Category Archives: Traveling

Entertainment, annual events and festivals for a day or a vacation getaway

Wordless Wednesday August 29, 2012






















More Wordless Wednesday


Missouri Coneflower

A roadside wildflower in Missouri

A summer roadside wildflower in Missouri

Missouri Coneflower, Rudbeckia missouriensis
Aster family (Asteraceae)


This yellow coneflower is a Missouri native.

Missouri coneflower is a Missouri native perennial. You can find these yellow flowers in limestone glades in the Ozarks. I noticed them along roadsides in late June and early July.

Rudbeckia missouriensis can spread to form wild colonies of yellow flowers growing between 2 and 3 feet tall. Daisy-like flowers have  yellow rays and black center cones.

Narrow green leaves and the multiple stems are hairy. Long summer to early fall bloom period.

You may have seen yellow coneflowers outside of Missouri. Their growing region stretches into AR, IL, LA, MO, OK, TX.

Yellow Coneflower

the leaves and multi branched stems are hairy.

I saw these yellow conflowers on the road to Laura Ingles Wilder’s home and museum.

Rethinking Coleas

Alabama Sunset' is a popular and durable sun-tolerant coleus.

This coleus is on my friends back deck. She knows – because I just had to tell her — that coleus should be pinched back. I admit this trailing plant is very pretty and continuously blooming. Most long time gardeners would have rushed to this plant and made 2 dozen cuttings imediately.

Pinch Plants for Better Growth

It just occurred to me when I saw this plant, that we don’t have to follow the rules or even an experienced gardeners advice.

Relax. Be happy. It is OK to NOT follow the rules all the time. You don’t Have To pinch plants. If you don’t, this is what will happen.↑ (see above photo) That’s OK too.


Thank You friends

Meet the Striped Pot Featured Writer for March 2012! I would LOVE it if you would stop by and leave a comment on any of my stories that catch you eye.

I’m really excited about the return of the American Queen: She’s Back! The American Queen Steamboat Returns

Cool, cool Taneycomo trout lake just below the Table Rock Dam. Best trout fishing in the state!

Branson’s Table Rock Lake

Table Rock Lake highlights include : a gorgous State Park  offers Marina Discounts for Table Rock Campers, the Table Rock Dam tour and the Shepherd of the Hills fish hatchery.

< This is Taneycomo. Good place to be during a hot summer day.


My next travel adventure is to Chicago. I will see the Flower, Lawn and Garden Show

Come see me at Striped Pot Featured Writer for March 2012


Try Vacation for Vacations

If you have a cut Christmas tree, look for a new product called Vacation. It will keep the tree green and fresh much longer. But I have to tell you how I use it – on potted poinsettia plants.


Vacation is biodegradable and contains no toxic chemicals.

Vacation can also be used on poinsettias and other potted plants to keep them from drying out. Just mix two capfuls of Vacation with a cup of water (or three ounces per gallon of water). Apply the solution as a watering to the entire pot until the soil is saturated. Poinsettias will then survive without water for up to two weeks.

You can be the sweetheart neighbor or daughter with the green thumb, if you add this to the potted poinsettias before you give them as gifts. It will keep Auntie from overwatering her plant if you include a tag. “ Do not water this plant until: January ____.” (Over watering is what kills most poinsetties at home).

Fresh Christmas Trees
Vacation, an all-natural plant anti-transpirant, will keep your Christmas tree fresh for up to three to four weeks. One 8-oz. bottle of Vacation with one gallon of water is all it takes. Vacation is biodegradable and contains no toxic chemicals.

Summer and Winter Vacations

Pretty Much Picasso

Supertunia® Pretty Much Picasso™ Petunia from Proven Winners survived a week's vacation with no water.

My summer vacation is no picnic for the plants left unattended while I am away. But now they can have Vacation when I am on vacation.

While you are getting the 8 oz bottle of Vacation, get an extra bottle because this product saved my container plants and a hanging basket last summer while I was on vacation. What a pleasure to come to home to blooming plants.

I only tell you about products I have used and Vacation saved my plants this summer and it is now keeping the poinsettia looking a lovely as when I brought it home.

