Thursday, November 24, 2011

The Bountiful Blessings of Thanksgiving

Our Senior writer Dan Weaver shared this on our Facebook page and we thought you all might enjoy it as well!!
The Four Freedoms:  The Bountiful Blessings of Thanksgiving
By Dan Weaver
    As Thanksgiving Day draws near, we all find ourselves busily preparing for one of the biggest meals of the year. We are making sure that the table is perfectly set, that the food is perfectly prepared, and that the house is perfectly decorated. Despite the work that Thanksgiving brings, we find ourselves looking forward to spending the day with family and friends. With all the hustle and bustle of the day, we may find ourselves neglecting the true reason we celebrate this wonderful day. We all know the story of the Pilgrims and Plymouth Rock. We all know that the Indians helped the Pilgrims survive by teaching them to grow and harvest crops. Unfortunately, over the years, many of us may have forgotten that there have been times during our country’s long history when Thanksgiving Day was not easily celebrated. These brave generations of the past were able to celebrate Thanksgiving during times of war, poverty, and great loss. We could learn a lot from these past generations and the stories they could tell us. These people fought and often died to ensure that the freedoms they were fighting for would be possible for the generations of people who would come after them.
    When I think about freedom, I often recall a very famous artist named Norman Rockwell.  Norman Rockwell is known for depicting life through his art. His art reminds us of a simpler time, while reminding us of the important things in life. Norman Rockwell painted the Four Freedoms in 1943. These were four separate oil paintings that were reproduced and were featured on the cover of The Saturday Evening Post during four consecutive weeks in 1943. Rockwell derived his paintings from the January 6, 1941 State of the Union Address given by President Franklin D. Roosevelt. These four freedoms are freedom of speech, freedom of worship, freedom from want, and freedom from fear.
Freedom of Speech:  Many of us take this freedom for granted. We forget that in a lot of nations, people do not have the right to speak their minds. Many times if these people do speak out they can be imprisoned or worse. If we disagree with the leaders of our nation, we can express our disagreement openly without fear of retaliation. Without freedom of speech our country would not be what it is today. We would be stifled and not be able to express ourselves and lead the lives we choose to live.
Freedom of Worship:  This is one of the reasons why the Pilgrims left England. They were being forced to practice a religion they found objectionable. They could not worship openly according to their own beliefs. Now, we can all enjoy this freedom no matter what our particular religious beliefs are. We can find a church that believes the way we do and enjoy the fellowship of others who share our beliefs without fear of persecution.
Freedom from Want:   We all know people who go without. We all know people who struggle to make it from day to day. Most of us are blessed enough to be able to make a living and provide for our families and still get to indulge ourselves with a passion for decorating and collecting.  Even though there are many people in this country who are living a meager existence, there are programs developed by our country to help them work out of the poverty that they are currently living in. In most countries, these people would have no hope and would live in poverty for generations. In our country we can pull ourselves out of the desperate living conditions we may find ourselves in through the assistance of government programs, our communities and our families.
Freedom from Fear:  Even though we have experienced outside threats to our safety over the years, we still can go to sleep at night and rest easily. Our children can go to school without the daily threat of bombs going off and gun fire. In many countries, worrying about an attack of some kind or the safety of family members is a daily fear. In our country we can live our lives in peace and look forward to a brighter tomorrow.
    So, as you gather around your Thanksgiving table this year and look into the loving faces of your family and friends, take a moment to remember all of the freedoms that we have in this great nation. Remember the people who have gone before us and made the ultimate sacrifice for all of us. Remember to thank God for allowing you to be born in a nation where freedoms are bountiful. Remember to count your blessings and to focus on the positive. If we all do this, everyday can be like Thanksgiving. If we all strive to see what we have to be thankful for instead of what we do not have, the world can be a better place and our children and grandchildren can enjoy and cherish the four freedoms that Norman Rockwell so beautifully depicted so many years ago.
As we head off to spend time with our families, we would like to wish each and every one of you a very Happy Thanksgiving!
Prim blessings!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Those southern girls do it right!

If you read the last post, you know I recently did two photo shoots in SC. You can read the last post ~here~ if you missed it. And if are a follower of my blog Behind My Red Door, you know that my dear friend Jill had the nerve to leave New England and move to Columbia, SC ! She went from being 2 hours away to 2 looong days away! It had something to do with leaving the snow behind, getting twice as much house for half the price, Jim being able to work outside as well as ride his motorcycle all year round  or some other silly excuses I now can’t recall. All I know is that it is a LONG drive to get there! Now mind you, as capable as I am,  I don’t do the driving ~ the mister does (by choice) but still, it is a looooong drive just the same! Thankfully she moved inland so we can avoid the dreaded rte. 95 corridor. I’ll give her that much! And when we get there ~ well it is always worth the drive!  I’ll tell you all about the fun and food on my own blog when I find time, but today I will treat you to some sneak peeks of her gorgeous home.

For those that don’t know, Jill and Jim make a lot of their own furniture. Jim is a carpenter by trade and Jill took years of woodworking classes at the local trade school in Maine. When they lived in Maine, they transformed the interior of their split entry home into a colonial style home. You can see pictures of that home if you click ~here~. When they bought their home in SC, it was the basic builders colonial with Pergo and carpeted floors, pickled pine cabinets and little warmth. Now, it is warm and inviting with gorgeous hardwood floors, crown moldings and chair rails, stenciling and filled with beautiful prim and colonial pieces. This summer Jim tore down the old deck and enlarged it and closed in half of it making a screened in porch. Between the two of them, they have done themselves proud!  I’ll stop talking now and let you see just a wee bit of the eye candy…..537

















Wait a minute?? Who do we have here?? It’s Sasha!! She wanted to say hi to all my friends in blogland!! 162


Well that is it for sneak peeks for the SC trip! I hope you enjoyed seeing how 2 southern girls decorate!  Thank you Jill and Jim for making me feel right at home! And Jill, thank you for all the help on both shoots ~ I truly appreciate it my dear friend. You are now forgiven for moving so far away~~~~NOT!!


As Thanksgiving approaches,  I would like to take a moment to wish you all gift of time to stop and reflect
on the many blessings of faith, family, friends, life, and love.


Until next time ~ hugs, Linda

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Colonial Style in a Southern Bungalow!


Last week my wonderful hubby (aka Mr. Red Door) drove me all the way to Columbia, SC so I could shoot 2 gorgeous homes for the magazine. Isn’t he the best??

Ok, I left out the part about him going to see his folks in SC too. And I also left out the part of about me spending time with my dear friend Jill. But still, he drove all the way down and all the way back – about 15 hours each way – so for that and so many other reasons, he IS the best!!

We left Wednesday at noon and Thursday afternoon he dropped me off at Jill’s in Columbia and headed to Conway to spend time with his folks. He picked me up Sunday afternoon and we got home last night. It was 6 very full days and boy did I pack a lot in the time between when he dropped me off and came back for me.  It’s going to take me sometime to upload all my pics, and sort them out but here is a quick synopsis of the trip.

On Friday I spent the day shooting Jill’s beautiful home.  On Saturday,  I was thrilled to finally meet Kathy (and her BFF Michelle) in person. We have been chatting and emailing for some time now so this was a special day for me. Jill had already met them and now it was my turn.  And getting to shoot Kathy’s gorgeous home was the icing on the cake ~  I’ll get to those pics in a minute. On Sunday before my dear hubby picked me up for the looooong drive home, I snuck in a gathering with some wonderful prim friends I had met online ~ this was a long time in the making and another special day for me ~ more about that at another time.


Kathy lives in a southern bungalow on a tree lined street near downtown Columbia in a quaint neighborhood. The kind of neighborhood where the neighbors sit on each other’s porches after work sipping a cool beverage and where they look out for each other. As we were driving through the small streets, it was easy to see why Kathy chose this charming neighborhood.

From the minute we pulled up, it was clear why Jill had been saying “just you wait and see” so many times! The wide front porch was full of charm and the rocking chairs, prim table and lamp and braided rugs all said “come on up and sit a spell”. 



And as welcoming as that was, I wanted inside!  Kathy prefers a less is more colonial style and I was so eager to see it for myself!

Before a home gets approved for a shoot, along with the rest of the editorial team, I get to see quite a few pictures of the home. But nothing compares to walking inside for the first time. It certainly is one the perks of my job!  This was no different and I was not disappointed!  I will let you see for yourself…. 780




















Makes you want to see more doesn’t it??

After the shoot, we enjoyed a delicious meal prepared by Michelle’s daughter Catherine. Kathy had wanted Jill and I to have a southern treat and did we ever! It was as pretty to look at as it was yummy to eat! It’s getting late so I’ll be blogging about that, my time at Jill’s, and Sunday’s gathering on my own blog ~Behind My Red Door ~ hopefully this weekend!  And the next time I come back to this blog, you will be in for a treat with some sneak peeks of Jill’s gorgeous home! She and Jim have done so much since I was there in April 2010!

Thank you Kathy for allowing me the pleasure to share your home and for the wonderful meal and wonderful day!

Until next time ~ prim blessings and hugs, Linda

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