Changes, Changes, Changes.....Leaving the Past Behind Us

Over the past few months I have been playing things around in my brain, well last week without my knowledge, and a fail of my domain host, my original blog domain was sold out from under me.  This left me frantic and scratching my head and then reality sunk life has CHANGED so drastically so in the past year I need NEW, FRESH, and a ME VOICE.

My life is no longer about weekly adventures, road trips, and things to do with your kids.  I do still travel and have adventures, but now my life is much busier and full of new things...I spend my days chasing chickens, canning pickles, learning to hunt, going fishing, and surrounded by good ole country folks.

I am going to say this is a "God Thing' this is a "new adventure" or just a chance to start over.....I am RE-BRANDING myself as The Missouri Mom.  I already write as the Missouri Traveling Mom for, so I decided that I would just take on The Missouri Mom as my title.
I am leaving Adventures Among Us live, because I do have so many hits and faithful readers, but I am slowly going to transition over my stories along with sharing my new stories here. 

The Missouri Mom will and is about MY LIFE in Rural Missouri, My Travels throughout Missouri and beyond, Events in Missouri, family, parenting, HUNTING, and everything in between. 

I feel strongly that leaving Adventures Among Us behind will be the final healing process and a close to the devastation divorce brought me.  I have now surfaced began a new life with new people and want to share our life without the negativity of the past. 

I pray my readers will stay with me, follow me wherever I go, and will enjoy our new life.

God Bless!

~Becky, Lesse, D-man, & ..............................(we will fill in the blanks later)

Small Town Hospitality beats Big City Beauty Shop, Check out Total Results Salon in Marble Hill, MO

Disclosure:  I was sponsored by Total Results Salon, however, all thoughts and opinions are my own.  

Since moving back to Bollinger County, Missouri or as my friends call it the "sticks" of Missouri, there are obviously some conveniences that I have been forced to give up.  Being in a rural area we don't have hair shops, nail salons, and spas at every be completely honest many folks still use their Aunt So & So to cut their hair and help out with their beauty needs.

A few weeks back I was itching for some "uptown" pampering, but hated to drive 45 minutes to the city just for a few minutes of relaxation....yes it is really that far to a town with a population of more than 3000.  Well I saw a post on Facebook for Total Results Salon and decided I would I would try out some small town relaxation.

After all the big city trips (St Louis, Memphis, Las Vegas) I have decided I would prefer to use a small town beauty shop for my relaxation needs.  There is something about walking into a beauty shop, meeting your stylist, and sitting down and having a good old fashion conversation.  Danielle Beel, also a local girl, but we only knew each other in a "roundabout" way, which probably made my experience a little more fun.

As I entered the salon, it was way different than the fancy chairs, serenading music, candles lite for relaxation, and wine......Nope Danielle rolled out her stainless steel washtub, filled it full of warm water, and gave me a true small town pedicure.

While Danielle's shop was not upscale, full of gadgets, it was full of life, fun, and what means more to me than how fancy a shop is, it was full of TRUE SMALL TOWN HOSPITALITY.  When I visit a place rather it be here locally, or somewhere far away the one thing that stands out the most is how they treat me as a visitor.  I would not hesitate bringing my "big city" friends back to Danielle's shop for a girls day out, I would not hesitate visiting her shop with my daughter, and obviously I don't hesitate recommending her shop to my readers.

Danielle and Total Salon Results is a full service salon in uptown Marble Hill, Missouri...she offers pretty much anything you need or want for relaxation....only she adds in some Small Town HOSPITALITY.  

Have an Adventurous Day!


Love the View of the QUIET! 

Had to get a little funky with the color!  

Madison's Cafe in Jefferson City, Missouri

Disclosure:  My visit to Madison's Cafe in Jefferson City, MO was sponsored by TBW Group, however, all thoughts and opinions are my own!  

Last month my gal pal Jessie and I visited our Missouri State Capital, Jefferson City, MO and on our trip we had the pleasure of dining out at Madison's Cafe in downtown Jefferson City.   If I am completely honest with you, I have fear of trying new restaurants as you never know what you are be completely frank, I have a limited vocabulary when it comes to food, seriously in our house it's meat, taters, and beans!  Giving that I have no clue what to pair my food with, how to say six different types of cheese in Italian, or a clue how to order many appetizers in 5 different language.

