Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Wacky Wednesday Weather

For anyone who might actually believe this is a recent picture of my backyard, I have some swampland in the Everglades I'll sell you real cheap! I had to dig deep in the achives to find something that would remind me what spring SHOULD look like!

It really is my backyard. The picture was taken on April 23, 2010.

I can't say one word about the wacky weather most of us are having that hasn't already been said, so my strategy is to talk about what I've been doing while shut up in the house and post some pictures that will remind all of us that spring WILL come.  All of the following pictures were taken in my backyard on April 23, 2010.  Hope you enjoy them.

What I find unique about the way this huge weather system is affecting us here in East Tennessee, is that it has literally been snowing non-stop for two full days, yet there is not one flake of snow laying on the ground.  Thankfully, the temps have remained above freezing, so other than some light accumulation Monday morning, there has been none.  The temps have also allowed roads to remain clear and simply wet so no traffic problems.  However, that's about all the positive I can find because the wind, windchill and non-stop precipitation has made it brutal to be outside and we have not seen the sunshine since (as Johnny Cash so eloquently sang it) I don't know when!  I wouldn't say I'm stuck in prison (Folsom or any other), but I haven't been out since Sunday afternoon.  And you know what?  I've enjoyed every minute of it!  For whatever reason, I've been as content as I can be and have accomplished lots so when the sun comes back out and the temps moderate Thursday or Friday, I'll be headed to the hills.  Not to far up in the hills, mind you, cause up there, let's just say there's LOTS and LOTS of snow!

So what have I been doing..........................

1)  Dreaming of Tulips - Time to renew Biltmore passes and dream of tulips, bluebells, roses, orchids, mums, etc.  We have been season passholders to Biltmore Estate for many, many years and would not trade them for anything.  It's a quick 90 minute jaunt from our home and an easy go-to when we just need to escape.  We go for the gardens and the trails.  I've been to a lot of gardens in our travels - few rival the displays found in Biltmore's garden and conservatory.

 2) Planning Summer Travel - Our Summer Adventure 2013 is going to look a bit different than in past summers.  Not ready to reveal details just yet, but plans have come together nicely and the planning process has been enjoyable these past few days.  Just a teaser....I'm hoping to mix in some blog friend time along the way as I'll be doing some solo traveling to give Bill more time at our destinations.  He's not the road warrior I am and being the introvert that I am, I love meandering down the backroads taking the longest way possible to where I'm going.  He enjoys some of that, but there comes a point he give me that look and I know it's time to get to the destination.  STAT!

3) Spending some time in the kitchen -  Yes, I realize most of you find that humorous, but every once in awhile, I do get a yen to get in the kitchen.  Monday, I spent almost all day in front of the computer planning travel, so Tuesday, I was ready to do something different.  Daily Garnish is a blog I have followed for at least two years.  Emily and I have NOTHING in common.  She lives in Seattle, is a trained chef, a vegetarian with ZERO weight issues and half my age, but I thoroughly enjoy her writing and have followed her through two moves and the birth of a child who is now over a year old!  I tried one of her recipes, Coconut Date Energy Bites, a few weeks ago and although I liked them, Bill RAVED about them.  You just never know what's gonna strike his fancy, but these certainly did.  I stuck a couple in his lunch one day as a surprise and he's begged for them ever since.  (Not to be crass or anything, but take a look at the picture and you can only imagine what sort of creative name Bill has come up with for these!)  So I made up a batch of those and then tried Debby's recipe for Frozen Yogurt Trail Bars.  Mine are a cross between her recipe and what she linked to as the original recipe.   The jury is still out on those - my ingredients didn't seem to work together as well as I'd hoped.  I also made a to-die-for Turkey Breast in the Crockpot last week and am looking for a good soup recipe to use the broth and leftover turkey.  So much fun to search for just the right recipe when I'm in the mood and have the time.  But it can also be totally overwhelming!

4) Learning how to use my new SmartPhone..... Yes, I realize that I am likely the last person in the free world to own and use a SmartPhone. Quite frankly, I really wasn't all that interested in getting one, but my old phone was so close to biting the dust and these days, you don't have much choice in the matter.  I don't have any problem with the phone.  I just have no interest in being connected all the time.  But now that I have it, by george, I'm going to learn how to use every last feature it has.  So reading the 176 page instruction manual and finding aps to download has been interesting to say the least.  And yes, I am totally serious.  The manual is indeed, 176 pages.  Did I read it?  Not hardly!  But I did find it interesting that you had to navigate to page 56 in order to find out how to make a phone call!  LOL!

5) Reading..............I mentioned that I was struggling a bit with overeating and fighting hard not to slip back into some old habits that have no place in my life any longer, so I am re-reading two books that have been highly motivational to me in the past.  One is The End of Overeating and the other is Made To Crave.  In addition, I am enjoying Safe Haven by Nicholas Sparks and Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn.

 Couldn't resist leaving you with a picture of my handsome yard boy! Bet you don't have a yard boy that works all day in the yard and then comes in and fixes dinner! What I'd give for one tenth of his energy!  And no, you can't have him. He's all mine!

 Hope your week is as full of variety as mine has been.  Keeps us on our toes!


  1. What kind of phone did you get? I can't believe how much I love mine. How did I live for so long without email on my phone?! The worst thing about mine is that the call quality (i.e. why one used to use a phone) is very poor.

    Two books I read recently that I liked: Ghostman and The Storyteller.

  2. Very interesting about your 'indoor life'. Your yard is beautiful and having your own 'yard boy' helps tremendously. Wish I had one. I bought one of the new 4G all gadget phones the last time I was for an upgrade. Used it 2 months and didn't like it at all, so actually went back to my old flip phone, and took off all the texting, etc., which lowered my bill by $50. I only use mine for emergencies, so didn't really need all the fluff! I finally got my Kindle Fire connected to the web, so I use that most of the read, to text (if ever)and listen to music. Hope you have a nice Wednesday - inside or out.

  3. Your yard is beautiful!!! (And will be again soon if we ever actually see Spring!!) I'm so over the cold days. I hate being cold :(

    I wish I could hit the trail with you this week, but I'm afraid work is keeping me indoors...but honestly, I don't want to be out in the cold either. I'm beyond over it. Thankfully we head to Mobile this 70 degree days!!!! Sooo ready for that :)

    Can't wait to do some "real" spring hiking with you... no more of this winter hiking in March...grrr. Have a Happy Easter my friend.

  4. LOL at your yard boy. I like mine better. He leaves when the yard is done!

    Yep, I still have my old flip phone. I'm gonna keep it until it dies. I would like a smart phone, but I can't stand how much the monthly service fee is.

    I'm reading Some Assembly Required by Anne Lamott. I haven't enjoyed reading a book this much for a long time. I think it helps that I've heard her speak, so I can 'hear' her reading it.

    I think the frozen yogurt bars will be more appreciated in the summer. Right now, I'd rather have a low cal baked good for a treat.

  5. This cold is for the birds! I'm ready for some sun & warmth too.

    I got a smart phone several weeks ago and realized when the first call came in, that I didn't know how to answer it. I had to find the online manual. I am very good at texting though.

  6. Your yard is beautiful. And I'd love to get some of that snow up on our mountains. :) It's all rain down here in Portland.

    I just broke down and got a smartphone after Christmas. Luckily it was the same model as my daughter's so she was able to help her old "technology impaired" mother! Good luck with your new phone. Once you get used to it you will love it!

  7. I still have a "dumb" phone. I am reluctant to part with it as all I need to do is make a call and text now and then. We are having great weather in Arizona but that will soon give way to extreme heat which we do not enjoy but tolerate.

  8. Sharon, Your yard is FABULOUS --even if it isn't this year, so far!!!! YES--Spring is very late--and our crazy weather is enough to depress even those like me who love snow. I do love snow --but not in Spring!!!! I went back and looked at photos from last year at this time and everything was blooming here. This year--almost nothing. AND --the things that have bloomed look sad now that it's been so doggone cold....

    We bought a turkey breast for our Easter dinner. It won't be a crock-pot one --but it will have a Butter-Herbed-Basted topping... YUM... Can't wait!!!!!

    We still don't have a smart phone... Our little one is still going strong, so until it bites the dust, we won't jump into the smart phone era. My phone makes calls, texts, photos (although I don't use it for that)--and that's about all I need. Like you, I don't want to stay connected!!!! BUT--someday, we'll go that route I'm sure.

    I'm anxious to get out and walk too.... It's gorgeous up here today but still VERY cold.


  9. I am dying over your yard! So jealous! I want a yard that big. Or any yard, really.

    I do not have a smart phone, so I guess now that you have one, I am the last one without.

  10. Your yard is so beautiful! I can't remember a year that took spring so long to arrive as this one. But at least I don't have to cover anything in the garden because there's nothing up yet.
    I don't have a smart phone either but now that my husband has one I might get one when my current contract is up.

  11. Your yard is so pretty! I want to come and sit in your chairs and have your yard boy fetch me some iced tea. :)

    My phone has helped me a lot in my traveling, although google maps has lead me astray a few times.

  12. Sharon
    Wow, you got a lot done while shut-in,
    But it sounds like you thoroughly enjoyed it.
    Thanks for sharing your beautiful summer yard!

  13. You have such a lovely backyard!

    And any book by Gillian Flynn is a GREAT book!

  14. Love your yard photos. Wish I could come hike with you and go to the Biltmore Estate. Good that you are spending more time in the kitchen. :). Karen P

  15. You really do have such a lovely yard! We're planning on landscaping this year, finally making it look nice. We'll see what happens. I think we're a bit overwhelmed because we have to much space! :)

  16. Hi Sharon! Love your yard - it's beautiful! The End Of Overeating is a wonderful book, I reviewed it early on when I started blogging. I learned so much from reading it.

    My Smart Phone is one of the best electronic purchases I have made. I love it and hope you will too.