Saturday, November 29, 2008


Ambrosia- Am-bro-sia ( Greek) - food of the gods, a Southern delicacy

In Mississippi, my Nonnie would cut up oranges. Lots and lots of oranges. Whoever could use a knife would volunteer to cut the oranges. I even remember my cousin Steve, who was only into watching and playing football, cut up oranges. His favorite thing about Thanksgiving and Christmas was the ambrosia!

Orange sections cut up, pineapple, coconut, pecan pieces, maybe a little sugar and a cherry on top. This is Ambrosia with a capital A! A Southern tradition in my family.

It could take all afternoon to cut up enough oranges to fill up the largest bowl we had, which was usually the top of the cake dome. This took time. And there were so many of us that we had to cut a lot, because it would disappears so fast! There would be trouble if anybody wasted a bite of their ambrosia. Take only what you can eat. It was like pure gold!

Your fingers will sting with the acid from the oranges and you will probably get a callous from the knife blade. But the reward is worth it! Ambrosia is delicious, but it really brings back the wonderful memories of everyone peeling oranges, visiting with each other, and sharing in the fruits of our labors!

Just taking that first spoonful of ambrosia up to my mouth reminds me of my sweet grandaddy having his first bite. Joy!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

O Turkey Day!, O Turkey Day!

How lovely are your trimmings!

First comes the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade,

Then come the Preparations,

Then comes the Turkey,

Then comes the dog show,

Then comes the nap,

Then comes the Cowboy's Football game,

Then it all starts over again with the Turkey and Trimmings!

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone! I am so grateful for YOU!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Oh How I Love Thanksgiving!

Oh how I love Thanksgiving!!

I love the holidays where you HAVE to see  your loved ones!  Valentines is nice, Easter is a Blessing, and the 4th of July is patriotic, but Thanksgiving and Christmas are my favorites!  It's when we plan on getting together with as many loved ones as we can.

This year we will be at the beach with Mom and Dad celebrating Thanksgiving.  Mom and Dad have been busy chopping, sauteing and grocery shopping.  It takes a little extra time for them to fix her famous Southern cornbread stuffing.

Savannah has been dying for a break.  The teachers have been piling on the studies and she is looking forward to not having to think for a little while.  She loves to crawl up on the top bunk and draw, draw and draw.

I look forward for walks on the beach and listening to music on the front porch swing.  

It is my hope and prayer that everyone that reads this has a wonderful Thanksgiving.  I am so grateful for all my family and friends!!  God bless!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Alabama is Beautiful!

Having been through Birmingham, Alabama numerous times along the expressway, I had never seen the beauty of the city before.  We just assumed it was mostly steel plants and factories. Well, Kimberly and I discovered for ourselves that there are a lot of beautiful little towns around Birmingham.  And everyone we met was so hospitable!

We arrived at the Birmingham Convention Center for the Junior League Christmas show sponsored by Southern Lady with no problem. Thanks to Bryan, Kimberly's son, for letting us borrow his Garmin GPS thingy, we didn't get lost.  We shopped for a couple hours, ate our breakfast there and got to hear Lord Wedgwood of Wedgwood pottery speak.  They gave away lots of ornaments of the jasper ware but Kimberly and I didn't snag one. 

After the Junior League Southern Lady show, we headed out for some cute local shops around the Birmingham area.  Homewood, Vestavia Hills and Mountain Brook.  Kimberly had the addresses, so we just punched in the Garmin the next place on the list.  'Harmony Landing' store was a favorite.  There is a picture below of a room with the most candles I have ever seen in my life.  The Christmas decor was out in full.

A lady at the convention center suggested  O'Carr's for lunch and it was delicious!  More shopping followed and then around 3:00 we started off for the hotel. On the way we were traveling past some beautiful homes and we saw a gate and thought it must be a private school or something.  Turns out it was the college campus of Samford University. We were both blown away at how beautiful the buildings were! 

