~Random Lake Photos and a Random List~

This is one of my favorite scenes at the lake. I took this photo, around 6:30 AM, Sunday morning, just above Walk On The Water Church, off Highway 54, Osage Beach, Missouri.

A public beach and boat access area, inside Lake of the Ozarks State Park.

A view of Bagnell Dam. This photo was taken just up the Osage River from the dam, at a boat access, Sunday at around 8:30AM.

The Osage River from Highway 54 bridge. In the distance on the right side of the photo, you see Bagnell Dam.
We took a drive, at sunrise, yesterday morning. I took approximately 30 photos and chose these to post, since they are a pretty good representation of what we saw.
I'm seriously researching DSLR cameras. I think I might be able to make a new camera decision, soon. I seem to have this ever growing interest in photography and hope to improve my skills.

Last week, I was challenged to a list of random facts, by JoAnna from the home schooling blogging community and Mary from Across the pond.
1. I took my first train ride, during September 1943. I was less than 6 weeks old. The trip began in Lebanon , Missouri. Our destination was Dallas, Texas. In those days, there were chefs aboard most trains. The chef on my first trip, mixed my formula of Karo Syrup and Carnation Evaporated Milk.
2. My latest train ride was two years ago, this past May. My daughters and granddaughters took me to Chicago, for a Mothers Day weekend. We stayed on Michigan Avenue and had the best time, exploring this wonderful city.
3. During the 1970's, I was a Brownie Girl Scout Leader. My Girl Scout career lasted a short 5 years. I enjoyed my time in scouting.
4. A "legendary" tale of my childhood. I have no memory of this event. This was told to me, by my mother. We were visiting my aunt and uncle in El Paso, Texas, when I was a toddler. My mother and I were in a shop. A man tapped my mother on the shoulder and asked, is that your little girl? Mother turned and saw me being led away by another man. Needless to say, my pint sized mother thwarted the attempted abduction, swiftly!
5. J and I met at a bowling alley. A mutual friend introduced us at the bowling alley, where J bowled in leagues. That was November 1982. We've been together ever since.
6. I grew up during the time, when there was baptizing in rivers. I fondly remember going to "hymn sings" and baptizing in the river, at Bennett Spring State Park, near Lebanon, Missouri.
We're thinking about putting together a little day trip, for later this week. We'll see what happens.


~Petit Jean State Park Arkansas and a Thank You~

This and the following photos were taken at Petit Jean State Park, Arkansas, during fall 2004. On a clear evening you see gorgeous sunsets from this vantage point. Unfortunately, during our stay, it was overcast. That gives us a very good excuse for a return visit. Perhaps next time, we'll have clear weather.

J and I have been discussing a return to Petit Jean. I had not realized how long it's been since our last trip, until I was going through photographs, today. Being close to home, it's an easy road trip.
This park is beautiful and it comes with an interesting legend.

Here I am sitting on the swing, at our cabin. This cabin did not have a kitchen. However, there are larger cabins with kitchens, available. Woodburning fireplaces are also a feature.

An absolutely wonderful place to relax and forget about your cares. We highly recommend a stay at Petit Jean.

Autumn is a wonderful time to visit, when the mountains are ablaze with color.


Thank you all, so much, for stopping by and leaving happy birthday wishes!

I also want to thank Linda at Studio Stuff for bestowing the Rockin' Girl Blogger Award, upon me. I am flattered and plan to pass the award forward.

Also, thank you to Suzy Q, from Rabbit Run Cottage for presenting me with the Schmoozers Award. Again I am quite flattered and will present this award to a blogger or two.

JoAnna from Homeschool Blogger has challenged me to a random facts list. I'll ponder this over the weekend and write about it, next week.

We're going to the lake tomorrow. We don't have a day trip planned this time. We're playing it by ear. You never know what we might get ourselves into! Or then again, we might just hide out at the condo, with a good book.

Have a wonderful weekend!


~A Reflection on the Back Porch and a Birthday Winner~

The wicker plant stand from The Seedbox Antiques, sits before the center window of a triple window in our breakfast room. I filled it with a collection of pieces, found on the back porch and other areas of our home. The vignette will change in a couple of months, when Autumn arrives. The view from the window is toward a neighboring farm.

