Father’s Day and Dad’s Garden 2017

We had a nice Father’s Day this year with our Daddy.  We picked up BBQ from a local place and took it over to mom and dad’s to celebrate the day and let him know how much we love him.  We all enjoy BBQ and it was a good meal to share together.  He’s such a good Daddy and we always want to take the time to celebrate him.  He will be turning 90 next month and we have to figure out a time for all of us (including Lauren) to celebrate his birthday, since July is shaping up to be a really busy month for the whole family.

He’s doing pretty well for an almost-90 year old and we went out to the garden for a little stroll too. I’ll share that in a minute.

On Tuesday, we had a very scary situation with Dad.  He was in the kitchen getting his coffee when he started getting dizzy.  Mom saw it happen and asked him if he was dizzy and the next thing she knew he was falling to the floor in the kitchen and he hit the back of his head very hard on the tile floor. She had tried to hold him up but she wasn’t strong enough, thank goodness she wasn’t hurt too.  She called 911 and he was taken to the hospital immediately.  We all 3 headed to the ER to be with him and find out what was going on. They did a scan and found that he did have some bleeding on the brain, so he was admitted for an overnight stay where he was monitored for over 24 hours and then released to go home the next day. He does not do well in a hospital environment, to say the least and was more than ready to go home.  We all had to keep telling him that he could not go home with the brain bleed situation and it was very much a relief to all of us when they released him to go home.  Mom stayed at the hospital with him overnight and neither of them got much sleep, so it was a relief for all of us to send them home to rest.

All of this started with antibiotics that dad was prescribed for cough/cold symptoms a couple of weeks ago.  I know that antibiotics are necessary in many situations, but they can also be very harmful to the body too.  In this case, one of the main the side effects was diarrhea (which mom read after the fact) and several days after he was finished with his dosage, that kicked in, leaving him weak and dehydrated.  We think this is the cause of the dizziness which then caused the fall. He was about to visit his primary care doctor that day to address that situation.  It’s such a shame that meds that are supposed to help someone can also do more harm than good.  A lesson in looking out for loved ones when it comes to prescription medications.  As I said, antibiotics are a necessary treatment sometimes, but from what I hear it’s best to stay away from them if you possibly can avoid them.

We are so thankful it wasn’t a worse fall for him and he should recover completely.  He had a couple of stitches and now is home resting and getting better.  He’s a tough guy and it takes a lot to get him down. I know you all think the world of our Daddy, so I wanted to share this with y’all too.

EDITED:  Several of you asked in the comments about sending him birthday cards for his 90th birthday next month.  I would love to have y’all do that, so please email me (rhodasouthernhospitality@yahoo.com) and I’ll give you my address to send the cards and I will pass them on.  I think it will make his YEAR!  Thanks so much for caring about my parents! 

Now, back to Father’s Day…..

After lunch we had this delicious Pistachio Coconut cake that mom made, which I shared before. It’s a winner and really light and yummy!

Dad and I went out to the garden to see how things are progressing this year. He’s always excited to talk about his garden, so it’s fun for me to see how much it’s grown.

Muscadine vines are all looking great and I’m sure will be loaded again this year.

Here’s a glimpse of the whole garden from an angle.  It’s a pretty big back yard garden for one man to take care of.

The back row has peas and beans growing.

Two long rows of Silver King corn.

He’s disappointed in how his tomatoes have done this year, but we hope they will make it and grow lots more tomatoes. He planted Parks Whoppers and they have always done well for him, but this year he had some that wilted and died. That wilt is a strange thing that happens sometimes from year to year and it’s really a mystery, but seems to grow in the soil and mess up new plantings.

He’s about to start picking some soon though, so we are hoping for the best. They don’t look like they will be as big as they normally are though.

Squash in this back corner has been doing well, as well as zucchini. He usually has a bumper crop of those.

Looking back towards the house, you can see this isn’t a tiny little garden, it’s pretty big and spread out here in their back yard. Since he only planted the garden here this year and not in the mountains, he’s got plenty to keep him busy enough.  We’re glad he is slowing down and only doing one garden!

I got out my camera and did a little video with him, so enjoy hearing him talk about his garden!  It truly is his passion and we are happy he has it to keep him going every day.





