Wednesday January 28, 2009

May I guest write on my own blog?  This is a blast from the past. A blog post I had written prior to my xanga days although a few of you might recognize it. Written sometime around August 2005.


Old Friends are Sweeter

than peaches and cream pie.

My childhood pals, SY and CO, and I were asked to sing at church by our former school teacher. We got together at my house this past Saturday to do some practicing. But first there was some reminiscing to be done.

We three have been through a bit together. Growing up in a small church we were the only girls in a 5 year range, although we are all within 9 months of each other. We had another friend, SO, who is only 1.5 years older than us and had no girlfriends quite her age, the nearest being a year older. She was subjected to our friendship and dealt with us graciously. Because she was older and more mature, she had somewhat of a celebrity status among us (all subconsciously, I’m sure!)

Since this is a family-friendly blog, I will refrain from revealing all of our secrets. After all, our children may get ahold of this someday!

When we 3 were around 13 years of age, we had this brilliant idea to do a bike trip to Sarasota. We even had asked CO’s bro-in-law to go with us. We brought Sears catalogs along to school to pick out all the right equipment. To help raise money, we decided to put on a Br’er Rabbit show at school and tried to figure out how much to charge. Fifty-cents per person? Twenty-five cents? Anyway, the powers that be decided that we could not charge anything, but the fellow-students could make donations. We practiced many long hours and finally the big production day came. I was Br’er Rabbit, SY was Br’er Fox and CO was Br’er Bear, all complete with homemade costumes. Our celebrity friend SO agreed to collect donations for us. Well, we raised a grand total of $1.10 and we ended given some of that to SO for her faithful labors on our behalf. I think that fund-raiser was the beginning of the end of the dream for our bike trip. Especially considering that none of us had good bikes. And $1.10 was not much money, even in the mid-80s.

We had another brilliant idea. That was to see if we could stay up all night (SO joined us for this venture). We congregated in the camper in CO’s back yard. I can’t remember what all we did to stay awake. I’m pretty sure there were some card games going on and I know we did away with a Cool Whip container of candy. Well, about 5 am we decided it was time to eat the pancakes with the batter that CO had so lovingly prepared the night before. I’m not sure exactly what the problem was but I think batter thickens overnight and the skillet was too hot. The resulting 1″ thick cakes were crisp and black on the outside and running in the middle. Some of us got to sleep the next day after we got home. The other 2 had to go help at a church bakesale.

We had yet another brilliant idea. How many sticks of gum can you chew at a time? A whole 17 pack? We had another slumber party to find out. Yup. It is possible. Who can blow the biggest bubble with that amount of gum? And yup, we only had 1 pack with which to find out. Let’s just say that germs were not as bad for you in those days.

We had yet even another brilliant idea. We were (nearly) obsessed with Pringles Chees’ums in those days. Snacks being more rare in the 80s than they are now. We had yet another slumber party to see if we couldn’t satisfy this craving. We each brought a can, and we poured them into one big bowl. Yup, we didn’t even get 1 can eaten. And yup, to this day, none of us particularly cares for them anymore. Chees’ums at 2 in the morning just don’t cut it!

We had other contests and brilliant ideas but like I said, this is family-friendly; plus I sure would hate to bore you.

So we eventually got to practicing and remembered the fact that we had actually sung at 2 weddings together. We had to wonder if we were even any good and what had possessed them to ask us to sing? The fact that we sang a lot in school didn’t necessarily qualify us for that big of an audience!!

We got finished with our practice I cut the peaches and cream pie that I had made to celebrate the fact that we were together, even for a few hours. Argghhh! My pie wasn’t quite done although I had baked it as long is it called for. But they bravely ate it anyway.

The next day CO was able to come to church because of a headache and upset stomach. I can’t help but wonder if the pie was the culprit. I need to call and find out. Maybe send her some flowers. Maybe send her recipe back to her and tell her it needed an addendum: “If baking in a aluminum pan, place on bottom rack, back longer than you think it should and check it thoroughly to make sure it’s done!” Yeah, I know. I knew that already. Just forgot. Not your fault, CO!

All I can say is, I’m glad that my childhood friendships have withstood the test of “flops.” Between the three of us we have 22 years of marriage, 6 kids and 3.5 years of VS. Okay, so the marriage and kids are theirs, but most of the VS is mine! I’m also thankful for all of you whom I call “friend.” I truly am blessed. Indeed ALL friendships are sweeter than peaches and cream pie. Even if the pie turns out okay.


