Saturday, September 26, 2009

Doors of Downtown Historic Charleston, South Carolina

In this guide I will show you the front doors of the historic downtown homes of Charleston, South Carolina. I have to tell you though, that every time I took a picture of one of these beautiful old wood made me think of my husband. That is the  WOOD of the doors made me think of my husband. Stay with me and I will explain. We have been married a looooonnnngggg time, and  he still does this every time we go out to a restaurant. I sit across from him, raise my big brown eyes to him and smile. He in turn, looks at me seriously...then taps the table in between us with his finger and says...." Do you know what kind of wood this is ?" EVERYTIME we go out...for 28+ years ! I have learned to decipher the wood pretty well, he has his Masters in Forestry and is a Master I have learned to forgo romance when he is around any wood products, including tables. 
Ok, let's go look at these gorgeous antique wooden doors ! 

This was a 1 Meeting St. Built in 1849 by a cotton broker , it has these two large double wooden doors with etched glass.

This was a typical door in Charleston, painted black...and has the original beautiful marble entry steps. See the planters are also painted black beside the door ?

Here is a grand , large door also painted black with large columns that are actually part of the house.

Again, large double doors painted black and wrought iron railings up the sides. These doors are about 15 feet tall.

Some very grand , yet typical for Charleston, large wood doors with etched glass.

 They also have the dark stained wood doors here.

One of my very favorite doors I found in a inner , quieter street. Stained glass transom and door inserts. Plus gorgeous wrought iron all around this home.

Here is a closer look at the door.

So nice ! Large wooden door ( I can just see my husband tapping this and asking me " What kind of wood is this ? " ), and it also has the large sidelights as well. Oh...I would say this is oak.

These were very grand, very tall double wooden doors.

This is a close up of the doorknobs and escutcheon plates...again , very grand on this old Victorian home.
These were some fabulous double wooden doors with elaborate molding and marble steps and entry in the front.

Here was a different door, as most doors were not painted white here. I remember taking this shot as I backed into a car ( it was parked ), tripped backwards on the sidewalk, and then got honked at by a woman wanting me out of her way. This was on a very narrow side street off of Church St.

I keep showing you these doors painted black as it really is so dominant here. Doors painted black, fountains and statues painted black, black wrought iron , planters painted black. I believe I was all in black that day , so I fit right in.

One of my favorite doors , not grand at all like the others...but I'm not really a ' grand'  kind of gal, I appreciate charm more. This was a precious door, I loved the curved top and more than that the 1/2 behind the number. That is a common element you see here, many side addresses of homes with the 1/2 behind the number. Just love that about Charleston !
I hope these inspire you to give your front door a ' Charleston " feel to it.
More later,

" I am the door. If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved, and will go out and find pasture. " John 10:9

