Thursday, May 31

#151: Rain Storm

It has been so long since we've had a good storm that lasts the afternoon and evening. Today made up for it. This afternoon, I kept getting alerts on my phone about a severe thunderstorm warning, and I was a little baffled because the sky didn't even look that cloudy. Then, all of a sudden, the thunderheads came out of nowhere (we get a really good look at them from the 28th floor of Clark Tower, let me tell you!), and then the sky went dark. When I say dark, I mean, we couldn't see a thing. Nothing at all -- it was like someone had hung dark blue paper over the windows. To go with the black sky, we received some loud booms that carried on for the rest of the afternoon. Fortunately, it was just a thunderstorm, and it passed by the time I was ready to leave the office. You can't beat that.

I expected the afternoon storm to be the end of our stormy weather, but a second round hit just as Jonathan and I got home from the gym. Again, it was like someone had flipped a switch -- the sky went black and then down came sheets of rain. It rained so hard that there was water standing at the top of our driveway, and we had a river running down the street.

In addition to receiving a good old summer storm and some much needed rain for our garden, we also were pleasantly surprised to discover much cooler temperatures. 60s and 70s? Yes, please. 82 on Saturday? Compared to 95, that sounds lovely.

I'll take it.

Wednesday, May 30

#150: Oxford Town

I made a quick day trip to one of my favorite places today...for work. Did I mention that I'm really enjoying my new job? It inspires creativity and makes me think about the big picture.

Lucky is the word that comes to mind. Lucky and happy.

Ollie is happy too.

Tuesday, May 29

#149: Feels Like Summer

My sister just moved back to Oxford and into the condo we shared during college. To make it feel less like college, she is doing some painting projects of her own and clearing out some stuff that reminds her of the old days. I was fortunate to inherit the china we used back then, as well as a huge box of Nora Roberts, Jude Devereux and LuAnn Rice novels. For some reason, both scream summertime for me, and I'm so pumped about this. I'm absolutely thrilled to be reading silly summery books and eating off these plates again. And I must say, dinner looks so much more appealing on them, even though my heart is sad to be parting with our trusty Target plates. We bought them when we first moved in Collierville in 2006, and they are still going strong -- we just don't have room for them, so they need a new home. They're red and blue and quite Ole Miss Rebel-esque, if anyone out in blogland would like them. If not, they'll be going to the ReStore to make someone happy or to Jonathan's brother who still lives at home for now but might need some "Rebel" plates in the near future. I truly hate to get rid of things. Can you tell?

In case you were wondering, dinner was farmers market collard greens, roasted red peppers, chickpeas, quinoa and homegrown basil, topped with balsamic vinegar. So, so good!

Monday, May 28

#148: Another Hot One

These two photos sum up our Memorial Day. Cold strawberry lemonade with farm-fresh peaches and strawberries and lots of ice was the beverage of choice. Our day was spent working on the truck (Jonathan) and painting our Adirondack chairs (me). We painted them red four summers ago, and now they're going to be a nice crisp white. I'm about half done. Painting chairs isn't easy! The day was capped off by a quick visit from my dad. It was a good day.

Sunday, May 27

#147: Hot, Hot, Hot

It was almost 100 degrees today. Whew! The pets had the right idea -- Oliver slept most of the day, and Porter consumed lots of cool water with ice in it. Jonathan and I worked outside, cleaning out our carport building and prepping our deck furniture for a new coat of paint. Fortunately, we were in the shade most of the time, so it wasn't too bad. Tomorrow is supposed to be just as warm. Here comes summer in the South!

Saturday, May 26

#146: Pyrex Finds

Jonathan and I decided late Friday night to hit a few estate sales on Saturday. My eye caught several Pyrex sets in the photos that were posted on the estate sale website, so of course I wanted to go check them out. We arrived a few minutes after the sale started, and I made a beeline for the kitchen. I got a nine piece set of yellow Pyrex for $35 and the green second largest Pyrex in the four bowl set for $8. The yellow set had the largest bowl as well as a yellow bowl that is the same size as the green one. It also included the smallest bowl in the set (also yellow) as well as two Fire King bowls and four little square bowls that will be perfect for dips. I was pretty tickled to get home and put my set together, after a year of collecting the pieces...

The blue piece was picked up at my favorite antique mall in Hermosa beach last year, and I found the orange piece at an estate sale back in January. Hard to believe the set was only $3.50 when it hit the market...

Friday, May 25

#145: Graduation Time

My little sister now holds a master's degree in nursing and is getting ready to start her first real job.

It seems like just yesterday that she was starting her first semester at Ole Miss. Where does the time go? Yet again, I'm reminded to treasure every moment, as the years pass all too quickly.

Congratulations, Lauren. We're proud of you!

Thursday, May 24

#144: 10 Years

I graduated from high school ten years ago today. That thought had been on my mind the past few weeks as I watched my much younger friends don caps and gowns to receive their all-important pieces of paper that spell freedom. Naturally, I forgot today was the 24th until I was dusting our living room. As I reached for this frame, it hit me.

My grandma gave this to me ten years ago today. It's an old dollar that her grandmother gave her when she was a little child. When my Laura, great-great grandmother and namesake, gave it to her, she told her that as long as she had her dollar, she would never be broke. Ten years ago, she passed it down to me. The note on the back is only there because I insisted that she write something so I wouldn't forget that moment. She thought I was being silly, but she humored me. I can't tell you how many times I've looked at it these past ten years. Tonight when I looked at it, it brought tears to my eyes as I remembered that day. Ten years have passed in a blink. Today serves as a reminder to treasure every day..every moment.

Tomorrow, my sister graduates with her master's degree in nursing. Life comes full circle, doesn't it?

 This is one of our gerber daisies....pretty huh?

 And, as I was posting the above pictures to Facebook, I spotted these shots posted by Disneyland. I had to post them in memory of my grandma. Pirates of the Caribbean and It's a Small World were two of her favorites.

Wednesday, May 23

#143: Ten Summer Pins

It was a great work from home day. I ate lunch with my husband, and I kept the window open. You just can't beat that. In the spirit of summer fun, here are 10 pins that say "summer" to me. I'm inspired to have picnics, plan my next beach trip and mix white and bright colors.

Source: via Crystel on Pinterest
Source: via Crystel on Pinterest

Tuesday, May 22

#142: Hanging Out

Lauren has been staying with us the past two nights as she finishes up her last week of graduate school. It's hard to believe she's been in Memphis for two years. After tomorrow, she'll be back in Oxford again, and a chapter will close. I'm glad we've had these last two days to celebrate with good food and cupcakes. Life is too short not to eat a cupcake every now and then, especially when you've been studying your brains out for two years.

Congratulations, little sister!

Monday, May 21

#141: Mondays

I was never a Monday person until I started working for Green Line.

Now in addition to my regular work, my Mondays consist of comfortable t-shirts, open windows and this...

He loves me and doesn't want me to go anywhere.

Life is good.

Sunday, May 20

#140: Simple Pleasures

One of the best things in life...napping on your grandma's glider under your carport with your husband and dog while you listen to thunder and a light late-spring rain...

Life is good.

Saturday, May 19

#139: Perfect Saturday

Today was one of those special days:

1. Woke up early
2. Had breakfast
3. Went to the CY Farmers Market for kale, green onions, two kinds of squash, collards, strawberries, peaches, snow peas and carrots
4. Visited our favorite Summer Avenue antique mall
5. Took a nap
6. Went to the gym for a light workout and Whole Foods for a few supplies
7. Stopped by Muddy's Bake Shop for cookies and cupcakes
8. Stopped by Cosmic Coconut for smoothies
9. Packed a picnic and went to the Levitt Shell in Overton Park for a concert
10. Ate some snacks with 10,000 of our closet friends, didn't see much of the show, but did see a really cute kitten
11. Enjoyed the rest of our picnic on the couch
12. Went to bed before midnight

Friday, May 18

#138: Movie Night

We're in the process of switching from a life without Cable to DirectTV because Jonathan realized he could use his FedEx discount to get a satellite dish and AT&T internet for less than Netflix and Comcast internet. The reasoning? So he can watch basketball and football. Darn you, ESPN.

In the meantime, we rented a Red Box movie (The Descendants) and made nachos. After the movie ended, we went to bed at 11 p.m., which is unheard of for a Hardin Friday night. It felt good not to wake up on the couch at 3 a.m. As much as I love our couch, I love our bed even more!

Thursday, May 17

#137: Who Wants a Clean House?

I do! I hate cleaning, but I love having a clean house when I come home from work on Friday. Tonight was one of those nights where we divided and conquered -- I did the house cleaning and Jonathan did the yard work. Needless to say, we were pooped by 11 p.m. Still, it was worth it to have shiny floors....

Wednesday, May 16

#136: Tony Allen's Interview and Bird Poo

Nothing like a Tony Allen interview to cheer you up when you're in mourning. It's really interesting to hear it from his perspective. Honestly, his reaction is not unlike that of Grizz Nation. He refuses to watch the Clippers-Spurs games or ESPN, and he believes we were the better team. Like Marc Gasol, he feels as if they should be in San Antonio right now. He continues to have that positive grit and grind attitude. He's a good guy.

You can hear the full interview here. There should be a Vernon and Allen Show someday. These guys are a match made in radio heaven. I actually told Vernon so via Twitter tonight, and he said thanks.

In other news, a bird pooped on me this evening. It's supposed to be good luck, and funny enough, my family has a history of being pooped on by birds. It happened to my mother two years in a row on the last day of vacation in California. My grandma thought it was the funniest thing.

Ah, poo memories and Tony Allen. What a combination.

Tuesday, May 15

#135: Summertime

Lightning bugs have me thinking about summer. Actually, I just made a list of LA and Orange County hot spots for a friend, so I have California summer on my mind. Sigh.

Unfortunately, thanks to house repairs, job changes and life in general, I'm not sure a summer trip to California is in the cards. Instead of moping, I'm going to focus on the things that remind me of a California vacation....and they're all things I can enjoy here in Memphis.

1. El Palmar -- The best Mexican restaurant in Memphis. We'll be hitting it up for good food and my favorite Mexican pineapple soda. Afterwards, we'll go next door for a Mexican popsicle. Yum!
2. Overton Park Shell -- We're hitting up the Shell for a Saturday evening concert. It's free and fun. We'll also be walking Porter at Overton Park and maybe even packing a picnic or two.
3. Oxford -- Okay, so it's not technically Memphis, but it's still close to home. I hope to visit O-town and Water Valley this summer. I've missed them both this year.
4. The Farmers Market -- Fresh veggies. Enough said.
5. Our backyard -- Less buggy than past years, I'm looking forward to finishing our deck and adding an outside table and chairs so we can hang out and enjoy the flowers, our garden and our grass (!).
6. South Main and Midtown -- My two favorite parts of Memphis. I'm looking forward to window shopping and taking pictures of both places.
7. Family time -- When we're in town more often, that means there is more time to spend with family. I'm picturing trips to the zoo and afternoons spent wedding planning.
8. Shelby Farms -- I want to start riding our bikes again. We live on the greenline and never use it.
9. Exploring the South -- I want to take a few little day trips to explore some small towns with big personalities. Water Valley really opened my eyes what could be out there.
10. House work -- I have a mile-long list of house projects I'd like to do this summer, so hopefully we'll get to accomplish a few of them. Work hard, play hard...

This is going to be fun!

Monday, May 14

#134: What To Do

Now that basketball season is on the books, I'm starting to realize what it's like to have free time. I didn't really have free time before basketball season because of my job, so this is a new feeling...a weird it's-the-day-after-Christmas-and-I'm-empty-inside feeling.

I know I'm not being dramatic because Marc Gasol (the Grizzlies center) made a comment to the media today that he went home last night and wandered around the house, feeling completely lost. So many Grizzlies fans chimed in and said they did the same thing. Face it, we weren't expecting the show to be over yet. While I wasn't shell shocked that we lost (thanks to being 10 points down), I wasn't ready to put away my basketball gear.

To prove my point, there are Grizzlies posters, bam-bams and flags in the Jeep, homemade pins on the dresser and programs and growl towels in my purse. I'm leaving my homemade Grizzlies pin on my work bag. I don't have the heart to remove it. 

Tomorrow's post will be focused on the future and the summer that is fast approaching. For now, I'm going to remember a great first season as a Memphis Grizzlies season ticket holder. Now I have another reason to be excited about October!

On a random side note, I saw lightning bugs tonight while I was walking Porter! I love lightning bugs. :) 

Sunday, May 13

#133: The Fun Ends

We ended up with the L today, but we came back from being 3-1 to finish our season at home. It was a season filled with heart, grit and unforgettable moments. I'm so proud to be part of Grizz Nation.

Friday, May 11

#131: Basketball Love

 Friday night highlights: Dinner at our favorite Mexican restaurant...

Grizz Watch Party at the FedEx Forum...

 Two on 'Cue basketball...

And a Win!