An 8-ounce bottle of vacation sells for $14.95 online at Nature Hills. Or, find a retailer near you at Natural Industries

Bleeding Hearts

I’m sharing this beautiful flower with you because I learned something new about this spring time treasure. It is Lamprocapnos spectabilis (formerly known as Dicentra spectabilis), an old-fashioned bleeding-heart. I was calling it by the old name. Who knew?

Lamprocapnos spectabilis

It is a rhizomatous perennial that prefers shade. I’ve never had a good place to grow them, but they are a springtime standout. My most recent sightings, in the springs gardens at Eureka Springs AR, in Branson at the Showboat Branson Belle and, Most recently, at the Vaile Mansion in Independence MO.

The Vaile Mansion has this David McCullough, quote from his book TRUMAN. On page 51, McCullough describes the Vaile:

Bleeding Heart thrives in the shade of Vaile Mansion

“The Vaile house on North Liberty, the showiest house in Independence, was a towering stone-trimmed, red brick Victorian wedding cake, with thirty-one rooms and Carrara marble fireplaces. The Vaile stable had mahogany paneled stalls. There was a greenhouse and four full time gardeners. If Harvey Vaile, who made his money in “pure water” and contract mail delivery, was not the richest man in town, he certainly lived as though he were.”

I think Bleeding Hearts look fussy and well suited to Victorian decor, as is the Vaile Mansion, the Branson Belle, and the whole of Eureka Springs.

If you have a shady spot, give it a try. They are not as delicate as you might think. If yours goes dormant and dissappears in the summer, plant hosta near by to fill the gap in your shade garden.

A rhizomatous perennial that prefers light shade

Garden Bloggers Bloom Day April 2011

Confederate Memorial State Historic

I’ve been traveling this month, enjoying other peoples flowers. The neighbors are enjoying mine.

forsythia at Arkansas Welcome Center



Visit  Carol at May Dreams Gardens to meet more flower lovers participating in Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day.


MO Botanical Gardens is just beginning to bloom with redbuds






thousands of tulips at MBG



So many color combos and tulip flower sizes at MBG








Beautiful primrose is in full bloom when some herbs are just surfacing in April.

primrose in the herb garden behind Shaw's home at Missouri Botanical Gardens.

Our travels took us to Independence where we saw these softly fragrant  pink lilacs.

Pink Lilacs with the same heavenly fragrance as the lavender lilacs.

Traditionally, GBBD is April 15. And, garden bloggers share what id blooming in their own gardens. Carol’s idea has grown so we can see the changing of the seasons, and the wave of flowers blooming through all zones both urban and suburban.

Since April is Poetry Month:

“And Spring arose on the garden fair,
Like the Spirit of Love felt everywhere;
And each flower and herb on Earth’s dark breast
rose from the dreams of its wintry rest.”
–  Percy Bysshe Shelley, The Sensitive Plant

Stray dogs and Christmas Cactus

I have whined and complained sufficiently that Jules no longer brings home stray dogs or abandoned cats. He does however bring home sad and ugly plants. He went to the grocery store the other day and brought home this Christmas Cactus. “It was only a buck,” he said.

An abandoned plant just fell in Jules grocery cart.

Rebloom Christmas Cactus

After your Christmas cactus blooms, prune it to encourage the plant to branch out.

Christmas Cactus is a tropical type cactus that is not as drought tolerent as the name implies. Keep the plant in a well-lit location away from drafts, heat vents, fireplaces or other sources of dry, hot air. Fertilize April to October.

A succulant like Christmas Cactus holds lots of water in the leaves and can tolerate dry soil better than wet soil. When the soil is dry to the touch, thoroughly water. Do not leave the plant in standing water. Well-drained soil is a must. Root rot from too much water kills most houseplants.

In the summer I will take the cactus outside in a shady place. Keep out of direct sun or the leaves will burn. Gradually get the cactus plant used living indoors by bringing it in for longer periods each day.

I will water the Christmas cactus, fretilze it, and probably repot it.

The naturally longer nights and cool temperatures in late summer will encourage flower development.

Rebloom Christmas Cactus for the holidays with long uninterrupted dark periods beginning in mid-October. Store your Christmas Cactus in an unused closet, a basment or a garage where the plant gets uninterupted dark periods. Give it only occasional water. Ignore your cactus for about six or eight weeks or, until buds start forming.

