Sunday, July 24, 2016

My Birthday Yesterday and the Garden

Yesterday was my 57th birthday!  I received some many well wishes from family and friends for which I am truly blessed!  My daughter, Jenny and the grandboys, my Mom, Dad and sister, Sue called me too!  I also got a call from my friend, Linda and I called to thank my sweet, dear friend, Angie for the lovely bouquet of flowers she sent me!!!  Here they are:

These flowers are just gorgeous!!  She is so thoughtful she found  place in Charlotte that has a Charlotte pitcher that is designed from an 18th century pitcher.  Just gorgeous!!

These roses are just so awesome, the color is just gorgeous!!

I decided to have a really low-key birthday.  Jenny was taking the boys to a birthday party and she had the Gwen Stefani concert at night so they couldn't come over.  So John and I just slept in, he made me breakfast in bed!!  My favorite French toast with bacon, orange juice and hot tea.  Perfect.  Then we watched some HGTV, I read my book, I looked at some magazines and just plain did nothing!!  It was perfect!!

I did take a walk around the garden.  Here are some photos from that:

I was standing at our mailbox and looked up, this is the view down our street.  The clouds were so beautiful!!

Our white crape myrtle is in full bloom by our garage now.  Just gorgeous!

We had a little shower yesterday afternoon.  Well it actually rained pretty hard.  I love when flowers have little raindrops on them!

I have some lamb's ears in my garden and I just love the texture of the leaves.

My roses are blooming again.  Just gorgeous and the aroma is even better :)!

My everbearing strawberries are blooming again.

I almost forgot, on Friday after work my co-workers took me out for a drink or two!  These beauties were so good.  We went to Hickory Tavern and Debbi and I had Strawberry Watermelon Mojitos!!!  Carl and Adam had Dirty Martini's.  We had a whole lot of fun!!  They are great to work with!!  

The bumblebees have been busy in the garden.  They really love the hosta flowers.  They are all blooming now. 

This bumblebee was busy in on the salvia in the front garden.

The swallowtails love, love, love the butterfly bush.

I had a wonderful birthday present from Mother Nature yesterday!!  Our little bluebird babies decided they needed to fly yesterday!  There are 7 of them, yes you read right 7 of them!!!  They were so cute flitting around the backyard and clinging onto the pine trees.  They also decided my fountain by the back door needed to be tried out.  They drank and took baths one after the other.  Mama and Daddy Bluebird hovered near by but they let their babies try their wings out!!  I couldn't get any pictures of them flying around the yard but one landed on the bluebird box.
I had to take this photo from pretty far away but you can see the little baby on the top of the box.

We also had alot of hummingbird visits!  They were super busy at the hummingbird feeder yesterday, I guess because it was 102 degrees here!!  One little hummer comes and I guess she gets tired so she sits on top fo the shepherd's crook.  I was able to snap her photo!!
Isn't she just the cutest little thing!!  I love them.
Well that is about all I have for today!  It is was a wonderful weekend and I am truly blessed and loved.  I have a wonderful family and wonderful friends!!  I couldn't have asked for a better birthday and weekend!!

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Fresh Baked Beer Bread and Peach Pie!!

Today I had a really lazy day until I decided I was going to bake!  I made beer bread for dinner-really easy!!  Here's the recipe:

3 cups self rising flour
3 tablespoons of sugar
1 can or bottle of beer

Mix together and put in a greased bread pan to rise for 15 mins.  Then preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Bake bread after the 15 minute rising for 1 hour.  3/4's of the way through brush top of bread with butter and after you take the bread out of the oven also.  Let cool and slice.  Wonderful toasted the next day for breakfast!!

Then my grandsons brought me some peaches when they went to SC.  They were a little hard then but just right for pie now!  I added some peaches I bought at the farm stand yesterday and made a fresh peach pie for dessert tonight.  It wouldn't be right if I didn't invite the little boys over for some, so they are on their way! 