Another photo, taken from across the room. The breakfast room furniture consists of the pine cabinet, seen in the corner, a 9ft long pine farmhouse style table, surrounded by chairs in colors of red, green, yellow and rusty orange. A century old primitive style bench sits at the other triple window and a black cabinet is at the opposite end of the room. In these photos you can see several cloches, I've collected.

The plant stand on the day we brought it home from The Seedbox.
I began visiting the land of blog, last fall after Kim from Daisy Cottage and Donna from The Decorated House, began their blogs. Before that, I had only a vague idea of what blogging was about. In March, with Kim and Donna's encouragement, I began Back Porch Musings. As I read back through my posts, I see those early ones as a tad different from what I'm writing now. I suppose it's the same style, but I can see where I was searching for my muse, back then. I think I may have found it, now.
Today, on my 64th birthday I'm writing post #64. I've enjoyed blogging every step of the way and hope to continue writing here for a long time!
You may notice a change in my photos. I finally figured out how to put text to the images. In recent days, I've read posts in the world of blogs and at a private decorating group, concerning copyrights and using photos from other sources. When I began blogging, I made a decision to use only my photos. I'm not savvy about copyright laws and didn't want to inadvertently get myself in hot water, so the decision was a safe way to go, for me. I have photographed books, in my possession, to illustrate reviews. I'm still trying to figure out the rules about the usage of those sort of photos. In an effort to mark my photos as my own, I'm using Back Porch Musings 2007, as my signature.
I thoroughly enjoy and appreciate each and every comment from you. Not long ago, a reader inquired about photographing one of our homes, for publication. While we were honored by this inquiry, the photo shoot is not to be. You can bet this was one of those "feel good moments". It meant so much to us, having someone, in the world of print media, consider our home worthy of publication. I've also been pleasantly surprised to meet a reader, in person. I hope to meet many more! It's been a joy, "traveling" around the USA and other areas of planet Earth, through blog journals.
Over the past several months, Back Porch Musings has evolved into a journal about our family, friends, home, road trips and shameless G'ma bragging. Speaking of G'kids, I was just pleasantly interrupted by a phone call. When I answered the phone, a tiny voice said, happy birthday G'ma. It doesn't get better than that!
It's my hope that I've introduced many of you to our beautiful state of Missouri. A "fly over" state of mainland USA, Missouri sits practically in the middle of the lower 48. In future posts, I'll write more about our beloved home state and the beautiful Ozarks. Of course, you will hear more about Xanti, Gabi, Drew and the "little bundle" expected later this year.
And now, the
ment of my 64th Birthday
Giveaway winner,
Andi from Andi's
Everyday Adventures!


Tea and a Blessing

Thank God for Tea! What would the world do without tea! How did it exist? I am glad I was not born before tea.
~Sir Philip Sidney~

Not long ago, I participated in a lively discussion about tea, at a decorating group, I belong to.

There were differing opinions on sweet or unsweet tea, lemon or no lemon and in the case of hot tea, milk or no milk. The merits of certain brands were discussed. We also talked about "drive-thru" tea.

The tea in these photos was brewed, this morning, in a Mr Coffee tea maker. The brand is Luzianne, served unsweetened, with lemon. I like Tetley Tea, also. Most of the time I like my tea unsweetened, with a slice of lemon. Every so often I brew sweet tea. I have lemon with that, too.

My favorite drive-thru iced tea is from Steak 'n Shake. Recently, I tried iced sweetened Tazo Black Tea, at Starbucks. It is quite good.

My (paternal) Texas grandmother served tea without sugar. My grandfather was diabetic and used saccharin. As a child, when I had iced tea at their home, I added lemon and one tablet of saccharin. Nanny made great iced tea! My (maternal) Missouri grandmother, made wonderful lemonade. Many times she would brew tea and mix it with the lemonade. Granny's tea was very good, too! Mother brewed excellent tea in a sauce pan. When brewing sweet tea, adding sugar while the tea is hot, is key.

What are your favorite teas? How do you brew tea? Is it sweet or unsweet, lemon or no lemon, for you?

~The white pitcher in the photos is part of my growing collection of ironstone. The glasses are 2 of a set of 6 vintage glasses. The tablecloth and napkins are also vintage. My straw hat is handmade. I found it in Charleston, South Carolina. The sunflowers, faux. The photo was taken at the north side of our home, looking toward a tree lined wet weather creek.~

~A Saturday Afternoon Stroll Around Elsah~
We stopped at Elsah IL, yesterday, to inquire about an upcoming photography exibit.
While walking around the village, I snapped a few photos.
The photo at right, shows Trumpet Vine pods. The vine grows at the entrance to Elsah.
Other photos show scenes around the town.

