~Byways of I-70 and Other Tales~






I practiced with my camera, on the back porch, Thursday morning. 

We have the paint for the wicker chest and hope to have it painted by Monday.  The wind is very strong, today.  Rain is expected over the weekend.  We may just bring the chest indoors for  painting.  I can’t wait to get it finished and on the back porch.


In the meantime, while we wait for the paint to dry…photos and collages of photos I took at Crane’s Store, Williamsburg, Missouri, where we stopped on our way home, from the lake, Wednesday afternoon.

As you know, we firmly believe in leaving the busy interstate highways and exploring the countryside.

  Wednesday morning we stopped in Holts Summit, just outside Jefferson City, Missouri.  Aunt Ruth “needed” to see what there is to see at Calena’s Fashions.  Of course, I agreed with her. What a wonderful shop! If you travel highway 54, north of I-70, be sure to stop at Calena’s, if you haven’t before and if you have, you may want to stop again. Aunt Ruth and I had a great time exploring Calena’s, while J and Molly went for a walk.  We found a couple of things we “needed” and brought them home with us.

Our next stop was Apple Wagon Antiques and Home Decor, east of Kingdom City, on I-70. Remember my quest for a gate to complete the vignette over the hearth room fireplace?  Found one, or at least a section of decorative fence that sort of resembles a gate.  I’ll post a photo when I have it in place above the mantel. 



The antiques in the museum are not for sale. 

Crane’s store is located off Interstate 70, at Williamsburg, MO.  These photos show only a small sampling of the antiques and memorabilia found there. 

There is a an antique shop, plus a gift shop, the museum, Carhartt Clothing and a restaurant in the building.  There is another Crane’s store nearby.

We had lunch at Marlene’s Restaurant, located inside Crane’s.  Our orders were; a Cheese Burger, for J, a Bratwurst Sandwich, for Aunt Ruth and a Reuben Sandwich, for me.  As I looked across the counter, I saw a malt mixing machine.  Yes, indeed, you can have a real malt at Marlene’s, mixed in a stainless cup, just like the good ol’ days, and served in a glass ice cream soda glass. I simply had to have one of those malts.  J had a Root Beer Float.  Aunt Ruth’s drink was a frosty glass of Root Beer.


Pat’s Chocolate Malt

Some of the tables and chairs are formica and chrome.  It was almost like sitting in a 1950’s kitchen.  There was a red and grey formica and chrome table, in our home, when I was a teenager.

Visit Crane’s Museum online Here.

This is my third post, in a week, with the first post of the week published last Saturday.  As I mentioned, in the previous post, I think this arrangement will work well for me.  However, since my decision to do only three posts per week, my mind is swimming with ideas!



JoAnn and Patty


These photos were e-mailed, from JoAnn, to our high school e-mail group.  I thought you would like to see these photos after seeing the photo of us at Bennett Spring Lodge in the previous post.

Have a wonderful weekend!



~News from the Lake~




from morning…




to night…


 the lake…




Lunch, at Bennett Spring Lodge, with Aunt Ruth and old friends, JoAnn and Jim…



Antiquing and Shopping on Monday, at the lake.  Tuesday, the sun was shining.  We drove to Lebanon, then to Bennett Spring State Park for lunch, with friends, at Bennett Spring Lodge.  I always look forward to visits at Bennett. Many happy memories.

We will return home this morning (Wednesday).  We’ve enjoyed this little break from blogging, very much.  I believe three posts per week will work great for me, through Summer.

I’ll be back soon with the back porch Spring fix up progress.


~Back Porch News~



A Back Porch Fireplace Screen

Burlap is stapled onto the back of the window we were given by our friend Greg, at All About Home.  The shutters, from Artichoke Annie’s Antique Mall, Columbia Missouri, were added to either side.

The gate is from another nearby antique shop.  I’m working on an idea for the basket, that hangs on the gate.

Seasonal Weather

Several Tornadoes passed through here, Friday night. At least one, a mile or two from our house. Some touched down, doing damage to trees, as reported on KMOX Radio (St Louis), this morning.  We had no wind, but we did have a pretty powerful thunderstorm with heavy rain.  After living in Missouri all our lives, we expect this sort of weather every Spring and knew something was up, yesterday afternoon, when the temperature dropped.  It’s dark out again today.  The stormy/rainy weather is expected to last through Sunday.


Winter is an etching, spring a watercolor, summer an oil painting and autumn a mosaic of them all.

~Stanley Horowitz

J’s Aunt Ruth is traveling, with us, to the lake, Sunday morning.  Weather permitting, she and J have fishing planned.  I’m going to read and take photos of this and that.  We’ll return, sometime during the week, with the wicker chest for the back porch.  We will complete that little fix up and I will write about it, here at Back Porch Musings, soon.


geranium mosaic1 

Thank you for your visits, e-mails and comments on the posts about our trip south and the garden post.  These give me incentive to continue blogging.  Your affirmation is very much appreciated.

I spent almost all day, Friday, trying to catch up with visiting, which I have missed, in the busyness of our life. 

