2 years ago today...

... we moved from here

to here...

... from here

to here...

and then not quite a year later to here...

... from here

to here...


and the winner is...

... kris allen!  

Kris Allen performs on May 19 on the finale of FOX's "American Idol 8"

all things green (and a little pink, too)

i really wanted to post this yesterday, but during my day of errand-running leisure, i neglected to snap these pictures of the green in our yard. it is quite refreshing and gets me ready for summer. (even though summer most likely includes a battle of flies, japanese beetles, and the fresh smell of cow poop, for lack of a better word (and the one i really wanted to use). in my day of leisure, did i mention i got to go to both of our Targets? i didn't? don't know how i forgot to mention that one! hmm. must have slipped my mind.

anywho, i wanted to share some pictures with you of the lovely green (and bits of pink!) we have growing in our yard. it is wonderful and we are so happy that our trees we planted last year have survived. we were a little worried, especially about our bald cypress, but it is thriving this spring. i blogged about our flowers and trees last year and also about when we got our american elm sapling and the view from our back porch. click on the links and go back a year and look how things have changed compared with the pictures i am about to share. it's amazing how one year can bring about so much change. (and that is true for much of life, isn't it?)

so, without further rambling and wordiness ado, here is how our yard is shaping up this year.

the maple

our not-so-bald cypress

the american elm, that we transplanted monday to a bigger pot

our dogwood that came from my mom's house (and is a bit bushy)

vinca that is adding lots of color to 3 pots on the back porch

impatiens on the front porch...

...really add to the whole package, don't you think?
(and in other news, because i'm sure you are dying to know because the title of this blog suggests that i knit just fyi, i have been knitting a scarf that i promised to knit, oh, about a year and a half ago, and i will post pictures before it gets mailed on its merry way to somewhere in these united states for a birthday that will take place in the next 2 months. come on? you didn't think i would tell you who it is for, did you? :)

the finale

well, i won't go into a big rundown because i really intended to post something else in between last week's and this week's AI.  but, alas, i didn't get to it, so here are my quick thoughts on last night's show.

- loved everything about his performance of "mad world" the first time he sang it.  it was probably one of my favorite performances of his.  i was not loving the long coat and the smoke/fog.  it was a bit dramatic for me.  but, that's adam.  i still thought he did a good job, though.
- "a change is gonna come" was a great choice for him and i thought he did a fantastic job.  'nuf said.
- how cheesy was this song (kara)?  "no boundaries" wasn't really very good.  he was pitchy, a lot, during this performance, which made me a little happy because it sort of took the wind out of his sails from his second song.  but, overall, he did good.  (and amidst my voting for kris, i almost dialed in one for him... but i didn't, if you must know.)

-loved "ain't no sunshine" the first time he sang it and loved it again last night.  he is consistent and current.  (although i wasn't so sure about the scruffy 5 o'clock shadow.)
-i liked his second song, too.  it did sit in the shadows of adam's song, but it was still good.  
-do we need to discuss how cheesy this song was again?  it was more suited for kris's voice, however, it really didn't suit either of them, if we're still being honest.  but, kris sang it just a bit better than adam.  maybe next year, when they pick an equally cheesy song, they will pick something both remaining artists can sing well... and not just because a judge co-wrote it.  maybe.  (probably not.)

well, that's what i thought.  i work tonight, but if they offer me "on-call" you bet i'll take it to watch the finale!  (i mean, i would never ever do that.)


top three

i did my very best to watch AI this morning before falling asleep... i almost made it through the entire thing without dozing.  almost.  so, here's my rundown of the show.  (quick rundown, that is, which is basically just my opinion.)

-didn't love his first song.  but, really, that's paula's fault.  he sang it great, but i just didn't like it all that much.
-LOVED the second song.  danny is amazing and this song proved it.  he deserves to be in the finale.

-i thought "apologize" was pretty good, but it was a bit copy-cat.  and while i was about to agree with kara, i'm glad i didn't, after hearing his second choice.
-his spin on "heartless" was amazing.  he totally deserves to be in the finale.

-honestly, i have been a converted adam fan, however, i did not like his version of "one" by U2.  that song is great the way it is, and he pushed the envelope on this one for me.  (not as much as say his envelope-pushing version of "ring of fire," but close.)  
-he totally has the pipes for this song.  he most definitely probably is "the next steven tyler."  but i realized today that i am quite over his screaming.  however, that is what this song calls for and he delivered.  and, quite honestly, he deserves to be in the finale, too.  

if i could vote, and be the only voter, i would eliminate adam this week.  he has made it.  seriously.  he's already on the stage, as far as theatre goes.  i think america should leave it up to kris and danny- the two guys who have worked hard to make it where they are right now.  i guess we'll just have to wait and see...


a very long post lies ahead...

it has only been a week since my last post, but a busy week it has been! well, maybe not busy as much as relaxing, but there is much to share and discuss. shall we?

