for gelatin in addition to the collagen. Gelatin is basically broken down (cooked) collagen. It is what you see jiggling on the surface of a cooled down roast or chicken broth. It isn’t a complete protein, but it does contain the amino acids proline, arginine, glycine and glutamine. These are amino acids that are very healing anti-inflammatories. We often throw it out, but the gelatin and collagen are great for hair, skin and nails. They also protect and soothe the lining of the digestive tract. They can aid in the healing of many intestinal problems, including leaky gut syndrome and the food

Beef and Barley Vegetable Soup 1 ½ pounds of beef stew meat, cut into small chunks 4-5 cups of beef bone broth ½ cup of chopped celery ½ cup chopped carrot ½ cup chopped onion 1 cup chopped cabbage 1 clove garlic minced 12 ounce can of diced tomatoes and juice (or add fresh diced tomatoes or tomato juice) ¾ - 1 cup pearl barley (non instant) Salt, freshly ground black pepper,bay leaf, thyme and oregano to taste. In a 4 quart saucepan or dutch oven, brown the meat on all sides in a little olive oil for several minutes. Add veggies and cook and stir till partially soft. Add the beef broth, fresh or canned tomatoes, garlic and seasoning. Cook for about 1 hour. Add pearled barley and cook another 40 minutes or till barley is done.

sensitivities and aches and pains that may be caused by a “leaky gut.” To get started making bone broth, you will need a large stock pot or a crock pot and a strainer, good quality water, and good quality bones from wild caught fish, pastured poultry, and grass fed cattle or bison, hormone and antibiotic free. Remember that lead and other heavy metals in bones can leach out into the broth along with the other minerals. About 2 pounds of bones per gallon of water makes a good broth. If using uncooked raw bones, it improves the flavor to roast them in the oven first for 30 minutes at 350 degrees F. Put the bones or carcass in the pot or crockpot. Cover the bones with water and add 2 Tablespoons of apple cider vinegar to help leach the minerals from the bones. Then add some organic chopped vegetables or vegetable peels for flavor (a chopped onion, and onion skins, 2 large chopped carrots, 2 -3 chopped celery stalks, and any other vegetables or vegetable scraps you would like). Add salt, pepper, spices or herbs. If adding parsley, add it towards the end for flavor and added nutrients. Bring the broth to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and simmer

Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup 2 cups of chicken breast cut into small pieces, or chicken meat removed from the bones after making broth 12 cups chicken bone broth 1 ½ cups cooked egg noodles 1 cup chopped onion 1 cup chopped carrots 1 cup chopped celery 1 garlic clove, minced fresh parsley chopped fine Himalayan or Celtic sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

For gluten free you can add cooked wild or brown rice, or gluten free noodles

Cut up the chicken or use the chicken saved from making chicken broth. If raw, cook the chicken in about 2 Tablespoons of olive oil till done. Add the vegetables and cook till partially soft, or onions are translucent. Add the broth and heat to boiling. Add noodles or cooked rice and simmer till done. Season to taste. till done. Fish broth may only take about 8 hours, chicken about 24, but beef broth about 2 days. Remove the surface froth as it forms with a spoon. Remove from heat, let cool slightly, and strain to remove bone fragments and cooked vegetables. The broth can be poured in jars and kept refrigerated for up to 5 days, or frozen for

One of my Italian grandmothers, “Maria,” was a wonderful cook. My other grandmother “Babilla,” was not real crazy about cooking. I think I took after this “Nonni.” Despite disliking cooking, I still have fond memories of her Italian version of egg drop soup that she made from her homemade chicken broth. Stracciatella means “fine shreds” in Italian, for the appearance of the egg when cooked.

Stracciatella 6 cups of chicken broth 2 eggs 2 Tablespoons of Parmesan cheese 1 cup spinach leaves cut into thin strips salt and freshly ground pepper to taste Heat the chicken broth to boiling. Whisk the eggs in a bowl. Rapidly swirl the chicken broth while drizzling the eggs into the broth. Add the spinach and heat till wilted. Serve in bowls, sprinkled with parmesan cheese.

up to 6 months. A layer of fat will form on the surface that can be removed just before using. I like to heat it back into the broth if it isn’t too excessive. For all of it’s benefits, you can consume this bone broth daily. Some people like to drink a mug of warmed seasoned broth. I like to use it in place of water, when cooking rice, quinoa or other grains. You can braise meats and vegetables with it. It can be used in soups and stews. The following recipes are some of my favorite uses.

The old saying that chicken broth is good for a cold and flu, is now being backed by research. A study by the University of Nebraska Medical Center found that chicken broth aided digestion, and reduced inflammation in the respiratory system. Research is also proving that it can also boost the immune system. I bet it won’t be long before it will be also proven that it is healing for the soul. Let’s not disregard the power of a warm cup of soup cooked and served with love.

The best care at the best time: when you need it. COX MONETT HOSPITAL February • March 2016 | 41

Creatures Great and S A


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farmer troubled by yet another problem – a lame Hereford – is requesting a hoof trim. Dr. Amber Heidlage and assistant Clint Broyles coax the limping cow out of a shadowy trailer and through a chute that ends at a hydraulic table. They belt the animal down and rotate her until she’s completely horizontal, allowing Heidlage to examine the feet. They’re a little long, she admits over the whining hoof trimmer, but shouldn’t be causing such a severe limp. It’s probably a stifle injury. Broyles administers antiinflammatory injections, which he compares to a Tylenol. Back in the clinic, Heidlage reviews her treatment recommendations. She’s direct but doesn’t rush. “If it won’t get better, that becomes a disability issue,” she explains. The cow can’t move, eat, drink, or breed. “She’s not going to have quality of life.” The prognosis feels grim. If nothing improves in 30 days, her future most likely involves a butcher or euthanization.

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“Doc” Harold Haskins has been practicing large animal veterinary care since 1970. Heated vet boxes allow the doctors to carry supplies on site without subjecting medications to harsh weather conditions.

