Suzy & Spice

a pinch of this, a dash of that

Archive for the ‘fun’ Category

Thankfulness, Day 6

Posted by Suzy Taylor Oakley on November 19, 2010

Today I’m thankful for two things: The Cinnamon Stick and music. Tonight those two things came together in a fun-filled, family friendly evening.

The Cinnamon Stick is a new coffeehouse and sandwich shop in downtown Batesville (a couple of doors down from the Melba Theater) that features local bands and all kinds of neat stuff. Tonight the bulk of the worship band from our church (Fellowship Bible Church of Batesville) played and sang. They did some Beatles, a few other oldies and some worship songs. Sean Roulier on a jazzed-up, Jars of Clay version of “It is Well (With My Soul)” was surprisingly enjoyable! (I say surprisingly because that old hymn is one of my top 2 or 3 favorites, largely because of the story behind it, and I was afraid I wouldn’t like “Sean’s version” – I have never heard Jars of Clay’s rendition, but Sean’s mom says it’s great.)

Randell, Tommy, Angela, Sean and Becky

Last night at the Stick, the Fellowship kids had karaoke night (check out our pastor’s rendition of “Ghostbusters” on my Facebook page), played board games and shot some pool. (I wasn’t there, but I have seen the videos.)

Bruce and I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE music and are especially fond of supporting locally owned businesses. And when great food is involved … well, what more could you ask for?

You must go to The Cinnamon Stick. Immediately. Next time you need an iced coffee, instead of McDonald’s, stir up some friends and visit the Stick. Try the Loaded Baked Potato Soup and a hot tea or latte. Bliss!

The Cinnamon Stick is open on Saturdays. I may be there when they open tomorrow. Got to start trying their hot teas – one by one.

Won’t you join me?

Come on downtown and support your local coffeehouse. The Cinnamon stick is open 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday and 7:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday.

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Posted in Batesville, friends, fun, giving thanks, God, inspiration, music | Leave a Comment »

Happy birthday, Lynn

Posted by Suzy Taylor Oakley on November 7, 2010

I don’t even know where to begin.

Which means you may get a lot of random thoughts in this post. I’m just going to start with what’s on my mind at this very moment:

We had a party yesterday.

Lynn, Suzy and Salsa

Yesterday was Lynn’s birthday, and because she and her son Jacob were driving down for Friday night’s season-ending BHS victory (Go, Pioneers!), we decided we’d finally have our “housewarming” party and combine it with birthday cake.

We had an incredible time, and Lynn took a few pictures (I didn’t even get our camera out). Jacob shot a multilingual birthday video for our friend Becky (sorry, it’s Rebecca now), who lives in Nashville and couldn’t be here. Rebecky’s birthday is today. We told her Happy Birthday in at least four languages (thank you, Desiree, for the Pig Latin!).

Bruce had worked diligently to hang the family photos that had been leaning against the wall in our hallway. I don’t think anyone even looked at the photos during the party, as we didn’t do a “home tour.” People just started coming in and sitting around the music area, chatting and then eventually pickin’ and grinnin’.

We had everyone but Lynn and her boys out of here by Razorback game time (they had an hour’s drive home, so they missed a good bit of the first half). Mom called just as they were leaving and invited us over to watch. So after the kitchen cleaned itself up (not!), we went to Mom’s. I was nearly numb with tiredness (I’d say exhaustion, but it wasn’t quite that severe – Bruce may dispute this, but I didn’t stress out as much over this party as I have with previous ones). And Mom hadn’t been able to come to the party because she wore herself out cleaning out her storage building.

So we went to Mom’s to watch the Hogs beat South Carolina. Go, Hogs!

I could barely walk by the time we got home, and I went straight down the hall toward the bedroom to turn on the electric blanket and the heating pad. I noticed that Bruce had hung all three of the framed photo collages that had been leaning against the wall. I had barely noticed because I had already warned our potential party guests that there was so much to do at the house, we might not have pictures hung.

Bruce, nevertheless, worked to get the hallway done.

And last night, as I walked to the bedroom in my bleary-eyed state, I happened to look at all his handiwork so I could thank him for his hard work. The last one on the left, just before the bedroom door, was one of the aforementioned collages.

