Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Time to celebrate!

Yesterday was such a nice day! Beautiful blue skies, warm temps, got to work in the yard a little and to top it off it was my birthday. This birthday was very special because I actually had a birthday cake. I haven't had one in years. The best thing about it? My honey made my cake for me. It was the first thing he has ever baked.As you may or may not be able to tell, it was white with white frosting. While growing up my mom always made our birthday cakes and she gave us the choice of what kind. White on white, my favorite. I know that sounds kind of boring but it's what I like! What is your favorite kind of birthday cake?

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Back in Town

Well it's been a long day and I need to get off this computer and go to bed. But I thought a new post was in order. I trust that everyone had a wonderful Christmas and if you are like me, you ate wayyyyyy too much!

We left my mom's home in AR and drove back today. I should say if our car had had wings we could have flown because the wind was horrific. We knew storms were on the way and we wanted to get here before they hit. Luckily that didn't happen until about 30 minutes ago. Thank the good Lord above, the storms are not nearly as bad as they had predicted. So far, just lots of rain and the wind is still around.

Anyhoo, we had a wonderful time visiting my family but I'm thankful to be sleeping in my own bed tonight.

So before I turn in I'll leave you with this one little picture. Of course as soon as we got home and unloaded the car out to the yard we went. Remember the little daffodil picture I showed a couple of posts ago? Well, guess what?It was showing it's pretty little face today. I wasn't sure which this was and am so glad it's a Narcissus. It smells heavenly. So, I clipped it and brought it in to enjoy. It will last a little longer in here because it's suppose to get cold again tomorrow.

Okay my bed is calling my name so I wish all my blogging friends sweet dreams!

Monday, December 22, 2008

Twas the Night Before Christmas.......

Recently we received this picture and poem from Disabled Veterans. I don't know if any of you have read this version before but I thought it was definitely blog-worthy. I hope you enjoy! But then again you might need a hankie.'Twas the night before Christmas, he lived all alone,
in a one bedroom house made of plaster and stone.
I had come down the chimney with presents to give,
and to see just who in this home did live.
I looked all about, a strange sight I did see,
no tinsel, no presents, not even a tree.
No stocking by mantle, just boots filled with sand,
on the wall hung pictures of far distant lands.
With medals and badges, awards of all kinds,
a sober thought came through my mind.
For this house was different, it was dark and dreary,
I found the home of a soldier, once I could see clearly.
The soldier lay sleeping, silent, alone,
curled up on the floor in this one bedroom home.
The face was so gentle, the room in such disorder,
not how I pictured a United States soldier.
Was this the hero of whom I'd just read?
Curled up on a poncho, the floor for a bed?
I realized the families that I saw this night,
owed their lives to these soldiers who were willing to fight.
Soon round the world, the children would play,
and grownups would celebrate a bright Christmas day.
They all enjoyed freedom each month of the year,
because of the soldiers, like the one lying here.
I couldn't help wonder how many lay alone,
on a cold Christmas Eve in a land far from home.
The very thought brought a tear to my eye,
I dropped to my knees and started to cry.
The soldier awakened and I heard a rough voice,
"Santa don't cry, this life is my choice;
I fight for freedom, I don't ask for more,
my life is my God, my Country, my Corps."
The soldier rolled over and drifted to sleep,
I couldn't control it, I continued to weep.
I kept watch for hours, so silent and still
and we both shivered from the cold night's chill.
I didn't want to leave on that cold, dark, night,
this guardian of honor so willing to fight.
Then the soldier rolled over, with a voice soft and pure,
whispered, "Carry on Santa, it's Christmas day, all is secure."
One look at my watch, and I knew he was right.
"Merry Christmas my friend, and to all a good night.


I'm so thankful to our men and women who serve our country. Thanks to them we are free to celebrate the birth of Christ this Christmas season. I hope each and everyone of you have a wonderful Merry Christmas! And just in case I saddened you here's a little funny to make you smile!
Merry Christmas!!!

Friday, December 19, 2008

Spring is in the Air!!!

