Saturday, May 22, 2010

There's an owl in the steeple!

This is a photo of Holy Trinity Episcopal Church in downtown Vicksburg. I've always thought that it's a beautiful church (really impressive roofing, and gorgeous inside!); it's also where I had all of my bassoon concerts in high school. What I'm trying to say is, I've seen this church a lot.

Little did I know, though, that there's an owl in it's steeple! Or rather, its steeple is an owl! Do you see it? The little circle windows are its eyes, and the white corner-piece is sort of its beak. A rather uncanny resemblance, I think.

Actually, the day has nothing to do with owls, but I decided to provide these pictures for your viewing enjoyment.

This morning our family put on a yard sale! We had oh so much stuff (junk), and some other families came to join. It was quite the ordeal, and quite hilarious, too. The funniest time by far happened around 10 or 10:30 -- Dad started kicking it up a notch. He walked around all the tables (5 or 6, plus things on the ground) at least twice, moving stickers a couple of inches to where they were more visible, straightening everything, knocking down prices, etc. Unfortunately there were few seekers after 9:30, but I think Dad had a lot of fun. As did we all!

Two other exciting (inspiring) things:
In a "Better Homes and Gardens" magazine, I saw some gorgeous shades of "hyacinth purple" which is apparently the "new darling for trendwatchers." I am very inspired. I believe I shall paint the window a similar hue. Watch out.
After reading some of my June issue of "Cooking Light" with a special section on colorful melamine patterns, I became inspired to make a bid on a vintage 16-piece set on eBay! Oh goodness. Pictures will certainly follow -- if I win the bid, that is.

The Owl is watching ;-)

Friday, May 21, 2010

Two Funnies

The South, as we know, has a culture all its own. And I must say, I love it when its little idiosyncrasies are manifested in big, bold signs on the back of pick-up trucks or plastered on the side of the highway.

I honestly can't put this down too much because I really respect and love the message -- but it's a little sad the grammar is so distracting!

I saw this sign on the trailer of a semi in a corn field on the way back from Monroe (on the Louisiana side of the river, I might add). "Bubba said..."

Too funny!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010


Try #2 for Antique Alley in Monroe, LA:
The stores were open! And we made some great finds.
(I posted this picture because I think the sign in this picture is interesting; it looks like the sign-makers quit spelling "Antiques" halfway through. ha!)
There is so much stuff in every single one of those stores. From records to sewing machines, nicknacks to oak furniture, and fun retro salt and pepper shakers to old window frames, this collection of stores known as Antique Alley probably has anything an antique-er could want. I love it!
By the way, although I did not purchase any salt and pepper shakers, I thought these were pretty cool. Tempting, but too pricey.
This old globe was really neat. Actually, this particular store had a lot of awesome things to browse through...

The truth is, I love antiques. I hear there are people out there who do not, and I respect that; but my mom and dad both have raised me to adore the classic style of heavy oak furniture, the old-fashioned goose-neck lamps and rolltop desks, the art of scraping and refinishing old yard chairs (doomed to a flaming death in a bonfire -- true story!) and dressers and window frames, and of course, Mom's beloved antique Pyrex mixing bowl sets (one of which I look forward to receiving as a future wedding gift!). Do you think that's a southern thing?

I've mentioned window frames a couple of times in this post, and it has not been by accident. This was my find! Call me crazy, but I think this old window has a lot of potential (and it was cheap). Future apartment-mates, listen up: I envision scraping and sanding the peeling paint off the frame, repainting it (either something classic like off-white, OR something cheery like buttercup, green, or wisteria), taking the glass panes out, replacing them with mirrors, and hanging it up in our apartment. Is that weird? Mirrors make rooms look bigger, and besides, they're nice to have around sometimes.

Okay, this fabric was not found in Antique Alley, but it was another find for the day. Also, if you are not living with me next year, then the next little bit may be quite uninteresting.

As you may imagine, the different fabric is for the pillows! Here is the fabric that will make two pillows. Obviously, the yellow has already been embroidered, but the green will be, too. (Any ideas as to whose? I haven't made decisions yet.) So, the solid colors will be the front, and the floral will be the back.

And this fabric (the new stuff) will be for the second two pillows. Shown on top is an off-white muslin. It's the same deal as above: solid colors will be the front and the floral will be the back. How do you guys (especially Jane, April, and Bethany) like them?

Ahh. What a productive day. And it's not over yet!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010


Today I mowed the yard next door.

(I have never mowed a yard before, and this one is particularly large and bumpy.)

Around lunchtime, I became extremely antsy for a road trip. I'm not talking about Lake Claiborne, Jackson, or Monroe, either. No, I wanted to go to Arkansas, or Arizona, or somewhere very far away. And why not? I have 6 days before I report to work, and I was in a very weird mood.

Dad suggested I mow the yard instead, so I did.

This is a picture of my kingdom. Of course, it's not really mine, but when I took my water break, I sat back on a brick wall, downed my Nalgene of water, and felt just like a queen surveying her dominion. Actually the feeling was probably more like the slaves in Egypt after they built the pyramids. The pyramids did not belong to them slaves, but I'm sure they could at least marvel at their own construction.
Okay, okay... I'm definitely going overboard with the metaphors, but you get the idea. (And I've only ever mowed once. Ha! I am capable of romanticizing any chore.)

Here is the trusty lawn mower. I got to know it pretty well.

