Sunday, December 19, 2010

The Divine White Stuff

I am not talking about snow!

The Holy Grail of candy making to a southerner is Divinity (pun intended). It requires patience, strength of character, and good weather. Most of us will try to cultivate friendships with those who can and do make divinity in the hopes of a tiny portion presented wrapped in a bright bow at Christmas.

I have a recipe by a gentleman who went to the church in which I grew up. Curtis Williams was an old man when I was a teen. He always seemed gruff and a bit stern, but he had a great fondness for my mother, the church secretary. He made the most amazing divinity and he gave my mom the recipe. He died more than twenty years ago, but the memory of his candy lives on.

I can remember the many failures and few successes Mom had with this, in particular, eating it with a spoon. And I remember her frustration.

Divinity has a texture all it's own and I cannot think of a single thing with which to compare it. Perhaps a nougat, but not quite.

This morning, the sun was out and a quick check of the internet showed the humidity to be only 84% so I decided to give it a try. It turned out beautifully. If you are brave, strong, and true you may want to give it a whirl. (But I would send up a prayer first.)

Divinity by Curtis Williams

3 cups sugar
1/4 c water
3/4 c light corn syrup
pinch of salt
1 tsp vanilla
3 egg whites
1 c pecans

In a medium boiler, bring sugar, water, syrup and salt to a boil and cook to 250 degrees. Remove from heat and let stand 1 minute.


Add vanilla. Whip egg whites to firm peaks and add syrup mixture in a slow stream. Continue whipping until texture begins to look solid (20 - 25 minutes).


Add pecans and drop by spoonfuls onto wax paper.


Now, to clean the incredible mess...

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Sugar Coma

I've been very nostalgic lately, beginning in the summer when I bought Fuzzy Navel wine coolers. Very 80s of me. Then, a couple of weeks ago I really wanted ham rolls, so I made them for movie night. There was never a bridal shower, baby shower, brunch or cocktail party in the 80's with out these things. (Little ham and Swiss sandwiches with a mustard, onion, and poppy seed topping.)

And for some reason, I decided to revisit my youth again while making Christmas candy.

I plan on making Buck-eyes, later, but today I made Martha Washington Balls. I remember my mom making these when I was a tween. Once made, she would have to hide them to keep my sister and I out of them long enough for her to give them to friends and neighbors. (I have no idea of the origin of the name. Sorry!)

Martha Washington Balls

2 lbs confectioners sugar
2 stick butter, melted
2 c finely chopped pecans
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1 12 oz bag semi-sweet chocolate morsels
1/4 block paraffin

Mix together the sugar, butter, pecans and milk. Roll into balls and refrigerate.

Naked MWB

In a double boiler, melt paraffin and chocolate. Dip balls in chocolate and place on a cookie sheet lined with wax paper (or a Silpat) and refrigerate to cool.

Martha Washington Balls

This batch made 8 dozen.


My countdown to Christmas has begun and I've been a very busy girl today. I made some things I can't really mention before I get together with my friends and I made some candy.

First, I made peanut brittle using the recipe of a very old friend of my parents.

Wow! This stuff is easy! The weather doesn't effect the process at all!

Peanut Brittle

If you would like to give it a try, here is the recipe by Robert Bolzle and adapted by me.

Peanut Brittle

3 c white sugar
1 c light corn syrup
1/2 c water
3 c raw peanuts
3 Tbs butter
1 tsp salt
2 tsp soda

Mix together sugar, syrup, and water in a large saucepan. Boil to 250 degrees. Add peanuts and stir well, continuing to stir until candy reaches 280 degrees. Remove from heat and add butter, salt, and soda. Pour onto a buttered board to cool. Break into pieces once cool.

Monday, December 6, 2010

O Christmas Tree

I'm being very brave this year. I put up a Christmas tree.

My beloved Prissy was never phased by the presence of the Christmas tree. This cannot be said of ZsaZsa and Eva.

I was very careful to put my most expensive, beloved, and fragile ornaments up high but they have managed in the last few hours to knock loose and roll around the house a couple of glass balls.


I like the candlelight setting on my camera, but you can't really tell much about the ornaments.

With the flash on, the ornaments are clear but you really can't tell how beautiful it looks with the lights on.


