The Flower Girl

Today we met the Bride at the Wedding Shoppe. Her dress had arrived and it was time for a preview. It is beautiful! You see a tiny bit of it, in the background of the photos above. This young lady, granddaughter Gabi, is one of the Flower Girls. She is taking this honor very seriously! Like her cousin Xanti, she can't resist trying on a tiara, when given the chance. She is a princess in training.

In these photos are flowers in colors to be used for the wedding. I took these photos at a bridal show in January. T's bouquet will include an antique hydrangea, in honor of her paternal grandmother. There will be something in honor of her maternal grandmother, also.
My mother of the bride and rehearsal dresses, shoes and accessories, have been purchased. J will be wearing a tux, so getting his wedding attire together was very easy!
The colors are eggplant, mixed with colors of autumn and a little accent of lime. Hydrangea, roses, callalilies and seed pods are among the flowers to be used.
This is a happy and exciting time for our family.
Thanks to all who stopped by the back porch during the month of June!
We plan to celebrate the 4th of July at the lake. We'll be leaving this evening or early tomorrow. I'll "talk" to you all when we return.
Have a wonderful weekend.
Happy Independence Day!!


Misty Morning,Sunset & Log Cabin

Sunsets are so beautiful that they almost seem as if we are looking through the gates of Heaven.
~John Lubbock~

The cloud banks and beautiful colors made for a wonderful sunset, yesterday evening.

I took these photos around 9PM. Practice photography, not good quality.

A misty morning does not signify a cloudy day. ~Proverbs~
This photo was taken Monday morning, June 25.
A meadow with split rail fence at Lake of the Ozarks State Park. Photo taken June 16th.
These photos were taken the same weekend in June. This log structure at Lake of the Ozarks State Park is used for trail information.



~Statue of King Louis IX at Saint Louis Art Museum~

The Fleur de Lis symbolizes St. Louis' original French Settlement having been named for King Louis IX. J's maternal ancestors were early French settlers to the region.
The statue of King Louis IX, at the St. Louis Art Museum, was the symbol of St. Louis until the construction of the Gateway Arch during the 1960's.
Our first stop was O'Connell's Pub, near Missouri Botanical Gardens. O'Connell's Pub originally opened in 1962, at Gaslight Square. During the 1970's, it was moved to it's present location. The building was constructed by Anheuser Busch, in 1905 and has always been used as a tavern. Several items, including brass chandeliers, made in England and used in the Belgian exhibition hall during the 1904 worlds fair, were moved from the Gaslight Square location. Anheuser Busch filmed a commercial at O'Connell's Pub in 1997, featuring August Busch III, sitting at the bar, speaking of the quality, heritage and tradition of Budweiser Beer.
Following lunch at O'Connell's we browsed Gringo Jones Imports and The Bug Store. The grid below shows some of the merchandise offered by the shops.
Later, we visited St. Louis' Italian neighborhood, known as The Hill. The first grid shows O'Connell's Pub and scenes from around The Hill. We shopped at John Viviano & Sons Italian Grocery, where we purchased handmade pasta, cheese and Bouquet Garni.
Missouri Baking Company is located on a corner across from Zia's restaurant. Zia's Salad is delicious! At Missouri Baking Company, we bought Baklava and German Chocolate cake, pictured in the lower left photo of The Hill grid.
Among those calling The Hill their childhood home; Yogi Berra and Joe Garagiola.

Photos from Ted Drewes. You can tell by the red shirts a Cardinals game has just ended. A stop at Ted Drewes, after a game, is a tradition.

The custard shop has been in business since 1929.
While there, we spotted Mr and Mrs Ted Drewes, in the crowd.
My selection was Fox Treat, a delicious concoction of chocolate custard, with raspberries and macadamia nuts, served as a concrete. J chose a strawberry sundae. Our daughter ordered a concrete called All Shook Up.
~The Jewel Box at Forest Park~

The photo of the Saint Louis Art Museum and Art Hill is the centerpiece of this grid. When we have snow, Art Hill is a favorite spot for sledders of all ages. Other photos show wedding parties being photographed around the park. The iron sculpture in the lower photos of the grid, is at the entrance to the Saint Louis Zoo.

A few photos of Saint Louis homes. Among my favorite homes are brick bungalows with a porch across the front and center steps. I call these homes, "Saint Louis Houses". No matter where I am, when I see this style house, I'm reminded of Saint Louis.
There are many things to see and do in Saint Louis. We hope to make more trips to the "Big City".

Our last stop of the day was Trader Joe's, where we purchased a little wine to go with J.Viviano's pasta.


Beans 'n Cornbread

Hey, ya'll! Reading all the "Southern Thangs", the last day or two, caused me to crave comfort food. Whether you live in the south, north, east or west, Beans 'n Cornbread are comfort foods!
Today, I prepared Pinto Beans, in a heavy Dutch Oven. Equally delicious beans are, Great Northern, Butter Beans, Black Eyed Peas or many other types of beans. I like a little bit of green onion with my beans.
In the south cornbread is prepared unsweetened. In other areas, it's baked with a little bit of sugar.
The photo shows the cornbread I baked today. It's made from scratch, usweetened and baked in an ancient and well seasoned iron skillet. This is the only pan I use for traditional cornbread. I would be heartbroken if anything happened to this old iron skillet. I also own a cast iron pan, that is made of 4 fish molds. It's fun to serve fish shaped cornbread now and then.
What are your favorite Comfort Foods?
Have a wonderful weekend, ya'll. We've planned a little trip to the "Big City".


Summertime Walk & Lunch on the Patio

Just before noon, we walked around the gardens. This Daylily, in the side garden, is the only one blooming. We saw lots of buds. I can hardly wait to see them blooming around the little chair.
Queen Anne's Lace, growing near the creek. This is one of my favorite wildflowers.

Lilies, growing in the garden next to the creek. The background photo is Hosta, in bloom, next to the patio. There are still no blooms on the Hydrangea near the white fence. The Daylilies there have buds, but no blooms.
The Endless Summer Hydrangea, next to the patio have no blooms. They are late blooming, because of late frost this spring.
After our walk, we returned to the patio, for a delicious nutritious lunch of Rootbeer Floats. We were very health conscious, using no sugar added vanilla ice cream and Fitz's Diet Root Beer. They were very tasty, but we decided, next time we will throw caution to the wind and use regular Fitz's Root Beer and heavy duty vanilla ice cream!
Fitz's is bottled in St Louis. It has an interesting story, you might like to read.
Andrea, at Southern Heart, has tagged me to a list of "Southern Thangs". I was born in southern Missouri. While not the "deep south", southern Missouri is sometimes considered part of "the south". There are indeed many similarities. I've also lived in Texas, Tennessee and Louisiana and my father was born and raised in Texas.
1. Southern ladies never "sweat", they develop a "glow".
2. Hoe Cakes are an honorable substitute for unsweetened cornbread.
3. Both my "southern" grandmothers never left the house without make up. Make up being a good moisturizing lotion, Granny's was Italian Balm, a dab of rouge to cheeks, a tad bit of lipstick, and a tad bit of powder. I believe Nanny used the same technique. I try to keep that "tradition", only my make up takes longer to apply and I use more stuff.
4. Wilted Lettuce (salad)
5. Afternoon naps
6. Dinner is the noon meal, supper is the evening meal.
I tried to think of a few that haven't been mentioned. I'm sure when I publish I will think of more.
I challenge, Andi at Andi's Everyday Adventures
Sue, at Country Pleasures
Rose Mary, at Life in a Cordwood Cabin


Surgery Update & Room With a View

You are correct...this is not St Luke's Hospital! *********************************************
We arrived at St Luke's Hospital, as scheduled, yesterday morning. They were ready to take J to surgery at 9:30 AM, an hour before he was scheduled.

We were prepared for an overnight stay, at least. What a surprise, when the Surgeon called at 1 pm, to tell me J had done so well, in surgery, he would be going home in a few hours.

J has heart disease and we're never sure how long his hospital stay will be, after surgery. This is the first time, in several years, he was able to leave same day.

Just before we were to leave the hospital, we heard a level 2 weather advisory for the hospital. We were told this is a tornado warning and no one would be allowed to leave until the all clear. It turned out to be only a severe thunderstorm. We were on our way, a little after 4 PM. Rush hour, Highway 40 style, was commencing.

Instead of driving home, we decided to stay at the hotel I had booked, in case J stayed overnight at the hospital. His shoulder was numb and he was still floating on a thin cloud of anethesia. Having not eaten since Sunday evening, J was quite hungry.

This photo is the view from our 10th floor room, looking east, toward St Louis, on Hwy 40.

We had a lovely dinner at Stoney River, adjacent to the hotel. The atmosphere was wonderful. Very quiet, dark interiors and jazz playing in the background. Much better than dinner at the hospital, don't you think?

J has had a good first day. He will return to the Surgeon on Monday, the 25th of June. We'll go from there. We're hoping for some time at the lake, during his recovery and rehab.

Thank you to everyone, for your kind thoughts and prayers!



Door County Memories

This print is from a painting titled The Village, by Door County artist, C.L. Peterson. The painting was reproduced in posters, as a fund raiser for a local high school. It hangs above a cabinet at our lake place.
When Country Living Magazine was still quite young, way back in the early 1980's, I began seeing articles about Door County Wisconsin. I was facinated by this beautiful peninsula. The cottages featured in the magazine were so pretty. The Villages looked beautiful and peaceful. I decided, that someday, I would visit this wonderful place.
The print is from a painting titled "Flight" by Door County artist, Jack Anderson. I love this print because it not only reminds me of our Door County trip, but also the bluffs along the rivers and lakes of Missouri. The print hangs beside my desk.

My dream to visit Door County Wisconsin became reality in September, 2004. The photo grid shows our room at The White Gull Inn, Fish Creek. The porch overlooks the courtyard.
We explored Door County over several days. From Sturgeon Bay to Washington Island, we traveled up one side of the peninsula and down the other. We visited several lighthouses. Our last day, we boarded a ferry for a trip to Washington Island.
One interesting evening we watched a Fish Boil, from our porch. What a spectular show it was. The next night we saw it while sitting in the courtyard and dined on the Whitefish dinner.
We browsed the Jack Anderson Gallery, where we purchased The Village and Flight prints. Another gallery, we visited, is the Kathy Glasnap Gallery. You might recognize her work by the tiny Cardinal, she paints into each piece. We enjoyed talking with her and seeing her work. At the Glasnap Gallery, J fell in love with a print depicting a stone house and deer in snow. It hangs in his "lodge", over the mantle. We also brought home prints of Eagle Bluff Lighthouse and Cana Lighthouse, by Kathy Glasnap. We toured both of these lighthouses, among others. These prints hang in our breakfast room.
~ Beautiful Lake Michigan scenes~
We would love to return to Door County. I said to J, we should plan another trip there. He agreed. I know someone else who would be happy to see us return. Our friend, whom I've known since junior high school, in the late 1950's, Aunt Pittypat, who lives within daytrip distance from Door County.


Fried Green Tomatoes, a Lily Pad & Changes

Last Saturday, J and I shopped at the Farmers Market, on the corner of highways 5 and 54, Camdenton, Missouri. Several vendors offered beautiful fresh vegetables, jams, jellies and crafts. I was hoping for Strawberries, but it's still a bit early. Perhaps, this Saturday, we'll find them at the market.

I bought fresh garlic and roasted it with a drizzle of "evoo" and made a delicious salad of lettuce, found at the market, and green onion, with Balsamic Vinegar as dressing. J bought a jar of Strawberry Jam, from Ozark Jam Kitchen. Among the vegetables we found were the green Tomatoes, pictured above. The photo, at right in the collage, shows how I prepared them.

The Leaf Lady was selling concrete leaf castings. We brought this one home for the side garden. We saw one with a frog. I might have to have one of those, too. It would look great next to the creek.
I made a few changes in the dining room, during the past 2 weeks. I took up the wool rug and replaced it with a sea grass rug, for summer. I may leave it there year round. The print that was over the console table in the dining room was moved to above the wine buffet. A mirror was brought down from a guest room, to hang over the console. The room seems to be lighter and more airy since I made the changes. The photos in the grid are from several seasons of the year.
I moved the swan bench from the foyer to the living room and replaced it with the small upholstered bench, that sat in front of the living room windows. The black rectangular wool rug, in the foyer, was brought from the bedroom to replace the round rug, now stored away. With the exception of the purchase of the sea grass rug, all changes were achieved by reusing things from other rooms.
I put the door photo grid together this morning. These are a few of the looks our front porch and door have had over the past three years. The door remained painted white, until last summer, when I finally made a decision on paint color. I usually make decorating decisions quickly. However, that door was a dilemma! I love Charleston green, which is an almost black green. I found Midnight Green in American Traditions (Lowes), that was just the color I was looking for.

I'll try to post again, Sunday evening, when we return from the lake. We have a busy week, next week. J is scheduled for Rotator Cuff Surgery Monday, the 18th. They say he will return home, next day. I have a room booked near the hospital. Last year, 2006, was the first year in 20, J was not hospitalized, so I've made the 50 mile drive many times. I decided, in Dec 2005, when J had his Appendix removed, I would book a room next time!
Have a wonderful weekend everyone!



