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.

Shop and Stretch Your Legs at Stockman’s

They’ve got live bait, country style canned goods, and plenty to look at while you stretch your legs.

Antlered Trophy head posted on metal pole inside farm supply store with merchandise around the areaStockman Farm Supply

12524 Frontage Rd., Osseo, Wisconsin

When you are driving Interstate 94 in the vicinity of Osseo, Wisconsin and need a break, stop in at Stockman Farm Supply. You’ll find an inviting selection of fresh produce and clean restrooms right inside the front door and to your right. produce section of farm supply store with fresh fruit displayedBrowse their food aisles to see the weekly deals, and check out the toys and tools while your at it. This store is similar to Farm & Fleet but has more variety and their twist on a farm store is appealing.Long aisle view inside farm supply store

When we’ve been in at Christmas time, they have stocked the rosette cookies. These seasonal treats are reason alone to stop in. Rosettes are a Scandanavian treat that are deep fried thin cookies dusted with powdered sugar— yum! Our latest stop had us finding the new flavors of Diet Coke. We are going to try the blood orange, ginger/lime, and twisted mango.another long aisle view inside farm supply store

If you’re a fisherman, they’ve got live bait. If you’re after country style canned goods, they’ve got Jake & Amos products. If you just want to stretch your legs, you’ll have plenty to look at. Have I convinced you yet?

Isn’t it fun to check out regional types of stores and find local products? What type of stores have you found to stop at when you travel? Please share in the Comments Section— thanks!Outside view of Stockman's Farm Supply store

picture of Stockman's store hours

Cayuga Texas Grill & Country Store

Quality food at small town gas stations is not common. Food was made when ordered and sandwich buns were toasted on the grill.

Bacon burger in basket with French fries on tin foil and bottle of Diet Coke all sitting on a tableCayuga Texas Grill & Country Store

US 287
Cayuga, Texas

Venue: A back road truck stop. While not as fancy as TA or Love’s, it is quite serviceable.

Atmosphere: Small town gas station, convenience store that also sells hot food that is made to order. There are actually a good many tables for its size.Tables and chairs in dining area of gas station. Plants are in window to left of seating area and products are on back wall.

Food Fare: We enjoyed a bbq sandwich, large fry, and bacon cheeseburger with 2 Diet Coke’s for $16.62. Not a bad price and the food was made when ordered. Both sandwiches had buns toasted on the grill and the sweet bbq was hot (with heat).

Barbeque sandwich on styrofoam plate and bottle of Diet Coke sitting on a table.Recommendations: Bathrooms were located behind the building and you have to walk outside to get to them. The workers were friendly and our food was received as ordered. Grab your drinks of choice from the cooler.

Service: Order and pay at the counter, and food is delivered to your table.Cayuga Texas Grill and Country Store sign. Has a yellow smiley face with a cowboy hat and says, "Come On In . . . "

Return Rating: Yes, if hungry and going by. Quality food at small town gas stations are not common. We need to remember this one.Cayuga Texas Grill & Country Store metal building with overhang of gas pump

Seyer’s Garage and Towing Top Notch

To make a very long story shorter, I’ll just tell you two companies not to use if your ever broken down around the Cape Girardeau Missouri area and a company that treated us exceptionally well.

We were on a tight timetable, driving straight through from Texas to Illinois to go on to Minnesota. Just outside of Cape Girardeau Missouri, the truck overheated. We were broken down. I’m sure you understand this is beyond frustrating but for us it was especially so. We were scheduled to meet our son who had just returned from deployment. We were going to watch our grandbaby and enjoy some family vacation time at the cabin. We hadn’t seen our son for 9 months and it looked like we were going to be delayed.

To make a very long story shorter, I’ll just tell you two companies not to use if your ever broken down around the Cape Girardeau Missouri area and a company that treated us exceptionally well. Avoid ASAP Towing and the local Ford Dealership. Use Seyer’s Garage.

