Thursday, May 24, 2012

Sweet sixteen

Happy Birthday to my Most Favored Niece!!! Hard to believe she's 16. Where has the time gone? Just sixteen years ago when she was coming into the world, I was hanging out in the Kentucky wilderness with a gaggle of ninth graders. (OK, that seems like a long time ago.)

Kids these days just grow up way too fast! It's not fair!!!

(Photos are from the party we gave her last weekend.)

My Eurovision Song Contest pick

I'd like to introduce my readers to an amazingly talented young woman. Soluna Samay is representing Denmark in the 2012 Eurovision Song Contest with the song "Should've Known Better."  I've watched all of the finalists' videos on You Tube, and there are several great songs this year, but this song has something extra special about it. I happen to think of it as the perfect pop song. I hope you'll watch the video, and I hope you'll like it as much as I do. :) Click here to visit the official Soluna Samay web site.

UPDATE: Unfortunately, Denmark didn't win. However, I really think Soluna Samay has a great future ahead of her. Go Soluna!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Urban garden

What do you do when you live in the city and aren't allowed to grow a garden in your yard because of HOA rules? You put a portable raised bed on your concrete patio! Our "urban garden" can easily go mobile if needed.

We've got several kinds of lettuce and herbs, and four different types of tomatoes. We even grew some tomato seedlings. We'll take those to the farm for transplanting. :)

Country flowers

When I first came back to North Carolina 18 months ago (can't believe it's been that long), I decided to start a rose garden on my acre of the farm. I started out with an old yellow rose bush that had been living unhappily in another area of the yard. In early 2011, I bought a red rose bush. And this year, I bought the one that produced the lovely rose in the above photo. I plan to continue this trend next year and beyond for as long as I can!

Mom's into lilies. She has a zillion bulbs planted all around the farm. They've been gorgeous this year.

Mom also had some pretty pink peonies, but sadly, they didn't last long. S & I planted 3 peony bulbs back in March, but they never came up. Maybe next year? 

City flowers

Our city neighbor, Miss Julia, has the most interesting hydrangeas. I never knew there could be different colors on the same bush. S tells me it has to do with adding acidity to the soil, probably inconsistently. OK. I'm not a master gardener. All I can say is, I've never seen anything quite like this. :)

Blackberry jungle

It's a jungle out there! The blackberry canes have doubled . . . maybe tripled in size since last year.  The branches are loaded with berries. Should be ready in a few more weeks. I can't wait!!!

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Magnolia season

The magnolia blooms have been gorgeous this year. While I'm not fond of their smell, I think the flowers are examples of perfect beauty. Thought I'd share this one with you. :)

Sunday, May 6, 2012


Last night we were excited about the Supermoon, which was supposed to be the most awesome since 1912 or something like that. Unfortunately, it was very cloudy here, so the show was, well, disappointing. Here's the view from Pearl Street Park near uptown Charlotte, at around 9:45-10PM.

A special visitor and a celebrity encounter

For three days recently, I had the honor of hosting a good friend who lives in Vienna, Austria. First of all, it was GREAT to see her, because I hadn't seen her since February 2009 when I was last in Vienna. But having her visit me in North Carolina was extra special, especially since it was her first trip to the USA!!!

We went to the farm in eastern NC, then drove down to North Myrtle Beach so she could see the Atlantic Ocean from "this side of the pond." Meanwhile, back in the city, we toured Charlotte and had a wonderful meal at a vegetarian restaurant. It just so happens we were there at the same time as actor/musician Mandy Patinkin, who sat just a few feet away from us! (Apparently he was in town filming his TV series Homeland -- which happens to be one of my current favorites -- because we saw the film crew filming on Tryon Street that same evening.)

We all enjoyed her visit, and hope she can come back again and stay longer next time! :-)))