Monday, November 24, 2008
Norman Rockwell, the famous American illustrator and painter, created this series of posters below during World War II based on President Franklin D. Roosevelt's "Four Freedoms" speech to Congress in January, 1941. FDR inspired and lifted the spirits of the American people during the Depression and war and quelled their fears, and Rockwell captured the scenes and values of small town America and reminded us of our precious freedoms perfectly. Left click on this picture to see it better. Thanksgiving ... a time of joy... warm thoughts...reflecting on..and counting our many blessings and expressing gratitude for all of them and our American freedoms during these troubling times...and never, ever taking any of them for granted. Remember that "Freedom is NOT FREE" and was bought and paid for by the blood, sweat, tears, and vigilance of every generation of Americans. May all of these gifts and more be yours... Happy Thanksgiving!
Sunday, November 23, 2008
On a perfectly beautiful fall day recently while the weather was sunny and cool, I planted 148 daffodil bulbs as an underplanting for 72 purple Pansy Majestic Giants II. All gardeners are optimists so even though I was late working up this daffodil and pansy bed, my thoughts were of spring when in February and March, 2009 this combination should hopefully put on a nice show of purple and gold for Mardi Gras color celebration (not for LSU. I'm an Ole Miss red and blue guy!). In my mind's eye I can imagine this punch of color by the driveway and it gives me something to look forward to for those chilly and windy months.
Saturday, November 22, 2008
As an alumnus of the University of Mississippi, it was particularly sweet to me to see the Ole Miss Rebels beat the LSU Tigers 31 to 13. Our football rivalry goes back for generations and is serious and fun! I hope Ole Miss will now go to the Cotton Bowl. Update on 11-28-08: Ole Miss beat Mississippi State 45 to Zero in the Egg Bowl!
Monday, November 17, 2008
Kenny G, the Grammy winning saxophonist, performed at the Beau Rivage on Friday night and his sold out concert was about the best one I have ever seen. With great passion and extraordinary talent, he played most of his top hits including "Songbird", "Forever In Love", "End Of The Night", "The Joy Of Life", etc. I love instrumental music and Kenny G's genre of smooth jazz and adult contemporary is my favorite. He played his heart out on his soprano saxophone and the audience was spellbound. The Beau Rivage Hotel is where I usually stay when I go down to the Mississippi Gulf Coast. It is the largest and finest hotel in the state of Mississippi. It was wrecked by Hurricane Katrina in 2005 but has been completely restored/rebuilt to its former glory. This is a famous historic landmark on the Mississippi Gulf Coast at Biloxi. Built in 1848 of cast iron and masonry, this lighthouse has survived many hurricanes during its 160 years including the devastating Hurricane Katrina in 2005.
Thursday, November 13, 2008
Left click on this menu below to see the shockingly low prices! Click on the word REMEMBER in the title above to go to this cool site loaded with nostalgia and of interest to you if you are of a certain age...like me...OK, a senior citizen or dinosaur or whatever we are called. There is a jukebox that plays all the great music hits of the '50s and '60s, plus a menu of slideshows and videos and all sorts of stuff to bring you happy flashbacks. Turn up your speakers and lose yourself REMEMBERING the good old days when times were really good.
Wednesday, November 05, 2008
Have you ever heard the expression: "If we could put that in a bottle and sell it, we could make a fortune"? Well, in 1894 here in Vicksburg, Mississippi, Joseph Biedenharn, owner of a candy company and soda fountain, got the brilliant and novel idea to put his soda fountain Coca-Colas into bottles and distribute them by the case to stores and small towns throughout this region so that folks could buy them already mixed and ready made to take home. (In early days people craving a soft drink had to go to a soda fountain where they were mixed with syrup and carbonated water at the counter and served in glasses.) His bottled Coca-Colas became wildly popular, and as they say, the rest is history. Cokes and other bottled soft drinks are now sold all over the world. Canned soft drinks came much later. Click on the word IDEA in the title of this post above and also on my righthand sidebar link to visit the web site of the Coca-Cola Museum here in Vicksburg.
Tuesday, November 04, 2008
This is a photo from the Net, not one I took, of the legendary "Delta Queen" steamboat cruising majestically on the Mississippi River. When she docked at Vicksburg, I could not get a good shot because of the strange position she tied up on the west side of her sister the "American Queen". On November 3, 2008 I took these photos of the steamboats "American Queen" and "Delta Queen" at the Vicksburg river landing. The barely visible "Delta Queen" is moored to the far side of the "American Queen" in the foreground, and this is the last stop she made going downriver to her retirement in New Orleans. It was sad to see this famous steamboat's last call here. Many people including me came to see her and bid her farewell. Thankfully the modern luxury steamboat "American Queen" will still continue to operate up and down the Mississippi River and stop at Vicksburg as usual and perhaps one day the "Mississippi Queen" will resume operation. All passengers on the "Delta Queen" boarded the "American Queen" to finish their trip downriver to New Orleans. This welcome sign is painted on the flood wall at the riverfront landing where Mississippi River steamboats tie up to shore still as they have done so since the 1820's. The river gage marks on the flood wall at the river front in Vicksburg show the high record levels the Mississippi River reached in certain years.
Monday, November 03, 2008
After my complicated eye surgery on 9-4-08 I had to be offline from this blog for many weeks while I was recovering in order to avoid eyestrain. Many people left comments here with kind words and best wishes, and I received lots of personal e-mails and get-well cards also. I want to express my appreciation to everyone for your concern. It is a blessing to me to have so many thoughtful friends in the blogosphere community and in the real world. Thanks y'all!
Sunday, November 02, 2008
This is a classic old-fashioned Southern passalong plant given to me many years ago by a dear lady in south Mississippi. It is a native perennial that is tougher than an Ole Miss quarterback and can flourish in any extreme soil, water, or weather condition known to the South. My little starter plant has multiplied into a background hedge at least 50 feet long and that is a good thing and just what I wanted it to do. I just pull out babies to keep them under control. Left alone these can grow up to 10 ft. tall, or they can be pruned in early summer to stay knee high if you prefer. They bloom only in late summer and early fall, and since I love yellow flowers I am happy with them.
Many years ago I dug this tiny wild native holly tree seedling up from the forest and brought it home to plant. This year it has a nice crop of berries just starting to turn red. Is this a sign of an early and extra cold winter ahead? I hope not as I dislike cold weather. I left my heart in the tropics of Southeast Asia years ago! It always amazes me to think of how our local Choctaw Indians used this tree's leaves and berries to brew a purgative drink to purify their bodies.
Saturday, November 01, 2008
I could not say no to this striking and exotic tropical plant that called out to me by my first name as I browsed in a nursery. It was all alone (perhaps due to its price tag) and it double-wowed me with its multicolored leaves that almost seem unreal. I had seen and read about this new release in catalogs and had added it to my "gotta have" list earlier this year. Alas, I am a hopeless plantaholic....I want 'em ALL, and I want 'em NOW....especially when it comes to variegated plants.