Forward - From the Heartland of Carolina

This is a continuing story of the journey Forward shared by 2 people, Lynne and Tom. Both love to LIVE life to it's fullest, which currently means spending lots of time outdoors, working on various projects from gardens to patios, flowers to vegetables, sunrises and sunsets, birds and woodland critters, and spending time with family. Don't forget to check the monthly archives, and please feel free to leave us a comment so we know you stopped by.

Friday, November 25, 2005

Thanksgiving, 2005

Happy Thanksgiving weekend!!!!

Well, if all goes well, the accompanying pictures will sort of follow the text. I wish each picture could be captioned, but with Blogger(TM), it doesn't work that way without a seperate entry, so, until we get our own website up and running, it works really well for us.
Thanksgiving, 2005. A very special day, with Lynne's Mom getting to see her great granddaughter for the first time. Mom was all about wantiing to hold on to little Princess Celeste.

Hello's to our neighbors, out and about on a pleasantly comfortable late November day. Two and three days earlier, it had been in the low 40's, 20's at night, and the forecast correctly called for another cold snap, but Thursday was sunny and mild between the cold fronts. The 3 grandsons, AKA" Critter Catchers from Clayton" spent much of the day outside, while dinner preparations were completed.
The day started early with Lynne baking a couple pumpkin pies, while the turkey got it's seasoning before settling down in a cooking bag for a few hours. Dawn and the Grandsons came over early enough to enjoy the mild afternoon outside ,after the video games got set up, doing whatever it is they do when our backs are turned... but guys, when you're playing Hide-and-Seek, you're much better off NOT hiding on the same porch your brother is counting from. There's 1-1/3 acres of yard and woods to hide in!!! *hint, hint* ;-)

Once Kevin, Jenn, and Celeste arrived, well, Celeste became the center of attention, and cameras suddenly were everywhere. Mom was very anxious to hold her newest great grandchild, and it was kinda neat seeing the 4 generations of women --- Mom, Lynne, Jenn, and Celeste. Soon, though it was time to get things set for dinner, a very simple but filling one, with turkey, gravy, dressing, mashed potatos, beans, corn, cranberry sauce, and the pumpkin pies and Dawn's apple crisp for dessert. Kevin was given honors of carving the bird, using a carving set that had been my parent's 'special occasion' utensils. Celeste took a nap right up until we all had finished, and after we finished our dinner, Celeste had hers, and Lynne had the honor of resting part of the afternoon away with her our granddaughter.

Thanksgiving, 2005. Living, laughing, loving. Memories shared and talked about. More memories made.

LIFE is alive and well here in the Heartland of NC.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Giving Thanks...........

Nov22 - a date that I am sure that no matter who you talk to it would have a different meaning - a birthday, a wedding, an assassination of a President or just an ordinary day. For me - one year ago - it was the beginning of a new life - a realization that I could live, love and laugh again - it was the day Tom asked me to spend the rest of my life with him as his wife. I had a suspicion things were up when the day before I saw him in deep conference with Dawn, Kevin (my kids) and Mom - I held back from joining them and was pleased to see them laughing and apparently having a good time. To me that was more of an affirmation that just maybe this was the 'right guy'. Later I was to find out that he was asking their permission to marry me. For Tom to show that respect for my Mom, my kids, and the memory of their father pretty much sealed the deal for me. I could truly go into this marriage with the knowledge that my kids approved and that their approval was a sign from their daddy that it was time for me to move on with my life.

I have so very much to be thankful for this year as we draw closer to Thanksgiving but most important ......

Thank you Dawn and Kevin for being the children that you are - you were the light of your Daddy's eyes and your approval meant everything to me. Thank you for giving me the 4 neatest grandkids around - Brad, Andrew, John and now dear sweet Celeste......

Thank you, Tom, for allowing the memories to remain as we 'move forward in our lives here at the "Heartland" and build new ones. Thank you most of all for loving me and asking me one year ago today to spend the rest of our lives together - it has been a 'wonderful' year. I love you........

Lynne ~~he who plants a seed - believes in tomorrow~~

Monday, November 21, 2005

Season's Finale`

Two nights of a hard freeze with temps as low as 21 over the weekend pretty much put an end to most of the gardens, although the cold weather veggies (lettuce, spinach, cabbage, and broccoli) are doing great. The new camellia bush is starting to bloom, and one of the older ones in the yard has finished, while another is just starting to bud. Being new to this type of gardening ( if it didn't come in a 6 cell-pack at K-mart, I used to be clueless) it's been interesting learning all these new plants and shrubs, and I'm doing a lot better with knowing the difference between weeds and 'others' :) I'm still having a hard time learning the names (my mom would have excelled---all the plant names are Latin - her favorite language!) Anyways, here's some late fall pics taken in the first 2 1/2 weeks of November, of things that stretched the season to the max.