- Rhoda


  1. Sandy Anderson says:

    Thank goodness your Dad is OK…how scary for him, and so glad he is doing better! And your mom too…not easy for her to experience either. Warmest regards for them both…they are just so darling! Antibiotics can be so harsh on the body. Good news to hear he is well. And his garden…wow! Amazing as usual! Your daddy is quite the impressive, hard working man. God’s Blessings to all your family…

    • Thank you, Sandy, you are right, it’s hard on mom too. She takes good care of him and he has memory issues now, so she is his caretaker in so many ways. Thank goodness for her too!

  2. Judy Clark says:


    I did not know about your Dad falling! Praying that he will continue to stay healthy. I know first hand how antibiotics can wreck your system. They are necessary some times, but not always!! Such a precious video of his garden. Reminds me of my Daddy and Mamma. They were the happiest when they could plant and “put up” stuff for the winter. Those tomatoes look so good. Nothing like a fresh “mater” sandwich in the Summer. Hugs and Love to your family.

    • Hey, Judy, I know I’m dying for that first mater sandwich. I think he’s going to be fine after the fall. They were both exhausted after one night in the hospital.

  3. Enjoy your sweet Mom and Dad….we never know when the Lord will take us home. Both mine are gone, sad but we nerve were a close family. Your Dad s garden is so pretty

  4. VintageBeachgirl says:

    So glad you’re sweet Daddy is ok, that ertainly was a scary event for y’all!!
    His garden looks wonderful as usual and I so enjoyed watching the garden video, thanks for sharing him with us Rhoda!!

  5. So glad all is well Rhoda. As an old nurse, I realizee the hazards of antibiotics and I always advise my family members to take a probiotic with them or eat some yogurt. But when you are elderly, symptoms are often magnified as in your dad’s case. What a garden…it is amazing that a 90 year old man can plant and maintain that spread. I would love to send your dad a birthday card to celebrate his 90th birthday and I am sure some other readers would like that also. Is there a way we could do it without disrupting privacy? You know we all love your daddy and Mama.

  6. So sorry to hear of your Dad’s fall and bleed. I know you realize how fragile health matters are the older we get. I was happy to read your Dad’s outcome was so good. His garden looks wonderful, as usual. Wondering if he’s even missing the mountaintop garden? I bet the rest of you, especially your mom, are not!

  7. Glad your Dad is ok and back home where he wants to be. I notice he’s planted two rows of corn. My mom always planted four rows of corn since it’s wind-polinated. Does he have a good yield with just two rows–all the kernels filled out on the ears?

    • Hi, Jan, I think he makes as much corn as he wants to with those 2 rows. You know more than I do about wind pollination, so I have no idea how that works. He usually plants his corn in the NC mountains, but these will have to do for now.

  8. OH thank you so much for fil,omg your Dad’s garden…those lovely Georgia accents…..music to my ears….his frightful incident and fall was all too famiiar…so happy to hear is is ok and home. I thorougly enjoy your blog. What an amazing garden he has created….warm hugs from Texas.

  9. Thank you for sharing about your DAD ! Always.

    Especially, the fall. How else to know to pray for his quick recovery?

    Another fabulous garden he’s planted.

    Prayers for your MOM. Caretaking is hard work, especially in a hospital.

    Garden & Be Well, XOT

  10. Hi Rhoda-I know this is mainly a decor blog, but I love it when you share about your family. So glad your dad is doing well after that scary fall-poor guy-that must have hurt!
    Does he miss the mountain garden or is he releived to have that work load off of him? Or maybe a bit of both?
    God bless your dear family.

    • HI, Sofia, thank you I’m glad you all love to hear about my parents. I think he probably is a bit relieved not doing all that work in the mountains this year. He won’t admit it, but I think he probably is. I know my mom is! They are still going up there and staying for a few days at a time, they still love that and have friends up there. It’s for sale, but it may take awhile to sell and we are doing one more family trip up there in August with Lauren and her girls.

  11. Your dad is such a gem and I’m glad you know it! My dad would have been 90 in August but passed away 3 years ago!! Enjoy every second that you get to spend with your precious parents!! Every day is a gift!!❤️

  12. Thank God your Dad is doing ok and he didn’t break anything or your mom get hurt. Prayers for his healing. His garden is fantastic! I know it keeps him going. Does your mom can and freeze the veggies?