But you can tell, if you look carefully, that the tree skirt is a great place for a nap.

ZsaZsa napping

Now I just have to finish the decorating, put up the rubber totes, bake cookies, make candy, wrap presents,


try to keep the tree upright and the decorations in tact.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Baby It's Cold Outside

Brrrrr! I woke up this morning to snow flurries. No accumulation, but I fixed myself a cup of coffee, grabbed my Snuggie, turned on some Christmas music and watched it snow. It was a perfect cold December morning.

Of course, it was short lived. The snow stopped and the kittens woke up. Mayhem ensued!

I've got a ceramic heater running in my bathroom right now, with the plan being to read in the tub before getting ready to go out.

I'm going with some friends to The Mad Platter this evening. I hope that it lives up to it's reputation.

Karen and Ginny came over last nite and we watched The Man Who Came to Dinner and It Happened on 5th Avenue...two vintage Christmas movies. We ate too much, drank pomegranate margaritas, and had a lovely visit.

Stay warm!

Friday, December 3, 2010

Pomegranites, Persimmons, and Pears...OH MY!

I have a hard time walking through the produce department this time of year. Things call out to me.

Beautiful, lush pink grapefruit.

Butternut squash.



And persimmons.

I come home with them and try to eat them all at once. I've roast the butternut squash. I've made salads with it. Risotto. Soup.

I've ruined many tops from the pomegranate juice. I've added the seeds to salads. But mostly, I peel it and eat it.

I've gotten sores in my mouth from eating too much grapefruit. I peel and eat it. I add it to coconut and pineapple. I french it for salads.

I've had peanut butter and pear sandwiches. Pear and blue cheese salads. Pears with cottage cheese. Pears! Pears! Pears!

But the persimmons! The sweetness! The perfection! The joy! I don't cook with them. I don't eat them with other things. I just slurp the juice and chew the flesh and wish I could enjoy this flavor all year long.

I love the bounty of Autumn.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Cornbread Dressing

I love cornbread dressing! It is the second best thing about the holidays as far as I am concerned. I could make it more often than I do, but I really associate it with the holidays...Thanksgiving, Christmas, and sometimes Easter.

I prepared a Thanksgiving preview meal for my book group in early November that included chicken and dressing, squash casserole, and a lovely pear, blue cheese and walnut salad with a cranberry vinaigrette. Dessert was a store bought pecan pie (there is a long story about my planned dessert and I won't bore you with it...suffice it to say that Martha Stewart and I are currently on the outs!)

I had planned on posting this last week for the Thanksgiving holidays, but things got a little crazy and, well, life got in the way.

You start with a pan of cornbread. Cornbread must be made in an iron skillet. It's the law. Crumble the cornbread into a bowl. Add any crackers or bread you have handy. (AS a side note, my mom always made us a big breakfast for holidays and used left-over biscuits in the dressing.)

Cut a medium onion and six stalks of celery and place in a medium saucepan. Cover with water and bring to a simmer until veggies are soft. Drain and add to bread.


Add chicken stock, four to six cups.

This next part gets a little tricky. Pull out several spoons. Now add sage. Lots of sage. Salt & pepper. Taste. Does it taste salty enough? Can you feel the sage on the back of the tongue? Adjust as needed.

In this particular case, I roasted a chicken and added the meat to my bread and veggies.


Now add two to three eggs.

Prepare an 13 x 9 baking dish with cooking spray and add the dressing. I like to do all of this a day ahead.

Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven until golden brown and firm.


In case you are interested, here is the squash casserole.


This is the table, including the salads.


So, though it's late, I hope you had a Happy Thanksgiving filled with comfort food and family joy!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Festival of Furry Fun

I adopted two kittens last week. Littermates, I named them ZsaZsa and Eva. They are hard to photgraph, but here are my attempts.


How, you may ask, do I tell them apart? Well, ZsaZsa's necklace (white spot at her throat) is bigger and Eva has a crook in her tail.


Eva is at the front of this little train.

They don't sit still. They run and play and then fall down asleep in a ball of black fur.

E&Z 4

But I went out and bought an assortment of kitty toys to keep them entertained. Allow me a moment to describe kitten responses to various toys.

Balls filled with bells? Bleh
Feathers on a stick? Yikes!
Catnip mouse? .........crickets.
Berries off fall wreath? Zowie!
Consumer warning label on comfortor? Yeah!
Q-tips? Ecstacy!
Brightly painted red toenails? THE. BEST. EVER!

They are curtain climbing, table hopping, knick knack destroying bundles of fun that like to sleep on me and look for me when I leave the room.

E&Z 2

How could I be happier?

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Thanksgiving Traditions

Thanksgiving. It is my favorite holiday. I love to cook the traditional favorites. I adore having everyone over, sitting at the table hours after the meal is done, just talking. I even love the left-overs.

Each family has it's own traditions and stories about how they got started. For my family, each Thanksgiving dinner must include ham and turkey, cornbread dressing, sweet-potato casserole, green beans, and a Jello salad. Also present will be cranberry sauce, potato salad, Waldorf salad, squash casserole, and Bird's Nest slaw. Noticeably missing? Pumpkin anything. We are not pumpkin people. Apple dumplings? Yes! Pecan pie? Yes! Chocolate? Well, DUH! But there will be no pumpkin.

And, there will be spiced peaches.

You see, my Aunt Ruth hated to cook so she never really excelled at it. She was in charge of potato salad and green beans for each holiday meal. At Christmas, she would make a fresh apple cake. These were her strong suits.

But she would always bring a jar of Osage Spiced Peaches to the Thanksgiving dinner.

She has been dead for almost twenty years now, but it just doesn't seem right to set the Thanksgiving table without them. Every year, a jar is opened and the peaches are plated near the cranberry sauce and pickle tray.

This year there will be a slight variation. I made the spiced peaches myself.

peaches jarred 2

I found this recipe in the BH&G cookbook.

5 lbs peaches
5 cups sugar
1 cup white vinegar
2 cups water
2 tsp whole cloves
12 cinnamon sticks

Cut an x in the end of each peach and place in boiling water for 1 minute. Remove to an ice bath.

spiced peaches

Place sugar, vinegar, water, and spices in a large pot and bring to a boil. Peel peaches and place in syrup as peeling to prevent browning.

peaches 3

Simmer for five minutes and place in sterilized jars. Place in BWB for 20 minutes.

peaches jarred

* I made sure that each jar had cinnamon sticks and cloves floating in them. I also halved and pitted the peaches. My peaches were rather large, so I would up with six pints containing 4 peach halves each.

Other recipes use far less cinnamon, but I really liked the punch of the vinegar and cinnamon together. And since I used flaming fury peaches, the color is fabulous!

I plan on serving these to my book group on Monday evening, with a few other Thanksgiving favorites.

Is there some mysterious item that always winds up on your holiday table?

Friday, November 5, 2010

Guess What We Serve?

I went to Captain D's today to pick up lunch for my boss and myself. While waiting on my order, a couple came in and, having walked past the window sized signs outside advertising this month's special and past a white board announcing $5.00 deals, to the counter below a 20 foot menu and asked "Do you have any specials?"

The young lady patiently explained that the current special was two dozen shrimp with two sides and hush puppies for $3.99.

Next question? "Do you have any fish?"

The young lady briefly explained and priced each menu item; they were still trying to decide if they wanted to eat there or not when I left.

Because, when I think of subtle and understated, I think of Captain D's.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Family Birthday, Gossip, and UPdates

My father and my sister had birthdays yesterday. Dad turned 75, Sis turned 39 (again!). My brother-in-law has a birthday this Friday. So, I offered to cook a meal for the birthday celebration on Sunday. My only request was a menu. Picky eaters and such. The response was..."Anything is fine with me" three times.

But I know that my BIL doesn't eat cheese, my sister doesn't eat fish, and my dad wants comfort food.

I decided on something easy for me, and generally well received. I made a Five Hour Stew, a salad of leafy greens, mandarin oranges, green onions and sugared almonds. I know that one of my nieces and my mom love a raspberry vinaigrette, so I used it on the salad. I also made cornbread and served a marble cake with white butter-cream frosting from Publix.

This meal was very well received.

We had very good news regarding my cousin's husband. He spent three weeks in intensive care at the university hospital and was then moved to another hospital with pressurized rooms to assist in his lung function. He was moved to a rehab center for a couple of weeks before going home. He has been driving himself to work for a few hours a day. Talk about miracles!

