Thursday, October 5, 2017

Crosstown Falls Into Disuse!

Crosstown, a place with previously booming economy, has lately been abandoned by its’ citizens. Progress has come to a standstill, and no new things are being made. The town square itself has become overgrown and rusty. Our stores have no products left to sell, so no Marks are being traded in the market.

It seems that as different outdoor activities have popped up, the desire to trade in our fine city has diminished and left it devoid of new products and innovation. We spend all our time on the trampoline or the driveway, forgetting our previous adventures in the woods, and neglecting our businesses. Our city festivals are no longer celebrated, and the Wolf Pack and Crosstown communities and government are struggling at best.

This is a vicious cycle. If no one makes new products, no one will want to buy anything in Crosstown because all of the products are old. If there is nothing you want in Crosstown, you will not make things to make money, because there is nothing you want to trade the money in for.

We need people to step up and save our economy. Crosstown needs help to return to its’ previous state of prosperous dealings. Without aid from the citizens, our community and dire economy situation will continue to drag the city down. Some problems in our city are due to material shortages, but the greatest problem of all is that the citizens have lost their devotion to our community.

Please, step up. Here are some things you can do today to save Crosstown.


Make new products. As previously noted, when new products are produced it helps Marks to circulate.


Buy things in the Market to keep the cash flow going. This is also profitable for your shop, because, as we all know, when people have spare money in their pocket they are prompted to spend it.

3. Dress up your shops. If Crosstown has a inviting atmosphere, people will be attracted there to come shop.

The Crosstown government, led by a certain Kyla Cross, is also trying to bring back interest to the city by introducing a series of local festivals and gatherings. This includes a revival of the Crosstown Olympics, and also a nut festival is being planned for this fall. If you have any ideas for promotion of Crosstown, please contact Kyla Cross, the founder, at .

Thank you for your support. With help, Crosstown can continue to flourish.

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Khana Indian Grill; Restaurant Review

Visiting Khana Indian Grill was a marvelous experience, although mostly unplanned. My Mother and I had just finished a fundraising meeting for my choir and were driving in her car to pick up a prescription. There had been some debate of what we were going to eat. Since it was already upwards of 8:00, we wanted something quick and easy; however, though my stomach agreed with going to Taco Bell or McDonalds, my teeth did not. This was because a couple days ago I had gotten my spacers in, and my teeth hurt when chewing.

We considered going to a Pho restaurant. Pho is one of our favorite soups, being a Vietnamese noodle blend with delicious spices and broth, along with meat and bean sprouts. Soup not only sounded delicious, but would be easy on my teeth as well, so we decided to send me inside to get a menu. I walked into the restaurant, which was empty save an elderly Vietnamese couple. The only thing that was moving was the golden cat by the cash register, which was methodically moving its’ paw back and forth, back and forth, waving at the door which I had just now darkened. The man who was sitting at a table stood up, asking in broken English, “Can I help you?” My reply was that I wanted a takeout menu, so my Mom and I could discuss what we wanted to eat. Upon him telling me that they did not have a takeout menu I, somewhat abashed and not knowing what to do next, thanked them and walked out of the building.

Mom was in the car waiting. I told her what had happened, and upon discussion we decided that since we didn’t even know if the food would be good, it was too late at night to attempt eating there. Also, I think we were both too tired to attempt facing the elderly Vietnamese couple.

We kept driving, ‘til suddenly inspiration struck. “Why don’t we go to Khana Indian Grill?” Mom said. “That sounds great!” We had to the restaurant before, and had a wonderful experience. While we waited at the stoplight, we decided what we would get off their online menu, then called the restaurant to order online. We decided on a platter for two that sounded absolutely fabulous; the Super Indian platter. It came with a Samosa, Tamarind and Cilantro Chutney, Chickpea Chole, Turmeric Potato, Choice of Chicken or Paneer, (we chose Paneer), Tikka Masala, Yogurt Raita, Pappadum, Naan, Basmati Rice, and Kheer, all for twenty dollars.

One thing I liked about the menu is that there were two kids plates. There was one for big kids and one for little kids, so you can change the serving size. As we often find that kids’ meals are too small for us, or for our little brother too large, this seemed very convenient to me.