After mowing, I sat in my sweat on the back porch, downed another Nalgene of water, and read 25 pages of Uncle Tom's Cabin.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Another week of Chill

As some of you know, I was scheduled to start my job at ERDC today. When I say "I was scheduled to start" today, I mean that I actually did not. This is a slightly frustrating predicament because my start date entirely dependent upon the arrival date of my transcript. And it hasn't arrived yet -- two weeks after I put in the request.

But honestly, I can't complain too much. I mean, I have another week of freedom, for goodness sakes. And it's not as if I'm not keeping myself busy. Working was definitely a pre-Fall activity, and I fully believe that God created us to work. Laziness is miserable! So, I can only interpret this extra week at home as a way of God letting me have more time with my family and more time to do fun things! And I'm thankful for it.

When I got the email from my boss saying that I will have to start next Monday (the 24th), I reminded Mom that now we'll have time to go to this cool antique alley (two streets of nothing but antique stores!) in West Monroe, LA. Mom said, "Well, why don't we go today??" So she called my cousin Michelle, who was also free to get outta town, and we headed to Monroe! Funny thing about that little excursion: we didn't know that Antique Alley is completely closed on Mondays! (There were 3 stores open. Wouldn't ya know it?) We made the best of the trip, though, and it was great to spend time with Michelle.

When we got back, Michelle and I went for a walk to Vicksburg's Public Library. (This is where my pictures begin.) Goodness, I love walking. And even more than merely going on a walk for exercise, I love walking with a purpose. I am of the opinion that the public library is a worthy purpose.

This is a shot from the Monroe/Drummond bridge. (I've always thought it funny that the bridge technically isn't on a road! Drummond street ends right before it, and Monroe begins right after it.) That's Fisher Funeral Home in the front, and First Baptist's steeple in the background.

I really love our library. It looks pretty dated -- with distinct '70's style architecture -- from the outside, and on the inside, there are a lot of '90's-looking posters with movie stars (Mel Gibson, among others) telling everyone who enters to READ. Like Doritos and fast cars and milk, I guess libraries need a little boost from celebrities, too.

I love our book depository. When I was younger, I always thought I was so official when I reached up on tip-toes to drop my books down the slot.
I also love the fact that it only mentions videos and cassettes -- not DVDs. I would like to mention that our library does carry a good selection of DVDs (I checked one out today, in fact.) but the book depository is just too cool to replace.

The Children's Fiction section downstairs overlooks Washington Street (note the bright background of the window). Can you guess my focal point on the bookshelf?
Remember these magazines? Michelle and I had a fun time browsing the new American Girl ones. Both of our childhoods were heavily influenced by American Girl dolls, books, and magazines; so today in the library, we oohed and ahhed over the cute cupcakes, the little miniatures, and creative sandwiches illustrated in the magazines. Mmm!

Finishing the afternoon with a great indoor cycling class, I'd say it turned out to be a wonderful day.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Sunday Driving

This afternoon -- after church, lunch at Wendy's, and a nap -- Dad and I went on a photography expedition a couple miles along the Mississippi River. I guess I can't speak entirely for Dad, but I had such a fun time. I really love taking pictures, and spending time with Dad on a lazy afternoon was just wonderful.

First picture of the afternoon: a close-up of Queen Anne's Lace with the Mississippi River in the background. We were at the top of a grassy hill that had a For Sale sign advertising "Best view from New Orleans to Memphis," and while I can't personally verify it, I think I'm inclined to agree. (Maybe this picture is the best view from a mouse's perspective? --I'm thinking of the beautifully illustrated children's books Brambly Hedge.)
Many of the narrow roads we traveled ran right along the railroad tracks. I think railroad tracks for the photographer are like spring for the poet -- slightly cliche, but irresistible subjects.

While Dad and I were taking pictures under a little bridge, we heard the unmistakable whistles of a train! Oh man, so exciting! Unfortunately most of my pictures didn't turn out too great, but this one at least shows how close we were!

We came across this fantastic abandoned grocery store on our drive. I think the theme for the artwork was "Remember the Dream" (words which were lightly written on the far right side), with Martin Luther King on the far left, and maybe Harriet Tubman on the far right. I've never seen this store before in my life, but what a landmark. Very cool.

Bricks again. I just love these slightly crumbly bricks that are everywhere in Vicksburg.

Here's a corner shot of the aptly-named almost-antebellum (built in 1873) home, The Corners. I like the heavy wrought-iron fence. It's not one of the best-known tour homes in Vicksburg, but it's really beautiful anyway.

Oh man. When Dad and I happened upon this abandoned railroad depot, we just had to get out. There were so many colors and textures and weird rusty metal contraptions! Again, I'd never seen this before, but I love it. I wish I could say I was more knowledgeable about train pieces and about this part of town, but I'm not. I'm afraid all I can do is admire it through the lens of a camera.

Who knows what on earth this is?

I know rust is destructive, but it's really beautiful, too.

Again, I have no idea what this stuff is. I have a feeling, though, that knowledge wouldn't make me appreciate it any more.

On the other side of the tracks was this abandoned caboose. I love this picture for the bright blues and yellows.

Cool lighting between the stationary trains.

Okay. Last picture!

First observation: I really like black and white pictures with dainty white flowers.

Second: Do you see the little fly on the the flower to the right of the middle?

What a great way to spend a Sunday afternoon.