Wednesday, December 21, 2011

The Best Christmas Gift Ever

Things are winding down at our house,
My baking is done...praise God,
Although the noshing still remains...have mercy.
Presents are wrapped.
Children are gathering in,
my work holidays begin,

and I can feel that quiet peacefulness
that settles over me during this season.

I always find myself a little nostalgic
during the Christmas season.
And, I think about the last few Christmases past...
filled with remembrances of loss...and grief.
  a bit of it lingers this Christmas season...just a bit.

But, I am reminded, by that sweet soft nudging on my heart strings,
of what this season means...and what it brings.

For God so loved the world, He gave His one and only son,
 that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.
John 3:16

Yes, the best gift ever.
Wishing you a Christmas filled with the love of the Father, the miracle of Jesus...peace, comfort, and joy.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Being Festive is Killing Me

With all the parties at work...
and with family...
and with friends,
I'll be wearing pajama jeans by the new year.

Yes, with all the food and drink,
being festive is killing me.

I've made these little diddies for years.
I'll be making them again this week.
I. Must. Find. Someone. To. Give. These. To.

Salted Caramel Pecan Bars
 From Southern Living.

1 cup chopped pecans
12 whole graham crackers
1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
3/4 cup butter
2 Tbsp whipping cream
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp kosher salt

Preheat oven to 350°. Bake pecans in a single layer in a shallow pan 10 minutes or until toasted and fragrant, stirring halfway through.

Line a 15- x 10-inch jelly-roll pan with aluminum foil or parchment paper; lightly grease foil. Arrange graham crackers in a single layer in prepared pan, slightly overlapping edges.

Combine sugar, butter, and cream in a medium-size heavy saucepan; bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat, and stir in vanilla and pecans. Pour butter mixture over crackers, spreading to coat.

Bake at 350° for 10 to 11 minutes or until lightly browned and bubbly.

Immediately sprinkle with salt, and slide foil/paper from pan onto a wire rack. Cool completely (about 30 minutes). With a knife, cut into bars.

But wait!  Want to know what makes these little yummies even yummier?
Why, add chocolate, of course!

Chocolate-Pecan-Caramel Bar Variation: Prepare recipe as directed until removal from oven. Once removed from oven, top warm bars with 1 cup dark chocolate morsels. Let stand 3 minutes, and spread chocolate over bars, then sprinkle with salt and proceed with recipe as directed. Chill 20 minutes before serving.

Yep...pajama jeans...I just know it.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Holiday Yummy

I love this time of the year.
People are least most of us.
There is a sense of peace, joy, comfort in this season.
And, lets not forget the food...
Much to the chagrin of my waistline...and backside.
Lord, have mercy.

No wonder Santa's belly is so round.
I wonder if he and the elves have office parties,
Or workshop parties as it may be....
One of my friends and co-workers makes this yummy little treat for us at Christmas.
She brings it in still warm in the mornings.

Sausage & Cream Cheese Croissants
1 lb hot sausage
1 block of cream cheese (8 oz)
2 cans of small croissants or crescent rolls (I prefer the croissants)
Crumble and cook sausage, then drain.
Return sausage to the pan, add the cream cheese,
Stir through until cream cheese is melted and mixture is warm.
Unroll croissants or crescents.
Spoon sausage mixture onto wide area of the croissant.
Roll up the croissant as called for.
Bake as called for on the can of croissants.

Y'all this such a yummy, and easy recipe.
And easily doubled if you're feeding a crowd.
My sweet friend doubles the recipe for our office party, but adds only 1/2 again the amount of cream cheese.
1 1/2 blocks...

So good with a cup of java, or hot tea.

I have a gang of young adult children and nephews heading to my house for the Christmas holiday.  This little yummy will probably grace my breakfast table one or two mornings.

Wishing you a Christmas season filled with the love of the Father, the miracle Jesus, and the comfort of home and  hearth.

Monday, December 5, 2011

White Christmas

I'm pretty much a traditionalist, when it comes to Christmas decor. 
I like pine, cedar, magnolia, natural elements that are found in the north Georgia region where I live.
I enjoy cutting the cypress limbs, and magnolia boughs from the trees down the road,
and collecting pine cones from the deep woods where I live.

But, lately I've been eyeing these
from Google images
from Southern Living
from Google images

White Christmas trees...
This year I find myself longing for a white christmas tree.
White...I've always thought so "fake" "cheesy."
One cut above an aluminum silver tree.....

And, I have these....
Vintage Ornaments from my Grandmother and Mother.
Ornaments I remember as a child.
Last year I found a box full, in my dad's attic.
I took them home with me,
 and now they sit in a crystal bowl each year, as part of my Christmas decor.
I'm afraid to hang them from the tree, they're so fragile.

But, I love this idea....

And, I really love the thought of my vintage ornaments....
On a white Christmas tree.

I know I'll never replace my traditional green Christmas tree,
With all the ornaments I've collected through the years.
Ornaments inheirited, ornaments given by family members and friends,
Ornaments that are like seeing old friends each year as I gingerly unwrap them from their boxes.

But, I would like a White Christmas tree, filled with Granny's and Mama's vintage ornaments... my bedroom.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Quiet Time

 It's Thanksgiving, y'all...a time that is usually busy at my house, with family, food, friends.  I have a large extended family, and through the years everyone has gathered in our home on Thanksgiving Day.  Its not unusual for us to host 18-20 family members on that day.  But...this year, I'm breaking tradition.  I've decided to have a quiet, intimate family gathering.  Several of our family members are traveling, and going in several different directions.  Our older children are visiting other parents, girlfriend's grandmothers...ahh, the joys and trials of blended families.  So, I looked at my husband, and I said, "Why don't we skip the large, organized, crazy dinner this year, and just do something small and quiet?"  "Sounds like a stellar idea, my dear."  So, I'll cook a small dinner, and we've told all the kids to just drop by whenever they want, after, or in between all their other commitments.  I have a smoked turkey.  I'll make dressing and gravy, and all the other fixin's, but simpler dishes, in smaller amounts.  My table will be simple.  This year I crave quiet.  I crave simplicity.  I crave informality. 

Of course, this guy will come out.  Several years back, my sweet sister gave me this depression glass turkey bowl.  I use him for cranberry sauce.  He is indeed a treasured possession and a part of our holiday traditions.

 And, I can't forget about these two.  Would it really be Thanksgiving without them?

Wishing you a peaceful and joyful Thanksgiving holiday.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011


What I like about Fall in the North Georgia Blue Ridge.....
The way the morning clouds hang low in the valleys and hollows of  the mountains~
Visits to the Apple Farm~
Apple Bread~
Apple Crisp~
Caramel Apples~
Boiled Peanuts~
(Ummm, seeing a trend here?)
Warm coffee on cool mornings~
Red and Gold trees reflecting on the lake~
The smell of wood smoke from a distant chimney or campfire~
Old cemetaries~
My camera~

"Every leaf speaks bliss to me, fluttering from the autumn tree."  ~Emily Bronte

Happy Fall Y'all!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011


and the livin' is easy.  My heart is not in my blogging this summer.  My heart is down on my island, crabbing off the pier, and fishing in the creek.  The rest of me wants to be there too.  Hopefully I'll get around to posting some pics from my last trip there.  I just need to tell my head (and my heart) to come on back home.

Friday, May 20, 2011

"If nothing ever changed, there'd be no butterflies."

My mom told me that one time.  Seems she said someone long ago had said the same to her during an uncertain time in her life.  My dad had accepted a new position in broadcasting, which would move them to a new town, where she had limited acquaintences. With four small children, she would be leaving behind her own mom and siblings.

I made a change this week.  I decided to accept a new job, that puts me back in the fulltime workforce.  I remember blogging here several years back, when I decided to stop working fulltime and step away from the pressures of management and responsibility.  I needed to slow down, to breathe, to rest.  I took a part time job, teaching as an adjunct faculty member at a local college and working with a domestic violence center. 

Sometimes things run their course, right?  Sometimes a time comes when you have to weigh out the options, the pros and cons, and make a decision; decisions based on need and on your heart's desires. a couple of weeks, I'll be back at it.  It will be a  Somehow I feel like I've just closed my eyes, held my breath, and jumped into the deep end of the pool. 

But I know how to swim. 

My new gig...

Friday, April 22, 2011

Good Friday

"He grew up like a tender shoot, and like a root out of dry ground. He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to Him, nothing in his appearance that we should desire Him. He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering. Like one from whom men hide their faces He was despised, and we esteemed Him not.

