Strep Throat, Bronchitis, and Southern Living ®

Southern Living Photo Shoot - Redeem Your Ground |

Well…that’s probably the first time you’ve ever seen those three things on a list together. Clearly, “one of these things is not like the other” (more on that below). But what they all do have in common is that they’ve kept me from writing my weekly RYGblog posts. And I’m so sorry about that.

First I had strep throat…knocked me out for over a week. And that led to bronchitis…out for almost another week. It was no fun. No fun for me. And no fun for Britt. Just ask her…I’m not a very good sick person.

But the 3rd thing on the list…Southern Living ®…well, that’s a horse of a completely different color.Southern Living Photo Shoot - Redeem Your Ground | &

sidebar-vineSo what’s up with Southern Living® being part of this otherwise sickly list?

Well…this week we had the humbling honor of having two of Southern Living’s ® finest [Hey Paden & Alison!] taking pictures of our back yard and outdoor spaces…which will be featured in Southern Living ®.

Southern Living Photo Shoot - Redeem Your Ground | RYGblog.comAnd two really amazing things about that…it’s going to be a featured article – like multiple pages, and…AND, they want me to write it!

How great is that? Not only are RYG and our yard going to be featured in the be-all and end-all of gardening magazines, but we’ll be able to express how important it is for families to connect in meaningful ways outside at home…in beautiful, intentional spaces. Come ON! (Can you tell I’m excited?!)

How’d this Southern Living® thing happen?

Well it’s one of those friend-of-a-friend kinda deals. Literally. A comment on Facebook from a longtime childhood friend of mine, led to her introducing me to a woman she worked with in Birmingham, who’s related to an editor at Southern Living. Southern Living Photo Shoot - Redeem Your Ground | RYGblog.comSaid editor was forwarded the link to our blog…liked what she saw & read…and reached out to me to see how we might be able to work together.

With great zeal I replied with emails that were way too long (not a surprise if you know me)…our correspondence ebbed and flowed for some time…and then…almost a year to the day from that initial email exchange…friggin’ Southern Living® was in our back yard…crazy!

When can you see the RYG article in Southern Living®?

Well…since Southern Living ® shoots in-season for the next season, the article is scheduled to be in the April 2016 issue. I know…that’s a long time to wait…you’re telling me. But it makes sense and we’re beyond pumped!Southern Living Photo Shoot - Redeem Your Ground |

So what’s Southern Living® have to do with a break in writing posts to RYGblog?

Well again…initially, much of that had to do with my being sick. But when I wasn’t on my deathbed, I was spending every spare moment essentially spit-shining every pebble and blade of grass in my yard. It’s Southern Living ® for cryin’ out loud…I wanted to make the most of this opportunity.

Southern Living Photo Shoot - Redeem Your Ground | RYGblog.comSo…enlisting the gracious help of family, friends, and neighbors…I power-washed the world…moved plants around & planted new ones…built tables & painted doors…was literally up to my eyeballs in chicken poop making sure that the coop looked and smelled good (well, at least not that bad)…planted a veggie garden with more lettuce and greens than we’ll ever eat, but they were lush and green for the shoot…bought yard objects and re-positioned everything about 1,000 times…and I even found myself singing to my G.G. Gerbing Azaleas to keep their blooms just one more day.

While I was doing all that, Britt and the girls were helping me where they could in the yard…bought pillows, candles, rain boots & other things…and gave Sally the Scarecrow a much needed make-over.Southern Living Photo Shoot - Redeem Your Ground |

Oh…and we did a ton of praying that the crazy weather we’d been having (we’d had 10 days straight of rain)…would cooperate. And it did! The first day started out a bit scary with a tornado warning…but it passed…and the second day was absolutely beautiful!

It was a ton of work…but well worth it. And even if our new Southern Living ® friends understandably didn’t take pics of everything we did…by the time they arrived, our yard looked great…if I do say so myself.

So the bonus for us is that our outdoor spaces are now that much more enjoyable to hang out in…connecting as a family and with friends. And besides that, we have a ton of new RYG-related goodie we can write future blogs about. So stay tuned for that.

sidebar-vineAlright, I’ll stop. I’m sure you’ve had enough of me going on-and-on about our Southern Living ® photo shoot. But we’re excited…and wanted to share our excitement with you. So thanks.

Take care friends,
Doug initial

Tags: , , , ,

32 thoughts on “Strep Throat, Bronchitis, and Southern Living ®

  1. Are you kidding me????? Wow! I can’t imagine what nook, or cranny needed to be spiffed…but I can’t wait (do we need to?) to see what ‘are you kidding, Southern Living??’ will show!! Congratulations!! From strep throat to ‘are you kidding me, Southern Living…’ is quit a unique and marvelous path!!

    • Thanks Sue! I know…”Are you kidding me??!” We’re excited…clearly. And yes…we will have to wait. Not certain how long before we’ll start to see any pics or drafts of the article…but will let you know. Thanks again for your continued support and encouraging words. Take care, D.

  2. Gosh Doug, I know you are so glad this is over with. Prepping for a shoot of any when it’s on your own turf is STRESSFUL! There’s never enough time. Having 10 days of straight rain, AND being sick…sheesh! But you’re a trooper and I know this is going to look amazing. I can already tell from the pics you posted, this is going to be a smash hit for SL. You and RYG are about to be famous! Congrats!

    • Thanks Joe! Given all the shoots you do on your farm for Growing a Greener World, I know that you know what’s involved. You’re right…as I told my new friends from Southern Living…I’m glad to have it behind me. Not being a brat about it…because I’m so thankful to have this opportunity…but I was exhausted! Until they arrived I was working off my mega-to-do-list…which somehow always seemed to be getting longer…not shorter…no matter what I did! And the SL folks were great to work with…Britt, the girls and I really enjoyed getting to know them. Thanks again for your encouraging words and your support my friend. Looking forward to what may come of all of this. Take care, D.

  3. Cannot wait to see and hear more about the shoot and the updates to your outdoor spaces! I know it looks awesome! So fun, but certainly lots and lots of work! But just in time for hopefully some really great weather and the end of these monsoons!

    • Thanks Brenda…I hear you on looking forward to some great weather. We couldn’t have picked a better time for the photo shoot. Just before they arrived we had epic amounts of rain…and literally the day after they left, our GG Gerbing Azaleas started to let go of there blooms in wholesale fashion. If only our Lady Banks had cooperated…but “Medusa” (as we affectionately call her) had 2 days of crazy low temps followed by 2 days of pounding rain to contend with…and unfortunately the weather won out. Oh well…you win some, you lose some. Thanks again for your supportive words…and ALL your help! Take care, D.

  4. Doug, this is wonderful news and so proud of all of you. Congratulations on being featured in Southern Living – one of my favorite magazines. I’ll be sure and keep my subscription up-do-date so I will have a copy. The pictures of your yard are amazing…I am going to ask for a first-hand look one of these days :-)…Gail

    • Thanks so much Gail! Yea…SL was always on my mom’s coffee table growing-up…so it’s kinda crazy we’re going to be in it! And of course…you are always welcomed to hang-out in our backyard. Any time…open invitation. Thanks again and take care, D.

  5. Douglas, I am so very happy for you and proud of you! Our work fills such a large part of our lives. When we can do the things we believe in and enjoy we are not only lucky, but truly blessed. Congratulations! Since you were a young boy you have dreamed big and never let adversity get in the way of your dreams. I am blessed to have been able to watch your dreams and hard work pay off. Love Ya!

    • Aweshucks Mother Dearest! So appreciate your words of encouragement now…and throughout my life…as well as your inspiring me with your love of gardening since I was a wee-one. Looking back through generations, it’s clear that our gardening roots grow deep. Love you too, Doug(las)

    • Thanks so much Deb…we can’t wait either! And I too am glad to be on this side of all that YUCK! And I actually have our mutual friend Lisa from Fresh-Eggs-Daily ( to thank for helping get over my funk…she shared a honey/herbal home remedy…that I added some libations to…that really helped! Take care and thanks for all your continued support! Cheers, D.

  6. Hi Doug –

    Great post! Thanks for sharing the link with us and your beautiful home, property, and family.


    • Ali…thanks again for EVERYTHING…including your kind comments. We so enjoyed having you and Paden spend a good part of your week with us last week and getting to know y’all. We’re really looking forward to seeing the fruits of all your photographic labor all come together in the article. Take care and hope to hear from you soon. Cheers, D.

    • Thanks so much Justin! We’re pumped about this opportunity with Southern Living…and are looking forward to seeing our story unfold as well!!! And backatch! Take care buddy, D.

  7. That is a great story. But, you really look like, hmmm, what’s the word, not chicken poop, the other thing…in those pictures so way to fight for it and remain faithful and true to your calling. A true inspiration to the dream inside all of us that yearns to be still (Psalm 46).

    • Thanks much buddy! And you know all to well. I hope you and the rest of the P’s are doing smashingly. It was great seeing y’all earlier this year…albeit too short of a visit. Need to do that more often and for longer visits! Take care dear friend, D.

  8. This is incredible Doug…I’m inspired by your work! There is something so natural about all that you do and it speaks to my soul! I can’t wait to read the article next year…what an opportunity!!

    • Thanks so much Taylor…your words mean a ton. And yea…we’re really excited about the Southern Living article. Tough to wait all the way until April 2016…but we’re MORE than happy to wait that long if it allows us the opportunity to share the redeem your ground story in hopes of encouraging others to make real connections outside at home with more people! Thanks my friend, D.

  9. I am now a follower because of that Magazine article. Can’t get enough of how the Almighty has blessed you guys. Wishing you every success!

    • Sandy…so glad you enjoyed our article in Southern Living and that you’re now following RYG. Really appreciate your reaching out and your encouragement. Yes…although it’s been a wild ride taking this leap of faith and all along this Redeem Your Ground journey…we most definitely are blessed. Again, thanks so much for reaching out…and do again. Take care, D.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *