Friday, July 31, 2009

Things That Attract Me to My Guy

The following is in no particular order:

He's a Godly man, giving Him credit for accomplishments.

He lives by ethical/biblical principles.

He's inspirational. I enjoy his company, he's fun to be with.

He solves all my problems, he always knows what to do.

He makes me feel like the most special gal in the world.

He's compassionate, good-hearted, and a good listener.

He's brilliant, competent and intelligent.

He's easy on my eyes! Yeah, I said it.

He's professional and sacrifices to provide for me.

He's totally committed to our marriage.

He's ambitious and driven, full of good ideas.

He makes solid, wise decisions.

He's considerate, patient, and tactful.

He's organized, a born list-maker.

Can you see why I'm so in love with my husband?

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Beating the Heat

Ever since I was a young girl, summer has meant freedom to me. I couldn't wait for that final bell of the school year that signaled the end of homework and the beginning of fun. I still revel in the millions of possibilities these sundrenched months hold. It's been hot here in the northwest. In fact, we've experienced record high temperatures, but I still enjoy every sultry minute of it, especially since I have air conditioning. No, you won't hear me complain, because I know summer will be too short lived. I love sporting shorts, sleeveless tops, and sandals. I love seeing my plants flourish in the yard and my window box flowers brilliant with color. I love eating my husband's famous barbecue, drinking my ice tea, and having key lime pie for dessert. I love sunning on the deck while reading. I love going to farmers' markets for the freshest produce. Summer is wonderful! It makes me think of kite flying, picnics in the park, and walks on the beach. Somehow, balmy evenings are romantic to me. Yes, I can truly say "I savor every minute of summer!"

Monday, July 27, 2009

Why You Should Love the South

If you want a glimpse of Southern life,
Come close and walk with me;
I'll tell you all the simple things,
That you are sure to see.

You'll see mockingbirds and bumblebees,
Magnolia blossoms and Dogwood trees,
Caterpillars on the step,
Wooden porches cleanly swept;

Watermelons on the vine,
Strong majestic Georgia pines;
Rocking chairs and front yard swings,
June bugs flying on a string;

Turnip greens and hot cornbread,
Coleslaw and barbecue;
Fried okra, fried corn, fried green tomatoes,
Fried pies and pickles too.

There's ice cold tea that's syrupy sweet;
And cool, green grass beneath your feet;
Catfish nipping in the lake,
And fresh young boys on the make.

You'll see all these things
And much, much more,
In a way of life that I adore.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Decor - Learn Your Style

If you're a follower/reader of my blog, then you know I have an interest in interior decorating. The following informative 21 question test will give you clues to the era, textures, colors, architecture, furniture, and accessories you're drawn to. NO FAIR PEEKING AHEAD! Have Fun!

1. On Weekends I’d best love to
A. Browse at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, if I can’t be at the Louvre
B. Walk in a big city
C. Meditate in a simple garden
D. Sink into my wing chair and read history
E. Pick blueberries

2. You wouldn’t be wrong if you called me
A. Old World
B. Forward Thinking
C. Contemplative
D. Patriotic
E. Bucolic

3. My Heart could sing if you gave me
A. Scones or croissants
B. A bagel
C. Sushi or Peking duck
D. Turkey and yams
E. Oatmeal

4. The television series I would hate to miss would be
A. Upstairs Downstairs or Dynasty
B. Kate and Allie or Nova
C. Shogun or The Art of Ikebana
D. The Adams Chronicles or The Constitution with Bill Moyers
E. The Waltons or Little House on the Prairie

5. The magazine to which I’d most likely subscribe is
A. Connoisseur
B. Architectural Digest
C. Oriental Antiques
D. American Heritage
E. Country Living

6. I’d never get up if I could sleep on
A. An Elizabethan gilt-painted bed with a brocade canopy
B. A huge (almost endless) platform bed
C. A futon
D. A Federal mahogany four-poster
E. A plain, wooden Shaker-style bed

7. Check me out walking down the street with a
A. French poodle
B. Greyhound
C. Shar-pei
D. American foxhound
E. Collie

8. You’ve been invited to a dinner party. When you arrive, the house knocks you out because
A. It’s white fluted columns are smashing; its lawn manicured.
B. The entire house seems to be a vista of glass.
C. You think those are shoji screens at the window, and you know that’s a Zen rock garden at the side of the house.
D. Brownstones, after all, are your favorite
E. You just know there’s a roaring fire and a braided rug behind the yellow clapboards and black shutters.