~2007 Blessing of the Fleet~

Statue of Our Lady of the Rivers, on the Mississippi River at Portage des Sioux Missouri.

~ St Francis Assisi Church at Portage des Sioux~

Boats against a backdrop of bluffs, on the Illinois side of the Mississippi. The photo was taken, looking toward Illinois, from the statue site in Portage des Sioux.

The Blessing of the Fleet, as viewed from The Great River Road, between Grafton and Alton, Illinois.
The weather, Saturday, was perfect for a day trip. We drove to Portage des Sioux, Missouri. After visiting the statue of Our Lady of the Rivers, we caught the Golden Eagle ferry to Illinois. We drove down river from Grafton, to catch sight of the Blessing from the Illinois side.
Later we stopped at Historic Elsah, Illinois. We can't pass by Elsah without stopping. We love this little town and it's beautiful 18th and 19th century architecture.
We had a wonderful time driving through the countryside, once again. This time we took a different route. We always enjoy traveling the back roads.


~A Cabin, a Cottage and a Giveaway~

When we passed through my childhood hometown, last weekend, I took the opportunity to snap a photo of this log cabin. I altered the photo, giving it a vintage postcard look. This is the cabin where I had those long ago drawing lessons, spoken of in a previous post.
~Catalpa Cottage~
I've been a bit nostalgic the past week or two. Perhaps the reason is my
approaching 64th birthday. I'm remembering my teen years, in particular.

The photo at right was taken last weekend. This is a quintessential Ozark cottage. Set among large shade trees and faced with stone, native to southern Missouri, this cottage holds memories of happy times. I was welcomed as a guest here, many times, as a teenager. It's the childhood home of an old friend. We still stay in touch, daily. J and I have been guests in her home many times and she and her husband have been guests in ours.

I still remember what this home's interior looked like. Imagine it dressed in the true style of the 1950's and you will see what I remember.
"Will you still need me, will you still feed me, when I'm sixty-four."
~The Beatles~
I am planning my 64th post on my 64th birthday, Wednesday July 25th. On that day, I will announce the winner of the vintage apron, cookbook from the June book fair and a bookmark, made by me, pictured in the above photo. To be eligible for the drawing, leave a comment on this post. I will gather all comments and draw the name Tuesday evening July 24th at 5PM (CDT).

My thanks to everyone for your kind comments and words of encouragement! I'm truly enjoying the Land of Blog and you, my friends, make it all the better!


A Back Porch Friend, Seedbox Antiques & Peach Cobbler

Bass Pro, at the corner of Sunshine & Campbell, Springfield Missouri.
~Breakfast at Hemingways~
Our day trip began, Saturday, July 14th, at 6AM in Osage Beach, Missouri. Two hours later, we were having breakfast at Hemingways Blue Water Cafe*, located within Bass Pro Shop Outdoor World.*
Just after we were seated, I was approached by someone, who asked me if I have a blog called Back Porch Musings. I was so surprised! Myra visited the back porch for the first time, last Friday. She and her husband had a trip to Bass Pro and Hemingways planned for Saturday. Myra decided to see if she could spot me. She said she thought she recognized me when we were seated, but knew it had to be me, when I took out my camera. We enjoyed meeting Myra and visiting with her.
After breakfast, J and I went on the "Great Hula Popper Hunt" of 2007. Alas, the skirts for J's vintage Hula Poppers are no longer manufactured. I suppose he will have to find another surefire lure for those big Bass!
I took several photos inside Bass Pro. We both enjoy browsing this huge store. As you can see from the photos below, there is something for everyone at Bass Pro.

~All this and Starbucks, too!~

Our next stop was Ozark Missouri, just a short drive south of Springfield, on Highway 65.
I absolutely fell in love with The Seedbox Antiques, located behind Lambert's Restaurant, off Highway 65, in Ozark. We met the shop's owner, Melanie, who generously allowed me to take photos. This shop is amazing! Beautiful displays of wonderful antiques. If you are ever near Ozark, Missouri, I recommend stopping at The Seedbox Antiques.
The grids below show some of the rooms at The Seedbox.
The second photo, top row, shows a table and china cabinet set, from the 1950's. J's parents purchased a set very similar to this one, in St Louis, during the 1940's. The set at The Seedbox also came from St Louis.
I'd love to have the banquette in the lower right photo. It was set with vintage aqua and white dinnerware.
We spent quite a bit of time wandering through the shop. I know I missed seeing many things. I hope to return sometime.
The photos above, show red white and blue displays.

