With the weather cooling down and fall setting in, I decided it was time to change out my planters and put in some mums. In anticipation of this transition, I was letting my sweet potato vines die back. I was … Continue reading
This year marks my Granny and Papa’s 80th birthdays and 60th wedding anniversary. A celebration was most definitely in order. We put together an “open house” type party at their church and served cake and punch.
The happy couple in front of the treats.
Aunt Vickie had the cake and cupcakes made. They were beautiful and delicious.
As we were setting up for the party, we had a bit of an incident. I was in the kitchen with Lauren and Aunt Vickie and I was looking for a lighter to light candles in the function hall. I opened the drawer on the left to find a lighter for the candles. As I opened the drawer, a mouse popped out and ran into the back of the cabinet. Cousin Lauren, Aunt Vickie and I shrieked as I nearly jumped out of my skin and back about 5 feet. I don’t remember how it happened in my state of shock, but the drawer was then somehow closed. Aunt Vickie, Cousin Lauren and I agreed that we had not hallucinated, that the tissue paper in the drawer had been shredded by the little creature, and that we would pull it together and carry on with the festivities after this traumatic event. That is all I would like to say about that.
All we could find to light the candles was a box of small matches. I wasn’t about to open any more drawers in the kitchen. I already said enough about that.
We nominated Uncle Brian to light the candles since he seemed to have more of a handle on how not to burn himself instead of the candle.
Caramelized mums. Approximately 9 minutes after poor Uncle Brian lit all 24 candles, we had to blow them out so we didn’t burn the place down. So much for the ambiance.
Aunt Vickie had a beautiful throw made with pictures of Granny and Papa when they were first “courting” and married. I know they will treasure it.
Nobody wanted to sit at the tables until cake was served. We had a full perimeter.
Before we served the cake, my dad thanked everyone for coming and decided to ask Granny and Papa a few questions about getting married. My Mom had been asking them about it before everyone arrived and we all thought the stories were worth sharing because my grandparents actually eloped.
The story goes that Granny and Papa were out and about in Burkesville on a Saturday night as was typical. Granny’s parents had even seen them around town and were pleased to see that they were having a good time (little did they know what was cooking…). Granny and Papa knew of a minister in the county who would marry them so they took two of their friends as witnesses and had the minister marry them that evening.
My dad asked Granny to talk about what the minister said at the wedding and Granny said she can’t remember because she was just focused on saying “I do.”
My dad then asked how much the wedding cost, to which Papa replied that it was “very expensive.” The minister didn’t officially charge anything to marry them but apparently would take $10. Papa has decided that that $10 was “money well spent.”
Given that my Papa was such an obedient son and respectful person, it’s still hard for all of us to believe that they eloped. When asked whose idea it was to elope, Papa pointed at Granny and everybody just laughed.
The story gets even more interesting because they kept their marriage a secret for 6 weeks. One day my Papa walked into Granny’s parent’s house to see Granny and Mammie, Granny’s mother, confronted him, saying she knew he would put off telling them as long as he could (evidently, Granny had spilled the beans but neglected to let Papa know that the secret was out). Papa said he didn’t know if he should “faint or go blind.”
It was great to hear them tell those stories. I hadn’t even heard some of the details before.
And then it was time to eat and visit!
Quite a turnout as you can tell by the cake. And Granny was worried no one would come.
I was in charge of cutting this cake. Didn’t I do a beautiful job?
Granny and Papa and their boys, Uncle Brian and my dad.
Granny and Papa and the full squad: sons, daughters-in-law, and grandbabies (3 out of 4).
Only 3 of the 4 grandchildren have been at each their 40th, 50th and 60th anniversaries. At the 40th, Kristen wasn’t born yet, at the 50th, I had just started high school and couldn’t miss that much school to travel from Boston to Kentucky. And during the 60th, my sister, Eugene, was missing because she is currently studying abroad. Let the record show that cousin Lauren has perfect attendance.
Apparently, we were in need of some bossing. It was her party after all.
She realized I had caught her in the act.
This is so adorable, I can’t stand it.
This is equally adorable. Clearly, if there’s one thing my family knows how to do, it’s how to laugh.
The party was full of reunion of old friends and extended family, storytelling, and laughter. Granny and Papa seemed to have a great time and really enjoyed seeing everybody who came.
Congratulations on 80 years of life and 60 years of life together, Granny and Papa! We all love you very much.
Y’all give each other some sugar,
A big ol’ thank you to Rachel at Being Mrs. Crashaw for nominating me for The Sunshine Award! Learning that someone enjoys my blog never ceases to delight me. Thank you, thank you!
