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Friday, September 25, 2009

~~~Lake Fort Smith State Park in Mountainburg, Arkansas~~~

I do NOT have great Internet service out here in the woods.... It is so slow and not being a very patient women I get tired of waiting for it to react... It pretty much took days to even get this post together. So if you don't here from me for a while don't worry... "I'll be back" as soon as we return to Spring Hill!!!

We have been here at Lake Fort Smith State Park in Mountainburg, Arkansas for almost 3 weeks and it is one of the most beautiful campgrounds we have ever been too. During the week there are not very many people here... Out of 30 sites there were only 3-5 others that were occupied but they were not anywhere near us... These campsites have W/E /S (50/30amp) and some can receive Internet with an air card.... AT&T has limited service but enough to make calls... Verizon is very iffy... Iffy you get out it is a miracle. If you stay in the sites closest to the Visitor Center you will get a better signal on your Internet card....

Beautiful sites... There are none that are not excellent

Sparkling extra clean restrooms... You fellow campers can appreciate these pictures

Breathtaking views!!!
There are so many deer here during the week when no one is here that we are just amazed. I can never get my camera fast enough. Just this morning 4 big deer ran right in front of Tassie and by the time I could get my camera on and ready all I got was a butt shot of them running into the woods. We also have had a visit from a couple of very young deer (fawns) and a lot of birds. I have noticed that there are a lot of hummingbirds, woodpeckers, sparrows, crows, small chick-a-dees and many others in these woods. At night the bats come out and fly overhead... they are so small but very cool to watch... We choose the very last site on the road so that looking out our windows we see the woods and hopefully the wildlife that may come around... We love being out in the woods and are definitely children of nature!

Plenty of nature to watch

There has been a lot of rain since we arrived here making it hard to really do anything. But that is okay with us... we enjoy just hanging around and relaxing. A great time to catch up on books that need to be read & old movies to be watched. We have had several fires and also have taken walks in the woods but we don't like to stray to terribly far into them because of the rainy weather. I take my camera almost every time we go for a walk but one day thinking I had taken pictures of everything I decided not to take it along... DUH!!! It was the day we saw about 9 deer in this one area and one of them even warned us by snorting not to get to close to his clan... SO once again no pictures... lesson learned always have your camera by your side. But trust me if you come visit this park there are plenty of deer here for you to watch... They even walked right behind our site while we were sitting outside...

Great trails to explore!

and Relaxing evenings by the firepit

Ok... the next time you'll here from me we'll be back closer to the city.
I will be on more regularly then ...
Miss you all and I will get caught up on reading your post when I can....

Until Later

Hugs And Kisses

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

♦♦♦Leaving Spring Hill COE Park & Moving on♦♦♦

We have been at Spring Hill COE for 3 weeks and loved every moment of it... It is so beautiful with all the trees, the Arkansas River, the wildlife and thousands of feathered friends... We'll be back here soon... We have reservations for 4 days at Park Ridge RV Park right off of I-40 exit 3 in Van Buren, Arkansas. We needed someplace to stay for Labor Day weekend and it was almost impossible to get into another COE or State Park for the holiday weekend. The good news is that it is just a hop, skip & jump to Jennifer's house from this park. Right after Labor Day we will be moving up to Lake Fort Smith State Park in the Boston Mountains (Ozarks) near Mountainburg, Ar for 3 weeks then we will be back at Spring Hill.

This park (Park Ridge RV Park) is good for a stopover... W/E/S Not to bad of a park but there are a lot of permanent people here. It is $27 dollars a night with a Good Sam discount. Also they want to charge us 2 dollars for each kid and 3 dollars for each adult who would be visiting us more then 2 hours... Never heard of that at any park. So we will be going to Jen's house rather then them coming here to visit. We are always in the woods near tress....

The Office and Store & Picture of Lee Creek

Saturday I spent the morning getting my hair & nails done... It's been a while and I was getting pretty shabby... Then we went over and stayed with the grandchildren while Jennifer went to her study group. For those of you who don't know she is in her third semester of nursing school. When she graduates next April both of my daughters will be nurses... I am so proud of them! It was a beautiful evening back at the campground... We enjoyed a stroll by the creek and watched the sunset.

Sunday my SIL came back home after being away on a job for 2 weeks... I am glad he is coming home not only because I miss & love him but he is the best BBQ'n cook I know and being that Monday is Labor Day he can cook us up something good (pork roast)... I am going to make the "Neely's Cole Slaw" that I loved so much in Memphis and Orange Delight... Jennifer spent the day with her study group again while Eric (my SIL), Ralph & I went and did some errands. After we were done we went back to Tassie and just rested .

Today we did the traditional cookout and spent the day playing games... We had a lot of fun and ate til our bellies were busting... We had Smoked Pork Loin, Pork Steaks, Mild Sweet Italian Sausage, Homemade Baked Beans, Corn on the cob and Cole Slaw

For dessert we had the Orange Delight; Recipe below

1 - 3 oz. pkg. orange jello
1 small can mandarin oranges - drained
1 pound cottage cheese
1 small container cool whip
1 small can crushed pineapple - drained
Walnuts - chopped
Mix all ingredients together & chill for a couple of hours

So Easy to make BUT so delicious
Tomorrow morning we will be pulling out of here to go up to the mountains to Lake Fort Smith State Park... I don't know if I'll have Internet at the site but right up at the visitors center there is great reception. I will have to go there to visit you and do a post.

Hope you had a great holiday weekend and Stay safe!

Until Later

Hugs And Kisses

Labor Day BBQ

Friday, September 4, 2009

♥♥♥ Foodie Friday ~ Chili on a cool night ♥♥♥

Thanks Gollum for hosting Foodie Friday... Go on over to Designs by Gollum and check out the rest of the great bloggers who have participated in this fun event... Lots of food stories, great recipes & fun ideas...

It is getting chilly in the evenings here in Arkansas so one of the first things my honey always wants when the weather gets cooler is Chili. So I decided to make it for him without hesitation since I love Chili too... I also usually make enough to freeze some so we can have it another night without all the fuss of cooking... Just heat it up and serve!

Donna's Easy Chili

2 # Ground beef
2 Large Onions - chopped
2 Large Green Peppers - chopped
2 Garlic - minced
2-3 cans chili beans
2 cans pinto beans - drained
2 cans black beans - drained
2 cans diced tomatoes with green chilies (Rotel is good)
1/4 cup Chili Powder
Crushed red pepper to taste
1-2 TBS Cumin
1-2 TBS Turmeric
Black pepper to taste

Optional:1-3 cans of beef broth to add if chili is to thick
(depend on how thick or thin you like your chili)

NOTE: I add no salt because there is enough in the canned beans for me

Saute onions & green peppers until tender

add ground beef & brown - breaking it up into small bits as it browns

Now it is time to add in all of the remaining ingredients. After you have added in the rest of the ingredients stir them all together and bring the chili to a boil. Once the chili starts to boil reduce the heat and simmer for 1-2 hours.

Be sure to stir every 15 to 20 minutes.

After about 2 hours we have our bowl of chili.
Just add your favorite cheese and other toppings and grab a spoon and enjoy!
It will be even better the second day but who can wait that long.

Extras ingredients you can add after it is cooked if desired: Sour Cream,
Cheddar cheese, Corn, Fritos, Macaroni, Mexican cheese, and hot sauce.
So if it is getting cooler where you are at, sit down and enjoy a big bowl
Until Later
Hugs And Kisses

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

