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.

Thursday, August 24, 2006


to my wonderful husband. Another birthday - another year - it just gets better and better. I love you Sweetheart - may your day be the best ever

My love always - Lynne

Friday, August 18, 2006

Lots of pictures

Well, Lynne covered the past three weeks pretty well with her blog. So now, I'll add the visuals, and maybe someday, we'll figure out how to get pictures to get interspersed within the text to make for easier reading. One thing we don't have a picture of, but have to share... As you know, when we got the back porch inclosed, we got the storm door with the cat door built into it so the cats could come and go as they please - and it's worked out really well for us. No more having to get up and let them out or in. However, the other night a couple weeks ago, we were awakened to a really high-pitched whining. Shadow, the long haired Maine Coon, decided that Lynne and I would like the little baby rabbit he had caught and brought back into our bedroom. His grip on the bunny's nape loosened, and now we have this screaming baby bunny rabbit running around the house lights out, with Lynne, me and the cat chasing it!!! Fortunately, we were able to keep it from Mom's end of the house and corraled it in the pantry, where I scooped it up, went outside, and let it go over the porch railing. After that, I think we slept a little longer that morning.

I'm up most mornings before first light, so I get to catch a lot of nature waking up. Lately, we've had our little family of deer back, frequenting the yard once again. Because of the early hour, it's difficult without having a tripod in your pocket, to get decent pictures of them when they're back in the woods, but sometimes, the deer will freeze and allow me to get somewhat close to them. As these pictures show, our deer from last year have gotten their first sets of antlers. We don't have a picture of this year's new fawn, but we do have a little Bambi, complete with spots and all. Here's some deer pics, taken 2 weeks apart.

Like Lynne said, we went to see Willie Nelson down at Alltel (aka Walnut Creek Amphitheatre) While the weather was perfect, we both wish the show could have started a little later. This picture of Willie was taken off one of the teletrons, and it was just too light out to watch most of his performance, because of the sunset glare with the sun being behind us. Our seats were in the first row of lawn seats, just behind the reserved seating. and here's a thunderstorm anvil that reflected more sunset light onto the concert setting.

Just for fun again this year, we wanted to grow some ornamental gourds to decorate with during the fall season. We certainly didn't expect to see one of them 20 feet up in a pine tree, however!

We've grown lots of tomatos this year, and what we haven't been eating fresh from the vine, we've been canning up - a new experience for me. But come the colder months, we'll remember picking these beauties, slicing some up for sandwiches or dicing for salads, before the overflow got packed into jars. The largest one in the first picture was well over 2 pounds on the kitchen scale.

The back yard, from the 2nd floor of the garage...

As Lynne said, the gardens have been feeling the stress of 3 weeks straight of 95-100 +/- temps, but there is still a lot of color in what continues to bloom for us. Next is random shots and closeups of various flowers around the yard.

Just a cute shot I came across one morning... the Mushroom Family.

Of course, it's summer, and that means Butterflies and Hummingbirds.

Random shots...

Small worlds came together again last week when an online friend mentioned that the company he works for happened to have him working in the same town we live in for a couple weeks. So, we invited him over last Sunday for a cookout and watch-moreso listen the NASCAR race... We certainly enjoyed Mr. Ironhead's visit, and he now knows he has a standing invite should he have to visit the area again. We don't think he went home hungry after a barbecued beef brisket, Lynne's potato salad, slaw and dinner rolls.

Sure was good to get you over, Ironhead. Thanks!

A couple late evening shots.

I'm not sure what Lynne says to her plants, but she seems to have talked this one lily into growing to a height NC State would love to have as a center on their basketball team~ The lily bloom is about 10 feet above it's ground level.

Kevin, Jenn and Celeste came by 2 weeks ago, and naturally, Celeste was the camera model. Celeste is about to take her first actual walking steps, and they are coming down again this weekend, for a visit and dinner, and return our older cat Simba.

Celeste is on the verge of taking her very first steps all by herself, and if it happens Sunday, we'll have pics to share.

