Weekend Wondering: Can you barter with a pinecone?

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  Well, can you?  Barter with a pinecone?   I honestly don't know. I've never tried. Have you?   I've filled baskets with pinecones, used them in tablescapes, hung them from Christmas trees... I've even shown you how to clean them!   I haven't ever tried to bleach them, but some of you have. In fact, it's quite the craze here in Blogland in case you haven't noticed.   For me, pinecones signal a change of seasons, bringing thoughts of steamy-hot soup, snuggly-warm throws, and early-dark nights.     They've always held happy memories; serving as an unexpected symbol of security.   Until ...   The investigation began when the child showed up at a ... Keep Reading...

Death of a Southern Beauty

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A few months ago, I wrote these lines...   Thankfully, the thaw has come, but not before the Winter of 2014 wreaked havoc in the garden. Many plants experienced such trauma that their only hope was found in a drastic springtime pruning. Others, once treasured, are now no more than treasured memories – their blank spaces in the landscape recently filled by tiny replacements... as if one could really replace a treasure.   For still others, like our stately magnolia, the verdict is still out. We worked so hard to save the Southern favorite – the arboreal beauty that's shaded our century-old house for many decades – but I fear its days are numbered. Every time I look out my kitchen window and see another brown leaf fall to ... Keep Reading...

Little Man goes to school: Dear World…

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It's a big day in our family. Little Man starts school!   Although he's spent half-days at preschool a few days each week, today begins "the real deal." Today is the first day of the K-12 Experience—the one that brings a new lunch box, new clothes, new school supplies.  New friends, new teachers, new influences.  New subjects and new choices to discuss 'round the family dinner table. That multi-year experience that foresees smiles and laughter, disappointments and challenges, and character-building opportunities.   Plenty of character-building opportunities.   If you're feeling a little teary-eyed about now, you probably know a little one heading off to school this year, too...   Wasn't it "just yesterday" I ... Keep Reading...