I said something like, “You do know that this last photo collage is of people chosen by the photo-frame manufacturers?”

“What?” he said, walking down the hall toward me.

“These are pictures of people inserted by the makers of this frame and collage.”

“Oh. I thought they were your nieces and your childhood friends and relatives.”

I had bought Mom the collage several years ago, but she was expecting me to fill it with family photos. I never got around to it.

At least it’s not cluttering the floor in the hallway anymore.

Posted in family, food, friends, fun, home, moving, music, sports | 1 Comment »

Pepper and The Big Blur

Posted by Suzy Taylor Oakley on October 15, 2010

Bruce thought he’d try his hand at photography this week. Our favorite subject: the Spice Dogs. Here’s a pic of Pepper, our 3.9-pound Min Pin …

Pepper, age 6

… and then there’s Salsa, our 14-pound bundle of energy. I can’t recall a photo of her that isn’t blurry. She’s a Manchester terror – er,  terrier – who NEVER slows down unless she’s getting a belly rub, her favorite thing in the world. (Pepper’s favorite thing: FOOD.)

Salsa, nearly age 6 (we think)

Salsa and Pepper, the Spice Dogs. They’re half the inspiration for the name of this blog (see my very first post for the rest of the story).

Bruce and I are wacky for, with and because of these two goofy animals. We’ve even got my mother crazy because of them. One Saturday morning a few weeks ago, she called and said she wanted to come over and see her babies. “Sure,” I said (I assumed she meant Bruce and me). When she arrived, I quickly discovered that she meant the fur-babies.

Never thought my mom would act that way over a dog.

Gotta love ’em.

Posted in dogs, family, fun, home | Leave a Comment »

Capers in Cambridge

Posted by Suzy Taylor Oakley on January 18, 2010

A year ago, I wrote about reconnecting with Lynn, a friend I grew up with. Reconnecting is a sweet pleasure, and I’m grateful for blogs and social sites (even though I don’t use the latter) for allowing me to renew friendships.

Last week I reconnected with Dianne, one of my college roommates. The only e-mail address I had for her was one at her husband’s work, so we never really e-mailed each other, and because of the magic of cyberspace I have become terrible at letter writing (even my handwriting has deteriorated), so we hadn’t kept in close contact. Dianne’s Christmas letter contained an e-mail address just for her (and a note that they were going to spend four months in England), so I e-mailed her with a brief update. I also made a brief reference to her in my Jan. 10 post.

Tonight I logged on and had an e-mail from Dianne, along with a link to her new blog, Capers in Cambridge. Check it out.

Dianne is probably the funnest person I’ve ever met. She is always looking for an adventure – not so much for adventure’s sake but so that she can expand herself: her mind, her understanding of people, her empathy and her ability to serve God by serving people. This also makes her one of the kindest (maybe the kindest) people I’ve ever known. She’s also really smart, funny, literate and well traveled, so you will gain by getting to know her and her family. Check out her blog. I’m adding Capers in Cambridge to my blogroll at right.

Posted in friends, fun, God, humor | Leave a Comment »

Random thoughts 01/10/10

Posted by Suzy Taylor Oakley on January 10, 2010

I was writing an e-mail to a college roommate this afternoon when I realized that if she clicks the link below my signature and goes to my blog – which she’s likely to do because we haven’t been in touch since I started the blog – she will see very few recent posts.

So, even though I can’t seem to form a coherent thought lately, you need to know that I am not dead.

