Let’s Go to Kat & Co! A Visit (and some shopping) with Jan Ruoff, Owner of Kat & Co Antiques and Gifts

When you’re driving down Belt Highway in St. Joseph, Missouri, the last thing you expect to see along that busy thoroughfare is an antique shop.  Belt is a congested traffic corridor lined with fast food restaurants (I’ve been told St. Joseph has more fast food restaurants per capita than any town in the world), big …

Ghost Story at Kansas City’s Beautiful Haunted Mansion

It was long before sunrise when the gentleman tour guide at Vaile Mansion in Independence, Missouri stepped to the front door, key in hand.  It would be a long day.  A special champagne reception was to take place at the mansion that afternoon and there was much to prepare.  It was that reception, in fact, …

Here Comes the Sun…Flower, That Is

Those who know me well have heard all about my dream of running a sunflower farm as an agri-tourism business for years.  This is a dream that will never be realized.  For one thing, I have no idea how to farm.  I can barely keep the flowers in the pots along my patio alive.  Second, …

Circa 1920s Elegance: A Walk Through Atlanta’s Swan House

I often travel alone, either for business or just to chase after one tame little adventure or another, and to me—an extreme introvert—there are few experiences that are more freeing, more energizing, than a solo sight-seeing tour.  Over the years, many a well-meaning extrovert has asked me if I ever get lonely on these trips, …

Culinary Time Warp: The Kreem Kup in Wamego, Kansas

Earlier this week I published a post on the Antique Emporium of Alma, Kansas, and in that post I described my usual itinerary when visiting the area:  I first travel to Alma for stops at the Antique Emporium and the Alma Creamery shop.  I then make the 15-minute drive from Alma to Wamego.  I should …

Celebrating Summer at Lauritzen Gardens

I couldn’t sleep last night, so I turned on the TV and flipped through channel after channel until I came to a studio set decked out in Christmas trees, snowmen, multi-colored fairy lights, and poinsettia boughs.  It was QVC, and two women were on the screen demonstrating how to use festive, Christmas-themed draw-string gift bags …