Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Planning a Little Vacay

My fav sis-in-law is coming for a visit in May and we are planning a girl's get away to Savannah and to Beaufort, SC.

In all my trekking around on the southern coasts, I have never been to Beaufort. Beaufort is located on Port Royal Island, in the heart of the Sea Islands and South Carolina Low country.

It is Pat Conroy country.

Garden and Gun

One of things I am really looking forward to is seeing the beautiful houses in Beaufort.
I wanted to share a few with you. 
Trust me, they are drool worthy.

We will be staying in the Rhett House Inn:

The beauty below is the Joseph Johnson House 411 Craven St.

The William Waterhouse House - 212 New Street

The John Archibald Johnson House - 804 Pinckney Street

George Elliott House – 1001 Bay Street

And then there is this one. Couldn't find much about it except that is it called Old Point. We will be hunting this one down for sure.

I just can't wait. 

Have you been? Know of any good houses to hunt for? 


Monday, February 22, 2016

Alcove Beds

Just tripping along visiting various sites that are related to my newest obsession -- learning more about Scandinavia, specifically Norway, Sweden, and Denmark.

Anyway, I kept seeing these interesting bed on various blogs and websites and thought I would share them with you.

I think they are ever so interesting. Take a look.....

Catalano Architects

And this

And this

And this

And this 

And another 




Monday, February 15, 2016

Nordic Noir

At work we were talking about various TV shows we are watching and a much younger, trendier co-worker said, " I think it so cool that you like Nordic Noir."

Nordic Noir? 

What is that? Well, I googled it and found: 

Scandinavian noir or Scandinavian crime fiction, also called Nordic Noir, is a genre comprising crime fiction written in Scandinavia with certain common characteristics, typically in a realistic style with a dark, morally complex mood. According to one critic, "Nordic crime fiction carries a more respectable cachet... than similar genre fiction produced in Britain or the US". Language, heroes and settings are three commonalities in the genre, which features plain, direct writing style without metaphor.

With its roots in the ground-breaking TV dramas The Killing, Borgen, Wallander and The Bridge, Nordic Noir has become a genre in its own right, influencing screenwriters far beyond the Scandinavian Peninsula.

I just love Bron/Broen (The Bridge). I find it refreshing and not at all like the overly fake US crime shows. The main female character may have Asperger's Syndrome, they just never tell us anything, except she can be difficult.

You find yourself unable to stop watching this show.

Nordic Noir covers a whole lot of shows and geographical areas. There is even one in France that would qualify. Witnesses.  Set in the small coastal town of Le Tréport in northern France, it has all the markings of Nordic Noir.  The characters are interesting and you see just enough of their inside lives to be interesting.

And Finland contributes with Easy Living. It is an odd show with a unique story line.  The husband is a criminal in disguise, the wife a self indulgent and deceptive social climber, and the children not as oblivious as their parents think.

Another show I like is The Sandhamn Murders. It is actually more of a drama than a crime show, but I just love the beautiful summer outfits the women wear. And unlike Nordic Noir, it is not dark -- either physically or emotionally. It takes place in the summer time on an island where Swedes have the most adorable summer homes.

Check them out -- it is worth your time to watch a few and who knows, you may find yourself binge watching.


Friday, January 8, 2016

Made in the USA

For several months now I have been very conscious about what I buy. It seems like each time I look at an article of clothing, shoes, household items, etc., it has the ubiquitous tag "Made in China."

So I made myself a promise -- try to buy Made in the USA.

This has proven harder than it sounds. For several reasons:

  • You have to hunt for Made in the USA items -- Nordstrom's has a Made in the USA search that will bring up various items -- but few other departments stores do. Reading through various research most department stores carry less than 2% of US made clothing. 
  • Made in USA items are often found in the high end stores -- Neiman Marcus, Barney's, Bloomingdales's, Von Maur. Many of us don't even consider going to a high end store because of the prices.
  • What I want is just not made here --Sure you can find socks, some jeans, men's wear, workout clothes, t-shirts and stockings, but what about clothes to wear to work? Almost nonexistent.

So what is a girl to do?

Dig around. Check smaller boutiques and local stores. 

And Google, Google, Google.

And be prepared to pay more.

Pay More?!?!

Yes, pay more. But the trade off is that most Made in the USA clothes are a better quality and will last longer.

With the advent of H&M, Zara, Forever 21, TJ Maxx, Marshall's and others, we have become addicted to and slaves of fashion trends. And brand names.


Yes. Just google fashion blogs.

One blogger who has a regular Fashion Over 50 column in her blog states " I headed to one of my favorite shopping spots, TJ Maxx and Marshalls to see what they had.  I scored at Marshalls this time and found 3 summer dresses that I’ll enjoy wearing this year. I found 2 knee length and one maxi dress.  These will be perfect for so many occasions and they are in between sort of dresses and can be dressed up or down. ... The best part, all of these were $30 each, definitely a good deal. And you know how I love a good deal."

The good deal. That is the perception of today's discount fashion stores.

But is it really? Most people today do not know how to recognize quality clothing. This blog caftans&malbec has an excellent post about identifying quality in a garment.

The wastefulness encourage by buying cheap, throw away clothes and chasing the latest trend has hidden costs that most consumers are unaware.

According to one source: "The average American throws away about 65 pounds of clothing per year, and along with other textiles that get tossed, like sheets and bedding, the total comes out to 14.3 million tons of textile waste per year. That’s almost 6 percent of all municipal waste. While some of those textiles get recovered, most of it remains in the landfill, posing a variety of problems."

So what is the answer? 
I don't know, I don't have a good answer.

