Monday, August 24, 2015

August Garden...

"In summer, 
the song sings itself."

-  William Carlos Williams

In August even though the heat and humidity are oppressive, nature brings beauty and smiles...

Whites are my favorites for summer nights... they reflect the moonlight!

The lavender and pink crepe myrtles defy the heat of summer. The pink hydrangeas are drying on the bush to a mellow green. Zinnias and dianthus showing their colors!

Not sure who enjoys the zinnias more.. the butterflies or me! Loving the lavenders and purples in this year's garden!

My bell pepper and tomatoes are hanging on.. I may have enough for another round of homemade pepper jelly and fresh salsa!

Joining Judith over at Lavender Cottage for Mosaic Monday and Sue over at image-in-ing. Hope you will visit... there's an opportunity to meet new friends, view some interesting photos and learn about folks from all over the world.

Hope you have a week filled with lots of smiles and good things..Susan

Monday, August 17, 2015

Cumberland Moments...

The "girls' beach trip" was again a highlight of summer. This year's destination was Amelia Island, Florida. A beautiful historic island near the Georgia-Florida line. One sister-friend insisted that we look for a place as near the beach as possible. She wanted to "walk out" and have her toes in the sand. The condo description assured us the beautiful first floor condo was just steps to the beach... According to one who counted, it is...222 steps! This daily journey included a wooden boardwalk with two sets of steps taking us up and over the dunes! We were happy with our choice and enjoyed the surprise of the "short walk" turning into a daily workout! 

Last year was the first without our dear Cindy. We know it will always be a bittersweet time without her physical presence so we decided to change our usual routine of spending each day on the beach. Sightseeing/shopping in downtown Fernandina Beach, dinner at a favorite restaurant - The Crab Trap, movie night, and a cruise via Amelia River Cruises to Cumberland Island were delightful additions to our visit. While our cruise did not actually stop on the island, we enjoyed about 3 hours on the water with a very entertaining guide and boat captain. 


This brief glimpse of the beauty of the island and the wild horses encourages me to plan an actual trip to Cumberland. Day trips via boat from St. Mary's, Georgia are scheduled year round. Camping sites are available along with the beautiful Greyfield Inn. While the Greyfield is a bit out of my budget, I think we could manage a day trip to Cumberland... now to convince the DH of that! 

Joining Judith over at Lavender Cottage for Mosaic Monday. Sending good wishes to all for a pleasant week! Smiles...Susan

P.S. Just to make it easy... in case you want to know about Amelia Island, Cumberland Island, etc, I included lots of links in the above post.

Monday, August 10, 2015

Broken Record...

Is "broken record" even a term that has value these days? No one under 30 would even understand the concept and those older would shrug it off as just another piece of our life that has gone by the wayside. However, I feel like a "broken... or at least stuck record." I began this blog to share bits of Southern life... and honestly, my love of photography. I figured it would be a good way to share two things I enjoy... taking pictures and writing... who knew I would have so little to say!

Anyway... to "ride a dead horse" ... another saying that some may understand... it's hot down here... the gnats are plentiful (look it up, "gnat"... a dastardly little, aggravating bit of insect that will drive you nutty)... and flowers and vegetables are beginning to wane. Summer has treated us to several days of temperatures hovering and rising above 100 degrees F... So you see what I mean? August has come and come and the "dog days of Summer" are here. What would we talk about if not the weather?

Maybe linking with Judith's Lavender Cottage Mosaic Monday will jostle me from the rut! 

Spicebush Swallowtail 

A busy little Spicebush Swallowtail had a lovely time among the zinnias and Queen Anne's Lace...very photogenic and cooperative.

Sunset from 8:38 - 8:43 p.m. 

A sunset from last week... The changes over a period of just five minutes.. A majestic sight! 

Sending good wishes to y'all for pleasant week!!


Saturday, May 23, 2015

Unexpected Beauty

Sometimes we find beauty where it is least expected. At our house, it's the trash pile. I won't be presumptuous and call it a "compost pile." It is much too neglected for that! However, this year it seems to be the prettiest place on our yard. Last year's zinnias, cucumber, and tomato plants were cast off into the pile. Lots of cold, rainy, winter weather sure did the trick for those tenacious little leftover seeds. What a lovely gift! 

The zinnias and Queen Anne's lace find their way to a pretty cobalt bottle and dress up the kitchen counter. After all, gifts are definitely meant to be enjoyed!

We have new neighbors this Spring. A pair of broad-shouldered hawks were spotted in March. The pair settled on a residence down the road and have been nesting in the treetops. Our neighbor reports that they are in their second nesting cycle and can be seen carrying dinner to the little ones. Preying on the neighborhood squirrels and snakes seems natural, but I don't like the idea of losing our songbirds and dove to this pair! 

Bits and pieces of life here...

Hope you have a wonderful week.. Be sure to look for that unexpected beauty! 

Joining Lavender Cottage for Mosaic Monday ... Drop by! 


Monday, May 4, 2015

FITH ... Peonies, please!

It's all because of JaneJenBow Street Flowers and countless others who posted photo after photo of beautiful... gorgeous... frilly... fantastic... peonies. The obsession began. Why have I never seen these marvelous flowers adorning yards and gardens in my neck of the woods... bushes of lush, lovely flowers... pink, white, red... so, so beautiful? Oh my goodness, could it be because I don't have any relatives or connections Up North... that is North of Atlanta? The unfortunate... sorry state of affairs... peonies do not like the hot, humid Deep South! Not to be dissuaded... I persevered... I searched and searched.. there must be some variety that would like its feet in moist, rich Southern soil. The eBay seller was kind... he didn't think I would be successful, but what the heck? I have wasted money before... and not for such a good cause... the pursuit of the perfect Southern Peony! Well, I have exactly cornered the market, but the peony crop went from 2 blooms in 2013, 2014 to a whopping 11 blooms in 2015! I have papered Facebook and Instagram with the photos... and even shared some last week in the previous blog post. But for you, Jane... here they are again... FITH with a haiku or two devoted to these lovelies! 

one peony
per blossom is not enough
for a peony

 My Grandma Lora's bud vase was the perfect vessel! Applause, indeed!

the applause 
of one and all shower
the peony

Glorious peony
wrapped so tight inside the bud
burst forth your beauty

Please visit Jane's Flowers in the House
Thanks for the party, Jane. 

Also linking to Mosaic Monday over at the 
Lavender Cottage.
There's lots of beauty out there to enjoy!

Smiles and good wishes for a pleasant week!

Thursday, April 30, 2015

April... Where did you go?

How is it possible... The last day of April? I blinked and here we are! Yes, I know... Mama told me this would happen...Daddy agreed...times goes much faster when you are old(er)! April was filled showers and flowers... Roses, amaryllises, and the anxiously awaited, much loved peonies. 



Hoping that April showers do bring May flowers. The zinnias, Queen Anne's lace, hydrangeas, and day lilies are looking good... Lots of buds! Hoping for lots of May flowers! 

Happy May Day! 

Enjoy the beauty all around you...wherever you are!


Ok... I wish I knew what was up with Blogger... everything is out of line.. paid no heed to my format... oh well.. the flowers are pretty... anyway!

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Golf and Pimento Cheese on White Bread

For golf and the State of Georgia, the Masters Golf Tournament is the sport's crowning glory.... Modestly stated by a lifelong Georgian and non-golfer. For days ahead of the Master's, my Facebook page was flooded with photos and comments about... No, not golf... But the fantastic pimento cheese on white bread sandwiches available at the Augusta National. I was surprised to read from an Instagram/blogger friend that pimento cheese is difficult to find "up North." Not wanting Jen or anyone to be without this delicious sandwich makings.. I am sharing my recipe. Mama made pimento cheese, but I am sure hers was without garlic or spices. She was a salt and pepper girl. Mama did, however, cut celery into 3" or so lengths and fill with pimento cheese. They looked like little canoes filled with cheesy goodness! Its creamy gloriousness was not confined to sandwiches or crackers. So here you go... Give it a try. If you are a cheese lover, I do not think you will be disappointed. 

