~Early Spring in the Ozarks~








Our extra special company (2 daughters and 2 grandchildren) returned to St Louis around noon Sunday. During the afternoon, we took a drive around the lake. I took these photos of early Spring in the Ozarks.

The snow, predicted for areas of Missouri, didn’t materialize, here at the lake. After a few days of clouds and rain, the sun is a welcome sight!

J and I will be shopping for flooring, this week. We are also talking about a little antiquing day trip; two adventures that will surely lead to future decorating/design posts.

April 1st is the Grand Re-opening of Evergreen Manufacturing, in Osage Beach. I hope to stop by and see what Jason found at Market.

Visit Rhoda’s Southern Hospitality for information about Windows Live Writer; another option for composing blog posts. I’ve used WLW the past few posts and like the option.

Thanks to all who have visited the Back Porch over the past two years. The blog is my hobby and I enjoy it, very much. I am very appreciative to all my readers! I hope you all continue to visit and enjoy what is happening here.

***The blooming tree is a Redbud. The trees, shown in these photos, grow in wooded areas throughout Missouri as well as in yards and gardens. Moss is growing on the rocks.

~THE WINNER~There were 160 comments on the 300th post. I eliminated duplicate comments and those who did not want to be included in the drawing. The total for the drawing was 157. I used a random number generator to choose a number between 1 and 157. The number generated was 33. The recipient of the 300th post giveaway is Penny of Lavender Hill Studio and The Comforts of Home. Congratulations Penny! Please e-mail me with your address. I'll send the package next week, after our return home.

I added a link to this post, at Susan's, for Outdoor Wednesday. To see more outdoor posts, visit A Southern Day Dreamer.


~Ribs ‘n Corn ‘n Tater Salad~



It’s more down home cookin’, from the Back Porch, for Foodie Friday.

The menu includes Country Ribs, Potato Salad & Crock Pot Corn.

J is also contributing to Foodie Friday with a lunch, he prepared earlier this week; known at our house as, Hillbilly Fish ‘n Chips.

Stop by Michael’s at Designs by Gollum for imaginative delicious meals.



Potato Salad

5 lbs potatoes

7 eggs

1 cup chopped sweet gherkin

2/3 cup chopped onion

2/3 cup chopped celery

1 4 ounce jar chopped pimento

Boil potatoes in jackets, cool, peel and cube

Hard boil 7 eggs, chop 5 and slice 2 for garnish

Mix above ingredients.


1 cup mayo or Miracle Whip

1 Tablespoon prepared mustard

Scant teaspoon sugar

Mix and add to salad.

Sprinkle with Paprika.



Crock Pot Corn

2 16 ounce packages frozen corn

1 8 ounce package cream cheese

1 or 2 sticks butter (I used one)

3 Tablespoons water

3 Tablespoons sugar

Place ingredients in Crock Pot. Cook on low setting 3.5 to 4 hours, stirring every 30-40 minutes.


Country Ribs (Crock Pot)

4-5 Country Style Pork Ribs (there were 4 in this batch)

1 cup Beer or Coke

1 cup BBQ Sauce (your favorite)

Brown ribs in skillet and place in Crock Pot. Mix BBQ Sauce with Beer or Coke and pour over ribs. Cook on low 5 or 6 hours.


~J’s recipe for Hillbilly Fish ‘n Chips~

Spend a beautiful Spring morning on a dock, at Lake of the Ozarks, catch several Crappie (pronounced croppy); clean and prepare for lunch. Dredge fillets in cornmeal and deep fry in veggie oil. Pan fry unpeeled sliced potatoes. Serve with lemon wedges and/or an onion slice. Iced Tea is the beverage of choice for this fine meal.

The Dogwood and Redbud are beginning to bloom, here at the lake. Spring is here!

Have a wonderful weekend!


~A Tulip Table~


I couldn’t wait to set a table with the American Atelier Asian Toile, I wrote about in the previous post. Before packing the dishes for our return home, next week, I set the table, here at the condo, using the Asian Toile and white dishes.

The dotted coolers, I found at Tuesday Morning, last week, will be used for juice. Other elements include egg cups, linen napkins, the mixed flatware from Oneida Outlet and the bird salt and peppers from Target. The cloth is the inspiration for the centerpiece of fresh tulips and alstroemeria, in a white crock.

We’re expecting company, over the weekend. I’ll use this table setting for breakfast, Saturday or Sunday morning.







tablescapetulip17A tablescape silhouette.


This is my contribution for this week’s Tablescape Thursday, hosted by Susan of Between Naps on the Porch. Visit Susan, after 10 PM, Wednesday, for creative table setting, all around blogland.

If you haven’t had an opportunity to sign up for the giveaway on my 300th post, please come by the the post, via the link.


~Post Three Hundred & Giveaway~


When I began my journey into the land of blog two years ago, this month, I had no idea what blogging was about!

Little did I know I would publish 300 posts. I thought I might blog a few months, run out of things to write about and move on to some other interest.

It’s been an interesting journey, I hope to continue for a long time.

