Tuesday, December 30, 2008

New Year's Traditions

My grandmother Higdon was a superstitious woman. She was always looking out for her family by telling us to be careful not to break a mirror or we would have seven years of bad luck, not to let a black cat cross our path, not to walk underneath ladders, and NEVER open an umbrella in the house. Any one of these could cause some long-term disaster.

As this year ends, I remember my childhood and the most important thing we did as a family on New Year's Day--that was to have a big helping of black-eyes peas. Meme (that was what I called my grandmother) said that it would bring us prosperity. It seemed to work; we always had enough money to meet our needs.
Some other New Year's superstitions and traditions:

*Kiss your lover at mid-night to assure love all year long.
*Open you doors and windows at mid-night to let the old year out and the new year in.
*Wear new clothes on New Year's Day so that you have new garments all year.
*A baby born on January 1 will have good luck all their life.

***Is there a special tradition you practice on New Years that may have been handed down or practiced by your ancestors or family?

Monday, December 29, 2008

New Year's Resolutions

Do you make New Year's Resolutions? I've made them for years and never get more than one or two completed, but I love the challenge. Here are a few of mine for the coming year.
1. Lose 5 pounds.
2. Get rid of a "ton of junk" at a yard sale.
3. Relax more.
4. Write, write, write.
***What are your goals for 2009?

Sunday, December 28, 2008


I've been thinking of a way to list my personal blessings as the New Year unfolds before me. So using the letters N-E-W Y-E-A-R here I go....

N-New friends of this blog
E-Every family member is precious to me
W-Warm comfortable country home

Y-Young attitude-always learning
E-Each moment of life is a gift from God
A-Angels are all around us
R-Riley, my miniature schnauzer + Tai, Tora, and Tucker

***How will you fill in the letters of the New Year?

Saturday, December 27, 2008

What Will Next Year Bring?

May God make your year a happy one!
Not by shielding you from all sorrows and pain,
But by strengthening you to bear it, as it comes;
Not by making your path easy,
But by making you sturdy to travel any path;
Not by taking hardships from you,
But by taking fear from your heart;
Not by granting you unbroken sunshine,
But by keeping your face bright, even in the shadows;
Not by making your life always pleasant,
But by showing you when people and their causes need you most,
and by making you anxious to be there to help.
God’s love, peace, hope and joy to you for the year ahead
-Author Unknown

New Year's Day Giveaway

Hi Gals... I hope your Christmas was full of holiday cheer.

As most of you know, I'm having a PASHMINA SCARF / SHAWL GIVEAWAY.

This time I will draw two (2) names. The lucky winners will be drawn on New Year's Day~ 2009.

Here are the rules:
~ 1 Point for leaving a comment. Enter everyday!
~ 3 Points if you become a "follower" (See other "follower" photos at right)
~ 5 Points each time you mention my giveaway on your blog. (Please let me know if you do this. Thanks a million!)

The scarfs are well worth the effort.

Good luck to all.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

If Christ Be Thine

My dear friend, if Christ be thine, there is no song on earth too high, too holy for thee to sing; nay, there is no song which thrills from angelic lips, no note which thrills Archangel’s tongue in which thou mayest not join. Even this day, the holiest, the happiest, the most glorious of words, and thoughts, and emotions belong to thee. Use them! God help thee to enjoy them; and his be the praise, while thine is the comfort evermore. Amen.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008


Monday, December 22, 2008

My Goal Is?

I know we haven't yet celebrated Christmas, but.....

The new year will be here soon and most of us will want to improve our lives by setting goals for ourselves. I seem to always have five or six I'm working on and actually accomplish a few of them by the end of the year.

This year I intend to concentrate on a quote I read this evening. I'll post it in my journal and read it daily.

"Get into the habit of dealing with God about everything. Unless in the first waking moment of the day you learn to fling the door wide back and let God in, you will work on a wrong level all day; but swing the door wide open and pray to your Father in secret, and every public thing will be stamped with the presence of God." -Oswald Chambers

~What one goal do you have for the New Year?

Sunday, December 21, 2008

The Greatest Gift

How many people have you hugged today? Love is the greatest gift of all.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

A Forever Gift

I read somewhere that a writer is almost always a reader and that those who read are compelled to write. I know that's true in my own life. I have always been "in love" with books...they are a large part of my life. And I've always been a writer--mostly private-- until I produced this blog. Since books are so important to me, it is only natural that I want those around me to experience the joy and inspiration they can bring into our lives.

