Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil

Jim Williams had a warm honeyed Georgia accent that was as charming as he was.
Jim Williams
A man of immense talent, he refurbished and bought and sold homes and antiques in Savannah.

Savannah, Georgia is that graceful,  elegant belle of the south where the past is always alive.
She is filled with the ghosts of her past and they are welcoming to visitors who step into the past as they enter. She is a city made for dreaming of bygone days.

Williams was also the only Georgian ever tried for the same crime four times! A travesty really.

Mercer house was never lived in by any of the Mercer family at all, including composer Johnny Mercer and today, after Mr. Williams death the glorious mansion which occupies one full block on the square in Savannah is a museum.
I suppose after the shooting death  of Danny Hansford inside the house no one offered to buy it after Jim himself passed away.

The house was built by  General Hugh Mercer, of Civil war fame, but he never got to live in the house because of circumstances of the war.
The Mercer family also included General Mercer of the Revolutionary war, General Patton of WWII and the famous song writer Johnny Mercer.

The drama of those days and the charm and quirky atmosphere are memorialized in the book Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil by John Berendt.
If you want to hear the book I recommend the vocal rendition done by actor Anthony Heald. What an excellant job he does in interpreting every line, every accent and voice.
Jim Williams passed on from walking pneumonia in 1990 having finally been acquitted of murder.
His life, however, was far more than just the book or the movie. 
Mr. Williams personally restored 50 historic homes in Georgia saving them from certain loss  something we should all appreciate.   There just is no building being done today that comes within a universe of the grace and glory of bygone days.
It is sad that a person's life can be distilled down to one part of it while the rest may pass by unknown.

I was inspired to share this with you as I am on my 'umpteenth' listening to the book on tape.
Here are some photos of Mercer House....


Mercer House seen from Monterey Square

Living room
 Be still my heart.  So beautiful.

Along Cromwell Road, Kensington
and a book recommendation

This photograph was taken   July 12, 1905 by Edward Linley Sambourne  (January 4 1844 –  August 3 1910) in Cromwell Rd , Kensington, London  .
Sambourne was a famous cartoonist for Punch magazine.

 She looks like a working girl going for lunch or a tea break perhaps.
 She is a pretty girl (you can enlarge the photo), serious as she peeks out from under the shade of her stylish hat.
A watch dangles from a pin on her chest. She will not be late!
Her shoes are dainty with fashionable (even today) pointed toes.
 You can just see the ponytail of her hair do behind her neck in this Edwardian era photo.
 When I see photos like this I am drawn into the story.
What she was thinking, where she was going, what is her name, her situation in life?
I look at the background and wonder what was transpiring around her. 
Where did she go?  Was her life happy? 
She is probably long gone as she looks to be in her late teens of twenties in this photo and since it is 1905 she would have been born in the 1880s sometime.

Isn't photography wonderful?   What would we do without it. So much is saved for us.  It is a window into the past, our own past as these are those who came before us.
Each photo we take is a memory and history frozen in place.

One day someone will look at our photos like this and wonder about us as well. 
With blogging, however, we leave a bit of ourselves behind.

My book recommendation for this month  is "A Victorian Household: Based on the Diaries of Marion Sambourne" by Shirley Nicholson.
It is an intimate look into the life and times Sambourne's wife  born in the 1850s and passing away just before WWI in 1914.  She kept her diary faithfully for  years.
The Sambourne home was at 18 Stafford Terrace, Kensington and can be visited today. (make an appointment for the tour)

Ghostly Answers

 Welcome  to Tuesday and another of Toni's memes and a new feature: dinner tonight.

#22 Ghostly Tell Tales

1.   Do you believe in ghosts, spirits, or the supernatural?
      Not ghosts,as in the spirits of dead persons.Add caption
  I  do believe there are evil entities  and I believe there are angelic  beings who are   servants of God.
"It was a dark and storm night"

2.   Ever had a supernatural experience?
    Well, spiritual ones, not sure if that qualifies as supernatural.

3.   Favorite horror film?
      I do not like that form of film.  I don't believe it is good to put such things into your mind.
       I like milder forms of films.

4.   Finish this line: Silently I walk in the moonless night _____ ?

      Silently I walk in the moonless night,
       finding my way by a candle's  light.

There is a certain feel to late October that gives rise to  feelings and thoughts that are unlike those of other seasons.
Is it the dark? Perhaps the smell of the leaves?

Maybe the sounds of crows on   dim afternoons or night time sounds as trees shake and winds moan through their branches?

It is a time of Nor'easter storms  and the great New England colors. Maple syrup and hot comforting evening meals.

Whatever it is, these autumn days and nights are invigorating and I hate for them to end.
Dinner tonight:  Turkey patty in sauce I make of ketchup,mustard and roasted peppers, Rice Pilaf and garlic green beans.

Simple Woman's Daybook  
Outside my window... The day is sunny and cool.  It is windy and refreshing out.

I am thinking...  about my spoiled, stubborn, finicky cat who is a huge problem to feed.
Thinking whether I should turn the heat up a notch in the house. I am chilly!

I am thankful... for the autumn and the fresh clean feeling of crisp air and the sight of reds, oranges and yellows in the trees.

I am wearing... pajamas still since it is very early morning.

I am creating... this post. And considering a new background for this blog, something I am not very good at doing.

I am going... to the drugstore this evening to get eye drops.

I am wondering... why our leaders are so awfully bad.

I am reading...nothing right now.

I am hoping... for a nice day all around today.

I am learning... about my life and misconceptions I had about myself.

I am pondering: if it is cool enough not to feed the fish in the ponds.

Around the house... getting things in order and rearranging (with help),planning to sell some things.

In the kitchen...  defrosted chicken thighs for supper,brewing fresh coffee.

One of my favorite things... opening windows on a lovely day to let the outside in a bit.
Buying gifts for the littles. Right now the Famous Anonymous Kid is enjoying burning a "Dauntless" candle I gave her. She loves the scent so much (in a week it was almost gone) I got her a second one.

A few plans for this week:  hoping to get to Michaels or AC Moore for some storage boxes and small grass reed baskets to store things  on my bedroom shelf.

A peek into my day:


(sig by Judy)

End of the Week and a Meme

Another week has gone by and with it a Nor'easter has left the area.
It had stalled over the area and it rained for a week with little let up. Today is the first sunny day in a long time.
On the upside my ponds have a rain fueled water change, which is always nice.
 On the down side it hurts the spine a bit when the barometer goes wild and the humidity goes way up.  Chilly temps are no problem if the humidity is low.

Here is this week's meme.
I do hope you will all take part.
I find that doing some of these helps me take stock of what I do in my own life.  Sometimes we do things and don't really have a true sense of what we are doing.    Taking stock and making lists can help gain a good view of how you live your life.

How Do You Do Stuff Around the House?

1. Wash floors:  with string mop? Swiffer, Shark? Sponge mop?
I would love a shark with steam but I use a swiffer in the house though not in the kitchen as I have a stone floor and I find Swiffer leaves it slippery.  I could wait until it dries but I find I have to use the kitchen so often after washing the floor.    It never fails!!
In the kitchen I use boiling water which I throw on the floor ... about a cup of so.. then I mop up that area and move on to the next.  I think a shark would do this in an easier manner.

2. Dust:  Using a wooly duster? Feather? Rag?Any special way?

I use a wooly duster and rags to dust. Sometimes I use a dusting product like Endust.

3. Clean sink/ tub/showers:

I use Clorox Bleach spray in the kitchen every day.  I use a wire rack and rubber mat in the sink to keep things above the floor of the sink.
I clean the bathroom sink with Lysol bathroom cleaner and also in the shower,etc.
I spray the shower pan and toilet area with Lysol spray.

4.keep the House Smelling Fresh:
by keeping it clean and neat. Opening windows every few days to air things out even on the coldest of days for a little while.  
I also use Glade Plugins in my wall outlets.  Current scent is Shenandoah for fall.  You can smell them all over the house.
In my bedroom I keep a potpourri from Marilyn Miglin that is sprayed with her Pheromone Perfume.
 In the bathroom I keep the drugstore type spray colognes (Calgon or Body Fantasy) and spray the shower curtains and towels.  It does the trick and everyone loves the scents in my home. I buy them when they are on sale at CVS or Rite Aid.
I use very little so they last for a super long time.

5. Vacuuming:
     Do you use floor scented powder?  How often do you vacuum?
I don't use those powder as I feel they make a mess under the carpet. I just don't like them.
I can't vacuum or mop really so I have my kids help with that.
I have only one area carpet in the living room which gets vacuumed every few days. The whole house gets a good going over twice a week if I am lucky.  Lately, because I can't do it anymore its once a  week.
You can be zealous when it is you doing it but not so much if you ask others.

Which brings up a topic dear to my heart: getting tired of doing good for others.
We have all done that. We get weary of doing good.  It can get old in a hurry but it is something to fight against.  Our bodies get tired and worn from it.
I have had a ring side seat for needing others to help me do so many things.  Trust me, it is NOT easy to ask others for help.  You can often see the weariness in their eyes.  This has taught me a lesson I pass on to you.  Never grow tired of doing good for someone else.
I had to take care of my mother who was bed  ridden for 10 years.  She was totally unable to use the bathroom and I had to clean all that as well.
I had no dryer at the time so all sheets and bed clothing had to be washed and hung outside in all weather daily.  
I learned that it was harder on her feelings than on my own and that wised me up fast.
One day, while out taking a break and feeling sorry for myself that I had so very much responsibility, the thought crossed my mind that God takes care of millions daily even those  who hate Him or deny Him!
He never tires of it and neither should we.
We learn from the things we go through and maybe we should pass it on if we can.

I will be around visiting tomorrow evening.