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There has been a lot of cold weather and snow and ice this winter in our neck of the woods, but it hasn’t dampened the togetherness, fun and activities that abound this time of year!

My last post was made two months ago from my daughter’s house (I am hanging my head in a frown of shame), and I am anxious to get back in the swing of blogging.  But the first thing I want to tell you about is the rest of the visit with my daughter and her family — it was a real hoot!

It was a big surprise to me when The Pioneer Woman and her husband Marlboro Man, Ree and Ladd Drummond, dropped into town to pay a visit!  Those of you who don’t know who they are can find out by watching Ree’s show on the Food Network or visiting her blog here.  Ree also has several cookbooks out, and they are all good!  My favorite is her most recent cookbook, A Year of Holidays, in which she covers recipes for all of the holidays throughout the year.

Pioneer Woman is also a show that my eight-year-old grandson, Michael, watches avidly (who’d have thought?), and so when I had previously bought several of Ree’s cookbooks I ended up letting him choose one of mine.  Ree has also written a children’s book, and I tried to talk Michael into letting me get that for him instead of the cookbook, but he was not interested.  He liked the pictures in the cookbook, and wouldn’t you know?  The cookbook of mine that he chose was my favorite, the holiday one.  Oh well, he’s my grandson — I can deny him nothing.

At any rate, Michael was thrilled to meet both Ree and Ladd, and he and Ladd got into a little hairstyle conversation — Ladd even took his hat off and showed his hair to Michael!  We all found both Ree and Ladd to be very friendly, real people!

Joel, my son and youngest of my children, decided he wanted to take me on a trip to Eureka Springs, Arkansas as a late birthday present for me.  I saw a lot of beautiful Fall scenery, went up into a high tower, and toured the town.  Joel wanted to tour the town’s haunted hotel, the Basin Park Hotel.  The hotel hosts a normal “ghost” tour, but since Joel had already been on it, he decided to take me on the tour himself.

Trouble is, Joel tends to forget a lot of detail.  A typical conversation during the tour was kind of like this:

Joel: “This ballroom is supposed to be haunted.”

Me: “By who?”

Joel: (shrugging) “Some girl.”

But the tour was fun, anyway, and even though we didn’t get to see any ghosts, the history is really interesting.  The elevator wasn’t put in until 1905 (using it kind of scared me), and the whole place smelled like most really old buildings smell, so it added to the nuance.  The hotel was originally a fine hotel, and I tried to imagine what it must have been like in its glory days.  They still even accommodate guests, and have some nice rooms, but the overwhelming smell alone would deter me from that, not to mention that everything in the building now creaks and pops.  If you’re in Eureka Springs sometime I would recommend a visit to the Basin Park Hotel.

Later that evening my daughter and her family, Joel and I went out for Joel’s birthday celebration at a game place called the Lokomotion.  Joel and my son-in-law Bobby enjoyed some go carts while the rest of us worked on earning lots of tickets so Mickael could get some great prizes.  Afterwards we went to a buffet to eat (my favorite thing to do), and the whole evening was a blast!


As always, I had a great visit with my daughter and her family, and look forward to the next visit!

Since I am so behind and didn’t even update some of my far away family members on what everybody here has been doing, I’ll be trying to post a catch-up post this weekend.  I hope all of you are doing well and staying warm, and that you are loving life!