Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Happy New Year! - a little late

I have not ever really been a big "resolution" type person. Mainly because I never have really kept them - so it seemed pointless to even pretend that I would...

I do however have a few goals that I want to accomplish this year. This will be the year I celebrate my 60th birthday.... wow... just typing that made me shudder.... I never imagined that I would be okay with being this old

I don't FEEL old and when I think of my age the number "23" always comes to mind. I'm shocked when I look in the mirror - especially in the morning - at how I have "aged".

So, here are a few of my goals before I reach 60:

1. To finish my doctor of naturopathy degree
2. To spend more time in prayer and study (I heard someone say the other day that if you spend an hour a day on a subject that in 3 years you would be an expert in that subject!)
3. Exercise and get in shape and that includes losing weight...
4. I also would like to take the real estate class and get my license ... (that is a real "maybe")
5. I plan to cook more meals at home - save money and take more trips...

I could say that I plan to drink more water and eat healthier and join a gym and do all that - I will drink more water, but I doubt if I join a gym. That involves dressing twice in one day and since getting dressed is such a chore, I don't want to do that.

The main thing is, "May you prosper and be in health even as your soul prospers." That is my prayer for you and yours, me and mine...

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

I missed it!

Well I missed it :(
I'm so sad...
Next time... There WILL be a next time (surely)
But, you can still join in the fun and catch up on all the fun vlogs over at 2nd Cup of Coffee...

Monday, December 29, 2008

Extravagant Love

This Christmas I was the recipient of extravagant love. I am so humbled and blessed by my gifts.... especially these...

In our church there is a precious little lady (really little because she is only about 4' 10"). She is the one who called me "an old shoe". She is 88 years old and cannot read. But oh, the love that outshines the most well educated and wealthy!

She blessed me with some pot holders - or "trivets" . They are handmade with much love, double thickness and hand crocheted. They vary in size and pattern. Here is a large one to put under pots or casserole dishes... (isn't it colorful?)

This is an assortment of the sizes and patterns ... yes, there are A LOT of them!

This is the stack of them... there are 13 in the stack... it is 7 inches high! (and I gave 2 of them away and I have 2 at my weekend parsonage!)

That was quite an act of love! She even taught me how to make them! She was not content to just give me one, but showered me with them.

Then, she out did herself in extravagance ... she began to crochet me an afghan... she said she got started and just kept going... it is very colorful and heavy and warm!

It is 12 feet long and over 5 feet wide!.... yes, it really is... I measured it... I mean... TWELVE FEET long... that is 4 yards!.... my husband and I can lie toe to toe and it will completely cover us... There is no telling how much yarn is in this beauty. I don't know how she was able to pick it up! She is small and frail and this is huge and heavy.

I would say that this lady of not much means, a widow, gave more than a mite. She gave abundantly of what she had and what she could do.

Yes, I feel loved. I feel humbled. I feel blessed...

What was your favorite gift this year?

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Christmas Fun

Just a few pictures of our happy gathering ...

Christmas peace in the midst of the storm... our youngest is sound asleep...

The gifts are being handed out...

Patiently waiting to open up her gifts...

She woke up to something in her lap and isn't quite sure what to do with it...

We had a very great and blessed happy Christmas.... God's goodness to us is overwhelming! The best of all is the addition to the family. Our 2nd son's daughter announced the coming of another baby in July!

Yes, we are happy... yes, we are blessed... yes, we are so grateful!

Happy New Year!

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Blessed Announcement!

Yep... we are going to have another grandbaby in July!!!! YIPPEE!!!! We are so excited!

We had such a wonderful Christmas this year. It was great having all the family together. Such fun and fellowship and love and joy and excitement. The kids all did so well and loved everything they got!

We are blessed beyond measure! We got everything we wanted - except maybe to see you and have spent some time together...

Merry Christmas and a very blessed and Happy New Year!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008


(sing with me if you can...)
I'm dreaming of a WARM Christmas... just like the ones I used to know... where the sweat drops glisten and children listen to hear the pool is open today....
oooooooohhhhh... I'm dreaming of a WARM Christmas... with every Christmas card I write... may your days be Merrie and Bright... and may all your Christmases be warm.....

That's for all my Southern friends who are bemoaning heat... be thankful! Cold is ... COLD... many layers of clothes may keep you warm, but they also make you look and feel fat!... besides about the time you get them all on, you need to take them all off to make a "trip" before you go out the door... and I don't care how many clothes you have one... cold is still cold and not being able to bend arms because of the layers is uncomfortable!

I do have to admit... being with all the children and grandchildren does warm the heart and keep me warm inside... well worth the bundling!

Merrie Christmas!

Sunday, December 21, 2008


I've been REAL busy lately - like the rest of the world... I've been doing Christmas cooking! I have been humming around the kitchen just as happy as can bee! (yes, I typed "bee" on purpose since I said I was "humming")

I'm making Christmas bags full of homemade goodies to give to everyone in our church. It was quite an undertaking - but then, it is a retirement church and so I only needed about 50 or 60 bags.

This is me... busy and so happy... actually, I'm counting to see how many balls I have and how many more I need...

These are the bags... Rebekah helped me come up with the neat sticker that we put on each bag and then filled and stuffed and tried to make them pretty and festive looking.

This is some of the mess...

... and more fixin's and recipes (notice the very stained cards... yes, they have been used quite a bit. I actually have some new, fresh ones but these are my favorite ones.

The bags were quite a hit and much enjoyed and appreciated. We packed them with Snickerdoodles, Chinese Rocks, Christmas fruit cookies, Buffalo Chips, Holiday Button Cookies, Trail Mix, Caramel Popcorn, Chocolate Peanut clusters, and Date Nut Krispies - all, very single one - homemade with love...

Hope you have a very Merrie Christmas!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Fun link..

This is something fun to do and it helps...

Match the cookies and Pepperidge Farm will make a donation to help fight breast cancer.

I have to warn you, though... it can be addictive!

Tuesday Twos

Two grandchildren who are two... (almost 3)

Two days of ice/snow...

Can you guess which on I'm MOST thankful for?

Monday, December 15, 2008

How can this BE???? part 2

Yesterday it was a beautiful 75 degrees....
This morning, this is what I see from my kitchen... it was 12 degrees with a wind chill factor of -3 degrees!!!!

I'm not going far today... just from one room to the next....

Sunday, December 14, 2008

How Can this BE????

Today we had the craziest weather!!!
Living in South Georgia, we were used to the weather changing a lot, but this has been the wildest weather day EVER!
Today was gorgeous! Blue sky... a few clouds... nice soft breeze ... 75 degrees... sun shining... it could not have been nicer!
Then... about 3:30, the wind started blowing and by 4 it was 55 degrees! By 5 it was 45 degrees and by 6 it was 32 degrees... it was suddenly 20 degrees and sleeting/snowing!!!!!
The temperature dropped 55 degrees less than 5 hours!!!!