Death isn’t pleasant for vets, but it’s a fact of life for practitioners who work with livestock. Heidlage works at the Animal Clinic of Diamond, a popular mixedanimal practice in southwest Missouri. Its anchor is Harold Haskins – fondly known as “Doc.” The clinic employs three full-time vets, two vet techs, and three assistants. From the waiting room, you can hear everything – cats mewing on examination tables, cows shuffling in the neighboring barn. Some of the clinic’s longtime clients, February • March 2016 | 43

Above, Dr. Amber Heidlage-Cole trims hooves. Rotating hydraulic tables allow veterinarians to safely trim hooves and check for injuries.

typically farmers who have known Doc for years, drift in to chat and eye a candy jar on the welcome counter. It’s a disappearing way of life. Rural areas have been losing largeanimal vets for decades. Today’s vet-school 44 |



grads, the majority of them women, choose jobs in cities and suburbs, and many country vets just close shop when they retire. It’s understandable: pets are safer, people spend more on household companions, business isn’t tied to the

market value of the animal. (Last summer, beef prices skyrocketed to $3,000 a head.) Hours are softer, too. Large-animal practitioners are on call 24-hours a day, 7 days a week. Doc’s vet trucks add 70,000 miles each year. “It’s hard work and it’s not real lucrative,” Doc says. He supplements his own income with 1,500 head of cattle that languidly graze the fields surrounding the clinic. In 1973, three years after Doc graduated from the University of Missouri’s College of Veterinary Medicine, he took out a loan to open the Animal Clinic of Neosho. “I was scared to death of that debt,” he recalls. “I worked long, long, long, long hours. Seven days a week, 14-16 hour days, and emergency work at night.” By the end of the decade, the clinic had five full-time vets and more business than he could handle. After selling the Neosho clinic in the 80s, Doc spent the next decade consulting for the Joplin Regional Stockyards while running a side on-call practice. But he missed clinic life, and re-established himself in Diamond in 1992. “I like the challenge, I like the successes, I totally dislike the failures. A producer might miss a cow that’s calving and you get into some real bad things. I can’t say that I enjoy that, but I do enjoy

trying to save that cow’s life. Being a vet has been the greatest thing in the world for me. I couldn’t have had a better life.” In May, Doc will turn 70. “A high mileage 70,” he adds quickly. He still works livestock, but surrounds himself with good hands. He’s had five bypasses and two stints. His heart functions at fifteen percent. He can’t live forever, he says, because his health’s not good enough. He jokes about a big funeral. He doesn’t worry about the future of his practice.

Rectal palpations are a common and cheap— albeit messy—form of preg-checking among cattle producers.

Cow Handling and Preg-Checking with the Pros:

It’s not all cattle for the Animal Clinic of Diamond. Roughly half the patients are also small animals like Oreo.

When Amber Heidlage graduated from Doc’s alma mater and applied to his veterinary clinic nine years ago, he hired her despite hesitations about female largeanimal veterinarians. “I’m not a male chauvinist and I tell everybody that – I’m not,” he says. But Heidlage grew up five miles down the road and he’d known her family for years. And, he admits, “She’s excellent. Just excellent. She’s really good with large animals, and I was amazed at that. I got on board and decided women could handle it.”

In 2013, Doc added Dr. Emily Rowe to the team, and the practice is still growing. He’d like to hire 2-3 more vets. One of the team, hopefully, will buy the clinic someday. “Emily and Amber really like the profession. I never want to hold them back. I hope that they enjoy medicine at least half as much as I have. I hope that they’re successful. That’s my biggest hope. That’s what I wish for them.” Heidlage and Rowe’s futures are bright. In the coming months, Heidlage plans to open her own practice – mixed animal, of course. But for now, Diamond is still home, and it feels homey. The clinic is cozy and warm. The welcome counter is made of wood. On the wall hangs a framed children’s drawing of animals treated at the clinic (cow, horse, cat, dog, pig), and animals not (alligators, monkeys, snakes, bugs, turtles, lions, birds). Small animal appointments are steady year-round. Herd work and reproductive work fill spring and fall. Winter is slow by comparison, but they never hurt. In the prior two weeks, the clinic got three midnight calls for C-sections. No one minds. At the very least, it gets them out of the office.

Usher them into a corral, shush them gently. Armed with a thick branch and a rod, Doc separates the cows one-by-one down a chute and toward an open headgate. A farmer shuts it via clanking lever, leaving the cow’s head poking out and the body arrested inside. Injections are administered into the left shoulder. Dr. Rowe, meanwhile, steps behind the cow, her right arm encased up to the shoulder in a latex glove. She lifts the tail and slides her fingers into the rectum. The cow hardly flinches. There’s an odd modesty here; Rowe almost always looks away as she works by the feel of her educated hand. She’s searching for the shape of a calf’s head. Finally, a declaration: “She’s bred.” Rowe withdraws her manurestreaked arm, the farmer opens the headgate, and the cow bounds out, free.

Animal Clinic of Diamond 417-325-4136 Harold Haskins (cell) 417-437-2191 February • March 2016 | 45

On the Front Porch with Bobby Avila


obby is a Missouri native who has made his home in the Ozarks for 15 years now. Him and his wife, Kristen, along with oneand-a-half year old son, Michael, make their home in Rogersville, east of Springfield, Missouri.

With many years of horse reining training experience, as well as competitive experience, Bobby is now raising and training superior horses, as well as riders. This fall, Bobby had the privilege to see his partners (Justin and Leah Zimmerman) daughter, Taylor (14 years old), perform in and win the reigning competition at the AQHA Youth Championship World Show in Oklahoma City. To top it off, Taylor's horse, Alotta Step, was born on the Zimmerman ranch and raised and trained by Bobby as well.

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Ozark Hills and Hollows sat down for a visit with Bobby:


Who is your favorite Cowboy of all time? Oh, John Wayne! I love old movies – The Cowboys is one of my favorites. My second favorite is, The Man From Snowy River (A George Miller movie from 1982). f you had to live anywhere else, where would you choose? (long pause) My wife would want to move to Florida, but I'm okay here in the Ozarks. I like it here in Missouri. What is your favorite horse to train? Quarter horses and Paints. They have great reigning and athletic potential – they maneuver well. How long have you worked with horses? When I was five years old, I got my first POA (Pony of the Americas). Was there a life event that made you realize that you wanted to train horses? I had a horse that was very hard to control. I was competing in team Bobby's son, Michael, is growing up amidst penning – and I was horses and already has a little pony of his own. around 10 years old – I took that horse, started getting lesson, went to a lot of training clinics, and brought him from being undisciplined, to being able to compete in bridleless competitions. What is Reigning? To rein a horse is not only to guide him, but also to control his every movement. The best reined horse should be willingly guided or controlled with little or no apparent resistance, and dictated to completely by the rider.

