Monday, April 29, 2013

Antique Ramble is Still On.

A while back I  did a post about an event we are having here in my little home town of Clarksville,Mo. It is an Antique Ramble. The antique shops are open and having specials. The Mayors Stone Cottage and My Old Historic House are both open for tours. We have been going through a flood, but the river has settled down and we are going ahead as planned with the Ramble, this Saturday May 4th. 10:00 to 5:00 Some of the roads are still flooded but there is clearly marked detours. The country side is beautiful as it come alive with spring. Red buds are blooming. The house tours are $5.00 each and you can pay at either house. Go to one or both.No appointments needed. Just show up.The Mayors Stone Cottage is a little gem, done to the early American period with fine antiques, paintings and accessories. My Old House is 1845 Ante Bellum and also done to the period. It sets right on the river banks and I am sure there will be a sand bag or two setting around.  There will be a visitors tent at the 4 way stop. There will be maps of the shops and tour houses there. Park on the highway and walk. Every thing is in a few blocks. The Station  will be open with Farm to Table Food. It is a world class place to eat, beautiful and what wonderful food. Come make a day trip and enjoy our little town and see what it is like to live on the Mighty Mississippi. We are a little messed up with a lot of sand bags, but the beauty of Clarksville and what it has to offer is still out front.I'll be at My Old Historic House, giving tours. My little Antique Mall, downtown, 2 blocks away, will be open and we are well stocked with lots of garden and spring items. Please try and come. Say hello and meet Ms. Sissy Dog. she'll be glad you came.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Another Flood Update.

This is a view out our window today as we camp in the shop window.

Looks a little like a war zone.

This is how it looked the first day, nice and neat, then all hell broke loose.
   Thanks to all the wonderful bloggers that have commented and sent there ,love because of the flood that I am going through right now. It was almost a flash flood. They told us last Wednesday morning the river was going to be  10 feet over flood stage in 3 days. The entire main street, including my Historic Home and Antique Mall are right on the river. It was a scramble. We had to put up flood walls, move out, and up, and sand bag an entire town. It is amazing how people come from everywhere to help. It was  like a fast moving motion picture to watch the sand bags fill and the walls appeared from out of no where. It makes you believe in man kind. It is kind of hard to do that these days with all the bad that goes on in the world. School shootings, stabbings, attacks and on and on. We still live in one of the greatest countries in the world. It sure was proved to me the past few days.
   Our Governor sent the national guard and they have worked endless, They were the best and just took control. There was also an amazing group of young people. Women and men. They looked like teenagers. They were sent by Americore. They were the brains behind the whole thing. They have worked day and night, going with out sleep or showers. In water, on machinery and what ever else was needed. It was a blessing we had them. I just can not believe such young people could do so much. They get very little pay. Sleep on the floor and works hours with no rest.
   The locals here in my town came together and opened a soup kitchen. It was in a church basement right here in down town Clarksville. People have carried in the most amazing food from fired fish, chicken, home made pies, cakes and cookies. The workers have been so spoiled they will never want to leave.When I am not working on sand bags I like to go to the soup kitchen and help out. It is a lot more fun. I made chicken pot pie, pea salad, breakfast eggs  and fried apples. Tomorrow I am making bread pudding.
    We also had two other groups. The men and women from our local prisons. They were amazing. The hardest working people I have ever seen., I worked beside them making sand bags, I learned there names and history. They know they did wrong, but when it was time to help us, there could be no better. One man said he had been in prison for 10 years for killing some one. Another man was in for 2 because he had bought a lot of stolen stuff from a robbery. One lady was called Mary Ann and she was so beautiful and you could tell she had a very good up bringing. I did not ask her story. All the ladies cracked up when I called the sweet pea, sugar plum and honey bun. We laughed as we worked like we had never worked before.I was bad and gave them candy behind the guards back. I tried to give them hugs but that was a no no. I for one am so grateful for them and must find a way to tell them so.,
 Today some of the workers were leaving us and they all gave us hugs and some of us actually cried.
  The flood is far from over. There could be a surge any day. There is usually at least 3 crest. We have only had the first.There is lost of snow up north that still has to melt. We are in this for awhile yet. In the mean time, I have lost a hot water heater. My basement will have to be professionally cleaned so it will not mold. I have lost a large section of side walk. Some of my iron fence was destroyed. They yard is trashes as well as my gravel parking lot. The shop will be closed for at least a month and perhaps more. It is hard to think about as it and my Social Security are my only income.I know some how the Lord will provide and for now I am not going to worry about it.I know the money will come from somewhere just like all these workers came.
   I am glad I had this time to unwind and tell some of my story. This is the second flood I've gone through. The first was in 08, just 2 years after I bought the house. I have to say this one was a lot less stressful., being 5 years older did not actually help. It might be time to think about moving on.
   If you have read my blog ,you know I have this old beautiful home. I love it very much. But, when it starts to take your life, it might be time to think of other options.
   I know I have made some typos, and I am sorry, but with what I have been through. You figure it out. Sissy and I love you all and love hearing from you. When this is all over and the sand bags come down, we would love to have you come for a visit. God bless you all.
This is the riverfront only a few feet outside my shop. The river had not even reached the park at this point. 