In accepting this award, it is my pleasure to complete the following:
- Blog a post linking back to the person/blog that nominated me.
- Answer some questions, nominate ten fellow bloggers and link their blogs to the post.
- Comment on my nominees’ blogs to let them know I’ve nominated them.
Some particular thing about me:
- Who is your favorite philosopher? My cat Gus. He is so wise. Just kidding. He is not exactly a philosopher, but I am drawn to Wendell Berry’s philosophy about the power of nature and our responsibility to take care of it and learn from it always.
- What is your favorite number? 22. It has always been a lucky number for me and it was my number in field hockey and lacrosse throughout high school.
- What is your favorite animal? This is a toughy. Almost any baby animal melts my heart. Except rodents.
- What are your Facebook and Twitter URLs? http://www.facebook.com/#!/TheSugarlump @thesugarlumpgrl
- What is your favorite time of day? The morning if I have a lot to do and the evening if I’ve gotten a lot done. But if I really must choose, I suppose I would say I love sitting on a porch and watching the sunset in the evening.
- What was your favorite vacation? Probably a trip to London I took with my mom in middle school. It was my first time in Europe and I was very interested in seeing all of the architecture. We had a great time going to all of the castles during the day and taking in some fabulous musicals at night.
- What is your favorite physical activity? Rearranging my furniture. Really.
- What is your favorite non-alcoholic drink? Milk. Although I no longer drink it out of a sippy cup, it has always been my go-to beverage.
- What is your favorite flower? I love the smell of hyacinths, but I always have hydrangeas in my house that I cut from my garden.
- What is your passion? Creating. I love to design and build things. It all started when I arranged my little plastic chairs in the form of a minivan at age 4.
And now, some very sunny?…shiny?…sunshiney? (you know what I mean) blogs that I would like to nominate for The Sunshine Award:
Please complete the first list above to accept this award. Happy blogging, nominees!
Y’all come back!
Hi there, I’m having trouble coming up with a nice, cohesive story to share today so I’m just going to offer a few photos, thoughts and comments that may or may not make any sense collectively and/or individually. It has … Continue reading
Seeing as this is the first official day of Summer, I thought this might be a good time to report on the progress of my deck container garden.
I’m going to go ahead and declare the sweet potato experiment a success as the vines have overtaken their planter and look like they’re about to make a move on the peas.
This picture was taken 2 days before the group picture above. As you can see, there has been considerable growth even in that short time. This thing is a mutant.
My peas have yet to take off up the poles, but I am hopeful. I’m wondering if I need to thin these a bit. They’re looking a little bushy and misguided.
The parsley is suffocating the poor rosemary and the cilantro, which has already started to go to seed. Who knows a trick for keeping it from doing this? Every year, I cut it back thinking I am going to outsmart it, but it always gets me.
I believe it’s time to make some pesto.
Happy Summer, y’all!
While my container garden on my deck seems to be thriving, I miss my big ol’ flower garden at my parents’ house in Boston. To make matters worse, my dad sent me pictures (which I requested) of my old garden. … Continue reading
I’m working on the “Garden on the Deck Project: how much you can grow on a 56 sq foot deck in 6 planters while still having room to walk and a place to sit.” That title is just about as … Continue reading
I went back to Boston this weekend for my friend Lindsey’s bachelorette party and bridal shower. I don’t have any pictures of the shower, but I do have several shots of the bachelorette party, where there were many kinds of shots taken.
I would like to clarify that there were no guns involved.
Here is Miss Lindsey modeling her Minnie Mouse veil. She’s going to Disney on her honeymoon.
Here she is practicing acting like a mature, married woman.
And this is how I snuck all of the food and decorations into the hotel. They didn’t suspect a thing. Ha.
I think it’s safe to say that no one went hungry.
Everyone survived the evening, so all in all, I think it was a success and Lindsey seemed to enjoy herself as the second photo in this post confirms.
Even though it was a short trip, I did get to spend some time at home with my parents. Almost one month had passed since I moved to Tennessee and what a difference that month made in the yard. All of the trees were filled out and my garden had grown up considerably from my first pass through the yard at the end of March.
The rock wall bed is looking very green and fluffy (to use official horticultural terms), but no colorful blooms yet…
But don’t worry, there are a few things blooming back by the hammock!
(I’m sure you were worried sick).
