Wednesday, September 29, 2010

The perfect recipe


Every year there is speculation about whether this is this going to be one of those gorgeous, take a drive in the country type Falls.  Will the dark limbs of the trees and bright reds, yellows and oranges of the foiliage stand out vibrant against the back drop of the Missouri River Bluffs?  Will the trees form a beautifully rich canopy over our narrow country lanes?

Here is what I’ve always heard are the predictors:


Autumn days need to be mild – well Autumn took its good ol’ time getting here but once it is here the days have been mild to warm

Evenings are cool and crisp, but not below freezing – check, our sweatshirt and jeans evenings have been wonderful

A late spring may delay the colors a week or two – gosh, I can’t remember back that far!  But if anything, I think we had an early Spring, along with an early Summer.  I wonder if that early Summer will hurt the colors.


Severe drought causes the leaves to turn brown and fall quicker – nope, we had lots of rain this summer and on into the Fall


Intense wind will shorten the duration of the leaves on the trees – time will tell on this one

I’m predicting a wonderfully beautiful Fall here in Missouri.  I see a my state road trip in my future!


Saturday, September 25, 2010


  Sept 2010 014 

When she was a kitten, Shelby and her brother, Chance, about tore the house apart.  Chance was relegated to become a mouser in our barns and Shelby the Queen of the homestead.  We lost Chance several years ago, but Shelby lives on. 

Sept 2010 025

“Don’t mess with me”

Shelby never was much of a "people" cat, mostly keeping to herself.  Her big thing was meowing for us to leave the faucet run just a little so she could bat at the water and spray herself.  She also would cry for me to leave the shower door cracked just a bit, for the same reason.

Unbelievably, this summer Shelby started going down hill a bit.  Well, that part isn't unbelievable, but what is, is the fact that we decided to let her go outside, thinking the fresh air would do her good.  And she has thrived!  She stays very close to the house and even hops into my lap when we sit on the porch of an evening - something she has never been known to do.

Sept 2010 013

I hope I look this good when I am a Centenarian!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Grab a cupa coffee (or tea) and sit a spell

It has been crazy busy in my little part of the world this past week.

I've had a lot of miscellaneous embroidery jobs come my way, so I've been spending more time in The Loft working.  It is such a fun work space, but I noticed last week that I need to spend some serious time organizing and taking stock of supplies.  The space can use some TLC.   I get so wrapped up in the projects and orders that the little things go by the wayside. 

The weekend was a good, but busy, one.  Saturday was spent cooking and cleaning and working on embroidery projects.  Then in the evening we picked up Julie's three boys to come spend the night with us.  Then for a relaxing evening.  Travis had a football game in Illinois that day - They Won! Go Thomas Jefferson! - so he was pooped (and sore) and crashed early. 

After Church Sunday morning  it was time to add the finishing touches to the two crock pots of soups I had made the day before.  Chili, White Chili, Corn Bread, Cheesy Fries, crackers, and Dump Cake make for a fairly simple meal.  Then for an evening of visiting and fun with our kids and their families.  We don’t get together nearly as often as we used to, so I treasure the times when we do.

I’ve been pretty negligent about taking pictures.  I blame the darn cold I’ve been fighting with for over a week.  I did manage to take a picture of these two “All I want for Christmas is my one front tooth” guys, James and Allen.

James and Allen smiling big with the same tooth missing

Allen’s wish will soon turn into “two front teeth”.

Allen smiling big with a missing tooth

I swear this door was clean at the beginning of the day.  It was fun to guess which child went out the door by the height of the hand prints.

glass door with hand prints all over it 

Allen and Travis



All in all, it was a great day. 

After sleeping in the recliner in order to be able to breathe, Monday morning brought another busy day.  We were heading to Osage Bluff to visit Patti (Osage Bluff Quilter) and Bernie (Osage Bluff Blacksmith).

We met in blogland and have found we have an awful lot in common.  The Blacksmith is an amazing craftsman and has been getting ready for The Old Munichburg Festival coming up this Saturday in Jefferson City.  We plan on going and I’ll be sure to take pictures.  He made me a Celtic Cross key ring for my church keys.  Maybe I’ll quit misplacing them now.  It is a very special gift and I’ll get a picture of it posted later.

Patti is working on a project of hemming 32 table runners for an upcoming wedding.  A serger is the only way to go for a project of that size.  And since I happen to have one that I’m not presently using, mine stayed at her house for a while.  I’m sure it will have a very nice visit.

Patti and Bernie’s beautiful timber frame home is isolated from the outside world, down a lane off the main road.  What a wonderful place to live.  The food was some of the best I’ve had in a very long time.  Bernie grilled some meat to perfection – I think it was center cut pork – I meant to ask.  I just know it was very tender and tasty.  Patti added her touches of a wonderful salad, which she kindly posted on her blog.  You will grab that recipe if you know what is good for you.  I’m going to serve it to company that is coming on Thursday.  And the home grown baby sweet corn topped the meal off.  But it didn’t end there. There were also delicious home made rolls.  But the meal didn’t end there either.  She topped it off with a scrumptious peach pie topped with vanilla ice cream and steaming hot coffee.

After supper we took a short ride to see the property my brother owns and the lake where Bernie and Patti fish and hang out.  Then we retired to the back deck to sit and visit some more.  Before we knew it, 8:00 had come and it was time to call it a night.  The day went by way too fast.  Good folks, good friends!

And now it is time to bring this way too long, too much information packed blog to a close.

I hope everyone has a wonderfully blessed day.  Cheers!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Ah, the simple life

The Lake of the Ozarks is the largest man-made non-flood control lake in the United States.  That is where we spent our weekend.  Good food, good friends, and water all around.  It was so relaxing.


A fast and exhillerating boat ride in the afternoon, was followed by a lot of laughter and story telling, a great supper, and then a moonlit put put ride in the evening.  As we slowly skimmed across the waters, we were able to make out the Big Dipper, Little Dipper, North Star, Milky Way and even saw some shooting stars.  Wow.  What a gorgeous night we had.


Jim and Gerard just chillin’

Tall bluffs with trees on top

The sky was a gorgeous blue, lined with feathery clouds.  Another trip through these waters, when the rich color of the Fall season is on display, is definitely in order.

beautiful home for sale

There are several “million dollar coves” on the Lake. 

huge houses with many roof lines

The understatement of the day was when Patti  said:  “There is a lot of money on this Lake” 


Condos and houses dot the hillsides that only a few short years ago were home to deer and other wildlife.

Mansion with a homemade water fall

This man-made waterfall amazed me.  They are actually four of them pumping water over the bluffs of their property.  


sparkling lake water

Some of the shore lines are still pristine to the naked eye, but I’ll guarantee that if there is a way to get a road into these hillsides, there is a house lurking behind those trees.

Condominium project abandonedThis condo project is a dream gone bad.  So far it has sat unfinished for two years.  The number of homes for sale was staggering.

high bluffs with trees

Our destination was HaHa Tonka State Park.  Sitting high on the bluffs is an old burned out castle built in the early 1900’s.  The boat slips were too small for us to dock at the Park.  I’ll do a post on HaHa Tonka sometime soon.  It will be a wonderful Fall day trip.

60 ft boat fastly overtaking a 10 foot dingy

“Don’t worry little guy.  I won’t run you down.  Trust me….”

012           Ah, the simple life.  This guy has the right idea.

035Back home again to our favorite place on the Lake.  Nestled into the hillside, this humble abode is where we spend our time.  Ah, the simple life!       

Thursday, September 9, 2010

A blip in the road

The two of us had dentist appointments yesterday.  Rather than pay big money to the club dentists in town, we go to a family dental place in the little town of Westphalia.  Their prices are so much more reasonable and it is as enjoyable as going to a dentist can be.  Everyone knows everyone and if you don’t know the people when you walk in, you will know them before you walk out.

The little old lady next to me yakked my head off about the weather, the  traffic over the weekend, and the trials of taking care of her 89 year old husband, Henry, who had skin cancer and dementia.  Her name was Francis.  He  meekly sat next to her without saying a word, not that he could have if he had wanted to.  I smiled and nodded a lot and told her I admired her patience and caring.

