Sunday, October 31, 2010

Mellow Yellow Monday --- Chinese Yellow Glass

Last week the Old Salt and I took a mini vacation and went to visit one of my brothers at his cabin on Table Rock Lake near Branson, Missouri. During our visit my brother and his wife took us to visit a local museum.

I have to admit that I have visited many local museums and most of them are full of nothing but journals, documents and photos telling the history of the area. If they have any displays, they usually contain very little that I had not seen cross over my fathers auction block during my years of working in the family business.

This museum turned out to be a real surprise. Frankly, it is situated out in the middle of nowhere in a unincorporated area known as Golden, Missouri (population 846 ) fifteen minutes from Arkansas. And it is without a doubt the best local museum I have visited. They have all types of Indian Artifacts, Civil War Artifacts, and many great collections. The glassware collection certainly outmatches many collections I have seen in larger city museums.

I have chosen to feature some of the Fenton Glass for this weeks Mellow Yellow Monday. This is known as "Chinese Yellow" and it is extremely rare. I only recall seeing two other pieces.

Seeing all this beautiful yellow glass has convinced me
that this is the perfect color to paint my kitchen.


Mellow Yellow Monday is hosted by Drowsey Monkey. To join in the fun or visit other Mellow Yellow participants just click here.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Sunday Favorites #77... The Home Place

Sunday Favorites is a meme hosted by Chari at Happy to Design. Chari asks us to drag one of our older posts out of mothballs and repost it. After all, only so many posts can be on the first page and once they move down the stack they are seldom ever looked at again.

My repost for this week is entitled "The Home Place" and was first posted in June of 2007. The only photo that was taken by me is the first one. The others are all borrowed from the web and were picked because of their similarities to my memories.


My Grandmother spent her entire life in the house where she was born. Her children say she was born, married and died in the same room. This was the same room where my mother and her siblings were born, and in which one sister and a brother died. That ramshackle, tin-roofed house never saw a coat of paint, sat on a patch of bare red clay that was regularly swept clean instead of mowed. The house was surrounded by cotton fields, fruit orchards and sharecropper’s shanty’s; one of which was my home during part of my young life.

My earliest memories are about that farm and now I often think about the way it shaped the lives and character of the people who lived there for more than a century. It continues to reverberate in my life to this very day. The last time I visited the house that is always referred to in our family as "the home place", the front porch was propped on concrete blocks, daylight could be seen through the floorboards and wind rustled curtains. Laundry was done in a wringer washer on the back porch while cats napped under the steps. Aunt Florence, dressed in a flour sack dress and bib apron, was still placing pans full of large fluffy biscuits in the oven each morning by dawn; and a good day would end with the family gathered on the porch with the scratchy sounds of the "Opery" playing on an old Zenith radio in the background. If we were lucky, on a clear Saturday night, we could pick up the sounds of a baseball game as far away as St. Louis, we children waited to turn the crank on the ice cream churn, tossed cigarette butts occasionally sent blazing red streaks flying through the air and the women swapped the latest recipe or gossip from town.

The home place has long been torn down and the old farm subdivided, but the legacy of the place continues to live in the lives of those who once called it home. My mother left her family and moved to Missouri with her husband and four small children more than fifty years ago. For decades I have gone with her back to the southland to visit her family. Last week my dear husband traveled with my eighty-two year old mother and me to the wedding of a first cousin and met all my Alabama kinfolk. The poor man had no inkling of what was in store for him.

Traveling through places with names like Waverly Hall, China Grove, Camp Gray Loop and Pine Level; to meet people known by names like Uncle Brother, Aunt Sister, Aunt Tump, Uncle Dink, Eddy Barr, and Sally Jill would be a lot for anyone. But, hearing stories about how marriage made one cousin’s wife his own step sister or the feud that has lasted for sixty years with no end in sight; I thought would do him in for sure.

However, my Frank is a real trooper and he faired better on this trip than I did. Truth be told, I found the trip somewhat disheartening. So many of the familiar things I associate with the South, and always gave me a warm feeling while connecting the area and the people with my mother’s upbringing and my inborn sense of family, seem to be disappearing at an alarming rate.

