~The Condo Project Begins~

J knew something was a tad unusual, when we arrived at the lake Monday around noon and I left the laptop packed away.

After unloading the truck, storing away provisions and unpacking the bags, I felt a little bit weary. I took a nap; when I woke up the room was spinning. I knew right away, the problem was most likely inner ear. I've had these infections in the past and knew rest and Benadryl would solve the problem. I slept most of the afternoon and all night until about 5 AM, this morning. Dizziness has disappeared and I feel rested.

Naturally, the first thing I did, upon awakening, was unpack the laptop!

Just before my nap, I unpacked one of the white frames and took a photo to include in the post I was hoping to publish yesterday evening. The photos, within the photo, are Bagnell Dam, a church steeple and the Arrowhead Lodge sign. Arrowhead Lodge was one of our favorite places for a delicious old fashioned artery clogging breakfast. Sadly, two years ago, Arrowhead Lodge was sold on the courthouse steps. The building was taken down, leaving only the sign as a remembrance of the restaurant. I snapped this photo, last year. The sign has since been removed.

This morning, we're making a run to the Sherwin Williams store in Osage Beach, where we'll pick up a gallon of Mink and a sample of Snowfall. Snowfall is the lightest shade on the same card as Mink. I'm considering Snowfall for all other walls in the front room and inner hall of the condo.

The front hall/foyer of the condo measures 3' 9"X 7' 11". Not a lot of space to work with, for furniture. I'm looking for a bench or narrow table...perhaps a sofa table, to place under the 6 framed photos. The Bed and Breakfast sign will be moved to another area in the condo.

This is another view of the foyer. It's a difficult space to photograph. The cabinet is now in the front room of the condo.

Linda, at Lime in the Coconut, is having a delightful giveaway. Click HERE for details.


~Winter Scenes & Plans~

In this collage, a tiny Junco catches seed from the ornamental grass, next to our driveway.

The photos were taken just before Christmas week, when sleet, freezing rain and a little bit of snow came to our part of the world.

We keep feeders on the patio, at the back of the house. Our neighbor has several feeders on the patio, just beyond the grass in the photo. After watching the Junco, J decided we need a feeder by the breakfast room window, too.

A vintage swing at J's Aunt Ruth's home.
Red barns on the neighboring farm, beyond the white fence decorated with Christmas wreaths.
A winter sky, through the window of our foyer.
Our plan to leave for the lake has been postponed until Monday (DEC 29). We are dismantling Christmas, at our house, today and tomorrow.
While shopping the after Christmas sale at Michael's, I found 6 11x14 white frames at 50% off. These frames plus white double mats are just what I was looking for, to use in the condo foyer redo. We hope to paint the foyer, one day next week.
I posted sample paint swatches here, awhile back. I still like Mink, by Sherwin Williams. I need to take a few more black and white photos around the lake, to use in the frames. I have a couple of other ideas for the project. Perhaps, within the next week or two, I'll post the finish or at least progress.
I've been pondering the direction Back Porch Musings will take in 2009. I'll celebrate my second anniversary in March. The blog has evolved over the past two years. As always I am so grateful to all of you, for following Back Porch Musings and your wonderful comments.
Susan, at Between Naps on the Porch, has an interesting poll about blogs and what readers enjoy most, posted on her sidebar. I voted there, yesterday.
When I began blogging, I made a promise, to myself, to use my photos most of the time. So far, the majority of the time, I've been able to keep the promise. I hope to continue this, in the new year.
If you have any questions, I'd love to hear from you. I'll do my best to answer them, either here or via e-mail. I think I've missed a few questions here and there in the past!
Christmas with our family was lovely. The kiddos had a very busy day, traveling to most of their grandparents' homes.
I'm looking forward to visiting you, over the next day or two. Hoping to have a new post, from the lake, before New Years.


~December 25, 2008~

Wishing you and your family the very best this Christmas Day!

The image is taken from a photograph of one of our Nativity scenes; a music box that plays "Silent Night".


~Silver & Gold~

Silver and Gold, Silver and Gold
Everyone wishes for Silver and Gold
How do you measure it's worth?
Just by the pleasure it gives on earth.
Silver and Gold, Silver and Gold
Mean so much more when I see
Silver and Gold, Silver and Gold
On every Christmas tree.

~From the song, Silver and Gold, sung by Burl Ives (Sam the Snowman) in the animated feature, Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer, 1964~

This Tuesday is the final Tablescape Tuesday before Christmas.

I set the dining room table in silver and gold, using pieces I've owned for several years and a recent purchase.
Between Naps on the Porch.

Three "mercury glass" candlesticks serve as the centerpiece. Gold, dark grey and clear bead garland, mercury glass ornaments and clear acrylic stars complete the vignette.

Dark grey napkins, a mercury glass leaf ornament, tied with gold ribbon, a silver charger, white dinner plate, Mikasa Parchment Christmas Tree accent plate, from HomeGoods, Mikasa wine and water stemware, from a Mikasa Outlet, Garage Sale cordial glass, Target flatware, a Mary Carol plate, trimmed in black, holding an ornament place card holder.

~A Christmas Story~

J and I love the movie A Christmas Story. The film, released 25 years ago, was not a box office hit. Just like another favorite Christmas movie classic, It's a Wonderful Life, A Christmas Story was panned by critics. As happened with It's a Wonderful Life, A Christmas Story became a classic several years after it's release. It's known as "the BB Gun movie", in our family.

