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DIY today–Christmas time is here


The Mantle

 

Rudolph Trees
Rudolph Trees

Christmastime is upon me…I have been slooowwwly decorating, a little here and a little there. My passion for it all has been a bit tempered this year. I

am thankful for my youngest son….his beautiful heart continues to encourage me to press on.

I catch a glimpse of the Nativity and remind myself what its all about…..I am comforted by the miracle of one man who changed my life forever. So I forge ahead, digging a bit deeper into the massive amount DSCN0559decorations…..many are

the nativity
the nativity

old from the years when my kids were young…..and I thought life was difficult to navigate then!

Then I come across my precious Rudolph beanies and the mini-trees which bring a big smile. One of my favorite Christmas memories from my childhood.

Then I dig out all my tea pots and cream and sugar sets. I have two Christmas ones as well as many others. I sort of collect them and in actuality, I would have more but I limit myself. I LOVE them but the minimalist side of me knows that I have no room and there is a lot of cleaning involved with the upkeep and I tend to hate to clean so goes the dilemma.

one of many different colors and styles
one of many different colors and styles
DSCN0564
As always a “real” tree!!!

Then there is the figuring out of the mantle; greenery or not?…..NO just clear and white and silvery and how bout some snowflakes and glittery ribbons….Ahhhhh YES! Candles, candles and more candles. Never can go wrong with candles. I love the monochromatic-ness of it all.

So there ya go….Christmas 2012 is all prettified…..my Christmas cards are done and mailed….table decorations are put out only to be moved when the food is served….my experiment with painting glass ornaments was a success! Now if only I had a half-dozen Poinsettia I would be finished. With one exception…..not one gift has been bought! …….yikes! I better get busy!

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I just want to be happy


How many times have I said …”I just want to be happy”…..in my head? Even though I know this is a futile thought…even silly, it is still there…floating around…like a albatross around my neck. My brain knows that being happy  is a relevant term, one that is a mind-set not a way of life. My spirit knows that it rains on the just and the unjust…(its in the Bible….for pete’s sake!)) as well as living proof all around me.

 

Who do I think I am to ask for happy? I can throw a rock and hit some other soul that would and has given their very lives for a moment with all their legs or hands or even someone they love back with them. The conviction runs rampant through my heart…I know I am behaving badly here. But today I am there….at one of those points of just sadness…..feeling all alone in the middle of a crowd.

 

What a loser….here comes the self-deprecation, I am good at that one…..too good. Wallowing

Iconic screen shot from the movie It's a Wonde...
Iconic screen shot from the movie It’s a Wonderful Life. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

is one of my specialties also…along with tears and fear. The tiredness of it all is palatable…groaning inside me, my heart aches. Lord give me that sign….the George Bailey…..the good ole Hail Mary pass. The reminder that no matter how hard life gets….it is still better than the alternative…never being born at all.

 

With Christmas upon me, I am finding it hard to be happy. With the obvious loss

of family members and the absence of others, the attempt to be cheerful is a broken down cliché. But I do know that thankfully I will not always be happy….everyday of my life. Actually that would be frustrating and positively obnoxious to anyone around me. I would hate me!!

 

One thing I do know for sure is that JOY is the goal…along with PEACE and most of all HOPE. I do have HOPE…..and just like George Bailey from “It’s A Wonderful Life, I too am full of hope that I know will get me thru these rough patches in life. Although my heart remains heavy, my spirit can rest in the knowledge that….”with God all things are possible!”..Matthew 19:26 and just like the virgin Mary found out so many years ago, each of our lives are here for a purpose….for such a time as this, Esther 4:14.

 

The LOVE of God is everlasting and the happy follows and flows like a river…sometimes there are rocks and a wood chuck builds a dam or it is a hot year and it nearly dries up…these are the times and seasons for us all to endure and be happy in the wisdom of those who have come before us. Had they been as whinny as me, nothing would have ever gotten finished. So I say with all gratitude, thanks be to GOD for my life and I will attempt to live with more joy…even when I don’t wanna!!!

 

 

 

 

 

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A good day!


While driving back this afternoon to East Tennessee, to attend the wedding of a sweet young couple, I was honored to witness the beautiful fall trees. The color was only really pretty at the highest point, the plateau, between Cookeville/Crossville but for a few miles it was a real treat.

