Monday, May 2, 2011

Reflections of the Day

I wrote nearly every day in April, so now it's May and it seems like I should still be writing.  The A-Z Challenge was a blast.  I enjoyed the daily challenge of writing through the alphabet.  I gained 14 followers.  I read so many post from co-bloggers and signed up to follow many sites.

The big news for the day is the end of Osama Bin Laden.  Everyone is talking about it.  Many are rejoicing.  A few have expressed sadness at the lost of a life, even of a wicked man.  Many are arguing and debating political topics and giving brownie points to one side or the other.  Some question if any of it is true at all.

This is a historical event. Osama Bin Laden is dead.  He may be gone, but sadly, his wicked teachings and beliefs will live on in his followers.  America may rest better tonight knowing that a little justice was served on a long overdue debt.  However, somewhere out there, someone is already dreaming, planning, and scheming on how he can overtake America and the world.  Evil will raise his ugly head again. 

Saturday, April 30, 2011


I have never considered myself as the adventurous type.  I don't feel the need for speed.  I don't ride rollercoasters.  I have never flown because I have a phobia to heights and falling.  But for some strange reason, a couple of summers ago, I allowed my family to talk me into ziplining.  I knew I had messed up before the first run.  I was totally uncomfortable with the walk up to the jumping off platform.  We had to walk up an incline on 2x4s holding on to a rope handrail; it was very shaky.  It put a whole new spin on the swinging bridge!

There were 5 runs total.  Of course, I was the last one to jump in our group.  It was the scariest thing that I have ever done.  Then to add to my overwhelming sense of fear, just as I am about to jump...some lady screams out, "Oh, look, there's a squirrel!"  Now, I am a country girl and I know quite a bit about squirrels.  I know that they can actually leap from tree to tree.  I know that they have long sharp teeth and claws.  So here I am, whizzing through the woods on the zipline, and praying that the loose squirrel doesn't decide to jump as I am going by and land on my face!  Now, wouldn't that be a sight?  It would be worse than Ray Steven's song about the day the squirrel got loose at the First Righteous Church.

I survived the zipline experience, but whenever someone suggests ziplining around me, I just say, "Been there and done that!"  Although, I usually don't like taking risk, I do surprise myself at times.  I took a doula training and attended a birth where I actually cut the cord!  I did an impromptu comedy act in front of an audience where I just ad-libbed my lines.  I recently signed up for zumba classes and very much enjoyed it. I also took the A-Z Challenge and wrote my way through the alphabet during this month (April).  I loved it!  I appreciate the comments that were left and the new blogging friends made along the way.  Everyone keep writing and telling your stories!

Friday, April 29, 2011

Your Royal Couple: Prince William, The Duke of Cambridge and Princess Catherine, Her Royal Highness, The Duchess of Cambridge

I really hope this couple will make it together.  They seem so much in love with one another.  I thought it was absolutely precious that Prince William would tell his beloved bride, "I'm so happy."  I wish The Royal Couple happiness in all of their days together.  I hope people will just let them live their life and let them have peace.  Hopefully, after what happened to Princess Di, lessons were learned.  Princess Kate is so beautiful.  It is really a fairytale come true! 

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Xs and Exlax

Xs:  X-boyfriends, X-husbands, X-friends and Exlax....Xs and Exlax;  get the connection?

Ok, I admit that I was grasping with this one!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011


Today is Wednesday and 'W' day.  My topic for the day is weddings.  If anyone has turned on their television  at all this week, likely, you have heard some wedding talk of at least one upcoming wedding, The Royal Wedding!  Many people are very excited about witnessing the exchanging of the vows between Prince William and Kate.  Many are wondering about the wedding dress and the designer.  How exquisite will the bridal bouquet be?  Who will be in attendance?  I plan to record the entire wedding.  Then there are others who are simply bored with all of the wedding details and will be glad when it is all over.

I have another wedding to soon think about and plan.  My daughter recently became engaged and wants to marry within the next year.  As soon as I get out of school, she and I will start planning, looking, trying on dresses, and spending lots of money.  Before she can set the date, we have to find a wedding venue that has an open date.  Then there's The DRESS.  It has to be perfect.  Will she go more traditional or contemporary? We will need to book the wedding photographer and videographer.  The reception (my favorite part) will have to be planned and booked.  So much to do!  One thing I do know, no matter what style of wedding or where it is held, it will be beautiful.  My daughter is so beautiful.  Her smile can light up a room.  Love is a beautiful thing that God himself created.  I pray that my daughter and future son-in-law are blessed with a love that only grows more beautiful with the passing of time.

Now, I have a question for all of you bloggers out there:  will you be watching The Royal Wedding?


Tuesday, April 26, 2011 for Virile

I have been recognizing lately that my son is not looking much like a little boy these days.  He is taking on the features of a young man.

Recently, my son came home telling about an incident that occurred during gym class.  The girls' coach was playing basketball with the boys.  Evidently, the game had become'heated'.  My son and the coach went up simultaneously vying for possession of the ball.  Intentionally or inadvertently, my son pushed the coach.  The coach became agitated and told him "to stop pushing".

I guess if you're going to play with the big boys, you'd better be wearing your 'big boy' boxers!

Monday, April 25, 2011

Unsaid Goodbyes

On Easter Sunday, my husband got a call that one of our friends was in the hospital and not expected to make it.  The doctors only thought he had a few days left.  We were six hours away visiting family.  We left earlier than planned with intentions of getting back home in time to visit Mike before he passed.  He died early Monday morning around 2 a.m.  We were too late to say our last goodbye.

Life is short and uncertain.  None of us really know when our last goodbye is really the final one.  We get up in the morning and think that we have our entire day mapped out, when in fact, we have no control over our fate at all. 

The Bible compares our life to a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes.  But, as we celebrated Easter yesterday, Jesus gave us all hope over death for those who call upon him and trust in him as their personal saviour.

I am sorry, Mike, that I didn't get to say goodbye to you today.  I do plan to say hello to you again someday in a home where we never have to say goodbye.  Rest in Peace, Mike B., 4-25-11.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Traveling and Texting

Please, just don't do it.  If you feel you must text or talk on the phone while traveling, please just pull over.  Accidents can happen so quickly.  I know we would all feel so horrible if someone lost their life because of a bad judgment call that we made.  My family is out there on those roads, so please don't text or talk on the phone while you drive, and I will extend the same courtesy to you.  Have a safe and blessed Easter weekend.

Thursday, April 21, 2011 for STOP making out in front of the children!

I really didn't know what I was going to blog about today, and then I saw two high school kids making out while waiting to load the bus.  Today was one of those special days at school.  The elementary and middle school students loaded the bus and traveled the short route to the high school to watch a performance of a musical called "Ever After".  After the show, the youngest of the students were loaded onto the buses and taken back to the elementary, but the middle school students stayed at the high school to load the buses.  I was standing with my students outside until they were on the buses.  The high school students come out of the building to wait for the buses.  A group of teachers are discussing the two high school kids who are wrapped together like a pig in a blanket. "Maybe they are just trying to stay warm," one of the teachers commented.  It was a chilly afternoon.   No, I don't think so.  I look over and the young lady is kissing on the guy's neck.  How far is all of this going to go?  I mean there are people EVERYWHERE!  Hello!  Finally, a high school teacher goes over and breaks up the love fest.  It turns out the couple are expectant parents.  I understand why!

Whatever happened to modesty among our young people?  There are some things that are better kept behind closed doors.  Parents may be concerned about sex education being offered in public concerned with whom your children associate and hang out with.  Your child may get an education with your next door teenager.  Our music, dance, television shows (including cartoons), and internet all encourage a sexually exploited world among our youth.  I ask who is responsible for this?  How did this happen?  Maybe as adults, we have failed to teach our children modesty.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Resurrection Eggs

Thinking of what to write for 'R', and I glance at the bowl of Easter eggs on my table.  They are Resurrection Eggs.  Each egg represents something about the Easter story.  I will give you a quick run-down:

mint green egg:  holds a die.  The soldiers gambled at the foot of the cross for Jesus' clothes.

lilac egg:  contains a goblet.  Before the Roman soldiers captured Jesus, Jesus and his disciples met together.  Jesus passed bread and said, "Eat.  This is my body that will be given for you."  and he passed the cup and told his disciples to drink of the cup which was his blood that would be shed for them.

light yellow egg:  inside is a crown of throns.  The soldiers mocked Jesus by making and pushing a crown of throns upon his head,  Jesus, The King of the Jews, they mocked.

yellow egg:  a spike.  The soldiers nailed Jesus to a cross, a nail-spike in each hand and one through his feet.

light pink egg:  silver coins.  For 30 pieces of silver, Judas betrayed Jesus by a kiss.

purple egg:  a spear.  The soldier pierced his side while he hung on the cross, blood and water ran out of Jesus' side.

blue egg:  a donkey.  Before the crucifixion, Jesus entered the city upon a donkey.  Some of Jesus' followers laid palm branches down before him as he rode through the streets.

green egg:  a strap.  Jesus was beaten with a cat-of-nine-tails, a whip made of 9 knotted cords attached to a handle used for flogging; Jesus' also had metal spikes to tear the flesh.

orange egg: holds praying hands.  Jesus prayed in the garden before the soldiers came to get him.  We also must pray to the Father if we want to be saved.  We must acknowledge the price Jesus paid for our salvation.  Those who ask and believe, receive salvation.

cream-colored egg:  contains a piece of gauze.  They wrapped Jesus' body in gauze in preparation for burial.

dark pink egg:  a rock.  A large rock was placed in front of Jesus' tomb along with two Roman soldiers to stand guard.  The Jewish leaders wanted to make sure that none of the followers of Jesus tried to steal his body and then proclaim that he had come back to life.

blue egg:  contains nothing.  The blue egg is empty as was the tomb of Jesus on the third day when Mary went to add spices to his body.  Not only was the tomb empty, but Mary actually spoke to Jesus.  The miracle of Easter...the empty tomb.  If Jesus had not came out of that tomb, then mankind would have no hope of a life after death.  Because of his ressurrection, Jesus has the power to raise us from a grave to an eternal life with him. 

"Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me.  In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you.  I go to prepare a place for you.  And, if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also."  John 14: verses 1-3.  (This is one of my very favorite Bible verses.)

The resurrection eggs tell the greatest love story of all time.  This Easter will you visit The Old Rugged Cross and Kneel Down and proclaim Victory in Jesus?


Movie quotations came to my mind for 'Q' day.  I'll start with the one that I have listed on my Facebook page.  It comes from one of my all-time favorite classics, Gone With the Wind:  "Frankly, my dear, I don't give a damn."  Another quote I like from that book/movie is "After all, tomorrow is another day."  How many times when we get to the end of our day and realize that we didn't accomplish everything on our 'To Do List' that we could use that quote?

I love the movie Fried Green Tomatoes.  I have several quotes from that movie that I especially enjoy:  "Face it, I'm older and I have more insurance."  That's a favorite scene when Evelyn turns all ToWanda on a couple of smart-mouth babes!  She pushes their little red volkswagon out of a parking space.  "Then there is always...ToWanda"...."Righter of wrongs, Queen Beyond Compare!"  A more somber quote came from Ninny Threadgoode: "A heart can be broken, but it will keep beating just the same."  Anyone with any age, knows what she means by that!

Another movie that I can watch again and again is Steel Magnolias.  Those characters in that movie are what dreams of friendship are made of!  The movie has such a wide range of emotions flowing through it.  When Truvy speaks, "Honey, time marches on and eventually you realize it is marchin' across your face," a middle-age lady wants to cry whenever everyone else is laughing.  The scene in the cemetary is great how humor helps to breakthrough tragedy and gives someone broken just a little something to smile about when M'Lynn says, "I just wanna hit somebody til they feel as bad as I do."  Then Clairee shoots back, "Here, hit this," (as she offers her friend up for the hitting), "knock her lights out, M'Lynn!"  There are many more quotes from that movie that are awesome, but one that really sticks out in my mind is when M'Lynn is describing the last few hours that she had with her daughter:  "I find it amusing that men are supposed to be made of steel or something.  Drum couldn't take it.  I just sat there and held Shelby's hand.  I was there when that wonderful creature drifted into my life and I was there when she drifted out." 

To end today's quote blog:  "Mama always said life was like a box of chocolates, you never know what you're gonna get."  That Forrest have to love him!  Blogging is sort of like a box of chocolates, too.  It is always interesting to see what everyone is writing about.  Some topics are very serious while others are humorous.  I hope you get a tasty bite today!


Sunday, April 17, 2011


When parents choose a name for their newborn, usually there is a significant amount of time and thought that goes into the process.  I know I had a list of names going long before I was ever expecting.  I looked through baby name books, thought about family names, searched out orgins and meanings of names, and took in consideration suggestions from others.  I tend to lean towards unique names.

One of the most unique names that I have ever came across is Ozella.  This is the name of a lady from my hometown.  We went to church together and my parents were card playing buddies with Ms Ozella and her husband.  I don't know the history of her name.  I don't know if it's a family name or if  she was named after someone.  Naturally, it is not a name that you hear every day.  I only know one Ozella, but I did come across a name very similar, Mozella.  My husband knew a Mozella.  Isn't that ironic? 

I am going to be in my hometown during Easter and if I should meet up with Ms Ozella, I plan to ask her about her name.  Maybe she will be pleased to know that her name was the inspiration for my 'O' blog.

What unique name do you know?

Saturday, April 16, 2011

N....No Bake Cookies

I have been craving No Bake cookies all day, so N is for not counting calories and nibbling on some cookies!

No Bake Cookies:

In a sauce pan, put 2 cups sugar, 1/4 cup cocoa, salt to taste; whisk together.  Slowly add 1/2 cup milk.  Bring this mixture to a boil for three minutes.  Remove from heat and add 1/2 cup butter or margarine and 1 teaspoon of vanilla.  Stir.  Add 1/2 cup of creamy peanut butter.  Stir. Then add around 3 cups of quick cooking oatmeal. Stir.  Drop by rounded spoonfuls onto wax paper.  Let cookies get firm while you make the coffee!