Thursday, September 24, 2009

10 Tips for Husbands to Really Show LOVE to Their Wives

 Here is a list of some do's and don't s for husbands to show their wives that they love them. My qualifications to come up with this are simply that I have been married for 28+ years...I have seen a lot of men over those years do things, or say things to their wives that I do not believe they understand the impact it causes to their marriages. I do believe men want to be great husbands , but either get too lazy emotionally , or too busy physically , to do their best. This article will definitely have a Christian slant to it , but can be applied to all religions or faiths. I also know that another article could be written about what women can do to show love to their husbands better. This one is strictly for the men though...and I warn you that if you start applying some of these practices in your marriage...don't do it for one day or a week or a month...keep it up...the rewards of your wife loving you more than ever before are limitless and satisfying for you both.
So here goes:
  1. Tell your wife EVERYDAY, that she is beautiful. Do not schmooze and be phony, compliment on her eyes, her hair, her smile, the way she dresses ...whatever that day catches your eye. Be genuine with your compliments. Every wife needs to hear this often, that she is beautiful.  
  2.  Tell your wife EVERYDAY that you love her...I know some couples that never tell each other they love each other. You will not regret this one.
  3.  Take time to call your wife from work, simply to tell her you love her...again, EVERYDAY is good.
  4. Take your wife to lunch once a week or once every two weeks. No kids, just you two. Now if you have young children...then yes, by all means bring the kids too. But if they are in school or out of school...then plan on being by yourselves...and FLIRT with your wife during these lunches. Wives love when their husbands flirt with them. Put your hand at the small of her back when you walk, hold hands , touching is wonderful at any age.
  5. Ok, here's a big one--Do NOT be nicer to the waitress, the check-out clerk, your secretary, your neighbor,  the baby-sitter, other wives of other men , soccer moms, random strangers...THAN YOU ARE TO YOUR OWN WIFE. I have seen countless men be sugary sweet to a waitress , and then turn to their own wives and be abrupt and rude. The relationship that God watches the most, and expects your best..after your relationship with your relationship with your spouse. How you treat her behind closed doors and in public is a witness to HER, your CHILDREN, your extended FAMILY...and the community. Show her respect and treat her SUPERIOR to any other woman you have any contact with, anywhere. She will be profoundly grateful..and feel your love.
  6. On a lighter note, remember basic hygiene please. You do not have to get slack about showers, brushing your teeth, clipping your nails , shaving , once you are married. Look your BEST for your wife , basic grooming is all that is needed.
  7. This may be a hard one for some men...but you need to be able to do this for many reasons. Do NOT leer, take second and third glances, check-out, or comment on other attractive women. This is basically very dis-respectful to your wife, may make her feel inadequate and is very unloving. This applies to wives of ALL ages, 25, 35, 45, 55, 65, 75...but especially a more delicate issue for wives as they get older. Be sensitive and show some class. Not just when you are together somewhere, TRAIN yourself to be able to look at another woman ,( I know you're not all dead out yes, you can see she is attractive )...but then  let your eyes move on. This action alone can make your marriage happier and make your wife feel more beautiful. It also can have a HUGE impact on your children , they can see you display integrity and love...a visible act of love to your wife and family.
  8. When you get home from work, hug your wife...ask her what she did today ? Do you know how many women I have spoken to that say their husbands NEVER ask them about their day ? Show interest in her, also take some time to ask her what she has dreams about doing...either  an occupation...a trip...a volunteer activity...whatever. Maybe she wants to create a garden , a piece of art, a scrapbook, whatever it is do NOT be demeaning and negative about it. This woman is precious to you, allow her to share with you and encourage her, if it is possible help her make it come true ...if she wants your help...she may just need to know that you care.
  9. About gifts, such as flowers, candy , jewelery...yes, women DO love this..but also find the ' thing ' she talks about most...and find that for her. Maybe a book about what she is interested in, or a class she could take , or buy her a gift certificate. You do NOT have to spend a lot of money...just be interested in what she feels passionate about.
  10. This one you guys really won't like---as you have heard it before--but it is a problem in marriages. Try NOT to be a total TV Zombie at home, you know the ones with the remote in their hand when they walk through the door, by their side at dinner, and in their lap the rest of the night.  Your wife and also your children need to see that Dad is as interested in them as much as the latest scores, random commercials, 30 year  old action flicks , and especially any shows that may depict sexual or suggestive views of other women..which is rampant on TV these days. This of course also applies to the internet. You think because you are by yourself at work or at home, that you are not hurting your wife looking at either pornography or suggestive sites. You may be alone, but I will let you know that you really are not. God is always there..He judges us all by what we do in private, even more than out in public. He cares deeply about where you put your attention. You hurt your relationship with HIM, your wife ,and your children. Do you think when you are old that you will look back at your life and think , " Gee, wish I had spent more time watching TV or on the internet ?" True character is developed when we chose to do the right thing out of love...not because anyone can see us do it , but when you make the choice on what to look at because of the bond you have with your wife and God.
One last thing, remember life is SHORT. Give your best in life, NOT to your co-workers, neighbors, service clerks, waitresses, etc. Give your BEST to the people that will truly mourn you when you are gone, the people that really love you. Be kind and considerate with everyone..but be a witness , a testimony to the love you have for your wife.

Now I will also caution you to tell your wife you read an article about how to show your wife you love her, so she doesn't think something else is going on in your life, or that space aliens have abducted her husband and you have been replaced. last thing...find a church, take your wife to church...every week. Be the spiritual leader in your home. Step up to the plate in this area above all.
My very best to you and I wish you and your wife many blessings ,

" Husbands, love your wives , as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her. " Ephesians 5:25

Sunday, September 20, 2009

The Gardens of the Calhoun Mansion in Downtown Charleston, South Carolina

On all of my treks through the historic neighborhoods of Charleston, South Carolina ...I always pass the large and very impressive Calhoun mansion at No. 16 Meeting St.  This is the largest privately owned home in Charleston , and this Victorian mansion was built in 1876 .It has 24,000 sq. feet of floor space ( that includes an attic ), and is the largest building in the city that was built as a private home.  Very elegant, there is almost a stillness and a quiet spirit over this entire outside garden area.  That is except for the day that I went there on Tuesday Sept. 8th , 2009 and raised my voice in the front of the home at the tour guide...and her small ensemble of guests she was about to take in.

Let me  try to make you understand why I raised my voice...and it was only for a few brief moments. I saw the front gates open, and I stepped in to take some quick, ( I thought you may not be able to take pictures if you did not have a ticket ), pictures of the front garden..especially wanted to get handsome Mercury, looking like he is dancing on the round holly bushes in the front. I had my headphones on , it of course was a very hot summer afternoon , so I was dressed in shorts, tank shirt...I looked like a jogger passing by. Anyway, while I was taking some photos, I could barely hear this sweet voice asking me something. I stopped and looked up, and there was a young lady and two women she was about to take through the mansion on a tour.  She kept trying to ask me something, and I listened more carefully ( I had a contemporary Christian music playing in my ears, that makes what I did even more embarrassing ). 
I finally figured out I had not completely turned my music down...if I wanted to go on the tour ? I asked her, ' How much is it ? "  She tells me the price...or what I thought was the price..and I yelled " Fifty DOLLARS !! " I can't believe it is 50 DOLLARS !! " They all just kept looking at me like I was this really odd , LOUD, jogger...and she kept repeating what she said. I finally turned my headphones off, pulled them off my head...and heard her say " No mam, 15 Dollars ."
I felt at that moment that God was up there, smacking himself on the head..thinking what am I going to do with her ? I'll bet he wanted to pull my little gold cross around my neck, lift it up and tell me to ," Watch that tone, child . "
Again, the very imperfect Christian woman strikes again .Geez, don't we all sound terrible sometimes ? Lesson learned, No. 1..Turn off your headphones when someone is talking to you. No. 2..I am a representative of Jesus, so I better watch my tone, that was probably No. 1.
Ok, let's go look at this beautiful garden...

Here is part of the front steps and porch of the mansion, heavy wrought iron all around. This is where the nice tour guide was when I caused the ruckus.


 This is the center fountain , at the side of the garden

The back knot garden with old statue in the center


Here is the really beautiful , really large three-tired fountain. I would guesstimate it stands between 15-20 feet tall.

This has some neat old bird statues surrounding the base

Trying to show you all the statues surrounding it, antique all of them
Last shot of this glorious fountain, the size of a small pool.

  I am a wrought iron nut, just love it...and this bench surrounding the front fountain was very large and ornate.
Look below to get a better view of it's surroundings.

  Isn't this the most delightful knot or parterre garden ? You will want to reach out and touch these round ones.

Everyone's favorite in the garden...Mr. Handsome-Bronze -Mercury, you will see him from the sidewalk.

This knot garden is directly in front of the house and to the sides of the doors.

Ok, here is the sign in front , the website for this Mansion is . It says in one of the guides to Charleston that it is open daily 11-5 March-Oct. and 11-4 November-February. Tours every 30 minutes. This mansion looks spectacular, huge leaded glass doors lead into the home...and one day when I have 15.00 on me , on one of my treks here,...I'll go through them.
More on Charleston, SC soon. I believe I'll do doors of Charleston next.
later,   Gina

"..but as He who called you all to be holy, you also be holy in ALL your conduct. " 1 Peter 1:15

Friday, September 18, 2009

Statues and Fountains in Historic Charleston, South Carolina

In this guide I'll show you some really great old statues and fountains I photographed one very hot day in Charleston, South Carolina. I mention that it is hot here in the Summer, because if you come from anywhere else in the country or the world to visit between the months of May thru September, you will need to wear shorts, tennis shoes , stick your hair up or wear a sun hat or cap...because the extreme humidity of the Deep South can overwhelm someone not used to it. Here I am to the far left, about to start at St. Philip's church again. I did almost write this about the gravestones and headstones of the graveyards here...but when I went into St. Philip's adjoining cemetery here, right inside these large gates...I got so sad reading the markers explaining that a wife died in childbirth...leaving 7 children and a husband...or one of a 12 year old boy who drowned while swimming...a young girl of 3...and more. They often write the reason someone died on the markers, so it can be very sad. Especially if you have lost someone you really loved. So...I left there in search of statues and bubbling fountains to cheer myself up.
Ok...I forgot that I took this picture of a beautiful carved memorial in St. Philip's opposite graveyard ( there is one on both sides of the church and on the opposite side of the street)...intricate carved detail in the marble and I absolutely did NOT read how this person died or who it is for.

I found this large bronze statue of nudes, in a large round pool of water,  in a downtown neighborhood while I was meandering through...I cannot recall what street it was on because I believe I was lost...but always fun to get lost in a neighborhood of gorgeous gardens. I always find my way back , sooner or later.

I love this little guy, I see him on all my trips, lots of pools or enclosures of water, usually round , but sometimes rectangular like this one. Almost always encircled by clipped holly bushes.


Here was a large bronze tiered fountain , inside a round pool of water, simply made of concrete. This was a very elaborate fountain, hard to take a photo of as I had to try to get it through heavy wrought iron fencing.


Here is a large antique birdbath that they have put a potted fern on top of an have impatiens planted all around. This statue stood about 4 feet tall, I have seen many copied of this, but this was an old original.

 This was in a large garden at the  Nathaniel Russell house, this is one of a pair of old antique statues at the front of the garden.

A dolphin birdbath/fountain with a wonderful circular patterned brickwork surround.


Here was a statue at the very back of a bed and breakfast on the Battery...tucked away in a alcove.


This birdbath with a statue was also in the same bed and Breakfast on the Battery, this one was near a seating area to sit and enjoy breakfast or a meal outside.

Very common to see the statue and fountains though the wrought iron fencing.


 Beautiful large fountain inside small pool of water, right off the Battery.

         I recall taking this photo , as the first time I went by this large garden off of Broad street, the fountain was not on...and then when I passed by later it was. I walked into a large open garden...believing it was a bed and breakfast...but when I started taking pictures of the yard and fountain...a man walked out on the steps...looked at me and smiled...and I smiled back because he was a priest , with his spiffy black suit on and his white collar, below that smile.  Later I discovered I was on the front lawn of an adjoining churches offices.  

                 Here you see the fountain enclosed in a angular larger pool of water, all surrounded by brick walkways...sort of a larger knot garden.

Here is one of those larger pools of water with a beautiful fountain spraying in equal directions.  You also can see that the homeowners are ' sharing ' their garden with passerbys. They have the fountain framed perfectly from the sidewalk for us.

Again, a very large basin or pool of water with a middle fountain in a very large garden downtown.

Such a pretty fountain inside a octagonal pool of water, was bronze with cherubs.

This was a very large three tired fountain with the fish base in the typical round pool.

This was a gorgeous tiered fountain, hidden inside a narrow Charleston garden. Lots of these are painted black, instead of let the typical concrete that we see.

Original old four seasons staue, about 2 1/2 feet tall..I believe this is Summer. I took all of these at the Nathaniel Russell house off Meeting St. Open to the Public.

Here was Winter.

 I think this was Spring, may be summer I get them confused. I did not take a picture of Fall as the poor little guy had no head..appropriate I suppose.

Large bronze statue, the most glorious in Charleston at the S. Battery garden . I have a larger picture of this garden in another guide , check it out.
Here is a view of the Calhoun mansion, in the back. I am doing another guide of just this garden area. this fountain was the largest I saw at a home...approx. 15 feet tall.

Here is a view of another tiered fountain . I will be writing more of these glimpses of Charleston, SC to give you some garden inspirations.
" He who believes in ME, as the scripture has said, out if his heart will flow rivers of living water. " John 7:38ho