Where did The Peppered Peony get it’s name…

Ashley Mackey Elmore liked this post

IMG_1253 Where did The Peppered Peony get it’s name?

I get that question a lot.

It’s nothing very romantic or deep.  I wanted a catchy name that had some alliteration.  I started thinking of things I like.  It wasn’t long until I had a list with the word Peony starred multiple times.


It’s my  favorite flower by a mile, but the love affair didn’t start until about 14 years ago.  They weren’t my wedding flower, and I hadn’t seen them in anyones yard because no where I’d lived before was very suitable for them.  Then we moved to Missouri, and bought one of my favorite houses.  The lady who owned it before me told me there were 6 Peony bushes planted on the side of the house that she’d gotten for Mother’s Day every year, and she couldn’t take them with her but wanted me to know they were special.


And boy were they ever!  Besides the sentimentality, I instantly fell head over heels a few months later when spring finally showed up.  Pale Pink, white, fuchsia, single bloom and double.  There were so many blooms!  I was constantly cutting those ant covered treasures filling vases in every room.  My house smelled like the perfume section of the flagship Sephora store on the Champs Elysees.  No matter that you almost choked when you walked in the door, I looked forward to those bushes blooming every year like I looked forward to Christmas.

Then we moved.  And moved again.  And again. And again.  None of my next 4 homes had Peonies, and even though I really loved 2 of those places, I was always wishing  for my own Peonies.  I looked all over the Rhineland Pfalz in Germany to plant a couple in my rental house yard, but everyone thought I was nuts.  “Pee -o-neeees?  No. No.  I have never heard of such as these.” (I hope you read that in your best German accent.)


When we finally moved into our present home the previous owner casually mentioned she had 6 Peony bushes.  They didn’t have the same significance to her as a mother’s day gift, but they did to me!!  I was so excited and couldn’t wait the 10 months until I got to see those fluffy, fragrant blooms.  I didn’t even know what color they were, but it didn’t matter.  I was going to be the proud adoptive mother of 6 Peony bushes!



I have since added 6 more bushes, and this is the first year those persnickety little suckers have produced blooms, but it was worth the wait.  I have plans in the back of my mind to plant a bunch more, but I am content today with these beauties.  I can smell their loveliness when I sit on my screened in porch so I don’t bother cutting many of them for inside.  I’m sure John is grateful for that.


As far as the Peppered part goes…well, I mentioned I wanted alliteration, and I thought of all kinds of adjectives that started with P.  Purple.  Pale.  Periwinkle.  Pink.  Perky.  Pensive.  Peculiar.  Then popped out Peppered, and when I said it out loud both John and I stopped and stared at each other because we just knew it was perfect.  I’d love to say my hubby thought it fit due to my love of black and white, but when I mention that he laughs.  We all really know it’s because I have a spicy temper, but whatever.  It still fits perfectly.


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TPP’s First Trunk Show

This is sooo exciting.  I’ve had quite a lot of fun at my shows selling all my goodies, but most of my local friends haven’t been able to see what I’m up to much less buy any of my treasures unless they use stop by or ask me to find something for them.  Because of this I came up with a really fun solution.  It’ll kinda be part part, part hang out on the screened in porch & part sale.  Best part is everything will be 20% off because I won’t be paying for a booth or gas or hotel or any of that other mess.


Can’t wait!

Until then I will be posting photos of different pieces that will be available.  I also hope to get that silly shop set up so you other friends don’t have to miss out.


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Putting my home on a diet…

Laura Nicholas Peterson liked this post

This house is going on a diet!

I know.  I know.  I’m not supposed to say diet.  I’m supposed to say lifestyle change, but who am I kidding.  I’ll be really good for a few weeks, and then, BAM! I walk into Target, pull a pile of catalogs out of my mailbox or pick up some great stuff at an auction that always comes with boxes of other stuff I think I may or may not be able to use.  I usually have plenty of regret later when I have piles of stuff everywhere or realize I bought this exact same turquoise cardigan the year before.

Yeah, these are basically the same sweater.  One is more greenish, but it's not noticeable enough to own them both.  We live an hour from Target so I kinda had to keep it.

Yeah, these are basically the same sweater. One is more greenish, but it’s not noticeable enough to own them both. We live an hour from Target so I kinda had to keep it.

However, I stumbled across this little challenge the other day while I was wasting time on  reading FB.  I wrote this last year about wanting to get rid of a bunch of weight, and I did, but not enough.  I clicked over to the blog White House Black Shutters (appropriate don’t you think?), and this getting rid of a bag of stuff each and every day for 40 days sounded pretty darn good.  *Best part is it doesn’t have to be 40 huge trash bags like in the photo.    It’s more of an idea.  You can throw out grocery bagfuls or multiple lawn and leaf bags, you choose.*  I plan to have a garage sale in June anyway so this will help me stay on track with it.

So 40 Bags in 40 Days it is.

The blogger, Anne Marie has it all set out for you.  She has a chart you can print out.  Here’s mine.

My 40 Bags in 40 Days Progerss Chart

My 40 Bags in 40 Days Progerss Chart

I know it looks like I just rushed over and filled it all out a few minutes ago. I did.  That is, I re-wrote it because it was partially written in marker which I, let alone anyone else, could hardly read so I reprinted this and started fresh just for you.  I decided to start this on the day she has printed on the chart, March 5th.  She also has one another chart with the date spaces blanked that way you can start whenever you want or do it longer than 40 days.  If you can do that, you may be a hoarder.  Just saying.

She also has suggestions for different places to look, “non-stuff” to declutter like your phone’s photos, Pinterest boards and e-mail in-box and different places for you to dispose of your stuff if you don’t feel right just trashing it.  I don’t, hence the garage sale.  Some of it is still good stuff.  I still like it.  I might need to keep…just kidding.  I’m trying to save stuff I might want to put in the garage sale until later in the challenge because then I won’t have to store it so long.  By the end I’m hoping I’ll feel this desperate need to finish filling in that chart that it will spur me on to get rid of any stuff I’m hedging on.

There is even a support group page on FB and a group on Instagram.  That’s not my thing today, but never say never.  Who knows how behind I’ll be in a week or 2 making me feel guilty and in need of some inspiring words.

Have you ever thought about doing something like this? Let me know if you decide to do this one, and maybe we can commiserate.

Have a great day-

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