Friday, April 15, 2011


I teach communication arts to fifth and sixth grade students.  Recently, I had my fifth graders creating metaphors.  I hope you enjoy these!

                                                           Metaphors By Kids

Dreams are visions

Dreams are imaginary lands

Life is a journey

Friendship is a link between people

Anger is a bad song:  you can't get it out of your head

Dreams are questions

Dreams are far away places

Happiness is life's best friend

Friendship is a big party

Dreams are moving pictures

Happiness is a key to friendship; you are one step closer

Happiness is the sunshine in my day 



Thursday, April 14, 2011


Lavender and lilac are two of my favorite spring plants.  Each one comes in a shade of purple.  Lavender belongs to the mint family.  It is known for its fresh relaxing scent.  Lavender is used to aid sleep.  It is a common oil for aromatherapy.  Massaging the temple or sleeping with lavender may ease headaches from stress or tension.  Many bath products use lavender.  It is found in potpourris, sachets, and floral arrangements.  I have also read that lavender will work as an insect repellent.  It is becoming popular to use lavender at weddings as confetti.  Besides its aromatic qualities, lavender can also be used as a flavoring in herbal teas and water.  Bees are attracted to lavender; Monofloral honey is a top quality honey from the Mediterranean.  Many people use the little lavender flowers as decorations for cakes.  One thing to remember is not to eat or drink lavender if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.  As with all medications, always check with your doctor.

As much as I adore lavender, lilac is also a wonderful plant.  It belongs to the olive family.  It also has a wonderful spring scent.  The lilac is a symbol for love.  Many cities hold annual lilac festivals.  Infact, Spokane, Washington, has been called 'Lilac City'.  There is also a National Lilac Society for any serious lilac lovers.  This year marks my 30th wedding anniversary.  I believe I will ask my husband to take me to the Lilac Festival at Mackinac Island, Michigan.  I have been wanting to visit there for some time now.

I would like to post a few lines from Walt Whitman's poem:  When Lilacs Last in the Door-Yard Bloom'd.
          In the door-yard fronting an old farm house
          Stands the lilac bush, tall-growing, with heart-shaped leaves of rich green,
          With many a pointed blossom rising, delicate, with the perfume strong I love
          With every leaf a miracle...

This poem was written as an elegy for President Lincoln.  I once read or heard that during the Civil War, the lilac was placed upon the door of the families who had lost someone to show that they were in mourning.  Perhaps, that is why Whitman chose the lilac as part of the elegy for President Lincoln.  Also, consider the fact that the Civil War spanned across five Aprils, and the lilac blooms during late April through May.

I have the urge to go and wash my sheets. (I have lavender-scented detergent, and I have a lilac arrangement in the top of my closet that I need to set out.)

Wednesday, April 13, 2011


Say, Kennedy, and most likely most people think of that distinguished family of the late President Kennedy.  Maybe the image of Jacqueline dressed in a coat and hat ensemble (with matching gloves) comes to your mind, or maybe you remember a small John, Jr. saluting at his father's flag-draped coffin as it proceeded by him on that brisk November day.  I, too, think of that family whenever I hear the name, but nowdays, I have reason for other thoughts of another Mrs. Kennedy, my daughter.

This Mrs. Kennedy is a registered nurse.  She spends her work days delivering babies.  She and my son-inlaw have a new home and a family of two adorable west highland terriers, Asia and Aussie.  Inside of their home, one would see the letter 'K' displayed for their family name.  A name is important no matter what side of the fence that you're on!  I was just thinking of Mrs. Kennedy today and how proud I am to be her mom and how very much that I love her.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

J....Judy and Jean

I have two friends, Judy and Jean, that are the inspiration for today's blog.  The two of them do not know each other, but should. 

I stopped by to visit Jean today as I was going home from work.  I love to talk to Jean because she tells wonderful stories.  Jean enjoys history and genealogy.  She also has a wonderful gentle spirit; it just makes me feel good to be in her presence.  I enjoy sitting with her on her back deck; she has a lovely view of a valley and TableRock Lake.  Today, we talked about the pine grove and cattle along the hillside.  We discussed some of her family history, and she told me about a recent trip to West Virginia.  I have only known Jean for a few years, but I feel like she has been a friend for much longer.  She is just that kind of lady.

Judy has been in my life for thirty years.  We actually went to college together, but our friendship didn't really bloom until we met sometime later on my first job assignment.  However, since that first day, we have been like peanut butter and jelly!  Judy knows my secrets.  She is the friend that I can bare my soul to and she doesn't judge me.  She knows that I can be a little crazy and loves me anyway! 

Judy was my mentor in my early career and taught me how to teach reading better than any college class I ever had.  Judy is the type of teacher that every parent wishes their child could be fortunate enough to have just one year.  The sad thing is that she is no longer able to hold a teaching position because of health reasons.  Some time back, she discovered that she has a medical condition called Gastroparesis.  I had never heard of it before, but strangely, I now have two friends with this condition.  (But, the other friend would be 'M' day.) 

If you are interested in more information about this illness, please goggle or find the Gastroparesis page on facebook.  Judy may well be in the hospital as I write this because of complications; the hospital has started leaving the light on for her as she is such a frequent visitor.  Gastroparesis is a real illness with serious side effects.  It affects the quality of life for the victim, and in Judy's case, it has robbed many children of a wonderful teacher.

I admire Judy's strength to fight this illness on a day-to-day basis and still be able to give a smile or hand to a friend in need.  These are my friends, Judy and Jean, and I am blessed to have both of them in my life.

Monday, April 11, 2011


Imagery is using words, without illustrations, to create a mental picture for the reader.


The silence of the night
Must have echoed
In your ears
Throughout the night

The ticking of the clock
Must have sounded
Like the beating
Of a snare drum

The darkness of the outside world
Must have crept in like a thief in the night
With a fog of depression
That stole your soul's light

All glimpses of happiness faded
With the approaching of day
The walls crashed in
And the floor gave away

The whispers of despair
Filled your ears
Lies stole the truth
You lost all heart

The weight of the lead
Must have felt like a ton
Coldness of metal
Against your damp skin

The clicking of the hammer
Must have been hard to bear
The sound resonanting
Silence filled the air

The thief sold you lies
That replaced the truth
The cost was too high
For all of us, especially you.


Sunday, April 10, 2011

Happy Birthday, Hannah

Today is a milestone birthday for my little friend, Hannah.  She is turning 13 today.  Later, my family and I will be joining Hannah and her family to celebrate.  Hannah is holding true to her Hebrew name, beauty and passion.  Hannah's beauty is both physical and inner-beauty.  Like the Biblical Hannah, my little friend is also a Christian and has a passion for the Lord.  The Bible story of Hannah tells a story about a woman who is childless.  She desires a son, and she cries out to the Lord to grant her a son.  Because of her faithfulness, Hannah is indeed granted a son, whom she called Samuel.  Hannah dedicates her son to the service of the Lord and gives him back to the Lord's calling.

