Sunday, May 3, 2015

Derby Day

We hosted our first Derby Party on Saturday and had a fabulous time with some of our favorite people. I've been planning this party since Ryan's interview in Louisville when I spent the day at Churchill Downs. It's a good thing we didn't get matched there, I may have developed a gambling problem! 

My black riding boots and an old helmet served as the centerpiece with some bearded iris from the yard. Food-wise we had bourbon balls (by Maggie), blue cheese stuffed dates wrapped in bacon (by Jennie), hot browns (by me), smoked cheese (by Don) and then some other smaller items. And of course mint juleps!

Doesn't Ryan look good in a bow tie? Pre-party selfie!

My 'barn Kristin' - so glad we found each other last summer.

You can't have a Derby Party without betting, right? We kept it simple and each placed $5 in the pot. We took turns picking horses off the mantle and each was labeled (on the back) with a post number. Ryan was excited when he picked #13 - Itsaknockout. 

This made it extra fun to watch the race. As I predicted, American Pharoh won (Craig gave me a hard time about picking the favorite to win but Bob Baffet is just too good to bet against!). Kristin and Brandon had American Pharoh and won the pot.

Have a little moolah in the game made us all watch the most exciting two minutes in sports a little closer! We even sang "My Old Kentucky Home" along with the crowd!

Amber and Sam with their sweet kiddos - Matthew, Morgan and Luke. We're going to miss them when they move back to Mississippi in a few weeks!

Amanda is a fellow Junior League transfer and shares the same love of all things Kate Middleton. Her fascinator was fabulous and from a millinery in Edinburgh, Scotland.  Afterward the race, we headed outside to play a little ladder golf. 

Brandon and Kristin dominated in ladder golf. Poor Richard was stuck with me as a teammate. Maggie and Amanda won the first round and lost the second. Ryan kept score. 

Pepe and Scout enjoyed the party and were very interested to watch us run around the yard chasing balls for a change!

Friday, May 1, 2015

Garden VII & More

Happy May Day! It's hard to believe it's already May and summer is just around the corner. I'm wrapping up my marketing temp job at Crawford Strategy this week. It's been a wonderful experience. I've learned a lot and made some new friends which is always nice. And it's not a total 'good-bye' as I'm going do contract marketing and PR work for them. On Wednesday night our team planned a fundraising event for Greenville's Mayor Knox White (pictured in the center). He was very nice and obviously has done a lot for Greenville.

Moving on to the garden! The vegetables haven't grown much in the past week, but I fertilized them this morning so hopefully that will help in the vertical direction growth department. 

Our patio is finally finished! It's not perfect and it still needs to "settle" a bit more, but we are very pleased with it. Pepe has loved it - he is not a fan of napping on the grass (sometimes he has to be reminded that he is, regretfully, a dog). Hopefully, we'll find a table and chair set soon. 

The yellow rose bush on the side of the porch is just beautiful. Every time I pass it, I think of my Granddaddy singing the "Yellow Rose of Texas" on long car rides.

The zinnias are coming up. I may move a few of them once they get a little larger. 

Also on the side of the porch. These flowers are so close to busting out. I can't wait!

Daisies and Sweet William blooming in the front yard. 

A solo swamp iris has popped up on the corner of the driveway. I love the colors!

This is a Corkscrew Rush 'Spiralis' and will get more curly with the more sun it gets. I passed it at the Farmer's Market last weekend and couldn't pass it up!

The front bed still has iris blooming and I've gotten most of the grass out of the flower bed. The city did some work on the water line in January and unbeknownst to us, sprinkled grass seed in the dirt when they were finished. Nice gesture but not needed!

Flower pots by the back gate.

Looking from the porch towards the back gate. The grape vine has taken off as has the wisteria. 

I posted this on Instagram but wanted to share it here too. Our little water garden (currently there are no plants in it so I guess it's just a old bucket!) now has six goldfish, and Scout hasn't eaten one yet. Although we keep catching him with his head about one inch from the water. It's only a matter of time!

Hope you have a good weekend! We are having some friends over for a Kentucky Derby Party on Saturday and I'm so excited. Ryan has agreed to wear a bow-tie and I have a new fascinator. It's my favorite sporting event of the year :)

Watch my garden grow III, IIIIVV and VI. 

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Adopt a Shelter Pet Day

Today is Adopt a Shelter Pet Day and Pepe and Scout would like to remind you to "adopt don't shop." How cute were these two as puppies? And how much did cameras improve between 2003 and 2008? I think Pepe's was taken on film and developed at Wal-Mart and Scout's was taken with a digital camera! 

We adopted Pepe from the Humane Society in Oxford when we were dating and Ryan had just moved into his house on Salem Road. I had a scholarship that required volunteering. Of course the pound was the worst idea in the world for me. I wanted to keep them all! Ryan finally offered to adopt ONE dog if I would find somewhere else to volunteer. We named his after our favorite bartender from the boat in the Galapagos.

Scout was adopted from our neighbor in Jackson who runs the Animal Rescue Fund of Mississippi. He came to stay with me one night while Ryan and Pepe were dove hunting. Just for the night. That was nearly 7 years ago! I mean, how precious are those eyes? 

We love these two and can't imagine life without them! 

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Scout Does Yoga

Scout is the ultimate yogi. His moves include down dog (pictured above) and up dog nearly every time he gets up from a nap. Probably not a bad idea!

In the mornings, I have to guard my yoga mat because both dogs will make a bee line for it as soon as it gets rolled out. My full-time temp job for a local marketing firm has ended (I'm now there just part-time), and I'm so ready to get back into the yoga class at my gym! 

There's definitely no peacock move in my near future, but I have found it very inspirational to do yoga with others! My normal classes haven't been an option during this job so to keep up my yoga skills (if you can call it that!) I've done yoga videos on YouTube. My mom found a 30 day yoga challenge from "Yoga with Adrine" and we have both done most of it. If you've never done yoga, it would be a great place to start! The episodes are usually 20 to 30 minutes and Adrine seems like the type of person I'd love to know (according to her Instagram feed!). 

And if you need a laugh, check out Tim Hawkins "Yoga Pants" on YouTube. 


Monday, April 27, 2015

Paint Nite

Before Sunday night, the last time I remember painting a canvas was my senior year of high school in art class! Kristin and I took a "Paint Nite" class at Bar Louie and had such a great time. I honestly thought it was going to be a paint-by-numbers type of deal. But it wasn't - the lead artist stepped us through each layer.

I think this is the first time we've been around each other and not smelled like horses! Her boyfriend, Brandon, joined us and was our muse/photographer. Kristin was my first friend I met in when we moved here. Her riding stable had a Living Social deal going on and we had e-mailed a few times about Ryan and I coming for a ride. We went and had a blast and she and I talked the entire ride. Imagine that!

The artist stepped us through each later. First we did blue, then we added white streaks and made wisps for clouds. Then we did the tree truck and branches and then layered on various shades of pink and purple for the leaves.

Ta-da! Cherry trees! 

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Grains of Grace

This weekend our church participated in the Feed My Starving Children's mobile food packing program. It was amazing! Over Friday evening and Saturday, over 1,089 volunteers packed 272,160 of "manna packs" that will feed 746 children every day for a year.

Feed My Starving Children is a non-profit Christian organization that is anti-hunger. Their philosophy is that feeding the hungry is the first step in solving larger, social issues. They partner with NGOs to deliver the packets to countries affected by natural disaster and enduring economic despair. Last year, the country that received the second most amount of food packages was North Korea. NGOs pay for the shipping and provide FMSC with an impact report as they distributed the food through missionary partnerships at orphanages, schools, clinics, refugee camps and malnourishment centers. And 99.6% of the food packed, actually reaches its intended destination. The power of prayer!

Each manna pack included vitamins, vegetables (dehydrated), soy and rice. Each table worked to fill, measure, seal and pack the manna packs. It went by so fast and I met some really nice ladies. The experience also made me more conscientious about not wasting food.

Friday, April 24, 2015

Garden VI

Well I didn't follow my own advice in that last post about not having blogger going on the phone and computer at the same time and lost my first attempt at this post!

I'm happy to report that the daisies in the front bed are starting to bloom along with Sweet William.

Close up of Sweet William (dianthus barbatus). There are also some lilies coming up which I think are Lily-of-the-Nile.

In the backyard, the banana trees are continuing to grow up, up, and more up.

This bed has gotten some TLC as it now boarders the patio. Which is 95 percent finished. 

And in the garden: herbs, pobalano and bell peppers, tomatoes, strawberries and a watermelon are off to a good start. 

I'm most excited about this "Mr. Stripey" heirloom tomato and can't wait for my first tomato and grilled cheese sandwich. 

The strawberries are continuing to bloom and some have very tiny strawberries. 

Big hostas along the side of the workshop.

And the back of the workshop has a little room that opens to the back yard - I'm slowing moving out Ryan's things and turning it into a potting shed! 

Watch my garden grow III, IIIIV and V.  Happy Friday, everyone!