The Ross Renaissance was gorgeous!  It is only three years old and it feels like you are in a remote spot in the mountains. It reminded Kimberly of the new Biltmore Inn.  At sunset a man played the bagpipes too, kilt and all. How enchanting!
Our room was right across from the Presidential Suite. I went up with the bell man with our luggage while Kimberly parked the car.  I asked the bell man if there was anyone staying in it. He said, "It's empty right now, would you like to see it?" I said yes and called Kimberly and she said she would be right there.  It was gorgeous!  Soaring ceiling, a beautiful view of everything, kitchen, lots of flat screens, a dining room, and best of all, a huge tub that the water fell from the ceiling to fill it up.  Very cool!

That evening we headed off to the spa downstairs for our massage and facial.  We got there a little early, changed into our robes and slippers and hung out and had tea, healthy little snacks and just relaxed. We both enjoyed our services. I think it might have been the best part of the day.  We tried out all their yummy lotions and the extra amenities they had out for us.  What a treat!

We headed back to our room, ordered a light supper in our room, chatted, giggled, chatted some more and before we fell asleep, we both agreed that it had been a FABULOUS and WONDERFUL day.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Harvard Loves Books

Harvey got busted this week.  Azalea likes bunnies and Harvard likes books.  He has a particular taste though.  He likes old, used, rare and antique books.

I bought Swan Peak on the remainder table for $4.98.  He doesn't like new books.  

He likes the books that have been somewhere, that have been in other peoples hands.  He wants to be part of the literary crowd.  I am so proud! But!! I do not like him to eat or chew on my books!
The most expensive book he got off the coffee table was a really OLD copy of Evangeline by Longfellow.  I had paid $80.00 dollars for it!  DH and Savannah were in charge of the dogs that night.  I was at a meeting or something.  You should of seen the look of panic on their faces. DH found another copy.  Harvey didn't eat the pages or the beautiful illustrations, so I hope to take it apart and frame some of the illustrations for my 'Longfellow' room. 
Oh, I am still reading Swan Peak.  


Holiday Reading

As the holidays draw near when I can read more in front of the fire at the cottage, I start a list of books I want to read and music I want to listen to.

I LOVE Christmas music and I definitely start listening to it on Thanksgiving day.  Here in Nashville, 94.1 starts Christmas music all day everyday until New Years.  I bought Loreena McKennitt's new Christmas CD and have heard that the last one she made was even better.  So that's on my list.

What I do is through the months, when I read a recommendation for a book, I will jot it down. Right now I have nine books and one CD on my list.  I will print that list out and go to the library to see if they have any of the books.  If they are not at the library, I will place them on my Amazon wish list.  I know a couple on this list are out of print and if they aren't at the library, I will have to do a search for a used copy.  

Here is my list (so far) :
CD- To Drive the Cold Winter Away-Loreena McKennitt

Cherry Cake & Ginger Beer: A Golden Treasury of Classic Treats-Jane Brocket

The Gentle Art of Domesticity:  Stitching, Bakery, Nature, Art & the Comforts of Home-Jane Brocket

Stitched In Time: Memory-Keeping Projects to Sew and Share-Alicia Paulson

The Last Duel: A True Story of Crime, Scandal and Trial by Combat in Medieval France- Eric Jager

The Country Gentleman- Fiona Hill

The Idylls of the Queen: A Tale of Queen Guenevere- Phyllis Ann Karr

Phantom-Susan Kay

Inkdeath (Inkheart)-Cornelia Funke

Murder on the Rocks (Gray Whale Inn Mysteries, No.1)-Karen MacInerney


Sunday, November 16, 2008

Busy, busy, busy!

Everything has been non-stop around here.

Thursday, Jodie and I hosted book group.  I fixed a yummy bread pudding with apples and craisins, while Jodie decorated and the group came to her house.  We had thirteen present and had a really good discussion.  We discussed Run by Anne Patchett and everyone enjoyed the book.