Crimson red, auburn, fire hot magenta’s, golden rod and butter yellows, all the brilliant hues that make fall my favorite season. I caused me to ponder (for which I do way too much!) about my life and that at my present age it feels as if I am in the fall of my life. Since this is my favorite season I am not so upset…..with the exception of the season to follow(I will not think of that now though!)

My drive was so nice…bright sunshine and clear blue skies, a great afternoon for driving. The trees were a great bonus to a day filled with happiness for this sweet couple. Their life is only beginning, many days ahead for them making friends and memories. My life has been so much richer for all the people I have met and who I have loved and been loved by over my life.

I was honored to be with some of my old friends on this “sunshiney”wedding day and I have to say it nourished my soul in a way they will never know. It seems that we live so many lives in our one lifetime. As I sat there taking in the joy of fellowship with my posse of friends, I was overcome with the knowledge that I have been so fortunate to have been a part of their lives also.

We talked about funny stories of past experiences and concurred that the funniest things happen in church….seriously if you don’t believe be I have some doozies! The (MY)preacher-mans grandfather always said…”give me my flowers before I die, they do me no good then!” He was the funniest person ever and was so right and I try to follow his pattern. He was a person who did this to those of us he loved. He would always remind me of the first time he met me and that he loved me from the start. Sweet man!

So today I sat with Ed and Jane Hardin, people who nearly raised me and my preacherman, in ministry…they were our most avid supporters, friends, but more like parents. Our lives were crisscrossed over and over, their love was not lacking to us and our children, we were their family, one of their own and they were ours. They made an impact on our lives and will always be Elders in our lives. I honor them and pray blessings on them and all their children and grand children. They also make the best New Years Day feast of anyone I know. I miss that gumbo and boiled shrimp and think of it often…maybe even more than my dear friends….ha ha sorry, I do love my seafood!

Then there is Mike and Denise Yannacone….these two have kept our kids for weeks on

A "Zeedonk", a zebra/donkey hybrid
A “Zeedonk”, a zebra/donkey hybrid (Photo credit: Wikipedia

end)and taken our mutts(dogs not kids!) after I kicked them to the curb (avid animal lovers…suckers in my book! ha)They are our mountain vacation buddies…any one ever seen a Zonkey? They throw great farm parties…skeet shooting and cookouts. They have been friends of great measure, always loving us and standing in the gap, prayer warriors and just a whole bunch of fun. She always remembers my birthday…every year (I am very impressed with that) (because I am awful at that) and someone who I know loves me like a sister. They are good people and I am honored to know them.

The wedding was for the daughter of our most dear ones….not playing favorites, but that was already mapped out before the earth was formed or …at least before I married the preacher man. Wendell has been the preachers life long best friend. They grew up side by side in that tiny town, he was Johnny Paul to my husband’s Opie…. so to speak! It is a toss-up which one of them had the more mischievous mind and probably equal by comparison. Wendell had the good sense and fortune to marry a beautiful woman after being left with four kids in tow. Cheryl was the bright spot for a family who needed loving.

She has been dear to me since I met her. She came by good referral….Wendell’s preciousMom picked her out for him and on a fluke it worked out. I say this because he ain’t that good…..but she is!(ha ha)She was the best step mom any kid could ever have and the best friend I could ever have. She has been a better friend to me than I have ever been to her.

She has hauled my sick gall bladder to the hospital, fought to have me thoroughly checkedout….thankfully because they were going to send me home, cleaned up probably every one of my kids puke…on her floors and furniture to make it worse, helped me with every crazy adventure I have ever gone on, prayed with me, walked with me, held my hand and held me up during the best and worst of times. She is my sister as much as my blood sisters, she even cleaned out stinky rotted fish from my freezer when I had moved away, which I don’t think my blood sister would have done and I know I wouldn’t have done. I am not as good a friend as her nor person.

She is my family! And in many ways all the people I have in my life are too. If I am allowed to be your friend I will be; I don’t allow miles to stop that. My friends have impacted me in ways they never could know and I have learned so much from them all. There are more in my heart near and far, all of which I value and cherish.

