Daytime Dreaming in a Treehouse

As a child, I had a favorite dogwood tree that I climbed. I spent many a summer day in its highest branches looking out over my yard to the forest and into the sky dreaming dreams of my future.

This spot high above the rest of the world was my special place well into my teens. I climbed the tree just before I got in the car and drove away to college for the first time.

I climbed the tree one final time—the day before I got married.

Did you have a special childhood spot? A secret place that was all your own?

Here are a few treehouses that inspired Darcy’s treehouse in Hometown Reunion


For more behind the scene photos about Hometown Reunion, visit Pinterest.


Splendor of the Grass—Lawn Care Tips

In the interests of the guys among us, my husband offers these Grass Tips for cool-season tall fescue lawns in the transition zone of North Carolina:
• aeration and overseeding – core aerate and overseed with turf type tri-fescue blend used in transition zone of North Carolina at a rate of 8 to 10 lbs per thousand square feet
• water – keep seedbed/soil wet but not over saturated to point of standing water
• seed germination ¬– can take anywhere from five days for first sign of growth up to fourteen to thirty days to germinate
• first mowing after reseeding – make sure seedbed/soil is dry before mowing, always keep mower blade sharp-most importantly at this stage, and set mower on the highest setting
• apply starter fertilizer to stimulate seed germination, development and color
• most important fertilization time to promote root development in the transition zone of North Carolina
• late fall/early winter is when the lawn’s root system is most actively growing
• fertilize with 50% slow release and post emergent weed control to help thicken lawn, suppress spring disease issues and provide early green-up
• apply crabgrass pre-emergent fertilizer to green-up lawn and control weed germination
• spot spray germinated weeds by hand and repeat application in five to six weeks
• use a few drops of dish detergent in any liquid form of fungicide, pesticide or herbicide for an inexpensive sticker agent to keep treatment on blades of grass
• maintain mowing height at 3½” for optimum results, this will help soil retain moisture and keep sun from germinating weeds in among the grass
• the earlier you start mowing in the season the better weed control you will have
• apply last fertilizer treatment of the season in May with post-emergent weed control
• water lawn in early morning before evaporation is at a peak
• water deep and infrequently, not light and every day
• turf type tri-fescue lawns need one to one and a half inches of water a week
• a blue tinge to your lawn means lack of water/high humidity and lack of air circulation can lead to fungal diseases such as dollar spot and brown patch
• apply granular lime as needed in July based on local soil test recommendations

How’s your lawn looking? Any tips you’d like to share?lawncare

Seagrove Pottery—A North Carolina Handicraft Tradition

NC Handiseagrovecraft Tradition—Seagrove Pottery

Seagrove, NC is known as the pottery capital of North Carolina. Proud North Carolinians boast “the world”, too. The pottery community encompasses not just the small town of Seagrove, but over 100 potteries near the North Carolina Pottery Highway, including Star, Robbins, Whynot and Happy Hollow. Visitors from around the world venture to Seagrove, home to the NC Pottery Center. The Seagrove area boasts the longest continual history of pottery making in the U.S. Visitors can also explore the rural backroads and visit potters in their workshop studios.

seagrove3The Seagrove pottery tradition traces back before the American Revolution to English and German immigrants who produced functional, glazed earthenware. The area prospered due to the high quality of clay and access to main transportation routes until the advent of modern food containers. Whisky jugs were an important source of income until Prohibition. The industry revived due to Northern tourist art connoiseurrs. The Jugtown Pottery is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

The Seagrove Pottery Festival is held each year, the weekend before Thanksgiving. Local families—Cole, Auman, Owen, Teague and Albright—are 8th and 9th generation potters who continue North Carolina’s ongoing pottery traditions.

Seagrove has something to offer both the serious collector and the casual buyer.

How Southern are you?

Take the Sweet Tea with a Slice of Murder Southern-ness test and find out.

You know you are a true Southern woman if. . .

  1. Your summer weather report reads—hot, hazy and humid.
  2. Your favorite vacation spots include—the beach, the rivuh and the crick.
  3. Everybody’s first name is either Honey, Darlin’ or Shuguh.
  4. Your favorite movie is Fried Green Tomatoes, Driving Miss Daisy, Steel Magnolias or Gone with the Wind.
  5. Your favorite cities are—Chawl’stn, S’vanah, Foat Wuth, N’awlins or Addlanna.
  6. You like your men in—uniform, tuxedos or any way Rhett Butler chose to attire himself.
  7. Your favorite hangouts include the Mall, the Country Club or the Beauty Salon.
  8. You recognize the three deadliest sins and avoid at all costs—bad hair, bad manners, cooking bad food.
  9. You list the top three religions of the South as—Baptist, Methodist and Football.
  10. You know exactly where yonder is, can show someone yonder or can point someone in the general direction of yonder.

Brought to you courtesy of Sweet Tea with a Slice of Murder.

And if you’re a Northerner transplanted to our fair land—bless your heart—we know you got here as fast as you could.

I’d love to hear from you about just how Southern you are. Or, if you aren’t Southern yet, how we at Sweet Tea with a Slice of Murder can get you some counseling to rectify your situation.