Mums in our garden, 2006.

The breezes taste of apple peel.
The air is full of smells to feel-
Ripe fruit, old footballs,
Burning brush, new erasers,
Chalk and such.
The bee, his hive, well-honeyed hum,
And Mother cuts Chrysanthemums.
Like plates washed clean with suds,
The days are polished
With morning haze.
~September, John Updike~

Mums in black and white, our garden 2006.


For me, Saturday September 1, marks the beginning of my favorite time of year. Even though fall is still, officially, a few weeks away.

Friday evening, my friend JoAnn is attending the first high school football game, of the season, in my old hometown. Friday night high school football games in small towns, during the late 1950's and early 1960's, are embedded in my memory, as if they were yesterday. The school song, played by the marching band and half time shows, practiced weeks before the start of the school year. Homecoming, the parade, mouton jackets and huge football mum corsages of gold. Crisp weather. We cheer our team. Go Yellowjackets!!

The past week or two, I've noticed a golden cast to sunrise and sunset. I'm almost giddy in my anticipation of autumn.


~Weekend Wedding Work~

The photo was taken in my studio, here at home. I spent most of the weekend, at the lake, working on chair bows. These are for my daughter's wedding in November. I will be making eight of these bows for the head table chairs. The chairs will be standard reception hall variety.
The attendants' dress color is eggplant. The bouquets are a combination of Fall colors with a bit of eggplant and just a touch of lime. Calla Lilies, Roses and Fall berries will be some of the components of the attendant bouquets. The Maid of Honor is a college friend of my daughter. The Bridesmaid is my oldest Granddaughter.
The Flower Girls will carry floral balls made of tiny Yoko Ono (green) mums. Their dresses are white with eggplant sashes. The Ring Bearer's pillow will be made of the same mum. He will be wearing a black tux, with a tiny Calla Lily boutonniere. This part of the ceremony will bring smiles, indeed! I love it when children participate in weddings! The tiniest attendants will be my two younger Grandchildren and the Groom's Goddaughter
The Bride's bouquet will be made of the above mentioned flowers, plus a beautiful green Hydrangea bloom, in memory of her Paternal Grandmother. All the bouquets and other flowers will be fresh, except for the chair bows and the arch. These will be made of silk flowers and vines. I'll be making the arrangement for the apex of the arch, as well as the chair bows.

A simple tulle bow will be tied around a chair. The silk bouquet will be attached to the tulle bow, using a pin attached to the back.
My daughter has engaged a "day of wedding" coordinator. She and her partner will attach the bows to the chairs and take care of other last minute decorating and wedding details.
The wedding ceremony and reception are at the same venue, a rustic lodge with a beautiful view through windows across the back of the building.
The ceremony music will be provided by an acoustic guitarist.


Hydrangea Blooms & Home Goods

Due to a late freeze, we have had no blooms on our Endless Summer, Nikko Blue or Annebelle Hydrangeas, this year. This week I received this gorgeous gift from a friend on my decorating boards. These perfectly dried blooms were nested in tissue paper inside a beautiful gift box. Enclosed was a lovely note from my friend, JC in California. Thank you Jill!

I discovered a new blog, while visiting one of the decorating boards, this week. Home Goods, a home furnishings store, began the blog last winter. The writers are five women from different areas of the US. I've enjoyed reading it. Perhaps you would like to visit, also.

J is celebrating his 62nd birthday, today. We don't have a definite plan of celebration. We're planning a trip to the lake tomorrow. Lake visits are a celebration!

The birthday was the reason for our trip to Hannibal. J was there to sign up for Social Security. We like to take ordinary errands and turn them into something special. We enjoyed the day and took care of business, too.

My old friend JoAnn, sent this verse to me. I don't know the writer. J and I truly try to live by these words.

The clock of life is wound but once,
And no one has the power
To tell just when the hands will stop,
At late or early hour.

Now is the only time you own,
So live, love, toil with a will.
Do not wait until tomorrow
For the hands might then be still.


~Day Trip on the Great River Road~

Statue of Mark Twain-Hannibal Missouri. Hannibal is the boyhood home of Samuel Langhorne Clemens-Mark Twain.


J had an appointment in Hannibal Missouri, this afternoon. Hannibal is a short drive north, from where we live.