I have developed my own technique for getting a true experience when visiting a new restaurant, when the waiter or waitress comes to take my order I simply tell them what I can or can't have ( I am allergic to shrimp, and have intolerance to aspartame) and tell them not to let me down.  Of course this often catches the folks I am dining with off guard, but never fails I get the best of the best and truly get to experience the restaurants unique flavor.

I pulled my unique technique at Madison's Cafe in Jefferson City...I remember my waiter standing there stumped for a while, but he did me right as he carted out our delicious appetizers, picked me out the most delicious entree, and all with a smile on his face.

Should I hire someone to handle my Facebook Page....

I was recently asked by a local businessman asking me why he cannot get as much interaction on his Facebook page as I can on mine and if he should consider hiring a marketing firm to handle his social media.

I quickly explained to him that social media should be handled by someone that is dedicated to your business,  you need to think of social media as your personality being presented to your customer 27/7.... I think I had the poor man scratching his I later emailed him a list of answers to help him out!

I feel for small businesses in today's time, especially those owned by an older generation and are trying to stay up with the newer generation.  There is the risk of being to "hip" for your older clients and not hip enough for the younger generation.

Here is what I later answered the local businessman:

Marketing firms are great, I think they could get your Facebook page up and going, but I would look closely to who you hire.  I would want someone that would be at my beck and call, someone that would take the time to sit down and explain how to use Facebook, someone that would spend some time in your business getting to know YOU and YOUR CUSTOMER!

I then told him to consider this for his Facebook Page:  his business was located in a town with a population of less than 900, his local school more than likely had a business club or something of that sort.  Look for a teenager that is pursuing a career in marketing, media, or just loves to be on Facebook.   Get with them, talk it out with them and see if you can slip them some money for helping you with your Facebook.

No Luck there....then look for a local blogger, or social media guru (like me), someone that he (or his wife) follows on Facebook  and talk to them.  Many folks love to make a few extra bucks and lets face it running a Facebook Page is not that hard (I secretly admin several).

If still no luck, look within his own business, maybe he could purchase a book on Facebook and someone with his own business could take control over his Facebook.

Then I explained if all else fails then I would consider hiring a marketing firm to handle his Facebook account.

Of course this left him standing with tons of questions, like how much to pay, what do I have them post, how do I know if they are doing a good job.

Pay for Facebook????  Everyone charges a different fee, some charge by the month, some charge by the post.  I personally charge both ways depending on each individual page I am running, some pages are high maintenance and some just want me to look over the page and make a few post here and there.

What do they Post????  Here is the real trick to Facebook, what do they post.  The key to success with
Sample Post I did for the Town of Marquand, Missouri.
To see video click here:
Facebook is the person making your post has to LOVE your business as much as you do.  They have to be able to portray YOUR PERSONALITY 24 hours a day.   I have personally became so mad at local businesses for the sheer fact that they come off as buttheads in their Facebook post and I know they really are not....I often have to remind myself that someone other than the owner is running their Facebook Page.
When I am hired to work on a Facebook Page I take a few days to get to know the person I am working for, I then look back over their past social media presence, and then I begin to write some post.  My goal is to always put the business first, even if I know I am going to work harder than what I paid to work.  I know many local and small business owners don't have the money to put out in marketing that large companies do.  In fact many of them can barely afford a newspaper ad let alone to hire a marketing firm to do all their advertising.

Statistics for Visit Bollinger County -
A Facebook Page I started on 07/23/13
How do I know they are doing their job????  The first thing is to NEVER lose power over your Facebook, make sure they leave you on as an administrator and do not hire them unless they are willing to take the time to TEACH you how to operate and understand your Facebook including where to find your stats.  In your insights you will be able to see the number of people being reached, the number of likes, new likes, and interactions....Here is where you better be getting what you paid for.  If you are not seeing drastic changes in your Facebook after you have hired someone (especially within the first few weeks) then you better rethink your plan.  I have seen people hire someone and pay good money for them to run their Facebook and the page only increase likes by 10 or 15 over a few months time.....that is BAD.

My last and most important piece of advice is DO WHAT YOU ARE COMFORTABLE WITH.....your gut instinct it far more important than my advice.  I never want anyone to make the mistake of doing what they are not comfortable doing.

Have a Social Day :-)


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So I did it.....Visit Bollinger County, Missouri

I feel like I have accomplished much, or maybe nothing, but I did it.  I took the step and created a Facebook Visit Bollinger County, Missouri.

I don't want to toot my own horn as I do not deserve credit for this, but would love support.  I do throw out there a HUGE THANK YOU to all those that have already liked the page, and to those who have always supported me.  I am blessed with some amazing friends inside the Tourism Industry that have always given me tons of advice, support, and motivated me to see that there is a bigger picture than just the money that can be made.