Yesterday we had such unseasonably warm weather that I got to walk in shorts and a T. Can you believe that? Tuesday I was freezing and yesterday sweating. After my walk I planted a few Allium bulbs in an area that I am converting into a bed. The ground was very, very wet from all the rain we have had. When I finished planting I grabbed the camera to see what I might find interesting.What have we here? A daffodil with an emerging bud. Silly plant, it isn't time for you yet!
Ah, another eye catcher! I have had this ice plant in a container for the second year now and it blooms whenever it wants attention. Even my purple shamrock had a couple of blooms. Poor thing, it is still sitting outside by the back door. I'm afraid by blooming it's telling me I need to give it much needed care. Okay, okay I'm going to go get it and give it a little drink right now. Hold your thoughts, I'll be right back. Phew, that's done. Oh and by the way, as I stepped outside how could I not notice it's probably 70 degrees already out there and gorgeous!Ahhh, the evergreen foxglove. I just planted this a couple of weeks ago and can't wait to see what color it will bloom in the spring. And look at this Homestead verbena. It's just crawling all over the place. I would have thought the frost, cold and sleet would have put it to sleep for the winter but it looks pretty happy.Since we know it really is almost winter I thought I would bring us back to reality. Spring is nowhere close(boo hoo). Here are a few pretty leaves left on one of my Sweetspires. I love the color.And then we have this beauty! Or maybe not! Not sure what little creatures live in there. Do you?And to finish this post on an upward note, look at the blue sky!!! I haven't seen it in days. And to you Mr. Sunshine, thanks for making my day!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

A favorite Christmas story........

The first time I had ever heard this story was while living in Georgia. It is definitely a favorite. As I listen to it I can feel every emotion and see every scene in my mind. I hope you enjoy your ride on "The Train".

Monday, December 15, 2008

A New Award!

Thanks to Dorothy at Counting my Blessings I have been given a new award!

This is the special "Proximidade Award". This award is a fine one because it focuses not on the glory and fanfare of blogging, but in the PROXIMITY to one another through this on-line world.

"Blogs that receive this award are 'exceedingly charming', says it authors. This blog invests & believes in the proximity-nearness in space, time and relationships. These kind bloggers aim to find and be friends. They are not interested in prizes or self-aggrandizement. Our hope is that when the ribbons of these prizes are cut, even more friendships are propagated. Please give more attention to these writers!

Deliver this award to eight bloggers who must choose 8 more and include this cleverly-written text into the body of their award.

I have chosen 8 very special blogs because of the closeness I feel to them. I know most of them will choose not to participate in this award and that is perfectly fine. I just want them to know how much their friendship means to me, not that the rest of my bloggy friends aren't as important because you are. So, here's my eight nominations:

Racquel at Perennial Garden Lover-Racquel owns the first gardening blog I was so lucky to find(or maybe she found me). Not sure which but I enjoy all of her gardening photos and helpful info.

Kanak at Terra Farmer-Kanak lives in India and I enjoy her blog much. She always has interesting plants to show. And I get to see a part of our world that I probably will never see personally. I feel I have truly learned many new things since beginning a friendship with her.

Marmee at Things I love-I love the fact that Marmee and I both live 5 minutes from the Natchez Trace Parkway even though we are in different states. It makes me feel close to her in a different type of way. I like the fact that if I head north on my end of the Parkway it will take me straight to her house. Marmee's blog is always loaded with fun stuff! She has beautiful photos, music and a wonderful family that she is truly devoted to.

Beckie at Dragonfly corner-Beckie is another garden blogger that I think I found through Racquel. I truly enjoy my visits with her. She has 7 beautiful grandkids that she loves to spend time with and every once-in-awhile she'll post a cute pic or two of them.

Flydragon at A little of this, a little of that-Flydragon(I've never seen her real name) is someone who always, always makes me laugh. She has the funniest sense of humor and usually has a funny picture to go with her stories. I told her she needs to have a column in her local newspaper because I think she would have a great following.

Sandy at Quill Cottage-If you ever need some inspiration, or need to be uplifted in a spiritual way this is the blog for you. Sandy is a wonderful Christian lady who I wish I was more like. She writes beautifully, has dreamy and peaceful photos and is a wonderful crafter.

Darla at Family and Flowers-This is a sweet lady that lives in Florida and has beautiful pictures of flowers. Not too long ago Darla had a tag in which she wrote a few random things about herself that were so personal. These things really demonstrated what a strong woman she is. I really admire that about her.

Linda at Meadowview Thymes-Linda's blog is always a joy to visit too. She also loves to dig in the dirt. She always has beautiful photos of her plants. She always has cute decorations on the outside of her house as well as the inside.

To the nominees, please do not feel like you have to participate if you choose not to. I just wanted you to know how I felt.

I hope everyone visits these blogs because they really are great. But then again I love all my blog friends and I want you to know how much your friendship means to me.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Winter Wonderland Not.......

This morning we were thinking we might get up to a winter wonderland. Even though part of our state is getting snow we only got sleet. These two pictures were taken about 9:30 this morning. You can barely make out the wintery mix falling.
These next two pics were taken about an hour later. You can see we do have a little of the white stuff.
Now it is mostly rain falling and we have a small river in our backyard. I guess if it freezes tonight we can go ice skating tomorrow! Hope you are having a wonderful day whatever you are doing!

Monday, December 8, 2008

Christmas card overload...........