Yesterday when we were at the farm stand we got corn and yellow squash.  I really love butter and sugar corn or yellow corn but all they had was white corn.  It was good and very tender, but not butter and sugar!  I also love yellow squash-that was wonderful!  I cooked one of my Dad's grass-fed sirloin steaks and made mashed potatoes too!  What a wonderful and tasty dinner and dessert!!

As I was walking around my garden today, I looked at the moon vine.  It is loaded with more buds!!  I also noticed the leaves are heart-shaped.  Then I do remember my Nana told me about the heart shaped leaves.  She told me that when she shared her knowledge of the moon vine and would call me to come watch it open with her, it was because she was opening her heart up and sharing this with me!!  I really miss her!!

Well that is about it for me today!  I'm going to sit and read my Elin Hilderbrand book while I wait for Jenny and the grandboys to arrive for fresh peach pie and ice cream!!  Hope everyone had a great weekend!!

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Roses and Raindrops!

Last night after dinner John and I were sitting on the front porch watching the rain.  I happened to look over and see that my favorite rose of all times was blooming!!  I jumped up out of my chair, nearly scared John half to death and ran into the house for my iphone.  I went out in amongst the raindrops and shot some photos of my beautiful friend!  Here are some of the photos I'd like to share with you:

This photo is my favorite but they were all good ones!!
This was our view across the street from our front porch.

Nature is truly amazing and this is such a wonderful and beautiful world we live in!!

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Time with the Little Boys and My Walk Around the Garden

Tonight Jenny and the grandboys came over for dinner and then when it started to get dark the boys wanted to do some left over sparklers.  They had a really good time and it was fun!

Owen and Jack with their sparklers.

Owen mastering his sparkler.

Jack enjoying his sparkler.

I love sparklers in the dark!

Jenny and I made fresh pesto from all the basil I have grown.  We did the sparklers afterwards.  After the boys and Jenny left I walked around my garden.  The light was just right.  Here is what I shot:

My blue hydrangea looks so beautiful!

My hydrangea fades out to this beautiful color.

My butterfly bush is blooming up a storm.

My coleus in the front urn.

Front porch flower box with roses blooming below.

My Limelight Hydrangea in the front garden.

Limelight Hydrangea

My Lamb's Ears are so pretty.  I love the soft grays!

Moon Vine buds starting to form.

A closeup of the Moon Vine bud.

Purple Petunias in the French flower hanger.

Rose of Sharon blossom starting to unfurl.
The moon vine that is growing in a pot of my back steps has started to form buds.  My Nana used to grow this vine.  This is the only flower you can see unfurl and open up with the naked eye.  My Nana used to call my house and tell me to run down to her house.  When I got there the plant would be shaking slightly and then little by little you would watch the flower unfurl and open up.  It was so beautiful!!  It was a memory I was share with my grandboys when the buds start to open!

I hope you have enjoyed the walk around my garden.  I especially enjoyed it tonight and to watch the happiness on my grandboys faces while they played with the sparklers!!  These are definitely memories I'm going to treasure for the rest of my life!!

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

What a Spring and Summer I am Having!

I have not posted on my blog since February!!  Where does the time go! 

Here are some things that have kept me busy this Spring and Summer:

1.  I am going to share with you something I found out in April.  I had a lump on my neck and went to the Dr.  The short version of this story is they surgically removed the lump and I have B Cell Non Hodgkins Lymphoma.  I was so taken by surprise because I have felt well and I really didn't feel sick.  I am in the first level of this cancer.  So the Dr. told me right now they are just going to monitor me, which means blood work every 3 months and Lymph Node checks.  No chemo or radiation right now.  I was a little skeptical of that diagnosis at first but then I did some research and that is what happens.  So I keep praying I stay in this level.

2.  I quit my horrible job that I endured for 1 year!  I started working in May for GCI Construction.  They are a multi-family,  family-owned construction business here in Charlotte.  I am a Project Accountant there.  I am settling in rather nicely!  Atleast there is no more screaming and yelling like at the last job!  That woman there really needs to get help!!

3.  In June I had a horrible kidney infection along with sciatica issues.  This had nothing to do with Lymphoma and I was really scared something was going on with that because the pain was almost unbearable!  I rested and got better and now I do stretches every day for the sciatica.

4.  April 19th my cute little grandson, Jack turned 3!  Where does the time go!!  On July 11th, Owen my oldest grandson will be turning 5!! YIKES, I feel old!!  They are both so cute and John and I really enjoy being with them.

5.  Saturday I was talking to my Mom on the phone and half my crown fell out!! Of course, it was a holiday weekend so I couldn't see the Dentist until today!  Well she was going to make a new crown and she has a very expensive machine that makes the crown while you wait, so no temporary crown and then 2 weeks later coming back.  Sounds good right!  Well today when they went to make my crown the machine broke.  So I now have a temporary crown and have to wait 2 weeks for the new one.  Oh well, atleast that sharp edge isn't cutting into my tongue anymore!

6.  I have been reading alot.  I have read these books:
     1.  The Seafront Tea Rooms by Vanessa Green
     2.  Little Beach Street Bakery by Jenny Colgan
     3.  All the Single Ladies by Dorothea Benton Frank
     4.  The Weekenders by Mary Kay Andrews
     5.  All Summer Long by Dorothea Benton Frank

They were all so good but I especially like The Weekenders by Mary Kay Andrews.  I think it is her best book yet!!  I went to a book signing she was having at Park Road Books here in Charlotte.  I got to meet her, she signed my book and she chatted with me for a little while!  I even had my picture taken with her.  She is so down to earth and funny!!

So as you can see this is how my Spring and Summer has been!  I still would like to get to the Beach before the summer is over.  John and I might go for my birthday (July 23rd) or our anniversary (8/11).  It would just be an overnight trip but it is just what we both need!!

I have missed you all and I hope to be on here more often!  I really miss posting and chatting with all of you!

Monday, February 15, 2016

02.15.16 Valentine's Day a Day Late

Happy Valentine's Day everyone a day late.  I have had the flu and I have just started to feel a little better.  I have been sick since Thursday night with fever, chills, aches, major fatique, congestion  and upset stomach.  This is going around and I hope I don't spread it to someone else.

Last Wednesday my husband, John had a huge bouquet of flowers sent to my office and they were just gorgeous!!  He always orders flowers from The Blossom Shop here in Charlotte.  They have such wonderful ways of arranging such fresh, stunning flowers.  Here are a few pics:

This is the arrangement from the top
This is the arrangement from the side.  The dark cranberry flowers in the center of the hydrangeas are miniature calla lillies!

 I can truthfully say John did good :)!

Yesterday he ordered a heart-shaped pizza from Jet's Pizza, which was yummy!  I think I'll keep him!

On a sad note, our Golden Retriever, Teddy who is 9 years old has run into some medical problems.  His mind is fine but the vet says he has a tumor on his spine.  He has lost all control of the right front leg.  He cannot even stand on it, his elbow won't lock anymore.  His muscles have atrophied on that side of his body.  We rescued Teddy when he was 1 1/2 years old.  So he has been with us most of his life.  It looks like we will have to put him down this week because he is in alot of pain.  We really wish there was something we could do for him, but there really isn't. 

This is Teddy yesterday.  I had to help him up on the ottoman.  He loves to lay up there and sleep up there.  He also goes up there to get away from Joy.  He really cannot handle her right now.
Well that is all the news I have right now.  Sorry to end with such a sad note :(.

Ring of Kerry, Ireland
My husband, John and I went to Ireland for our 25th Wedding Anniversary in 2004. We had an awesome trip and we will never forget it. We actually got to visit our friends who live in Northern Ireland. We spent 3 wonderful days with them! The picture above was taken when we visited The Ring of Kerry. The beauty of Ireland is just spectacular! If you ever get a chance visit there.
Megan is my oldest daughter. She and Ken were married on April 12, 2008. It was a wonderful ceremony and reception!
Jenny and Kevin at their wedding 8/30/08. The wedding was at our home and turned out wonderful! Everyone had such a good time!