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.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

July Recaptured


Our thoughts and prayers go out to the victims, families, and friends of 9/11/01.

As was mentioned 2 posts ago, the big family news was the opening of the Animal Hospital up in Brier Creek, North of Raleigh. We drove over for the open house they had the Sunday (7/15) before 'officially' opening, and we were very impressed and pleased with the facility they have put together. So much is so new and state-of-the-art, in this age of computers and electronics. We're well aware of all the thought and planning that went into this, and were very proud of what this dream has become. Here's some shots from that day.

Here's part of the examining area, and a neat feature they have. When pets have to be kept overnight or longer (after surgery or waiting on tests) there's a kennel area that will be set up with live camera feeds, and pet owners can check in on their pets via the WEB.

Meanwhile back at Heartland Gardens, we did have some decent pickings of cucumbers and beans, before the deer found them.

We also had several sandwich-sized tomatos this year, before the heat set in and the yield got smaller. Lots of Roma/Plum tomatos have turned into salsa this year. We made more of that and put up less whole tomatos this year. I think/hope I made enough pickles to get the family through 'til next summer. They do seem to enjoy the pickles.

Mom's upside-down tomato thingy did well for her, and she was caught several more times picking her own to snack on. Once they started ripening, she was picking them every other day or so, and if hers weren't ripe, well, lets just say we probably could have had a few more jars of canned tomatos this year... but Mom loves her tomatos, and you don't say no to Mom. She must have kept close tabs on her plant, too. During the last week of August, we had to pick about 6 of 'her' upside-downy thingy tomatos, because they were getting ripe all at once. Well, 4 days later, we hear "I'll have my last tomato with my dinner tonight.", knowing she had already eaten some of the others, but knowing she still had one left. Good thing Lynne and I didn't have a salad that night :-) Fried green, or sliced or diced, what Mom wants, Mom gets.... and she got lots this summer. So, Daughter Dawn, when you read this, and are looking for that one last jar of dill pickles next spring, if your Grandmother hadn't requested so many cucumber salads this summer, we would have at least a quart jar here for you, but... :-)

The drought hadn't set in yet in full, so we still had color in the yard during July.

We had to watch Celeste on a couple days, when she came down with some sort of summer 'bug'. She gave the cats a day off, and became our homeland security system for a while.

She got feeling better, and ran to our bedroom later that day. I guess she wasn't too impressed with my serenade to her ;)

One of many storms that 'almost' rained on us, but missed us by about 10 miles.

A few more flowers...

Big snakes have to be babies first :) (Sorry, Eva, but I couldn't resist)

And again, we can't close withough a greeting from the cats. That's the 'baby', Skittles, now a year or so old, looking ferocious with her yawn, while Shadow quietly stares off underneath her.

Again, thanks for stopping by. Next up, August, and more great family news via pictures, and a few from the yard and gardens.

Love and Peace,
Lynne and Tom

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Before the Heat...

As Spring rolled over into June, before the heat and drought set in in full force, plants and bulbs, and a late winter planting of onions and beets, that somehow survived the hard Easter freeze, along with many plants Lynne had wintersown and planted into containers, began to show their color and beauty.


This hydrangea, which during the freeze had lost all it's new growth, surprised us with an overabundance of blossoms. With the initial growth killed off, all the secondary flowers were much smaller, but much more numerous than if the plant had bloomed under normal weather.

One of Lynne's favorite flowers (yes, she is partial to many) is the Lily. Any color, any variety. Here's several from her various collections.


Here's some of the containers from Lynne's winter sowing.


With school out for summer, we were able to have the grandsons on several days, days they didn't have summer camp or sports going on. John, of course, and sometimes Andrew, are both still fascinated with the pond, and watch for frogs and 'stuff' they might see. Most every visit, they would catch lizards or dip some tadpoles from the pond, and sometimes take them home with them.

The end of the month, and the family got together once again up at Ruth's family's home for a combination birthday party for Mom and their oldest daughter. Mom turned 92 on July 2nd, and their daughter's birthday was the over the weekend, so it was easier to get everyone together at once.
Lynne and I, along with our friend Alli, were returning from a weekend in Charlotte, where we meet up every year with a great group of internet friends. While we were gone, our niece Tracy and our daughter Dawn looked after Mom. For now, late June and this gathering of friends is our only extended time away, and just like Ruth coming down once a week to spend time with Mom and give us a couple hours off together, Tracy and Dawn helping us out on this one weekend a year means the world to us, and because of Tracy's travel plans, we also had time to actually enjoy some time with her as well when we got back. Here's some pics from the party. Naturally, our granddaughter Celeste showed up in quite a few, as did Mom, for some reason :)

Some shots from the yard, as this entry comes to a close. If you look close, in each of the birdfeeder pictures, you can see a bright blue bird. These aren't Bluebirds, though! We've been fortunate enough to have THREE different Blue birds visit Heartland Gardens. In the Gazebo feeder in the first picture, is an Indigo Bunting. and in the 2nd picture, Mom's feeders show the bright yellow Goldfinch on the left feeder, and a Blue Grosebeak on the feeder to the right.

As always, the cats say HI... and we'll be back with many more pictures shortly :-)