Overwhelm @ Museum of Transportation

The Museum of Transportation houses a world class collection of transportation vehicles.

Museum of TransportationSomething to catch the eye in every corner.  First, there’s amazement, Then a lot of respect.

We will take a beginning tour today.  I’ll return to add stories and photos of parts of the massive collection.

The Museum of Transportation is a County Park

The project began in the 1940’s. The Transport Museum Association, Museum of Transportation and St. Louis County Parks collaboration.  The museum began using track from 1930 Missouri Pacific railroad.

Excellent Place for Children

Museum of TransportationActivities for most age groups.  There’s a train that circles the property.  Unlimited Rides with admission wrist band.  There is also a craft station called “Creation Station.”  This is popular with guardians and children.  Registration required because the room becomes packed with happy youngsters.

Excellent Place for Adult “Children”

Automobile show room with displays beginning with wagons and continues through the 20th Century.

museum of transportation milk wagonPevely Dairy Wagon.  Looks like fun to me.

 Museum of Transportation - Dream CarBobby Darin “Dream Car”

Called “Outrageous Vision of the Future.”

Trains?  We got ’em!

Transportation - Union PacificUnion Pacific Railroad #900081

Built in 1966 – Biggest, heaviest rotary snowplow.

kinda scary at first glance

Museum of TransportationThis looks like a great story.

Plenty of opportunity to learn.

A few other things to share today.

TowboatTowboat “H.T. Pott”

First Missouri River Towboat with welded steel hull.

Kids enjoy climbing this big fella.

what a craftDouglas Aircraft C-47A Transport

A Dandy!

I’ll simply have to return

too overwhelmed.  need to consider.  will pause for now to think

sure like bencheson this beautiful bench.

2933 Barrett Station Road – St. Louis, MO 63122

If you find me sitting on this bench, let’s do hot chocolate.  I’ll buy.

love & love,


Garden Getaway

 It’s Time for a Garden Getaway.

garden-greetingEvery visit offers new delight.

Up a hill to the Mediterranean Garden

Looking for fun – Found a Splashing Fountain

Splash in the FountainManaged Not to Soak Myself

Can you see the pointed shelter in the distance?

Special Moments Celebrated in the GardenIt’s set up for a wedding.

I watch for magic

Garden getaway - Magical Resident Watch Do you suppose the magic being living in this tree would like muffins?

to-english-woodland-gardenEntrance to the English Woodland Garden.

fairy-flowers Field of lavender crocus.  A lady exclaimed “Look!  Fairy Flowers!”  Oh, yeah .  . . That’s what I was thinking, too.

These feel like family to me

familyThese are “Dawn Redwood” Trees.  They come from China.  I suspect they are related to the Redwood Trees in California.

Henry Shaw’s House

 Heading towards the front gate

entrance-to-childrens-gardenGuardians wrangling strollers approach the Children’s Garden.  I’ll avoid pathways.

rock-river-bedThere’s a dry-rock-river bed hidden in a field.  Who thinks to create a dry rock river?

tall-flowersThese Red Flowers must be 8′ Tall.  Sentries reminding folk to be polite.

dwarf-connifer-gardenWater lilies on one side, and Dwarf Conifer Bed on the other.

I often enjoy a Garden Getaway

I hope you have favorite places to visit.  Surely you’ll find plenty of posts about “The Garden.”

I’ll leave you with Water Lilies and Chihuly.


love & love,


Center for Home Gardening

I like to pretend the William T. Kemper Center for Home Gardening is my home.

Missouri Botanical Garden Kemper Center The outside is nice.  The entire Center for Home Gardening is on 8.5 Acres.  There are countless projects to see, plenty of ideas to try in your own garden.  Specially trained Master Gardeners are on duty to answer questions.  There is a walk-in Plant Doctor service . . Honest!  if you bring in a sample from your ailing plant. an expert will help with information, tips and advice.  There are classes and oodles of free pamphlets filled with information about anything garden.

This is NOT why I pretend, tough.

There’s a Great Room that always sparks my imagination.

Cozy Corner in the Kemper CenterCozy corner especially nice in winter.  It’s peaceful and quiet on any kind of day.  (But, warming by the fire on a chill day is excellent.)

Missouri Botanical Garden Kemper CenterThe walls are windows all around.  Plants preferring different types of light teach us their sunlight preferences.

Center for Home GardeningHere are some morning sun plant-people.

Center for Home Gardening North WindowHere is the North Window.  Do you suppose these plants yearn for winter?

Look!  A Tree Living Inside!

Happy Evergreen Lives Insideisn’t this wonderful?  A little forest tree, right inside.

West Window Home Garden CenterHere are plants happier to see the sun set.  (West Window)

Center for Home GardeningFacing South, these are mostly cactus-plants.