Random thoughts on a Sunday afternoon:

  • I’ll begin Accounting II on Saturday, Jan. 16, after withdrawing last semester so as to avoid a heart attack from everything that was going on in our lives (I mentioned the latest heart symptoms in my Sept. 12, 2009, random thoughts). I decided to try a Saturday morning class because I simply hate having to rush home from work, gulp down a few bites of something and rush to class, sit there for nearly 3 hours trying to stay awake and get home just before bedtime. Besides, I’m a morning person, and that’s when I do my best thinking (if you call me after 9 p.m. – or if you’re a former roommate [hi, Di!] – you’ll understand). My class this semester will be 8-10:40 a.m.
  • I finished reading In Cold Blood, although I never told you I finished it. I mentioned it in my March 22, 2009, post (a random-thoughts post that was a LOT more interesting than this one, and a lot less depressing than the 09/12 one, so check it out), and I finished it months ago, but now I have closure since I have told you about it. 🙂 The book was great, if creepy. Killers with no remorse. And it’s a true story. I read somewhere that when Perry and Dick were hanged, Truman Capote (the book’s author) became physically ill and had to remove himself from the crowd of onlookers. Interviewing the killers, retracing the events of the heinous murders, left a lasting impression on him, and he was never the same. I believe it was his last book.
  • And this year I finally started reading the book on which my favorite movie was based – To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee. Since the first time I saw the movie about 20 years ago, I’ve been in love with Atticus Finch (Bruce understands – I think). I kept telling myself I needed to read the book, but when I checked for it at the local library, it was always checked out. After several months (maybe even a year) of checking, I finally inquired about it at the desk, because the electronic card catalog kept saying it was NOT checked out. They said it probably had met the same fate as a lot of the other classics: Someone simply took it and never brought it back. Before Christmas, I finally checked again, and they had 2 copies! (Bruce was an English major and has many, many of the classics, but we’re not sure whether this book is in one of the boxes-upon-boxes of books that we have packed, ready to move “someday.)
  • To Kill a Mockingbird, Part 2 (because the above paragraph was getting long and this really should be a separate post): So I’ve been reading it, along with dealing with the usual Christmas chaos, which this year included getting new windows installed all over the house (the “2 1/2-day” job took nearly 3 weeks!), and trying to read a little of my Accounting I book to refresh myself since taking a semester off, and being tired and going to bed early. And from the very first sentence of this long-desired book, I was hooked. It just draws you in immediately, this tale told through the eyes of a 5-year-old tomboy in a small 1930s Southern town. I have to say, though, that this is one of the rare cases in which I didn’t immediately start to think, “The book is way better than the movie.” The movie is just so darned good, it actually enhances the reading of the book. When I read a book after I’ve first seen the movie, I try not to imagine the actors as those characters. Most times, the actors are too Hollywood, I guess. But in this case, I am imagining Gregory Peck’s portrayal of Atticus, and the kids who played Scout and Jem and Dill, and of Calpurnia and the schoolchildren and the neighbors. … I’m in chapter 10 or 11, and we haven’t even gotten to the rape trial yet. But it’s not slow reading. It’s written through the eyes of little tomboy Scout Finch, and it’s just delightful, because the actress they picked to play Scout is just perfect  – not Hollywood at all (please, if you know anything about the actress that will burst my bubble, keep it to yourself!). And Scout and Jem and Dill and Atticus – and even Boo Radley (Robert Duvall), even though the kids haven’t laid eyes on him yet – those are the faces I see as I read. Brilliant casting.
