Hensley Automotive Services Trustworthy

We were very pleased with the professionalism and follow up from Hensley Automotive. Hopefully, you won’t need an auto garage when traveling. If you do . . . I hope this information helps you out.

"Hensley Automotive Services" front of thank you note with envelope beneath it.Hensley Automotive Services Trustworthy

With our son in the Army, we get the opportunity to travel to see him and his family. In addition to enjoying them, checking out new territory, shops, and restaurants, there are times we are forced to slow down and find an automotive repair shop.

When this happens, we have the dilemma of finding a trustworthy fix it shop willing to fit us in. When traveling, we are usually on a tight schedule. This past February, heading East to Virginia to see the kids, we experienced some pretty grueling driving with a lot of stop and go braking. We were even stuck in traffic at an interchange East of Atlanta for over an hour. There were wall to wall cars with an accident in each direction of the interchange in addition to road construction both ways. During this time, our F250 front brakes went toes up.

Our initial plan was to spend the night and continue to our destination, and then find a repair shop near Ft. Lee. Since the brakes complained louder and more frequently, we opted to spend 2 nights in Brazelton, GA.

With an internet search and review check, we found Hensley Automotive Services in Hoschton, Georgia. Hensley Automotive hooked us up with a tow truck and took care of the brakes. As hoped, we only had to spend two nights at the motel and only lost one day of the trip. We were very pleased with the professionalism and follow up from Hensley Automotive. Copy of handwritten thank you note.We received a hand written thank you note for our business and have had a few texts reminding us they are willing to be of service for our auto needs. Note: there are two locations for this business: Hoschton (706) 658-0076 and Buford (678) 714-9091.

Hopefully, you won’t need an auto garage when traveling. If you do and are in the Brazelton, Georgia area, I hope this information helps you out. Do you have any automotive repair shops that treated you well when traveling?Back of thank you note with phone numbers for Hoschton and Buford locations.

Sugar Tit Moonshine

This is a small batch facility with emphasis on SMALL batch. We had fun during our little stop and would recommend this distillery.

Inside Sugar Tit Distillery showing doorway to the Still Room

Sugar Tit Moonshine

Don’t get your skivies in a bunch over the name. Let’s look at some history.

Teat or tit has been used for that portion of the anatomy used for nursing. A sugar tit, historically, was a piece of sugar tied in some cloth so that a fussy child could suckle and keep still. A term common in the south. A pacifier of sorts.

On a drive to Virginia to visit our son and his family, we observed a sign for Sugar Tit Moonshine. It grabbed our curiosity and on the return to Texas we looked it up. Located in the sleepy little town of Reidville, SC, Sugar Tit Moonshine sits off to the side in an old red brick building.Storefront of Sugar Tit Moonshine

The folks that started this distillery selected the name of a local unincorporated village, Sugar Tit, SC to label their “taxed” Moonshine.
Counter and merchandise inside Sugar Tit Moonshine During the renovation of the building, numerous items were located that speak to the history of the building. It was an apothecary shop, blacksmith shop, etc over the many years since it was built. Off to the side is a room where artifacts are kept for your viewing pleasure.

The still room was spotless. This is a small batch facility with emphasis on SMALL batch. The front has a variety of tourist items for sale such as books, clothing and other trinkets.

Then there is the taste testing. Simply Naked Sugar Tit Moonshine is 100 proof and crystal clear. It has a very nice flavor and is surprisingly smooth. The 120 proof sampling was as expected a little more stout but still amazingly smooth.

Picture of “Simply Naked” Sugar Tit Moonshine and large and small Spikers bottles.Also available are “Spikers” flavorings. These are a vinegar based flavoring to use in your Moonshine or water. The lavender and raspberry flavors were exceptional. When used in water, this creates a “switchel” that is exceptional when it’s cold and you are hot. Switchel is known to our reenacting community as a great refreshment during those hot events.

We had fun during our little stop and would recommend this distillery. Will we go back? Hard to say just because of our goofy schedule. If we can, we will.Sugar Tit storefront with employee waving.

By Pete Avery


Small rocks with painted eyes in garden bed at Sugar Tit Moonshine.



Another Superb Small Town Thrift Shop

. . . the Fig Leaf donates monies to fund a variety of community interests. This small town thrift shop is a win-win for the community and their customers both!

"Open Thrift Store" sign in front of The Fig Leaf thrift store.Here’s another small town thrift shop for you.

If you find yourself in Northern Wisconsin on Highway 2, look up The Fig Leaf in Iron River.

Located at 7530 U.S. Highway 2, on the main road, it is easy to find. Another plus is they offer very reasonable prices.

Merchandise on display in thrift shop. Main room from entry point.Step into the entryway vestibule and then into the shop, and get ready to start your shopping. Merchandise is lined up and waiting. There are several rooms with items on display. Merchandise on display in thrift shop. Shoe and book nook.The front area houses the women’s clothing, knick knacks, glassware, jewelry, and a free rack. There is a men’s section with other household and craft items, a combination shoe and book nook, and a children’s items room. Be sure to check out the jewelry in the case by the check out counter too.

Merchandise on display in thrift shop. Children's items room.Staff have been friendly when we stop in. In addition to providing affordable used goods and items for their community, the Fig Leaf donates monies to fund a variety of community interests. This small town thrift shop is a win-win for the community and their customers both!Merchandise on display in thrift shop.

If you like small town thrift stores, be sure to read about the Methodist Thrift Store in Union City, Michigan in case you find yourself in the area. Also, please share your favorite thrift store in the comments section so others can stop in when passing through the area.Storefront of The Fig Leaf.

Amish Adventures in Arthur, Illinois Abound

Amish are known for non-electric homes, peaceful lifestyle, hard work, and traditional values and beliefs.

Family Health Foods store with cars in front and back of Amish buggy to the far right.Ready for a Central Illinois road trip? Amish country in Arthur offers plenty to do.

Enjoy driving Country roads to appreciate farm scenes, walk downtown Arthur for a small town shopping experience, or venture into the local, rural shops for some fun browsing. I wanted to share some of our favorites with you.

Sign above door for Green Meadow FarmGreen Meadow Farm offers goat products. Now, hold on. I’m not usually a goat milk fan because to me it tastes like a goat smells. Green Meadow storefront.However, Green Meadow Farms offers mild goat milk that tastes great. They also offer a tasty goat milk yogurt as well as Sissell Supplements.

Country Salvage sign. Hours are Monday to Friday 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. and Saturday 7:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.Country Salvage offers groceries at discount prices. I absolutely love to shop at Country Salvage. Note their open hours on their sign and be sure to plan your shopping to catch them open. Merchandise inside Country Salvage grocery store.There are regular groceries, damaged items, and other discounted items. You’ll find sales and specials too. They offer items you will find in any grocery store as well as speciality items you won’t find everywhere. Be sure to bring a cooler if you shop in warmer weather.Merchandise inside Country Salvage grocery store displayed in bins.







Storefront of Family Health FoodsIt has been fun to watch Family Health Foods grow in their merchandise offerings over the years we’ve been shopping at their store. Merchandise inside Family Health Foods store.They offer a good variety of health supplements, kitchen cookware items, cookbooks, gift items, and other food items. You’ll find the advertising health food magazines if you read these to keep up with new products. Staff are extremely helpful.Merchandise inside Family Health Foods store.

Beachy’s Bulk Foods is a fun store too. If you’re in the market for baking needs, be sure to drop in. Flours, sugars and bulk candies and crackers will be found here. Gift items, toys, and lots of other stuff. As the name implies, they offer foods in bulk. One of our favorite items had been gummy chicken feet, but they have all kinds of gummy candies.

