Sunday, December 20, 2009

Playing Catch Up

Today's post is a hodge-podge of information because it's been so long since my last post.

My nephew got married in St. Louis on November 7th. The day was unseasonably warm so the trip and the day was a pleasure. My Aunt Bettye wanted to make the trip with my sister, my niece and me so we drove from Lexington to Owensboro to pick her up, first, and then we drove from there to St. Louis. It was a fun trip because anytime you get my sister and Aunt Bettye in the same room, it becomes a segment of "The Queens of Comedy." We even entertained at the rehearsal dinner and reception. We were the talk of the wedding. Here are a few pictures from the event.

My sister-in-law(mother of my nephew) and friend of the family.

From left, my niece Becky (sister of the groom), me, the bride's mother and Aunt Bettye. It's pictures like this that reveal to me how badly I need to lose a few.

My sister and the bride.

Another niece with her back to my camera, taking pictures.

The groom and his nephew.

Lena, aunt of the groom along with the bride and groom.

Proud mother and groom.

The wedding site. I think the hall was a tribute to American Indians. It resembled the structure of domed meeting lodge and there were artifacts in few places within the hall.

Then there was Thanksgiving Day. I cooked homestyle green beans, roasted brussel sprouts, cranberry mold and caramel apple layer cake. The cake is a Rachel Ray recipe and it is to die for. There is applesauce in the cake but the middle layer is sauteed sliced apples, brown sugar and cream. Yum, yum.

Our office decided to have grazing on Thursday, December 17th, to celebrate Christmas. I made cheese and salami loaf. This stuff is just plain ol' lip-smacking, finger-licking good. Guys particularly love it and it's pretty easy to make. Here are pictures and the recipe.

Cheese and Salami Loaf

1/2 lb. Swiss cheese
1/2 lb. Genoa salami
1 pkg. yeast (not fast-acting)
1 cup warm water
1 t. sugar
1 t. salt
3 cups flour

Dissolve yeast in water. Add sugar, salt and flour ( 1 cup at a time) using an egg beater. Knead dough until it is no longer sticky. Let rise 1 hour.
Divide in 2. Knead again. Roll out with a rolling pin. Brush with beaten egg. Spread salami and cheese. Roll up and tuck ends. Let rise 15 minutes.

Bake at 350 for 30 minutes on a cookie sheet.

Note: I rarely make the bread anymore. Just buy frozen loaf dough, let it thaw and proceed from there. What could be easier?

Saturday, November 14, 2009

October Vacation

This is my vacation in reverse. It's in reverse because when I'm importing pictures I find it hard to think about the last one I import will be the first to appear on this page. So there!!!
These first pics are of Carlos and Sue, my friends in Jacksonville. We're playing Scrabble and Dominos on this night and Carlos is pretty serious as you can see. He always wants to win. Sue helps him way too much. I think he won one and I won one before his sister, Agnes, showed up and walloped us good.

These next pics are of Charleston, SC. I've always imagined this as an ideal place to visit/live. I realized after I returned home that I hadn't taken many pics. I think I kept thinking I'll wait until I can get a better picture or angle. Alas, that didn't happen. So I have very few to show of that lovely place. There are a few of me in at the waterfront and my hotel room. The hotel room was quaint and beautiful. However, it was across the street from the main building and up two sets of stairs and down 1/2 flight to my room with no elevator. I would stay there again but just not on the second floor across the street. The name of hotel was Vendue Inn.

Should you decide to visit Charleston and take a tour I would recommend Gullah Tours. The guide is funny and excellent in narrative. He's been written up in Southern Living as well as other magazine. I had also taken a carriage tour (which is one reason why there should have been more pics) but this guy was heads above the rest; plus you got to see everything from an air-conditioned bus.

In this pic, we were at this famous iron worker's shop. That's Alphonso, the tour guide telling us a few tales. Go to for more pictures and information.

I recommend Charleston. The food is good and the city is a must see.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Aunt Bettye - The Life of the Party

My dear Aunt Bettye called a few days before Rejane was scheduled to come home for a visit. Ring, ring. "Hello, Aunt (pronounced Ant) Bettye. What's up?"
Aunt Bettye: Nothing. When is Rejane coming in?
Me: August 22nd. Are you planning a road trip?
Her: No, uh,uh.
Me: Are you hinting we need to plan a road trip to see you?
Her: Yeah, that's right. (Try to imaging a cackle here. She knows she has got her way.)
Me: Okay, I"ll get with Re' and plan a trip. See you soon.