We left the house going to Christmas Train to enjoy some good times with our sons and their families.... Fortunately, I dressed in layers, but not enough! The wind was icy cold and cut right through everything I had on...

We did have a great time and really enjoyed ourselves and family and the entire experience. I'd do it again (just wear more clothes!)

By the time we got home, the streets and highways were covered in snow and they were salting them...

I'll post snow pictures tomorrow...

Thursday, December 11, 2008

25 Days of Christmas Give Away....

So I was blogging along, singing a Christmas song... and came across a really neat fun blog! My friend, Beverly, at Dancing With Daffodils shared a brand new blog that I have added to my blog list and I plan to visit often!

Seven chicks is hosting something called "25 Days of Chickmas" and they are giving away things for 25 days! This is day 11... so you need to go over there and check it out! I mean HURRY! Time is running out!

They have a real cute button and someone with intelligence will be able to put it in their blog... but NO...not me!

Anyway, I love give aways... this is a really neat thing to do..

In fact, I'm going to be doing a "Pay It Forward" one soon... so hang around! I have some neat things up my sleeve to give...

Merry Christmas!

Thursday Thirteen - Things I have to do before Christmas...

Thirteen things I have to do Before Christmas

1. Get Hugsum a really nice creative Christmas present that he will LOVE!

2. Do Christmas baking (cookies, candy, bread, etc.)

3. Find 60+ mugs for 50 cents each... to make Snowman Soup gifts (hot chocolate)

4. Get the ingredients for the Snowman Soup...

5. Wrap presents

6. Figure out Christmas dinner menu

7. Attend Christmas parties

8. Go to Christmas Train (a HUGE Christmas witnessing event sponsored by Church On The Move - the one all our children attend). It shares the story of Jesus. It lots of fun and exciting and is sold out completely this year. (it is done 4 nights a week from Thanksgiving to Christmas! I don't know how many thousands of people go through, but it is a huge amount!)

9. Sew ... surprises

10. Load pictures on a Scandisk for a gift.

11. Get Andy (dog) groomed

12. Keep grandchildren

13. Clean, clean, clean, clean... nuff said about that!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Another Memory

Since today seems to be wandering down memory lane, I thought I'd share another special memory.
I love coffee... but I like instant coffee. Don't shout me down.... the brewed coffee seems to be too strong and bitter. The instant is easier for me to drink. It may be because that's what my parents always drink.
Some of my earliest memories are of sitting in daddy's lap and smelling coffee. Getting a "coffee" kiss. That is a special comfort smell... coffee, with french vanilla creamer... takes me back "home" to being a little girl again!


That's what time I saw on the clock this morning when I woke up.

Now, if you read that "four forty four" you are reading it normally.

I happen to read it "faux fauxty faux".... without fail.
I can't bring myself to say or even think of it any other way.

When that time rolls around I see it (usually in the afternoon) ... I think it (faux fauxty faux)... and I smile. It evokes memories of long ago and my mama. I think we first "heard" it that way from movie and since then that is how we say it everytime.

In fact, I always want to call mama at that time just to talk. She doesn't remember "faux fauxty faux" any more. But, she is always sweet and laughs.

What everyday, ordinary things take you back to childhood and good times?

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Decorating and such

See what I found under my Christmas tree? Posey... she is about to go to sleep. She's growing like a weed and so sweet! She loves to look at the lights on the tree. It is "safe" to put her down there when the other kids are taking a nap. Otherwise, they love to kiss her play with her and try to pick her up.... not so good...

This is the part of the decorations that did NOT get put up in my house... they are still waiting to be put back up in the attic... hopefully before Christmas!

The placement of decorations gets tricky... precious little hands seem to be attached to growing LONG arms... they love to reach and touch and feel.... They are so good most of the time not touching. But, there are "those" times when it becomes overwhelmingly tempting to look with the hands!

This Christmas has promises of great fun and excitement. I can't remember enjoying Christmas so much in many years. Having little people around is fun! (even needing to adjust the decorating is worth it all!) I'm so excited! I can hardly wait for Christmas morning! But, one of the great and wonderful things is that all this season I have been getting to enjoy my grandchildren being around! God's goodness overwhelms me sometimes!

Monday, December 8, 2008

I'm Back and meme

Sorry I've been missing and guilty of doing other things (FACEBOOK)... and enjoying grandchildren and Christmas prep/shop/figure/decorate/party/eat.... well, you know the routine.

Also, I have finished 4 courses in about 4 weeks and am working on two more... fun and interesting stuff!

I"m going to be more diligent to post more and include pictures.

I won't bore you with all the mundane details. I'll just let you know I've missed you! I have not even read blogs! That is bad!

Now for the fun part...

Imerie over at The Green Grass Grows All Around, has tagged me for this meme and here are the rules:

1) Link to the person who tagged you.
2) Post the rules on your blog (copy and paste 1-6).
3) Write 6 random things about yourself (see below).
4) Tag 6 people at the end of your post and link to them.
5) Let each person know they have been tagged and leave a comment on their blog.
6) Let the tagger know when your entry is up.

Here we go....

1. I used to love to cook. ... well, bake. When the kids were all at home I baked a batch of cookies, or brownies, or pie, or cake, or candy EVERY day! It was not there the next day. That's why I baked more. Fortunately, they were all very busy and athletic and did not get fat. But, their teeth did suffer and I wish now that I had known how bad all that sugar is for us.

2. I did not drink ANY water (unless forced) for probably the first 50 years of my life. Something I'm not proud of and am working to fix now. I drank/drink constantly. I keep a glass fixed at all times. The problem is that I was drinking sweet tea, Coke, Diet Coke, Diet Dr. Pepper.... (oh, the other night our waitress said she lost 70 pounds in about 6 months ... HOW? she switched from Dr. Pepper to DIET Dr. Pepper... that is ALL!!!)

Back to water - now, I try to drink half my body weight in ounces of water every day (meaning IF I weighed 100 pounds (hahahahahhhhaaaaaa)... I would drink 50 ounces of water). Then, I can drink other things... but mainly need the water.

3. I have a gazillion cookbooks and love to read them. They each have a special memory attached - like where I was when I bought it, or who gave it to me, or someone I love has a recipe in it... or I WANT to be able to cook like that... I rarely ever cook anymore. Sad, but I do love to read my cookbooks! In fact, I bought one the other day at Ross. It is really neat! It is one for Chinese, Japanese and Thai cooking for the American kitchen... it is so cool! Really - it is and I love that kind of food. I can do it, sure, I can...

4. I love a clean house. I HATE to do floors and unload the dishwasher. I used to play a game with Rebekah... I knew she hated to load the dishwasher (and strangely, I don't mind and even enjoy loading it) So, I would say, "do you want to load or unload the dishwasher?" She always chose to unload (which it needed right then so it could be loaded). It worked great until she went away to college... Now, I have to do it all and it really isn't so bad...

5. I look forward to snow a nice heavy snow - no ice... and then spring can come. I only need one snow to do me. Last year I kept waiting for a good snow to play in. All we got was blowing snow and a light dusting. They are predicting snow tomorrow here. I think I'm excited.

6. I have as many Christmas decorations still packed up as I have out. My favorite time of year is Christmas and I love to decorate for it. I love it! I have to be careful when I'm out because I want to buy every decoration, ornament, wreath, dish I see... and, they all are special to me. When I put ornaments on the tree, each one evokes a neat memory or feeling of love and peace and contentment. I seem to relive the moment I got it.

Okay, so that is my randomness... hope it was repetitive and I was able to come up with something that you didn't know about me.

Hope you have a very Merrie Christmas.... I'll be back, hope you will be too!

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Best Compliment EVER!

This morning I was at Church and a precious little lady - 88 years old...

...she gave me a big hug and said, "do you know why I love you so much? You're just like an old shoe!"

I take that right proudly... she said, "you FIT! You are comfortable to be around..."

That made my day, my week, my month and my year! That's a keeper!

Friday, November 28, 2008

Friday Night

I hope that everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving. We sure did. It was nice to all be together and we sure had waaaaayyyy too much food! We could have fed an army and we had all sorts of wonderful things to suit all taste buds!

I'm amazed at what good cooks we have in our family! What a blessing.

This morning my help came. Thank goodness! She had come on Wednesday and helped get my tree up. I decorated it "in between" things yesterday and today. But, she helped me get some other things unpacked and out... then more help came and helped me put more ornaments on the tree...

We ate leftovers... we stuffed again... yeah, it was good again...

The fun thing is that our sons both brought their daughter for me to keep tonight. So, at one point I had all 5 grandchildren here playing and laughing and having fun... and both daughters... It was so much fun! Our sons and their wives are working at their church's Christmas Train. It's an awesome experience that goes from Thanksgiving to Christmas.

I feel blessed beyond measure today. I am so thankful!

Tomorrow I get to go to our weekend parsonage.
Sorry no pictures... my batteries died in the middle of the process...

NO, I did not get out in the fun shopping today. I enjoyed my family.... have I mentioned how blessed and happy I am???

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Redecorating Progress

This is how the kitchen looked the first time I saw it. I think the wallpaper was original to the ran under the cabinets and under the heavy ceiling tray thingy... It was definitely dated! (the house was built in 1978 I think!)

We are a tall family with four of us measuring in at 6'3", so the ceiling was very low and made it hard to breath! Plus, the walls were dark and paneling dark... BUT, the cabinets and counters and back splash are all white. That was nice and we wanted to keep that...

So one day our son was visiting and he informed me that the ceiling box could easily be removed and he reached up and showed me how easy... a section came down... leading to the removal of all the wood part of the box and the plastic sheet things - this lead to our ceiling being opened up and looking like this...

I loved the openess of it and the area above the cabinets... however, we had to remove the "beautiful " exposed florescent light fixtures... we had several people come and give us estimates on replacing the lights with canned lights. I'm talking highway robbery! YIKES! So, we held off for a few months... then someone came into our lives who was willing and able to fix our problem at a price we could deal with.

Meanwhile, we removed the wallpaper and had to have the walls resurfaced - something they call "skim coat" or something like that. Basically they came in and put a thin layer of sheet rock all over the wall to smooth it out and make it nice.

After that was done I needed to paint... and thought that I was priming the paneling ... nope not what I thought... after I painted the "primer" on it and then the paint it began to roll off the wall - not a pretty sight. So, I had to strip the walls, sand them and then prime with the right stuff and then paint...

After all that work, it turned out like this... looked much nicer I think!

So, finally, I got the ceiling painted to cover all the discolored orange stripes and holes in the ceiling... and this is what I got!

I think it looks much nicer - brighter, cleaner, um, just better. Our next project will be to update the appliances ...
Later I'll show you the rest of the house and the changes we made. The former owner came by one day and he was amazed at how much better it looked. He had no idea what a difference it would make to remove the light box.

Still Here....

I'm still here.... just had no internet over the weekend.

Then I got home and started finishing (is that an oxymoron?) my paint project. Whew! I did it! I put the second coat on the kitchen ceiling... (remind me NEVER to try to another paint popcorn ceiling - EVER-... seriously!)

Then I painted the laundry room. That involved moving LOTS of stuff that had been stuck in there because I could put it there - out of the way... Well, that didn't work because it was definitely IN the way!

That is done and cleaned out and now I need to figure out what to do with the stuff I didn't know what to do with to begin with... (was that a run on sentence and did it make any sense?)

Today I get to keep GD1 and GD3... and maybe GS1, GD2 and GD5... and do some fun Christmas projects.

I'll post pictures of the decorating process soon... when I can figure again how to do the pictures and stuff without hassle...

Oh, I forgot to mention that my sweet and wonderful hugsum got ALL my Christmas decorations down from the attic so that I can decorate!!!! Yes, I'm excited... I didn't even ask him to do that. He just knew!

Okay, have a blessed day - I'll be back soon!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Saturday Stirrings - French Toast Casserole

Today is Saturday Stirrings at Carol's place, I Throw Like a Girl. This is a fun meme to share our recipes. If you can't think of something to fix, you can always run over here and get some great ideas! She has a great contest going to give away a Progresso Perfect Recipe Gift Basket. Really, go over there and check it out!

Today I'm sharing something WONDERFUL! It is a Christmas morning treat or a great thing to serve for brunch. My wonderful friend, Susan, shared this with me a few years ago. It is perfect because it is prepared the night before so you don't have to do anything but stick it in the oven.

French Toast Casserole

Melt together (don't boil) and pour into 9 x 13 baking dish:
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup butter
1 Tbs corn syrup

Arrange over sugar mixture tightly:
1 loaf french bread cut 3/4 inches thick

Blend and pour over bread:
5 large eggs
1 1/2 cup milk
2 tsp. sugar
1 tsp vanilla

Cover tightly and refrigerate overnight. Uncover: sprinkle with chopped nuts. Leave out of refrigerator until room temperature. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes or until puffed and brown.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Friday rambly things

This is third Friday.... meaning covered dish fellowship meal and a long weekend at our "weekend parsonage".

I am cold... we turn the heat way down to save energy and money. When we get here, it is either very hot or very cold... today, it is very cold! It doesn't take long to heat it up, but for the first hour, it is shivering cold! I am always tempted to crawl under the covers and try to warm up. Today, I have a little more to do and I don't have time... even though I did plan ahead and cook my meat yesterday and my brownies this morning. (I know you are so proud of me!)

But, I have to warm up the meat and add bbq sauce to it. I hope I can get the oven on to warm it. I don't like microwaved meat. It changes the texture, taste and nutrients... I know, I'm a snob...

A couple of months ago I did the Angel Food ministry thing. It was the third month I did it. Since I was the only one doing it, I decided to do two... yeah... my freezer has been full. That's been nice, but we don't eat everything we get... like um unnamed hotdogs made of unknown things. But, we did get two very nice pork loins. I had been waiting to cook them for such a time as this. I don't normally eat pork. It is more of a health issue than anything else. If I don't THINK about it, I'm okay.... but yesterday as I was thinking I was having a hard time with it...

Oh well, it did smell good.

Today I pulled it apart and plan to pour bbq sauce on it. I just don't think I'll be eating it. I hope they enjoy it.

Then I fixed brownies. They smelled good, too. I'd be glad to share pictures - but I don't have any and I have been having this bad trouble dealing with pictures and posts... it taxes my skills and patience and I just don't want to deal with it today - sorry.

Back to the brownies... many many years ago (all the kids were small) I happened upon a Hershey's 5 minute Deep Dish Brownie recipe. (It mixes up in 5 minutes). It is easier and cheaper than a mix... and I think it is better. My son-in-law prefers a more milk chocolate brownie than these, but that's okay... I still love him very much! He doesn't like nuts in them either.... again, okay... it is his preference and he is loved very much and I respect that about him. However, he isn't here and he isn't going to be eating any of these, so I did it my - and yes, I was singing when I typed that.

All of that to say, we (hugsum and I) aren't' going to be eating anything I brought. Sad, but true. We are on a "diet"... trying to watch and cut back. I hate to admit that I've been gaining and my clothes are becoming tight and uncomfortable. I guess it is because I have been trying to be cute and when someone asked how I was doing I would cutely say, "fat and sassy"... not good. It has caught up with me. So now I'm changing my tune and saying, "sweet and thin"!

Yes, this is a long say nothing blog...Thanks for reading it... hope you have a great and wonderful weekend...

Oh, lest I forget... Carol, at I Throw Like A Girl is having a neat giveaway for Progresso Perfect Recipe Gift Basket. You need to go and check her out!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

15 Things I'm Not Afraid to Admit

ADHD Me blog, has a fun meme that I got from Beverly at Dancing With Daffodils. She admitted one... the new found friend over at ADHD... admitted to 16... So, I guess there are no hard and fast rules, except to admit things...

So, here goes... I'm going to try this...

1. I love my husband. Even though I know he reads this some times... he doesn't always so this isn't a "have to" thing... Not that he is perfect - even though I "know" that I am (jk) , he loves me anyway... we do enjoy laughing and having fun... and eating out... which brings me to number 2...

2. I love to eat out. I don't really care where it is. I'm just as happy eating at Wendy's or Chick-fil-A as I am a nice expensive place. Well, truth be known, I'd rather not waste all the money on those big expensive places. For our anniversary we went to a very nice place and afterward I thought, "man, I could have used all that money to do.... (other things)". But, because he loves me (see #1) he wanted to bless me.

3. I hate cold weather. I much prefer the nice warm (hot) summer. I hate to have to put on layers and layers of clothes. By the time you put on enough to stay warm, you can't move and besides that, you look about 4 sizes larger! And to go to the bathroom... well, we won't go there!

4. Related to #4 and looking larger, I'm looking larger for another reason... I've been enjoying eating out (see #2) and I've been eating way too much! I love cookies... I love sweets...

5. I also love fruit... which does not undo #4... I love cookies just as much..

6. I like to shop. I get so excited with finding a good deal! My favorite places to buy clothes are Ross, TJ Maxx, the Crate (we don't have these where I live now)... It does me so much good to wear a beautiful new outfit and get lots of compliments and know that I paid less than $20 for that look... like Sunday - I had on a new outfit that I got last spring at Ross... It is a NICE 3 piece suit (pants, skirt and jacket)... it was on sale for less than $20 plus I bought it on Tuesday
so I got an extra discount for being older (nuff said about that). I loved that I got a ton of compliments and even hugsum said it was a very "classy" outfit and I looked great! (that's worth less than $20 any day!)

7. I love to sew! Back in the day I sewed all my clothes. I even designed some. I got to be pretty good. But, other things took over my life and I quit sewing. In high school my favorite class was "home ec"... the cooking and sewing classes were tops! I got so much pleasure and it was somehow therapeutic for me to sew. Yesterday we (daughter and I) made sock monkeys... you should go and check out her blog to see...

8. I hated school. I was miserable going to school. I was so shy that I wouldn't say a word. I would "be sick" so I could get out of giving reports ... I would not answer any questions in class even though I knew the answer... sad, I know. Thankfully, I'm not so shy and fearful anymore.

9. I miss my parents. They are still living and healthy. They just live so far away. I enjoy talking with them, but sometimes it hurts so much that I don't call. Mama is sweeter than ever. She just doesn't always know who I am. When she does it is such a gift. I miss my parents knowing my grandchildren and enjoying them. I also miss that my grandchildren don't know my parents. They are missing a great blessing!

10. I love Christmas. I want to hear "Merry Christmas" and not "Happy Holidays". I love to decorate for Christmas and love my house when it is all decked out. I have way too many decorations, and the sad thing is that every time I go to a store I see MORE that I would love to have. I have lots of my Mama's decorations. She quit decorating a few years ago and told me to go to her attic and get whatever I wanted. So, I obeyed! (Children, obey your parents in the Lord for this is right that you may live a long life and it will go well with you!)

11. I dread getting all my Christmas stuff out and packing it back up (see #10). It takes a huge amount of time to get it down, unpack it and put it out and then repack it. One of the things that made it hard for me was moving so much. Figuring out how to decorate a new/different house takes time. And then repacking to make sure that IF we moved, my priceless decorations would not be broken...

12. I love my family. I'm so blessed with my children. They have all made me so proud. If I could have hand picked them, I would have chosen them! The neat thing is that they are all so different from each other - yet so much alike. Each has a unique personality and purpose... they are so much fun! And... they married well... Their choices for mates is just as unique... Yes, we are very blessed! I love them all!

13. I'm crazy about my grandchildren! Have I said how thankful I am to be close to them and to be able to keep them? Well, let me tell you... I am beyond blessed! Again, they are all so different and wonderful! I don't have a favorite - my favorite is the one I'm with! Yeah, I'm a happy woman!

14. I have great friends... all over the place! The neat thing is keeping in touch with friends from my childhood. Not being able to see them often hasn't stopped the friendships. Thank goodness for the internet - it keeps friendships alive!

15. I love my computer and being online... I've been accused of spending too much time online - imagine what I could get done if I were not sitting here typing and reading for hours! Oh well, it keeps me happy... I wouldn't be connected with you if I were folding clothes instead of blogging and emailing... right??? doesn't that justify it all?? I think so!

Well, in keeping with the no rules... just decide for yourself if you want to do this and then leave me a comment so I can come read... I would do the Mr. Linky... but I haven't figured it out and I don't have time now... I've got to do laundry and iron! drat! I'm not afraid to admit that I do NOT like doing laundry or vacuuming!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Tuesday, November 18, 2008


Where's Noah???

Noah's coming!!!1

Monday, November 17, 2008

Fall into Flavor - Brunswick Stew

Today is the last day that Lid over at 2nd Cup of Coffee is hosting the fun food meme of "Fall Into Flavor". You should jump over there and catch up on her fun blog (okay, so I really typed "flog" which is a merger of "fun" and "blog".)

I wanted to post some really awesome recipe that would "wow" you with my cooking skills and abilities.... a recipe that speaks of my heritage and a true comfort food that spreads warmth and love and joy all through your body and being...

So, I chose "Brunswick Stew". I really don't know the origination of this delightful concoction. The original version was made in huge iron pots hanging over an open fire. The ingredients were "interesting" and you really didn't want to know what went in it... I'm sure that there were a few squirrels, coons, possums, etc... that made all that much more tasty. It was an all day process and well worth the effort (well, with all the wild things in it).

It is chocked full of pork, beef, chicken, tomatoes, corn and potatoes... what's not to love?

The first time I ever went to someone's home to help them make some - I almost lost my entire year's worth of eating and never touched the stuff again. My dear friend, IlaMae had a pot on her stove when I walked in. I thought something was falling out because it was "flapping" over the edge. So I went to rescue it... at which point I was horrified... There in the pot looking up at me was a REAL hog's head!!!! Seriously... looking at me... ears flapping in the boiling water...

It didn't help that I was pregnant with my third child...

However, because I LOVED Brunswick Stew I learned to eat it again... just to make sure who made it and what they put in it. Then a dear friend gave me a recipe that I could handle. It makes LOTS - takes about 15 minutes and is delicious!

Here is the simplest recipe you can imagine. The hardest part is finding the stuff in the grocery store!

Brunswick Stew

1 24 oz can Castleberry's Brunswick Stew
2 10 oz cans Castleberry's BBQ pork
2 10 oz cans Castleberry's BBQ beef
2 10 oz cans Castleberry's BBQ chickene
2 7 oz cans Corn (one creamed, one whole kernel)
2 16 oz cans Tomatoes cubed
1 TBS Vinegar
1 TBS Lemon juice
1 TBS Worchestershire sauce
1 tsp garlic salt
1/2 tsp pepper

Open all cans and pour into LAGE pot
Bring to a boil, cover and simmer.
Stir often...

Note: I also cut up some potatoes and cook in the microwave while I'm opening all the cans and add them to the pot.

You don't have to use Castleberry's - I just know and trust that brand.... you can buy frozen bbq and use that... We have had to make adjustments out here since we can't buy the same ingredients here (Castleberry brand things).

It is like soup... it gets better and better as it ages... I always had a big pot on the stove when the kids would come home from college. It was a warm welcome and filling after such a long (18 hours) drive home.

Hope you enjoy it and please go over to 2'nd Cup of Coffee to see more great recipes@

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Catching up...

This week has been busy... and NOT busy... I actually had to spend a couple of days in bed as a "dizzy blond"... hate those days. Nothing stays still and nothing wants to stay down. It is hard to throw up when you don't know which way is "UP"!

But, other than those couple of days it was a great week!

I was going to post pictures, but lately I've been having trouble getting them to post and move around and then comment on them... so frustrating - so I just deleted them and decided to say what I want to and another time put pictures.

Besides, I'm in my weekend parsonage and working with the internet is tentative - at best.

so, on with my week of non posting... I got to spend time with Grace. She is growing so fast and is sitting and getting all around by rolling and scooting backwards. She can maneuver herself to whatever toy catches her fancy.

Keeping Kate has been such a joy and pleasure. She is constantly keeping me on my toes with "whatcha doin?" She helped me fold clothes and make banana nut muffins this week...

Also, we got to enjoy the other three precious grandchildren for a short time. I didn't get to have as much time with them this week as normal for several reasons, like I was in the bed...

Also, the official closing of the pool got me for some reason. I enjoy the warm weather and the thought of "going swimming"... but with it covered over it was just depressing... a real harbinger of winter and cold and ice and snow!

Hopefully, I'll be back in my posting schedule and maybe catch up since I messed up on my NoBloPo commitment to blog everyday in November...oops...

Thanks for stopping by ... see you again soon... and maybe even catch up on your blogs! I've sure missed them and you!

Friday, November 14, 2008

A Sad Day In November

The pool is officially closed. Even though the water has been too cold to get in for a few weeks now, I hate to see it closed.
Hugsum spent a day this week winterizing and covering it. It won't be long before it will be warm and sunny again and we can enjoy it... that's my confession and I'm sticking to it!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Tuesday Thanks

Thanks to the veterans who have given their lives and lively hood for us so that we can live free. I honor them and am so appreciative of what they do and have done...

We are blessed to have the military and we should support and pray for them daily!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Fall into Flavor - Cookies

To celebrate Fall and all the wonderful flavors of fall and the season of overeating and enjoying all the sugar and butter and nuts, (my mouth is drooling here) it just seems right to share some of my favorite recipes for my weakness - cookies... I just want to thank Linda at 2nd Cup of Cofffee for the opportunity to share and to add another few inches to my hips!

The first one is OLD... I mean it is written in my 3rd grade handwriting.! I first made these at my friend's house. I went home from school with her and spent the night. My son's don't like this cookie as much as others, but I love them. We always called them "Chinese Rocks", but everyone else knows them as "Lady fingers" or "Wedding Cookies".

The next one is just called, "Cookies"... it never had any other name That's the way we got the recipe. My 2nd son actually made these the first time. They were an instant hit around our house and we made them often. I still whip up a batch for comfort.

