Thursday, April 14, 2011

Dogwood Days

This is what J.J. sees out his window every morning!

Our azaleas are in full bloom right now, too.

Ready to go to her tea party...

These gloves were mine when I was about her age.

Enjoying her tea party fare

She decorated her tea pot picture frame all by herself!

Thanks, Emma Grace and Ginger for a great tea party. Happy 5th birthday!

This is always a great time in our area. The dogwoods are in full bloom, and oh my, are they beautiful. Shades of pink are my favorite, but you can't ignore the canopy of snow that the white blooms produce.

Dogwoods grow and bloom naturally in our wooded areas, but the abundant trees found in the neighborhoods and parks came to exist from a comment by a travel writer in the 1940s. John Gunther made a stop in Knoxville, at that time very much a railroad, industrial city. Gunter made a remark in his book, Inside USA that Knoxville was one of the “ugliest cities that he had ever seen."

By the 1960s, after 13 years of planning, planting, and organization the Dogwood Arts Festival was born in Knoxville and the surrounding areas followed suit. This first group of civic-minded individuals wanted to show Gunther and others who visited this part of East Tennessee that we were much more that buildings and sidewalks. Today with miles and miles of beautiful dogwood trails in neighborhoods and parks, we truly celebrate the beauty of our southern city and its outlying areas in this month-long celebration.

Now that you know how beautiful it is right now in our neck of the woods, I will fill you in on what has been going on with us. Last weekend was one that was filled with cleaning, planting flowers, catching up on odd jobs around the house...just one of those beautiful ones that you hate to see come to an end. Tori was invited to a tea party themed birthday for her China sister, Emma Grace. Wow! Did all those little girls have the best time. I can't wait to host one for Tori (as I have been planning one in my mind for years), but I may have to wait until her sixth birthday because she is asking for a Chuck E Cheese's party. Oh, well...

This week has been a bit overwhelming with the end of school routine for me...trying to work my way to the end point of my curriculum, graduation responsibilities, etc. Jonathan's Tennessee Comprehensive Assessment Tests have begun, and in the midst of all of this, one of my parent's dearest friends passed away from cancer. Bill was not only a friend to them, but his grandson is one of Jonathan's friends. Of course our hearts go out to the family, but this has really hit J.J. pretty hard. He has started to think about his own grandparents, and it has really hit me too about my parents...something I hate to ponder for too long. Please pray for this sweet family that they will find strength and encouragement in the days to follow.

And yes, it's that time of the 41st birthday. While I don't relish getting older and enduring what time does to your aging body, it really doesn't bother me to age as far as number. I can't complain too much...I feel better since I have been exercising regularly and my type I diabetes is under better control. My exercise buddy (and also a teacher friend) and I have been dedicated since January. We really can't get over how much better our clothes fit, and I am enjoying getting into some things that were a bit too tight to wear before I started. Anyway, I digress...Tomorrow is a day to celebrate me, and I plan on doing it with a smile on my face! Happy Birthday tomorrow to Mamaw Sandy (Chris's mom) and my dear friend Diane...I am honored to share this special day with both of you!

It's almost the weekend. Hooray for that two-day reprieve!


Kim K. said...

Happy soon-to-be Friday and BIRTHDAY!!!!! You YOUNG thing. I've the big 43 coming up next month. Darling tea party pictures. You and Tori look so sweet.

Big HUGS!!

Heather said...

The dogwood tree is beautiful. We cannot grow those in California, so I will just have to drool on your photo! You sound as though you are very busy. Good luck with everything!

Heather said...

And happy birthday! :)

Lisa said...

Happy Birthday, Cindy!

Ruby told me the other day that she wants to see her friends from China from when she was a baby. Maybe we can finally get around to planning a get-together!

Have a great birthday!

KJ@letsgoflyakite said...

Happy Birthday Cindy!!! Wishing you a special day.
I love dogwoods and your photos are beautiful. I haven't been to Knoxville in about 18 years, but I would love to go back, I have fond memories.

PS Torie with her little gloves is just precious, a true southener. I lived in Texas for a couple of years and there are many things I miss.

Mahmee said...

Hope my card made it there all of the way from the West Coast! Happy happy!
I love the fact that your weather is nice enough that Tori can get away with that cute dress. We are still cold here but, we don't expect rain for 5 (count 'em) 5 days!
Good luck with the excercising!