Christmas cactus will also bloom if they are subjected to cool temperatures beginning in early November. Ideal temps are 50 to 55 degrees Fahrenheit at night. Bring into bright indirect light when buds begin to form.  It is about this time of the year when Jules reclaims his plant.


Pinch off sections of each stem or cut with a sharp knife. You can root new plants from the pinched sections in damp vermiculite. Give all these cutting to guests who gushed over how beautiful your Christmas Cactus was this Christmas.

To transplant your Christmas Cactus you will need to use a potting mix for succulents. Buy potting mix or make your own succulent potting mix with two parts plain potting soil and one part clean vermiculite. Select a pot that is the next size bigger. The need som now potting soul but not a lot of room.

All the neighbor ladies will admire his plant and his growing skills. And he will share little cuttings in vermiculite with the ladies. He will get hugs. And they will tell me how lucky I am.

Then he gets another hug and may be a big red hat kiss, plus a pat on the back.

And I will chase after half the ladies who forgot to get the Christmas cutting.

Branson’s weekend of magic and miracles

Hamner Barber

Miracle of Christmas is the largest faith based live theatrical performance, Miracle of Christmas, in America. A 300-foot-long stage wraps around a theatrical production that surrounds the audience on three sides. The actors and animals move through the theater aisles and angels fly over head.

It is dramatic presentation of the Christmas story – Jesus coming to earth in human form. With more than 45 actors telling a story of kings, angels, shepherds and the journey of Mary and Joseph to Bethlehem.

Sight & Sound Theatres, 1001 Shepherd of the Hills Expressway, Branson MO 65616, phone 800-377-1277. E-mail: Tickets may be purchased at the box office, by visiting the website, or by calling 800-377-1277. The show is 2 hours and 20 minutes, including an intermission.

Check the calender for specific dates. Miracle of Christmas runs through – Dec 30, 2009.

Cost For 1-14 ADULTS :$47, CHILD :$16, TEEN :$23. Groups of 15 or more are ADULTS: $44.65 , CHILD: $$16.00, and TEEN $$23.00.

Chateau on the Lake – Branson, Missouri’s only AAA Four-Diamond Hotel, Spa & Convention Center. 415 North State Highway 265 • Branson, Missouri 65616
Toll Free: 1-888-333-LAKE (5253) • Phone: (417) 334-1161 • Fax: (417) 339-5566

Stay Three Nights for the Price of Two
between now and November 30th, plan to stay a minimum of three consecutive nights – Sunday through Thursday before December 16th, 2010 – and the THIRD NIGHT IS ON US!
Enjoy all our Chateau amenities – indoor pool and hot tub, fitness facility, nature trail, tennis courts, nightly movies in Sassafras Theatre and free indoor parking.
New Year’s Eve Special Celebrate 2011 at the Chateau on the Lake!! Availability:
12/31/2010 – 12/31/2010

Where to eat
Branson Cafe – come celebrate the Branson’s cafe’s 100th anniversary.
120 W Main St., Branson MO 65616
Phone: 417-334-3021, E-mail:

More to do
I like to have a little bit of magic and mystery in this old world. That brings me to Happiness is an Illusion Hamner Barber Variety Show is laugh out loud funny with comedy, dance, magic and ventriloquism in one show. The second half of the show is their holiday show: Wings of Christmas Hamner Barber also has one of Branson’s most touching tributes to veterans. “Thank You’s Not Enough,” is a heartwarming multimedia finale that has audiences on their feet.

Christmas Limo Lights Tour
Make this Christmas season a memorable one for you, your family, friends, or a company Christmas party.

Sit back and enjoy some sparkling cider while listening to your favorite Christmas music in one of our warm and luxurious limousines. Please call for details, we would be happy to help you plan your Christmas or New Year’s Eve event.
Make reservations online or call (417) 331.1316

• 4 Passenger Luxury Sedan – $130.00*
• 10 Passenger Super Stretch Limousine – $240.00*
Prices are for a Two-Hour Tour (6-8 PM or 8:30-10:30 PM
Make reservations online or call (417) 331.1316

For more information: Chamber of Commerce & CVB Visitor Welcome Center.

