red pepper and patience

Thursday, September 4, 2014

This red pepper is what I have waited for all summer. It took a while to grow into a big green pepper. "Go ahead and pick it," they said. "The deer will eat it," they said. "It's so big!," they said. 

No. I want to wait until it turns red. 

They were shocked when it finally started turning red. The turning itself took several days. 

It happened in the garden in the background of this picture. 

I need to plant more okra next year, as this year's harvest has happened one or two pods at a time. Mema showed me her Our State magazine, where I read about okra and the writer's suggestion to try a pod raw. That makes sense when you only have one, and I was pleasantly surprised by the taste. 

Mema gave me the idea to take a picture from above. It is almost a heart. A. labor. of. love! 

Everything I do is hand me down style. Besides learning the how-tos from friends and family, I followed my great grandmother's model of planting, working, then leaving town. During the most productive days, especially with the cucumbers, I headed to the beach and left my mom in charge. Apparently my great grandmother used to do the same to my grandmother, her daughter-in-law, who lived next door. 

Papa snapped this one. I handed him my DSLR as my dad, grilling beside us, laughed. My papa took only one picture, and I think he did very well. 

I cut up the pepper and ate it in a salad that I shared with my small group. Honestly, the taste was nothing special. But I will try peppers again next year! 

bridal shower for Katherine

Monday, September 1, 2014

My longtime friend Katherine is getting married next month, so her sister, Caroline, and I hosted a tea themed bridal shower for her. I have known their family since they moved here when Katherine and I were in fourth grade. Our parents became friends and we were in Sunday school together. One of my earliest memories of Katherine and Caroline is from one night when their family had us over for supper. Caroline and Katherine told my brother and me about the pumpkins they had decorated and entered into the State Fair. They won something like $200 for them, and we were extremely impressed! 

We hosted the shower at Caroline's house. She had this incredible set up ready when I got there! The china, crystal, and silver was borrowed from the bride's mother. The tables were beautiful! All I did was help assemble tiered servers and set out the food. Caroline is organized and dependable, so I shouldn't have expected any less than perfection, but she really blew me away, especially since this was the FIRST bridal shower she has ever hosted! 

My sister in law made vanilla cupcakes and chocolate covered strawberries. Debbie, Katherine's mother, made cheese straws and cucumber sandwiches. I made sausage balls (recipe here and the paleo substitution I make for Bisquick here). Caroline made black currant tea, which was quite a chore for such a crowd! 

Of course, once people got there, I stopped taking photos, but I did catch this one of Katherine going to greet her guests. She is a lovely bride, and she received many wonderful gifts at her shower, including a Kitchen Aid mixer from her aunt! 

We had a great time catching up with friends, and I'm looking forward to Katherine and Nate's wedding! 

four months with Dan

Monday, August 25, 2014

Once upon a time, Dan came to live with me as a foster dog. He was underweight and sick and going through treatments. He was also recovering from being neutered. His coat was light brown. 

Dan followed me everywhere I went, and we became best buds. He learned to stay in his invisible fence. After another round of treatments, I finally got to adopt Dan. He still had to be inactive for another month. 

Dan loved attention and often jumped on people, counters, doors, etc. He got plenty of Busy Buddys full of peanut butter to keep him occupied while he wasn't allowed to run, which also helped him put on weight. He ate everything everywhere, including on the counters. He shed his light brown coat and turned a darker brown, but his fur was still soft, so Mom continued to pet him. 

Dan began a home manners class and leash walking class. When the vet said his inactive time was over, he and I started going on walks every day. She also told me that I needed to feed him more, and he started gaining more weight. Dan's behavior improved when he had exercise. He learned to "heel" and only to pee on everything when I give him the "release" command. Amazing! Dan sits and waits for his food now. He sits and waits to go through doorways. He even sits and waits to get in the car, and he LOVES to get in the car. He can lay down and "leave it" on the ground. Dan is eager to please. 

My grandmother says that Dan looks like he is somebody now. 

He still steals cucumbers. The other night, he gently carried a possum to me on the front porch. It gave me hope for a future of hunting. 

Dan graduated from his home manners class this weekend. I only signed him up for the first set of classes because I honestly couldn't imagine him even getting to where he is now. He has learned and improved so much! 

I am so pleased with Dan's behavior and so happy that he is healthy. Look at him watching his person even while I'm not paying him attention. 

My dog is awesome. 

I am thankful for my family helping me out tremendously with him. Having Dan has taught me about commitment, (letting go of) control, and accepting help. He is a handful, but he is a sweet, soft, lovable handful. 

last summer coral

Monday, August 18, 2014

I went by my new favorite store in Beaufort, Southern Frock, during my August travels. Last time I went in, I got the perfect wrap dress for cooler weather. Although I want summer to last forever, I cannot wait to wear it! This time, I found this dress to enjoy during the last few days of summer. 

Charlotte's is having an awesome end of summer sale with great prices on Jack Rogers. I snagged this pair to finish out summer and another pair that will transition into fall. I went in planning to spend my $100 gift card that I won a while back in their #CharlottesStyle contest, but needless to say, I ended up spending some of my own money . . . 

HMD pearl earrings from Mom // Southern Frock dress // HMD belt from Mom // HMD bangle from Mom // Michael Kors small Layton watch // Jack Rogers Navajo // essie bottle service

August travels

Friday, August 15, 2014

I'm heading back to work today, but before I do, I had to take one. more. beach. trip. It is never enough. It is so true that the time flies more and more as we age. I know it was just last week that I finished up my work for the year, but somehow two months have passed.  

I burned CDs of my summer playlist for myself and Jessica, and I kept hearing "in Carolina, barefoot on the beaches . . ."

I'm so thankful for this girl and her willingness to go on adventures with me! 

This one's a hand me down from Mom: she told us to go to Big Oak Drive-In in Salter Path. Jessica and I both tried the famous shrimp burger. It was worth the drive! 

We took in the beach one more time at sunset. 

A cloud, near-stormy sunset. 

Before I left, I explored Fort Macon, the most visited state park in North Carolina. 

I've been to the fort plenty of times before, but I still appreciate each time. There is so much history here. 

Until next time! 

August garden update

Monday, August 11, 2014

Okra blooms are so fleeting that I have been trying to capture one at just the right time all summer. I've seen buds and the next time I look, they're withered. I finally got one! 

This Better Boy plant has outgrown its cage, so I built an addition with a stick and some twine. 

 Cucumbers have taken over most of the garden bed and have produced more than any of my other plants. They've grown all over the air conditioning unit. They've attracted bees. If you like cucumbers, I will give you some! 

I've had a few bell peppers. This one keeps growing bigger and bigger, but I'm waiting for it to turn red. 

Occasionally, Dan gets a wild hair and picks some cucumbers. On this particular day, he ate three. 

I'm not sticking to a regular blogging schedule now, but I plan to continue posting whenever the mood strikes. To make sure you don't miss a post, subscribe by email on the right side of my page, just under my profile. 
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