And, the hawk paid us another visit over the weekend, mixing in well with the pine trees back in the woods.

Life is well in the Heartland, as we prepare for for our first major holiday since the wedding.

Saturday, November 12, 2005

Autumn at the Heartland

Hallowe'en has come and gone, and Indian Summer seems to have ended as well, but the scenery inside and out tells the season. Lynne, believe it or not, doesn't spend ALL her time outside in the gardens. Honest!!!

Lynne loves to decorate the house, inside and out, to match the season. Subtle changes will take place between now and Thanksgiving, but fall is the color of the season, as these pictures show. Many of the decorations were hand painted years ago by Lynne; most of the gourds were grown in our gardens this year, and well, the cat, Shadow, had to figure a way to get his picture taken again when Lynne first got out the decorations.

Each season, Lynne makes our welcoming wreaths, matching the season, and the life we're living. Life is well in the Heartland, as the seasons move Forward.

New Garden in Progress

Another project we've worked on the past week is turning a long strip (8'x70') along one side of the property into what will eventually be a perennial bed. The area reclaimed used to have a couple mulch piles and yard trimmings, but from them, some things had taken root and were growing, so we just kind of built this bed to accomodate those plants. Since then, Lynne has moved/divided/planted several plants in it, and it's off to a good start towards next Spring and Summer. It looks for now like our timing might be good, too; the weather forecast is calling for our first accumulating rain in over 40 days early next week. There's been a lot of other things going on as well, and future blogs will tell about them, as life continues Forward in the Heartland.

Thanks for stopping by, and leaving a note telling us you were 'Here in the Heartland'.

Friday, November 11, 2005

Well it was bound to happen

the beautiful garden/yard that Tom and I were married in is slowly being put to rest. Yesterday we pulled all the impatients and a week ago I dug all the caladiums and have them drying and tagged as to cultivar and will put them in safe keeping till next spring where they will once again grace our gardens. I hate to see the season end but know that the love we shared that day in July with our friends and family will continue to grow and forever grace our home no matter how cold the winter. We will have all the wonderful pictures to look at and will spend the winter pouring over seed catalogs and magazines and garden forums and dream of how we will make the yard and gardens even more beautiful next summer.

One thing - we will not let the gardens go too sleep completely as I have been busy planting violas, pansies, dianthus and snap dragons in planters, window boxes and in the ground. We have purchased our first of many Camellias to grace the woodland area and will work to strive for that year round color. My goal is to have something in bloom every month of the year. We will eagerly await the early spring bulbs - some of which will be blooming in early February and the hellbores will start in January. We have already planted seeds of early spring annuals - love in the mist (nigellia), poppies and dames rocket in one garden and the larkspur is already sprouting which self seeded this past spring. I just love it - puts a smile on my face to see the land renew itself. Mom's garden will get spring bulbs planted in it next week and then wildflower seed scattered in it. It should be a very pretty sight come next spring.

As you can see life continues here in the heartland and all is well. We are enjoying life and living it to the fullest.

Lynne - ~~he who plants a seed - believes in tomorrow~~

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Some late arriving Wedding Pictures

The wedding pictures continue to show up. We had seen some of them this summer, but didn't have copies at the time. These are kind of special to me (Tom), because even with all the various pictures that were taken, only these few taken by our brother-in-law Danny managed to capture all the members of my side of the family that came out/down/over for the wedding. Since I'm grouping them all together here, well, I'll let you all guess from earlier journals who is who ;) My nephew Danny and I are obvious, and in some of the others, you can see Ruth's husband Russ, busy explaining something probably of great or insignificant importance to my sister and her husband. In another one, I'm certain he's acting as Quality Control taste tester for the roast pig that nephew Danny is about to feast on.

Besides Michael Geddes, our musician, (another shameless plug for Michael -- if you enjoyed his music at the wedding, please email him at for his current recordings available) there was another very special Michael that made the trip down for the wedding.

My cousin, Michael deBettencourt, drove down the day of the wedding, as the 'ambassador' representing all the deBettencourts, which are my Mom's side of our family. This was truely a last minute surprise, and Lynne and I really appreciate him taking time out of his busy schedule to share our special day.

Every time we get new pictures in, or look at the ones already posted, it's very easy for us to realize how truely blessed we were that special day back in July, sharing our wedding day with so many special friends and family.