We drove for a little while longer, finally pulling up beside a brightly lit and colorful restaurant. The prominent windows showed a cheery and decidedly exotic interior, lit by different colored ornate lanterns hanging from the ceiling. A few people were inside, but due to the late hour there were not many.

As we opened the door leading inside, a delicious aroma stopped us in our tracks. It was spicy, and smelled like herbs. You could smell all the wonderful things cooking in the kitchen in that one whiff. There was the garlic and bready scent of the naan, the spice of the sauces and meats, and the herb smell of the chutneys and seasonings. In short, it was heavenly. I would say that I could have sniffed it the rest of the night, but that would be entirely untruthful. I could not have stayed still for long without having a bite of that food.

Walking up to the cash register the smell only got stronger, making me even more aware that my stomach was rumbling like some huge thunderstorm. The man at the counter, (incidentally, the manager of the Khana Indian Grill) said that the order would be ready in a few minutes. Meanwhile, Mom and I asked him questions; about his inspiration for his dishes, and where he got the beautiful light fixtures that were hanging from the ceiling. He answered both of our questions, seeming to enjoy the company. It could not have been more that ten minutes until he handed us the food we had ordered, and with a huge smile Mom and I both thanked him.

We had decided to eat in the car since the Grill was close to closing, so we walked outside into night air that, though warm, seemed cold compared to the warm interior of the restaurant. Inside the vehicle, we dug into the bag of food, giddy with excitement and hunger. There was one small container that when opened revealed a rice pudding, Moms’ favorite. Next there was a paper box with a samosa inside, and two different dipping chutneys. Also inside the bag were two aluminum foil wrapped parcels, which contained naan and some sort of spiced chip, the pappadum. Lastly, we found the main box with rice and curry, Paneer on top. On the side was the turmeric potato, yogurt raita and chickpea chole.

It was all wonderful. The samosa was slightly spicy, with the flaky crust and herb chutney setting off the flavor nicely. The garlic naan everything naan should be, buttery, flavorful, and perfect for cooling down the spicy flavors of the curry. The pappadum was beautifully crunchy, and seasoned perfectly. It was made from chickpeas, and a very healthy alternative to potato chips, in addition to tasting better.

Tasting the turmeric potatoes, I was surprised by the spicy and yet fresh flavor they held. They were quite tasty, though to my tastes much preferable on naan, to lower the spice level. The chickpea chole was delicious also, with a more earthy, spiced flavor. However, the curry was probably my favorite. The basmati rice underneath was a perfect addition to the flavorful, spicy, and mouthwatering sauce. It was decidedly Indian, aromatic and with those classic spices. The paneer over it was generously spread, and went well with the curry. It was slightly squeaky under your teeth, with a lovely smooth flavor.

Lastly, the rice pudding. It was sweet, but not too much. With the perfect texture, and lovely clean, fresh jasmine flavors, it was complemented mouth-wateringly by the almonds on top. This delectable meal was quite something to remember that night by. My family will definitely come back to Khana Indian Grill for more.

Friday, September 29, 2017

Japanese Relocation

During the beginning of World War 2, the United States had little to do with the whole affair. That is, until Pearl Harbor was bombed on December 7, 1941, killing 2,403 people and wounding 1,178 others. This was what started the State’s involvement in the War. Many people who had previously thought themselves safe from the fighting on the other side of the world now panicked.

Tension and anger against the Japanese mounted. President Roosevelt issued an order that all Japanese, or anyone of Japanese descent, even American citizens, would be relocated to camps across America. He signed this order of “Military Necessity,”- order 9066, on February 19, 1942. The purpose of this order was to firstly keep the Japanese away from contact with their country, as in the eyes of the government, they were potential spies and saboteurs. However, since two thirds of the 127,000 people who were being relocated were American Citizens, many of whom had never been to Japan, it is reasonable to argue that the Americans of different descent were almost as likely to be spies; especially if offered suitable payment.

Another reason that the President decided to relocate all the Japanese in the United States was to keep them safe. Though it was a fairly legitimate concern that people angry from the bombing might try to harm the people of that countries’ descent, it seems more of punishment than protection to remove every person of a certain race from their homes, and into a prison.

