Sunday, June 26, 2011

Gazpacho....It Doesn't Get Much Better!!!

Well today was a great day.  A planned trip to visit our dear friend Diane Bearden turned into a wonderful worship experience at West End United Methodist Church in Nashville and a stop at the Nashville Farmer's Market.  The worship service was filled with beautiful music and an incredible sermon.  The market was full of every variety of fresh fruit and vegetable imaginable.  I was drooling and coveting all over the place  (good thing I went to church).  I wanted so many things but settled for home grown tomatoes and green peppers.  As I bought the veggies, I already knew what they would favorite summer treat. 

We tramped through the rain to the garden shop (it does have a name but it escapes me right now).  Once again, my drooling and coveting took over (still glad I went to church).  Plants and planters of all kinds that needed to come with me but I decided to just walk away.  This is very hard if you have a plant addiction.  I am trying to cut back.....

After the market, we visited with Diane and her new beau (what a great guy) for a couple of hours...all I can say is "Viva Las Vegas."  You will have to ask Diane for the details...

After returning home, I changed clothes and put on my cooking clothes.  I quickly grabbed my food processor, cutting board and my favorite knife and began  throwing things together like a mad scientist.  After a quick trip to the herb bed for some parsley, I chopped up my tomatoes, cucumbers, green pepper, celery and red onion.  I seasoned the gazpacho with sea salt, black pepper, Worcestershire sauce (glad I only had to spell that word and not say it), fresh lemon juice and first batch of the season was done.  Quickly, I put the precious cargo into the "fridge" for cold, cold temperatures makes for a much better product. 

After a small sample (to make sure it tasted just right), I now have a one gallon picture full of summer's bounty. 

Saturday, June 25, 2011

The Girl in the Garden

Several years ago, Sandra and I took a trip to Savannah, Georgia.  We were captivated by the history, the beautiful squares, the massive amounts of Spanish moss hanging from the trees, the federal architecture, the food and last but not least Bonaventure Cemetery.  Our trip was part business and part pleasure.  Not long before the trip, I had read the book "Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil" by John Berendt.  I was captivated by the statue on the front of the book.  We discovered that the statue at one time had been placed on a grave in Bonaventure but in 1997 had been placed in the Telfair Museum in Savannah.  I think it had been stolen several times from the cemetery.

Over the years, we have returned to Savannah....even taking our children when they were young .  We thought that July 4th in Savannah would be fun.  We had a great trip but sweltered in 100 degree plus temperatures with about the same percentage of humidity.   We hauled the children all over that town and even out to the beach.  They had a great time and still to this day are ready to go back.

I found a cement replica of the Bird Girl statue and hauled the 4 foot solid concrete statue in the back of our old van and placed it in our garden.  She has been with us since we moved into our current home.  She has held pots of flowers in the summer and has been a centerpiece in our garden.  This year, I planted Sunbeam Coreopsis (Coreopsis verticillata)  around the base of the statue.  Hopefully, these beautiful yellow flowers will return for many years.  I enjoy watching our Bird Girl through every season.  After talking with the family today, I think that a trip to Savannah will be in our future very soon.  I am sure it will include a trip to Tybee Island, the Pirates House Seafood, Paula Deen's restaurant and will probably end with a trip to the Byrd Cookie Company before we leave.  Savannah and the Bird Girl....thanks for being a part of the Gregory family.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Project Complete

I am not a great handyman around the house.  I attempt many projects and after much frustration and several trips to the local home improvement store, I usually finish the project.  Over the years I have learned that the old adage "measure twice and cut once" is a rule that I have to follow.  This has saved me many times and with the tools that I have aquired over the year, I have just enough to be dangerous. 

So, today I decided to replace the light beside our backdoor.  The old fixture was dirty, scratched and had become the home of several dead bugs.  Before this morning, I had never replaced an outside fixture.  But it didn't seem to dangerous, so I decided to give it a try. 

My favorite new tool is watching installation projects on YouTube.  The step by step directions was perfect.  I first found the correct breaker to turn off at the Breaker Box (this step is a MUST).  I removed the old fixture and installed the new one within thirty minutes.  As you can see, the fixture looks great and works perfectly!  On to another project....after the rain is gone!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

My Nemesis!!!!

Look at this picture.  You probably say awww..... how sweet...what a cute little bunny.  However, this little creature is beginning to tick me off.  Jonathan and I have worked hard planting, watering and nurturing our plants.  This sweet little fella decided to chomp on our new plants and leave only a few stems.  NOT HAPPY!!!!   I chose these plants for the bright red color  my friend you are my enemy.  I will protect my plants and promise not to let my garden become your smorgasbord.  I will be seeking ideas from all of my friends and we will win...just know that...we will win!!!!