We had a wonderful time at the St Charles Library, Friends of the Library Book Fair, last Friday. The photos show some of the over 40 books we purchased. I bought several "fund raiser" cookbooks, which are among my favorites, because they are filled with tried and true homecooking recipes. J found a set of 18 books about fish and fishing. These are beautifully photographed books. Biographies, Dictionaries, Decorating books and a copy of Tom Sawyer to revisit, after 50 years, are some of the other books, we brought home. The total cost, for many hours of entertainment, was less than $1, per book! Time spent at the fair, with family, priceless!
While J was wandering around the fair, he happened to meet this young lady! I don't know what he was about to say to her, when I snapped this photo, but I do remember what she was saying to me. "Grandma, do you know, you are probably the only person here with a camera?"
After the book fair, J and I met Xanti and our eldest daughter, Terrie, at Miss Aimee B's Tea Room and Marketplace.

While waiting for our table, we browsed the Marketplace, where J took this photo of Miss Priss and her dear old G'ma!

The Veil Shop, located in a vintage home, is a short drive from Miss Aimee B's. While J napped on the front porch, the Bride, who was her Granny's Princess, placed an order for her beautiful veil and tried various head pieces. That's the top of her head, no photos of the Bride until the day of the wedding! The top knot is a faux piece, the shop owner placed in T's hair. Terrie has very thick curly hair and will not be needing extra hair pieces. She plans to wear her hair up, for the wedding.
While her Aunt, the Bride, was trying veils, the Bridesmaid, who is a Princess, tried on tiara's. "Look, Grandma, I finally have my crown!"

A perfect end to a fine day! Sunset, as we crossed Bagnell Dam, Lake of the Ozarks.


Library Books, Bookmarks & Fairs

The photo:
An empty book bag and my bookmark.

The annual St Charles City-County Library, Friends of the Library Book Fair, begins tomorrow, June 8th. The three day event promises over 250,000 items.

I plan to be there!

Where ever I've lived, for as long as I can remember, I've held a library card. I have happy thoughts of walking to the library, in the town where I grew up. Even the walk is a happy memory of my library visits. The special book smell and quiet murmurs of the Librarian and visitors as I entered, finding a book and checking out, seem like yesterday memories, to me.
The library, that stands out most in my memory, was on a beautiful tree lined street, not far from home and school. When I was a child, the Librarian was Miss Bass. Each Saturday morning, I would sit beside the radio, listening to Miss Bass read. I can hear her voice now. What joy she brought. What a love of reading she instilled in me.
I loved volunteering, as a Library Aide, when my youngest daughter was in Kindergarten and 1st Grade. Each of my daughters received her first library card at the age of three. They are all avid readers. It means so much to me, that they have a love of books.
There's nothing like curling up with a good book when there's a repair job to be done around the house.
~Joe Ryan~
The more that you read,
the more things you know.
The more that you learn,
the more places you go.
~Dr Seuss~


Chair, Cornfield & Creek

Our landscaping and gardens have been under construction three years. We moved into our home in December 2003. We had a completely blank canvas, to work with. Spring 2004 marked the beginning of seeding and sodding the lawn. Several beds were constructed, using stone we brought from the farm. Working in these gardens has helped J adapt to caring for a 1/2 acre lot, as compared to farming 110 acres. In other words, it's given him "something to do".

The photos show the front elevation of our home. The front door, with a summer basket filled with silks.
The little chair from Alton, IL holds a pot of salmon colored Geraniums. They wait for the Daylilies to bloom!
The tricycle plant stand, sits beside the back porch steps. The white fence, bordering the property and our next door neighbor's yard and gardens are in the background.

Spirea and Knockout roses beside the back porch steps.

Hosta, Coralbells, Ornamental Grass and Anemone, under the hearth room window.

A welcome sign hangs in the creekside garden, at the back of our property. The ground behind the sign has been left to grow wild. Along the white fence, Daylilies and Hydrangea.

This photo shows our neighbor's cornfield. A beautiful view from the creekside garden, back porch and patio.

The Honeysuckle once grew on a dead tree. Eventually the tree fell. The vine is now supported by an iron trellis. This is a wet weather creek. There are Ornamental Grasses and Daylilies, planted here. Several small volunteer Redbud, grow here as well. The remainder of the creek bank is left wild.

Molly stands beside the creekside garden. A statue of St Francis sits in the birdbath. In the background, the creek and our home.

Lilies growing in the creekside garden.

Soon, I hope to have more photos, when the Hydrangea, Daylilies and other plants begin to bloom.