Saturday, December 30, 2006

Bridal Preview

Sweet picture taken by my cousin in the bride's dressing room. If any of my readers have Facebook accounts, you might be able to view some wedding candids by searching *Giles Jago Simmer*

It will be over a week before the professional photos are available for online viewing. You will need to leave me a comment or contact me via e-mail, so that I can tell you the password.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Wedding Ditty

Something old = Belle of the Ball Hoop

Something new = ivory satin shoes

Something borrowed = heirloom gown and veil

Something blue = Garter with 4 inches of lace

Sixpence in her shoe = Yup!

Read about these wedding customs here and tell me if you were able to incorporate them on your big day.

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Christmas Eve

This year the 24th falls on Sunday, so we will be at church that morning. Our girls will the singing the anthem, a soprano/alto mix of Mary's Magnificat. I anticipate a sermon from Luke 24. For years our pastor has been teaching verse by verse through this synoptic gospel. JCM is masterful at expository preaching. Search for him at

Afterwards we will have a fine feast at my parent's home. Traditionally we have beef tenderloin, asparagus, red peppers. This year Asiago potatoes will be on the plate instead of wild rice. For dessert....chocolate mousse cake. Yum.

We will exchange presents and then the girls head out to sing for two Christmas Eve services. DH and I will attend the 11 o'clock service and accompany the girls home.

Blessings on your celebration!

Friday, December 22, 2006

Christmas Tour Cont'd

At the risk of being trite, this manger scene is the *reason for the season* Around here, we believe in celebrating the birthday of our King and try to downplay the commercialism inherent in the American way. Santa does visit our home, in case you were wondering, but there has never been confusion in our minds about who he is versus who Jesus Christ is.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Best Ornament 2006

And the award goes to this charming lady who announces

*She is too fond of books and it has addled her brain*
Louisa May Alcott

For this year, which is your favorite ornament?

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Christmas Tour of Homes

Our nine foot, live tree graces the foyer and it is the first thing you would see after walking in the front door. We used to put it in the living room which has a bay window, but now with 7-8 adults opening presents on Christmas morning, there was not enough room both.

Turn around and you will see our stockings. During this past year's home remodeling, we had the chimney torn down :( We intend the replace it in Phase II of the remodeling.

Next I would invite you into the living room and offer you a seat beside this large poinsettia. Would you like a cup of tea or coffee?

In which case, I would invite you into the kitchen and we'd visit around this centerpiece.

May your Christmas be merry and your New Year be bright.

Edit: Lest you think, my decorating is so perfect, consider checking out the picture of my front door/yard posted on my xanga site.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Turkey Noodle Soup

Excuse the dark photo. The shadow is me hovering over my bowl. We enjoyed this comforting food last night, after picking up DD#2 from the airport. She's home after being away for thirteen weeks in Italy where she studied art, painting, drawing, and photography.

Recipe to follow. Yes, those are whole wheat spiral noodles :)

Monday, November 20, 2006


2 lbs, washed and cut

Place greens in large (8qt) stock pot with 1/2 Cup water. Drizzle with 2 tsp safflower oil, salt, and pepper. Cook on high heat, stirring often and adding water as needed, for about one hour.

Seasoning greens is highly controversial in the South....some cooks add sugar, some bacon grease, and some like 'em plain. Suffice it to say, I like mine with some seasoning....I'm still experimenting with which ones, so you'll have to email me privately, if you need further instructions :)

In the case of greens, I like mine well done, which means they pass their bright green stage and get darker and softer. There should not be a lot of water in the end, less than the 1/2 cup started out with. It should be full of nutrients and is often drunk by true Southerners. It's name it *pot liquer* Oh, and don't forget the pepper sauce!

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Cornbread Dressing

4 Cups Biscuit crumbs
4 Cups Cornbread crumbs
1 very large onion, finely chopped
1 bunch celery, (8stalks)finely chopped
5 Cups turkey broth
1/3 Cup butter
1 Cup milk
Salt and pepper

In a very large bowl combine crumbs, onion, celery, and seasonings. Combine liquid ingredients (and butter). Heat in microwave until butter melts. Pour over dry ingredients. Stir mixture. It should be soupy. If not, add more broth. Pour into an buttered, oblong casserole dish (3qt) and bake at 350 degrees for one hour. Maybe longer until well browned and *set*.

The secret to this recipe is to have all the ingredients on hand. That means that there should be in one's freezer several large bags labeled: biscuit crumbs, cornbread crumbs, and chicken or turkey stock.

Finished product ~

Friday, November 17, 2006

Cranberry Sauce

16 oz fresh cranberries, washed

1 Cup honey

1 Cup orange juice

In a medium-sized (1.5 qt) saucepan, combine the three ingredients and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Scoop off foam. Reduce heat after all the berries have *popped*. Cook five more minutes. Cool before serving. Stores well in covered container. Freezes well also.

Cranberry sauce is probably my favorite part of the Thanksgiving meal. Amy over at Humble Musings cracks me up when she talks about cranberry sauce.

This recipe is too easy not to use :)

Edit: This particular batch was made with raw, unfiltered honey which accounts for the dark red color. If one were to use a light, clover honey, the color would be brighter :)

Cranberry Sauce - older photo

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Thanksgiving Menu

Roasted Turkey (see below as well as 11/19/05 entry)
Cornbread Dressing
Cranberry Sauce
Turkey Gravy
Sweet Potato Souffle
Pole Beans
Pearl Onions 'N Mushrooms

Pecan Pie
Pumpkin Pie


Don't mean to rush anyone with their dinner plans, but it's time to prepare the grocery list. Writing out the menu helps me organize. Over the course of the next week, I'll be posting recipes. Hope y'all will share your menus.

Basics of Slow Roast method of cooking large cuts of meat.
See Adele Davis's book, Let's Cook It Right, for explicit instructions. The key to the oven temp setting AFTER the initial hour at 300 degrees is based on the desired internal temperature of the meat when it is completely cooked.

Prepare meat/turkey by rinsing, removing innards, sprinkling desired seasonings, and/or rubbing with oil. (FYI-I don't season mine.) Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Place bird, breast-side down, on a rack in a large roasting pan. Roast turkey one hour at 300 degrees. Then turn oven temperature down to 190 degrees. Do not open the oven door! Roast turkey one hour per pound of weight. Remove from the oven at the end of the hours of cooking and the meat should just fall off the bone. I wear yellow kitchen gloves when I pull the meat off in chunks and arrange the legs, wings, breast, etc on the family platter in preparation for buffet-style serving.

And, yes, I have roasted a 24 lber this way!

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

LogoThere is:
person with my name
in the U.S.A.

How many have your name?

Found over at Laura's

Monday, November 13, 2006


I was at a standstill for a while when Quickbooks wouldnt load over the weekend. Thankfully it was just outdated and no data was lost or corrupted. The software update/installation went smoothly....and I did it all by myself! :) Cyber-buddy Carol's computer illness has prompted me to examine our back-up programs and make sure we're ready for the unexpected.

Do you know where you back-up disks are and have you ever tested them to see if they actually work?

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Pole Beans

4 lbs, washed, steamed, and *strung* Steam in pressure cooker with 1 C water. When the top of the pressure cooker starts to jiggle, turn off the heat. Cool cooker under stream of cold water to stop the cooking process. Transfer to serving dish. These beans should retain their bright green coloring.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006


3 large heads Break apart, discarding stem and leaves. Wash and trim into bite-sized flowerettes. Arrange in pyrex dish. Cover tightly with saran. Steam in the microwave on high in 5 min increments. It may take two sessions for this large quantity. Saran should puff into a *hot-air balloon* shape while the microwave is running. When it stops, the saran will sink down, creating a seal or suctioned-down effect over veggies. Release the saran to keep the veggies from becoming flattened :) I start cooking the cauliflower when I tell everyone it's time to wash their hands. It takes about ten minutes for a crowd to get to the serving line, which is just enough time for the cauliflower to be cooked and served steamingly hot.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Election Day Prayer

Father, I desire to vote intelligently in all elections. I pray that You will bring to light the things I need to know so I may vote in line with Your plan, will and purpose.

