Welcome the wisdom of another year

Wednesday, 6 July 2016
Another year… another birthday party that I threw for myself! It has sort of become a tradition and I kept it going even though I’m now living in Columbus and all of my Knoxville friends are far away. I have made some friends through James’ friends and we had a group of about 25 people. Most of our friends have children so they are always welcome as well.
This year we partied at the pool at our country club and hosted a little BBQ on the lawn. It was so fun with tiki torches, red and white tablecloths and modest flower arrangements that I made myself.
The chef grilled brats and burgers and we served them alongside homemade, fresh potato salad, grilled corn on the cob, and a delicious green salad. We then had Graeter’s ice cream for dessert (chocolate chip cookie dough, raspberry chip, vanilla, and double chocolate chip).
It rained earlier on Friday, July 1st so I was pretty worried that the clouds would hang around but by the time the party started at 5:00 p.m., the sun was shining, there was a lovely breeze through the tall pines, and it was a perfect 75F.

A quick reflection on the last year made me realize that overall I have no fear of aging and in fact, welcome the wisdom that another trip around the sun brings. Even though “37” is “late 30s” and no longer “mid 30s,” it doesn’t bother me. Never in a million years would I have thought that I would be a Fulbright Scholar at the age of 36. Here’s to the surprises that my 37 year old self will experience this year!

The veggies are growing

Saturday, 2 July 2016
James' father John is a wonderful gardener. He hasn't put one in over the last few years so we decided to plant one together this year. We have a major problem with deer so he put in a 9 foot fence and wire along the ground so critters can't get in. 
The peppers are coming in nicely and we tried one the other night. These (above) are hot peppers and the more they change color (to red) the hotter they will be. Pretty tasty.
Our first harvest of garlic was successful and we managed about 15 heads of garlic of two types. 
We have already tried a few of the bulbs and they have a nice, fresh flavor. The others are being dried and cured and I will watch a few YouTube videos about how to braid garlic!
The sunflowers are beautiful. They grow quickly and strong and have thick stems. I am looking forward to seeing them bloom.