9. If you put up a screen to divide a room, it would
A. Have hunting scene panels
B. Be free-formed and flowing
C. Have Mother-of-pearl lotus blossoms floating on black lacquer
D. Be wallpapered with a Revolutionary War motif
E. Be stenciled with charming flowers or maybe an art naif design

10. The best view is framed by
A. Marvelous velvet drapes, lushly spilled onto the floor
B. Floor-to-ceiling picture curtains at all
C. A shoji screen
D. Colonial double sashes, each with twelve panes
E. Dormer windows under gabled roofs

11. Staircases should
A. Have intricately carved balusters
B. Be stainless steel
C. Be nonexistent
D. Be massive and dark-wooded
E. Be spindled

12. An exhibit that would really speak to me would feature
A. Van Gogh, Rembrandt, or collection of gorgeous Georgia silver
B. Picasso, Frank Lloyd Wright architectural drawings, or Bauhaus
C. Decorated scrolls or flower arrangements
D. Early American samplers, Chippendale furniture, or primitive art
E. Quilts or wicker

13. My favorite novelist is
A. W. Somerset Maugham
B. Issac Asimov
C. Yukio Mishima
D. Henry James
E. Mark Twain

14. For just a little while, I’d love to go back to
A. Ancient Greece or Rome
B. The early twenties right here
C. The Sung Dynasty
D. Visit George and Martha Washington
E. My Aunt Dotty’s cottage

15. The colors that make me feel happiest are
A. Jewel tones--deep rubies, dark sapphires
B. Black, white, and gray
C. Jades, Carnelians, lacquered blacks
D. Red, white and blue
E. Yellow, barn red and dimity whites

16. The fence around my ideal house would consist of
A. No fence at all-I’d like a moat, though
B. A colorful grid
C. Bamboo trees
D. Elegant ironwork
E. White pickets
17. My favorite clothes are often made of
A. Brocades, velvets, taffetas
B. Leather, outrageous metallics, soft and natural fabrics
C. Embroidered silks
D. Tweeds, wools, cashmeres
E. Denim, organdy, cotton
18. This gives me such pleasure
A. The patina of much-touched wood
B. The smooth sheen of steel and glass
C. The gloss of lacquer
D. The depth of polished brass
E. The luster of copper and pewter

19. Give me a mirror with a back made of
A. Hallmarked silver
B. Lucite
C. Mother-of-pearl and semiprecious stones
D. Solid, carved maple
E. Quilted chintz

20. I’d like the status feeling I’d get by driving in a
A. Mercedes
B. DeLorean
C. Honda Prelude
D. Vintage Edsel
E. Jeep

21. If I had a mantel, over it or on it would sit
A. French Landscape
B. Henry Moore sculpture
C. Pair of blue and white urns porcelain urns
D. Brass eagle
E. Rooster weather vane

And now for the analysis:

Did you choose mostly As?

The essential you is tailor-made for European Opulence. A traditional, comfortable-yet-formal home is more to your taste than any other signature. Your heart is caught in the look of the fabulous past.

Did you choose mostly Bs?

You're a child of the future, an admirer of modern technology; Classic Contemporary is your sleek, svelte signature.

Did you choose mostly Cs?

Serenely magnificent Oriental Grace is the signature that is most exciting for you. You could go, as well, for a Rich-Mix...any of the other signatures accented heavily with Chinese luxury or Japanese simplicity.

Did you choose mostly Ds?

I would think that American Pedigree would please you enormously. You admire the classicism of our heritage, the integrity of dark, deep woods, the comfort of a deep wing chair.

Did you choose mostly Es?

Country Charm is your kind of posh. The charm of the hearth, the hunt, and naive art make you smile. The richness of the sea or the sun-bleached character of the Southwest are your cup of tea.

