Friday, March 2, 2012

Camellia Time 2012

As promised a few days ago, I'm going to share some recent photos of beautiful camellias that Philip has devoted much time to over the last few years. They do get better and better each year as the plants grow and mature. This unusually mild winter has certainly been good for them.

First, I want to share a few pictures from a little learning adventure we had a few weeks ago. We visited the greenhouses of Mr. Randolph Maphis in Talahassee, Florida. He is one of the premier camellia growers in the country and we were totally in awe of his beautiful plants and flowers.

I don't know if you can tell from the photos, but some of these flowers are as large as dinner plates. Of course, all their growing conditions are carefully controlled in the greenhouse. The results are amazing!!

Ours are not nearly so impressive, but here is what we have enjoyed in our yard this winter/spring.


Red Velvet Variegated


Frank Houser

Rena Swick

Royal Velvet

Carter's Sunburst

R.L. Wheeler Variegated
Hilda Jamieson


Nuccio's Gem

Kick Off

New grafts are in progress. New plants Philip propagated this year include Jubilation, Elaine's Betty, Ruta Hagmann, Showtime, Valentine's Day Var.

It was fun to share these beautiful flowers. My next blog project will be to update my sewing/knitting projects.
Stay tuned and hopefully I can stay motivated!!

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Winter Slips Away

It is really hard to believe I haven't posted on the blog for almost a year!! I really miss it and feel determined to get back in the groove!
Needless to say, quite a few important events have come and gone in my life during this time...we'll have a quick rundown to catch up!

Momma celebrated her 80th birthday in August with a family dinner at the Callawassie river Club!

Annette and Lee celebrated their SECOND Birthday in September with a Cat in the
Hat party and lots of excitement!

November brought a "surprise" 60th Birthday Party for Philip!

Thanksgiving memories were made at Baybottom again in 2011 with turkey and all the trimmings followed by he annual hayride!

We enjoyed having all our family together for the Christmas holidays as we celebrated the birth of the Christchild. We will probably never forget trekking down Hwy 17 to Mass in Hardeeville after finding no priest for Mass in Ridgeland. Also, going through a "license check" en route to that Mass in Hardeeville!!

2012 has arrived and we have much excitement on the horizon! Philip,Jr. and his girlfriend Amanda became engaged!!!! We are anticipating their wedding in spring 2013 and are immensely happy for them! We travelled to Snowshoe, WVa a few weeks ago with them and Amanda's parents.  Very cold and lots of snow .....a great time was had by all!!

In a few weeks we'll travel to Columbia for the wedding of our nephew Rush and his fiancée Jessica! We are wishing them a beautiful wedding weekend and much happiness.
When I look back on all these events, I guess it helps me understand why I haven't had time to blog!

Next up:  Update of Camellias and Knitting Projects

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Camellia Time

Early spring is the time of year we get to marvel in the beauty of our camellias in the deep South. This is a beautiful flower. Stately with just a hint of pink. It was tagged incorrectly; it looks a lot like Moonlight Bay further down the page.

Melissa Anne has  a large white flower with ruffled petals.

I have been anxious for these delicate rose-like blooms to open before we have more bad weather. Here it is today:  Moonlight Bay! Extraordinary!

These are Betty Sheffied Supreme.

First bloom in our garden (a little weathered) is Silver Triumph.


Stunning red and white:  Magic City!

Love this subtle pink beauty - Margaret Davis!

You can learn more about these beautiful plants at This is also the time to propagate by grafting.

In a few months we'll get to see if this one "takes".

If you have an opportunity, visit a camellia garden and enjoy the beauty. This would be a great time to see Magnolia Gardens  near Charleston, S. C. It won't be long before spring will be showing off its best blooms!
Kudos to Philip for all his work on the camellias!! What a great hobby!!

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Fleeting February

Well, here I am again after Christmas, New Year's, ski trips, baby fun, etc. It's hard to believe how busy life is and how rapidly the days are going by! I'm so thankful for all these great experiences and just the ho-hum every day stuff, too!

Maybe I can cover the lack of blog posts with some photos!

We had a wonderful few days together with Ashley, David, Annette, Lee, and Philip and Amanda over the Christmas weekend!  I was also on call . . . so I think everything went well, but ---alas, I didn't manage to take many pictures!  Here are Annette and Lee at their holiday visit with Santa. This is one of my favorite captured moments! They are just not sure what this is all about. Annette is checking out Santa and Lee is  taking his cues from Annette. How innocent and adorable!

Here's my Dad with Annette and Lee. We were having Christmas Eve celebration at Cathy's. I do remember what a nice time we had with our Nimmer family gathering. Here's a picture of three very special men in my life!

New Year's found us travelling to Atlanta for a disappointing bowl game for the Gamecocks. It was all Auburn - all the time. We did ring in the New Year and continue to anticipate that it will be one filled with joy for all our loved ones!

No need to remind everyone that January and early February have been uncommonly cold. The new growth on our plants and the camellias beginning to show their stuff has certainly put me in a better mood and I can't wait to get in the yard and plant some new herbs and annuals, and bring all the ferns back outside. Thanks to Philip, we have some beautiful camellias in the yard. Here is one of our favorites: Frank Houser is its name.

Speaking of cold, we had a wonderful trip to Colorado for a pediatrics continuing education conference. The change of scenery was welcome. Amanda and Philip, Jr. were able to travel with us which was an added bonus. Here are a few pictures from that journey!

Bonus Recipe

My favorite easy and quick CHICKEN PARMESAN !!!!

This is an adaptation of a recipe I found on I like to use chicken tenders instead of breasts.

Whisk 2 eggs and dip chicken pieces (about 8-10 chicken tenders) in egg wash, then coat with bread crumb mixture:  1-2 cups Italian bread crumbs mixed with about 1 cup fresh grated Parmesan cheese (out of the bag, NOT the can).

Heat 2-3 Tablespoons vegetable oil in skillet. Place coated chicken pieces in oil (medium heat) and saute until cooked through. 3-4 minutes on each side.

Spray an oblong pyrex dish with  PAM and place cooked chicken pieces in pyrex dish. Cover with 16-24 oz. of your favorite pasta sauce. I never know what kind to buy. (Usually whatever is on sale!) This was Bertolli's Fire Roasted Tomato with Cabernet. I have to admit it was very good!

Then bake at 375 degrees for about 20 minutes - covered with foil. Remove from oven and cover with shredded or sliced mozzarella cheese. Back to oven only long enough to melt the cheese.

Serve with a crunchy wedge salad and some toasty bread! Very simple and delicious, I promise!!  Enjoy!

OK . . . That's all I can handle for now! I'll update my knitting on the next post!

Monday, November 29, 2010

November Reprise

Wow! It is the end of November and no blog post!
I'll have to work fast!

First, Happy Thanksgiving to everyone. I am thankful for so much, but especially my family and so many dear friends. You all enrich my life and I treasure each of you! I'll have many great memories of this Thanksgiving as we spent time and enjoyed traditional Thanksgiving fare with each of our families. We enjoyed a hayride after lunch at Grays. This photo of all the "Thomas cousins" provided a real "Kodak moment".

Laura, Fields, Tom, James, Fisher,Annette, Lee, Elizabeth, Sarah, Michael, and John

Knitting Update: Working (slowly) on Jane Slicer-Smith's "Boxes Drape". I am liking the yarn and get the feel for how "drapey" it will be . . . and can't wait to see it finished!

We also enjoyed spending time with Annette and Lee while Ashley and David went to Carolina-Clemson football game and had a little time off. Here they are at breakfast!

Now it is time to prepare for the Christmas season . As we ready our hearts to celebrate the birth of the Christ child, we can enjoy some other favorites of the season . . .

Camelias beginning to blooom . . .

Baking fruit cake . . .

Decorating for the holidays!!

Welcoming family and friends to share the joy of the season!