Sis called Sunday evening as I was preparing to go to my safe place due to tornadoes in the area. She had some really good, happy gossip to share.

There was a childless couple who worked with the youth at church when I was in my early teens. They later had children of their own and changed churches but remained close. Jimmy died unexpectedly several years ago.

When I was in my mid-twenties, I became friends with a lovely lady from church who was married with a teen son. She was the life of the party everywhere she went. She died after a long bout with cancer a couple of years ago.

The widowed spouses found each other recently and have married. I'm so happy to hear this. It just seems right.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Saturday Morning In A Small City

I live in a city of about 30,000. Too big to be a town, rural enough to retain the small town feel. And while fighting the same fights as the bigger cities, it still retains a certain charm.

Like today, when I rose early and headed to the farmer's market on the town square for some honey and butternut squash. Then I stopped by Walmart, where I spotted the Amish out shopping. The Amish around here really love Walmart. The men were outside chatting amongst themselves beside the buggies, the women and children inside shopping. It is a beautiful autumn day and the men in those straw hats, dark blue shirts, black slacks and suspenders were somehow brighter than the colors would lead you to suspect.

I headed over to the local mall which, like so many malls these days, was quite dead. The few stores still open were not particularly busy, but it was early yet. I stopped at a yard sale or two, then headed to the local coffee house.

Buckhead Coffee is in a mid-century house on a fairly busy street and is almost impossible to get into on a Saturday. Today was no exception. I arrived at a little before eleven and the line was out the door. But, Oh My! The vanilla ice cream coffee was amazing! And, when compared to the cost of, you know, The Big Guys, it was a happy little treat.

So, after a stop at the supermarket and the drugstore, I'm back home for a while. I need to make some cookies and do some laundry. It's just so hard to motivate myself to stay inside on such a lovely day. Maybe I'll walk to the library and back.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Is It So Wrong?

To admit that my heart skipped a beat when I read that McDonalds is bringing back the McRib?


Sweet, spicy sauce, tangy dill pickles, tender pork, crisp onion and crusty roll.

Please, don't get me wrong, I don't eat fast food often, but I will have to have at least one McRib.

And no comments about my heart skipping a beat due to the fat laden, cholesterol raising qualities of McDonalds...I know, I know. But everyone needs a vice to make them interesting.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Reader's Delight

I am a reader. I have always been a reader. I treasure books like others treasure jewelry,exotic stamps, rare coins. I grew up in a home of readers and cut my teeth on James Michener, Irving Wallace and even Harold Robbins. I was taught to think of a library as reverently as a church.

I love good fiction but am not opposed to really well written non-fiction. I don't care for Sci-fi, but am open to almost anything else. My current leanings are mystery (from the essential comfort of a cozy to the gritty darkness of crime novels), fantasy (from faeries to vampires), and chick lit. But most of all, I love a well written novel.

Because I am a reader, I tend to skim; to read fast and skip extraneous narrative. I sometimes feel guilty for doing this, thinking of the time and effort the author must have put into the work, but there are other things to do, other books to read, and so I skim.

And then, once in a blue moon, I encounter a book so beautifully crafted that I find myself devouring each word and phrase and going back to re-read favorite paragraphs. Cry, the Beloved Country was one such book. All Over But the Shoutin' was another. And I currently find myself mid-way through yet another.

Words--ordinary words--organized and composed so as to create emotion and experience. Words we ourselves use on a daily basis suddenly so elegantly presented as to make us feel smarter and better for having read them. One must savor these experiences; take them to heart. These books...these gems...are rare and lovely and worthy of esteem and must be shared.

I offer to you today The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield.


I encourage you to pick it up and read the first fifty pages. I believe you will be as impressed as I.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Everybody Needs a Nemesis!

I sent this email to three friends who all turn fifty this year. I will not, however, give their names.

Having hit the big 5-0 a couple of years before you, I feel a bit like an older sister and therefore capable of sharing some wisdom.