Aunt Bettye was always my favorite Aunt. She was the youngest of my aunts and uncles and always acted young at heart. Still does. When I was in college and home for a visit, I would go to house to let my hair down. All my college friends thought Aunt Bettye's was a nightclub rather than a person, because of the stories I told. I laugh now just thinking about it.

I apologize for the picture quality. Whenever I learn how to use the photoshop on this computer, this all will be much better. She is an attractive lady.

This is her oldest daughter, Kaye. She is the only sibling still living in Owensboro. Her brothers live in Hawaii and Louisville; her sister lives in Georgia.

My niece Dani rode with us. She never misses a chance to visit Aunt Bettye. Aunt Bettye will keep you laughing from the time you enter until the time you leave.

And last but not least, here is the whole reason for the trip - Diva Re' - my favorite daughter.

Now one more thing you need to know - another big reason to ride to Owensboro is for the barbeque. I skipped breakfast and we all were looking forward to a trip to Moonlite BBQ for the buffet. Alas, Aunt Bettye cooked lunch for us and we pigged out on two casseroles and green beans. But don't cry for us, we stopped by Moonlite on the way out of town and brought some bbq mutton home for me and my sister. Yum, yum, yum.

And in advance of my daughter's birthday this month, I had two pounds shipped to her. Enjoy, dearie.

Diva Re' In Action

My daughter, Rejane, came to visit in August. What a woman she has turned out to be - very wise! It was a delight to have her home.
To the left is Re' and my nephew Jordan who came to church with us, just to spend time with her and hear her sing.

Here she is singing. Normally, no one sings unless he/she has practiced with the band and choir. But they know her and she cannot show up for church and not sing. Ain't happening.

Here she is with Pastor Don. He is so funny. He pronounces her name the way it is spelled, Re -Jane. He's just kidding; he just tries to keep up his country-boy image.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

A Budding Artist?

Hey! Check it out!
A few months ago I created 5 artful canvasses using a mixture of free handed brush strokes and a stencil. I hung all five on the same wall over my bed but they looked a little lost, like they needed some kind of anchor to really "set" them in place. Finally, I thought I'd paint a "frame" for them. Then just because I move so slowly on decorating projects, it took a few more weeks for me to put hands to the vision. This is the result. Like it? I guess you can see I didn't rehang all five; three seemed perfect.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Yard in Bloom

Here's what the yard and porch look like at the end of July. My house plants are thriving on the front porch where they get morning sun and afternoon shade. The two hanging chimes are new; my old one finally bit the dust. I just love the sounds of these guys; they are manufactured in the keys of E and C. They sing to me.

Here are the painted rockers again. I just love the color.

These lilies were a gift from a friend because she doesn't like this type; her loss, my gain. Note, they are so tall that they come to the top of the deck rail.

This is one bed with chard, green beans and herbs. I let dill and cilantro go to bloom so I had to pull them up and start over. I really miss the cilantro.

This bed just has beets right now. I had just pulled out spent green bean plants.

And finally, tomatoes, bell peppers and yellow squash. I am really disappointed in the pepper plants; they bloomed but have not produced peppers yet. I have cherry, plum, heirloom and yellow tomatoes. YUM.

My roses and crepe myrtle are showing off. It's okay, beauty is hard to hide.

These guys are volunteers. If I had planted them they would not have done well. Normally, I sow cosmos here but I didn't get to it this year.

I love my yard. I am so blessed to be surrounded by beauty and bounty.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

God is Up to Something

A few months ago I started this blog with a number of the initial posts concerning scriptures. Well, that theme is returning. Not to say I won't write about my garden, my daughter, a birthday cake that took two days to make or some other random thought. But today, it's all about Him.

Last week during church service, I went up on stage during praise and worship to seek permission from my pastor's wife to give a word I believe the Lord wanted me to share. It concerned His name, who He said He was.  Remember in Exodus when Moses was talking to God and he asked God how he would answer when the people of Israel asked who sent him (Moses) to rescue them? God said tell them, "I Am." Well, that's what I encouraged the congregation remember that's who God is. He's not an I Was God, although He was; He's not an I Will Be God, although He will be. He is an I Am God, ever present. Later, as church was letting out, my pastor's wife announced I would be speaking on Wednesday night. You could have scooped me up with a shovel!

Well, on Wednesday, I just shared how simply God communicates with me and gave examples from over the last 24 years. So many people have told me, giving specific examples, of how the message helped them.

