Monday, April 30, 2007

Downhill Sunday

what else is new....

Need I say more?


Kevin is much better and I was feeling better late this afternoon. That is when I noticed that my right ear had stopped up and I began to feel sicker once more. Ahh, those fleeting few moments when I thought I was actually getting better....

Tonight (Sunday): more congested w/pressure inside my head where there wasn't any before. Think I may have a sinus infection and fluid behind my eardrum (or in the middle ear) so I s'pose I'll be off to the doctor tomorrow. Probably good ol' ear drops, antibiotics and unfortunately, the ever-dreaded weight check.... :(

To my dear friends who stop by here, please don't be offended if in the next few days I don't visit your blog or Flickr photos while I try to get over this whatever-it-is. I may get a chance to and will try to since I enjoy commenting so much (I am addicted to these things after all). Then again, I may go to my mother's where she might help me take care of Kevin while I try to get over this. I'm becoming very annoyed at being sick now. The weather is pretty and I'm stuck inside feeling yukky. No fair. (Although I did get a necklace made today while watching Kevin play on the computer. I snapped it tonight after he went to bed. Here's a peek.

I'll try to feel better so I can list it sometime Monday. Made the clasp too. Got to use my hammer. I love to hammer....

Until next time. Take care everyone!

Saturday, April 28, 2007


Today he discovered he could climb up on the counter.

today he discovered he could climb up on the counter

I made him sad when I told him to get down.

I made him sad by telling him to get down - sized

He knows better.

he knows better - sized

He was having so much fun discovering what it's like to be 'big'.

I felt bad for raining on his parade.

[Flashback to being a kid on mom's kitchen counters.]

So I let him get back up...

wash your feet first

...I made him wash his feet first.


Thursday, April 26, 2007

"Sick as a Dog"

Why do they say that when one is feeling really sick? I don't understand because my dog doesn't even get sick, and when he does it's usually because he's eaten something he shouldn't have. If he gets really sick then I KNOW something's bad wrong because dogs just don't get that sick.

Dogs don't get colds and they don't get the flu. Some have allergies and they do get diseases, but most are pretty healthy. Barney sneezes occasionally and he eats grass (he grazes like a horse) which makes him gag, but he doesn't get really sick (knock on wood). At least that's been my experience with dogs for the past 23 years. So why do they say "sick as a dog" when dogs are pretty healthy overall?

Well, I've been sick as a dog for the past 3 days. Can't breathe; nose is completely stopped up but it still runs (how does that happen?). I broke down today and used my Vick's Sinex spray. It gives relief for a fleeting hour or so and then you become dependent on it to breathe! I carry around my box of Puffs with Aloe waiting for the inevitable sneeze and blow. I have the classic cold. Sneezing, coughing, congested, runny, clogged up, generally feel like I've been hit by a truck. Taking NyQuil day and night along with additional nasal decongestant. Nothing's working. I would make a good drug commercial. I wish I could go to sleep and wake up all better, but I can't sleep because I can't breathe. Oh well, this too shall pass.

Poor Kevin told me today, "Mommy, you look awful. But I still love you." I said, "Thank you Kevin. I appreciate that!" He made me laugh the way he said it. I looked in the mirror and he's right! I look awful. Nose all red, head three times its normal size (at least that's how it appears to me), eyes bloodshot. Barney doesn't notice it though. At least he hasn't said anything. (He's such a good dog that way.)


And while I've been puny I discovered that I was included in two treasury lists this week! Woohoo! That makes me feel better.

The first was a Mother's Day list by madefromtheheart. It included items from Etsy sellers who are participating in a Mother's Day promo put on by Etsy seller Lucid Dreams. She is offering handmade Mother's Day cards with gift certificates included in them redeemable at participating Etsy shops. I am one of the shops participating in the promo. I hope she does well in her promotion. She worked so hard getting it all together.

Thank you Lucid Dreams for doing such a wonderful job on the promo. And thank you madefromtheheart for including me in your list.