Pictured, at right, is the beautiful vintage wicker plant stand we purchased at The Seedbox. It has found a home at the end of our kitchen island.
We saw several great antiques shops and malls in the Ozark, Missouri area. If you plan to go, pick up a brochure listing antiques shops in the area. These are available at local businesses.
Another shop we enjoyed was, Cozy Creek Trading Company*. It's located in Ozark on the opposite side of Highway 65, same exit, as The Seedbox. This shop specializes in new rustic lodge and cabin furnishings. There were several "rooms" displayed. No photography permitted, here.

Gatehouse Antiques* is also located in Ozark, Missouri. Antiques, imported from Europe, are offered here. We enjoyed browsing the shop, set up in a maze of displays. Again no photography.
The last antiques stop, of the day, was Marshfield Missouri, east of Springfield on I-44, where we found Antique Mercantile. This shop is set up in flea market style booths. Everything is beautifully displayed. I picked up a cute little item, for a giveaway, I'll announce later this week.
Saturday afternoon, we visited old friends in Lebanon Missouri and had supper with them, at Dowd's, located on Historic Rte 66.
We arrived back at our lake place at 8:30PM.
If you take a wonderful Ozark antiques trip, plan for more than one day. You won't be disappointed!

Sunday afternoon our friends, from Lebanon, dropped by the condo for dessert. I baked a peach cobbler, using the delicious Calhoun County (IL) peaches, we bought at Odelehr's Roadside Market, in Brussels IL.



~A Designer's Home & Antiques Shop Anticipation~

~On the Road Again~
This week, Rhoda, of Southern Hospitality* posted a wonderful review of Carolyne Roehm's book, Presentations: A Passion for Gift Wrapping.
One of my favorite online sites is, New York Social Diary. An aspect of the "diary" is an ongoing series of interviews with decorators/designers and others. These articles also include photographs of the subject's home. The home of Missouri born and raised Carolyne Roehm, is one that was featured this year. If you would like to see photographs and read her interview, the link is: Click on Archives at the top of the page for other homes and interviews.
I need to add a caveat here, concerning some of the language of the interview. There is a bit of strong language, but the interview in itself is quite interesting and the photos beautiful.
Road Trip Weekend
Tomorrow morning, we will be on the road again. We have a day trip to southwest Missouri planned. Carol at Raised in Cotton* and Theresa at Garden Antiques *, posted about two shops, we hope to visit. If all goes according to plan, I will have lots of news, Tuesday. Thanks so much Carol and Theresa!
Our weekend begins at the lake, tomorrow. Early Saturday morning we will travel to Springfield, where we plan to have breakfast at Hemingway's, located inside Bass Pro. Afterward, J will shop for Hula Poppers. Apparently these little beauties have Bass practically begging to be hooked.
We'll drive to Ozark Missouri, later in the morning, where we will find Gatehouse Antiques and Seed Box Antiques. We hope to see other shops, as well.
Have a wonderful weekend. Thank you for visiting the back porch!
The photos were taken as we passed through St Louis on our way home from a 2005 vacation in Virginia, North Carolina and South Carolina.


~A Cottage Fairy~

You saw this photo of my granddaughter Xanti, in the Book Fair post. I added it here, with a photo taken of her at the age of 3 months. The background photo is a wonderful Cottage Fairy created by the very gifted artist, Donna of The Decorated House. Perhaps you can see why I was so taken with Donna's fairy. The photo of Xanti at 3 months, hangs above my desk.
My Cottage Fairy resides in our breakfast room.

