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Thursday, February 26, 2009

SkyWatch Friday




It feels so much like spring today! It's currently about 70 degrees (about 21 Celsius). I was just walking around the yard taking in all the spring sounds and the warm sunshine!
I rescued this little bird house last week and hung it on the tree. This morning I noticed a cute little bird couple checking it out, wonder if they have moved in?

For skywatch photos from all over the world, visit
SKYLEY

Signs Of Spring II



On my quest to find signs of spring for my little series "Signs of Spring", I wandered over to the pond to see what the willow tree was up to. I noticed over the weekend it was starting to bud. While walking up to the pond I heard "plop, plop, plop" and realized I had just startled the turtles while they were sunning. I squinted, trying to spy more turtles across the way and then heard a plop at my feet and noticed another turtle swim away that had been sitting right there on the log in front of me! So I started to make my way to the other side of the pond and stepped out in an area to look and see if there were any more turtles around when I spotted this little guy! I quickly tried to focus in when I noticed my camera was on the wrong setting, not sure what the correct setting was but pretty sure the "landscape" setting wasn't it. He patiently waited till I got my act together, took 2 pictures, then he dove in.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Signs Of Spring I



The cold snap has finished for the week bringing nicer temps, around 50 (about 10 celsius). I have been seeing signs of spring around the yard. My grass is getting greener and little green things popping up out of the ground. Several of my shrubs have even gotten buds on them! The picture above is "I think" a lilac bush. I can't really remember what it looked like in the summer when we moved in and my neighbor walked with me naming everything for me, which I should have written down. I'll need her to give me another tour. I don't know if you remember, but her mother-in-law owned the house from the 40's through the 90's and many of the plants around the house were planted by her. Look at all those buds on the stems and if you look beyond the lilac bush, into the sunlight, you can see how my yard is turning green!

I am keeping Braden and Dalton home one more day. They improved somewhat yesterday but still aren't 100% better. They barely ate yesterday, just a small amount of soup and a couple of popsicles. I think one more day of rest will do them wonders.


Last but not least, go visit

Country Girl because she is having a super cool give-a-way! Leave a comment on her blog to win a beautiful photo!

Have a great day! :)

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

2 Sick Boys



Poor Braden and Dalton have picked up this yucky flu or whatever it is that is going around. We went to church on Sunday and they were fine, by Sunday afternoon, they were napping on their own. Nick was smoking ribs (one of their favorites) for dinner and they didn't feel well enough to eat. That banana popsicle that Braden is munching on in the picture is the first thing he's eaten since lunch on Sunday. Dalton didn't even eat his popsicle last night.

Luckily there wasn't any school yesterday so they didn't miss anything but I am keeping them home today. The schools have been hit hard with this, alot of kids have been out. I am drinking my Airborne so hopefully it will pass me by! There's never time for mom to be sick!

Monday, February 23, 2009

A Cold Monday



Nothing exciting to show you today. I just came back inside after wandering around the yard in the freezing cold looking for something of interest and spring like to take a picture of. It's so cold that I only lasted a few minutes before I finally just settled on the geese and Bucky. Bucky's really gotten quite used to them being around. I noticed the ducks have come back to the pond and the geese don't seem very happy about it. They were honking at them and spreading their wings earlier this morning, then they just wandered out to the pasture.

It's been snowing non-stop since yesterday. Nothing has stuck, guess the conditions aren't right, but there's been little snowflakes just floating around in the air.

Haven't been anywhere really to take pictures except the grocery store and went up there on Saturday and I could have kicked myself for forgetting my camera. There was a guy sitting out in front, playing a guitar and singing. He had his guitar case opened for tips I'm assuming and I was so bummed that I didn't have a camera for the moment. It's just not something you see everyday here in Botetourt County, Virginia! It was pretty cool though, I hope he does it more often!