With me a filling, and Jim a temporary crown and two fillings later, we headed back down the road towards Jeff.

Along the Missouri highways there are many markers designating “A Historic Marker”.  When time allows we try to stop and see what is historic about the site where the arrow is pointing.  We had often passed one such marker, but yesterday our curiosity got the better of us and we followed the way of the arrow.

We had to laugh when, after a few twists and turns, we were pointed to a gravel road dead ending at a grass and dirt mound leading into the woods.


The sign marks the spot where Lewis and Clark discovered the mouth of the Osage River.


their impressions of the Osage Tribal nation

women helped with hunts, planting, harvesting crops. Men were explorers and tall  

I smiled knowing that women were recognized for

their contributions

Osage Nation mightiest tribe on lower Missouri River

recognition of the Osage Indians's contribution to the trade

Map of the Lewis and Clark route through Missouri

All in all this little side trip took about 15 minutes and was worth the stop.  From there we ate soup at Country Kitchen – not because we were hungry for soup, but because neither of us could chew!  It was yummy.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Take me out to the drive-in

Drive-In Theatres. 

Growing up in the era of the Drive-In, you would think my mind would be whirling with memories of that magical time of loading the whole family into the 52 Chevy to see the latest picture show.  Because my family was a little different than most, with parents who didn’t like to go to the movies and most certainly didn’t like to sit in their cars to watch a movie, I don’t recall going to movies much as a child.

There were two Drive-In Theatres locally.  One was located in the flood plains of the Missouri River.  A summer trip to see a favorite flick most certainly meant returning home with arms and legs covered with mosquito bites.

The other Drive-In was located off “the boulevard” in town and featured the racier movies of the day, although  I’m sure they were very tame by today’s standards.  The Dairy Queen was situated on a hill across the way from the movie screen.  As teens, a typical Friday night would find us sitting on the hoods of our cars, licking an ice cream cone, while trying to catch a glimpse of some skin.  I guess the theory was that no sound was needed when the movie consisted of making out and prancing around almost naked. 

When I was six or so, dad loaded us up to see the movie Shane.  Mom stayed home – no mosquitoes were going to feed on her tender flesh!  Preparations for going to the Drive-In included popping corn and filling a paper sack with it for each of us.  There was no money for frivolities like the concession stand.  I was giddy with excitement at the thought of going to the Drive In.  Unfortunately, at age six, I remember little of the experience.  I’m pretty sure I ate my popcorn, was confused over the story line of the show, fell asleep early on, and remember the line “Shane! come back!!”  If memory serves me correctly, I was rubbing sleep out of my eyes and the movie was ending. 

During our dating years of the late 60’s and early 70’s, Jim and I would often go to the Drive-In.  Mostly, I have no recollection of what we saw.  Imagine that! 

We had very little money and often couldn’t afford the cost of two tickets.  The solution was that I would crawl into the trunk of the Karmann Ghia pictured below and Jim would Drive In alone.


Sneaking friends into the Drive In was a trick older than Moses, and checking trunks of cars was routine.  However, nobody would consider checking the trunk of this little car.  The back seat folded down and I’d crawl from the trunk into the car without anyone ever the wiser.  It never occurred to either of us that what we were doing was wrong! 

Since the Karmann Ghia had no heater, we’d borrow Jim’s dad’s Studebaker when the weather turned frigid.  I remember well the night that we steamed the windows to the point of freezing them shut.  When it came time to remove the speaker, no matter how hard we tried, we could not roll the window down.  Finally out of desperation, we cut the tube.  I was scared to death alarms would go off or something!  Craziness.

Research indicates there are still Drive-In Theatres in operation in Missouri, but none close to where I live.  I’m more into watching my movies in the comfort of my home or occasionally going to the indoor Cinema.  My drive-in days are over.

This whole treck down memory lane was inspired by Intenseguy's post entitled The Old Drive In.  It is a good read, with a good dose of history included in the memory.