Saturday, December 14, 2013

It Gets Harder and Harder to Deck The Halls...

It turned into way too much work.  We worried that our grandchildren would be upset.  They hardly noticed.  We have a sweet, small tree that stays out all year including decorations and lights.  It sits  on our landing and those lights have not been turned off  in at least five years!  (I know...)  It is what it is. 

 The front door always has a wreath of fresh greens, berries, and a bow.   My sweet husband has gathered most of the fresh greenery.  It's drinking lots of water right now.

Fa, la, la, la, la ......! 

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It takes a "ton" of greenery!  A mix of evergreens makes me happy.
Slurp, slurp, slurp!
Don't even ask where my SH gets all this.  He has his sources and I don't want to know.
 I use this wreath as my base and add lots of fresh greenery.  At least I have it out!  That touch of bronze in the wreath is a rusted handle to an old basket. 

There is nothing wrong with using faux berries, cones, and touches of green,  if they look very good.  I have to replace mine almost every year because they look so good the birds try and eat them!

 Deck the halls with boughs of holly, Fa, la, la, la, la.......

Thursday, December 12, 2013

A "do nothing" day...

This morning I made the comment to my SH that I would love to have a day to do "Nothing"!  He responded that I should do that today, "NOTHING"!  Really?

(Not that I needed permission)

did plan to make the bed, some laundry, dress (meaning remove my pj's, put on some jeans), brush my hair (and teeth)  Maybe I won't even open the front door?
did have plans to empty my closet completely, try everything on, discard, re-organize, put outfits together, etc.  Yep, that was one thing I had planned to do today.  We'll see how this goes...


Well, what in the world made me think that re-organizing my closet would be a part of my "do nothing" day?  All I can tell you is that I did, in fact, redo my closet.  It nearly killed me!  I could barely walk the next day.

I'm going to re-schedule my "do nothing" day after the holidays.

I Just Had a Sick Feeling....

Recently I made a quick stop at an Estate Auction in the neighborhood,  I knew the lady who had owned the property.  She had a Bed 'n Breakfast for years.

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It was almost over when I got there.  They were down to the "box lots"  At this point I must tell you that I have no knowledge of whether family had already gotten what they wanted.  Or maybe they didn't want anything???

OK, back to the "box lots".  They sold boxes of "handwork" for two & three dollars!  Boxes of "smalls" for three dollars!  I had a sick feeling as I stood there watching.  Twenty old dolls for five dollars!.  
I saw rows of furniture that had already sold.  I shutter to think how little it sold for.
I saw a beautiful, old, crocheted bedspread go for $30.00!  It was sad.
I know you are wondering what I purchased?  Nothing!  (Does a hot-dog count?}  I guess I am amazed at the value (or lack of) placed on beautiful, old things. 
There is a great difference {in my part of the country) between an "Estate Sale" and an "Estate Auction".  Estate Sales are more interesting.   Everything is already priced.  Most of the time someone can tell you a story about a particular item.  The prices are higher but that's ok.  Usually on the last day everything is Half-Price!  
I was not in the mood to buy anything.  

I just had a sick feeling in my stomach.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Fall Colors on the Trails

I took a little spin on "the lady" this morning.  The trails are beautiful any time of the year.  Come with me....

A beautiful tree in our neighborhood...

Not many folks playing golf...

This is the Tennessee River back waters.....TVA pulls the water down during winter.

If you are on the trails, do your part and pick up litter.

We have a treasure in our city!  I hope you enjoyed your ride.

For those of you who don't know, "The Lady" is my golf cart aka  fishing cart.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013


I don't do much baking for the holidays anymore.  This is one recipe that I still make.  
This is a very delicate sugar cookie that will melt in your mouth.


I always double the recipe so it takes a while.

 A precious lady from our church, (Polly Higginbotham) who went to heaven this past year, gave me this recipe.

  1c.powdered sugar
1 c. sugar
1 c. veg. oil
1 c. butter 
2 eggs
1 t. vanilla & touch of almond flav.
4 1/2 c. all purpose flour
1 t. salt
1 t. soda
1 t. cream of tartar
sugar to roll
In large bowl, cream sugars, butter, and oil til fluffy.  Add eggs & flavorings.  Beat well.  Add flour, salt, soda, and cream of t.  Mix well.  Roll into small balls.  Place on ungreased cookie sheets.  (I use parchment paper.)  Dip bottom of juice glass into sugar and press.  Bake 400 degrees for approx. 8 min.

You will love them!

Monday, November 4, 2013

The "Entertainment Closet"

In the beginning……this was a very large upstairs closet.  My sweet brother-in-law installed all this extra strong, reinforced shelving.  It quickly became the “entertainment  closet” and I loved it!  All my “stuff” in one place.  When I made these pictures, many sets of china had already been moved.  You’ll see some empty shelves as you get the “tour”.

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All sorts and sizes of vases…
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I seldom use faux flowers but I do have a few favorites that I enjoy.
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I love my tablecloths!  My favorites are the old linen and lace ones.
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This is a collection of saris, sheers, etc. that are pretty to use to brighten up a table.
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The lavender punch bowl is hand-painted and has 12 matching cups.
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I know,  I’m crazy!

The metamorphous continues…stay  with me.
You will love it!
(First published at life)

Sunday, October 27, 2013

The Gift Of Hospitality

(We gather together to ask the Lord’s blessings…)

My mother-in-law (Ma Ida) taught me many things.
She was a feisty little redhead who raised eight sons, three daughters, and two grandsons. img075
(Christmas Day at Ma Ida’s, 1969)

Everyone loved to come to her house.  They never came without eating a meal.  She hardly ever knew who or how many would be at her table.  It never occurred to her that some would not have a place to sit. In summer,  many of us ate on the front porch balancing our plate on our laps and finding a place close by for a glass of sweet tea.  It wasn’t important that the dishes matched.  I can’t remember ever having a centerpiece!  None of that mattered.  She never owned a dishwasher.
What we did have was an abundance of wonderful food!  Always home-grown and so good.  At family dinners, at least three meats with a whole table of desserts!

(Dessert table on back porch)

You know, I am ashamed to admit this, but I never remember taking a dish to her house(and I don’t think anyone else did either).  What were we thinking!


The joy of gathering at Ma Ida’s is a memory that we all treasure.

(New Years Eve Party at our house, 1974)

(She was also the only person who has ever called me “little”!  She referred to me as “little Betty”.  God love her!)

Monday, October 14, 2013

Thanksgiving...not a time for new recipes

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WWII post cards late fall flowers 034I do it every year. Leaf through cookbooks, shuffle through kitchen drawers, go through a box of clipped recipes, finally retrieving a handful of old, dog-eared recipes for dishes our family always expects on the table every Thanksgiving. I don’t view this disorganization as a sign of being messy or untidy. No, I’m showing respect for family history. A yellowed slip of paper with a recipe written by my mother would not be the same on a fresh, white index card. Another memory is sparked as I find recipes shared by old friends written on the letterhead stationary of a bank where I used to work. My old, well used, Cotton Country cookbook is also a good friend during the holidays. WWII post cards late fall flowers 032
I usually plan to eat around 1:00p.m. It ends up happening at noon. Everyone(20+ extended family members) comes early and stays late.
Mother’s cornbread dressing is the most anticipated dish. There is no recipe but I do know it must start with a “fresh, fat hen.” My husband, Stan, is usually in charge of the turkey. We like it smoked, so flavorful and tender it falls off the boneSmoked Turkey from the BGE by bbum.
Fresh cranberry congealed salad is enjoyed by most everyone except Josh(grandson)and Tommy(nephew) for whom we have a large dish of jellied cranberry sauce, fresh from the can!

An old crackled china gravy boat reminds us of my mother-in-law, Ma Ida, and the many times we gathered around her table. ma idas gravy boat 001
There’s nothing more special than family gathered around our table remembering how blessed we are.

Blessed to have our Mother's hand to hold.

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Happy Thanksgiving!


Smoked turkey
Cornbread dressing with giblet gravy
Fresh cranberry congealed salad
Relish tray
Creamed sweet corn
Fresh green beans
Macaroni and cheese
*Sweet potato casserole
Rolls/Iced tea
*Pecan pie and caramel cake

3 cups mashed sweet potatoes
1 cup sugar
1 t. vanilla
2 eggs
½ cup evaporated milk
½ cup melted margarine
Mix all ingredients with mixer until all lumps are gone.
Pour into casserole dish.
1 cup brown sugar
l/2 cup flour
1/3 stick margarine(melted)
2/3 cup pecans(chopped)
Mix until crumbly. Put on top of casserole.
Bake at 300 degrees for 35 minutes.

3 eggs
2/3 cup sugar
Dash of salt
1 cup Karo syrup(I do ½ cup light and dark)
1/3 cup butter, melted or chopped up
1 cup pecan halves
1 (9inch) pie shell
Beat eggs thoroughly with sugar and salt.
Add syrup and butter, then pecans. Pour
into unbaked pie shell and bake for 50 minutes
on 350 degree oven or until knife comes out
clean after being inserted into pie.