Yoder’s Kitchen is a great place to eat in Arthur proper. On weekends and prime tourist time you’ll have to wait in line for a seat unless you plan ahead to beat the rush or arrive other than peak meal times. Traditional comfort foods and desserts are on the buffet. Fried chicken, mashed potatoes, salad bar, and ice cream machine are a few items. You can also order off the menu if you prefer.

When you are ready to explore, be sure to plan plenty of time for shopping in Amish Country. Country Salvage storefront.Also, bring cash. While some stores accept credit cards, there are some that only accept cash and possibly checks. There is an annual Arthur Mennonite Relief Sale at the Otto Center. August 24-25, 2018 is the next one. It is a great opportunity to eat some great foods and buy some Amish/Mennonite made products at the benefit auction and market.

If you are not familiar with the Amish culture and traditions, I encourage you to read about it online. As with any culture, you will want to be informed so as to be respectful. Amish are known for non-electric homes, peaceful lifestyle, hard work, and traditional values and beliefs. We have been blessed to meet and become friends with an Amish family and have enjoyed their friendship, laughter, and mutual prayer support.Merchandise inside Country Salvage displayed in bins.

Ready to Cook Off Grid Cook with a Rocket Stove?

The rocket stove is a neat stove that we can use at home right next to our smoker. Or, we can take the baby brother camping and have a great home cooked meal.

Rocket Stove with stew cooking in a skillet.About 10 years ago we were looking for a cooking system for our off grid property. I came across a rocket stove that was made with bricks.

The examples I found on the net were primarily used in third world countries. It was very applicable for off grid use. I will discuss the brick stove another time.

We were driving south through Texas and made the mistake of driving south through Canton during their monthly, gimongous flea market. Pedestrian and vehicular traffic is atrocious.

About 5 miles south of Canton on Hwy 19, we saw a rural vendor open. Clifford Brown, who we later found to be the proprietor, is a metal worker. Cindy and I both enjoy looking at metal stuff to see what we can adapt to our uses.

As soon as we pulled up, I observed a metal rocket stove. This stove was built with 4” square tubing, and had an 8 x 8 square cooking surface. Clifford Brown with welding helmet in up position and welding gloves on hands.It seems Clifford, known as Bones, became interested in the rocket stove and came up with his version using materials he had laying around.

We negotiated and I went home with a tall rocket stove. Clifford showed us another he was working on that used 2” square tubing. He thought it would be better for travel or camping. It is a great idea.

We went home and fired up our new rocket stove using lump charcoal. Top down burner view of rocket stove with fire.It worked great. I did a test water boil and while slower than the kitchen stove was fine for outside. I ended up making a pot of stew. It was nice as I could drop charcoal in the loading chute and walk away. I kept the damper barely open so there was no scalding. I could work on a project and cook at the same time.Rocket Stove view of fuel loading shoot with fire going.

I liked the tall rocket stove enough that on our next drive through the Canton area, we stopped and ordered another, just shorter. I like the idea of a shorter one for camping and travel. A couple of weeks later we drove through and picked up our stove. Clifford had just finished and welds were still hot. He didn’t have time to cover it with high temperature paint. I picked up some black manifold paint and sprayed it black likes it’s big brother.“Baby Brother” rocket stove

The rocket stove is a neat stove that we can use at home right next to our smoker. Or, we can take the “Baby Brother” camping and have a great home cooked meal. A 5 gallon bucket of lump charcoal will last days in a rocket stove.Smoker and rocket stove on porch.

Next time your driving on Hwy 19 South of Canton, TX look for a yellow metal building on the east side of the road. You will see antiques, junque, and stuff lined up. We highly recommend stopping in, saying hi to Clifford, and checking out his latest project. If you don’t see something, he can likely make it. Clifford can be contacted at 903-385-0977.

By Pete Avery

Deep Fried Cheese Curds are Delish

Fresh, squeaky cheese curds are a delight. Deep Fried Cheese Curds are a delish treat. This recipe offers a batter recipe and a crumb coating recipe.

