Thursday, December 31, 2009

Claire is Seven

On 12/31/02 at 3:39 in the afternoon, Claire Allison Horton was born. She was feistier than her sister since birth. She always was known what she wanted--and when she wanted it. She is quiet and chooses a few friends to confide in. She is kind and loving. An example of this was yesterday when we went to the Zoo. She handed me a dollar and a dime she had brought from home. She handed it to me to help pay her way. I donated it to the zoo. It was such a sweet gesture--and so Claire.

It is hard sometimes being younger. Sometimes Claire wants to do everything Delaney can do. She can get frustrated and likes to figure out things for herself, which is a challenge. I admit, I don't like asking for help either. I can see a lot of myself in Claire.

Claire completed our family. Happy Birthday Claire! I am glad you joined us seven years ago! Life would not be the same without you.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Watch Out for Throwed Rolls, A Cautionary Tale of Lambert's and Running

I logged on my first two miles in my new shoes. First half a mile about killed me, I had just eaten at Lambert's and started too fast. My stomach had about half a throwed roll too many. I walked back to the house, waited a few hours for the next mile. This time I took a more leisurely pace and was not at all ill feeling when I returned.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

To Track my SLOOWW pace

My sweet hubby bought me a nike + for me to use to measure my walk/jog/runs. I have been curious about these for a while. I like data for some reason. I think this has rubbed off from all the years I have been married to Josh.

These are my new shoes. I scored a great deal at the Nike outlet store. They are made for the Nike+. They were discounted because they were the display model. They were an extra 30% off. I think they ended up less than $30. Not too bad for shoes that I see online for $90-$100. They fit great, which is the most important thing. On a funny note, I have to mention I bought a matching magenta colored shirt. I gotta match!

Here's to some great running in 2009. I did manage to sneak in about 5 miles a few days ago.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

In An Act of True Generosity

My dad bought me the Ted Kennedy Memoir. To say that my dad wasn't a fan of Ted Kennedy would be an understatement. He once told me he wouldn't walk across the street to see Rudy Giuliani. I am sure, he wouldn't have walked next door to see Ted Kennedy.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Some of my cool gifts

I had a great Christmas. We had tacos for dinner, keeping with tradition. The girls have enjoyed playing with their toys. Josh has played his Rock Band. My dad was thrilled by his new boots. A Merry Christmas was had by all.

Josh bought me this make up set. I have already been playing with it.

My dad bought me these awesome boots. I think it seemed appropriate that I bought him boots too. After all, my dad has always worn boots. I have in recent years jumped on board, but I love my boots. These are beautiful. I love them!

I have learned so much about bread. I hope to keep learning perfecting my breads. This book is so interesting. I can't wait to bake more bread.

Merry Christmas everyone!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas

Where has life taken me? I could answer—far away from my childhood home of Festus, MO. I am far away from most of you my family and friends.

During the holidays, I reflect on those memories growing up in Festus. The friends and experiences shared in college in Cape Girardeau. I remember the first years of marriage in our apartment in Rolla. We moved to Madison, Alabama a few days before Christmas ten years ago. Since then, there have been many Christmas memories. Newborn babies, ice storms in TN, and many more stories to tell from the Gulf Coast.

Merry Christmas, Alabama, by Jimmy Buffett

Merry Christmas to my saints and guardian angels
Who protect me as I roam
'tis the season to remember
All the faces
And the places that were home

Guess my life's moved at near light speed
Since I started this wild and crazy run
Such a long way from that first birthday
Merry Christmas, everyone
'tis the season to remember
No we're never far from home
Merry Christmas, Everyone

This Christmas, I am remembering all the faces and the places that were home. Each one of you is a memory of home. I have been fortunate to have experiences home in many places. I am grateful for home and the riches of friends this Christmas.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Because Quincy Asked :)

Friends who call to make sure I know that a book club book story line is a Mother dying of breast cancer.

Friends who give me an autographed book made out to Lynnea from my favorite author.

Friends who make me laugh.

Friends who come to my parties and even bring food to help.

Friends who teach me new things, like grinding wheat and baking breads.

It's been a great year for friends.


Somehow, I have managed to acquire friends who amaze me at times. This is one of those times.

Thank you friends.


Wednesday, December 16, 2009

One More Day...

Until Christmas Break! I can't wait.

On Monday, I am beach bound.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Nine Years Ago Today

I was thrilled when Dr. Belmont told me to meet him at the hospital the next morning to have this baby!

Sweet Delaney was born at 12:46 in the afternoon on 12/12/2000. She was 6 pounds 11 ounces.

My dear friend Mary visited us. She was pregnant with Serena at the time. I told her, It hurts--bad. I still remember saying that. I don't know what I was thinking, I guess I was thinking about the pain.

J. T. and Angela have been there for just about all our big events. Life has had many adventures in the past nine years. I can't imagine what great things the next nine will bring.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Tis the Season...

To be BUSY. Perhaps too busy, but a lot of fun along the way.

Merry Christmas.

Saturday, December 5, 2009


AHHH...I dislike busy days. Don't get me wrong, I love to do things. I just don't like to HAVE to do things. Today has already been filled for me by HAVE to dos. I can't wait until the HAVE to things are finished and I can do the things to want to do.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Latest Bread

Peanut butter bread, it is a quick bread using baking powder. It was in a bread machine cookbook I found at the library today. It looks good. I haven't tried it yet.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Christmas Fluff

Oh I am guilty of loving the Christmas Fluff. This is a made up term I just created.

I love The Grinch.

Trim up the tree with Christmas stuff
Like bingle balls, and whofoo fluff
Trim up the town with goowho gums
And bizilbix and wums...
Trim up the tree with bizilbix and wums

I love Rudolph. I especially love the Rankin-Bass Rudolph. I decorate my home with a lot of Holly Jolly Christmas inspired fun. It better be Burl Ives.

Have a holly jolly Christmas
It's the best time of the year
I don't know if there'll be snow
But have a cup of cheer

I have a weakness for Charlie Brown Christmas. I don't think they are quite as fluffy since Linus does read the Christmas Story.

I just love Christmas. I love the movies, I love the treats, I love the joy Christmas brings. Sometimes, I find happiness in the innocence of the little things. Happy memories of my childhood.

Merry Christmas--remember to make time for some fluffy.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Thanksgiving 2009

In the little items, I am thankful for shoes. Of course, I am happy they protect my feet from life's hazards. I am thankful for the fun of shoes. The joy of finding a cool pair and the bliss of wearing awesome shoes. I am wearing a cool pair of clogs today, and I wore my beautiful boots yesterday.

I am going to pack a few pairs and enjoy a wonderful holiday with my family.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Ode to the Awesome Sales Clerk at Belk

I was there early. I found both girls Stride Rite black dress shoes. On sale for 40% off, there was a coupon in the paper for an additional 20% off. I forgot it, but the wonderful sales clerk had one for me. I was thrilled. My girls are hard to fit for shoes, one in particular. These are perfect.

To the young man working at Belk Men's Shoes Dept. Your helpfulness and pleasant attitude did not go unnoticed. I hope you had a wonderful day.

Of course...

Josh is now sick.

Delaney is still weak.

Claire and I are better.

I am bored.

Raccoon and Opossum have been caught, no skunk yet.

Good times for our household.


Thursday, November 19, 2009

I gotta go where it's warm...

but when it's not, I am going to wear my Jimmy Buffett concert shirt scarf. I made this while home with my sick daughter. I was so excited to finish it this morning.

Ah, Beach House on the Moon Tour, we were living in KC having a glorious time. I was getting my teaching checks and Josh was getting paid well as a CO OP at Sprint. We listened to MANY online broadcasts of the summer's tour and went to St. Louis to see the concert. I loved that album at the time. I really loved "I will Play for Gumbo" and "Oysters and Pearls".

I know it sounds silly, but each of these shirts have such great memories. My favorite for years was a yellow v neck bought in Key West at The Margaritaville Store on our honeymoon. Several months into our dating, we went to The Banana Wind Tour. Memories of concerts when I was pregnant, or the first time I left one of the girls over night, from dating, honeymoon, babies, and so on, Jimmy Buffett music has been the soundtrack.

The shirts are worn and honestly, not all that fashionable for my daily life. I am in love with my new scarf. It may not be runway material, but it is perfect, well perfectly flawed--but full of happy memories.

Smelly Situation

We have a smelly problem here at my house. Skunks. Yep, one seems to like to sneak in an opening around the heat pump. He gets under the house, and it seems was startled and sprayed. Josh and I smelled the most terrible smell a few night ago, of course it was about 11 pm. Terrible doesn't do it justice. It made me feel sick it was so bad.

Yesterday, a critter guy came and confirmed skunks. He set up two live traps and sealed off all but one place, so he wouldn't get trapped inside. This morning, we have something in the outside trap--a opossum. I need to go check the other trap. I guess it's good to move this guy, although he doesn't cause the stink of the skunk.

It's always an adventure around here.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

So guess what?

Claire went back to school today.

I got a call from school.

Delaney is now home with a fever.

I have a surprisingly good attitude about the whole thing.

AHH, oh nevermind the last sentence. :)

Monday, November 16, 2009

What Me Worry?

I worry.

I come from a long line of worriers.

My mom was a worrier, her sister is a worrier, well you get the picture.

I don't want to be a worrier.

I don't want my girls to be worriers.

Why do I worry?

I really don't know.

Help me get over this.

Tell me to stop if you hear me worrying.

If you are a prayer, pray that I stop worrying.

I am ready to stop being so controlled by worry.

Sunday, November 15, 2009


We are still in the midst of illness here. Claire has a fever still (although I am hopeful this may be the end) and cough. After a full week of blah, I am mostly better. I am still weak and headachy.

