August 2012

Chef Tippy's in Sullivan Illinois, a great new place to dine.

Chef Tippy's in Sullivan Illinois, a great new place to dine.

The Tipton family has been in the restaurant business for several years and when the chance came to open a restaurant of their own, they jumped. The family has created a steakhouse with a great atmosphere that fits in with Sullivan’s famous Little Theater atmosphere.

The food is all made from scratch and the Tiptons have updated the menu to reflect crowd favorites.

Their bread is made by the Great Pumpkin Patch bakery and as soon as they open for the fall season Tippy’s will be offering their food at the Pumpkin Patch’s Arthur location.

Andrew Tipton, his brother Matthew along with his wife Melissa opened the restaurant 5 months ago. “Andrew used to open Outbacks on the Gulf,” Andrew said.

Andrew has been working in the food industry for several years as well. Both Matt and younger brother Noah are chefs and have been enjoying offering a variety of dishes for their new customers.

My mom and I stopped at the restaurant on our way home from a trip to Charleston and would go back again in a heartbeat! For more information, log onto . http://www.cheftippys.com/index.html.

Red Power Round Up Was Unveiling of New RFD Show

Red Power Round Up Was Unveiling of New RFD Show

I first met Rodney Miller at the Half Century of Progress, a couple of shows ago. He was then the CEO of McCormick tractor and was proud as punch of the newly restored 1978IH 1086 tractor that had recently been restored. This tractor is very important to Rodney because it belonged to his father, Gene Miller. Rodney was kind enough to share the story of growing up on a farm in Benton, Illinois and the important values his father instilled in him.

At the Red Power Round Up, I ran into Rodney again and learned that he is collecting stories that celebrate life in rural America. His new show is called Small Town Big Deat and will air September 6th. The show will run at 9:30 Eastern and 8:30 Central time on Thursday nights.

This interests me because this is what rural living is all about, the people and places that make up the Prairie where we sow our seeds and harvest our crops. The rusty iron that lies out back all have a story along with the hunched over farmer that drove it and the farmwife that brought a meal to the field and sat by her husband/father/brothers side. The men and women that make up the Midwest are heros in my book and it is an honor to see them profiled as such!

Women on a mission, visited Adams Mill

Women on a mission, visited Adams Mill

It was hot, it was dusty and we wanted to see some sights. Five women at this year’s Graham Bradley show including me wanted to play tourist and see some of the local sights while in the Lafayette, Indiana area.

One sight that was on my list was the Adams Mill which was built by John Adams who selected his site when he walked along the Wildcat Creek from Lafayette toward what would become the site of Kokomo. Choosing the oxbow bend in the creek, Adams built a turbine powered the mill that manufactured flour until 1953.

Inside the mill is also an Americana Museum. The mill is built in the traditional post and beam construction built from local hand hewn lumber. There is nothing much more impressive that beams of lumber and a three story structure without a single nail.

Awed, we walked through as much as we could stand heat wise and enjoyed Al Auffart’s wonderful tour. If in the area take the time to check out this historic site that sits like a sentinel along the Wildcat Creek outside of Cutler, Indiana.. Call 765-268-2530 or log onto www.adams-mill.org for details

Downtown Chicago Farmer's Market

Downtown Chicago Farmer's Market

Downtown Chicago has many sites to offer, this farmer’s market was a bit of unexpected rural flvory in the heart of the city.

This market was at Federal Plaza Market was located at the corner of Adams & Dearborn. The Market iis open every Tuesday until the end of October.

The Windy City offers culture, architecture, the Chicago River, plays, restaurants and fresh eating to boot! While you won’t drive your pick up truck and park at the street corner you could load up your basket with fresh offerings and have a picnic in a green space and enjoy the last hustle and bustle of summer before the wind howls around city corners and the snow flies!

New York's Central Park

New York's Central Park

Did you know that Central Park was one of the first public places created and that the park is a manmade creation designed by landscape architect Frederick Olmsted ?

This park has been around for a while, design on the the park was actually stopped during the Civil War, then resumed after the war and and completed in 1873.

The park happened to be a very popular place for professional photography. My daughter and I were visiting the beautiful city in July and we stopped at Central Park on our last day. We saw a model garbed in a wedding tux looking like he was ready to say “I do” and a young woman being filmed walking in a famous area under a lovely bridge.

On our walk to and at the park we witnessed at a commercial where they actually topped traffic in both directions.

Central Park was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1962. While we enjoyed walking around the best part of our visit to the park was a tour as we sat in a rickshaw pulled by a bicycle, our guide, a transplanted Irishman shared the history of the city and pointed out all the important sites. He pointed out the fountain where the Friends cast cavorted in the opening. He pointed out important statues and historic sites and even the building where John Lennon was shot. The tour added insight that we would not have had and provided us the time to see sights we would not have seen without his tour. It was fun to hear about American history from a lilting Irish accent. New York was and is a true melting pot. We were honored to be one of the masses! .

