Friday, March 29, 2013

I hope all my friends in Blogland have a blessed Easter Weekend. I am taking a few days off to celebrate the Resurrection with my family.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

 I am back after a sweet time  with my grands...exhausted but happy. Here is Mr Two year old. Love those sweet blue eyes.
 Landon and Margaret are best buddies.
 The older grands....
 Reading together. I do not know what I would have done without Kendall. She was a big help with the little ones. She read, played computer games with them and was just all around  a wonderful big cousin.
Da Boys...playing on the ipad. Landon was so sweet to Baylor. I think he enjoyed having another boy around.

Today we will celebrate Friend Deborah's birthday with a lunch at Olive Garden...then to church for Maundy Thursday Service!

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

 Since this is Holy Week, I wanted to share some Easter decorations this morning. My friend, Susan, sent me the picture of this Easter Craft. I was too late to start my grass this year but next year, I am hoping to make one of these with Kendall. You use the saucer portion of a clay pot for the base, add some dirt and pebbles. The Tomb is a small clay pot . Plant some grass seed in the dirt and add the crosses, easily made with small sticks. All that is left is a big rock...I was thinking I might paint, He is risen! on my rock when I do this craft. This would be great to do with children as it is so meaningful.
 Now, I did not make this little lamb, but I found it at Pier One last week when I went in there to kill some time while waiting on friends for lunch at nearby Steak and Shake. It is always dangerous for me to go to Pier One with a little money in my pocket. They had all their Easter things marked down 20% so I got a good bargain!  He is so sweet that I might just keep him out year round.
And these I did make! This was our Easter Craft in MOPs on Friday. If you would like to learn how to make them, check out my friend, Jenn at Sweet Tea Makes Three. She did a great tutorial this morning on this project. You can find her on my blog roll. And Jenn also does our MOPs blog, and you can see some pictures of the ladies in action making their Easter Eggs. That blog can also be found on my Blog Roll.

I will be MIA again tomorrow. I am going to have my Birmingham Babies with me overnight and then my Hartselle Honeys will be joining us tomorrow so Nana will be super busy. But you can bet there will be pictures of all my sweeties posted in the days to come!

Monday, March 25, 2013

 It was so much fun hosting a shower for a young bride in our church. Katlyn is the daughter of members of our Sunday School Class so we wanted to honor her with a special party.  The Sunday School Class ladies chose"An Antique Shower" as the theme. It was a dreary Saturday morning outside but warm and welcoming in the coffee commons of our church where we held the party. Don't you just love the little bride and groom salt shaker? One couple in our Sunday School Class collects salt and pepper shakers so we used all their bride and groom shakers.
 And this lovely Fostoria punch bowl belongs to another lady in our class. Isn't it just beautiful?
 Thanks to Carol for her decorating skills. Everything was just lovely. We also used antique bridge sets as our serving pieces.  We all got a chuckle out of the slot for cigarettes that is on the plate along with a section to be used as an ash tray. Back in the day, ladies smoked while they played bridge! Times have changed.
 The bride and her beautiful mom.
And the bride with her pretty mother in law to be, Laura. It was a sweet morning and memories were made that will be cherished in years to come.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Well I said I would be MIA today but here I am!! After a busy but fun morning hosting a shower, I am sitting with my feet up looking at all my favorite blogs. I had to post this picture that was taken of me and my two best friends here in Decatur.( I also have best friends in Chatsworth too!!) . It was such a good picture of the three of us that I had to share it today. Deborah is on the left, Susan in the middle and me on the end.  These ladies have seen me at my best and my worst and they are still hanging around with me!:) Every Thursday we have lunch together and we often talk during the week. When I needed helpers at the shower this morning, they were right there! What would we do without friends? I would hate to ever know...I am surely blessed in that department. And by the way, my two best friends in Chatsworth are Debbie and Linda....I have lots of cousin friends too but they have to be your Come to think of it, Linda and I are fourth cousins but we have been friends since we were little girls in Sunday School at Cool Springs Baptist Church. Debbie and I became friends in high school and we are still buddies. Then there are my nursing school best friends, my Oak Ridge best Friends and my Huntsville Best Friends.....too many to count!  Thanks to blogs and Facebook, I can keep up with all of them!