 Sissy has gone to bed. She is wore out and mixed up. Our lives have been turned inside out  for the past few days.

Sunday, April 21, 2013


As of a few minutes ago the Mississippi River at Clarksville,Mo. and in front of My Old Historic House, has crested. That means for now it has topped out and will stay steady for a while then go down. That does not mean we are totally in the clear. The ways could give way, break, leak or the river can rise back up. That is probably the case as there is still lots of snow and cold weather up north of us. WE are also expecting rain starting in a day or so. For now the house and my shop is safe as a bug in a rug and Sissy is a happy camper. Thanks for all your prayers and well wishes. I will keep you informed. It is a beautiful day here today!!! Richard

Friday, April 19, 2013

Three Days Notice Mississippi to flood.

  I haven't got but a minutes. Taking a break from sandbagging. The Mississippi is flooding and we have three days to prepare. Say a lot of prayers. In theory we are almost ready and my house should be safe. In theory. Richard

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Getting ready for spring.

    Spring here in Missouri is coming a little slow. I am beginning to wonder if we are going to have one? We had a few nice days and the jonquils made an appearance, Then we had bad wind and 3 inches of rain and most of them are on the ground. I should have picked some, but I had no plans for company and I  just adore them in the garden, I have so many varieties and they are such a welcome sight when they appear. Now the red buds and other flowering trees are starting to show signs of life and it has turned cold and we had a frost last night. I am hoping it did not hurt the trees. It is to warm up again today. Let's hope for the best, My neighbor has a new saucier magnolia tree she planted last year and it is just over loaded with big pink blooms. It is right outside my kitchen window and it is such a joy to watch it blossom into life.
   I turned the heat off for the last time now till fall. If it gets cold Sissy and I will just have to suffer. That big old house is a cave when it comes to heating it. I so much enjoy this time and fall when we need no heat or air conditioning. Seems like those days are few and far between as it has turned hot  or cold over night theses days.

   I went to my antique mall this morning and thought it needed a touch of spring. I have a empty booth, waiting for a new dealer to move in, so I made a little spring display. That is what I'd like to share with you today. For some reason, wicker furniture always reminds me of spring, the porch and the garden. I just happened to have a few pieces on hand, so I gathered them for this display. The tea cart is fresh from my screen porch this morning. I want to put a white cabinet out there with a small TV set and I had to make room. Something had to go. I thought the tea cart was the best item as I never use it and it is just there taking up room. I do love it and I hope someday soon, some one else will love it as well.
   My little antique mall is located on the riverfront of my Historic home town of Clarksville,Mo. I call it the Downtown Antique mall as there is another mall at the edge of town. I have 7 dealers beside my self. They are all great dealers and do a good job of display, which  makes my job much easier. We are about 70 miles from St.Louis and in the middle of no where. We depend on tourist and some times we have a lot and others only a few. I am hoping this spring day, that the weather man has promised, well bring a few and they have money in there pockets and are willing to spend it.
    I hope you enjoy the tour. Come anytime for a real one. I will always leave the lights on and open up anytime. Sissy and I only live 2 blocks away. She will always meet you with a jump and a kiss. Come shop and get something new for your porch!

Couldn't resist, this car just went past the shop window. I want one, how about you all?

Thursday, April 4, 2013

My Turn To Host Dinner Club, A Vision in Pink..

   I belong to a wonderful group of friends and we call ourselves the ,"Hill Group." Mainly because they all, except me, live on a hill, in the next town up from me ,here in Clarksville,Mo.. That little town is Louisiana, Mo., sometimes referred as,"Natchez of the North." This is because this little town of less that 4000 people, on the Mississippi River, has an abundance of beautiful old mansions and Ante Bellum homes. One of my friends, lives on that  hill and is single. I guess,I  was pared up with her, as I am single too and we are both antique dealers and great friends.  Well. what ever, I am so thrilled to be part of this group. We meet once a month to celebrate birthdays. Who's ever it might be that month. Some times we dine out, but usually, we meet at one of the members house in Louisiana. She is such a gracious host, loves doing it and has the room for us all to gather. This month is her birthday, so I wanted to do something special for her.  So I have offered to host the party. Having her  numerous parties to live up to, I wanted to go all out.

My dining room ready for the party. A vision in pink.

A collection of Victorian Lusters and art glass tumblers with fresh flowers make the centerpiece.