Surely He took up our infirmities and carried our sorrows, yet we considered Him stricken by God, smitten by Him, and afflicted. But He was pierced for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brough us peace was upon Him, and by His wounds we are healed. We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way; and the LORD has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.

He was oppressed and afflicted, yet he did not open his mouth; he was led like a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is silent, so he did not open his mouth."  Isaiah 53:2-7

Hoping you remember why your Good Friday is so good.  It may be Friday but Sunday's coming!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

White Gloves, Lace Hankies, & White Wicker Purses

Amid the horrific beauty of the Cross, the power of Christ's resurrection; amid the Easter eggs and chocolate bunnies, always at Easter creeps in the memory of my Mama's white gloves. As a young girl, growing up in the South, white gloves at Easter were as common as eggs in our baskets. Each Easter Sunday morning, my Mama would pull out new boxes of white gloves for my sisters and I to wear along with our new Easter dresses. I remember fingering the soft fabric of my Mama's gloves, running my fingers over the artful design and embroidery. I always loved holding Mama's hands when she wore her gloves. I wish ladies in the south still wore white gloves at Easter.
Ladies carried handkerchiefs at Easter too. My grandmother and Mama had beautiful lace handkerchiefs, often scalloped along the edges, or embroidered in white thread with beautiful scrolling designs. I wish ladies still carried white scalloped or embroidered hankies.

Along with our new Easter dresses and little white gloves, we always received a pretty little white wicker purse to carry on Easter Sunday morning. Mama would give each of us girls a small white hankie, often embroidered with small colorful flowers. In our purses we would carry our new hankies, and the quarters Daddy would give us for the Sunday School offering. Sometimes I would slip a few chocolate Easter eggs in my little white wicker purse. My new purse was also a good place to store my new white gloves should I be overcome with temptation to eat said chocolate eggs. This week I paid a visit to my parent's home. I rambled through my Mama's chest of drawers, gingerly fingering her old jewelry, thumbing through her old journals, and smiling at long ago cards made by the hands of her growing children. I stumbled upon her white gloves, and a small box of white scalloped handkerchiefs. This Sunday I'll carry a white scalloped hankie. It won't be carried in a little white wicker purse but instead in a grown up girl's new purse. Do I dare wear Mama's white gloves too?

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Pear Salad Memories

Isn't it funny how sometimes a memory, from way back in the back of your mind, perhaps a memory not thought about in years, will suddenly pop into your head totally unprovoked? Maybe you're just moseying along, thinking some mundane or routine thought, totally unrelated to the suprise visit from your memory.
This happened to me the other day. I believe I was dwelling on upcoming assignments for my students, engrossed in the subleties of business writing...and WHAM! Into the forefront of my thoughts charges the memory of my mama's pear salad. "Where did that come from?" I thought. I haven't thought about or even had Mama's pear salad in ages. I was taken aback by the sudden memory, and then the longing for a bite of that sweet pear yummy-ness.
I've never seen or found this version of pear salad outside of the South. I believe there was once a generation of women who, at one time or another, routinely served this pear salad on their table. It was a staple of Mama's spring and summer menus, and always served at Easter.
So, this year, for the first time in many years, I'll be serving it on our Easter table. I'm afraid this old fashioned, southern Pear Salad may be one of those dying recipes from our past. I'm determined to keep it remembered, as generations of the women of my family did. Its simple, its good, its southern.
Pear Salad
1 can of pear halves, drained. (Save the pear juice for something else.)
Mayonnaise (preferably Dukes or Blue Plate)
Shredded sharp cheddar cheese
Maraschino cherries (whole or half, I like halves)
Simply place the pear halves on a pretty plate. Add a dollop of mayo to the little pitted center of the pear. Sprinkle with shredded cheddar. Add the cherry on top.


Sunday, April 10, 2011

Sunday Pondering

Who is a God like you, who pardons sin and forgives the transgression of the remnant of His inheiritance?

You do not stay angry forever but delight to show mercy.

You will again have compassion on us; and You will tread our sins underfoot and hurl all our iniquities into the depths of the sea.

You will be true to Jacob, and show mercy to Abraham, as You pledged on oath to our fathers in the days long ago.