Friday, March 22, 2013

I will be MIA in Blogland tomorrow. I hope to get back to posting on Monday. As I told a friend yesterday, I am seldom THIS Busy!! But being a person with the curse of the competent, I must focus on getting the most important things done this weekend!!  Today is MOPs so I am off there first!! Have a great weekend friends.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

I have always been an Anglophile. I love all things British! It might be due to my Tankersley roots in Yorkshire, England! I was just reading an article about Queen Elizabeth taking a ride on the English Underground to celebrate it's 150th year. She was joined by Prince Phillip and the lovely Duchess of Cambridge. I think Queen Elizabeth is a role model for aging gracefully. I hope that I am as active as she is when I reach her age!  I was just saying to a friend the other day that when Queen Elizabeth dies I will really feel as though I am old! She has been on the throne since before I was born and has always acted gracefully and honorably in her service to her country. In one of her biographies, I read that she really sees it as a God Given position and has tried to serve both God and Country. Another reason I love Queen Elizabeth is her wide variety of hats and purses to match every outfit. Anyone who knows me knows that I love purses! And I do wish hats would come back into fashion. I think they are so lovely framing a woman's face.

And speaking of things British, I was sad to see that another old Britcom actor, Frank Thornton, passed away this week at age 92. You may remember him best as Captain Peacock on Are You Being Served. He was the last of the original cast of that program. Marvin and I enjoy watching the Britcoms. Some of our favorites are The Vicar of Dibley, Keeping Up Appearances, As Time Goes By, Waiting for God, To the Manor Born and Good Neighbors. We were introduced to them on our local PBS station as part of their Saturday evening line up. Due to recent budget cuts, they have been taken off the air. It is good that I have many of them on DVD so I can watch them whenever I want.  If you watch As Time Goes By, Marvin and I describe ourselves as Lionel and Jean. Our personalities and interaction as a couple are much the same as the Hardcastles!!

Well it is BFF Day and we are checking out the new Mellow Mushroom downtown today. Decatur is trying to revitalize the downtown  and they are counting on an Arts College and new eateries to breathe life into the area.  I hope it works! We do have a lovely downtown area and I would like to see it buzzing with activity!

Speaking of buzzing, I must buzz off...lots to do today!! Have a good one.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Happy First Day of Spring!! Here in Alabama, the Bradford Pears have burst into bloom with their white petals! As Landon and I drove to school yesterday, we were looking at all the beautiful flowers. Daffodils and forsythia are so cheery with their bright yellow blooms. We even saw a beautiful camellia bust that was almost covered in red flowers. Usually camellias bloom in February but this one was a late bloomer and so beautiful.

Landon and Kendall are out of school next week for spring break. They will be with their dad and stepmom most of the week but I will have them on Wednesday along with Margaret and Baylor. Cousins Day!! Baylor will be 2 on the 24th so we will have a little cousins party for him while he is here. I love having all my sweet grands together.

Right now I am in the midst of getting ready for a wedding shower the ladies of our Sunday School Class are hosting for a young woman in our church. It has been a long time since I have been to a wedding shower!! I know it will be fun.

Hoping for another beautiful spring day to enjoy today!! Happy Spring!

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

I received my Gooseberry Patch cookbook in the mail the other day! I got a complimentary copy as I have a recipe in GameDay Fan Fare.  My recipe is for Sausage Grits Casserole. I guess it is a good tailgating breakfast dish. Frankly, I have never tail gated in my life.( I know I am from the South where football reigns supreme but I only went to the games, did not have friends who invited me to tailgate).  Tailgating is a big thing all over the United States as fans gather at various campuses for game day. My friend, Deborah, told me about the amazing tail gating parties at Ole Miss. Deborah's daughter attended college there and Deborah says that the Mississippi fans go all out. They have elaborate table settings including silver service pieces and candlelabras.

Back to my recipe, I have shared it on my blog and it is a good make ahead breakfast dish. I got the recipe from my friend, Karen. She makes it frequently for our Sunday School Class on Sunday mornings. Looking through this cookbook, I see several interesting recipes to try out. Thanks Gooseberry Patch for my new cookbook!

