Monthly Archives: November 2010

Muck Boots for Christmas

Muck Boots for gardeners

I bought a pair of these Muck boots two summers ago. And that’s why I am not showing you my shoes. I’ll be honest, I was not a great fan when they arrived in the mail. You have to admit that Muck Boots won’t be winning any footware beauty pagents.

But now, I love these garden shoes. They are confortable, easy to get on and off when I have my hands full of plants and tools. In the summer, I keep these shoes by the back door for quick on and off. After two years of season stretching garden work, these shoes are still in good shape.

The reason I’m telling you this is because these Muck Boots are on sale and any gardener would be delighted to find them under the Christmas tree. A  gift certificate wood be a great stocking stuffer.

Their website says “Muck Boots are the most comfortable, 100% waterproof rubber boots & shoes you’ll ever own. Whether you’re working hard on the farm, in your garden, hiking in the snow, slopp’n in the mud or standing on the sidelines at a sports event – your feet will be dry and warm.”

All this is true. But, I also like Muck Boots because they are not hot or heavy on my feet. The stretch-fit top keeps the gravel and dirt out of my shoes. The snug shoe top a handy feature that you may not appreciate until you put on other shoes.

I clean my Muck Boots with a garden hose.

Go to to order online. And you get free shipping. I’m just telling you this because I like mine and I know you will like them too.

Lynn and Brian Go to Branson

Bass Pro

I have good friends going to the Springfield and Branson area for an all too short getaway. I hope they have a much needed break, because after this weekend, Christmas shopping, decorating, baking, caroling begins in all our lives. Lynn and Brian McCreery own the The Irish Inn in Ozark, IL  USA

If they don’t have time for everything, maybe they can try some of these things: Branson Zipline is just North of Branson, off Hwy 65, easy to see the giant billboard. I wrote about it at Halloween time, but I think now is a good time to go. Leaf fall has made it easier to see the terrain from a fast flying birds eye view and, Brian, it may comfort you to know that they’ve never lost anyone, yet.

I like to have a little bit of magic and mystery in this old world. That brings me to Happiness is an Illusion Hamner Barber Variety Show is laugh out loud funny with comedy, dance, magic and ventriloquism in one show. Hamner Barber also has one of Branson’s most touching tributes to veterans. “Thank You’s Not Enough,” is a heartwarming multimedia finale that has audiences on their feet.

In Branson, not fancy just simply good. Eat Here:

Branson Cafe, this is authentic regional cuisine. Save room for pie.
or here:
I love the Grand Village and I love the Sugar Leaf Bakery/Cafe. No matter what you have, it will be good.

You will love Shoji’s Christmas Show and don’t miss the Titanic Exhibit.

Say “Hi!” to Molly and Carter.

(FREE Event Father Christmas will be at the Titanic with his reindeer on some weekends.)

In Springfield, help make the world a better place. Eat chocolate.

Don’t miss Askinoisie Chocolate This may be the purest chocolate you have ever eaten. It is made of only two things: Cacao and sugar.

Chocolate for a better world.

Askinosie Chocolate is a small batch bean to bar chocolate manufacturer. Shawn Askinoisie buys cacao directly from the farmers for more than market value. (most cacao farmers live in poverty). Askinosie is unique because each small batch is single-origin cocoa butter and nibs, plus you get to know exactly who grew your chocolate and where.
Askinoisie Chocolate 514 E Commercial St. Springfield, MO 65803 (417) 862-9900

Go Here. No, really. Bass Pro is Springfield’s biggest tourist attraction. Popcorn, Christmas dishes, warm socks. Really good warm socks, plus I bought a jacket on sale. They even have binoculars, GPS’ , knife sharpeners and hand warmers.

In Springfield, Eat Here:
Springfield Brewing Company, a local pub, seasonal beer, can’t wait to hear what you think, Lynn and Brian. Also, this is good food, lunch or dinner.

or eat here, Farmers Gastropub, sustainable, farm to table food. Not fancy, but the food is good and the beer is cold. 431 S. Jefferson, Ste. 160 (entrance on Pershing next to The Moxie), phone (417) 864-6994  is open 9:30-11 p.m. M-W and 9:30 a.m.-midnight Th-Sat, with Bistro Dining 6-9:30 p.m. Th-Sat

The Irish Inn

The Irish Inn is in the Shawnee National Forest in Southernmost Illinois. I’ve stayed at the Irish Inn. The hosts are charming, the rooms are beautifully appointed, the breakfast is unforgetable. I enjoyed our getaways to the Irish Inn, they are on the Shawnee wine trail and near orchards and vinyards. This may turn out to be one of you favorite B&Bs, too. Call (618) 695-3355 or (618) 695-5683.

