Love deeply. Laugh. Cry. Talk to God. Be realistic about the to-do list. Stay in touch. Hug. Dream. Smile. Break Bread often with Family. Spend Time with your Girlfriends. Shop til you Drop! Extend Grace. Be Quick to Forgive and Slow to Anger. Walk. Breathe. Sing. Dance. Read. Eat Chocolate. Savor a Good Glass of Wine. Wiggle your Toes. Sleep well. Life is Good!

Monday, November 28, 2011

Deliberate, ritual motions maintain an easy order.
Easier than wrestling order out of invading chaos.
The most important work you and I will ever do
will be within the walls of our own homes.

Harold B. Lee

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Southern Snow

I walked out to retrieve the mail and a couple of packages the afternoon before Thanksgiving and felt such an indescribable peace while standing ankle deep in Oak and Tulip Poplar leaves.  I stood there listening to the sound of Fall rustling leaves and watching them scamper along the driveway in the breeze, banking against the tires of the family SUV (Hey! Go after the jet fuel and government waste before you send me hate mail.  Just sayin).

And then it happened.  Though it's 70 degrees out.  The first Southern Snow occurred.  So, Saturday afternoon, having spent an hour or so relocating a maple and getting my fig tree in the ground, I turned to the chore of "plowing" a path in the back yard, banking up the second "snow" since we're expecting rain again tonight.  I thought it would be best to get out there and tackle the issue before it turned into a compacted mess. I accomplished mulch much! Well, at least there is a visual path.

The week before we had a light dusting occur.  Fortunately, I was relieved of that laborious chore and averted to more pleasant tasks by the arrival of the lawn guys.  Their super duper trusty whirly compost mower made it disappear!  When I do manage to beat them to it, I use it as mulch in the garden.  Hey!  I am recycling!  Does that get me any points?

Yes, that is our Southern Snow.  A seasonal occurrence.  At least it is in my yard.  The droppings (if you will) of the Bald Cypress aka Taxodium distichum.  I have an ongoing love/hate relationship with that tree.  It's beautiful ... both the lush green of the summer and the blazing orange of fall. The squirrels love it's fall bounty.  Those pesky things.  Both the squirrels and the seed nuts, which they crack and drop onto the ground and driveway, which in turn the dogs romp in, which in turn spots their furry coats with sap, which in turn can eat into their flesh if not washed out regularly.  And they hurt your feet (even with shoes on).  Ugh.  And then there are the knots, or, I think a more politically correct term is knees.  They are everywhere.  My husband seasonally cuts them flush with the ground to keep his dear wife from turning another ankle or tripping over them.  I'm not as gracious as most southern belles.
Fall color and those pesky seeds

This isn't a pic from my yard, but not an exaggeration.  This is mild!

She is a fine old tree. We planted her about 25 years ago and she towers over our home, her roots encompassing the entire back yard. I'm not kidding! Those knots are everywhere! We've watched her bend during hurricanes and held our breath, knowing that if she fell, the entire yard and all the decking would likely go with her, because of the massive root system. All that said, when I look up into a bright blue sky, I long for the first hint of fresh spring growth on that old tree, and the grand Summer shade she offers ..... followed again by the first "snow" of the season in the fall.  It's the big little things.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Melissa and Doug Dollhouse!

Every now and then I fall in love with another blog! 
The link below is the particular page that sparked
my desire to share it with my readers!  After reading the post
"Does Your Home Serve You or Do You Serve It",
I declared I couldn't have said it better!  Enjoy!

It would be so easy to find myself grumbling as I pick up these boots day after day. It would be easy to mutter something half under my breath but just barely loud enough for my husband to hear...\

...something about the coat closet only being ten feet away.
...something about how I just cleaned this floor yesterday.
...something about how I already have enough to do.

Something I can't take back.

But this pile of muddy boots and floor is so much more than that. It is a symbol of something precious. I don't want to ruin it.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Favorite Things Friday!

Here are a few of my
favorite things photos!

Pappa's Home!

Dad loves his girls!

Know wha I'm sayin?!

Lindsay and my Mom

Small Child!

Jen and Tyler

Christmas 2010

Wedding Day

Tu Tu Cute!

First Met!

My Petie!

"The individual has always had to struggle
to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe.
If you try it, you will be lonely often, and
sometimes frightened. But no price is too high
to pay for the privilege of owning yourself."
(Friedrich Nietzsche)

Thursday, November 24, 2011


Keller in the kitchen rockin' to the
Ooby Dooby with Roy Orbison!
Ok, so it's only gonna be four days
that she'll be gone!  I got lucky Wednesday
afternoon and snagged her for a couple of
hours before they left for Thanksgiving!

We chased shadows and blew bubbles on the back porch
til we decided to crank the radio up and do
some Pre-Thanksgiving calorie burnin!

I so wish the 'lectric guitar shot would have come out!

Chicken 'n Dumplins
(my favorite Thanksgiving side!)

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

It's Thanksgiving Eve.

I'm suddenly thrown into doing the preparing
instead of being the guest. 
I won't complain!  It's the kind of rush I thrive on!
And whether you're celebrating the holiday
with 21 or 3, it's still a celebration!

It's the pits not feeling well during a holiday. 
We cancelled our road trip to visit with
family in North Mississippi. 
No pickin' and grinnin' in our holiday this year. 
No Aunt Jenny's Dressing
No Annabelle's Chicken on arrival. 
No beautiful music from Chapman on the piano. 
No belly laughs following Uncle Carl's jokes. 
No Chicken Train
No shopping at The Sanctuary

This also means if we have any semblance
of a Thanksgiving meal, well, you know ....
if it is to be, it is up to me
Be advised! There will be short-cuts! 
I suppose the bright side is we will have leftovers
There are no leftovers when you travel for Thanksgiving. [sigh]

I'm already missing my Keller Bug. 
 I won't see her again til Monday. 
That's FIVE days, people.  Five.

Ok, gotta change directions and head out to the market. 
Maybe when she finally gets outta bed
Lindsay will be inspired to help with
preparing Thanksgiving sides.  Maybe.

Speaking of inspiration, I'm beginning to feel
some after peering into the pantry and seeing
all those quart jars lined upwith green beans,
new potatoes, sweet potatoes and apples! 

Only need to add a turkey breast,
a pan of Carrington's Dressing, (I did say "short-cut")
Aunt Jenny's Shortcut Dumplings,
some Collards from the garden,
devilled horseradish eggs,
and move bread day to tomorrow.  We're set!
Now, I just have to wave my wand over it all!

It will all come together, complete with centerpiece!
And, deserts.  Oh My!  Another list!
Just you wait and see!  I can do this!
First order of business:
Go to the pharmacy and inquire about
prescription strength Quafenisen.
Gotta dose us both and break up
this lingering congestion.
Enough already.
It's the holidays, for Pete's sake!

Remember!!!  In all things, Give Thanks!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Miscellany Monday

I'm re-reading The Mitford Series by Jan Karon. It's been over 7 years since I first read these stories (lost everyone of her books when our home flooded and so far, I've reacquired all but one!) and now it's like visiting with old friends. It refreshes my spirit to "hear" Father Tim speaking again about the comings and goings of Dooley, Uncle Billy and his neighbor, Cynthia Coppersmith, as well as the happenings in and around the village, his church, The Local and the patients he visits when he makes daily hospital rounds. I've decided to ramble a bit and share some of my faves from the first book .... At Home in Mitford.

1.  Telling a lie is like eating peanuts.  One leads to another. 
(Father Tim to Dooley)

2.  The Holy Spirit tenderizes the heart. 
(Father Tim re "the man in the attic")

3.  The more things you own, the more you are owned by things. 
(Homeless Hobbs)

4.  If you keep your eyes on the Christians, you will be
disappointed everyday of your life. 
Your hope is to keep your eyes on Christ.

5.  Don't get so worn out from being useful that you become useless. 
(Absalom Greer)

6.  [being down-to-earth about Heavenly things [is]
having a practical relationship with God. 
(Father Tim re: his neighbor, Cynthia)

Link up with Lowercase Letters for Miscellany Monday here!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

It's the Pith!! Who Knew?!!!

During last week's process of a multitude of satsumas and lemons gathered from my neighbors' tree, I saved a couple gallon size bags of peels.  I forgot I had the satsuma peels in the fridge, which were supposed to be part of the attempt to make marmalade. Oy vey! 

Anywho!  I pulled all those peels outta the fridge Saturday morning.  I stacked the Meyer lemon peels and sliced them into thin strips .... very thin skinned, so they didn't have much pith at all.  Then I tackled the Satsuma peels.  They had a LOT of thick pith.  So, with my trusty serrated grapefruit spoon in hand, I set out to scrape the pith off.  Surprisingly easier than I thought.

After I took a retail therapy break (!), I stacked and sliced the peels into thin strips.  Onto the dehydrator it all went for an overnight spa treatment!  I think I ended up with 7 trays total! 