Outside, there are lots of home gardening ideas.  before we set outside, let’s check out the tree once more . . .

Center for Home Gardening‘bye for now, baby tree!

Center for Home Gardening Outside Ideas

Center for Home GardeningJust stepping out the front door, water features, plantings, in pots or yard, gathering spaces . . .once there was an entire section dedicated to planting around mailboxes.  It was festive.

Center for Home GardeningThere are ideas for urban living.  Here’s an outdoor kitchen and entertaining area.

Center for Home GardeningComplete with Grill

Center for Home GardeningHere’s a peek at a teeny urban garden.  There’s seating, a water feature, statuary, super cool trees.  The possibility of a quiet paradise in the middle of crowded city spaces.  (click on photo for expanded view)

Let’s begin walking towards the front gate, okay?

Center for Home GardeningA shaded walk about allows protection for us and shade plants.

center for Home GardeningThese portals give inviting glimpses into other types of garden areas.  Does your yard look like this?

I’m ready to head home.

Missouri Botanical GardenLet’s pass the Chinese Garden along the way.

‘bye for now!


Henry Shaw

Henry Shaw is the person who gave us the property that became Our Gorgeous Botanical Garden.

"Welcome to the GardenHenry Shaw was born in Sheffield, United Kingdom, July 24th,1800.  He attended Mill Hill School in London as long as his parents could afford to send him.  Then he traveled with his father for business.

Henry proved to be good at business and when challenges came up it was often Henry Shaw to the rescue.

Henry traveled from New Orleans to the little French Village of St. Louis in 1819.  He decided to stay and establish a business of his own.  Henry’s uncle, James Hoole, gave the support needed to start a hardware business.  Henry Shaw turned out to be a great investment.

Photo of Henry Shaw

Henry Shaw; from a watercolor painting at the Missouri Botanical Garden, by permission of the Director.

His business outfitted pioneers traveling westward. By the time he was forty Henry Shaw was one of the largest landowners in St. Louis. He began to travel and explore his interest in botany.

In 1851, he commissioned George I. Barnett to build his homes.  One of them is the “Tower Grove House,”  pictured here.

Henry Shaw Country Home Shaw dedicated land around his home toward the study of botany.  The garden became so extensive He opened it to the public in 1859.

Henry Shaw Home/Back ViewHenry Shaw died August 25th, 1889.  He left a legacy of beauty, education and hope for everyone to enjoy.

Our garden is one of my favorite places.  I hope you have a chance to visit in person someday.  People come from all over the world for research.  Countless gatherings, classes, exhibits, cooking demonstrations are offered BUT, for me the best part is wandering the grounds, soaking in the beauty.

.  One frigid afternoon, I zoomed from a college class in time to meet a lady with a passion for tree trunks.  We were freezing, looking at variations in tree trunks.  Trees have never looked the same to me.  I do NOT recommend punishing yourself like that – BUT, I have developed a healthy respect for trees ever since.

Almost Spring

“Shaw’s Garden” – Day Before Spring

Milque Toast

The celebrated food writer M. F. K. Fisher (1908–1992) called milk toast a “warm, mild, soothing thing, full of innocent strength.”  Spell this place “Milk Toast” or “Milque Toast” – it’s pronounced the same and, my first visit will be the first of many, regular planned stops because I enjoyed myself completely.  Totally “my kind” of place.

the arrival!Parked in front.  The place is small, but WONDERFUL.  Got the camera out to show you my first – parked – view.  It was easy enough to find,  Highway 44, to Jefferson Ave., maybe two and a half blocks, on the east side of the road.

Comfort Cuisine!It says “Comfort Cuisine.” . . . I was ready to check it out.

The place is teeny-tiny.  There’s a community table and two, or maybe three other places to sit along the wall.  It’s friendly and colorful.  i walked up to the counter and asked if it was too early for soup.  (Yes, I really like soup.)  In unison, three people behind the counter said, “It’s always a good time for soup.”  Then one lone voice said, “We encourage soup for breakfast.”  I wasn’t really That Early, but – I would enjoy soup for breakfast . . . and, not that you asked, but I’ve enjoyed “breakfast for dinner” countless times.  Haven’t you?

you're gonna like itFun and colorful, the kitchen is small, but what they deliver is mighty.  There IS a chalkboard with ideas about what’s available, which wasn’t yet current for my Thursday visit.  There’s also a nice paper menu that explains the basics, BUT, it’s even better when you simply ask what’s cookin’ and you see smiles on the faces about to serve up something yummy.  They are proud of what they have to offer, and I agree, it’s something super satisfying.