February • March 2016 | 47

WATER Horses need access to fresh clean water. Most horses weighing around 1,000 pounds drink about 10 to 12 gallons of water per day. Weather conditions and a horse’s physical activity increase or decrease the amount of water required. During winter months, use of water heaters can encourage horses to drink more by eliminating ice or extremely cold water. Providing free access to a good water source will help prevent dehydration. Dehydration can lead to colic and the possibility of organ damage.

FORAGE Grazing in a pasture keeps a horse healthy by receiving their calories in the most natural way. The stomach of a horse is quite small compared to the size of the animal. Therefore, a horse must be fed small quantities, in frequent intervals and on a regular schedule in order to have healthy digestion. Through pasture, hay or other means the majority of a horses feed intake should be good quality forage.


Essentials for Your Horse BY AMANDA REESE


eeping your horse healthy and ready for the next trail ride requires daily care. Simple things like regular grooming and adding supplements to their diet can help you detect and prevent life-threatening or debilitating problems. Here are a few tips and products that will keep you prepared for your horses needs.

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The use of a quality horse feeder helps eliminate the risk of colic. Horses eating off the ground can ingest sand, dirt and debris that can lead to colic. Additionally, using a safe feeder will help prevent ingestion of parasites.

SALT Horses need salt in their diet. If a horse becomes starved for salt, they may not drink enough water and risk intestinal impaction. If a horse licks and chews on things that have salt it may be a sign he is deficient. Some feeds have salt added. However, the salt needs of horses vary. Provide free choice salt to your horse with access to plenty of fresh clean water.

VITAMINS AND MINERALS Horses need the appropriate amount of vitamins and minerals to avoid dietary deficiency. The portion and ratio of vitamins and minerals needed varies with each horse and stage of life. To ensure your horse is receiving the best possible portion and ratio get nutritional council from a trusted professional.

DE-WORMING A quality de-worming program helps reduce parasites within the horse and can prevent intestinal damage, colic and organ damage. Rotating de-wormers seasonally ensures specific parasites are being killed during specific stages of life.

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WOUND CARE If a horse has a severe wound, call a veterinarian. Keep bandages and wound care products stocked in tack room or barn for treatment of minor injuries.

GROOMING When grooming a horse it’s an ideal time to check for small injuries and skin conditions. Identifying skin problems early allows you to treat the condition and prevent it from becoming worse. Proper grooming massages the horse’s muscles and can work out possible soreness. Grooming is also a great way to bond with your horse.


FLY PREVENTION Flies carry and spread diseases that can infect horses. Keeping a quality fly spray and using it on your horse regularly helps prevent fly bites, bots, and potential disease. Additionally outdoor fly control products can reduce flies around your pasture, stable or barn. Rotate insecticides and fly spray to prevent the flies building a resistance to a product or spray. The best prevention of flies is sanitation and cleaning up of fly breeding areas.

BEDDING Bedding in stalls and horse trailers acts as a shock absorber for the horse. Quality bedding also absorbs urine keeping a stall or trailer drier. Pine or Cedar shavings are a good choice for horses. Cedar shavings repel insects and have a pleasant smell.

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www.racebros.com February • March 2016 | 49

AMANDA REESE, horse trainer, speaker and writer, is a horse advocate that helps new and experienced horse riders, alike, learn to feel confident with their horse as well as fostering a community of goodwill and camaraderie among area horse riders. Amanda offers this insight and advice to those interested in horses:

HOW CAN A PERSON PREPARE FOR HORSE OWNERSHIP? Begin by reading and learning as much as you can about horses. Covering topics varying from horse care to understanding a horse’s nature will be beneficial! Learn parts of the horse, horse terminology and familiarize yourself with horse tack and necessary equipment. Invest in riding lessons with a reputable riding instructor.

WHAT KIND OF ACCOMMODATIONS DO I NEED TO KEEP A HORSE? It is not necessary to have a barn with stalls, but horses do need shelter. A three-sided shed with a roof gives a horse shelter to get out of rain, snow, sleet, hail and wind. A small pen or stall is adequate if the horse is being exercised and/or turned out daily. The less a horse is exercised, the larger pen or paddock they need. Horses need room to run around, and also need room to roll without getting hung up.


Do you LOVE horses? Are you interested in horseback riding? Purchasing, training, keeping and maintaining a healthy horse is a big responsibility. Before deciding if you want a horse, choose what kind of horse or decide which type of horseback riding you want to pursue, here are a few questions we asked area horse experts, Bobby Avila, of Avila Performance Horses in Rogersville, Missouri, and Amanda Reese, Horse trainer and author located in Monett, Missouri. 50 |



Horses need quality feed, on average, 1-and-one-half pounds of hay per day, per 100 pounds of body weight; plus a protein supplement, salt, and mineral. Grain is optional depending on physical activity, age, and individual circumstances. A vet or a professional horseman can help you figure out the nutritional needs of your individual horse.

HOW DO I PICK OUT A HORSE? Seek help from a professional. A qualified trainer or instructor can help pair an inexperienced rider with a horse that is a good fit. A professional will pick up on bad behavior, vices, conformation issues, lack of training, etc. It’s also advisable to have the horse vet checked before purchase to ensure soundness. A veterinarian will not guarantee a horse 100% sound; however, they will point out any serious issues.


BOBBY AVILA, who trains riders and horses in the discipline of reining, shares with us a couple of important considerations when buying and training a horse:

In general, a young green horse and a green rider are a bad combination. Beginning riders usually do well with an older horse that is well-trained. I like to find horses for beginners that are solid in their training and tolerant of riders’ mistakes. But keep in mind, just because a horse is older, it doesn’t always mean better. There are older horses that are poorly trained and intolerant of green riders. Look for an aged horse that fits the criteria of extensive training, experience, exposure and a great temperament.