Michelle Pfeiffer and I are the same age. I discovered this upon becoming fifty. I hate her. It has nothing at all to do wither her marriage to a Hollywood legend, her beautiful family, or her fabulous career. hatred has to do with the fact that she still, at the advanced age of fifty, looks like a Breck girl and could still pose as the epitome of All American beauty. So this woman that I have never met and who has no knowledge of my existence is my nemesis.

the witch

Why do I feel the need to share this information with you, my sisters? Well, everyone needs a nemesis. If you haven't yet found that special someone to hate, I would like to present to you the fifty year old Jennifer Grey dancing the Jive on DWTS.

Do you hate her yet?

Monday, September 27, 2010

Rainy Days and Mondays

I am somewhat embarrassed to write this, considering my last entry was on my annual case of birthday blues, but a friend posted this clip on Facebook and it made me remember what an amazing talent Karen Carpenter was.

The mellow tone, the soulful lyrics. I can't think of anyone who could have ever done it better.

(And at least it's not "We've Only Just Begun".

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Birthday Blues

For years now, I've experienced an overwhelming sense of depression in the two weeks leading up to my birthday. It fizzles out sometime after, I've never clocked it.

I don't know if it's brought on by the fact that I am getting older and am no longer the young chick my psyche says that I am or perhaps related to the end of summer seasonal changes. Whatever the cause, it started early this year, precipitated by the death of my beloved Prissy. (I am at this very moment trying to not cry.)

Whatever the cause, I soldier on, man up, walk it off! I get by. I cry, I wallow in self-pity, I eat bad foods, and then I'm over it.

So if I seem moody, irritable, and a little sad, don't worry. I'll be back to normal soon enough. Unless this year it is all a cruel joke of menopause; if so, turn up the A/C and get used to it...GROWL!

Monday, August 23, 2010

The County Fair

I entered a jar of these in the local county fair.

Pickles 4-4

Saturday, some friends and I went to the fair to check it out. It was a rinky dinky hot mess. But, in the exhibition hall we found the pickles. Ten jars were entered. Nine jars had ribbons. Any guesses on the jar without a ribbon?

I love these pickles, so I'm okay without the recognition. But it started a whole week-end of self-doubt, which brought on a serious case of the blues. I cried a lot.

I feel better now and am laughing about the pickles. Maybe not so much about the other stuff.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

What A Week!

My friend Patty had to put her cat down last week. My sister had to put her 17 year old beloved dog down Friday. Of course, I am still morning the loss of Prissy.

But the really bad stuff happend yesterday.

My cousin Pat and her husband James own several business, one of which is a used car lot. A man came into the office of the car lot yesterday and shot James three times. James is in intensive care at the University hospital.

Please pray for Pat & James.

Friday, August 13, 2010


I'm fighting the tears as I type this. Today, I said goodbye to my pretty Prissy, my companion and comfort. I loved her dearly and truly know that she loved me. My father laughed about her dedication to me, her constant need to be touching me.

This was our first Christmas together. Look at that face!

Festive, huh?

How many cats do you know that love a bath?

She never liked to play. I remember once I spent about $12.00 on a clockwork mouse. I called her into the room, wound it up and set it on a table. She looked at the mouse, looked at me, back to the mouse, back to me. Then, while looking at me, she casually reached over, knocked the mouse off the table, and walked away.

I was going to publish the slideshow of a day in the life of Prissy, but instead, click here.

You know, remembering all of this has made me smile. I hope you don't mind.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

I Really Hate To Do This...

But I need a moment to vent.

I have an infections inside my nose. It is red and swollen and hurts a bit. I look like Rudolph.

Yesterday while drying my hair, I noticed something dark, went to get a closer look, a clump of hair came off in my hand.

The cat bit me on my knuckle and my entire hand hurts.

The button popped off of the slacks I was planning to wear to work.

And I spilled cat food all over the floor.

I'm just not happy right now.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Movie Nite

My friends and I get together every other month to watch old movies. We've been doing it for a few years now and we've seen some really great movies.

We also bring food.

Lots of food.

So we got together last Saturday night to watch Bell, Book, and Candle with Jimmy Stewart, Kim Novak, and Jack Lemmon. We also watched The Big Sleep with Bogart and Bacall.

Our hostess made a lovely baked ziti, a Greek salad, and some caramel cupcakes. I made a blackberry cobbler and picked up some Publix fried chicken. And we had meatball subs, Caprese salad, and watermelon.

I also made watermelon margaritas. I love watermelon and I, unfortunately, love margaritas. To quote Ina Garten, how bad can that be?

