Friday, June 28, 2013

A Birthday...Flowers...Kittens

  "The earth laughs in flowers."   ~  Ralph Waldo Emerson

Flowers are everywhere it seems.  Even beyond the boundary of the yard and out in the field are Queen Anne's Lace, Daisies, and Daylilies among others.  I'm not complaining for I love flowers.  Otherwise, why would I plant over 40 pots of them?  Yes, I do have that many, but I also have 5 little 4-legged furkids that love to play in them, so I don't know how long they will survive!  Plus the very hot weather we've had is beginning to take a toll on a few of them.

Here is little Cali, who thinks she's hidden under the Sweet Potato Vine.  I love these vines, they always do so well.

The sweet potato vine in the larger pot has a variegated leaf that I really like.  So do my kittens.  They seem to think that anything trailing out of the pots is there for their amusement. 

It doesn't take much to amuse these little cuties.  This one is having fun playing with his mama's tail.  I may have already mentioned this, but I'm going to have a hard time giving the kittens away. 

A very special, tall and handsome man has a birthday this weekend, so I want to say...
                     Happy Birthday, Brett!   
We are planning to see our son at some point over the weekend.   There is this pretty lady he's seeing, so we'll have to work around that!  I wonder if he would like a kitten or two for his birthday?  :)

This time last week, we were on the road heading to Mansfield MO.  After our tour of the Wilder homes we went to Branson.  Since we'd just been there the month before, I didn't take many photos.  It was very hot last weekend.  Tomorrow will be another hot day, then it's supposed to cool off for a few days.  I can't wait!  Do you have special plans for this weekend?

Until next time...

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Laura Ingalls Wilder Home ~ Part 2

There is so much I could say about our tour of the Laura Ingalls Wilder home.  One of the first things I thought, after being in Laura's house just a few minutes, was that in spite of all the tourists that wander through every day, it's really as if she has never left.  You can still feel her presence there.  It's as if she had to run to the store for something and would be right back.  

Maybe it's because everything in the house is like it was in 1957 when Laura died.  The only things that have been changed are the replicated curtains and bedspreads.  And the lineolem in the kitchen was replaced because the original was quite worn.  All the furnishings in the house belonged to the Wilders.

The Wilders came to Mansfield MO in 1894 and purchased this 40 acre farm which had a one-room log cabin.   After living in the log cabin through the first winter, they built a room onto the side and the next spring they moved the new room to the present historic house location where it is now the kitchen.  A second room with an attic space above it was added to create a two-room house with an attic bedroom for Rose.   Subsequent rooms were added on as they were able.  

Here's a layout of the house that was on the brochure that was handed out on the tour.

We started our tour of the house where the arrow is on the right side of the illustration above.  We went through a small porch area into the kitchen.  You can see where her wood cookstove sat almost in the center of the kitchen.  In the late 30's, Laura got a small apartment-sized electric range for summer cooking.  

The Wilder's house, including the other house that Rose had built, was the only house in the area that had electricity from 1928 to around 1950.  Rose had paid for an electric line to both houses at a cost of around three thousand dollars.  

Laura was a short woman, less than 5 feet tall.  The baking cabinet that is between the two windows in the kitchen was quite low.

Next, going through the door into the dining room and on the left is a very narrow ladder stairway which Rose used to get to her attic bedroom when this was just a two-room house.  I have no idea how they ever got any furniture up that very narrow stairway!

There is a pass through to the kitchen and cabinets on the dining room side which were left in place when the house was added onto.  Besides the dining table and chairs, there was a homemade chair made by Almanzo in this room as well as the clock which was mentioned in "The First Four Years".  Almanzo would wind this clock every night.  Laura's rocking chair remains where she used it.  Fan mail and birthday cards sent in 1957 are on the side table.  

