~Gone Fishin'~

Fishermen leaving at dawn, for a day on the Lake of the Ozarks. A photo, similar to this one, edited in black and white, can be seen at Snapshots From the Back Porch. I've posted several photos, since I began Snapshots. Some of them were taken with a point and shoot camera, as well as my Canon Rebel xti.

Lately, a few of my readers have asked about my camera. I have the name of my Canon Rebel posted on my page here and at my other blog.

The photo above was taken during April 2007, using the Kodak P850 camera, I later dropped at Nell Hill's. The camera was a point and shoot. After I damaged the camera with my clumsiness, I purchased another small Kodak, for use until I bought the Digital SLR Canon Rebel xti, in September '07, which I now use most of the time. I still take photos with the small Kodak. Recently, my daughter provided me with a pocket size point and shoot camera, with 7.2 mega pixels. I plan to try it out in the next few days. It should work well for doing shots of store interiors and other things I tend to blog about. I use the Canon for photos I can take my time with.

I personally believe you can get great results with point and shoot cameras. I recently read about a Macro option that is on some point and shoot cameras. Editing programs are excellent photography tools. Many can be downloaded free of charge. I use two of these programs. Picasa2 is wonderful! There are several editing options, including crop, straighten, sharpen and special effects, such as sepia, black and white and others. The second editing program I have is PhotoFiltre. It too, is a free download, for personal use. There is a fee, if you want to use your photos commercially. There are lots of fun editing tools with PhotoFiltre. Both of these programs can be found through Google Search.

I've developed a growing interest in photography, over the past year or so. This interest is why I decided to move forward with one of the "big cameras". I'm enjoying an ongoing learning experience and hope to improve my skills, along the way.
The following photos were taken around town, Tuesday afternoon. As you can see, from these photos, we are still experiencing frequent rain showers. A funnel cloud was seen over St Louis, yesterday around noon. Luckily, it did not touch down.

^ This pretty home was restored by a young couple we know.

^This lovely old home is a local bed and breakfast.

^This is one of my favorite homes, here in town. I love the ranch style.

Today, we will leave for the lake. This is our first getaway since J's surgery. He's doing very well and hopes to do some fishing over the next few days. We will return Monday or Tuesday, next week. I continue to monitor comments, although I've had no further trouble. I like to use that option, especially when we are to be away from home. Please come by the Back Porch and leave a comment, if you wish. I will read and publish them, when we return. Each of your visits is very important to me and I do enjoy your comments, so much.


~Weekend Happenings & Other News~

Breakfast room farmhouse table vignette of wire and glass cloches with birds.
I walked around our neighbor's gorgeous gardens, Saturday morning. She has the most beautiful Irises. Another of her Irises can be seen at my photo blog. The shrub, in the background, is a variegated Willow. J and I will be shopping for one of these. We saw one at our local nursery awhile back and thought it beautiful. After seeing the Willow, in a garden setting, we decided we must have one.
While I was at our neighbor's, I took this photo of our home. It's a different view, than I've shown before. There are two empty lots and 2 streets between our home and the place where I was standing. The photograph is a good illustration of the illusion of space, even though our house sits on only 1/2 acre.
A bit of garden whimsy, beside our mailbox.
Our youngest daughter, son in law and their sweet babies were here, yesterday, for dinner and visiting. Miss Gabi thought it would be a good idea to spend the night with G'ma and G'pa. We thought it was a good idea, too. Our sweet little guest is still asleep, as I write this.
Of course, as doting grandparents, time with the g'kids always calls for photos!
I had fun taking the following photos. They looked so cute in their khaki and white, I couldn't resist the black and white! The third photo has an additional aged effect.