So we had good food, good drink, good conversation, and good movies. All in all, a great night.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

I'm Tired

I'm tired of Mel Gibson.

I'm tired of Chelsea Clinton's wedding.

Though I love her, I'm tired of Sandra Bullock's marital woes.

I'm tired of commercials for personal injury attorneys.

I'm tired of political campaigns, and we're just approaching the primary!

I'm tired of the heat.

I'm tired of the humidity.

And, like everyone else in the world, I'm tired of the gulf oil spill.

In other words, I can't watch television, listen to the radio, go outside or look at the internet without being more tired. Good thing I've got a big pile of books to be read.

Monday, July 12, 2010

The Taste of Summer Sunshine

I brought home an assortment of tomatoes from my dad's garden last week. This year is not the bountiful harvest of the past, but I came home with enough to keep me in tomato sandwiches for a while.

And I've had a few.

I gave in to one of my dark desires over the week-end, however, and had my favorite breakfast. Toast and tomato.

I know, it sounds simple. But let me explain a couple of things. I only use real butter and I don't use a toaster to make toast. I either melt butter in a frying pan and toss bread into the melted butter or I spread butter on the bread and place it on a baking sheet under the broiler. Whichever way I choose, the bread is infused with real butter.

I top all of this buttery goodness with vine ripened sliced tomatoes and sea salt. It is divine!

Years ago, a baby sitter sliced open left-over biscuits and slathered them with butter. She then toasted them in the oven and placed a slice of tomato on each half as it came from the oven. I have loved it since but never have biscuits in the house. Thus, the toast.

The acidic sweetness of ripe tomato, the yeasty goodness of the bread, and the creaminess of the butter combine to remind me of what I love about summer.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Disoriented or Blonde?

I haven't been feeling well; I have all the symptoms of a sinus infection. Headache, earache, head and chest congestion, fever. I left work yesterday and headed straight home, walked in the door, petted the cat, put on my gown and crawled into bed. By 4:30.

I woke up feeling a bit out of sorts and looked at the clock. 6:35! I was in a panic, convinced I was going to be late to work. I ran into the bathroom and took the world's fastest shower. I honestly don't think I got wet all over. I hurriedly dried off and ran to the closet to decide what to wear. Then I looked at the clock again and saw the little light indicating p.m.

I put my gown back on and went back to bed.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Banana Pudding

I have never made an old fashioned banana pudding. My mother never made an old fashioned banana pudding. So yesterday, we had what my sister likes to call occupational therapy for my mom, and gave it a whirl. I scoured the Internet, the box of vanilla wafers, and old cook-books looking for a recipe we could work with, and finally came up with a hybrid of several different recipes.


New/Old Fashioned Banana Pudding

1 12 oz can evaporated milk
1 c milk (I used 2%)
4 egg yolks lightly beaten
1/2 c sugar
1/2 c Splenda
6 to 8 ripe bananas
1 tsp vanilla extract
vanilla wafers

Place milks in top of double boiler to warm but do not boil. Slowly add to egg yolks and then place back into the double boiler. Add sugar and stir often, cooking for 10-15 minutes. Puree' 4 bananas and add to custard when it is almost set. Set aside to cool. Add vanilla.

Line a casserole dish on bottom and sides with vanilla wafers. Pour a layer of custard and top with a layer of sliced banana. Repeat.


4 egg whites
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
1/3 cup sugar

Whip egg whites and cream of tartar until they start to foam. Add sugar and ship until soft peaks form. Place on top of pudding and place under broiler until top starts to brown.

Adding the pureed bananas to the custard intensified the flavor and made this a very rich dessert.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Happy Anniversary!

Thirty years ago today, the movie Airplane! opened in theaters. Bravo TV named it as #6 in their list of funiest movies of all time. Quite frankly, I can't think of a single more quotable movie.


I love Lloyd Bridges addictions...

"Guess I picked a bad week to give up sniffing glue."

Peter Graves

"Do you like Gladiator movies?"

Barbara Billingsley

"I speak jive."

Possibly the most famous two lines in movie history...

"Surely you can't be serious!"
"I am serious, and don't call me Shirley!".

And my personal favorite...