~~~ Fort Chaffe ~ Barling, Arkansas~~~

Susan at A Southern Daydreamer is our wonderful host for "Outdoor Wednesday". If you are interested in this event head on over to Susan's place....There is a link on the logo picture....go visit more Outdoor Wednesdays and learn what it is all about. Join in the fun..... See all the wonderful places and events that others are sharing!
Thank you very much Susan

FORT CHAFFE ~ Barling, Ar

On September 9, 1941, construction started on Camp Chaffee, named after Major General Adna R. Chaffee. Then on December 7, 1941, the first soldiers arrive. Between 1943-1946 some 3,000 German prisoners of war encamped at Camp Chaffee. It was the home of the 5th Armored Division from 1948-1957. In 1975 Fort Chaffee Refugee Processing Center for 50,809 Vietnamese refugees who were processed there. In 1980-1982 Fort Chaffeewas designated a Cuban refugee Resettlement Center. 25,390 Cuban refugees were processed through. Because Fort Chaffee retains it's WWII look, several motion pictures have been filmed at the post. In 1983 the motion picture "A Soldiers Story" was filmed at Fort Chaffee. In 1987 the movie "Biloxi Blues" was also filmed there. More than 10 , 000 displaced Hurricane Katrina victims were processed at Fort Chaffee in 2005, but for the most part it is used as a training base for the National Guard.
January 29, 2008, winds whipped power lines to the ground which ignited fires that burned 150 buildings in the cantonment area - mainly old barracks that in the past housed soldiers, Vietnamese and Cuban refugees, and Hurricane Katrina evacuees.

These are the remains from that fire

Old deserted barracks

The Army's presence at Fort Chaffee will continue on lands retained for the reserve components where more than 50,000 Army National Guard and Army Reserve soldiers train there annually. The City of Barling was originally a farm town, however, by the early 1940's the winds of war were blowing across Europe and were to dramatically change the destiny of this small Arkansas community. The mission of the post was to train U.S. soldiers for combat in Europe, America and the Pacific. The City of Barling experienced a tremendous boom in housing, businesses and people. Following WWII, Camp Chaffee became Fort Chaffee and continued to train U.S. Army personnel in a variety of military specialties.
Old Church renewed and use for weddings & The old theater (deserted)
These barracks are not as run down but still not used

In 1958 Elvis Presley was inducted into the U.S. army and did his basic basic training here. This is where Elvis had his first military haircut girls. The Barber Shop is now a museum

Fort Chaffee is a part of military history and Arkansas history and that needs to be maintained. Several buildings located at Fort Chaffee are eligible for inclusion in the National Register of Historic Places including the Maness Schoolhouse building, which dates back before the 1940's. Another 21 sites are potentially eligible for inclusion and another 22 sites will require further investigation.

This base is on the list of bases to be closed and demolished. I think that is shameful! However the Secretary of Defense is fighting the closure of this base. There is an active base behind another gate house but we couldn't get in to take pictures. We could see buildings back there and activity of vehicles. There is a huge amount of buildings that are deserted and I am sure behind that check point there is a lot more.

Hope you enjoyed the tour of Old Fort Chaffee....

Until Later

Hugs And Kisses

Get your mamogram & check up today... Early detection saved my life....


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