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.

Monday, January 28, 2008

The Holidays with the Family

Well, Daughter Dawn, you were right!!! We missed 3 trees in the last post, so here they are just for you! (well, for everyone else, too, but, you know) .... the gold tree in the dining room, the blue and white plain tree, and the 'nature' tree, both on the back porch.


Christmas Day here at Heartland Gardens was a little less hectic this year. There wasn't a 'set time' for a formal sit-down dinner, since both Dawn and Kevin and their families had things of their own to take care of first, and would drop by whenever they got here. We baked a ham (not one of those fancy ones, but it was just as good) I made some cole slaw, and Lynne made potato salad, and along with some crackers and veggie tray, some home made dips, fresh bread and rolls, a batch of "pigs in a blanket", and of course, lots of cookies ...we were pretty much set.

Dawn, Elex and the grandsons showed up first. Now the boys aren't much into 'good food', and the main menu didn't impress them too much.

Christmas music was playing out in the family room, and "The Christmas Story" marathon was on my TV in this room. The grandsons were wandering around, looking over the foods and dips, and of course, we heard more than a few "What's that?" followed by the obligatory "OH YUCK!". While waiting for Kevin and his family to get here, the boys were getting restless, but we had told them that there would be no computer time, no video games, and they could either listen to the Christmas music, or watch "The Christmas Story" in my room, and that was it. So, for a while, they settled in to watching the movie, and snacking on the 'pigs'

Hearing the company, Mom decided to come out and took her seat at the dining room table, observing everything, missing nothing.

Kevin, Jenn and Celeste showed up shortly, and of course, Celeste had to check everything out as soon as she got here :)

The grandsons, meanwhile, were getting restless again, and dinner wasn't too far from being served, so I threatened them by saying "If y'all don't behave, I'm going to make you guys eat some broccoli!" Of course, it was an idle threat, since we didn't have any.

Mom, of course, heard that threat --- or part of it at least. She DID hear the word 'brocolli', and wanted to know if it was fresh or steamed :) Well, I told her that we didn't have any on the menu, and you could see the disappointment on her face. So, I added..."but, if you'd like some, I can go out and pick some for you". Her eyes lit up, and out to the garden I went to grab enough for everyone. Large heads, like these I had recently picked.

After a pre-dinner picture of 4 generations of the women in the family, the ham was carved, Mom said the blessing over her brocolli and the rest of the meal, and we settled down to eat.

After dinner, it was off to the tree, and the exchange of presents.

After everyone had left for the night, 2 of the cats stayed hidden, but Mom's cat Tinker went back to her room with her, and Shadow, the big guy, was seen talking things over with Santa about next year's list.


That's all for this blog, but not all for the holidays. There's lots more to come before we wrap up the Christmas season.

Thanks to all of you who have taken the time to check in on our little slice of North Carolina. We really appreciate the comments you leave with us, and hope you'll keep checking back for more.

Peace and Love from the Heartland of NC.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Decking the Halls...

... although we don't have much in the way of halls ;)

Well, to start things off, we still had some nice fall color from the Bradford pear in the back yard early in December...

Our hawk has returned to watch over the yard when the cats get too lazy

The yard is still giving us a little from the flower department as well! Here's a Camellia that's still in bloom, and the Geranium pot is still as lush and colorful as anytime during the season.

Right after Thanksgiving weekend, the fall decorations get packed away, and just as quickly, the Christmas boxes make their way down from the upstairs over the garage. This year, the oldest cat, Simba, and Mom's cat, Tinker, pulled security duty, watching over the many village houses before they found their final destinations.


Speaking of Mom, she was VERY busy during the Summer and Fall. During that time, she made over 400 beaded ornaments, as gifts for family and her friends from church. Here's Mom with a stash she took to her Sunday school class at church, and here she is with Ruth, who helped her pack things up to go out in the mail. Many of the ornaments she's made over the years were displayed on one of the trees Lynne decorated this year.

Here's an assortment of Mom's canvas crafts she had scattered about the house this Christmas season.

Then it was off to set up the villages. A different year, a different look :)

Of course, the villages didn't all get done at once. There was the matter of setting up the trees as well.

And, there were other little scenes to set up on available shelves and spaces

While Lynne was busy inside decorating, I once again had charge of all the outside lights.


After several weeks of decorating, trips up and down the stairs, climbing on the roof and all, I took a well deserved nap with Simba, while Shadow was wondering where his seat for Christmas dinner was.

That's it for now... Next time, Christmas Week revisited.

Peace to all, this chilly night, from the Heartland of Carolina.