May things not only come to light for the Christian community, but may things be made clear to the unbelieving community as well. I pray that what is right would be so clear that even unbelievers would vote using wisdom and demanding honesty and uprightness from their politicians.

Dear Father, in the name of Jesus, may the citizens of our nation become so weary of sin and degradation in our nation's leaders that they will seek out godly leaders to represent them on every level of government. Give such leaders favor with the public and the media.

Father, make our nation a fragrance in the earth, a force to be reckoned with, and a hand extended to those in need.


Borrowed from a booklet entitled Pray for our Nation published by Harrison House. See their website.

Sunday, November 05, 2006


Today I heard the sweet, sincere testimony of a middle-aged women who was baptised for the first time and joined our church. The verse that *spoke* to her was Romans 10:9

That if you confess with your mouth, "Jesus is Lord," and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.

She'd heard the gospel before, she said, since her father was a Baptist minister, and she'd bowed her head and *said the prayer* when she a teen, but at this time in her life, the hearing of the Word was different. And she knew she had to talk about it. She knew she had to open her mouth and be accountable.

That, dear readers, is faith in action. Praise the Lord!

Friday, November 03, 2006

Fall 1976

Can you find me in the photo?

Monday, October 30, 2006

Friday Five

Create a new candle scent.

Oh, you just have to see my newest candle! And I am not a candle person! This pound cake is really a spice-scented candle and it sits on the butler's tray in my dining room. It makes me feel as if I am ready for company at any minute :)

Name one way you show affection to others.

I cook/bake for them.

What is your favorite writing instrument?

Black roller-ball writer

Main Course
If you were given $25 to spend anywhere online, from which site would you buy?

I would head over to some audio site and use the gift to learn how to download books/music like Cindy Rollins.

Are you dressing up for Halloween?
No, I am not dressing up for Halloween this year. The last time I did was for a party in college. I had my first date with my now DH. I was a Southern Belle and he was a slave!! Wouldn’t you like to see a picture of that??!! That would have been 1976.

Finally my answers! Better late than never? Perhaps I am just humoring myself. Donna over at Quiet Life has been inviting blogger-friends to get to know one another by answering five questions each week. I find it fun, entertaining, and thought-provoking. I kind of wish I had been saving my answers.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Birthday Girl
Holding her birthday pillow highlighting special places in her *Atlanta*

We celebrated over margharitas at a favorite Mexican restaurant with her DH (my father), my DD#1 and Cousin Becky.

On Saturday we will travel to her parents'(see pic 10/16) hometown in middle GA for a Smith Family celebration on property that has been in the family since the early 1800s.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Sienna Brown
I picked up these mules at the local Target because I thought they would match a ten-year-old skirt. And they did! Now I have a new outfit just by updating an accessory. With this long, front-buttoned skirt, I wore a cream-colored, sleeveless ribbed turtleneck, and my bluejean jacket. Some small plain earrings (silver), and a wooden necklace dressed me up a little more.

Care to share about an addition to your Fall wardrobe?

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Valley of Vision

First Day Morning

O Lord,
I commune with thee every day, but week days are worldly days, and secular concerns reduce heavenly impressions.

I bless thee therefore for the day sacred to my soul when I can wait upon thee and be refreshed;

I thank thee for the institutions of religion by use of which I draw near to thee and thou to me;

I rejoice in another Lord's Day when I call off my mind from the cares of the world and attend upon thee without distraction;

Let my retirement be devout, my conversation edifying, my reading pious, my hearing profitable, that my soul may be quickened and elevated.

I am going to the house of prayer, pour upon me the spirit of grace and supplication. I am going to the house of praise, awaken in me every grateful and cheerful emotion, I am going to the house of instruction, give testimony to the Word preached, and glorify it in the hearts of all who hear; may it enlighten the ignorant, awaken the careless, reclaim the wandering, establish the weak, comfort the feeble-minded, and make ready a people for their Lord.

Be a sanctuary to all who cannot come. Forget not those who never come, And do thou bestow upon me benevolence towards my dependents, forgiveness towards my enemies, peaceableness towards my neighbors, openness towards my fellow-Christians.


Thursday, October 19, 2006

Ted Baehr

In conjunction with Vision Forum's Christian Filmmaker's Academy, I just wanted to add my two cents to the pot when it comes to evaluating the entertainment industry. We have supported MovieGuide for almost twenty years. In Oct 1993, we hosted a table at their annual fundraiser in Atlanta GA. Since then Baehr and his lovely wife, Lili, moved to California, to be more involved in witnessing to Hollywood.

On whose reviews do you rely when evaluating movies/films?

Monday, October 16, 2006

October 16, 1926
Eighty years ago, October 16th fell on a Saturday and my maternal grandparents *tied the knot* in Lafayette, AL. He was almost 25, she was 24 years old. So even though they married in secret, the event was not sinister. He was an intern residing at Grady Hospital and not *allowed* to be married. Those are all the circumstances I know right now and how I wish I had inquired about the details. Seven years later arrived my mother, their only child.

Eighty years later, we are in the midst of planning a wedding and I wonder about their reception, if they even had one. Was it in a home, the way so many were in the twenties, when Mrs Post first published her volume?

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Psalm 24

Read it. It's one of my favorites. So majestic!

Today's worship service was opened with the words of this regal psalm. I think it's special to me because I was called to read it aloud at the opening of a chapel service in elementary school. I was 10 years old. I took my part seriously, pondering the meaning of the words. They have stuck with me.

Even then I knew this King of Glory :)

Do you have a favorite psalm?

Monday, October 09, 2006

Homecoming at Hillsdale College

A good time was had by all even if we didn't attend the tent part where the music was too loud to keep one from hearing any conversation.

Nope, instead we took this motley group to dinner at the Saucy Dog, where they do BBQ well. And they're not even from the South!!

The weather was gorgeous, giving us a glimpse of the beautiful leaves to come (here in about two weeks). The Chargers triumphed over their opponents in the last minute of the game. And, last but not least, we were able to spend lots of time with DD#3 who was eager for a dose of home.

What did you do this past weekend?

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Museum Hopping

Or Fine Art Friday entry a day early

It's nice to be thought of. Tulip Girl left a comment wanting to know which museum I visited on the free day. See my blog entry dated September 23, 2006. And I'll post about it when I try your recommendation of Avalanche Rooibos. Thanks for the suggestion. :)

Truth be errands took priority over pleasurable ones, and so, I didnt make it, although I plan to :) Based on the posted list of museums, I have determined to visit each over the coming year...or so.

The High has a cool three-year-long collaboration with the Louvre and I WILL go to those exhibits...most likely on days when I hope the attendance is *light* because, as Donna pointed out....the crowds. The last time I visited the High was for Andrew Wyeth, an all-time favorite.

Several of the museums on the list of ten are really close by and I have been before but not recently, i.e. Fernbank and Weinman. I'd love to take a trip to Savannah and visit the Telfair. I recently gave my mother a biography of Mary Telfair, which she has enjoyed, loaned to a friend, and *returned* to me. Do you have friends who give gifts back? Tee hee.

Macon is closer to me than Savannah, and so, I might visit their museum sooner than later because of my interest in Sterling Everett.

Finally, DD#4 enjoys all things Egyptian and I am contemplating a trip to Philadelphia to see King Tut in 2007.

But this Friday I will be viewing the art at Hillsdale College.

Which museum did you visit most recently?

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Holy Days or Holidays

Once upon a time someone asked me to share how we handle Halloween and Christmas in our family. So, true to my slow, methodical pace, I will post several entries about this topic.

First, allow me to commend to your attention, Carmon's excellent essay at Buried Treasure. Then for some in depth research, consider reading the following five points in an effort to solidify in your mind that there is no more important day each week than the Sabbath and that the worship service of the living God is not to be mixed (syncretized) with any man-made celebrations.

1) The Westminster Assembly's Directory of Public Worship (1640s) excerpt:

There is no day commanded in Scripture to be kept holy under the Gospel but the Lord's Day, which is the Christian Sabbath. Festival days, vulgarly called Holy days, having no warrant in the Word of God, are not to be continued.