  • This bullet point is sort of To Kill a Mockingbird (hereafter referred to as TKAM), Part 3, but it’s technically about the author and not the book, so cut me some slack. 🙂 Did you know that Harper Lee and Truman Capote were childhood friends? In fact, Harper Lee was Capote’s research assistant for In Cold Blood. And her character Dill Harris in TKAM was based on old friend Truman. Some say Capote was the real author of TKAM, but others say it’s a ridiculous notion, the different writing styles being one clue among many.
  • (Link to info about the movie To Kill a Mockingbird.)
  • The next book I read may be Breakfast at Tiffany’s (by Capote), another book I’ve never read but I’ve seen the movie. I didn’t like the movie the first time I watched it – not in spite of Audrey Hepburn but because of her, or at least the character she played. Audrey Hepburn is delightful to watch, but I did not like Holly Golightly the first time I experienced this movie (I tend to judge people I perceive as flighty and irresponsible). Fortunately, my favorite song, “Moon River,” is a big part of the movie, so there have been times when I’ve popped the DVD into the player just to hear that beautiful Mancini tune. So, because of the wonderful song, I’ve grown to love the movie and appreciate the sadness and lostness of the main character. But I imagine this will be one of those times when the book will be much better. It has to be – Capote has written so many wonderful books, and the film version of Breakfast at Tiffany’s (BAT?) is somewhat Hollywoodized, I think. And I want to know what the sad, lost Holly was thinking that early morning as she stood outside Tiffany’s looking in, after having partied all night in that iconic hairdo, dress and black evening gloves. All dressed up in party clothes yet all alone, and I want to know what she was thinking. A movie doesn’t give you that. (Unless it’s Ferris Bueller.)
  • Last year I decided to read more of the classics and am gradually getting around to them. I read slowly, and I tend to get sleepy when I find the perfect comfortable spot to read in, so it takes me a while to finish a book. But now that the holiday season is over, I won’t be watching Food Network as much, so I’m already reading more than I did in the fall. I tried some Solzhenitsyn (One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich) and Upton Sinclair (The Jungle), but those are books I didn’t finish. I’ll eventually get back to Solzhenitsyn, but the only thing I liked about The Jungle (it’s a really gross expose on the meatpacking industry) is that it has caused me to eat less red meat! I think the problem with Denisovich is that I’ve read too many concentration-camp books (I had the same problem with the movie Schindler’s List); maybe I’m desensitized to the issue, or maybe it’s that nothing on the subject comes close to my all-time-favorite book, The Hiding Place by Corrie ten Boom (“No pit is so deep that the love of God is not deeper still!”). That is a book that I’ve read several times already but could read every year and never get tired of it. I’ve loaned my copy several times and just told the friend to keep it, then I go buy myself a new paperback copy. The tale of God’s light in a sea of darkness never gets old.
  • I’ve decided – officially – that Naps are a Good Thing. Because I finally have a job that allows me to take actual holidays off (I may never get used to that!), Bruce and I have spent a few long weekends at Mom’s lately (Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s). Thanksgiving weekend, I took a long nap (really, a short nap but a long rest) every single day. At Christmas we were busier, so not so many naps, but New Year’s I got a couple of good breaks in, with the exception of the day that Mom was noisy in the kitchen and I got up cranky at her (don’t worry; I apologized). Just goes to show how important naps have become to my mental health. I turned 47 in November, so I am not a spring chicken anymore. For sure, Naps are a Good Thing. (I’m thinking of trademarking that expression.)
  • A soft bed, a warm puppy and a good book – who could ask for more?
  • I have written a set of “goals” – not New Year’s resolutions – for 2010 (it will include naps, although not in so many words). I didn’t get them posted by the time we rang in the new year, so it may be March before you seem them here! Or I may post them tomorrow – just depends on how tired I am when I get home from work.
  • And of course I’m supposed to be reading my accounting book!

