Friday, May 17, 2019

Porch Swing Visitor

The other day I was strolling around our yard taking flower pictures, creek pictures and caught a glimpse of our first visitor to the Porch. I was able to click a picture before it flew away.

This beauty was enjoying the nectar from the blossoms on our mock orange bush. It's a beautiful bush with it's white flowers dotted everywhere you can see. 

We've had many birds, squirrels, lizards, snake on the bridge and even a baby calf that got out of the pasture beside the house. I didn't think to capture a picture of him because he was too scared and trying to get back to his momma on the other side. To keep from upsetting both of them, I left well enough alone and helped corral him back into the pasture and back in view of him watchful momma.

We are still underway with many projects line up for Porch Swings & Sweet Tea this summer so stay tuned for their reveals.

As always, thank you for taking the time out of your day to stop by my blog. If you enjoy reading the blogs, sign up to receive them by email. I'm also on Facebook and Instagram as well. Have a blessed day!

Friday, May 3, 2019

Rock Column Flower Bed Renovation

The days here are blossoming into a land of beauty and rich color with all the flowers, green grass and blue skies. Each days seems to bring something even more stunning than the day before. This time of year I fall in love with my natural surroundings every single day. Rain or shine, it doesn't bother me at all. So, this year, I decided that I would dig out all the dirt from our rock column flower beds which are located at the corner of our front porch. These columns have suffered lots of stress and damage and show it prominently. Since I had the columns cleaned out as much as I could, we called a good friend to come and repair the damage and bring them back to what they looked like when they were first built.

I must confess to you. I had an accident with our tractor while cleaning out the dirt in one of the columns. When returning from dumping a load of dirt and rock that was in the bucket of the tractor, I was positioning the bucket to be parallel with the side of the column. The tractor jumped as I was maneuvering the bucket and trying to stop the tractor at the same time. The tractor went forward when I wanted it to stop and down came the wall. My immediate thought was, "The sheriff is going to KILL ME!" These rock columns were built by the hands of his parents and now I've
demolished one of them. I was overcome with nausea and a cold sweat. I knew I might as well go ahead and make my funeral arrangements now. I began to pace back and forth, rubbing my forehead and brainstorming how I was going to break this to my husband. I quickly texted the mason that was going to begin the repair work the next day and told him of my terrible accident. Could it be fixed? Did I just ruin a sentimental portion of my husband's memory? Breathe~Breathe! He can't kill you, that's illegal and he's the sheriff. Oh yeah!  Luckily, the mason texted back that it was fine because he was going to take it down to the ground anyway and start over. I had just save him some time and digging. WHEW!!! I continued digging more dirt out of the column and dump into the tractor bucket and my phone rang. My heart began to palpate, my palms got sweaty....well they were already sweaty-who am I kidding. It was the sheriff calling to check on me. I spilled the beans and then waited. It wasn't bad, I could hear the grimace on his face. But, I quickly followed up with what the mason had told me. It wasn't something that couldn't be fixed. Yay! It's all ok.

The mason arrived the next morning and told me he was just glad I wasn't on top of it when it fell. I was safely behind the wheel of the tractor, unfortunately it wasn't safe for the rock wall while I was driving said tractor. I'm definitely going to have to learn where the brakes are on that beast. So, while the weather held up for the mason, he has worked hard repairing my damage. He isn't done yet so final pictures will be posted soon. Here are the interim repair pictures.

The mortar is still wet in the picture, but now the wall is straight up and down instead of at a lean. Years of pressure from the dirt and water had cause the wall a lot of stress. We will be much kinder to both of them once they are done and I can fill them back up correctly and have beautiful blooming flowers once again.

Speaking of flowers, the rain we have had lately has really encouraged our other flowers to compete with each other and show off their vibrant colors.

As of late, I've become a big fan of Calla Lilies. They are so sleek and beautiful. I love how there's not much about them, just a simple flower. Sleek lines and a "no frills" kind of flower not ashamed to show her stuff. It's a "just the facts ma'am" kind of flower that has caught my eye.
 This little beauty caught the sheriff's eye when we were out and about. The contrast of the white and purple really draw you into the yellow center. Seeing several all about in the basket is stunning in itself.
 Here are more of the purple beauty. Love these stunning buds and how they attract the bees and humming birds outside my office windows.
 This gem is my shaflerra. This beauty almost died when I sat her out too soon this Spring and she got frost bit. She is still recovering and is now outside with all the other plants. I cherish this one because I received it at my grandmother's funeral. It broke my heart to know that I almost killed it. This is why I took a tight shot at just one bunch of leaves. Several are still in shock and not pretty.

This is the patio where I have my potted flowers all in a tight circle. These are a mixture of Asiatic Lilies, Impatiens and Ornamental grasses.

As always, thank you for taking the time out of your day to stop by my blog. If you enjoy reading the blogs, sign up to receive them by email. I'm also on Facebook and Instagram as well. Have a blessed day!