Now getting to the point of this post. I'm suggesting to each one who reads this entry that we give at least one book as a gift this Christmas and that we give at least one book each month, throughout the year, to someone we care about.

A couple of years ago I ordered, from Amazon, inspirational books for women in our county jail. I DID NOT send novels. The books I donated were all non-fiction, easy to read Bibles, and self-help types (Joyce Meyers, Beth Moore, etc).

After being released, a young lady came to my door. She gave me a big hug, cried, and thanked me for a Bible (called The Book) that I had sent to her while she was incarcerated and told me how it and the other books had changed her life. That's a special moment I WILL NEVER FORGET.

Books are "forever" gifts. Once read, they become like an old friend and companion. They have taken us to places we only dream about or inspired us to reach for the higher calling inside ourselves. Each book touches us in some way and becomes a part of our lives forever.

*** Which book will you give this Christmas?

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Kendyl Grace ~ Our Christmas Angel

Hello friends!

I received an email today from our daughter Lori (Kendyl Grace's grandmother). Many of you have been keeping up with Kendyl's progress and know that she was born a few months ago with a very serious intestinal condition. She made a miraculous recovery and came home from the hospital for the first time on Thanksgiving Eve.

Lori's email is primarily to all of you who prayed with us for Kendyl.

"I wanted to take a moment out of this busy time to update all our prayer warriors on Kendyl's progress. She has been to her doctor twice since leaving the hospital and each time her doctors have been very pleased with her progress.

She has been steadily gaining weight and is now officially 9 lbs 2 oz! She is eating on demand (and she is very demanding) and sleeping when everyone is up and staying awake when everyone wants to go to bed. So in other words, she is a typical newborn!!

She has started to smile and coo. She loves to lay on her back and look up and around. She can be a bit fussy here and there and has maintained her stubborn streak!

Have a very MERRY Christmas and I have attached a new picture to remind you of your prayer miracle!!! God Bless!! Lori and Joe"

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Whispers Of The Past

Christmas is a time of many traditions and a time to get out all of our holiday collections. We sit them on mantles and window sills, hang them on walls and in doorways, but most of all we decorate our trees with them.

Jim and I finally got around to putting up the tree last night. It's not the same without the children (I call them children, even though they're grown) being here to participate in all the excitement of the night. When they were young we would play Christmas music and Jim would bring out the big old box with our 30 year old fake tree in it and the season would start at that very moment, in earnest.

Last night as I opened box after box, I discovered many wonderful memories of Christmas past. There were the little glass drums that Jim and I bought for our first Christmas, 45 years ago. There were the ornaments that I had done in crewel work over a period of years and the fancy ornaments my mother had done by hand once while she was visiting us. There were also the little dolls (see a few of them above) I had collected over all those years, so many that at times one couldn't see the tree for all of them-- until I stopped putting so many on the tree. Now there's just the memories and Jim and me trying to have a Christmas party together. Getting old certainly has it's drawbacks.

The end result is a tree of beautiful lights, adornments and whispers of the past.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Rose Mary's Cabin

Rose Mary over at Life In A Cordwood Cabin has posted a photo of the shawl/scarf she won in my last week's giveaway. Be sure to take some time to visit and take a look.

Thanks Rose Mary for posting the pic. I hope you enjoy the gift.

Rules for my next giveaway are listed below.

Merry Christmas to everyone!!

Monday, December 15, 2008


Hi Gals...

It's time for another PASHMINA SCARF/SHAWL GIFT GIVEAWAY. This time I will draw two (2) names. The lucky winners will be drawn on New Year's Day~ 2009.

Here are the rules:

~ 1 Point for leaving a comment. Enter everyday!

~ 3 Points if you become a "follower" (See other "follower" photos at right)

~ 5 Points each time you mention my giveaway on your blog.

The scarfs are well worth the effort.

Good luck to all.

We Have Snow and Mistletoe

Hi Ladies...come on in and stay awhile. Let's visit.

It's been another busy day...baking and getting ready for our family to gather here on Christmas Eve. I have the usual fire going in the fireplace and there's snow on the ground outside--more is expected tonight.

A few nights ago Jim and I watched "White Christmas" with Bing Crosby and were wishing right along with them for some snow. I couldn't believe we could actually have a chance of seeing our own white Christmas, but the odds are looking pretty good at this point. Temps are supposed to stay in the low teens for several days and that means there won't be much melting. I'm keeping my fingers crossed.

I took a photo (see above) of a few new items I bought at Ross for the Christmas table. I just couldn't resist the large and smaller bowl, covered casserole, cookie plate, water pitcher, and deviled egg dish. Especially, the egg dish. They are one of my weaknesses and something I collect, I think.

I usually have the traditional red and green holiday theme, but this year I'm going with pinks and burgundy as seen in the dishes above.

So anyway that's what is going on here. Hope you are all feeling the Holiday Spirit!!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Christmas Love

In these last few days before Christmas I find myself busy with cleaning, baking, and presents to buy, but when I stop to think, the gifts that matter most are the pure expressions of selfless love.

The most important things we can give anyone is kindness, understanding, appreciation, and affirmation.

So today I want to suggest a few ways to celebrate THIS SEASON OF LOVE.

1. Give a card listing things you sincerely appreciate about the person.

2. Do one random act of kindness each day from now until Christmas.

3. Make some one's favorite holiday treat and surprise them with it...tied with a bow and a message of love and appreciation.

4. Give a Christmas ornament with special meaning.

5. Buy matching shirts for you and your "special someone." Stick a note in the pocket, saying, "You are my soul-mate. We are a match made in Heaven. Love forever and a day."

6. Ask someone who lives alone to attend a Christmas event with you and afterward take them out for coffee and dessert.

7. Resolve to smile at everyone you meet--even if they don't smile back.

8. Affirm the unique personality and talents of everyone you know.

9. Love with all of your heart--don't hold back, even if your heart's been broken before.

10. Say "I love you" to your family members and hug like you mean it. It may be difficult at first, if you haven't been expressive before now, but it will become more natural over time.

11. As the song goes-- "Let it begin with me." We can't wait for someone else to make the first move-- it may just leave us waiting forever.

12. What other ways can we demonstrate God's love?

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Enjoy Today

Last evening Jim and I built a fire in the fireplace, had a nice warm dinner of steak and baked potatoes, and watched a DVD of an old classic Donny and Marie Christmas show. It was so different back then. The program was centered around the birth of Christ and family and they weren't afraid to talk about it. I bought it (see right hand column) from the Amazon.com site last year and it's always a delight to watch.

Today Jim and I are going to be busy with Christmas preparations. I have a list for him to work on and I'll be busy cleaning and baking. I want to make sugar cookies, freeze, and then frost them a couple of days before the BIG EVENT.

There is still so much to do and so much baking to finish, but I'm trying to live in the moment and enjoy every little thing I do for my family. We just never know what life will bring next, so it's important to appreciate the people and blessings we have in our life at this moment.

Well, I better get busy! Not a minute to waste! Merry Christmas to all and enjoy TODAY!!!

Friday, December 12, 2008

Chocolate Covered Cherries

We all have our specialities and mine is Chocolate Covered Cherries. I've been making them for many years. Each holiday the family looks forward to having them on the Christmas table.

After I mentioned them a few days ago, readers ask for the recipe. So here it is:


1 jar maraschino cherries, drained

Evaporated milk

1/2 cup margarine at room temperature

1 pound powdered sugar (more or less)

Soften margarine to room temperature; blend powdered sugar (sifted), adding a little evaporated milk to aid in blending until consistency of dough. Wrap each cherry in the sugar-butter mixture and chill.

Melt 5 to 7 squares of semi-sweet chocolate or a package of chocolate chips in top of double boiler; add about 1/3 block paraffin and melt.

Dip each chilled cherry in chocolate and place on wax paper to set. Chill in refrigerator.

Thursday, December 11, 2008


The winner of the new PASHMINA WOOL SCARF is Rose Mary at Life In A Cordwood Cabin. Please send me your address and your 3 choices of color in order of preference, so I can send your gift out right away.

Thanks to all who entered and CONGRATULATIONS and MERRY CHRISTMAS TO ROSE MARY!!

Look for another drawing soon.

Christmas Comes Early

Hello friends!

As most of you probably remember, last summer I took up biking after years of not even touching one. That was a real experience--the fear of falling, learning to balance again, and adjusting to stopping with hand-brakes. But I continued to practice and by the end of summer was riding pretty well for an old gal.

Well....last evening Jim and I were doing a little Christmas shopping at our son's store (he's the manager) and right there beside the front window was the bike of my dreams!

Oh...my... gosh!! I just had to have it!!!! This was the Christmas presents of ALL CHRISTMAS PRESENTS!!!!! Just what I wanted--a Barbie Pink beach cruiser-- a bike with no gears or handbrakes. They're like the old fashioned kind I had when I was young, but a little more sophisticated in color and style. You don't use your hands to stop it--you use the pedals. Just my speed!!!! I hear they're very popular now in California.

