Thursday, June 30, 2011

Having a Bad Day?

My five-year-old daughter put this drawing on her bedroom door the other day. It's a growling tiger who says, "Go away." I'm not clear on what the 5000 is, but I suspect that it's a reward for turning in trespassers.

I asked her if she was having a bad day. She said, "That's because my brother was bothering me." Sweetie, I'm pretty sure that road goes both ways.

Anybody bothering you at your place?

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Go Gamecocks!

I'm up. Past midnight. I'm rarely up late, but tonight is an exception because my South Carolina Gamecocks won their second, in a row, national championship title! Did you catch that? My alma mater is home to the two-time winner of the College World Series.

I've been a South Carolina Gamecock fan all my life. My mother and her sister graduated from USC, as did I. I remember watching Gamecock basketball with my parents when I was a very little girl. I went to almost every home football game when I was a student. And now, I've been watching the baseball team make history.

Did I mention, the South Carolina Gamecock baseball team won the national title? Again?

Monday, June 27, 2011

Back from our travels...

I have been looking forward to this day for quite a while. Andy and I have had loads to do in June, including a family reunion, an anniversary trip to Charleston and a business trip to Hilton Head. All three were fun, but took a lot of time and energy.

But today, feels like the real start of my summer. We don't have any more big events or trips planned. I get to stay home and work on orders for customers, water plants, tend chickens and get ready for our goats. I can also spend hours a day watching my children swim in the pool, one of my favorite things in the world to do. There will be canning, gardening and lots of reading.

Of course, I'll also be weeding the garden, breaking up arguments between my children and keeping an eye out for that king snake that likes to hang around the yard. Still, it's summer in the south and life is good.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Another Fabulous Etsy Seller

Can you fall in love with a new ironing board cover? I'm pretty sure the answer is "yes". I recently purchased one from City Chic Country Mouse on Etsy. They are a mother-daughter team, with the goal of making "some of your not-so-fun chores more enjoyable."

City Chic Country Mouse is home to some of the prettiest laundry essentials anywhere. I requested an ironing board cover in a fabric which wasn't currently in the shop. They answered quickly, and they got the fabric I wanted and had my new cover to me lightning fast.

Here's a peek at what's currently in their shop:

Ironing Board Cover - Bijou in White (above)

Clothespin Bag - Happy Day (below)

Now, don't you want to do some laundry? Or at least make your laundry room prettier?

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Teaser Tuesday--Outlander

"Even admitting for a moment the completely implausible idea that I was in another time than my own, Inverness had stood in its present location for some six hundred years. It was there. But, apparently, it had no lights. Under the circumstances, this strongly suggested that there were no electric lights to be had."

This book has been out for 20 years, but I just started reading it. Outlander was recommended to me by a lady I met at a restaurant. She's from Scotland and said she loved the Outlander series. How could I say no to a review like that?

What's on your nightstand?

Monday, June 20, 2011

Our Anniversary Trip

My husband and I celebrated our 21st anniversary last week. He made reservations at a bed and breakfast in Charleston, SC, called the Ashley Inn. It's a bit off the beaten path in Charleston, closer to the medical university than the Battery and Rainbow Row, but it's a beautiful inn with reasonable prices.

We were in Room #5 on this visit. It is lovely and has a door leading to the second floor piazza. On our last visit, our 10th anniversary, we were in the suite which includes a private sitting area.

Breakfast was delicious, ham crepes with fresh fruit on the side. It was served on the side porch of the inn. We shared a table with a man from Virginia and a couple from Denmark. The inn's hosts are friendly and welcoming and always ready with a restaurant recommendation or must-see sights.

Charleston, SC, is my favorite city. It's history and beauty are world class and it's reputation for southern hospitality is well deserved. I think I'll start making plans for next year; a 22nd anniversary is special, too, right?

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Happy Father's Day

My father used to play with my brother and me in the yard. Mother would come out and say, "You're tearing up the grass." "We're not raising grass," Dad would reply. "We're raising boys." ~Harmon Killebrew

Fatherhood is pretending the present you love most is soap-on-a-rope. ~Bill Cosby

A father is always making his baby into a little woman. And when she is a woman he turns her back again. ~Enid Bagnold

A father carries pictures where his money used to be. ~Author Unknown

Never raise your hand to your kids. It leaves your groin unprotected. ~Red Buttons

Spread the diaper in the position of the diamond with you at bat. Then fold second base down to home and set the baby on the pitcher's mound. Put first base and third together, bring up home plate and pin the three together. Of course, in case of rain, you gotta call the game and start all over again. ~Jimmy Piersal, on how to diaper a baby, 1968

Happy Father's Day!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Teaser Tuesday--Mr. Popper's Penguins

"There was not the slightest doubt about it. It was a penguin. Mr. Popper was speechless with delight."