This concludes another portion of our semiregular feature, Random Thoughts. Tune in again, when you may hear Suzy say, “Has it been that long since I posted?”

Posted in books, dogs, fun, health, holiday, inspiration, journalism, movies, music, reading, work | 1 Comment »

Random thoughts

Posted by Suzy Taylor Oakley on March 22, 2009

My fans (all three of you people who read my blog) have been admonishing me to publish something. I haven’t posted in a while, but not for lack of wanting to. I’ve just been extremely laz — err, busy.

So, while I wait for my mom’s tax return to finish printing, I’ll grace you with some of the fascinating things I have been doing, thinking or saying lately:

  • After two weeks of working on it in spurts, I have finally finished Mom’s tax return. No, you cannot borrow money from her. Because she helped her children so much last year, there is nothing left to loan. Thanks, Mom. We owe you.
  • I chopped off my fingernails the other day to get better at the little game on my new cell phone that I am obsessed with (the game, not the phone), and it didn’t make one bit of difference. Even with nails cut to the nub, I am still pitiful at batting a little ball with a paddle at a bunch of electronic bricks.
  • I make up little songs, sometimes to amuse Bruce, sometimes to amuse myself. Frequently these little ditties are about the dogs. Almost all of them are about what I happen to be doing at the time I sing them. If Bruce isn’t amused, he doesn’t let me know it. He makes up random funny songs, too. We’re weird together.
  • I would love to be in a musical. Like South Pacific, The Music Man, Oklahoma! or my favorite, Camelot. Or how about The Sound of Music II: Suzl, the Forgotten von Trapp? I would be great in that! Not that I can sing.
  • Although Saturday night was an exception (I went to bed at 7:30), I have been staying up until nearly 10:30 lately! (I don’t think I’ve adjusted to daylight saving time yet.) Still, unless you’re my mother, my brother or my husband, or you’re bleeding from both eyes, don’t call me after 9 p.m., even on weekends. I will be mad at you.
  • It’s spring! And I pulled weeds this weekend (both days). And when I got tired of pulling the little suckers, there were still a BUNCH of them left. Today after I got tired and decided not to pull any more weeds, two neighbor boys rode their bikes up to my driveway and asked me if I had any work for them. Now I’m $10 poorer, but my rose bed looks a lot better. They want to come and mow the lawn in a few days. I think I’ll let them. (Note to self: Restock the Popsicle stash.)
  • I LOVE seeing kids take some initiative and get out and earn some money instead of sitting on their bee-hinds in front of the TV or a computer.
  • The dogs finally got baths today. This hadn’t happened since (don’t tell anyone) November. Salsa didn’t like it, but she didn’t bite me once!
  • My friend Lynn, whom I wrote about a few weeks ago (yikes, it’s been nearly three months!), is going to share the Basket-A-Month with me this year. Next weekend is the pickup. SPRING VEGETABLES! FARM-FRESH EGGS, HOMEMADE PASTA! SOURDOUGH BREAD! I’M YELLING BECAUSE I’M DELIRIOUSLY HAPPY!!!!! And Lynn said she’d bring me some of her asparagus and a couple of good recipes. Double happiness!
  • Baseball season is almost upon us, and I’m thinking of Travelers and sunshine. And hot dogs, which absolutely must be consumed at baseball games, no matter what.
  • I’m reading Truman Capote’s In Cold Blood, which I started reading in college but never finished. My favorite journalism professor recommended it, although it was not required reading. I didn’t do a lot of extracurricular reading in college. I was too busy with the school newspaper and reading for classes. But I’m enjoying this book once again, and I’m determined to finish it this time.
  • I have new flip-flops. They’re black. Well, they’re sort of brown now, because of the weed-pulling.
  • I’m supposed to be making a blackberry-jam cake for my neighbor, who’s going to pay me for it, but she didn’t give me a deadline and I keep putting it off. It’s the pressure. She had one at a friend’s out of town, and it was to-die-for delicious, and I’ve had to Google to find a recipe that seems to approximate what she had. So, pressure. Which makes me procrastinate.
  • More pressure: My church is doing a 25th-anniversary cookbook, and I’m supposed to provide a recipe for my “signature” dish, and I can’t decide whether to share my recipe for carrot cake, which I make money from, or be selfish and keep it to myself. My other cake recipe that gets rave reviews is from Paula Deen, and I want to make sure we won’t be violating any copyrights before I share it. It’s called White Chocolate Cake with Strawberry Filling. It’s lick-the-bottom-of-the-pan good. I don’t think I’ve shared photos of it that I took when I was making business cards year before last. So let’s end this on a happy foodnote:

white_chocolate_cake1

Click the comment button to share some of your own random thoughts.

Posted in baking, baseball, books, dogs, flowers, food, friends, fun, home, nature | 4 Comments »

Argenta farmers market

Posted by Suzy Taylor Oakley on June 5, 2008

Don’t forget, locavores, Saturday is the grand opening of the Certified Arkansas Farmers Market in downtown North Little Rock (the 400 block of Main Street). The market has been open since May 3, but this weekend will have more hoopla, complete with a ribbon cutting, a live bluegrass band (no canned music for these fine folks), free beefalo burgers (free food — who could resist that?) and maybe even a few juicy, vine-ripened tomatoes. And all kinds of berries and other delicacies are expected. (If you didn’t see my article on Page 5A of today’s NLR Times, rush out and buy a copy now!)

