Tuesday, June 25, 2019

The Sweetness of Summer

I guess I'm catching up here today. Again. That's likely how summer blogging will go and I'm rolling with it.


Daughter1 and her little guy arrived on Father's Day and we had a week of fun in the sun with the two of them before hubs and I headed to Austin to attend a friend's son's wedding. Why do all those apostrophes look wrong?


Anyway, each time the mancub is here he's a little bit better on the boat. He's big enough for a puddle jumper now as opposed to the life jacket and it's much more comfortable. They're Coast Guard approved unless you're skiing, but we don't have him up on skis (yet!) so it's perfect.

He is a huge fan of his aunt, and next to Pawpaw she's his favorite person. Or she might even be the favorite, but don't tell Pawpaw.


I'm third but I've already called dibs on baby number two-ha! Which (insert drum roll) is a BOY!! We're all so excited to have brothers in the house. The boys will be close in age and I hope they're best buds just as their mama and aunt have always been.


Also, baby boy loves his Nana plenty so no worries.


We spent most mornings at our neighborhood pool, and every day he got a little bit braver about leaving the step.


Is he just the cutest or what??!!


Afternoons were spent in the lake and looked mostly like this-


I know. It's a blur, but it's also an accurate reflection of what it's like keeping up with a not quite two year old on a dock beside the water. In he goes with a huge smile on his face, then back up the stairs lightning fast, then almost before you can blink he's launching himself back into the lake. We tag team him with someone on the stairs, someone on the dock, and someone in the water.

It takes a village y'all.


Friday we motored out to one of the little islands on the lake and he loved that. We loved it too because there was a sandy beach that allowed our water baby to walk into the lake hands free.


He splashed and paddled and chased the beach ball and played in the sand and had himself a grand old time. We all did! It was an absolutely gorgeous day so how could we not?

Saturday hubs and I had an early flight to Austin and Daughter1 and the mancub headed to her in-laws for the week. Her hubs is here too, but he spends all day every day in the university library studying for his Boards happening later in July.

This is why I'm not a doctor. Well one of the reasons I'm not a doctor. I lack the super deep well of self-discipline required to say I'll spend all these sunshiny summer days in a library cubicle instead of on the water.

Oh and guess who else is here?


Y'all he's cute. He wears his life jacket with nary a complaint and would happily run off the dock all day every day if we let him. And we might because he has some energy to burn. Hubs purchased a super duper deluxe pet hair dryer we've set up in the lower garage and so far that's working out well.


The pup is headed to a trainers for two weeks starting tomorrow and I think he'll do great. He's a really smart dog and he seems to have settled in. Of course we're wearing him out every day with the walking and the swimming and the ball chasing so he's pretty pooped by the end of the day. Getting into a routine with two is taking a little figuring out, but we'll get there.

Austin. It was hot. But we had a really lovely couple of days away and enjoyed sleeping in, eating queso and sipping margaritas-


visiting the LBJohnson Presidential Library-


and celebrating the wedding of a super sweet couple-


This is not that couple. This is us and we've been married thirty-five years. We are super sweet though.

We flew out Saturday and were back home Monday evening so a quick trip, but just what we needed in the way of rest and recharge. We have family coming in this weekend and the mancub and his mama will be back at the lake to enjoy catching up with everyone. More family will follow and there will be cookouts and bare feet, fireworks and ice cold watermelon, stories told and memories made.


If you need us we'll be right here...soaking up all the sweetness that is summer.

Saturday, June 15, 2019

Zilch, Zero, Nada

Z is for Zero

As in how many posts I wrote last week. And in keeping with my theme of things that delight it's also the number of alphabet letters remaining in the April A to Z Blog Challenge so whoohoo!

Let's catch up some, k? Daughter2 had a childhood friend visit the lake last weekend. It rained. And rained and rained and rained. They didn't care even a little bit. They planted themselves on the screened in porch and read through piles of books and talked and read more books and even managed one quick dip in the lake between cloudbursts.

Rainy days and childhood friends are good for the soul. Plus when the rain clears you get a sky that looks like this-


Daughter2's friend flew out Sunday then on Monday friends we made while living in England who now live in Texas but have a lake house in Kentucky came to visit. Did you get all that?

We had glorious weather and spent all day Tuesday on the boat. It's been a strange season so far in terms of boating because it really hasn't been all that hot. Not Carolina hot anyway which means we've been enjoying cool mornings on the porch and cool evenings out there too. I do love me some porch sitting.


Wednesday we played tourist and drove over to Asheville to spend the day with the Vanderbilts. They weren't home but we let ourselves in and toured their house and gardens anyway.


An absolutely gorgeous home in a gorgeous setting not to be missed if you're in the area.