WHAT SHOULD YOU LEARN FROM A HORSE TRAINER? I feel that the most important thing one should learn from a horse trainer is that each horse is an individual. The approach taken to train each horse is different than the last horse ridden.


WHAT WILL IT COST ME TO PURCHASE A HORSE? Prices vary greatly depending on bloodlines, conformation, color, training, age, and experience. When looking for your first horse, remember what you pay is a small amount compared to a lifetime of feedbills, farrier bills, vet bills and so on. It is well worth paying extra to get a safe horse that you can enjoy for many years.

Horse Disciplines What type of horse discipline you are involved in, or interested in, depends a lot on what you want to do with your horse, or what groups you want to join. Generally, horseback riding is divided into two categories, Western and English – the most common activities are in the Western category. Ranch riding, trail riding, barrel racing, roping, cutting, reining, working cow horse, mounted shooting are disciplines of Western riding. Dressage, hunter/ jumpers, polo and cross country are disciplines of English riding. Most disciplines have competitive levels – even good trail riders can be competitive with their trained horse. Of course, if you are just interested in pleasure riding in the woods, or on the trail that is a wonderful way to enjoy your horse! Amanda Reese can be reached at 417-3892677 or ozarkhhamandareese@gmail.com.

To get started riding horses, I recommend getting lessons. They should find a trainer in the discipline that they wish to learn. The biggest mistake that I find people make is that they think that they can do it on their own. For their own investment and safety they should work with a trainer, at least starting out until they gain experience.

HOW ABOUT PURCHASING A HORSE? When buying a horse for someone, I first take into consideration what their goals are. If, for example, a customer calls me and says, “Bobby, could you help me find a horse for my neighbors kids, they have very little experience.” I tell myself that they need a family horse. I would seek to find them a quiet, aged horse with training and possibly show experience. This makes for a good experience and also allows the family to become more horse savvy. When searching for a horse to train for competition, I first look to see whether the horse has the confirmation to do the required maneuvers expected from the athlete. Second, I look for genetics!

LASTLY, I ASKED BOBBY ABOUT THE IMPORTANCE OF DEVELOPING A RELATIONSHIP WITH YOUR HORSE: It is important to have a relationship with your horse. The foundation of the bond is the most important. A horse must have boundaries and respect for its handler. Horses are not lap dogs – riders need to respect that they are larger and can easily hurt you. A well trained horse has been taught how to respect, and where their boundaries are. Those horses are usually always gentle and kind, and are safer for their riders. The way you get to know your horse better is to understand him or her better. Horses like routine and a job; of course they like food and treats also. But, it is not smart to bribe your horse to do what you wish because that leads to the horse not having respect for its handler. One can have the strongest bond their your horse by routine exercise and good handling. The horse will become your partner. Bobby Avila can be reached at 417-844-5240 or bobbyavila@att.net. Avila Performance Horses, LLC is located in Rogersville, Missouri and operates out of Zimmerman Performance Horses, LLC. February • March 2016 | 51


Repurposing Revolution BY SHERRY LEVERICH

OLD NEWS into NEW USE What to do with all those newspapers

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You can make logs out of newspapers that are comparable to using wood logs. 1. Gather lots of newspaper. 2. Soak them in a tub or sink with water (some people suggest adding a teaspoon of detergent to the water). Let the papers remain in water for one hour. 3. Roll sections of newpaper tightly into the desired width and thickness of log. 4. Bind log with wire that can be removed and reused before burning, or with sisal twine that can be burned with log. 5. Let dry complete by hanging or sitting upright for at least one week. If rolled tightly and allowed to completely dry, logs should burn like wood, and not unroll while burning.



Save toilet paper rolls, and fill with discarded dryer lint. Light these little gems and you'll have your newspaper logs warming up in no time!

Works great as a completely compostable, water permeating barrier between soil and other mulching materials. Wet newpapers, layer and completely cover garden area. Cover with straw, leaves or grass clippings for a long-lasting mulch.


Using newsprint for rags is a great way to get a streak free finish on a window. Simply spray window with cleaner, and wipe till dry with dry newpaper pages. Bonus: Equal parts water and vinegar combined in a spray bottle make a great, natural window cleaner.


Wadded newpaper works great to stuff into those dress shoes you only use once a year. Newspaper is also a great BONUS: choice for Also works great to dry the inside of wet this because shoes – stuff shoes with it absorbs newspaper, change out odors as well! wet newspapers twice a day till shoes are dry.

for fun: PIĂ‘ATA:

Using a big inflated balloon as the base, you can design many different objects for a pinata. Decide on a design. You can use cardboard or other objects to build design with freezer tape, to the big balloon base. Cut newspaper into 1-inch strips. Dip in a mixture of one part flour, and two parts water. Layer the newsprint strips one layer at a time over shape, drying in between for at least 3 layers. Slit an opening on top to fill with toys and candy, then layer more pasted newpaper. Paint, and you're ready to go!


Tear a sheet of newpaper into tiny pieces. Place in pan and cover with boiling water. Let set for one hour, then squeeze wadded newpaper pieces. With small pieces of damp newsprint, roll into tight balls. Let dry. Every once in awhile, roll balls as they are drying. When completely dry, drill small hole through ball, so that it can be threaded with twine to make bracelets or necklaces. Paint with acrylics or finger nail polish to fit your style. Spray with lacquer if desired as well.


If you are into papercraft, newpaper offers endless opportunity! Gift wrap, bows and paper flowers, origami gift bags, and hats just to name a few. Find interesting pictures and graphics for decopage projects, or home-made cards.

