Recommended by Wm. Clark

“A handsome Spot for a Town” thus did Wm. Clark, of the famed Lewis & Clark expedition, describe the point on the Missouri River where Arrow Rock was established a few years later.

Known by the Native Americans as a river crossing, Mr. Clark was correct. The town prospered during the first half of the 19th Century. Two events led to the decline from bustling river town to sleepy village. The first — the American Civil War. The town changed hands several times during this was and while no great battle was fought here, the area suffered. The second — the railroad bypassed the town when rails replaced river as the major shipper of goods.

Today, the town is known for the arts – an excellent seasonal theater – and a scenic camping, picnicking, and fishing site. So grab the cooler, camera, and imagination and set out for one of Missouri’s notable historical sites.

Looks as if the Civilian Conservation Corps ( CCC ) passed this way and built this picnic shelter with a view.

Does your state have a State Park and/or Historic Site department?

For a taste of Missouri’s, check out the sweet romance Morning Tryst. At sunrise, the world displays a moment of hope and promise.

Kindle edition here:


It’s a …Tree?

Four springtimes ago, in an effort to beautify the grounds, we planted sprigs (too small to be saplings) received from a charity known for forestry efforts.

This one was placed in front of my condo unit. I watered. I fertilized. I kept watch and rejoiced at a few green leaves.

The plant survived the first Missouri winter. And the second. I removed a piece of drainage pipe that kept the lawnmowers and rabbits at bay.

It’s doing well. Soon clusters of tiny white blossoms will open. Later in the summer small, dark berries will feed the birds.


we’re casting our vote for “bush”.

The hero in HIDING PLACES knows what he’s planting in his orchard. Check out the sweet, small town romance here:


Early Duplex?

The architecture is simple, very practical.

While the length and size of available logs limited the size of a pioneer’s cabin, you could more than double the space and house two families in a dogtrot. (I love that name.)

This looks like ideal housing for a pair of married brothers. (Or another pairing.) Each family would have a fireplace and a large room. Table and kitchen equipment on one side. Put the bed in a corner with a cradle for the baby and trundle for an older child. You may have room for a rocking chair.

Your relative, or business partner, is only a breezeway away. Bonus: the breezeway acts as a covered porch for both families. I can picture the line of heavy boots, or wooden shoes, beside the door. I wonder if the dog used it as shelter to give meaning to the name?

Like many homes, I’ve also seen these cabins where only one side had a fireplace. As the family grew, they built the second portion for sleeping rooms. Brrr when your feet touched even a rag rug on a January morning.

In the sweet romance NEW DREAMS, one of these cabins falls victim to a cyclone. That day was truly terrifying for the recent immigrants. Check the details here:


Before Gasoline

The era of the gasoline engine began before I was born. (By several decades — and I’m old.)

I grew up riding in automobiles, watching trucks, and driving tractors. Trains ran on diesel fuel, as did large ships (except for a few that were coal-powered).

However, in our farming community, the generation ahead of me supplemented all the fossil fueled vehicles with hay-burners.

Water, hay, oats, and corn are needed to keep this two-horsepower engine in top condition. Wearing fancy harness, this duo spends hours each day moving tourists between a castle and a village. I’m sure they know the route well.

Have you ridden in a horse-drawn vehicle? Driven one?How long ago?

In the sweet, historical romance, New Dreams, the hero finds work in a stable. Every day teams needed to be harnessed, stalls cleaned, and equipment checked. The freight wagons, and horses, were vital in the 1850’s.

More information on New Dreams here:


Special Duty

Step back in time with me. Think of the decades when sailing ships brought European immigrants to our shores. Steamboats carried people and freight on the rivers. Railroads and telegraph were new technology.

Households, both rural and village, needed to be rather self-sufficient. Urban areas did have a greater variety of goods and services for sale or hire. But on the growing Western edge of the country, a family was required to do for themselves.

What sort of purpose do you think of when you see this large outdoor kettle waiting for a fire to heat the contents?

In New Dreams, set in 1851 Illinois, Louisa boils the bakery laundry in a similar kettle. Soap-making and lard rendering (after you butcher the hog) are also tasks best done outdoors. What other use can you think of?

New Dreams is available in both print and electronic editions from on-line retailors. Here;s the link to the Kindle version:


Safety — Not Stealth


What is that sound? Not a horse is within sight. Oh, I see my immigrant friend, Hans, will he know?


It sounds like wood against wood. A moment later I glance down and solve the mystery. “You have fine shoes, Hans. Where are you going?”

Excellent for outside work in gardens, construction, and around animals, these 19 Century safety shoes were practical, but not quiet on wooden or stone floors. They were common among Deutsch immigrants, including the characters in New Dreams.

For more information on this sweet, historical romance, click here:


Contents: One New Life

We’re Moving! Time to Pack!

I’ve faced this situation several times in my life. I usually being by collecting some nice, sturdy boxes. Then I find my luggage. Are we moving furniture? Do we need to rent a truck? Hire a moving company? What do we leave behind?

What if your limits for this move was one trunk and one satchel per adult?

What do you think this travel chest, with a slightly rounded top carried on the immigration voyage?

In New Dreams, it would have contained bakery tools in addition to kitchen dishes and implements, garden tools (without wooden handles), linens, books, and family mementos. The adventures were many: carts, sailing ship, steamboat, wagons, perhaps a warehouse, a home (or two or three), perhaps even a steam train in the care of the next generation.

Did your family have a trunk from past generations in the attic?

New Dreams, a romance featuring mid-19th century immigrants is now available.



Press Down to Open

When I was a child in the mid-20th century, doors in houses had knobs. Some doors had china (porcelain), or glass. A few older doors wore oval knobs. But in general, doorknobs were metal and round.

Doorhandles with a small, metal plate to depress with your thumb were on several business entrance doors.

Barns and sheds showed variety in latches and clasps.

In recent years, door levers have gained popularity in houses. Check out the door hardware in any home improvement store and you will find a variety of sizes, shapes, and finishes. The old is new again.

This door lever is located in a historic home of the 1840’s. Lightweight and accompanied with a skeleton key, it may confuse, but not stop a modern thief.

Which home or business do you think would have a similar lever and lock in NEW DREAMS?

Check out this sweet, historical romance here:


In this Corner

Every kitchen needs a place to store the dishes. For much of the 18th century, this was a corner cupboard.

Think for a moment. In many homes in the newly settled states, homes were modest, rooms were either small, multi-purpose, or both.

A corner cabinet takes up very little floor space. With both lower and upper sections, these cupboards were able to hold much.

With the upper doors wide open, the kitchen cupboard in this house museum, displays the family dishes.

Platters, plates, saucers, cups, and bowls are ready for use. I see a pitcher, but I think the teapot has gone missing.

Do you, or a family member, have similar dishes?

Americans and immigrants alike used these cupboards. Picture them in the kitchens as you read the sweet romance, NEW DREAMS.

Nook edition here:

Kindle edition here:


What does your Garden Grow?

If your thumb is the same very, very pale green as my own–what you plant and what you harvest differs.

I can plant half a dozen different vegetables and only have one survive to harvest. I would have been a hungry pioneer.

The baker’s garden in New Dreams supplies many of their needs. This could be a re-creation.

This garden boasts many flowers. The baker’s garden included cabbage, potatoes, turnips, carrots, and cucumbers.

What do you plant?

For more information about New Dreams, click here: