"Having wonderful time. Wish you were here". Isn't that what one writes on a postcard?

I'm writing this entry, Friday July 25th, my 65th birthday. By the time the post is published, we should be relaxing on the deck, enjoying the view. If all goes according to plan, a guest is sitting on the deck with us. I'm sure I'll have a story to tell about this guest, upon our return. Of course, there will be a photograph or two.

The Missouri county, mentioned in my previous post, is Audrain, in northeast Missouri. This is the county believed to be named for J's family. Although, when looking through county lists, I found origin unknown for Audrain County. We have a copy of a letter from our family researchers that mentions the county was named for Pierre (Peter) Audrain, J's ancestor.

I couldn't leave for the lake without telling you about My Beloved Garage Sale Find.
Karin is new to the land of blog. I've known her a few years through the private decorating board we belong to. I'm enjoying reading "Is It Nap Time Yet?" blog. She wrote an entry about her daughter's room, this past week. There is a dresser, in the room, that is fabulous.
When I stopped by, Friday, I found a wonderful post about a piece of art Karin found at a garage sale, several years ago. Not only is it a very pretty painting, it has provenance! J and I love to dig around in the back rooms of antique shops and consignment stores. We find lots of wonderful things, but few are found with a story attached. We love it when we learn a bit of history about whatever piece we buy. This happened with Karin's beloved garage sale find. To read about it and see the photos, please click here.

You Make Me Smile! Yes, you all make me smile, at least once a day. I want to pass this happy award to you. Please take it and pass it to someone or everyone who makes you smile! This award was created by Gail at Squared Off. Her son made the drawing for his mommy. Imagine Gail's smile when she was presented with this wonderful gift! I picked up this sweet award from Pat in NY. Thank you for your generosity, Pat!


Another new award, is on the side bar. Sharing the Love Award has a special story. Sandi passed the award to several people, including me. Thank you, Sandi! I am passing it to all of you, in gratitude for your kindness during this first year and a half of Back Porch Musings. The history of the award can be found by clicking the button on the sidebar. If you accept the award and pass it along, please link back to the original post. It is the story of a sweet child who has had heart surgery and the wonderful mom who created this award.

Andi challenged me to play Susie Q's Game. We all know how much Sue loves a good list. I'm inviting you to play, too. One thing I learned during the game. We should plan a trip to NYC! This will become obvious when you see my answers to a couple of great questions.

You are allowed only one answer per question. You may challenge 5 others to play Susie's Game. At the end of my list are 5 fabulous bloggers I've challenged. I also challenge anyone who is reading this post. Please let me know if you play the game. I'm looking forward to reading your favorites.

Sport: Baseball
Game: Trivial Pursuit
Color: Aqua
Movie: It's a Wonderful Life
Broadway Play I've Seen: None, but would love to see any of them!
Broadway Musical I've Seen: None, but would love to see Mama Mia
Song: Wonderful World (Louis Armstrong)
Favorite City Visited: Nashville, Tennessee
Favorite Foreign City Visited: I've only been to Canada and Mexico border towns. Would love to see the cities!
Book: To Kill a Mockingbird
Children's Book: Nancy Drew Series
Classic TV Show: Carol Burnett
Recent TV Show: Monk
Actor: James Stewart
Actress: Angela Lansbury
Perfume: Tommy Bahama Very Cool
Food: Pasta
Dessert: Chocolate Anything and Everything
Chain Restaurant: The Cheesecake Factory
Local Restaurant: Oddfellows Cafe
Car: 1956 T-Bird
Condiment: Mustard
Kitchen Appliance: Blender
Home Appliance: Dyson Animal
Beauty Product: All Clinique Products
Favorite Clothing: Black Capris
HGTV Show: If Walls Could Talk
Food Network: Paula Deen
Author: James Patterson
Male Songwriter: Randy Newman
Female Songwriter: Carole King
Holiday: Christmas
Ballet: Nutcracker (segment within Radio City Rockettes Christmas Show, Grand Palace, Branson Missouri)
Disney Character: Cinderella
Flower: Calla Lily
Alcoholic Drink: Chardonnay (Kendall Jackson)
Non Alcoholic Drink: Unsweetened Iced Tea with Lemon
Magazine: Architectural Digest
Animated Movie: Cinderella (brings happy childhood memories!)
TV Mini Series: Roots
Season: Autumn
Male Vocalist: Harry Connick Jr.
Female Vocalist: Ella Fitzgerald (ah...Gershwin)
Day of Week: Sunday
Household Chore: Laundry
Ice Cream: Rocky Road
Candy: Bankheads Chocolates (Local)
Artist: Georgia O'Keefe
Quotation: See the Elizabeth Kubler-Ross Quote on my sidebar.

I challenge:
A Picture is Worth 1,000 Words
Picket (Dot)
Picket's Place
Susie Harris
Deb's Country Kisses
Country Romance

Have a great week!