Our oldest daughter and her husband were on their way to an Alaskan cruise, early yesterday.
Xanti, her mom and dad and baby brother Noah, are on their way to Xanti's school. She will spend the summer studying photography. We miss her already. We are so proud of her. I hope she can give her dear old G'ma a tutorial or two, when she returns home.
Thursday, May 22, we had lunch with Xanti and spent the afternoon together. The photos were taken at McGurk's Pub, a former hardware store, J remembers going to, as a youngster.
I've been tagged, by Judy of Grand Life!
I am to pick up the book nearest me, set in a foreign country, turn to page 123, go to the 5th sentence and post the next 3 sentences. I am to tag 5 people and acknowledge the person who tagged me.
The book I chose is from my collection of very old Agatha Christie paperbacks, the Hercule Poirot mystery, titled The ABC Murders, first published in 1941. My copy was published during the 1980's.
"She knows the countryside and the people round, and everything. I've been away for a year and a half." Poirot took pity on him and turned the conversation.
I tag the following:
2. Smilnsigh (Mari-Nanci)
4.Country Romance (Brenda)
BJ at Sweet Nothings begins a lovely kitchen open house series, today, May 26th. Please stop by for photographs of beautiful kitchens and lots of inspiration!
For a unique look at gorgeous (hgtv) Rate My Space homes, please visit, Designs by Gollum.


~A Garden Walk~

In 2003, when we were looking for lots to build our present home on, we had only a few requirements. There should be trees toward the back, the back of the house should be to the east and we wanted no more than 1/2 an acre. We looked at this lot several times. One rainy day, I drove by for another look. J and I came back that evening and decided this would be the perfect lot for our new home.

When our home was completed, just about 1/4 acre remained for lawn and gardens. Over the past 4.5 years, we've planned and planted. Our main focus has been, flowering shrubbery, Hosta, Liriope, Lilies, Clematis, and evergreens, such as Boxwood, Holly and Yew. We have 2 Endless Summer Hydrangea, beside our patio. We've tried Hydrangea in another area, without success. Here and there we've filled in with various ornamental grasses. We have several Mums in our gardens, as well.

In many photos of our gardens and lawn, there is an illusion of a much larger space, than 1/4 acre. Fortunately, when we found our dream lot, there just happened to be a large family farm to the east, just beyond the wet weather creek/ravine and trees, that line the back of our property. This made the transition from 110 acres to 1/2 acre a bit easier.

The sky is overcast this morning. Just before it began to rain, I walked around the yard with my camera. The gardens continue to thrive during our cool rainy Spring.

Most photos enlarge when clicked.

All of the above photos were taken this morning. The photo below is from yesterday evening. This photo as well as the top photo, in today's post, are also shown at my photo blog.
Enjoy this Memorial Day weekend!


~Pitcher & Bowl Story~

~Bicentennial Project~
During the 1970's, I served 4 years, as co-leader and leader of two Brownie Troups and one year as neighborhood secretary, for the Girl Scout Council of Greater St Louis. Toward the end of the 1975-76 school year, the scout leaders of our community enrolled our scouts in a ceramic class. The classes were held at a ceramic shop, in a private home. For 6 weeks, we met each Saturday morning, to work on our projects. I chose to make the pitcher and bowl, shown in the top photo. Through trial and error and more than one oops, I managed to complete the project. Because we were celebrating the 200th birthday of our country, that year, many Americans made quilts, ceramics, paintings and other arts and crafts, to commemorate the Bicenntenial. I signed and dated the pitcher and bowl and named it my "Bicentennial Project".

~ Cowpens Battlefield~

Reading John Jakes' Charleston, this past week, prompted me to post about my project. The book begins toward the end of the American Revolutionary War.

The photo, at right, shows a monument, erected by The Washington Light Infantry, of Charleston, South Carolina, in 1856, near the final stages of the Battle of Cowpens, to commemorate the important American victory. It stands as the earliest testament to valor of the Patriotic Army at Cowpens.
I've chosen Cowpens, for this post, because my 6 times great grandfather fought at this battle. Alexander Edwards' brother, David, was encamped at Cowpens. Sixteen year old Alexander delivered a letter to his brother, telling him his wife was gravely ill. David asked for furlough, but was told a battle was emminent and no furloughs were being granted. Alexander offered to take David's place. David was permitted to leave for a short time. During that time, a pivotal battle of the American Revolutionary War was fought and won by the Americans. Alexander (my forefather) was issued a certificate for his bravery during the battle and his name is listed in the index of the Daughters of the American Revolution. Alexander's father Cader, settled in America during the 1750's. He was from Wales. Even though Cader was quite old at the time of the Revolutionary War, he served at the Battle of King's Mountain.