The McCreerys are staying at  Dear’s Rest Bed and Breakfast in Ozark, MO. Owned by Allan and Linda Schilter, call 417 581 3839 or view the weboage The Dear’s Rest is half way between Springfield and Branson.

  • Visit  Branson/Lakes Area Chamber of Commerce/CVB and stop by the official Welcome Center of the Chamber of Commerce and Convention and Visitors Bureau (CVB) at the intersection of U.S. 65 and Highway 248 (Red Route). You’ll find friendly faces, free maps, brochures, Branson Vacation Guides, coffee and clean restrooms.

Christmas Shopping Done!

Jules and I made a holiday shopping deal. I tease him that Bass Pro Outdoor World is the original man cave chain. “Well I bet I can shop for you and get all your Christmas presents here too,” he challenged. And I said I could do all my shopping for him this year in Bass Pro.

Santa's on his way“

This seems like a doable and more precisely a winable challenge. One more thing you should know: Jules and I are not hunters or campers and I only trout fish rarely, and then it’s catch and release.

This is how we spent the better part of a day in one store and got all our Christmas shopping done. We had a lunch break at Hemingways. If you have kids in tow, they can have bunches of fun at Bass Pro.

For the Kids:
Santa’sWonderland where there is over 3,500 square feet of free holiday magic. With elves moving trains, arcades, free craft activities and even make and take tree ornaments on weekends.

Bass Pro has the old fashioned Magical Wonderland where the post man takes your letters to Santa. There are even free pictures with Santa. Go to to check times for photos through December 24. The Wonderland Santa is at every Bass Pro store.

There is a Thanksgiving 4-day sale and a seperate Black Friday 5 Hours Only Sale (November 26, 6am-11:00 pm)

More than hunting and camping equipment

Bass Pro Shops is an online sporting goods retailer that offers a large selection of hunting and fishing gear. Founded in 1971, they are one of the largest outdoor retailers in the United States

The granddaddy of all Bass Pro stores is in Springfield, MO. It is also a major tourist attraction in the state of Missouri. Bass Pro Shop:1935 S. Campbell, Springfield, MO 65807, Phone: 417-887-7334

GPS Coordinates: 37.1798ºN, 93.2973ºW (WGS84/NAD83)

To learn about accomodations in the Springfield area. Springfield, Missouri, Convention & Visitors Bureau, 3315 E. Battlefield Road- Springfield, MO 65804. 
Downtown Visitor Information Center, 815 E. Saint Louis St., Suite 100 – Springfield, MO 65806 
(800) 678-8767 or (417) 881-5300 – fax (417) 881-2231

Askinoise Chocolate

Christmas Gifts for Gardeners

Askinosie Chocolate – eating your way to a better world.  Askinosie Chocolate is a small batch bean to bar chocolate manufacturer located in Springfield, Missouri.

Because it’s Christmas, I want to share the amazing Askinosie Chocolate story. I’ve taken the tour a couple of times because I love Askinosie chocolate, and I admire entreprenuer Shawn Askinosie.

My BFF just sent The Chalk-late Box.™ It has a chalkboard-top that is a perfect way to send a message to friend or foe (remove the chocolate if sending to foe).

This is a top selling gift item on the website. The Chalk-late Box.™ It’s filled with four-85g Chocolate Bars: 70% San Jose Del Tambo Dark Chocolate Bar, 77% Davao Dark Chocolate Bar, 70% San Jose Del Tambo Nibble Bar™, and a Malted Moo Moo Dark Milk Chocolate Bar. It also comes with chalk and a blank top for easy customization. See all the gifts.

Price: The Chalk-late Box™ $43.

More good news: I can usually buy fragrant cocoa bean mulch, when I stop by the Askinoise chocolate factory at a fraction of the cost at Garden Centers.

Gardeners Christmas List

What Gardeners Want

Christmas Gifts for Gardeners

Bass Pro in Springfield, MO

Go Caddy

Perfect tote for garden phographers

This Go Caddy can carry more than you might think.  It folds flat and stays in my suitcase, ever ready for my travels.

Askinosie Chocolate

Eating your way to a better world with bean to bar chocolate.

Dark Chocolate

Milk Chocolate


Gator Grabber

Geta Gator Grabber

The Gator Grabber it’s much easier to keep my balance when picking up

pine cone or

black walnuts.


Soap for Gardeners

This Herbaria soap has cornmeal to gently clean hands.



Long lasting

Watch your Garden Grow with Plant Cam

The Plant Cam photos can be converted to movies.