When I celebrated my blog anniversary, earlier this month, I asked for questions from you, my readers. I will attempt to answer those questions in this, my 300th post.

Before the answers, I want to share a few dishes and some flatware, I found the other day at Osage Beach Outlets.






threehundredthpost10Friday, I shopped Tuesday Morning and the Oneida Outlet, where I found the Spode Blue Italian 10 inch dinner plates and divided serving dish, shown in the top photo; wonderful prices! I also purchased two 20 piece sets of American Atelier Asian Toile. I think it will be beautiful in the blue dining room. I found the white dotted with blue rim coolers, shown in the flatware photo, at Tuesday Morning. After leaving TM, I went to Oneida. The store is closing, with the last day sometime in April. I found a few pieces to add to my Louisiana flatware, last time I was there. This time, the prices were dropped even more. Friday, I purchased pieces in Sharona, Brahms, Marquette & Louisiana. I mixed and matched for four place settings. I also bought seafood forks in Louisiana and a pierced dessert server, also in Louisiana. The Brahms pieces are baby spoons, to be used as demitasse spoons. I believe I’ll have lots of fun setting tables with these purchases.

~J’s Lodge~

A few photos of J’s lodge for those of you who haven’t seen it. These photos are from a May 2007 post.

threehundredthpost1Photos, in the grid, include the post card table; postcards, under glass, from family and friends. A handmade table, vintage pack basket with birch logs, a log house, made of lath from a renovated building in Historic St Charles, Missouri, are among the room’s furnishings.


The binoculars, in this vignette, once belonged to J’s great aunt. I painted the lane, that led to our home, on the farm.


The room is furnished with things J collected over a 40 year period. Many pieces have special meaning for both of us. The plant stand, in this photo, was made by my Granddad.


1. Do you have a housekeeper?

We do not have a housekeeper or cleaning service. J and I share the work.

2. Do you have formal training in decorating?

I have no formal training. I’ve learned through magazines and books. I’ve had an interest in decorating since I was a child. My first attempt at redoing a room was when I was about 15 years old. It was the bathroom in our house. Mother was very pleased with the results.

3. Runner Mom wanted to know about the Knock Out Roses and how she can grow them with her pup who likes to dig.

I’ll let Molly answer this one. Molly says, “My dad put the roses on a high narrow wall, where I can’t reach them!!! Otherwise, I might be tempted to dig around them!”

4. What camera do you use and what lenses, etc?

My camera is a Canon Rebel xti. Most of the time I use a Tamron 18-200mm lens, macro. The macro is used for close up. I borrowed granddaughter Xanti’s macro lens to do the shell photos, I framed for the hallway at the condo. I’d love to have a lens like that one. I subscribe to Photography magazine and research online. It’s an ongoing education. Classes are helpful. If you would like to see some of my photography, click the camera on my sidebar.

5. How many Knockout Rose plants are beside the steps to the back porch? Do you prune them?

There are two rose bushes beside the steps. They were planted in 2005. They are not pruned.

6. Do you still have the shutter screen on the back porch?

Yes, it’s still there, becoming more and more weathered, with each season.

7. What are the purpose of chargers in table setting?

I believe the purpose of chargers is aesthetic.

8. Where do you store the cushions, rugs and other things used on the deck at the condo?

We usually put them in the smaller of the two guest rooms, when we leave the condo. We’ll probably store the cushions under the bed over winter.

~The Giveaway~


The giveaway rules:

Leave one comment, on this post, between today, Sunday March 22 and Sunday March 29th.

I’ll choose by Random Number, Monday March 30th and announce the winner, that day.

The book, The Hard Way, is a pass along book. When you have read the book, please sign it and pass it to someone else to read and pass along. The other items are a tea for two set, napkins, note cards and stickers.

Thank you for visiting the Back Porch, over the past two years. I truly appreciate your visits, comments and e-mails. It’s been wonderful getting to know you!

***This is my first attempt, using Windows Live Writer, for blog posting. It's a learning process. I like this option.

Thanks to Rhoda of Southern Hospitality for telling me about Windows Live Writer.