So since so many of you have asked me what #BoCo is, what have you been up to....check out this link, LIKE our page, and follow along with Bollinger County, Missouri to see what is happening!


The Small Town Dream.....My dream in BoCo

Working in my #garden this morning!  #tmom #bo...
The Start of my DREAM......
Today I was asked if I have a dream.....I have always had a dream, but ironically my dream is much different than those around. me.

I do not dream of wealth, I would rather be poor and happy.
I do not dream to be pretty, as looks fade.
I do not dream of wisdom, as I love to learn.

My dreams are simple, my dreams are organic, my dreams are unflattering.

My simple dreams are to live as simple and organic as possible.  I dream of providing for my family the old fashion way, I dream of cooking, gardening, fishing, cleaning, and having the simple life.  I dream of my kids understanding the food we eat comes from the ground, not from the store.  I dream of my daughter baking pies, instead of buying oreos.  I dream of my son understanding how to work a field, feed livestock, and catch his dinner the way our ancestors once did.

This dream I have already started working on, I am looking into starting a small orchard.....I want to teach all of my children that it takes work to reap the reward, plus I LOVE fresh fruit.....The Chicken House Orchard????

I would one day own a place that others will visit, others will enjoy, others will find retreat from their crazy life at.   I dream of providing a sanctuary for those who have none, a place that people can come to forget the burdens that surround them, a place that is not known for expense, but known for love.

I would love to own or run a resort in middle of Bollinger County.  While I am years away (and it may never ever happen), I would love to share this beautiful country with the world, make it a place where people come to relax at.......Escape to BoCo?

An Empty Building in Marble Hill, that could be a HOTEL
Providing a place for travelers to stay, and jobs to those in need!
I dream is to one day see my hometown prosper, to succeed, to be a place that not only am I proud to say is where I come from, but thousands are proud to say they have visited.   I live in one of the most beautiful areas of the world, I need not to travel out of my little area to see many of God's paintings.  I dream that people will come visit our area, bring revenue to our area, and one day our youth will have no need to move or drive far away for a job, they will be able to stay near their families and have all they will need.

My last dream is help start, organize, and promote tourism in Bollinger County, Missouri!  For years I have said there is so much here and no one promotes this place.  I am not sure if when I open my mouth to speak if people are confused, people are taken by surprise, or if they just don't know where to start.  I have had this dream for years, but I have always been sidetracked by other's ideas or thoughts, than my divorce came along, and of course their is alway time, money, and energy to add to the mix.  I know deep down inside my heart tourism is the key to success in BoCo, as their is little left here in our very rural area of the world.  I believe that with the proper organization, the proper promoting, our small rural community could be one the next tourist attractions......How does VisitBoCoMO sound you all?

Daily I am met with negative views, smirks, and contradicting comments about my dreams.....for years I have been defeated by those with power, money, more wisdom than I, and the lack of support by those who I love.

I sigh as I sit here, as this is the first time I have spoke about my dreams on my blog.  I know people will laugh, people will say I will fail, but if I fail at least I have tried.   Now if you are reading this and live in BoCo Missouri (Bollinger County, Missouri) and are looking for something to pray about, dream about, or help with....I am always open to help....

God Bless!

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Becky Cooks....Plum Jelly

Disclosure:  Part of the products in this post I have been gifted in return for a review...however, all thoughts and opinions are my own, unless you want to come help me can my veggies and fruit!  

We have an abundance of plums this year, okay no we have so many plums that we could feed our
Lesse picking plums
neighbors and have!  Grandpa H's plum tree is overloaded with plums this year, he claims it his special fertilizer (chicken poo and water) either way we have so many plums I decided I would learn to make plum jelly! .

I have claimed before and will state it again I am a complete idiot when it comes to this stuff, but with the help of my support team (The Man, Grandpa H, & Grandma H) and The Ball Blue Book Of Canning and Preserving Recipes I have successfully made some yummy Plum Jelly.  

First Lesse and I picked plums, okay we picked and picked plums.....I washed, sorted, and boiled the plums to make plum juice, this was rather easy!   Then the recipe called for 5 1/2 cups of plum juice, 1 package of powdered pectin ( I used Sure-Jell Premium Fruit Pectin), and 7 1/2 cups of sugar. 

The Infatuation of Me....

via beckydavenport

Over the past year it has come to my attention that people almost become infatuated with my "online persona".....every time this happens it makes me think of the Brad Paisley song "Online" So Much Cooler Online.

I will disclose that I am REAL, completely with all my flaws, however, knowing someone online and knowing someone in real life is way different.....I am really NOT that cool!

After the last round inbox message telling me how beautiful I am, what a wonderful mother I must be, and it's such a shame I live so far away I have decided to tell the world why you would not love me in person!

  • I am BLUNT...okay so blunt I forget my manners and I often get myself into holes that I cannot dig myself out. 
  • I am 20 maybe 30 pounds overweight.....Yeah photos can be deceiving, I am NOT a knock out or a supermodel and by the way I really don't give a SXXX that I am overweight, I like my fried chicken and mashed potatoes. 
  • I Drink TOO MUCH Coffee
  • I can't remember the last time I had a haircut, put on makeup, or bothered to color the gray out of my
    ZOOM in to see my unbrushed gray hairs! 
    hair.....I am too busy for those frivolous things, I would rather be fishing, chasing chickens, or working in my garden.
  • I can never remember anyone's birthday (thank God for Facebook reminders), but by golly YOU HAD BETTER REMEMBER MINE....speaking of which I will be 31 in a few days and I am proudly rocking my 30's. 
  • I am demanding, I expect attention, I talk ALOT, I expect you to talk to me...sometimes about things that are dumb. 
  • I am a busy body....I can't stand to sit still, so I create projects to do and often con other people into helping me with those projects. 
  • I swim in creeks....but I DO NOT go skinny dipping anymore. 
  • I hate to drive, I would prefer to ride in a car so I can take pictures of the things around me. 

Learning to Can with Fagor Home Canning Set

Disclosure:  I recieved my Fagor Home Canning Set for free, however, all thoughts, opinions, and experiences are my own...unless you want to come help me can vegetable!  Thank you to Fagor America!  

Upon moving home I decided that I wanted to garden and learn to preserve my own foods.  I am not a health freak, but I think the food I grow taste better and is healthier.  I am a complete idiot when it comes to this stuff, seriously, I can cook, but I have no clue how to do much more than freeze my veggies and fruits.

A few months back I received an email from Fagor America advertising their Fagor Home Canning Set, the product seemed too good to be true, but I am a sucker for trying something new.  I was first excited for the chance to learn and try out the canner, but as time neared I got nervous....I didn't want to ruin my veggies, or fail in front of everyone.

Well this past week I got brave, or well I had to do something with fruit and veggies that were coming off the trees and vines, so I broke out my canner and got started.  Fortunate for me the canner comes with everything I needed, except jars, lids, rings, and the food I want to can.  I quickly read through the instruction manual  and Grandma H handed me over a Ball Blue Book of Preserving (I highly suggest this book also) and off to work I went.

While I worried myself to death over how to use this product, rather I would fail, if my jars would seal.....I am a complete idiot.   The Fagor Home Canning Set really is as simple as it says it is!

Yesterday (my second time using the canner) I made coleslaw in a jar, our neighbor gave me 15 heads of cabbage...yes I have cabbage everywhere, so I had to be creative with what I was going to do with all this cabbage.  I found a recipe for coleslaw in a jar and I decided this would be my true test.

I borrowed Grandma H's food processor, chopped up my cabbage, added in some carrots, onions, green peppers, and red peppers and then soaked my mix in salt water for an hour.  An hour later I drained the salt water, combined sugar, vinegar, and my vegetable mixture in a large saucepan and let it simmer for 20 minutes.  (see below for full recipe) The directions said to hot-pack (hot pack means put it in the jar while it is still hot) the mixture in the jar, tighten the lids and then process in the canner for 20 minutes.  Guess
what....I have coleslaw in a jar, no in fact I have coleslaw in 20 jars.

Happy Independence Day Southeast Missouri

You asked and I answered again!  My inbox has been buzzing wanting to know where all the fireworks shows are…here is a short list of the ones I am aware of!  

Cape Girardeau, MO 

InsideArena Park Thursday 7/4/2013 at 9 pm, FREE to the public.  The City of Cape Girardeau Parks and Recreation Department and the USA Veterans will provide a firework show.  

Marble Hill, MO 

On July 4, 2013 at sundown or around 9 pm there will be a fireworks display at the Baseball Park in Marble Hill, MO.  The event is FREE and all is invited to come out!

Jackson, MO 

Fredericktown, MO 

Wappapello Lake

I pray everyone has a safe and Happy Independence Day! 


