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As you all know by now, about a year ago my husband and I moved to beautiful Vicksburg, Mississippi. This little hamlet is steeped in history. One of the most defining battles near the end of the War Between the States, occurred on the very ground I walk every single day.

Vicksburg waterfront

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School’s out for summer!!

Alice Cooper is one of the creepiest performers around, but everybody loves this song and it’s so apropos this time of year. It’s one of those classic, ageless numbers that every generation seems to know.

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forgetting stuff memeSo another week is upon us and I find myself wondering: what left behind items am I going to find today? Last week was epic for people forgetting stuff. We hit the Mother Lode of things forgotten. Every day we came upon some poor item left behind in one of the guest rooms.

Oh sure, we’ve found items before now, but nothing of significance. Quite a few times I find little pills on the floor or on the bathroom vanity or even in the bed. I’ve often wondered if I should call the departed guest to let them know that someone forgot to take their medicine (I’d hate for someone to have a heart attack because they failed to take their preventative pill). But then I follow that up with, “what if an extra pill just dropped out of the bottle and if I call them, they’ll panic and take an extra one and have a heart attack or something because I’ve frightened them?” It’s such a quandary.

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There’s nothing like a good pyrotechnics show. I’m not sure where these videos were taken, but . . . wow!

Enjoy!

Until next year – stay safe, be kind, choose happiness.

Word of the Day: Soutane

Fun fact about me: Seeing fireworks always makes me smile.

Original post by Jansen Schmidt, December 2015. Video courtesy YouTube.

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Photo by P. Rickrode, November 2015

Photo by P. Rickrode, November 2015

So here in Vicksburg we’re finally getting some cooler temperatures and rain. It feels like fall. Still not a lot of colored foliage (except green) because it hasn’t been cold enough, but it’s getting there.

I’ve been a busy little beaver installing the flavor of Autumn inside the Baer House. Here’s a photo journey of some of my handiwork:

Baer House photo, circa 1890. Photo by P. Rickrode, November 2015

Baer House photo, circa 1890. Photo by P. Rickrode, November 2015

Baer House entryway welcome. Photo by P. Rickrode, November 2015

Baer House entryway welcome. Photo by P. Rickrode, November 2015

Baer House guest book in entryway. Photo by P. Rickrode, November 2015

Baer House guest book in entryway. Photo by P. Rickrode, November 2015

The newel post. Photo by P. Rickrode, November 2015

The newel post. Photo by P. Rickrode, November 2015

The information station. Photo by P. Rickrode, November 2015

The information station. Photo by P. Rickrode, November 2015

Happy autumn from the Baer House Inn. Photo by P. Rickrode, November 2015

Happy autumn from the Baer House Inn. Photo by P. Rickrode, November 2015

Grand ballroom mantel. Photo by P. Rickrode, November 2015

Grand ballroom mantel. Photo by P. Rickrode, November 2015

Grand ballroom mantel. Photo by P. Rickrode, November 2015

Grand ballroom mantel. Photo by P. Rickrode, November 2015

The grand ballroom library. Photo by P. Rickrode, November 2015

The grand ballroom library. Photo by P. Rickrode, November 2015

The grand ballroom sitting area. Photo by P. Rickrode, November 2015

The grand ballroom sitting area. Photo by P. Rickrode, November 2015

The huntboard. Photo by P. Rickrode, November 2015

The huntboard. Photo by P. Rickrode, November 2015

Sideboard where morning coffee is served. Photo by P. Rickrode, November 2015

Sideboard where morning coffee is served. Photo by P. Rickrode, November 2015

Dining area in the grand ballroom. Photo by P. Rickrode, November 2015

Dining area in the grand ballroom. Photo by P. Rickrode, November 2015

And there you have it. A photographic journey of the Baer House in its autumn colors.

How about your readers, do you decorate for the seasons? What’s your favorite season? Do you like to see your town, house, grandma’s house decorated?