They had a fun display in the conservatory, a model train with tracks running in and out of the plantings, along with miniature models of the estate too. Let me just say their gardener knows what he's doing.


Our friends got on the road early Thursday so we did ordinary life stuff like visit the dentist (me), get a haircut (also me) and take a guitar lesson (definitely the hubs!).


Friday night we went over to a little place we like to eat on the lake and then because the sky was so pretty we took our time cruising home right along with the sun. Pay no attention to my boat hair.


Also, why doesn't my daughter have boat hair? 


Meanwhile...on the west coast my daughter1 and son-in-law celebrated his graduation from a 5-year orthopedic surgical residency and are busy loading up suitcases to make the trek south for a few weeks prior to their move. We absolutely could not be more proud of his drive, his diligence, his patience, and the fortitude he has displayed in getting to this day.


Our girl will be here tomorrow with the mancub to celebrate Father's Day with her father in person, and we're all just a little bit excited about that. The Dr. Captain will follow a bit later and will bring the dog with him, so no pup in the house just yet.

Other than the one already here I mean.


And oh yeah, tomorrow hubs and I mark 35 years as husband and wife.


This most recent year feels a lot like this post.-so.much.stuff. But there is grace for the day and for the year and for all the years and for that we are so very grateful.


Happy Anniversary hubs...you're still the one ­čĺĽ

Saturday, June 8, 2019

Y Not Make A List

It's Saturday which means it's time for a list of small delights. My previous Saturday lists have all contained twenty items, but today we land on letter y and that just might strain my brain. We shall see-

Y is for Your Saturday List of Small Delights 

yellow roses
New York city
saying yes to a spontaneous day out with friends
a freshly mown yard
Italian pottery with a bright yellow lemon motif
my grandson saying 'see ya'
Yorkshire pudding beside a Sunday roast
a yellow finch at the feeder
yuletide traditions
a York Peppermint Pattie
fixing something yourself
happening upon a field of yellow sunflowers in bloom
planning a trip over yonder
my yearly birthday celebration
hearing you are loved
knowing you are loved
the first yellow daffodil of spring
comfy yoga pants
feeling young at heart
a yummy dessert

Made it! Now tell me what's on your list this rainy Saturday in June.

Friday, June 7, 2019

An Xtra Special Post

X is for Extra Special

It was twenty years ago today...


Approximately. It was for sure twenty years ago, but I don't think this picture was taken on June 7th. I know it was taken the year she turned 11. The year she spent hours making friendship bracelets out of embroidery thread and asking me to french braid her hair. The year she loved camping on the weekends with room to think and dream and plan a future she could only imagine.

The future is now and the baby girl who made me a mama will spend her birthday today bidding farewell to her first 'married' house, preparing to put down roots on the other side of the world, and growing a new little someone to add to the nest she'll soon call home.

Time is funny and precious and moves sometimes at the speed of light, or what feels like it anyway.

Wishing my extraordinary girl an extra special birthday. She blogs here (Sincerely Shannon) if you want to hop over and leave some happy wishes for her today.

Happy birthday Daughter1...I love you to the moon and back. Or at least to South Korea!

Thursday, June 6, 2019

Adventure In The Great Wide Somewhere

Four down, four more to go...
V is for View

Yes with a capital V because I am all about a great view. I had this idea that I would make a list of my favorite views, but once I started scrolling through photos I realized choosing favorites would be an impossible task. 

I live on a lake so there's a beautiful view right outside my window every single day of the year. Morning, noon, and night. Rain or shine. Summer, winter, spring, and fall.

The view never ever gets old, never fails to delight.

But I also really love stumbling across an unexpected view. Stopping at an overlook on the side of a busy road for a peek at the valley below. Stepping out onto a patio and finding a garden in full bloom. Rounding a bend in a forest path to discover a bubbling brook or a rushing waterfall. 

Nature delights in a thousand ways but here are some of the views I love best-

high atop a mountain


from the ocean's edge-


a sunrise sky all the colors of the rainbow (nobody's surprised are they?)-


a fiery sunset to bookend the day-


wide open spaces-


a woodland path leading somewhere up ahead-


a field of flowers in bloom-


great big snow in a winter wood-


waterfalls that roar-


and nature's art-


What views would make your list? 

Wednesday, June 5, 2019

Wednesday Medley

Not only am I more than a month behind in wrapping up the A-Z challenge, I'm also flip flopping the letters around because I can. V is alphabetically next but I'm going with W today because it's Wednesday and it works.

W is for The Wednesday Hodgepodge

Early in my blog life I started hosting a weekly link up called The Wednesday Hodgepodge. I asked five questions at random (leaving room for a hodgepodge thought of your own), and bloggers answered on their own blog then linked to mine. A little mid-week pick me up to get us unstuck in our writing, make us laugh a little-think a little. 

Along the way I met some of the absolute nicest people. What started on a whim became a sort of online coffee morning with a fairly large group of regular participants who got to know each other by sharing small and large bits of our lives through our writing.

It was delightful. 

I kept up the pace of weekly hosting for eight years then needed to call it a day. It was time. Nobody really wanted to lose the connection we'd made so another blogger picked it up, changed it a wee bit and on it goes today under the name Wednesday Medley (hosted by Terri at Your Friend From Florida

I haven't been able to join the party much in recent months, which is why I declared myself boss of the alphabet and moved letter W to today. Happily this week's questions are all about one of my favorite things (cheese!) and who doesn't find that delightful? 

Here we go-

1. National Cheese Day was Tuesday rather than Wednesday, but Terri thinks we should celebrate all week. Start by sharing your favorite cheese with us. Which one is always in your frig?

Well let me just say I never met a cheese I didn't like so picking a favorite is tough. A delicious salty Parmesan? Pimento cheese spread on a cracker? Maybe a creamy Brie preferably eaten somewhere in France because theirs is the absolute best?  I also really love a goat's milk cheese called Humboldt Fog which comes from California and has a line of edible ash running through the center. So good! 

I always have Parmesan in my frig. Real Parm, not that stuff that comes in a can! 

2. What is your preference? Mild, sharp, extra sharp? How do you use cheese most often?

I assume we're talking cheddar in which case I'd go for the sharp. As far as how I most often use cheese? Give me a charcuterie tray with some fabulous cheeses to complement the meats. Add small dishes of olives and assorted little nibbles, a glass of bubbly, and I'm a happy camper. 

3. Cheesecake? New York style or what other flavors would you rather have?

I like cheesecake, but it's not my favorite dessert (although it's rare I refuse any sort of dessert).  Cheesecake isn't the one I go for if offered a choice. I like NY style, love some berries on top, but am not big on all the various flavors of cheesecakes. Wait! I do like a pumpkin cheesecake because pumpkin is rich and cheesecake makes it seem less so. 

4. When you do grilled cheese sandwiches, which cheese do you prefer to use and what condiments do you use, if any? 

Give me good ole American cheese please. Is butter a condiment? If so then that's my answer. 

5. Number 5 on June 5th...say happy birthday to Terr's sister Tammy!!

Happy birthday Tammy! 

6. Share something with us about your week. If it includes using cheese in a recipe, please also share that with us too. 

Hubs and I started our day early kayaking around the neighborhood. Followed it up with coffee and breakfast on the dock. Not a bad way to roll into Wednesday. 

Also since we're talking cheese and Terri mentioned sharing a recipe... I love my mama's homemade enchilada's but this recipe (here) is an easy shortcut casserole that's also delicious. I sometimes use more tortillas than the recipe calls for because I like each layer covered, and add enough sauce to make up for that. Enjoy! 

Tuesday, June 4, 2019

Carpe diem!

I'm out of ways to explain why I'm still blogging my way through the alphabet so let's just go-

U is for Unexpected Houseguests

Would this fall into the category of things that delight you? Or things that make your stomach lurch and your head spin? We love spontaneous friends who message us and say 'hey are you around on Sunday because we need to get away and would love to see you?' 


Then they get in the car and drive across the mountain and we spend the next 18 hours or so toasting our history with a cup of Pimms, talking and eating and boating and catching up on all the things going on in one another's lives since the last time we were together. 

Which was 2016 but somehow time flies, and here we are three years later picking up right where we left off. 

It's one of the truly great things about friendships forged across the pond. We all still cling to that Carpe diem! motto we embraced back in the day where there was always something new to see and do and learn. We live a different sort of life now, but we still tend to always have a lot going on. Quite often spontaneous last-minute get togethers end up being the easiest and also the most fun. 

We've had some grand travels with these friends including the champagne region of France, the vineyards of Portugal, and a memorable ferry ride off the coast of Hong Kong. 


I'm going to say a spur of the moment Carolina sunrise cruise ranks right up there with them all. 

Saturday, June 1, 2019

Taking Note of Tiny Delights

It might take me more than eight days to blog these last eight letters, but when you're already more than a month behind what's a few more days?

It's Saturday and what I was doing on Saturdays (because I really don't blog on Saturdays ) was making a list of things that delight centered around the day's letter. That's where I'm going today-

T is for Tiny Things That Delight

a cup of tea
a beautifully set table
a tender apology
the Eiffel Tower
flirty texts from the hubs
Thai green curry
tact
watching the tide ebb and flow
twinkle lights
coming home to a tidy house
tulips
a handwritten thank you note
a Tennessee Volunteer win
a red ripe tomato right off the vine
heart to heart talks with my girls
time to write
curling up under a soft, snuggly throw 
London taxis
tensions eased
standing beneath a Redwood tree