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The First in the Deck Series

Our most recent DIY experience through the process.

Out With The Old, In With The New

Gotta love a new beginning, right?

Peppermint Shortage

Just a funny afternoon.

Coffeyville, KS

I loved this experience so much that I had to write about it. Then, through e-mails it spread to Coffeyville itself.

Photo Restoration

I had a lot of fun with this "old school" photo. It turned out too cool to not blog about it.

Kitchen Remodel (part one)

This is the first of a nine-part series documenting the remodel of our 50-year-old kitchen in our 100-year-old home!


A lot of people are unaware of Winoka bridge. As a matter of fact, I'm not even sure that Winoka bridge is the appropriate name for it, but that's what I've always heard it called by fellow Ozarkers. It can be found crossing Lake Springfield just east of 65 Hwy. It was the original 65 Hwy bridge when 65 Hwy came down what is now Glenstone turned east around what is now Sunshine and south again on what is now Lone Pine. Lone Pine will take you on a winding path down through what used to be Galloway Station and finally dead-ends at James River Freeway across from the Nature Center. Well, being that it used to be 65, it didn't used to dead-end. It went straight through the field that the big clover leaf interchange between 65 and James River Freeway now sits and connected with that old bridge. Directly on the other side of the bridge lies the Y intersection that is pretty much known as the outer road to 65 or "old 65". The Y is where 60 Hwy met 65 Hwy. Springfieldians going to either Ozark or Rogersville would have to cross this bridge. This was the routine until the new 65 was completed where it now sits back in the 60's.

Anyway, aside from the local history lesson, I was looking for some information on that bridge's completion date and such when I happened to find this website. (It's connection with the bridge was its exploration of Camp Winoka, the remains of which can be found by walking a trail from this bridge) This site is awesome. It's a group of people who remain anonymous, but explore places that most of us have either wanted to or would want to if we ever heard of them. They take lots of photos along the way and sometimes take a video of really neat things. They appear to only go into places without breaking and entering. Most of the places they have documented exploring are private property and don't welcome tourists, but they take their tours anyway. Apparently their motto is "Going everywhere you're not supposed to go in the Ozarks". They're very careful not to reveal their identities on the documentation and they even have code names as it appears. It looks like a fun little group and I'm envious of some of the things that they have had the privilege to see. My favorite was the 8th Street Tunnel in Kansas City.

You'll have to check out the site yourself. I will put a link to it in my fellow bloggers list. I'll also make a link for Urban Ninja Force which is a closely related and often affiliated website. Comment if you have ever been in any of the sites that these two have explored. I have been to the Albino farm, the Acid Tunnels, and James River Tunnel many years ago.


The 90's was a definitive time for me as this short era contained all of my teenage years. It's well known that as teens we are constantly trying to define ourselves as individuals. One of the ways that we are heavily influenced during this search of ourselves is through music. I became a music nerd during this time. I guess you could say that when I was looking for who I was I found satisfaction with the music nerd label.

Most everyone should remember the "Seattle Grunge" boom. However, it was much more than what most knew it to be. It had nothing to do with the clothes that most of you mentally pictured upon hearing it, but had everything to do with a great story. I'm talking about the music. Seattle during this time became a music hot spot off the rising fame of a couple of bands (Soundgarden, Pearl Jam). Later, Nirvana would gain explosive stardom and send the name "Seattle" into the mouths of every Generation X'er. From the media attention, countless bands got signed that had no business getting attention, but still many others got righteously noticed and continue to sell thousands of copies of their albums a decade after their break-ups.

I was one of the kids that became a fan of these bands only after their rise to success. Naturally, being pre-internet days, there was no way to be a long distance fan of a local band, so I was introduced to them after their national releases were made. I fell in love with the music and went seeking more. I had to go backwards, though, as I had already picked up their most current work. So, I started grabbing up earlier albums, bootlegs, and side projects.

My whole point to this blog is that I envy what was going on in Seattle at this time. Not the national attention that they were getting, but the music community that was built. Bands formed and fell apart just to create other bands from other bands. Bands worked together to make albums. Great music was made through people who knew everyone else. Recording studios were set up to be affordable and readily available. I love hearing the stories.

One great story was the one of Mother Love Bone. The lead singer (Andy Wood) died of a heroin overdose. This band was on the verge of stardom and lost their frontman. Two other members (Jeff Ament, Stone Gossard) were asked by Andy Wood's roommate (Chris Cornell) to make a single together. Cornell had written two songs and through practice an entire album was developed (Temple of the Dog). They had held open auditions for backing vocals and decided to go with a San Diego surfer (Eddie Vedder) who had recently moved there. The album that was written in dedication received little national notice until months later when Soundgarden released their epic "Badmotorfinger" album and the newly formed Pearl Jam released their debut "Ten".

There are hundreds of these stories (not all with heroin overdoses) that tie all these bands together. It really shows the tightness of the music community that is really lacking today. If you are interested in learning more of what I am talking about you should should check out the documentary called "Hype". It's an entertaining and informative show that is chock-full of interviews with band members, producers, and pulicists from Seattle that were right in the mix of it all. There is a lot of great footage that you won't see anywhere else and great music in front of and behind the scenes.

All Moved In

We got everything moved last weekend. We filled a 24 foot U-Haul three times. Saturday and Sunday were excrutiating. After 6 weeks of working at SRC during the day and working on the house during the night, I was ready for a nice weekend of nothing to do but lounge. I was neither physically nor mentally prepared for this move. Throughout the entire process I just wanted to give up and quit despite the consequences. Of course, we didn't have the option to quit, nevertheless I was considering it, justifying it, and making it make sense at least within the walls of my skull. We held out, though. We got it all moved and I officially turned in the keys last night to our old place. It was sad in a way. I'll miss the old pad even though I recall claiming that I hated it as early as last week.

So, do you know what the reward is for sticking to our guns through a move? It's more work. Our house looks like a storage unit. The floors upstairs were still covered in dust, sprinkled with latex paint, and littered with wallpaper scrapings when we were moving in. So, our great idea was to just put everything downstairs and then start moving stuff upstairs after we got everything in and the floors cleaned upstairs. Well, the floors still aren't clean and our stuff is still stacked 6 feet high downstairs. It'll take a month to get things where they need to be and to obtain any amount of organization. I just have to focus on the end result. It's going to be so nice. It's going to be so nice. I have to just keep saying it. It's going to be... well, I guess, I don't have to keep typing it.

Bust a Move

The theme this weekend is "move". It's a short word that starts to look a little funny the more you say it and look at it's spelling. It seems to me that the word should be much longer and difficult to spell. Everyone has moved sometime so you know what I mean. If you're anything like me, then you know the "move" all too well. It almost seems like a way of life.

For me, the nomadic life has been an adventure. Not a very good one, but an adventure nonetheless. I have never lived further than 12 miles from the hospital in which I was born, so obviously all my moving stories have a similar and familiar backdrop. However, although I've never left my nest of a hometown, I have moved twelve times since I've been out on my own. Twelve moves doesn't seem like that much, and maybe it isn't, but these twelve moves represent 10 U-Haul truck rentals, 3 self-storage unit rentals, backaches, headaches, friends lost, none gained, big things broken, small things lost, 37 deposits paid (rented residence, U-Haul, self-storage, city utilities), hundreds of gallons of gas burned, a lot of service changes (CU, phone, cable, etc.), and hundreds of new neighbors.

I always thought that I moved a lot as a kid. But, I only count 6 different places of residence now that I think about it. Jacob has lived in 5 different places and come tomorrow that number will increase to 6. So, I wonder how he feels about how much he's moved. I have asked him if he remembers living in the places we've lived and the only two places he remembers living is our apartment and the house that we are moving out of. So, I'm not doing too bad if you take away the ones that he was too young to remember.

My best moving story happened in 1997. I was 18 and rented a house from the Christian County Prosecuter's wife. She was really nice, but she told me right up front that she wouldn't tolerate any big problems. She told me that if the cops were ever called to the residence, then she would evict us. Dustin and Jason were my two roommates. We had only been living there for three weeks when the Christian County Special Investigator woke me up in my bedroom. It was 9:00 am and he just says, "you need to come into the living room." I say, "ok". In the living room I find my roommates and several friends who had spent the night sitting down. Standing up all around the room were cops from departments including but not limiting to Christian County Sherrif's Department, Missouri State Highway Patrol, Ozark Police, Christian County Special Investigations, and even the K-9 unit to add a cherry to the top. To quickly fast-forward to the moving part I will leave out the details and say that two of my friends were arrested for breaking into cars, the house was completely raided, many items were found that had been stolen (all in Jason's room, and Jason's car, not that I'm finger pointing or anything), and just as the last of the cops leave my landlord shows up to say, "I want you out by the end of the day and if you have a problem with that, then I don't think I need to remind you of who my husband is. The cleaning crew will be here tomorrow and anything left here will be hauled off to the dump."

I had had a bad morning. I slammed the door in her face and turned around and enlisted the first face I saw to drive me and drop me off at U-haul. I was back at the house two hours later with a storage unit having been rented and a U-Haul truck in the driveway. I pulled an all nighter and got it done by 7:00 the next morning. The good thing was that we were too lazy to dispose of the boxes we used to move in with, so I had just enough to move out with. It was a "speed-move". I delivered pizza at the time and made a point to drive by the house just to see and sure enough the landlady had bluffed me. There was no cleaning crew. As far as I could tell, the property didn't change from the way I left it for over two weeks. So, I suppose I could've caled her bluff, but I figured that I had enough enemies in Christian County law and didn't need any more.