Today was a good day for me, I wanted one thing. To be there in some small way for my friend, like she has always been there for me. I didn’t really help her much, did little this and that’s but I showed up and was blessed with a bounty of love and adoration from my peep’s from the past thirty years. My friend Debbie who was a lifeline for me in a time of transition, she was an anchor and the best haircut ever…but more than that she loved me and never judged me as well as defended her friends on every front. I value her and love her. Then, our whole gang who took us in when we were lonesome and in need of a home, a church family and Pastor who too, loved us and let God be God.

That is how it is with people who have a love for God that is real and alive. People who give their hearts and hugs and time and gifts to build up and not tear down. There are too many to name; our lives are so inter-twinned over the years, people have come for a season, some have stood the test of time. All have been cherished and my life has been more rich for knowing them all.

I think I do like the “fall” of my life, I feel more settled and sure of myself. I have been there and back and survived. A bit more wear and tear than I wanted, I meant to take better care but ya know I have had a blast! At least most of the time, the good always out weighs the bad. My fifty-three years …I mean forty-three years …..oops! I forgot I am in the going backward stage! Actually, I don’t fret my age it’s more my over-all breaking down, limb by limb. Now that’s a bummer! Should have been more of an “outdoor Person!”(thanks for that observation Ellis kids…grrr!)

SO…..thank you Lord for my long life of ups and downs and please allow fall to hang around a little longer!

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Lil’ Red Caboose!


On the day the doctor told me I was …once again.…with child, I was excited, for a little while…in public, then when we got into our car on the way home…..I cried! My baby daddy of now FOUR(ugh!) just laughed and said….“this is what you do best…be a Mommy!” At the time it was comforting and made me smile(if I were in my right mind I would have been offended…I am more than a mommy…really?!!!but my women’s lib badge was in the wash right then…I needed the encouragement!) and know that I could do this all over again….after a nine year gap….AGAIN!

After the sweet feeling wore off and reality set in I started down the road of pregnancy…AGAIN! In all honesty, before the Lord I must admit….I was not very surprised. Truth be known, I had been hit or miss with my pill taking and had been sick and taken a run of antibiotics and then on top of that….I was sorta “itchin'” to have another one. Let’s just say a pre mid-life crisis crisis!

I just didn’t feel finished…notice I use the word “I” not WE! Poor husband didn’t know what I had going on in my brain and heart. But the Lord did…..during this time, we had five or so women in our church that had been told they could not have a baby….but the Lord knew the desire of their hearts and they all got pregnant…..and I think it was in those free flowing waters that got all stirred up that I tip toed in and here comes our little caboose!

Honestly though it was great! The other kids were 12, 10 and 9, good ages to have fun with a baby brother and after the initial shock and awe was gone we all were so happy. This caboose as we call him was to be the LAST…..I promised! And to back it up…I tied everything up then with a two year later removal of all ovens and utensils…kitchen was closed. End of trail for the baby train, our lil’ red caboose was here and we were done.

Obviously, this kid was the best one yet….never needed for anything, didnt need his legs because we carried him everywhere…didn’t need his hand because we fed him…all his daily wants and needs were took care of by his band of brothers and one patient sister who played babies like a pro. He did eventually learn to do for himself, they all grew up but he was and still is the baby.

Maybe because he was raised with older siblings, but he has always been easy going and compilable. I think he is like me on that one (joke) I too am the baby in my family and I never got one spanking, like caboose…..we both are pretty perfect!! Just saying! He has been a joy to watch grow up.

He is now in the teenage years, sixteen by a few weeks now, and he made a commitment to work at a video game store in our town, five years ago when we moved here. Moving was hard on our little caboose, leaving his home of ten years, and when we came here, the guys at the local GAMESTOP became his buddies. The manager, who is a younger guy with two small kids, is a great guy and has always been a friend to him. Caboose would go there and hang out while I was shopping at Target every chance he got. They allowed him too because beyond anything else he is so funny and they loved to have him around. He would also tell him that when he was old enough he would hire him.

This was enough to keep my little man going, patiently waiting until he could apply and this week he did apply and today had an interview and was hired!!! Three cheers for our newly fiscally sound son. WooHoo!!! Yes….. I do have ulterior motives….one of these kids has gotta make it big…I am getting older by the second and who the heck’s gonna take care of me?

HIRED!!!!

SO this little tribute to my last kid in a line of great kids is one of great pride and I give praise to a God who always take care of us, gives us what we need as well as our wants and proved this on this day even the desires of our hearts. Work hard young man, I need a lot of taking care of! Only joking, Son……….(she says only to keep up appearances….!)