The bedroom was built on the south of the house so that it would catch the summer breezes.  This room was long but not very wide.  Laura and Almanzo each had a twin bed to sleep in.  Her bed was nearest the bathroom.  Almanzo's handmade canes are still in the holder near his bed in the west end of the room.  According to the brochure, Laura called Almanzo "The Man of the Place" in her magazine articles and said he was a very good jack-knife carpenter.  He also made the small bedside table for her.  

In the office is the small desk where many of the "Little House" books were written by hand on a tablet.  There was a small day bed couch next to the window where Laura would sleep in the early morning hours after writing through most of the night.

There is a step up and over the landing into the parlor area.  The upstairs is not open to the public.  Upstairs, Rose's bedroom is above Laura's and a guest bedroom is above the music room and dining room.  

The music room was originally designed as a formal dining room, but Laura said that it was not practical on a farm and converted it into a music room.  There was an organ in this room and an electrola that dates from 1928.

The library is a very small area that was created by partitioning off the east side of the living room.  Shelves were built on all four sides but an area was left for a doorway.  Rose's 1904 graduation picture has a special spot on the north wall.

According to the brochure, Laura wrote that everything was used from the farm that could be, for financial and sentimental reasons.  Almanzo and another man finished out the portion of the house called the parlor by hand.  Laura called her windows "living pictures" and positioned them so that the outside world was visible.  A 1942 picture of Laura and Almanzo is on the mantle.  

The rooms are really fairly small in this house, but also very adequate.  The simplicity of this old farmhouse is very appealing and it felt like "home".  I can see why Laura loved it there.  

We left the house by the front door which opens onto a small porch.  The view of the grounds with many trees is very pretty.  A photo of that view is next.  

Whew!  If you've made it through all of this, you're a real Laura Ingalls Wilder fan, too!   This post has turned out to be much longer than I thought it would be, so I'll have to show the photos of the other house that their daughter, Rose, had built for them another time.  I also have a little more to the story to share!

Until next time...

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Laura Ingalls Wilder Home ~ Part 1

On the first day of summer, last Friday, we headed down the highway to Mansfield MO on a little trip that would take us nearly 4 hours to get to our destination, but that time frame includes stopping for an early lunch.  Mansfield is a small town with a population of 2,400 and was the home of Laura Ingalls Wilder for over 60 years.  I've been a fan of Laura's and her books for many, many years and had never seen this before.  I'm glad we went!  My hubby enjoyed it very much, too.

After parking in the graveled parking lot across the highway, this is the scene that we first saw as we walked up the gravel lane toward the house.  The museum is very close to the back of Laura's house.  There is a book store and gift shop to the left of the museum.  That is where we saw a short film about the Wilder's before we began our tour.

First, we went into the museum to purchase our tickets for the house tour.  Eight dollars for senior citizens...what a bargain!  This included a tour of the museum and later a tour of the house that Rose Wilder Lane, Laura and Almanzo's daughter, built for her parents.

The museum wasn't very big, but was so interesting and I wish I had a photographic memory to describe all I saw.  One of the things I loved seeing was the fiddle that Charles (Pa) had while Laura was growing up and later handed down to her.  This fiddle is still played on special occasions such as when they hold a festival.  

There was a buggy that they used in traveling that was much smaller than I would have thought it would be to carry their belongings.  We saw Laura's treadle sewing machine that stitched many of their clothes.  There was a beautiful white dress of Laura's that she made that had such detail like little vertical pleats on the bodice and lace.  She must have made it for a special occasion.  

There were quilts that Laura had made, including an appliqued quilt she made when she was 89, a year before her death.   Also displayed were many handwritten letters and notes, manuscripts, Bibles, books, dishes and furniture that belonged to Laura and her family.  Displayed were many photographs and tintypes of all the family, too.  And, I can't forget the lap desk that hid a 100 dollar bill that helped Laura and Almanzo buy the acreage where they lived.  We saw Laura's jewelry box, some of her jewelry, and even her small revolver that she used to shoot small game.