There is an outdoor seating area, so on warm enough days, people will be able to gather in larger groups and have elbow room.  While I was there it was fun to share and listen to others . . but, I’m just like that.  Kinda simple in style and wander around solo-style – so i can pay attention to  Wonder All Around.

milque toastYes, I’m sitting THAT close to the wall across the way with three extra spaces. Someone placed a colorful back pack on one of the chairs . . . super cozy, but then it’s easy to hear all the happy goin’ around.

my first milque toast mealHere’s my first ever meal at Milque Toast.  It’s a delicious bowl of Tomato Herb Soup, with a thick slice of toasted multi-grain bread generously slathered in butter.  I also have a cup of coffee (beverage of choice since I was a kid.)  It was so tasty, I could hardly wait to get home and share with friends about this fantastic lunch discovery.  I’ll return, in fact, chances are this will become one of my favorite places.

Milque Toast – 2212 S. Jefferson Ave. – St. Louis, MO – 63104


Ice in the Loop! (dragon? get camera)

Ice carving at Fitz'sTuesday Morning, and it’s Frigid.  I’m always in the Delmar Loop Area because we have Story Time at Subterranean Books.  I tend to arrive in the area early and enjoy a cup before walking down the street.  These guys caught my eye and i simply had to share.  Ice in the Loop!

That's Right! An Ice Dragon!That’s Right!  No matter how cold it was, I was determined to get a photo of this Dragon.

Ice carving Demonstration at Ftiz'sIce Visions gave a performance outside Fitz’s and these guys were left over, standing on top of the brick border that surrounds Fitz’s delivery area.  This event was part of the annual Ice Carnival.

Ice in the Loop!It had to be a splendid celebration this year, because it was Cold.  The past couple years, i think there was plenty of fun to be had, and it was crazy comfortable, I doubt people even had to wear coats, it was so warm.  This year, however – our cold days landed on the preferred date, so people could shiver and enjoy.

Fitz’s makes fabulous root beer.  Their motto is, “If it wasn’t better, we wouldn’t make it.”  Its fun to walk by and listen to families laugh together.  There’s always a lot to enjoy, and discover in The Loop neighborhood.

Ice?  Not Often..

Old Post Office & Custom House

The Old Post Office & Custom House was established in Saint Louis right after the Civil War because Saint Louis was one of the five fastest growing cities in the nation.  Hundreds of millions of pieces of mail were were handled in the very first year . . . and each of those pieces were taken care of by hand.  This beautiful building also housed the Federal 8th Circuit Court, which became the largest circuit in the nation.  One of the most famous cases in the 8th Circuit Court was the breakup of Standard Oil in 1909.

Old Post Office & Custom House

By Piaget, HABS photographer [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Alfred B. Mullet designed this building in 1872, including new systems developed after the Great Chicago Fire of 1871.  There was heating, ventilation, and a way to use plenty of natural lighting.  When the foundation was being created, quicksand was discovered, so over 4,000 pine trees were stuck deep into the land and a four foot thick concrete slab was laid over the top.  Even today there are no cracks in the foundation.

Across from the plaza garden is the Old Post OfficeSince fire was a concern, the entire structure was built of cast iron, using wood only for hand-railing on the grand stair cases.

St. Louis, MOWhen i first arrived in St. Louis there was public interest in saving (or re-purposing)  this historic building.  There sure were plenty of ideas, and it’s taken some time, but now it is open to the public and used for plenty of great things.

Old Post Office Public LibraryI enjoy the “Quick Stop” branch of the public library. Peace and Vigilance with Eagle - “Peace and Vigilance with Eagle” by Daniel Chester French sits smack in the middle of the building, it’s worth the walk inside.  There is also a small museum that’s interesting. Grand Staircase, Old Post Office and Custom House St. LouisThe grand stairwell. Old Post Office and Custom House - tippy-top The “other side” of the building.100_2117Here is a current list of “tenants:”  Webster University,
Missouri Court of Appeals, Eastern District
St. Louis Business Journal
St. Louis Public Library
FOCUS St. Louis
Missouri Attorney General
Missouri Secretary of State
Teach For America
Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services
Missouri Arts Council

Old Post Office Plaza

The Old Post Office Plaza has good reviews online.  City Planners have looked for ways to create inviting spaces in the city, this project is one of several that speak to me.

Torso of Icarus“Torso di Ikro”  (The Torso of Icarus) by Igor Mitoraj.  The overall “theme” is the story of Daedalus and Icarus escaping from Patmos.
Old Post Office Plaza STLThis is referred to as “The Labyrinth” in keeping with the overall theme.  I like all the places to sit and enjoy the moment.  It’s built so you could feel alone, or enjoy time with others.  Kinda perfect for all kinds of stuff, reading, snacking, relaxing, just catching a moment . . .