Friday I babysat Jax while his mommy had a doctor appointment.  DH picked Sav up and brought her over to Julie D's to spend the night with her while we went on our church adult retreat.

Friday and Saturday we were at the Paris Landing State Park.  It's always uplifting to get with a great group of people and study together. 

Today, Sunday was Savannah's first choral concert and they were fabulous and moving! Her Daddy teared up as usual with joy!

I wanted to make it to 'Christmas Village' this weekend some time, but that just didn't happen. But I am really looking forward to Kimberly and I heading to Birmingham on Thursday for our shopping trip.  Just one night, but just right for some fun visiting and Christmas shopping!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

From Plains to Franklin

Every Thursday morning our local paper 'The Williamson Herald' comes out.  I enjoy reading about what is going on in Franklin and the upcoming events.

My two favorite articles are written by my friend Cindy, the 'Cracked Pot Gardner', and William Carter, who writes a hilarious commentary.

William Carter is a Franklin city employee.  He has worked for the city for years doing things from landscaping to filling pot holes.  His talent is writing.  He writes about the crazy people in our county, makes fun of City Hall, and gripes about the ridiculous people who hurl insults at him when he and his crew have to set up orange cones and do road work, therefore ruining their day when they can't park where they want to.  He calls the ones who kick over his orange cones 'cone molesters'.  

I get so tickled reading his articles.  He calls his wife 'love weasel', his mother in law the 'Queen Bee', his dog 'Bear dog', swears he speaks to his dads ghost once a year and generally makes fun of SUV driving yuppies.  He reminds me of a Lewis Grizzard with family values.

Not many people know that William Carter is the son of Billy Carter of Plains, Georgia and the nephew of former President Jimmy Carter.  

Monday, November 10, 2008

Heard Last Night

Me-"Do you like the way my perfume smells? It's called Hespera."


Me-.......pause "No, Hespera!"

DH- "Oh....yea."


Sunday, November 9, 2008

Arm Chair Travelling

Since I was getting antsy to go somewhere, I thought I would go through the states and do some arm chair travelling and think about all the places I have been blessed to experience with DH and Savannah, Mom, Dad and Les when I was younger, in-laws and with my travelling buddies.  I'm sure I have left some places out. 

Alabama-Space & Rocket Center 
-                           Florida- Disney World  Destin Grayton Seaside 
The Grand Canyon                              Miami  Key Biscayne Fort Lauderdale
Sedona Phoenix Scottsdale

Hollywood                 San Francisco San Diego San Luis Obispo
Monterey Peninsula    Santa Monica  Santa Barbara La Jolla
The Pacific Coast Hwy     Napa Valley  Sausalito  La Costa Spa
Reagan Presidential Library  Bel Air Hotel  
Hotel Del Coronado

Georgia- Atlanta   Savannah Macon Reynolds Plantation  Augusta
                   Appalachian Trail                   Illinois- Chicago  Art Institute of
        Capitol Turner Field                                                            Chicago
    High Museum of Art   The Fox                          Wrigley Field    The Field Museum
    Warm Springs The Little White House       American Girl Place   Navy Pier

Kentucky-Louisville Speed Art Museum
Louisiana- The French Quarter    Cafe du Monde  The Garden District
  The Superdome
Maine- Kennebunkport    Monhegan IBoldsland  Bangor

Maryland-Annapolis  Baltimore
Massachusetts- Boston  The Freedom Trail  Fenway Park  Harvard  MIT  Navy Yard
Mt Auburn Cemetery  Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum   Museum of Fine Arts  Concord
Louisa May Alcott Home  Walden Pond  Longfellow's Home   Emerson's Home 
Nathaniel Hawthorne's Home   Beacon Hill  Cape Cod   Cambridge   Plymoth Plantation