This house started life as a small cabin and Almanzo added on rooms as they were able to do so.  The front part of the house where the fireplace is was built by Almanzo, but we were told he had some help with the building of that part.  

I feel like I'm writing a book, and there is much more to tell, so I'll end my visit to Laura's home for now and finish up later with Part 2.  I'll also show photos of the second Wilder home that their daughter, Rose, had built and gifted to her parents.  

Until next time...

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Barn Charm

We just got back from a few days away.  The first town we stopped at on our trip was Mansfield, MO where we saw the home of Laura Ingalls Wilder.  Or, I should say homes.  We saw the home Laura and Almanzo built and also the home that Rose, their daughter, had built for them which was just down the road a bit.  The Ingalls only lived in this more modern house 8 years before moving back to their first home.  

At the second house, I snapped a picture of the barn and this was as close to it as I could get.  It was a very interesting tour and I'll be sharing more about it and also some outside photos of both houses later in the week.  We weren't allowed to snap photos inside.

Linking with Tricia's Barn Charm  

Thanks for stopping by!
Until next time...

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

June Note Card Party

 It's time once again for the Note Card Party!  I've chosen 
Pretty in Pink as my theme for this month.

There may be at least a touch of pink in one of these photos!  
We are to choose 4 photos that have been previously published in 
our blog that we might make into note cards. 

Our hostess is Vee, from A Haven for Vee.  Please drop by 
A Haven for Vee to see many beautiful note cards.

 Thanks, Vee, for hosting this fun party!

Until next time...

Barn Charm

This old barn looks like it's about to collapse, but I think it still has a little bit of charm.  My daughter snapped these photos with my camera while I was driving through the countryside recently.  She's not a back-seat driver, but I was definitely a back-seat photographer!

I may have said to her, "Be sure you get the horses in the picture, too!"

Then I suggested a zoom-in on the horses, who were beginning to move away from the intruders in the car with a camera pointed at them.  While she was snapping away, I was watching the rear-view mirror for cars.  

Linking to Tricia's Barn Charm

Thanks for stopping by!
Until next time...

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Happy Father's Day

Happy Father's Day 
to all the father's out there!  

The church in the photo, which was taken by my son, is the small country church where my father was a lifelong member.  Dad has been gone 9 years now, but he is still missed. 

We had quite a storm blow through yesterday, so the father of my children had to work helping restore power outages in the county from around 6 pm until about 5:30 this morning.  Our plans today are low-key with a mid-afternoon meal planned with our children.

Have a wonderful day!
Until next time... 

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Still on break, but wanted to say...Happy Anniversary!!

On this day, many, many years ago, I found myself standing in a little chapel next to this tall, dark-haired young man with blue eyes and incredibly long eyelashes and wondered to myself....

What am I doing here?  Is it too late to back out now?  Why are his eyelashes longer than mine? 

Not really on the last one.  Maybe.  :)

Well, I didn't back out and some questions still remain after all these years.  Only those questions are along the lines of....

What would our lives have been like if we had lived somewhere else?  Or, what if we had done this or that.  We both like to ponder occasionally.  After all, when you've been married as long as we have, you have to find something to talk about!

I pretty much grabbed this tall young man right off the bus coming home from Fort Riley KS where he ended up after his service to his country in the Army.  Which included a free, all expenses paid trip to the jungles of Vietnam.

Not really.  But it was close.
The truth is we met one evening in a grocery store parking lot not long after he had gotten home from Fort Riley.  And the rest, as they say, is history.

Our life together hasn't been all moonlight and roses.  Whose is?

We both had a lot of growing up to do and there was a lot of heartache from losing loved ones and friends along the way, as well as many other of life's curve balls thrown at us.   But, with a lot of patience and perseverance....and most of all, God's help....

We've made it to....

the big number 42!

And today, we consider each other to be not only husband and wife, but best friends.

