What is a monkeybox?

When I was a little girl, we had a pet monkey named Amanda. My Dad worked in the produce business, so each night he brought home that days culls in a big box - spotty cucumbers, pithy apples, limp celery, moldy oranges and the like. We called it a monkeybox. It was really just trash, but my Mom would take each piece of fruit and trim it, pare it and cut it up to make a beautiful fruit platter for Amanda. Even though it was deemed trash by one, it still had life left in it and was good for the purpose we needed it. That's how I live my life - thrifting, yard saling, looking for another's trash to be my treasure.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Family Fun Day

The Breadman was on vacation for the past eleven days.  He was sick for most of it and then The Bean got sick, so we only managed to leave the house one day for a Family Fun Day.  It would be a gross understatement to say that being home for ten days with two sick men was rough.  Oh, my.....was it ever rough.  But, getting out one day and seeing lots of interesting things that we had never seen before, was a much needed spirit lifter.

Our first stop was the old hotel at Monte Ne on Beaver Lake.  The lake is a man made lake. When they built it in the 1960's, they flooded land where houses and other things were.  In 1904, William "Coin" Harvey set out to build a series of hotels on the land where the lake now lays.   
He was a bit of ahead of his time and had grandiose plans for these hotels. The main hotel had forty rooms, each with it's own fireplace. He also built a huge amphitheater into the ground below the lake for shows, concerts and guest speakers. He was in the process of building a pyramid too, after hearing of the discovery of King Tut's tomb in the 1920's. The hotel flourished, then The Great Depression hit and business began to fail.  In the 1960's, the lake was built and the amphitheater and pyramid along with many of the concrete benches and chairs are now under water.  (I heard on the news tonight that the lake is about to drop to a record low and the amphitheater will be out of the water.  We'll be there!)

I've always heard about the things that were under water, but I never knew there were things still standing until last week.  So, we ventured to Monte Ne to find the hotel.  We found Monte Ne, but couldn't find the hotel. so we decided to just walk the shoreline. 

We knew we were on the right path when we discovered the remains of the first hotel, Missouri Row along the shore.  We continued along until we found Oklahoma Row lurking up on a small hill near the shore. 
The hotel has been standing there for over 100 years.  But, now it is a giant piece of folk art.  It is covered in graffiti.  On one hand, I hate it that it is not in it's original state.  But, really, I quite like the graffiti.  It is everywhere - very intricate and artful.  There are the fair share of "F words" and other expletives (I don't like that part at all).  But, overall, I really liked it. 

I call The Bean a "hoodlum" quite often.  He is nothing like a hoodlum, but the way he dresses in skulls and hoodies...well, sometimes he looks like a hoodlum.  So, I staged him near certain pieces of graffiti that he liked. 
I think one of these would be a good photo to frame.  But, I have to make sure there aren't any "bad" words lurking in their first.  I'd hate to send out a Christmas Card and have it say F*.. above his head.  reminds me of Elaine in the Seinfeld Christmas card episode.

Case in point.  I saw this PINK graffiti and said, "Take my picture!".  So, I ran over there and the Breadman took one of his famous blurry  photos of me (which I promptly deleted).  As I went back for a second shot, I noticed the big BITCH with an arrow pointing right where I had been standing.  Oh my!  (I have reconstructed this via PaintShop for your enjoyment.)

I packed a picnic lunch since it was FREE Family Fun day.  We headed to Horseshoe Bend for our picnic.  It was freezing cold, foggy and damp.  There wasn't another living soul in the park except the three of us and fifteen Turkey Vultures.  We ate in a hurry and got on our merry way.  We had jackets in the car and put them on right after this photo.  By the time we got to our next destination fifteen minutes later, the sun was out and it was warm again.  Fall in Arkansas.  You just never know.

Our next stop was a new Conservation Area that recently opened.
It was a very nice facility with a museum and a hands on learning area.  (Can you say Educational????)
There was also this freakishly large reproduction of a bat.  You know - a bat - those teeny things that are about as big as a mouse?  Seeing it so incredibly huge, was well, weird.  And, apparently, it attacked The Bean.
Next stop, War Eagle Mill.  There is a craft fair there this weekend that usually sees about 180,000 visitors.  You could not pay me to go there in those crowds.  So, we beat the crowds and got there a few days early.
The wooden water wheel is used every single day to power the equipment to grind flour and cornmeal.  I love the sound of the wheel.
The bridge is wooden and quite a thing to see and to drive over.  It had been closed for nearly a year, but it just reopened last week.  The lumber still smelled new as we walked over it.

A giant heart shaped puddle under the bridge.

I thought walking and driving over it was odd, but going under it and hearing cars drive on it, was really odd.  I do like this photo though.  Not a perspective of a bridge you normally see.
We went inside to do a little shopping.  Yes, it was free day, but you just can't leave without a bag of biscuit mix (in a cloth sack with a sweet print).
And, what goes well with homemade biscuits?  Homemade Apple Butter.  Candied Cinnamon Apple Butter, to be exact.  I could eat that stuff right out of the jar.  Actually, I have. 
One last stop at the Outhouse and we were on our way. 

Another Family Fun day - success!


  1. So that's a pile of biscuit mix in cloth bags and not pillows? Interesting. Was it inside a plastic liner also?

    I have heard that there are still companies doing that, but I have 1) never found any 2) never been able to google up any!

  2. Anonymous7:27 AM

    I love days when you discover things off the beaten path. making memores. I agree, Seeing that old hotel in it's hey day would have been pretty cool.

  3. Sounds like a great day was had by all. I can smell those biscuits cooking! mmmmmmmm

  4. That is too cool. You seem to have the neatest places to go & explore! Florida is boring! Well, my area is at least!


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