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Spring Shenanigans

Monday, May 6, 2024

Mirabell Garden
Salzburg, Austria

Happy Monday, My Lovelies!  What have you been up to this spring so far?  We have been traveling, gardening, and celebrating for the most part.  Spring is my favorite season, partly because we start going to the lake more often, and baseball returns. 

In spring, we celebrate Easter, our anniversary, my birthday, and Mother's Day.  

We celebrated Easter in Germany this year, but beforehand we attended a few Easter markets in Prague.  

I will be posting about a travels in the coming weeks.  Here is a little preview of what I'll be sharing:

Prague is beautiful at night.  this is a scene from the Municipal House concert hall and café

Göttweig Abbey, Krems, Austria

Most of the gardening we've been doing has been the grunt work of pruning and shaping trees and shrubs; cleaning retaining walls and patios; and putting out pine straw.  We also planted our containers for spring.  I'll share them once the plants grow a little bit.  

This is our climbing New Dawn rose outside our dining room and my art studio.

I haven't been doing much decorating indoors lately.  But I have been repotting houseplants and bringing in a few blooms.

Kalanchoe and campanula 

Our daughter Shelley loves to go to antique shops, vintage stores, and flea markets.  Lately she's asked me to tag along with her, and look what I found in excellent condition and at a very good price:

It's a MacKenzie-Childs storage box.  I use it to hold my many spools of ribbon in the art studio.

I also found this beautiful 1972 illustrated edition of Black Beauty.  Isn't the cover gorgeous!  It has beautiful black and white and color illustrations inside.  

This book is in excellent condition.  I love books with pretty covers like this!

Shelley is very good at finding beautiful things.  She can enter a huge warehouse and literally find the three prettiest things in there.  I'm impressed that she has such a great eye, but she gets it honestly from her grandmother who owned an antiques store in New Orleans.

We've been to Lake Martin a couple of times so far this spring.  A gander was following me everywhere because I like to feed the turtles, and apparently geese love turtle food.  The following weekend, he brought his entire family including his wife and eight goslings.  I recently posted a reel on Instagram if you'd like to see it.  Please use the link below and follow me.  I will follow you back.

A gaggle of goslings
Lake Martin, Alabama

I've been involved in my regular art class this spring and a class at church.

Our class at church is based on this book:  The Friendship of Women by Joan Chittister.

In my art class I finally finished the realism colored pencil book.  It took me a little over a year to complete.  My last drawing is featured below.  I am currently painting with oil paints again.  :D

I've seen beautiful art this spring, and one of the best museums we visited was the Albertina in Vienna.  The painting, below, is inspiring me.  I'd like to try my hand at pointillism. 

Paul Signar (1863 - 1935)
"Venice, the Pink Cloud"
Albertina, Vienna

I've been visiting friends and going on outings with them this spring.  It's been nice getting reacquainted with childhood friends who've moved back home to Alabama.  They have been blessings to me!

A friend and I enjoyed decadent slices of chocolate cake in celebration of my birthday.
The General
Birmingham, Alabama

I got a new desktop computer.  My old one had issues, and my laptop completely crashed.  Right now I'm not planning on replacing my laptop because I am LOVING my new desktop so, so much!  Now that my computer frustrations are behind me (let's hope they stay there) I'm planning to blog more than I have been.

I've been reading a lot this year, and on Friday I will share my three favorite books of 2024 so far in my Literary Friday post.  Please come back and read it because all three would make fantastic beach and/or lake reads!

Until next time...

Ricki Jill


  1. Love it when your beautiful posts pop into my mail!!

  2. It is nice to hear from you. Thank You for sharing your photos of Germany. The cover of Black Beauty is a Beauty!

  3. I love how you're enjoying life right now! Your trip sounds amazing, and the antiques outing yielded two very great items! I did not know your mother (or was it Trip's?) owned an antique store in NOLA! The lake, your garden, your is good!

  4. Nice hearing from you/ Love the "Black Beauty" cover. The flowers are gorgeous.
    Happy Spring

  5. Good Morning Ricki. I cannot wait to see more on your trip. You found some great treasures. For a book lover like yourself that Black Beauty book is amazing. Have a great week and Happy Mother's Day. Hugs. Kris @ Junk Chic Cottage

  6. You are so talented! I also love the Black Beauty book and look for beautiful illustrations in old children’s books and covers. Tasha Tudor drawings🥰 You New Dawn roses are my favorite shade of pink. I ordered some bare root but think they sent them too early in March. Looking forward to your book recommendations!

  7. I’m glad you’re enjoying this beautiful season. Looking forward to seeing more photos of your trip.

  8. Happy Mother’s Day!
    Deb C. (My previous comment showed as anonymous too)

  9. Lovely to see your post. The trip sounds like it's fabulous and I am loving your art work. So much loveliness here, my friend. You are clearly living the happy life right now. Simply loving the Black Beauty book. Hugs! ~ jeanie


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I'm Ricki Jill. Welcome! I'm honored that you're reading my blog. I enjoy sharing my creative lifestyle @ The Bookish Dilettante. For more information about my blog, please read the Start Here page. Thank-you for stopping by, and I hope you'll consider following me via email.

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