Mother's Day goodies

The second list is by the sweet and talented Liz of made in lowell fame. She created a beautiful list as well. Thank you for including me in your list, Liz!! I truly appreciate it.

'Friends' list

So while being sick as a dog, these two things lifted my spirits! Thanks. I needed that!

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Barney, My Shadow

Since I'm feeling a bit under the weather tonight (we all have colds and I'm coughing and congested), I thought I would just show off my Barney-boo. He's the best dog ever. He's my shadow, companion, guardian, and friend. He's always there for me no matter what. Couldn't ask for a better dog to be a human mom to.


Barney is a rescue dog. I wrote a post about him a while back when I first started this blog. He always lays at my feet when I'm at the computer, just like now. Where I go, he goes. And we sort of have an ESP between us now. I can read his little signals and he knows mine too. We are a perfect fit. Kevin loves Barney, too, although sometimes Barney does get a bit scared of some of Kevin's antics, bless his heart.

I don't know what this gentle soul's complete background is or if he was ever mistreated or abused, but that doesn't matter. He knows he's home now.

Take care everyone! Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, April 23, 2007

It's Out!!

It happened! Kevin lost his first tooth today! What a thrill!

He came running in to me at the computer yelling "Mommy, it stuck to my chewing gum!!" He was so excited! I gave him a great big hug and told him, "Congratulations, Kevin! Now you'll get to put it under your pillow for the tooth fairy!" I grabbed my camera and took pictures, and then called Granny so he could tell her all about it.

I was wondering, with inflation and higher prices for everything these days, what is a tooth worth to the tooth fairy nowadays? Kevin thinks he's going to get about $100 for his tooth! (I don't think so!) I told him I was sure the tooth fairy would be very generous since he's such a sweet boy, but that I didn't believe it would be $100. He said, "well then maybe $50." Well, since he has no concept of money yet, I told him that was probably more like it

So tonight for the first time the tooth fairy will come visit Kevin. In his sleep he will become one of generations of little fellows who have experienced what it's like to lose a tooth and get rewarded for it. I know I can't remember losing my first tooth, but Kevin will never forget it. Thanks to the digital age of cameras and blogging, he has it all recorded. And his experience is here for the whole world to share too!

(When the tooth fairy gets word of this, I'm sure she'll be on her way, lickety-split!)

Back On Track

After quite a creative dry spell I think I'm finally back on track.

Back on track, that is, if Kevin will slow down....

Today was just a blur....


Friday, April 20, 2007

It Must Be Karma

I must be doing something right!

Tonight whilst browsing my blog roll and making the rounds to the usual places I like to go (the links on the left of my blog that house the wonderful sites I like so much), I stopped along the way and made comments, offered suggestions and jokes, giving a little piece of my mind and heart to these places I visit. I have been trying to do this as often as I can and as a result I have met many wonderful people and made some precious connections. It pays to be nice.

Then I stumbled upon this. I did a double take and thought to myself, "No way! Those are my earrings! A pair of my earrings was picked for a collection that's posted on trousseaux to treasure's indie blog!" What a shocker! What a thrill! What did I do to deserve recognition like this?!

For me to have now had the good fortune of being picked from of all the designers out there whose earrings could have been chosen and would have looked great in this collection, and I was the one that was must be karma. I must have done something right. And I must express my gratitude to whomever put this collection together and picked my earrings. To you, my most heartfelt thank you.

Other designers might be used to this sort of thing, and it may be no big deal for some of you. But to me, it's a huge deal. Not only did it shock the pants off of me, it made me realize that you reap what you sow. Nothing like this has ever happened to me up to now. The closest thing was being in an Etsy Treasury list. I'm just a stay-at-home-mom whose life revolves around her son. I don't even get that much time to make jewelry nowadays with spring here and being outside with Kevin.

Here is a quote for you: "Mothers work from son up 'til son down." Well, that's me. And sometimes I'm up until 3:00 in the morning doing various and sundry things, but mostly just having time to myself to do whatever it is that I want to do without interruption. So to have something like this occur after just spending the last week trying to follow the Golden Rule, well, it's validating. It's proof to me that this is how it should be; that I'm headed in the right direction and doing something right, and it feels good. It also tells me that I need to get off my butt and make some new jewelry for crying out loud!