Welcome Center is at the intersection of U.S. 65 and Highway 248 (Red Route). Make this you first stop in Branson for friendly faces, free maps, brochures, Branson Vacation Guides, coffee and clean restrooms.

Branson – regarded as the “Live Music Show Capital of America,” Branson features more than 100 live shows every day.

Lynn and Brian Go to Branson

Bass Pro

I have good friends going to the Springfield and Branson area for an all too short getaway. I hope they have a much needed break, because after this weekend, Christmas shopping, decorating, baking, caroling begins in all our lives. Lynn and Brian McCreery own the The Irish Inn in Ozark, IL  USA

If they don’t have time for everything, maybe they can try some of these things: Branson Zipline is just North of Branson, off Hwy 65, easy to see the giant billboard. I wrote about it at Halloween time, but I think now is a good time to go. Leaf fall has made it easier to see the terrain from a fast flying birds eye view and, Brian, it may comfort you to know that they’ve never lost anyone, yet.

I like to have a little bit of magic and mystery in this old world. That brings me to Happiness is an Illusion Hamner Barber Variety Show is laugh out loud funny with comedy, dance, magic and ventriloquism in one show. Hamner Barber also has one of Branson’s most touching tributes to veterans. “Thank You’s Not Enough,” is a heartwarming multimedia finale that has audiences on their feet.

In Branson, not fancy just simply good. Eat Here:

Branson Cafe, this is authentic regional cuisine. Save room for pie.
or here:
I love the Grand Village and I love the Sugar Leaf Bakery/Cafe. No matter what you have, it will be good.

You will love Shoji’s Christmas Show and don’t miss the Titanic Exhibit.

Say “Hi!” to Molly and Carter.

(FREE Event Father Christmas will be at the Titanic with his reindeer on some weekends.)

In Springfield, help make the world a better place. Eat chocolate.

Don’t miss Askinoisie Chocolate This may be the purest chocolate you have ever eaten. It is made of only two things: Cacao and sugar.

Chocolate for a better world.

Askinosie Chocolate is a small batch bean to bar chocolate manufacturer. Shawn Askinoisie buys cacao directly from the farmers for more than market value. (most cacao farmers live in poverty). Askinosie is unique because each small batch is single-origin cocoa butter and nibs, plus you get to know exactly who grew your chocolate and where.
Askinoisie Chocolate 514 E Commercial St. Springfield, MO 65803 (417) 862-9900

Go Here. No, really. Bass Pro is Springfield’s biggest tourist attraction. Popcorn, Christmas dishes, warm socks. Really good warm socks, plus I bought a jacket on sale. They even have binoculars, GPS’ , knife sharpeners and hand warmers.

In Springfield, Eat Here:
Springfield Brewing Company, a local pub, seasonal beer, can’t wait to hear what you think, Lynn and Brian. Also, this is good food, lunch or dinner.

or eat here, Farmers Gastropub, sustainable, farm to table food. Not fancy, but the food is good and the beer is cold. 431 S. Jefferson, Ste. 160 (entrance on Pershing next to The Moxie), phone (417) 864-6994  is open 9:30-11 p.m. M-W and 9:30 a.m.-midnight Th-Sat, with Bistro Dining 6-9:30 p.m. Th-Sat

The Irish Inn

The Irish Inn is in the Shawnee National Forest in Southernmost Illinois. I’ve stayed at the Irish Inn. The hosts are charming, the rooms are beautifully appointed, the breakfast is unforgetable. I enjoyed our getaways to the Irish Inn, they are on the Shawnee wine trail and near orchards and vinyards. This may turn out to be one of you favorite B&Bs, too. Call (618) 695-3355 or (618) 695-5683.

The McCreerys are staying at  Dear’s Rest Bed and Breakfast in Ozark, MO. Owned by Allan and Linda Schilter, call 417 581 3839 or view the weboage The Dear’s Rest is half way between Springfield and Branson.

  • Visit  Branson/Lakes Area Chamber of Commerce/CVB and stop by the official Welcome Center of the Chamber of Commerce and Convention and Visitors Bureau (CVB) at the intersection of U.S. 65 and Highway 248 (Red Route). You’ll find friendly faces, free maps, brochures, Branson Vacation Guides, coffee and clean restrooms.
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