The third cookie is a fairly new one to our family. I only started baking these about 8 years ago. That year we happened to have a HUGE crop of pecans. At Christmas that year I was looking for places to use our abundance... I found this recipe and have personally been responsible for eating the ENTIRE batch myself... yeah, I did myself proud that year!

"Chinese Rocks"

1 stick of butter (melted)
1 cup of flour (self-rising)
2 Tablespoons sugar
1 Tablespoon vanilla
1 cup broken pecan "meats" (I laughed when I read that because it sure does date the recipe)

Mix nuts and flour and set aside. Cream butter,sugar and vanilla. Add flour and nuts. Form into balls about walnut size (I make mine much smaller - like the size of a large bubblegum ball)
Bake at 300* for 45 minutes (until brown - about 30 for my bbgum size)
Roll in powdered sugar while hot...


Mix: 1 cup butter
2 cups sugar

Add: 2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla

Mix in: 2 1/2 cups self-rising flour
1 6 oz package chocolate chips
2 - 4 cups Rice Krispies
1 cup chopped nuts (optional for some, but never for me)

Bake at 350* 10-12 minutes until edges are brown

NOTE: I have used white chocolate chips and macadamia nuts - yummm! Also butterscotch chips, milk chocolate, peanutbutter chips... well the options are limitless... these cookies adapt to what you have in your house, or any taste you prefer. So easy!

"Pecan Kisses"

Beat to soft peaks: 1 egg white
1/4 teaspoon salt

Slowly add: 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
3/4 cup brown sugar

Fold in: 1 to 2 cups pecans (halves are perfect)

Drop covered pecan halves (or small clumps) onto greased pan.
Bake at 250* for 30 minutes.

These are so simple and easy to make... not many ingredients at all, but everyone who eats one, comes back for a handful! Then they want to know WHAT is this???

Thanks for letting me share my addiction with you...
Go and check out Lid at 2nd Cup of Coffee for more great Fall comfort food.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Saturday Stirrings - Chocolate Chip Pie

Carol at I Throw Like A Girl, celebrates Saturdays with fun recipes. Here is my humble offering to Saturday Stirrings.

This is an easy delicious recipe that always gets rave reviews. My cousin, Sharon, gave me this recipe over 25 years ago and it has been a family favorite ever since.

In fact, I took it to a covered dish fellowship meal one time during revival. It was a huge mistake because the ladies at that particular church take much pride in their ability to cook. The visiting preacher took a bite and let out a hoot and said, "this is so good it makes ya want to slap yer mama!"... well, evidently the competition was on and they were upset that my dessert received the highest compliments. I was informed before the next meal that there was "no need" for me to bring anything. :)

So, thanks Sharon for the recipe...

Chocolate Chip Pie

1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup self-rising flour
1 small bag chocolate chips (I use milk chocolate or even white chocolate)
1/2 cup butter (melted)
2 eggs (beaten)
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup chopped nuts
2 pie shells, or one deep dish shell

Mix the chips and nuts with about 2 tablespoons of the flour. Mix all the other ingredients together and then add the chips and nuts. (this keeps them from falling to the bottom when it is cooked)
Pour into pie shells. (I usually make 2 pies, but sometimes when it is something real special I make the one deep dish for a nice presentation. But after a big meal, the 2 smaller ones are perfect.)

Bake at 325 degrees for 30 - 45 minutes for the 2 pies. Toothpick comes out clean when done. You will have to cook longer, 45 min to an hour for the deep dish.

NOTE: I have used butterscotch chips or a combination of whatever chips I have. When it is still hot, it is delicious with ice cream... After it is cool, it can be sliced and eaten with the hands and you don't need a fork and plate.


Friday, November 7, 2008

Friday Mistakes...

Okay, so I went to Walmart. All I needed were some apples and butter and popcorn.

I wandered around... picked up a pretty red towel... it was in the middle of the aisle and I fell prey... The Christmas music was playing I was feeling Christmasy...

Then I did well and got back on course. I found what was on my list and heading to check out...

Detour! Well, not really... it was sitting in the middle of the floor calling my name!!!!!

My weakness overcame me. I had already walked past an entire aisle of this downfall and remained strong...

But, no... there it was a BIG gallon ice cream size bucket of "Fresh Baked" Christmas cookies... complete with sprinkles and swirls and jelly centers... all for a mere $3.00!!!!

They landed in my buggie before I knew it and in my bag, car, house and mouth!

Addiction ... Weakness... I hate to admit it... My name is "Merrie and I'm a cookieholic".... I need help to get off the wagon!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Thursday ...

Yes, that's my title... for lack of anything else creative...

I'm working hard on my studies and am almost through with the course I'm taking now. I can hardly wait. I find all sorts of fun facts and things that amaze me.

Here is an example an interesting case study I came across...

A man - past middle age - complained of pain in his left side... about where the sciatic nerve hit. He had already been diagnosed with a herniated disc and was facing surgery...

He went to another doctor who examined him and found that the man had soreness and tenderness in the area of his left back pocket and he had the worst pain when he was driving. The wise doctor asked to see his billfold... yeah, it was almost 2 inches thick... so, instead of back surgery for a herniated disc the doctor did a "walletectomy" (removal of the wallet from the back pocket). This completely cured the problem...

Note: this almost always is exclusively a male disorder.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

The Day After...

No more polls... no more debates... no more political adds ... it is over....

Some are in mourning, some are rejoicing....

No matter what your response....

Please.... PRAY. Now is the time to cover our future President in prayer and blessings. He is to receive our respect and honor and support.

God Bless America!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Thoughts of the Election

(Note: this is an email that I received and thought it was good... I did change it to reflect the day after the election instead of before...)

Dear Friends,

For months now my email Inbox has been besieged by nearly hysterical warnings about what will happen if Barack Obama becomes President. I have been encouraged to be worried, afraid, concerned, prepared for disaster, and a whole host of other maladies if this happens. I do not deny the importance of this election, but it seems to me that we need a dose of perspective. So here, on the day after the election, I would like to make my own statementl concerning this election.

It's a True/False test. I'd like for all of us to take it.

True/False: The day after the election, regardless of who wins, Jesus will still be King.

True/False: The day after the election, regardless of who wins, our responsibilities as Christians will not have changed one iota.

True/False: The day after the election, regardless of who wins, the greatest agent for social change in America will still be winning the hearts and minds of men and women through the gospel, not legislation.

True/False: The day after the election, regardless of who wins, my primary citizenship will still be in this order
(1) the Kingdom of God, (2) America, not vice-versa.

True/False: The day after the election, regardless of who wins, the tomb will still be empty.

