Monday Window: Grand Houses of Savannah

For Ludwig’s Monday Window challenge, I am using his post as an inspiration to present windows of Savannah, GA from our trip there in 2014. These windows are from grand houses (some are mansions) we encountered there.

This might be a government building.
This is a historic Victorian Mansion available for vacation rental.
Mercer-Williams House, featured in the book “Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil” by John Berendt. It was the scene of the 1981 murder of Danny Hansford by the house’s owner, Jim Williams.
Not a great “window photo” but I love the dual stairway!

Speaking of the book “Midnight In the Garden of Good and Evil,” Lady Chablis is a main character and she was still around, at least in 2014!

Lady Chablis (famous because of the book & movie) is still going strong!
Clary’s in Savannah – we had brunch at this place, made famous by Lady Chablis, who often has breakfast here.

Square Up: Old Houses

Dale and I are getting ready to sell our house. We moved to a retirement community in August of 2019, and shortly afterward our daughter and son-in-law moved into our house. They have been renting, but are now ready to buy it. They have done a lot to fix the house UP. Part of this was transforming the rooms with their own décor, but there have been some plumbing problems, too, because it’s an old house. (Guess who had to pay for the plumbing upgrades???)

You might say our old house, built in 1924, is a fixer-UPper, and I have no doubt that if we had tried to sell the house on the market, we would probably have to do a lot more renovations than we are getting away with. So, in honor of old houses that are worth saving, my contribution to Becky’s Square Up challenge today is fixer-uppers.

If the people who live in these houses were trying to sell them, they would be considered fixer-uppers!

This house has been continuously occupied as long as we lived in our old neighborhood in Des Plaines, but it has grown battered over the years – definitely a fixer-upper!
Unfortunately, I only have a photo of the doorway of 804, because I was taking pictures of doors decorated for Halloween at the time, but you get the idea!
Obviously (or hopefully!), no one lives in this house. Is this a fixer-upper or is it a lost cause? It looks as though someone has already begun to tear it down.
Many Dutch live in houseboats along Amsterdam’s many canals. I’d say this boathouse is a fixer-upper, but it looks like someone lives there – perhaps they’ve fixed it up better inside!

Below is another photo of this houseboat, which I couldn’t make square.

All I can say is, if the resident of this houseboat ever tries to sell it, (s)he will have to work on fixing up the exterior as well!

Square Perspective: Street Scene

Becky’s Square Challenge this month is about perspective. She gives several examples, including this one: Geometry – the way that objects appear smaller when they are further away and the way parallel lines appear to meet each other at a point in the distance. Today, I have a photo that shows a street scene in a rural town in Egypt. Notice the children coming toward me and the women sitting in front of a house – they seem small, but there are other people far down the street who can barely be seen. The row of houses gets smaller toward a “vanishing point” in the distance.

Sunday Stills: Getting It Straight

Terri Webster Schrandt has a Sunday photo challenge, Sunday Stills. The theme this week is straight.

Apartment building (Woodstock, IL)

Here’s a place I’ve really been missing the last few months – the library! (Des Plaines, IL)


Under these floor tiles, several hundred people were buried during the Middle Ages! (Oude Kerk, Amsterdam)

Bridges: Pegasus Bridge (Normandy, France)

Bridge over a river on the border of Germany and Austria (near Scharding, Austria)

A tall house (Mont St-Michel, France)

Entrance to a graveyard (Merville-Franceville-Plage, France)

A straight and narrow street in Passau, Germany

Ornate fence in front of the World Museum in Vienna, Austria

SYW: Animal Talk and Questions to End the Holiday Season

Share Your World is a weekly set of questions hosted by Melanie at Sparks From a Combustible Mind.

QUESTIONS FOR THE WEEK 12-23-19:
Do dogs ‘talk’ (communicate) with their own species? (credit to Marilyn of Serendipity)
Not just dogs – I think the members of every species communicate with each other. It’s not necessarily with their voices. Dogs are known to leave their “calling cards” by peeing on trees and lawns. Doing this is like sticking a post-it-note up on a public bulletin board for all to see. Anyone who has a pet knows the different kinds of sounds they make. If my cat hears the sound of a cat fight, she is immediately on alert – her tail and fur on her back puff up. Dogs bark, whine, growl and make other sounds to express themselves; cats meow, caterwaul, purr and make funny, soft noises at animals outside; loons have a variety of calls. Many people have heard recordings of whale “songs.” So yes, I think dogs, like other animals, communicate with their own species as well as with others.

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Photo courtesy of Google Images

Have you ever had to work on Christmas Day?
No, fortunately not! I have never been in a job that requires someone to be on call all the time. Our daughter, whose birthday is on Christmas, is not so fortunate – I told her she was lucky never to have to work on her birthday, but in fact, she did used to when she had less seniority at her job as an apartment building manager.

If someone gifts you something that you immediately loathe, do you pretend to really like it anyway or are you brutally honest about your opinion?
I don’t loathe any gift and always try to show my gratitude for receiving it. I received, this Christmas, a gift from a friend – it is a small wood burning set. Original, I’ll give her that! She said it’s because I am “branching out” in my creative crafts – I’ve been drawing and painting more lately, that’s true. But don’t give me anything to burn! I will either cause an accident to myself or others, or at the very least mess it up. What I usually do with gifts like this that I have no use for is to keep them to give to someone else later, someone who doesn’t know the original gift giver!