Today, I wonder what is the heart's desire of my little friend.  I pray that God blesses her as she matures into womanhood.  I pray that he watches her steps and guides her in all of her decisions.  I pray protection over her and her family.  I pray that she finds favor with her Lord all of the days of her life, and may all of her birthdays be happy. 

Happy 13th birthday to our little, beautiful, Hannah!

Friday, April 8, 2011

Girls Just Wanna Have Fun

Feel free to add to my list of fun .......

Dancing...karaoke...bowling...movies...camping...playing dinners....scavenger hunts

cooking...The Food parties...ghost tours....

reading with my

riding bikewood trails...

Thursday, April 7, 2011

The Farmer's Daughter

Long before I was the Superintendent's Wife, I was the farmer's daughter.  I was raised in a small rural community in southeast Arkansas.  My dad was an only child and my family never lived far from my paternal grandparents.  My grandfather was also a farmer, and I believe that I got my love of land and nature at an early age from the influence of my grandpa.  Grandpa retired early from farming because of a heart condition, so he and I spent a lot of quality time together.  Every fall, we visited our special tree which was a persimmon tree.  You never want to bite into a persimmon too early; it will leave the most bitter taste in your mouth!  Persimmons aren't ready until a heavy frost has fallen.

The fall season is my favorite time on the farm, especially the month of October.  Fall is the harvest time of the year.  The farmers are always the busiest in the spring and fall.  Back in the day before everyone used cotton-pickers, the cotton was picked manually.  Yes, I can remember that far back.  I remember the sea of white cotton, the smell of dew upon the cotton bolls, and the hot sun shining down.  I also remember the chore of chopping cotton.  But my folks were just like everybody else and finally gave into technology and started using the cotton-picker to harvest their crops.  I was about six or seven and would go to the fields to play in the cotton-trailer.  It was great fun to dig tunnels and climb the mounds of white cotton, but my favorite thing of all was to stand beneath the shower of cotton as the cotton bin dumped the freshly picked cotton into the trailer.  I would literally have to dig my way out from underneath the weight of the dumped cotton.

But no matter how busy my dad was harvesting, he always managed to find time to take me to the county fair.  I so looked forward to that night!  I would sit in the back of the car and anticipate seeing that tall ferris-wheel with its many, multi-colored lights rotating round and round high against the dark autumn sky.  Daddy also took me coon-hunting with him.  I could not believe that he was actually letting me go with him.  I only went once, but that one time is a favorite memory of mine.

After the harvest, the land lays dormant until the spring, my second favorite season of the farm.  I love the smell of freshly turned earth and the way it feels on barefeet.  It has been years since I have walked in the fields at planting time, but that sense is etched deeply in my memories.  There's also another memory that echoes in the hollow of my brain...I remember my grandmother sending me out at dusk to get one of the farm-hands to tell them to come to the house because my grandfather had suffered a heart-attack.  I sensed the urgency of that errand.  I remember running through the fields and screaming above the tractor's hum to get the worker's attention to hurry and come to the house.  Grandpa didn't go with that one.  He survived two heart-attacks, but as they say, the third one is charm. He died late in the fall down in the woods.  My daddy found him alone.  I have always thought that was so sad that he was alone.

Daddy has retired from farming, but he still likes to play in the dirt.  He plants and tends to a garden every year now.  He has learned to wear his straw hat whenever he goes out to play.  Years of sun exposure has left him battling skin cancers.  Except for a short time in Texas and Lake Village, Arkansas, Daddy has always lived close to where he lives now.  Daddy has become the 'old man' of his community.  Everyone else has died.  Although, there are no sons to pass the spade to, I feel connected to that land as much as anyone.  I like to compare myself to the scene from Gone With the Wind when Scarlett is kneeling down and grabs a handful of earth and proclaims her determination to survive.

A few years ago, for Father's Day, I wrote and framed a poem for my daddy entitled,"The Farmer's Daughter".  It has since set out on display in the family room at my daddy's home, a gesture that makes me proud.  Every girl wants their daddy to be proud of them.  I know that the Farmer's Daughter's time is most likely limited with the farmer, but as all farmers' daughters know...Old farmers never die, they just spade away.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Easter Remembrances

As Easter approaches, I find myself turning my thoughts towards past Easters.  I think a lot about my mother.  She always made holidays special for me.  It was tradition that I always got a new purse for Easter.  I remember two purses in particular; one my mother made herself.  It was white crochet with a pineapple design.  The purse slipped over an oatmeal box bottom.  The other purse was a mother-of-pearl, oval-shaped one.  I loved that purse.  I still have the home-made purse and hope to pass it down to a granddaughter one day.

My mom also left behind another special Easter trinket that I enjoy every year, a bunny-covered trinket box.  Back in the seventies, my mom started a new hobby, ceramics.  She made two bunnies that she gave to each of her girls.  Mom didn't know how special those little bunny boxes would be to my sister and me.

Mom always made wonderful lunches with delectable desserts for our holiday gatherings.  At Easter, she always found time between preparing dishes to dye eggs with us kids.  I always thought the different pastel colors were always so pretty.  I still like to carry on the egg-dying tradition in my home, although my kids are long past the child-stage.  All these traditions are just part of the holiday for me.

But the most important tradition that my mother left behind for me is the knowledge of what Easter is really all about.  I wouldn't be much of a Christian if I didn't share my faith just a little bit on this most Holy holiday.  Easter is the ultimate hope of all Christians.  Because Jesus shed his blood for one and all on that old rugged cross at Calvary, anyone who calls upon his name and ask him to save them from an eternity of being separated from Christ and goodness, shall be saved.  John 3:16 states that God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son, that whosoever believeth in him shall not perish, but have everlasting life.

It's not that he just died, but the fact that he rose again from that tomb.  When Christ came out of that grave, he made salvation possible for all who desire it.  It is my prayer that all who reads this blog knows Jesus as their personal saviour, but if you don't and would like to discuss anything with me, please contact me.

Easter Blessings

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

D is for Daniel

It's been a long day; I am just getting in from my son's baseball game. Daniel had a good game tonight. He had 3 hits, a double and two singles.  He had 5 RBIS and two stolen bases, and caught a couple of pop flies in center field.  For someone who knew and understood so little about baseball and basketball, I have become a sports fanatic when it comes to my # 1 athlete, my son, Daniel.

Daniel will be graduating from middle school in a few weeks and moving on to high school.  We have shared the same building for the past eleven years (I teach school).  Needless to say, I am going to miss my guy as he moves on to the business of preparing for college and choosing an occupation, along with the ups and downs of dating.  I have been fortunate that I have been able to be near him and watch him grow and learn all of these years.  I can still recall the days of preschool just as if it were yesterday.  Daniel spent a lot of his preschool years being a dinosaur, and later he became a host of superheroes to fight and protect his domain.

Then he moved into the world of sports beginning with T-ball and expanding into basketball.  Daniel also enjoys drawing, video games, and water sports.  He has participated in some school plays and has served as Vice-President of Student Council.

I know these last few years of high school will past quickly, and then I may well be faced with the empty-nest syndrome.  But until then, when is the next ballgame?