‘One of the most stunning ironies in this episode of American civil liberties was articulated by an internee who, when told that the Japanese were put in those camps for their own protection, countered “If we were put there for our protection, why were the guns at the guard towers pointed inward, instead of outward?”’ 1

Many people were taken from their homes and moved to small, crowded, flimsy huts. Several families would be squeezed into a tiny space, and only allowed to own a few possessions. Each family, no matter how large, was given a room about 20 by 20 feet to live in. They were not allowed to leave the camps, and were separated from the rest of the world by a chain link fence. Their freedom was extremely limited. “While conditions varied from camp to camp, the plan was consistently based on a grid system of blocks. Each block had ten to fourteen tar paper-covered barracks, a mess hall, a latrine, a laundry, and a recreation hall. Supplied furnishings were a single droplight, army cots, and a coal, gas, or wood heater.” 2

In my home state of Arkansas, there were two camps; Rohwer with 8,475 people and Jerome with 8,497. There were 9 other camps across the US. The Japanese were forced to move whole states away from their homes, the people in Jerome coming from as far away as California and Hawaii.

When the Japanese were taken from their homes, what they could not take with them was lost. Homes were left behind, and what was still inside the houses had a high chance of being plundered. People were forced to leave their jobs, leaving families with nothing to come back to after the war. In fact, many never returned to their homes at all.

This was one of the worst Constitutional breaches in history. The Japanese-Americans were and are as much American citizens as the rest of the people; so why did we imprison them during the war? Because of where their ancestors were from, or because of what they looked like.

The Japanese Relocation is another example of unjust racial discrimination in American history.

1 Taken from

On September 25, 2017

2 Taken from

On September 25, 2017

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Did You Know? Some Impressive Facts

Did you know? Some impressive facts

Q. Do you know what part of the plant a potato is?

A. It is actually the stem, since it has buds (the eyes).

Q. How many years does the century tree live?

A. Contrary to its’ name, about 25 years

Q. Which of these are technically vegetables.. Corn, Green Beans, or Tomatoes?

A. None of the above. A vegetable has to be a part of a plant without seeds.

Q. About how deep can a trees’ taproot grow?

A. About 50 feet

Q. Guess how many of these questions that an interviewed adult got wrong?

A. 4 questions were wrong. However, interviewed persons did know that Green Beans and Tomatoes were not technically vegetables.

Monday, July 3, 2017

Immigration and Ballads

Immigration and Ballads

When people move from place to place, one thing they take with them is their culture, including their songs, and ballads. Many old ballads from different countries have been learned by the descendants of immigrants and have been passed from word of mouth until they come here into the Ozarks.

One such song is called “Robin Hood.” It is an old English song that came into America, and despite the years some of the old Cornish pronunciation is still in the song.

The words go like this:

Robin Hood and Little John they both are gone to fair, oh.

And we will to the greenwood go to see what they do there, oh.

And for to chase the buck and doe, to chase the buck and doe,

And for to chase the buck and doe with a ha lan too sing merry-oh.

The part about the ha lan too is not a nonsense word as it seems, but is the Cornish pronunciation of heel and toe, a dance refrain.

Another ballad that immigrated is called Georgie, or Geordie originally. It originated in Scotland, one verse of the song being:

Will ye gang tie the heelands

My bonnie, bonnie lass,

Will ye gang tie the heelands

Wi’ Geordie,

An I’ll tahk the hee road,

An you’ll tahk the low,

An I’ll be in Scotland afore ye.

(Some words were intentionally misspelled to mimic the accent)

This song came from England, and as it was sung there changed to Georgie, along with many other differences. By the time “Georgie” came to the Ozarks the tune had changed drastically, extra feathering had been added, and the words to the song were:

As I was crossing London’s bridge,

One misty morning early,

‘Twas there I spied a pretty fair miss,

A lamenting for her Georgie.

She said go saddle me my black,

Twas in the morning early,

And I will ride this live-long night,

And plead for the life of Georgie.

She rode, she rode til she came there,

Twas in the morning early,

And on her bended knee she fell,

Saying spare me the life of Georgie.