I’m going to photograph my

daffodils and


Watering Can

The Best Gift U CAN   give a Gardener

This U CAN watering can is well balanced and easy to carry.

Best Tote for Gardeners

Christmas Gifts for Gardeners .

Go Caddy

The hands free Go Caddy™ is a compact tote that has enough compartments to hold all the necessities by your side for hands free traveling, hiking, daytrips and garden tours.

The black nylon unisex tote will hold a typical sized water bottle with a cooler sleeve. (included) A cruise ship pass fits in the front pocket and closes with a flapped Velcro closure. There is room for a charge card, cash, license or identification, cell phone, camera, a pen and little note book.

You know I only recommend things that I have used. The Go Caddy, minus the water, went with me every day for two months while traveling and shooting garden photos. I carried a passport instead of a cruise ship pass, but everything else on the above list went with me every where. (Plus my business cards, lipstick and comb.)

That’s a heck of a lot for a 4 1/2” wide x 10” tall tote. Go Caddy™ folds flat in my suitcase. (where I always keep it between trips.) $19.99

Buy yours on line BVT Products or use the store locator on their web site.

Getta Gator Grabber

Christmas Gifts for Gardeners

Gator Grabber
is a back-saving tool that is useful well beyond fall leaf cleanup. After I tried it, I asked the neighbor to give it a try. We both agreed that using Gator Grabber was handy and timesaving.

Picking up pine cones is easier with a grabber

If you have balance problems or just don’t want to bend over 150 times to pick up all the pinecones in your yard, consider the Gator Grabber. I also use it to pick up a gazillion black walnuts.

Buy these ergonomic grip garden tools online or use the store locator to find a retailer. Gator Grabber is made by the folks that make the tools with Large “O”-shaped handles in “can’t-lose-in-the-garden” green

I have the Radius Trowel with that comfortable curve providing more leverage with less wrist stress. These aluminum blade tools are both light weight and very sturdy. I’ve been using this trowel for two years. It’s the kind of tool a gardener only has to buy once. Well, maybe twice, if you have a tool borrowing spouse.

Find it here.:buy on line
store locator:

Price:  $34.99

More good news: free shipping now through Decemner 31, 2010.

Herbaria All Natural Soap

A Christmas Gift for Gardeners

Herbaria All Natural Soap for gardeners contains cornmeal to gently scrub hands clean. The delightful citrus scent comes from essential oils of orange, lemongrass and palmarosa. I like that this pure product is not harsh or dry out my hands.

I keep this at the garden sink, it works beautifully to clean the garden grime from my hands. Plus, the soaps make great sachets in dresser drawers and linen closets, cars.

If you are in St Louis, on the Hill, stop by Herbaria. (The owner has designed some hand made soap dishes.) It is tempting to buy so many different beautiful, mildly fragrant bars of soap. But the good news, if you buy a  basket full of soap, they make nice stocking stuffers, or holiday hostess gifts.

Fragrant and long lasting


Price: 4.5 ounce bar, $5.95 each

More good news: Herbaria is a sustainable products with no milk soaps or honey soaps. All Herbaria soaps contain only food-grade vegetable oils and sustainable plant materials. The soaps are never tested on animals. They really do test the soaps on their selves.

Plant Cam

Christmas Gifts for Gardeners

Plant Cam the website shows plant cam, bird cam and project cam. I received a free Plant Cam from the makers so that I can evaluate it and write about my experience. I’m staking out Plant Cam to several locations so I can literally see the daffodils and tulips bloom from beginning to end this spring.

Sturdy, weather proof

weather proof timelapse camera,

The time lapse photos blend into a seamless movie of spring in my front yard!
Read the Blog

Find it here: Store Locator

Buy online: Timelapse PlantCam

Price $79.95

More good news: There are tips for movies and e-mailing photos on the website.

The best Christmas Gift U CAN Give

Christmas Gifts for Gardeners

The perfect Christmas Gift for the gardener in your life is the new U CAN

The U CAN does it all.

This watering can combines several useful functions and it is well balanced, easy to carry and easy to hold.

If you are thinking of wrapping up this as a Christmas Gift, consider simply decorating the colorful can with a pair of garden gloves, and a flower or two.

Keeps fertilizer handy – liquid, water soluble or dry.  Whenever measurements are needed, use the built-in spoon or meausuring cup. ( An optional liquid pump dispenser is sold separately.) The sprinkler head has a gentle flow perfect for newly planted seed.

Choose the unique all-in-one watering can to use with any kind of fertilizer, wet or dry.

Home and Garden Center stores that may have The U CAN available now or for Spring 2011.

Price: $29.95

More good news: Made in the USA with recycled plastic.

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