"What do you make of this?"
"I can make a hat. I can make a brooch. I can make a pterydactyl!"

So, if you're reading this, take a moment to contemplate selling Tupperware in third world countries, drinking problems, and slapping someone hysterical. And then remember how bad your sides hurt from laughing the first time you saw it.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Sunday Pot Roast

When I ask my parents what they want me to cook for them, pot roast is always the first request. Since Dad is responsible for the meals these days, he goes the easy route with jarred pasta sauce, frozen dinners, and grilled meats. He loves a good roast, but has no desire to cook one.

So I cooked a roast for Father's Day dinner, like every Sunday of my childhood, and it was extremely good. This is something I learned from my mom and it is always a winner.

I'm sorry to say that the only photo I was able to take was prior to going into the oven because I was busy frying squash when it came out.


Here is the way I cook a Sunday Pot Roast

1 2 1/2 to 3 lb boneless chuck roast
1/2 cup Dale's Steak Sauce
3 Tbs Worchestershire Sauce
1 cup Coke
1 extra large or 2 medium onions
6 small or 4 large carrots
6 medium potatoes*
2 Tbs vegetable oil

Salt & pepper roast and dredge in flour. Pour oil in bottom of cast iron dutch oven and heat to medium high. Brown sides of roast and add vegetables and liquids. Place in 300 degree oven for 2 hours. (We like our roast beef well done, cook it for less if you like it pink).

Serves 6

*If I use red potatoes, I use 2 - 3 per person.

And I would like to share some of the beauty from my Dad's back yard. He has a green thumb, a gene that somehow didn't make it to my sister and I.

I love the hydrangeas that border the deck.



And the gardenias (far enough away so as to not give one a headache).


And these, which thanks to my online buddy Becky (DecoLady), it turns out is Aphrodite Rose of Sharon.


Not shown is the tree that fell during a storm on Saturday.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

It's All In The Name

The incumbent candidate for State Representative of the 64th district of Tennesse is Ty Cobb. His full name is John Tyler Cobb, but he has chosen to associate himself with a mean, racist, jerk who was a great baseball player. His campaign workers wear baseball jerseys and his campaign signs have baseballs on them.

I cannot make myself vote for him. He may be a wonderful human being, and well respected by his constituents and fellow representatives, but I JUST. CAN'T. DO. IT.
It grates upon me like chalk on a blackboard.

The Alabama primaries are today, and, having spent the week-end there, I am fully caught up on the festival of mud-slinging and name calling. There are at least 1000 Republican candidates (I exagerate, some), and 2 Democrat candidates.

The Republicans seem to not be running against each other, but against the Dems. The Dems are fighting it out between themselves and it is not pretty.

But, there in the midst of it all, one candidate truly shines. Not for his ads or his stance on any particular subject. Nor for his animosity with his competition.

Nope, he is segregated from the pack by one thing only, his name. Why? Well, Young Boozer is running for Treasurer. One must ask oneself, do you want a young boozer handling your money?

Truly, I don't have a dog in this hunt, but I can't help myself...I find it funny.

ETA: Breaking News! Young Boozer won the Republican Primary, beating George Wallace, Jr. Dang! What a name fest that election was!

Thursday, May 27, 2010


Granted, I stopped watching American Idol a couple of years ago, but I've followed it thru the TV entertainment shows and the internet. And this season, it seems there has only been a single contestant, Crystal Bowersox.

I've read about her bouts of depression.
I've seen stories of her ups and downs during this year's competition.
I've heard about her near coronation as this year's Idol and by all reports, I naturally assumed she would win.


So what the heck happened last night? And who is Lee DeWyze?


I hadn't even heard of him until Tuesday. How did he become the American Idol? Seriously, did America beat the media? And who got it right?

Friday, May 21, 2010

The New Man In My Life

He showed up one day in January, cold, frightened, and alone. I couldn't stand it. I fed him. The neighbors also fed him.


I call him Morris, like the iconic cat with the descriminating taste. Doesn't really suit him, though. Picky, he ain't! I also call him Honeyboy.

This is my front door mat, the spot he has chosen as his.

Morris bed

Can you tell?

He is very loving, to the point where he is hard to photograph, he wants to be petted.


He is also a bit playful.


