The Old Courthouse

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Ahhhh….the old courthouse. That old clock tower has stood watch over our county since 1834, a mere 13 years after the county was founded. For me however, it is a view that says “home”.  

When I was little, that old clock never quite worked right. Sometimes it was running, but the time would be way off. Other times, the time would be right. And then other times, it just didn’t run at all. On the occasion that we would ride by at the time that was on the clock, I would comment, “hey, the clock is right!” to which my Daddy would reply, twice a day every day. Oh the memories. 

When the Olympics came to town in 1996, they finally fixed that old clock and renovated that old courthouse. The clock has pretty much been right ever since, so you can set your watch by it now. Of course, the courthouse was still in use up until then. Court was held regularly in there when I was a girl, so I never really got to see the inside of it. I remember going to observe court in session when I was in a Business Law class in high school, and once I had jury duty after I was married. But those are the only two times I ever really remember going inside of the building. 

On Wednesday, that changed. For the first time, I went in and explored that old building, and I am so thankful that my friend, Deborah, talked me into it. We were greeted by some friendly Newton County Sheriff’s Deputies at the desk. They told us to look around and try not to get in any trouble. They also told us about some other interesting buildings in town from an architectural viewpoint, so I may go and get some photos of those in the near future. 

The first things that greet you when you step into this old building are the ornate staircases. They are beautifully crafted, and there are three flights of stairs. 

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At the top of each flight is a very large window looking out over the town. However, I’m 5’9″ tall, and I couldn’t even peer up and out of these windows on tip toe. Perhaps they were designed more for lighting the building than for gazing out. 

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On the second floor is the courtroom. How I never knew that there was only one courtroom is a mystery. For some reason I always thought there were several. The seating looked like pews from an old church, and the floor was inclined so that everyone could see what was going on with the trial. I didn’t get any pictures of the seating, but I did get a few of the balcony with the beautiful old clock.

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The ceiling had a very interesting design as well, and you can see ceilings like this in many of the older buildings around the square (the ones that haven’t been covered by drop ceilings anyway). 

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The courtroom now serves as the place where the Newton County Board of Commissioners meets, so the building is still being used regularly and is open for the public for these important meetings. 

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As we explored the outside of the building, we saw a lonely chimney at the side between the courthouse and the Mystic Grill. 

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Inside we found a fireplace that this lonely chimney likely connects to.

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As you walk out the doors, you notice the beauty of the entrance that you may not have noticed on the way in. The ornate arches and beautiful brickwork done by the masons of the day and the beauty of the square awaiting you make you just want to sit down on the steps and take it all in for a few minutes. 

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I am so happy to have taken the opportunity to explore my old courthouse, and I am so glad that I live in this beautiful Georgia community where my father lived, his mother before him, countless generations since before the official establishment of this county, and now my children who have grown up here and can call this place home as well.

 

Summer is for Tea (…or Coffee) Parties

About a month or so ago, I made a beautiful little munchkin a promise. I said, “As soon as school is out for the summer, you will have to come spend the night with me, and we will have a tea party.” Her eyes lit up, and I have been reminded countless times since of that promise.  

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Well, Monday we went out for her mother’s (my sister) birthday, and that night I stole her away for a magical spend-the-night at Aunt Thenia’s house. Of course, it was a very restless night as a certain little Goldilocks determined that Aunt Thenia’s bed was just right. After a little haggling over whether or not all of the sock monkeys should be allowed to sleep with us and just how many fairy tales should be read, we finally got settled in for the night.

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Then morning came. After about an hour of Phineas and Ferb reruns on Netflix, the little blonde-haired princess decided that it was time for a tea party. “Well,” I said, “we must have cookies with our tea party.” So we decided to make some very special Snickerdoodles. Yum yum. Not too much of a mess was made, and all of the cookies  turned out just right.

Then it was time to set the table. Of course, only the best antique china is good enough for my favorite little five year old, so into the China cabinet we go. As we were pulling out the china tea cups and saucers, my angel noticed a beautiful little carousel figurine. She right away determined that the girl was her cousin, Kat. I informed her that she was my favorite figurine, and she soon became my niece’s favorite as well. Needless to say, she became the centerpiece on our lavishly adorned tea party table (along with the bunny candleholder with a pumpkin spice candle).

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After setting our centerpiece, it was apparently time for a little bird watching. A female cardinal lit on one of the butterfly bushes outside of the window and paid us a visit. This, of course, launched into a little bird watching and identification session. We saw some wrens and a tufted titmouse and the male cardinal. When she was bored with the  bird watching, it was time to determine what to drink.

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Then I asked her what flavor tea we should drink. “I want coffee.” was the reply. Having been a mom for 18 years, I just wasn’t sure a five year old would be too keen on coffee, but that was what I was drinking that morning, so that is what she wanted. And, well, that is what we had. Of course, she had a little bit of coffee with a lot of creamer (yes, I know, also not the most ideal thing…but hey, aunts are supposed to spoil their nieces, right?) And so, we settled in for a delicious tea (coffee) party. 

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Who could think of a better way to spend a summer than with a magical tea party with a beautiful princess…and snickerdoodles of course. 

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Contact List and Promotion

Hey everyone! I’m working on getting this business up and running full swing. I’m starting an email contact list to notify people of promotions and special offers. If you would like to be added to the email list, you can either send me your information on the contact tab on my blog or send me a personal message from my facebook page. The first 10 people to respond will receive a free session fee*, and the following 20 people to respond will receive half off a session fee*.

 

*Covington, GA and surrounding areas only. Travel expenses would be required for anyone outside this area.

Guitar Lessons and Photo Shoots

I’m not sure how or when this sneaky fellow got in, but I guess he decided to drop by for a guitar lesson and a photo shoot. He posed quite happily, though I don’t believe he was happy with the length of his service. He did not want to leave when it was time. He didn’t seem to be very alert, so I didn’t think catching him would be hard. Boy did he prove me wrong. He was rather quick and quite a skilled jumper. But in the end, his guitar teacher (my son) got him safely out and on his way.

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Branson, Missouri

We recently returned from a lovely trip to Branson, Missouri. We stayed in a beautiful resort nestled in the Ozarks on Table Rock Lake. It proved to be a wonderful place for photos. We traveled to a nearby cave where I took these pictures of the icy water that continues to shape this underground environment into something more and more beautiful everyday.

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There was also an abundance of wildlife. I managed to capture this mocking bird in flight as it periodically fluttered up and down from the top branch of a nearby tree singing a lovely tune.

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The water was absolutely beautiful…clear and cool.

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The picturesque mountains surrounded the lake and protected our resort from the busyness of the outside world.

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Even Bubba, the Sock Monkey, had a wonderful time piloting our boat across the waters.

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If you ever get a chance to head out to the Ozarks, remember to take your camera and prepare for a relaxing week.