Saturday, January 28, 2012

Mile-marker Birthday!

 Today marks a big day for yet another chapter in my life. I turned 60 and although it feels kinda strange it also feels liberating! On the strange side most of my friends have retired and I still don't know what I want to be when I grow up! (Guess I'm still a little immature :^D )
Looks-wise things are heading south and maintenance takes a lot longer, but all in all I'm still adorable (right?)
Well, it's been a very long time since I last posted. Over the Holidays I entered Giveaway Days on . So many wonderful blogs with so many fabulous giveaways and the talent out there is amazing! Well I actually won some things but the best part was that I entered with my Google blogger profile. Some of these bloggers read my blog entries and encouraged  me to continue. I am in awe of the kindness of strangers. And yesterday my crafty design friend, Diane, sent me a "custom-made party hat" along with a darling little journal to write down all my crafty ideas!
So what better day to pick up and start anew than my birthday? I'll keep you posted!

Monday, June 20, 2011

Father's Day

My, husband wants to be referred to as "Lester the Empty Nester" for the duration of this blog. Long story short, his name is Dave but "Lester" was a name he used years ago when we first came to Nashville to pursue a career in the music biz. (but that's another blog post.) We were eventually successful but struggled as most artists do for a few years. During this time, my husband did a lot of house painting and was paid under the table as "Lester Meade". Twenty-some years later, I believe he is thrilled to have "Lester" back in his life if only on the pages of this blog. (We had a lot of fun imagining crazy scenarios for him!)  Now "Lester" is only one of many hats he has worn over the years. Not only was he a painter but he is also a drummer, a songwriter and a music publisher.He has just launched a new (and extremely progressive) website : . It is taking off by leaps and bounds! If you are an Indie artist or need music for licensing or to promote your "Brand", stop by the site and have a look around. The music is fresh and fun!
 OK, back to "Lester". In his wildest dreams, I don't believe he would ever have imagined wearing the hat of "Dear Old Dad"! But if you ask him he will gladly tell you it is one of the finest and most cherished hats he has ever worn, and here's why:

Here's Father and Son sharing a moment on the beach at Tybee Island, Ga. We went to Savannah to check out Savannah College of Art and Design over the Thanksgiving Holiday, 2010.

And here he is helping "College Kid" with his necktie before the High School Graduation ceremony. I guess what I'd like to say is that I've never met a more loving, giving, hands-on Dad and I'm so grateful to have him in my life. Happy Father's Day, Lester.                                          

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

John's Garlic

Last year in the Spring of 2010, a childhood friend of my husband passed away. His name was John and he loved to grow garlic in his upstate NY garden. When my husband went to visit John for the last time, John's sister showed my husband the garlic he had planted the previous Fall of 2009. She said when it was ready in August she would send us some. She was true to her word and by the end of August we received a big box full of beautiful bulbs. Are you a garlic lover? If you are you MUST try freshly grown garlic sometime. There is simply no comparison to the bulbs from the market.
Well, we made short work of those tasty cloves but managed to save 4 of them to plant in our garden in November of 2010. Not knowing what to expect, I went online to do a "little" research. OK, How much do you want to know about garlic? There are hundreds of species from sweet and mild to ferociously hot! It's origins are in Asia but varieties can be found in Russia, the Ukraine, Czechoslovakia, as well as NY where it is said that Italian immigrants brought it over from their homeland. I could go on and on but I will just direct you to his wonderful site:  There, you can get as much information about garlic as your brain can handle!
Armed with a "little" knowledge and the 4 little cloves planted, I sat back for the winter and waited. During a snowstorm in late January 2011 this is what I found:

What a thrill! So tiny yet so resilient! We were off to a fine start...

 A few weeks ago, I discovered these thin, round shoots coming out of the center of the plants. More research told me these were called "ramps" or "scapes" and if cut would not only benefit the plant but would also taste delicious chopped and roasted with the fresh asparagus you see pictured above.

Last week, I could not wait any longer! Seeing as how most of the leaves were bent and partially yellowed, I took a chance and dug up the 4 plants and this is what I harvested:

Beautiful, fragrant bulbs! I am doubly pleased because this type of garlic flourishes in the North but does not always do well here in the hot temps of the South. It will take 2 to 7 weeks for them to dry and hopefully by then the tomatoes, along with the basil, will be ready for a proper Italian "Gravy" to compliment my pasta dishes! Yum!
I encourage you to visit the website above and sign up for some bulbs when they are harvested in late summer ( but save some for me, please!) I plan to order some different varieties to add to the 4 best cloves from the ones pictured above. Compliments of John.What a lovely way to be remembered.
How does your garden grow? 

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Life Marches On...

As I write this, my son is getting ready to leave for "Bonnaroo"  (a music festival), the cicadas have almost stopped singing ( I AM the only one who thinks they're AWESOME!) and I am watching my neighbor have 2 trees cut down that were damaged in the recent storms here in TN. Those trees were over 100 years old and I have enjoyed watching them go through their changes for 16 years.
So many changes have taken place in the past 4 years it sometimes makes my head spin ( and my heart hurt ). But even though time marches on, young children grow up and old  trees fall down, I remain hopeful and full of anticipation for what lies ahead..

My son the College Kid ( shown above after registering for college and sporting all the freebies  given to him!) is a very bright spot in my life right now. And although I have already started missing him,  I am so excited to see where he will "land" when he flys the "nest" this Fall to pursue his dreams.

And speaking of anticipation, my friends the cicadas are almost finished with their cycle. I refer to them as awesome because they spend 13 (or 17) years in the ground just to reappear for 3-4 weeks, sing their mating song, lay eggs and then die. I have witnessed their arrival twice. My son and his friends enjoyed them 13 years ago and my neice who is 7, had a great time "collecting" them this year. She will be 20 when they return. Imagine that! What will my world be like then?  Check out this magical video to see what I'm talking about:

How is your world today?