We enjoyed walking around the historic area before having lunch at Mark Twain Dinette. This restaurant opened in 1942 and has grown into a large establishment.

We drove up Cardiff Hill to get a closer look at the lighthouse. If you are a hardy soul, there are steps for climbing the hill!

Statue of Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn at the foot of Cardiff Hill.

The sign says it all. This white board fence is in the place of the fence Tom's friends paid him, for the privilege of whitewashing.

~Becky Thatcher's House~

~ Mark Twain Paddle Wheeler~

This photo is for Sandi at the Whistlestop. We spotted this tiny restaurant near the railroad tracks.

I snapped this photo of the Star Theatre, for hometown friends. There was a Star Theatre in our town, until recent years.

Notice what is playing? This is for Deb at Posted From Home. The movie now showing, Please Don't Eat the Daisies, starring Doris Day and David Niven.

This is one of many lovely older homes, found in and around Hannibal.

After the meeting we drove south on the Great River Road. This was a different route than we took during our morning trip to Hannibal. This photo of the Mississippi was taken at Victors Point, a roadside park north of Louisiana Missouri.
The homes in these photos are located in Louisiana Missouri. There are several blocks of beautiful historic homes. Some needing restoration, others in the process of restoration and many completely restored.
If we were 30 years younger and had unlimited stamina and funds for restoration, we might be tempted to buy one of these wonderful old homes!

This home was once an antiques shop, we visited now and then. At that time it was painted grey, I believe. I didn't recognize it, with it's new red paint. J knew it immediately.

We want to drive up the Great River Road during autumn, when the leaves have changed. We spotted several antiques shops in Hannibal, we want to explore.


~Garage Sale Chronicles~

The Beginning
We are in the exciting early planning stages of a family garage sale to be held within the next few weeks. We hope to have one of the biggest and best garage sales in the history of our small town. Our plan is to entice people from several counties, to shop till they drop!

The garage has been cleared of clutter. We have inventoried closets and storage areas in anticipation of offering our valuable treasures at amazingly affordable prices!


*Christmas Trees~Chairs~Crockery~Suits~Shirts~ Sweaters~Pants~Pillows~Pots~Pans~Books~Bags~Bric-a-Brac and more*

Coming soon, Chapter Two: Sale Day!


~A Nell Hill's Note~

Imagine my delight, this morning, when I opened my e-mail and found a newsletter from Nell Hill's.

Mary Carol Garrity's new book, Feather Your Nest, has been released. Of course, I went right over to and ordered it. I can hardly wait to see this latest Nell Hill's book!
The release of Feather Your Nest is just in time for Nell Hill's Fall 2007 Open House, where you may have your copy autographed by Mary Carol. Unfortunately, I will miss this event. Perhaps some of you will be there. If so, take photos and please post about the event. I know you will enjoy it.

While browsing Amazon I came upon the book, pictured at left, and pre-ordered a copy. I knew about Feather Your Nest, but just discovered Nell Hill's Stylish Weddings, today. I know it is as wonderful as Mary Carol's other Nell Hill's books. I own all four of her previous books and enjoy them each and every time I open them.

Another event shared in the newsletter is the announcement of the opening of Mary Carol's new Nell Hill's at Briarcliff Village in Kansas City, during November. I hope to be there. It would be wonderful to meet you at the Grand Opening. Mary Carol promises to be there, too.
Visit the Nell Hill's site you won't be disappointed.
Stop by where the above images are from, for a closer look. Type Nell Hill's in search box. Enjoy!


Bennett Spring

We visited friends in Lebanon Missouri, Friday. During the late afternoon, we drove to Bennett Spring State Park, 12 miles west of Lebanon.
The park is on the site of former grist mills, flour mills and saw mills. The James Brice family were early settlers. Later the Peter Bennett family arrived and opened a mill. The Bennett Mill was very successful and the name was given to the area.
My granddad always referred to Bennett Spring as Brice. If we planned an outing at Bennett Spring, granddad would say, we're going to Brice. I spent many happy childhood Sundays at Bennett Spring State Park.
Bennett Spring is located in the Spring Valley of the Niangua River. The spring is the 3rd largest in the state of Missouri. The park is a popular destination for avid anglers.
Friday afternoon the temperatures reached triple digits, but that didn't stop these Trout fishermen. The water temperature remains at 50 degrees, year round. We visited the park during February '07. There were several folks fishing on that chilly day, also.