True/False: The day after the election, regardless of who wins, the cross, not the government, will still be our salvation.

True/False: The day after the election, regardless of who wins, our children will still be more concerned with whether or not we spend time with them than with who is President.

True/False: The day after the election, regardless of who wins, my neighbor will still be my neighbor, and loving him/her will still be the second greatest commandment. (Do you know the first?)

True/False: The day after the election, regardless of who wins, the only way to see abortion ultimately overturned will still be winning men and women to a high view of life through the gospel of Christ.

True/False: The day after the election, regardless of who wins, the only way to see gay marriage ultimately defeated will still be winning men and women to a biblical view of marriage through the gospel of Jesus Christ.

True/False: The day after the election, regardless of who wins, my retirement will still not match my treasure in Heaven.

True/False: The day after the election, regardless of who wins,
JESUS IS LORD will still be the greatest truth in the Universe.

True/False: The day after the election, regardless of who wins, we will still know that God is in control.

How did you score?

So no matter how you voted, remember who you are and who He is. Let's keep it all in perspective!

Election Days

We have been anticipating this day for 2 years now.... we have heard speech after speech, pundit after pundit, debate after debate, news release after news release...

Now is the time to vote - please vote your conscious. Vote according to the Word of God. Vote for life! Do not base your vote on money or fear, but only on who aligns themselves with God and His Word. Then, we will be blessed.... when the righteous rule, there is joy in the land!

And remember... Republicans vote today - and I've heard that Democrats vote on Wednesday... yeah, I got the memo on Facebook... it must be true! Pass the word around!

Seriously, VOTE! (today)

Monday, November 3, 2008

Fall into Flavor - Taco Soup

Here it is, Monday again! This seems to come around often... like at least once a week!

I have really been enjoying this fun time of "Fall into Flavor" hosted by Lid at 2nd Cup of Coffee.

We are supposed to share a recipe of some nice fall comfort food... You really need to jump over to Lid's and check out all the recipes and even go back and read more...

One of my favorite things when the weather gets cold is soup. It is warming and soothing. Even though right now we are experiencing some really nice nice warm fall weather, I'm going to share a soup recipe. As usual, this recipe has a story with it too... most of my favorite comfort foods have special emotional ties - which, I'm sure explains why they are so "comforting".

Last year was our first year in our new home state. The weather, country side, residents and tastes are much different from our old "home" state. There is a local restaurant in the town and we enjoyed eating there often. Everything was homemade and Mel developed her own recipes and was always generous to share them.

One day after lunch it seemed like all the girls were talking about the delicious soup they had at Mel's. I had missed it because I just went home... BUT, we went there for supper that night and I ordered the soup. I was so excited because it was a cold day and I was wanting some nice warm soup.... they were OUT!!!!!! I was so disappointed I thought I was going to cry (yes, an emotional eater here). Anyway, Mel came out and was so kind and she GAVE me the recipe and told me when she planned to fix it next and that she would make sure to save me a bowl!

Sure enough, the next week, I got a bowl of this delicious soup... and it has become a staple in our home now... oh, it's also good to take to covered dish dinners and is a hit! (trust me on this, you can put it in a crock pot and you don't take any home!)

Taco Soup

2 pounds ground beef
1 small onion, chopped
1 (4 oz) can green chilies
1 (1 1/4 oz) package taco seasoning
1 (1 oz) package ranch dressing mix
1 can corn
1 can stewed tomatoes
1 can diced tomatoes
1 can kidney beans
1 can chili beans

(all cans are undreained)

Brown beef with onion, salt and pepper (to taste)
Drain grease
Add everything else and enough water depending if you ant it thick or thin.
Bring to a boil and then simmer 15-20 minutes.

Enjoy with some cornbread (NOT sweet!)

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Wise Words from Abe

Wisdom from Abe Lincoln


During this political season let's be reminded of these wise words:

You cannot help the poor by destroying the rich.

You cannot strengthen the weak by weakening the strong.

You cannot bring about prosperity by discouraging thrift.

You cannot lift the wage earner up by pulling the wage payer down.

You cannot further the brotherhood of man by inciting class hatred.

You cannot build character and courage by taking away people's initiativeand independence.

You cannot help people permanently by doing for them, what they could and should do for themselves.


(again: thanks Charles for this email)

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Saturday Stirrings - Cowboy Cornbread

Here it is, Saturday... again...
Happy All Saints DAY!... So glad that All Saints Eve is over and November is here!

Another thing today brings is "Saturday Stirrings"... Over at Carol's, I Throw Like A Girl, she hosts this fun meme... Make sure you run over there and find more fun recipes...

One of the fun things about moving around is finding new foods to enjoy that are local specialties. A friend brought one to my house and we fell in love with it. She was kind enough to share the recipe.

Cowboy Cornbread

1 pound of hamburger, browned and drained
1 can chopped green chilies
3 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese

Mix together:
1 box Jiffy cornbread mix
1 package Mexican cornbread mix
1 can creamed corn
3 eggs
1 cup of milk

In the bottom of a 9 X 13 inch greased dish spread less than 1/2 the cornbread mixture.
Layer hamburger, chilies and cheese
Cover with remaining cornbread mix.

Bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes...
oh my goodnes it is good!!!

Friday, October 31, 2008

Fall Friday Fun

Yesterday was beautiful! The cousins wanted to go outside and pick up acorns and put them in a hole... All over the yard are little holes about as wide as a nickle and the acorns fit perfectly in them. Who knew how much fun it could be to find an acorn! Who KNOWS what's inside those holes!

Kicking the leaves became a fun thing to do... then we decided to rake up a few and let them play in them. Do you remember how much fun that is?

Making fun memories... and counting my blessings!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

The White Lie...


Have you ever told a white lie? You are going to love this, especially all of the ladies who bake for church events:

Susie Jones was to bake a cake for the Church Ladies' Group in her town , but forgot to do it until the last minute. She remembered it the morning of the Bake sale and after rummaging through cabinets, found an angel food cake mix and quickly made it while drying her hair, dressing, and helping her son pack up for Scout camp.

When she took the cake from the oven, the center had dropped flat and the cake was horribly disfigured and she exclaimed, "Oh dear,there is not time to bake another cake!"

This cake was important to Susie because she did so want to fit
in at her new church, and in her new community of friends. So,
being inventive, she looked around the house for something to build up the center of The cake. She found it in the bathroom - a roll of toilet paper. She plunked it in and then covered it with icing. Not only did the finished product look beautiful, it looked perfect. And, before she left the house to drop the cake by the church and head for work, Susie woke her daughter and gave her some money and specific instructions to be at the bake sale the moment it opened at 9:30 and to buy the cake and bring it home.

