Sunday, July 31, 2016

Friends of Photography Show

As I said in May, I'm working on bringing my photography ventures up to the next level.  My photography club is the featured 'artist' at a local business that works with artists in this area.

I brought in four photos for the exhibit.

The bluebird is mine.  My other two photos were hanging in a high traffic area so I didn't get a shot of them.

This is a good start...

Friday, July 29, 2016


Taken in Nashville, TN at the garden of a friend.

If nothing else, the heat and humidity of Tennessee makes for beautiful greenery.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Teri's Tours and B&B

Recently we had the pleasure of having Himself's oldest brother (Bro 1) come to The Sticks for a nice long visit.  It's been 11 years since they have seen each other and we wanted to show him a good time while he visited.  Like me, he loves seeing new things and learning.

Well alrighty then!

We did a 'hypertufa' plant pot class (more on that in another post).  Bro 1 made 2 nice pots that I will ship up to him once they have cured.

And Himself arranged a black smith lesson with one of his friends from the Possum Trot Forge.

He also enjoys history so we visited the Jefferson Davis (President of the Confederacy) Monument.

See them right above the word "Jefferson"?

Plus we did another Confederate stop at Ft. Defiance in Clarksville.  The city has a very nice museum and grounds that are free to visit.

We all like genealogy so we visited Greenwood cemetery in Clarksville.

Bro 1 has a degree in horticulture, all things 'plant' interest him.  That was an easy to accommodate!

One of our excursions was out to the Amish produce auction and around to various farm stands.

My favorite farm stand was prepping onions for storage.

A look around a nice garden center.

Checking out burley tobacco in a friend's field.

"If you build it...they will come..."
(Field of Dreams)

In a friend's black bamboo grove.

He also has a taste for good chocolate, so we did a factory tour at Olive & Sinclair artisan chocolate makers.

Enjoying an appetizer of tahdig (crispy rice) at our favorite Persian restaurant.  I also had a blast cooking favorite recipes... Beef Stroganoff, black beans & rice, Chicken Rolade, and Rosemary Thyme marinated steaks.

And of course there was a lot of just sitting on the couch visiting, looking at family photos, and sharing of our home.  It was a great visit and we're looking forward to him coming back.

But alas...there were two things that Northerner did not like about The South:

The insane humidity.


Monday, July 25, 2016

Life Without TV

I had an interesting snippet of conversation last weekend.  I was the bonsai show and someone I didn't know starting chatting with me.  She made a comment about a TV show and asked me if I loved it.   Hmmmm...  I had no idea what she was talking about so I politely told her I didn't know that show because I don't watch TV programming, just an occasional pay-per-view movie date night.

I guess she didn't believe me, as she pressed that "surely" I watched some series or another.


Then she asked, "Well, what do you do while the rest of us are watching TV in the evenings?"  I wasn't sure if she was being snarky or if she seriously was curious... so I answered seriously.

"I work on my bonsai, make terrariums and dish gardens, shoot photos and make photo albums, blog, create jewelry, cook new recipes, organize..."

She looked at me like Bambi in the headlights before walking away.

Which got me to thinking about what I really DO instead of TV, tweeting, and surfing the Internet (tho admittedly I do spend some time on the 'net, mainly gathering ideas and recipes).  Here's what I came up with that are regular activities for me:

Work on my bonsai, terrariums, & plants
Work on my photos, photo books, & albums
Landscape my yard
Do room/area makeovers
Write letters to friends & pen pals
Work on a devotional book I'm writing
Create mixed media, assemblage, & altered pieces
Work on/in my studio
Play with Persia
Create new recipes
Blog (like this!)
Make jewelry
Write haiku
Learn something new/take classes
Work on textile projects
Plan my next trip
Shoot photos
Organize something
Bible study
Work on Extension Homemaker stuff (since I am President...)
Do genealogy research
Grow & use herbs
Have conversations!

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Best of the Bonsai

Last Saturday was my first bonsai show since rejoining the club.  No, I didn't have anything to enter this year... but I'll have something at least for the novice class by next July!  Instead, Himself and I worked the show... which basically meant making sure no one was touching the trees and answering what questions we could.

There was a nice display for a club only show.

The tree on the right is a 300-ish year old black pine.

Nice set up.

Isn't this root-over-rock cool?

Love that twisty trunk on this pine.

Beautiful cascade.  That's what I am aiming for with one of my trees.

This one is a burning bush!  What a cool specimen.

Close up of one of the accent plants (kusamono).

This specimen was a 'love it or hate it'.  It is a crepe myrtle.

I love it and am now giving 'the eye' to a myrtle in my yard that isn't doing much...

Planted in a rock!  Wow.

The rock next to it is an accent piece called Seiseki.  I tease Himself that is Japanese for "cool rock".

Looks like a turtle...

...but it is really a trilobite fossil!

Great composition!

A viewing stone.  It is supposed to bring to mind an island in the ocean.

"Cool Stone"

Since this WAS a show, of course there are winners...

Best exhibit.

Best deciduous. (Bald cypress)

Best evergreen.

Best in Show and Viewers Choice award.  (Trident Maple)

Look at that wonderful root area!

Ever wonder how those larger trees are toted around?  With a little red wagon!

During the show, John worked on a Rocky Mountain juniper.

Here's the process from start to finish (for now finish).

Big difference, eh?