"whoever touches us, teaches us....."

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Another Year Bites the Dust

This was the last ornament I packed away....a millennium purchase from almost a decade ago. I was newly married with pre-teen son, moving into a new life. This 2009, I begin my third year divorced and my son will graduate from college. He struggles to identify what he wants to do with his life. I do not write about him though; I know he wouldn't want to be shared in public. He wants little, doesn't need "stuff", and sees life from a minimalist point of view. Some characteristics I should strive for. I swore I would not blog about New Years resolutions. We all know how dangerous they can be.... self deprecating, self defeating, humiliating, damaging to ones self esteem, etc, etc. The concept of New Years resolutions does nothing but force one to look at what is bad, negative, or wrong with their life. Search and identify your personal failures. Then berate yourself 12 months from now when you fail to change; again. Well heck, I just can't resist. Sorry. I just can't pass on the opportunity to point out to the world (all 10 of you readers...on a good day) all the things I have failed miserably at. Too much fun to be had there! And my New Years list is very practical. I don't aspire to achieve things that are not possible for me to affect. I can't make world peace, I can't make people love me differently, and I can't seem to win the lottery.....but here is what I will do in 2009.
I will reduce my debt
I will get rid of some of the junk in my house
I will paint more
I will read more
I will be nicer to the people I work with ...
And I will quit worrying over what they are getting away with, stealing, gossiping about, getting paid, and cheating the company out of. In short, I will mind my own biz.
I will pray and give thanks more
I will laugh more, specifically I will laugh at myself more
I will do more work on my yard this year
I will clean out my garage
I will control my impatience and road rage :)
and of course, I can try once again to
lose the weight
And I will blog about these in more detail...lucky you!!!

Monday, December 15, 2008

If Life Gives You Cranberries, Don't Make Cookies

This weekend was one of those weekends. Unfortunately, not the good kind where you stay in pj's and/or bed all weekend with someone. This was the kind you just do alone, because....well, what else is there to do. A weekend alone can be a good thing if you are in the mood. During this holiday rush though, sometimes time alone seems so amplified. The aloneness echoes through the silent house. For some reason I just didn't know what to do with myself this weekend. A Friday night office Christmas party didn't help matters either. Not exactly my cup of tea. I guess the party animal in me escaped the zoo many years ago. I went so I wouldn't be the only one NOT there.

I slept really late on Saturday and somehow never made it to getting dressed for the day. Come to think of it, I never got dressed on Sunday either. I paid some bills online; then, excited over my left over wealth of $67 to Christmas shop with, I promptly shopped online and spent it a few times over. Several times in fact. Without even getting dressed. I did manage to finish my tree and also made cookies, which look a whole lot better then they taste. Don't try to embellish a good cookie recipe by throwing in various things. Like dried cranberries. They made the cookies quite...dry. I need to learn to just leave well enough alone and not try to improve on an already good thing. I know they say life is what you make it, but sometimes you just get dry cookies.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008


Like everyone else, I haven't had much time for blogging these last few weeks. I have been busy with the upcoming holidays, busy at work and just generally ....well, busy! I did take a day or 2 off work and finished this painting that is to be a gift for my sister. I am very happy with how it turned out; it looks good in my house so if she doesn't like it...it has a happy home with me!
My son will be home in a week, so I am trying to get my house clean and some decorations up. I don't do a lot of decorating, but I do have a real tree every year. I need to have the smell of pine and the twinkling lights to make me feel like I am ready for Christmas. The holidays make me happy, even in tough times. I hope this is a happy time for you and your family and I hope each of you has joy in your life this holiday season. I also hope you take time to remember those who suffer financial or personal hard times. Share what you can, no matter how small it seems. Share your joy any way you can. Happy Holidays to All.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Paints, Canvas and a Day Off