For those who asked, the flowers in Lynne's Birthday 'card'... that picture was taken in an 'as is' situation. The white trumpet shaped flower is the increasingly popular Moonflower 'bush' and a pink poppy that happened to be blooming at the same time. That's exactly how it was. No moving around for the 'perfect' picture, because we know our gardens are far from perfect (yet) :-)

Life is Wonderful here in the Heartland, as summer's passing is just a few weeks off.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Welcome to the 'dog days of summer'

and to those 3 'hs' hazy-hot-humid. First off I want to thank all of you who came by and wished me a happy birthday. It was a very quiet one but a very pleasant one. Now I am officially able to collect SS but we won't go there - lol. My credo has always been - you are only as old as you feel - the # doesn't really mean anything. Mom at this age still had teenagers at home. While I can't imagine handling teenagers, I still feel young, healthy and happy for an old gal and don't plan on slowing down anytime soon.

Some really neat things have happened since I was last here. First and foremost - Mom finally got her hearing aids repaired and we can now engage in actual conversations. I KNOW for her it was an answer to prayer. She could hear if we talked directly at her and loud but missed so much of general conversations and could not pick up anything at church and she really missed not going there. She got the hearing aids on Wednesday and immediately made plans to be at SS and church that next Sunday. We did both services but it did really tire her out. Since then she has been sick most of the time - not sick enough to go to the doctor - just not feeling well and very tired. Again something we just have to deal with given her age.

We got some good news from Tracey. She and Kenny will be coming down the beginning of October to stay with Mom a few days which will give Tom and I a chance to get away. With Mom being our first priority all the time it will feel good to be a 'couple' for a few days. In the meantime I am on a mission of getting the 4th bedroom cleared out and made into a guestroom ( Mom has bedrooms 2 and 3 for her living quarters). It is quite a job as this is where ALL the craft stuff is - but Ruth is moving it up to her place as she moves girls out - lol. My focus is shifting away from the fabric crafts as Tom and I continue to expand the gardens so it is time for a change. It is all a part of finding out who I am with the life changes of the past few years.

The grandchildren are all doing GREAT. Celeste our little princess is growing/exploring and enchanting all those she comes in contact with. She is taking those first hesitant steps and will be walking very soon. Her vocabulary now includes 'cat and dog' - gee no surprise there - lol. Brad, Andrew and John are starting up with football this week - yep our little John will be playing this year - he was my 'baby' for so many years - it is hard to imagine him doing that. School starts the 25th with Brad going into 6th, Andrew 4th and John 1st. Now that is scary to realize that Brad will be in Jr High next year - wow. Tom and Elex have been working over the summer on a clubhouse for the boys and it is about done. The lumber and labor was our joint birthday present for the 3 boys. They are going to be able to choose the paint colors and help paint it. We will definitely get pictures of that.

As for Tom and myself well it has been pretty much the same ole' same ole'. The gardening really slows down this time of year - plants don't grow that much so most of the work is just maintaining. We are starting to get fall and winter plants started tho and as the days get cooler we will be back out there all the time. Now it is just way too hot which is why I am getting work done inside. We are making plans to start some major remodling and painting projects done inside starting with a redo of our masterbath complete with new sinks and countertops, moldings, ect. Tom thinks I have been watching way too many HGTV decorating shows but again it is part of life changes and making this place 'ours'.

Tom did manage to win us tickets from our local country station and we got to go and see Willie Nelson and John Fogerty for my birthday. We had a fantastic evening, weather was perfect for an outdoor concert and performances were top notch. He tried really hard for Kenny Chesney tickets but couldn't get them. The two Chesney concerts were sold out in less than an hour so the only hope was to try and win them. Oh well maybe next year.

I know I must have left something out but that pretty much sums up the past couple of weeks. Tom has plenty of pictures to post so he will be following in a couple of days with them. Until the next time - thank you all again for following our little journey through life - as you can see life is good albeit quiet here in the "Heartland"........

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