2) Lectures in Theology by Rev. John Dick (1836):

this (Sunday) is the only day which God claims as His own in a peculiar sense; He has given us the other six days to pursue our secular employments. It follows, that men have no right to institute holidays, which return as regularly at certain intervals as the Sabbath does at the beginning of the week. This is an assumption of authority which God has not delegated to them. Holidays are an encroachment upon the time of which He has made a free gift to men for their worldly affairs; and although enforced by civil and ecclesiastical laws, they are not binding upon conscience. No man sins in not observing them; but he does sin, if he observes them from an opinion of their holiness. Men may set apart particular days for fasting and thanksgiving; but those are only occasionally, and not the days, but the services, are holy.

3) The General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church in the United States (1899):

There is no warrant in Scripture for the observance of Christmas and Easter as holy days, rather the contrary (see Gal 4:9-11; Col 2:16-21), and such observance is contrary to the principles of the Reformed Faith, conducive to will-worship, and not in harmony with the simplicity of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

4) How is the Gold Become Dim by Dr. Morton Smith (1973):

It is just this attitude of indifference to the Constitution (Westminster Standards) that has brought us to the state we are in in the PCUS. Whereas, earlier, as is reflected in the 1899 deliverance about Christmas and Easter, there was meticulous concern for staying with the standards, and the strict interpretation of Scripture on even such a matter as these two days. Now there is a complete reversal to the point of adopting the liturgical calendar of past tradition, without any Biblical basis.

5) These statements, which represent the consensus of historical Presbyterianism, are rooted in the 2nd and 4th commandments and the regulative principle of worship (Deut 12:32). They are also rooted in the Westminster Standards, e.g. Larger Catechism questions 108 and 109.

Copied from a handout by my church.

Friday, September 29, 2006

Memory Meme

In one of my 3am brainstorming sessions, I sat up in bed and mentally rattled off the answers to these questions with only a bit of trouble towards the end. Funny, I wonder what that says about the relationship between age and long term versus short term memory loss. TeeHee. At any rate, I meant to post this entry over the summer, so the answers are about two months off give or take. Leave me a link to your blog, if you decide to share some memories. In other words, if you stop by, consider yourself *tagged*

What was I doing?

30 years ago?
I had just finished my first year of college and was working as a lifeguard, teaching swimming lessons, and selling china and crystal at a local department store. I was living at home with my parents in Atlanta, GA.

25 years ago?
After having been married for six months, we were preparing to move from Kalamazoo, MI to Charleston, SC where DH started medical school. I got up at 4am to watch Princess Diana's wedding before the moving van arrived!

20 years ago?
I was great with child (DD#2) and anxious about my maternal grandmother's final illness. We were living in Gadsden, AL.

15 years ago?
The daughters and I had just returned to Canton, GA from a delightful vacation with paternal grandparents in southern Ohio. I started a scrapbook.

10 years ago?
I had just started working full-time for my husband, managing his family practice.

5 years ago?
The Jago side of the family had a family reunion. Unknown was Grandpa's death in four short months :(

1 year ago?
We had a Low Country Boil party, which was so much fun we had another one this year.

1 month ago?
Summer highlight this year? Juggling three cars between six drivers with six different jobs :)

DH and I took a drive to a lake about 90 miles south of home. We walked, talked, and dined together. It was romantic.

Slept later than normal; didnt get everything done at the office; left anyway for a 3-mile walk; fixed yummy meatloaf sandwiches for dinner; read til I fell asleep.

Saturday errands which I hope to start early in the day in order to avoid the heaviest crowds.

Day after Tomorrow?
Looking forward to worshipping with the saints.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Tea Heaven

Rooibos Caramel


Equal parts of these two special teas make my new favorite warm drink for the Fall.
It was the recommendation of the store clerk and I am pleased.

Twinings English Breakfast Tea...move over!

PS I've noticed some fellow bloggers like Portsmouth Tea Company. Any comments about the different suppliers, as I am tickled with my first foray into specialty teas?

Friday, September 22, 2006

Fine Art Friday

From Tulipgirl I learned of Museum Day. On September 30, 2006, for one day only, museums across the country will join the Smithsonian Institution in its long-standing tradition of offering free admission to visitors.

Participating venues in Georgia
1) Bartow History Center
2) Booth Western Art Museum
3) Fernbank Science Center
4) Georgia Museum of Art
5) High Museum of Art
6) Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historic Site
7) Michael C. Carlos Museum
8) Morris Museum of Art
9) Museum of Arts and Sciences
10) National Science Center's Fort Discovery
11) PUPPETS: The Power of Wonder, at Center for Puppetry Arts
12) Southern Museum of Civil War and Locomotive History
13) Telfair Museum of Art
14) Weinman Mineral Museum

Start planning your field trip now!

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Baptismal Gown

After testing the uploading process and successfully posting a picture, I went back and tried to insert these photos in Sunday's entry. It didnt work. So, here they are today. Actually, in 1986, the third Sunday was 9/21.

And since DD#2 is way far away in Cortona, as we speak, I trust she will take comfort in these special memories.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006


A - Accent: Southern drawl
B - Breakfast Item: Black coffee
C - Chore you hate: Vacuuming/dusting
D - Dad's Name: Dan
E - Essential everyday item: TP
F - Flavor ice cream: Coffee
G - Gold or Silver?: Together: my new fashion statement
H - Happy Place: Home sweet home
I - Insomnia: only when I’m planning a wedding
J - Job – Domestic Engineer
K - Kids: aka billygoats
L - Living arrangements: w/DH of 25 yrs
M - Mom's birthplace: Atlanta GA
N - Name your pets: none at present; previously Minerva then Athena
O - Overnight hospital stays: five-my own and the births of 4 daughters
P - Phobia: claustrophobia
Q - Question: Is this too much information?
R - Religious Affiliation: Reformed Presby
S - Siblings: Bert, Noel, Amanda, Grey, Will
T - Time you wake up: today 4am
U - Unnatural hair colors you've had: natural blond w/hilites
V - Vegetable you refuse to eat: cant think of one
W - Worst habit: sharp tongue
X - X-rays you've had: teeth only
Y - Yummy: pimento cheese
Z - Zoo animal: Our Zoo’s panda just had a baby J

Sunday, September 17, 2006


This third Sunday in September is the anniversary Sunday of DD#2's baptism.

The ceremony was a part of the worship service at Chalcedon Presbyterian Church in Atlanta GA where J C Morecraft III was/is the minister. Although we were living in Gadsden, AL, at the time, we had spent the previous two weeks in Atlanta visiting family, as your maternal great-grandmother had died on September 2, 1986. So, before returning home, we prepared for this special day.

You wore a beautiful white gown handmade by Peggy Schilling.
*I keep trying to upload photo here, but blogger is not cooperating*

I wore a Laura Ashley dress which I now think makes me look frumpy. A family photo was made and used in the 1986 Christmas card.

It would be neat to find a program from the service and figure out which hymns were sung and which Scripture exposited. Edit: I found a tape of the sermon delivered that day and relistened to the *Call to Constancy* based on Heb 6:9-20, part of a series.

Here's what I do know was read: three covenant promises after we had been instructed on the institution, nature, use, and ends of the sacrament of baptism.

1) For to you is the promise, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call unto him. Acts 2:39
2) And I will establish my covenant between me and then and thy see after thee throughout their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be a God unto thee and to thy seed after thee. Gen 17:7
3) Believe on the Lord Jesus, and though shalt be saved, thou and thy house. Acts 16:31

Here are the questions proposed to your parents, all of which were answered affirmatively:

1) Do you acknowledge your child's need of the cleansing blood of Jesus Christ, and the renewing grace of the Holy Spirit?
2) Do you claim God's covenant promises in her behalf, and do you look in faith to the Lord Jesus Christ for her salvation, as you do for your own?
3) Do you now unreservedly dedicate your child to God, and promise, in humble reliance upon divine grace, that you will endeavor to set before her a godly example, that you will pray with and for her, that you will teach her the doctrines of our holy religion, and that you will strive, by all the means of God's appointment, to bring her up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord?