Monday, March 18, 2013

 OOps...loaded this one by mistake and I am too lazy to start over as I am in a bit of a rush this morning!! I do like this picture of me and my honey.
 On our way home from Atlanta on Friday, we stopped in Bham to see our sweet grands. Of course, Nana always brings presents! Baylor loved his book.
 Even though the kiddos have an ipad to play with, they love my phone. I guess Nana has some silly games in addition to educational ones. They love Ben the talking dog!!
Margaret was being a bit of a phone hog but Baylor was right there watching her every move. It is amazing to me how these little ones already know how to work ipads and iphones. Baylor plays puzzles on the ipad like a pro!!  And I got a few "movies" of Margaret singing North Star and You Are My Sunshine. Love being a Nana.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Bright and early Friday morning, Marvin and I left Decatur, Alabama on our way to Decatur, Ga to have one last lunch at what has been "our place" since we started dating in 1975.  Marvin was a student at Georgia Tech and I was a student at Georgia Baptist School of Nursing when we met in the mid 70s. Everybodys was The Place to get a good pizza back then. And back in those days, Pizza,  Salad, Beer and Soft Drinks were the only things offered there. Over the years it has changed to include all sorts of sandwiches etc. But our favorite meal was the Everybodys Special...a thick homemade crust with all sorts of veggies and pepperoni piled high covered with cheese. When one of my Atlanta friends gave me the heads up that Everybodys was closing on March 19th...we knew we had to make one last trip to say goodbye to our dear friend. When we arrived, the place was buzzing. Our waitress told us that it had been like this since the announcement of their closing. I think there are a lot of people who will be sad to see it go. We settled in and ordered a large Everybodys Special and we got one to bring home as well. We intend to enjoy our pizza to the last bite!!  Marvin and I both noted that when we are at Everybodys we feel young once again. We go back in our minds to the people we were when we first met...then dated and finally married. We lived in Atlanta for about four months after we married before moving to Oak Ridge, Tennessee.  In those first newlywed days, we went to Everybodys once a week for supper. Over the years, when on our trips to Savannah, we would stop at Everybodys. We introduced all three of our children to this restaurant and Everybodys will always have a special place in our hearts. As C S Lewis so eloquently put it, Life is a series of partings. One thing I am finding as I get older is that you have to adjust and move on with the times. It is a part of life and while some sweet things may be taken away, there are always new places and people to get to know. Good bye Everybodys! It was nice knowing you.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Well I finished up The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making and I must say that it was a great adult fairy tale. It is written for tweeners but I am not sure that they would "get" a lot of the writing.  I plan to read the next book in the series, The Girl Who Fell Beneath Fairyland and Led the Revels There.  If you enjoyed The Wizard of Oz, Chronicles of Narnia and Alice in Wonderland, you will enjoy Ms Valente's tale of a girl named September.

And in my quest to try more Pinterest Recipes, I made a new one last night. It was a definite winner!!

Crock Pot Cube Steak
1 package of cube steak...about two pounds
2 cans cream of mushroom soup.( I am not a fan of cream of mushroom soup so I used Golden Mushroom instead)
1 packet of Lipton's Onion Soup
1 cup of water

The recipe calls for you to put the steaks in the crock pot, mix up the soups and water and pour this over the steak. My mother has made cube steak for years and she does hers a bit differently so I followed her advice. I dredged my cube steaks in flour and browned them in some oil on top of the stove. I just browned each side and removed them from the pan. Then I layered my cube steaks in the crock pot, pouring some of the soup mixture over each layer of steak. I think I had three layers total. Cook on Low all day long!! You will have some of the most tender cube steak you have ever put in your mouth!! A good way to use a cheaper cut of meat!!  I served it with mac and cheese and a salad but this would be very good with mashed potatoes as it makes its own gravy!

Off to have breakfast with the girls!! I will not be posting tomorrow morning as Mar and I are off to Atlanta to have one last pizza at our favorite place there...Everybodys Pizza at Emory Square.  We are crazy but we have to say good bye to another sweet memory!

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

"How wonderful is ritual, what a comfort in dark times!"

I loved this quote from The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making by Catherynne M Valente.  It is a book that is aimed at the middle school reader but I have to say it appears to be written to adults. Much of the humor and the satire is on an adult level. I have always enjoyed reading childrens books and when I heard of this one, I was intrigued. It is not a "fast" read but it is an interesting read!

Getting back to the quote, as I read this line last night, I underlined it in my book. ( Sometimes I cannot resist marking passages and I love to read books where another reader has marked certain thoughts. I think I gain insight into the person's inner life by the passages that they find meaningful.)  I found this comment on ritual so true!! I am a creature of habit and my husband is as well so we understand each other! Every morning, I like to do things in a certain order. If I get out of order, well  my whole day is just not the same!!:) When I sit down with my laptop after breakfast, I like to look at certain sites in a certain order!  I do think that ritual can be taken too far but it is so true that in "dark times" my daily rituals bring me order and peace.  Ritual helps us to function when life seems to be in chaos.  I think that is one reason why the English came through WW2 so wonderfully....they had their ritual of making tea and taking time out to be civilized in the midst of war.  One of my favorite scenes in the movie, The Lion The Witch and The Wardrobe is when Mr Tumnus takes Lucy to his cozy home and makes tea for her to have in front of the warm fire.  A little ritual to welcome Lucy to Narnia.