Monday, April 4, 2011

C is for Cookbooks

I collect cookbooks; I have over 100 and that is not counting the paperback ones that are picked up at the stores or cooking magazines.  The oldest one that I have is one that I actually helped to type in high school during our typing class.  It was a school fund-raiser called 'High Cotton'.  The most recent cookbook that I have purchased is 'Cooking Light: fresh food fast'.  I plan to use that one this summer while my garden produce is in abundance.  I have cookbooks from various churches:  The Joy of Sharing Our Church Favorites, Thank Heaven for Home-Made Cooks, and Feeding the Flock.  One of my favorite spiritual cookbooks came from a trip to Tennessee to visit Billy Graham's Training enter, The Cove.  What an awesome trip that was!  The resort's chef at that time even autographed my book for me.  I have cookbooks from the various schools that my husband and I have worked at which includes two from our present rural school on the state lines of Arkansas and Missouri,  The Dog-Gone Good Cookbook and Bulldog Bites.  I collect cookbooks from the different states that I visit.  I have 'The Best of the Best of America' which I am using to cook my way through the states this year as my 2011 New Year's Resolution. For my 50th birthday,  a friend gave me a copy of her family's cookbook that includes wonderful family photos and stories.   My husband collects Case knives and we sometimes attend the annual Case Festival.  My husband got bargins on knives and he bought me the Case Family Cookbook.  I have Wal-Mart cookbooks.  My collection contains several of that butter-loving, Georgia peach, Paula Deen's cookbooks.  If you have never eaten sweet-potato biscuits, then you don't know what you are missing!  Some of my favorites include the annual Taste of Home cookbooks; American cooks from all over contribute their mouth-watering recipes.  That is a place I plan to visit one of these days, The Taste of Home Headquarters.  I have been to one of their cooking schools years ago.  I also enjoy browsing through the 'Gooseberry Patch' cookbooks with all of their seasonal hints.  My husband gave me Julia Child's Mastering the Art of French Cooking along with the movie Julie and Julia a couple of years ago for Valentine's Day.  I also have a few pioneer cookbooks, including a couple of Laura Ingalls Wilder cookbooks.  These are special to me because as a child  my teachers, Mrs. Johnson and Mrs. Hix, read the Little House Series to my class; later I also read the series.  I always wanted to see the Little House in the Big Woods.  I never dreamed that I would one day live so close to Laura's home where she actually wrote her books. A few summers back, a friend and I took a roadtrip to find the Little House in the big woods of Wisconsin.  The big woods were gone and the Little House was just a replica.  I did find a good Wisconsin cookbook, though!   I have Oprah's cookbook and Morgan Freeman's.  I have recipes from country singers.  Some of my more humorous titles include:  White Trash Cooking & White Trash Cookng II (another gift from hubby's fishing trip to Canada).  My cookbook that comes from the farthest distance is my Czech National Cookbook, a gift from my daughter's trip to Prague.  I also have All Around the World; now that makes a fun family event to host meals from around the world!  My husband and I recently purchased a juicer with its own cookbook.  There are many health benefits to using a juicer.  It's worth searching out on the internet.  I have several different diet cookbooks like Weight Watchers and Bob Greene: The Best Life Diet.  I'll close with one last title:  The Bible of Southern Cooking (and ya'll it ain't no diet cookbook!)....Happy Eating!

Sunday, April 3, 2011


Today was a beautiful day and ending to a wonderful weekend.  Growing up, I attended a simple little rural church.  I have a picture of that little church etched into my mind: pine pews, red carpet, an old upright piano, and the most beautiful portrait of John the Baptist baptizing Jesus in the Jordan River.  We would sing an old hymn at that church called 'Count Your Blessings', name them one by one; count your many blessings, see what God hath done. 

It is easy to get in touch with one's blessings when enjoying the beauty of nature, family and friends.  Oprah came up with a saying a few years back: Gratitude.  She encouraged her followers to keep gratitude journals.  It caught on like wildfire.  But I knew that someone long before Oprah's time had already came up with affirming one's blessings and simply naming them 1 by 1...but I do like Oprah's idea of keeping a written record of gratitude.  But being a lover of words and stories, why wouldn't I?

Pieces of April (written April 1, 2011)

Here I sit beneath the night sky at Roaring River State Park.  The river will lull me to sleep tonight.  I took the challenge of a fellow blogger to write throughout April from A to Z.  However, I can not get internet service so I will have to post when I get home.

PIECES OF APRIL...this is a song title of a popular 70s group, Three Dog Night.  So as I start on my month- long venture of writing, I thought it appropriate to entitle my writings as such, 'Pieces of April'.

for some odd reason, April has never been one of my favorite months.  Maybe it's because of the still cold and damp days and nights, or the rainfall that sometimes occurs; it's also tax month.  At school, it's the month we do the dreaded annual State Exam.  Maybe I don't favor April because the birthstone is just plain, (unless you dig down deep and get the real thing) a diamond.  But for whatever is what it is.

But for now, on this particular April night, life is pretty good.  I am with my husband and son and my little pug, Duke, enjoying an evening under the stars and a black velvet sky, a taste of the simple life.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Unconditional Love

Recently, I was observing my son's faithful lab, Hershey.  Daniel, my son, received Hershey for his 8th birthday.  My husband and I told Daniel that he could choose whichever pup that he wanted from the litter of five or six of the cutest lab puppies.  I had spotted a blond one that I was actually fond of, but no, Daniel insisted upon the light chocolate one, that he called 'Hershey'.  He made the right choice.

Hershey has become the best watchdog that our family has ever had.  Our neighbors all are fond of Hershey because he watches their homes, too.  No one drives by without all of us knowing!

There is one habit that Hershey has that irritates me.  He will chase and try to bite the tires of passing vehicles.  We have tried, without success, to break him from the nasty habit.  He doesn't do it all of the time.  I have noticed that it is mostly when one of the family members are outside.  Then Hershey becomes this fearless maniac of a dog who goes after the tire of the passing car, trying to attack it.

It was during one of these recent episodes that it dawned on me why he was doing this stupid behavior....he calls himself protecting us from this foreign object.  He is ready to protect HIS OWN at no thought of his own life.  He jumps at that tire with only one objective on his mind:  stopping it from bringing any harm to his family.  We didn't ask Hershey to get the stranger to protect us, and Hershey didn't consult us on the matter, either. 

I realized as a mother, I am sometimes like that hard-headed dog!  I jump in to protect my own without their permission.  I want to keep them from making mistakes and chancing them getting hurt in the process.  I am always on the lookout for those that I may deemed as invading our family territory.  And, just like that faithful lab who does this out of his love for us, my family sometimes find me a little irritating.  They didn't ask me to protect them and wish that I would just stop being so protective and foolish.

Not long ago, I read an article comparing a dog's loyalty to that of God's.  So maybe being somewhat like that lab isn't so bad afterall.