Did you watch the Academy Awards last night? Happy with the winners? I haven't seen most of the movies that won. I would have liked to have seen Mickey Rourke win. Was happy with Kate Winslet's win, I really like her.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Hobo Style



A couple of weeks ago we had wonderfully warm weather. The boys wanted to cook hot dogs over a camp fire for lunch so we walked down to the creek, gathered some wood and started a little fire. The boys call this way of cooking their hot dogs "hobo style".

Christian had a friend stay the night last night. Right now I have 4 sleeping boys and 1 sleeping girl upstairs and hopefully they will sleep a while longer while I enjoy the quiet and catch up with some blogging friends. Last night the boys were telling ghost stories and looking for secret passages in the walls. They had poor Braden and Dalton scared out of their wits by bed time. They both have a birthday party that I will drop them off at a little later.

The weather has turned cold again and tonight we are expecting some rain/snow showers, through tomorrow morning. No accumulation, just alot of cold.

Have a great weekend :) Stay warm!

Friday, February 20, 2009

SkyWatch Friday



While doing dishes yesterday afternoon, I looked out the window and this is the view I saw. I love the way the sunlight turned the brush golden and those amazing clouds rolling in. I stepped out on the back porch to snap a quick picture then ran back inside. While the sunshine looks warm, it was very BRISK out!

For more skywatch photos from all over the world, visit
SKYLEY

Happy Skywatching :)

Thursday, February 19, 2009

You Talkin Ta Me?



Still dreaming of summer, this is one of the cute cows across from Braden and Dalton's school, taken late last summer.
Our grass is starting to get some green in it, it won't be long now till spring is here!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

The Pirates House-Savannah



This is one of our favorite places in Savannah. If you go, you have to ask for a tour, by none other than Captain Jack, as shown in the photo. He was so much like the real Captain Jack that Braden and Dalton were fooled!

Here's the history on the Pirate House, taken from the website:

Savannah's famous Pirates House is located on one of the most historic spots in Georgia. It is here that Trustees Garden, the first experimental garden in America, was located.

When General Oglethorpe and his little band of colonists arrived from England in 1733, they came ashore in the vicinity of the present City Hall on Bull and Bay Streets, approximately seven blocks due west of The Pirates' House. There they pitched their tents to found the City of Savannah.

A suitable site of land was located on the eastern boundary of Oglethorpe's city plan on which an experimental garden would be developed. The plot of land was dedicated as Trustees Garden in honor of Oglethorpe's men whom he considered the Trustees of the new colony. The garden was modeled very closely after the Chelsea Botanical Garden in London, a diagram can be seen hanging in our Jolly Roger Room. Consisting of ten acres, it was bounded on the north by the Savannah River, on the south by what is now Broughton Street, on the west by what is now East Broad Street, and on the east by Old Fort Wayne.

Botanists were sent from England to the four corners of the world to procure plants for the new project and soon vine cuttings, fruit trees, flax, hemp, spices, cotton, indigo, olives and medicinal herbs were all taking root on the banks of the Savannah River. The greatest hopes; however, were centered in the wine industry and in the Mulberry trees which were essential to the culture of silk. But both of these crops failed due to the unsuitable soil and weather conditions. From this garden, however, were distributed the peach trees which have since given Georgia and South Carolina a major commercial crop and also the upland cotton which later comprised the greater part of the worlds commerce.

The small building adjoining the Pirates' House was erected in 1734 and is said to be the oldest house in the State of Georgia. The building originally housed the gardener of Trustees' Garden. His office and tool room were in the front section, while his stable occupied the back room and his hayloft, upstairs. The bricks used in the construction of this old "Herb House", as it is called today, were manufactured only a short block away under the bluff by the Savannah River where brick making was begun by the colonists as early as 1733.

