Friday, October 30, 2009

The ORIGINAL SPOOKY Old JAIL of Charleston, South Carolina

My little Transformer

Since Halloween is tomorrow  , when I was in Charleston , South Carolina yesterday ...I decided to take some photos of the spooky old jail that is said to be haunted. I took my youngest daughter on this trip, she is easily scared of anything to do with ghosts and I am easily scared of anything remotely we were quite a crew heading over there.
C'mon, I'll show it to you...

Here it is ! It is being renovated to house the Arts school , and so you see some extra additions to it. We got wonderfully lost looking for this because I told my daughter I KNEW where it was...but I came at it from the opposite direction than I usually do, and it took awhile for me to get my bearings . Which in turn freaked her out, she kept saying " We're LOST , ask someone directions !'..and I in turn laughed back at her, " I LOVE to get lost in the historic neighborhoods here, because I always discover something new . "  She in turn told me I was NUTS, and I kept laughing and stopped walking, turned abruptly to my left side and saw IT..over there.
I smugly said, " Told you I knew where it was  ", and we walked over for a closer look.

This jail was built in 1802 and housed pirates and also housed  federal prisoners during the Civil War. The carriage tour guides tell a story that it is haunted by the only woman who was hanged here , and I believe even housed here , for poisoning her husband . Her ghost is said to have been seen at one of the windows and in the hallways many times.
Boo !

It is pretty creepy around there, it is surrounded by low-rent housing projects all around.
They are well maintained and I always walk around back here when I go to Charleston.
My daughter at this point was starting to get the heeby-jeebies being near this foreboding building.
I just kept laughing at her.
I knew I was going to be fast taking these photos, so she wouldn't be scared for long.
( Do not be concerned for her as she is 21 and goes to see horrible scary movies with her friends all the time. )
That's what I thought was so funny.

There are iron bars on all the windows, and the walls are thick concrete. It is fairly dark around the building for some reason .Definite strange feeling right beside it .

Additional Boo ! 

The left side of the building , Hollywood couldn't create a jail that looks this authentic and spooky. By this time my daughter is telling me to HURRY UP, she wants to get away from this building ! more shot.

This was my final shot , halfway crouched down looking up in the gutter , when my daughter's anstsy-ness made me say, " Okay, let's Go !" I did not have time to go to the back of the building where they hung prisoners from the gallows as a group of men were coming our direction,  and I decided to take her back into the light.
I'll go without her next time and take some shots of the back.
I do know they do Ghost Tours in Charleston , and everyone says this is the scariest place at night to come on the tour.

You couldn't pay me at night to be here , that 's for sure !

I hope you and your little scary munchkins have a fun Halloween !
Many blessings,

" The LORD is my light and salvation--whom shall I fear ? The LORD is the stronghold of my life--of whom shall I be afraid ? " Psalm 27:1

ANTIQUE Windows & DOORWAYS of CHARLESTON, South Carolina

I decided to drive down to Charleston, South Carolina for the day and see what I could find to post online about my favorite city. I got lucky and my youngest daughter went with me and we got to walk all over the neighborhoods to try to discover more architectural elements that make Charleston special. Here I am above at St. Philip's Church on Church St. , where I start all my treks. I am wearing shorts in late October as it was 75 degrees and that is the lucky part of living in the Deep South ! Let's go..
Here was a typical example of the large windows with some brick cornices above. I have said in  my other guides ( from Sept. ), that no storm windows are allowed over any windows here because of historical renovation restrictions. See the leaded glass windows, they are wavy, distorted and

This is the most common windows here with the quintessential Charleston shutters with some original old hardware tiebacks. These are almost always open, rare to see someone close these on any home . 

 Beautiful unusual larger triple window with original old glass.

I really liked this old wood gate , painted brick red , that I found down a small side street.
The entire view of the red gate with old original brick surround wall with climbing ivy.

Here was a very grand doorway surround across the street from St. John's church downtown.
Close-up of the doorway, I remember taking this shot as my daughter was fussing at me to get out of the street so I wouldn't get run over . She gets that from me . 
More paneled old shutters, I would say 85 % are painted black here. Maybe 90 %.  There are a few renegade shutter-painters that drift to some other colors of the rainbow..but they are few and far between.

Black wood gate with metal insert .Wood gates are much rarer here than wrought iron gates which are more common.

Here was a long row of plantation shutters on a 1700's brick home.

As usual, charm galore with window boxes overflowing with flowers. Since it was late October, there was less flowers in the window boxes in most homes.

Black shutters, black door, with the salmon surround and elaborate molding and sidelights. Great ' Charleston ' look to mimic where you live.