    I wanted it to feel like spring, as we have had a long and drawn out winter. I wanted the table to be extra special ,so I have put some effort into that. I did not want it to look like a child's birthday party with the usual hats and streamers. I wanted it to be upscale, fun, different, colorful and unusual. I tried many things I have around the house. I have a few collections to pick from. I first wanted to use my bisque figures. I love them most of all. My family called them ,"The Others," as they are all over the house. One great niece calls them the little people. I have been known more than once to gather them in groups under the  Christmas Trees and on the piano. I carried  a few to the dining room table and they just didn't seem to work. The big ones were too big and the small ones did not get the effect I was after.I wanted to use some candle light. What dinner party is not perfect with out candles? I then had the ideal to use my Lusters. A Victorian Luster, is a name given to a glass  vase like, candle holder with prisms. I have always loved anything with prisms. I guess it is a Polly Anna thing?! Well I love Lusters and have a few. A walk about the house and they were gathered and placed on the table. I knew in an instant, this was the effect I was after.

   Having a formal dinner party is a lot of work. First I had to bring the table leaves down from the second floor closet. 5 were needed and that meant 5 trips up and down the stairs. Have you ever tried to open and close a big old dining room table all by yourself? Well I had to lay on the floor, under the table, and use my arms and legs to push it apart. When the leaves were in, I had to push it up against the buffet to close it. Next came the table cover. Did you know the Victorians called the dining room table a board? And thus the the name we have given to the sideboard, buffet or side table. Just a little Victorian history in there. I used a pink sheet us an underlay. It was wrinkled, so I washed and ironed it. That was not so easy either, as I have no ironing board. Don't ask. I don't often use my wonderful old hand made linen table cloths. They are so hard to do up, so delicate and well, you know. But I just knew a pink sheet would never do. So off the roll it came and I spot ironed it on the table. I know, I used a bath town underneath, so I would not hurt the table.
   The lusters were placed. I loved it. But I still wanted a little more. The solution was some flowers. If I filled the lusters with flowers, where would the candles go. I thought the lusters would best do for the candles as the light would hit the prisms and throw lusters of color about the room. Yes, that is why lusters are called lusters. My flower solution was solved by using a collection of art glass water tumblers as vases. I looked the table and luster arrangement over and felt that 6 was needed. Having a pink theme in mind , I chose lusters and tumblers in pinks, red and white. The flowers would follow suite. It is not always easy living in a small town in the middle of now where. It is 9 miles to the nearest bigger town. I had to go there to find a florist. Of course there is no grocery store in my town or that town, so I had to go 13 miles, one way, the other direction, to shop for food. Can you see what is involved in this dinner party.

The jonquils are from my garden. I know the color is off, but it added a little spring to the setting.

Makes me feel like spring is in the air. 

Cranberry  hob nail tumbler

Hand pained cranberry tumbler.

    I have to work in my shop on Saturday, the day of the party. So things have to be done and arranged in the days before the party. I started a couple of weeks before, cleaning the house, getting out china that has not been used in years, washing it, ironing napkins and so on and so forth. I make a list and mark things off as they get done. I shop for flowers several days in advance, make the arrangements and place them in the ice box to keep them fresh till needed. I turn the water  glasses upside down till used, this keeps them from getting dust in them. The plates and all dishes needed are counted and put on the kitchen island and covered. The food is all done the night before, I only have to prepare the main dish. I am having chicken breast with rice and a three cheese sauce. It can be made all the night before and put in the oven one hour before serving time.

I chose this china called"Rose Meade"  , pink   napkins and burgundy  flat ware.

Hand made antique linen table cloth has baskets of flowers and fruit and lovers all hand stitched .
Imagine the work that went into this.

Mary Todd Lincoln used this same pattern of antique cut glass goblets at the White House.

    I am trying something new this time. It seems that every time I host a party, everyone is in the kitchen. It makes it a little hard to work. I want every one to enjoy my beautiful parlors. So, I am shutting the dining room and kitchen doors until time to eat. When my guest arrive with there dishes, I will take them into the kitchen and shut the door behind me. The beautiful dining room table will be kept a surprise, till time to eat. The glasses will be full, flowers in place and the candles lite.
   I can see why in the last century people had many servants to help run there house holds. There is a lot of work in having a party like this. This one is one a rather small scale, only 12 people. I can see why it is not done often. I love doing it, but the work, I forget from time to time. It does make it all worth while when you see your guest faces as they enter the beautifully decorated dinning room. I hope this is the fact, coming in just 2 days. And then, when the guest are gone, all the work starts all over again, cleaning up and putting it all away.
   I wanted to share this experience with you. I know most of you can not be here in person, I so wish you could. I'd love to throw beautiful party for you. Just give me a few weeks warning. The lights will always be on and Sissy dog will be at the door with a jump and a kiss. From My Blog to  Yours, I send you best party wishes.Richard

My guest will not only enjoy a beautiful table but other beautiful pieces as well in my dining room.