At the time of the Battle of Cowpens, the Edwards family lived in what is now Sullivan County Tennessee. It would be almost 100 years, before the family found their way to our beloved Ozarks.
We visited Cowpens Battlefield in 2005. There was a feeling of eeriness, as we walked through the site, imagining what had happened there over 200 years ago.
**Our family history was researched by my mother's aunt, around 40 years ago. I have a bound copy of that history. It's wonderful having great family stories to read, from time to time. I gathered information from that history for today's post.


~All Around Town~

A close up of an Azalea, in the garden next to our dining room window.

This morning, we visited the Library. J found a couple of landscaping books, he liked and I brought home John Jakes' Charleston. I absolutely love that city. Another book, I checked out, is Dictionary of Missouri Historic Places. I'll be looking for places, to make note of, for future day trips.

Speaking of historic places; Woods Fort is located on Main Street in our town. The marker is pictured below, followed by a photo of the Woods Fort cabin.

The following photos show some of our favorite homes, around town.

We drove through the park, where we saw these fellows.

We decided we needed something different in the berm at the edge of our front yard. We found what we were looking for, Home Run Roses, at the nursery, just outside of town. Home Run Roses are similar to Knock Out Roses, with the same growing habit. I'll post photos, when they bloom. We saw these water features at the nursery, also.


Update photos of the patio Hosta garden.
Above, the garden beside the dining room windows. Below is a photo of the column/pedestal we're using on the front porch, this year. The porch faces west which makes it difficult to find plants that will survive there. We were told Portulaca will do well.
Several readers have asked what camera I use. I have a Canon EOS Digital Rebel XTI. I'm still learning about this camera and having fun during the process. Before this camera I used a Kodak P850, which was a very nice camera, for point and shoot photography. I dropped that camera while visiting Mary Carol Garrity's Nell Hill's, in Atchison Kansas, last year.


~May 11, 1953~

Patty Ann is pictured 4th from right, first row.

The most recent storms, here in Missouri, brought back memories of my first remembered experience of a Tornado. That storm occurred 55 years ago, yesterday.

We were living in a community on the outskirts of Waco, Texas, while my father was stationed at nearby Connolly Air Force Base.

I was attending Lakeview Elementary School, as a fourth grader, on May 11th, 1953.

Granddad, Granny and my cousin, were driving down, from Missouri, that evening. Mother was planning meals, for the weekend and was to drive into Waco, to shop at a large, fresh produce market, after school.

I remember how warm and muggy the air felt, during the afternoon. I noticed the dark, almost olive green clouds, as we walked home from school. It began to rain, just before we arrived home. Mother decided to wait until the rain stopped, before driving into Waco. That decision, perhaps, saved our lives.

We learned, later that afternoon, that a devastating Tornado had touched down in Waco. The market, where we were to shop, was completely destroyed. The storm caused injury and death to hundreds. Over 100 people lost their lives.

My grandparents and cousin arrived in the early morning hours of May 12th, with stories of Tornado destruction from Missouri, through Oklahoma, into Texas.

The Waco Tornado surely touched the life of each and every one of those children, pictured in the first photo. I know I'll never forget it.

Mother attended the memorial service for those who died on May 11, 1953. Reverend Billy Graham spoke at that service.

Because of that storm, the second worst in Texas history and others, an improved national storm warning service was developed. There is more about the Tornado, that tore through Waco, Texas, here.

The most severe of the Missouri storms of this past weekend, happened in Newton County, in southwest Missouri. Other devastation happened in Oklahoma, Arkansas and other areas of the south.

In our area of Missouri, north of St Louis, we experienced strong straight line winds and rain. Our neighbor's home sustained minor damage to the roof and trim. Our home has no damage. We lost phone service for most of yesterday, but our electricity remained on. There are several thousand Ameren UE consumers, without power this morning. We saw J's cousin, yesterday afternoon. He is a lineman with UE and had been working since 3 A.M. and was still working when we saw him. Again, we thank those who are working long hours to restore power and rescue teams, helping folks in the storm damaged areas.

Our prayers are with those who were in the path of the 2008 Mother's Day weekend storms.
Maps are from a Google site.