    • Hi, Lynda, yes they have been canning tomatoes and freezing corn and putting up beans for years. It’s slowing down a bit now, but I think she has so much put away that they can’t possibly eat it all and we even help them eat it too. Her canned tomatoes are my fave!

  13. So thankful he was okay! And agree, prescription medications are sometimes necessary but it is best to avoid when you can. I’ve learned over the past several years that there are a lot of good natural alternatives that work just as well and are safer.
    So enjoyed your video of your sweet dad. Just loved it when he said, “down yonder.”

  14. kathy olson says:

    I’m so glad your dad is okay!

  15. I’m so glad your daddy is going to be ok. It looks like you all had a wonderful Father’s Day! Family is so important! I just have to say how impressed I am with your dad’s garden. I enjoyed the video! I’m about 40 years his junior, and I’m having trouble keeping up with my little raised beds! I raise my glass to you, sir!

    • Thank you, Donna, he really is pretty amazing, doing all that he still does for almost 90 years old.

  16. Rhoda, I’m so glad your Dad is better! My thoughts and prayers are with him and your lovely mother. I loved the video and, as always, am amazed at his wonderful garden. That’s a big garden for someone of any age and to think that he was maintaining two up until this year is astounding. He is definitely a Gardening Rock Star!!

  17. I’m so glad your Dad is o.k.! He is just like my Grandaddy was before he passed. Always busy in the garden. I’d love to send him a card also! You are so blessed to have him around!

  18. Glad your Dad is ok. I can barely keep two tomato plants in a pot alive and your father has an enormous garden. Hugs and wishes for good health for both your mom and dad.

  19. Precious and inspiring! So glad your daddy is alright.

  20. Good morning Rhoda , I’m so thankful for you and your sweet family that your daddy is doing better. We met your dad at your open house and we came away from there realizing what a tower of strength for his family he was. He is quiet a man. And that garden of his. I am amazed that a 90 years old man does all that. Puts all of to shame. Looking at the video I noticed how pretty the okra leaves were ,surely there is a way to preserve them for framing. Those were so pretty. I know it’s a blessing for you to have your parents. I have lost both of mine. My dad would be 100 years old now and to honor him I had a flag flown over the US capital to honor both his 100th birthday and his service in our Navy. It is a grand way to honor those you love.

    • Thank you, Carole! I’m still amazed that you and your hubby came all the way from Little Rock for my open house. I think my mouth was hanging open when you told me that. I have the most precious readers and you are at the top of the list! I’m glad you got to meet them in person, they are quite the couple together and yes, our family’s rock and strength. We are blessed to have them!

  21. Sorry to hear about your dad’s fall. I’m so glad he’s back to doing what he loves. His garden is impressive. (It’s not been a good year for our garden in NC.)

  22. Glad to hear your father is doing better. One trick I have learned over the years when having to take an antibiotic is to eat yogurt while on the medications. Antibiotics can kill good bacteria as well and the yogurt helps to replenish the good stuff and prevent the diarrhea.

  23. Becky in 'Bama says:

    Just wow. Your dad is no ‘softy’ so I’m betting his manly pride was bruised as much as his head. I heard the other day that falls are second to automobile accidents – when it comes to life threatening injury to adults. Personally speaking, I know that my own father was victim to a MAJOR fall. Blessings on your parents as they continue to live independently. Happy gardening.

  24. i am so glad that you sweet daddy is mending. that garden and his ability to take care of it himself always amazes me. I bet you are glad that he continues to have so much passion for gardening. I hope your mama is doing well as well.

  25. Loved seeing the video and thankful that your Dad is doing better! Hope your whole family is able to enjoy a wonderful summer together!

  26. So glad he is doing well. Does he rotate his crops? If it a a ground thing that might help. I’m sure he is a great gardener an he already knows this….LOL

  27. Patricia says:

    Rhoda – So glad to hear your Daddy is doing well after a very scary situation ! I agree with you on the medications we’re given to help, sometimes causing more serious issues. This happened many times with my Mother and Father after they become elderly – it’s very hard to know what to do for the best….But I will keep your Daddy and Mom in my prayers for continued good health !