When the daughter arrived at the sale, she found the attractive,
perfect cake had already been sold. Katie grabbed her cell phone and called her mom. Susie was horrified-she was beside herself! Everyone would know! What would they think? She would be ostracized, talked about, ridiculed!

All night, Susie lay awake in bed thinking about people pointing fingers at her and talking about her behind her back.

The next day, Susie promised herself she would try not to think
about the cake and would attend the fancy luncheon/bridal shower at the home of a fellow church member and try to have a good time. She did not really want to attend because the hostess was a snob who more than once had looked down her nose at the fact that Susie was a single parent and not from the Founding families of their town , but having already RSVP'd , she couldn't think of a believable excuse to stay home.

The meal was elegant, the company was definitely upper crust old South and to Susie 's horror, the cake in question was presented for dessert!

Susie felt the blood drain from her body when she saw the cake!
She started out of her chair to tell the hostess all about it, but before she could get to her feet, the Mayor's wife said, "what a
beautiful cake!"

Susie still stunned, sat back in her chair when she heard the hostess
(who was a prominent church member) say, "Thank you, I baked it myself."

Susie smiled and thought to herself, "_God is good."_

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Good Idea for Stopping Coughs

I got this email from a friend and thought it was a good idea. I know it works... It is a lot easier to do than trying to give some children cough medicine - AND much better for them. So, in this "cold" season, you might want to try this... (thanks Charles)

During a lecture on Essential Oils, they told us how the foot soles can absorb oils. Their example: Put garlic on your feet and within 20 minutes you can 'taste' it.

Some of us have used Vicks Vapo rub for years for everything from chapped lips to sore toes and many body parts in between. But I've never heard of this. And don't laugh, it works 100% of the time, although the scientists who discovered it aren't sure why. To stop night time coughing in a child (or adult as we found out personally), put Vicks Vapo rub generously on the bottom of the feet at bedtime, then cover with socks. Even persistent, heavy, deep coughing will stop in about 5 minutes and stay stopped for many, many hours of relief. Works 100% of the time and is more effective in children than even very strong prescription cough medicines. In addition it is extremely soothing and comforting and they will sleep soundly.

Just happened to tune in A.M. Radio and picked up this guy talking about why cough medicines in kids often do more harm than good, due to the chemical makeup of these strong drugs so, I listened. It was a surprise finding and was found to be more effective than prescribed medicines for children at bedtime, in addition to have a soothing and calming effect on sick children who then went on to sleep soundly.

My wife tried it on herself when she had a very deep constant and persistent cough a few weeks ago and it worked 100%! She said that it felt like a warm blanket had enveloped her, coughing stopped in a few minutes and believe me, this was a deep, ( incredibly annoying!) every few seconds uncontrollable cough, and she slept cough-free for hours every night that she used it.

If you have grandchildren, pass this on. If you end up sick, try it yourself and you will be absolutely amazed at how it works.


Monday, October 27, 2008

Fall Into Flavor - Chewy Bars

I love Mondays and the Fall Into Flavor that is hosted by my friend Lid at 2nd Cup of Coffee. She makes blogging fun and interesting. Go check out her blog here.

I love to eat and have moved around a good bit to different parts of South Georgia and also out west... I have gathered lots of good recipes. It seems that most of my favorites come from friends.

I have this history and habit of going to covered dish meals. It comes with the territory of being in the "ministry", and married to a Pastor.

I have some horror stories of when I was a young Pastor's wife and trying to please everyone and not hurt anyone's feelings. I would get a nice helping of EVERY dish on the table. Also sweet little ladies loved taking me under their well padded wings and showing me the ropes of the table and making sure I got "enough and plenty" of whatever they lovingly prepared and brought. My worst nightmare was when they brought rutabagas and beets. Without fail, whoever brought them asked if I had gotten some and made sure I got some and cleaned my plate ... even offering a second helping, IF I happened to finish them quickly.

Well, this particular recipe is just the opposite of rutabagas and beets. Let me tell you, it is delicious! It is habit forming. It is easy. The hard part is making sure you get one of the "edge" pieces. My family would fight over the edges. They are chewier and soooo good!

About 20 years ago I unashamedly begged, yes BEGGED for this recipe. I promised never to make them to take outside the house as long as we lived in the area. It was a "private" recipe... which most were at the covered dishes... they were guarded and horded and passed down only upon death.

So, if you live anywhere near there, you are forbidden to tell this recipe or cook this for a covered dish. If you do - you will be exposed and rebuked soundly! Otherwise, cook and enjoy without fear - except that you may not have enough.

Geraldine's Chewy Bars

1 box Brown Sugar (or 1 pound, since they come in 2 pound bags now)
2 cups self rising flour
(a staple in the south)
3 eggs, slightly beaten
1 stick of butter, melted (you knew it was coming!)
1 cup nuts, chopped (not really optional unless you don't like them)

I do not even use a mixer to make these since the butter is melted.
Mix butter and sugar, add eggs. Stir in flour until mixed, stir in nuts.

Pour into greased 9X13 pan. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes.

Cut you a corner out and enjoy!

Friday, October 24, 2008

Ring My Bell....

This is Andy's normal position. From here he can see who comes in the front door, watch the squirrels in the yard (when the blinds are open), the dogs walking by with their owners dragging behind, and anything that goes on inside the house, AND also anything going on in the back yard. He has even learned to look in a mirror across the room and see what I'm doing in the kitchen. Yeah, he's a smart dog!

This is a picture of what motivates Andy... CAT food! Yeah, the dog LOVES cat food. He doesn't care that cats eat this stuff. It does not effect his "doghood"... he is very confident in his dogness.

I have learned to use this addiction to my advantage to train me... I mean him...
I first hung a bell by the door so that it hit about nose level for him, and got a handful of the bait, ummm cat food. I taught him to ring the bell ... and that when the bell rings, the door opens and he can go out and go potty - or chase the birds and squirrels from the yard. Whatever, he is a happy dog.

Here are the bells. I use white yarn to hang them with so they are not so obvious to visitors and they don't stand out as ugly... I have been known to use multicolored yarn that clashed. I also learned to make sure that I have a large enough bell, or enough bells so that I can HEAR them wherever I am in the house. (at one house we had bells on 3 different doors that all lead to the back yard and were in different parts of the house. He learned to come to the door closest to where I was to get my attention.)

The sequence is... the goes to the door and looks out, rings the bell, looks for me, rings the bell and waits... knowing that I'm coming to open the door and let him out.

If there are dogs walking by or squirrels in the yard, the bell will fly - he gets real insistent and demanding! Yes, I'm trained and he's spoiled! But, it works and I don't have to clean the carpet!