Fishing at Duck Creek Conservation Area

They let me in the boat...SERIOUSLY!  Saturday afternoon, The Man and The Big Little Man let me gofishing with them at Duck Creek Conservation Area.  I am still stunned that I knew this place existed, but had never been fishing there, okay forget fishing, I had never been there to shoot photos. 

We arrived at Duck Creek Conservation Area just a few minutes after 4pm, I was a bit relieved we had let the sun settle as I discovered we would be renting a boat and paddling out on the lake to do some fishing.  By the way folks you can rent boats and paddles for $5 there from the Missouri Department of Conservation. 

The minute we hit the lake I was extremely bummed I had packed my book, but left my big camera at home.  I don't know how many fish are in the lake, but I can tell you there are tons of lillypad and dollar pads all over this lake.  

Elephant Rocks State Park and Johnson Shut-Ins for Summer Fun?

You ask and I answered!  Elephant Rocks State Park and Johnson Shut-ins for Summer Fun?  I absolutely LOVE outdoor adventure, but there are times that I have to use logic over adventure! 

D-man testing the ground at
Elephant Rocks State Park
Elephant Rocks State Park is awesome, great for burning off extra energy, climbing, and a very clean state park.  However, rocks hold heat….SERIOUSLY!  Therefore, when my gal pal, mother of a preschooler asked me what my thoughts were on taking her little princess to Elephant Rocks State Park this weekend I threw on the brakes!  I warned her that the rocks at the park tend to get hot, there is very little shade, and it has been extremely hot outside this past week.  While I didn’t tell her not to go, I did tell her if you are planning a trip there, I would plan it early in the morning, late in the evening, or just wait until it was cooler outside.   

Waterparks in Southeast Missouri

D-man at Cape Splash in Cape Girardeau, MO 
A few days after I posted this article on about waterpark safety I received an email from a follower asking about waterparks in southeast Missouri and toddlers. 
I am familiar with two waterparks in southeast Missouri; The Farmington Waterpark in Farmington, MO and Cape Splash in Cape Girardeau, MO.   The reader was more looking for a “splash park” for toddlers; unfortunately, I am not familiar with any splash parks in the area.  However, both Farmington Waterpark and Cape Splash offer areas for those little swimmers. 

Cape Splash has a nice splash area for the little ones, the area is separated from the rest of the pool area, and there are lawn chairs surrounding it.  The down side is this area is open to all ages and can get crowded if a group of bigger kids decides it is their turn to use the splash area.  They also have a small wading pool are that is open for smaller children that is divided from the deeper area, however, they have the bucket that spills out and little ones can get knocked over by big kids.

The Mustard Seed Boutique in Marble Hill, Mo

 I absolutely love it when I get to talk about some place in my hometown; today I am overjoyed to tell you about my experience at The Mustard Seed Boutique in Uptown Marble Hill, MO (yes that is my hometown).

I would like to call The Mustard Seed Boutique a Mom & Pop diner, because really that is what it is, however, it don’t fit the description of a greasy hamburger joint.  The Mom & Pop comes in because it is completely family (or close friend) owned and operated which gives this place the total small town atmosphere.  With that said I must go back and bite my tongue, The Mustard Seed Boutique may have the small town atmosphere, but has the big city flare.  While dining out on their front porch I felt as if I was sitting somewhere much different, you could literally pick this place up and drop it in Chicago and it would fit right in.  To sum up what I am saying this place is a big city kind of joint with a small town atmosphere…..Seriously! 

Becky Cooks: Apple Sauce Pie

I would like to give some long flowery story as to why I chose to bake Apple Sauce Pie today, truth is the pantry is low and I had a craving for something sweet.....and of course I wanted surprise the "boys" with something for dinner tonight! 

Apple Sauce Pie is so easy and so simple...which means it is my kind of cooking! 

1  prepared pie crust (look here for pie crust recipe that I used)
1 cup of sweetened condensed milk (look here for a substitute recipe for sweetened condensed milk)
2 cups of Unsweetened Apple Sauce ( I used canned since that is what Grandma H had in her cabinet)
1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
2 eggs

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Mix sweetened condensed milk, apple sauce, and cinnamon in a medium size sauce pan, bring mixture to a boil. 

In a seperate bowl whisk eggs together.

Once apple sauce, sweetened milk, and cinnamon have begin to boil, slowly pour the mixture in with the eggs until all the mixture is mixed.

Pour mixture into pie crust and bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour.