Sunday, November 3, 2013

Passing of the Heart

As the holidays are just around the corner I have been reflecting on the past and the future of the holidays and just for a few short hours I enjoyed a good pity party because my plans of a wonderful family gathering with all my children was falling apart. But after a good cry and virtual hugs from my hubby I shook it off and went on with the planning and daydreaming.

A family tradition I started several years back among the women of my husband's family is The Passing of The Heart, I never knew when I purchased that simple silver plated ornament years ago that things would turn out the way they have.

The tradition was that each bearer of the gift must pass it on to a woman in the family every Christmas going from generation to generation, no strings attached just a note or small gift if you desired. It was suppose to be a way to bond us women together and allow us to tell each other favorite memories of each other.

Little did I know that fateful day 12 years ago that this little heart would loose its shine, not from the tarnish of age but by the actions of many. I realize that I placed too much on that heart and although it did its best at bonding us together and although it may have held the same rose colored dreams I did for the future, it just wasn't meant to be.

Friday, March 8, 2013

Going Home To Bama

I could write for hours about this trip; no maybe days. I won't overload you know with words, but would like to confess that I am ashamed and sad that it took me so long to do it. It had been more than 11 years since I went home for a visit other than a funeral and really longer on a decent length trip.

Tonight I will just upload the photos so that all my friends and other family can enjoy them.


Andrew, Camella, Cynthia (my dad's cousin) and Virginia (my 2nd cousin).
Three generations looking at old photos.

 Althea taking photos.

Cooking on the deck.

My Uncle Putman (dad's brother), me, Virginia, my Aunt Barbara (dad's niece) and Andrew.

Connie, Barbara, Cynthia, Virginia,Camella
Uncle Putman in the back.

Ann Brown, my beautiful cousin.

And her husband, Bud Brown.

And his younger brother John Brown.

Doing Stuff

Papa explaining fishing scissors to Althea.

Lake Smith

Julie, Andrew and Althea at Great Grandma and Grandpa Barton's grave.
Union Chapel
Althea at her Great Great Great Grandparents Grave

Things and Places

Daffodils at Smith Lake House.


Althea at Posey's Hardware.

Althea and Papa.

A trip to Jasper just ain't done until you stop
at Posey's Hardware.

Andrew and Julie

Frank looking for a rock for me.

My hubby getting me a gift for the yard!

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Alligator Point Photos

Sunrise on the bay. Alligator Point.

Sunrise hitting the beach gave it a warm pink glow.

Thunderstorm rolling in over the bay.

The beach after a storm.

Driftwood trees.

 Sea turtle at the Gulf Specium Marine Lab in Panacea.
Flower blooming outside the lab.
Little shop outside of Carrabelle.
Boardwalk at Bald Point State Park.

Ghost crab.
Laughing Gull at Carrabelle Beach.

Friday, January 25, 2013

How Does Your Garden Grow?

Well we had a taste of Spring this past week with temperatures hitting 80 in January! My garden is as confused as I am, not only have the Spring bulbs popped up overnight but some of them have budded out. I hope the cold doesn't get them.

The Spirea I got from Patsy's garden so many years ago is putting on flowers and so are the Forsythia and my one lonely Azalea. As I was looking for photos for this post I ran across last years pictures of Mama's Apple tree; oh how I will miss it this Spring.

I hope you enjoy looking through some of my favorite flower photos, many were taken here at home but others were taken at gardens throughout the country including the The Victory Garden at Callaway Garden.

The Violets were transplanted years ago from Mr. Black's garden, they have spread throughout my front yard and while many people now consider them a nuisance, I love them and look forward to them spreading more and more.
 From fields of wildflowers to a singe bloom, I have been obsessed with photographing flowers for decades. I have been known to crawl out of a bank onto a muddy shore, scramble and yes even fall down hillsides for the perfect shot.

Field on Reynolds Road Barnwell SC
Flowers from my garden here in Snelling. I started out with one Four O'clock given to me by Frank's daddy long time ago. I fell in love with them at first sight and have grown, pink, yellow, stripped and even polk dot ones that the fairies must have painted.

Four O Clocks from my garden
 Water Hyacinth in Frank's pond
Althea in front my one lone Azalea

My mom's Rebel Yell Camellia

 Dorie with a wild Dogwood bloom, Upstate SC
My beautiful Dogwood tree that Mama gave me. It was but a mere stick when she brought it home from the flea market and I swore it would never grow. I believe it did so to prove me wrong. I remember driving through Alabama once and the Dogwoods were in bloom, the woods were white with them. Mom and I were amazed. We live on the beach and they didn't grow there.

Branch in full bloom 

Mama's Apple tree in full bloom. I cried when we cut it down but it was diseased and suffering. Perhaps we will plant another this year...
Queen Anne's Lace growing by the fence.
It took me forever to get one my favorites to finally take hold.

Wildflowers I have photographed throughout the South...
 Native Azalea, Fair Play SC
 Wildflowers on the hill in Fair Play, SC
and yes this is the shot I was after when I tumbled down that hill!
And then there are things that just caught my eye:

Not a flower, but a precious little cedar growing in the shadow of a majestic old Magnolia.
 A bouquet of roses.
Strange plant I saw in Panacea, FL
Anyone know what it is?

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Cow Girl Rodeo


Believe it or not I became one of those grandmothers this past year... I along with my daughter Becki spent an amazing short 8 months or more in planning a Cowgirl Rodeo birthday for her daughter Althea who was turning 4. Yes, we spent as much time but thankfully not money on planning a birthday party as many people do on a wedding.

After watching the movie Rango for the umpteenth time, we really felt she would enjoy this party as much as we would. So we hit the Internet with a vengeance and strolled through sites such as Pinterest, eBay and Etsy along with Oriental Trading and Google.

With many items we borrowed or made ourselves along with the great products we found on line we came up with a Rodeo birthday party theme that could be used for a child age 1 to 100.

This bunting is made of cardboard flags covered with card stock and stick on letters.

We didn't make invites to send as we opted to use our Facebook Event and word of mouth to get the word out and put the money saved into thank you cards that will include a photo of Althea on it.

Fabric scrap bunting that I made in about an hour. I simply pinked the fabric and knotted it on a piece of thin rope and strung it on the porch railing.

The food menu was easy as we live in South Carolina and any time is the right time for pulled pork, so my husband took care of the main event and smoked up Boston Butts with a little Hickory and Apple and we added some Althea's favorites to go with it.

Cardboard letter with card stock cover took less than 5 minutes to make.

Vittles included Buckaroo BBQ, Cowgirl Cucumbers, Golden Corn Nuggets and Home on the Ranch Beans. We also fried up several batches of homemade Tortilla Chips and served them with Salsa. We found this charming shop on Etsy that makes paper party supplies and had custom food tags made for the tables.
Custom table tags, cupcake decorations and paper decorations on cake by
WeBringTheParty on Etsy.

We greeted each child with a pink or brown bandanna that came from eBay and cost less than $1 each, all the men wore straw hats I found there as well and we women wore pink bandanna slap bracelets found at Oriental Trading.
Games included, pony races, calf roping, pinning the star on the new sheriff and playing the Corn Hole game that my husband Frank put together in a couple of hours. Everyone was so excited with riding their handmade wooden stick ponies that they stayed well occupied.

 Saw horse cattle.
The lasso's are made of old ropes I found on eBay. I cut the rope to the length to make a good circle and duck taped them.
Each child took home a handmade stick pony.

We set up a photo area by the barn shed. I simply took down a metal star I had inside and placed it in the hay feeder hanging there, bought several bales of wheat straw and stacked them up. Added a quilt, a tin bucket, old chair and a rope I purchased off of eBay.

My niece Phoebe and her beautiful girls Danielle and Hannah.
There were several ideas that I would like to do at our next shindig when the girls are older including decorated old horseshoes. And even adding pony rides which we declined as Althea is still not sure if she wants to saddle up just yet.

Thanks to everyone who made this party a huge success; my husband Frank Black for making all the ponies, the calves and the corn hole game. Debbie Beasley for making what is surely the finest Chocolate Cake I have eaten anywhere. And to the shops of ThatRocks (Custom Ordered Cowgirl Necklaces) and WeBringTheParty (Party Paper Decorations for cake, cupcakes and food table) on Esty for their wonderful party supplies.

 Cake by Debbie Beasley Barnwell SC
Custom necklaces by ThatRocks shop on Etsy.