Monday, May 30, 2016

Skid Marks, Kudzu, Revels, and the Underwear Factory

King Ron  has a way with words.
His MO is called PLAY ON WORDS (a humorous ambiguous use of words or phrases). 
Those that know him KNOW!  It is intentional! 
Those that don't know him, might tend to think he is a little 'touched'.
"So Dad, I need directions to the  beach!" 
"First, take a left at the skid marks." The skid marks were on 220, which takes you through Ridgeway, right where route 87 directs you to Eden, NC.
"Then take a right at the white church that is covered in KUDZU, which is on the left." Winding our way through Greensboro was simply not an option, especially with backseat urchins, demanding attention of the co-pilot....thus trying to navigate around Greensboro was our intent!
"Take a left at Rockingham, and stop to eat at Revel's Barbeque." This is a MUST STOP regardless of the time of day.
"Turn right at the underwear factory, " he would reply.
He would then add, "Keep the sun on your left arm, until you reached the ocean."
For years, our family went to the same location, same beach, same week, and the same way!
Ah, they understood completely! No route numbers were needed, no lady needed to talk to you on the phone, no mapquest was necessary to follow.... look for the  skid marks, kudzu, Revels, and the underwear factory on the left, on the roads in Hamlet, NC.
Anyone else remember those skid marks?
The Gilead Intimate Apparel outlet is now closed. 
Left standing is the empty, boarded up white building.  
Our route to the beach has also changed.  
But for today, we revisited a piece of family history, and a bit of a family secret! 

Next to the ancient, dilapidated, closed underwear factory is the city reservior, a park, and a few picnic tables.

The stalking part?
On our way to our destination this year, we stopped for one more mini break....another picnic table,  no white building, no skid marks.
I did the stalking! 
Ok, it's a little corny, if you get my drift.

Friday, May 27, 2016


God Bless America.
Stop. Pause. Pray.
Thank God that you are alive. 
Remember those who fought and died for your freedom.
Take pride in being an American.
On a day set aside to honor the nation's war dead, few have memories more indelible that those who lost their buddies in combat. The few that survived, came home to relive every moment that they were away. Sometimes they talked about the war, and sometimes they just sat, teary-eyed, clearing their throats, unable to utter words. PTSD, depression, fear, nightmares, yes, they were survivors, but their hearts had been wounded. A part of them were still fighting mentally, to save and protect our country.
Two great men who survived to honor their country, were my Dad, and Ron's Dad. They are both gone now, but their stories live on in our memories. 

They loved the USA!
They stood up to sing The Star Spangled BannerThey remembered, with reverence, the fallen....their buddies. They saluted our National Flag.

"Memorial Day began after the Civil War.  It was known as Decoration Day. While it was originally founded to honor the soldiers who died in the Civil War, today, Memorial Day is to honor all of the Americans who died while serving in our country's military service."
Courage is contagious. When a brave man takes a stand, the spines of others are stiffened.... Billy Graham.

This Memorial Day weekend, I pause to remember those who died for my country. I also salute those that survived to tell the story of war.  It makes me proud to display/and wave my flag, sing a song, and be grateful! 
Thank you VETERANS ♥ 

Thursday, May 26, 2016

May, 26, 2016 Rose....Good Ole' Mr. Lincoln

No, I'm not referring to good ole' Mr. Lincoln like you would think. No, not President Abe Lincoln.

Lincoln's last portrait
This is specifically about Mr. Lincoln------> THE ROSE
Yes, the flower!
Experts rate the Red Hybrid Tea Rose  #1, as one of the most fragrant of all roses, for its red velvety blooms, and for its glossy green foliage!
Good ole' Mr. Lincoln has a looooooong history with the Sharpley clan...He started out in Dot's (Ron's Mom) back yard, at least 40 years ago. It was very special to her because of the 3 white markings on the bloom. Each time she would carefully snip and re-root Mr. Lincoln, all of the blooms would appear with these 3 white markings! Recently, I stumbled across a photograph of the rose, with the following, written on the back by Dot, in 2013.
What a keepsake!
Mr Lincoln was carefully moved to our yard 2 years ago. (Trust me when I tell you that I have night sweats about losing this plant!)
Click here----> May 23, 2104 , to view a Flikr photo that I captured 2 years ago, with one of those special white markings. 
Mr. Lincoln is a late bloomer this year, but you can bet your last dollar, I'll be taking a photo with those 3 white markings!
As to its velvety appearance.... oh my.....
Photo taken 05-21-2014
Dot would most always display Mr. Lincoln in her pewter container.
Mr. Lincoln now has a beautiful child in our back yard, not too far from him. The blooms and buds will be displayed in that pewter container soon!
Fast forward to May, 2016!!! Here are 2 photos of Mr. Lincoln. The first is budding, and the second is showing the 3 special markings! 
The first bud of 2016
It amazes me how these white marking show up in each rose!

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

It's Official..... READY, SET, GROW!

Official-----> meaning it's safe, safe for planting outdoors.  
It's garden time. 
For most gardeners , mid-May signals the safe time for planting annuals, perennials, container gardens, herbs, trees, shrubs, wildflowers, etc.,  without the fear of a hard freeze!
Check out the few sites that are highlighted below to help determine time tables for planting! 
The amount of information for gardens, on the Internet is endless.
I'd love to know what your favorite sites include!

From our street view, one would never know that we are FARMERS.... SERIOUS FARMERS! 
Here ....... UNDER THE FLAPS......It's veggie/fruit garden time.
Those who know King Ron, know that he is crazy in love with his garden(s).
Flowers? hmmmm.... not so much, but I try to sneak in a few annuals, or perennials that require little/no care!
Here is a portion of our FRONT YARD! No one can see this while driving up/down our road.
The greens (shown below) in front of the hedge are Horseradish plants! and oh is it ever mouth-watering good!
It freezes well, so we benefit from the roots all year!
Check out this recipe for ----> HOMEMADE HORSERADISH.

To the right of the horseradish are several rows of onions. To the left of the horseradish are rows of zucchini, butternut squash, and yellow crook-neck squash.
Yep, ALL of the above produce are planted IN OUR FRONT YARD!

The backyard contains a space that measures approximately 12' x 21', designated for Ron, the Farmer!
Trust me when I tell you that there is little room for weeds to grow, once these plants start producing. 
Lettuce, cucumbers, tomatoes, green peppers, green beans, pabalano peppers, and collards seem to agree with this morning-mid-afternoon sunny location.
Lettuce, onions, and Clematis vine growing on the fence

green peppers

On a humorous note: King Ron tries to hide in the tomatoes, I'm climbing a ladder with our grandson to reach the sunflowers, and Ron is being.... just Ron! (These are not this year's photos!)
We've had great luck, good luck, and some failures.
Gardening requires consistent care!
It's not always just 'pick-and-eat'! 
Here's a post from 2012 on our garden---->How our garden grows
And here is another post from the same year 2012----->Veggies
Growing food isn't rocket science. 
It's takes time, but things like tomatoes, lettuce, peppers, beans are very forgiving. Gardening also has many health benefits, not to mention that you are inclined to eat more vegetables during the growing season! One of our greatest accomplishment is showing our grandchildren that greenbeans don't always come from the grocery store!
I'm not sure who was more excited in this photo!

Advice: START SMALL and pick a spot with at least 6 hours of good daytime light. 
If space is an issue, consider the community gardens!


Saturday, May 14, 2016


Here is an updated blog-post!
It was written 5 years ago.
Lots has changed in Lauren's life!
But she's still my baby-child
Click here and Enjoy-----> HAPPY BIRTHDAY LAUREN

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Those $100 bills

The following blog post was written by Lauren Elizabeth Hartman (our 3rd child, who will celebrate her 29th birthday on May 14th!). As you will notice, her blog was written 5 1/2 years ago. It was written specifically about her Granny "Dot" (Ron's Mom, and my Mother-in-law).
Granny "Dot" passed away March 17, 2016 at the age of 94. She is greatly missed, and is/and will be remembered in our daily conversations. 
What a legacy she left! 
It will take a multitude of  blogs to pay proper tribute to this lady. She loved me unconditionally from the moment Ron introduced me to her, 49 years ago. She never met a stranger, went out of her way to help others, and loved her grandchildren and great grandchildren.
We spent our first Mother's Day without Dot last Sunday. It was an EMOTIONAL experience. We went to the cemetery to place a flower on her grave. Moments of silence and grief took over..... as they will continue to do so for a long time. 
Be Kind. Be Generous. Let people know that you appreciate them.
Thanks Lauren, for allowing me to share this!
Enjoy her blog:


A Story of Goodwill and $100 Bills

Anonymous letters.

They come nearly once a month and contain nothing but a blank card and a $100 bill.

No note. No return address.

Just a $100 bill.

It sounds a little too good to be true. But it is.

For the past three and a half years, my grandmother has been receiving anonymous $100 bills in the mail nearly each month, accompanied by a blank card and postmarked from various locations.

The first letter came in May of 2007. It provided a reason for the gift, but the sender never gave his or her identity. The reason for such generosity? My grandmother's kindness to this person's mother.

The first card was the only one to contain any writing. Subsequent letters have all been blank, with a $100 bill neatly folded inside of a pretty card. In order to further disguise the sender's identity, the letters are postmarked from various locations in Virginia, Maryland, Tennessee, Florida, North Carolina, Georgia, West Virginia, Alabama, Texas, and even Wisconsin.

Receiving just one of these anonymous letters would be enough to blow me away. I even feel flattered by a simple "thank you" card. But over the past three and a half years, Granny has received at least 35 of these letters. That's $3,500. All given because of a simple act of kindness.

Granny is always kind and friendly with everyone, friends and strangers alike. This makes it that much harder for her to attempt to figure out who this mysterious giver could be.

Granny recalls one of her friends (who has since passed away) who never learned how to drive. This friend had children, but they also had their own families so they couldn't take her everywhere she needed to go. So each Friday Granny drove her to the grocery store and took her out to lunch. Granny's friend looked forward to this day each week, as I'm sure Granny did, too.

Granny isn't completely sure this woman's family is the source of these monthly blessings, but she certainly is flattered by it. She just wants to know who to thank.

Even though these letters have come steadily for the past three and a half years, she hasn't come to expect them. In fact, there were many times when she thought the letters had stopped coming. When alas, another letter would show up in her mailbox.

Being the caring person she is, Granny doesn't go buy herself a shiny new pair of shoes each month when the special envelope comes around (I'll be honest - I probably would, which is probably why I'm not the type that would get anonymous $100 bills in the mail). Instead, she turns it right around and uses it for birthday and Christmas presents for her friends and family, or she donates it to the Good Neighbors Fund, which helps those who are less fortunate in times of need.

I don't mean to go all "Sunday School" on you, but I know I've learned a few lessons by all of this. Be kind. Be generous ($100 bills not required). And let people know you appreciate their kindness and genero

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Just for fun! Do you remember these?

If you are in your 50s or plus, many of these will ring a bell.
You youngins---> Sit back and laugh your silly heads off.
One day, you will be laughing at the ads of 2016 😄