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8,409,600 minutes


If one was a mathematician…one could figure out the number 8,409,600 minutes. Since I am NO mathematician (obviously) I had to GOOGLE the answer. In actuality I GOOGLED how many minutes are in sixteen years…because this is how many minutes of my life have been blessed because of the birth of my youngest child, a son and the only one I like on most days! Just kidding…well mostly…..maybe not kidding….hmmmmm!

The time has come to honor a great young man, one that has kept my life alive and sane (well, nearly!) during the past sixteen years. On September 21, 1996, right before UT played Florida in Knoxville for which they beat US…… 35-29 at University of Tennessee hospital (where all the kids were born…..the sign that we are all VOL) this precious LAST CHILD was born to the cheers of all his family.

NO child was more loved by so many. His older two brothers(one of which had to spend his birthday–yes….. two kids born on same day 9 yrs. apart!- at the hospital) and one sister were all there to love him and be the first to hold him. This was a day of great joy and love and this little caboose (I finally figured out the cause of all these babies!) was the highlight of all our lives.

Since then, his life has been one of high achievements as well as laughter and love. He has been the glue that has held us all together many times and he has brought me joy that could never be compared. He was the reason my feet hit the floor everyday and the reason I kept on keeping on. He has been the baby of promise and his love and affection I will always be thankful for. With GOD its all in the timing and I was blessed when this little kid hit the world.

Happy SWEET SIXTEEN NATHANAEL, I am honored to be your Mom and I pray your life be as exciting from this day more than you could ever dream. Dream big sweet one, you deserve the best! This has been an awesome 8,409,600 minutes for me and I hope the rest of the minutes/years of your life are just as awesome. God loves you even more than me!

By the way………….

Happy Birthday today to my Son Sam,

25 years old and

13,149,000 minutes…wow!

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….baby girl


I have written many times about my baby girl so it would be redundant to allow myself to do it again……but who cares if I am redundant? I have been redundant many times, actually over and over again to the point of redundancy!

Today is the eve of my baby girls twenty-sixth birthday, on August 12, 1986 my world became more sunshinny…..(yes it is a word now!) This baby girl of mine was the only child that I actually set out to have….I mean decided one day…”hmmm, I think I want to try again to have a girl this time!”All the trauma from my first child had gone by the wayside already. He was beautiful and healthy and the love of my life (sorry husband, not leaving you out of course!) but, this kid was my lil’ boy and he was rough and tumble just like he was supposed to be.

I had a predestined design for my children…they were to be blond like their daddy (why do you think I married a blonde…because I loved him, of course) my favorite first reason and the second was I wanted blonde babies which worked perfectly until my third one who sneaked in right after baby girl and turned out with brown hair and a lefty! I blame my sister-in-law who was with me in the operating room because I had a C-sections; she had brown-hair back then before she went blonde (like me, must be a mid-life thing..lol) and a lefty! Apparently I am not the boss of me…..I forgot about genes and my side of the family which no one is blonde….oops! okay too much info I am sure but my point is, I had a plan!

As I was saying…..I was ready for another one and I knew in my knower that she was going to be a girl. I planned her nursery with pink tiny flowered wallpaper and white chair rail and a flow y flowery ribbony daisy batch of flowers on the border that I put at chair rail height. (This was back in the ’80’s when wallpaper borders were in!) I told everyone she was a girl before I knew because I knew and of course…as usual I was right. Never wondered for a minute!

So here she came, her skin was pink and like velvet and her hair really blonde. Even more than my little boy! She was a living doll. I was never more happy and I felt like I had completed my family…one boy, one girl, he was named after daddy and she was named after mommy and neat as a pin and we were thrilled. This baby girl was going to be everything I wasn’t. She was going to be totally girlie but could whip a boy if needed while all the time never sweating. She was going to love to wear pink and all the girls would love her and all the boys would want to be her boyfriend.

Big Brother Will and Beth

Well, then I woke up…back to I am not the boss! Wake up call Mom!! They are what they are, not what we want them to be….grrrrr. I hate it when that happens! Actually my baby girl did wear pink until she decided purple was better, then that wore off and I had no say about it ever again and she was totally girlie but tough also and could beat up any boy. All the girls didn’t love her; many were jealous because she is so pretty, naturally and too kind-hearted and all the boys (because boys are stupid at every age! just sayin’!) didn’t want to be her boyfriend…she had her heart-broken, as we all have many times. But what she did become was a friend to the friendless, a defender of the defenseless and a strong and compassionate heart who I would rather spend time with than anyone I know.