There has been little dining of any quality since this all began. We have been sustaining ourselves, but with a sick Mom and then a sick kid, it's not anything great. Friday, I did bake a really good loaf of honey wheat though. It was my most beautiful loaf of honey wheat yet. That is one of the bright moments of the past eight days.

Josh and Delaney have managed to stay well, I hope it stays that way.

Monday, November 9, 2009


Wow, this website is full of great recipes. They aren't kidding when they call some of them no fail. I love the sandwich and toasting bread.

I hope to be up and baking soon.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Where have I been?

I was sick (cold).

I was better (for about three days).

I am sick (virus with flu like symptoms that is not the flu, according to the doctor).

Saturday, October 31, 2009

I win

Today at our Fall Fest at church I won the prize. The prize I didn't want. The volunteers names were put into a drawing to throw a pie in the face of one of our ministers. I didn't want to win this prize. So, of course mine was the name drawn. Thankfully, since I have terrible aim--I was able to just go up and push it in his face with out throwing.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Cold (or the like)

I have been visited by some cold (or some sort) of germs. They have left a stuffy head, running nose, sneezy, rather grumpy person. Sadly, that person is me.

In working on a final touch to Delaney's Hermione costume--the hot glue gun broke. I heard the trigger plastic snap. I figure that is not a good sound. Happily, it was on the final squirt of hot glue. No made dash to a craft store is necessary.

Back to my squeezing and blowing (ugh).

Monday, October 26, 2009

Favorite Kind of Places

After work this afternoon, I stopped at the library. Where I placed a new book on hold, that I have been wanting to read desperately. It was at another branch of the library.

I stopeed at a thrift store, my favorite The Hanger, and found a huge stack of Mailbox Magazines. Some were even Preschool/Kindergarten editions. I chose 8 of the Preschool ones. I had found a Weight Watchers newer cookbook. Grand total for all of those things was $1.

All of this makes up my kind of good time.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Experiment with Corn

Here is the finished product. It is delicious. From seeds planted in June to cornbread in October. Can't get much fresher than that.

Here are the kernels in the mill. It ground them powder fine easily. One ear of corn produced about two and a half cups of cornmeal--or enough for two pans of my cornbread recipe.

Here is my new toy. My nutrimill came last Friday, but in the whirlwind of life, I haven't had time to use it until yesterday. Now, I am wondering what else I can grind.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Field Corn

My dad is coming to visit. He has a friend who let him get corn from his field. He told me he is bringing me 150 ears. I am curious if I can grind it into corn meal. From what I have been reading online, I can.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

What a Guy

About 13 years ago, I met this guy. It happened to be on his 21st birthday. We lived in the same residence hall at Southeast Missouri State--Myers Hall. Never did I imagine knowing him would change my life forever.

Somehow, my twenty year old self was at the right place at the right time. And those who knew us then, I knew I kept on being at the right place at the right time. I happened to walk by his door often--and he frequently kept his door open. Somehow, it worked for us and I wouldn't change a thing.

Happy Birthday Josh!


Monday, October 19, 2009

Rye Bread #1

Is awesome. My first attempt at rye. I didn't have any brown sugar, so I used molasses. I can't believe how perfect it turned out.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Spice Drops

I love them. They are near the top of my favorite things. Ummm.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009


We are redoing our half bath. We purchased a pedestal sink and a new toilet last night. The two hundred dollars more than the others was my top choice, but the salesman told me that a much cheaper one had all the same features. It is after all a toilet.

All of these new things are sitting in rather large boxes in my kitchen. Josh thankfully put the old toilet he took out in the backyard for now. I don't want to be those neighbors with a toilet in the front yard.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

A Decision (finally)

I have spent way too many hours reading reviews and asking opinions on the subject. I know features and warranty information. I was tormenting my friends with endless questions on the subject. I narrowed it down to two and settled after much internal conflict. I was ready to make a decision and this is it...

True to his reputation, my dad thought it seemed like a fun endeavor. He called after reading the blog post about grain mills. It is a fun adventure learning to bake bread. I am hoping that grinding wheat and other grains will add to this adventure. I have learned so much in the past few months.

Update: I can't believe the UPS tracking says it is already in Nashville. It is to be delivered on Friday!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Oh My NOLA (II)...

Heaven on earth (maybe), beignets and cafe au lait. It's my coffee with chicory. I say my because, most of you know I gave up most coffee several years ago. I make a few exceptions and chicory is always one of them. Top of my list of food favorites.

I went on a walk while Josh and the girls were swimming one afternoon. I used my phone to take these pictures of St. Louis Cathedral. It is beautiful. I managed to just barely make it back to the room before a down pour. The clouds were pretty neat in the background.

