~Pat in the Hat~

Our first Trick or Treater's are due to arrive around noon. We're looking forward to greeting Sleeping Beauty and Steve from Blue's Clues. Can hardly wait.

We arrived home, yesterday.
After picking up Molly, where she was boarded, during our getaway, we drove out to Eagle Fork Farm's "punkin' patch", to meet a cute little Penguin and his Mommy and big sis, Xanti. Noah is enjoying his first Halloween.

I rediscovered the earrings, shown at left, packed away in a trunk, in the studio. I've had these earrings for about 20 years. The Jack 'o Lantern is the earring and the black piece, with yellow stars, is the back.

I found the shawl, in the no man's land I call my closet. It's been around since the 1970's! These accessories, the witchy hat, tied with an orange bow, a black turtleneck and pants, complete my Halloween garb. Hoping this little ensemble won't frighten the ghosties and goblins, too much.



~Greetings From Big Cedar~

I'm sending a quick note from Big Cedar Lodge. We're on our way to the lake today. We'll continue home, tomorrow, where we have a date with a tiny penguin at the pumpkin patch.
We've had a lovely time, these past few days. I'll write more about our road trip, when we arrive home.

The path to our cabin is seen through the leaves of a Dogwood, in all it's autumn glory.

A friendly little squirrel, outside our cabin door.

I've been BOOED! Thank you dear ladies of Note Songs and Charli and Me. I am passing this lovely Halloween Award to all my good and faithful readers. You all are so important to me. With this big ol' boo award, I am sending my best wishes for a happy and safe Halloween!
The rules for booing are; pass this award along to as many friends as you wish and link back to the Back Porch.
Talk to you soon!


~Tall Tales & Other Stories~

Hallow e'en is the time of year I'm reminded of tall tales, legends, and other stories from the Ozarks. The ghost story of Boiling Springs, near Houston, Missouri, has been published in newspapers of the region. I first heard the story as a teen.

A family was murdered at Boiling Springs, during the early 20th century. The convicted murderer was executed on the Texas County Courthouse lawn. According to my daughters' paternal grandfather, he witnessed the execution, which took place around 1902. I'm a tad doubtful about that, since he would have been about 4 years old. Never the less, he always said, he sat on his father's shoulders, at the courthouse that day. According to legend, the slain family haunts the bluffs above Boiling Springs. It's said the wheels of their wagon can be heard on the bluff, each October.
The judge, who presided over the trial, lived in a large Victorian home with a big front porch and turrets. The convicted murderer, as the story goes, haunted the judge's home. When I was a teen, I lived just down the street from the house. I avoided walking by the "haunted house", day or night.

During the 1960's, after I had flown the nest, my mother lived in the judge's old home. One night, while visiting my mother, I fell asleep on the sofa. I was startled awake by the creaking of the door, as it slowly opened. I was so frightened, the hair on the back of my neck stood on end. I watched the door for what seemed like an eternity, afraid to look and yet, afraid not to look. When the door was finally open, in walked one of my mother's friends. I truly thought I was going to see a ghost that night!

The house was taken down several years ago and a church was constructed on the site.

Mother's uncle and aunt lived on a farm outside of Lebanon, Missouri. We visited there many times when I was growing up. One Sunday afternoon, we were seated around a large table, in the kitchen, having dinner. In a corner, of the room, a door led to the upstairs of the old farm house. Mother's cousin was quite a prankster and loved to tell a good story. That Sunday he spoke about a ghost, in the house, who liked to pull the covers from the bed in the middle of the night. He called the ghost Cousin Reginald. As he was ending the tale, the door in the corner slowly opened. Dear Cousin shouted...shut that door Reginald! The door slammed shut.

Was it really Cousin Reginald or a trick of a breeze, that slammed the door? And just what was it that pulled the covers from the bed? Dear Cousin's imagination, Cousin Reginald's ghost...or a mouse? I never found out.

I featured this old home in a post last spring. The Baker Plantation House is located in Danville, Missouri. No one lives there, at the moment. A few years ago, an antique shop was located on the grounds and the home was open for tours. I've read, during renovations, workers saw a ghostly woman nearby. It's believed the spirit of the first owner watches over the home.

Last week, we were visited by a friendly phantom who left this ghostly bag of treats on our front porch and rang the doorbell before escaping into the night.


~An Anniversary Celebration & Dessert~

My friend JoAnn attended a Garden Club meeting, one evening last week, and e-mailed, the next day, about a dessert that was served. I baked it and did a little taste test while it was still warm. It's every bit as good as JoAnn said. I'm putting the recipe in my favorite desserts file.
1-box yellow cake mix
1-large can pumpkin pie mix
1-8oz can evaporated milk
1-stick butter (melted)
2-small pkgs. pecan halves
Mix pumpkin pie mix with eggs and evaporated milk. Pour into large baking dish, crumble dry cake mix over the top, drizzle with melted butter, garnish with pecan halves.
Bake in preheated 350 degree oven, until brown. Approximately 45 minutes.
Easy recipe that reminds me of dump cakes. This may well be a pumpkin dump cake. Some of you might have already tried this dessert. Whatever it's called, enjoy!
I sprinkled a small amount of powdered sugar over my sample. I believe a little whipped cream might be good, with this dessert, too.