I had not read this book as a child (how did I ever miss this!), but I was determined to read it with my children before the movie comes out. We are enjoying it as a read aloud and hope to see the movie later this summer.

I'm on a mission to read all those books I should have read as a child, or that I think I read but really didn't. This is one of them.

What are your childhood favorites?

Monday, June 13, 2011

Treat from a Wonderful Etsy Seller

Just the other day, in my mailbox, was this yummy little treat--a set of four blueberry screenprinted napkins from Tina Produce. I was happily browsing on Etsy, when I saw a picture of these beautiful napkins and ordered them right away.

I love to use blueberries in my kitchen, in my window treatment, my dishes, wall art and knick-knacks. So, of course, these fantastic napkins had to join the collection.

Tina Produce also has strawberry and raspberry napkins, as well as T-shirts and totes. Check out the shop and find a treasure that's calling your name!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Family Reunion

We had a family reunion at our place yesterday. My cousins and I decided that we were tired of seeing each other only at funerals, and our family has had quite a few of those in recent years. So we picked a summer Saturday and put out the word.

I set up a drink station, with cups, napkins, and drinks in the coolers. Sweet tea in gallon jugs was added later.

The food table was prepped to receive all the goodies that I knew would arrive. Turns out, two of my guy cousins are awesome cooks. Who knew?

Tables and chairs, set and waiting for food and conversation:

And, my cousin Burt (sorry, but your dad is "Wayne"), getting ready for his big dive. We're all waiting.

And my son is ready for you...

'Bout time!

Pretty impressive form there, cousin.

Burt and his wife, Meredith, have a blog. She and I took pictures at the same time, so this shot may actually appear in two places on the web. Here's a link: The Burtons.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Things Can Get a Bit Scary Around Here

Yesterday was one of those days when I remember that I don't live in a Disney movie, where all the critters are cute and friendly. I had been outside with the children, watering plants, when my five-year-old daughter started swinging on the playset. She said, "Mom! There's a spider!"

To be clear, that's not unusual. We have lots of spiders around the house, most of them are no trouble and they help keep the fly population down. This time, however, when I went to see the spider, my daughter said, "I think it's a black widow." Uh-oh.

First, let me say, I'm proud of my little girl's ability to identify dangerous spiders. Second, let me say, "EEEEEWWWWW!!!" I attempted to smash the spider between my flip-flops. Unfortunately, it then disappeared. Hopefully, it fell on the ground and died. Hopefully.

Later, the drama continued. My older daughter went to the chicken coop to check on the girls. It's been pretty hot lately, and chickens don't do well in excessive heat, so she wanted to be sure everyone was okay. She came back a few minutes later and said, "There's a snake in the chicken coop. It's just a black snake, but it's pretty big."

First let me say, I'm proud of my daughter's ability to identify a non-venomous snake (and not scream when she saw it). Second, let me say, "EEEEEEWWWWW!!!" As luck would have it, Superhero Dad had already left his office and was on the way home. He went out to the coop, searched the area thoroughly and...the snake was gone.

So, that's life in the country. How are things at your place?

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Teaser Tuesday--The Pirate Coast

The Pirate Coast by Richard Zacks

The Pirate Coast is the true story of the United States first covert mission, to find Hamet Karamanli, brother of the Bashaw of Tripoli in the early 1800's. The goal was to place Hamet in power, hoping he would be more friendly to the young United States than his brother.

"The written orders I here hand you....are intended to disguise the real object of your expedition, which is to proceed with Mr. Eaton to Alexandria in search of Hamet Bashaw, the rival brother and legitimate sovereign of the reigning bashaw of Tripoli..."

What's on your nightstand?

Monday, June 6, 2011

A Bit of Landscaping and A Couple of Visitors

We spent some time this weekend working on the area around the pool. It was looking a bit run down. A really quick way to add some color and perk up dreary spot is to add fresh mulch and some containers. I went to town with Andy (my husband) and we selected some brightly colored flower pots, a plant rack and some cheery flowers.

The children helped us start the project by raking up dead leaves and such. Then we put down fresh mulch all around.

The plant stand has hooks for three hanging plants and, once I added three large baskets of petunias it gave instant sparkle to the side of the pool.

The bright blue flower pots (shhh, they are plastic) are pretty fantastic on their own, but with the addition of some geraniums and annual lantana, they really bring that empty spot to life.

Near the butterfly garden, I spotted a couple of dragonflies coming to visit. We get the neatest looking bugs around here.