~School Days Memories & Salmon Patties~

It's Foodie Friday. Time to visit Designs by Gollum for cooking inspiration, all around blogland.
I had no idea what Salmon Croquettes were nor did I even know what Salmon was, when we moved to Texas at the end of my 3rd elementary school year, in 1952. I soon found out, though.
Salmon Croquettes were served, in the school cafeteria, on many Fridays. Besides the Salmon; mashed potatoes, dipped with an ice cream scoop and hollowed out in the center, for a spoonful of peas and white bread with butter, were also served with this wonderful meal. My condiment of choice for Salmon Croquettes was ketchup. I loved Salmon Croquette Fridays.
With that memory in mind, I prepared Salmon Patties, for this week's Foodie Friday. With no ketchup in the refrigerator, I had to resort to cocktail sauce, today. It's okay, but just not the same as plain old ketchup, for Salmon Patties.
~Salmon Patties~
1 14 ounce can pink Salmon
2 eggs
3/4 cup plain bread crumbs or crushed saltine crackers
1/4 cup white onion, finely chopped (scallions can also be used)
1 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped (optional)
Remove any bones from the Salmon. Using a fork, mash the Salmon, then add eggs, slightly beaten. Add onion, bread crumbs and parsley. Mix well and form into patties. Heat a small amount of oil in a skillet. Brown patties over medium heat, turning once.
I tried a new recipe for Strawberry Shortcake, today. The recipe is in the April 2009 issue of Country Living Magazine.
I taste tested the shortcake and found it quite good. The berries I used were not quite ripe enough to produce much juice. I'll mash them with a potato masher, to bring out more juice, when I prepare a dish for J, this evening.
"The Pork Chop Incident, or Flaming Pork Chop Disaster"
During over 50 years of cooking, I've had many disasters, in the kitchen. When Michael mentioned this Friday's "theme" would be food mishaps or bloopers, it was difficult to choose just one. In the end, I decided The Pork Chop Incident would be perfect. The disaster happened over 40 years ago. The kitchen stove was a small gas model, with the broiler beneath the oven. Pork Chops were on the menu one evening. I placed them in the broiler and was preparing other dishes, when I was distracted by one of the young'uns. It seemed only a second when I saw smoke pouring from the broiler. I slid open the door and was surprised by Flaming Pork Chops!! I solved the dilemma, promptly, by grabbing the Morton's Salt. You know the one....When it Rains it Pours. I was certainly happy to find out that slogan was absolutely true. We had a veggie supper, that night. I didn't prepare another thing in that broiler, I was so traumatized!!
****This is my 299th post. I'm working on my 300th post, over the weekend. I'll answer your questions, from my blog anniversary. I also plan to announce a 300th post giveaway. Check back, next week.
Have a wonderful weekend!


~A Nautical Table~

Welcome to Tablescape Thursday, hosted by Susan of Between Naps on the Porch. Stop by Susan's beautiful porch for delightful tablescapes throughout blogland.
With wonderful warm temperatures, at the Lake of the Ozarks, we've been enjoying our meals on the deck. However, for this Tablescape Thursday, I set the table indoors beside the "new window".
There they are, those cute bird salt and peppers from Target. The small lidded container from Marshall's usually sits on the cabinet next to the sofa. The lifelike silk orchid is still available at Target. The napkin is folded into a flatware pocket. The fold instructions can be found at this Link.

Molly, enjoying the morning sun on the deck.


~Spring Fluffing at the Lake~

This is a contribultion to The Decorating Voice Spring Fling.

The rattan chest, previously used in our room, here at the condo, has been moved to the deck. I purchased the chest several years ago at Big Lots.

We're working on the deck at the condo; preparing it for the upcoming season. The temperatures are in the mid 70's today. Perfect for spending time outdoors.

Last time we were at the lake, we bought a new bistro set for the deck and passed the old one along to the condo maintenance guy. The new set is wrought iron, like the glider we had on our back porch at home. We brought the glider to the lake yesterday, then found a chair, that is a close match, at Target.

I didn't go to Target looking for a chair. I was there to buy the bird salt and pepper shakers, you've seen on various Tablescape Thursday tables. While I was there, I decided I might as well walk back to the garden area. Why not! I didn't realize J was also in the store, until I was in the garden area, looking at chairs. I didn't find what I was looking for and was leaving, when J called my attention to a pair of stacking chairs. We asked if the chairs could be purchased separately. We needed only one. Yes it was possible to only purchase one. We stopped at Lowe's on our way back out to our place, so I could pick up a cushion, for the chair, to match the cushion on the glider.

Oh, by the way...I did get those bird S&P's. In fact I bought two sets!

We had lunch on the deck, today and plan to have supper there this evening. Ice and snow are still possibilities, in Missouri, during March. We are taking advantage of these wonderful pre-spring days.

It's still a tad early for live plants, on the deck. I needed a little greenery and found the silk fern in the basement storage, at home. I've had the animal print stool for several years. I had always thought about recovering it. I'm glad I didn't. The leopard works well with the fabric of the cushions and pillows.

I found this fine fellow and two of his buddies, at Apple Wagon Antiques and Decorator Warehouse. I brought this one to the lake to use on a pot. That's where he will be spending the summer. His perch on the glider is too precarious!

I've been looking for something to fill the wall space between the kitchen and seating area of the front room of the condo. I had a "window" in mind, when we visited Greg and Lori at All About Home, recently. They've spruced up the store for Spring. In one display area, I saw just what I had in mind for the wall. I mentioned to Greg that I was looking for old shutters and perhaps a window frame. He said he thought he might have just what I was looking for. It wasn't long until Greg told J, he had a pair of shutters and a couple of window frames, for me to see. The shutters were painted green and peeling and the paint on the window frame was almost worn away. We brought them home, last Saturday and J went to work scraping and sanding,then painting and sealing. We had thought about leaving the shutters green, but in the end, Benjamin Moore Warm, mixed in Kilz, worked wonderfully. J hung the window and shutters this afternoon. They are exactly what I had in mind. Thank you Greg and Lori!

Happy Spring Fluffing!