Around 1753, when Georgia had become firmly established and the need for an experimental garden no longer existed, the site was developed as a residential section. Since Savannah had become a thriving seaport town, one of the first buildings constructed on the former garden site was naturally an Inn for visiting seamen. Situated a scant block from the Savannah River, the Inn became a rendezvous of blood-thirsty pirates and sailors from the Seven Seas. Here seamen drank their fiery grog and discoursed, sailor fashion, on their adventures from Singapore to Shanghai and from San Francisco to Port Said.

These very same buildings have recently been converted into one of America's most unique restaurants: The Pirates' House. Even though every modern restaurant facility has been installed, the very atmosphere of those exciting days of wooden ships and iron men has been carefully preserved.

In the chamber known as the Captain's Room with its hand hewn ceiling beams joined with wooden pegs, negotiations were made by shorthanded ships' masters to shanghai unwary seamen to complete their crews. Stories still persist of a tunnel extending from the Old Rum Cellar beneath the Captain's Room to the river through which these men were carried, drugged, and unconscious, to ships waiting in the harbor. Indeed, many a sailor drinking in carefree abandon at The Pirates' House awoke to find himself at sea on a strange ship bound for a port half a world away. A Savannah policeman, so legend has it, stopped by The Pirates' House for a friendly drink and awoke on a four-masted schooner sailing to China from where it took him two years to make his way back to Savannah.

Hanging on the walls in the Captain's Room and The Treasure Room are frames containing pages from an early, very rare edition of the book Treasure Island. Savannah is mentioned numerous times in this classic by Robert Louis Stevenson. In fact, some of the action is supposed to have taken place in The Pirates' House! Tis' said that old Captain Flint, who originally buried the fabulous treasure on Treasurer Island, died here in an upstairs room. In the story, his faithful mate, Billy Bones, was at his side when he breathed his last , muttering "Darby, bring aft the rum". Even now, many swear that the ghost of Captain Flint still haunts The Pirates' House on moonless nights.



Thank you for checking on me! My internet went down last Thursday or Friday after some severe winds we had. I tried calling Comcast about it, but could not get information as I didn't have my account number on hand. I threw my statement out with my last payment so I don't have a copy laying around and Comcast's silly, annoying way of verifying who you are, as well as asking for all your personal information, is also your account number. So I couldn't find any info out and I was also just coming off a bad cold so I didn't really want to fight the issue and miraculously it was back up yesterday.
I may be hit and miss for the next few days, have dove into some spring cleaning! Hope everyone is well! :)

This photo concludes our Savannah trip :)

Thursday, February 12, 2009

SkyWatch Friday-Tybee Island



During our trip to Savannah, we stayed across the bridge on
Tybee Island . We really had the best of both worlds, the beautiful beaches of Tybee and gorgeous, historical Savannah!

The guys in the photo are doing something called "Kite Skating" which you can read about HERE

To visit skies from all over the world, see SKYLEY!

Happy SkyWatching :)

A Closer Peek of the Fountain



Yesterday Hilda asked for a close up of the fountain and this is about the closest shot I got of it, without my kids acting all goofy in front of it...

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Forsyth Park Fountain-Savannah



Don't you just love the way the big oak trees make a tunnel like walk way? If you look closely at the trees, you can see Spanish Moss hanging from the branches.
The Forsyth Park Fountain is at the end of the walkway and this information is taken from Savannah's City website:

The Fountain is a large, ornate, two-tiered cast-iron fountain surmounted by a classically robed female figure standing in extreme contrapposto, holding a rod. Water comes from this rod into the top basin. The top basin appears to be made of three successive rows of closely arranged flat leaves, around the base of which are arranged acanthus leaves. The pedestal which supports this top basin is surrounded by grasses, including cattails, and a wading bird with wings outspread. This pedestal and basin stand in another, larger octagonal pedestal and basin, into which the water overflows. It is more geometric and architectural than the top basin and pedestal, but it is also ornamented with leaves, in low relief. An ornamented drop pendant is just below the intersection of each side. There is also a hole in the bolection molding around the basin, located at the intersection of each side. A waterpipe protrudes from this hole. In addition, there is a similar hole located in the middle of the molding of each side. These sixteen pipes are the water outlets for this lower basin. The octagonal pedestal is ornamented with a cartouche on each of its sides. Another cartouche composes each of the eight vertical sides of the pedestal where it spreads out to support the basin. The vertical part of the pedestal is set off, top and bottom, by a molding. The lower pedestal and basin have been treated artistically as if they were a classical or Egyptian column in its divisions, ornamentation, etc. At the base of the pedestal, jutting out from every other octagonal side, are four blocks on which stood originally, four tritons (half man and half sea serpent) each with his left hand on his waist and his right hand holding a shell-horn, through which water is spouted in an arc. These tritons were moved a few feet out beyond the basin into the large pool in which the fountain stands, ahd have been replaced by four urns, which are not part of the water flow. Four spouting swans were also added to the pool; they are located farthest out, equidistant from one another, around the pool, which is surrounded by a stone or cast stone coping. The pool is surrounded by an ornamental wrought-iron fence just tall enough to keep children away from the pool and the fountain. Inside the fence is a paving of "signature bricks" which are engraved with the names of those who contributed to the fountain restoration in 1988. There is a brick walkway around the perimeter of the fence.

Forsyth Place was the first large park created in Savannah. Stylistically, the park was influenced by the urban renewal of Paris in the nineteenth century, when broad boulevards and parks were created. This greatly influenced city planning throughout the industrial world--every large city in the United States was developing large city parks beginning in the 1850's. Culturally speaking, it is not insignificant that the Forsyth Park fountain was thought to be a copy of the one in the Place de la Concorde, by Hittorff, who completed two monumental fountains in that square only a few short years before Forsyth Place was created. Bull Street was thought of as a boulevard and promenade (both French terms) and the fountain served as a focal point of a long vista, all the way from the Exchange, which was City Hall. In an economic context, the park and the fountain would not have been possible if Savannah were not experiencing economic prosperity. The 1850's were the first consistently prosperous period throughout the South, which admired and emulated the high style of the French Empire.

During its installation in 1858, the pool was enlarged and the fixtures re-arranged to deal with the high water pressure which caused the water to gush too vigorously. The fountain was supplied with fresh water and ran only in the afternoons. In 1860, brick paving was added around the fountain, the fountain was painted the first of many times and the first of many repairs was made. In 1868, new balls and implements were put in.

In 1960-61, the fountain was renovatd by Mr. Carsten Tiedeman in memory of his father, Judge G. W. Tiedeman, and a plaque was installed in commemoration. In 1973, vandals smashed three of the tritons, which were reported to be made of "pot metal" not cast iron. New tritons of silicone bronze were cast in 1974 by Tony Gilkes, an employee of Bailey's Forge of Savannah. One of the urns was knocked off in 1974, and several of the ornamental gloves on the light poles around the pool were smashed.

In early 1977, the figure on the fountain collapsed during an ice storm, and was reconstituted with fiberglass and resin so that it was no longer hollow. In late 1977, the Rotary Club paid for underwater lighting in the pool of the fountain. The incandescent lighting system was replaced in 2007 with a fiber optic system illuminated by metal halide lights. This system uses 1/10th of the power required by incandescent lights.

In 1988 the fountain was completely restored by Robinson Iron Works of Alexander City, Alabama, financed about half and half by the City and by private donations, much of which came from the sale of "signature bricks". In 1989, the Georgia Trust for Historic Preservation gave the Park & Tree Commission and the Signature of Savannah Committee an award for an "Outstanding Restoration".

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Savannah River



Braden (blue shirt) and Dalton (red shirt) standing at the Savannah River while the Georgia Queen riverboat passes by.