Mississippi- Oxford Jackson  Natchez  Yazoo City Greenwood Greenville Coffeeville
Water Valley  Belzoni  Indianola  Mound Bayou  
Missouri-St. Louis
Nevada- Las Vegas   Hoover Dam
New Hampshire- Pickety Place  Manchester  Appledore Island
                                                                           Celia Thaxter's Garden
New Mexico-Carlsbad Caverns
New York-New York City Central Park Tavern on the Green  Empire State Building
Metropolitan Museum of Art Rockefeller Center Statue of Liberty Times Square
Yankee Stadium (saw Joe DiMaggio)  Harlem Grants Tomb Chinatown Little Italy SoHo
The Plaza World Trade Center  Broadway
North Carolina- The Biltmore  Asheville  Lake Lure Great Smoky Mtns  The Outer Banks
South Carolina-Charleston  Low Country  Kiawah  Hilton Head
North Dakota  South Dakota- The Badlands  The Black Hills   Mount Rushmore
Tennessee- Nashville  The Opry The Ryman  Memphis Graceland  Franklin The Peabody
Loveless Cafe  Blackberry Farm
Texas- Dallas Rockwall  El Paso to Juarez Mexico
Utah- Mormon Tabernacle Salt Lake City
Virginia- The Homestead  Shenandoah Valley  Colonial Williamsburg Mt Vernon
Washington D.C.- Jefferson Memorial Lincoln Memorial White House Capitol Treasury
  Arlington Cemetery Tomb of the Unknown Soldier Vietnam Memorial Smithsonian
West Virginia- The Greenbriar 
Wyoming-Jackson Hole Grand Teton National Park
                       Yellowstone National Park  Jenny Lake Lodge
Canada-New Brunswick   Prince Edward Island   Ontario Niagara Falls
Puerto Rico-San Juan  Bahamas- St. Thomas

I'll list my European travels next!



Saturday, November 8, 2008

Just One Winter

There is something about snow that really makes me want to live in New England.  I would like to experience a true Winter Season.  I would like to feel the cool crisp Autumn, watch the incredible colors of the leaves as they die and watch one season of Winter with snow on barren branches. I would like to trudge through a field blanketed with snow in heavy coat and boots.

I would like to see the moon over the snow covered forest.  I would like to hear an owl hoot at midnight, watch the smoke curl from the chimney.

Having lived my entire life in the South, I can not imagine waking up to snow every day.  I think I would enjoy the stillness of the landscape.  The quiet.  Small town beauty.  

My friend Clare lives outside Boston in a beautiful town near Concord.  She loves the first fresh snow, but is definitely over it by the time April rolls around and there is still slush on the ground. 

Just one Winter, by the fire, eating soup, wool socks, bringing in the logs, listening, experiencing how the New England 'er lives.  

Sounds like the perfect place to write a book.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Why is it....?

...that I don't mind doing the wash, but don't like to fold and put away?

...that DH and I can't stand the door between our bedroom and bathroom to be left open EVER?

...that I can't get into a bed at night unless it's made up?

...that every time I put fresh place mats out, somebody gets something on them at dinner?

...that I have more skin problems now than when I was a teenager?

...that there is nothing good to watch on t.v?

...that my car needs washing again?

...that Christmas stuff is out too early?

...that it is taking  me forever to read Katherine Neville's The Fire?

...that Azalea barks and Harvey doesn't at the neighbors dog every day when they take their walk?

...that I am getting antsy to go somewhere?

...that I think computers waste a lot of time?

...that it is hard to be positive all the time?

...that I have to smell lipstick before I buy it?

...that I don't wear hose anymore, only tights?

...that DH still denies that he snores loud?

...that I have such an incredible child?

...that I can't help but stick my finger in DH's mouth when he sleeps with it open?

...that I need to stop this and go fold my clothes?

...that I love fresh vacuum tracks?

...that my mailbox will not stay shut!

...that I dread going up to see Sav's room?

...that I get tickled in church when DH sings the wrong words loud?