The Darst International Harvester Musseum

The Darst International Harvester Musseum

Darrell and Kevin Darst have an amazing International Harvester museum in Madison, Missouri. Darrell is the editor of the International Harvester club publication Harvester Highlights and he and his wife Kevin have been collecting for decades. Kevin is the queen of IH refrigeration and freezer collectibles and their museum reflects their knowledge and the love they have for what was once the largest farm machinery company in the country.

The Darst Collection includes many rare and unique items like pictures, signs and even equipment. Keith and I visited this August and enjoyed the Darst collection and hospitality. Everyone will walk away with something that is their favorite item, I think mine may have been the film where an IH spokesperson is telling dealers how to sell the refrigerators and talking about the new “Spring green” color.

T schedule a visit you need to call ahead at 660-291-8742.

I survived the storm!

I survived the storm!

Yesterday while at the Pinckneyville American Heritage Thresherman’s Association tractor show, the wind blew, the thunder boomed, the lightening crackled and the rain poured. Safe and sound under Annie Jansen’s extended camper awning I sat secure enjoying the pounding of the rain. Then the big boom came when the lightening hit a nearby tree splintering wood. The poor vendor sitting near the tree had quite a scare. The tent beside the tree even had scorch marks on it. The rain came down for a while adding much needed moisture and a bit of excitement to a very cool show. Being a farmer’s wife, getting wet didn’t bother me, I just didn’t want to get fried!

The American Threshman Association has two shows each year. One is in August and the second, the Fall Festival will be held October 19, 20 & 21st. The show is held at the fair grounds in Pinckneyville, Illinois. This town is a bit sentimental to me because I was born here and my dad taught school in Nashville many, many moons ago!

I survived the storm, had fun with friends and praised the Lord for the much needed moisture.

Dining at Lula Belles in Hannibal

Dining at Lula Belles in Hannibal

Hannibal Illinois is all about Mark Twain and his tales, but if you want to just take a day and find some great food and antiques this is also a neat stop. On our way to a museum destination we loitered in this quaint river town.

We ate at one of our favorite dining spots, Lula Belles. They offer different cuisine from just the cafe fare and have had great service the times we have stopped in.

My husband hit the antique stores while I headed straight for Ayers Pottery. Filling a sack with two baking bowls and four mugs that were supposed to be Christmas presents but instead are being washed to put in my cupboard right now, I did a little shopping. They offer great seconds that are quite affordable and the man at the counter was affable and fun.

If staying in the area, we have stayed at the Garst mansion and recommend it for a romantic overnight or this is a great stop for a girls day out!.

A horse is a horse of course!  At Henson Robinson Zoo.

A horse is a horse of course!  At Henson Robinson Zoo.

I took the grandkids to the Henson Robinson Zoo, a lovely small zoo located right on Lake Springfield. After playing at the playground we struck out to the zoo along with my mom for a fun filled morning. When this horse in the picture blew through its nose, my 20 month old grandson did a shuffle toward me that could have won him awards on Dancing with the Stars.

Taking advantage of some of the great sites in your backyard like this fun little zoo in Springfield is a great way to enjoy some grandma/ grandkid time. The peacocks and horses turned out to be the scary animals while the grand babies didn’t seem to be at all phased by the bear or the monkeys. I guess I should correct that phrase because my grand daughter informed me that her brother “Is a big boy and she is a good girl.” There you have it!

The Henson Robinson Zoo is located at 1100 East Lake Shore Drive, Springfield, IL 62712. Call 217-753-6217 or log onto http://www.hensonrobinsonzoo.org for details!

Butter Cow at the Illinois State Fair

Butter Cow at the Illinois State Fair

This is the 90th year that the butter cow is gracing the Illinois State Fair. Sharon Bumen from New York has been sculpting the cow for the last eight years and six years ago they created this cooler in the round for visitors to enjoy. Dairy Building Superintendent Marla Behrends shared that before when Sharon would work that she would sculpt as beautifully behind the cow as in front. Now visitors can enjoy the entire sculpture.

Bumen will be sculpting completing the butter cow and the final result will be completed on Tuesday. Visitors to the fair can watch her work her art until that time. The butter cow is a tradition at the Illinois State Fair. Everyone enjoys viewing the cow before sampling a dairy treat. The Illinois State Fair runs August 9-19. Children making homeade birthday cards may win a dairy treat. Create your own tradition at this year’s Illinois State Fair where the motto is Family Fun for Everyone!