May Flowers

Hey, Everyone!!

I just got back from one of my favorite stores in Huntsville, Alabama–Bennett’s Nurseries.  I l-o-v-e that place.  It’s like a Disney World for flower lovers!  They have around 20 greenhouses where you can go and browse to your hearts content.  They’ve got annuals, they’ve got perennials, they’ve got a huge selection of the sweetest roses, they’ve got herbs, trees, landscaping, you name it.  You can take your kids along with you, and they can enjoy the gardens and the train while you shop.

May flowers Bennett's Nurseries

My wagon of herbs and flowers.

Flowers are my passion are one of the things I love to photograph and write about!

Hydrangeas

Hydrangeas, my favorite!

Those who know me well know that my favorite Artist is our Creator…I love His work so much.  He is so creative, and His use of color, composition, and Light (especially, Light) blows me away.

So, Mr. Bennett was nice enough to let me photograph their May flowers, and I bought a wagon full of herbs, a Endless Summer hydrangea, a primrose, and a dark red Calliope® geranium. Bennett’s has a wide selection…I chose dark red to go with the tint of bricks of our house. I plan to put the geraniums in a hanging basket outside our front door. You know that I’m a newbie photographer, so the Calliope people have a better photo on their website, here.

Let me know what you think about my flowers and plants!  I hope y’all are able to download my photo-heavy site okay.  WordPress optimization + Stephanie = Learning Curve!!

Hugs,

Stephanie

roses from Bennett's Nurseries

pretty May flowers

Lots of pretty May flowers!

rose

Dark Red Calliope® Geranium

Dark Red Calliope® Geranium

Note:  I did not receive any reimbursement from the businesses mentioned on this post.

300th Sweetgum Life Blog Post Giveaway!

Welcome to my 300th Sweetgum Life Blog Post Giveaway! It’s hard to believe that I’ve posted 300 times!


I hope you’ll celebrate with me by entering my giveaway. All you have to do is tell me your favorite post in the Comment section, below. Of course, I also want to know why you like the post so much.

I started my blog in 2013 after reading Kathryn Stockett’s The Help. I related to it so much because of my life growing up in rural south Alabama. We did have “help” while Mom worked in my parents’ store, Jachin Grocery. Things were a little different for us than Stockett’s fictionalized account of growing up in Mississippi during the upheaval of the 1960’s–I grew up in the post-Civil Rights era of the 70s-80s.

I do have the fondest memories of our help, Vianna, my beloved childcare provider. I’m sure she had a positive influence on my perception of African-Americans. One of my childhood playmates was not nice to her maid. But I loved Mary Anne to death and loved to cuddle up with her when I visited my playmate. Not saying that I was a perfect little child, but I look forward to seeing Vianna and Mary Anne in Heaven one day, because I’m sure they’ll be there.

What is Sweetgum Life about?

Www.sweetgumlife.com focuses on the beauty of a simple life with faith, warmth, nostalgia, and humor by sharing life and southern culture from a wife and mom’s perspective.

Sunflowers at Sweetgum House.

Sweetgumlife — A Southern Lifestyle Blog

No one can deny the cultural differences that are part of the United States. Television, film, and literature perpetuate these stereotypes–and I do too, at times. I also tend to romanticize life in the South. But just like the castles in Europe, no life is without problems common to the human race. I’m a very positive person, and I tend to focus on the good. We get enough nastiness from the news…that is, if we even bother to watch it anymore. I usually don’t and tend to get by just fine.

Faith

It’s true that southerners live in the Bible Belt, and for that I’m extremely thankful. It’s a great place to raise children. Faith in God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit has brought me through some terribly dark days and nights. I hope my writing always reflects the Light in my life. 1 John 1:7

Stories

I wouldn’t be much of a southerner (or a writer!) if I didn’t fill my blog with stories! I like to include the occasional short story or flash fiction in a post.