We've had some wonderful years, we have 2 great children (btw, both inherited those very long eyelashes) and God willing...we have several more good years ahead of us! 

Happy Anniversary, Blue Eyes!

Until next time...

Friday, June 7, 2013

Cute and Colorful

I've taken a lot of shots of the Goldfinches lately and I can't ignore one of my other favorite birds, the Cardinal.  I always know when they are nearby by their distinctive chipping sound.

Do you make lists?  I've got lists of things to do, things I need to buy, books I'd like to read, ideas I see online, and the lists go on and on.  There are so many great ideas out there in blogdom.  And products that I haven't heard of before.  Right now, I have a to-get list that I need to take care of.

A couple of items on my "to get" list is Deer Fence.  I've seen one of my not-Knockout roses stripped of it's leaves and I know it has to be the pesky deer.  Also on my list is corn and bean seeds to replace those that didn't come up in my garden due to the heavy rains washing them out.  I don't know if I'll buy flower seeds to replant or not.  I'll also look for something to replace the Butterfly bush that didn't make it.

These little cuties plus their mom and my 3 indoor cats are about to eat us out of house and home.  Cat food, both canned and the dry variety, is also on my list.  We think we have found a home for most of these kittens.  I'm already attached to them and wonder how I will ever be able to say goodbye to any of them.  I'm getting depressed thinking about it.  But, we already have 3 house cats and we can't keep them all.

How can I part with this little one?

Or this pretty little boy?

Or this sweet little face?

 Or this little sweetie that my hubby named Patches?

This one I'm keeping.  That is unless the momma cat doesn't hide them from us and one day doesn't bring them back.  She's been taking them away from the house during the day and brings them back in the evenings.  I hope something doesn't happen to them in their travels.  By the way, how do you like my fancy water bowl?

Here is another of my flower gardens.  The Knockout Roses are just full of blooms.  The rose bush in the upper left corner is huge and I've only had it a couple of years.  The Stella's are all blooming since I took this photo the other day. 

Here is another shot of the same Knockout rose that is so large.  I think it must be at least 5 feet across.   The brick building you see is our building that we rent out for office space.  It's not quite as close as it looks here.  One of the renter's moved out and we need to do a few repairs and repaint before finding another renter.  We have several projects lined up to do.  That means I need to pull myself away from the computer for awhile and get busy.  So, I will be taking a blog break.  I don't know if it will be a few days or a week or so.  You can be sure that I will check in on everyone when I can.  Don't have too much fun without me, okay?  Take care and have a wonderful Friday and weekend, too!  See you soon.

Until next time...

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Barn Charm

This barn shot was taken over the weekend not too far from home.  I didn't notice what was sitting on top until I was looking at the shots on my computer.

I still couldn't tell what they were until I enlarged this photo and saw the bald heads...turkey vultures.  These are SOOC shots as I haven't had time to do much online lately.  This old charmer doesn't look like it will stand much longer.  

Recently I've driven by 2 barns that I've shown in the past year that have already been torn down and they were in much better shape than this one.  One of them was replaced with the new metal variety and, of course, it's not nearly as charming as the old barn was.  

Linking to Tricia's Barn Charm 

Thanks for stopping by!
Until next time...

Monday, June 3, 2013

Across The Wide MIssouri

We took a drive Saturday afternoon and ended up at this lookout to get a good view of the Missouri River.

You can see how full it is.  The rains of the past week totalled over 10 inches in my town.

Here's a closer look.  They are predicting minor to moderate flooding along the river in our area.  But, more rains are expected Tuesday and Wednesday, too.

Here's a shot upstream of the river as it rounds the corner.  It's hard to see in this photo, but as you can imagine, the river is full of logs and limbs.

The new furbabies are growing and into exploring new territory.  Aren't they just the cutest?  I don't know how I'm going to be able to give away any of the five, they are all adorable.  We spend a lot of time watching them play and it's every bit as entertaining as any movie could be.

Until next time...