Big Brother and Beth

Tomorrow is her birthday. No gift could be enough. Words are not even enough. I know I have put her through all kinds of frustrations and hell (I am the mother, it is my job!) and she has given it back to me as well (just keepin’ it real!) but, when the day comes that she is blessed with a baby girl, I hope she thinks back to me and remembers that I picked her out special, named her special, and I consider her my greatest joy. There is nothing like having a girl, every time I look at her my whole life passes before my eyes and I wish beyond anything I could have kept her from all the troubles of life. I couldn’t though I tried hard to shelter her and the boys….probably never really did that great of job at it but, when you are given such a gift…a treasure…all you want to do is keep it safe.

Happy Birthday………

dear baby girl, Bethany Rose Fritts!

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….baby girl


I have written many times about my baby girl so it would be redundant to allow myself to do it again……but who cares if I am redundant? I have been redundant many times, actually over and over again to the point of redundancy!

Today is the eve of my baby girls twenty-sixth birthday, on August 12, 1986 my world became more sunshinny…..(yes it is a word now!) This baby girl of mine was the only child that I actually set out to have….I mean decided one day…”hmmm, I think I want to try again to have a girl this time!”All the trauma from my first child had gone by the wayside already. He was beautiful and healthy and the love of my life (sorry husband, not leaving you out of course!) but, this kid was my lil’ boy and he was rough and tumble just like he was supposed to be.

I had a predestined design for my children…they were to be blond like their daddy (why do you think I married a blonde…because I loved him, of course) my favorite first reason and the second was I wanted blonde babies which worked perfectly until my third one who sneaked in right after baby girl and turned out with brown hair and a lefty! I blame my sister-in-law who was with me in the operating room because I had a C-sections; she had brown-hair back then before she went blonde (like me, must be a mid-life thing..lol) and a lefty! Apparently I am not the boss of me…..I forgot about genes and my side of the family which no one is blonde….oops! okay too much info I am sure but my point is, I had a plan!

As I was saying…..I was ready for another one and I knew in my knower that she was going to be a girl. I planned her nursery with pink tiny flowered wallpaper and white chair rail and a flow y flowery ribbony daisy batch of flowers on the border that I put at chair rail height. (This was back in the ’80’s when wallpaper borders were in!) I told everyone she was a girl before I knew because I knew and of course…as usual I was right. Never wondered for a minute!

So here she came, her skin was pink and like velvet and her hair really blonde. Even more than my little boy! She was a living doll. I was never more happy and I felt like I had completed my family…one boy, one girl, he was named after daddy and she was named after mommy and neat as a pin and we were thrilled. This baby girl was going to be everything I wasn’t. She was going to be totally girlie but could whip a boy if needed while all the time never sweating. She was going to love to wear pink and all the girls would love her and all the boys would want to be her boyfriend.

Big Brother Will and Beth

Well, then I woke up…back to I am not the boss! Wake up call Mom!! They are what they are, not what we want them to be….grrrrr. I hate it when that happens! Actually my baby girl did wear pink until she decided purple was better, then that wore off and I had no say about it ever again and she was totally girlie but tough also and could beat up any boy. All the girls didn’t love her; many were jealous because she is so pretty, naturally and too kind-hearted and all the boys (because boys are stupid at every age! just sayin’!) didn’t want to be her boyfriend…she had her heart-broken, as we all have many times. But what she did become was a friend to the friendless, a defender of the defenseless and a strong and compassionate heart who I would rather spend time with than anyone I know.

Big Brother and Beth

Tomorrow is her birthday. No gift could be enough. Words are not even enough. I know I have put her through all kinds of frustrations and hell (I am the mother, it is my job!) and she has given it back to me as well (just keepin’ it real!) but, when the day comes that she is blessed with a baby girl, I hope she thinks back to me and remembers that I picked her out special, named her special, and I consider her my greatest joy. There is nothing like having a girl, every time I look at her my whole life passes before my eyes and I wish beyond anything I could have kept her from all the troubles of life. I couldn’t though I tried hard to shelter her and the boys….probably never really did that great of job at it but, when you are given such a gift…a treasure…all you want to do is keep it safe.