Monday, June 20, 2011

View from Kingsridge

This is a picture that I took standing on my front porch on Monday, June 20, 2011.  The sky was beautiful and I just had to get this shot.  The actual sky had a little more   red-orange than in the picture.  Just a beautiful sight.  By the way...I heard my first fireworks of the season.  The fourth will be here soon!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Beauty in the Storm


We were driving through the Roaring Fork Motor Trail in the mountains (The Great Smoky Mountains) this weekend.  Everywhere we looked, we found these beautiful rhododendron plants.  Some were solid white but some had this beautiful pink shade. We had planned on hiking to Grotto Falls but the weather (STORM, HAIL, THUNDER and LIGHTNIING) derailed our plans.  We survived the storm and enjoyed are drive/ walk through the trail.  The rhododendrons were beautiful at every stop.  I hopped out of the car and took this shot beside a bridge.  There happened to be another family that had stopped.  One of the children in the group had brought their flute and began to play "Joyful, Joyful We Adore Thee."  What a moving experience.  I believe that Charles Kingsley said "beauty is God's handwriting" and what beautiful handwriting it was!

Wears Valley on Father's Day June 2011

Wears Valley

I was most blessed today because I got to spend Fathers Day with my family in my favorite place The Great Smoky Mountains.  This picture was taken in Wears Valley.  It is a cove or valley area outside of Townsend and Pigeon Forge.  This is just a "ridonkulously" beautiful place that has become one of our favorite places in the mountains.  Granny's Kitchen is a little restaurant that serves Cat Head biscuits.  The name comes from biscuits that are home made and really large....yes...I have tried one ( alright a couple maybe even a few) and they were delicious.  Another favorite place in Wears Valley is a little produce stand that serves incredible barbecue, funnel cakes and an assortment of other things.  I must also mention Wears Valley United Methodist Church.  It is a wonderful little church that just celebrated their 125th anniversary.  Someday, we will visit for services.  In the meantime, I guess we will just stop and enjoy the cat head biscuits and a little hot chow chow from the produce stand.  You might even find me checking out the fried pies...oh my goodness!!!

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Oh the Stories They Tell today we are in the Great Smokey Mountains walking and riding through the Roaring Fork Trail area and we came upon a clearing with some buildings.  We had planned to hike to Grotto Falls but the moth ball size hail, rain and high winds kind of stopped us.  So anyway....we turned the curve and in a beautiful clearing was three weathered old buildings.  I stopped the car and we immediately jumped out and walked to the buildings.   To get to the clearing, we had to cross a bridge over a beautiful flowing creek with mountain rhododendrons everywhere (more on that later).  We entered the clearing to find three abandoned old buildings.  I saw this door and had to take a picture.  I stopped and wondered what kind of stories this door could tell.  I am sure there were joyous times and hardships endured.  Oh the mountains.....thank you God for your majesty and beauty and for helping me to see the glory of your hands.  I am blessed.

Friday, June 17, 2011

I'm About to Go ALL MAMA on yo' Butt!!

Well there you have it....straight from La'Sarah herself.  Every time we meet with her, we learn some new "college" colloquialism.  After hearing the context of her story, I think the phrase fit the circumstance rather well.  We are lucky enough to be able to spend some precious time with her and Jonathan.  This father will have a complete set of children this year for Father's Day...YAY ME!!!! 

So the next time the occasion arises I will definitely repeat "I'm about to go ALL MAMA on yo' butt!

Saving grace.....

Forever and Ever Hydrangea
Just the other day, Sandra and I headed to Lowe's to find some hydrangea plants.  I like the "underdog" plants.  These are the plants that need a home that will give them love and take care of them.  We found three little plants that needed a home.  I must interject at this point that Jonathan helps me to take care of the plants.  We planted the trio of plants and with a little love, fertilizer and watering, I think these plants are gonna make it.  I love to save these underdogs.  

Welcome My Friend Summer!

Well hello....I am just starting this blog and am new to this.  I am a blog "newbie" but think this is something that I will enjoy.  I am a teacher and I am on summer break.  OK all is one of things we live for. If  we didn't have this time to renew and re-charge.....i don't think we could make it through the year.  I have been completing many projects around the house this summer.  These projects are things that have needed to be done but I have procrastinated on doing them. out garage (this is something I especially despise).  I am slowly checking them off one by one.  Things are looking better.  Hopefully after finishing these projects, I will be caught up for another year...until next summer when I start dragging everything out of the garage and wonder where did all of this crap come from!