But wait!  That's not all!  While I was cleaning the kitchen I picked up the bowl full of the scraped pith to throw it in the trash.  I hesitated and paid a visit to Google.  I found out the most nutritious part of the orange is, second to the juicy Vitamin C .... guess!  The pith!  That bitter white webby stuff.  Who knew?  So, I thought .... hmmm, I thought.  I piled it onto the last dehydrator tray and stacked it with the rest of  'em.  I'll throw these into the food processor and make a fine powder to sit along with the blueberry powder and beet powder to put into smoothies!  Go Me, Go!  

Dehydrated Pith waiting its turn to be pulverized.
After 12 hours because I didn't get out of bed at 1am to check, everything was completely dried and went into the food processor in batches: lemon peel and Satsuma peel.  The pith will get its turn tomorrow.  Each of the other were processed into powders.  I ♥ my Cuisinart, but the coffee herb grinder was tougher and took on the job like a pro!  Now, I have citrus powder to use in those recipes that call for such and which I nevah, evah have on hand (and, don't forget smoothies!).  Yes!  I have that Stepford Wives grin on my face!!

So during all the dehydrating frenzy, I pulled several bags of frozen veggie pulp from the freezer.  Remember when I was juicing a couple of months ago?  I just knew there would be something I could do with this pulp eventually!  I thawed it and dehydrated it.  It's waiting to be pulverized into a fine flour for thickening soups or stews.  I've done the research!  This kind of stuff is expensive to purchase thru organic food sources.  I'd already been tossing it into beans and stews from the freezer ... with good results!  I also have fruit pulp in the freezer.  Imagine a fine powdery fruity flour that can be added to cake or muffin batter.  Oh!  The possibilities!

The assortment of dried peppers below look like

Christmas tree lights before grinding.
They are so beautiful, I may only grind on an as-needed basis!


And, YES! the marshmallows!  Yum!! 
A handful of these crunchy bits
is good for a sustained sugar buzz!

Gimme a holla (leave a comment)! 

Saturday, November 19, 2011

When you do things out of necessity, it's a good thing when you enjoy doing it. Necessity, in this case, is hunting season has arrived and the freezer needs cleaning out.  Unfortunately, using things up from the freezer means not putting cooked food back in the freezer.  Kinda defeats the purpose.

So, the first thing out was 15#s of ground venison.  Yep!  15 p-o-u-n-d-s.  What to do with it?   Can it, obviously.  But, this meant I had to make more room in the (heavy duty) pantry - the one with the good wood non warp shelving.  Which means more pantry items go into the studio.  I told a friend this week that my studio is beginning to resemble a general store.  The upside is I can see what I have and it's not buried in the deep dark recesses of the pantry. 

and that's only the spaghetti sauce!

I pressure canned spaghetti sauce and chili w/beans ('cause that's how we roll around here!).  Later (next month or as the Great Hunter sees the necessity) I'll make stew with all the stew meat and pressure can that.  The remaining studio space is feeling a little threatened.  Oh my!  It's exhausting.  But, in a good way!

Then ... (there's always a then) I will deal with all the oranges.  Before Thanksgiving!  Aye Yi Yi!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Recipe Swap Yummies!

Not just for Thanksgiving ...

"Yummy Bells"
If y'all stuffed peppers,
you're gonna go ga-ga over these!
You can, of course use any peppers,
including, but not limited to,
(that's the legal-ese coming out!)
banana peppers, jalapenos, cubanelles,
whatever you have on hand!

Here's the stuffing recipe
(Sorry I didn't get a pic of the stuffed ones,
but, they were eaten pretty quick!)

Equal amounts of cream cheese,
gorgonzola, feta plus as much crumbled,
cooked bacon as you desire!
Heck!  Add anything you want!
Next time, I'm adding smoked gouda!
Allow the cheeses to come to room temp
making them easier to combine.
I used a baby spoon to get the filling in, 
(plenty of those around here!)
pressing it into the pepper cavities,
 after cutting off the top and scooping out
the seeds (easier with a serrated edge 
grapefruit spoon!).  Don't pile it high
above the edge 'cause it's gonna melt!

Put 'em on the grill (while the rib eyes are cooking!)
or a little before if you want them as appetizers!

These live up to their name!
(They are so going on my garden list next spring!)


This little baby is very handy for grilling peppers!
I know you want need one!

Here's the link to a recipe from a follower of my blog! 
I ♥ Navy Beans and can't wait to try this
one on our next chilly night!

Mel’s Mom’s Navy Bean Soup

Here's the link to Mel's blog!

Mel's Baking Site

Thursday, November 17, 2011

er, uhm ... busy pinning! 
Will blog tomorrow!

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