Changing Over?

Hi Everyone!

I’ve got a question, and I’d like all my followers to weigh in.  Please.

Since I’ve got two blogs that I’ve been copying and pasting the same content, I’m thinking of using as a blog about my writing journey.  For my southern lifestyle blog, I want to use

Your thoughts?

I mean, blogging actually is a social media venue, and your comments are important.  It’s a little like when I was a kid and had a pen pal.

Thanks for any input, and may God always bless you richly.



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, 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!!



roses from Bennett's Nurseries

pretty May flowers

Lots of pretty May flowers!


Dark Red Calliope® Geranium

Dark Red Calliope® Geranium

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

Getting Sweetgum House Gussied up for Christmas!

Hi everyone, I’m getting Sweetgum House gussied up for Christmas!  I went to photograph some local shops for a real estate blog I write for and ended up buying some stuff, myself.  The places that I shop sell unique items, which is definitely what I’m looking for.

Check out this sign!

shop local sign

I love to shop local because my parents also had a non-chain store back in south Alabama when I was growing up.  We used to sell all sorts of toys around Christmas, along with the usual stuff you find in one of those old general merchandise stores.  Our store was like the Olson’s store on “Little House on the Prairie.”  We sold groceries, bags of nails, cattle feed, salt blocks, clothes, tools…you name it.  It was a fun place to hang out in with all the customers coming in, the cash register dinging, and KL and Aunt Maybelle snapping opening the paper bags to load them up with goods.

I digress!

Like I said, I couldn’t resist this tin bucket from Jacklyn’s Keepsakes in Madison.  I heard or read that Joanna Gaines recommends 3-dimensional wall art. Well, this little bucket fit the bill. I’m going to get Lefty to hang it for me in the house, and I can swap out the berries for seasonal flowers as the year progresses.

tin bucket with decoration

My little tin bucket for flowers.

I’m determined to make my cookie-cutter, subdivision Sweetgum home into something charmingly farmhouse-ish.

Christmas decoration

Cotton Christmas from Jacklyn’s Keepsakes


Christmas balls decoration

I thought these little glass balls from Madison Station Antiques were so pretty.

Noble Passage Interiors has a ton of elegant Christmas decor like this beautiful Nativity scene. I’m definitely going back for some of their ornaments!

Sweet, Silent Night

Wait! Just one more thing…This, I found at Target (obviously not local) and posted on Instagram. My parents used to take us camping all the time, and I just love this vintage decoration that represents our camping life.


So what about you? What’s your favorite decoration that makes your life around Christmas time a little bit jolly? I’d love to hear from you from all over the country! Do you have a Christmas theme to gussy up your home around Christmas?

Note:  I didn’t receive any compensation for posting about these retailers.

The Reboot — How to get Up and Going after an Illness


My rainbow reboot!

I contracted my first poison ivy rash near the beginning of June. Miserable, I went to the doctor and got a shot that eventually cleared it up but somehow caught a tummy bug the next week. By the time I was feeling better, I found another horrific rash on my legs that itched and hurt like poison ivy but it was much, much worse. I experienced extreme swelling and fever at the site. My doc again told me that it was some type of contact dermatitis. After the pain and itching went away, my tonsils started swelling and my throat became inflamed with tonsilitis. By that time, I felt like a truck had hit me. When I was a little better, I went outside just to pick a couple of tomatoes from my garden. And, you got it…I got that same horrible rash on my hands this time and had to have a shot and antibiotics.



The culprit: Virginia Creeper!


As you can guess, I was beginning to feel “learned helplessness” like Seligman’s dogs in his classical conditioning experiment.


Point is, I had become very discouraged. The house needed cleaning, my family had been eating out a lot during my infirmary, and I was deplete of positive energy.

I needed a complete reboot!

Just shut the whole system down, and start over.


Here are some things I learned about rebooting after a major setback:

1. Be patient. Regaining energy takes time. Be sure to give your mind and body time to rest so that it can heal. You definitely don’t want a relapse!

2. Be patient. It takes time to get back into the swing of things–the housework, grocery shopping, prepping meals. Patience helps to keep you from being overwhelmed by it all.

3. Be patient. Ease back into an exercise routine. I found that tai chi was a good way to do this because I can do it inside, and the stretches and movements are slow and easy.

4. Be thankful. In my case, I’ve been thankful that I don’t have a long-term illness and am usually very healthy.

5. Go! I began to feel alive again after getting out, being around people again, and being creative.

The reboot isn’t fast, but I’m thankful that it’s happening.

I’ve just got to avoid the Virginia Creeper.

“Jesus said, ‘Rise, take up your bed, and walk John 5:8.’”


This beautiful field of flowers makes me happy.