Son, Matt, took the bike out of the window for me and said I could ride it around the store. That was nice of him, but no thanks, for Pete's sake! Can't you just see the spectacle? Well, we compromised and I sat on it to see if the height was right. No, the seat was too tall. Matt adjusted it. Now would I ride it around the store? NO THANKS, AGAIN.

Jim could see that "my inner child" WANTED THAT BIKE and agreed it would be my early Christmas present. Matt put a SOLD sign on it and Jim will come with his truck and pick it up today.

A new bike for Christmas!! Haven't had that happen since I was a little girl.

Speaking of childhood gifts...what's the gift that stands out most in your "childhood memory?"

***Don't forget. The drawing for the new scarf is this afternoon. Leave a comment to enter.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

One More Day Until.....

Hello Ladies!

Life In A Cordwood Cabin is having a giveaway. I've entered my name and I thought you might also be interested in entering. Take a look at her blog.

Don't forget to enter my Pashmina Shawl/Scarf (valued at $99.00 and up) giveaway. I'll draw a name tomorrow!! (All you have to do is leave a comment.)

Note: Leave a cookie or candy recipe in comments and you will receive an additional 5 entries. Enter as many times as you wish.

Hurry...time is running out!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Merry Christmas to all.

Monday, December 8, 2008

A Christmas Cookie Exchange

Hi Friends....

Come on in...so glad to see you!

The holiday music is playing, my candles are burning with the scent of cinnamon and the fire in the fireplace is warming the entire house.

I'm inviting you to my No-Bake Christmas Cookie Exchange. It's no-bake (all we need is the recipe), so there will be very little work for you to do. It's all just for fun and friendly sharing.

Here are the rules:

-Leave your favorite Christmas cookie recipe under my "comments"

-Your recipe can be for either bake or no-bake cookies. Candy is also acceptable.

- Copy and then paste it into the comment box.

- If you see a recipe in my comments that you want to try, you may copy it for your own collection.

- Anyone leaving a recipe will receive 5 extra entries into the new PASHMINA scarf giveaway. Giveaway will take place in a few days...in time for Christmas.

***So get out those cookbooks and/or file boxes and tell us about your family favorite. I'm looking forward to receiving and sharing your scrumptious recipes.

Holiday Blessings.

Cookies Galore

Hi all....

I think we're all interested in beautiful ideas for Christmas gift giving or attractive food to adorn our holiday tables.

While looking around the web tonight-- trying to find some really good cookie ideas, I found this great suggestion for a cookie tray (picture above). It comes from the Wilton cake decorating website. Gorgeous spritz cookies are presented in a Christmas tree cake pan and decorated with a red bow. I think this is a wonderful idea, either to give as a gift or to add to your Christmas table.

I will most certainly make these this season.

***What's your favorite Christmas cookie?

Sunday, December 7, 2008

I'm Not Like That

Well, ladies and gentlemen, I have the need to explain something.....

I've been doing what I do a lot of.....surfing other people's blogs. Don't you just love reading their stories and looking at all the cute graphics? But there's one thing I notice that they all have in common....they look like real nice, easy-going people.

Now we come to the explaining part of this post. My photo looks so...how do I say this? Stuffy!!
There I am in a turtleneck sweater and jacket...sitting up straight as a board. Some might say I look uptight and a little self-righteous, but that's really not "me" at all.

The photo was taken for a political campaign, to be used on political signs and fliers. So that's the best picture I have and the one I'm stuck with... for now.

Who am I really? Wife, mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, friend. Very easy going, down to earth, friendly, happy, creative, and much more.

So there...I've confessed and feel much better!!

Blessings to all.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

I Received An Award


Yesterday I received an award!!

My blogging buddy, Patty, over at A Light In The Window gave it to me. The award is called “Real People, Real Blogs” and it's for people who write about real life.

Thank's Patty. I'm very pleased with the honor.

It came with Some Rules:

* Please put the logo in your blog

* Place a link from the person whom you received the award

* Nominate at least 7 or more

* Put the links of those on your blog

* Leave a message on their blog to let them know

I'm nominating the following blogs--
Joanne over at http://joannedemaio.blogspot.com/
Jeannette at http://outsidelookingin-jeannette.blogspot.com/
Terri at http://terri-treasures.blogspot.com/
Janna at http://somethingshewrote.blogspot.com/
Pat at http://atpatsplace.blogspot.com/
Angie at http://angie-ledbetter.blogspot.com/
Lea at http://leawilliams65.blogspot.com/

Holiday Blessings to all.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

I'm In A Holiday Mood

Hi Ladies!