Monday, February 9, 2009

City Hall Building-Savannah



Taken from Savannah's Govt. web site:


Savannah's City Hall

Savannah's City Hall is located on Yamacraw Bluff overlooking the Savannah River. This is the same bluff where General James Oglethorpe landed in 1733 with the first group of colonists who would establish the City of Savannah and the last of the 13 colonies of England.
City Hall was designed and built by local architect Hyman Wallace Witcover in 1901. The original cost estimate of $205,167 included ornate statues of chariots and horses atop the structure. Budget considerations forced their deletion from the final plans, but they can still be seen in the architect's original rendering. City Hall is a Renaissance Revival building with classic proportions and detailing. The structure replaced a circa 1799 City Exchange building which had housed City government for many years. On January 2, 1906, ten thousand visitors attended the opening reception for City Hall. The first City Council meeting in the new City Hall was held the following day.

Exterior: The building's base is of rough-hewn granite blocks. Footings for City Hall rest more than 27 feet below the sidewalk level on Bay Street. This space houses the basement and sub-basement levels and can be seen from the River Street side. Stone steps lead down the east side of the building from Bay Street to the Drayton ramp and Factors' Walk. The cornerstone is located at the Bay Street level, on the northeast corner of the building, and can be seen from the stone steps, or from a nearby pedestrian bridge spanning Factor's Walk. The exterior building material changes at the Bay Street level to a four foot high skirt of polished granite. Then the building is divided into three major levels. The first floor exterior is made of smooth granite with deeply recessed joints. The second and third floors make up the second level which is sheathed in sand colored limestone with matching terra cotta trim. The fourth floor and dome base, constructed of the same materials, make up the final level. Two statues representing art and commerce adorn the fourth floor balcony. The dome rises 70 feet into the air. It was originally clad in copper but was gilded in 1987. The $240,000 project was a gift from a local philanthropist. Tissue-paper thin sheets of 23-karat gold leaf were applied to the dome, cupola, and clock hands.

Just outside the main entrance are two tablets put in place in 1918 to commemorate Savannah's importance to the maritime industry. One tablet marks the 100th anniversary of The Savannah, the first steamship to cross the Atlantic. The second tablet commemorates The John Randolf, the first iron vessel seen in the Americas. The John Randolf was assembled in and launched from Savannah in 1834.

Interior: The four floors at and above the Bay Street level house various public services, while the two basement floors contain maintenance functions. One enters City Hall from Bay Street through a foyer that leads into a dramatic rotunda reaching four stories and peaked by a leaded glass dome of yellows, golds, and blues. Eight equally spaced windows belonging to an outer dome provide natural light to the stained glass.

White tile is used on the floors in both the foyer and the rotunda; however, different shaped tile and patterns are used to articulate each space. The seal of the City of Savannah is laid in the tiles of the foyer. The main floor rotunda's central feature is a circular fountain surrounded by a simple brass railing. It is highlighted by a bronze fountain composed of four dolphins with backs arched so that their tails extend above their heads to support a cherub sitting upon four large scallop shells. In his hands rests a horn of plenty. The bronze City Seal was returned to the fountain in 1987 after an absence of many years. No one knows how or when the seal disappeared, but it was rediscovered in an Atlanta flea market.

Other items of interest in the foyer and main floor rotunda include:

Brass chest time capsule, which was placed in 1976 by the Mayor and Aldermen to observe the bicentennial of the founding of this country.
Building dedication tablet placed in the lobby at the opening reception held on January 2, 1906.
Original Building Directory - At one time, most of the City's administrative offices were located in City Hall. Now, City of Savannah offices and agencies can be found in many areas of the municipality. In 1991, the City's Revenue Department, which was located on the first floor of City Hall for more than 80 years, moved to the Broughton Municipal Building (located on Broughton and Abercorn Streets).