One of the many reasons J and I enjoy this movie is the era in which the story is set. I believe it is the 1940's, but it could easily be the early 1950's, when J and I were in grade school. The antics of the characters, walking to school in the snow, the houses, stores and vehicles; all call up memories from our long ago school days.

This year, we added to our village collection, with the purchase of Cleveland Elementary School and figures, depicted in A Christmas Story. The home of Ralphie (the boy who dreamed of Santa bringing him a BB gun) is on it's way to our home.

The school and "triple dog dare" scene is shown under a cloche on the kitchen island.

If you've seen the movie, you will remember when Ralphie's friend, "Flick" (Flick, Flick who?) was challenged, with a triple dog dare, to place his tongue on the frozen flag pole, just outside the school building. Flick's tongue promptly froze to the flag pole. The fire department was called to the rescue.

Because of the triple dog dare and Flick's dilemma, Ralphie's entire class was given a theme assignment. The subject: What I Want for Christmas. This was Ralphie's dream come true. He wrote a wonderful theme about the official 200 shot range model Red Ryder Carbon Action Air Rifle, he wished from Santa. Oh nooooo, you'll shoot your eye out!!

~A Drew Story~

Please indulge a doting G'ma with a G'kid story.

Saturday, before last, Gabi and Drew were here. Facinated by the villages in the windows of the lodge, they rearranged trees and moved people around and entertained themselves, with the village, while their Mommy, Michelle, a member of my extra special tech support team, worked some magic with my computer.

Gabilicious and her little brother, almost three year old Drewbug, moved pieces from one window to the other, making up little stories as they played. At one point I heard a chink, as if two tiny figures had bumped into each other. I asked, did something break? To which Mr Man Drew replied, "Not yet."

I scheduled a Christmas card, to be published very early Christmas morning. Our family will be here for Christmas brunch, games and gifts.

I'll return with a post from the beautiful Lake of the Ozarks, next week.


I noted, in the previous post, I would be back Tuesday, December 23rd. However, I changed my mind, deciding to post the tablescape entry, today.


~Christmas in Historic Saint Charles 2008~

Friday, December 12th, we strolled South Main Street, Saint Charles, Missouri. We looked in a few shops and talked with other Saint Charles visitors.

Several events are planned, during Christmastime. Parades, Carolers, Roasting Chestnuts and other Christmas traditions are found here from November through December.

Below are photos from our day.

The exterior of one of the wonderful shops and interior photos, too.

We wanted to have lunch at Magpies, but the wait was very long. After looking at other dining places in the district, also quite busy, we decided to drive outside the area for lunch at Macaroni Grill.
The photo of the sign is for Sheila at The Quintessential Magpie.
These photos are from a shop on the corner of Booneslick and South Main. Lots of primitive and lodge accessories, here. The sleigh, in the top photo, is just inside the door of the shop.

I believe this is a private home on South Main.
The gazebo, dressed in fresh pine rope and red bows.
Riverside Sweets, one of our favorite places. We purchased peanut clusters for our dessert.

This shop sells villages and village accessories. Always fun to explore Collectors' Center.
Old school friends, together for a day on South Main Street, during Christmas 2005.
Below, Ebeneezer Scrooge aboard a white carriage. Just after I took this photo, he turned and pointed his bony finger at me. He told me to stop smiling and get back to my work! A little later, he accosted me again, as we walked along the other side of the street. As before, he told me to get back to my work. Both times I smiled cheerily and said, "Merry Christmas, Mr Scrooge!" This photo and the one above, were taken in 2005 when we visited the district with friends.
This collage is made of photos from the past three Christmases and one from Christmas 2008. I love that little group photo, from '07. Look at all the personality shown here. Gabi is trying to escape! Drew is upset. I think he's somewhat like his Aunt Mimi. I have a few photos of her, at his age, with the same expression! Both sort of worry warts! Xanti is hanging on for dear life and Noah, in G'pa J's arms, is oblivious to the world.
Tablescape Tuesday, December 23rd, I'll return with a silver and gold tablescape in the blue dining room.
Have a wonderful weekend!


~Holiday Traditions Tablescape~

The top photo is a hint for an upcoming post. J and I visited Historic South Main Street, in St Charles, Missouri, last Friday. Look for more photos, later this week.

The table, in the dining room, is set with Mikasa Holiday Traditions, for this week's Tablescape Tuesday. The Mikasa is a recent purchase, all because of a phone call from our eldest daughter, who told me about a wonderful deal, on the china, at Overstock.com. Have you shopped Overstock?
Stop by Between Naps on the Porch, for more Tablescape Tuesday, hosted by Susan.

I put together this silk arrangement several years ago. When I was looking for something to use in the center of the table, I remembered this arrangement was in storage. While it's a tad tall for conventional dining, it fits perfectly for Tablescape Tuesday.
This stocking, hanging on the hall closet door, is one of the additions I've made, while tweaking our holiday decorating. This was used in a guest room, in years past.
A close up of the Santa bust on the lamp table behind the living room tree.
I used fresh cedar, boxwood and holly, with a live poinsettia and glittery pinecones, for this arrangement in a wicker sleigh, pulled by golden reindeer. The vignette sits beside a lamp table in the living room.