Do you save your Christmas cards? Well I do and I'm not sure if that is a good or bad thing. By the looks of this pile maybe a bad thing. You know I have no clue how old some of these are either.At first I considered trashing them and then I thought maybe I could cut some of the cute pictures out and recycle into something useful. I thought maybe a Christmas collage or just make up some new cards. Sounds like great ideas, right?Well, if you are thinking about doing this one word of advice, DON'T open and read them first. If you do, trust me, you will NOT throw any of them away.

Now I have to admit as I was reading each and every one, some were signed by people that I don't even remember. Isn't that embarrassing to admit? Oh my goodness I am really getting old or these cards are one...... I think I'll go with my second thought!

Anywho since I was bad and read them I didn't want to toss any so I went back through them and deleted my pile by maybe 20, okay maybe 15 but who's counting?

As I was reading them I came across one that I thought would be great to share. It offers some uplifting thoughts for our holiday season. I hope you enjoy! Luckily I do know who this one is from.All I Need to Know About Life I Learned From a Snowman...............

*It's okay if you're a little bottom heavy.
*Wearing white is always appropriate.
*It takes a few extra rolls to make a good midsection.
*The key to life is to be a jolly, happy soul.
*We're all made up of mostly water.
*Accessorize, accessorize, accessorize!
*Don't get too much sun.
*Always put your best foot forward.
*It's fun to hang out in your front yard.
*You know you've made it when they write a song about you.
*Avoid yellow snow.
*Don't put someone else's corncob pipe in your mouth-you never know where it's been.
*There's no stopping you once you are on a roll.

This card came from my niece Cortney and her hubbie Ryan. I have no idea how long I have had it. So thanks Cort! Who knew snowmen were so smart?

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Christmas in the Square!

Last night we braved the cold and went into town to see all the pretty lights in the square. I don't know what the temp was but "freeze my little tushie off" sounds about right! We had such a good time last year that we wanted to check it out again.

The above pictures are of the courthouse that is in the middle of the square. Sorry for the blurriness of the picture. I'm not real experienced at taking pictures at night, but I'm learning.
Every square needs a gazebo. Isn't it pretty all lit up? I'm not sure why the reindeer are pulling a wagon full of hay. My guess is they are mighty hungry.All the store fronts were beautifully decorated. They played Christmas music too! The merry-go-round was festively decorated. Did you notice how there's no one around. We couldn't figure that out either. Last year you couldn't move for all the people.Lastly I wanted you to see these store fronts. Aren't they beautiful. I thought the pics turned out pretty good considering they are taken through glass. I love the big striped flowers in this window.I really like all the green and gold in this one.And in the opposite window of the same store was this beautiful red window.

Well I hope you enjoyed the tour and maybe help put you in the Christmas spirit.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Yummy, yummy for the tummy!!!

I love to cook almost as much as I do garden. So the other night it was cold and I decided to make some homemade soup and cornbread. It really turned out yummy so I wanted to share the recipes. The first is my navy bean soup. This is so easy to make, rather inexpensive and great for cold winter nights. Check this out...

Navy bean soup

3 cans of navy (or northern) beans-if you are feeling energetic, home cooked beans work great
2-3 cans of chicken broth(homemade works too)
1 package of smoked sausage sliced - I used Butterball turkey sausage(comes in links)
1 can of rotel tomatoes
2-3 red potatoes cubed or chopped
1 package of frozen soup mix-not thawed
ground cummin-optional
chili powder-optional

Brown sausage in Dutch oven, then add beans, broth, tomatoes and potatoes. I usually bring this up to almost boil and then lower temp. When potatoes are almost done I add the soup mix and seasonings and let simmer. I don't really know how long it simmers, just long enough for the seasonings to cook into the soup.

Jalapeno cornbread

1 cup of yellow cornmeal (not cornmeal mix)
2-3 Tblsp. all purpose flour
1/4 cup sugar (you can reduce the amount or not use at all)
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
2 Tblsp. oil
2 eggs-lightly beaten
Sweet milk, mix to desired consistency
1/2 can of cream style corn
1 Tblsp. or more chopped pickled jalapenos(can leave out if you prefer)

Mix all dry ingredients together. Add oil, eggs, milk, corn and jalapenos. Bake in 425 degree oven until done. It usually bakes in 20-25 minutes. Can test to see if it is done by lightly pressing down, if done it should spring back up. I usually heat my pan with a bit of oil in the oven and then put the cornbread in it to cook.
Like spaghetti, this soup is better on the second day. I hope you enjoy this as much as we do!