How about you? Do you have your own rituals that bring you comfort? I would love to hear about them!

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

 Here are three Grimm Men....Bill, Marvin and Harlan, first cousins! We had such a good time with the visiting Grimms. Marvin does not get to see very much of his dad's side of the family as they live UP NORTH. Bill and Sue live in Chicago and Harlan and Laurie live in the Minneapolis area.
 Here are all the couples, thanks to Harlan's tripod.
And one of me and Marvin in our living room. After visiting most of the afternoon we went out to Big Bob Gibson's for some southern BBQ. It sure was good to renew some family ties.

Monday, March 11, 2013

 We had a busy weekend so I did not post anything on Saturday! Our weekend started Thursday evening when we went to Landon's Spring program at School. He is our shy boy so we were proud of him for getting up on the stage and singing away!
 It is so fun to watch the little ones. As you can see they were all animals. Landon was a lion.
Here is Landon with hands on hips, ready to get the show on the road.  How the teachers get those little ones to stand on risers for almost 45 minutes is amazing to me.

Then on Friday we had MOPs. We learned about gardening and it was very informative. I may try to grow some tomatoes in a pot this year! Then on Saturday we hosted a mini Grimm reunion with some of Marvin's first cousins so we were on the go!! But it is fun having all these events to celebrate in our lives. Blessed!

Friday, March 8, 2013

 A few more views of Easter decor on this Friday! This is a pretty Fenton basket that my sweet husband purchased for me years ago. Inside are three ceramic eggs that my sister in love, Mina, made for our children when they were small. The blue egg is Ben's, the pink egg belongs to Amelia and the yellow egg is youngest son Charles'.
 The Basket resides on my tea cart.(At least until youngest grandson, Baylor, comes to visit and it will be put WAY UP HIGH out of his reach.:) I also have two chocolate bunnies(just pretend) that belonged to Mama G. Looks like that silver tray could use some polishing!  And below you can see my chandelier all prettied up for Easter.
It is fun to decorate for the seasons....I say I do it for the grands but really I like to do it for myself as well!! It makes for a merry heart!

Thursday, March 7, 2013

 Well we will just call it upside down day as my pictures loaded in the wrong order!! In my quest for new recipes, I tried another Pinterest main dish last night and I must say it was a winner!! The finished product is on top and doesn't it look pretty?
Here it is before it went into the oven.

The recipe is Alice Springs Chicken...similar to the dish served at The Outback Restaurant.  I served it with Rice Pilaf and Green Beans but it would be perfect with a green salad as well.

Here is the recipe!

Alice Springs Chicken
4 whole chicken breasts.( Pound them flat between two sheets of wax paper.)
Lowrys season salt
6 bacon slices
1/4 c French's mustard
1/3 c Honey
2 T mayonaise
2 tsp minced onion
1 c sliced mushrooms
2 c Colby Cheese....shredded

After pounding your chicken breasts, season them with season salt and place in fridge for 30 minutes. Cook bacon in skillet on stove top. Remove frome pan and crumble. Do not discard the bacon fat.
Remove breasts from fridge and fry in bacon fat...3 minutes on each side. Remove from pan and drain. Place chicken breast in 13 by 9 casserole dish.

Mix mustard, honey, mayo and onion together until well combined Brush on top of Chicken breasts. ( I used all of my sauce as my chicken breasts were large) The recipe states that you may have some left over to serve with the chicken. Layer mushrooms,bacon and cheese over the chicken breasts. I did not use two cups of cheese. I just covered the breasts and I had about 1/2 cup of cheese left over. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.  It is a really easy recipe but looks like you slaved for hours over it as it makes a beautiful presentation. I will add this to my Company Dishes!!

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

 Here are my sweet bunnies that are decorating my buffet.  They look so nice standing in front of my fake majolica plates. And you can see my shiny brass candlesticks standing nearby!
Another cold morning but hopefully the temps will climb into the 60s on Friday and Saturday just in time for Daylight Savings Time. I will be glad to have more hours of daylight! God was so good to give us seasons to enjoy.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

 I got out my Easter things on Saturday. I love all the pretty pastel and spring colors that perk up the rooms on a dreary day. My sister, Leta, gave me this little bunny when we were visiting Chatsworth last weekend. The pretty card is one that a sweet blog friend made for me last year. ( I love Bunnies) and the little lamb belonged to my late mother in law, Mama G. And in the background you can see one of my favorite pictures of my three when they were young.
 Isn't this little chick sweet? I found these at Hobby Lobby one year and now I wish I had bought more of them.
Here are the two I did purchase sitting on my kitchen hutch amongst my pottery.  I will be sharing more pictures of Easter decor this week as we enjoy the month of March. We are having some nice weather today...rainy but warm while tomorrow the weatherman is forecasting snow flurries. But by the end of the week we will have temps in the 60s!! Now that is my kind of weather!

