Saturday, February 25, 2012

Early Signs of Spring


"If Winter comes, can Spring be far behind?"
Percy Bysshe Shelley
English poet

Although spring doesn't officially start until Tuesday, March 20, it looks as though spring is right around the corner!  That is good news for those of us who prefer the warmer, milder weather.   Although it was sunny on Groundhog Day where we live, and the groundhog surely saw his shadow, the first signs of spring are very evident here in Tennessee.

Traditionally, the first sign of spring is the robin.

(The last few years, however, I'd have to say that the retail stores are several weeks earlier than the robin, with their displays of spring merchandise such as seeds, plants, silk flowers, and bird houses, etc.!)

Although geese stay in our area most of the year, some places they leave and return in the spring.  According to the interesting and informative book, Animal Speak, by Ted Andrews, "second only to the robin", the return of geese "is a harbinger of spring."

(I love to hear the honking of geese and to feel the excitement in the air as they fly overhead in formation.)

Then, there are the flowers, of course.

                                                                The Daffodil

                                                             The Dandelion

                                                                The Hyacinth

                                                             The Periwinkle

                                                                Future Tulips

A few nights ago, Greg and I even heard frogs in a nearby pond.

One day this past week, we enjoyed a beautiful, sunny day in the 70's.  We went out without our jackets, and saw a jogger and some others wearing shorts, and a couple riding in a convertible with the top down. 

Alas, the next day it was cold, in the 40's, with snow flying through the air.  The wind was blowing fiercely.  In fact, the weather was acting a lot like March.  As my mother would sometimes say, "February is borrowing from March."

In any case, the signs are all around us, and it is very clear, that spring is very near.

(Please forgive me for that last line with my accidental rhyme!  It made me think, though, of my dear grandfather, Giggy, who always went around quoting and making up funny little sayings for us children which were sure to make us giggle or bring smiles to our faces.  One of my favorites was, "You're a poet and don't know it!")

Featured Photos:

Recently, I celebrated my birthday with family members at my mother's lovely new home after we'd dined in a local restaurant.

           Becky with Balloons in Front of the Original Oil Painting by Father Bill Botts, "Powell Valley"

Thanks, again, you all.  I had a great time!

Positive thought: "This is the day that the Lord has made; we will rejoice and be glad in it."  Psalm 118:24 (NKJV)
Thanks for visiting!  Until next time (Sunday March 4), Becky

Sunday, February 19, 2012

An Afternoon in Leiper's Fork, Tennessee


Greg and I recently visited the quaint village of Leiper's Fork, an artsy, craftsy community in Middle Tennessee.  We thoroughly enjoyed the unique shops, each of which was painted a lovely pastel color.  There was an array of gift shops, art galleries, a bakery, etc.

                                                                 Winter Pansies

We took time out from our shopping to have lunch at yet another Puckett's.  (Another time, we had enjoyed dining at the Franklin Puckett's Grocery and Restaurant which I wrote about in the Sunday, February 12 blog post.)  This Leiper's Fork Puckett's Grocery and Restaurant has a really casual, down- home feel with an abbreviated version of the same tasty food as in Franklin.  (There is also a Puckett's in Nashville.)

Greg and I both got sandwiches and fries, and decided we'd be adventurous by ordering the fried green beans!  Before Puckett's, we'd never even heard of that menu item before, but we're glad we tried the beans, because they were delicious!

                                                       Fried Green Beans

For more information, see their web site at .

Featured Photo:

While in Leiper's Fork, I met three really nice ladies, one of whom had a dog named Brandy.  The lady was gracious enough to allow me to photograph her beautiful pet, so everyone could see it on this blog post.

Thought of the day: Make every day an adventure!  Have fun!
Thanks for visiting!  Until next time (Sunday, February 26), Becky

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Puckett's Grocery & Restaurant, Franklin, Tennessee


Greg and I recently visited Historic Franklin, Tennessee, which we love.  Franklin has had several national awards and recognition including "Top 10 Best Small Town" (Southern Living Magazine) and "Top 5 Most Beautiful City in the Nation" (Rand McNally).

A highlight for us while there was having lunch at Puckett's Grocery & Restaurant which was highly recommended to us by a woman at a local visitor's center. We'd heard elsewhere that it was the best restaurant in the area.

To make it short and to the point:

-The food was great. (Greg had a pork barbeque sandwich and fries, and I had a grilled cheese sandwich and sweet potato fries which I'd never had before-good menu choice! Yum!)

-Our waiter (who is also an accomplished artist) was personable and accommodating.

                                                    Greg and Our Waiter, Jeffrey

-The decor was interesting with a country/music theme.

-We enjoyed country background music as we ate.  (There are live country music performances for most of the dinner meals.)

For more detailed information and to see the complete menu, please visit their web site:

120 4th Avenue South
Franklin, TN 37064
(615) 794-5527

Puckett's also caters, has carry-outs, and can accommodate private parties, weddings, etc.

Just an aside, but an important one-The photo near the top of this blog post was taken by someone whose name I don't even know.  I was just standing out in front of Puckett's, getting ready to take a picture when a passer-by asked me if he could take my picture in front of the restaurant.  This man's kindness is just one of many instances that Greg and I have both encountered in both Franklin and the surrounding areas.  Other people have told us that they had experienced the same types of things-that most people in that area go out of their way to be helpful and friendly.  It makes you feel wonderful to be around people like that.  It's like being in the middle of a feel-good movie that you wish would never end!  What an example they set!

                      Happy Valentine's Day! Love,Greg and Becky  (Photo by Jeffrey.)

Positive thought: Kindness-pass it on!
Thanks for visiting!  Until next time (Sunday, February 19), Becky

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Pet Photography


Do you have a really good photo of your furry, feathered, or scaly best friend that you would be proud to hang on your wall or carry in your billfold or hand out to family and friends, maybe with you in the picture as well?  If not, maybe this blog post can be of help.

Because today, I'm happy to announce that I'm now offering pet photography as another aspect of my art business.  (My other art services and items for sale include: pet portraits from photographs in either pastel or pencil, coal art, and prints of my original pastel, acrylic, or mixed media paintings.) 

I just recently decided that I'd offer this new service for several reasons:
-People were complimentary about my photos, especially those with animals.
-My father was an avid photographer before he became an artist, so photography is in my blood.
-I'm combining my love of taking pictures with my love of animals for a perfect addition to my business.
-I wanted to give people a chance to have quality photos of their pets at an affordable price.

 One set price of $80.00 includes travel (within a 40-mile radius here in Tennessee), the photo session itself for up to one hour, and a packet of pictures that includes:
1-11x14 photo poster
1-8x10 photo
1-5x7 photo
4-4x6 photos
(Other packets are available upon request.)

I am also available to take a photo of your pet in case you don't have a good one to work from if you're getting a pencil or pastel portrait done.

Please email me at if you are interested in the pet photography service in this area of Tennessee.  Greg and I would love to meet you and show you my complete pet photo portfolio.  Your pet will be photographed in its familiar enviornment enjoying the activities it normally does.  In fact, you might even want all of your pets photographed with family members.  Whatever you'd like, we will try to accomplish for you.

Also, if you don't live nearby, I can still help you with some of my other art services such as my pastel portraits.  Information about my portraits and coal art is on a couple of my previous blog posts.  Please contact me for more details.

Positive thought: Immortilize your special pet in a photo.  You'll be glad you did.  Satisfaction guaranteed!
Thanks!  And, thanks for visiting!  Until next time (Sunday, February 12), Becky