Sunday, November 22, 2009

ho hum

I got nothin'. Those pansies I planted are looking good. Like this now (well, today they look slightly less beaten down by rain):


And those ranunculus bulbs I planted? The ones that are supposed to cheerily bloom in the spring? Look like this:



Shame on them. You know, unless they bloom. Doesn't really matter what season to me.

I made cinnamon rolls yesterday. And altered a dress. And we're going to see A Christmas Carol at the theatre (live, not the Jim Carrey movie).

Yep, that's all. I'm super unmotivated.

Sunday, November 08, 2009

hear classic country live at the ryman

Maybe about 4 years ago I made it to Nashville for the first time. I loved it even though, as a Texas Country music fan, you're probably not supposed to. On a subsequent trip, I forced one of my friends/co-workers to visit the Country Music Hall of Fame and the Ryman. If you make it to Nashville, I'd recommend both. I guess I realized that you don't have to be a fan of some of the cheesy current Nashville "artists" (you know, the ones who just sing songs other people wrote and stand there--without an instrument in their hands--looking pretty) to appreciate the history of the place.

I love the Hall of Fame. I love buildings that have meaning. My favorite part is that on the outside of the rotunda, there's a slightly stylized rendition of the musical notes of "Will the Circle Be Unbroken". But there's more. From wikipedia:

The new building's exterior is laced with symbolic images of music. The most obvious of these are the windows that mirror the configuration of piano keys. More conspicuous images include the diamond-shaped radio mast, which is a miniaturized replica of the WSM tower located a few miles south of Nashville. The round discs surrounding the tower symbolize the different size records and CDs country music has been recorded upon. When viewed from the air, the building is in the shape of a bass clef. The north-west corner of the building juts out like the tail fin of a 50s Cadillac.
I love Hatch Show Print (and what they print). You've seen their posters. If only we had a different wedding theme, perhaps I would have had them print our invitations. (I do keep telling The Hubby that we need to get remarried each year so I can have every kind of wedding I'd want...)

But I LOVE the Ryman. When I was there I couldn't help but feel my parents. I know, it's weird. It's just that we grew up with classic country and I felt like it was a place they would have loved to have visited. But I guess visiting wasn't enough for me. So I added to the Life List. The Ryman opened its doors in 1892 (as the Union Gospel Tabernacle) and was home to the Grand Ole Opry from 1943-74. Today you can hear all sorts of acts at the Ryman but I wanted to hear it like the old days, in all its classic country glory.

For a few years now I'd been checking their calendar. Since so many other types of acts play there, it's hard to find a classic country artist not sold out and playing on a date you could, you know, just swing on over to Nashville. About a month ago I realized Willie Nelson was playing there this past Thursday. The Hubby and I made a little trip of it...

We stayed in my favorite hotel of all time. I hadn't been there since it had been renovated. Ahh, even more lovely. We ate barbecue. For several meals. We saw Willie with about 2,300 other folks. It was a sold out show and there really are fantastic acoustics. He sang some of his stuff and some other classic songs. The last song was "Will the Circle Be Unbroken" and everyone sang along and clapped. They turned the audience lights up and you could imagine folks singing gospel here a hundred years ago, needing their paper fans in lieu of air conditioning. I got a little emotional. It was a great show.

On Friday, we drove down to Lynchburg, enjoying the fall color the entire way. We ate at Miss Mary Bobo's (now owned by the Jack Daniel's folks). Good southern food (sweet tea, fried okra, carrot cake, etc.) and good company (you eat family-style with strangers). Then walked through town and down to the distillery. It was our 4th distillery tour (the first in the US). The tour guide was a very entertaining older gentleman. Jack himself? He was only 5' 2"... I don't know why that was surprising. We headed on back up to Nashville by way of Tri-Star Vineyards & Winery (run by a couple on the verge of retiring), Arrington Vineyards (a beautiful property--we enjoyed the evening's bonfire--owned by Kix Brooks), and Martin's Barbeque Joint. Then we headed back to the hotel, exhausted from a great couple of days. If only we could celebrate each quarter of marriage with a trip as good as this one...

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

short week

Today is my Friday. We're taking off tomorrow and Friday to go mark something off the Life List. I don't know if it's that things FINALLY start to feel like they're settling down or what, but I'm all about crossing things off this list lately. Trying to encourage The Hubby that now is the perfect time for a new puppy. And maybe we'll sit around one weekend eating nothing but mac n cheese...

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Tuesday, November 03, 2009

fall in the garden: picture post

So the weather has been pretty perfect around here. And I was doing some reading and it seems like now is prime time to add new plantings to the yard. Since our winters are generally pretty mild, this gives the plants a long time to establish before the crazy summers.

We've put this little lime tree in the ground. Yea for citrus!


And this tiny green plant on the left, an ixora, has been added. I was looking for an appropriately-sized little guy who could fill in this area in front of the house but also not die back in the fall. There are two other guys in this picture that do just that. By this time next year, it should look fabulous. By the spring, we may have some orange ranunculus...you know, if the 30 bulbs I planted agree.


The Hubby has been hard at work digging up the poorly installed (by previous owners) flagstone. We're going to expand the veggie garden a bit and re-install a smaller path (or some path, with some materials). We've already changed our minds several times including after this picture was taken.


We still have some old herbs as well as some new ones. Seems like there are very few cute herb labels out there and ones I bought at Ikea (that you could label yourself) just washed away (the labeling, that is). So I whipped these little wire ones up. Easy, fun, and a little rustic looking. I think the oregano likes it because it is looking fantastic right now.

And my pansies. I don't really enjoy putting annuals in the ground only to have to rip them up again so they rotate in some pots on the porch. These little guys greet you before you get to the front door.

This is what you get when you hack back an overgrown hibiscus...a lovely dark red bouquet (that looked pretty nice on the black Halloween table runner). Seen here in a wedding gift--an equally lovely Vera Wang vase. Thanks, Gary.


I wasn't totally in the mood for Halloween decorations this year so I only did a little. Until Halloween. Then I felt guilty. The creepy porch.

And the husband who would scare trick-or-treaters and their mothers. (He doesn't scare me. I think he's cute.)