Jody Hardin, Barbara Armstrong and the other farmers have been working hard to bring us fresh, locally grown, pesticide free, healthy produce and other items. One woman sells organic dog biscuits and a natural potion that stopped her dog’s itchies. It wasn’t in my budget the day I talked to her (and my dogs haven’t been scratching too much lately), so I haven’t bought any yet, but as soon as itchy season hits us, I’m all over that booth.

Do your part this weekend. Come out and say hey to your neighbors, support your local farmers and have a beefalo burger on the house (donations accepted, of course).

See ya there!

Posted in food, friends, fun, health, nature | 3 Comments »

Random things I say to my dogs

Posted by Suzy Taylor Oakley on May 18, 2008

In any given week, you might hear one or all of these things uttered at my house, either to or about the furchildren.

“Poop!” (After finding a deposit on the carpet, five minutes after they’ve been outside to potty. This is our most frequent exclamation.)

“Who peed in the office?”

“Time to rassle!”

“Pepper, move over.” (In the middle of the night.)

“Salsa, calm down!!”

“Go potty. Go potty. Go potty. Go potty. Go potty, and I’ll give you a treat. … Pepper, please go potty. Go potty. Go potty. Go potty. Go potty. Please potty. Go potty. Go potty. Go potty. Go potty. Hurry up. It’s cold [or hot] out here. Go potty. Go potty. Go potty. … Good potty!”

“Don’t lick me on the mouth!”

“But we like the mailman!”

“Who turned over the trash can?”

“Poop!”

“Who peed on the bathroom rug?”

“Don’t snatch! Be gentle.” (To Pepper, who likes to snatch her treats out of your hand.)

“That’s not very ladylike.” (To Salsa, when she flops onto her back to ask for a belly rub.)

“Dry your feet.” (Salsa’s signal to stop and wait for me when she comes in from the rain. They do have a little training.)

“Don’t bite me.” (To Salsa, who always bites my right index finger after I dry her feet.)

“Who peed in the laundry room?”

“Salsa, down!” (When someone arrives.)

“Who peed in the guest bedroom?”

“Salsa, chillax!”

“Pepper, you’re tiny.”

“Salsa, you’re pretty.”

(Whispering to Bruce) “Where’s the camera?”

“Salsa, you’re going to put my eye out with your tail.”

“Don’t bite me! I’m gonna bite you!” (During a rasslin’ match.)

“You have bad breath.”

“Don’t lick the window!”

“You stink!”

“Who needs a bath?”

“Anybody hungry?” (Just to see their joy as they race to the kitchen.)

(To both) “I love you.”

Posted in dogs, family, fun, humor, inspiration, nature | 5 Comments »

Can’t wait to share

Posted by Suzy Taylor Oakley on May 3, 2008

Bruce and DJ at farmers market, May 3, 2008.

I cannot share with you the abundance of what Bruce and I experienced this morning — until next week.

You see, we went to the new farmers market in Argenta, but I was taking photos for The North Little Rock Times, because our reporter, Jeremy, had another assignment. He knew I was planning to be at the market anyway, so he asked me to take pics in his place.

Mayor Hays rang the opening bell, and, even though it was windy and quite chilly at 7 a.m., there was a good little crowd to christen the event.

It was wonderful, but I can’t tell you how wonderful for a few days, for two reasons: 1) Technically, any photos we publish in The Times will belong to my employer, so the ones I use for this blog will have to be ones we choose not to publish in the May 8 edition; and 2) Bruce says I have to do my homework first (my online accounting class, and I’m way behind). But I told him I at least have to write a paragraph! And, of course, I got carried away and have written much more than that.

But I had to tell you two things about my experience: 1) The Chudy Farms people got me to like honey. That’s huge! My dislike of honey goes back to some childhood memories of being force fed the stuff when I had the croup. But the Chudy Farms people offered me a sample of their honey on a biscuit, and I became an instant fan. 2) There’s a New Clean Plate Club started by nutritionist Penny Rudder that you’re going to love! I hope to write a sidebar for The Times about that, but I definitely will be talking to her in the next couple of days to get more details, whether it’s for the paper or the blog (I hope to do both).

Can’t wait to tell you more — and share more pics — next weekend.