Well, today, I felt He wanted me to exhort the body once again. This time the message was on how we would behave if we really believed what God says in His word. I related it to a frustrated and easily riled co-worker who vented about dealing with long delays in refinancing his mortgage. I went over to his desk and just said, "you are getting upset because you don't believe you'll win." He got the message instantly. And the congregation got it today, as well. When God says, the battle is His and the victory is ours, it's the truth. Christians have to start behaving like victors not victims.

I don't know specifically what God is doing but I definitely know He's up to something. As my friend Sam said, I went for years barely speaking in church and now I've spoken three times in a week. Wonders will never cease.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

A Good Deed

My sister usually cooks and entertains during all holidays but now that her nest is rapidly emptying out, she is painting rooms instead of cooking. What? Alas, I took up the charge and took dinner to her today. I made roasted pork loin, which I had dry-rubbed with a brown sugar mixture, mushroom sauce, pasta salad and dessert pizza. The dinner was a hit. There was way too much food for me to bring home (she claimed she didn't have room in her refrigerator) so I packed up some for me and some for her husband's secret fridge (it's in the man-cave). The dinner was a hit and well-timed since they both needed a break from painting and staining quarter-round.

Here are some of my knockout roses. They are such a show-off.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

My Daughter's Graduation Ceremony

Here's Rejane clowning before the ceremony begins. I had her purse and she had forgotten to apply lipstick. Ever the diva!!
Here she is on the second row at the bottom of this shot just to the right of the man snapping a pic in the blue shirt.

Here they are marching in to the arena. Re' is about
10 rows from the front. Look for a short person.

She has just received her baton. Sorry, I'm still getting used to this hand-me-down camera from her.

Rejane and a friend Wendy Cruz after the ceremony. They both had donated their gowns and were required to turn them in right away so I didn't get a close-up of her in the gown.

We (my niece Dani, Re' and I) went out to eat afterwards at a place called Charleston's Restaurant. It was late and one late arrival demanded we rearrange the tables to accommodate her family. She then relocated her family to another room!!! We were tired. It was about 10:30 p.m. in this pic.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Front Porch Revitalization

Here are two before and after photos of my front porch. The rockers are about 6 years old and were showing the wear of being out in the elements, albeit sheltered, for those years. I decided to spray paint them (the color is celery) to give them a face-lift; I like the result. Don't you?

Monday, May 11, 2009

Gardening Update

I thought you'd like to see how my garden in growing. In this box are the leaf vegetables(swiss chard, spinach, mesculin mix and romaine) along with herbs. That's dill and cilantro to the left of the lettuces; just below the cilantro you are not able to see basil and parsley but they are there. My photographer is a novice but free.

Tomato and pepper plants are in this box. I am considering planting zucchini here also.

To the left of the box are red knockout roses which are just beginning to bloom. One week from now, they are going to be absolutely gorgeous.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

A Little of This, a Little of That

For you few people who read by blog, I offer my apologies. It has been a month since I last confessed, er wrote. Forgive me.
I fell off the raw food diet. I was enticed by my need for variety. I still eat raw foods each day but not exclusively. I noticed a change in my fingernails, so I am continuing to experiment for optimum health.
I now swim 35 laps at least four days a week and strength-train 2 times a week. I am amazed that at 59 years of age that I can swim for 45 to 50 minutes continuously. Last week a woman in the next lane called me a "swimming machine." I was flattered especially considering I was swimming very slowly that night.
My garden is coming along well...just tiny lettuce leaves and herbs. Can hardly wait to eat from my garden.

I am posting pictures of the redbud in the front yard along with the matching tulips beneath it. One of my neighbors loves these tulips so much she took a picture and put it in my mailbox. She teases me about selecting tulips to match the tree.
The first picture is of some tiny bulbs I planted years ago; their names are so complicated that I saved the labels in case someone ever asked me what the were. Well, wouldn't you know...just this week my neighbor to the back asked me what they were. I had to trek back to the garage and find where I had hidden (stored) the labels.

Later today I am experimenting with drying cranberries. Anyone who knows me well knows I always have frozen cranberries on hand. I buy about 10 bags around thanksgiving, throw them in the freezer and use them in recipes throughout the year. They usually end up in muffins. Today, I am trying something different. I buy dried,sweetened cranberries to sprinkle in salads or oatmeal. I suddenly thought I could make my own. I bought a dehydrator a few months ago so I am going to put it to good use today. Stay tuned for the result of this experiment. I guess I am still a scientist at heart.

My next post will probably cover decorating my front porch. I have houseplants ready to go, I am planning to paint the rocking chairs and I need a new wind chime. The old one is falling apart.