Thursday, April 18, 2019

Excuse our Website Changes in Progress

I've been making changes to our blog site today so I can separate my Sunday posts from the Porch Swing posts. I mentioned previously changes were on the horizon for Porch Swings & Sweet Tea and I have added those to the Blog site.

For many years the Sheriff and I have had gatherings of friends and family to our home for meals and entertainment or just to visit. The more the merrier for us. These events I used to test my cooking skills and expand them at the same time. Many have asked for my recipes that were fixed at these events.

 I learned my beginning cooking skills from the Sheriff's mom while we were dating. She pretty much put the spatula in my hand and encouraged me to step out of my comfort zone. The kitchen was definitely out of my comfort zone. Growing up, myself and my sister were NOT allowed to cook or do anything that would make a mess in our mom's kitchen. She was and still is a neat freak. She was the person following behind you with a rag and cleaner wiping everything around you while you're trying to prepare a meal. Instead of sending her into a nervous breakdown, I decided I would turn to Eva (the Sheriff's saint of a mother) for learning any cooking skills and asking her questions. She taught me almost everything I know and the internet stepped in where she left off. The poor Sheriff has definitely learned to love my meals whether they were a success or a total flop. And, believe me, he's had his fair share of faking a smile when it was a total bust. He is a trooper for sticking with me through the tasty meals and the "get to the trash can as fast as you can" meals. Or the one meal that lasts forever. (cooking for two isn't the same as family size) But that's another story in itself. Bless his loving heart.

I've decided to share some of the well known, much loved recipes that I prepare at Porch Swings & Sweet Tea headquarters. Some are from Eva, some are from my mom and some are recipes I got from the internet and tweaked just a tad to make it my own. Some will have a story tied with them and some will have pictures that follow through each step of the preparation directions. I might even share stories of my cooking flops for those of you who might be hesitant to cook because of your lack of knowledge and experience. I've learned to laugh it off because it didn't kill anyone......yet. Besides, whether you succeeded or failed, you have a story to share. No one is perfect; mistakes happen. You learn from them and the next time you prepare a dish, you will know what not to do.

I hope that you enjoy this new section of the blog and feel free to chime in with suggestions of recipes for me to try or share. I love hearing from my readers.

As always, thank you for taking the time out of your day to stop by my blog. If you enjoy reading the blogs, sign up to receive them by email. I'm also on Facebook and Instagram as well. Have a blessed day!

Wednesday, April 3, 2019

Visitors to the Porch

Today, I was working in my office trying to concentrate on website information I've been compiling for an organization and looked up from my laptop to see I had company on our porch. It wasn't any company I was going to greet at the door because they are too shy. So, I sat at my desk for a moment or two just enjoying the banter between all of them. Each of them fighting for a spot to sit and grab a bite or nibble before leaving. They are fast. One wrong move from inside and they are gone in a flash. I remembered my camera was behind me, so I slowly reached for it and got it set up to catch some shots of my friends.

 If I'm correct, this little beauty grabbing a bite while fighting off the others is an American Goldfinch. There were several, but I was only able to catch this one at the time. It was pretty windy so while swinging and swaying on the feeder while clutched to the tray on the bottom, this little fellow nibbled and enjoyed his lunch while visiting our porch.

These fellows were some of the many other birds that the Goldfinch was watching for and fighting off while grabbing a quick bite at one of the many feeders we offer on the porch. These birds seem to think they are the dominant ones to visit the porch, but the little Goldfinch held his own when it came to eating. We mainly attract the Cardinals to the porch, but this Spring, we seem to be attracting a little bit more of a variety. I've been outside today working on our flower bed columns. We will be introducing some new flowers that I posted about in the previous blog. Hyacinths will be added to attract more wildlife to our porch and offer their lovely fragrance as we swing, pass the time with visitors and of course, drink our sweet tea.

This guy right here was more focused on getting his meal eaten than me and my camera in the window. He was definitely holding on to the plant stand the feeder was on because the wind was giving him a run for his money. He took breaks from the feeder to fly off and share with the others, but it wasn't long until he was back for seconds, thirds, etc. They all chattered, danced in the air between feeders and gave me quite a show. I guess that is why I love my avian visitors so much. They are entertainers and they make me smile. They also distract me from my work, but I'm okay with that.

As always, thank you for taking time out of your day to stop by my blog. If you enjoy reading my blogs, sign up to receive them by email. Also, feel free to leave comments at the bottom of the posts as well. I love to hear from my readers and will be happy to answer any questions or suggestions received. I'm also on Facebook and Instagram as well.

Thank you and have a Blessed day!

Sunday, February 17, 2019

New things are happening!