After the service we had a big Sunday dinner at Cochise as was our custom. There were a few extra guests. Grandma and Grandpa Jago had driven over from Charleston, SC for the celebration.

The menu was Baked Pork Chops, Rice, Layered Salad, and Lemon-cheese Cake.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Summer Salad Suggestion

Earlier this summer I was in the habit of posting salad recipes over on my xanga site. Lately I haven't spent a lot of time of the kitchen, but I continue to enjoy salads in my diet.

Here are the ingredients to one I plan to prepare at home soon. I've only eaten it Red Lobster of all places!! And even though I think it's a little silly to order chicken at a seafood restaurant, from time to time I treat myself to this one.

Green leaf lettuce, Granny Smith apple slices, grilled chicken strips, thinly sliced red pepper, roasted walnuts, feta cheese, just a few pieces of sundried tomato, croutons, and vinaigrette dressing.

Pretty colors and very tasty!

What's your favorite dinner salad?

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Summer Reading Recap

In response to a blogger's reading challenge, on June 1st, I posted a list books I thought I might read over a period of three months. Just for recording-keeping purposes I am listing the books here as well. And in the spirit of homeschooling, I am categorizing my choices as if I were signing up for classes. It has been a good exercise to classify my reading. It keeps me from feeling so scatter-brained. Furthermore, this end-of-the-season synopsis is contributing to my feelings of accomplishment, since no one will be mailing out a report card in my life-long learning program, aka *school* :) See my reviews over on my xanga site.


The Complete Guide to Walking by Michael Fenton
Rival Lovers by Williams Ferguson Smith
My Flovilla by Eugenia Talitha Linch
Reference: Emily Post's Wedding Planner
Fiction: Light from Heaven by Jan Karon
Fine Arts
Fine Art Fridays participation (see weekly xanga posts)
Spirituals: Promised Land CD (see blog archive 6/19/06)
Home Comforts: Art & Science of Keeping House by Cheryl Mendelson
Ruth Bell Graham (see xanga entry 9/13/06)

After a couple more reviews, I plan to post my Autumn Challenge by 9/23, the official autumnal equinox for this year.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

The Tapestry Project

Edith Schaeffer, age 90+

Here's a link to the webpage which tracks the progress of the production of an audio CD about the life and times of Francis and Edith Schaeffer.

This is an obvious interest of mine, based on the title of my blog, even though I just discovered the researchers. I started reading the autobiography over the summer and set it aside in order to complete my Summer Reading Challenge.

The Tapestry is officially on my Autumn Reading Challenge.

Check in on my reviews of my Summer books over at my Xanga site. I'm trying to wrap that up in order to begin afresh by the first day of Fall.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Jehovah Nissi

The Lord is my banner Exodus 17:15

I was the recipient of a forwarded email, entreating me to fly the American flag on Monday, September 11, 2006, and forward it to eleven people. Instead of forwarding the email, I am blogging about Patriot Day by recapping a sermon.

I will fly the flag of these great United States. I will wear a little lapel pin, too. But more importantly, I will pray that we as a nation repent of our ways and recommit ourselves to serving the One and Only, True God, who is NOT the same as Allah.

Do you own a flag and did you fly it?

Friday, September 08, 2006

Homeschooling Meme

5) One resource you would like to buy

A car!

Just when I think I cant respond to all the questions, an answer comes to mind. And I read in the answers of someone else where the response to this question was *a swimming pool!* That qualifies as PE, a bone fide subject to study. And if a swim team is organized, all the better :) So, that's why I think my answer of *a car* works. I will need a car soon. Not today. Maybe in 2007.

From my point of view transportation is essential part of homeschooling. Olga has served us well. That's the name of our 1993 Chevrolet Surburban with an odometer reading of 383,000 miles. She has served us so faithfully on our drive to and from school. 30-35 miles one ways adds up. Yup, we drive a lot. And there's probably more driving in the future, because we're not yet finished educating our charges.

Care to share what you drive?

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Homeschooling Meme

6) One resource you wish existed

Reduced income/property taxes.

For example, if there were fewer programs which needed to be funded, then we citizens wouldnt need to pay so much in taxes. Right?!

Specifically, I am talking about abolishing both the federal and state departments of education for the express purpose of returning this God-given responsibility to parents of the children. This would mean that parents would retain more of the fruits of their labors. Hopefully this way, these parents would be able to exercise more control over the schooling of their own children.

So often I am misunderstood by others when it is discovered that I am not a proponent of public education. If asked, I reference Samuel Blumenfeld's fine volume, Is Public Education Necessary? Just the preface to the book is chock full of good information, and I quote from page "x":

Out of this labor (research for the book) came some fascinating discoveries:
1) that American intellectual history is inseparable from its religious history
2) that public education was never needed
3) that literacy in America was higher before compulsory public education
4) that socialists, who were very active in the public school movement, began operating …in America as early as 1829
5) that philosophy is more powerful than economics
6) that religion, in the long run, is more powerful than philosophy

I can always wish :)

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Homeschooling Meme cont'd

4) One resource you enjoyed last year.

Participation in the production of a play, musical, or choral concert. Just last year, the musical was Camelot. There were at least three major choral concerts, but my favorite is the annual Lessons and Carols. I guess one understands that my children are the participants and DH and I are the spectators :)

As early as kindergarten, our children have been involved in productions. You know, those large group activities that require extra rehearsals, more cooperation, and intense pressures (stage gitters). I think it has been good training as well as fun. Participation continued through middle-and-high-school-aged years on into college. Currently, DD#4 is auditioning for jazz vocalist at her high school.

No doubt there are lots of stories to tell. There's certainly enough mementos (read packrat) for at least four scrapbooks. Here's a link to one online photo. DD#3and #4 are the only girls in this picture of the knighting of Sir Lancelot.

Thinking back on it, I have no trouble conjuring up memories. One occurred when I was in the fourth grade; and we worked together with the fifth graders to produce a variety show entitled *There's No Business like Show Business" I learned to dance The Charleston and wore a flapper dress. I had fun.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Homeschooling Meme

3) One resource I wish I hadnt bought

Artes Latinae, which is reviewed at this webpage.

At this point I could wax poetically about the merits of learning Latin, but I will spare you, dear reader, for the moment.

Addendum: In answer to Donna's question about whether our girls studied Latin at their Christian school? The answer is YES! The teaching of Latin was/is a very high priority on our list of criteria, when we were evaluating schools. In the case of this particular curriculum, the school used it for a couple of years and changed to something more traditional.

Monday, September 04, 2006

Labor Day

The first Monday in September signifies the end of summer for me, despite the history of the holiday. I cant say that I much affinity for the political positions of most labor unions, but I do enjoy this *holiday* *they* have afforded me.

But before you head out to your own celebration, take the time to read this op-ed from the Seattle Times. It makes for interesting reading, because the writer brings up some good points. I tend to agree with the premise that it's not jobs which Americans wont do, it's wages they wont work for. During the Y2K hype, I personally thought there would have been more bedlam, if the immigrants hadnt shown up for work than if the computers didnt roll over to the proper date. I just dont *get it* when somebody *wont* work.

Oh, and let me know what you think of the last line of the editorial :)

PS In case Rhett is looking for me, I'm off to the BBQ!

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Vital Resource

One resource I would not be without.

The preached Word of God

The Bible is the first resource, which should go without saying. But because I believe that the majority of homeschoolers in the US do not base the education of their young on these holy writings, I mention it. And so, coupled with the actual written Word, I would be deficient in my preparation for teaching, if I were not hearing each week the preached Word of God. The two resources (Bible reading/study and preaching) go hand in hand.

In our family it is a top priority to be present on Sundays in congregational worship, where we are fed a feast of nutrionally-sound manna, not milky but meaty. Furthermore, this bread is not like the common white bread made from ingredients where many of the nutrients have been stripped, but an whole wheat variety full of living ingredients.