Monday, December 1, 2008

Giving and Receiving

Most folks say it is better to give than receive. Luckily I have gotten to participate in both in the last couple of weeks and I think they are both great! As soon as Jacquie from The Middle of 11 won my giveaway I entered one sponsored by Miss Sandy at Quill Cottage. Sandy is a very sweet lady who is extremely talented. She writes beautifully, takes wonderful photos and is quite talented in the crafting department. If you would like some really nice craft ideas for Christmas check out her blog. Anywho I found out the day after Thanksgiving I had won! Yippee, I never win anything. So I wanted you to see what I received....Noticed the cute wrapping of each individual gift. How sweet is that?Each little package had this sweet little name tag on it. It doesn't look homemade but I assume it is one of her little beauties. The great thing about them I can use each and every one.Another little beauty that I received was this gorgeous snow flake ornament. Even my husband was impressed that it was handmade.This is all the packages unwrapped. I received a wonderful Victorian Christmas magazine, Christmas CD, tree scented candles and wonderful hot cocoa mixes.

So in the end, I have to say giving gives you a warm, fuzzy feeling that makes you feel really good inside. Receiving? I'd have to say I experienced those wonderful feelings as well.

Also, just to let you know Miss Sandy is having giveaways all month long so be sure to check out her blog and enjoy!! Thanks again Sandy!!!

Sunday, November 30, 2008

The last of November

I can't believe tomorrow is the first day of December. Is that incredible or what? The last few days here have been semi-warm, very foggy, rainy and gloomy looking. Today we saw a little of Mr. Sunshine but not much; Mr. Windy sure showed himself today. Tonight there is a possibility of snow. Crazy weather!

I was able to walk outside a take a few pictures of what is left of the garden. This is what I saw.

The pincushion flower is still showing off a little. This plant bloomed for me almost all winter last year. I am hopeful it will again this year. I love the fact that it is an evergreen.

The three upright evergreens I planted this past June are doing great. I think Gloria is enjoying her home here.
These are the sweetspires I blogged about several weeks ago. I wanted you to see the beautiful orange/red color of the foliage. With this rainy, foggy weather they had really stood out. They almost look like they are glowing.
The Arkansas Blue grass is still pretty with it's golden glow. But as hard as it is trying, it can't wake up the sleeping butterfly weed beside it.
Then I discovered my rosemary blooming. This is a nice surprise. My rosemary I had in GA was 4't and 4'w and never bloomed. This little one is tiny compared to that but its smiling at me big time.

Well that is about it from my garden for now. Hope you enjoyed the tour. I do have a current project going on but it has been too wet to work on. I will blog on it when finished. Of course that could take til spring(lets hope not, but I don't like cold weather).

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Do ya'll remember my post about the butterfly patches my grandmother made? If not, or you are new to my blog, that post is dated Oct. 27, 2008. Any way this is what I came up with. Many of you gave me great ideas and I thank you for them.

I originally thought I would hang it in one of the spare bedrooms but since I never go in those rooms(much) I decided to hang it in the hallway. Yes, I know that is a pretty bland wall; another paint project, waiting to happen.

Monday, November 24, 2008

And the winner is........

Congratulations Jacquie you are the lucky winner!!! For those who are not familiar with Jacquie's blog she is the middle of eleven kids, hence the name. For a fun read go to her blog here. I noticed you have your e-mail address listed on your profile so I will contact you for the mailing address. Once again congrats!!!

I have to say I enjoyed doing this giveaway a lot. I want to thank each and every one who entered. A lot of you guys left some very sweet comments and I appreciate each and every one. If I don't have another chance to tell you I hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving! Thanks again for entering ya'll.

Friday, November 21, 2008

It's a Giveaway!!!

Decorative paper, shiny bows
All wrapped up, ready to go.
A little package, nothing great,
just to say I appreciate
Your stories, pictures, comments too,
little happies, just for you.

With the holiday season upon us I decided I wanted to help spread a little early Christmas cheer. So, as you can see from the picture everything will be a little surprise. I will give only this one little hint. There are a couple of things that are sure to please the gardener but I think anyone will like these surprises.

To be eligible for the drawing just leave a comment, nothing more. No links to my blog are necessary. The drawing is open until Sunday the 23, 10:00 p.m. I will have my hubbie draw the winning name. The winner will be announced Monday evening. Good luck everyone!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Turkey day apparel.......

With Thanksgiving fast approaching I thought it appropriate to show you a couple of my favorite aprons. As a matter of fact they are my only aprons. This first one was made by my wonderful Aunt Lucy. It's a little blue check with jars of jellys and jars of peaches. She gave this to me while we lived in Georgia. She thought it appropriate since Georgia is the Peach state. Aunt Lucy is always thoughtful like that.This next one was made by my grandmother many years ago. It actually belonged to her and my mother gave it to me after grandma passed on. You can tell how old it is because the material is very soft and faded.

I love both these aprons much because they were both made by exceptional, loving women. Which one will I wear while cooking for turkey day?Not sure but which ever it is I will definitely feel I'm wrapped up in love.

Do you have a favorite you wear for the holidays?