Business card for Seyer’s Garage

For the story details—read on. Our AT&T phone roadside assistance hooked us up with ASAP Towing. After 2 hours of waiting, ASAP cancelling our tow without letting us or AT&T know, we made contact with Seyer’s Garage. Our wait was short, the tow driver polite and friendly. Once my husband saw that Seyer’s also had a garage and found out the driver was willing to get us to a hotel, we just had our truck taken to their garage. In route, we explained our tight timetable and inquired about how busy their shop was. The driver was actually the owner and he agreed to take a look at the truck with no promises, which we understood and appreciated. A little while later, a shop employee gave us a ride to our hotel. Note, the Ford dealership in Cape Girardeau had informed us they would not assist us in getting to a hotel.

If the truck was able to be repaired, the shop owner agreed to pick us up early the next morning on his way in. As it turned out, the shop called that same day to let us know the truck was fixed and that they could come pick us up to get the truck. We were so thankful for Seyer’s Garage and their professional and courteous service that we want to let others know about this resource should they have a need in the Cape Girardeau, Missouri area. They also have a location in Scott City, Missouri.

Business card for Seyer’s Garage

Do you have any such services that were helpful when you were traveling? If so, feel free to post in the comments section.

Charming Country Inn not our Cup of Tea

Lots of amenities to choose from at this beautiful country inn, but read our review to decide if it might be for you.

Pine Creek Country Inn entrance signPine Creek Country Inn
341 Pine Creek Road
Nacogdoches, TX

Venue: True to its name, Pine Creek Country Inn is located in a country setting. The grounds are beautiful, wooded, and hilly with a small meandering creek.

View of meandering creek with trees


Atmosphere: We lodged in a beautifully decorated, charming room in the Creek House complete with a refrigerator. A microwave was added at our inquiry at no additional charge.

View of charming bedroom

Amenities: Lots to choose from and too many to list here. Two outdoor hot tubs (one of which is semi-private with a partition surrounding it) and an outdoor pool. The pool and large hot tub are open 24 hours.

Outdoor hot tub surrounded by partitionOutdoor pool and hot tub

Continental breakfast is offered weekdays in your room with a Country Breakfast offered on Saturday and Sunday in the Creekside Café. Both are complimentary. While there is wifi, it did not work well in our room. We didn’t eat at the Creekside Café but it is open for dinner Thursday, Friday and Saturday from 6:00-8:00 p.m. and you can BYOB. A variety of outdoor games are available such as horseshoes, badminton and volleyball.

Recommendations: If you are not a cat person, do not stay here. Upon walking up to the lodge, there were at least 10 cats lounging near the front entryway.

Gazebo on grounds

Service: Verify your room charges upon check in. We had 2 reservations 1 week apart and they were mixed up. The second, longer stay, was charged for the first, shorter visit. A mistake for which they refunded the difference. However, the manager assisting the front desk attendant was short and terse with the attendant during the correction process. Do note, it is less expensive to book reservations online.

The Creek House

Return Rating: Never. While the grounds were beautiful and the room was comfortable, we won’t return. We cancelled the second reservation. The manger’s demeanor and too many lounging cats at the entry are inhospitable to us.

Interesting shaped tree

Small Shop for Gun Builds or Repairs in Saybrook, IL

If your old shotgun is missing a firing pin or if you need bluing or parkerizing, Jim can fix you up. He has done custom work for individuals as well as police agencies.

Pro-Tech Engineeringinside of Pro-Tech Engineering Shop

If you find you are having problems with your machine gun, then go to Pro-Tech Engineering, 129 W. Lincoln, Saybrook, IL.  Jim Gravitt formerly worked at F. J. Vollmers when they were in Bloomington, IL.  He was often seen converting semiautomatic HKs into belt fed full-autos.  He has done custom work for individuals as well as police agencies.  Here you see him adding an ambidextrous safety to our son’s 1911.

Jim Gravitt working on 1911 in his shop.

Jim’s work is exceptional.  Enter his shop and place an order for a new firearm.  If your old shotgun is missing a firing pin, he can replace it.  If you need bluing or parkerizing, Jim can fix you up.  His shop is small, but he can handle a wide variety of builds or repairs.  Jim Gravitt can be reached at 309-475-2502.  Tell him Pete sent you.

Written by Pete Avery for Backroad Tracks Blog authored by Cindy Avery