Georgie’s lawyer he rose up,

Said I’ve nothing at all against him,

By his own confession he must die,

Oh the Lord have mercy on him.

The judge looked over his left shoulder,

He looked both sad and sorry,

Said my pretty fair miss you’ve come too late,

Georgie’s to be hung tomorrow.

Georgie walked up and down the hall,

Bidding adieu to many,

But when he came to his own true love,

That grieved him worse than any.

Georgie was hung with silken rope,

Such ropes there were not many,

Georgie was of a noble race,

And was loved by a virtuous lady.

Georgie was buried in Holland state,

And over him grew a willow,

With a marble stone to his head and feet,

And his true loves’ arm for a pillow.

This Irish song is a song that is actually about immigration, since it tells about a young lady who ran away from Ireland to find her love, who was driven off by her father. However, this song is not a traditional Ozark ballad, like the rest of these songs.

Come all ye lovers both great an’ small, who dwell in Ireland.

Oh, I pray you pay attention as I my pen command

It was my fathers anger that drove my love away,

But I still have hopes we’ll meet again in North Americay.

My love was fair an handsome, an to him I gave my heart.

Ah, but little was our notion that we would ever part,

It was my fathers’ anger that drove my love away,

But I still have hopes we’ll meet again in North Americay.

Well I did not want for money, kind fortune on me shone.

So out of my fathers’ castle I stole three hundred pounds,

It was in the town of Belfast my passage I did pay,

An then set sail across the sea to far Americay.

Now the Captain’s wife was kind to me as you may understand,

And she kept me in her cabin until she reached dry land.

It was in the town of Quebec we landed on the cay,

But I knew not where to seek my love in all Americay.

Now I being sick and sore and tired, well I went into an inn,

And twas there I found my William, the lad I loved within.

He took me gently by the hand and to me he did say,

Oh, I never thought I’d see your face in all Americay.

Well I hear this couple has got wed, as you may understand.

And I hear they live quite happily in a town they call St. Johns,

And the money that she took from home well in gold they paid it down,

An’ they think no more of Ireland, nor Eneskillen town.

An Irish song that did not retain the accent when it came to the Ozarks is called Brennan on the Moor. However, it does mention the Irish place names of Calvert Mountain, Tipperary and Clonmore, and we can tell how old the song is by mention of a blunderbuss in one of the lines.

Here are the first three verses of the song.

It is of a fearless highwayman, a story I will tell.

His name was Willie Brennan, in Ireland he did dwell,

It was high on Calvert Mountain, he began his wild career,

And many a wealthy gentleman before him shook with fear.


Brennan on the Moor, oh Brennan on the Moor,

Bold and undaunted was Brennan on the Moor.

Bold Brennan’s wife she came to town, provisions for to buy.

She saw her Willie captured, she began to scream and cry,

He told her cease her tempers, and as soon as Willie spoke,

She handed him a blunderbuss from underneath her coat.


In the county of Tipperary, near the place called Clonmore,

Willie Brennan and his comrades, they did suffer sore,

The jury found him guilty, the judge passed his reply,

For robbing on the Kings’ Highway you are condemned to die.


Thursday, June 29, 2017

Homemade Lemon Mint Tea

Homemade Lemon Mint Tea

You will need:

2 parts chocolate mint leaves

2 parts lemon balm

1 part sweet mint

1. Combine all ingredients

2. You can dry the leaves if you want, but it tastes delicious fresh.

3. Bring water to a boil, and when heated pour into cup.

4. Put your leaves into the water, then cover and wait about 5 min. for it to steep.

5. Enjoy!

Thursday, June 8, 2017

The Seed

Still and cold, small little seed.

Lost among a field of reeds,

Under the earth, where no one sees.

Under the earth, where no one sees,

The seed grows roots under the trees

In the forest wide.

One small seed in some far land

Breaks open, reaching out a hand.

And starts to grow.

Reaching upward in a place down low.

Seed peeks out, reaching out its leaf,

Feels the sunlight warm and sweet,

To give it strength.

Keep on, little plant, and you’ll soon grow,

Through the seasons, rain and snow.