Thank you. Just simply thank you. :)

Thursday, April 19, 2007

My Little Man

My Little Man, originally uploaded by msbellee.

Look what Kevin helped me do. Now don't you go thinking that I somehow forced him into it. He wanted to do this of his own free will. "Mommy, can I use the shovel, pleeeeease??!" I didn't see why not, so I handed it to him and I let him at it. It was a little heavy but he managed. He had fun too. He felt like such a little man! Together we loaded three wheelbarrows full of leaves just from my puny little patio. Gonna make some great compost!

Kevin is a good helper. I'm trying to teach him that he needs to pitch in and help do some things. He loves to mop and dust. He likes to vacuum and sweep. He even likes to help do laundry. I wonder just how long this is all going to last? Who knows? I'm trying to raise him to be thoughtful and considerate, willing to help out. But there is this one thing I can't get him to do...PICK UP HIS TOYS!

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Laugh Often

It's good to laugh. Good for your body and good for your soul. Well, I found some places today that made me laugh and I bet you will too.

Even if you're not a mom, I promise you'll laugh when you visit this blog! (NOTE: not for those who are easily offended by the occasional curse word.)
The Life of a Neurotic Mom.

And this was just fun....

Go ahead, laugh! I dare ya'! Then come back & tell me if you did!

Monday, April 16, 2007

Tag! I'm It!

10 Little Known Facts About Me

I was tagged today. When I was visiting some of the blogs that I love to frequent I discovered I had been tagged by Stephanie to list 10 little known facts about myself. Hmmm. This might be interesting.

1. I had chickenpox twice when I was a kid. The first time was when I was very small when most younger children normally had it as there was no vaccine yet; and again in the 5th grade when no one is supposed to get it, let alone twice. I had no scars from the first round but got plenty from the second round. One scar is right in the middle of my forehead. I'm so very glad they now have a vaccine for it.

2. I can raise each eyebrow individually. This is hereditary because my mom can do it and my son can do it too. It makes for a great 'evil eye' when Kevin is doing something naughty, except that he now gives it right back to me. My mom used to give it to me too. I remember it well.

3. In high school I played volleyball, basketball and softball, and was a majorette. I had great looking legs! (Those were the good ol' days before the ACL and cartilage tore in my left knee resulting in 3 surgeries and the inevitable arthritis....) I miss the body of my younger days.

4. I was a music major at the University of Tennessee playing flute and oboe, and sang alto in the chorus. Never got anywhere with it. However, I did end up being promoted to assistant manager of Cat's Records & Tapes on the 'strip' off campus in Knoxville (remember records & tapes?). That was my first job and I loved it. Thanks, Drew, wherever you are. (I also play the guitar)

5. I have a huge stack of poems and ramblings that I've scribbled down dating back to the 6th grade. It's interesting to observe the things about me that have changed and what has remained the same. Sometimes I take them out of hiding and read them again, and still remember what I was doing and feeling at the time. It's weird how I can look at a piece of paper from that stack and be immediately transported back in time to the moment I wrote it. One piece of paper in particular comes to mind. It is a pale yellow sheet of tablet paper with light blue ruling. It is stained with a blurry pinkish-red splotch from where I was eating a wild strawberry picked from the grass next to me. I was sitting alone out in the yard as I was writing. I did a lot of writing there. It's one of my favorite places. I was probably in 6th grade when I wrote it. Which brings me to...

6. I would like to publish a children's book. I have already written it, and if I could paint or draw well enough I would have illustrated and published it by now. I wrote a poem parallelling a conversation I had with Kevin one day a couple of years ago that I believe would be perfect for a cute little children's book. I can see in my head how I want it to look. Hopefully someday I'll find someone to illustrate it.