Make a statement with a truly original maincure. 1. Wash your hands thouroughly to remove any oils from your nails. 2. Apply a base coat, then a nude or white polish. Let dry completey. 3. Dip each nail into the rubbing alcohol for about five seconds each. For a less black4. Cut small pieces of newspaper for each nail. Press and-white look, it firmly on each nail for a few seconds. try using comic 5. Peel it off carefully. You'll find that the ink from the book pages. newspaper will be left behind. 6. Apply a topcoat to your nails. This is needed because without it, the newspaper will rub off. It also gives your nail some extra shine. February • March 2016 | 53


“And the tree was happy” -- Shel Silverstein, The Giving Tree


ranson Cedars Resorts, only nine miles south of Branson, felt like an escape from the hustle and bustle of life. My husband and I, along with our closest friends and family members, chose to escape from our busy and oftentimes chaotic lives, to park our vehicles in the woods, and enjoy quality time in the rustic, cabin-like structure resting on steel beams artistically designed to appear as a living breathing tree. We walked the wooden ramp with the feeling of nostalgia to our own childhood memories or dreams of treehouses. I opened the red door decorated with stained glass butterflies, and inhaled with anticipation, coupled with excitement. I am about to fulfill a childhood dream of spending the night with the people I love and care about the most, in a treehouse. A treehouse with the appropriate name, “Whispering Woods.” As we explored our unique home away from home, we noticed the wraparound balcony opened onto an expansive view into the woods of the Ozark Mountains located on the edge of Mark Twain National Forest off of Highway 86. As we walked 54 |



around the balcony, the whispering of the wind rustled the leaves, disconnecting us from our phones and technology, and reminding us of the simplicity of nature. Within a few short moments, we succumbed totally to the magic of the treehouse, but

February • March 2016 | 55

I know the appeal to us is partly the feeling the treehouse provided us to restore our energy from the demands of our lives. My husband and I have an insatiable passion to mountains and nature, and I believe two of the owners, Michael and Jeannette Hyams, along with Patsy and Jack O’Kieffe, share that same passion. When they purchased the 133-acre resort in October of 2010, they agreed on a vision for this property, a resort bringing families together to create memories. In fact, the goal centered on encouraging families to put down the cell phones and disconnect from technology in order to engage in conversation and making memories; which explained the abundance of activities the resort offered for every age group. Activities such as: paintball, disc golf, RC track, x-treme bike challenge, swimming pool, volleyball, basketball, badminton, croquet, bike rentals, soccer, horseshoes, and many more activities. In fact, Branson Cedars Resorts owns and maintains one of the top disc golf courses in the United States, and they host sold-out tournaments every year. Their simple idea to start a family fun activity, transformed into a booming business. The resort also offers a farmers market courtesy of the Guardian Angel Fresh Produce Stand which opens from June until October for guests desiring fresh produce to add to their menus and palates, and with the treehouses, storybook cottages, and cabins fully equipped with kitchens, cooking and storing the fresh produce is an added feature. As we drove around the resort, the Hyams discussed the restoration experience, and all that they had accomplished with the cabins, cottages, land, 56 |



disc golf and with their guests that amazed me the most; however, the Hyams initially struggled with the direction of the new investment. Therefore, they threw themselves into a brainstorming process to create a new attraction for their guests, and living near Branson, a lively city where new attractions, resorts, condominiums, and shows arrive frequently, I understood their reasoning. They recollect the moment when the idea for a treehouse crossed Jeannette’s mind. As the couple cruised down Highway 65, Jeannette blurted out “a treehouse!” Michael

agreed, and the two embarked on an incredible journey toward transforming their idea into a reality. Jeannette’s idea required imagination, creativity, engineering, and patience. The initial obstacle the Hyams faced centered on the layout and location of the treehouse. Michael stated, “We are in the woods, and trees grow wherever they want. So, finding a location for a treehouse was difficult.” Jeannette noted, “I wanted a luxury treehouse with all of the modern conveniences.” Their vision proved to be easier said than done.

The Hyams toured other treehouses and turned to Pete Nelson, host and tree whisperer on Animal Planet’s show, Treehouse Master for inspiration. After their research, the Hyams developed a clearer goal for their treehouse; a luxury treehouse, with indoor plumbing, Wi-Fi, and electricity that mirrored an actual treehouse. Michael engineered steel platforms to hold the rustic cabin-like structure. They engineered the steel platforms to withstand 110-mile-per-hour winds. The treehouses move with the wind, and during our stay in the treehouse, we occasionally felt the treehouse sway with the blowing of the wind. A unique feature that adds to the authenticity of the treehouse. Once they engineered the steel platforms, the Hyams turned to Alan Sherill, an artist who used inspiration from zoopoxy, an environmentally safe, non-toxic product that creates naturalistic artificial environments of realism for zoo animals, to mold the branches and trunk of a tree. Later, Sherill hand-painted the poxy, and today, guests confuse the artwork for actual trees. To add to the realism, the Hyams switch out the tree branches to match the seasons. During our conversation, I admired the innovation, creativity and passion the Hyams possessed for their resort, and due to this passion, their experiment for building a luxurious treehouse worked. They built two more treehouses, and they are continuously booked. However, the Hyams do not plan to stop with the treehouses. In fact, throughout the resort, the Hyams pointed out areas for expansion. One area involved building a oneroom bungalow for a couple to enjoy a rustic, yet modern, getaway. Another area will be

barn-themed with small cabins and a farm for families to enjoy. Outside of treehouses, storybook cottages, cabins, and family fun activities, the resort hosts several events throughout the year. Events such as the Lifted Truck Nationals, Jazz Festivals, Car Shows, and Celebrity Chili Cook Offs, to name a few. Overall, Branson Cedars Resort offered more than luxurious accommodations and activities. It also offers an escape from the demands

of life. To better explain, as I prepared for the day upstairs, I heard the sound of conversation occurring among friends and family downstairs. The kitchen filled with the scents of bacon, sausage, scrambled eggs, gravy, coffee, and cheese. Everyone met at the table and continued with the conversations. We resisted turning on the television or picking up our phones, because during that moment, we enjoyed the leisure of casually eating breakfast together.

February • March 2016 | 57

Among the Wildflowers

Spring Beauty I


t's a pretty big deal for a wildflower stalker like me. The first blooms of the year. In the late throws of winter, when the ground starts to warm up just a bit, I always walk down by the south side of the creek bed. Where the water has risen and receded a couple of weeks before, and the ground is still soggy. On the sandy banks where the big snapping turtle makes her nest. That's where the Spring Beauty will pop up. On my calendar of wildflower blooms, these delicate white petals veined in purple are the official harbingers of spring.