...that DH is obsessed with Disney World?

...that I always get a guy at the checkout when I have the embarrassing stuff?

...that every time you walk out the door, you spend money?

...that I am probably going to get in trouble with DH for writing about him too much?

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

"With malice toward none,
  with charity for all,
with firmness in the right,
as God gives us to see the right."
                       -Abraham Lincoln

                  "It is not who is right that counts, but to be right."
                                                            -Rose Marie Morse

Monday, November 3, 2008

Azalea aka the Bunny Killer

                                MUG SHOT

Does this face look like the face of a bunny killer?  Well, it is.  

Last night she struck again. DH calls her a murderess.

If she just left them outside, I wouldn't freak so bad. They carry stuffed animals around and I just assumed this time as well. I know it is animal instinct and miniature schnauzers are known in Germany for catching farmers rodents, but she is just too cute to kill something else so cute!

I have always told DH that I should be on 'Survivor' or we should do the 'Amazing Race' together.  After cleaning up Azalea's trophy prize, disposing of it, getting the carpet cleaner out, lifting windows and washing her mouth out with a soapy rag, I hesitated.

And I had to pick IT up! Yuk!  I don't know if  I could hunt, clean and eat on Survivor.  I always said if I was hungry enough, I would.  But after last night, I'm just not sure. 

I think I'll just stick to 'Amazing Race' now.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Isn't Jax the Cutest Thing!?!!

Trunk or Treat Fun & Honors All Around

Holly as the Cat in the Hat with Thunder the sweet pony, aka Horton the Who

        Amy as  Cindy Lou Who and Savannah as Sleeping Beauty (in her moms Junior Prom dress) at Jeana's Petting Zoo at Trunk or Treat

                    Savannah checking out some make-up at 'The Cosmetic Market'

 Congratulations Savannah on being inducted into the National Honor Society!!! You Rock!
                                     (And congrats to Katie too!)

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Home is the True Wife's Kingdom

"Home is the true wife's kingdom.  There, first of all  places, she must be strong and beautiful.  She may touch life outside in many ways, if she can do it without slighting the duties that are hers within her own doors.  But if any calls for her service must be declined, they should not be the  duties of the home.  These are hers, and no ones's.

Very largely does the wife hold in her hands, as a sacred trust, the happiness and the highest good of the hearts that nestle there.  The best husband-the truest, the noblest, the gentlest, the richest-hearted--cannot make his home happy if his wife be not, in every reasonable sense, a helpmate to him.  In the last analysis, home happiness does depend on the wife.  Her spirit gives the home its atmosphere.  Her hands fashion its beauty.  Her heart makes its love. And the end is so worthy, so noble, so divine, that no woman who has been called to be a wife, and has listened to the call, should consider any price too great to pay, to be the light, the joy, the blessing, the inspiration of the home.  

Men with fine gifts think it worth while to live to paint a few great pictures which shall sing themselves into the ears and hearts of men.  But the woman who makes a sweet, beautiful home, filling it with love and prayer and purity, is doing something better than anything else her hands could find to do beneath the skies."

                                                               -J.R. Miller

Leslie's Stir Me Up

Sometimes when Leslie comes up she likes to see what music Savannah and I have been listening to.  Savannah does the I-tunes thing and has lots of neat things.  I still tend to like to have the CD in my hand.

Anywho, Les had heard this song on the radio and kept trying to sing it for Savannah so it would help to find it.  

Les said it had 'Stir me up' in the words and kept singing that over and over.  I was downstairs while they were up on her computer.  That night after the kids had gone to bed, Les, DH and I were trying to decide what movie we would watch and a commercial comes on.  It's Rhianna with her hit song 'Disturbia'.  Les starts yelling 'That's it! That's it!  

Well, the next morning Les told Savannah that it was 'Disturbia', not 'Stir Me up' and Savannah thought that was hilarious too. Cool song with a 'senior' moment.