Friday, June 28, 2013

Tourist From Egypt

  Yesterday I had an exciting telephone call, it was from a nice young man who wanted to take a tour of, My Old Historic House. He was traveling between Chicago,Ill. and St.Louis,Mo. It seems some one had mentioned that they should tour the 1845 Historic Elgin/Cottrell House Museum in Clarksville,Mo. I made the appointment for the next morning. I asked where they were from and they said Egypt. I said, pardon me, and he repeated Egypt. They are visiting family in Chicago and St.Louis.. They had a rental car. I guess today with all the modern devices it would not be hard to travel all over a strange country.
   The couple arrived this morning, right on time. First we had a small lesson in American History, about the time of the Civil War. I was prepared and had a few books open to pages  of pictures about this period. I then explained that was when the house was built and why I had decorated it to that period.  One picture I had was of the Lincoln home in Springfield,Ill. Mr. Lincoln was our president at that time.They were very  attentive and seemed to really enjoy there lesson and tour.

   It was also necessary to explain why there was a huge wall of sand bags covered in plastic out my front door. They understood very easily as they have the flooding Nile  River in Egypt.
  I was so happy when they asked if there were any favorite spots in St.Louis as well. I said I am sure your family will know, but give them a list of mine, including the Brewery Tour.
  It is a lot cooler today in Missouri than it has been. I had not turned on the air. I used this to my advantage. Telling the young couple, when the house was built in 1845 there would have been no air, just open doors and windows.

   The saga of, My Old Historic House continues. Last Tuesday I had a group of Red Hat Ladies for tour and lunch, today a nice couple from Egypt. What's next, maybe you can come for a tour as well. I will always leave the lights on and Sissy will be at the tour with a jump and a kiss.
                        Happy 4th of July.

Friday, June 7, 2013

VINES and other things.

Kentucky or Virginia creeper on a carriage house next door.

This is a good hotel for birds. they arrive every evening and fight for the best spot. 

Kentucky or Virginia creeper , creeping on the back of My Old Historic House.

A wall covered in Ivy at the Village Black Smith Shop.
  As I went to work this morning I could not help but notice all the beauty that was around me. Sissy does not move fast, she has to sniff and smell and roll , so we don't get anywhere in a hurry. The first thing I saw as I left my side door this morning was a pile of shipping pallets, a giant roll of plastic , big pile of sand and several piles of sand bags. Not the best greeting in the world, but better than the river under my feet. Oh yes, I forgot to mention the famous blue Porta Pot , just standing there in a spot of honor. The sun is shining today and we have not had rain for almost 3 days. The river is starting to fall and finally I can  give my attention to something other than a flood.
    I am not sure how many take the time to read my blog. Sometimes I wish I had a way to tell. Often comments are made that suggest they only look at the pictures. I have been there before. I always  put a little thought and attention into my blog post. I realize there are only so many bloggers out there and they all are not my followers, and not even all of them really like and care about every blog one can post. I used to do a little history lesson with mine. Tried to add a little humor and often told a story or two. I see some bloggers change a pillow or two, add a bow, buy a new plant and them seem to get just as much attention as I do. Wouldn't you  like to just say the truth once in awhile? I would, but I know it is not correct, so often I just go with out any comment what so ever.
    Well, I got off track there for awhile. Sorry!  Back to my walk and all the beauty this morning. I just love Vines. The wilder, the more they over power, the better. Ivy is a favorite. I have come to learn that it is not a good thing. It does tend to dig into surfaces and cause rot and damage. It is wonderful for rock walls and old fences. Can not hurt them and adds a real beauty that only ivy can do. I love it also because it stays  green all winter. In spring it is electric, bright and vivid. All the new growth just looks like a gift from Heaven. In winter the leaves turn deep hunter green. They are stiff and great for winter bouquets or Christmas decorations. It will last for weeks when cut and one does not even have to put them in water. I love a long bundle, tied with a bow and hug on a door , window or top of a mirror. So simple, so natural and so cheap.

The creeper behind my house covers the window. looks so cool inside.

Love the creeper and the brick combination

Creeping up to the roof.

Creeping on my neighbors carriage house. Her father took this off last summer and it is already back.

   I have a passion for a vine that is somewhat of a monster. I believe it's common name is Kentucky or Virginia Creeper. Well it not only creeps, it spreads,vines and takes over. You can pull it down and it will be back in a few days. I have always said that if you stand still, to long by it, it will vine up your legs. It does not dig into wood or motor, so is not as  bad as ivy. I don't care, I just love it and I let it grown over the windows on the roof and where every it wants. Ever few years we tear it all down and let it start over. If I didn't, I am sure it would devour the whole house. I keep it toward the back. I love the look of the vine covered windows. It makes the room  feel cool and creates great shadows about the rooms. The birds love to roost in this  wall of vines. Every evening, just about dark, there is a huge ruckus as the birds fight for there spot that night.

This is the wild Clematis I was talking about. Growing here on a slave cottage wall.

A closer view. It is beautiful, but  a devil. Be ware.

   We have a wild Clematis that I hate. It is beautiful when it blooms. Has masses of all these little white blooms that produce masses of seeds that produce masses of new vines. It is a pest.It can grow several feet in a week. Kills other plants as it does so.If you want to grow some, be ware, it is awful hard to control. It likes wet, dry, good, bad soil and even grows out of cracks in the sidewalk. The blooms are worth it, especially when there is a huge mature vine that bust open in full bloom. I don't let it grow at my house, but my neighbor has  a huge one and it so beautiful when it blooms. Looks like a big giant wedding veil or bridal bouquet.

These climbing red roses have been blooming ever since the flood started in late April. What a gift they have been.,

An ivy covered blacksmith shop on Main Street here in Clarksville,

One of many rock retainer walls found in town. Love the pink and purple combination.

A wonderful Wisteria covered patio says welcome and also strikes a little mystery as to what might be found inside there.

See the Juniper vine down  the rock wall and highlighted by the bright yellow Clorelopis .

    Vines were not the only thing I noticed as I walked to work. Beautiful flowers are in bloom all over the two blocks between, My Old Historic House and my antique mall. Roses,one of my favorites, have been especially  beautiful this year. The wet and cool have done there do. I have had a hug red climber going at it for weeks. One of the buildings here in town has a small wild flower garden. It is really out of control now. One would have trouble keeping up with it, especially  with all the the rains we have had this spring. I love wild flowers and I love them out of control Another thing we seem to have an abundance of here in town are rock walls. Built to retain banks they are beautifully dotted in the local landscape. I especially love when the plants vine there way down these rock walls.
    Even in the middle of a Mississippi River flood that started 51 days ago, here in Clarksville,Mo. There is a lot of beauty and much to be thankful for. I hope you all can come some time soon for a real tour. Just step over the shipping pallet, sand bags and by pass the porta pot and enjoy the beauty you will find here. Maybe some day soon we will be back to normal. What ever normal is? Just take  some time to see the beauty around you. Richard and Sissy
A local wild flower garden growing out of control due to all the rain and coolness we have had this spring

The red is so bright

The purple is alive

Dainty yellow adds a touch of elegance close to the ground.