This small stone structure overlooks the spring. A shelter house sits on a hill just to the right. A wedding rehearsal was in progress, at the site, Friday evening. I have memories of family picnics at the shelter.

Many times, as a child, I attended services and hymn sings at this little rock church. I witnessed baptizings in the river, mentioned in my July 30, 2007 post. Sister Bennett, affectionately known as Aunt Louie, conducted services at this church. She was my mother and aunt's Bible Study teacher, when they were children.
Bennett Spring was originally known as "Eye of the Sacred One", by Native Americans who first inhabited the area.

The entrance to the small stone structure that overlooks the spring. It's wonderful to stand inside the building and look down at the spring from the windows.

We had supper at the Dining Lodge, Friday evening. This building and other structures were built by the Civilian Conservation Corps, between 1934 and 1937.


Corners of Our Home

Our home is 1.5 stories. I thought you might like a glimpse of the upper level. The cherub on a shelf is at the bottom of the stairs. There are two guest rooms on this level.
The first guest room bed is reflected in a mirror. The room is done in cottage style. The wall color is Laura Ashley Gold3 from Lowes.

Looking across to the chest of drawers and mirror.

These photos show the bedside tables.

A pass through or Jack & Jill bath, is across the hallway from the guest room in the first photos. There is a vanity area on the hall side of the room. A door passes through the tub and toilet area, to another door that leads to the vanity area of the 2nd guest room.

The photo above shows a corner of the vanity next to the second guest room. The photo to the right is a corner of the vanity area entered via the hall. The lamps were J's mother's. I replaced the lampshades, with these. The shades were unadorned. I added eyelash fringe, ribbon roses and "pearl" beading, which is actually Christmas garland purchased at Michael's.
The wall color is Laura Ashley Olive5.

The second guest room bed. The bedroom suite is from the master bedroom in our former home. The lyre tables were purchased at an estate auction several years ago. The lamps and shades, animal print. The wall color, Laura Ashley Gold3.

This is the room over the garage. The room is entered from the upstairs hallway. These spaces are sometimes called bonus rooms. It's a studio of sorts. This photo shows only a small area of the room. At the opposite end is a bookcase and a vintage cabinet, used for supplies. It's a cozy spot to read or paint or just relax. The painting on the easel was done by a local artist.
Tomorrow (Thursday) afternoon we're leaving town, for a few days. We hope to relax at the lake and visit old friends during the long weekend.
I hope to return on Monday, with lots of photos and stories.
Have a wonderful rest of the week and weekend.


Mizzipp Sandi

I made a big ol' oops!! When posting my creative names...I neglected Sandi! Here is Sandi on the banks of the Mississippi, in Missouri/Illinois.
Sorry Sandi!


A Natural Tag

Sandi at the Whistlestop has challenged me to a tag of creatively writing blog friends' names. The use of natural wonders was the suggestion. While not among the 7 Natural Wonders of the World...the Ozarks, to me, is definitely a natural wonder. My first challenge is to Andrea of Southern Heart. You see her name written in the clouds over the Ozarks.
The Lake of the Ozarks may be man made, but the hills are naturally God made and a wonder in their own right. Donna's name is written over the hills around Lake of the Ozarks.
This photo and the next four are scenes around our old farm. We were there, the other day. That was my first return visit in almost four years. The farm no longer looks like these photos, so I don't believe I will be making another visit.
I've written Mary's name along the lane that led to our home in the back pasture.

This is a view of the lane looking toward the front of the farm and away from the back pasture. We were 3/4 of a mile from the highway and our mailbox. Joyce's name is written here.

Sue's name is written in a Trumpet Vine, that grew on one of the farm sheds.
This is the lane in winter, going toward our home. Just around the curve, was the back pasture. Chris' name is written in the field beside the fence.

The lane at just the beginning of Autumn. This is the scene I painted for J's lodge room. You can see Deb's name here.
In all the years we lived on the farm, we were snowed in only one time and that was for 4 days, in 1999. This is the lane going away from the back pasture, with Jen's name written at the side.
My challenge to creatively write 8 blog friends' names, using natural wonders, goes to these very talented and creative bloggers. After creating your designs be sure to challenge those blogging friends.