Andrew Jackson the namesake for Jackson Square. We stay at Palace d'Armes. It is the location of a school in the late 1700s. It has a beautiful courtyard and is only a block from Jackson's Square which is ideal. I love being able to walk easily to many things and a block from Cafe du Monde doesn't hurt.

It was a great Fall Break. It is a long drive. After about two hours there, Josh and I both thought it was worth it. It seems like a whole other world from home. It's nice to be able to run away for a few days, and it's always nice to come back home.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Oh My NOLA...

I love New Orleans. I really mean LOVE.

I once gave a rambling description involving my love of New Orleans. Was it due to the strong Mississippi River presence in my childhood? Is it the trace amounts of the Old Muddy Mississippi that run through my veins? I do love the Mississippi River. I followed her downstream to Cape Girardeau for college. I've settled far from home, but in an instant The Mississippi brings back all the fond times. I have no childhood home to show my children, but we can marvel at the grandness of The River.

There are happy New Orleans memories. My first visit with Josh and Rebecca (my sister in law) the summer before we married. Josh and I went for fun weekends without the girls when they were very young. Two years ago, we went with the girls. Preservation Hall, Satchmo Festival, I've heard some fine music. Of course, I do love to hear "The Saints".

There is no food like NOLA food. Jambalaya, gumbo, red beans, po boys, beignets, chicory coffee, muffaletta, serious good food. I can hardly wait to see these powder sugar coated delicacies at Cafe du Monde. Red Beans and Rice here I come. I know I will stop by Jimmy's place on Decatur St.

From Harry Connick Jr.
Oh my Nola
Same old song and dance
Don't let her catch you with a care
She won't let you down
If you give yourself a chance
Oh won't you let me take you there

Oh my Nola
Never goes away
Look for her crescent inner moon
And if you listen
When you walk the du Veinz Carre
You'll hear that gentle Creole tune

How proud would Louis and Mahalia be
To know that their memory was safe with me

Oh my Nola
Old and true and strong
Just like a tall magnolia tree
Sit me in the shade
And I'm right where I belong
Oh my New Orleans
Wait for me

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Things I love

I love magazines. I especially love Southern Living, Real Simple, Self, Christian Century, and People. I love a great stack of magazines to go through on a relaxing evening.

Honey is so amazing to me. It can taste so different from region to region. My favorite is Orange Blossom. When I open a jar it reminds me of driving through Florida on Spring Break with the windows down. The smell is so much like the Orange Groves.

I like retro new aprons and old apron finds. I have a few of my mom and grandmother's fancy hostess aprons. They make me smile. A sheer apron with ruffles, just what one needs. Apparently my relatives before me agreed, these frivolous aprons were rarely, if ever, worn.

The Earl, Earl Grey Tea reminds me of growing up. As I have mentioned several times, my Christmas stocking always included Earl Grey Tea.

I have two similar fans on my mantle. I love the look of them. No reason, no happy childhood association. They don't remind me of my grandparents, etc. I just like them. One came from a friend, who had one and noticed my interest in them when shopping at antique shops. The other was given to me by my father in law who is a great gift giver.

Friday, October 2, 2009


I have opinions--lots of them, about most everything. Some are passionate, some are just opinions. Sometimes, I don't care if people agree, but I definitely want others to have opinions. At times, I form opinions just be interested in something. I complete an NCAA Basketball Bracket every year--because Josh knows I will watch the games if I have thought about them enough to choose a desired winner.

I am not a person who is indifferent about many things. A silly example is that I love the color orange, but I don't care that many dislike it. Blah to purple, but many of my friends love it. I don't judge them for liking purple. On stickier issues, I have opinions of politics and religion that others may not share. Can we all be friends in spite of it?

Sure--and I may even like to talk about it every now and then.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Let's make Flour!

Here is the flour I watched being made. Just a few minutes prior it looked like the photo below. I sampled some hot cereal (think oatmeal) made of wheat berries. I may attempt this one morning for breakfast.

I went over to a friends house yesterday and watched her grind wheat into flour. I was rewarded with this large can of flour and a few cups of wheat berries. I have already used some of the fresh flour to make cheddar cheese muffins with dinner last night. As I write this, I have pumpkin bread baking.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Dutch Oven

I have a confession. I have a kitchen item that is worth a ton, well maybe not--but at times it seems to weigh a ton. My cast iron dutch oven. When Josh and I were married, my mom saw my need for a this weighty pot. She used one often, and considered it a true necessity of homemaking.

True to Mom's wisdom, it has been used often. It seems to be the go to pot. Sure, I use it for soups and chili (like today), frying up a batch of tortillas, and it makes my favorite childhood meal of smothered round steak.

Is it the most beautiful item in the kitchen? Is it brightly colored and shiny like it's cast iron cousin le creuset? Is it the most expensive item? No on all accounts, but it gets the job done--and like Mom knew, that is what counts.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Grains of Wisdom

I am not usually one for puns, but I couldn't resist with my title today. I learned a ton about Grains last night. I went with my friend Quincy to an event at her church that was all about Grains. Not just some grains, but all kinds of rice, barley, spelt, and many others. I learned so much and tasted so many things--some great, some a bit odd. I am not a fan of buckwheat patties, but really enjoyed the rather bland wheat berry cereal.