Isle of Palms, SC
last monday, jay and i drove down to isle of palms, sc (a beach near charleston). did you know we are only 3 1/2 hours from the beach? it's true. we are actually closer to the beach than we are to nashville. the drive down there, however, isn't exciting, or pretty, or the least bit interesting, but still.... it's only 3 1/2 hours. we didn't complain about that, for sure. we stayed in a "partial beach view" at the palms hotel, which was quite lovely. it had some great amenities, such as a medium-sized fridge in our room, where we kept water, sodas, and lunch items, as well as a "deluxe" continental breakfast, which was exactly the same every day. exactly. it has a small (and quite chilly) pool on the second floor, which we enjoyed on wednesday (the chairs, not the water). the hotel is beach-front, so a short walk down the stairs and over the pier and there we were.

a room with a partial view
under the hotel... our beach access awaits

we didn't do much on monday due to the fact we didn't get there until 4:30pm. we did find a great place to eat in nearby mt. pleasant. it was a great little pizza/italian restaurant called giuseppi's, which just happened to be across the street from publix. :)

tuesday morning we had a lovely long walk on the beach and then it got quite dreary and cloudy. so, we spent the afternoon at/on the USS Yorktown. the tours were self-guided, and we were all over the ship- viewing the sleeping quarters and kitchens, to the medical wards and the OR, to the flight deck and navigation areas.

to get a photo of the entire ship, we had to take the picture from the car!

we loved the "people"

on deck

a view of ft. sumter from the end of the flight deck

downtown charleston
and, while we're on the subject of tuesday... yes, i did watch american idol! and, without a full rundown, let me just say that i thought the evening was a bit unfair as two of the greatest were totally out of their element. and, skipping ahead, i was glad to see allison depart. america has chosen the correct top 3. (end sidenote.) seeing as tuesday was also cinco de mayo, we decided to partake in some delicious mexican food. well.... our trusty gps wasn't so helpful in guiding us to the restaurants we were looking for. so we settled for acme cantina, just near our hotel. one might also think that cantina sounds like mexican cuisine, right? ha. not quite. the service was terrible. the food was mediocre, at best. the margarita was just okay. but, that was the worst meal we had the entire trip, so we can't complain too much.

on wednesday, we spent most of our time on the beach or pool-side. the weather was beautiful and, unfortunately, with the wind keeping us cool, i didn't quite realize, that despite my reapplications of sunscreen, i got quite sunburned. we had our best meal this evening, at a little place on sullivan's island. we were definitely ready for some seafood and this place, seel's on sullivan's, exceeded our expectations.

on thursday, we ventured out to folly beach, which is quiet and peaceful and lovely. we happened to get there around noon, so we only stayed about an hour because it was so warm and sunny. we really didn't expect to venture out to the beach (which we did), so we weren't prepared with our swimsuits. so, we headed back to our hotel and spent some time in the AC while waiting for soem afternoon time on the beach (yes, i covered up most of my sunburn). we spent both wednesday and thursday afternoons in the ocean, playing in the surf and waves while the tide came in. it only took about 3 big waves to get used to the water and we had forgotten what a good workout "jumping waves" can be. we cleaned up and had dinner at the charleston crab house, at its mt. pleasant location. the food there was good as well, but still couldn't quite top our meal on wednesday night.

most of our evenings we spent relaxing with the tv and taking walks on the beach. we happened to catch the sunset on thursday night, and we just couldn't seem to get our camera settings right, but here are some attempted shots of the sunset over charleston. we also tried to get a shot of the two of us on the beach, but it was a bit dark for that, even with the full moon. however, we used the nighttime setting and, well, you can see the result for yourselves. (it was also quite windy and my hair was totally not cooperating. not that i care about that or anything.)

then, friday, it was time to head home. we got back friday afternoon and have been trying to get back to reality. yard work and laundry have beckoned back without haste. we weed-eated and mowed on saturday before the nasty, brief thunderstorm we had. sunday, after we sent becca, brad, and their sweet labs on their way back home, we headed out to lowes for some things for the yard and some flowers for my pots and the back berm. yesterday, before it rained, i refreshed my planters for summer. today, even in the cool drizzle, i planted the junipers on the berm and gave the dogs a bath. i forgot how excited they got when they see the "doggy" pool.

it's been an unhurried, busy week and it's been wonderful.


doggy doubles

cotton and barley met aiko and aggie (brad and becca's dogs) for the first time on saturday. the girls warmed up to each other after about 5 minutes and had a great time playing with their new friends. sweet aggie is a camera-evader, like barley, but we were able to get one picture of all 4 of them together.

barley checking aiko out.

two sweet yellow labs.
all you have to say is "hungry?" to get their attention.
unfortunately, due to circumstances beyond mine and jay's control (i.e. jobs and odd refinancing scheduling), we had to change our vacation plans. we were going to be heading to hatteras with the gang above (and their humans, of course) but instead, jay and i are headed to isle of palms/charleston and the cotton and barley will have a stay-cation with kelly, steven, and harley (the best neighbors/dog-sitters ever). and then we will see brad, becca, aiko, and aggie again on their way back through nc to nashville on saturday. we're finally beach bound and cannot wait!