How does that translate into the ordinary homeschooling day/week. Up front, it calls for going to bed earlier on Saturdays! But also, when I am ordering the activities of the day/week, each day we prepare a little bit for Sunday. It can be as easy as reviewing applications from the sermon at Sunday dinner or singing the hymns together around the piano in the living room. Or the task can be even more concrete, like getting our clothes washed, dried, and pressed BEFORE Saturday, in order to make Sunday mornings somewhat less stressful.

The Sabbath is the highlight of the week: the most important event around which all other events revolve. There is no other more important day. It is vital to successful homeschooling.

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Homeschooling Resources

After my introduction to this questionnaire on 8/30/06, I'm now ready to answer the first question.

Name one book/resource which you enjoy/recommend.

Since I don't fall into the popularly accepted definition of homeschooler, my answers will won't either. Therefore, I take the liberty of naming five books! (tee hee) The following list contains the titles of some of my favorite authors to whom I have referred consistently and deliberately over the past twenty years.

Education in America by George Roche
One by One by George Roche
Is Public Education Necessary by Samuel Blumenfeld
Back to the Blackboard by Jay Adams
Essays on Christian Education by Cornelius Van Til
Ending the Homework Hassle by John Rosemond
Philosophy of Christian Education by Paul Kienel, editor

Stay tuned for the rest of my long, drawn-out answers to the following of the quetions:

2) One resource you would not be without.
3) One resource you wish you'd never bought.
4) One resource you enjoyed last year.
5) One resource you would like to buy.
6) One resource you wish existed.

Friday, September 01, 2006

Fifty Things

1. My roommate and I once: planned to get along, but it didn’t happen.

2. Never in my life have I: wanted to hitchhike.

3. The one person who can drive me nuts, but then can always manage to make me smile is: DD#4

4. High school was: thirty years ago.

5. When I'm nervous: I perspire.

6. The last time I cried was: Monday, when a dear, recently widowed friend telephoned.

7. If I were to get married right now, my bridesmaids would be: few

8. Would you rather run naked through a crowded place or have someone e-mail your deepest secret to all your friends? I will not be tricked into choosing the lesser of two evils.

9. My hair: was trimmed last Saturday.

10. When I was 5: I lived in Idaho.

11. Last Christmas: I was celebrating.

12. When I turn my head left: I see my diplomas.

13. I should be: editing claims or processing payroll.

14. When I look down I see: industrial gray carpet.

15. The craziest recent event was: not having air conditioning one hour before 15 guests arrived for dinner.

16. If I were a character on "Friends": I'd be lost, because I've never watched this show.

17. When I was 17: I left high school and went to college early.

18. My favorite aunt is: non-existent.

19. I have a hard time understanding: people.

20. One time at a family gathering: we all got along.

21. You know I like you if: I pay you a compliment.

22. If I won an award, the first person I'd thank: would be God.

23. Take my advice: or suffer the consequences.

24. My ideal breakfast is: Black coffee, two hard boiled eggs and V-8 juice.

25. If you visit my hometown: there is a lot to see and do.

26. Sometime soon I plan to visit: Hillsdale MI

27. If you spend the night at my house: I'll treat you with Southern hospitality.

28. I'd stop my wedding if: the groom didn’t appear.

29. The world could do without: MTV

30. I'd rather lick the belly of a cockroach than: Yuk!

31. The most recent thing I've bought myself is: a Fall skirt cut on the bias with lots of colors.

32. The most recent thing someone else bought for me is: a dress

33. My favorite red head is: DD#2's boyfriend.

34. My favorite brunette is: my mother.

35. My car must have a sign on it that reads: teenaged driver aboard!

36. The last time I was drunk: not my cup of tea.

37. The animals I would like to see flying besides birds: squirrels?

38. I shouldn't have been: so frank.

39. I should have: considered the other person's feelings.

40. Last night I: ate BBQ with my husband and DD#1.

41. There's this girl I know who: has defied the odds.

42: I don't know: what to wear for the wedding.

43. A better name for me would be: sergeant

44. If I ever go back to school I'll: be a widow.

45. How many days until my birthday? 221.

46. One dead celebrity I wish I'd met is: Hattie McDaniel

47. I've lived at my current address since: May 1988

48. I've been told I look like: my mother.

49. If I could have any car, it would be: Cadillac CTS

50. If I got a new cat tomorrow, I would name her: Cordelia

Wednesday, August 30, 2006


*The practice of teaching one's children at home* All parents do it. That's not only my opinion, but also a dictionary definition. There is lots of teaching going on in our home. And so, that's why I consider myself a homeschooler.

Shedding a little more light on the issue, some of us teach our children at home exclusively and some send their children to boarding school, stretching the definition of *at home* to its thinnest. Even the families who teach mainly at home usually contract for some services within their communities in the same way that the family who contracts with the boarding school is outsourcing most of their teaching efforts.

For example, if a family is involved with a homeschool group or if they consolidate their efforts and one parent teaches a group science class, some services are outsourced. Consider that the practice of enrolling one's children in recreational activities (physical education) through local associations is also contracting for services. Even using one's public library is, in a sense, contracting for outside services.

And so, in our family, we chose to contract for some of the teaching efforts by sending our children to a private, Christian school. Although we highly regard our responsibility before God to teach our children (Deut 6), we chose to delegate a portion of this responsibility to some Christian helpers for a part of the day.

We never lost sight of our duty before God to bring up our charges in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. Here's a link to a speech I gave several times. We continue to have the utmost regard for the Lord's Will and the vision He has helped us to have for their roles as Christian women of the 21st century.

With that explanation, now I will attempt to answer a questionnaire about which homeschooling books/resources I found most valuable or invaluable.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Homeschooling Meme

Dana/Dana (Okay, I'm (that's Ruthanne)breaking the rules here because Dana is not a homeschooler. However, she is very homeschool-friendly and loves life and learning. I really like Dana and would love to hear her thoughts on worthy educational resources.)

As you see I've been *tagged* And while there is no pressure to participate, I think I will. Actually I was thinking about these questions BEFORE I was tagged. And I started an answer....

So, in order to finish, I will break down the answers to one per day. Otherwise, the thought of putting all these ideas in one entry seems to keep me from completing the task.

That's the ticket...break it down into *doable* portions.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006


Shoutout to any of my reader/lurkers who subscribe to this magazine. I am looking for an article in the July 2006 issue. It's the one about cousins.

Leave me a comment if you are willing to email or snail mail me a copy of this article.


Sunday, August 20, 2006

Sunday Sermon Series

For the past five weeks, and I expect for the coming five, at least, our pastor is preaching on various Scriptures and tying in the lives/works of historical personages. This is related to his particpation in Vision Forum's Mega History Conference which took place in July. I was unable to attend, and so, I am delighted to be hearing snippets JCM's lectures.

So, far we have covered 1) John Calvin and II Cor 10:1-6; Martin Luther and Romans 3; 3) Augustine of Hippo and Psalm 48; and 4) Survey of Martyrs from 1st cent thru 17th cent and John 15:16-27; and 5) Jesus thru the centuries and John 1:1-14 & Phil 2:5-11. Obviously, the hour-long sermons are just skimming through history, but they are informative and motivating.

One of the best effects of sitting under this type of Reformed preaching is the HOPE it inspires. Just like Gen Rbt E Lee in a letter to one of his captains, lamented that the *march of providence is so slow.......but that it is history that teaches us to hope.*

From my point of view, I dont want to be one of those people described by George Santayana.....who cant remember the past, and therefore, is condemned to repeat it.

PS Last Sunday, the girls sang a capella *Great in Thy Faithfulness* Wish you could of heard them :)

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Meme for Five Things

1)Bread and bread crumbs
2)Homemade soup
5)Chicken Breasts

1)Upper rack=fall/winter clothes
2)Lower rack=spring/summer clothes
3)Floor(left)=dirty clothes basket
4)Floor(right)=shoe basket
5)Upper shelf=quilts/blankets

2)Jumper cables
4)Water bottle

1)Drivers License
5)Cell phone

On my mind
1)New employee
2)DD#1=Dec wedding
3)DD#2=Italian semester
4)DD#3=Newly collegiate
5)DD#4=Driving in AM traffic

Friday, August 18, 2006

Happy Birthday
DD#2, my artist/writer, is celebrating two decades!