Soon you’ll be the tallest tree,

Up where everyone can see.

Friday, June 2, 2017

Paper Airplanes

Today we have been studying some of the first airplanes, and so naturally afterwards all of us turned our attention to making our own paper airplanes. I made one that flies better than any I have made before, so I decided to share how to make it.This planes' name is "The Falcon".

You will need:
One sheet of paper
A wooden skewer
A paper clip or other small weight

1. Fold two corners of the paper toward the center until they touch
2. Fold paper in half

3.  Fold wings outward, leaving a small body of creased paper in the middle

4. Add your small weight to the nose

5. Stick the skewer through the body of the plane near the middle
6. Tape the skewer to the underside of the wing, near the body

Experiment with different throws and watch it fly! Don't forget that sometimes even the smallest adjustment makes all the difference.

Monday, May 22, 2017

CrossShire Shops

Recently Nathan, Malachi, and I have started a buisness on Etsy! All our products are handmade. We make necklaces, including real Petrified Wood and Arkansas Quartz, and are hoping to add new products soon. We are in the near future going to make essential oil relaxation pillows. The link to our site is

Friday, May 19, 2017

Cactus Candy

Our family is currently on a trip to Arizona, staying with Uncle Roger and Aunt Linda, so Dad can help them build their new house. The next few posts are going to be about some of the new things we’ve done or experienced in Arizona.
One of the most original things we’ve tried is called Cactus Candy. Unfortunately, it costs a fortune, but as a one time experience it was completely worth it. When we opened the lid of the box, we were greeted by six beautiful gummy-style candies, each covered in a sugar-like crust. But before we got our candy, Mom read to us the paragraph at the top of the box, explaining how they were made. Here it is:

We bit into the candy, and were all a little surprised. It is made with the cactus fruit, which tastes kind of like a blackberry/strawberry/maybe a touch of lemon flavor, very rich and delicious. I was surprised by it, as honestly I had been expecting sugared hard candy, with maybe a little dehydrated cactus pad thrown inside. Fortunately I was wrong. We are going to, now that we’ve tasted a sample, buy some cactus fruit at Sam’s Club, (They also sell cactus pads in the produce section!!!) and use it to make a pie; or some other cactus recipe. I will keep you posted on how the cactus fruit adventure turns out!