Which popular drink, found during the Christmas season most often, is called “milk punch?”
Spiked eggnog perhaps? I have never heard the term “milk punch” so I’m just guessing.

How many ghosts show up during “A Christmas Carol?”
Four.

Are you all about the holly and jolly or more about remembering the alleged ‘true’ meaning of Christmas?
Both. Christmas, like other holidays, is a time for celebration with friends and family. So that’s jolly, at least among my family and friends. The holly – decorating. Yes, I do that. But I also always put up my main creche along with all the small ones I’ve collected from around the world. Right after Christmas, I put away all the wrapping paper and cards, but the creches stay up until January 6. This is a remember that Christ is the reason for the season.

Please share a memory or thought about the holiday season if you’d like, whatever kind of celebration you may observe.
In spite of my husband being Jewish (and we do light the menorah each night of Hanukkah), s
omething we, like many people, do is the tradition of driving around looking at lights. We actually haven’t done this for a couple of years, but this year we did, just Dale and I. We moved during the summer so we now live in a different community, and we decided to check out the holiday lights of Arlington Heights.

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The entrance to North School Park in Arlington Heights, which has a lot of things that are lit up for Christmas.

North School Park also has dreidls and Hanukkah decorations on display!

Some Arlington Heights house decorations

This house is near where we live and is really over the top! They fill their yard (in front and on the side) with those blow-up figures, of every type and description. I think they add more each year. This year, they had three dragons alongside their house!

We (Dale, me, and our kids) used to always go to a neighborhood on the northwest side of Chicago called Sauganash, but after doing that for several years in a row, we realized that although the rich people who live there do decorate their houses and yards lavishly, they don’t change them much, so year after year we saw basically the same decorations and we stopped going there. While we are driving around, wherever it is, we tune our car radio to a station that dedicates about 6 weeks (just after Thanksgiving to just after New Year’s Day) to playing holiday songs, mainly popular tunes, not religious ones. We sing along with the ones we like and complain about how often they play the ones we don’t!

During my childhood, my family used to drive around our home town to admire decorations. There was one street that was famous for its original decorations, particularly one house, which did something different every year, so it was always a surprise. One year we went there and saw that that house had no lights up on the house, or any other decoration except a big lit up sign in the front yard that said SCROOGE. I’ve never forgotten this!

A Photo a Week: Brown

I once wrote an essay about brown (part of my series about colors). It maligns the color, however – actually things I personally associated with it – so I am not going to include it here. In fact, like in Nancy Merrill’s challenge A Photo a Week, I also associate brown with Thanksgiving. My first photo makes the connection clear. So here’s a photo essay celebrating the color brown!
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I really have nothing against brown – I actually like it. It is a prominent color in nature
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and our new house is brown (so was our old house).
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Brown has many manifestations – dark brown, light brown, sienna, reddish brown, etc. There are browns that are grayish and browns that blend nicely with green, as in nature.
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Many common things are brown:
Tree trunks can be brown.
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Wood from trees is usually brown and is used to make many things.
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Many rocks are brown. This rock has an ancient petroglyph carved by Native Americans that lived in New Mexico long ago.
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Rock/stone has been used in many buildings since time immemorial such as Karnak and other limestone monuments of ancient Egypt.
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Because of the prevalence of brown in nature, many animals are brown to conceal themselves from predators, such as this jackal resting in the grass in Tanzania.
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Some of my favorite articles of clothing are brown, and brown goes with just about any other color. I wear this brown necklace with several outfits.
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You won’t find brown on the color spectrum, however, because it is really a mixture of other colors. The colors provided by WordPress don’t include brown, so I am using what is called “burnt orange” as a substitute!

Thursday Doors: New Neighborhood

For Norm’s Thursday Doors this week, I feature our new neighborhood. (See also my companion post about The Moorings.)

Since we moved to The Moorings of Arlington Heights three months ago, I have not confined my walks to the campus – I’ve been exploring the surrounding neighborhood as well! Here are some doors and other scenes from my new neighborhood.
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This birdhouse has a tiny little brown door!
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Garage doors – in triplicate!
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The next three are from the same house.
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Within the campus of our senior community, there is a round white barn, which is what remains of the farm that was on this site before The Moorings was built.
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Finally, I end with another tiny door – a birdhouse at our old house in Des Plaines!
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Thursday Doors: Belmont Ave. & More

I had Norm’s Thursday Doors in mind when, two weekends ago, we went into the city for Open House Chicago. I took some random pictures of doors as we drove down the street. Most of these were on Belmont Avenue.

This is not a door, but a gate is a portal, an entryway, so I consider it worthy of inclusion. I like the way it connects two buildings.
20191019_144610I also include some interesting non-door architectural features on Chicago buildings, and a couple of other random things.

The decoration on top of this building is typical of the art deco style of the 1920s.
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This house looks as though it might have been designed by Frank Lloyd Wright or one of his disciples.
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The door isn’t visible but what you see is above the door.
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Partial doors visible here – I don’t know what church it is.
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Modern sculpture
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Inside Wintrust Bank, Old Town
DSC02531Chicago architecture is amazingly diverse – I recommend a visit to the city for any architecture buffs. Take an architectural tour on the river, but also take time to wander the streets of the older parts of the city. There are many hidden gems!