Bags of Mullins cheese curds on counterDeep Fried Cheese Curds are Delish!


Mullins Cheese is a Wisconsin cheese factory not too far off Highway 39 near Knowlton, WI. Definitely worth a stop when you are passing through. You can get your cheese curds, souvenirs, and a bathroom stop all in one. Check out my previous post for more information: “Fresh Wisconsin Cheese Curds for Lunch!”

I’ve wanted to share this “Deep Fried Cheese Curds” recipe with you from Mullins Cheese. Fresh, squeaky cheese curds are a delight. Deep Fried Cheese Curds are a delish treat by themselves, for an appetizer, or even a meal accompaniment. Give them a try. Note, this recipe offers a batter recipe and a crumb coating recipe.

Deep Fried Cheese Curds recipe

If you want another idea for using cheese curds, take a look at “Cheese Curd Croissant Creation.” We really enjoy cheese curds. Got any ideas on using cheese curds?

Market 406 Offers Vintage & Salvage

Merchandise and antiques were displayed in an engaging manner.

Storefront of Market 406Market 406

406 N Market St, Petersburg, VA

Our son and his wife took us to this interesting shop in Petersburg, VA. True to its sign, offerings included vintage and salvage. Outside of Market 406 in side yard with planters, small fence, old wash tub, and large rocks.Also, the building itself was interesting both inside and out.



Merchandise and antiques were displayed in an engaging manner and staff were available if needed. Vintage clothing, Borax is King framed poster in old bathtub, and framed photos.Check out the pictures I took and decide for yourself if this shop is worth a stop when you’re in the area.Three shelf display of merchandise including vanity items and quilts.






What interesting shops have you been introduced to?Two Coca Cola signs and wood shutters

Looking through double open doors into room with variety of salvage merchandise.







Long table with variety of merchandise on it, hanging items overhead, chairs, glassware, and other antique items displayed.Brick work with arch inside building and horseshoe forge displayed. Light and bucket hanging from ceiling.







Variety of lamps and tables displayed. Some lamps are hanging from ceiling.

Sinks, tubs of merchandise, lights hanging from ceiling, and cabinets of merchandise.







"Open" Market 406 Sign, stating: General Store, Salvage and Vintage. Sign is on brick sidewalk and you can see the brick side of the building and a tree.

Farm and Ranch Store with More!

Welcoming staff greet you. Displays are attractive and invite browsing.

Davis Country Store

Merchandise displayed inside Davis Country Store

635 E.Commerce St., Buffalo, TX

We first stopped by this country store sometime last Spring because it looked interesting. My first time in the store I immediately found two tops I just loved and quickly found a third.

They offer a variety of interesting merchandise. If you stop in, you’ll see why I saved their business card in my phone shopping file. We recently returned and I wasn’t disappointed!Outside view of Davis Country Store

Venue: Farm and Ranch store with More

Atmosphere: Welcoming staff greet you once inside the door. They are willing to help but do not hover. Displays are attractive and invite browsing. There is a seating area by the fitting rooms.Fitting rooms area with couch

Offerings: All of the basics for ranch and home. Seed, feed, plants, minor sporting goods, game cameras, and gardening items. Larger items such as fire pits and sprouting tables. Other items include toys, shoes and boots, and jewelry. There is clothing for all ages and even matching Dad and Son or Grandpa and Grandson country shirts. I’m sure I didn’t get everything listed here.

Displayed merchandise inside Davis Country StoreRecommendations: Stop in and browse when you’re in the area. If there is a sign alerting you to sales, be sure to check out the markdowns. Be warned, the ladies clothing section offers a lot of fashionable choices. Cute, colorful, and stylish selections abound. You’ll also find a variety of bralettes to compliment your wardrobe.Displayed merchandise inside Davis Country Store

Service: Friendly, helpful, and attentive. If you wish they will put your selections in a fitting room while you browse. Need a different size? A salesperson will get that for you also.

Displayed merchandise inside Davis Country Store with checkout counter Return Rating: Most definitely! We did that this trip but will stop in again.

Love Bargains? Check Out this Chain

You never know what you’ll find which is part of the fun. Go shopping with your list, but keep an open mind for items you might need in future.

Health and beauty closeout products inside Ollie’s Bargain OutletOllie’s Bargain Outlet

Various Locations

Let me start off by saying that I love to shop at Ollie’s and therefore wanted to make sure you are in the know about this resource. My first experience with this chain was in Clarksville, TN and I also recently visited the Richmond, VA location. Both store layouts were different, but they appeared to offer the same varieties of merchandise. I share more info below but be sure to check out my pictures to get the full affect.Picture of Ollie’s Bargain Outlet storefront

Venue:  Nothing fancy but serviceable aisles and displays. Some aisles are a bit snug. The restrooms in Clarksville were always clean. No experience with the Richmond restrooms.

Picture of merchandise inside Ollie’s Bargain OutletAtmosphere:  You never know what you’ll find which is part of the fun. We’ve found protein bars, nuts, cracklins, hot chocolate, and snacks. Adult coloring books (rated G), greeting cards, gift bags, dog poop bags, toilet paper holder/rack, area rug, clothing, sporting goods, DVD’s, cd’s, wireless mouse, and ziplock baggies are other items we have purchased.Picture of merchandise inside Ollie’s Bargain Outlet

Offerings:  Closeout and excess inventory items. According to the website, pricing can be up to 70% off “the fancy store prices.” Picture of merchandise inside Ollie’s Bargain OutletMerchandise categories are: housewares & home textiles, food, flooring, books & stationary, toys, home improvement & hardware , electronics, clothing & luggage, lawn/garden/patio, health & beauty, sporting goods, pet supplies, automotive, holiday, and other stuff.Picture of merchandise inside Ollie’s Bargain Outlet

Recommendations:  If you plan to shop regularly at Ollie’s, be sure to join “Ollie’s Army” to earn customer rewards. Also, if you find something you can’t live without, don’t wait to buy it. Picture of merchandise inside Ollie’s Bargain OutletChances are it won’t be there next week. Go shopping with your list, but keep an open mind for items you might need in future. Be sure to check the Ollie’s website to locate a store near where you will be traveling.

Service:  We have always experienced friendly folks working at Ollie’s.

Return Rating:  Definitely.


Turn Around for this Antique Mall

Lots of antiques and old stuff nicely displayed. Two rooms with rows of vendor booths.

Variety of antiques in a booth at antique mallJunction Antique Mall

5447 S. U.S. 59
Nacogdoches, TX

This was one of those shops you drive by and decide it is worth turning around to go back to. The outside of this antique mall gave off the “vibe” that it would an interesting shop. So turn around we did.

We usually don’t have specific items we are hunting for at this stage in life. It is more the oddball or unusual item that may “speak” to us and get bought. I am on the look out for interesting cookbooks so I can find recipes to share with you. Two “new to me“ but older cookbooks are in my read pile. "Cooking Through Rose-Colored Glasses" and "100 Southern Recipes" cookbooks' front coversAs I quickly paged through them, I found numerous recipes that were interesting. You’ll be seeing more from these cookbooks. Check out the post, “Fresh Baked Goods . . .. Oh My!” for one recipe already shared.

Picture of outside of Junction Antique MallVenue:  Antique Mall

Atmosphere:  Clean shopping environment. Two rooms with the side room 1/3 the size of the main room. Rows of vendor booths.Picture inside antique mall

Offerings:  Lots of antiques and old stuff nicely displayed. One booth had a large variety of Tupperware. Another had lids for glass or metal cookware. Antique Mall display of glass and metal lids for saleTwo booths had a number of cookbooks. A number of cast iron selections at reasonable prices. There was also a room full of Pyrex.Picture inside of antique mall

Recommendations:  Stop by and allow plenty of time to browse as there is lots to look at. As is often the case, some vendors are more reasonably priced than others.Picture inside of antique mall

Service:  The lady we talked with at checkout was friendly and is a dog person. A good sized shepherd and little poodle were manning the counter with her. Both dogs were extremely friendly BUT don’t mess with Mama. A price tag had fallen off one of the cookbooks I was buying. She joined Pete and I in the search to find it.Picture inside of antique mall showing rows of booths

Return Rating:  Definitely

Junction Antique Mall business card

Fresh Baked Goods . . . Oh My!

