Tuesday, June 29, 2010

My bookclub celebrates it's 6th anniversary last night

I belong to The Charlotte Weekly Bookclub. Last night we celebrated our 6th anniversary! Where did the time go! Those of us that could make it met at McCormick and Schmidt's for Happy Hour. It was wonderful! Some of us had pineapple-tinis, I had a glass of Reisling wine and a few of the girls had beer. They have a wonderful happy hour menu too and really inexpensive. I had a 1/2 lbs. cheeseburger with tons of fries for $2.95! It was absolutely wonderful. We chatted about the book we all read, Return to Sullivan's Island by Dorothea Benton Frank, we chatted about the July choice, So Happy Together by Maryann McFadden, we discussed the impending March visit to NYC as a group and our tour while we're there with Adriana Trigiani (which is so exciting!!!)and we also chatted about other books everyone is reading or have read since our June bookclub meeting. What a great way to spend an evening!!

Saturday, June 26, 2010

No Resting Today-Courtyard Before and After

This was suppose to be the weekend John and I were just going to chill out. The only thing that was planned was for the girls and their men to take John to a Knights Baseball Game (his Father's Day gift from Jenny and Kevin). Well I had been out in our courtyard this morning and I the pine straw the owner of the Townhouse had put down just looked awful and was breaking down too and being tracked in the house. The dog would bring so much in the house with him if he was out there. John and I decided to take all the plants, picnic table with the market umbrella out of there and store it in the garage. We went to Lowes and got landscape mat and 12 bags of cypress mulch. We raked all the pine straw down into a low spot in the courtyard to fill that in. We started laying the mat down and then put the mulch down. Four hours later we were done and had to go back to Lowes only once to get 6 more bags of mulch! Here is the Before and After pictures. It all looks so nice, but I'll tell you it is hotter than Hades out there. I kept drinking iced water and I kept giving John some too. Tomorrow we are not doing anything just reading and relaxing!!

Garage Wall on the courtyard-Before

Right-side of the courtyard-Before

Right-side of the Courtyard-After

Most of the Courtyard-Before

Most of the Courtyard-After

The Fountain area-After

This is the Grill area. Not much changed here because there is a small cement pad here. We did bring the mulch and landscape mat up to the concrete area though and spruced up the plants around the grill. My tomato plant is getting so tall. I have 2 more tomatoes ripening up right now! The cucumber plant is pretty much done. I only got 2 plants off of it and they were only ok. Better luck next year!

Friday, June 25, 2010

Books Galore!

Yesterday I hit pay dirt at Borders and Barnes and Noble! There have been a few books I wanted to buy and yesterday I took my gift cards and bought them! I only had to add $10.00 and I bought 4 books-I didn't think that was too bad.

I bought Dorothea Benton Frank's new book at B&N (Borders was out of it already). I have read every book she has ever written. I just love the lowcountry so this should be a wonderful read!

Next at B&N was Needles and Pearls by Gil McNeil. I read her first book called The Beach Street Knitting Society and Yarn Club. I loved that book! Hope this one is as good or better than that one!

Then there was On Folly Beach by Karen White also purchased at B&N. I have wanted to read that book since it came out. John and I will be going to Folly Beach in August so I might save it and read it there!

Then at Borders I had gone to a book signing by Janet Evanovitch but Borders changed the way they do book signings for her. She was 45 mins. late and then they just had her sign books and no pre-speech or interaction. You weren't allowed to say much of anything to her when she signed your book either! How are you suppose to get to know the author or find out why she writes! I was highly disappointed! They also gave out numbered wrist bands and I had 233 people ahead of me. I couldn't expect to make DH wait that long and I didn't want to wait that long after working hard all day so we left and had some dinner at Nothing But Noodles. He then suggested on going over to B&N, which I wasn't going to turn down!! We had a lovely night. I'm so glad he will be working regular hours again Monday-Friday 9-5!

Everyone have a lovely weekend!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Storm Clouds and Roses

Hi Everyone! Well I think the storm/rain clouds are rolling into Charlotte! I took some pictures tonight of these dark clouds-I was surprised the pictures turned out so well.

The rose part of this post are the roses I bought at Harris Teeter on Sunday for DH's birthday. I love roses on the table. I love the color! Enjoy!

These roses are in a vase that was my Grandmothers.

Here's the rose up close.

Stained Glass Window Follow Up

Last night I took the stained glass window over to Megan and Ken. They absolutely loved it-I was so happy. You just never know when you create something for someone if they are going to like it or not. They saw the window cut out and partially foiled but they couldn't see all the color in the glass since I had it on my work surface board. Ken had gotten some clear caulk to install the window. While Megan was making dinner Ken and I installed the window and it is just perfect for blocking the sun from their TV. Here are 2 pictures of the preinstallation and the completed job!

I situated the window and Ken inserted some nail brads to hold the window in place while he caulked the window into place. These brads will be taken out once the caulk has dried for 24 hrs.

Here is the finished product!

It took me a long time to actually get the piece going and to complete it but it turned out great! I'm glad they are happy with it!

Monday, June 21, 2010

TA DA the stained glass window is finally complete!!!

As most of you know I was making a stained glass window for Megan and Ken (my oldest daughter and her hubby). They asked me at Christmas time to make a window for the transom over their back door. I told them I would but I really procrastinated (Megan and Ken for that I am sorry!). Megan gave me a Celtic Knot bevel cluster she had made when she was in high school or college I can't remember. She wanted this bevel cluster in the middle of the window. The sun comes in through their transom and blocks their TV so hence the stained glass window to somewhat block the light. They wanted green glass, semi-opague white and the cluster. I designed the window and on Sunday they saw it all cut out for the very first time. Ken asked if they could have green diamonds where the white glass pieces came together. I told him it was a good thing he said something then because I hadn't soldered it yet. All afternoon and into the early evening I worked on completing the window. Tonight I put patina on the solder to give it a more antiqued look and then I polished it. It looks gorgeous if I must say so myself!! Here are some pictures of the window. I wish that I had finished it when it was lighter out but you get the idea!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Happy Father's Day!

Today I'm not able to be with my Dad, but I called him. He liked the card I sent him and the National Geographic Lewis and Clark Expedition DVD I bought him. I was glad just a few short weeks ago I spent a few days with my Dad. I have had some good times with my Dad and some really bad times with my Dad but right now we are having some really great times! Anyone can be a Father but it takes someone special to be a Dad!

John had a great Father's Day! Both girls and their husbands came over and made Brunch. We had fruit salad, bacon, sausage, scrambled eggs, English muffins and lemon coffee cake that I had made. Jenny and Kevin are taking John to a Knight's Baseball game next weekend and they gave him 2 golf shirts. Megan and Ken gave him a very large gift card to Amazon so he can buy more books for his Kindle. He loves to read so that was an absolutely perfect gift! We visited for quite some time and then unfortunately John had to leave for work at 12:10. This is the last weekend he will have to work, he got the hours he wanted at work now so he will have both weekend days off from now on-yippee!

I was going through some photos I have of all the Dad's in my life and I thought I would share them with you:

Here is my Dad taking his 81 yr. old tractor (one of the loves of his life) out for a drive! He was in his glory when that old tractor (he renovated the whole thing all by himself) started up and he took off down through the field with it!

Here is my Dad and Megan's wedding 2 yrs. ago. My Mom and Dad had just celebrated their 50th anniversary a week before Megan got married. My Dad wasn't well enough to go to Jenny's wedding. He has Lupus and it hadn't gone into remission yet.

Here is another special Dad in my life, John! He not only is the father of our children he's the love of my life! He's all dressed up in his tux because we were on our way to Megan's wedding! He's a great father to both of our girls! Love you!

Last but not least is a picture of my grandfather (my grandmother is in this picture too). This was taken at John and my wedding (8/11/79). We always called my grandfather Papa! He has been gone for 20 yrs. now and I miss him so much! He was so good to me and I loved him so much! What a wonderful Papa he was and a great human being to all people.

I have to say I have been very luck and extremely blessed to have these outstanding men in my life. Happy Father's Day to you 3 wonderful people (Papa I hope you can hear me in Heaven)!

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Yellow Squash, New Red Potatoes and Green Beans!

The other day one of the owners of the company I work for brought in Yellow Squash and Green Beans from his garden. I love steamed yellow squash with a little butter, fresh ground pepper and some freshly ground sea salt. My grandmother used to cook garden fresh green beans with new red potatoes so I thought that would be perfect addition to our dinner the other night. Here are pictures of both (sorry they are a little dark my Photosmart is on the fritz right now!

I worked on Megan and Ken's stained glass window today. I would have gotten the whole window done today but I broke a piece of glass and I don't have any more! I was so mad at myself. Now I'll have to wait until Monday to get another piece!

Hope everyone is having a lovely weekend!

Friday, June 18, 2010

HappyBirthday to the Love of My Life!

It is the love of my life's birthday today! John turned 56 today! We will be having dinner at Firebirds, one of his favorite restaurants (and mine too!). We both were talking this morning about how time has flown by. It seems just like yesterday we were 25 and 20 and now we are 56 and 50! We are still madly in love with each other, even more so (if that is possible) than the day we met! 32 yrs. is a long time to be with someone but it really doesn't feel like it has been that long!

John is having lunch with a friend and then he will be golfing until I get home from work. I am so glad he has the day off and can do some "me"things today! Love you sweetie-enjoy your day!!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Knitting Group was wonderful

Last night I went to a knitting group in the little town of Mint Hill, NC. Well it isn't a tiny town, but not as big as Charlotte. There was alot of woman there knitting away when I arrived. It takes me about 1 hour to get there from work. It was well worth the ride though. This knitting group meeting in a yarn shop and they knit, chat, snack, swap patterns and just plain enjoy each others company! I will definitely be going back again on Tuesday! They meet every Tuesday and on 1 Sunday a month. With John working some nights this is a great way for me to get to know other knitters. I also bought a knitting book while I was there and I can't wait to start knitting one of the fancy lacy scarves and a sweater I have decided to knit and give as a Christmas gift!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Lovely Day at the World-Wide Knit-in With Jenny!

The Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden in Gastonia, NC was hosting a World-wide Knit-in today. It was from 12-4 today. Jenny came with me and we had an awesome time! We met lovely people, found out about alternative yarn, learned about Debbie Macomber having yarn produced under her name which will be for sale very shortly and saw some lovely flowers in the garden today. We also found time to have a late lunch at TG Fridays! When we got home I made 4 prs. of earrings for Jenny (she brought the supplies and I made them for her). We had an absolutely wonderful day even though it was so blasted hot and humid here!

Here are some pictures of our day (I can't believe I forgot to take some pics of people actually knitting!):

I love this picture of Jenny in the orchid conservatory.

There is a special program going on at the Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden called Come and Sit a Spell. There are benches made from all kinds of things all around the gardens. Jenny decided to sit on the bench made from Red Heart Cedar.

Some kids never grow up-LOL! Jenny decided she just had to run through this fountain! It cooled her off for a little bit-the heat and humidity was brutal today!

Brilliant red canna lilies were growing along the walkway.

I named this walkway Daylily Row-they were absolutely beautiful!

They have papayrus growing all along the waterway. I don't know why but it looked exceptional beautiful today! I told Jenny papayrus looks like Thing 1 and Things 2's hair in the Cat in the Hat!

This is a different variety of coneflower. It looked like a pink explosion but it was so beautiful!

Here is a yellow coneflower. I thought this was a very strange black-eyed Susan until I read the tag. They are a very cheerful plant! They make you smile when you look at them!

I just had to post a rose picture-they are so gorgeous!

We were getting ready to leave the Gardens and we took an outside path I had never taken before and I'm so glad we did. When we turned the corner, this was there! The plant piano!!

This is a dove on a statue that I have taken pictures of before. The light was hitting the dove just right so I decided to snap this picture.

That's the end of the tour! I had a wonderful, wonderful day! Thanks Jenny-you are definitely a special light in my life, love you!!

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Here are some pictures of what's going on in my flower garden this week

Yesterday I took some pictures and posted my veggies I've grown and today I'm going to show you just a few of my flowers in the courtyard and on my front porch. I have to say I love heliotrope! The fragrance from that plant is just amazing! I love the color too! Here goes:

I opened the front door this morning to water my urns on the front porch and saw how beautiful the flowers in the middle courtyard have become. The homeowners association changed landscapers and they have done a fine job!

This is one of the two urns I have out front this year. I just planted coral and white colored double impatients and the creeping jenny is from last year. I just trimmed it and I think it still looks wonderful. I did change the soil in the urns too.

This is one of my two heliotrope plants. I love the fragrance from this plant! I stumbled upon this plant when I lived in NJ and it has been the great addition to my garden!

Here is my red tomato in the background of the heliotrope. I love the red contrasting with the purple!

My ivy is doing great this year! I snapped this pic after I had just watered all the plants in the courtyard. I love when leaves have water on them.

This year I made up another urn for the courtyard. I put a New Guinea impatient plant in with some large Lamb's Ear and I love the contrast of the dusty gray against the dark foliage of the impatient. I think this combo is a winner!

Here are my two prize hostas-Avocado and Guacamole! They are really spectacular this year.

My coneflower just started blooming. There is only 1 little blossom out now but I have about 20 other buds on there. I love these plants because they attract the butterflies.

Last but not least is my antique wrought iron hanger on my fence. I have dianthus and petunias in there and the color of the petunias is just brillant and velvet-like this year.

Well I hope you've enjoyed the tour! I hope y'all don't get too tired of my plant pictures, but plants are such a huge part of my life and always will be! Have a good one!