I am now considering purchasing a grain mill. Surprisingly Josh wasn't shocked at the price or want for one. He thought they would be $400, although they are nearly $200. I can grind my own flour for my bread, cornmeal, oats, etc. I am taking this baking thing seriously. Josh said it seemed like something my Dad would buy me. Dad are you reading?

I learned something great, non grain related. I have already shared this quote several times since last night.

Never let a generous thought pass.

This statement rang loudly in my mind. What a wonderful community for ourselves and others if we truly did this. I found myself doing things last night because I had that thought in my mind. I can be a generous person at times, but I think there are many more opportunities that I let pass without acting. Perhaps this was the most important grain of wisdom I learned last night. God calls us to be generous to all, not just our friends. Perhaps it is even more significant to show this to strangers or those who we may have a strained relationship with.

Saturday, September 26, 2009


I love toast. I am finishing up the loaf of bread I made on Monday. It makes the best toast, which makes sense--the recipe was called Sandwich and Toasting Bread. I don't know what made this one so good. I noticed the recipe used milk rather than water in the recipe.

Someday soon, I am going to attempt Rye bread again. Rye is my favorite--and it especially yummy with a few pieces of bacon.

Am I going a bit too crazy in my interest in bread making? It is surprisingly fun.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Frye Boots

Aren't these beautiful?

I feel my frye collection is probably complete, unless I stumble upon a major deal. I have my much loved Banana Campus Boots and a pair of clogs. Local friends can join me at Crossroads to drool over the beautiful Frye display. Those are some seriously beautiful footwear.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Settling In

Tonight, we are going to settle in. We typically go to church on Wednesday nights, but I decided that it was going to be relaxing night at home. We have been entirely too busy going in different directions. I want some time together. I have planned dinner at home, popcorn, and Joseph. I borrowed the video from a friend. Sounds like a good night to me.

Monday, September 21, 2009

I can't stick with a good thing.

That is what Josh told me, when I told him I was trying another bread recipe. I said, well maybe this one is even better and we would never know if I didn't try.

Today's bread.

Update: It's awesome.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Joseph and that Coat of Many Colors

Thanks to learning a Bible verse about Joseph at church, my girls have become captivated by Donnie Osmond. Well, actually the musical Joseph and the Amazing Techicolor Dreamcoat. We happen to have the music with Donnie Osmond as the lead. They have been singing those songs when we are in the car all week. I have been going around town humming Joseph songs all week at work. Josh took the girls to Arkansas this weekend, he told me they sang the whole way there.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

In an Instant, Everything had Changed

One morning a little over four years ago, I got the phone call. It was not unexpected, but how does one truly prepare for such a call? It was my father. I had to come home. I scrambled to make arrangements for my two daughters, who were two and four. I was able to get a flight. In just a few hours, the journey was underway.

I was met at the airport, by one of my mother’s closest friends, Barb. It was late, nearly midnight. Barb tried to prepare me for the changes in my mother’s appearance since I had seen her, knowing that there was not way to fully prepare me. I went to her room and sat with her. She was still and in a sleeplike state, I didn’t know what to do. I hummed. For hours, I quietly hummed hymns. In hindsight, it seems appropriate. My mom loved hymns and would play them on our piano. She would cry at church sometimes, explaining there were a lot of memories she associated with hymns.

I was changed the instant my mother died that next morning. It was an odd experience to accept that I no longer had that constant in my life. I was 29 years old, married with two children. Of course, I was not a child, yet I wondered how I could possibly survive without a mother. I lost my mother to cancer. It was not a quick or sudden illness. I had five years of knowing she would not beat this disease. I grieved off an on during those years, but learned I could not fully be prepared for the void her absence would bring.

It was painful to realize my mother would not see my girls grow up. When she called to tell me her cancer has returned, I was only a few weeks into my first pregnancy. I wondered if she would live to see my baby born. She underwent years of treatments, yet she was able to see both of her grandchildren. She made it to their first birthday parties and trips to the beach. My daughters thought nothing of her baldhead or wheelchair, to them it was just Grandma.

The first Christmas after her death, I tried to take over her rituals. I baked her Party Mix. I bought stockings for everyone, including my brother and father. I knew it would be a hard year, so I wanted everything to be perfect. Of course, Christmas Eve came and it wasn’t perfect, and I cried. I couldn’t make it the same. It wasn’t the same anymore. I had to let go. Our family was different, and no amount of work would make it the same.