~Two Summer Days in Missouri~

You already know how we love to turn ordinary appointments and running errands into something just a tad more. That's what we did, this past Monday. We needed to make a quick trip to Jefferson City. Our day began early. Molly went along for the ride, too.
Our business complete, we stopped by Central Dairy for a cool treat on this hot summer day. Texas Pecan for J, Moose Tracks for me, and Molly's favorite, vanilla ice cream. Central Dairy is a must stop on most of our trips to or from the lake. Besides delicious ice cream, the dairy offers the ambiance of an old fashioned ice cream shop. Always a popular place, Central Dairy is located on Madison, in Jefferson City, Missouri.
On the way through Holt's Summit, just up Hwy 54 from Jeff City, I snapped a photo of the McDonald's sign. Do you remember when burgers were 15 cents?

We detoured through Fulton, Missouri for a drive by the campus of Westminster College. We put this on our day trip list, for exploring on a cooler day.
The Winston Churchill Memorial and Library is on the Campus of Westminster College. This is the site of Churchill's famous Iron Curtain speech.
Remembering construction along our usual route home, we decided to drive across country. Above and below, a rural Missouri road.

I had the bright idea, recently, of trying to photograph every courthouse in the state of Missouri. There are 114 counties in our fair state. The above photo, is one you've seen before. Our county's courthouse. Below, the Montgomery County Courthouse, photographed on our drive home, Monday.
Two down and 112 to go!
A Missouri county was named for one of J's ancestors, according to family lore. The 6 or 7 x's grandfather's father arrived here, from France, during the 18th century. Can you guess which county has the name of J's family? (Click on map to enlarge)
Tuesday morning, we treated ourselves to a movie. We haven't seen the stage production, of Mama Mia, but would love to see it. We enjoyed this bawdy, beautiful, bodacious film. I haven't left a movie feeling so good, in a very long time! Many critics have not been kind. We rarely pay attention to reviews, though.
Having grown up in the era of lovely musicals, I'm always looking for a good movie musical. This one didn't disappoint. Sure Pierce Brosnan can't sing, but oh my goodness...he's good lookin'. Meryl Streep is fabulous. The cast and scenery gorgeous. Of course, the Abba music was upbeat and brought sweet nostalgia. Everyone around us seemed to be enjoying Mama Mia as much as we were. Yes, even dear old J enjoyed what might be called a chick flick! If you go, do not leave until after the credits! Relax and enjoy.
Tuesday evening, we heard a concert presented by our local community band, in our city park. An hour of patriotic music, the sound of children at play and cicadas in the trees. A perfect summertime evening in small town America.


~A Desk Story & Winner~

The desk sat beside Granddad's chair. To this day, I see him filling his pipe and reading the paper by the light of a floor lamp that sat beside the desk. While sitting in that chair, beside the desk, Granddad told stories. I've written before about his wit and storytelling.

As a child, I played under the desk, pretending it was a little house of my very own. One day, when I was just beginning to print my name, I sat beneath the desk and carefully scratched my name into the finish, with a wire hair pin. I suppose that was my way of claiming the desk as mine, when I was no more than 6 years old.
The years passed. When I became an adult, Granddad gave me an oak rocker, that has rocked babies, in our family, for over 100 years. My eldest daughter has the rocker now. Our babies are still being rocked in that old chair. Granddad and Granny gave me other pieces from their home. But the desk remained beside Granddad's chair.

More time passed. My grandparents grew elderly. We learned Granny was having symptoms of Alzheimer's Disease. Granddad cared for her, as long as he was able. Eventually, Granny moved to a nursing home, where she seemed to be content. Granddad remained in their home. Each evening he read the paper, while sitting in the chair beside the desk.
Granddad passed away in 1972. It seemed impossible he was gone. The chair sat empty beside the desk.
After awhile, Mother and Aunt Helen planned an estate sale. What remained of my grandparents' household was auctioned, one weekend afternoon. When I arrived at Granny and Granddad's home, that day, my Aunt Helen took me aside and told me there was something put away for me, in the back bedroom. She walked with me to the room, where I saw the desk. Aunt Helen said, "Patty, this is your desk. It has your name on it".
The desk had a dark brown finish, when I brought it home with me, over 35 years ago. Not long afterward, I painted and distressed the desk, in the finish you see in the photos. "Patty", scratched into the finish with a childish scrawl, can still be seen on the underside of that old desk, almost 60 years after I wrote my name there.

Terri, of Lakewood Manor, is the winner of my 200th post giveaway. I'm sorry to report the Bluebird had a little mishap. He's been replaced by a Chickadee. Terri, please e-mail your address and I'll get the package in the mail, as soon as possible.
Have a great week, everyone!


~I Can See Clearly Now~

You may recall when I posted about the secretary in our foyer. I accessorized it with this and that from around the house and placed books and other things behind the seeded glass doors. One thing was missing. A magnifying glass was just the piece needed to finish the desk top.

J and I lunched at Oddfellows Cafe, Wednesday. While visiting with owners, Lori and Greg, I browsed through their shop, All About Home. Of course, I found a few things to purchase. As we were looking at vintage photographs of our town, we used a pretty magnifying glass to read captions and see buildings more clearly. I mentioned to Lori, a magnifying glass was just what I was looking for, to complete my desk. The magnifying glass, shown in the photos above, came home with us. Thank you, Lori.