Spring Beauties are small, low-growing wildflowers that are found in a star-like cluster of five white to light pink flowers. 58 | OZARK Hills&Hollows

The grasslike, succulent, dark green leaves are narrow and linear, and are usually found in pairs. Native to moist woodlands, sunny stream banks, and thickets throughout eastern North America. A perennial herb, it usually grows in dense masses of star-shaped, pink-tinged white flowers appear and last for about a month. When spring beauties blossom in large drifts across the landscape, the effect is spectacular. The foliage continues to grow after bloom and may eventually reach close to a foot tall before the leaves disappear in late spring as the plants go into dormancy. The petals’ veins and the stamens’ filaments reflect ultraviolet light. Because most insects can see ultraviolet light, these flower parts will guide the insects to the flowers’ nectaries. Spring beauty (Claytonia virginica) is also a delicious vegetable. It's nature's tater tot. It grows from an underground tuber with a sweet, chestnutlike flavor. The small roots remind people of tiny potatoes, hence the nickname “Fairy Spuds”. Native Americans and colonists used them for food and they are still enjoyed by those interested in edible wild plants. This plant has been used medicinally by the Iroquois, who would give a cold infusion or powdered root to children suffering from convulsions. They would also eat the roots as food, as would the Algonquins, who cooked them like potatoes. Aside from humans, chipmunks, mice and turkeys will dig up and eat these tubers. Other common names for this plant are claytonia, good morning spring, grass flower, ground-nut and patience. In his classic culinary field guide, Stalking the Wild Asparagus, Euell

T Gibbons wrote a charming chapter on these wild edible treats. “While Gibbon’s friend thought they tasted like potatoes, Gibbons thought they were sweeter, closer to chestnuts in flavor.” Roots can be eaten raw, but not the most pleasant of experiences. You also don’t have to peel them but they are better peeled. Because of their size, spring beauties take a while to collect. However, even back in 1970, Gibbons sounded a note of caution and restraint. He warned against overharvesting the tubers in the wild and diminishing the plants flowering display. "The tubers are good food for the body," he wrote, "but after a long winter, the pale-rose flowers in early spring are food for the soul." He also said, “We tried them fried, mashed, in salads, and cooked with peas, like new potatoes. All these ways were completely successful, but, as regular fare, we preferred them just boiled in the jackets.” It's best to harvest the tubers when the plants are in full bloom. Damage to spring beauty beds can be minimized by replanting the tiniest of the teeny taters and letting the beds rejuvenate for a couple of years between harvests. The tiny, sweet tubers are high in potassium and vitamin A, and are a good source of calcium and vitamin C. The young foliage and stems may also be eaten raw in salads or steamed and served as greens. The flowers make an attractive edible garnish. To increase your supply, plant this wonderful native and edible plant in your own backyard. As a native perennial, spring beauties are quite easy to grow and maintain. Spring beauties are a yummy and unique snack that looks just as good in your garden as they taste on your plate. One good source for tubers to grow is, Gardens of the Blue Ridge (P.O. Box 10, Pineola, NC 28604; 704-733-2417 www. gardensoftheblueridge.com). I promise that once you find a patch of these little beauties in your favorite forest clearing, you'll come back year after year to see the beautiful display, gently exclaiming, “Spring is on the way!”

here is a Chippewa story about how the Spring Beauty was created. An old man was sitting in his lodge by the side of a frozen stream. It was the end of winter, the air was not so cold, and his fire was nearly out. He was old and alone. His locks were white with age, and he trembled in every joint. Day after day passed, and he heard nothing but the sound of the storm sweeping before the new-fallen snow. One day while his fire was dying, a handsome young man approached and entered his lodge. His cheeks were red, his eyes sparkled. He walked with a quick, light step. His forehead was bound with a wreath of sweet-grass, and he carried a bunch of fragrant flowers in his hand, “Ah, my son,” said the old man, “I am happy to see you. Come in! Tell me your adventures, and what strange lands you have seen. I will tell you of my wonderful deeds and what I can perform. You shall do the same, and we will amuse each other.” The old man then drew from a bag a curiously wrought pipe. He filled it with mild tobacco, and handed it to his guest. They each smoked from the pipe and then began their stories. “I am Peboan, the Spirit of Winter,” said the old man. “I blow my breath, and the streams become still. The water becomes stiff and hard as clear stone.”

“I am Seegwun, the Spirit of Spring,” answered the youth. “I breathe, and the flowers spring up in the meadows and woods.” “I shake my locks,” said the old man, “and snow covers the land. The leaves fall from trees, and my breath blows them away. The birds fly to a distant land, and the animals hide themselves from the cold.” “I shake my ringlets,” said the young man, “and warm showers of soft rain fall upon the earth. The flowers lift their heads from the ground, the grass grows thick and green. My voice recalls the birds and they come flying joyfully from the Southland. The warmth of my breath unbinds the streams, and they sing the songs of summer. Music fills the groves where-ever I walk, and all nature rejoices.” And while they were talking thus a wonderful change took place. The sun began to rise. A gentle warmth stole over the place. Peboan, the Spirit of Winter, became silent. His head drooped, and the snow outside melted away. Seegwun, the Spirit of Spring, grew more radiant, and rose joyfully to his feet. The robin and the bluebird began to sing on the top of the lodge. The stream began to murmur at the door, and the fragrance of opening flowers came softly on the breeze. The lodge faded away, and Peboan sank down and dissolved into tiny streams of water, that vanished under the brown leaves of the forest. Thus the Spirit of Winter departed, and where he had melted away, there the Indian children gathered the first blossoms, fragrant and delicately pink – the modest Spring Beauty. February • March 2016 | 59




About the Writer: Steve Parker grew up in the farming country of the mid-west and enjoys talking with those who understand the joy of life from the seed to the harvest. He is a retired professor, husband, loving grandfather of four, who looks forward to new experiences every day.

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visit to the Fayetteville Farmer’s Market is a Saturday ritual for many northwest Arkansas residents. The Farmer’s Market is also a ritual for Ron Duncan and wife Pat, known to many as the “Gourd Couple”. Almost every week from April to mid-November, the Duncan’s pack up their vehicle and travel from their home in Prairie Grove to exhibit and sell an assortment of decorated gourd creations. “Pat and I really enjoy meeting and talking with the people at the market.

It is a great experience for us.” says Ron. The couple moved to their Prairie Grove home in 1976 where they established a small truck farm, selling a variety of produce to individuals and markets in the area. Until recently they also raised a small herd of cattle. Ron stated, “We like the freedom to be able to get away from the house and do some travel, and that is difficult when you have cattle to tend to.” Some years ago, a visit to the Fayetteville Library became the catalyst to begin

Ron says, “I have the green thumb and take a lot of pride in growing just about anything, and Pat has always had an artistic designer’s eye.” Pat shyly showed me the first gourd she ever decorated and laughed at how primitive it looked compared with the much more sophisticated accomplishments she now creates. Part of their “gourd adventure” includes being long time members of the American Gourd Society, www. americangourdsociety. org, where they travel and often participate in classes and workshops. The workshops also give Ron information on various growing techniques and seed companies, allowing for a variety of different gourd species. Currently, he grows gourds on the ground, but also experiments with strong wire trellises. The ground gourds are placed on small flat boards to protect them from soil damage and staining. Some of the larger trellis gourds need to be placed in a sling because filled with water, the weight can break the gourd off the stem before being fully ripe. Some gourds are placed inside a box or a bottle where the final shape can be created. Ron admits, “We have more gourds now than we could decorate in a lifetime but each spring we are anxious to experiment with new ideas, so the growth goes on.”

their adventures with gourds. A couple of books, a little research and their adventure took off. Pat stated, “We wanted to raise Martinhouse gourds because we had so many bluebirds in the area. Little did we know when we planted seeds and the first year we had enough Martinhouse gourds to make a home for every bluebird in northwest Arkansas!” Many years and thousands of gourds later, they both agree the best part of the gourd adventure is they can do it together.

Ron and Pat Duncan "The Gourd Couple”

When the gourds are harvested, Ron places them on wire racks for several months, until the water inside evaporates. At that point he and Pat determine which gourds will become this season’s creation. Ron does the original cutting, sanding and prep work and then

Pat’s finished gourd creation

turns it over for Pat to decide on the finished design. The two then collaborate on the decoration process, involving a variety of wood burning, Dremel and gouging tools, and a wide variety of alcohol and acrylic dyes and varnishes. Many of the design ideas come from nature shapes and quilt designs, Indian and Native American art. Ron and Pat are experienced vendors at the Farmer’s market and make an effort to apply their craft to the Saturday visitors. Everything from small gourd refrigerator magnets, night lights, gourd thunder drums and a wide assortment of artistic creations of every shape and style are available for purchase. The Duncans represent northwest Arkansas at its best. A couple married for 50+ years, enjoying working together, always anxious to share ideas with anyone. Next time you are at the market, look for their booth, stop, enjoy the beautiful work and get to know Ron and Pat Duncan, the Gourd Couple. February • March 2016 | 61



uccess may come to each of us in the guise of diverse adaptations. What some may consider ambitions coming to fruition may not be viewed by others in the same vein. It is safe to say that there is not now, nor has there ever been, anyone who can assert success in every aspect of their life. Furthermore, success may not be unhesitatingly perceptible to some and is most assuredly in the eye, and mind, of the beholder. Alecia Rickett believes the ingredients that define her perceived success are easily stated; fifteen splendid years of marriage to her husband, Jack; a strong and loving bond with her

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wonderful daughter Bailey; a home on three-hundred acres of beautiful Ozark land that has been in Jack’s family since 1860, and the acquisition of a seventeen-thousand square-foot multilevel building in downtown Anderson, Missouri that is home to the blossoming Rags To Riches Flea Market. Alecia was raised on a farm located in the Bethpage area of McDonald County, Missouri. There she, her sister Holly, and her parents lived the uncomplicated life typical of many families existing in rural Missouri. When Alecia brings to mind childhood memories she thinks of the sunlit days spent gathering beans and strawberries grown in her great grandparent’s garden. She smiles when

she recalls the dogwood trees with branches that overhung the driveway leading to the house and the shadowy shapes the branches cast on the ground. There was something inside Alecia, and it burned so very hot and deep within her, that was waiting to make itself known. Alecia first realized what that almost uncontrollable urge was when the need to express herself through drawing and painting came out while in the eighth grade. Alecia recalls that a teacher encouraged her to enter an art contest and that prompting led to Alecia’s talent manifesting itself in the form of a charcoal image of something the young farm girl knew best, an old barn. With great pride Alecia accepted a ribbon for her efforts and

from that moment on she knew her passion for creativity had to be satisfied. The charcoal drawing was later framed using old barn wood and displayed on a wall. Alecia always had a fascination with the art of design. She, even when young, found ways to express her creativity even if it was only through her vivid imagination. While cutting her great grandfather’s lawn she marveled at the shapes of the trees and clouds and made believe she could redesign them into other shapes and forms. Alecia found the blue sky to be a blank canvas and the clouds to be bits of new white paint that she could use to create beautiful images is the sky. As the carefree days of high school came to an end, Alecia made the decision to enroll in college and follow her dream of pursuing a career in art. As she left the high school years behind, she met Jack. Jack and Alecia dated, and over the next four years that relationship gradually transformed into a courtship. That courtship ended and the marriage began when in 2000, Alecia and Jack became man and wife. The two lived on a farm that had been in Jack’s family since the time of America’s great Civil War. Jack owned and managed the “Flick Theatre” in Anderson and Alecia took a job as a clothing designer for Walmart. The two were newlyweds, very much in love and each devoted much of their time to their careers. But, that was about to dramatically change, as was each of their lives. The two had a strong belief in God and attended church every Sunday morning. One Sunday morning, in 2005, Alecia noticed a young girl whom she had never before seen. The congregation was small and newcomers were readily discovered. Alecia asked about the girl and was told she was a six-year-old foster care child. The child, Bailey, was a ward of the court and in need of a loving family. For some time Alecia had awakened

The old Tatum Mercantile Store which is now occupied by the Rags 2 Riches Flea Market.

each morning after dreams of a child poured into her sleeping world. She and Jack occasionally talked about becoming pregnant and enlarging the size of their family and how much the two of them wanted a child but now another, and quite unexpected, option presented itself. Bailey was everything Alecia’s mind could imagine a child would be like. She and Jack had so much love to offer and Alecia’s heart knew giving a home to a precious child was the right, and only, thing to do both for Bailey and for Alecia and Jack. As Alecia and Jack talked to and came to know Bailey, it became apparent, at least in Alecia’s mind, that the childless couple could do nothing less than adopt the little blonde, blue-eyed girl without a family. Jack and Alecia discussed the possibility for some time, then told Bailey of their decision to make her a part of their family – which had been Bailey's wish as well.

