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.

Sunday, July 30, 2006

Happy Birthday Lynne!!!

Happy Birthday to my Sweet Wonderful Wife!!!

May today be as Wonderful as you are, and may the year ahead surround you with all the things you love so dearly - Family, Friends, and a yard full of flowers to color each and every day.

I love you with all my heart...

Forever, Tom

Sunday, July 23, 2006

More Summer pics from the Heartland

As Lynne said, the Summer doldrums have set in in the yard and gardens, but we've been able to capture some pictures that still give a hint as to what's still growing and blooming. As the different plants come and go, and bloom, we're getting a better idea of anticipated sizes and true colors, in hopes of someday having something that resembles more than scattered plantings. We've got a good grasp on most the beds, but it's hard to tell what to do when you have a plant expected to be 18" - 24" planted as a low border decide it wants to be 4' tall! Oh well, someday...

Enjoy these recent photos from the last 3 weeks, and we'll be back again soon.

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Just a quick update

The gardens have definitely been in a 'slow down' mode the past month. Temps regularly in the upper 90's and heat index over 100 has everything lanquishingly and looking rather spent. Working out there is done in spurts as it is just too hot to stay out there too long. Tom continues to water everyday but there is nothing like God's good soaking rain to bring life back into the plants. We have seen rain all around us - watch pretty shows in the skies off in the distance but generally all we get is a sprinkle. The next couple of days 'supposedly' hold hope for some rain - lets hope so.

One thing that has been producing alot is the cucumbers and Tom is getting really good at doing both bread and butter and dill pickles. He sends them home with family members - all of whom have sent back raving reviews. We have had a fair amount of squash and zuchinni. Mom has been enjoying 'fried green tomatoes' and as they start to rippen we plan to can some of them up along with enjoying them fresh. Second sowing of string beans yielded zip-nada. Corn has been sporadic but what we have had has been really good. Nothing like going out right before supper and picking a couple of ears. This was a learning year with a veggie garden and we have learned alot and will do better next year.

I have been studying what works and doesn't work as far as flowers go. This winter's WSing will be more plant specific. I won't be trying to germinate every seed that comes along. It has been fun but I think I want a little more 'organized' garden next year and plant in drifts instead of one plant of each type. Oh well - thats the fun thing about gardening - it is never the same from year to year.

Mom is doing good. She has had visits with all her doctors in the last couple of weeks and gotten good reports, She will remian on the air 24/7 but everything else was good. Considering she is now 91 we thank God for the good reports. Anyone who reads this if you could just say a prayer for our BIL Bobby (my sister Joyce's blind husband). He had a heart attack this week and had triple by-pass surgery on Friday. He is doing OK after surgery but is scared. Being blind he had no visual idea of what to expect and did have trouble with all the tubes when he came out of surgery and wanted to take them all out. He had to be sedated. The sad part is Joyce is in a nursing home so can't be with him so he had to go through much of this alone. Hopefully they can get him into the same home she is in for his recovery and they can see each other.

The rest of the family is doing really good. The two older grandsons have been having fun in camps and Tom and I have John every afternoon after he gets out of summer school. He finishes next week and then will join his brothers for the last two weeks of camps and then the school season starts for them. WHERE did the summer go????

We continue to keep our eyes on what is happening in the Middle East and wonder how it will impact our lives but each night sit our on our back porch and thank the good Lord for our little piece of heaven and the ability to enjoy it as we is good here at the 'Heartland'

thank you for stopping by and leave us a note

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

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Catching up

It's hard to believe almost another month has gone by without picture updates. Lynne was right, though. Things have been very busy for us hear in the Heartland. Lynne's told the story that has transpired for the most part since our last picture-posting. The First weekend in July, we celebrated Mom's birthday, and she was feeling well enough to spend some time with us outside of her sitting room.Lots of get-togethers, both here and the group gathering of online friends in Charlotte.

Our grill has been getting a workout during these gatherings, and fortunately, the weather has been good to us.

It's been an interesting transition from spring to summer with the yard and gardens. One thing I've noticed over the last year... As a rule, out in the gardens, the spring flowers that rebloom year after year are the pastel shades of blues, pinks and purples. Now that we've passed that mini-season of flowers fading, and summer blooms appearing, the bold colors of summer become more evident, with blooms of summer, filled with reds, yellows and oranges. As I post tonight, there's new blossoms forming on the mid-summer plants.

The veggies have done well so far, with lots of squash being eaten, or frozen for future meals. Tomatos are almost ready to pick in earnest...we've had a few for salads, and Mom requested Fried Green Tomatos tonight, so we obliged.

I've canned up 24 pints of pickles so far, and we've frozen up several ears of corn from the first planting. We've had a good year for string beans as well, and our 2nd planting looks like it will help stock the freezer some more. Fall decorating looks like it will be all home-grown, between a few pumpkins, and many ornamental gourds. So, now it's on to pictures. Hopefully the order of pictures will fall into place, unlike the last attempts.