~25th Anniversary Celebration~
November 5th marks our 25th wedding anniversary. We are planning a little get away. We will be returning to one of our favorite places, after a three year absence. I know some of you know this place and know why it is so very special to us.

Our life together and marriage, the second time around for each of us, began when we were introduced, in the late fall of 1982, by a mutual friend. A year later we were married. We are not only husband and wife, but best friends. It's been a very interesting 25 years. Life is good!
The photos of our getaway place were taken during our stay there in November 2005.

The posts that have published this week are all scheduled posts. I like this option, so I put together several.
Look for a "ghostly" post, Monday.
Thank you, Blogger, for selecting Back Porch Musings for Blogs of Note, October 2008!


~Painting Missouri~

If you've been reading Back Porch Musings any amount of time, you know how J and I feel about our beautiful state of Missouri.
I recently heard an interview with Karen Glines about a new book, featuring paintings, done en Plein Air, by Missouri artist, Billyo O'Donnell. Glines provided text, which includes historical information about each of Missouri's 114 counties. O'Donnell, over a period of several years, created paintings showing particular aspects of each county.

I was thrilled to receive my copy of Painting Missouri, last week. It's a beautiful book. We recognize many familiar places between the pages. The paintings are absolutely incredible.

Sometime ago I heard someone say Missouri is flat with prairies and that's about it. I invite those who believe that to come explore Missouri, from top to bottom. Not only are there beautiful prairies, the state includes gently rolling farmland, riverways and lakes, the foothills of the amazing Ozark Mountains and state parks that are out of this world. Missouri state parks are free to the public. While there are camping fees, there are no admission fees. Saint Louis and Kansas City are wonderful cities with lots to see and do. Smaller cities like Springfield also offer so much. Plus the Mississippi and Missouri Rivers. Missouri, rich in history and beautiful scenery in any season is a feast for all the senses.

My advice; take the road less traveled. Detour from the Interstate and explore Missouri. I guarantee you will find much to enjoy.

I recommend, in the meantime, you have a look at Painting Missouri in your local library, online, or in bookstores.

Recently J had to have a MRI of his neck. The neurologist, who at first thought J had a disease of the muscles, has concluded it is a pinched nerve. J will begin physical therapy the first week of November.
On the way home we stopped at Lake Saint Louis and a couple of other places for photo opportunities.

This photo and the two above were taken at Lake Saint Louis. The road that runs beside the lake here, is named for J's family who farmed in this area. Another branch of the family farmed at the other end of the road. J's cousin and his family still reside on the remainder of the old farm, which has been in the family for at least 100 years.
Other photos were taken at a farm, along our drive home.

A barn located along Highway 61, north of Wentzville Missouri.
~Upcoming Events and Posts~
This photo is a hint of a post to come. Recently J and I were at All About Home, helping prepare the shop for the Holidays. I put together the display, shown in the photo. Next month I'll post more about the preparations.
Some of you might recognize the gate and the building in the background of the photo below. We'll be celebrating a special date at this beautiful and peaceful place, soon.

~A Note~
The pumpkin plates, in the tablescape post, are from All About Home. They are a set of four, showing how to carve a pumpkin. The raven is from the same shop. The candelabra is from Mary Carol Garrity's shop, Nell Hill's, in Atchison KS.
The transferware plates are Spode. I purchased them at Marshall's.


~A Hallow e'en Tablescape~

Although I rarely decorate for Hallow e'en, I put together this tablescape, with a hint or two of Hallow e'en. I'll wear the witch's hat, while greeting the ghosties and goblins Hallow e'en night. The remainder of the vignette will stay as it is, until November 1st.
A close up of the Crow Hollow Bed & Breakfast sign, I purchase from Karen, at My Yellow Farmhouse.

Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered , weak and weary,
Over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore,
While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping,
As of some one gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door.
"Tis some visitor," I muttered, "tapping at my chamber door.
Only this and nothing more."
~Edgar Allan Poe~


~Rose Cottage~

I'll let the photos, of Richard Cottrell's wonderful shop, speak for themselves.

I left with a serious Wish List!

I was asked if someone actually lives in the Elgin-Cottrell House. Richard and his faithful Beagle Prissy, who met us at the door, reside here.
We stopped at Eagle Bluff Golf Club, just south of Clarksville, for Sunday Brunch. The following photos show the beautiful Missouri Fall scenery, that was our view.

I've linked this post at Hooked on Houses. Julia is hosting Hooked on Fridays, a blog party. I'm hooked on old homes, antiques and the state of Missouri!
Have a wonderful weekend!