Happy Sunday y'all! This warmer weather is so nice to my soul! The sun seems to dry out all my aches, pains and overall yuck. I wanted to take a minute to announce something new to the blog.
Today, I received this picture from my dear friend and preacher that made me stop in my tracks. I had a light bulb moment folks. I don't have them very often, but when I do, I write them down before I forget them. Have you ever had that happen? This idea has been hidden in my head for quite some time, but I never could put my finger on what it was until now. (Thank you Andrew!)😏

Starting next Sunday I will begin posting a Porch Swing Sunday Post blog. I'm excited to share this with each of you. It will be random subjects on basic life, bible sermon thoughts of the day, etc. Posts that hopefully will make you stop and have an "ah ha" moment like I did.

This picture speaks volumes to me. Not because it's the name of my blog, but it is the truth. The world has become so overwhelmed with technological gizmos and gadgets that keep our children glued to their phones, X-Boxes, etc. We have entered into a communication breakdown with our kids and with society as a whole. I remember as a kid spending nights with my grandparents. We didn't watch TV during the day. I didn't seem to mind it. Grandma would teach me how to do embroidery work on tea towels and pillow cases. That woman could work magic with a needle and thread. But at night, in the Spring and Summer, we would each pull a chair to the edge of the carport and sit there. There might be a conversation here and there. We would watch vehicles drive by and try to guess their color. There wasn't a cell phone distracting my attention from what was really important. It was the love shared and bonding with my precious grandparents. It was watching them as they sat there peacefully and not stressed at all. Not a care in the world. Isn't it amazing how peaceful and relaxing having a conversation with those you love can be? A lot of problems within families could be solved if communication and listening were the key part of daily life. Sadly, it is not.

I encourage you to put down the phones, gizmos, thingamajigs and whatchamacallits and talk to your friends, children, grandchildren. Go visit those you haven't seen in person. You will get so much more out of time spent with family and friends than you will scrolling Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or Snap Chat. Technology will always be around, but your friends and family won't always be here to share your time. AMEN.

 If there are any topics that interest you, add your comments to the blog. If you are interested in receiving these posts, add your email to follow me. I love sharing details of life on the creek, raising a teenage son, and being the Sheriff's wife. There's never a dull moment around here.

Enjoy your Sunday afternoon and as always, thank you for taking time to stop by and read my blog. Have a Blessed day!

Wednesday, February 6, 2019

Touching base and enjoying Mother Nature

Looking outside our picture windows Mother Nature has given us a dreary, wet day. It has been raining all day and the creek down below has been rolling and sending up wonderful, peaceful sounds to sooth my soul. The birds are enjoying the rain while scattering their bird seeds here and there. They are very vocal today. There must be a lot of things to chirp and sing about to one another.

We have a lot to sing about as well, but I just wanted to touch base with all of my followers and let you know I haven't disappeared. It has been quite hectic with all of our schedules lately. The Sheriff has been covering the county trying to keep the peace and attempt to squeeze in time to enjoy a few of our son's basketball games. Meanwhile, I have been continuing to heal from surgery, but with the cold weather and going to ball games, it has been a bit tough for me. My neck gets angry with me when I don't listen. I push myself to the limit and most of the time I push it too far and I'm back in bed. I get so busy with therapy, housework and trying to catch every moment with our son that it bites me in the end. I'm also trying to heal at a faster pace so that I can get back to my normal life outside of these four walls. I keep hearing the same word over and over when I get frustrated with myself......patience. So, with that being said and letting all of you know that I'm still here alive and getting well, I will reveal in the coming months some of the new ideas we will be sharing on our blog. 

So, stay tuned, keep reading and if there is a subject you want to talk about or idea you want to see on here, comment and let us know. We are open to suggestions from our followers as well.

As always, thank you for stopping by and reading our blog. Have a blessed day!

Friday, January 4, 2019

New Year with a New Look and Exciting Changes

Welcome to a new year of our blog. We have made some new visual changes to the blog. You have the option to add your email to the blog, which enables you to receive future blogs and stay current. We are planning on more changes as I mentioned last year. Plans are in the works to add product(s) to Porch Swings & Sweet Tea. 

We are also very excited to add special blog guests that not only visit our porch swing but all porch swings around us. For example, last summer, our family was outside on our porch. I’m not sure if we were in the swing or not, but we had a visitor that didn’t want to stay long, but with some encouragement he stuck around for a short while. It was a 6’ (give or take) black snake. We snapped some pictures of him before we sent him on his way. Unfortunately, I think my pictures were deleted as I can’t seem to find them now that I’m writing about the very lively event. I’m not one for snakes at all, but this is one time that I went behind the snake and picked it up by the tail and pulled him back to the middle of the front yard, so we could visit. He wasn’t one for much small talk at all, but he was beautiful.

These are the visitors I’m interested in. Any critter or aviary that visits you, share it with us. So, my section of the Blog will be, as Linda Downes puts it, “What will this year bring to the Swing?” If you have a visitor to your porch swing, snap a picture and send it to us. Give us a little information on what happened, and you will make it on our blog as a Porch Swing Guest. We look forward to getting your pictures and short stories on your guest visit to your swing. Follow us by Email and don’t miss out on all the new exciting things rolling out this year!

As always, thank you for taking time out of your day to stop by my blog. Have a blessed day!