Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Second Time Around Tureen

Welcome to "2nd Time Around Tuesday!"

I hope you will visit our hostess Diane at A Picture is Worth a 1,000 Words, and see her "2nd time around" kitchen pictures, plus everyone else's treasures for today.

I'd like to share this elegant little porcelain tureen I inherited from my mother-in-law. I love its size and the embossed fruit on the front, back, and lid. It also has a little porcelain spoon with embossed fruit on the handle.

I'm not sure how old it is, but it's marked "Japan," and has a lot of crazing on the bottom, so I suspect it is quite old. I love it, whatever its age, and hope to put it to good use on its "second (or third?) time around."

Monday, June 29, 2009

Off the Beaten Path: Between Vicksburg and Natchez

I would like to thank our gracious hostess Sally at Smiling Sally for taking the time to host our Blue Mondays. Be sure to visit Sally to see her patriotic "Proud to be American" post.

For my Blue Monday contribution, I would like to share some photos I took over the weekend (a couple of them have some blue, other than the sky, in them).

Natchez, Mississippi is only about an hour's drive from where we live in Vicksburg, and this past weekend, my husband and I went to Natchez to spend some time with his brother and his wife who drove up from New Orleans.

Instead of traveling down Highway 61 South, or the Natchez Trace, which is the way we usually go, we decided to get off "the beaten path," and drive down the Louisiana side of the Mississippi River, on US Highway 65. This took us through the heart of the Louisiana Delta, where the road cut through dusty fields of corn, soybeans, and cotton, stretching as far as the eye could see ...


I think the Delta farmlands are their prettiest this time of year. The plants are thick and green and lush, and the cotton fields were dotted with little white blooms. I grew up in Northeast Louisiana, and have been around cotton fields all my life, but I had never seen a cotton bloom up close.

Well, needless to say, as soon as I saw the blooms, I asked my husband to stop and let me get some pictures. Being the sweet, patient man that he is, he pulled over and I grabbed my camera and jumped out into the 98-degree heat of the Louisiana Delta.

It was hot and dusty, and I wasn't dressed to be out wandering in cotton fields, but I didn't mind when I saw how beautiful the blooms were. I think they were worth getting a little hot and dusty for (you can click on the photos to enlarge them, if you'd like)...

And speaking of hot and dusty, this is a picture of the parched earth in which those beautiful plants are thriving ...

It looks like it's going to be a long, hot summer for the farmers trying to keep their fields irrigated.

I always try to stop and photograph the three crosses on highways when I see them, and I love these standing amongst the soybeans and corn. Click on the picture and you can see three small metal crosses attached to the big ones, which I've never seen before ...

I don't think I've ever seen a mailbox as big as this one either. The street sign reads, appropriately, "Mail Box Road" ...

We took a little detour through the town of Newellton, Louisiana, and was rewarded with a little lagniappe in the form of this charming little house in the country ...

I love its little picket fence and beautiful flower beds, and was delighted when I saw the BLUE bottle tree in the front yard.

But this little house had even more lagniappe in store for us. Just look at what was in the side yard!

Is that not the cutest little outhouse you've ever seen ... complete with a little BLUE chair to sit in while you "wait your turn." And look at the corn field that comes right up to the back yard ...

I just love people's sense of humor and imagination when it comes to yard art, don't you!

You just never know what you're going to find when you venture "off the beaten path," and I'm never disappointed. I always seem to find lagniappe wherever I go.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

The Joy of Hummingbirds

Last September I wrote a post called Saying Goodbye to Our Hummingbirds, which featured some pictures of a feisty little hummer who was the last to leave for the winter. He was so cute and I really got attached to him and missed him when he finally left. You can read about him by clicking on the link above.

In April of this year, I anxiously awaited his return, and on April 20th, wrote this story about the return of our hummers ... Welcome back, Little Hummers.

Yesterday, I put some fresh nectar (1/4th cup sugar to one cup of water) in our feeder and noticed that one little hummer was happily stuffing himself. I ran and got my camera and staked out the feeder which is close to our porch.

I probably sat there for an hour and a half, in 90-degree temperatures, but loved every minute of it. Here are the pictures I captured of our little hummingbird. I'd like to think that he's the same little guy from last September, but I'm not sure yet. If he ever perches on the top of the shepherd's hook that's holding the feeder, I will know for sure, because that's where he spent a lot of time.

I'd also like to share a little lagniappe I received during one of the hummer's feeding breaks. I noticed a little chameleon in the bay magnolia tree next to the feeder, and was delighted to capture this picture of him "stalking" a little bug (if you click on the picture to enlarge it, you can see the unsuspecting little bug) ...

The bug saw him coming, though, and jumped off the branch just in the nick of time. I was glad, because I really didn't want to capture a picture of the chameleon having "brunch."

I thoroughly enjoyed the antics of our little hummer, and look forward to watching him (and, hopefully, others) this summer. They are truly awesome little creatures.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Outdoor Wednesday: The Doors of Vicksburg

I'd like to thank our gracious hostess Susan at A Southern Daydreamer, for taking the time to host our "Outdoor Wednesdays." Be sure to visit Susan today and see her stunning photos of her Rose of Sharon blooms.

I'm sure you're familiar with the saying, "You only have one chance to make a good first impression." I think that applies to houses, too, and the term "curb appeal," which is so widely used on HGTV, to describe the appearance of a house from the street, comes to mind.

One of the first things I notice about a house ... after the landscaping ... is its front door. And it doesn't have to have a big fancy ornate door to attract my attention. I love plain and simple doors, doors with windows, arched doors, double doors, tall skinny doors, stained wood doors, painted doors, doors with stained glass ...

Well, I guess you get the idea. I love doors ... and yesterday, with temperatures hovering near the 100-degree mark (which felt like 110 in the Mississippi shade), I set out with my camera to capture some of the doors in Vicksburg. I thought doors were something I could photograph by just "driving by," without having to get out in the heat, which, for the most part, worked fine.

Here are some of the doors that caught my eye (you can click on the pictures to enlarge them, if you'd like to see the details)...

This is one of my favorite doors in Vicksburg.
I love the ivy growing across the steps.

I love this pretty blue door, too, and that tiny window
with its little flowerbox. I took this picture last fall ...

I like the "lattice-effect" around this door, and the
contrast of the maroon door against the blue-green trim ...

Ernie and Oscar welcome little ones to
the Buttons and Bows Daycare Center ...

And this colorful shuttered door cheerfully
welcomes visitors to this house ...

Bold turquoise trim attracts your attention to this house, which is for sale. I hope they keep that second story door locked!

This is Lakemont, one of Vicksburg's many antebellum homes, circa 1830. If you enlarge the picture you can see the dent in the right front gate which was caused by a Union gunboat mortar.

I'm not sure about those grand Ionic columns flanking the rather simple front door. I wonder if they're original to the house?

I give this beautiful front door
an A+ for its first impression ...

And this door, which is on a house up the
street from ours, is another of my favorites ...

This is turning into a rather lengthy post, and for the sake of brevity, I'm going to let the rest of the pictures speak for themselves.

Southern Cultural Heritage Center

Christ Episcopal Church of Vicksburg

I would love to see what's behind this Green Door ...

Old Downtown Post Office

Constitution Fire Station, circa 1870

Holy Trinity Episcopal Church

Vicksburg City Hall

And last, but not least, here are our front doors ...

I hope you enjoyed the photo tour of some of my favorite doors in Vicksburg. They are just a small part of the gracious first impression Vicksburg gives its visitors every day.