Amazing People

I post a lot about amazing and inspiring people. Sometimes they are entrepreneurs of small mom & pop stores like I grew up around. (My Papa started Jachin Grocery in rural south Alabama, and eventually sold it to Mom and Dad.) Sometimes I write about other writers like my college friend and published author, Melanie Dickerson. Look around and you’ll find amazing people in every one you see.

Family

Families are at the heart of life in the south. Each one is unique.

Pin It!

My Pin It section covers beautiful southern homes, antiques, crafts, DIY, and all of the stuff you’d find on HGTV.

White house in Five Points

The Giveaway

All you have to do is to pick your favorite www.sweetgumlife.com post and list it in the Comments. You must be a resident of the U.S. and be 18 years old or older. I will draw names on Friday of all who enter. You get double points for mentioning why the particular post is your favorite. Win a $25 gift card to Amazon!

Black Angus cow.

Iron Bowl 2017, Roll Tide Roll!

Today is Iron Bowl 2017–Get ready to Roll Tide Roll!

Hound's tooth hat

Alabama icon–a Bear Bryant hound’s tooth hat.

Lee Corso picks Alabama

Lefty and I love ESPN Gameday for the most part. We typically don’t like their guest prognosticators, but last week they had Craig T. Nelson, which was pretty cool.

Almost all the ESPN Gameday guys picked Alabama to win…but Lee Corso is the one who counts the most!  Unfortunately, I forgot while running around town trying to find the type of Christmas ornament holders that I like.  Didn’t find them. Fortunately, Lefty recorded it for me!

I say “Roll,” You say “Tide!” Roll Tide, Roll Tide!

But folks are all ready for The Game in their orange and blue or crimson (not red and white, thank you very much) and white.

You go past any random stranger in a crimson shirt and greet them cordially, “Roll Tide.”

In return, they say back in complete agreement, “Roll Tide.”

 

Translation:

“Roll Tide” is to say: Alabama is going to beat Auburn, right?

The other person reciprocates, “Roll Tide!”  This means:  Absolutely!!!

 

Roll Tide t-shirt

Alabama vs. Auburn Rivalry

As always, the University of Alabama vs. Auburn University rivalry will be one of the most unforgettable game of the year.  Yes, the Crimson Tide is #1 in the NCAA.  But you just never can bet on the Iron Bowl–the name of the ageless rivalry.

Roll Tide?

Roll Tide!

Bama sweatshirt

Okay, marketing people at Walmart…The school colors are Crimson and White…Not black and red. :-p

#RTR
#IronBowl2017
#AlabamaAuburn
#collegefootball
#rivalry

Fall Leaves on Rainbow Mountain

This morning my friend Kibbs and I took a hike to see the fall leaves on Rainbow Mountain. Kibbs is a Christian wife and mom, a writer, and a very close friend.  Not only do I enjoy hiking for exercise, I love to see the beautiful fall leaves all over the ground.

Fall Leaves on Rainbow Mountain

What the Fall Leaves Teach us about People

After about an hour of hiking, Kibbs and I started thinking about all those different leaves all over the ground.You know, those leaves on the ground are kind of like people.  You see all sorts of shapes, colors, and textures–and they’re all beautiful in their own way!It’s hard to find a perfect leaf. For example, one leaf may have a bunch of different colors. Some have holes in them. Some have broken points. We’ve all got flaws, and it’s not like we the peeps we see on tv with perfect hair and flawless skin.

Fall_Leaves_Rainbow_Mt10.jpg

 What the Fall Leaves Teach us about Life

It’s kinda like us, isn’t it?Our lives aren’t perfect, our families aren’t perfect…but everything seems to come together on this one beautiful rock called Earth.

red_leaf.jpg

What I’ve been Taught about Fall Leaves

Here’s one more thing about leaves…If you mow them into tiny bits rather than rake them, you’ve nourished your soil with a great source of nitrogen!  I’m one of the few in my neighborhood that doesn’t rake up all the fall leaves.  First of all, they are fun to toss at other family members, the pups like playing in them, I like the music they make under my boots, and I just think they’re really pretty.  So there’s your excuse for not raking this season.  Mow them instead for the sake of your soil.Happy Fall, Y’all!