It's my birthday, so it is hard for work to deny me the day off. For that matter, hard for me to deny me the day off. Weekends are usually eaten up laundry, grocery shopping, housecleaning and other mundane chores. It is hard to make time for what you really would like to do with your scarce free time off. I can tick off a list at any time of things I would like to do just for the sake of trying it; some because I have a feeling I would be really good at, others...just a desire to get my hands in it. I want to play with clay, I want to hand finish a piece of wood that I have made into something, I want to make little garden areas that each make you want to stop and rest awhile, I want to wander down to a stream and throw a fly line...the list is endless. But usually the list of things that have to be done overshadows the fun stuff. So for my free time today, I will will not rake leaves (what I should be doing, but really...who are they hurting?), I won't mop the kitchen floor, (no 5 second rule for awhile) and I won't even get out of my pajamas (why waste an outfit). Instead, I will paint. It's not a new activity for me, but it still is a break from the "sit at a desk day" I usually endure during the week. I suspect if I had to earn my living as an artist, I would begin to dream of days in an office, lunches out with coworkers, and being surrounded by thinking people. It's all part of that learning to be happy with what you have, and grateful that we can take a day off on our birthday.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Thank A Vet

Ok, ok....I didn't take the picture. I can't even pretend to have taken it as I have never seen the memorial. The photo is emotional in itself; I can not imagine the real thing...the coldness of the marble, the endless columns of names, the haunted veterans who visit it and are forced to remember. Take a few moments this Veterans Day to remember those fallen soldiers who served our country. And for those who made it home or served in times of peace.....we should all thank them for protecting what we take for granted.

credit: I stole the photo from a news source. Sorry.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

A Hallmark Moment

When my birthday rolls around, which it will later this month; I am fairly happy ignoring it and just trying to have a nice day. As the years pile on, the desire to celebrate pales; it just becomes another day and another number to hopefully forget. But today is the birthday of my best friend. He is full of hope, he is kind, honest, funny, and extremely devout in his faith. He never has to think about doing and saying the right thing, there is no alternative in his mind. He accepts his circumstance and steps up to his mistakes. He loves his children and his family and he sacrifices for those he loves. Although I only met him two years ago, I have known him in my head for my whole life. I will have him in my heart forever. I celebrate this day, his day, his life.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Our Daily Bread

I will rise to the challenge for most things, so I thought why not ? Everyone else seems to be all about the no-knead bread; so why not give it a try? I love, love good bread anyway; and it looked like a fun, season appropriate thing to do. I would have taken pictures as I progressed, but there are so many bizillion posts and videos already regarding Jim Lahey's No-Knead Bread...I won't further bore you. Suffice it to say it was lots of fun, easy and really good despite a few mishaps. I did alter it a bit which is really stupid considering I have never made bread in
my life. I substituted 1/4 c beer, increased the
salt and threw in a tiny pinch of herbs de

provence. I also think I undercooked it a little bit. But regardless of all the things I didn't do right....it was so exciting to cut into that warm loaf, and it was so good slathered with butter;
that I forgot to take pictures of the inside!!!
Trust me, trial and error aside...it was good and easy and apparently is no fail. If you haven't tried it yet, check out this link; it is my favorite of all the demonstrations. It proves the point "so easy a 4 year old can do it" !

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Simple Picture

A simple photo is often the best. This is one of my favorites from a recent trip to the N.C. mountains. One of my favorite places is this mountain top church. It sits high above Valle Crucis and is by far one of the most beautiful spots I have ever seen. Simple and honest. The window is on the back of the church, facing the woods. Very unassuming. God's house. I'm sure of it.

This is the church itself. Sadly, as is all too often these days, the doors were locked. I could see through the window and see that the ceiling was arched and beamed of dark wood. It looked very much like an ancient inverted ship hull.

And this is the cemetery that sits beside the church. Who should be so lucky to have this as a place for earthly remains? I am sure those who look down on this are in a far better place. But for those of us who still find their heaven on earth for the time being...this is it.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Fall Travels

I was lucky enough to spend the last week in North Carolina...Probably one of my favorite states, at least of the ones I have been to. Unfortunately, I have not seen enough of these great states we live in. Some day I would love to live in N.C. and I would like to see more of this country. I am a back roads kind of traveler. On some trips that doesn't work well, like this one where we were a little pressed for time. Next time I would like to take a slower road (although the interstate was full of leaf color and really beautiful north of Knoxville), stop more frequently and turn down more of those roads that you "wonder whats up there". When we got back home the air was crisp and had that fall chill, cool even for Alabama. I love the fall...short though it is in the South, it still remains my favorite time of year. I am posting a few pictures of the beautiful foliage from the mountains...wishing I was still there, but thanking God for the beautiful place in which we live.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Soup's On

Yeah yeah, I know...everyone is taking pictures of their food and posting it on the internet. I know it is no longer even remotely original or interesting to most people. Regardless, I obssess over food and what people ate for dinner and how they cooked it, etc. Can't get enough of it. It's like spying. Maybe it's because food is the most basic item we all have in common with each other. We all have to eat. What and how we eat reveals a lot about who we are. Some of us cook our own food and others let a chef cook for them. Some eat with the family and some eat alone. Some sit at the table and some lean over the kitchen sink. Some eat only what is neccessary to stave off hunger and others eat for the sheer pleasure of it. Truthfully, I do all of the above.... I eat with other people sometimes, alone most. I have been known to eat right out of a package (in a hurry), at my desk (most days), straight out of the fridge (distracted). Usually though, I cook my own food, put it on a pretty plate and make it look nice. And as I sit and eat alone, I feel like someone put a little heart and soul into my meal...to make me feel worth it. It makes even the simplest dinner of soup and bread bring comfort as well as nourishment. We share food in common no matter where we live or who we are. So, I decided to share a picture of last nights supper. I would give you the recipe for this "best chicken soup in the world", but unfortunately I don't cook like that. I rarely use a recipe and I never write it down. Basically it is homemade chicken stock with celery and onions, cut up chicken breast meat, brown rice, fresh cilantro and ro-tel tomatoes. Cook slow until rice thickens it up. I forgot to add the corn , but it was still good. And next time I make it, it will probably be different...since I didn't write it down. But whoever gets to eat it, gets a little love in their soup.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Sounds of Silence

I live on a fairly quiet side street that gets very little traffic. A row or two of houses and a buffer of trees away, lies a main thoroughfare that gets heavy traffic during the day. Its not too bad at night, but once you have turned off it and on to my street, you aren't so aware of the nearby congestion. Except at night. At night with the world bedded down, one hears sounds not audible during the daylight hours. Haunting train whistles, lone cars that pass in the night, distant sirens...background noise normally not noticed. Nights that protest against my attempts to sleep, find me listening to those sounds. They are not individual sounds that can be separated from each other; but rather a constant drone of silent noise that keeps me awake. Tonight, I again listened to those silent voices.

Monday, September 29, 2008

My iPod

Well it was one of those weekends with not much to do. I am not much for activity filled free time nor do I need to be constanly entertained. I do not, however, deal well with too much time alone. My mind wanders and does damaging things, creates scenarios that come out of God knows where, and I find things to worry about that I can't do anything about anyway. So to cope, I need to make things to do that occupy my brain...both sides. Not just mundane chores and routine tasks; I have those going on the side. No, I need something that totally keeps my attention . So somehow I decided that this was a good weekend to organize my music on my ipod. My computer has been acting funky lately, and between music and pictures, I started to realize I would lose a lot if it decided to crash and burn. So I started with my music, as I don't think I can even begin to touch the photos; no that will have to wait for a long weekend alone. Now if you have an Ipod and you are a not so young person, like myself...you undoubtedly were taught how to use it by a child or a teenager. On, off, download, sync, play..about all there is to it really. Except my music is all mixed up, much without titles, most without album cover pictures (thats the best part too) and some were on the ipod, some were still on the itunes player. All I can say is...trial and error. No such luck with the online manual; it referred to buttons that weren't there, disconnecting before ejecting, playlists you haven't created yet. All I wanted was all the classical together, all the Green day together, all the bluesy romantics together, etc......I just don't want to hear Viva la Vida in the middle of an Andrea Bocelli marathon! After much work and many hours of focused attention; I got the job done. I even have album covers where they are supposed to be and all my music is categorized. If only the photos would be so easy!

Thursday, September 18, 2008


I hate cars. I have never had a really nice car...the kind people wash in the touchless car wash, the kind people name, the kind people park in the parking place thats in the next zip code so no one parks next to them. I never really wanted one of those anyway. I just need 4 wheels and an engine...that are reliable, that I can trust, and that are relatively economical to fuel and maintain.  Besides that ...its just transportation. Oh...and did I mention a man to fix said car. Yeah; I need it to come with a man to do everything it needs except gas it up; I can do that. Actually I like to do that because I love the smell of gasoline and diesel. Beyond that, I hate taking the car in for any kind of repair or maintenance. I don't even like to take it in to get the oil changed. I can handle anything else; I can use a circular saw, do your income taxes, cast a nice line, even program and operate  a DVD. But... DO NOT ask me when I changed the oil in the car, or where I bought my battery, or what kind of tires I have. I don't want to know. I don't care. It makes my skin crawl and my eyes glaze over. I have cried when it didn't start and I fear the man who drives the tow truck.  I think all men who work under cars, also went to that schoool where they teach you exactly  how to make me feel stupid,  as well as how to sucker-punch  me for every penny left on my credit card limit. So imagine my gratitude when my best man friend in the world fixed mine for me last night.  And after about 20 minutes of trying to release a bolt with an inadequate tool not meant for cars....we went shopping and I became the proud owner of a metric socket set. 
With 60 pieces even. Don't hate me.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Moody Blues

I don't know what else it could be......I haven't been able to come up with any witty blog topics, I am content one minute, a raving hormonal wreck the next. Maybe its summer; I am ready for it to be over. Its hot and the yard and garden are looking rather grim. I wish I could say those cone flowers were mine; but mine didn't bloom. These were from a North Carolina trip 2 weeks ago. They temporarily made me feel happy; they tempted me with fall. But the mood returns too quickly. Restlessness, loneliness, boredom.

I do find joy in this beautiful part of the country,
but it also makes where I live pale in comparison. I find it harder and harder to suffer through the heat and the $200 power bills, with each passing year. I imagine if I lived where it was cold, I would pine away for tropical heat waves of the south. the grass is always greener, as they say.
I am blessed with what I have...why is it I always want something I can't have. Why can't I be happy with what I have and who I am.
When will autumn be here?

Wednesday, August 13, 2008


I really don't have much to write about today...It was a good day and unseasonably cool for the South, so for that I am grateful. So instead of me rambling for 5 minutes, I would like to borrow this beautiful post which was written by my friend. He is a new blogger, although not new to writing. I think he writes beautifully, simple and to the point. He commutes nearly an hour (one way!) every day to work. His goal is to "blog his daily thoughts" that accompany him on his drive. I think this post is soulful and nostalgic; read it and see what you think. And feel free to leave him a comment! http://thoughtswhiledrivingandothermusings.blogspot.com/2008/08/illusion-of-winter-past.html

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

The Joy of ......

Rain. Pure simple rain. My joy today comes in the form of much needed showers. All day we have had drizzly, slow rain, gray skies and cool cool temps of low 80's rather than the normal 100 of August. This is usually our hottest month and last year we also were plagued by crippling drought. This year, although we have had some hot days and little rain, we haven't suffered as much. Today was a treat for my garden and yard, not to mention sparing me from standing in the heat trying to give every plant a quick drink from the hose. I love to garden when the weather is mild, but my aging bones can't stand the heat anymore. I wish we could have a little thunder and lightening tonight to complete my favorite kind of night...

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

My Brother Bill

A few of the people who read me here, know me in real life; most do not. For those of you who don't...this is my brother Bill. He was a few years older then me but much more accomplished. He was a National Merit Scholar, an Honor graduate at Vanderbilt, a husband, a father. He died by his own hand in 2005. In September, all of Bill's family and friends, will walk in his memory, to support the American Foundation for Suicide Support. Suicide is the eighth leading cause of death among males and the third leading cause of death among young people between the ages of 10 and 24. The THIRD leading cause. Over 90 percent of suicide victims are either depressed or abusers of alcohol. Won't you please help by clicking on the link below, and making a small donation ....all proceeds go to educate people on depression and suicide prevention. Hopefully the loss of one person will help save the life of another. And if you know someone who is at risk...watch for the signs. Pay attention to symptoms and don't feel like its no big deal or that someone else will intervene. And if you know someone who might be interested in helping, please pass this link on to them. Awareness is the key to turning around those statistics !!
To make a donation or for information: http://afsp.donordrive.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=donorDrive.participant&eventID=658&participantID=6807

Sunday, July 20, 2008

How Goes the Green?

Well, at my house, we are about 3 months into our "go green" transformation. If you read the earlier post, http://pats-dryrun.blogspot.com/2008/06/going-green.html then you know I have taken an, albeit too late, but obsessive interest in our environment and its inevitable demise. I recognize that we each can do a lot to better the future of our earth. And I also recognize that it isn't a situation where one should feel that they can not make an impact. The biggest contribution, in addition to making changes ourselves, is to educate others, especially our children. Our kids are much more aware then their parents about recycling, our carbon footprints, and the circle of effects of our oil usage. I have to do things in baby steps if I want to succeed. So my the changes I made, were that we would take part in our city's recycling program, switch from paper napkins to cloth, switch to recyclable grocery bags, and quit buying water in plastic bottles. The recycling we have easily melded into. The first few times were a bit of a mess. We found that even though the website states they take glass, they actually do not. So they weren't real fond of the beer bottles that we left as an environmental contribution. I still don't get the "no glass" thing but they take everything else, limiting plastics to 1 and 2. The switch from paper to cloth napkins was totally an unnoticed change. I need to buy a few more, but otherwise; painless! The grocery bag switch was also easy. I just have to find a way to remember to take them with me into the store. But the water thing has been hard. I quit buying plastic bottles of water and I do miss them. There is something embedded in my brain that makes me think the bottled water tastes better. It even works when I fill a saved bottle up with tap water and chill it. So I have to work on that notion. I have a Brita pitcher, but the filters eat you up at about $6 a piece. I am ready to add a few more changes...the one I need to do the most is to cut out or at least cut way back on paper towel usage. I go through a lot on a daily basis. I am not sure what an easy replacement would be. It seems if you use dish towels, they will always be damp and having to be replaced with a dry one. I guess though, that they won't take more room in the washing machine. I think this will be on my new list of changes to add at my house. And I am also going to try my moms old habit, which I used to think was disgusting, of re-using plastic bags...like sandwich bags. I used to scoff at her drying bag which she used to stick upside down over the kitchen faucet to dry. Now they make a rack that goes in your dishwasher to wash those same bags. Who knew...besides Mom !!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Whats This????

In my garage, I have an old, small chest of drawers that sits right outside my kitchen door. It has been a handy place for dropping gardening gloves, pruning shears, tiles that I have dug up out of the ground...anything I would normally lose out in the yard. You can see all these things laying on the top. Wait, never mind, that is a hatchet, not pruners .You can also see in the picture that I keep garbage bags and a weeder stuck in the top drawer..thus it stands open pretty much all of the time.

But look what else is inside the top drawer...a new birds nest. A little male and female chickadee are building a new nest; in the nice cool (relatively) and shady garage. I do wonder why birds would be starting a new nest now...do they lay eggs this late in the season? Or are they just after a little love nest? This afternoon when I pulled my car in the garage, they were sitting together side by side on the edge of the open drawer. I wish I could have grabbed my camera, but they hopped off long enough for me to pass through the door. I guess this drawer will stay open awhile longer!

Monday, July 14, 2008

Not Much To Say

For some reason, I have very little to say right now. Everything in my life is just...plugging along. I don't seem to have any negative issues, but then nothing just screams unbounding ecstasy either. I spent a lot of work this summer on my container vegetable "garden". I planted an heirloom variety as well as Better Boy and a compact bush variety. I also planted sweet peppers. Don't ever put heirloom varieties in your garden. I didn't seem to pay any attention at the time to the fact that those plants are not disease and wilt resistant. So after it grew to be about 6 feet tall, it then proceeded to drop every flower at the stem...some kind of wilt fungussy disease. Which soon spread to my other plants. On top of that , the plants all have a dose of blossom end rot. From reading up that seems to come from inconsistent watering and a lack of calcium. Seems if I had known I could have added lime. I wish I had chopped the heirloom tomato plant down a little sooner. For all the trouble, this picture is literally the fruits of my labor ....There are a few more green tomatoes, but they seem to be very slow to ripen. May have to have fried green ones soon. And so it goes.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Summer Fun

Just a few days ago I woke up to this every morning....it takes me almost as long as my vacation was to get "back to the real world".
We had a wonderful trip and lots of fun with family; most of whom I only see once a year at this family reunion. We have been getting together at the beach every year since we were children; now we all have children , some of whom will soon be parents themselves. There are 2 "moms" of the bunch, both in their 80's, 7 cousins (including myself), and we have a total of 17 kids. Various spouse were thrown in for good measure.

We took turns cooking for the crowd and on my night I cooked this.

And after we ate, we watched this. No TV.......

Friday, June 13, 2008

On Fathers Day

I will be out of town with family for the next 10 days, so this will be last post until June 25. Those few who labor to read me, please don't go away forever!
The occurrence of Fathers Day causes me to consider several issues. One, that my son's father has never seen him or spoken to him, much less inquired about his well being. In my sons 21 years of life, his father has made no financial or emotional contribution. That being said, I have never been bitter nor resentful to the fact that as a doctor, he had the financial resources to help, but didn't. Friends have asked why I never sued him for support. At the time, when my son was a baby, I was so consumed in the gift of having a child and all the wonders of it; I just couldn't be bothered with anything that might make it a negative experience. As he grew, we had some rocky times financially. But with family help we always had everything we needed. And there were also emotionally rough times…all those family trees in early school years always demanded explanations as to why our family structure was different then most. But in the end, I had the gift of a child to rise and to love. His father made his choice and that was to not participate. His choice…..he just decided he wouldn't have a son. I often wonder what his life is like now; I think his lack of responsibility must weigh heavy on his heart. Or not.

I watch my best friend L struggle with his life now that his children live several hours away from him. On one hand, I doubt Fathers Day is any different from any other to him. It's another day away from his kids, regardless of the date. I think all a man wants on Fathers Day is more time with his children. But on the other hand, it hurts to think he will spend that day alone, when he should be celebrated as a wonderful Dad. He struggles for his time with them, from the 10 hours of driving to spend a weekend with them, to the serious financial considerations of divorce. But… he is there, as much as possible . He is there for his children for the bad times; when they hate him, misunderstand him, mistrust him, question his faith…..and for the good times; when despite it all they love him deeply, just don't know how to show it without choking on learned pride. A man who is a father, is a father for life. Divorced, married, single, absent…... Each decides what kind of Father he will be. It's the mark of the man.

Thursday, June 12, 2008


A poem about a recent early morning wait....

I close my eyes, I wait, I wait
To fall asleep, I wait
Until it's time, I wait
To hear your step, I wait,
To feel your breath, I wait
To have your love , I wait
I wait.

Global Warning?

Its so odd, the way there have been so many weather related tragedies the last few days. Here in the South, we have moaned and complained that we need rain and it is too hot. Then I read about the horrors in the Midwest associated with too much rain. Floods, people drowning, levees breaking….makes me feel guilty for wishing for a bit of that rain. I am sure they have wished for some dry heat like the South and east is experiencing…and I see that 17 people have been lost in heat related deaths. And today there is the sad news of the loss of 4 boy scouts in a horrific tornado. It seems there are extreme weather related circumstances going on all over this country. Global warming? We finally had our first drops of rain yesterday, hopefully enough ...but my worries over tomato plants seems so trivial now.

Monday, June 9, 2008


This is L's gift to me for my birthday which was this past winter. I knew he was building me an easel...something I have always wanted, but had never quite found the right one, nor one I could afford. I wasn't sure what was taking so long, until I he brought it over this weekend. He made this for me out of some cherry wood that he had in his workshop. The detail in the picture shows beautiful hand-carved pieces of contrasting woods. I know it will eventually be covered in slashes of paint. Although I will try to keep it clean, I know it won't stay that way ..... my coffee table and dining room table, both bear the details of past paintings I have done. I have used everything from my mantel with nails poked in it, to a stool standing on a table to hold my canvases. Now I really feel like an artist, with a custom hand made, hand carved and hand waxed easel. I think this easel is beautiful and is as much a work of art as any canvas it will ever hold. God gives us many talents, from carving and working with wood, to writing and painting. I thank God for his gift to Larry and I thank Larry for his gift to me.

Oh, and did I mention that he bakes ?

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Hanging On

Daylilies...........although they are one of the most carefree, near "weed", and prolific multipliers, are one of my most favorite plants. Even the common orange street side variety captures my attention. In China, some varieties of daylilies are used in the kitchen, There is a yellow variety that is considered a delicacy and is used in a type of golden soup. I love to pair orange flowers with blue in the garden. You can see blue plumbago in the background in this picture. The plumbago is struggling; it should be three times as big as it is now. It is struggling to survive from being wintered over, I know its not usually done and is rarely successful, but I can't bring myself to pitch a plant that still breathes. I am coming to realize I am a person who has a hard time giving it up, in all walks of life. I dragged my marriage out till it was painful before I accepted it wasn't going to survive. I can't accept that my son is an adult and does not need me to nurture (torture) him any longer. I struggle to hold on to things way past the end. Daylilies bloom, flourish and die all in one day. It amazes me that something so beautiful yet so simple is here one minute and gone the next. Like people in your life. One minute you hold it in your hand; the next minute it's gone. How about you, do you hold on..... Or do you let go?

Saturday, June 7, 2008

The Best Thing About Having a Party

Having a party out of obligation isn't the best thing in the world. In this case, a baby shower. I rarely volunteer for office functions...just because no matter what every one intends; i.e. everyone will chip in, everyone will help clean up, we will all bring something, etc etc....the reality is no one will help you, everyone forgets to bring their food, and you always come up short of money to pay for it. Nevertheless, because the object of this shower has been a great employee and has really helped me out by doing her work, I felt like this was one I wanted to participate in. So, I boldly volunteered my house. Eventually, it gravitated towards my house as well as I make all the food and they pay for it. Which was also fine with me. I am funny about eating food, when I don't know the condition of the kitchen it came out of, nor the habits of the cook. I always discretely ask "who made this" before eating anything that appears at my office. It all worked out pretty well. The best thing isn't that you have an entire house clean at one time. That is really nice, but its less then 24 hours later and it's beginning to get that lived in look already. Also we have torn up 2 closets looking for stuff we hid away while "cleaning". And the best thing isn't you get to keep all the left over food. Truthfully, I really don't want to see any of that food again. I had a difficult time even eating it at the shower; just the 200 hundred bites I sampled while making it all was plenty for me. And it wasn't even getting to keep all the beautiful flowers. I love flowers, and even these that were not my style of pale pinks, have a welcome place in my house.

No, the best part of having a party is having this and coffee for breakfast. Can't beat it.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Going Green

We are going green at my house......trying to anyway. I keep reading how every little bit helps, so we are trying, in baby steps, to be more conscientious in our re-use of stuff. I quit buying paper napkins, and we use cloth. I figure they can be thrown in the washing machine that is being run anyway. I am not quite ready to forgo paper towels though. I use them so much, I don't know what could replace them. I also quit using the grocery stores bags, both paper and plastic. I never could get a clear answer on which had the less negative impact; so I bought the 99 cent reusable bags that most of the stores sell now. I think they should give them to you . You go in and pick up a few things for dinner and WHAM!! ...$100 just like that. The least they could do is throw in a 99 cent bag for free. We have started recycling now that my neighborhood has a good program . I used to generate a lot of garbage. I had to empty my inside garbage bag once every day or so. Now, since we no longer put in glass, cans, or plastic, it takes me a week to fill it up. At least I don't have to take the garbage out as much. But then the whole thing seems futile, when I listen to my air conditioner. I have been home for about 3 hours, have it set on 75..and it hasn't shut off yet. Ridiculous heat. Waste of energy. Can't wait to see what June Alabama Power has in store for me. At least doubled , I bet....sigh.

This was my sons recycle stuff. Mostly soft drinks, which he claims he no longer drinks. These cans he saved from last summer, til he could find a source to recycle them to.
Now this one is mostly my recycling. Strangely, it is mostly beer bottles (not all mine) and Listerine. Go figure.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Todays Before and After

Just pics today...no yakking!!!