In less than ten days she will be spending her Fall Semester studying art and writing in Italy!

She is the model in the painting in my Fine Art Friday entry over on my Xanga site.

Her special dinner menu which we all thoroughly enjoyed: Grilled Steak, Steamed Corn on the Cob, Steamed Broccoli, French Bread, NY Style Cheesecake w/fresh strawberries drizzled with hot chocolate fudge sauce.

Friday, August 11, 2006

Setting the Table
Just to give you an idea from last year's celebration, I'm posting this photo. This year's table setting uses a lime green cloth and napkins! Dishes are off-white with blue trim. Each place will have a knife, fork, spoon, dessert fork, and glass. Do you set the table completely for each meal in your home?

The colors and shapes on the plate have always captured my interest. In the case of our Low Country Boil, consider: The shrimp are pink and crescent-shaped. The sausage is red and log-like. The yellow/white corn is cylindrical or silo-like. The potatoes are small and spherical. The salad is very green, light and fluffy. Lest you think I a little *loco* with my efforts, consult my mentor, Mrs. Schaeffer, in her chapter on food, pgs 122-123, in Hidden Art of Homemaking.

A plate can be though of at times as a kind of *still life* - not a lasting one, of course, but lasting in memory. Dishes should be apart of the background for the colours of the food, and as one chooses dishes there should be some variety - even if the dishes are polished pieces of wood, shells, or large leaves from the jungle!

See my Fine Art Friday entry on my xanga site, too :)

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Grocery Shopping

Although this rule is not hard and fast, Thursdays is my preferred grocery shopping day. If I were a *senior*, I might be tempted to switch to Wednesdays because of the discount offered :) But when the children were very young, I shopped only once per week and on Thursdays. It made for a good routine. We economized that way. We made friends at the store because they knew us.

So, since it's Thursday, I'm headed out to secure the foodstuffs for the Low Country Boil. Here's the menu. I won't embarass myself by listing the amount of each item needed to serve 16 guests, but I am wishing I could find my list from last year. It would save some brainwork.

Low Country Boil (shrimp, sausage, corn, potatoes)
Caesar Salad (DH's favorite)
Coleslaw (Becky is bringing)
Pickle Tray

Iced Tea, Beer

Dessert (Carolin is bringing)

PS Although I dont usually use coupons (I buy store brands), I do shop from a list and rearrange when I'm there according to what's on sale, not having studied the ads before-hand.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Low Country Boil
Taken last July, this photo relates what's happening today and now. Guests are coming for this fun feast on Saturday. I am busy shopping, cleaning, and cooking.

Details concerning the recipe will follow.

Pictured in the photo (L-R) DM, DD#3, Nephew, Nephew, DD#1, DD#4

Friday, August 04, 2006

The Brook

Seems as if I've lost my blogging stride, but I trust it will return in time. Routines and habits play a big role in how much I accomplish each day, so once that rhythm is in synch again, the posts should begin to flow.

Which makes me think of this neat poem by Alfred, Lord Tennyson, and how Spurgeon capitalized on one of its phrases.

The Brook

I come from haunts of coot and hern,
I make a sudden sally
And sparkle out among the fern,
To bicker down a valley.

By thirty hills I hurry down,
Or slip between the ridges,
By twenty thorpes, a little town,
And half a hundred bridges.

Till last by Philip's farm I flow
To join the brimming river,
For men may come and men may go,
But I go on for ever.

I chatter over stony ways,
In little sharps and trebles,
I bubble into eddying bays,
I babble on the pebbles.

With many a curve my banks I fret
By many a field and fallow,
And many a fairy foreland set
With willow-weed and mallow.

I chatter, chatter, as I flow
To join the brimming river,
For men may come and men may go,
But I go on for ever.

I wind about, and in and out,
With here a blossom sailing,
And here and there a lusty trout,
And here and there a grayling,

And here and there a foamy flake
Upon me, as I travel
With many a silvery waterbreak
Above the golden gravel,

And draw them all along, and flow
To join the brimming river
For men may come and men may go,
But I go on for ever.

I steal by lawns and grassy plots,
I slide by hazel covers;
I move the sweet forget-me-nots
That grow for happy lovers.

I slip, I slide, I gloom, I glance,
Among my skimming swallows;
I make the netted sunbeam dance
Against my sandy shallows.

I murmur under moon and stars
In brambly wildernesses;
I linger by my shingly bars;
I loiter round my cresses;

And out again I curve and flow
To join the brimming river,
For men may come and men may go,
But I go on for ever.

Monday, July 31, 2006

Workmen Update

Did they come this Monday morning to work? NO!
Did they call? NO!
Did they leave a note last Friday, when they left at 2pm? NO!
Is the job complete? NO!!

In case you were wondering :)

Friday, July 28, 2006


No time to post as *they* will be here shortly to finish a project started LAST AUGUST!!!

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Time Management

Years ago I worked for a real estate broker who used a timer to help him get his work done. A few years later, I read Side-Tracked Home Executive, and many of the housekeeping techniques taught by my mother were reiterated in this organizational handbook.

Today I continue to use these methods to help me get all my work done. For example, I wash on a certain day of the week. If it doesn't get all done that day (this doesn't happen often), then the task waits for the next scheduled wash day. I try not to worry about it in between.

Another good time management technique is to rest from my ordinary labors on Sundays :) It's amazing how the Lord provides the time to get things done on the other six days, when I honor His command to keep the Sabbath *holy* Shame on me when I get out of line.

One more adage: Learn to complete a day's work in a day's time.

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Rival Lovers
A story of the War Between the States
by William Ferguson Smith
Edited by Harriet Stovall Kelley

Written more than 125 years ago, Rival Lovers is a story of a young Georgia boy who went away to war in 1863, fell in love and into great adventure, and then returned home to write about his experience.

It is a courtly tale of romance that lay lost and forgotten until his great niece discovered the original text while cleaning out the old Smith Family home in Flovilla, GA in 1971.

The second half of the book contains a biographical sketch and other writings by Smith, who became one of his county's leading and most conscientious citizens

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Where Are You?

Some people like Cindy, like to move, I don’t. So, my list of places I've lived is rather short. If anyone asks where I'm from (standard 1st question in the South), it's the big *A*, even tho' I'm 40 miles north of it right now, and rarely venture into the city. This list is chronological.

Atlanta, GA
Mtn Home AFB, ID
Atlanta, GA
Hillsdale, MI
Atlanta, GA
Alexandria, VA
Kalamazoo, MI
Charleston, SC
Gadsden, AL
Rome, GA
Canton, GA

Blogging will be lighter than normal until the end of the month, as reunion time is here!!

Thursday, July 06, 2006


Thanks to all y'all for stopping by and wishing my guy a happy b'day! It was indeed happy and we feasted on chicken and squash roasted on his new grill.
To round out the menu, I served corn on the cob, cauliflower salad, and rolls.
The birthday cake served with chocolate ice cream is posted on my xanga site.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Five Things I've Learned

from my husband
1) Laughter is good medicine.
2) Chinese food is a must!
3) Non-verbal communication is a language.
4) Exercise is fun. Repeat three time :)
5) To eat popcorn at the movies.

If you stop by, wont you consider leaving a birthday wish for him?

Saturday, July 01, 2006

My Fearless Leader and Me
who will be celebrating a birthday soon and will be the subject my next entry.

Gerund Meme
Awaking..........5:30 am
Drinking.........Black coffee
Devoting.........with Spurgeon's Morning/Evening
Reading..........Edith Schaeffer's Affliction desk LOL
Writing..........a few checks
Sending..........a couple of greeting cards to ailing friends family members to coordinate transportation
Weathering.......the heat; high today is 96
Walking..........the neighborhood hills
Breakfasting.....with a strawberry smoothie a cute short jean skirt :)
Ironing..........white Irish linen table napkins
Shopping.........for groceries
Reunioning.......the Linches
Wedding..........on the brain
Eating...........BLT's for dinner
Watching.........1776 (film adaptation of musical)
Sleeping.........around 10p

Thursday, June 29, 2006

our conversations, attitudes, behaviour, response or lack of response, hardness or compassion, our love or selfishness, joy or dullness, our demostrated trust and faith or our continual despondency, our concern for others or our self pity -- all these things make a difference to the people who have to live in our environment.