Old Post Office PlazaIsn’t this a beautiful fountain?  There are steps leading right down to it, the water is clear and spills out like peaceful magic.    Such a Lovely garden Across from the Old Post OfficeTrees along the border of the Plaza, I don’t know what Master Gardener picked the landscaping, but they sure did a great job.  Standing in downtown St. Louis and feeling as if we are in some secluded sanctuary.  I admit that Fall is my favorite season, so the coloring, along with perfect weather, sure helps lift my spirits.  100_2095Here it is, the “Old Post Office,” right across the street.  When it opened in 1873 it was four blocks from the riverfront and people complained it was “too far west.” (The census reports suggests St. Louis is now 66 sq miles, much farther west than citizens in mid-1800’s imagined.)  A lot of ideas have been used to preserve this gorgeous building, using it as a focal point in the city, giving it new purpose and beautiful surroundings seems to be working.  I’m glad.

Missouri History Museum

Missouri History Museum provided me with a lot of memorable afternoons when I first arrived in Saint Louis.  They offered learning luncheons that helped me understand why this place was so different from the Western part of our nation, and also introduced me to a lot of really nice people.  I remember one event all about picnics.  You might not think that picnics could be so important, but here in Saint Louis, picnics were major events.  There was even a display of the special clothing designed for ladies to protect their modesty while enjoying the great outdoor celebrations.  These are things I never considered until moving here.

Mo History MuseumThe History Museum has two “front entrances.”  One side is the original entrance to the 1904 World’s Fair and later became the original “Jefferson Memorial.”  There are beautiful columns, and lights inside, along with a statue of our third president.  On one side of the ornate entry is a permanent exhibit about the 1904 World’s Fair.  The exhibition hall on the opposite side offers different stories.  The day I took these photos there was a “clubhouse” exhibit that looked like a lot of fun.

Construction of the Jefferson Memorial, celebrating the Louisiana Purchase, was officially opened to the public in an unveiling party, April 1913.

The second “front” of the building came from the addition of the “Emerson Center.”

Emerson Center/Misouri History Museum

 The Museum now has a shop, auditorium, classrooms, a hallway with a mosaic river, meeting places a restaurant, and lots more exhibit spaces.  I visited “A Walk in 1875 St. Louis.”  It was fun, interesting and gave a bit of hope because things certainly have improved between then and now.

It was the 1980’s, when I first attended lunch and learn events that delighted my need to constantly learn.  Now, there are plays, movies, discussion groups, genealogy clubs, children classes, adult opportunities, travel groups, concerts, in fact, it seems the opportunities to engage, learn and meet people are limitless at the Missouri History Museum.

Some things are free, Some things have ticket prices, Most people will find plenty to enjoy.

Missouri History Museum, 5700 Lindell Blvd., St. Louis, MO, 63112

Hope Plaza

Ellen S. Clark Hope Plaza is one of the jewels in my everyday life.  I pass this enchanting place several times a year on the way to medical appointments.  I am always grateful to find this pond.  Doesn’t matter what the weather is like, this place always offers comfort, hope and peace to the people passing by.  It is part of BJC Institute of Health at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis.  Studies, Students, Medical Miracles and Advances are found inside the surrounding buildings. – When the new expansion was planned, this bit of art and natural wonder was created and placed right where all of us would discover it and be lifted in spirit.

a place to heal, a place to be lifted

The summer resident ducks aren’t here today, but a sense of calm and people with smiles are always close.  In winter, the Pond is covered with a thick layer of ice and the walk way will have packed snow.  In fact, it doesn’t seem to matter what time of year, there is always stunning beauty in this place.

Hope Plaza - Pond and the doors to higher education

Hope Plaza is dedicated to Ellen S. Clark, a well loved and respected woman who encouraged others to be their very best.  She inherited a rare condition that took her life.  She worked tirelessly to offer education and understanding about stem cell research.  Even after she’d left this life, her family made sure her work continued.

Ellen S. Clark and her husband worked with designers to offer this gorgeous memorial.  Two of the most recognized artists are Maya Lin, who designed the Vietnam Veterans Memorial and Andrew Gutterman of Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates Inc. of Boston.  There is an eighty foot diameter Infinity Pool, with water flowers in season, ice in its proper time, ducks when they decide to attend, trees and . . Hope.

“It’s designed to be a calm place of refuge in the midst of a bustling medical center,” said Hank S. Webber, an executive vice chancellor at Washington University.

a place of peace

Ellen S. Clark Hope Plaza, 320 S, Euclid Avenue, St. Louis, MO 63110

You don’t need to have an appointment to visit.  Get off metrolink at the Central West End, walk up the flight of stairs on the west end of the platform and turn right.  You’ll be satisfied with the side trip.

Be Well