Food and Other Essentials of Life

So I’m not the only one not getting subscription emails. It kinds bums me out that I have to log on to see if anyone updated. Hopefully they’ll start up again soon.

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I feel like I have all kinds of time on my hands. I finished editing my last portrait setting & finished a baby blanket gift. I have even cooked supper for TWO NIGHTS IN A ROW!!! Amazing, I know. I’ve also been home two nights in a row. Double amazing. Now all I have to do is clean out my car, get my tax information together, organize my file cabinet, sew some clothes, straighten up my house & read a book. Boredom is not in my vocabulary, at least not since nineteen aught seven, or since I was a teenager, whichever was not most recent.

The baby blanket idea I got from my very cool CIL [cousin-in-law]. She had made one for her baby. Now that I think about it, Clarita had made one for her baby too. Anyway, it’s made from 3 different flannel fabrics and is really easy to make. And fun too.

I had intended to give a little hoodie sweater to my friend’s baby but when I pulled it out to send, I discovered it was an 0-3 months, weight of 11# and by now my friend’s baby was 2.5 months old, plus she weighed 10# at birth so she had long outgrown it. So what to give? The flannel blanket caught my eye. Linda even went along to Savannah and helped me pick out co-ordinating colors. At the fabric store there is this very [how shall we say it?] unusual male employee. He is one of the results of mixing arts with Arkansas. [Honestly, he is a student at an art & design college and is from Arkansas.] I’d love to post a picture but I’d better not. Yeah, I managed to discreetly get one with my phone. I love looking anonymous.

Her blanket on the left. Mine laying on the [clean] floor ready to be sewn together. Gotta love the combo of leather and wicker furniture. Very inspiring.


The finished product. Snipped to pieces but not yet washed, which will help it look softer.

blanket 2

So that’s out of the way and it’s time to check some more things off the list. But first, a few recipes I’ve been wanting to share. Both come from my sisters. The rice balls come from Hannah. She had us over for supper recently and we fell in love with these things. She got the recipe from Taste of Home. The original recipe had a complicated meat sauce to serve with it but I’ve eliminated that, choosing instead to pour a warm marinara sauce over it.

Italian Rice Balls

3 eggs
2 1/2 c. cooked rice
1/3 c. butter, melted
2/3 c. Parmesan or Romano cheese
1/4 c. fresh parsley
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
2 oz. mozzarella cheese, cut into 3/8 in. cubes
1 c. dry bread crumbs
oil for frying

Combine first seven ingredients. Place in fridge for about 20 minutes. Form into 1 in. balls. Put 1 cheese cube in center and form rice around cheese. Coat with bread crumbs and fry in oil, about 4 minutes.

I like to cook the rice several hours ahead of time or even the night before. The chilled rice seems to stick together better. These really are not greasy and you wouldn’t know they’ve been fried.

rice balls

The next recipe is one Lois got from a co-worker. A local restaurant serves it on their southern buffet. I think it is top-notch!

Key Lime Cake


1 lemon supreme cake mix
1 lg. lime gelatin
1 c. orange juice
1/2 c. key lime juice
5 eggs
1 c. oil

Mix orange juice and oil together with lime juice. Add eggs 1 at a time. Add dry ingredients. Mix well until smooth. Divide into three 8″ pans. Batter is pretty runny. Bake at 325* for 15-20 minutes. Keep a close eye on them so they don’t overbake.



8 oz. cream cheese
6 T. butter
1 box powdered sugar
3 T. lime juice

The icing is yummo good. I could eat that by itself. It nicely compliments the cake and I think it has such a cool flavor. Makes a great summer dessert. Yeah, I know. Summer’s not for a few months. Most of you are saying bring it on. I’m saying let’s enjoy the cool weather because summer will come soon enough. Come live in south Georgia and you will agree.

This one I made in a 9×13 pan instead of 3 layers. So I had extra icing leftover.

key lime cake

And freeze any leftover cake. It is not safe to keep in your kitchen. Trust me on that one.

And just what did I make for supper? I don’t know but it looked like this:


The Unknown Main Dish was penne pasta, marinara sauce, hamburger, sausage, pepperoni, cottage cheese, feta cheese, parmesan cheese, mushrooms, black olives and a little mozzarella to top it off. Did I clean out my fridge? No I did not. Well, not all the way. It was fun to empty out a few containers. I don’t know how long the feta cheese has been in there. Let’s just say it hasn’t turned to blue cheese yet. Must take years for that.