From pg 209 of the paperback edition, Hidden Art of Homemaking by Edith Schaeffer

Chapter 14 of Mrs Schaeffer's book is simply stupendous and should be read often. While she introduces the concept of *environment* by making an analogy to a new art form, what she really wants to delineate is the environment of one's own home, which is not new. I call that *atmosphere*, something which is fairly intangible, but not too difficult to put into effect. We all do it whether we want to or not. Mrs. Schaeffer continues her essay by comparing and contrasting ways in which to create this hidden art form.

This entry is copied from my xanga site where I announced my Father's Day tribute, five entries recounting a few of the many things I learned from my father.

I'm on a mission to collect and read all of Mrs. Schaeffer's books. I just checked out of the library, Affliction and The Tapestry.

Which ones do you own and like the best?

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

How to say no

In a light-hearted way, I might say that I learned this tactic from my father…who does have a reputation for bringing up the opposite side of an argument for the sake of discussion. Can you say "devil's advocate?" Or it might be a gene he passed on. But, in reality, there is great comfort in his ability to assess a situation accurately and advise prudently, even if it means telling a child, a spouse, or a colleague "no." The current jingle or ad campaign *just say no* is farcical to me because rarely can one say "NO" one time (against taking drugs, drinking/driving, whatever) and have it suffice or protect. One must be able to say no over and over again. Repeatedly we are faced with situations in which we must resist evil and do the right thing. This means learning how to say no (or voting against.)  Heaven help those who don’t ask or seek counsel and proceed based on thinking that "the counselor will just say no" or say to oneself, "I'll go ahead; it's easier to ask forgiveness afterwards." Thank God I have a father who has the strength of character to say no, not in a knee-jerk, tyrannical fashion, but after careful contemplation with Biblical resolve to conserve his faith, family, and society.

He's a conservative.

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Sunday Dinner

The best way to top off a powerful sermon is by breaking bread together. We had nine around the dining room table today.

Fried Chicken Mrs Winners
Cheese Grits
Pole Beans, steamed
Summer Squash, sauteed w/herbs
Copper Pennies (carrot salad)
Biscuits (Mrs Winners)

Vanilla Ice Cream
Sliced Peaches
Peachtree Schnapps
Pound Cake


Friday, June 23, 2006

How not to start a sentence with why

This is a pretty simple instruction, but something I have had to work on. Thank goodness for parents who will tell children over and over again the same principle in an effort to mold their behaviors into well-rounded, Godly grown-ups. So, that's basically what this admonition is about. My father (and my mother) cautioned me against using why when asking my children why they did something. It just encourages the youngster to make up something. So, rephrase the question in an effort to zero in on the issue. It also keeps me from sounding like I'm giving someone the third degree, too.

Note to self: file under parenting, when you finally figure out how to categorize your posts :)

Thursday, June 22, 2006

How to watch TV

With your eyes closed; yes, really! Turn on the TV, and I fall asleep! Must be genetic because that's one of the memories I have…..asleep in his reclining chair, after a long, hard day's work with the TV on. I would come downstairs about 11:30 pm for a study break. Never irritated at being awakened, he'd answer any and all questions I had, we'd visit for a bit while watching Johnny Carson's monologue, and then I'd head back to the books.
But seriously speaking, while the TV might be turned onto a golf game (insert sport of the season)or an old war movie, my father, the multi-tasker is always doing something else: reading the newspaper, a book, his Bible, some newsletter; participating in a teleconference, preparing a talk, or perhaps napping. So, what did I learn from my father about television? Use discretion when choosing what you watch. Televisions are not inherently bad, the way guns are not inherently wicked…'s the way people choose to use them that makes them conduits of evil.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

How to eat eggs

Each and every morning my father rises early and eats breakfast. He thinks it's the most important meal of the day. Furthermore, he thinks that there is no better breakfast than one with eggs! First, he has a piece of fruit (half a grapefruit in winter, one quarter of a cantaloupe in summer.) Then he eats two fried eggs, two pieces of toast, a small glass of milk, and a cup of coffee. Once upon a time, bacon was on his plate, but I think that's been gone for thirty years or more. As a youngster, eggs were not my favorite food. I think I gagged on them unless I had a piece of toast. It didn't really matter. That's what was served for breakfast and that is what I ate :) That's how I learned to eat my father's example.

Eggs have gotten some bad press lately, but I maintain that they are the perfect breakfast food. They are considered a perfect protein, one which contains the eight essential amino acids. Once those are present, our body can manufacture the other 14, which helps to optimize overall metabolism. Hence, I continued my father's example by serving my children eggs for breakfast. I told them it was brain food. And remember, teachers can always tell which children have eaten a good breakfast.

Here's a fine *egg* poem by Bunyan for your morning devotion.

Monday, June 19, 2006

Choral Music

Daddy sang in his high school choral group at Woodlawn High School in Birmingham, AL. They were called The Warblers or The Minstrels. In addition, he seems to have sung with a barbershop-type quartet as well. For a while he sang with our church's choir. He always has good stories to tell about practices, performances, and reunions as far as singing goes. Furthermore, he is always willing to attend one of my daughter's choral concerts even if it's a distance away. It just makes for good discussions and connections between generations. This afternoon after Sunday dinner, we listened to Promised Land, a CD of spirituals sung by All Saints Church Choir. He knew all the songs, especially Ain-a That Good News. If you click on the link, scroll down to find the audio files. There are two choices. Listen to both :)

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Sunday Feast

We always have a big *dinner* after church on Sunday. And I dont *cook* on Sunday evenings. One can eat, it's just along the lines of popcorn or a bowl of cereal.

For me part of the challenge in cooking and serving any meal is preparation ahead of time, so that I dont have to jump up and down from the table. Furthermore, for Sundays, I really prefer to finish all the prep on Saturday with only the minor things, like steaming veggies right before serving, left until mealtime.

Menus sorta come to me. I am influenced by the seasons and the weather and the tastes of my guests. I write them down and safe them. Now I know where I will put them. In my guest book! Never mind the fact that the guests dont actually get to sign their names and make comments. I'll do it!

Now, without any further delay, today we are dining on...

Chilled Georgia Shrimp served with Louis Sauce
Steamed Asparagus
Tortellini Capri
Squash Casserole
Onion Foccaccia

Iced Tea
Pinot Grigio (Barone FINI Valdadige)

Pecan Pie a la mode

Saturday, June 17, 2006

Five Things My Father Taught Me

1) How to say *no*.
2) How to watch TV.
3) How to eat eggs.
4) How to avoid starting a sentence with *why*.
5) How to appreciate choral music.

Stay tuned for the stories.

Friday, June 16, 2006


My Daddy

When Daddy signs his name
He always writes *M.D.*
That's so people all will know
That he belongs to me.
For *M.D.* means *My Daddy*
Or something just the same.
And that is why he always
Puts these letters on his name.
Some letters on his name are small,
But these are not you see.
He always makes them big like that
Because He's proud of me.

Karen Weihs

Thursday, June 15, 2006


Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee. Ex20:12

Image Credit

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Veggie Plate Combos

What?! No suggestions for combinations. I guess y'all needed the list of choices to get your juices flowing. Choose three, then say roll or cornbread. Got it?

Steamed cabbage, green beans, broccoli, kernel corn, baked sweet potato, creamed potatoes, squash casserole, mac/cheese, carrots, black-eyed peas, collards, potato salad, waldorf salad, cucumber salad, coleslaw.