The pictures don't quite do him justice. He is, like so many of us, ummm...fat. Picture, if you will, a football covered in orange fur. Add four legs and a head. Now mentally fill that football with lead. That should do it. He is short and full, the complete oposite of Prissy, who is runway model long and thin. Perhaps I should call him Garfield.

He really wants to come live inside, but Prissy has put her foot down! So he will sleep on my door mat, or on my car, or under my bedroom window. I think we having a grand love affair.

Friday, May 14, 2010

The Fabulocity of Frivolous Footwear

While not yet officially summer, the temperatures have been dancing dangerously close to 90 degrees, enough to pull out the summer sandals. I love summer shoes. Flip-flops, sandals, little bits of leather attached together to create some semblance of form.

When the weather first starts to warm, I begin to pamper my feet with scrubs and lotions, soaks and dips, buffing and filing. I search out new polishes for my toes and experiment with the colors.

And then I shop. I stopped at my favorite little hole in the wall that always sells cute little styles ins flip-flops--I bought a pair of black with sequinned straps and an identical pair in gold. I bought a pair of pink argyle.

Next, I found a pair of CL by Laundry in pewter with two small straps, one across the top of the foot and another across the toe. These have two inch heels and the strap around the toe is jeweled. Sexy!

I found two pairs yesterday I had to have. A pair of black thongs by Madeline Stuart with 3" wedge heels and a big, flashy, multi-faceted plastic diamond on the toe. Sparkly! I also found a pair of Steve Madden T-strap sandals in silver with silver roses on the straps. Shiny!

This morning, I slid my pampered and pink feet with bright pink toes into the black Madeline Stuarts. I keep stopping to admire them.

Forget Chicken Soup for the Soul, pretty shoes can do as much for a woman as chocolate. A flirty pair of sandals can make a woman fill sassy and special. A sexy, strappy mule can make a woman feel daring and alluring. Even fat girls feel pretty and desirable in the right shoes. And we don't have to face the harsh reality of a three way, badly lit, dressing room mirror to try them on. We can sit at our desks at work and look down at the beauty that is our feet! Or we can casually cross our legs while conversing with friends and feel a surge of confidence.

The thinner the straps, the higher the heels, the brighter the color, the better. Summertime footwear gives us back what trying on swimsuits takes away. I thank each and every designer and manufacturer that gives me this is priceless.

And to the great god women's footwear, Stuart Weitzman, I make this promise...I WILL ONE DAY POSSESS A PAIR OF YOUR SHOES...otherwise known as the Holy Grail.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

The Beauty Shop


I took my mom to have her hair done on Saturday. There is nothing quite like a "beauty shop". Movie mags and gossip rags are everywhere. Brightly colored rollers lay atop tables and carts. The air is redolent with the smell of permanent solution.

This is not a "salon". The customers have done the same thing every Saturday morning for 40 years. There are an assortment of walkers along one wall and the staff takes exceedingly tender care with clientele. God bless these women who pamper women like my mother with a gentle wash and set while gossiping about shared acquaintances before gently placing them under the dryer to read about Brad and Angelina and shout at one another.

It was so very reminiscent of my childhood! It made me long for a cold grape soda in a glass bottle. Back then, the stories in the magazines were about Liz and Richard and the ladies' hair was much darker. The gossip was whispered and far juicier. A Saturday morning spent at the beauty shop was an inside look at womanhood. There were glamorous women there who had their hair colored and their nails done. There were women like my mom, hoping to look good for most of the week. (I never remember my mom painting her nails or having them done, but there was always Cutex nail polish around the house, so she must have done them herself.) There were the hair dressers (not stylists)with curlers in their own hair, waiting on a moment when another could comb them out. They wore make-up and smoked and laughed about going out on Saturday night, things I knew nothing of.

My mom knew little of make-up and styling of hair. She had my hair cut short when I was small to keep from having to deal with rolling it, braiding it, and all of the other things you do to little girls' hair. No bows or ribbons for me...a pixie cut was my destiny. My parents would occasionally step out on a Saturday night when I was the only child. My aunt and uncle and some friends would join them and share the baby sitting services of my older cousins. But some couples moved away, some marriages crumbled, and my sister came along and Saturday night became family night.

But Saturday was the day that Mom ran errands and did a little something for herself. And sometimes I got to come along.