Wednesday, July 19, 2023

Summer Says

Summer's in full swing and I have a small collection of things to share. An old-fashioned blog post if you will, which is my favorite kind to write and my favorite to read. A day in the life. What I'm cooking, creating, and savoring in the middle of July. 

My limelights are blooming and they're so pretty. 

I cut a few blooms for my kitchen island and they make me smile every time I walk in the room.

 Hydrangeas say summer to me. 

Crepe myrtles too, but only the crepe myrtles on the left side of my driveway. The one on the right looks like this-

They were planted at the same time, both when the house was built. Both have grown and both do bloom in spite of what it looks like here. This one is about three quarters the height of the other one, and blooms later and not nearly as much. I'm sure there's a reason and suspect it has to do with an electrical box on that side of the property, not too far from the tree, but who knows? 

I bet The Grumpy Gardner knows. 
I should ask him. 

The Grumpy Gardner is not my hubs, in case anyone is wondering lol. The Grumpy Gardner is the garden editor for Southern Living Magazine and he has a lot to say about crepe myrtles

Next thing...'mater sandwiches-

I didn't grow this tomato, actually purchased it from our local grocery store. Tomato sandwiches are usually made with red red ripe tomatoes but I couldn't resist this heirloom and it made the absolute best sandwich. I think the law also says you gotta make a tomato sandwich on white bread, but I don't do white bread so wheat it is. Lightly toasted and slathered with Dukes light mayo. Add a good shake of salt and pepper, and enjoy. Tomato sandwiches say summer to me. 

As does a Caprese salad-

I'd love to have a small garden, but that never happens here. We're away too much to manage the watering and weeding, plus it's ridiculously hot and humid, and we have a lot of red clay in the soil, which isn't the best. Or maybe it is and I lack a green thumb? No matter, my daughter's in-laws have an abundance of fresh veggies growing and are happy to share. They bring me squash, zucchini, peppers, tomatoes, and the absolute best cucumbers I've ever eaten. Sweet and crispy which is how I like them. 

I am managing to keep two easy-to grow edibles alive, things we eat on a regular basis that don't need a lot of care-basil and mint. Hubs makes a mean mint julep and I love a Caprese salad. I'll probably make some pesto in the next week or so because that's another favorite round here. 

Caprese salads say summer to me, and I'm sure hubs would add his hand crafted mint juleps to the list too.

Like a lot of places around the country we've had some wonky air this week. If you read here you know I'm all about a great sunrise, and we've had some really unusual daybreaks lately. Normally the sunrise is splashed across the canvas in all the pastel colors of the paintbox, but this week we've awakened to a lot of haze and a giant hot pink ball in the sky. The reflection on the lake has been so pretty, but those in the know tell us this air is not great for outdoor activity. 

Is porch sitting an outdoor 'activity'? 

We have our coffee on the porch come clear or cloudy skies because sunrise coffee on the porch says summer to me. 

Hubs and I have basically been in regroup mode here since the grands left and we enjoyed a boat ride one evening, just the two of us. Some dark clouds rolled in and then later thunderstorms, but it was fun while it lasted. Late day storms and sunset cruises say summer to me. 

We finally found a plant that can withstand the afternoon sun in the front of our house and is beautiful to boot. It's called purslane and is related to portulaca, but the leaves aren't as spiny. I looked it up online and apparently it's edible and nutritious too, high in Omega-3 fatty acids. 

We're just watching ours grow and congratulating ourselves that after almost seven years in this house we've finally found something that works on our front porch and in the pots beside the garage. 

Blooming things say summer to me. 
So do plants that wilt from the heat, but hooray for blooming things. 

And hooray for the beauty and sweetness of summer.


  1. Nothing much better than a tomato sandwich. One of the ladies at church grows tomatoes. She and my dad would always try to beat each other as to who would get the first tomato each year. I miss my dad and his pride over his tomatoes. This lady just brought me the 2nd bag of her yellow cherry size tomatoes. They are sweet as candy and I love them. I had a handful of them last night with supper and yummy! She gave me a couple bigger red tomatoes and I'm thinking a tomato sandwich just may fit the bill later today. I also love a caprese salad! The view of your lake are so gorgeous and it appears you have the perfect spot to drink your morning coffee and I bet you often talk to God there too. Have a great day Joyce!

  2. Oh, I love a caprese salad -- or variations thereof. I've never tasted a Mint Julep, but your mention and the photo make me want to act on it. Sooner, rather than later!

  3. Those limelights are beautiful. I'm not familiar with them. I don't eat white bread either, usually whole grain. We have a heirloom plant that grows yellow tomatoes. Your caprese salad looks delicious. Yum on the veggies you get from your daughter's in laws. Everything looks so beautiful. Enjoy!

  4. We always have two large pots of Purslane on our back patio and they bloom their sweet heads off and are perfectly gorgeous. It is so HOT here and the afternoon sun is so intense on our patio but they love it and we enjoy their beauty. Such an enjoyable post. One day I'm going to do a catch up post, one day.

  5. The only summer around here is my granddaughter Summer here in Aussie Land we are in the middle of winter and I am bloody cold

  6. Yes, hooray for the beauty and sweetness of summer. I'd enjoy a mint julep right about now. We do have some white sangria in the fridge waiting for our overnight company to arrive. Glad you are recuperating nicely from all the activities a house full of littles demands. That is a pretty plant and it is thriving. I love it when a plant thrives. Happy evening to you!

  7. I loved reading this post, Joyce, and have missed your 'a day in the life' blogs! It is good to catch up and your photos are (always) amazing. Wishing you a relaxing weekend ahead!! xo

  8. Those flowers are beautiful and if hardy, I need them :) I do not have a green thumb and dread the heat, so I have to push myself outside to water. We live on a small lake too and love having coffee on the back porch, but it's so hot and humid these days, that it's just not pleasant. Anyway, I found your blog by way of another and enjoyed this post. I will be back to read more :)

  9. My best friend in Oklahoma has good luck with purslane. It is so hot this summer in El Paso that nothing is looking very pretty or lush. My parents struggled with crepe myrtles for years in Memphis. They never bloomed well and always looked kind of spindly. Not sure what the problem was. We are looking at finding a tree to try to shade and save the grass in the backyard. It looks like straw and has just baked all summer.

    The mint julep looks so refreshing. What spectacular sunrises even with the haze. I noticed we couldn't see the mountains in New Mexico that are usually visible to us. Maybe we are experiencing haze, too.

  10. Oh this was a fun post.
    I am heading over for a sandwich. Dukes is our favorite mayo. ;-)