I'm having sweet potato, collards, black-eyed peas, and cornbread. And my tea is not sweet :)

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Potato Salad

In keeping with my Summer Salad Fest, I'm posting this week's salad recipe in honor of the Southern Veggie Plate, which can comprise any combination of three or four veggies, hot or cold. One of my favorite places to eat out has wonderful veggies. When creating/serving a veggie plate at home, I use color as my guide and consult a nutrition book to make sure I've selected choices which will make a complete protein. So, with this potato salad recipe, I will serve green beans, sliced tomatoes or sliced cantaloupe, and cornbread or biscuits. Pickled beets would work well, too.

Potatoes, one per person, plus one for the pot, peeled and diced, cooked in pressure cooker, drained, and refrigerated until chilled
Onion, white, very small amount finely grated
Pickle, dill, diced
Mayo, Duke's (no sugar)
Mustard, prepared - whichever one your family likes, but I get rave reviews when I used one with a smoke flavor

What's your favorite veggie plate combo?

Saturday, June 10, 2006

Must Go Soup

This recipe is never the same because it is based on the ingredients that MUST GO out of the refrigerator or freezer. Basically it's made from leftovers, which I prefer to call *planned-overs* and even though it's 93 degrees outside, my DH was thrilled to find out that he'd be coming home to a bowl of freshly made soup.

In a very large (8-10qt) stock pot, combine the following ingredients.

3 quarts stock (either canned, or bouillon cubes, or in this case three leftover packets of Lipton Onion Soup mix, inherited from a great aunt who closed her kitchen)

28 oz canned, diced tomatoes (you agrarians out there probably have these freshly frozen in your chest freezer in the basement)

24 oz veggie juice (or in my case, leftover bloody mary mix)

32 oz frozen veggies (I used corn and gumbo mix cuz that's what had to be cleaned out of the freezer)

16 oz other veggies I had frozen, like green beans and carrots, which are in ziplock baggies in a special basket in the freezer just for this purpose. See Amy's comment on making smoothies with leftover fruit.

1 lb browned ground beef (found it in a tupperware container in the back of the freezer)

1/2 C dry alphabet pasta (put in last and just let sit covered for 30 mins)

Cool some and then refrigerate.

As far as my method goes, I usually bring the stock to a boil and dump in the frozen items and stir. If most of your items come from a weeks worth of refrigerator leftovers (not frozen ones), just heat the liquid and veggies at the same time. I delay adding leftover rice or noodles because they will get mushy, so add those pretty close to serving time, even if it means the next day. I have been known to freeze the entire amount in a large Tupperware container. But it also does well in small individual serving containers.

Friday, June 09, 2006

Omelette Supper
We were the fortunate recipients of some free-range, organically-fed chicken eggs, and so, I decided to serve omelettes for dinner last night. I prepared the various ingredients (sliced mushrooms, green onions, grated cheddar cheese, and diced ham) ahead of time, so that one only had to beat the eggs, pour and tilt. Here's a pic of the one I served to my DH. The girls each prepared their own :)

Therefore cooking as an art - *Hidden Art*, if you want to call it so - should be recognized and then developed in everyone who has to cook, wants to cook, or could cook.Mrs Schaeffer pg 117

Years ago (6/9/73 to be exact), I dined at Mme Romaine de Lyon restaurant and bought her cookbook, The Art of Cooking Omelettes for my mother.

She recently passed it on to me and so my girls were instructed from chapter two which gives detailed instructions.

Mme says learn first principles; then recipes; and finally, style.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

June 8, 1958

This photo was taken after Sunday dinner, on the day of my baptism. There are probably a number of stories which could be told about this day, but I am going to allow the picture to speak its *thousand words.*

I do want thank my folks for their covenant faithfulness demonstrated by having me baptised as an infant. It was indeed a special time with longterm consequences.

See all the ladies wearing hats?

All the different styles of hats is my favorite part of this photo. I am the baby on the far left in the lap of my paternal grandmother. That's my older brother in the lap of my maternal grandfather. Both of those ladies died within two years of this event.

I am named after my father (tall guy behind me) and my maternal grandmother's maiden name (seated lady front extreme right).

There are two sets of godparents pictured.

There are three sets of sisters in the picture, too.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Conservatives and Religious Faith

Not all religious people are conservatives; and not all conservatives are religious people. Christianity prescribes no especial form of politics. There have been famous radicals who were devout Christians -- theough most radicals have been nothing of the sort. All the same, there could be no conservatism without a religious foundation, and it is conservative people, by and large, who defend religion in our time.

This quote is taken from the second chapter of a book written by one of my college professors, Russell Kirk in The Intelligent Woman's Guide to Conservatism.

Today I am paying attention to and praying for the primary election contests in Alabama.

Saturday, June 03, 2006

Weight Watching

Another thing my mother taught me: counting calories and making wise, nutritional choices. I reckon I will struggle forever with my weight. Well, maybe not in heaven, because in my resurrected body, I expect to be 5'4" 120# and resemble myself at age 21 :)

I have the most success with my weight when I am watching it carefully. I have been way up and way down, so I have a few opinions about this topic. Key ingredients are 1)keeping a food diary 2)drinking 60 oz water daily 3)regular exercise and 4)the right attitude.

It's the last one that intrigues me, because I KNOW that I can be putting into effect the first three modifications, and yet not achieve. It's that intangible *attitude* that catches me off balance. In fact, I will even venture to postulate that the first three behaviors account for only 50% of the equation, granting a whopping 50% to the most difficult area to control: what's going on in my head (thoughts). In a subconscious way these brainwaves impact hormones, enzymes, metabolism, and digestion. Fascinating!

See ya after my walk.

Friday, June 02, 2006

How to use a blackboard

This is the final post in a series detailing a few things my mother taught me.

There were six of us born in the span of six and one half years, so there was a lot for my mother to keep up with. Besides being very organized, she knew that communication was a key ingredient. Enter the blackboard. Yup. Big black slate with white chalk hung boldly in our breakfast room. I'm guessing it was 4'x 5'. Wish I had a picture. Note to self: FIND a picture :)

The rest is very simple. On the left hand side she wrote everyone's names in a vertical column. Just after your name, there might be a message, an assignment, or *SEE ME* (that meant you were in trouble) I only remember writing on the board with permission and the main thing I was supposed to record was my whereabouts!! We lived in a neighborhood of 75 plus children

Here's an example of what might have been written on it in 1970:

Daddy (Imperial Potentate)
Moma -
Bert - Randy's playing stratomatic football
Dana - Winters back by 5
Noel - Godwins home by 6
Amanda - Michelle's
Grey - backyard
Will - backyard

The blackboard was retired in 1995, after thirty years of faithful service.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

How to make a Southern Belle Costume

Mrs. Schaeffer says From my own experience of sewing, making my own and the children's clothing, I would say that nothing gives one the possiblity of 'fitting in' with a wide variety of people like being able to say "I made it myself."

This entry makes up part four of the stories explaining what my mother taught me as queried by Donna in a Friday Five.

The short answer is that she taught me how to sew. She taught by example, by assisting, by providing lessons, and by encouraging.

Once upon a time a college-aged daughter needed a costume for a skit. The skit was set in the ante-bellum South. This is where my memory gets a little fuzzy because the college was in Michigan (what do *they* know about the South?) and I cant remember the songs or story lines, but suffice it to say that it was for a rush party. I wish I had a picture for my dear readers.

My mother tore apart one of her *old* party gowns which we used as pattern pieces for my costume. The dress turned out well. Not only did I wear it for the skit, but I also wore it to a costume party on my first *real* date with my now DH. My daughters played dress-up with it later.

While sewing is not one of my favorite tasks (frequently I have to rip out a seam), I am accomplished at it, having made anything from a lined bathing suit to a french machine-sewn cotton bastiste little girl's dress complete with inlaid lace bow. In my party days, I made all my evening dresses. I found a certain pattern which was flattering on me and then made it with four different fabrics: red velvet, white, floral and plaid.

Am I passing this talent on to my own daughters? Well, maybe...maybe not. They all have sewing boxes complete with their own sets of Gingher scissors. And I have made with each individually a sundress, which we wore for a family photo. They all can hem a dress and sew on a button. They havent had lessons, but there is still time for that, as they are young :) And, I'm only a phone call away.

Do you own a sewing machine?