Chris at Notes From a Somerset Garden and Deb at Posted From Home, have challenged me to a list of 8 random facts about myself.
1. I played French Horn in Junior and Senior High School, in the late 1950's/60's. During the 1970's, I briefly played French Horn in a community band.
2. I keep in touch with several old school mates, on a daily basis. We have fun get togethers, too.
3. I played the mother of a 17 year old daughter in my high school senior play. I was made up to look very elderly!!! I didn't look anything like that, when I had 17 year old daughters!! I hope not, anyway.
4. When I was in 7th and 8th grade, I walked to Granny and Grandad's during lunch time, just so I could watch "As the World Turns".
5. I was given private drawing lessons when I was in 9th grade. My lessons were at the home of an artist. Her home was a small log cabin. She baked cookies each Saturday, before I arrived. One of her many cats, sat on my lap while I had my lesson. We always had tea and fresh baked cookies. This is one of my most special memories.
6. I moved to a smaller town, when I was in 10th grade. That Christmas, our PE teacher selected students to address her Christmas cards. I was one of the "lucky" ones, chosen for the task. I didn't do much in gym, that quarter, but I got an E (sometimes known as A) anyway! Guess I did a good job on those cards!
7. I sang at my Junior Prom (1960). I was very embarrassed and only did it because I felt obligated!! I was mortified, as I sang...."Drink to Me Only With Thine Eyes". I did not choose the piece! I am still mortified. This has been a cathartic moment! What kind of prom music was that anyway!
8. Well, here I am at the end of this ramble down memory lane...let me see, can I think of one more printable random school daze thought? Oh! How could I forget...this couldn't possibly be the reason I was punished with music at the prom! Or could it... I committed theft...grand theft purple iris....yes! I'll admit it! I, along with about 20 other classmates, from "good families".....took several purple iris from various gardens, around town. One of those gardens belonged to the school superintendent! It seems at the end of the day, our money was gone, spent on crepe paper and other necessary prom decor! With no cash in our coffers and no flowers for the tables, it was all that was left to do! What were we crazy 16 year old kiddos thinking!!! The next night, we were complimented on putting on one of the best proms ever! The superintendent's wife was especially complimentary of our floral arrangements.
If you would like to participate in this meme, I would love to see your impressive lists. Remember...confession is good for the soul.


The Land of Blog, Barefoot Catfish & Other Tales

~Road to Cedar Hill Resort~
When I entered The Land of Blog, just over four months ago, I had no idea where the road would lead. Back Porch Musings took on a life of it's own and has evolved into a photo journal of our family, home, gardens and meanderings. Our family, as any other family, has had happy times and sad times, through the years. I decided, from the beginning, to write of the happy times here at the back porch.

Those "Lazy Hazy Crazy Days of Summer"*, with 90 degree temps and dripping humidity, have arrived in Missouri!

Our Saturday adventure was a quest for "Real Tomatoes". Our journey began early, hoping to be home before the heat of day. If you've been visiting the back porch awhile, you know we were meandering until the heat of day was well under way!

Once again, we boarded the Winfield Ferry, crossing the Mississippi River to Illinois. From the ferry landing, the road leads to Brussels, Illinois. One of our favorite places to visit is Odelehr's Roadside Market at Brussels.

We purchased peaches, tomatoes, green beans, sweet corn and jars of apple butter and pickled beets. I had one of those excellent Calhoun County peaches for breakfast, this morning. Our Sunday dinner will be fried chicken, green beans and potatoes, sweet corn and sliced tomatoes. A wonderful old fashioned country meal.

We learned that 8% of Odelehr's peach crop was destroyed by the late frost. The apple crop was damaged, also.

Other than fresh produce, the Odelelhr's offer canned foods in glass jars, beautiful baby quilts, afghans and other crafts.


We drove to Hardin, Il for a delicious lunch of Barefoot Catfish. The photos show the Barefoot Restaurant sign, in the background, a plate of Catfish Fritters and the view from our tableside window.
Barefoot Restaurant, sitting at the edge of the Illinois River, was under water during the 1993 flood. The kitchen required major renovation. As always, "river people" rally after floods and come back strong.
~Illinois farm country and the Illinois River at Barefoot~
~Grafton, Illinois~
The lower left photo shows a Grafton cottage. The sign reads, Not-A-Shop.

On our way back to the ferry landing, we took a little detour to Cedar Hill Resort on the banks of the Mississippi River. After a cold drink, we continued to the Winfield Ferry and our return to Missouri. While aboard the ferry, vehicle engines must be turned off. Without air conditioning, as we crossed, I tried to remember what I said a couple of weeks ago, about southern women not perspiring, only developing a glow!
*This Nat King Cole song has been running through my mind for a week or two.