Do you have any good moving stories? How many time have you moved? How far?


My friend, James, sent me these today and I couldn't help but watch them over and over again. At first, I did the "OOhh!" thing, but as I watched them the third and fourth times the laughter came over me. The more I watched them, the funnier they became. Now, I do feel sorry for these guys to an extent. I did stupid things when I was a kid, too. But, I'm sure that even these guys had to laugh at themselves when they first saw the video despite stern warnings from the hospital staff that laughing can be very dangerous while in traction.

I'd like to point out the un-sung heroes here, though. It's the geniuses behind the camera that make these so worthwhile for the rest of us. Their steady hand and unfailing dedication to "getting the shot" is honorable. They stand there and watch as their friends attempt semi-amazing feats and when they fail miserably they don't budge. They know that capturing the moment is more important to the world than their friend's lives are to them. They follow the bone-crunching action with a stoic concentration. Blood is spilled, cracking bones are heard, and even the tell-tale thud of a body hitting the concrete with brute force fills the air and yet these cinematic heores are unfazed.

To you, cameraman and friend of idiots, I give a double woop. WOOP WOOP!


I thought nothing of it at the time. However, exactly one week ago, I payed rent. This didn't seem significant other than it's obvious heavy significance in my checkbook register, but it was significant. It may be the last time that I ever pay rent again! Now, I don't claim to be a fortune-teller or a psychic or to have some sixth-sense ability to make absolute statements like this with any amount of certainty of it's destined truth. And, just for the record, I don't see dead people. So, this may just be an assumption on my part, but I am now closer to this being true than I ever have been before.

Paying rent has become a way of life for me and I have managed to pay a lot of it over the last 10 years. I moved out of my mother's house at the ripe old age of 17 and began this career of making money for other people. I've lived in apartments, townhouses, and houses in Springfield, Ozark, and Nixa. I did some calculating from all the figures that I could remember and I've found that I have paid an average of $348 per month on rent since I ventured out on my own. I thought it would be more, but all those roommates helped out more than I give them credit for, I guess. Anyway, that approximately works out to a whopping $42,000! That's horrible. Guess what I have to show for it. NOTHING! As much as I love giving. I want to kick myself for ever letting this happen. I'd love to cop out and say that it's not all been my fault, but who am I kidding. It's my fault.

So, now I wonder. Since I cannot deny the fact that paying out so much money over the years was my conscious doing, I might as well give it a good spin. Here goes: I've kept people's investments profitable for ten years. In doing so, I have kept my local economy balanced which has, in turn, helped to resist a complete economic collapse where local businesses shut down one by one. People would have to move away to find communities that still have grocery stores and clean water. Crops would dry up and make tumbleweeds. The lack of plant growth would kill off or force a mass exodus of area wildlife. Springfield would cease to exist as it would be reclaimed by nature decades later. Wildlife would move back due to the abundance of food. They would move into the abandonned homes that I should have been paying rent on. Then, they would learn to walk on just two legs. The area would be cordoned off by a large corporation called GloboTech and turned into a drive-thru nature park where every year thousands of tourists wearing moon-suits would pay thousands of yen per ticket to see the "Animal City".

Man, it's a good thing that I paid rent all those years.

Redneck Love Poem

Someone sent me this and I found it sort of funny, so I thought that I'd pass it on.






Old Rivals

I have always been interested in the history of things. It seems that every time I learn some history on something that thing becomes much more understood and a lot more interesting. I'm probably a little biased since I've also always liked antiques and old things. I like things that have a story to them. It's why I drive a 1959 Ford, recently bought a 1909 house, and have several pieces of furniture that date back to the turn of the century (no, not 2000).

Being born in Springfield and never living more than 10 miles away from it in my 27 years has provided me many, many snippets of history on the city. A lot of these interesting facts are true and some have turned out not to be, but I would like to share a little bit of true history about the city in which I have always proudly lived. I promise that it won't be boring. Or at least to me, anyway.

John Polk Campbell was the man that decided this was a pretty good spot to put his farm. At this time he was among several pioneers from Tennessee who had gone out looking for new land to settle in. He liked this spot near a spring and carved his name on an Ash tree to claim the land. He came back in 1830 with his family to settle here only to find that the Fulbright brothers had already settled here (William, John, and Levi and their wives and children). He still had his land that he claimed which was adjacent to the Fulbrights' farm. The area then became known to other settlers as "Campbell and Fulbright Springs".

In 1835, Campbell donated 50 acres of land to the township of people which was named Springfield with the help of Campbell among others. Thanks for the donation, John. It must have been difficult scratching your name off that tree or did you just cut it down? Don't you wish that you could just go out in the woods and claim land? Anyway, Springfield grew quite steadily throughout the next 30 years and boasted a population of 3,300 by the Civil War.

It was around 1870 that an act took place in Springfield that changed it forever. The effects of this act still linger today and most Springfield residents feel them and see them, but they know nothing of their origin. In 1870, Springfield would benefit from the introduction of a railroad near its borders. However, this is where the problem was. Springfield had heard that the Southern Pacific Rail Road was going to come through Springfield and this meant all kinds of new opportunities for Springfield residents. It meant new jobs, new money, cheaper goods, and growth. Residents eagerly anticipated the railroad's arrival to be shocked when they heard that the company decided to go around Springfield instead of through it. The railroad was built north of town and also put a depot south of town as well.

The southern depot wound up becoming a town much later known as Galloway Station, which was swallowed up by Springfield in the early 1970's. However, the tracks to the north of town can be found still in use today just north of Commercial Street.

Here is what happened. Springfield had been a town for decades and was well-established and, while they were grateful they would be receiving a railroad to their town, they were hurt by the railroad's decision to build north of town. See, along with the railroad came investors and business people from out of state who came and set up shop. They were from bigger towns and cities and they came to make even more money. They started building rather quickly and before long there was a noticeable two sections of town. Springfield became known as "old town" and the Commercial Street area became "new town". In July of 1870, the Greene County Court made an order incorporating the town "North Springfield". At the same time, five of the new investors were named as Trustees of the said town. These orders were made "on petition of two-thirds of the citizens" of the would-be town, but were later discovered to be illegal in that these people hadn't lived here long enough to have even gained Missouri citizenship. therefore the original orders were rescinded. In 1871, the town was again incorporated, though this time legally.

As you can imagine, there were mixed feelings over this new "town" encroaching on Springfield's rightfully earned prosperity. They even named the street that became the shared border between them Division Street. In 1874, Springfield introduced a bill to Congress that requested that Springfield's borders be extended to incorporate North Springfield. The bill passed, but with a contingency that both towns vote on the matter. North Springfield residents turned out a poll showing that they voted 78 to 1 opposing the annexation. The single "yes" vote was from Frank Lawson who was said to have voted the approval as a joke. Funny guy.

With rivalry growing in strength, the two finally consolidated its borders to become Springfield in 1887. I'm sure that their backing down off their high horses had nothing to do with the closing down of the Benton Street station to move to the station closer to Springfield's downtown in 1878. Surely not. This rivalry, while only 17 years in the making, still haunts Springfield 120 years later. I have heard countless statements from both sides towards the other that reveal a venomous contempt that lingers just beneath the surface. Most of the reasons that people have for their contempt have little to do with the original reason, but the competition remains. I don't recall there ever being a west side-east side thing. And I don't recall anyone from either side ever having anything bad to say about their opposite.

What do you think?

Man, oh, man.

I think that we are still on track to having the house ready to move into by the 15th, but the days left to work on it keep falling off the calender and the list of things to accomplish still sits in my head without all the check marks that I would love to see by them. We are making some great progress, but I think that I haven't seen any checkmarks because we've been working on the hardest and most tedious two tasks on the list.

Jodi has spent the last, I don't know how long, scraping off wallpaper. Not one, not two, but three or more layers of wallpaper. It's funny. Jodi found some wallpaper that was applied over the same style wallpaper. Now, I ask you why anyone in their right mind would spend time and money covering their wall-papered walls with the exact same wallpaper. That's like using a bar of soap to wash another bar of soap. Anyway, the house looks good. There's wallpaper scrapings everywhere. It's like walking through a puppy potty-training area. The walls also look appropriately like crap, however they're mostly smoothed down and ready for texture, then paint. So, good stuff! Also, the bathroom that I am remodeling is finally coming together. I finally got all of the plaster and lathe board off the walls and out of the house last weekend. I started on the new plumbing then and finished it Tuesday night. I properly tested it last night and found no leaks, so Yay!

Here is the remaining job list that needs to be done. There's much more to the list, of course, but these are things that need to be done before we move in on the 15th. Speaking of which, I think that I'm going to try to push this date back to the 17th or 18th. The 15th is on a Thursday and while I can take a day off to move, I don't think that I'm going to have much luck obtaining help from my friends. The 17th and 18th are Saturday and Sunday, but I'm going to have to try and work that out with our landlords. Previously, we had agreed to do a half month for March, but I'll have to see if I can sweet-talk them into letting us pro-rate the extra 3 days.

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