Sunday, February 19, 2017


My grandmother says I need to blog more. Writing all day, I'm not inspired as much as a I used to be! I will try to do better. The last several weeks have been especially full with a magazine deadline, lots of forums and important speakers at work, teaching a few night classes, hosting book club and more.

One thing that has taken us by surprise has been this very early spring we are experiencing.

That means yard flowers are in full effect. These camellias were especially beautiful.

Arum italics (top), also known as Italian lord-and-ladies has been a real treat to see pop up. I have never seen as much in the front yard as I have this year. Jonquils and Lenten Rose (bottom left) are always fun.

Of course, we've mixed in some fun along the way. I'm still thinking about our delicious meal at Brent's last Sunday with family. Their cherry limeade was wonderful.

Mom said she couldn't get the burger and fries out of her head.

Early spring also means yard work, which we always have plenty of to keep us busy. People alway ask us what house projects we are working on and I have dubbed this the year of the yard. We have done so much on the inside, the outside needs some loving too. The past two summers have brought severe droughts, which have done a number on our plants despite my frequent watering.

We have plowed our cast iron plants to help them grow back stronger, pulled out many dead azalea bushes and pruned back rose bushes. This weekend, it was this area's turn.

Below is the "after" shot. While I love all the plants, it is nice to have some breathing room.

This left quite the pile for the garbage men. I'm crossing my fingers they take it all on Monday. If not, we are going to have one unhappy lawn man next week.

We finished off the weekend with a visit with "the boys," AKA, our nephews. They had a great time playing basketball in the driveway. Afterwards, we took them to Whole Foods for dinner. They were very impressed with their options.

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Rainy Week

It has been a rainy week and we are trying to be thankful for all the rain. KT has been sick this week, which has taken up a lot of my brain power. Stomach issues are no joke. We finally took her to the vet on Saturday and I already tell a difference. Sometimes you just need a shot!

As a Gilmore Girls fanatic all my life, I've been wrapped up in the Netflix special that released just after Thanksgiving. What did I think? It wasn't the same, but it felt like "home" to watch the characters get back together. My girlfriends, also in the same fanatic boat, got together Wednesday to analyze and unpack our thoughts, all while eating the junk food they famously eat on the show. 

I'm thankful for this tribe of women. 

Our four year anniversary was Thursday, which we spent at Fondren's First Thursday and with dinner at Bravo! As always, the filet was divine. Paul bought be a diamond contour band that fits my engagement ring (I've been wearing a thin guard band since we got married) that I'll treasure forever. My gift was a little bit of my dad's doing. 

You see, he recently bought a Philips Hue and Amazon Echo Dot kit and was showing it off to us. Paul was in love.

So, for his anniversary gift, I bought him another woman. Meet Alexa. She turns down the thermostat, tells us the weather, and will turn on lights when we ask. I'm fine with her being the third wheel.

Speaking of women, this cutie is the newest member to the group. (You can see her with her mom in the photo above). When her dad strolled her in to breakfast on Saturday, we couldn't get over her furry boots and vest. She has this habit of holding her hands up after eating, then falling asleep. It's the cutest thing.

Happy Sunday, folks!

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Happy Anniversary

See this guy? He's been officially mine for fours years as of today.

What a dream boat.

Happy anniversary, boo.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Trash Find

There is nothing more satisfying to me (besides a thrift store find) than a trash find. Your trash, my treasure. On Sundays I always take a longer stroll through the neighborhood and this past Sunday's walk was particularly fruitful.

You see, I've had mirrors on the mind. The mantle needs a refresh and a mirror is always a go-to. Nothing has seemed "right." I've kept my eyes peeled at second hand shops and online retailers. Nothing.

Then, this was propped up next to a trash can down the street. A couple is in the process of closing on their house and this ended up in the discard pile. 

Above: Dirty (top), clean (bottom). A little glass cleaner and Old English oil later, voila.

She fits in perfectly.

Monday, November 28, 2016

Whitney Plantation

Paul and I recently went on a trip with students from the college that I will never forget - to Whitney Plantation in south Louisiana. 

Whitney has been named America's Auschwitz because it is the only plantation that talks about plantation life from the perceptive of the slaves. 

More importantly, from the view of the children. In the 1930's as part of the WPA/New Deal, the Federal Writers Project collected slave narratives from people in their 80's and 90's who had been children on these properties before the Civil War. 

The Whitney is their collective story.

When you arrive, your pass has information about one of the statues on the property, a real child who shared their story with the FWP. 

Since this trip was on a Friday, we decided to stay the night in New Orleans. I chose our dinner spot, St. Roch's Market. We had such a great time browsing the food booths, settling on classic seafood fare.

I ordered a trio, which included shrimp and grits, red beans and rice, and a crawfish and potato dish. Paul also ordered gumbo and we had bites of each. It was perfect.

After a nice morning at District Donuts, we made a stop to pile up the car at Trader Joe's. Oh how we wish we had one near us. We came prepared with coolers to bring back frozen items. Trader Joe's, if you read this, please come to Jackson!

And we couldn't make it back across the lake without a stop at Middendorf's (Paul's choice).

We've learned we are both the happiest when we split the seafood platter. Their stuffed crab is to die for!

We ended the night with a wonderful Friendsgiving with some of our nearest and dearest. Thankful for these sweet friends!

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Man, don't you hate blog problems? I've been trying to blog via my phone, but my long posts won't publish. Back to the computer!

I have so much to talk about, but I'll start with one of my favorite things - the annual family punkin chunkin'. I can't remember what year we started this tradition. Maybe ten years ago? We had a little throwing phase that manifested in throwing some particularly rotten pumpkins one year.

Now, we all save our Halloween pumpkins (non-carved) until Thanksgiving for the annual toss. My parents have a 10 foot drop off the back of their deck into a gully, which makes it even more fun. Even our dogs look forward to it.

The highlight was definitely when dad brought out his machete. 

A video posted by Sophie McNeil Wolf (@sophiemwolf) on

Sunday, September 25, 2016

House Progress: Water Damage/Door Removal

Yes, this was our view last week. In the past few months, we noticed a small roof leak (from our flat roof) in our back room and later that a small portion of our wall paneling had swollen. Eeek! The fixed the source of our roof leak and tried a few things with our paneling to no avail. It was time to call in the pros.

After talking through it with our contractor, we decided to take out the door (that didn't even open), take out the overhang, tile up the outside and sheetrock the inside. As a bonus, we even got to add outdoor electrical outlets on the back and front (which we've never had!) and one on the inside.

Below, you'll see the panels (just to the right of the door frame) that were swollen. We found out our paneling was custom milled - we couldn't replicate it without costing a fortune.


After our awesome crew finished up, we painted to help cut down on costs. Luckily, it took no time at all!

Almost back together! We are so incredibly happy with the contractor and crew and their work. Now that we've been able to center the art and dining set, I'm on a mission to find a new rug. :-)


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