7. I'm bipolar. That can be an entire blog entry unto itself... sometime.

8. I abhor light pollution. Seems like everybody and his brother have 'security' lights. There is no more 'country dark', or at least it's getting harder and harder to come by. You can't see the Milky Way anymore from my mom's yard, not like I used to when I was a kid. I would stretch out under the stars and try to spot meteors and make out the constellations. I tried to feel the earth turning beneath me as I lay there and watched the amazing display in the sky. Now I feel lucky to catch a glimpse of the Big Dipper or Orion's Belt much less spot a shooting star from any place I visit...anywhere. If we as a society could be free of the majority of 'security lights,' just imagine how much money would be saved as well as electricity and fossil fuels. I just believe it's a waste.

9. I'm 1/16 Cherokee. My great grandmother was half Cherokee and no one knows the ancestry of her Cherokee relatives. She lived to be 104. She was a very gentle, hard working woman as I recall. She passed away several years ago when I was in college. She was a rock. Always had a small glass of wine before going to bed. Drank coffee every day. I hope to live that long.

10. I would rather wade in a creek and catch crawdads than go shopping.

So there you have it. Ten things about me that you may or may not have known. Of course, there is more. For that you will have to continue to read my blog! I now tag Kathy and Maile.

Stumbled Upon This Today

Letting your light shine. By French Toast Girl. Very inspiring. Made me smile. I need to remember it. Go check it out.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

The Scourge of the Earth (and My Yard)

They are absolutely the terror of my yard and one of the main reasons why I want to move back to the mountains: FIRE ANTS! These gruesome little critters have changed the way I garden and how I approach life in Charlotte. Not only can you not get rid of them, you don't really know where they are hiding. They pop up in the most innocent of places, such as under Kevin's pool. OMG, I almost had a heart attack when I discovered this sight under his kiddie pool. "Get out of the pool right now!!!"

Oh, how I wish there was a way to rid my yard of them. I can't go digging in the dirt as I once loved to do in fear that they will rear their ugly little heads and sting and bite me until I can't stand it anymore. If you have ever been bitten/stung by one you know what I mean. Blisters that itch beyond belief. It lights you on fire.

We have lived in this house for about 10 years. The reason I chose it was due to its proximity to my workplace which was less than 2 miles down the road in the opposite direction of Charlotte traffic; and because it sat at the end of a cul-de-sac surrounded by woods. The housing development was fairly new, only 2 years old. We were told upon purchasing the house that no one would be allowed to build in the woods at the end of the cul-de-sac because it was a flood plain, so I felt safe. Not for long.

I worked in the yard and made it very attractive and inviting. I planted perennials, annuals, vines, ground covers, shrubs, bushes, flowering trees and blueberries. I loved getting out in the yard and adding to it here and there with a new color or shape. I even had a raised bed garden one year in which I grew vegetables including green beans, zucchini, yellow crookneck squash, eggplant, green peppers, corn, peas, watermelon and lettuce. I was pleased at how successful my little raised garden held up in the Charlotte heat and humidity. I loved transforming the clay soil into a rich mixture that would succeed in sustaining what I wanted to grow. I was also happy to have pots of flowers strewn about to add interest, especially by the back patio. I also had mint, chocolate mint, and various other herbs in pots as well as a beautiful pot of tommy-toes (tiny cherry tomatoes that are sweet like sugar candy). And, at that time we did not have fire ants...yet. All that changed.

In 1999 we were notified that the development was going to be extended and enlarged through the end of our cul-de-sac and houses were to be added on each side of us. We would no longer be at the end of the street nor would we be surrounded by my most precious woods. Goodbye deer, goodbye foxes, goodbye possums and raccoons, peep frogs and critters of all kinds. And hello fire ants!

They bulldozed the woods down to nothing, raped it in fact, and left no tree standing. Clear-cut the entire woods. I swear I heard the trees cry that day. There were oaks, maples and pines, dogwoods and redbuds, sweetgums, hickory and numerous others, as well as endless wild honeysuckle! Oh, how sweetly the woods smelled in the springtime. And then it was gone. Taken away by the greedy developers who only wanted to put up houses and pocket the money, destroying our mother earth who had left a little bit of her soul in this place. I cried for and with the trees that day and for months afterwards.

