Saturday, July 31, 2010

This week, our church family unexpectedly and inexplicably
lost a sweet member, 20-year-old Liz LaVelle, to a tragic car accident.

My first reaction to this news was nausea...how in the world could this happen?

I'd just seen Liz! I'd just read her facebook status; she'd just gotten her wisdom teeth taken out! How in the world could she be gone? I remember when she was born! How could her mother possibly be coping? Her father? Her brother and sister? Her enormous family, myriad friends?

Following nausea was agoraphobia. I wanted to hug Jonathan so tight and get with him inside my house and lock the doors and close the windows.
How could we ever return to the streets, drive a car, go on with normal life when something this senseless could happen at a moment's notice?

Liz was a believer in Jesus; she loved the Lord, His word, and His church. All who knew her know without a doubt that she is in heaven with the Father. Even from a distance, her faith had been blessing me: I've been enjoying her facebook statuses, which had been full of encouraging Scriptures, thoughts, prayers... she was blessing others even across silly cyberspace.

So, what's left for us to grapple with in our minds, when something this senseless happens?

God is good.

This, we must cling to. This we know. Without this central thought in our mind and our hearts...we cannot go on. How could her sister think to run the dishwasher? How could her mom go to the grocery store? Carry on with mundane tasks that seem so wrong and trite in light of enormous loss?

Because God is good, we can leave our houses...say goodbye to loved ones at parting, even for the evening...read the paper...clip our toenails...cook a meal.

I don't understand this. I don't really want to understand this truth.
But somehow, I know it.

Liz was an extremely well-loved and, unassumingly, a major contributing member to a large family and a larger church family. She was completely gorgeous...helpful, sweet-natured, loved children...was like Mary Poppins in their awe of her. It goes without saying that there will be a enormous hole. Her sister Kate said to me yesterday, "my life will never be normal again."

No it won't. It's confusing. It seems senseless.

But somehow--and I think it's through the Lord's Providence and His enduring goodness--amidst everything, we can say that we're thankful.

Come quickly, Lord Jesus.

Non-Memphis/Highland friends, read more about Liz's life here.


Tuesday, July 27, 2010

[in no particular order]


funny jokes

funny mishaps




and this guy

Midsummer Update : Patio Containers

Thursday, July 22, 2010

I first showed you my plantings at the beginning of the summer in this post.

So now I will show you how these beauties have filled out. [settle in...lots of pics!]

Beginning of summer:

[blurry junk of a pic, i know]


Is that purple fountain grass to die for? The double impatiens have not held up their end of the bargain, however.


The other big'un at the beginning:


Double impatiens are being stubborn...they always look like they're JUST about to bloom, but don't really.

This guy got a new home...then:

Now (more room to grow!):

[super sunny pic, sorry]

Window box #1, just after planting:


So funny how these boxes had the same plants arranged in the same formation, but three feet apart in sunlight is enough to make them fill in completely differently...

Window Box #2 at the beginning:

For some reason, in this one, those yellow flowers took over the world, and the poor red salvia haven't had as much glory.


I just love that white licorice, don't you?

You can really see the yellow flowers' height here:

Interesting, eh?

This lantana/dusty miller combo has been the biggest disappointment so far. Promising start:


I don't know if I just got a bad batch of the lantana or what, because the rest of the lantana I see around town looks just great!
[Sister got some the same day as me, same place, same variety, same color,
and hers have gotten huge!]


Owl collection:

Cypress vine and climatis on the same trellis:

Three climatis blooms on one shoot!

[What a relief ... this guy was transplanted from one of the pots to the ground, and looked a little iffy for several weeks.]

zinnias planted from seeds, still making their way:

Herb pot, in which the basil has grown fat, the lavendar had to be replaced, the cilantro died, and the parsley is coming along, and the mint is starting after us. Not symmetrical, but ah well:

Back door:

Calladiums with a little creeping jenny...uh, creeping.

Hanging basket:

Double petunias, vinca, creeping jenny.

Probably my fave concoction of the summer. You can see it through the dining room window.

Back yard on May 6th-ish:

Back yard on July 20th-ish:

Obviously, there's a ton more landscaping work to do in years to come...
but thanks for stopping by / humoring me!

Has the summer been good to your flowers?

peach-mango sorbet

Saturday, July 17, 2010

As I mentioned yesterday, our air-conditioning quit working this past Thursday evening.

We spent last night at my parents' ... but for the past three hours have been sitting in our house waiting for the repairman to come.

At first, I could do nothing but lay on the guest bed in heat-induced lethargy--but then I just had to do something to get back at the hated 88 degree temperature inside my house.

So I made some peach-mango sorbet ...Maybe for the third or fourth time this summer. I just love its freshness and slight tartness. Amidst the frustration of the heat, this sorbet provides welcome and cool respite, while also being a truly good part of summer's (actual) fruits.

This recipe is so simple: four ingredients (if you count the fruit as one). I adapted it from a recipe in the instruction book (which I can't find online to source) that came with our ice cream maker.

[I have told you about PW's Blackberry Ice Cream, which I've now made twice, but THIS recipe is the one we use the most by far with our little ice cream maker. There's a little/a lot less guilt involved in the following.]

All you have to do, really, is peel and roughly chop 2-3 mangoes and 2-3 peaches, and put them in a blender/food processor with sugar, corn syrup, and lemon (or lime) juice.

Then you pour it in the ice cream maker.

That's the puree, which (apparently) can be made up to a day ahead and stored in the fridge (if only I were that organized):

Push "on" and leave it in there for 30 minutes.

Seriously. That's it.

I'm a dum-dum and probably shooting myself in the foot here, because our good camera's battery died while it was freezing/mixing up...so the "final product" pics don't have the sharp quality of the prep pics. Hopefully, though, you can see through the less-than-optimal pixels and see how yummy it really looks:

It's MORE than fine to eat it right then...or you can store it in the freezer and let it harden a bit.

Peach-Mango Sorbet

2-3 mangoes, peeled, pitted, and roughly chopped
2-3 peaches (I used white peaches this time, any kind is fine), peeled, pitted, and toughly chopped
2/3 cup sugar
1/2 cup light corn syrup
6 tablespoons lemon or lime juice (whatever you have/are in the mood for)

Combine the ingredients in a blender or food processor and process until smooth. Scrape the bowl with a spatula into the ice cream maker. Turn ON and mix until thickened, about 25-30 minutes.

Sister could definitely make this in her Kitchenaid's ice cream attachment if she wanted, if that also applies to you. It's a versatile concoction.

Alas, since I started writing this post, our air-conditioning has been fixed. We've made it down to a balmy 81 degrees. By the time most of you read this Monday (which, I guess you will...yall don't comment much anymore!), our house will be back to normal.

But you should still make this sorbet...seriously, DO IT! making your own ice cream or sorbet makes me feel powerful. You're making something deemed "hard" but is really really really not.

And, heaven knows, it's probably hot where you are too!


Friday, July 16, 2010

Today, the following is all that is on my mind:




4 [LOVE rockstar diaries]

5 [at our former abode]

Snow. Cold. Coziness. Darkness.

No blinding sun, no staggering humidity, nor blistering heat.

Just let me go on...I really never complain in the wintertime.

dramatic much?

This post may or may not have to do with the fact that our a/c unit went caput last night. ie, sleep-deprived + hot = grumpy Leslie

ps Happy Birthday Jesse (your birth=redeeming quality of summer)

Elephant Pillow / Mini Den Update

Tuesday, July 13, 2010


I won a blog giveaway! eeeeee! And, if this doesn't beat all, it was an exact item about which I had previously blogged (here), as an option for the Red Chair.

Thanks to the lovely Stephanie of the venerable sabbespot blog, for hosting.

[Yall should check out her blog if you haven't. I LOVE her chevron wall tutorial, among other/myriad gems.]

Here's the chair in my un-decorated-but-freshly-painted den:

(walls are Saybrook Sage, by Benjamin Moore, Elvis is from Amazon)

Whatcha think? I like it in the chair, no?

...Thought about it for our bed, but an ill spouse has kept my bed unmade and occupied for the past day or so, thus no photo/trial period.

Here's another den view, if you'd like.

Only two boxes left in that view! (well, four. and some loose electronics. whoops.) Don't worry, my fantasy football trophy will not grace the mantle forever.

(click here to see the befores.)

Next step: acquire rug. Then dress windows. Then do some odd jobs.

...Then nap. Lots of nap.

Thanks again, Stephanie!
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