Happy Birthday………

dear baby girl, Bethany Rose Fritts!

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Majestic Cornbread


class=”size-full wp-image alignright” style=”border:.1px solid black;margin:.1px;” src=”https://preacherswifeintheknow.files.wordpress.com/2012/08/cornbread-3.jpg?w=140″ alt=”Image” width=”140″ height=”104″ />They say the first step to recovery is admitting the truth…..so here I go…..I LOVE CORNBREAD!!! The problem is I don’t think I want to be free from my love affair with cornbread……..I just am not sure that it would even help. Some things only happen after prayer and fasting…..um ok….have not prayed about it…check! and I know I haven’t fasted…check! So what’s a girl to do?

The fact that I have been raised on cornbread doesn’t help any….yes Oprah I am blaming it on my Mother….and my Grandmother and all of the Aunts and family friends who have made this delicious addition to the southern feast we call….”family dinner!” Actually I really don’t so much blame them, I more over give them credit. The rich heritage I was raised on in the South is one that I am not ashamed of nor embarrassed by. We have the majestic southern cornbread……don’t be jealous!

ImageAny one can make it….but we southern girls do it best! My raisin’ taught me to use Lard…yikes! Thankfully I do not choose to do that. That is one small step in the right direction but its all downhill after that.

I do feel that you must have the correct equipment starting with the Iron Skillet. Or should I say a “seasoned” Iron Skillet. New ones can be used, but the first few batches may not be as good as the latter ones…..Also the oven has to HOT…not just hot but, REALLY HOT with a chunk of butter melting while the skillet is getting hot…..the skillet MUST be HOT before the batter goes in. The sizzle is the sound you listen for when you pour in the batter.

The skillet, in my mind is the only way to cook the bread, with one exception and only one. My Mom used to have this cute little IRON pan with six little corn on cob shaped individual…..precious, small cornbread muffin-type muffins. They were very crispy with a soft center and really cute. Gotta love old memories!

The cornbread cooks for about twenty minutes or so…I prefer it to be on the crispy side. There are times that I consider cooking dinners that go especially well with cornbread. I suppose that would be considered an addictive personality when you plan the meal around the bread? I can say honestly the bread is the star….yes I do love good bread. This is why I do not cook bread usually. Imagine if I did….I would be the size of “the broad side of a barn!!”….okay I know I am nearly there….shush!

The once, ever so often batch of cornbread is my guilty pleasure. But if I had to choose between bread and meat, I would choose bread! This is ridiculous considering my body type…proof is in the (puddin’!) or bread, so to speak, goes right to my middle! But on those few occasions when I am at a restaurant that has great bread or I make the occasional skillet of lovely cornbread, I allow myself to enjoy. You only live once, right? Slather on the butter……mmmmmmmmmmm!

Image

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Majestic Cornbread


class=”size-full wp-image alignright” style=”border:.1px solid black;margin:.1px;” src=”https://preacherswifeintheknow.files.wordpress.com/2012/08/cornbread-3.jpg?w=140″ alt=”Image” width=”140″ height=”104″ />They say the first step to recovery is admitting the truth…..so here I go…..I LOVE CORNBREAD!!! The problem is I don’t think I want to be free from my love affair with cornbread……..I just am not sure that it would even help. Some things only happen after prayer and fasting…..um ok….have not prayed about it…check! and I know I haven’t fasted…check! So what’s a girl to do?

The fact that I have been raised on cornbread doesn’t help any….yes Oprah I am blaming it on my Mother….and my Grandmother and all of the Aunts and family friends who have made this delicious addition to the southern feast we call….”family dinner!” Actually I really don’t so much blame them, I more over give them credit. The rich heritage I was raised on in the South is one that I am not ashamed of nor embarrassed by. We have the majestic southern cornbread……don’t be jealous!

ImageAny one can make it….but we southern girls do it best! My raisin’ taught me to use Lard…yikes! Thankfully I do not choose to do that. That is one small step in the right direction but its all downhill after that.

I do feel that you must have the correct equipment starting with the Iron Skillet. Or should I say a “seasoned” Iron Skillet. New ones can be used, but the first few batches may not be as good as the latter ones…..Also the oven has to HOT…not just hot but, REALLY HOT with a chunk of butter melting while the skillet is getting hot…..the skillet MUST be HOT before the batter goes in. The sizzle is the sound you listen for when you pour in the batter.