And I know what else you’re saying. “Is that really a pea salad?” Yup. It most definitely is. Made with canned peas and it’s something our family grew up eating. Funny, I haven’t made it in ages. Lois walks in tonight and says, “just last week I was hungry for pea salad.” So there! We do sometimes agree on a few things.

The green stuff is french style green beans. I like frozen green beans much more than canned. Well, gotta run. It’s bedtime.

Thursday January 22, 2009

Isn’t everyone allowed to do a few random posts a year? Thanks. I think I will right now. I wouldn’t say that the first few weeks of 2009 have been disjointed, but they have been a little unusual. It’s not every day that you have friends visit for 2 weeks, or your sister/housemate is gone for 3 weeks, or you get new neighbors, or you are invited to 4 ladies events in 1 week, or you have dinner guests 2 out 3 Sundays or you sleep 11 hours trying to get rid of a cold/ward off the flu or have your eye exam done by a 60-year-old man with braces on his teeth or attend a hockey game in GA.

Yup. It’s life in the fast lane, if southern lanes can be fast. I have a photo shoot that I have to get done editing by Saturday to avoid having 2 hanging over my head. I’m looking forward to a new location, a one-time deal. There is a tea house/catering business that is closing down in 1.5 weeks. I have a 6-year-old girl to shoot there. It is the neatest place. Lots of antique furnishings as well as old dress-up type clothes.

Since it is frigid outside (lows in the lower 20s, no I’m not kidding and neither do I care if you have seen negative numbers. This is Georgia, afterall. At least show a little loving concern. ) I couldn’t resist adding a little warmth to my kitchen. Why, pray tell, were these tulips 50% off? They hadn’t even begun to open. Guess they overstocked or something. Anyway, I was delighted to bring them home, since I rarely splurge on flowers.


tulips 2

And I love drinking cappucino in the frigid southern winters. I’ve started making my own mix. I use flavored creamers, instant coffee and a little sugar.


My favorite flavors are the vanilla caramel or the Italian sweet cream. I don’t really know what amounts to use. I just kind of dump until it looks right. And then I find a really fancy jar to put it in.


And what do you think of these bottles? I found them at a garage sale for $1 each. I have bath beads in the one on the right. Wonder what I could do with the one on the left.


And such is the end of the random post. I’ll try to keep them limited this year. Not more than once a month.

Full Moon at the Beach – Thursday January 15, 2009

 I think this was my quietest New Year’s in many years! With the business of the Christmas it was kind of nice to catch up on a few things at home. So believe it or not, I spent New Year’s Eve doing the final cleaning at the house. It felt so good to have things back in their rightful place. I had put the hardware up for the curtains in the living room which made a mess on the floor, hence the delay in the cleaning. Most of the house has curtains now which definitely gives it a more finished look.

Anyway, I had decided to spend New Year’s Day at Jekyll Island, snapping away to my heart’s content. I didn’t manage to find any island treasures that I would so love to find but I enjoyed the fairly mild but windy day on the island.

First I went to Darien to see what the shrimp boat setting looked like.

darien 3

Nothing too exciting going on lighting-wise. Isn’t it amazing what the lighting does for a photo? Here is one I took summer of ’07.


I didn’t get what I wanted so I went back and tried again a few weeks later right after a rain. The clouds had parted enough for the evening sun to come through.

darien 2

I also figure out that the shots are more appealing from the docks than from the bridge.

Anyway, I didn’t hang around there long and went on to Jekyll.

new year 2

new year 3

new year 4

new year 5

The island in the distance in the following picture is Cumberland Island. I think some of you maybe have been there before.

new year 6

Remnants of a shipwreck.

new year 11


new year 7

The sea oats are kind of raggedy looking right now. In fact, on the east side of the island there is not much left of them at all.

new year 8

new year 9

As I was walking along, I heard a snort and splash and saw a dolphin swim away. The people who go shrimping along this beach get very frustrated with them since they are pests.

new year 10

Sometime I want to try this shot with adirondack chairs in the distance:

new year 12

new year 13

The island has 2 golf courses. Yes, it was really that green on New Years.

new year 14

new year 15

and if that wasn’t enough it was full moon a little over a week later. I’ve been trying to get full moon shots on the beach for months now but either it’s raining or there’s something else going on.

The night before:

nearly full

Waiting for the moon to come up.full moon

full moon 2

full moon 3

full moon 5

full moon 4

full moon 6

And all of a sudden, there it was. There was band of clouds which kept it from being visible at first.

full moon 7

full moon 8

full moon 9

full moon 10

full moon 11

Isn’t the moon amazing? I think God was so creative to give us that “extra light”.