Sunday, February 13, 2011


I was in Wal-Mart tonight and it was a mad house down the Valentine aisle!  People grabbing cards, stuffed animals and candy; some were barely taking enough time to even read the cards!  Tomorrow will be a day filled with all kinds of affections:  kissing, gifts, sweet sentiments and sweet nothings!  We all have our idea of the perfect Valentine's Day.  But, for those who love, it should be Valentine's Day everyday.  To be affectionate is to be tender and loving.  We should show our love to the people that we care about.  I don't mean that we should be constantly giving material things to our love ones, but we should show affection in our actions on a daily basis.  It does little good to go all out on one day of the year and then neglect the other 364 days. 

We are instructed to "set your affection on things above, not on things of the Earth" Col.3:2  I thought about this some, and if affection means to be tender and loving, and we are to set our affection on things above, not on Earth, then maybe we should be tender and loving to everyone that we come across. Maybe when we stop to help that mother with the three small children get her groceries into the car, or hold the door open for the elderly man, or simply say good morning to the neighbor; could that be setting our affection on things above?  Who will you bless this week with the gift of affection?

Saturday, February 12, 2011

The Gift of Forgiveness

Back in the 70s a popular movie called 'Love Story' had a quote:  "Love means never having to say you're sorry".  I like the movie, but I disagree with the quote.  I believe if we have wrong someone then we should be a big enough person to own up to our faults.  I also believe we should forgive those who have wrong us, whether they apologize or not. Now this may be very difficult for me to write because I like to hold on to grudges.  I like to get even with those who have hurt me.  I have learned from experience though that it is much better to leave the revenge to the good Lord.  He will get around to dishing out the punishment, but it is in his timing, not ours.

When we are unable to forgive, it causes us to be bitter.  I believe that an unforgiving heart can actually kill us.  When we carry around grudges, it causes stress upon our bodies.  It can make us physically and mentally ill.  Why?  For one thing, we are going directly against what the Bible instructs us.  In Luke 17:3, 4, we are told to forgive our brother, not just once but 7times in a day! 

Sometimes I have trouble getting a good night's rest.  Often if I will examine my heart, I will find one of two things going on:  either I am living in fear of something, or I am harboring angry.  Both are sins.  Matthew 6:14 says if we forgive then our Heavenly Father will forgive our trespasses.  But the best example about forgiveness that I know comes from Jesus Christ himself.  In Luke 23:34, printed in red, are the words of Jesus praying for those who had crucified him:  "Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do".

Forgiveness is hard at times.  It is necessary though if we are ever going to be truly happpy with ourselves.  You don't have to do it for your enemy, but do it for yourself!  I don't think forgiveness should be confused with stupidity.  Don't live with the anger, but learn the lesson.  I don't believe the Lord expects any of us to be floormats. 

Elton John has a song with the lyrics,' Sorry seems to be the hardest word'.  If we are going to love with a Christ-like love, then we are going to have to be able to own up to our wrongs from time to time and say 'sorry'.  Admitting our faults and asking for forgiveness, is not a sign of weakness, but of Godliness.  I have never regretted forgiving another or asking for forgiveness.  Both experiences have always lifted burdens from my heart.  When we humble ourselves in the sight of God, we open up the communication lines between us and the Father.

I think love is saying that you are sorry and love is forgiveness.   Is there someone who you could offer the gift of forgiveness to today?

Friday, February 11, 2011

The Gift of Solitude

There are times when we all need it....peace and quiet.  My favorite quiet time is early in the morning.  I like to watch the sunrise and hear the birds chirping.  Early morning is also a favorite time to read my Bible.  I think of the song 'In The Garden'.  Just as we value our quiet time, we need to be understanding when our friends and significant other request their alone time.  Solitude renews the spirit and makes us all better.  Remember that solitude is a gift; the next time that you are racking your brain trying to decide what gift to give that special person, you might surprise them with the gift of solitude!  I think they will be pleasantly pleased!  Maybe it will be an afternoon at the spa for a massage (hopefully, your masseuse won't talk the whole time like mine did!), or a weekend away to just unwind and rejuvenate!  Whatever the occassion, solitude is a gift that should never be underestimated!  The exception might be an anniversary or Valentine's Day!  But, nothing would be wrong with an I.O.U for the following weekend!
Happy Valentine's Weekend!

Thursday, February 10, 2011


Favor can be defined as a kind or obliging act, a friendly regard, to support or advocate on someone's behalf, to be pleasing, to make easier, or simply to help.  I am being blessed as I write these blogs because I keep being surprised at how easy the ideas are coming to me!  As I set out to write this blog, I thought," Ok, what am I going to say?"  Then I told my husband that I would write the blog after we watched a movie that he had recorded.  The movie was based upon a true story about a single mom with six children.  She moved her family to Idaho in search of her dream home.  She and her children worked hard and sacrificed to build a home out of a shack, only to have it completely destroyed by a fire.  But through that hardship, she and the family learned to accept the friendship of a community and were blessed with a new home.  Some of the local people showed up to build the family another home, a better one than before.  The family finally had a home, not in words or boards alone, but a place where they wanted to be, a community where people accepted and cared for them.  The community offered a 'favor' to the woman and her family, and the family also found 'favor' with the community.  Who in your life today, tomorrow, or next week can you bless with the gift of a 'favor'?  Who has blessed your life with a favor?

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Letter Writing, a Gift That is Sadly Fading

When I was young, I met a young man that lived in another town.  This was before texting or unlimited phone calls.  This young man would write me a love letter every week.  I lived to find that letter in my mailbox.  I would run into the house and read my letter and then read it again.  Sometimes I would even share its contents with my mother.  Then I would safely tuck it away in my letter box.  I held onto those letters for many years, even after we had long said our goodbyes to each other.

There is just something classy and warm about a handwritten letter.  First of all, you know that it took the person some time to write the letter and an amount of thought had to go into it.  So it makes you feel a little bit 'special'.  The letter can be kept in a pretty little box and retrieved whenever needed.  It is a
documentation of what life was like at that time era for you.  The letter can be passed down to later generations as a bit of family history.  The movie, "Bridges Over Madison County", tells a story about a lonely housewife who strikes up an affair with a passing photographer.  She keeps her secret from her family until at her death when they find letters in a box.  Her children were shocked but very intrigued by the contents.  I, along with a friend, spent an afternoon in Iowa a few summers ago chasing down the bridge and home that were in the movie.  I also have "The Madison County Cookbook".
So I find it very nostalgic to receive or send a written letter.

My most treasured letters are letters that my mother wrote to me.  I lost Momma in 2001 to lung cancer.  It is very comforting to hold the paper that she held in her hands, to see the words that she wrote, and imagine her voice  speaking the words to me.  I doubt that she realized what a GIFT she was giving to me at the time that she sent the letter.  I wish I had a 100 letters from her now safely tucked away.

Sadly, the art of letter writing is quickly fading away with the technology of cell phones, texting, email and online chat.  I love my computer as much as anyone, but I still treasure the few written letters and cards that I do receive.  I now have my own task to complete, which is a box of blue-leaf thank you notes, that I started writing in the middle of January.  I have several to fill out, and as I said it does take time and thought to write even a short note.  (Not to mention the times that I have not been able to get to the Post Office to buy stamps because of all the recent snow.)   But now that I am once again at home,  snowed-in, maybe I can finish the cards and send them off as soon as the snow melts!