As the years living on the farm passed, Bailey grew, Jack continued to work and help support the family, and Alecia couldn’t help but think about that constant urge to create. Her appreciation for art and beauty was intense and in 2013 she saw an opportunity to acquire an outlet for those passions, the Rags to Riches Flea Market in Anderson. The flea market was housed in an old Main Street building that had many years ago been the home of Tatum Mercantile. Fifty dealers displayed all manner of goods in ninety-five booths throughout the seventeen thousand square foot space, and Alecia had the opportunity to acquire it. When the thought of obtaining the old mercantile building that was home to a flea market first entered the mind of Jack’s wife a business plan was starting to develop. But, Alecia also viewed the floors, walls and windows as stark canvases that were waiting for the touch of brush and paint. February • March 2016 | 63

Jack and Alecia discussed the business venture at length and eventually a final decision was made. Jack would support and provide assistance to Alecia, but the business would be hers to run. That suited Alecia just fine and in 2013 she became the proprietor of the Rags to Riches Flea Market. Alecia recalls that prior to that moment everyone referred to her as, “Jack’s wife,” and although she was happy in that role, she wanted to be called Alecia, the owner of a business. As Alecia’s plans to redecorate the business ran through her head, life, as it frequently does, placed an obstacle in her path. Alecia was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis. The recommended treatment was chemo therapy and Alecia, Jack and Bailey knew the side effects could be serious, but there were few options. Even the most optimistic could not hope that Alecia would escape the tragic news of her illness undaunted, but Alecia began the chemo regimen which continues even to this day. The business grew and now eighty dealers sell antiques, collectibles and miscellaneous goods that are displayed in one-hundred and twenty-five booths on three levels. The flea market is open for business six days a week, closed only on Sundays. 64 |



Alicia’s Rags to Riches Flea Market is thriving but even more important, her life is thriving. Her illness limits her ability to be at her best some days but she manages, with the help and support of Jack and Bailey, to make the most of even those grey days. If asked about her success, Alecia will give the credit to Jack’s business sense and Bailey’s love and support but I truly believe that the third, and maybe the most important factor, is Alecia’s good heart. For Alecia, success came to fruition as

she was able to find contentment within her life with Jack, Bailey and the Rags To Riches Flea Market. Alecia’s zealous love of life can be contagious and those who know her well find themselves quickly infected with that passion. When in the vicinity of Anderson, Missouri you’re invited to stop by the “Rags to Riches Flea Market” where you may find that unusual item you’ve long been searching for. While there say hello to the owner, but don’t ask for Jack’s wife, ask for Alecia.


This spring, take the road less traveled

It’s more than just a trip, it’s Making Memories

Stop by one of our Tour Preview Shows to see what we have to offer for 2016!

Winter is over, time to shake the cobwebs off and breath the fresh spring air! Here's a few words of inspiration to get up and get out!


Friday, Feb. 26 Joplin, MO

10:00 AM – 12:00 PM Wildcat Glades Conservation & Audubon Center 201 W. Riviera Drive

Saturday, Feb. 27 Cassville, MO

10:00 AM – 12:00 PM Crowder College 4020 Main St.


Park by the creek and find a shallow where the tadpoles have hatched.

Saturday Mar 5 “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do.” – Mark Twain

Go the back-way into town.

Osage Beach, MO

10:00 AM – 12:00 PM Tan Tara Resort 494 Tan Tara Est.

Saturday March 12 Fort Smith, AR

10:00 AM – 12:00 PM River Park Building 121 Riverfront Dr.

Saturday March 19 Harrison, AR

Whether you are here in our beautiful Ozarks, or miles away, adventure is right in front of you.

Drive slow down the dirt road. Gather some roadside jonquils that bloom in front of a long-abandoned homestead.

10:00 AM – 12:00 PM North Arkansas College 1515 Pioneer Drive

You take care of the memories. We’ll take care of you.

“Our happiest moments as tourists always seem to come when we stumble upon one thing while in pursuit of something else. — Lawrence Block “Stop worrying about the potholes in the road and enjoy the journey.” – Babs Hoffman

Roll the windows down and enjoy the happy sounds of busy, nesting birds.

888-845-9582 makingmemoriestours.com February • March 2016 | 65


Someone is sitting in the shade today because someone planted a tree a long time ago. WARREN BUFFETT Whoever said nothing is impossible obviously hasn't tried nailing Jell-O to a tree. JOHN CANDY 66 |



Consider a tree for a moment. As beautiful as trees are to look at, we don't see what goes on underground - as they grow roots. Trees must develop deep roots in order to grow strong and produce their beauty. But we don't see the roots. We just see and enjoy the beauty. In much the same way, what goes on inside of us is like the roots of a tree. JOYCE MEYER

If I knew I should die tomorrow, I would plant a tree today. STEPHEN GIRARD

The creation of a thousand forests is in one acorn.



We hope you enjoyed reading Ozark There’s still so much more to come! Coming up in April • May: Pedal Trails You'll Love Talkin' Turkey The Exotic Japanese Maple Farm Trends: Crickets

Hills Hollows

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Profile for Ozark Hills and Hollows Magazine

Ozark Hills & Hollows February • March 2016  

Celebrating heritage, farm and healthy living in the heart of America

Ozark Hills & Hollows February • March 2016  

Celebrating heritage, farm and healthy living in the heart of America