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Beyond Blogging

I have had so much going on lately, I have not had much time to blog. Also , I just have not had a lot to say lately. Between Son being home and work and summer yard work...time is tight. You notice that 3 months ago, I couldn't wait to "garden". Now I refer to it as yard work. By August I don't even want to look outside; I pine away for winter. To pass the down time I thought I would post a few before and afters. These are of my yard and house and show the changes that have been made over the last year. Todays is the back right corner of my yard. Some of you may not be able to tell them apart...so I labeled them for you!!



Saturday, May 17, 2008

What I Did on my Summer Vacation... Lovingly!

If you were my washing machine....this is how your world has looked for the past week. Yes, my one and only is home from college! And he brought all his clothes neatly packed in 2 suitcases and a huge hamper; dirty mixed with clean. So, I have done laundry (lovingly) for a week now. I only have a few loads left ; then it will be time to start his weekly laundry (lovingly). He has commandeered my remote for the T.V., and I am sad to say that I can no longer have Top Chef, American Idol, and The Very Real Housewives of New York droning on in my background. Instead, it's Fx and Sci-fi channel and every horror flick that is broadcast. And I try to act interested. (lovingly!) I love having him home and I do cherish every minute. For awhile, he thought he would stay in Nashville for the summer and find a job there. Even though he will be a senior this year, I just wasn't ready for that; I looked at this as our last summer as a "family". Thankfully, he wasn't resourceful enough to find a job and came home. Its had an impact on my relationship with L though, as we (or he I should say, I guess I err on the side of sluts) won't sleep together when my son is in the house. It's just too awkward, I have a very small house, and no kid wants to hear the sounds of his parent in the next room. So, for the first week, we haven't seen each other at all. I have really missed him and missed talking to him. Son went out of town this weekend though, so me and L get to catch up on lost time! Its going to be a long summer!

Friday, May 9, 2008

Mother's Day...

I decided to get my Mom something this year for Mothers Day that she really wanted...books. She loves to read; but she also has trouble sleeping. In her 83 short years she has had her share of tragedy. She lost her husband at the age of 39; with 3 kids, she had never had a job, couldn't even drive a car... she was the last of the true southern belles. I know my Dad thought he took "care" of her by doing everything for her. Little did he know, he should have done more to prepare her to do it on her own. She survived that loss at such an early age, learned to drive within weeks, got a job that she had for over 33 years, and put all three of us through college. She is the Mom of all Moms. I doubt that she knows I feel that way. She recently bore the loss of my brother, to suicide. I thought she would never make it through that. But here she is; never to recover, but able dig down and find the strength to find reasons each day to live. She struggles with sleep though...she resorts to reading to carry her through the nights and save her from her own thoughts. So for Mothers Day this year, instead of the usual clothes or jewelry; I decided to get her lots of books. I hope she enjoys them and I hope she finds peaceful dreams. Happy Mothers day to all you Moms out there. And also to you single dads, some of whom are every bit the greatest parent possible.

Friday, May 2, 2008


I know I have said it a few times before...but, I love Spring! I don't much care for the heat, but these few weeks before the 90 to 100 degree weather arrives are crucial to my well being. The warm mornings thaw the memories of the cold gray days of winter. The spring breeze blows the new leaves as they seem to dance on the branches that are their stage. My yard is small and young, meaning the previous owner of this house wasn't much of a gardener. This is my second spring here, but I can already see some major changes. I will post some before and afters over the next few weeks.

This is the front of my house 18 months ago. My sister and I were in the process of hanging the lattice to cover the open side of the garage. Note the "square bush" to the right of the front door.

In the spring of last year, I dug up the square bush. It also took a few whacks with a chainsaw to get it out of the ground. Why people prune bushes into squares; I don't know.....I prefer a more natural look (like maintenance free and unpruned!)

This was taken at the end of last summer.....I planted knock-out roses and a confederate jasmine. You can see the jasmine vine at the bottom of the column on the right side. It was about 2 feet tall when I planted it. I also pruned the "corners" off the bushes on the left; they also were squared off and I hated them.

What a difference a year makes! The jasmine has grown that much in less than 1 year! And the blooms perfume the air all around the front of the house. You can't see but in the top corner of the jasmine sits a birds nest. Those eggs should be hatching any day now.