This first set of pictures are from July, and the next entry will be catching up with late June's events. Enjoy!!!

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Happy Anniversary my darling husband

One year ago today we stood in our backyard with friends and family around and pledged our love to one another. It has been a wonderful year - full of joy, laughter, discovery and of looking forward to see what each new day brings. Thank you for sharing my passion for gardening, for living, laughing and loving with me each and every day. You made it so very easy to make the transition to marriage again. You have allowed the kids and I to share memories of our past freely and for that I will be forever greatful. The words to our song ring as true today as they did when we danced to them last year - God truely is the "Keeper of the Stars"

It was no accident me finding you
Someone had a hand in it
Long before we ever knew
Now I just can’t believe you’re in my life
Heaven’s smilin’ down on me
As I look at you tonight

I tip my hat to the keeper of the stars
He sure knew what he was doin’
When he joined these two hearts

I hold everything
When I hold you in my arms
I’ve got all I’ll ever need
Thanks to the keeper of the stars

Soft moonlight on your face oh how you shine
It takes my breath away
Just to look into your eyes
I know I don’t deserve a treasure like you
There really are no words
To show my gratitude

So I tip my hat to the keeper of the stars
He sure knew what he was doin’
When he joined these two hearts

I hold everything
When I hold you in my arms
I’ve got all I’ll ever need
Thanks to the keeper of the stars

It was no accident me finding you
Someone had a hand in it
Long before we ever knew

~Today~Tomorrow~Always my love~

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

It has been a BUSY

couple of weeks but oh so much fun. We have had alot going on and it will be hard to know where to start so I will just delve in. We started off June with celebrating Brads birthday with a picnic at a lake/water park and then several weeks ago we were able to get mom out of the house and up to Ruth's for awhile to celebrate Vicky's graduation - my where does time go. I remember so vividly holding her in my arms as a baby. She has grown up to be a very beautiful young lady as have her sisters. We had a wonderful time up there. The weather was perfect and Mom really enjoyed herself. She was tired afterwards but that is to be expected . The next weekend Tracey and her family stopped by on their way back from Florida and stayed for overnight and the next day. We had the entire family here at our place for good food and just good family visiting - of course Celeste was center of attention - Tom did babyback ribs on the grill along with hamburgers and hotdogs. As always it was delicious - he has yet to do a bad meal on that grill - that has to be our most used wedding gift - thanks again Dawn and Kevin - ya done good.

Tracey, Kenny and Anna went back late Sunday evening and left Zachery to spend some time with his cousins. This is where things got real fun - lol. To make a long story short - Tom and I ended up babysitting all 4 boys during the day. In the meantime we had company coming in on Thursday - Alli a very dear friend from our racing forum and then the 3 of us were headed to Charlotte to meet up with other forum members for our annual get together. This group is very near and dear to me because they were the ones that supported me so much when Glenn was so sick and the months, years after I lost him. Dawn and all the boys stayed at our house to be with Mom while we were gone along with Ruth helping out on Friday till Dawn got off work. Poor Mom - she had people coming and going all weekend but she was WELL taken care of - it is so good to have good family around - we are very blessed.

Things got more hectic the next week when Lee and Danny came down on Monday - Alli left on Wednesday and then Tracey came back on Friday - I wasn't sure who was in the house when I woke up each morning but it was fun. Mom seemed to really enjoy seeing other faces than just mine in the mornings to give her her breakfast and to check on her during the day to make sure she was OK. Lee and Danny were down to scope out the area and look at the housing and job market. I am very selfish in that I want them to move down here so the house will always be open for them to use as a home base down here. Goodness knows that Glenn and I used Ruth and Russ's house many times while we were looking for our home down here.

All-in-all while very hectic and busy at times - the couple of weeks was such a breath of fresh air and I so enjoyed having extended family around (yes we treat Alli as a sister so she is family too) but we were also glad to get our house back and into our little routines. The gardens did take a back seat for a few days and now the last couple of days Tom and I have been back out in them weeding, deadheading and doing general maintenance. Seeing them through other peoples eyes I can visualize some changes that we want to make. Tracey went home with a trunk load of plants and that makes me happy to know a part of my garden will live on in another garden. I spent my time with Lee letting her know that she will have a ton of plants to start new gardens down here to sort of entice her to move (the house next door is for sale and I think that would be perfect - we could just extend our gardens into each other). This is what dreams are made of and there is nothing wrong with dreaming.

On a personal level - the trip to Charlotte is always a wake up call for me as to just how far my life has come. The first time I went there in 2003 to meet Kay, Paul, Jerry, Mel, Jimmy and others I was so lost - having no idea where my life was headed. I had just had 38 years of my life ripped away from me and I was scared but...........God had his plan in motion . I find myself today looking forward to my first wedding anniversary this Sunday with a guy I truely love with all my heart and the support of friends and family and this past month I got to spend time with so many of them......Life is very good in the 'Heartland'

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