I just got home this evening from holiday shopping at Ross (discount store) and bought some of the sweetest plates and bowls for my Christmas table. I'm so excited about serving the family's favorite foods in them at our Christmas Eve buffet dinner. My little shopping trip has really put me in the mood to start baking and getting ready for the special night with my big family.

Most of us have our favorite platters, plates, and bowls; some will even be lucky enough to use china and flatware that have been handed down from generation to generation. And in those precious vessels we will serve delicious concoctions. Below are goodies I'll make and serve on Christmas Eve.

Bon appetit!!

1. Seafood salad (with crab and shrimp)

2. Deviled eggs

3. Potato salad

4. Baked beans

5. Green bean casserole

6. Stuffed baked mushrooms

7. Broccoli salad

8. Cabbage salad

9. Cherry salad

10. Orange salad

11. Homemade rolls

12. Red Velvet cake

13. Coconut cake (I ordered one from QVC last year and it was so good that I ordered another one for this season.)

14. My famous chocolate covered cherries

15. Pecan Pie

16. Cookies

***What are some family favorites you'll make for Christmas?

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

"C" is for......

Hello and Happy Holidays!

My newest meme includes lots of my favorite holiday things.

C- Coconut cake
H- Happiness everywhere
R- Red velvet cake
I- Icing on the sugar cookies
S- Sincere wishes
T- Trees freshly cut
M- Mistletoe kisses
A- Angels in the church play
S- Surprises!

I'm not going to "tag" anyone in particular, but I do hope you'll do this little meme on your blog. Or.....leave your answers under my comments.

***How would you fill in the Christmas letters?

Hope you're having as much fun getting ready for Christmas as I am!!

Holy Ground

Earth's crammed with heaven,
And every common bush afire with God,
But only he who sees takes off his shoes;
The rest sit round it and pluck blackberries.
-Elizabeth Barrett Browning
***How and where did you experience Heaven today?

Monday, December 1, 2008

She's An Eagle When She Flies

I was listening to a number of songs by various artists tonight and came across this one, written by Dolly Parton (below). The older I get, the more supportive and appreciative I am of strong, yet compassionate women (see black insert at right), so this one by Dolly, was especially meaningful to me. I want to share it with you. Maybe we can all take something important from it. What will you take?

She's An Eagle When She Flies

She's been there, God knows, she's been there...
She has seen and done it all.
She's a woman... she knows how to
Dish it out or take it all.
Her heart's as soft as feathers, still she weathers stormy skies,
And she's a sparrow when she's broken,
But she's an eagle when she flies.
A kaleidoscope of colors....
You can toss her around and round,
You can keep her in your vision,
But you'll never keep her down.
She's a lover, she's a mother,
She's a friend and she's a wife....
And she's a sparrow when she's broken
But she's an eagle when she flies.
Gentle as the sweet magnolia
Strong as steel-- her faith and pride.
She's an everlasting shoulder,
She's the leaning post of life.
She hurts deep and when she weeps
She's just as fragile as a child,
And she's a sparrow when she's broken
But she's an eagle when she flies.
She's a sparrow when she's broken,
But she's an eagle when she flies.
Oh, bless her, Lord.
She's an eagle when she flies.
-Dolly Parton

***Remember, to be entered into this month's drawing, you must leave a comment. Good luck to all.

Kendyl Grace

A couple of weeks ago, I reported that little Kendyl Grace would be coming home from the hospital within a day or two. Well, things didn't go as expected. One little thing and another came up...a slight weight loss, a possible bout with jaundice (which didn't materialize), and a few other little issues. The doctors wanted to keep her a bit longer to make sure she wasn't going to have some major incident when she got home, which might endanger her already fragile health. We were beginning to wonder what might come next. But............

The evening before Thanksgiving, Amber and Joe Jr., grandmother Lori, and grandfather Joe walked into Aunt Linda's and Uncle Mike's house with the gift we had all been waiting for.....the homecoming of baby Kendyl Grace (after 70 days in the hospital). We all gave out a shout of joy and ran toward them, getting our cameras out, taking pictures, and begging to hold her. Needless to say, one or another were holding her all evening and she didn't mind; she seemed to enjoy every minute of it.

Looking at Kendyl, you would never know she had been premature and deathly ill at birth. What a SPECIAL THANKSGIVING OUR FAMILY HAD!!!!!

Thanks goes to her wonderful doctors, to all of you for your prayers, and to our Lord Jesus Christ who carried her the entire way in His arms. What a blessing.