Gone are visits with very prim and genteel southern ladies. Great Aunts in ruffled collars with linen hankies tucked up their sleeve and smelling of Jasmine who served fig jam made from the trees growing in their yards, at tables set with translucent porcelain cups and silver tea pots. This was the first trip where shop keepers and service personnel all seemed to have lost their distinctly southern way of speaking; due in part I suspect, to television’s influence diluting regional speech patterns. Once small and charming towns are losing their historic charisma as they quadruple in size and city limit signs move miles in all directions. Fields that once held endless rows of white cotton or expanses of peanut plants are now filling up with fast food franchises and tanning salons. Stately old homes are losing their charming colors, character and beauty behind layers of vinyl siding. Verandas and lovely wraparound porches are falling into disuse as that wonderfully southern habit of lazy evenings visiting over icy tumblers of sweet tea is replaced by the harried schedules of modern households. But, the most disheartening part of this trip was the realization that the southern half of my family is slowly slipping away from not only the northern branch but from each other.

As often happens in families, once the parents are gone the children tend to lose frequent contact with each other. It is also regrettable that so many extended families are separated by the death of the senior siblings. Divorce is separating parents from adult children that have taken the other parent’s side in the divorce or refuse to accept a new spouse. Unfortunately, I see these things happening in my family and feel sad that I can do very little to change any of it.

And finally, I fear that due to my advancing age, financial or health concerns, future visits to my southern roots and family may be curtailed, causing a loss of my sense of self and family unity. I fear that before long, the memories of a young girl playing with her brothers under a cottonwood tree while their mother becomes a decreasing figure working her way to the far end of a cotton field; cousins huddled whispering secrets in the shade of a pecan grove or counting the many doors in a large stately house before stepping through the parlor window onto the veranda for sugar cookies and lemonade with Miz Thersey will be all that is left of the south of my youth.

You can check out this Sunday meme by visiting Happy to Design. Heck, you might find some great stuff and be inspired to join the fun and repost some of your favorites that have been long forgotten.

pink Saturday ----- rosy bed

Recently, I stopped by my sisters house to find the tree in her front yard ablaze with fall color, and the leaves it was shedding made a rosy pink and crunchy carpet below.

I am linking this post to Pink Saturday, hosted by Beverly at How Sweet the Sound. To join in the fun or just visit the pink post of others visit Beverly and her friends at

Friday, October 29, 2010

Yard art Thursday -- Is it a Frog?

Earlier this week the Old Salt and I took a mini vacation and went to visit one of my brothers at his cabin on Table Rock Lake near Branson, Missouri. During our visit, I snapped the following photos in the front yard of one of his neighbors just in time for yard art Thursday.

We had a discussion about what this animal really is. The Old Salt is certain it is a frog. I believe it is some sort of Muppet like dog. Of course, my always truthful brother chimed in and said "it looks like a hunk of blue concrete, to me." So. I will leave it to your imagination.

Mary T. at the Work of the Poet hosts Yard Art Thursday. To join the fun or just check out the yard art discovered by others visit Mary and her friends at Work of the Poet.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Mellow Yellow Monday --- fire plugs

Monday is the sunniest day of the week over at the Drowsy Monkey's blog because of all the yellow postings to her meme Mellow Yellow Monday.
I happen to collect a lot of photographs of some very strange things. Among them is fire hydrants. I can't tell you why, but, I sure find them interesting. Recently, I noticed that the city street department was out giving all the hydrants in town a fresh coat of paint. That got me to thinking about showing off some of my collection for MYM.
Take a good look at the colors in the following collage. They are all hydrants snapped around my town.
Notice that one in the middle. It can't decide what color it wants to be.
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I learned a while back that each of those colors has a different meaning. Since hydrants are mostly used in an emergency it is important for both the firefighters and the general public to understand what those colors mean.