Rationally, I thought I should be fine. I had lived hundreds of miles away from my mother. I was an adult with my own family. Reality was much different, I didn’t know a life without her. I had always known the support and constant love of my mother. She was always there, even if not physically. I knew I could call for advice or a listening ear. I wondered who would answer my endless questions. My mother made me feel like I was special. In her eyes, I was a great mother. I was talented and somehow, she always thought my hair looked cute. Some days, I needed to hear those things, as simple as some of them may have been.

I grieved for a long time. Sometimes, I felt like I had grieved too long. I struggle and I admit, my faith has been tested. I have found myself teary at church, when we sing certain hymns. My mom was right--hymns hold a lot of memories. As time passes, I am able to talk about my mom in a different way. I can laugh and tell stories and remember her. My mother taught me how to be an adult in more ways than I can express, but losing her made me realize how much I had paid attention.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Baking Bread

I am making this right now. It sounds like a winner--bacon, cheese, and bread. Quite possibly three of my favorite things.

I am also baking a loaf of my favorite Banana Bread. It's a recipe from my old trusty Linda Sue Adams As You Requested II cookbook. My mother in law gave me this cookbook the first year Josh and I were married. She bought it at Books A Million, but the author is from North Little Rock. This is my go to cookbook, there have been no flops. The pages are stained from use.

It just so happens, Josh went to high school with one of Linda Sue Adams's daughters. At their class reunion I introduced myself to the daughter and praised her mother's cookbook. I would love to get my hands on a copy of As You Requested I, but no luck. Although, her daughter promised to pass on my praise of the book to her mother.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

I Can't Dance

I know a lot of people say this--in my case it is a reality. Josh and I went to a local concert/charity event, Parrots of the Caribbean, a few weeks ago. They have music and dancing--I will go to the dance floor. I don't know what to do--honest.

It is true, I was raised a non dancer. My mother was a traditional Baptist, she did not support dancing. I know it sounds straight out of Footloose, but it was true. I even had a note in middle school for square dancing in music class. We didn't dance. There was no cheerleading, gymnastics, or ballet lessons.

I desperately wanted to go to High School Dances, and I fought the battle. My brother hadn't been interested, so he didn't blaze that trail for me. Although, once I won the battle, he started going to dances too. I fought the battle yes, but I didn't really dance. I did the slow dance swaying, but I never have learned to dance.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Books with an Impact

Here is an eclectic mix of books that have made an impact on me at one time or another.

1. Catcher in the Rye --Salinger

2. Grapes of Wrath--Steinbeck

3. Crazy for God: How I Grew Up as One of the Elect, Helped Found the Religious Right, and Lived to Take All (or Almost All) of It Back--Frank Schaeffer

4. Meaning of Jesus--Two Visions--Wright/Borg

5. Meet John F. Kennedy

6. The Red Tent--Anita Diamant

7. Not Buying It-- Judith Levine

8. Tammy Faye Messerr Autobiography--Telling it My Way

9. Dynamics of Faith--Tillich

10. Where the Wild Things Are--Maurice Sendak

11. Traveling Mercies: Some Thoughts on Faith--Anne Lamott

12. To Kill a Mockingbird-Harper Lee

13. The Year of Living Biblically: One Man's Humble Quest to Follow the Bible As Literally As Possible--A.J. Jacobs

14.Tuesdays With Morrie--Mitch Albom

15. Big Fish--Daniel Wallace

It really is a small world after all

What I learned yesterday:

My friend Quincy's sister and my friend Starr's sister---are married to brothers.

Keep in mind, Starr is from Missouri like me. Quincy's family is from Georgia. Starr was interested in Quincy's comment on a recent blog post. Noticed on her blog that there were a lot of familiar names.

It really is a small world.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

A Lot of Nines

Today is 9/9/09. It would be a pretty cool birthday, maybe my friend Lainie's newest boy will decide to make his appearance. I am thinking not, but there are almost ten more hours today.

My daughter, Delaney, was born on 12/12/2000. She thinks it is pretty cool she will turn 12 years old on 12/12/12. I admit, that does seem pretty neat.

On this lucky date 09/09/09, I am going to take the girls for flu mists and then to church--that's the sort of glamorous life I live. Aren't you jealous?

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Random Dreams

1. I dream of a sandy backyard with an ocean view of some sort.

2. I dream of studying philosophy.

3. I also dream of studying religion.

4. I dream of sipping a cup of tea in England.

5. I dream of celebrating my 50th Anniversary.

6. I dream of happy daughters.

7. I dream of perfecting homemade apple pie.

8. I dream of a having friends for life girlfriends.

9. I dream of one day actually learning to do a cartwheel.

10. I dream of peace--I worry and stress over random things big and small.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Razorback for Chick-fil-a

Today at Chick-fil-a, they are giving those wearing team logos a free sandwich. We all donned our Razorback wear and headed to Chick-fil-a. We expected a crowd, but it wasn't too crazy yet. We saw our friends Chris and Kristin there with their daughter. They were all sporting Alabama "A"s. Chris jokingly said they didn't give serve Razorbacks here. Although he did let us sit with them, in spite of our Razorbacks.