Monday, March 4, 2013

If you loved The Help by Kathryn Stockett, then you should try The Dry Grass of August.  My friend, Susan, loaned me this book and I read it in two days. I could have read it straight through if I did not have a husband to take care of!! Set in the early 1950s, the book allows readers to get a glimpse of life during the Jim Crow period in the South.  As I was reading some of the background of this novel, I found that this is author Anna Jean Mayhew's first work and she is 70 years old. I am impressed and I hope she writes more books.

As the book opens, Paula Watts is packed up and ready to leave for a visit with her brother in Pensacola, Florida. Traveling along with Paula are her children, Estelle Annette(Stel), June Bentley(Jubie), Carolina(Puddin) and baby son, David. Paula's "help" is also going with the family. Mary Luther is a 46 year old black maid who has worked for the family for nine years. The story is told from the viewpoint of 14 year old Jubie. Jubie finds it hard to fit into her family. Stel is the golden child. Puddin is still cute and sweet and of course, the baby and only son, David, is adored.  Jubie also describes the life of a family whose patriarch is an alcoholic. Her father, William, seems to take most of his anger out on Jubie.  So Jubie is looking forward to a beach vacation at her uncle Taylor's house, far from her father. The trip to Pensacola is relatively uneventful. The Watts family eat many of their meals at Roadside parks to avoid the issue of seating Mary in a restaurant. Finding a motel along the road is another trial as many do not rent rooms to blacks. Jubie enjoys visiting her Uncle Taylor and cousin Sarah but she has her eyes opened to some sad facts about her father while on vacation. Little does Jubie know that this trip will change her life in so many ways. Soon the visit is over and the Watts family heads for Pawley's Island, South Carolina, where they plan to rent a cottage for a week of family vacation. Paula Watts is insistent on stopping in Claxton, Georgia to buy some fruitcakes. As they drive into Claxton with sixteen year old Stel at the wheel, their car is hit by a drunk driver. The damage to the car necessitates a stay in Claxton while it is repaired. This is where the trouble starts. Jubie is crushed by the events that take place in the small town but she shows fortitude in meeting her sorrow face on and doing the right thing. The characters and the theme of this novel will  linger in your mind, reminding you of the good and bad in everyone.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

 Ok, time to put away the Christmas Soaps and put out some Spring Soaps.  Bath and Body Works has all their pump soaps on sale right now 5 for $15 or 7 for $20. I love their soaps and they last for ever. In fact, I put some of my Christmas soaps in the upstairs linen closet to save for next year. I got Kitchen Apple with mint for my kitchen sink and it is very refreshing. Tangerine went into the downstairs bathrooms and Strawberry is upstairs in the Man Cave Bathroom. I had one left over to gift to someone as a Happy. So I think I got a good deal.
And while I was at the Mall I stopped by my favorite store, Pineapples, to pick up a flag for the back walkway. ( Our homeowners association does not allow flags in the front yards!)  We have an unsightly gas meter that greets us as we pull into the garage so a happy little flag helps me focus on the flag and not on the ugly meter. I know...I am crazy but it works for me. I chose the bunny because it can stay out through April. I love these cheery colors.

And March did come in like a lion here...there was a bit of snow on top of my hubby's vehicle as I went out to get the morning paper. Hopefully March will leave like a lamb!!

Friday, March 1, 2013

A prayer for all Homemakers...

God Bless my work today and grant that this home might be a place where peace will prevail and love will be Abundant.   Amen

I came across this prayer in the little devotional book, A Saint for All Reasons by Tim Muldoon. While I am not Catholic I enjoy reading of the various saints and why they are special examples to all Christians. Zita of Lucca is the Saint for Homemakers. Zita was a humble servant woman who looked at her job as a way to serve God.  She was much loved by the people of her village.

Some days, as a homemaker, I feel I am a hamster on a wheel....the same chores each week, the work that never seems to be completed and an unending stack of laundry in the laundry room.  But this simple prayer reminds me that what I do is important. It is the work that God has given me to do and I want to do it to the best of my ability to please Him.  God Bless All Homemakers with a peaceful and loving home.