In the United States, the AWWA and NFPA recommend hydrants be colored chrome yellow for rapid identification apart from the bonnet and nozzle caps which should be coded according to their available flow. I was told by a member of our fire department that a hydrant with a red top will supply less than 500 gallons per minute; orange, 500 to 1,000 gpm; green, 1,000 to 1,500 gpm; and blue, more than 1,500 gpm. He also said that hydrants with a purple top means that the water is non-potable, but I have not found one like that in this town.

I have seen fire hydrants in other areas of the state and country that are more artistic than those here. Hydrants painted like people, animals or in the colors of the home spots team to name a few. But, my fire fighting friend tells me that doing so is usually at the cost of reduced practicality. You will find more information by visiting this website.

Mellow Yellow Monday is hosted by Drowsey Monkey. To join in the fun or visit other Mellow Yellow participants just click here.

Photo Hunter Challenge ---- Orange Beetle

PhotoHunters This week's theme at Photo Hunter is the color orange. With Halloween just a few days off I'm sure there will be a lot of pumpkins and Halloween oranges. So, instead of a Halloween orange I chose a pumpkin colored VW. I captured this orange bug on the parking lot at Lowe's a few days ago.

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I have no idea how old it really is. It is just your standard old VW Beetle with lots of rust and a bad paint job. Plus, it is covered with the remnants of someone's attempt to give it that sixties feeling by adding hearts, flowers and peace signs all over it.

But, boy does it take me back in time. Back to my high school days in fact.

My very first date was with a guy that drove an old VW Beetle. It was a blind date with the son of one of my mother's friends, and the date was arranged by both our mothers. Never were two people more mismatched. Frankly, I don't remember the guy's name. But, I will never forget the way he looked. He wanted to make a distinctly bad impression so he picked me up wearing a dress. A spaghetti strap slip dress to be exact. And, I have to admit, he looked better in it than most of my girlfriends would have.

As to how the date went, I will leave that to your imagination. I'm sure whatever you think up will not be any worse than the real thing.

To check out what others are posting this week at Photo Hunter visit the Tennessee Chick and her friends here.

Sunday Favorites #76 --Me plus Ten

Sunday Favorites is a meme hosted by Chari at Happy to Design. Chari asks us to drag one of our older posts out of mothballs and repost it. After all, only so many posts can be on the first page and once they move down the stack they are seldom ever looked at again.

My repost for this week was originally posted for the meme Theme Thursday on April 2, 2009 when the theme was the number "Ten." I titled it "Me Plus Ten."


Welcome to Theme Thursday. This weeks theme was a tuffy for me. The number 10. I searched everywhere for something memorable that could be called a ten, with no luck. Then last night the answer just fell into my lap.

I want to remind everyone that I am the oldest of thirteen children. I grew up in a rural area and making ends meet was always a struggle for my folks. As a result, they didn't take many photos. Each of us have few if any and the ones we do have mostly came to us from friends and relatives. So whenever a new photo surfaces it is a big deal and gets copied to share with everyone.

I recently acquired some old slides from an elderly Aunt and the Old Salt has been scanning them into the computer for me. In the most recent batch I found the perfect TEN. These slides are very old and in poor condition so I tried to save as many as possible by using photoshop to lighten and repair best as I could. This photo is still very dark and has some strong shadows but it shows me with the first ten of my siblings. Of course I am the oldest one in the photo holding the two youngest. This must have been taken in the summer of 1963. I would have been seventeen and my newest baby brother is almost one.

Growing up I went through many phases. I had one totally embarrassing phase where every time I was out somewhere with the youngest kids, someone would mistake them for mine. At seventeen, did I really look old enough to have six kids? Once, at the grocery store, I had the task of babysitting the little ones while my mother shopped. I lined them all up on the brick ledge in front of the store with some candy. Folks entering the store would stop and say how cute they all were, or just shake their heads in amazement. I lost count of how many asked me if they were all mine, so finally I reached my saturation point. The next lady who asked that question was told “yes they are all mine and I have six more at home'. I though she was going to swallow her teeth in shock.

