Thursday, April 30, 2009

New Look for a NEW Porch Table ...

Last weekend I bought a new iron table for our porch, and although I didn't care for the finish on it, the size, shape, and style were perfect. It even had little fleur-de-lis designs which complement the large fleur-de-lis hanging over it (you can click on the pictures to enlarge them, if you'd like) ...

I knew when I bought it that I would be happier with it if it was black, but thought I would "give it a chance" and "live with it" for a few days. It wasn't bad, but every time I looked at it I thought, "You can be better."

To make a long story a little shorter, here are the "after" pictures:

Maybe now I'll be able to sit on the patio and enjoy my new table instead of sitting there thinking, "I've GOT to paint that table!"

Uh-oh ... you know what I just noticed? My pretty new table makes the old patio furniture look drab! Have you ever noticed that in the world of decorating one thing always seems to lead to another?

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

A Mississippi Courtyard and Waterfall: Outdoor Wednesday

I'd like to thank our gracious hostess Susan at A Southern Daydreamer, for taking the time to host our "Outdoor Wednesdays."

I always look forward to seeing what's going on in everyone's outdoors, especially now that Spring is here.

Speaking of Spring ... everything looks so lush and green right now that I thought I'd better get some photos of our courtyard and waterfall areas before the long, hot summer arrives (we've already had temperatures in the high 80's here in Vicksburg!).

I created a slideshow of my pictures, beginning at the front of our house outside the gate to the courtyard. Next, are views of the entire area, including the covered porch, patio area, side yard and path leading to the backyard, and the waterfall and pond, with connecting stream.

I hope you enjoy the slideshow. If you'd like to hear the music, turn your sound up before clicking on "Play."

Click to play this Smilebox slideshow:

I hope you have a happy outdoor Wednesday ... however and wherever you spend it!

Monday, April 27, 2009

Vintage Kitchen Utensils and Crock

Welcome to "2nd Time Around Tuesday," graciously hosted by our friend Diane at A Picture is Worth a 1,000 Words.

Thank you, Diane, for taking the time to be our hostess. I always enjoy seeing your and everyone else's "2nd Time Around" treasures.

Today, I'd like to share these vintage kitchen utensils I inherited from my mother-in-law, along with the old crock she used to keep her utensils in beside her stove.

I love them because they were hers, and I wonder how many eggs she ... and her mother before her ... whisked with them during their lifetimes.

The whisk in the center is spring-loaded and works by pressing down on the handle. I had never seen one like this, and you can tell by the peeling paint on the old wooden handle that it was used a lot.

I've already put the wire whisk and garlic press to good use, and I'm sure I will find a use for the spring whisk, too.

I love having the crock beside my cooktop because every time I take a utensil out of it, it brings back sweet memories of my precious mother-in-law.

The old lemon juicer was my grandmother's, and I treasure it, too.

Thank you again, Diane, for giving us an opportunity to share our "Second, Third, or even Fourth Time Around" treasures.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

A Blue Heron called Harry -- Blue Monday

I would like to thank Sally at Smiling Sally for taking the time to host our Blue Mondays.

Be sure and visit Sally and the other participants to see what they are sharing today.

I was playing around with my camera at dusk Sunday evening, and captured two rather whimsical (also known as out of focus) shots of our waterfall in our courtyard.

We have a metal sculpture of a blue heron we call "Harry," who lives in our pond, and I'd like to share these two pictures of Harry enjoying the early evening sights and sounds of the waterfall (you can click on the pictures to enlarge them, if you'd like) ...

Here are a few more pictures of Harry taken earlier in the day ...

And this last one is my lagniappe for "Blue Monday." I love the delicate little trailing blue flowers in this urn arrangement. They're called "Cabana Trailing Blue Bacopa" (I love my little "peace" sign, too) ...

I enjoy participating in Blue Monday, and look forward to seeing what everyone is sharing today. Thank you again, Sally, for being our hostess.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

An Old Deserted Church

Be sure your sound is turned up so you can hear the music ...

Click to play this Smilebox slideshow:

I appreciate our gracious hostesses, Ginger and Charlotte, giving us the opportunity to share our inspirational thoughts through their "Spiritual Sundays."

I look forward to starting my day by reading everyone's contributions.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Zoo Friends ...

I recently subscribed to Smile Box, which is a fun and easy way to create slideshows, scrapbooks, and photo albums to organize and share your photos, videos, words, and music.

The thing I like most about Smile Box is that you can add music to your slideshows, either from their collection of over 2,000 songs, or from your own music on your computer. I love the challenge of finding just the right music to go with the subjects of my slideshows, and I think the music really makes an impact.

Today, I'd like to share a slideshow of photos I took in March at the Jackson Zoo. I wrote a post about our trip to the zoo, but I think this slideshow is much more fun with the whimsical "Baby Elephant Walk" playing in the background. I love some of these little guys.

Be sure you turn your sound up before clicking on "Play."

Click to play this Smilebox slideshow:

I'd also like to take this opportunity to thank Charlotte at Charlotte's Weblog, for honoring me with this pretty award:

Thanks, again, Charlotte ... I appreciate you thinking of me.

A Back Roads Adventure ...

It was a very rainy and dreary weekend here in Vicksburg, but Monday dawned clear as a bell, with mild temperatures -- a perfect day to ramble with my camera. And I had the perfect place in mind to ramble, too ... a place called "Campbell's Swamp," which is in rural Warren County, Mississippi, about 20 miles from where I live.

I had recently read about a charming little chapel located somewhere in the area of Campbell's Swamp, and I hoped to capture it with my camera.

There was also an article in the Sunday edition of The Vicksburg Post (written by Mr. Gordon Cotton, retired curator of the Old Court House Museum in Vicksburg, and a renown Civil War historian), about a lady who lives in Campbell's Swamp, and she made it sound so fascinating (including tales of alligators crossing the road!) that I could just hear it calling my name -- and my camera.

I had no idea what to expect, but was excited about exploring new and unknown territory and couldn't wait to start my "adventure."

I threw my rubber boots in the car (it had rained all weekend, remember?) ... and with camera, glasses, cell phone, Dr. Pepper, and my trusty GPS, I set off in search of chapels and swamp critters.

I didn't have any trouble finding Campbell Swamp Road, but quickly found myself on a beautiful, very isolated road out in the "boondocks" of southern Warren County.

Needless to say, I didn't have a warm and fuzzy feeling about venturing too far off the beaten path by myself, so my "swamp adventure" was somewhat curtailed. But, if you are a regular follower of my photo shoot escapades, you know I can always find pictures to take, even though it may not be what I set out to photograph.

And Monday was no exception. I dearly loved being outdoors, with the car windows down, listening to the sounds of the wind in the trees, and birds flittering (or fluttering, if you prefer) in and amongst the wildflowers and grass on the roadsides. It was just a good day to be alive and enjoy the wonders of God's simple blessings.

Here are a few of those blessings, along with some whimsical things I captured with my camera (you can click on the pictures to enlarge them, if you'd like):

I love these red lilies and the old glass jar bird feeder. If you click on the picture you can see that the lilies look almost transparent with the sun behind them.

Old wooden cross at an abandoned country store ...

The Wonderful World of Yard Art

I did a double take when I saw this ...

Isn't this little fellow sweet ...

Gotta love it!

This elegant cobalt gazing ball was an
eye-catcher in its rustic natural setting ...

And I loved this pretty little resting place beside the road, with its log bench and metal sculptured flower ...

We recently planted rose bushes on an arbor,
and I hope they turn out like this one ...

I usually receive some kind of lagniappe while on my photo shoots and this little guy was my lagniappe Monday:

I took several pictures of him, but was so excited that I had my camera focused on the grass instead of his face! He was just beautiful and was sitting beside the road at an intersection, peeking through the grass at me ... almost as if he was a figment of my imagination.

And speaking of "figments," I couldn't believe my eyes when I spotted this old abandoned bus/steamboat? in a field ...

I was told by my friend and fellow Vicksburg blogger Marty Kittrell, that one of the casinos used the bus in parades several years ago, but "retired" it because it was too large to safely maneuver through the downtown parade route.

By the way ... if you have not discovered Marty's photography blog, I hope you will visit him. I promise you will be awestruck by his God-given talent and inspired by his uplifting words.

In closing, it seems that many of my photo shoots end up at old cemeteries, and Monday I stopped by the Yokena Cemetery. This was my favorite discovery there ...

I love the little lamb on top of the stone and the sweet message at the bottom ...

I enjoyed my back roads "swamp adventure," but have to admit that this was a welcoming sight coming back into Vicksburg ...

Perhaps I can go back sometime when my husband can go with me, and we can find the elusive "Campbell's Swamp," the little chapel, and maybe even see an alligator or two crossing the road. What great lagniappe that would be!

P.S. ... I was just joking about the alligators. I don't want you to picture our lovely state being infested with swamp critters. The only alligator I've ever seen in Mississippi, was at the Jackson Zoo!

Monday, April 20, 2009

Welcome Back, Little Hummers !

It seems like just a few weeks ago when I wrote a post about our hummingbirds getting ready to leave us for the winter. If you'd like, you can click here to read that story, which was called Saying Goodbye to Our Hummingbirds.

Here is our hummingbird feeder as it was a couple of weeks ago, all nice and clean and full of fresh hummingbird nectar (1/4th cup sugar to 1 cup of water).

I waited and watched and waited some more, and then, "lo and behold," our first little visitor appeared (you can click on the pictures to enlarge them, if you'd like) ...

I took this picture looking through a window in my kitchen, so it's not as good as the ones in my post last fall ... but I was so excited, and was happy to get a picture of him.

I've seen two different ones so far, and hope to get some better pictures of them in the coming days.

I also hope to capture our cardinals with my camera. They're very skiddish, though, and I may not be able to do much better than these two pictures I took a few days ago (again, through a window) ...

Notice the sunflower seed he has in his beak ...

Hopefully, I'll have time one day soon to "stake out" our courtyard and get some better pictures. Do you have hummingbirds yet?

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Our Father Which Art in Heaven ...

Click to play this Smilebox slideshow:

This is my first Sunday to participate in Spiritual Sundays, and I appreciate our gracious hostesses, Ginger and Charlotte, giving us the opportunity to share our inspirational thoughts.

I look forward to starting my Sunday by reading everyone's contributions.