Oh, and in the photo above is of Bruce (you know him) and D.J., former NLR Times reporter who’s about to start writing for an NLR blog in a couple of weeks.

Off to do my homework …

Posted in family, food, fun, inspiration, nature | 6 Comments »

Week of Color: The Explosion

Posted by Suzy Taylor Oakley on March 8, 2008

Disclaimer: With the text wrap around the photos, some of the text appears to describe the wrong photos. It will wrap differently in different browser windows, so I can’t control how it displays for you. Please keep that in mind as you read. I hope you can identify which flowers are which all on your own!

I am a gal who likes color — bright color, as I mentioned on Day Yellow (speaking of which, I found another yellow photo, so scroll down to the Yellow post or click here. It’s from a “wedding” cake I made last year – really a 40th-anniversary cake modeled on the couple’s 1967 wedding cake).

Brown, pale yellow, light green and all that is nice, but I take after my mom in my love of bright colors, jewel tones in particular. Most of my flowers — annual or perennial — end up being bright reds, purples or pinks.

I’ll share some of them with you here. Let’s start with RED!

Three or four years ago, I decided to start growing roses. I carefully researched and bought five bushes, all different colors. The roses themselves are pretty easy to grow, but I am still pulling up grass in the beds, as I hate putting chemicals in the ground. But all the weed pulling is worth it, because it helps me enjoy these, the firstfruits …

red rose multi

red rose single

pale pink rose

pink rose deweyThe next one is a hydrangea that’s in my back yard. I have always loved hydrangeas. They’re so unusual, so beautiful and so versatile. I love that you can control the color by changing the soil’s pH.

This one came from a funeral arrangement after my uncle died nearly six years ago. We had hydrangeas in the front yard of the house I grew up in (in Batesville), but after my dad died, my mother moved. It was difficult for me to see her give up the house where my dad had spent hours and hours making the landscaping beautiful, so I was going to get a cutting from the house before she sold it. Well, in the chaos of the move, I forgot about, but the new owners said I could get a cutting. However, by the time I actually made it back up to Batesville to get a piece of the bush, they had dug up the hydrangeas! How could they? (I wanted to cry.) So when my dad’s brother died and my aunt offered me a plant after the funeral, I chose the hydrangea. The picture is from an experiment I was trying with my photo software. (I think. Or it could have been that the picture just turned out that way. I can’t really remember! Either way, I like the hazy look of this photo.)

hydgrangea foggy

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The next one is from one of the three Rose of Sharon bushes from my mother-in-law’s garden when his parents lived in Virginia. Bruce used to take his son, Courtney, to visit Courtney’s grandparents every summer. Sometimes I went, and sometimes I stayed home. One of the years I stayed home, Bruce brought me three beautiful Rose of Sharon bushes from his mom. One of the bushes has purple blooms, but i can’t seem to find those pictures. Enjoy this pink one.

Rose of Sharon pink

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For something a little closer to purple, enjoy this clematis from my front yard.

clematis

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And this “purple coneflower,” which is actually less purple than the ones above and below it!

purple coneflower single

purple coneflower multi

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I potted this purple flower on my front porch a couple of years ago. I can’t remember its name. Anyone?

purple flower wrought iron

purple flower double

I took the next two pictures pictures in Morro Bay, Calif., in 2006. I think this one is a lily.

Morro Bay flowers

And this is a jade plant. I loved the spider web!

jade plant spider web

I have two favorite flowers. My favorite simple, innocent flower is the daisy — just the plain white with yellow center. My favorite exotic flower is the bird of paradise, and I was so excited to stumble across this one at California Baptist University when I was there for a Crown retreat in 2006.

bird of paradise

The last picture is not of flowers but contains a bounty of color. When we were able to participate in the River Market’s Basket a Month program, we got this (and more) last summer. Doesn’t it make your mouth water?

BAM vegetables

I think I’ve had more fun with this post than any other. Thank you, Jerusalem, for your fantastic idea of a Week of Color. Along with being challenged to find ways to illustrate my color likes and dislikes, I have enjoyed all the creative ideas from you and your friends!

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