The skillet, in my mind is the only way to cook the bread, with one exception and only one. My Mom used to have this cute little IRON pan with six little corn on cob shaped individual…..precious, small cornbread muffin-type muffins. They were very crispy with a soft center and really cute. Gotta love old memories!

The cornbread cooks for about twenty minutes or so…I prefer it to be on the crispy side. There are times that I consider cooking dinners that go especially well with cornbread. I suppose that would be considered an addictive personality when you plan the meal around the bread? I can say honestly the bread is the star….yes I do love good bread. This is why I do not cook bread usually. Imagine if I did….I would be the size of “the broad side of a barn!!”….okay I know I am nearly there….shush!

The once, ever so often batch of cornbread is my guilty pleasure. But if I had to choose between bread and meat, I would choose bread! This is ridiculous considering my body type…proof is in the (puddin’!) or bread, so to speak, goes right to my middle! But on those few occasions when I am at a restaurant that has great bread or I make the occasional skillet of lovely cornbread, I allow myself to enjoy. You only live once, right? Slather on the butter……mmmmmmmmmmm!

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“kickin it old school…..”


Just yesterday I was thrilled to make the connections and locate a dear friend from the old days. Gotta love that social media…no really I do love it for just this reason. Awful as it is, the bitter reality is that we grow up and grow on, on to new adventures and lives to be led. I have contemplated often, how sad this harsh reality is, harsh to me because I have a loyal streak and once I am your friend….I am. Not everyone feels that way. I was once told by a person who I adored that …”out of sight out of mind!” It crushed me and forever I have mourned the loss of that friend even though she was a bit of a snip and I still know her but I thought we had more than that. Friends come and go and I am a big girl now but still is an ouchy!

I am not going to go on a limb here and appear to say I am the best at the friend thing. I do try but just with everyone else I get bogged down with daily life. But people rarely leave my heart and this is the sweetness that comes along with re-connecting. That person who for no good reason except LIFE becomes a memory of days past. But in that rare moment when the rock is turned over and shazzam! you find them again….ahhh how sweet it is. It happened last year also when I found my friend Kim. She was the best of the best and it was a blessing to talk to her.

This friend was not one I grew up with from childhood but, I did grow up with him. During those crazy mystery years in college when it is all you can do to make it to classes and study between all the socializing, awful how the school part gets in the way ya know? The college scene is fun and scary all at the same time and this friend of mine made that time easier.

I can not even for the life of me remember how we even met…maybe the MTSU yearbook staff job I had….sad but true the memory is slipping. Once we became friends though that was that. He was the kind of guy that any girl would love to have as a friend. Never a dull moment and I always had a “date” although he was never a date…..not that there was anything wrong with that! but we were not each others type….in that arena that is!

On the friend subject, none were better. We spent so much time dreaming of going to New York and imagining loosing track of each other and then one day eating in a restaurant and seeing each other….He was a waiter of course and an aspiring writer and I was a starving artist living in a shabby apartment in “the village!” It would be old home week for sure. As usual our vivid imaginations were at work…..Then there were the times practicing our stand-up routine, yeah we were funny, two white southern kids talking about growing up in the south…white bread and all….. trying to crack each other up….lame for sure but we had a blast. He also taught me how to make the best chicken salad on earth….for which my husband and kids appreciate! now……yep we were a mess.

It is always a hoot to run across someone from your past..that is why it is good not to leave a bad trail. When the past comes knocking it is sweet and not sorrowful. This is a sweet past friend and I would be honored if he felt the same way about me. Kickin’ it old school is fun and scary again and not always fun but it is sweet to find out your friends are alive and well. That is the important part considering I tend to live in my Pollyanna world of wanting everything to work out good and happy. If you wish it it will happen!

So to any of my dear friends from my distant past, I haven’t forgotten you….I might have forgotten some of the particulars but not your hearts. And this dear friend of mine I am happy we have touched base. You made my life richer for knowing you and I am the one blessed. You are writing for Broadway…kinda! and I am still a starving artist, so besides my huge batch of kids and the body to prove it…..not much has changed except I have yet to make it to New York yet…..maybe someday!!

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