Thanks for touring today. Until next week, take care of yourseves and be kind to others.

Word of the Day: Mangelwurzel

Fun fact about me: I think fall is my favorite time to decoarate the house. The fall colors are so warm and inviting.

Original post by Jansen Schmidt, November 2015. Original photos by P. Rickrode.

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So here’s part two of the virtual tour of the house that Leona built.

If you’ll recall, we left off in the awesome entry hallway downstairs that separates the front door from the back door. Let’s all go upstairs and take a peek into a few of the guest rooms.

Our first stop will be the Tara Room. I should let you know that currently all of the rooms are named after Gone With the Wind characters or houses, which are characters in their own right. However, we will probably be changing the names at some point in the future. We’re shooting for a more Mississippi themed house and Gone With the Wind was not set in Vicksburg or anywhere in Mississippi, although it is an epic Southern based media phenomenon.

So, back to the Tara Room:

Original photo by P. Rickrode, August 2015.

Original photo by P. Rickrode, August 2015.

 

Original photo by P. Rickrode. August 2015.

Original photo by P. Rickrode. August 2015.

This room has a lovely queen-sized 4-poster bed, a sparkling Austrian crystal chandelier, and a non-working fireplace. It has it’s own private bath and sits toward the back of the home.

Next we’ll visit the Rhett Room:

Rhett 2

Original photo by P. Rickrode. August 2015.

Rhett 3

Original photo by P. Rickrode. August 2015.

This room has a queen-sized canopy bed as well as a day bed, however, in just a couple of weeks, a 4-poster twin bed will replace the daybed. It also has a non-working fireplace. It shares a bathroom with the Pineapple Room. The bathroom is across the hall because both the Rhett and the Pineapple rooms are in the oldest part of the home, the side that has no plumbing on either the first or the second floors. These are the largest guest rooms in the house.

Next, we’ll visit the Pineapple Room:

Original photo by P. Rickrode. August 2015.

Original photo by P. Rickrode. August 2015.

Pineapple 2

Original photo by P. Rickrode. August 2015.

Pineapple 3

Original photo by P. Rickrode. August 2015.

Pineapple 4

Original photo by P. Rickrode. August 2015.

This room is also on the older side of the home and has floor-to-ceiling windows on two walls. It has a king-size bed and, for now, the 4-poster twin bed that will be moved into the Rhett room, when we pick up the full-sized 4-poster bed we just purchased for this room. Like the other three rooms we’ve visited, it has a non-working fireplace. This room is usually allocated to brides for their use before wedding ceremonies conducted at the home, since it is so spacious and has lots of light from the four windows.

Take a peek back down the upstairs hallway as we go back across to the newer side of the home to the Bonnie Blue Room:

Original photo by P. Rickrode. August 2015.

Original photo by P. Rickrode. August 2015.

Those cabinets on the left are built in and original to the home.

Let’s step into the Bonnie Blue Room, my favorite guest room:

Original photo by P. Rickrode. August 2015.

Original photo by P. Rickrode. August 2015.

This room, situated in the front of the house, has an impressive king-size bed and a small sitting area in the sunny bay window. This room was Lazarus and Leona’s bedroom when they occupied the home in the late 1870’s. It has a private bathroom, obviously added at some point after the home was originally constructed, and a lovely Austrian crystal chandelier. This is the only guest room upstairs that does not have an original fireplace. We believe it is covered up by built-in cabinets and shelving, added in the 1970’s when the entire home housed law offices and a law library in the current ballroom.

There are two more guest rooms, but it was difficult to photograph them since the lighting is not very good in those rooms at this point. We are upgrading our website and have a local photographer coming to take some professional shots so I’ll post those at some point in the future.

There is an upstairs porch on the back side, shown below, and a balcony in the front of the house, but you’ll have to experience that for yourself when you visit.

Original photo by P. Rickrode. August 2015.

Original photo by P. Rickrode. August 2015.

So that’s the end of our tour today. I hope you enjoyed this second glimpse of my new home. But, I hope even more that you’ll book a reservation to come experience the ambiance and grandeur for yourself. The front porch swing is a lovely place to sit and sip a glass of wine in the evenings.

So, what did you think? Which room do you want to stay in when you visit? Have a favorite? Any suggestions for re-naming the rooms? We’re trying to go with names and themes associated with Mississippi and it’s history. I’d love to hear your suggestions. I’ll even award a $10 Amazon gift card for any suggestions we decide to use.

As, always, thanks for visiting and your continued support.

Word of the Day:  Azimuth

Fun Fact About Me: I’ve never been fond of cats. (Sorry CJ.)

Original post by Jansen Schmidt, August 2015. Original photos by P. Rickrode, August 2015.

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Welcome sign at the Victoria port. Photo by P. Rickrode September 2014.

Welcome sign at the Victoria port. Photo by P. Rickrode September 2014.

The final port stop on our Alaskan cruise was Victoria, B.C., known for it’s amazing federal building, the Empress Hotel and thousands and thousdands of flowers and plants at Buchart Gardens.

Our exploration of Victoria began with a bus tour of the city on our way to Craigdarroch Castle, a masterpiece of Victorian architecture built in the 1800’s as home to coal baron Robert Dunsmuir.

Here is a photo of the front of the castle, but I believe it might actually have been the back of the castle. You’ll see why in the second photo.

Modern-day entrance to Craigdarroch Castle, Victoria BC. Photo by P. Rickrode September 2014.

Modern-day entrance to Craigdarroch Castle, Victoria BC. Photo by P. Rickrode September 2014.

This photo looks more like the front of a home than the back to me.

Craigdarroch Castle, Victoria BC. Photo by P. Rickrode September 2014.

Craigdarroch Castle, Victoria BC. Photo by P. Rickrode September 2014.

Here we took a self-guided walking tour of the four-story mansion complete with: an abundance of intricate woodwork believed to be western and red cedar (can you see the faint orb hovering on the right side of the arch over the door?,

Porte-cochere entrance, original main entrance of Craigdarroch Castle, which was actually on the side of the house. Victoria BC. Photo by P. Rickrode September 2014.

Porte-cochere entrance, original main entrance of Craigdarroch Castle, which was actually on the side of the house. Victoria BC. Photo by P. Rickrode September 2014.

this intercom system (speaking tubes as they called them),

The "speaking tube" intercom system in Craigdarroch Castle, Victoria BC. Photo by P. Rickrode September 2014.

The “speaking tube” intercom system in Craigdarroch Castle, Victoria BC. Photo by P. Rickrode September 2014.

massive stone fireplaces like this one in the main hall (notice the orb on the paneling near the mountain goat’s right horn,

The main hall fireplace inspribed with this phrase from Shakespear's Troilus and Cressida, "Welcome ever smiles and farewell goes out sighing." Craigdarroch Castle, Victoria BC. Photo by P. Rickrode September 2014.

The main hall fireplace inspribed with this phrase from Shakespeare’s Troilus and Cressida, “Welcome ever smiles and farewell goes out sighing.” Craigdarroch Castle, Victoria BC. Photo by P. Rickrode September 2014.

amazing staircases with an oh-so-obvious orb sliding down the banister,

Me and my sweetie on the staircase from first floor to the second. Yes, that is an orb floating just above my hand. Craigdarroch Castle, Victoria, BC. September 2014.

Me and my sweetie on the staircase from the first floor to the second. Yes, that is an orb floating just above my hand. Craigdarroch Castle, Victoria, BC. September 2014.

mosaic tile floors,

Amazing tile work floor. Craigdarroch Castle, Victoria BC. Photo by P. Rickrode September 2014.

Amazing tile work floor. Craigdarroch Castle, Victoria BC. Photo by P. Rickrode September 2014.

painted ceilings,

Lovely original painted ceiling in the first floor main hall. Craigdarroch Castle, Victoria BC. Photo by P. Rickrode September 2014.

Lovely original painted ceiling in the first floor main hall. Craigdarroch Castle, Victoria BC. Photo by P. Rickrode September 2014.

exquisite stained glass (this picture does not do this lovely nook justice),

Beautiful stained glass windows. Craigdarroch Castle, Victoria BC. Photo by P. Rickrode September 2014.

Beautiful stained glass windows. Craigdarroch Castle, Victoria BC. Photo by P. Rickrode September 2014.

lavish Victorian-era furnishings,

A guest room at Craigdarroch Castle, Victoria BC. Photo by P. Rickrode September 2014.

A guest room at Craigdarroch Castle, Victoria BC. Photo by P. Rickrode September 2014.

and — did I mention — orbs.

It should be noted that not once on our journey to, or throughout the tour, did anyone ever mention the presence of these floating balls. It was not until I returned home and downloaded my pictures on to my laptop that I noticed an extreme concentration of the milky spheres.

While there are some orbs in these pictures, to see more pictures of Craigdarroch Castle’s orbs, visit my FB page, photo album Craigdarroch Castle.

After touring the castle, we headed into town where we opted to spend the final leg of the journey walking along the water’s edge. We enjoyed a lovely lunch of fish and chips and an amazing glass of stout beer at an authentic Scottish pub,

Baird & Banker, a Scottish Pub in Victoria, BC. Photo by P. Rickrode September 2014.

Bard & Banker, a Scottish Pub in Victoria, BC. Photo by P. Rickrode September 2014.

wandered through the Empress Hotel

Empress Hotel, Victoria BC. Photo by P. Rickrode Setpember 2014.

Empress Hotel, Victoria BC. Photo by P. Rickrode September 2014.

 

A courtyard at the Empress Hotel, Victoria BC. Photo by P. Rickrode September 2014.

A courtyard at the Empress Hotel, Victoria BC. Photo by P. Rickrode September 2014.

Empress Hotel, Victoria BC. Photo by P. Rickrode 2014.

Empress Hotel, Victoria BC. Photo by P. Rickrode September 2014.

and strolled along the water’s edge, past the Parliament building

Federal Building, Victoria BC. Photo by P. Rickrode September 2014.

Federal Building, Victoria BC. Photo by P. Rickrode September 2014.

and several beautiful bed and breakfast inns,

Huntingdon Manon, Victoria, BC. Photo by P. Rickrode September 2014.

Huntingdon Manor, Victoria, BC. Photo by P. Rickrode September 2014.

back to our ship, admiring wooden boats moored in the quiet wharf

Wooden boar. Victoria BC. Photo by P. Rickrode September 2014.

Wooden boat. Victoria BC. Photo by P. Rickrode September 2014.

and watching sea planes land and take off along the way.

The sea plane taxi. Victoria BC. Photo by P. Rickrode September 2014.

The sea plane taxi. Victoria BC. Photo by P. Rickrode September 2014.

All-in-all, a very relaxing and enjoyable day in Victoria.

So, what say you lovely readers: ever discover any orbs in your photos? Which picture do you think most looks like the front of Craigdarroch Castle? Ever been to Victoria BC? Ever traveled by float plane? Inquiring minds want to know so please take a moment to post a comment below. I love to know your thoughts.

Fun fact about me: I love egg salad sandwiches for breakfast.

Word of the day: Kunzite.

Original post by Jansen Schmidt November 2014. Original photos by P. Rickrode.

 

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Another day, another port. Today we explore the northern most port on our cruise – Skagway, Alaska.

The long walk into Skagway, Alaska. Photo by P. Rickrode 2014.

The long walk into Skagway, Alaska. Photo by P. Rickrode 2014.

Today our luck was fading. While it never rained, we did experience the Alaska drizzle, fog and dampness. Despite the gray skies, our spirits soared as we traveled through the metropolis (I say that with tongue-in-cheek) of Skagway and into the wilds of Dyea, a former mining mecca of the northern frontier.

The road to Dyea. Photo by P. Rickrode 2014

The road to Dyea. Photo by P. Rickrode 2014

Me and my sweetie pie. Dyea, Alaska 2014.

Me and my sweetie pie. Dyea, Alaska 2014.

After a half hour van ride across a bumpy gravel, oft-times, one-lane road, our Chilkoot horseback adventure began.

The ranch - Chilkoot Horseback Adventures. Photo by P. Rickrode 2014.

The ranch – Chilkoot Horseback Adventures. Photo by P. Rickrode 2014.

The trusty steeds - Chilkoot Horseback Adventures - Dyea, Alaska. Photo by P. Rickrode 2014.

The trusty steeds – Chilkoot Horseback Adventures – Dyea, Alaska. Photo by P. Rickrode 2014.

We saddled up and headed into lush, dense woodlands, heading for the boggy marshes and estuaries of the Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park.

Me and my better half aboard our beasts of burden Sage and . . . I can't remember the other horse's name.  Dyea Valley, Alaska 2014.

Me and my better half aboard our beasts of burden Sage and . . . I can’t remember the other horse’s name. Dyea Valley, Alaska 2014.

Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park - Dyea, Alaska. Photo by P. Rickrode 2014.

Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park – Dyea, Alaska. Photo by P. Rickrode 2014.

My hopes remained high that I would yet see a bear, although I was not overjoyed that, if it was going to happen, it would be from the back of a four-legged creature known for fleeing at the slightest threat. So much for my chances of capturing a photo.

Dyea         - Dyea Alaska. Photo by P. Rickrode 2014.

Dyea Flats – Dyea Alaska. Photo by P. Rickrode 2014.

Dyea, Alaska. Photo by P. Rickrode 2014.

Dyea, Alaska. Photo by P. Rickrode 2014.

After a morning slogging through abandoned logging roads and fog, and not seeing bears or any other wildlife for that matter, we arrived back in town for some on-foot exploration. We discovered a quaint little theater known for it’s Days of ’98 Show With Soapy Smith, which has played continuously in Skagway since 1923. That’s a true story – same show for 91 years. (No – not the same actors. I know some of you are going to ask that question.)

This melodrama-esque show is based on a real life person – Soapy Smith – and the actors do an admirable job of relaying history in a funny, yet poignant way. Towards the end of the show, the ladies in the cast performed a little dance number that required the assistance of two audience members, one of whom you may recognize.

P. Rickrode and the cast of the "Days of '98" show (Gold Rush Productions) - Skagway, Alaska. Photo by C. Rickrode 2014

P. Rickrode and the cast of the “Days of ’98” show (Gold Rush Productions) – Skagway, Alaska. Photo by C. Rickrode 2014

That’s right, I made my Skagway debut on the stage that day, although I was apparently the only one who did not stop dancing when the music stopped. Seems my exuberance was more than this little acting troupe could handle, thus making this my debut and farewell performance all at the same time.

So, there you have it, my adventures in Skagway. Have you ever, as an unsuspecting audience member, been called upon to use your hidden acting/dancing/speaking/juggling/whatever skills in a totally impromptu manner? What hidden skills do you possess? Come on. Spill the beans. I know you have that one thing.

Word of the day: Jalousie (No that wasn’t my stage name)

Fun fact about me: My very first live stage performance was at a melodrama theater much like this one in Skagway. Ah, the memories.

Original post by Jansen Schmidt, September 2014. Original photos by P. and C. Rickrode.

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In keeping with my recent posts about my trip to Texas, today I’m bringing you a spin on the Take It or Leave It game and I’m doing it Texas style. I’m calling this month’s installment “Did I or Didn’t I.”

The Alamo Shrine - San Antonio Texas Photo by P. Rickrode

The Alamo Shrine – San Antonio Texas
Photo by P. Rickrode

The rules are the same (Post your guesses in the comments section below. I will post my responses on Thursday the 14th. The person with the most correct guesses is my winner, but you must post another comment in the comments section, acknowledging that you are a winner, in order to claim your prize. It’s that simple. Unclaimed prizes will be forfeited after one week from posting the answers.)

So, here you go. For the following list of things, did I do it or not do it?

Photo courtesy Google Images.

Photo courtesy Google Images.

1. Wander the corridors of the historic and haunted Menger Hotel looking for ghosts?

2.  Buy something at a smoke shop?

3.  Take a picture inside the Alamo long barracks?

4.  Participate in the topless experience?

5.  Have lunch with a cute guy from the Ukraine (I know, weird)?

6.  Tour Ripley’s Believe It or Not?

7.  Come home with my first ever shiner?

8.  Bring home a piece of rock from inside the Alamo shrine?

9.  Feed the ducks on the Riverwalk?

10.  Cut in line to get on the boat tour?

So, obviously, I visited the Alamo. The picture at the top is one of the many I took (is that a clue?). And, based on last week’s post, I did enjoy some time on the Riverwalk. But, how wild and crazy and adventurous did I really get? And how rebellious was I? That’s up to you to decide. I can’t wait to see your guesses.

Overall I had a very nice visit and would go back for more thrills. How about you dear readers, have you ever been to San Antonio? What the most crazy, wild or adventurous thing you’ve ever done on vacation? Please share, I love to know I’m not alone in my escapades, legal or otherwise.

Word of the day: Yegg (this is a fun one)

Fun face about me: I like to do cross stitch crafts.

Original post by Jansen Schmidt, August 2014. Original photo of the Alamo by P. Rickrode, Other photos, courtesy Google Images.

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Nascar race at the Las Vegas Speedway. Photo by P. Rickrode

Nascar race at the Las Vegas Speedway. Photo by P. Rickrode

Have you ever wanted to be a race car driver? Come on, show of hands, who’s wanted to be a race car driver? I think I’m a race car driver every day. Even in my little cross-over Nissan Rogue, I’m secretly a race car driver. Maybe it’s because I’m a little speed demon, or maybe I like how a powerful car engine feels and sounds when you rev it up. In any event, I think you should all know that I have this compelling urge to drive a race car. It’s on my bucket list.

I’ve included a video at the end of this link that I shot while “racing” on the Radiator Springs Racers at Disney’s California Adventure Park a few weeks ago. Unfortunately I was assigned the back seat, so I didn’t have best filming advantage, but I think it turned out pretty good. You can enjoy that after this month’s edition of Take It Or Leave It – Race Car Style.

Here’s a reminder of the rules: Post your guesses (would I take it, or leave it) in the comments section below. I will post my responses Thursday. The person with the most correct guesses is my winner, but you must re-post in the comments section in order to claim your prize. It’s that simple. Unclaimed prizes will be forfeited after one week from posting the answers.

Nascar race at Las Vegas Speedway. Photo by C. Rickrode

Nascar race at Las Vegas Speedway. Photo by C. Rickrode

Would I, or wouldn’t I:

1) Park in a handicapped spot;

2) Run a stop sign;

3) Tailgate (like a good race car driver would);

4) Text while driving;

5) Talk on the phone while driving (w/o blue tooth);

6) Deliberately drive slow in the fast lane to slow traffic for a known speed trap area;

7) Tap my brakes for a tailgater;

8) Drive without my seatbelt fastened;

9) Double park;

10) Use the carpool lane to pass a slower driver.

Good luck. Now here’s the video I told you about:

Word of the Day:  Intumesce

Fun fact about me: I have a clean driving record (knocks on wood)

Original post by Jansen Schmidt, April 2014. Original video by P. Rickrode via YouTube.  Original photos by Patricia Rickrode

 

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