We had seven rose bushes along the driveway. Now there is one. They tore up the driveway and extended our yard to the new street. I had perennials along the street that got plowed under because of the destruction. I had three peonies. I saved one and put it in a pot. I had black-eyed susans and echinacea, pincushion flowers by the dozen, bulbs of all kinds, and hostas. All gone except for the ones I saved and moved, and the majority of them have died due to the heat and me not wasting our precious water to keep them alive in pots. Therefore if they survive they do so because they are very hardy and tolerant of drought. And even then some die due to being plowed up by the fire ants themselves.

I can now stand at the corner of the front of my house and spit on to the side of our neighbors' house. Through the walls you can hear them talking at times and most certainly you can hear their stereo. It's like living in an apartment almost. It's really sad. And in between us and them there are fire ants. They live along the new sidewalk, at our mailbox, beside the driveway, at the base of my blueberries, along the fence, under the boulder, and we can't get rid of them.

The only good thing to come from the deforestation of my neighborhood was my boulder and rocks. The huge rocks the construction workers found were going to be broken up into gravel. I convinced them to give them to me, including my wonderful boulder. I have many a big rock in the yard now as a result of sweet-talking the bulldozer operators. But the worst thing to happen as a result of the deforestation was the invasion of the fire ants.

I'm not exactly sure why, but since that happened the fire ants have gotten 1000 times worse. Every time I go outside I watch where I step. I often worry about Barney, my dog, getting bit by them, and poor Kevin cannot go outside barefoot. Every child should be able to go outside barefoot in their own yard for crying out loud! We have treated these monsters with various things to no avail, including gasoline and fire! Nada. They only move from that place to somewhere else. They are even under our foundation. I wish to the heavens above that these creatures did not exist on the planet. There is no good reason for them IMO. Only harm and anxiety comes from them.

If someone knows of a way to be rid of these devils, please do let me know. I would love to get back diggin' in the dirt once again.

Swiped Sweets

Swiped sweets

Shhhh, don't tell Kevin! Mommy swiped a couple of 'em!

I am a chocoholic you know. :)

Saturday, April 14, 2007

On the Right Path

On the Right Path, originally uploaded by Lou's Canon.

I found a very touching photo on Flickr tonight. So moving for me that I cried when I heard what it was saying to me. I'm still crying as I write this.

This is a picture with many hidden meanings. It could be saying 'run along and get your drink out of the car', or it could be saying 'wait for me'. But what it signifies for me is...letting go.

I never thought I would have kids. Then I had Kevin and my whole world changed. He's growing up so fast, getting so tall, has his first loose tooth, and will be going to kindergarten this fall. Time is flying by faster and faster with every day. There will come a time very soon when I will have to let him go, and it will come quicker than I think. I only hope I will have done right by him when that time comes.

Thank you, Lou's Canon, for touching me with your photograph. Nothing has moved me quite like this in a very long time.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Fun With Squishies and a Tennessee Wedding

We had a very interesting day today. It began when Kevin woke up and realized it was raining. The first thing he said was, "My day is ruined." He said it so glumly and pitifully. I almost laughed hearing that phrase come out of his 5 year old mouth. But I asked him why (even though I already knew why. He had gotten a new toy while in Tennessee over Easter weekend and wanted to play with it outside. His new Spiderman mask came complete with a web squirter glove which has a built-in contratption that shoots this sillly string stuff and I won't let him use it inside. I told him yesterday that if it warmed up he could do it outside. So that's why his day was ruined. He couldn't go outside with his web squirter toy). He told me to guess. I guessed right. He said it again. "My day is ruined." I told him that we needed the rain and that it was a good thing. I tried to help him understand that the plants and animals relied on the rain for their health and well-being. I told him that the rain was a good thing for the grass and trees, flowers and birds. Everything needed the rain. He just said, "I guess so." I told him that he would live without using it today and that we would find something else fun to do. And we did...


squishies at play

My mom had gotten some little, inexpensive toys from Big Lots to go in Kevin's Easter basket. Kevin and I were with her when she snuck them into the shopping cart so I wasn't exactly sure what all she'd gotten. These little guys were among them. Don't know exactly what they are called, but we now call them 'squishies'. They are a lot of fun. You can pull 'em, push 'em, squeeze 'em, stretch 'em, squish 'em, and shape 'em. They're cute. They're a lot of fun...and just a little weird!

These little squishies have a rubber-like outer skin and on the inside there is a fine powdery substance that is not unlike Moonsand in the way it packs together and holds a shape. The rubbery outer skin stretches like a rubber band and the face gets all distorted, which Kevin thought was funny. They made faces at him on top of being all smiles to begin with.

So there we were, playing away with the squishy buddies when Kevin handed me one and said, "look, mommy, he's bleeding." I thought, "huh?" I took the little orange guy and checked him over. Upon inspection with my strongest readers I finally noticed that he had somehow been punctured and the inner powdery stuff was coming out. Each time he got squished he made a little puff of powder all over your fingers. I thought "this can't be good. What is the stuff inside there anyway? Is it toxic?" I thought perhaps this little guy should be 'retired.'

I proceeded to show Kevin the little hole in the orange dude and explained that I wasn't sure what the white stuff was or if it was harmful. I let him hold it and squish it to prove to him that it was indeed punctured and he saw the powder come out for himself. Then I said, "I think we better let this guy go in the trash, sweet pea. He's not gonna make it." Well, I shouldn't have put it like that. BIG mistake.

I gave the orange guy back to Kevin and told him to go put it in the trash since it was torn up. He did. Then he came back with tears in his eyes! I said, "You still have these other guys. They're still your friends and can play with you." His lip started quivering and the tears welled up in his eyes and he started crying. Oh, I felt sooooo bad. I made him throw one of his squishies away! Now his other friends were lonely. I tried to console him and reitterated that the stuff inside might be toxic. "Kevin, he's torn up. He can't be fixed. I don't know how to fix it." He just boo-hoo'd. "Kevin, don't cry." After a few minutes of holding him while he cried, then watching his lip quiver as he tried to catch his breath between sobs, I gave in. "Tell ya' what, go get him and we'll see what we can do." Now I had to perform a for the orange dude so Kevin could keep him with all his other squishy friends! You don't turn your back on your friends!

I racked my brain as to how I could salvage this little squishy guy so he could still be Kevin's friend. Glue? No. Tape? Nah. That wouldn't withstand squishing which is how he became wounded in the first place! Aha! Saran wrap! I wrapped the little guy up in a clear stretchy bandage like a walking cast for the little guy, and twisted each end together like a twist tie. I then tied a knot with the saran wrap ends and cut the loose ends off. Voila! Kevin had his buddy back! I showed him to Kevin and actually got a smile! It had worked! Orange squishy was wounded but in Kevin's hand and with the other squishies in no time!

I did have to explain that he would never be the same again and that on the inside of the saran wrap the powder might still come out. As long as the saran wrap wasn't punctured he could still play with it. He said, "Okay, mommy. I love you." He gave me a big hug. I almost cried.

So we went back to playing with our squishies. The wounded orange guy got lots of hugs from the other squishies. Kevin made up dialogue between them all as he played with them on the windowsill looking out at the rain and fog. He even made them an M&M picnic and gave each their own M&M (which he then proceeded to eat!).

We had fun with the squishies. I'll never forget it.


An Easter Weekend Wedding

Over the Easter weekend we traveled to Pigeon Forge, TN, where my only nephew, Andy, married a beautiful and very funny girl, April. Fun was had by all!

Andy and April chose a beautiful wedding chapel in which to get married. It sat atop a ridge with a wonderful view of the Smokey Mountains. Breathtaking. They performed a ceremony called the "sand ceremony" where the two sands unite as one. It was unique and moving. What a memory they made for each other and all their friends and family.

My family stayed in a 3 level cabin on another ridge above the chapel. We had 11 people in it without running over each other! It came complete with a game room, outdoor hot tub and indoor jacuzzi tub. The view was awesome but the temperature was COLD. AS. CRAP. No one used the hot tub! I really wished it had been warmer for April's sake. She had a strapless gown in which I know she was freezing her tail off.

Congratulations to the happy couple! I hope you have a lifetime full of happiness, dreams, and laughter.

Here is a slideshow of some of the pictures I took at the adventure:

Thursday, April 5, 2007

Colors of My Yard

light and dark pink azaleas, originally uploaded by msbellee.

The azaleas beneath our kitchen window have popped and are in full bloom. They are so gorgeous. Nothing catches the eye like azaleas in springtime. I'm partial to pinks and purples and these azaleas make me smile when I look out the window and see their beauty. Spring is a wonderful time of year.

I don't have many nice plants in my yard anymore since the fire ants took over, but what remains is pretty darn hardy. If I can't kill it, it can survive anything. We've been in a drought for a several years now. I don't care what anybody says. There are cracks in my lawn at least 1/2 inch wide and grass doesn't like to grow. Got lots of clover and dandelions. At least they're pretty.

We go without rain for weeks sometimes and not much can survive that and the Charlotte heat and humidity. I won't use the hose to water either...not worth the high water bill we end up with. If it won't grow by itself, I ain't growin' it. If it does grow in my yard, then it's either native or I just got lucky.

I tried to plant things where they were supposed to go and pick perennials and annuals that belonged in my own zone. The people who lived in this house before us put the azaleas right up next to the street in full sun and had planted things that didn't belong in this zone. The azaleas didn't like where they were, so I moved them to part shade on the north side of the house. They're so much happier now and thriving despite my lack of pruning after the blooming season.

Here are some of what still survives despite my neglect.

My last surviving phlox. It's been in a pot for about 6 years.

varigated vinca
Varigated vinca. Good to brighten up shady spots.

I was at my mother's this past week and spring was out all over up there, too. However, since they are a different zone (zone 6 I believe) they are a little behind us. It was like reliving it all over again.

One of mom's 40+ year old forsythia bushes.

She has the prettiest tiny little purple weeds too.

I have no idea what the flowers in the last photo are. They are weeds apparently. Whatever they are the bees just love them and they are everywhere in her yard. When I was a kid I used to pick these little tiny purple flowers and bite the very ends off them. It's very sweet. I can see why the bees like them. If they're not toxic I bet they would be great in a salad. So colorful and plentiful and sweet!

Also growing wild in my mom's yard are strawberries, but anymore they are too small and bitter to do anything with. When I was growing up we used to pick wild strawberries growing in the yard and in the field above her house. We got buckets of them. The largest ones were maybe the size of a quarter and were sweet and juicy. Most were smaller, maybe the size of a nickel or dime. They were so good. Now you can't hardly find those kind of strawberries growing wild anymore. I miss those days.

Here is what grows in my yard but it's not even as big as a pea and it's hard and bitter.

wild strawberry

Here in Charlotte I also have blueberry bushes that produce some fruit, but not much. The bushes have been in the ground for about 10 years and the birds always get the fruit. That's fine with me. At least somebody gets to enjoy it. Very tasty little blueberries grow on them, but I wish they did better here. The mountains is where they do best. These, too, are surrounded by fire ants so I don't usually go near them anymore.


I miss the mountains. Only been gone one day and I miss it already. I miss it a lot. Always do.

I took a picture of the rain coming from over the next hill.

rain coming

Kevin and I played outside while we were there despite the rain. He wanted to play hide and seek ( he always hides in the same places!). I snapped this picture.

Hide and seek

It started sprinkling rain but we were prepared.

Kevin in the sprinkling rain

The next day the mowers came to mow Granny's yard. It's always an exciting time when that happens. Both my boys sit on the back of the couch in front of the picture window to see what's going on outside.

My two boys

The world outside

Funny, I used to sit there and do the same thing when I was a kid. It's just a good place to be in Granny's house.

Until next time....