Occasionally you run across doors that are stained, this was a large double-door with a historic marker to the left ,( which of course I did not read as I had so much territory to cover ! ).

These were great windows , can you see the old glass shine ?  New glass windows don't do that.
Close-up of the windows.
These were high up with their over-flowing planter boxes beneath.

I hope you can see these are NOT the ' faux' shutter made of vinyl or fake wood that we all buy at Lowes or Home Depot.  They have to be wood here, and yes the maintenance is more , but the look is so much more authentic and charming than vinyl ones. Almost all have the hardware tie-backs you see here.

Last one, this one is located right across from St. Philip's church . I like the anchor in the wall , nice touch . 

I will be doing a few more of these ' sights ' of Charleston . I have many more that I posted in September, check them out if you have time.
I hope you have many blessings today...especially the small ones,
 " Bring all the tithes into the storehouse , That there may be food in My house. And try Me now in this. " says the LORD of hosts, " If I will not open for you the windows of heaven and pour out for you such blessing that there will not be room enough to receive it. " Malachi 3:10

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Is it LOVE or LUST... this Imperfect Christian WOMAN will tell you Here

Psyche & cupid at The Met

I decided to write about the difference between love and lust, and how you can very easily tell it...for various reasons , but foremost because I feel our society is so caught up in the lust of the flesh...that they confuse it with TRUE loveI have grown up with all of the lusty movies and television shows and I see how they polluted my mind and how they are polluting our children's minds and hearts. We are inundated daily with images , in the media, movies, paper ads...that depict ' love' between two people. Usually this love involves deeply looking into each other's eyes, long deep kisses, then ripping each other's clothes off. We have been programmed to believe now THAT is really love. I can tell you right now, THAT is really LUST. That is actually one of the first clues I was going to mention to tell the difference, if ripping each other's clothes off is the FIRST thought when you relate to each other . Not to say  that married couple's that love each other should not think that, ( I believe they should think it about even MORE than they probably do ), but if your FIRST thought is always sexual--BIG clue it is lust.

Obvious true love, a boy and his dog.

Second clue...lust involves always WANTING something from that person, love involves GIVING , more than getting. If you find yourself wanting to GIVE to a person more, rather than asking yourself what can I GET from that person, ( usually in exchange for something ), then love is in the picture. Lust wants to GET, love wants to GIVE. 

Third clue..and last clue...if you are usually considering what is in the best interests of the OTHER person , more than YOUR best whatever way... your needs, your time, your money, your future, their future...then it is LOVE.  Most especially when you may be angry with the person, hurt , or disappointed in them. It is easy to love someone when they are being ' perfect' , in whatever way ' perfect' is to you. It is when you still deeply care about them when they are NOT so perfect, that love is demonstrated. Lust will not last with the hard times of life , it will disappear.

I forgot there is one last test , and it is the one you see in retrospect.
TIME. Time will always be the test of love or lust as well, early love...the giddy ' young love' ,( my very favorite ), then the middle years of love...when you see couples enjoying their time together and holding hands when they are  in their 40-60's, then the most profound love of all...demonstrated with the elderly ...the man tenderly holding his wife's hand when they walk, or gently putting his arm around her, and when his eyes still sparkle when he sees her, or her's when she sees him . She is not as beautiful or vibrant as she was , and he is not as strong or handsome as he was , but the love they share is the deepest beside the love of God. The surface has faded off of them both, and what is left is the core.

God's love trumps  over all the ' lust-love', the giddy-love, the middle-year's love, and the profound love of the elderly. That is a fact that will fill your soul.
Be careful out there in this world of lust landmines and pitfalls.
If after reading this you have figured out you really DO love someone, please let them know, because life is truly very short.
I hope your day is filled with love,

" Love is patient and kind. Love is not boastful , or proud. It is not arrogant or rude, It is not selfish or easily provoked, It thinks no evil ; Rejoices not in iniquity but rejoices in the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things , hopes all things, endures all things . Love never fails. and now faith , hope , and love abide, these three: but the greatest of these is LOVE. " 1 Corinthians 13 4-8, 13

Thursday, October 22, 2009

BEAUTY is in The EYE of the BEHOLDER...Thanks Be to GOD

Since I sell antique and vintage paintings online, one of the benefits is going on ' painting hunts ', which I try to do once or twice a week at the very least.  You know when you are out searching for beauty in is so very nice to have God show you it through people as well. I am not talking about beautiful people...I am talking about when their words and actions display intense beauty. Let me tell you about the woman in the antique mall who loudly declared, " He's MY HUSBAND and you CAN'T have him ! ".

  I'll start this off by saying she wasn't saying that to me...she was loudly and happily declaring it to another  woman shopping that day. Let me set the stage of the entire scenario. We have 4 players , the happy wife , the husband , the happy other woman-shopper , and me. 
I had just passed a booth and a woman , she was attractive, early 60's, cropped blond or working in a booth . I was unsure , I did not know if she was a dealer because in the next booth over was a large man sitting in a large armchair...obviously waiting for her. As I walked into the booth he was sitting in , there was a huge sign...actually a couple of them, that said " 50 % off EVERYTHING in THIS BOOTH. "There was a lot of artwork, so I looked at about 10 or so prints and paintings , smiled briefly at him, and then ALMOST said , " Are you 50% off too ? " But did not know if it would offend him or his wife, so I did not. 10 years ago I would have said it in a heartbeat, but...trying to rein in my mouth more.


So I kept walking, got about two booths down, and then I hear HER. The other woman-happy shopper. She was also in her 60's , I glanced back when I heard her speak...and she had no problem telling the happy-wife shopper  EXACTLY what she thought. Follow this :

Happy-Other-Woman-Shopper: ( she was in the 50 % off booth ): Well, are YOU 50% off ? ( to the husband)

Happy-wife : " No he is NOT, that is MY HUSBAND ! You CAN'T have HIM !"

Happy-Other-Woman-Shopper: : " OH but I am TEMPTED ! I may snatch him up at 50 % off ! "

The entire time this is going on , I never turned around, but I could envision all their expressions. 

Happy-wife: " NO you CAN NOT ! He is the BEST husband in the world, he just got off a plane and is tired but he is here with me. I LOVE him, he is so wonderful , he is so great "( ..and on and on she went ).

Happy other woman-shopper: " Well I declare ,( we are in the South here ), he DOES  sound like the BEST husband in the world, I am still tempted but I'll have to keep shopping. "

And off she went, this was accompanied by lots of laughter and good feelings floating through the air...I could FEEL that man brimming with pride and happiness, and I wasn't even near him anymore.

It made me realize that it is so true that Beauty is in The Eye of the Beholder , and without a doubt thanks be to God who made us this way.
The husband was not an Adonis , not dressed snazzy , he was not a lady-killer by any means. But in his wife's eyes, he was EVERYTHING and more, that she dreamed a husband could be. He had somehow made himself ' beautiful ' , in every way to her. And in turn, the Beauty or rather Love he reflected back to her , blessed me and the happy-other woman-shopper beyond words.
I found some nice paintings that day , but the memory of that obvious display of love , was the most beautiful find of all.
I hope your day is full of beauty,

Sunday, October 18, 2009

The BRINK, the EDGE, the PRECIPICE, the THRESHOLD...Where are your TOES hanging ?

Our family each Summer goes to Edisto Beach , South Carolina...about 45 minutes outside of Charleston , SC .  If you are looking for an action packed, tons of activities type of vacation with shopping and lots of restaurants...then this is NOT the place to go . Edisto is a very quiet, calm , small island that is slow-paced but perfect for families and singles and couples, everyone..who like the simpler things of life. I go for many power walks around the island , town area...and I had something so darned cool happen to me this Summer...that I had to write about it.
It was about 7 AM in the morning, I take off with headphones on , of course wearing shorts and something very cool as it was July in the South , hot and humid . Around the condos that we stay at there is a large sidewalk that goes for a few miles, then you head into the island neighborhoods. The sidewalk is almost smack next to the street ( about two feet ), the main street leading into there. It is a bit unnerving to walk there because  if a car veered only a few feet...then big-time ouch or Hello God here I  am. 

My little boy and me about to go for a beach walk at Edisto Beach

Well , as I am rounding a my amazement , to my right ...about 20 feet from a large deer. I was really stunned. I am at a beach , not in the forest somewhere.  She had just run out of the woods area ( a small area of trees )...and was going to cross the sidewalk in front of me to go across the road to more woods area, near a marshland. 
I froze, she froze, ( no horns so I am guessing she is a she).
I then looked in front of me...down the road, then behind me ...down the one around. We just both stood there...not moving...I definitely was not intimidating to her like I am to UPS employees when I ship things...but she was still uncertain what to do. So the Mom came out in me.
Safety First ! 

No, this was not the deer, this was a stuffed version at our State Fair ! No horns on my girl.

 I looked again up and down the road...then I told her to go ahead. I then used one arm , and said gently , " Go ahead ." She just kept looking at me with these gigantic beautiful eyes, she moved or jerked for a second...then nothing. I then said a little louder, and now with both arms, told her ," Go ahead, you can cross..go on, go on , it's Ok. "
Now you many be thinking...dumb woman is talking to a deer. But since no one ever said I couldn't talk to a deer, I had no problem doing it.
Then lo and behold, after my last gesture, she looked at me again...and leaped..I mean LEAPED across the road ! It was so exciting, and I knew I had a big smile on my face when I heard some voices behind me. It was a couple that had just come around the bend , and they were laughing and smiling too. The man said " I can't believe I saw what you just did and the deer ran. "
I told them I was concerned about her safety, and in that same spot the morning before I had seen a large hawk...even closer to me than she was.
I felt like Snow White , ready for birds, butterflies and squirrels to start following me .
( I really did). 

My little boy showing the sunset

As I kept walking that morning, I immediately thought about how we are like that deer , always on the brink..the edge, the precipice, the border , the threshold...of something important in life. How we want to hear God say, " Go's OK to go ahead. ".  Especially when we are uncertain what he wants us to do in a circumstance or with an opportunity. If only we could see God, waving His arms in a direction and saying .." This way, go this way. " Then we would know for SURE.
Oftentimes though we are at the edge or brink of something...our toes are right on the edge...hanging on tight...and we wait and delay , procrastinate...or never do. I pray so much for God to help me take that leap, take that risk for His Glory , not for mine,  but His. I also pray for Him to show me when NOT to do something , to step back from the rein me in. This imperfect Christian woman needs a lot of reining in...but I know for a fact God is perfect for that job.
I hope you have a moment of delight this week , I hope something happens to you that it makes you think of soon as it happens.
Many blessings,
" The voice of one crying in the wilderness ; " Prepare the way of the LORD; Make His paths straight. " Matthew 3:3


Wednesday, October 14, 2009

OUTSIDE Views of CHARLESTON, South Carolina's Private HOMES

 Typical old single 3 story home on Church St.

I am very fortunate to be able to drive to Charleston, South Carolina...and roam through the downtown historic neighborhoods for ideas and inspiration for my garden and my home. In this guide I will show you some homes that caught my eye on a hot late summer afternoon there. 
Let's go--


I saw this house with it's really neat overgrown ivy surround while I was looking for Mrs. Whaley's garden . I did find the garden, it was across the street a ways down from here...but it had a sign on the back gate ( to the garden ), that said GARDEN CLOSED. I felt like a kid who couldn't get into the zoo that day. Considered trying to get back there anyway...did not follow through with my rebellious tendencies against No Entry signs this time though.
Maybe another time.

Here was a huge old home , on some street I do not recall...and I could not for the life of me get far enough away to take a shot of the whole house. See,  in Charleston, homes are right on top of each other. The good thing about that though is you get to see so many houses all at once !

This was a gorgeous old home off of S. Battery that  had intricate wrought iron accents, doors, balconies...all around.

One of my favorite views of all these homes is the front /side gardens with their large porches or piazzas looking out. Again , since these homes are right on top of each other...I could not get far enough away from one house to take a photo of a house without running into the neighbor's yard, fence, yardman, or dog.

Here are two views of a large, home with unusual hodge-podge wood work, wrought ironwork, and appears to be whatever the owner fancied at the time.

This home was off of Lenwood or Legare, across from a small lake ,columns are huge, very Gone with The Wind style home.

I remember very well taking lots of photos of this home, it was a delicious shade of pinky-peach, had heavy wrought ironwork all around and elaborate cornices over all the windows. The door also has stunning stained glass. I took so many photos of this home, ( I usually only take one shot and keep on moving ), that I thought the owners were going to come out and say, " That's IT Lady , no more photos ! "
Lucky for me, they did not...and lucky for me that I am fast...if they did.

A close-up of the front of same pinky-peach home.

Close-up of the beautiful front door.

Ok, last look.

Again, this was across the street from the pinky-peachy home, and I could not get all four stories of this in here. I could have layed flat on the sidewalk on my back and take it, but did not do that...this time.

Here was a very lovely home with the clipped holly all around and a small fountain in front.


This is one of my very favorite larger mansions with large balconies, porches, piazzaz..this home had it all.


Gorgoeous home near the water, S. Battery area.


Very front of the same home with overflowing planters , I love anything overflowing , especially flowers, gardens  and fountains.


On and on and on, large Victorian mansions left and right.


I believe this is where they, ( architects, decorators, home-builders ) , get the term " Charleston-style" home. This is the real deal , one of the originals .
Nothing ever compares to ' the real deal ', in anything in life.

Set of row houses near Church St. When you come to Charleston, you get an eyeful of these style homes.
I'll do more Charleston ' tours' online soon. Check out my ones from September if you have time.
Have a blessed day and be sure to be a blessing yourself to someone else too,

" In my Father's house are many mansions; if it were not so , I would have told you . I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself ; that where I am ; there you may be also. " John 14 :2-3