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Howdy-do gals!

My goodness, it’s hard to believe my daughter just started 5th grade this week! Kids are back in school, the days are still warm but the evenings are cooling down and  I just noticed yesterday several leaves peeking through my maple tree have already turned the color of  butterscotch!  I just picked up a few Sweet Cinnamon Pumpkin and Fresh Balsam candles from Bath and Body Works and I’ve already started burning them!  I just couldn’t wait! Their wonderful fragrance has got me in the mood for the change of the season.  As soon as school starts, I like to get a head start on ushering in the glories of fall! So this next week I will be pulling out my bins of Autumn leaves, pumpkins, acorns, twigs and branches and begin to festoon my home with the sights, sounds and aromas of fall. It may seem too early for some of you, but I’ve got ants in my pants…I just get so excited when it comes to this time of year! (Why delay the joy?)

Before I get going with my fall decorating I wanted to tell y’all that I just got back from a delightful trip to a few darling Missouri towns that were just dripping with charm!  It was our last Hurrah for the Summer. I’m so excited  to share with you pictures of my trip….I’ve got lots to show you so go grab something yummy to drink and settle in for a rollicking arm-chair tour of our beautiful small town America…

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Our first stop was the quaint town of St. Charles, Missouri.  St. Charles is on the banks of the Missouri River, the exact spot where Louis and Clark began their expedition  to explore uncharted territory west of the Mississippi back in 1803. It is one of the most documented American adventures. Here in the heart of old town, it truly is  Main Street USA! So Disneyland-ish! A canopy of lush trees hung over cobblestone streets and lamplights glowed a festive ” welcome neighbor”  to passers-by in front of Centuries old homes and shops. st-charles-7

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Main Street is polka-dotted with Turn-of-The-Century homes, outdoor cafes and quaint shops. Each one is  lolli-pop candy for the eyes…the architecture is  stunning and whimsical…look at all of the detail, it’s all so sweetly scrumptious!

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Don’t you just wonder what the folks who live here are having for dinner tonight? I wonder  if there is a pie in the oven? If there is, I bet it’s peach! (my favorite).st-charles-6

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I wanted to take this sign home with me…but they said no. (that’s not very nice.)lol

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How adorable is this scrapbooking store?! I love the flag garland and rick-rac trim along the roof line!

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This dollhouse of a shop is called Cobblestone. It’s filled with all kinds of primitive and colonial goodies….come-on lets go inside!

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Oh my! They’re all ready for fall!  Cozy pumpkins and cinnamon colored garlands graced every nook and cranny…

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I love all of their autumn goodness…now do you see why I’m in the mood for fall?

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Summer Rose and I in front of an old fashioned front porch….I love a home painted barn red with white trim! You may notice my hair is way darker and shorter…well, there is a story behind that! The day before our trip, I stopped in a hair salon to see if they had time to give me a color touch up and a quick trim (normally my daughter in California styles my hair)….two hours later I walked out with BLACK hair….yes black…Elvis black. Not the “golden brown” I asked for. Not quite the farm-girl look either.  And it was quite a bit shorter than the simple trim that I asked for too. Oh dear. Not good. I could have easily cried, but this wasn’t the first hair-do disaster I’ve had, ( Yes, I’ve had some doozies…just ask my sister Sherry….let’s see,  there was the Star Trek Spock haircut…the Poodle-Do and the Brillo Pad Perm…oh boy could I tell you some stories!)   I knew that it was a temporary situation. But I was still shocked when I looked in the mirror. I called ahead to my hubby to lament a little and to warn him about it. My hubby (being the funny guy that he is…always trying to make sweet lemonade out of a lemon) sang an Elvis song when I got home ( “she’s a hunka hunka burnin love”). Such a funny boy. He did give me a big hug and reminded me of what I had been telling myself…”it will fade in a few weeks”.  I had made up my mind that I wasn’t going to let this spoil my fun. I also knew that I had to keep my chin up for my daughters sake.  She is at that pre-teen age and very impressionable, she didn’t need to see me falling apart over something like this.  I was honest in letting her know that I did not like it, but that it  was temporary and would be over  in a matter of a few weeks.  Our kids are watching how we react to life situations. Sometimes, for our children’s sake,  we need to put our big-girl-pants-on when we would rather melt in a puddle of tears. Hey life goes on….and it is short and precious, and I don’t want to waste a minute of it  being depressed, so if  it means I have to go around with Elvis hair for a little while….then so be it….I choose to be joyful….. “Thank you…thank you very much”. LoL

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Now, back to the charm of St. Charles…..Just across the street from this adorable turn-of-the-century cottage was a darling outdoor cafe called Little Hills….