City Hall's second floor has seen the fewest changes and still houses the Mayor's office and Council Chambers. The second floor also showcases the Hall of Mayors, displaying photographs or paintings of past mayors since 1790.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Mercer House-Savannah




Did I mention that my Savannah album has about 800 pictures in it? LOL, that could keep me posting Savannah photos for quite some time! Savannah is one of my favorite cities and when I grow up and become rich and famous, I would love a winter home right smack dab in the middle of one of its beautiful, historical squares.

This is the Mercer/Williams House. Construction began in 1860 for General Hugh Mercer, Great Grandfather of Johnny Mercer. The construction of the home had to take a break during the Civil War and was finally completed in 1868 by the new owner, John Wilder.

In 1969, the vacant home was purchased by Jim Williams. You can read more about the home HERE and HERE

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Mickve Israel Synagogue-Savannah, Georgia



I'm digging through my Shutterfly account finding photos. I just haven't been anywhere lately and feel uninspired with winter subjects to photograph although I do have to say that our temps are warming up this weekend and getting into the 60's. For my friend >Peter in Paris who is always trying to get me to convert to celcius,lol, that would be about 15.6+!

A couple of years back we took a trip down to Savannah. So much great architecture and history there.

In 1876 the cornerstone for this synagogue was laid and is the third oldest Jewish congregation in America, and is the only Gothic synagogue in the U.S.


The following is taken from the synagogue's web site:
Forty-two brave pioneering Jews, the “largest group of Jews to land in North America in Colonial days” arrived in Savannah on July 11, 1733, just five months after General James Edward Oglethorpe established the colony of Georgia.

These founders of Mickve Israel brought with them a “Safertoro” [sic] made of deerskin, with two “cloaks,” and a “circumcision box,” which was donated by a London merchant. This Torah is still used on commemorative occasions at Mickve Israel.

The name “Mickva Israel” is a phrase in the Haftara (Jeremiah 17:13) and also reflected the influence of Mickve Israel, a book of messianic hope written in 1648 by the famous Amsterdam Rabbi Manashe ben Israel.

On March 1, 1876, the cornerstone was laid for the present building, and the Monterey Square sanctuary was consecrated on April 11, 1878. The neo-Gothic synagogue was designed by famous New York Architect Henry G. Harrison.

On November 20, 1790, Governor Edward Telfair granted the congregation a perpetual charter as “a body incorporate by the name and style of the ‘Parnas and Adjuntas of Mickve Israel at Savannah,’” the same charter under which the congregation operates today. (A photocopy of the original charter can be seen in the archival museum of the congregation.)

Today in Mickve Israel’s Archival Museum ten presidential letters are on display, including ones from George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, as well as the more recent ones from George Bush and Bill Clinton.

You can visit the website
HERE

Thursday, February 5, 2009

St. Mary's, Georgia





Last spring we took a trip down to St. Mary's in south Georgia. This photo is of the Tabby Sugar Mill Ruins. Tabby is a sort of building material which was used in the southeast by mixing equal parts of lime, water, sand, oyster shells, and ash.
To read more about Tabby, click HERE

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

A Little More Snow




Yesterday we woke up to another dusting of snow. You can see we didn't get much but it looked pretty while it lasted.
The weather called for a little more, 1-3 inches overnight but I woke up to nothing but a muddy yard.
This weekend we are supposed to have some great "spring like" warm weather. I'll take it!

Monday, February 2, 2009

Happy Birthday Braden and Dalton

How did my babies go from this:



to this:


to this in a nanosecond?


Seems like just yesterday we brought them home from the hospital....
Happy Birthday big 7 year olds!

Sunday, February 1, 2009

February Theme Day-Paths and Passages



This months theme with the City Daily Photo group is "Paths and Passages". My entry is of Braden and Daddy taking a ride on one of the many 4 wheelers that Berglund Outdoors sells, perfect for riding those paths and passages and even making some of your own!
Click here to view thumbnails for all participants

Also today is Superbowl Sunday! Our house is divided with Ash and Daddy and Dalton routing for the Cardinals and Christian, Braden, and I pulling for the Steelers!