    I enjoyed the video so much – I just adore your Mom and Dad, and hearing his lovely gentle accent on the video just made my day – what a wonderful blessing to have them both in your life for so long …

    I am a long time reader and follow you by email – I will send you an email because I would LOVE to send him a birthday card..

  28. Donna Nance says:

    So sorry to learn about your father’s fall. My wonderful mother in law could look at an antibiotic and have diarrhea. I began to read about how helpful probiotics could be to restore good bacteria in your gut, so I mentioned it to her primary care physician and she said it would help….and I am thinking why then did I have to ask about using them when she takes an antibiotic…you know what a time she has…they did help and she never took a another round of medicine without them, She too was in her 90’s when we started this…so you might want to ask about using them. We used Florastor available over the counter..

    • HI, Donna, yes he is now getting some probiotics in him to combat those meds, so hopefully it will kick in soon and make him better.

  29. Hey sweet friend,

    Love the video and so happy your daddy is back home and resting. I’m so thankful you still have your parents and they have YOU! This stage of life can be difficult as we watch our parents change and our roles reverse. You have so much love and support from your readers. What a blessing! I know you enjoy this time with your mom and dad!

    Love ya,

  30. Your Dad is precious and I am so glad he is doing better! He reminds me of my Grandfather who had a huge garden each year. Although he was blind he always had the best garden of anyone. He did that garden till the very end. It brought much joy to him and the rest of us. I will pray your Dad continues to do well and also fir your Mother who takes care of him. Thanks for sharing.

  31. Y’all are just too precious! So glad your Daddy is okay.
    Those scares are no fun. (And I really feel for your Mom in that moment.) A year ago this week I got a call about Dad…he’d suffered a massive stroke. Thankfully he pulled through. He is still learning to walk and talk (it was a really bad stroke) but I was just ao glad to have him around for another Father’s Day. And our family will celebrate Dad’s birthday next month too.

    Glad y’all had a good Father’s Day and I love seeing the garden. It is so much fun to see new blooms each day. Makes me wish I didn’t live in the suburbs with such a small yard. I do plan to at least grow some herbs and a lemon tree.

  32. Jamie Szalabawka says:

    Hope your dad is doing O.K. Hope he is careful out there in the heat. I know he is in his “element” out in the garden but please be careful. I adore hearing him speak about his garden and all that there is to look forward to at harvest time. My garden here in N.E. Ohio is “whimpy” looking compared to his, but up here Memorial Day is when its safe for no frost (although I try to get things in around “Mothers Day”). He’s got a couple months gain on me down in Georgia! Hope you all enjoyed Fathers Day. Looks like you all enjoyed a lovely meal together and “wow”, what a pretty cake your mom made!
    Love reading your blog and look forward to hearing about his garden and your moms cooking too.


    Jamie Szalabawka

  33. I’m so glad you all had a wonderful Father’s Day and thank as always for sharing. I am so sorry to hear of his fall and not feeling well, but I’m glad he is on the mend and thoughts and prayers are with him and all of you for a speedy recovery!

  34. Kate Horrell says:

    So happy to hear to Daddy is going to be OK, I can imagine how scary it was for all of u. My daddy had a garden too not nearly as big as ur daddy’s but LOVED when the cukes n tomatoes started coming in and it was cuke salad with dinner and tomato sandwiches for lunch. What I wouldn’t give just to have one more day with my daddy and see him tending to his garden.

  35. I’m very glad your dad has recovered from his fall. How very frightening. I know I say some form of this every year, but I continue to be in awe of him and his gardening skills.

    • HI, Jeanie, thanks so much. I checked on him today and he’s actually in more pain today than Tuesday when he went to the hospital, that 2 days later thing. He has 2 black eyes from hitting his head and very sore from the waist down, but I think in a few days he should be feeling better. Working to get his situation back under control so he can eat again. That’s a scary thing too, having diarrhea for days.

  36. So glad your dad is OK. I know he and your mom were happy to come back home. It’s amazing that he is almost 90 and can still have such a fabulous garden.