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The sun was setting, the crickets were chirping and the air was balmy and warm…the perfect setting for a relaxed evening summer supper. We brought my mother-in-law with us on our trip…her name is Ruth too!

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After dinner, we walked down to the river….

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Passed the train station….

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and came upon an outdoor summer concert. Just beyond the gazebo the Missouri River gently rolled by. Reflecting the setting sun, shimmering like liquid gold. Spectacular!

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We spent a little time in St. Louis…..the arch is amazing…you just don’t realize how big it is until you get real close!

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Summer wanted to touch it…here she is at the base of it. They have an elevator inside the arch that will take you up to the top so you can view the city on one side and the river on the other.

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The St. Louis Arch symbolises the Gateway To The West and faces the Mississippi River…this is the view.

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I took this picture out of the window as we were driving through downtown St. Louis. The ivy and flowers flowing down look so lovely…I love that someone took the time to add more beauty to this already stately building.

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We headed north….our destination: Hannibal Missouri, birthplace of Samuel Clemens, also known as Mark Twain, famous writer of the beloved classics Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn. We drove about and hour and a half passed beautiful farms and forests. A summer storm was brewing up a dark sky which made the green fields that much brighter.barnashley-hwy

We took a picture of this sign for our daughter Ashley…love you pumpkin pie!

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Hannibal Missouri….a town that has seen a lot of history! If the mighty Mississippi could talk, I’m sure it could tell some facinating stories!hotel-mark-twain

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Mark Twains boyhood home…208 Hill Street. It was established in 1853. Mark Twain wrote about his experiences here and the people he knew, changing their names and embellishing the facts to produce his amusing american adventure stories. The sign says ” Tom Sawyers Fence: Here stood the board fence which Tom Sawyer persuaded his gang to pay him for the privilege of whitewashing. Tom sat by and saw that it was well done.”

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Is that Mark Twain peeking through the upstairs window?

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Becky Thatcher’s home is right across the street from Mark Twain’s. Becky was the fictional character in Twains book Tom Sawyer, but she was a real person and her true name was Laura Hawkins…a dear friend of Mark’s. As you can see it was in the process of renovation.

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How romantic is the last line in this sign…”Tom thought Becky to be the essence of all that is charming in womanhood.” Ahhhh!clemens-office-window

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We took a tour of the town on the Mark Twain Clopper….

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Barney was the name of the horse.

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I just love this photo…it would be gorgeous blown up and framed! Look at the detail…just stunning!

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It is the Hickory Stick Quilt shop….take a look inside….

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Here is Summer, modeling a darling apron made from blue jeans! Love the red rick-rac

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They had a pattern for the Lilly Apron which I thought was adorable!

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If you are in Hannibal, you just gotta ride on a riverboat on the Mississippi River! It’s a thrilling experience when you think about the history and stories of this famous river! As a little girl, I used to jump rope to a rhyme that went:

Spell Mississippi with a capitol M-i-

Crooked letter-crooked letter -i-

Crooked letter- crooked letter -i-

Hump back-hump back  -i

Down the Mississippi where the steam boats push!

(And now I was on the actual Mississippi! So fun!)

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The water was a little muddy….it made me think about Mississippi Mud Pie!!

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A view of Hannibal from the water.

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Oh my goodness! This is the REAL Tom Sawyers Island!! If you’ve  read the book or have been to Disneyland, you know what I’m talking about! I had no idea that it actually existed!

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Me and Summer on the old Miss!

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This is what the banks of the the Mississippi looks like. A close up of Tom’s Island.

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Many of you have asked about what camera I use….I have a couple cameras: This is the one I carry with me in my purse all the time…you just never know when a great photo opp. will arise! I like to be ready! I love this camera so much I’ve already married it! I used it to take all the pictures on my trip. It ‘s small and  lightweight, comes in this pretty gold color, and takes fabulous photos…and it’s easy to use! LOVE IT!!  It is the Canon Powershot SD880 , you can click here to find it on Amazon…I got it for Christmas last year.

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Well, we had a wonderful time exploring parts of our wonderful America! I’m so glad you took the time to stroll down Main Street America with me! Now I’m back home and it’s time to get my nest all comfy and cozy as I look forward to the joys of  havest time.  Thank you Sugar Pie Sistas for always leaving me such heartwarming comments…I so love that you take a few moments to let me know you like what you see here. It means so much to me!!

Sugar Pie Blessings to y’all!!

Aunt Ruthie

P.S. If you haven’t checked out the Girl-Talk forum, please do! Our Sugar Pie Sisterhood is a wonderful group of gals who are so welcoming, encouraging and full of great ideas to help you make your house a home. They couldn’t be friendlier…..it’s like chatting with a sweet neighbor over the backyard fence!! I am so proud of all of my Sugar Pie Sistas who participate!

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