Did your answers/choices reveal what you expected? Did you learn anything about yourself and your personal decor style? If so, I'l love to know your style. Can you guess mine?

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Photographic Memories

There's something romantic about the written connections from years past. But until the 1800s, mail was often refused because recipients did not want to pay the costly postage prices. Then, the 1st U.S. stamps were introduced in 1849 and suddenly a craze for corresponding quickly developed.

With postage costs suddenly more affordable, the public became particularly interested in exchanging quick written messages. Precursors to the present-day postcard appeared in forms such as lithograph prints and envelopes with pictures printed on them. By the 1870s, the post office offered "postal cards" preprinted with a 1-cent stamp. "Souvenir" cards, privately published cards, grew in popularity.

Collecting postcards is one of the world's most popular hobbies. The endless range of subjects adds to their mass appeal. Anything from landmark buildings to exotic locations to historical events are desired.

Though serious collectors may seek postcards for their grand historical significance, these pictorial records are more than a way to piece the past together. Cards collected over time illustrate your life's journey, snapshots of not just a special place in time, but a specific page in your personal story.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Taste of Tradition

Attending gatherings in the south, crowds gather while the tempting aroma of fresh baking mixes with the giddy anticipation and lively chatter fill the air. Hospitality is always on the menu. Growing up in Alabama, I ate really good food. I fondly remember homegrown vegetables. Lasagna was never served. Instead, I ate butter beans with cornbread, fried chicken, country ham, pork chops, macaroni and cheese, vegetables (fried okra, green tomatoes, fresh corn, cucumbers, peas, squash, green beans, zucchini, sweet potatoes), biscuits, sweet tea, and homemade desserts (chess pie, banana pudding, cobbler).

I've included a much requested family recipe:
Sweet Potato Casserole


3 cups sweet potatoes
2 eggs
1 cup sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 cube butter/margarine
1/3 cup milk


1 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup flour
1 cup chopped pecans
1/3 cup melted butter


Grease 10" baking dish.
Mix all "filling" ingredients in bowl and pour in casserole dish.
Mix all "crust" ingredients in bowl and pour on top of "filling."
Bake 35-45 minutes at 350 degrees.
This is particularly appropriate for the Thanksgiving holiday meal.
PS: This recipe is especially for my sister-in-law Maribeth.


I hope you all have a great summer and take a little time to enjoy the sunrises and sunsets. I hope you get a chance to take a vacation, even if it's just a few days.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Time Gone By

The phrase "he's fixin' to meet his Maker" means one is about to die. Back in the South when someone died, the body would be laid out at home after being embalmed. The family would sit up with the body until the day of the funeral, which was held at the church.

Saved- sinner- backslider, it didn't matter, when death came, you turned to the church for support (comfort, preacher, facility, grave, singers, food, flowers). If a person wasn't very well-known, church members would show up to prevent the family of embarrassment of a small turnout. The coffin was open for viewing. The corpse would be dressed in his/her Sunday best. Photos were taken for a remembrance. Of course, everyone would wear black attire as a sign of mourning the loss. They hymn Amazing Grace was usually sung.

Often, the church had a cemetery next to the building reserved for loyal members. For the trip to the family or city cemetery, a funeral procession was formed. At the front was the hearse, cars would drive slow behind. All cars would turn their headlights on, oncoming traffic would pull over to the side of the road in reverence and respect to the deceased. At the graveside service, the minister would repeat "ashes to ashes, dust to dust" while throwing a fistful of dirt onto the lowered casket. Family members would drop a flower on top of the dirt as they filed out. All the graves are dug in such a manner that the dead always point eastward for the Lord's return on resurrection day. Church members would all bring dishes of food to help feed the incoming funeral guests. This gave visitors a time to mingle with relatives and friends and reminisce about the dead.