  37. diane in northern wis says:

    Oh Rhoda…so sorry to hear about your dear Dad falling. I’m glad he was able to go back home after one night in the hospital. How he loves to garden and talk about his garden too! You are so blessed to have him and your mom around. Hug them tight each time you see them and tell them often how much you love them! (I’m sure you do!) They are such a blessing. and We are so lucky to have you share them with us. I feel like we know them! Especially those of us without parents to hug anymore. Thank you for the great garden video and pics of your folks!

  38. janstollings says:

    I’m so glad your Dad has recovered from his fall. It’s always so frightening when something happens to our elderly parents. I always love his gardens, mine never measure up to how amazing his grow.

  39. Rhoda, so sorry about your Dad. I’ve never met your parents but I have great respect for them. You and your sister are wonderful daughters. His garden is just beautiful. Keep sharing your family!!!!!!!!!!!!

  40. Andrea G Corley says:

    Just got back from Arizona and trying to catch up on your posts. So glad your dad is okay. That is so scary when our elderly parents have falls and problems. So glad the brain bleed was not bad. Hope he is recovering quickly…. prayers for him and your mom.

    The garden is beautiful and his therapy! Enjoy those tomatoes and yummy southern sandwiches! Hope to see you soon! I miss you.

  41. Oh my, your video has me bawling like a baby. Those gorgeous Southern accents make me so homesick. I could listen to him say “corn” all day. Honestly, your little Mama is very blessed she was not hurt trying to prevent his fall, that’s so dangerous. I’m a nurse and they have drilled it into our heads we are not to stop a fall, even threatening us with it being our fault if we do so and are injured. But honestly, it’s against all human instincts to not try to help. I do believe probiotics capsules are the best way to go, nobody can eat enough yogurt. I am sure they checked him for C diff. Ok, I am going to quit talking now. Thank you, again, for sharing your family.

    • Hi, Nancy, all good suggestions. They are testing for C diff today, it hasn’t stopped. And he’s on probiotic capsules too. I’m glad you enjoyed the video!

  42. Barbara Hunnicutt Moore says:

    Oh Rhoda, I just now saw this post. I had been saving it so I could savor the garden news. How scary for all of you!!! I’m so thankful all ended as well as it did. It was probably harder on your mom than your dad! So so sorry it had to happen at all. But there will be fresh mashed potatoes, fried okra and tomato sandwiches soon!! Please send your parents’ address in messenger. I can’t wait to send him a birthday card!!!

  43. Barbara Hunnicutt Moore says:

    One more thing – if you could sit down and get you dad’s best garden tips on video, you could sell it far and wide! I’d be first customer in line. As a beginner vegetable gardener I pour over the pictures of his plantings. He is a fountain of information that would be so helpful to all the novice gardeners out there. His garden is so pretty and he gets so much food out of it!! Amazing.

    • Hey, Barb, I’ve asked him questions before and tried to get his answers on gardening, but it’s hard to pin down exactly what he does that is so successful. I know he amends his soil really well, fertilizes along the way and then just lets it grow and do it’s thing.

  44. Rhoda, I’m just now reading this about your dad. I’m glad he’s home from the hospital, but what a scare for the two of them! Glad he is doing better! We aren’t having a good year with our tomatoes, either. Our reliable variety that we plant every year is doing terrible! I’m assuming it’s one of those soil borne diseases. The only ones doing great are the Purple Cherokees. Your dad will know about those!

    • Hi, Jane, thank you, he is home but all of this really took his strength, so we are trying to get him back to normal. He has dealt with those soil borne things too with tomatoes and this year has been issues too.

  45. Regina Beaty says:

    I love when you post videos with your mom & dad. They are such sweet souls.

  46. Hi Rhoda,
    Just checking in a few days after this post to see how your Dad is doing? Hope his stomach troubles have calmed down by now?!

    • HI, Sofia, thanks for checking in. He’s actually worse than he was 2 or 3 days after the fall. The stomach has calmed down but he is as weak as a baby kitten and is bed ridden right now. We are going to take him back to the hospital if he isn’t better tomorrow. He’s eating very little and has no strength to walk right now, but we are trusting God that he will recover fully. We’ve got to get nutrition in him and get him back to normal, it’s going to take awhile. He’s on mostly liquids right now, but we are giving him things that should strengthen his system.

  47. Every time I watch this video I bawl. It’s so precious. My dad went to heaven 26 months ago. He loved to raise a garden too. Beautiful memories.

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