Pimento Cheese

You'll need:

4 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
8 oz cream cheese, room temperature (I have also used Havarti Cheese... Very good!)
1 teaspoon garlic salt (or 1/2 t. garlic powder... This is not a low sodium recipe)
1 teaspoon Nature's Seasons (You can use just salt, but I like the combination of salt, pepper, and spices in this product)
1 4 oz jar diced pimentos, drained (You can also run these through the food processor if you want less noticeable pieces of pimento.)
1 cup mayonnaise (Hellmann's or Duke's is best for PC and potato salad ... But that's just a Southern Thing!)

I begin by putting cream cheese in large microwaveable bowl then sprinkle the seasoning over the cream cheese and warm slightly in the microwave.. 30 - 40 seconds... Long enough that you should be able to enjoy the aroma of cheese and spices! This step is totally unnecessary, but I do it anyway. For some reason I think it enhances the flavor. Now, you see why I do NOT do a food blog!
Add cheddar cheese, pimento, and mayo. Mix well. Taste... Add more seasonings as desired. Enjoy immediately with your choice of bread... However, I must say that just plain old white bread is a favorite... Toasted or not. Please cut your sandwich diagonally for added triangular pleasure. Also good with crackers or celery. Cover and refrigerate pimento cheese.. Stays fresh for at least a week.

So... Spring is in full swing here...often wafting to Summer! Much to anticipate here... The retirement Magnolia has dozens of buds, the long awaited peonies are taking turns opening one a day, sunflower, zinnia, gourd seedlings are ready for transplanting, and the amaryllis are putting on a show. Hope all is well in your world!

Well, bless their heart! The New York Times is writing about my beloved Duke's Mayonnaise! Read all about it here:

Duke's and The New York Times

Monday, February 23, 2015

The idea...

of waiting for something makes it more exciting.
Andy Warhol

This time of year I become obsessed with plants.. flowering, vegetables, shrubs... from tiny seeds to gallon plants... It makes no difference. Making plans... sometimes that live only in my head and some that actually manage to come to life.. outside.

The weather is such a tease. In the teens last week for several days and almost 70 degrees over the weekend. However, one can't be fooled... Winter remains.. even if the heart longs for Spring. Maybe Andy was correct... the waiting makes it sweeter... He did know a thing or two about flowers.

Flowers by Andy Warhol, 1970 - Red, Yellow, Orange on Blue

Have a good week. Joining Karen ... a bit late.. for Sunlit Sunday. Hope your week is filled with sunlight, pleasant people and good thoughts!

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Sparkling, Shimmering ...

Sometimes inspiration is just a few steps outside your back door... 

And the only sparkle is provided by the universe...

A bit of sunshine in my world was lost this week.. a lifelong friend lost his fight with heart disease.  He was a "music master" and made his living for many years as a DJ for private events... on Tuesday a bit of the music died for all who loved him. He was complex, caring, kind, devoted, thoughtful, so much FUN, and a shining light to his family and friends. 

There is a hole in the universe... but his sparkle shines through. This post was not intended to be sad... but rather a celebration of a life well lived. His last message to me read, "I am so blessed to have had so many life experiences and especially for having quality friends...If I never told you before, I Love You." What a special gift... to me. 
RIP ~ Backdoor Man

Hope that the coming week is filled with light and love for you and yours. Joining Karen for Sunlit Sunday... hope you will, too!


Sunday, February 8, 2015

Sunshine came softly...

More sunshine than clouds this week... WooHoo!!

The green beans and baked sweet potatoes were the prefect suppertime treat... especially with the fried chicken that rounded out the meal. While fried chicken was on the menu several times a week during my growing up years, it is relegated to "very seldom" status at this stage of our lives!

This week's smile: The first daffodil... very welcome, indeed! There are promises of many more to come. 

Enjoy your week.. hope it's filled with sunshine and smiles! Don't forget to spread a little love... Valentine's Day is Saturday. Remember an elderly or shut-in friend with a call or card. It will mean more than you know!

Joining Karen of My Little Home and Garden for Sunlit Sunday. Please visit and spread the sunshine!