With the selections made, milk was a righteous choice. Neither bar was too sweet.

3 chess pie bars on white styrofoam trayWe happened to trip across an opportunity at the Valero gas station in Emory, TX. After fueling the truck we went inside. On the way inside we saw a Mennonite woman selling fresh baked goods on 2 tables. We did a quick look see.

In anticipation of purchasing treats, we bought some whole milk from the quick mart part of the gas station. Gotta have milk, right? My husband definitely thinks so.

With the selections made, milk was a righteous choice. We selected coconut pecan bars and chess bars. Oh my! Neither bar was too sweet. The coconut pecan bars had the right balance of nuts to coconut. The chess bars reminded us of chess pie, only better.3 coconut pecan bars on white styrofoam plate

Would we pick out more goodies at this location in future when driving through? Most definitely! I do have a new mission though—to find a chess bar recipe.

Recently, I picked up a 1938 cookbook entitled, “100 Southern Recipes.” I’ll be sharing more about the antique haunt I found it at and some recipes. This Chess Pie recipe is from this cookbook. I haven’t had meringue on a chess pie before, but this recipe looks interesting. Soon, I’ll share Colonel Sanders’ chess pie recipe and it is fabulous! It is also much simpler to make than this recipe appears.

What delectable treats have you tripped across and wanted a recipe for?

Sweet Tooth Satisfaction at The Original Fried Pie Shop

Offering fruit, cream, breakfast, or supper pies. The crust is firm and nicely browned. Check out their website to drool over pie pictures and find a location near you!

Blackberry fried pie on a pottery plate with several bites taken off it.The Original Fried Pie Shop

2303 E. Malone Avenue
Sikeston MO 63801

We literally tripped across this little shop and were so glad we did. Actually, we were going to Lambert’s Café and missed our turn. Due to circumstances we scratched our plan to go to Lambert’s and then decided to cut through Sikeston to double back and grab a bite at Lambert’s. We weren’t on a strict schedule. First, we had to refuel and stopped at the gas mart that also housed this shop. We weren’t going to even go inside, but changed our minds.Display case for fried pies with employee behind case.

Note that we were going to eat lunch at Lambert’s which has the All You Can Eat Pass Arounds. (Watch for a future blog on Lambert’s.) We weren’t in the market to eat pie right then. We did sample a fried apple pie which was fabulous. We bought 3 pies to go.

Inside of shop showing table and chair seating.Venue: The Original Fried Pie Shop is part of a gas station stop in Sikeston, Missouri. After looking at their website, I learned they are a franchise. Check out their website to find a location near you and to drool over the pie pictures.

Atmosphere: Diner décor type setting with tables and chairs to dine in if you wish. You can custom order your pie and they’ll fry it up hot right then.

Food Fare: Fried pies of all varieties. Fruit, cream, breakfast, or supper pies. The crust is firm and nicely browned.Counter and menu board and inside shop

Recommendations: Try the sample on the counter. These pies are large. Buy several so you can enjoy by sharing at the time of purchase and also take some home to freeze for later. We had one in the freezer for a short time and pulled it to enjoy. The blackberry pie just short of frozen was delicious! You can warm them up in the oven, but a microwave is not recommended to prevent them from getting soggy.

Service: Friendly and quick service. We selected 3 pies from the display case.

Return Rating: Definitely!

Sign in shop thanking and inviting customers back and asking for contact info for future communication.