The above story is taken from a post in my archives called "Oldest of Thirteen" that talks about what it was like being the eldest in a large family. Given the many changes over the last fifty years in people's attitudes about children, parenting and large families; plus all the recent news about the Octomom, my story may not be seen with the same humor it had back in 1963 in an area where less than six children was considered unusual. The original post and a photo of all of us as adults can be found at this link.

To see more of the number "ten" post or to join the fun visit Theme Thursday

You can check out this Sunday meme by visiting
Happy to Design. Heck, you might find some great stuff and be inspired to join the fun and repost some of your favorites that have been long forgotten.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Shadow Shot Sunday --- arched back

I posted all but one of the decorations in my yard, last Thursday, on the meme Yard Art Thursday. I saved this one to post on Shadow Shot Sunday because of the great shadow I captured of it. Below is two snaps of the shadow and one that gives you the source of the shadow.

Have a great week everyone. I hope you are all ready for next weeks onslaught of trick-or-treater's and that your neighborhood has only good little ghost and goblins wandering your streets.

I am linking this post to Shadow Shot Sunday. For more great shadow shots click the camera badge to visit Tracy and her friends over at Hey Harriet and join in the fun.

pink Saturday ----- cross the bridge

This week the Old Salt and I had to make a trip into St. Louis County to the town of Overland to pick up another of my Craigslist finds. Overland happens to be the town were my first husband and I started our married life. Since we were there I decided to take the Old Salt on a little trip down my memory lane. OS got a real dose of what my life was like back in the late sixties with the grand tour of my old stomping grounds, work places and other points of interest. Including a visit to the first house we purchased when we were still property virgins.

I'm delighted to report that the old place has been lovingly restored by someone who added the addition that we always wanted to build and could never afford. And, just down the street I
captured the following photos, that are just perfect for linking to this weeks Pink Saturday.

this bridge was build in the side yard spanning the area from the edge
of the rocky front flower bed to the side patio.

And, what should be sitting almost at its foot,
but, a cute playhouse with a matching pink door.

I am linking this post to Pink Saturday, hosted by Beverly at How Sweet the Sound. To join in the fun or just visit the pink post of others visit Beverly and her friends

Round Robin Photo Challenge ---Bridge

Welcome to this week's edition of Round Robin Photo Challenge. The subject is "Bridge" and the timing is perfect. Just so happens I recently got the chance to walk over one of those vast Cantilever-through-truss steel structures, built to allow motor vehicles to cross over one of the most beautiful sections of the Mississippi River between north St. Louis and Madison, Illinois.

This bridge is known as the Chain of Rocks Bridge and was a toll bridge completed in 1929. It became a part of Route 66 in 1936 and was used until 1968 when the opening of the I-270 bridges caused a decline in traffic. Also adding to the decline of the bridge was the fact that it was just too narrow for modern automobiles and trucks. Plus, there is a 22-degree bend in the middle of the bridge (that allowed southbound riverboats to align with the current to avoid crashing into two water intake towers midstream) that was the site of many accidents.

The bridge was closed and sat abandoned for thirty-two years. It was slated for demolition in 1975 but the bad economic market for scrap metal in the mid-seventies rendered the project unprofitable. The bridge was eventually acquired by the city of Madison, Illinois and Trailnet Inc. which raised funds to repair and secure the old structure. It was reopened in 1999 as the Route 66 Bikeway. The one mile expanse is now only open to bicycle and pedestrian traffic and is the world’s longest pedestrian and bicycle bridge.

The bridge's name comes from a large shoal, or rocky rapids, called the Chain of Rocks which makes that part of the Mississippi dangerous to navigate. The bridge was added to the National Register of historic Places in 2006. It was featured in the 1981 movie “Escape From New York” as the 69th Street Bridge. It is a popular spot to watch for eagles during the winter when they congregate along the chain of rocks waterway. The bridge also developed a bad reputation for crimes and violence including a rape and murder while it sat unused.

Old Shot I found of the bridge around 1930.

These two gothic castle-like structures stand in the river just to the south of the bridge and serve as water intakes for the Chain of Rocks Water Treatment Facility, which opened in 1894 and is still in operation today.

Midway across the bridge can be found two signs placed back to back marking the boundary lines between the states of Missouri and Illinois. This is me leaning on one of them.

To check out all the great bridges or join the fun visit Round Robin Photo

Friday, October 22, 2010

Nieman Marcus has done it again..............

I don't know how I would function without my computerized date book. This morning, it sent me an email reminding me that I only have seven weeks left; before needing to have the christmas gifts, for the Old Salts grandkids, in the mail to assure they arrive before the big day.

That little bit of news got the old noggin to working in overdrive, wondering what we should plan to buy for the girls this year. Those thoughts reminded me of an article I read recently about the worlds best playhouse. Yea, why not. Kids, love playhouses, right?

And, this is not just any old playhouse. This playhouse happens to be six and a half feet tall and wide enough for even a large adult to spread her arms and twirl without touching the walls. I have known kids with playhouses and I know how much fun they can be. So perhaps you should get busy and build one of these for your little princess. If you are not the handyman type you can order one on line and have it installed by christmas morning.

Oh, did I forget to mention that this is an edible playhouse. Yes, whenever the kiddies get hungry they can just break off a piece of the trim or knock out a chunk of glass from the window and have a snack.

This playhouse is made from 381 pounds of "gourmet gingerbread" and 517 pounds of "royal icing." Plus there is enough edible landscaping to keep a neighborhood of children satisfied for quite a while.

By the way, the asking price is a paltry fifteen thousand dollars and can be found in the new Nieman Marcus Christmas Catalog. But, I'm sure if you wanted to undertake building one of these playhouses yourself you could bring it in for under....perhaps fifteen hundred?

So hop on over to this website and check it out by clicking here.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Yard art Thursday -- Hootie

Welcome to this week's edition of yard art Thursday. To capture my entries this week all I had to do was step outside my front door. Yes, this is what my yard looked like last week. Two nice young men who work for a local landscaping firm spent three days this week digging, cutting, laying brick and planting new plants to transform our barren and long neglected yard into what I hope (come spring) will be the show place of the neighborhood. Sorry, but you will have to wait for spring to see the reveal of our new landscaping so for now you will have to make do with what used to be.

This is Hootie. This is the fourth home he has stood guard over for me. He now has a prime spot in the middle of a newly mulched bed.

This fall display actually did not get touched in the new yard design. It hides a large tree stump on our side yard. Until I redid the wheelbarrow last week it was full of summer annuals that were reaching the end of their lifespan. Before long it will be full of Christmas Presents that a jolly elf will be delivering for Santa.

Thanks everyone for the visit. Hope to see you all back in the spring for the great reveal.

Mary T. at the Work of the Poet hosts Yard Art Thursday. To join the fun or just check out the yard art discovered by others visit Mary and her friends at Work of the Poet.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Sometimes it pays to look up

I am linking this photo to Thursday Challenge. The theme this week is "Golden" and what better then this wonderful tree I captured recently. To visit other Thursday Callenge entries click here.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Ruby Tuesday and Rednesday --- Red Sugar Water

It is that time of the week when we celebrate all things red. I intended to share some photos of the antique fire trucks I captured last week ...........then something amazing happened. After years of trying to photograph the Hummingbirds that come to our feeder with little more than lots of motion blobs, to show for my efforts I finally did it. I managed to capture a full series of shots from the time the tiny little Hummingbird started to arrive until he departed. But, I have to give most of the credit to the Old Salt.

We have always had the feeder hanging outside our kitchen window, and the slightest movement would scare them away. Then recently the Old Salt decided to relocate the feeder to the rose bush that sits in front of the picture window in our living room. Hidden within the foliage of the rose bush the little birds were not as edgy. Plus, I was able to balance the camera on the back of the sofa and snap away. The following are the result.

I am linking this post to Ruby Tuesday and Rednesday.

Mary at "Work of the Poet" hosts Ruby Tuesday. Rednesday is a Wednesday meme hosted by Sue at "It's a Very Cherry World." Both memes are dedicated to the color red.
To join the fun or just check out what Red others are excited to share visit
Mary and her friends at Ruby Tuesday and Sue and her friends from Rednesday