Me and My Pine Trees

Seems like I will always have a connection to pine trees. Some of you already know I grew up on the sandy soil of Moore County, North Carolina, where pine trees are king! Okay, not everyone likes them. They produce tar or sap. And pine cones. And pine needles. I hated my Saturdays in the yard picking up pinecones. My daddy would drive his little tractor around and either my sister or I (we alternated Saturdays) would stand on the back and ride around with him. He’d stop the tractor in various spots throughout our large yard and we would have to jump down and pick up all the pinecones in that area and put them in the little hitched-up trailer he was pulling. Those were the days.

These days, I miss that.  I did love the pine trees in our yard.  I used to enjoy picking at the bark and looking at the sap.  I had heard growing up that you could chew the sap like chewing gum, though I never did.  You can use the needles to make a healing tea.  I used the trees as a way to balance myself when doing hand stands in the yard.  We had the huge beautiful pinecones that people actually purchase now for crafts and decorations.  We sat in the yard and braided pine straw.  You can weave pine straw to make a basket.  I have fond memories of pine trees, minus having to work on Saturdays!  I do wonder though if that work made me love being outside like I do.  Thank you, Daddy.

I guess I cannot get away from pine trees.  My garden with Jason.

Pine trees were a part of colonial history for the Scots in North Carolina, who worked around them and made a business of them.  The Piedmont Scots added pine products (tar for ships) to what was put on the Cape Fear river and sent to Wilmington.  I love this bit of history from Learn NC.

“…pitch and tar rendered from the sap of pine trees and used to protect the hulls and rigging of wooden ships.”

And this:

“The native longleaf pines allowed crops to be planted without the backbreaking work of first removing all trees. Settlers removed a ring of bark from the pines, killing the trees; this caused needles to fall and sunlight to reach crops.”

And oh do I descend from a long line of Scots!  The McNeills, Gilchrists, McKays, and Campbells to start with.  The Hastys were from North Ireland, having migrated down from the lowlands of Scotland.  On my mom’s side the Scots were all highlanders, many from the Outer Hebrides.

Me and my sister in front of the house we grew up in.
Mama (hennypennylane.blogspot.com) in front of the Monte Carlo, at our old house. She recently wrote about this room on the end of the house. And you can see the pines behind her.
My daddy the way he looked when I was 5.

Here are a few recent garden photos.

The jasmine climbs the trellis. I like to take thrifted pretty curtain rods and stand them in the ground. Cute!
Blooms on the tomatoes! Yay!
Lily in bloom!
Lots of pretty purple in this spot.
The garden is growing!
A pretty geranium that was on clearance and was nearly dead. It has come back to life!
A new delivery of mulch! Yay!

Enjoy this day!
Lynn

American Tobacco Campus

This North Carolina girl really loves living close to downtown Durham!  Durham is rich in history, including tobacco history.  One of my favorite places is the American Tobacco Campus.  Even the Duke family who did so much to establish Duke University had a hand in the booming tobacco industry.  That’s such a paradox now!  Tobacco is out of style for most folks these days, for good reason, but the huge brick buildings, trimmed inside with rustic old beams (what a cool industrial look!) are a sight to behold now that they are being restored and turned into hip new places.  I love the tobacco industry’s old landmarks.

Jason and I were there over the weekend.  We walked until my Fitbit hit 5000+ steps.  We ate at Mellow Mushroom where they have great GF pizza.  We took lots of pictures.  We sat and talked.  I hope you enjoy the photos!

Lucky Strike tower off in the distance.
The moon rises behind two humongous mushrooms.
Didn’t know Jason was taking this photo of me! The water runs from one end of this place to the other, over large rocks. The babbling sounds of the water add a great ambience!
An enormous chess set with Bull Durham and tobacco-themed pieces.

Me and my sweetie!
North Carolina Public Radio studio on the American Tobacco Campus.

Stay tuned.

Enjoy this day!
Lynn

Guitar Progress Video: Wrong One Right

This afternoon I did some practicing for an upcoming gig, so I figured I’d pull out the camera and get an updated progress video.  This is a Billy Burnette song that I first heard after Jason gave me one of Billy Burnette’s CDs.  I have soooo far to go in my playing!  Ugh.  I wish I could hit the 10,000-hour mark in a day, but alas it does not work that way. I’ll just keep practicing.

I am loving my Guild guitar, but it is a big guitar, a D-55 dreadnought. My right elbow has been hurting a bit, and I am actually wondering if it’s the size of the guitar. I guess time will tell. I would be extremely sad, except if it does not work out, well, it means more guitar shopping. 🙂 Of course, the elbow pain could also be from my desk job and using a mouse eight hours a day!

2005 Guild D55 dreadnought

Early this morning, I met my oldest son, Daniel, for a big hug. He is going deep sea fishing over the weekend. I don’t care how big he is, he is Pooh Bear to me! We looked into the sun, #nomakeup #nofilter for a selfie! I love this child. In fact, I love all my children so much. It cannot be put into words, as all you mothers know. Daniel brought me flowers on Monday for Mother’s Day and they are all open today! So beautiful!

First thing in the morning, looking into the sun. No makeup, no filter, no coffee. Got a hug from my boy before he headed off to deep sea fish.
Lilies from my oldest son, Daniel, for Mother’s Day.

I am off, running into the weekend, with so much to do. As usual, I’ll open the shop. We are practicing for an upcoming gig. I would love to get a minute or two in the garden! We shall see. Have a good weekend, everyone!

Enjoy this day.
Lynn

Beautiful, Beautiful Spring

Which way shall I turn?  A window plant?  A cat?  A walk in the park?  Working in my garden spot at Jason’s?  I think I need spring, the earth, plants, and a good soaking water of newly planted flowers, the kind that leaves the air smelling like dirt and promise.  That is what I need.  I need spring!

Here are some photos of recent activity.  On Monday I took the day off work to celebrate my birthday!  Happy Birthday to me!  Jason took me out to eat.  On Tuesday night we went to see The Steve Miller band.  Let me tell you, Steve Miller hasn’t lost a thing!  He was great!  Even today, Jason is preparing the yard so that I can get there and play in the flowers on my time off.  I am so needing spring.  More than ever in my life.  Here’s to spring!

Azalea in bloom.
DPAC the evening of Steve Miller concert.
Pretty little miss statue, sits near my desk.
Favorite vintage postcard of my collection, complete with letter home from soldier.
Yummy Angus Barn dessert, after birthday dinner with Jason.
Tiny little patch of phlox in bloom.

Enjoy this day!
Lynn

Walk With Me…

Ahhhh, remember the days when I used to take you on garden walks? Well, I got a quick photo the other day of the old garden. Brace yourselves.

Renovation of the old house spills into the garden.

I mourn for several reasons. It is very real that my garden is no longer mine, but I am not sure I can ever stop saying “my garden.” I am also happy for several reasons. It is delightful that someone purchased this home and is finally going to save it from collapse. Believe me, it was on its way at the rate it was being neglected, and please understand that I was a mirror of the home — the state I was in. I was being cared for about as well as the home was.  Oh, I cleaned and kept the house full of love, but there were things and people needing attention and it just was not happening.  I don’t want to belabor this sorrowful fact, but it does seem to need clarification when I talk about the state of the house.  A marriage is not made of one person.  Anger does not fix problems.  I have heard from people who are involved with the house now that part of the home was being held up by a “stick.”  I used to worry about things I was seeing in our home, but when I brought it up I was met with anger.  It was “NOT A PROBLEM!!”  What could I do?  I was being held up by a tiny stick as well.  It is a wonder I did not cave before I finally got out of the dark place I was living in, literally and emotionally.  I am only now realizing just how sick and mentally exhausted I was upon leaving.

That said, I am now the happiest I have ever been. I love studying something new, playing music (did another open mic the other night!), house hunting, my dear Jason and the garden we are planning together, and the list goes on. In fact, Jason and I went to Chuy’s last night to enjoy a meal and to talk.

Have you been to Chuy’s? Oh my goodness gracious! I love the way it is decorated. It is a Mexican restaurant chain that was started in Austin, Texas. Look at the photos and you will see what I mean…

Yum!
Tribute to Elvis.

In other news, I am heading into the weekend having spent some free time shopping for the shop this week. Tomorrow is the day I open Sidetracked!  My happy place!  I am working hard to finish all school work for the week. Monday will start a new chapter in our textbook. Sigh. I am a bit behind this week, I admit.  Anyway, I had a lot of fun out shopping for the shop. I also wire-wrapped a few more stones. I saw an inspiring sign while out shopping. I spent some of my study time at Foster’s Market in Durham, another yummy place to just relax and take in some quiet time.  So life this week has been as crazy as this paragraph just sounded!  A bit of shopping, a bit of studying, a bit of shopping, studying, working…

Be Your Beautiful Self
The little garden area in front of Foster’s Market.
The little garden area in front of Foster’s Market.
The little garden area in front of Foster’s Market.
More wire-wrapped stones. Kambaba Jasper and Dalmation Jasper.

I better close here.  Much more to do before the week ends!

Enjoy this day.

Lynn