A few days ago I went snow skiing! Dad, Nathan and I were able to make last minute plans to stay in Arizona an extra day so we could go. We were so exited! We dug out our snow gear from where it was stashed in the van, and then all of us piled in the car on the way to the top of the mountain. The views were absolutely amazing!
When we got to the top Mom dropped us off for a full day of skiing. It was about 8:30 when we got there, and the lift opened at 10:00, so we had plenty of time to rent our gear. First we put on the ski boots, which feel like they are weighted down with solid metal soles. They are so heavy, especially on the toe, that it feels like you are on a different planet with a lot more gravity. And just try walking down stairs!
Next we got the skis. They were thinner than I expected, and longer too. We learned to put them on, you had to slide your toes in first, then step down hard with your heel, and they snapped into place. We asked about getting poles, but much to our surprise the man there said that as beginners, we would probably learn better without them.
By the time we finished with the renting and had finally gotten our shoes securely strapped on, it was almost time to hit the slopes. Although, on our first day, they probably wouldn’t be very big…. So we thought.
Anyway, as soon as we could, we got on the snow. Even though it was April, they had coated the trails with man made snow. It was 60 degrees outside as we staggered onto the ice in those huge boots, then strapped on our skis. The snow was flat, here in the line for the lift; but even so Nathan and I were delighted with our sliding, foot by foot, dragging skis along the snow.
Soon it was our turn for the lift. It goes on a giant track in a oval, some lift chairs coming up, and some empty ones coming down. To get on the lift, you stand in a certain place and the lift comes up behind you and picks you up. After that, you are speeding up a mountain with no seatbelt, and for most of the ride if you fall, you die. I got over my slight fear of falling a little ways up in the lift, so I could actually enjoy the ride. It is amazing, being over the treetops on a mountain, and gliding along seamlessly, like you are on top of the world.
Near the top of the lift, Nathan and I started to wonder how we were getting down, and Dad told us that the lift didn’t actually stop, but kept going while you jump on a hill of snow and start skiing down! We gave him our looks of astonishment, but didn’t have time for anything else before we were jumping off the lift and heading down a tiny slope. Slope size as it were, I still wiped out in the snow almost immediately after getting off the lift.
By the time I had gotten my skis back under me again, Nathan and Dad had decided that this time we would go easiest way down the mountain, and were already whizzing past me. I followed, and soon I had gotten ahead of them. Of course, the skis feel much different than your feet, and the hardest thing to master is stopping; or being ok with going fast. I had mastered neither of these skills, so I hugged the edge going about 5 mi an hour at the most, and if I gained any speed than I freaked out and purposefully fell over in the snow.
Starting to get the hang of it though, going slightly faster, and enjoying myself more by the second, I soon came to the end of the small trail. Ahead of me was what looked like an unending abyss of snow, and a very wide, icy path. Getting down that trail, Nathan and I made very slow progress, falling about every five seconds; but we didn’t care a bit. We were skiing!
Dad taught me how to zig-zag down the hill, and how you can stop by pointing your skis slightly uphill, and I started to get the hang of it. It took two hours, but we got down the hill. Then, Dad took us up a different lift. It was only halfway up the mountain that he told us that to get down we’d have to go down a black diamond trail! We survived, though it took us another two hours to get down the mountain again, and on all the black diamond trail Nathan and I scooted down.
After that, it was time for lunch. We made our stop as quick as possible, because Dad and I wanted to get back on the slopes. Nathan was worn out though, so we made a plan. Nathan would wait by the lift, while Dad and I went back up and took the trail down. The lift started, and I felt that sensation of gliding, my feet dragging behind. Then we reached the top of the hill, and started skiing down. The trail that my first time had seemed difficult, I now thought was much too slow, until it connected to the larger and steeper trail.
Of course, I fell in the snow several times, but not as much as before. I asked Dad later how fast I was going, and he said that he though 30 mi an hour was a good guess. It really felt like flying! I loved this kind of skiing, letting myself go and not being afraid of my speed.
We got back to the lift where we had started in 20 min, compared to our two hours of before, so we had time to go up the mountain two more times!!
The main things that I learned while skiing are this: It is perfectly fine to fall, but don’t do it on purpose, and that snow reflects UV rays. I learned the second the hard way, as afterward I got a pretty bad sunburn on my face. The sunburn was worth it though, and I thoroughly enjoyed learning how to ski, and can’t wait ‘til next time!

Sunday, April 30, 2017

The Grand Canyon

A few days ago, we went to the Grand Canyon. It was a short drive there from the house, and when all was said and done, we got there at 11:30. We stopped and ate a snackish lunch in the car, while planning where was a priority and where was not.
 We decided on stopping by the Visitors Center to learn a bit about the Canyon, and then to walk along the rim trail. We arrived at the Visitors Center, after a very difficult search for a parking space, then walked for a while until we were at the door.
 Inside, we got our Junior Ranger Books, (More about this later) and then looked around a while. They had some interesting exhibits, about exploration in the canyon, and white water rafting on the Colorado river. When we had enough, which didn’t take long seeing as the littles’ tolerance for exhibits can be low, and because we were all eager to see the actual canyon as opposed to pictures of it. 
We had not walked long along the trail before we came to the first viewing point. It is the truth that you can never tell how huge the Grand Canyon is until you see it, and I’m still not sure we grasped the full scope of the thing. The rangers told us later that it is about 217 mi. long, and a mile deep! If you stand close enough to the fence, so you can’t  see anything but the canyon; and then jump upward, it feels for a split second like you’re falling into the canyon. Suddenly though, you hit the ground and realize that you’re still safely on the lookout point, staring down into the canyon. 
Another thing I liked doing is standing on the very edge of the canyon and spread your arms, it feels like you’re flying! 
We continued on the trail, stopping at several more points to look at the canyon, and then at the end of the trail a few of us, Dad, Nathan, Lincoln and I ran back to the van across the trail, then drove back to pick the others up.  It had been a great day!
Here are some pictures of the canyon: