getting ready for cold…

October 23, 2011 § 12 Comments

“Hun, where is our Hudson Bay blanket? I can’t find it!”



(photo taken at annual Best of Missouri at Missouri Botanical Garden)


October 19, 2010 § 6 Comments

Cool…as in “Cahokia.”

Last weekend, we visited the Mounds.
This is Monks Mound.
It is one of the Cahokia Mounds, found in Illinois, just east of the Mississippi and across from St. Louis.
It was built in 900 – 1200 by the Misssissippian tribe who carried backpack basket filled with dirt to heap, one atop the other, to create (build) the mound, a high and holy place. Assumedly, this one, the highest of the more than 50 mounds in the 30-acre area, was home and “reigning” place of the high chief of the tribe.

These are the stairs to the top of Monks Mound. It’s an easy climb. There are impactful views from the top.

Like this one.
It’s St. Louis in the (rather smoggy) distance.

The “cool” of the place is the mystery that surrounds it.
Yes, some things have been discovered as a result of intense archaeological efforts.
But overall, the Mississippians were not writers or recorders. Their civilization disappeared after about 400 years. The reason is unkown, though specialists refer to various obvious reasons such as societal unrest, illness, or failure and exhaustion of the land to continue to produce the chief sustenance – corn.

Some artifacts were discovered but other than piecing together some general info about the tribe, a great deal remains unknown. 

Which is really kinda cool.

let the flowers do the talking …

April 18, 2009 § 14 Comments

Saturday morning at the Botanical Gardens with HM …


Blue … (we heart themes)

April 6, 2009 § 10 Comments


(photo of a fallow cornfield taken sunday, apr5, in labadie, missouri )

If you squint while looking at this photo, you might get an “I’m-in-Provence” moment.
This week’s “theme” will be blue, a color my camera and I adore. Now, if we can just get a little teamwork going…I took it with me to work today and snapped… O pictures! (note to self: you have to go out at lunch, that is, leave the office, if you want to find some “blue” topics.)

Book Selection…
This should be easy, but I find that the only books I can think of with “blue” in the title are indeed books that are in my TBR stack. Therefore I cannot expound on them at all unless I cheat and go to Wikipedia for summaries, but ethics rule among readers, so “no” to doing that.

Oh, and no, I”m not going to read BLUE’S CLUES although I give it major “props” for catching the little ones’ interest lo these many years.
The two I can think of: The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison and Blue Shoe by Anne Lamott. Has anyone read either of them? What do you think?  Your answer may alter their position in my TBR stack which currently resembles the game Jenga, that is, the stack is rather tipsy which means you can’t vacuum too closely to it or it will tumble. All I can tell you without getting down on the floor next to our bed to read every title is that The House on Cisneros Street is on top.  I really should investigate what else is there…

Twain’s world … life on the Mississippi

October 20, 2008 § 6 Comments









A week ago ( a week ago already?) Clarksville was celebrating its Apple Festival. (hmm…didn’t take pictures of any apples, though.)

HM and I cruised into town unsuspecting. It was a nice surprise though locals said attendance was down. Likely thanks to the flood, the economy (no, I’m not gonna go there!) and gas prices maybe. Still there was a fine little art gallery exhibit, some local foods, carnival stuff and lots of local mingling, talking, calling out to one another. Kind of a Norman Rockwell afternoon, sun out, dogs well behaving and skittering here and there, babies laughing, and “folks” gathering to chat.

And the river was behaving. HM and I are fascinated by the Big Muddy. We’ve traversed the river roads on both sides; east, in Illinois and west, north of St. Louis. We found an old farm road that ran to the river and a boat launch. Several small crafts were coming in.

Looking downriver, we noted a tug. “He’s bringing up a barge,” HM said.
“What? I thought that was an island out there in the middle of the river.”

Sure enough, pushing along at about 30 knots, there it was, the quintessential red and white tug, pushing a barge loaded with coal.







I pointed my camera and started snapping. The tug was in front of me in no time. The captain blew the tug’s horn and waved.

I waved back.
“Nice bit of Americana,” HM said, without sarcasm.
We’ve been in the MIdwest long enough; we are comfortable now; we own it.

A motorboat came zipping down the river, looking really close to the tug.
“Don’t worry. They see each other,” HM said, anticipating my whoa, look out!







All enamored of the river, we drove around along the edges, looking at property for sale. Why? Because it’s there. Because there is a natural inclination to live by water. Because it would be cool to have a river getaway when we wanted to get out of STL. One we could drive to.

Pipedream? We’ll see.
In the meantime, the charm of small town living is there and it’s nice to drop in. And drop out.






Aha! Strolling around Clarksville, we spotted another household that was tricked into getting a beagle (like us. I mean, they’re just so darn cute!) This one ballyhooed at us, just like Huck does, and again, we felt right at home.









Clarksville got hit pretty hard by the floods about two months ago. There are a lot of For Sale signs around the area. And it looks like some of the artists may have moved out which is a shame. The area was on its way to becoming an artist stronghold – pottery, paintings, handmade furniture of all sorts, candles.  No bookstore yet. While a good place to write, it might not be populated enough to support a bookshop.  





We are still debating the annual pumpkin “issue.” Get one and carve it? In the meantime, I have my 2-foot inorganic commercially carved jack o’ lantern just in front of the porch, looking all natural and un-scary and it lights up. One would think twice about smashing it, or reducing it to pie.

Six Word Saturday – Is Missouri a Swing State? … um, yeah

October 18, 2008 § 2 Comments

Missouri swings between land and sky.
(photo taken between Elsberry and the Mississippi River)

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