I believe my decision to participate in fewer events is a good one for me.  That decision was not meant to be a snub toward anyone. Even doing less events, I still don’t get to everyone and this concerns me.

I need to spend less time on the computer and more time doing the things I love, with J and family.  I also need to spend more time keeping our homes. 

An added bonus, through this; I have more to write about. 

I hope my posts and photography improve, with this decision about time and how I spend it.

Thank you, to all my readers, for standing by me through this decision.

I will still post about three times a week.  I hope the posts will be varied and interesting.

Spring and Summer seasons are always filled with little day trips.  I’ll write about those and our home projects. We have a few of those in mind, as always.

I want to keep Back Porch Musings as enjoyable for me, as it has been since March 2007 and hopefully, for you as well.

Perhaps I’ll  add the mosaic to Mary’s Mosaic Monday.  I’ve prepared mosaics, in the past, and linked to Mary’s then decided not to add mine to the list, due to time constraints.  As always I am adding Mary’s link here, whether I add my mosaic or not.  Visiting Mary on Mosaic Monday is a treat.  You won’t be disappointed.

I’ll be around to visit, soon.

Hope your week is wonderful!


~An Earth Day Story & Favorites~



Peppermint Twist Geranium



Salmon Rose Geranium



Norfolk Island Pine


We gave ourselves one day, Sunday, to rest from our drive home.  Well, J mowed the grass Sunday, so his day of rest was abbreviated.  Monday morning, we hit the ground running and ran every day.  J purchased landscaping blocks to build the tree ring.  He filled the center with mixed Portulaca/Moss Rose.  We’ve had great success with “moss”, in the past.  It has always returned, year after year.  We’re hoping this fills in nicely and returns next year.

Do you remember this tree from our visit in Ste Genevieve Missouri?


This is a Kwanzan Cherry.  At first we thought it was a flowering plum.  J can usually identify just about any tree, with or without it’s leaves.  I found photos, online, identifying it as a plum.  After we picked up the landscaping blocks, we drove out to our local nursery for a few things.  While there we asked about the tree, which they ID’d as Kwanzan Cherry.  In the end, we tagged a two inch tree that will be delivered and planted in the next few weeks.  We aren’t sure when, since we are at the bottom of the list.  We have a spot, in the back yard, picked out for planting.


Strawberry Sizzle Geranium





Secret Garden




This is a draw or natural drain, we call the creek. It runs behind our house. We left this area wild and love the look of it.  Molly likes it too, when there is water there. The secret garden is at the edge of the creek.  J transplanted Iris, last year, from his Aunt Ruth’s gardens.  There is a concrete bench, in the garden, as well as flowers, including Daylilies and ornamental grasses.  The purple Iris are the first to bloom.  I saw several different colors, about to bloom, when I was there this morning.


A glance over the back yard fence, on this 40th anniversary of Earth Day. 

Our new neighbor’s garage door is seen in the background.  When they were planning their home, they discovered they needed a larger lot.  An arrangement was made for them to purchase a portion of the small lot between ours and theirs.  There was a 20 foot section, from street to creek, left after their lot was expanded for the construction.  We were delighted to take that extra 20 feet and add to our lot.  This brought our lot size to around 3/4 of an acre. 

We were concerned about the trees, seen in the upper right of the photo, and wondered if they would stay when the new home was built.  Not to worry, we believe they will remain.  A few of them are on our side.  We will do our best to care for them.  Even though they are scraggly little trees, we think they are beautiful and worth saving.

J and I come from rural folks, gardeners and farmers and try to continue the family tradition of being kind to the land. 

This is my little Earth Day 2010 story.


 There are small glimpses of the back porch, in this post.  It is progressing along nicely.  We are driving to the lake, next week.  When we return home, we’ll bring the wicker chest.  When it is painted and placed on the porch, I’ll take photos and write about Our Back Porch 2010.

I’m adding this post link to Laurie’s Favorite Things Saturday.



Sandi’s Friday Favorites at Whistle Stop Cooking.

Happy Weekend!


~A Walk Around Franklin Tennessee~





 Photos with few words. 


































 Shopping in Franklin

Thursday morning April 15, we decided to take a ride on the Natchez Trace Parkway, entering just west of Franklin. 

I drove the Natchez Trace from Tupelo to Natchez Mississippi, many years ago, during the early 1960’s. Until we took our ride, last week, J had never seen the trace.

Before taking our drive we stopped in Franklin, for a little shopping.  I bought a beautiful book, Historic Franklin, at HeyDay.

As J was parking the car, I spotted someone who was definitely dressed in Fresh Produce.  I turned around and saw a sign in the window of The Cellar, advertising Fresh Produce.  Naturally, I was meant to have a look inside, where I purchased a pound or two to add to my collection.

Do you like Fresh Produce?


Natchez Trace

Project Preview

garden project

Monday was a busy day at our house.  We ran here, there and everywhere, preparing for J’s latest garden project.  I’ll tell you about that and other gardening at Casa J&P soon.