But I do think that perhaps buying less, buying better quality so it lasts longer may be part of the solution. And when I buy, I am checking for the tag. This tag:

If you want to learn more, read this book:    


Sunday, December 27, 2015

1856 Beauty in Acworth - The Lemon House

As we often do on Sunday afternoons, we went for a drive today and visited Acworth, GA. Driving around the various roads in the historical area, we stumbled on this beauty.

The sign out front reads "James Lemon Antebellum Home ca. 1856."

Immediately I was taken by it. I had to find out more.

A few things I learned:

James and Mary Davenport Lemon purchased 800 acres of land and built a small frame house.  Just before his marriage, their son, James Lile Lemon, expanded the house to a Carolina style, modified Plantation Plain house.

After the Civil War in 1890 the two story porch was replaced with with neoclassical Doric Columns we see today.

Why didn't this house get burned when Acworth was burned? Well, for 5 days in June 1864,  Maj Gen William T Sherman took over the homestead and stayed during the Battle of Kennesaw Mountain in June of 1864. Some sources say that after he left, it was used as a hospital.

Capt.,Co.A,18th Ga.Inf.Regt.-CSA. One of the "Immortal 600". 

Captain James Lile Lemon has a fascinating story of his time in the Civil War. You can read about him here and here.  His war letters have been published in a book, Feed them the steel! Being the Wartime Recollections of Capt James Lile Lemon, Co A, 18th Georgia Infantry CSA
by Mark Lemon.

Mark is a descendant and his parents are the current owners of the Lemon house. He is also a renowned artist and historian. I did read that the family has opened the house to tours in the past to help with restorations. Believe me, if they do it again, I will be first in line.

I could only find one picture of the inside of the house. From my Cobb County Images of America book by Rebecca Nash Paden and Joe McTyre.

The outside has some interesting outbuildings, beautiful but a bit overgrown gardens, and of all things, a small cemetery. Actually my husband spotted it first and he drove up to where it is located. I could hear him laugh as I was jumping out of the care before he came to a full stop -- iPhone in hand to snap pictures.

This thrilled me no end. 
An old cemetery on the grounds of an 1856 house!!!

I have no idea who is buried here since there are no names but there is one grave inside a rusty wrought iron fence with an old CSA marker.

My heart was racing -- this could be the family graveyard. But no, James Lile Lemon and his parents are buried in Mars Hill Cemetery.

A little closer to the street in the bushes is a definite headstone. I thought I could feel a date of 1909 but can't say that for sure. This one is so worn it needs the foil treatment to try to read the letters.

It is old because it is just a simple flat stone stuck directly in the ground. (Somehow these old stones seems to withstand time better than the fancier stones.)

Who is the person? My imagination has run wild and decided that this is James Lile Lemon and the fancy headstone in Mars Hill is just a cenotaph.

Anyway, a mystery for me to solve.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Pink Pig, Rich's and the Great Tree

Last Sunday night, even amid all sorts of horrible terrorist threats, Macy's had the lighting of the Great Tree. Now it is just called the Great Tree, but is used to be Rich's Great Tree.


This announcement made me reminisce about Rich's and about the Pink Pig.

The bright Pink Pig  - complete with a pig tail on the end car - took you on a small rail trip up and over the toy department where you could gaze down at all the toys. and boy, were there toys! Sparkling lights, and decorations made the whole experience very exciting.

Then you could visit Santa and tell him what you wanted for Christmas.

After that, you could go to the Secret Santa room where you picked out presents for your parents and they were wrapped (in secret, of course) and you parents paid for them, using what was called then, the charge plate.

The Great Tree was on the crystal bridge that joined the two Rich's buildings. And since it spanded Forsyth Street you could drive down the street and view the tree.

The lighting of the Great Tree was featured on the cover of the Dec 15, 1961 Time magazine.

No one tells the story of the lighting of the Rich's Great Tree better than Celestine Sibley in her book, Dear Store, An affectionate Portrait of Rich's.

But Patricia Walston wrote this beautiful account. And yes, they read the Bible.

The crowds would begin gathering long before the performance time. You would see people from all walks of life – the young, the old, the babies in carriages, toddlers sitting atop their father’s shoulders, the crippled in their wheelchairs; and even the blind being led around by family. They would all be waiting with great expectations, faces lifted upward, for the first words to be spoken.
There would be a hush beginning across the crowd at the voice of Bob Van Camp – a longtime organist for WSB who was also a radio announcer.
And he would begin…..
“And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus….
Then as he read the Christmas Story from the Bible, the first voices heard in response would be the voices of the children from the lowest bridge. And then he would read more Scripture and the next choir would sing on the second level. It would continue until the end of the Christmas Story; and by then the music would have traveled from the lowest to the topmost choir on the 5th floor.
And then the moment that everyone waited for – when the last words of the Scripture was read, a switch was thrown to the glory of the night sky and God, and the choirs would begin singing, “Silent Night, Holy Night – all is calm – all is bright – and the crowd below would chime in with their voices – 150,000 voices singing of that first Christmas night.


Thursday, November 12, 2015

Book Signing in Waverly, Alabama

Last weekend I attended a book signing/reception for a new book by Marian Carcache held in a beautiful home in Waverly, Alabama, owned by my friend Nadya.

Southern homes are unique entities in the old house world. Each one has a history and distinctive style that is just not found anywhere else.

I wanted to share some pictures of this lovely house with you I snagged during just before the reception.

The porch is a perfect place to sit and just relax.

Living Room

Dining Room

Antique Needlepoint Fireplace Screen

A Bed Room

One of the Bath Rooms

Back Bed Room


A gorgeous old re-purposed hutch.

Local flowers to be used for table decorations.

See how perfect they are?

Beautiful chandy in what I call the Little Back Room

And I can't leave out the star of the show, Marian signing books on the porch.