Island Fever

From Jimmy Buffett Island Fever:
Palm trees and views I can't believe
Why would I ever want to leave?
I think I'll take my shoes off and go walking
Down beside the Caribbean Sea.
I like the funny sounds of parrots squawking
I think I hear a hammock calling me.

My new hammock from anthropologie--good times. I plan on spending some time visiting my new hammock this afternoon--book in hand. It might not be the islands, but it is pretty darn good.

Friday, September 4, 2009


I love anthropologie. I find it to be over the top price wise, but so fun. I love their clothes, I love their linens, I love their kitchen gadgets. You get it.

Last night I had a few minutes at Bridge Street before I met some friends. I stopped in to look around. Clearance--like amazing clearance. Amazing denim cropped pants--$20 (was $100), Hammock--$19 (had been $98), Two pack recycled paper journals--$3 (had been $16), candle in a reusable painted jar--$3 (was $16), and an orange blossom solid perfume tin, I love orange blossom--$3 ($20).

I was giddy over my bargains. I LOVE all these things. They weren't just more junk to clutter my home, they are things I can use and enjoy. I wore my new pants today and received a ton of compliments, they really are cute. Someone said, you have the cutest clothes--I hate to admit, but that made my day. There were even a few times, when I didn't follow up the compliment with how much I paid for the item on clearance. I tend to be so thrilled with my bargain, I can't help but say how little I paid for an item.

Sunday, August 30, 2009


Todays adventure was baking sandwich rolls. They are so good--and successful on the first try. Next time I am going to make smaller rolls. I followed the recipe exactly this time.

Here is the recipe I used.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Goodbye Ted Kennedy

Ted Kennedy passed away. I heard the news this morning while driving to work, my heart sunk. Is it odd, that I--raised in a family of Republicans would mourn? Probably for most, but thanks to my elementary librarian, Ms. Breeze, who first gave me the biography Meet John F. Kennedy--I became one of the masses who loved the Kennedy Family and their legacy of public service.

I was the odd one. In middle school, I read enormous ten pounder (or more) books on the Kennedy family. I begged my parents to visit the JFK Library when we visited Boston. I bought reproduction campaign posters for my bedroom walls. I am sure my dad cringed inside, but he never said anything.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Baking Bread

I really want this book. I have been working on my bread making. I have a couple of different recipes I have been making using a bread machine. Anyone have bread recipes to share?

I really liked this one.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Now This is a Fiesta

I whole cupboard filled with beautiful colors of fiesta dishes just waiting to be chosen. They are a cheery mix of colors--that I have been adding to over the past ten years.
Most of my fiesta is 1990s-current, but I love finding older pieces at thrift stores. Last week I was thrilled to find an old pink saucer for a quarter. It is sitting under the pink coffee mug on the middle shelf. A happy addition to my collection.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Pyrex Love

Beautiful stacks of old pyrex dishes. Oh how they warm my heart.

These snowflake casseroles are favorites. A dear friend of my family, Miss Melba, had a casserole like these. About five years ago, she brought my parents a meal in that beautiful dish. She has used it for fifty years or so. I feel in love with it, and I know my love for her was apart of this love.

I few months later, I was visiting my grandma. I noticed she had the same casserole dish. I found one similar at an antique mall with my mother in law. She went back and bought it for my birthday. A few months later, my grandma gave me her snowflake dish. They represent love, kindness, and good things to me.

I love these old things. A few are my family treasures. Many have been passed on to me by dear friends, and some are thrift store finds. I use them and think of those who have used them before me. There is joy and comfort in cooking, it is something that connects me to the past.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

It was a Terrible, Horrible, No Good...

Oh, I have had many favorite books. I really LOVE this one. I can so relate to Alexander, even as an adult. Some days really are just like that.

When I was in elementary school, the librarian recommended the biography Meet John F. Kennedy. I loved this book. It began my love of non fiction. I love the stories of people's lives.

I want to know my friends favorite books of all time--tell me why if you wish. I love a good story.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Missing Parts (Important)

Yesterday at work, a friend told me this story. She was so excited she found this awesome nativity set at a thrift store. It had tons of animals, she was so excited. It was all carefully wrapped up for her. She cleaned it all up and noticed something really important was missing.

I laughed and laughed so hard.......missing a very important figure.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

I'll Tell You a Secret

I am not ready for school to start. I want another two weeks of summer.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Just In Case...

If you ever accidently send a package to your ten year old address, call Dana at the Madison Post Office. Not that I would know from experience or anything.

New School

This year, we will be at a new school. I thought I was ok with that. I really did. Last night at Open House, I wanted to cry. I like my familiar old school. I isn't a logical feeling, because all the teachers my girls have had with one exception have transfered to the new school. Both of the girls have friends who are there as well. Even some of the office staff are from our old school.

The new school is beautiful. It is full of nice things, but I have no memories there. For three years, we were happy at our old school. In a few months, I am sure I will laugh at my uncertainty.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Earl Grey and a little talk of the Lady (Grey)

I have always (really, for as long as I can remember) loved tea. My mom always made sure there was Earl Grey in my Christmas Stocking. Always, it was the Twinings Earl Grey in a yellow box. I went to Emma's Tea Room Yesterday. One of my companions, a fun four year old, requested Lady Grey. That girl has good taste.

I bought oil of bergamont (what makes Earl Grey, Earl Grey) several years ago. I decided to use some to make Earl Grey scented soap. I sprinkled some tea leaves in there to make it pretty. It's not all that pretty, but it does smell pretty good.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Drive In

I love the Drive in. We try to go several times a summer. I remember as a kid going to the Drive In and watching Herbie Goes Bananas.

Last night it was Ice Age. Lots of fun, even if the movie was only so so.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Little Things

I am loving the hummingbirds outside my window now. I have three right now. They are so fun to watch.

I feel productive because I took the dry cleaning this morning. I remembered to get my shirt mended. I dropped off a bag of stuff at the thrift store. If I had remembered my library books, it would have been perfect--but close enough.

Josh called Blue Heaven in Key West and ordered me four packages of their homemade granola. It was a perfect anniversary gift.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Little Joys by Candle Light

In oddly exciting news, I found a good smelling candle that is made in the USA. I went into Dollar General this morning and they have some "old fashioned" scents, Peach Jam, Strawberry Preserves, Vanilla Honey, and Apple Butter. I bought a Vanilla Honey and it smells just like honey (another one of my favorite things).

One of my weaknesses is candles. I do prefer the even melting of soy wax, but I'm no candle snob. If it smells good, I will burn it. I love the flicker of candle light. I think I may light a candle now.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Canning Tomatoes

I try to grow things, but I don't have a lot of luck. I have a lot of trees, which lead to a lot of shade. The shades isn't what tomatoes thrive on. That said, I have had three tomatoes and three peppers so far. I added those to a bushel of tomatoes and 25 peppers I bought at a produce stand. I spent two days making taco sauce and marinara sauce. At one point I had about 5 gallons of tomato juice I had juiced by hand with my food mill. A friend asked me why I didn't liquify them in a food processor. The answer is that isn't how it is done. It wouldn't be the same. Honestly it isn't, I have an aunt who does it that way and the texture is different.

I cooked, I seasoned, I poured, I boiled jars, lids, and caps. Hours later, I was done.

Sometimes, it pays to do things the hard way.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

I have an iPhone.

I have an iPhone--and I love it. I know that seems silly, but I think it may be my first gadget crush. Perhaps that is not true, I do have a fondness for kitchen gadgets.

My new phone is beautiful. When I was bored at the doctor's office, I could check facebook updates. It lights up all beautifully and has an cute green case.

It is my iPhone and I love it.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Gulf Coast Fun

I wonder why I enjoyed the water more this year than most-- It seemed like the water was perfect. Awesome waves and great water temperature? Maybe, but I know I spent more time in the water than ever before.

I think it gets easier every year, the girls get older. They are more independent, and they are more brave themselves. Delaney loves her boogie board. I had never tried it before, it is fun!

I did sacrifice my sunglasses to the ocean. I had a close call and found them the day before, sadly one wave was the end of them. I had so much fun last week. Josh commented that I had an extra twinkle in my eye while we were there. It was a really fun, happy time.

A Full (Beach) House

We had a vacation with 13 people, six of whom are under 8. We definitely had a full house. All of the over 8 crowd, minus me, were classmates and high school friends in North Little Rock. I married into the group, rather than marrying within the group.

I proclaim this years trip the best yet. The kids all got along amazingly. The same could be said of the the adults. I learned a little about poker, although I relied heavily on notes. I played games I hadn't played in years. I laughed a lot--and didn't want the week to end.

Friday, July 3, 2009

I love Lu Lu's

Lu Lu's is one of my favorite places--anywhere. We usually go there several times while we are at the Gulf. We even went there twice on New Year's Eve. NYE is Claire's birthday, and she loves the Noon Year's Eve Party. Josh and I went to the New Year's Eve concert/festivities.

The girls love the huge sand pile. Delaney even participated in the sand castle contest during Noon Year's Eve. The girls are content digging in the sand, and Josh and I can sit and watch. I find Lu Lu's to be easy and relaxing.

We've been going for six years. We made to the the original location, where I had Jerk Chicken Quesadillas. Delaney was two and a waitress brought her Lay's Chips with a cup of ranch dressing to dip them in. I love the Mahi Tacos. The crab melt is outstanding. Can't go wrong with fried shrimp--Krispy Kreme Bread Pudding anyone?

I've had so many good times, great food, with wonderful people--at Lu Lu's. I can't imagine coming close and not stopping.