Micah 7:18-20

Thursday, April 7, 2011

A New Discovery

I love me some Pimento Cheese. But, I've never been able to stand the store bought versions. Thankfully my dear departed Aunt passed down a recipe to her sisters, my mother, and on to me. It was a heavenly blend of sharp cheddar, cream cheese, mayo, some secret spices and flavorings, and of course pimentos. Oh, once I did discover some made on site at a neat little family grocer in my town, and it came a very close second to Aunt Dottie's pimento cheese but I still often found myself whipping up batches of my own. friend Bella Michelle introduced me to this a few days ago....Good friend that she is, Miz Michelle knows my love of pimento cheese and low carb eating.

Palmetto Cheese? "Hmmmm....don't know this one, and besides its store bought." I said to myself, with doubt. But...on a whim yesterday, while in one of the large grocery store chains that were said on their website to carry Palmetto Cheese, I thought I would see if by chance they had it. They did! One container left of the original, one container left of jalapeno. "Which one?" I thought..."ok, I'll get both." Boy, am I glad I did! This stuff rocks! It comes the closest to tasting like my Aunt Dottie's pimento cheese than anything else I've ever tried. So yesterday, I had a scoop of original and a scoop of the jalapeno (and it has a KICK!) with a spinach salad for lunch. I decided today I would have it again for lunch...a scoop of each, a scoop of chicken salad, and a sliced tomato. What a bite of heaven for this low carb gal.

So, if you love good homemade pimento cheese, like I do...check out Palmetto Cheese. It's gooood. And, while you're at it, check out Bella Michelle's blog. She's an awesome writer, mom, and fine southern gal. I love her book reviews, recipes, and great outlook on life.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Southern Springtime

Mark Twain once said, "In the spring I have counted one hundred and thirty six different kinds of weather inside of twenty four hours." Yesterday, it was 70 degrees at 10:30 a.m. By mid afternoon is was 83 degrees. We played at the lake, walked along the shoreline, rode the golf cart. We spent time resting on the dock, reading the latest gardening magazines. Last evening we grilled chicken outside on the grill. It was a wonderful Monday, the perfect way to start Spring Break. But by nightfall, it was stormy. Terrible storms that threaten to break the tree tops, bending periously in the wind. The kind of storm where lightening outside the window is enough to make one jump. The thunder boomed and the sounds of small twigs and debris could be heard hitting the house. This morning, its bright and sunny, but cold and breezy. It feels like winter is trying to make one final stand. One last hurrah to show us that she doesn't go out easily. This morning I said to God, "Ok, make up your mind already." I hope He smiled and wasn't offended that I would question His awesome power to orchestrate exactly what the earth needs to prepare for her spring beauty. I like to think he understands the longing of this southern girl's soul...for spring, warmth, new life, and always the return to my old places. "Look!" He says..."Here's what my power sends to you." Spring in the south is an awesome, ever changing landscape, just like life. Sometimes stormy, even terrifying storms...but always behind it comes the beauty, the blessings, the everpresent gifts of God. Always delightfully surprising.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

I Love Spring

Yes, I do! Yes, I do! Time to dig in the cool, damp dirt. I love the smell of freshly turned garden soil. I love the wiggly wiggly earthworms. I love the way my muscles ache, after a long winter's rest from digging and planting. I love the flowers that peep out of the ground, the daffodils that are already showing off around my birdbath. Yes,I love spring.

Each year, I think about this poem, one of my favorite children's poems...

My Spring Garden...

Here is my little garden,
Some seeds I'm going to sow.
Here is my rake to rake the ground,
Here is my handy hoe.

Here is the big, round yellow sun;
The sun warms everything.
Here are the rain clouds in the sky;
The birds will start to sing.

Little plants will wake up soon,
And lift their sleepy heads;
Little plants will grow and grow
In their little, warm earth beds.
-Author Unknown

Saturday, February 26, 2011


I'm pondering this today...

From Zechariah 7:8-10....The word of the LORD came again to Zechariah: "This is what the LORD Almighty said: 'Administer true justice; show mercy and compassion to one another. Do not oppress the widow or the fatherless, the foreigner, or the poor. Do not plot evil against each other.'

I've read with interest on the recent events regarding the Immigration bill in our Georgia State House, as well as in the federal ranks. I understand the issue, I believe, from both sides. I've seen it from a range of experiences, working with "foreign" victims of crime, and from the legal system. I've seen it from the perspective of an HR manager in the workplace. I've seen it from the perspective of an educator. So, I'm pondering....pondering this verse, and my personal beliefs. I have no answers for myself, not yet.