I've made a change or two, in our master suite, since posting about it last Winter. At the time I was working on the room, I used lamps found around the house and ivory sheers, formerly used in a guest room. Although the sheers were very pretty, what I really wanted was linen panels. Not long ago, I replaced the silk panels in the living room with linen, in a natural color. When I saw how wonderful these curtains were, I decided to order more, for the master bedroom iron bed.

The photos above right and below, show the linen curtains. The new lamps are more size appropriate for the tables, than the lamps I used in the beginning. I knew, eventually, I would find just the right lamps.
What happened to those sheers? They now cover the dormer, in the upstairs studio/retreat.

A few weeks ago, while visiting Susie Harris at Bienvenue, I saw some of the beautiful tassels, she makes. I fell in love with this camera tassel and ordered it from her shop.

I took a few photos of our Knock Out Roses, this morning, just after sunrise. Some of the photos show the effect of the sun coming through the trees, in the background. I recently learned, this effect is called Bokeh. I've been studying a bit about Bokeh. I hope to learn more about it and perfect my technique.

The photo, below, was taken Tuesday evening, just before sunset.

Recently, several delightful blog friends honored me with the Brilliante Award. Rue's Blog Love Award, is new to my sidebar, as well. I hope to pass along these awards, and others, someday soon. Until then, if you see your name on my sidebar, or have ever left a comment or dropped by to read Back Porch Musings, please accept these awards from me to you. You are all fabulous!


~Post #200~

This post marks my 200th, here at the Back Porch. While looking back through my archives, recently, I enjoyed seeing how Back Porch Musings has evolved over the past 16 months.
When I began this blog, in March 2007, I tended to use more photo grids and frames, than I'm using now. In the beginning, I had no idea what direction this little journey would take. Eventually, the blog became a journal about life with J and our family, home, our town, state, road trips, and day trips. Decorating our homes has also been a big part of the Back Porch, since the first post.
I enjoy writing about Missouri. I hope to give you all a glimpse of how beautiful our state is. When traveling from east to west on I-70, one sees small and large towns, farmland, prairies and rolling hills. St Louis and Kansas City begin and end the I-70 route through Missouri. Two wonderful cities to see, photograph and write about. I hope to do more of this, in future posts. Small towns and cities, wonderful detours, are also along I-70, I-44, and other highways and back roads of our state. Don't forget Springfield, Joplin, and of course Branson.
More posts about our beautiful Ozarks, will also be a part of Back Porch Musings, in the coming months. We're making plans to celebrate our 25th anniversary, in southwest Missouri, this fall. Of course, I will have my camera and a notebook.
In today's post, I am happy to share more photos of Jefferson City, Missouri, on the banks of the Missouri River. While traveling back from the lake, Friday morning, we stopped at Jefferson City, for a look at the gardens of the Governor's Mansion and the Lewis and Clark sculpture as well as other gardens and views of our state capital.
The Day Lily, shown in the top photo, is one of many in our side garden. The photo was taken early, this morning (Sunday).
The above underlined links will lead to more information about Missouri and Jefferson City. Most photos, in my posts, will enlarge when clicked.


~Oakleaf Hydrangea~

This entry would not be complete without a note of appreciation to my readers. Your visits mean so very much to me.
In celebration of the 200th post, at Back Porch Musings, I'm offering a giveaway, shown in the above photo. Two books, The Painted Garden and In the French Kitchen Garden, a Bluebird clay pot sitter and a set of notecards, made with my photo of our Knock Out Roses, growing beside the back porch steps. To be eligible for the drawing please leave a comment, on this post, between now and Sunday July 20th.
Hoping you all have a wonderful week.


~Sunday Drive~

I walked around, down by the wet weather creek, Sunday morning. A beautiful profusion of wildflowers grows along the edge of our backyard. In this photo, Queen Anne's Lace, with Blackeyed Susans, in the background.
Are they weeds? Or are they wildflowers? I choose to believe they are wildflowers. Another little flower/weed, growing near the creek, is white with a yellow center. It could be mistaken for a Daisy. It's name? Fleabane! Supposedly Fleabane has medicinal properties. No photos of this one.

Blackeyed Susans, near our backyard.
Queen Anne's Lace, beside an old fence post, near the creek.
This roadside bouquet grows along a gravel road, not far from our home.
Queen Anne's Lace, growing near the creek, in this photo and the one below. Notice the tiny flies, in the above photo?
During Sunday afternoon, we took a drive in the country. One of our favorite diversions is driving through the back roads of our beautiful state. Even at the present price of fuel, it's still inexpensive entertainment for us. Luckily, we live in a rural area. Country roads are just around the corner!
We passed this Soybean field, with Lilies and Queen Anne's Lace, beside the road.
Here is a field of hay, raked and ready for baling.
A field with baled hay.
Combining Wheat, on a Sunday afternoon.
200th Post Celebration: My next post will be my 200th. I'm planning a giveaway for the occasion. More about that, when we return from the lake. Stay tuned.

I hope you all are having a great week. Talk to you soon!