I was nervous about my bleeding hearts coming back this year. They kind of looked a little bit dead as they lay helplessly on the ground last summer. They sure had me fooled! Little tricksters…
PEONIES! I’m sad I will miss these in bloom. They’re so pretty and fuchsia-y. I might add that they are doing a good job of holding themselves up.
Here’s a look back at the big rock wall from the edge of the patio. This bed on the left is a little behind. It has lilies and black-eyed susans that need some warmer weather to give them a boost. I should send them some 90 degree days from Nashville because I have some to spare.
Blue fescue! My dad thinks it’s hilarious that I have these balls of grass in my garden. Over the past few years, he has on several occasions asked me if I realize that there is already a lot of blue fescue in the lawn. I tell him that this is different and thus warrants being in the garden. I was usually saying this while digging up little clumps of grass that showed up in my garden uninvited.
Another bleeding heart that had me concerned last summer. Purty.
Here’s a look at the peninsula opposite the main rock wall. Still looking a little patchy, but it’s early..
Here’s the view from the driveway. See that big tree on the right with the sunlight shining on it? Well, the top of it croaked during hurricane Irene last summer. Somehow, when it fell, it only killed one of my plants because my little rock wall to the left broke its fall. This was good news that there were almost no plant casualties; however, the great news is that my shade garden has become a sun garden!
I realize it doesn’t look so sunny in this photo, but it was taken late in the afternoon.
Azaleas in the front yahhhd. I need more of this color in my life.
And here’s a look at my bountiful garden at my apartment in Tennessee. Very similar to the garden in Boston, don’t you think?
Y’all come back,
As I mentioned in my last post about my former garden, this year is the year of the container garden for me as I do not have any gardening space at my apartment, just a small deck. I am determined, however, … Continue reading
These are some of my flowers in past years at my parents’ house. I considered it my contribution to the household to plant and take care of the flowers.
I got really into gardening when I was in college and decided I needed a perennial flower garden a few years back. I dug out a bunch of the rocks in the soil around the edge of my parents’ yard (New England has very rocky soil). My dad and my sister helped. I then used the rocks to build a low rock wall (pictured below), which I then backfilled with better dirt for my flower bed. My sister helped with this as well. It was the last time she participated in any gardening activities. She discovered that she does not like manual labor involving dirt and rocks.
A year after I built the rock wall, I convinced my dad to help me put in a patio. He did a lot of the heavy duty prep work, like using his John Deere to level the dirt and remove large rocks and dead tree roots. I helped with spreading and leveling the sand and then I laid the stone pavers.
Thank you for helping me/doing the hard part, daddy!
And then the John Deere and I got to work planting new plants and transplanting plants from other places in the yard.
I did some transplanting from the front yard….
…and from the backyard….
…and then I bought some new plants and planted them.
And then I did some more planting and there was still a lot of empty space, but the plants needed room to grow and I would fill in new plants over time.
Apparently, I wore very strange attire one day when I did some planting. I don’t know what to say about this ensemble except that it was very hot outside and I was trying to keep my feet (but evidently not the other 90% of my body) free of dirt. I must have been delirious from heat exhaustion at this point to strike such a pose, in such an outfit, in such a setting…with a shovel and without a tan.
This is what my garden looked like last summer, the third summer of the perennial garden/patio’s existence. Two years ago, my dad and I transferred 4 cubic yards of good dirt one lawn tractor load at a time from the driveway, where the truck dumped it, to my garden at the edge of the yard. This definitely improved the growing conditions for my plants. It also improved my appreciation for every poor soul in the landscaping business.
But my plants were happy.
I’ve always loved to play in the dirt and I’ve spent every birthday for the last 5 years planting something in my parents’ yard. This year for my birthday, perhaps I will plant something at my grandparents’ house or maybe I’ll see if the landscaping crew at my apartment complex will let me volunteer for a day. I’m not sure how well that will go over, but it’s worth a shot.
I added this rock wall (behind the hammock) 2 years ago from even more rocks that we uncovered when mending the soil.
I was constantly moving things around, into the sun or into the shade. I would sit in my hammock with a book, but after about 30 seconds I would be staring at my garden, thinking about my next move or project. It was such a therapy for me. I can’t wait to see how much the garden has grown this year when I go back to Boston to visit my parents.
So this year I’ll be gardening on a very different scale. I will be confined to container gardening for my flowers, but I am determined to make the most of it.
Thankfully, my papa has agreed to let me help with his vegetable garden so I will at least have a decent amount of square footage to play in when I visit my grandparents in Kentucky.
More to come on the container gardening on my 50 square foot deck.
Y’all come back now, ya hear?