Friday, August 27, 2010

My World - Snelling, SC

four o'clocks by fence... Dorie's playhouse and our home are in background.

I haven’t written a good blog lately nor have I taken any photos other than family snap shots and those of my poor pine trees that were struck by lightening…. I have been busy attempting to get my life in order as I have been under the weather and suffering from depression on top of that.

With tests and minor surgery behind me, a trip to the dentist (to replace the filling I lost sometime between going to sleep before surgery and gaining my senses the following day), more surgery coming, the trees removed and new trees picked out I am just about too tired to be depressed any more!
I am going to miss those trees; it has been but just a few short months ago that I wrote about them and shared photos of them with the world and now 2 of the giants are gone. The shortest one was over 80 feet tall and 100 inches around (at my eye level) and estimated to be 100 years old. Thankfully we have a couple more so maybe the woodpeckers will return next year to nest and keep us awake.

90 foot tall tree stretched across front yard and two lanes of road.

Bottom 15 foot of tree with it's rings showing.

Althea and Dorie are growing like weeds. Dorie lost her first tooth the week before school started and we were all so excited around here. Althea thinks she is grown and grabs her purse and cell phone when ever we go to town now, she’s quite the little lady and she wants you all to know that she picked those shoes out all by herself.

Dorie Jean

Althea Clare attempting to keep the grass from touching her feet!

She and Nemo are best friends and I have given up keeping her out of the kennel and just try not to shudder when she lays down with him but I do draw the line at her getting in the food or water bowl and poor Nemo would just sit by and allow her to hand feed him piece by piece if we didn’t stop her.

Althea and Nemo

It has been over 100 degrees here for months, it has been the hottest summer I can ever remember and everything is suffering including we humans. I barely get into the garden now except to water but do enjoy the Four O’clock that seem to thrive in the heat as do the “Skeeters” and Gnats… how I hate Gnats!

One of my "crossed" four o'clocks... white with pink polka dots.

Hope you all are well and I look forward to getting back in the fray and will be sure to share some photos of the sleepy little town of Snelling, SC with you in the future.


Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Old Growth Pines

Trees back in May.

It has been mere months ago that I last blogged about the pine trees in our yard. Standing well over 60 feet we have been blessed by 5 of these beauties in our front yard. They are Loblolly pines and until today I had no idea how old they were or how much I was going to miss them…

Back in May we were struck by lighting and lost our freezer, pump to the well and my husbands laptop, I felt sure it had hit one of the trees but could never tell, that is until about a month ago when its needles began to turn brown. Within a week or two it was dead and the one next to it was now dying.

Today as they are dying.

Seems that they have a huge root system that can span 50 feet or so and if the lighting hits anywhere the root system is well it can kill the tree… how sad.

I took my measuring tape today and carefully wrapped it around the biggest tree; 100 inches! I could not believe my eyes, so I did it again and took a picture. According to my husbands calculations using a program online this tree is between 79 and 100 years old. Imagine that.

100 inches = 100 years?

I will miss them when they are finally cut down tomorrow and I only hope the woodpeckers will make a new home in one of the tree we have left.

Trimming the limbs off.

The scent of pines is everywhere... so are the branches.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

How My Garden Grows

Polka Dot Four O'Clocks

Sleepy Hibiscus and Lavender

Coleus, Begonia, Yellow Four O'Clocks and Herbs

Friday, August 6, 2010

The Smell of Something Good

The Dunes at St Joe Beach, FL

We all have certain scents that transport us to a different time in our lives myself included. I can't walk into an older home without being swept back to my grandparents house; just the smell of an old book or an antique store can bring back wonderful memories of playing in their attic as a child... the same goes for the smell of the ocean, better yet the smell of Florida. Do states have smells? I think so, heck maybe I'm crazy but I believe you could blindfold me and take me to Florida and I'd know I was there from the smell.

Some of my favorite scents are fresh cut citrus whether its a lemon, orange or lime. I use these scents in my home in my hand soaps and shower gels and cook with them as often as I can as well. I make a mean lemonade that is infused with Rosemary which by the way is one of my very favorite herbs to use or just pinch off a piece and smell. I love going into my small herb garden and snipping a basket of herbs to use. I have even placed them in vases to scent the kitchen.

Rosemary Lemonade

Fresh Herbs From My Garden

This summer my house has smelled like heaven or my version of it! From canning pickles to making peach jelly and chutney or baking up a batch of cupcakes my kitchen and the rest of the house has worn the perfume of something fresh and delicious all summer long. I loved the smell of vinegar and fresh fruit and spices; if it were not so much work I could prepare some of these items daily just to enjoy the aroma.... On the other hand, my oldest daughter cannot stand the smell of vinegar and when I was making the chutney she stopped by and quickly left as she has such a distaste for it!

Fresh Peaches Waiting

Tomato Jam and Spices

Fresh Summer Squash Pickles

When I made the Cappuccino Cupcakes the house smelled like a high end coffee shop for days... it almost drove me crazy as it kept me craving those cupcakes. Of course Dorie loved the Cherry Pepsi ones with the Chocolate Icing but my favorites so far have been the Lime with White Chocolate Frosting.

Cappuccino Cupcake

Cherry Pepsi Cupcake With Chocolate Frosting

Almost Key Lime Cupcake With White Chocolate Buttercream

I also love the scent of Lavender and keep dried bouquets in some of my china/display cabinets to keep them fresh, I also keep some in the bedroom to help me drift off to sleep and calm me. My brother introduced me to this wonderful plant and I even planted my own plants two years ago and when they bloomed for the first time I had to walk out to them every evening just to enjoy their wonderful scent. I plan on adding at least a dozen more plants over the next year as we have all enjoyed them so well.

I thought about adding a few of my recipes just in case you'd like to try and not only smell them but taste them as well... but decided to just invite you to please join me at my other blog Foundations where I write about cooking and post many of my recipes (all recipes for pictured items can be found there).

Please drop by when you have a chance.....

Monday, August 2, 2010


Sisters, all my life I wanted a sister to play with or share secrets with; I had two older sisters, my dad's daughter Joy and my mom's daughter Jeanne neither of which lived with us and one who I had never met.

I adored my older sister Jeanne, she was my idol at times, someone I looked up to, wanted to be, envied and yearned for. The decade that separated us sometimes felt like thirty and at times I gave up ever having her approval. Somewhere in my late teens we grew close and she did her best to tame me (lol) but I was the wild child, a free spirit. Although we have not been close in years, the memories I have of her give me comfort and hope.

I had the honor of being a big sister to a wonderful brother for almost 50 years; Brad and I were brothers in arms, building forts, chasing Indians and yep even playing Barbies at times (although he used a "real" G. I. Joe doll). We went almost everywhere together during high school and traveled together for 20 years on and off as he and my husband were on the road working together. I miss him daily.

I was lucky enough to marry a man who had 4 sisters and several sisters by marriage; they have bad a huge impact on my life and I love them dearly. Without them my life would be empty at times, easier at times, but surely less fun!

And finally, I was blessed to meet a wonderful sister all those years ago in 9th grade; Janet has been there through it all and she is my sister in spirit and I love her dearly.

One of the best books I have ever read is The Secret Life of Bees, by Sue Monk Kidd; not only does it tell of a girls search for a mother but the sisters in it are wonderful and the relationships they have with other women is how I see the world... we have sisters all around us if we just look.