As I was writing this post, I got my "Madison County Cookbook" from the bookshelf to share a recipe.  But as I opened the book to page 464, it occurred to me that I had found something even better to share.
On the pages of the book is a story about a woman, who as a child had sent her coat (with a letter tucked inside of the pocket)to help WWII European refugees.  Her coat was received by a Czechoslovakian girl.  The girl kept her letter and 30 years later her daughter sent a handwritten thank you to the lady who had donated the coat back in 1945.  Now, how ironic is it that I am sitting here at my computer, writing a blog about the gift of letter writing, and then just open up a book, and a cookbook nonetheless, to a random page and it be about a 'thank you' letter that connected people from a 30 year span of a young girl's kindness towards a complete stranger.  I guess it proves that letter writing really can be a gift from the heart.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Say Something Nice

Valentine's Day is the perfect day to say something nice to someone.  Sincere compliments are nice to hear on any day of the year.  I received a nice compliment from one of my aunts this week.  She had read one of my blogs and told me that I had done a nice job at writing it.  This meant a lot to me since she is a writer herself.  That one compliment encouraged me to continue my blogging, especially since I am enjoying it so much.  Once again, the gift of a compliment, comes without a cost.  The dividends are high, though.  Look around today and see how you can bless someone!

*  If you work with children, school or Sunday School, this is a nice way to give the kiddos practice
    at giving compliments.  Pass a blank piece of paper (or a big Valentine construction heart)
    around the room for everyone to write down something nice about that person.  This is a good
    activity to do for a student's birthday.

*  One of my favorite cakes:  Earthquake Cake
    This is an easy cake to make and so good to eat!  In a 9X13 cakepan that has been greased,
    sprinke pecans and coconut (a cup for each).  Prepare a German Chocolate cake mix as directed
    on box.  Pour on top of coconut and pecans.  Then with a mixer, blend together 1 stick of butter
    or margarine, an 8-oz. package of cream cheese, 1 teaspoon of vanilla, and 4 cups of powdered
    sugar.  Drop spoonfuls of this mixture onto the cake mix.  Bake in a 350 degree preheated oven
    for about an hour or when a toothpick inserted in cake comes out clean.  The cake may be
    cracked, but that's okay because it is an 'Earthquake' cake!

*  A fun game idea for an adult party:  Each couple goes off with a camera to take interesting
    photos.  You can make this like a scavenger hunt.  Some of the requested photos may be:
    have someone take your picture standing in front of a fountain,  have someone take your picture
    while sharing a favorite dessert, take a photo of  a couple who have been married for a long
    time, etc....  You might want to make each couple's list different.  Set a predetermined time for
    all couples to be back at your place with the pictures.  Download the pictures for everyone to
    enjoy.  The first couple to get back on time with all of the pictures is the winning couple. 
*  A Valentine Progressive Dinner is a fun way to celebrate with friends.  Each couple/person
    will prepare part of the meal:  appetizers at one home, soup at another, salad at one, main
    course at the next, dessert and coffee at the last stop.  At each stop, games or activities can
    be planned; for example:  at one stop a Valentine trivia may be played, at the next dancing, 
    followed by karaoke love songs, anything that sounds fun for the evening!

*  How about hosting a Valentine Bunco Party?  Everyone brings something pink or red to
    give away for prizes!

Monday, February 7, 2011

The Gift of Laughter

                                                     He will fill your mouth with laughter
                                                     and your lips with shouts of joy.  (Job8:21)

One of my favorite movies is "Steele Magnolias".  There is a very emotional scene where Sally Field's character is burying her daughter (Julia Roberts).  She is out in the cemetery and is having a meltdown.  Her four closest friends are surrounding her.  Sally Fields says," I feel so bad that I just want to hit something.  I want to hit it hard!"  One of the friends grabs another friend, Wheezer, and tells Sally Fields,"Here, hit this!"  It catches everyone off guard, and then all realizes that she is making a joke.  They all start laughing (except Wheezer).  The laughter totally changes the entire mood.  It defuses the situation.

The Gift of Laughter can bring about peace.  Laughter de-stresses.  Studies have shown that laughter improves one's energy level and helps fight depression.  It can help the immune system.  Laughter relaxes muscles.  The heart is a muscle.  Studies have linked laughter to protecting the heart against heart attacks.  Although, it may seem to be such a simple thing...laughter, (and it is); it is also a most valuable gift, although it doesn't cost us a cent!

What can bring laughter to your life?  What was the last movie that made you laugh?  Do you read the cartoon section of the paper?  Have you shared a funny story or joke recently?  Have you ever gone to a comedy club or a karaoke joint?  Do you surround yourself with pictures that make you laugh?  Can you laugh at your ownself?

I had to do that myself today.  I fell on some ice at school in front of my students and co-workers.  I found the irony of the situation and just simply....laughed.

"Nothing shows a man's"(or woman's)"character more than what he laughs at" (Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe).  Think about that one!

What friend makes you laugh?  I have a friend at school who will sometimes say to me,"Sherry, tell me a story; I need to laugh."  What a compliment!  I am glad that I have been able to bring some laughter into her life and uplift her.  Valentine's Day is a perfect time to send a card or short note to someone to simply say, "I appreciate you and your gift of laughter that you bring into my life."  Maybe you will send the gift of laughter to someone with a funny Valentine card.  However, you choose to celebrate laughter for the wonderful gift it is, remember an old Yiddish Proverb:  "What soap is to the body, laughter is to the soul." 

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Eight Gifts for Valentine's Day ( that works great on any day!)

I have been thinking about 'what to blog about next' and wouldn't you know came to me by another blog!  I wanted to write something related to Valentine's Day.  When I read another blogger's blog, she had listed 8 gifts on her blog (I think she may have borrowed it from someone also.).  Ofcourse, I will put my personal spin on these 8 gifts, not simply copy her post.  I will blog 1 gift per day leading up to Valentine's Day.

The first gift is THE GIFT OF LISTENING.  There are times when people just want to be heard.  They are not asking us to 'fix the problem', but rather just be the ears to let them vent.  Not everyone has the luxury of trotting off to the therapist for an hour, so they look for a good friend who will listen to them.

I believe that in order to be a good listener, one MUST be able to contain that knowledge.  No one wants to tell their problems and secrets to a blabbermouth!  How many times have you felt betrayed by someone that you had confided in because you later learned that individual had shared your inner thoughts with the whole garden club, staff, church, or whatever the case may have been?  So to be a good listener listen without repeating.

Set your purpose for listening.  When listening to an individual's problems, give them your full attention.  Make eye contact and head contact.  Don't be writing your shopping list or texting or even answering the phone (that's why we have 'leave a message').  You have time to get back to that business later.  Listening means we listen with our whole being.  We let that person know that they are valued.  We care about them and what is hurting or troubling them.  We listen with heart.

 Take time today to practice your listening skills so that the next time a friend calls upon you to be a good listener, you can get the job done efficiently.  Maybe your child is trying to relay to you what so and so said today at school.  Put down that dishtowel or tv remote, look your child in the eyes, and listen.  Now maybe his/her story is not one of the most dire situations, but it will give you an opportunity to sharpen your listening skills.  Who knows you may even learn some valuable insights into your child's friends and everyday occurrences when he/she is away from you.

Who do you know that is a good listener?  When you have troubles (and we all do), what friend is always there for you 'with a good ear'?  Keeping with the spirit of Valentine's Day, wouldn't it be a thoughtful idea to send that friend a special card?  Let that individual know just how much he/she is appreciated. 


          5 egg whites               2 cups white sugar           1 teaspoon vanilla           chopped pecans (optional)

          Beat egg whites until they form a stiff peak, but don't over do it.  Add sugar, a little at a time. Add vanilla and stir in pecans.  Drop by teaspoonfuls onto a baking sheet.  Bake at a low temperature (250 degrees) for an hour or until kisses are light brown in color.
                                                                Adapted from"Best of the Best Mississippi Cookbook"

Friday, February 4, 2011

Stopping By My Neighbor's Woods

     Today I took a walk in the snow.  I stopped and watched my boy and his friends sledding.  I was distracted by the simple beauty of the snow falling through the woods.  All was very peaceful and beautiful.  The landscape made me think of a Robert Frost poem:  Stopping By Woods on a Snowy Evening

            Whose woods these are I think I know.
             His house is in the village though.
             He will not see me stopping here
             To watch his woods fill up with snow.

             My little horse must think it queer
             To stop without a farmhouse near
             Between the woods and frozen lake
             The darkest evening of the year.

             He gives his harness bells a shake
             To ask if there is some mistake.
             The only other sounds the sweep
             Of easy wind and downy flake.

             The woods are lovely, dark and deep.
             But I have promises to keep,
             And miles to go before I sleep,
             And miles to go before I sleep
                         (Robert Frost)

     Snowy Dreams.....

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Happy Birthday, Grandma Jackson

     Harriet Matilda Reece Jackson is/was my maternal grandmother's name.  How is one to correctly refer to a deceased loved one?  Do we put them in the past-tense just because they cease to be in our presence?  Who is to say that they still do not exist in some other place or form?  Then, if that is the case, don't they deserve to still be referred to in the present-tense form?  Just saying...or asking.

     In our family, I know that at least 3 offspring share three of her names.  One of the great-grandchildren share the name of Matilda.  Years ago, I would have never considered naming a child Matilda.  It seemed too old-fashioned.  Now, however, I am very pleased to see that one of my cousins chose that beautiful name for her daughter. (And, may I add that she is such a beautiful little girl!). 'Mighty in Battle' is the meaning of the name Matilda, and it is derived from Old German language.  There are many variants of the name, Mattie being one of them, which happens to be the name of my other grandmother.  I can attest to the inner strength of my grandmother.  She was no push-over.  She could hold her own in matters of disagreement. 

     Gary Reece, number eleven of 13 children, was named after Grandma's maiden name of Reece.  This name has actually become quite popular over the past few years for both genders.  Reece is from Welsh orgin.  Reece is suppose to mean enthusiasm.  I am proud that this side of the family has been very diligent in preserving the family's history.  We have a family newsletter that goes out several times during the year, keeping us all updated on family weddings, births, deaths and other family celebrations.  We also have annual family reunions. I guess one could say that the Reece family is enthusiastic about preserving the family's history!

     My own handsome nephew, Shane, shares his middle name of Jackson with his great-grandmother. Jackson is taken from Old English.  It simply means 'the son of Jack'. Now that leaves one other name in my grandmother's list of  names that is up for grabs in the family tree, Harriet.  I went to grade school with a girl named Harriet Jackson.  I remember I always thought that was so odd that that young girl had the same name as my grandmother.  Harriet, an Old German name, means 'home ruler'.  I imagine my grandmother did just that!  I am sure, even with the help of the girls in the family, there was always enough work to spread around with all of that cooking, cleaning, and laundry.

     Today is/was my grandmother's birthday.  I still miss her although she has been gone for years now.  She is gone from my sight, but I know that she is still in existence, waiting somewhere for the rest of her brood to join her.  And, she will never be forgotten...and her name continues strong in the branches of our family tree.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Blizzard of 2011 (Feb.1)

      Well, I got a snow day, which meant a day home from school today.  I must admit that I had trouble sleeping last night, wondering if we would really get the inclement weather that our meteorologists were all predicting for us.  The weatherman had said that we may have 'blizzard' conditions.  This was to be the worst snow storm since the early 1900s.  I was up at 2:00 am looking out my window to see any signs of snow.  To my dismay, I didn't see as much as a good frost.  But, the sleet and snow did come sometime afterwards, as I was awaken to a 'wintry mix'.

       However, I was disappointed that we never got the 'blizzard conditions' that I had conjured up in my head.  I had images of blinding snow and howling wind.  The term 'blizzard' makes me think of the
story that I read as a child from the "Little House" series, where Laura had to walk home from school in the blizzard.  At home, they had to use a rope to get from the house to the barn so they wouldn't lose their way.  Ma even slapped a bear, thinking she was slapping the ole' milk cow because the visibility was so poor.  Then there was the time Mr. Edwards braved the weather to make sure Santa came to the prairie.  These were my connotations of blizzard.

       Adding to my disappointment, I didn't remember to set out pans to catch fresh snow until late in the day.  Because we did not get that blizzard, I also didn't get my snow cream!  There wasn't enough snow in that pan to make a good snowball!  But, the good news is maybe I will get another chance in a few days; the forecast is snow again by early next week.

How to Make Snow Cream:

1.  Set out a large pan to catch fresh snow (put the pan high, you don't want any yellow snow!)
2.  Add enough cream (evaporated milk) to the consistency of slush
3.  Add sugar to taste and a teaspoon of vanilla

       If all this blizzard talk has sparked your interest, you may want to search out the blizzards of:       
                          1.  DeSmet, South Dakota; 1880-81
                          2.  Pioneer Blizzard;  Jan.10, 1873
                          3.  Children's Blizzard; Jan.12, 1888
                          4.  Super Bowl Blizzard; Jan.10, 1975 (where parts of Minnesota got 20 inches of snow
                               with wind gusts of over 70 mph)
                          5.  3 Day Blizzard; Jan.9-11 in 1997


Sunday, January 23, 2011

The Superintendent's Wife

I am so new to this and do not know what I am doing.  Since this is my first attempt at a blog, I thought I might explain how I came about my page title, 'The Superintendent's Wife'.  I have been married to Dan for almost 30 years.  In these years, I have followed him around to different school districts.  It has given me the opportunity to gain teaching experiences at several different grade levels and positions.  Whenever we would go to a different school, it seemed like I was always being introduced as 'the superintendent's wife'.  Come to think of it, I might still be introduced that way, and we have been at the current school for almost 14 years.  It's okay and I really don't take offense to it.  I am proud of my husband and the life that we have created together.  Maybe there are others who would like to explain how they came about their title for their blog page?  We all have a story...waiting to be shared.