Having recently lost my father, I thought I'd share what I've learned. While you may feel hesitant about intruding on the family during their grief, but it's important to visit, call, write, email, send flowers, or prepare food to offer your condolences and provide emotional support. It lets the family know that while their loved one is gone, they are not alone, that while suffering a great loss, they are still connected to the living and life will go on. Expressing sympathy by a warm embrace and saying kind words about the person who died is always appreciated. Most of all, be a good listener.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Decorative Details

Anyone who knows me realizes I have an interest in home decor, interior design, and remodeling. It's the details that give a place a touch of style. It shows that one took the extra step, gave more consideration. My southern background makes me want to have a gracious and inviting home. I think it's important to make a room meaningful.

Showcase elements of your life by framing significant photos and memorabilia. This adds personal history to a space. Add organic matter to a room using greenery, plants, fresh flowers, aquarium, or fountain. The accessories you choose should be meaningful, but not too many to clutter a room. All items should serve a positive purpose or be something you absolutely love. Floor spaces should be free of clutter. Work material, gym equipment, and electronic equipment should never be the main focus to a room. Be creative and let your character shine through the finishing touches. Rearrange items in a room periodically in order to keep things fresh. These things add a personal reflection of the resident and give your home a distinctive look and leave a lasting impression on your guests.

I love architectural details: crown molding, wainscoting, baseboards, mantels, banisters, built-ins, arch ways, corbels, pillars, ceiling medallions, light fixtures, door knobs, cabinetry, hardware, stained glass, shutters, French doors, bay windows, hardwood flooring, stone tiles, ironwork, brick, high ceilings, Lighting fixtures must be functional, but they can also be fashionable or an art object. Curtains must cover windows and block light, but they can serve a decorative purpose to accent a room. They can be used to insulate a room or divide spaces. Shelving can maximize storage space, but they can also add style as a decorative feature.

Finally, I am a firm believer that God provided me with a wonderful home and it is my duty to share it with others. Therefore, I always strive to be hospitable and host visitors as often as I can. Come see me!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Sweet Baby!

Unto our family, a grandson is born! Sunday morning, July 12th, at 7:ish we got a call to come to the hospital in Vancouver WA, my son Michael and daughter-in-law Bria would deliver a baby boy. By 11:12am Luke Michael arrived weighing 8lbs 5oz and 19 inches long. It was a quick delievery! They barely got the epidural done in time. They had us praying! But thanks be unto God, all went well. Luke has lots of dark hair, too early to judge who he looks like. He came on his due date. He's just a precious baby! Keziah, his older sister, took pride in her baby brother. They now have a nice family of four.

Our family is growing. It wasn't many years back, there was just the four of us, now we number at nine. We have often talked of downsizing and moving to a smaller, more efficient place, but maybe we should reconsider. It appears we should keep a big house for holiday gatherings.

I'm proud of my family, we all have love for one another as well as for God. Recently, I lost my father, which sadly decreased my family, but now I've gained a baby grandchild. God always knows what's best.
Pictures will be coming soon!

Monday, July 13, 2009

Down-Home Vegetable Plate

When I was back home in Alabama for my father's passing, I got to eat a vegetable plate for lunch. Usually, you get to choose five different vegetables to fill your plate. Here in the Northwest, this isn't offered in restaurants. However, it's the norm or tradition in the South. No meat is on the plate. But lots of vegetables are included. Here are examples: butter beans, country green beans, pinto beans, collards, cream corn, turnip greens, fried okra, black-eye peas, field peas, purple hull peas, sweet potatoes, squash casserole, fried green tomatoes, skillet cornbread, etc...

This is the type of food I grew up with. Meat was expensive for my parents to feed six kids, so we had vegetable meals often. My dad loved to grow vegetables, so they were plentiful and practically free. We did have roast meat on Sundays, one night during the week we would havefried chicken, and another night of the week we would have pork chops. Otherwise we had meatless meals throughout the rest of the week. I remember having steak maybe five times before the age of twenty. That was a rarity. Occasionally, we had spaghetti, but not very often, maybe once every other month. We rarely ate out, due to the cost of feeding a family of eight. But the few times we did, we ate catfish with hushpuppies at Catfish King in Ensley. When we moved to the gulf coast area, we were given seafood as gifts from people. Then we got to eat shrimp and oysters.

Nowadays, people take eating out for granted. Like I pointed out, growing up we always ate at home. My poor mother had to cook three meals a day most all her life. Mother always sent my father off to work with a home cooked breakfast and my father came home from work for his lunch break, she always had a nice lunch prepared. Of course, she cooked supper everynight just like clockwork. One night a year, she was taken out for a special dinner, that was on their wedding anniversary. My father worked very hard physically, and he felt that eating out was a waste of money.

When I was four or five years old, I remember my father taking our family out to eat after church one Sunday at Jack's Hamburgers in Pelham/Alabaster area. We all got to order a burger, fries and a shake. It was such a big deal, I'll never forget it. Someone had given my daddy a gift of money, so he felt he could splurge. Funny the things we remember, isn't it?

I'm pretty spoiled now. There's not a week that goes by that I don't eat at least one meal out. If I'm not feeling well, Dale will pick something up for us to eat. My, how things have changed. I guess I'm making up for all the years I could never even darken the doors of restaurants. Who know, maybe by eating all those vegetables growing up, I'll live to be one hundred years old!

Saturday, July 11, 2009


Makeup makes me feel dressed up, daring, somewhat attractive, and always cheerful. I love wearing makeup - now. But this was not always the case. From my birth to adulthood, I was not allowed to wear any makeup. However, I did sneak it at times when I got to my destination and removed it before returning home. It was my father who truly abhored makeup, my mother had more tolerance for it, maybe 'cause she was a female and could have more understanding for the need to be vain.

You see, my parents believed that wearing makeup was worldly, sinful, and akin to Jezebel! They had strict religious convictions about the subject. They believed a young lady should be virtuous on the inside and did not need to adorn the outside.

I was always jealous of my friends who could wear it freely. They looked so pretty and I looked so "plain-Jane." Looking back on photos then, I appeared somewhat insecure and self-conscious. My face could have certainly used some makeup to highlight my facial assets and hide my imperfections.

Once I did start wearing makeup as an adult, I was years behind my peers in "applying" experience. I was never taught the right way to wear makeup. I didn't know about makeup brushes, liners, or concealers. Yes, I had my challenges, but through the years I've "self-taught" myself by observing others and studying fashion magazines.

I have found that makeup is worth the trouble. Few people in this world have true natural beauty. Most need some additional help. Believe me, I'm no makeup artist, but I have trained myself to create a pleasing look (to me anyway).

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Bring a Smile to Your Garden

Aged garden tools, rusty iron gates, old shutters, dented galvanized containers, peeling bottomless chairs, weathered window panes, old red wagons, tire swings, rotting bird houses, and all things "past their prime" can bring a smile to your garden.

These time worn items can add some character and instill some whimsy to your garden areas.

If you don't own any of this stuff, go hunting at flea markets, garage sales, junk stores, and antique shops. That simply adds to the fun. When you find the one item that you covet most, place it in the garden and sit back and smile!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Summertime Blues

I am back after the sad overwhelming loss of a wonderful man, my faithful father. He passed away Wednesday, June 24th 2009 at the age of 81 due to acute leukemia. God granted his prayers to die at home (just the day before he was in the hospital). My mother, my sister Donna, my brother Kenney, and my sister-in-law Sharon were in the home during his passing. God granted our prayers, he died in his sleep with no suffering.

A beautiful funeral service was held in his memory at Jasper AL as well as a graveside service near his birthplace. My father died the same week as Michael Jackson, Farrah Faucet, and Ed McMahan. Much ado was made over these celebrities' lives. But in my book, none of them hold a candle to the life my father lived.

He lived his life with integrity. He was a realist, a practical down-to-earth person. He stood for "truth." He has taken care of my bedridden mother for the past three years. Words can't fully describe my father, you had to know him personally to understand him.

Coping with the grief has been tough, it's hard to let him go. I've cried a sea of tears. I greatly miss him, with great sorrow and affection he shall forever be in my memory.

Thanks to all of you who offered prayers, words of encouragement, and sent cards/flowers during my mourning.

Isaiah 54:10 "Though the mountains be shaken and the hills be removed, yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken nor my covenant of peace be removed, says the Lord who has compassion on you."

Psalms 36:5 "Your love, oh Lord, reaches to the heavens, your faithfulness to the skies."