This is a blog about everyday life. Food, gardening, photography, and nature. What you won't find are pictures of lots of people.

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Monday, November 12, 2012

I Lost a Friend

I have wanted to do something to honor the passing of my neighbor and friend Miss Margaret.  I hope you will take the time after reading this to say a prayer, have a nice hot cup off coffee with cream and sugar (the way she liked it) or do something tiny to mark her passing as she didn't like to be fussed over.

I do not have many friends.  I have lots of aquaintances and almost friends but not many people who carve their own special place in my heart.  Miss Margaret was one of those special people.

Who was Miss Margaret?  She was a contradiction.  She was a porch sitter like me.  She was quick to fight and even quicker to extend a helping hand.  She had a firm sense of right and wrong and never hesitated to point out which was which.  She liked to swear and indulge in off color humor.  She, as my mother would say, called a spade a spade.

Miss Margaret (right)

Miss Margaret lived all of her life poor.  She worked as a waitress and in a nursing home.  She was abused by her first husband and only found the strength to leave him after he knocked out all of her front teeth.  She said she was so much happier in her rat infested apartment down on 6th street even if her kids had to sleep on the floor.

Miss Margaret had a big heart, but she could hold a well deserved grudge.  She learned all her life's lessons the hard way.  She remarried a man society rejected but I refused to shun him.  He'd paid his debt to society and he was good to me.  Miss Margaret never forgot that and loved me for it.  He died 3 years ago and she never stopped missing him and cried at the mention of his name.

Miss Margaret helped people expecting nothing in return.  The gift of giving pleased her more than any material possession.

One afternoon her daughter came over to tell me she needed to take her mother to the hospital but she wouldn't go.  I went over and after awhile I asked her why she didn't want to go and she cried and said "I'm afraid if I go I won't come home."  I laughed and said "Miss Margaret, they're just gonna fix you up a bit.  I promise you will come home.  If I have to come over there and get you and throw you in the back of my truck you are coming home."  She perked up and we got her in the car.

But she didn't stay.  She came home and the next time she went she stayed.  I hoped she would make it home again.  She did.  They had no treatment for the advanced cancer and they sent her home to die.  I waited in my swing and when the EMT's wheeled her up the sidewalk  I yelled "WELCOME HOME MISS MARGARET!  I LOVE YOU!"  She waved and yelled "I love you too!"

The next morning she fell asleep and never woke up.

Rest in peace Miss Margaret. I hope I can keep my heart open for love after a lifetime of hurts like you.

Please leave a message and let me know how you honored my friend.  She would be amazed by it as she never used a computer, had no cable tv, and would have no clue what a blogger is.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Barn Charm #9

Horse Barns
Woodford County, Kentucky

Lovely Fence Row Nearby

Mares in Foal
I had to put some horses on here too.  After all, they live in the barns. 

Linking to Barn Charm.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Watercolor Exercises #1 Brush Strokes

Okay, here we go!  Promise not to laugh.  Well, promise not to laugh at me.  I have to admit that I laughed at these pictures. It was a fun laugh and I hope you get some enjoyment out of them too.

First up is my very very first watercolor.  I was feeling the brush on the paper and becoming quickly intoxicated by the power of putting this color anywhere I wanted in any way I wanted.  Amazing feeling.

I'm thinking I might name this one Ghoul. 

I sorta made a mess splashing the paint on the paper.  I felt like a 5 year old channeling Jackson Pollack.  It was hard to make myself stop.  Any suggestions for a name?

I thought I had ruined this painting by taking a big fat brush and  blending all the vibrant colors but it is growing on me.  I'm thinking it might be upside down?

Whatcha think?

I learned quickly that brush strokes take a lot of finesse.  Now when I look at watercolor paintings I'm really in awe of the skill it takes to create them.  I doubt I will ever be skilled enough to paint a detailed landscape but in time I hope that when I put brush to paper I can have some idea of what it will look like!

There you have it.  My first peek into the wonderful world of watercolors.  I have only destroyed one creation so far.  I have a couple more in progress I'll share next week.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

The Next Step

My creative self yearns for expression. 

The chosen field of my employment loves to use the catchphrase "think outside the box" and it absolutely drives me crazy because they don't really mean it.  If you dare do something that isn't a carbon copy of something that has been done before you are immediately told it can't be!  You cannot possibly build that!  The whole point of solving a problem using creativity is lost.  New ideas are approached with extreme cynicism at first.  If others warm to the idea the cynicism is replaced with caution.  In fact, another catchphrase I hear a lot is "cautiously optimistic".  Personally, I think that is doublespeak for "I think it will fail, but if it doesn't I'm going to take credit for it."

Lest I get overly cynical and perhaps even bitter I have chosen a new route.  I allowed my mind to trace my life backwards.  This seems to be an event that started at age 50.  I started looking backward more than forward.  So rather than spend time and energy lamenting the path not taken I spent some quality time studying the things in the past that make me feel alive, make me feel happy and above all else, vibrant.

I certainly embrace the idea that I am vibrantly alive rather than at the end of a rather lackluster career.  I am empowered by this choice I've made.

Never the one to heed warnings I am forging ahead in my new quest.  As you, dear reader, know I do not suffer fools gladly nor do allow myself to think I can't do something simply because someone else tells me I can't.  PFFFFFFT!! I say!  I'll do it anyhow, and what's more I'll do it my way.

I have unleashed my creative self.  After much thought and reflection I settled on a new hobby. 

I shall paint.

Currently, I have set up my studio in the front bedroom.  On a card table covered with newspaper ads I have the back of a wooden wine box propped up against a small cardboard box filled with books.  It is kept in place with two pints of canned green beans. This is my easel. I have armed myself with pastels and watercolor pencils for sketching.  For paint I have watercolors and acrylics.  I have lots of brushes and paper.

Last night I started.  I spent a blissful two hours engrossed in putting an assortment of brushes into water and little bins of hard color then swishing and stroking and dabbing on paper.  Intoxicated by the explosion of color from the end of my brush I struggled as my hand refused to do what my eyes demanded.  Finally, I relinquished control and allowed the colors to do what colors do.  They bleed.  They blend. They transform into another shape and form.  I painted fast.  I painted slow.  I wiggled a fat brush and lined with a small brush.

In the end, after I forced myself to stop I had 3 "paintings".  I hesitate to call them paintings because this was an exercise.  In what I don't know, nor do I care.  What I do know is I felt happy inside.  Like Vanessa,  I felt movement inside.  My creative self is awake and watching.

I'm having a blast.  Tune in tomorrow and I will show what fun looks like!  Until then I'll leave you with one of my favorite paintings of all time.

Van Gogh was misunderstood too you know.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

The Power of Sound

Hello Blogging World!

No I have not dropped off the face of the earth.  I've just not had a lot to say lately.  To be perfectly honest, I am at a crossroads about blogging.  I know that I enjoy reading blogs that give me glimpses into your world but I'm not sure how that translates into what I share in my blog.  I like a bit of privacy.  I'm not a people picture person.  I feel like I need permission to publish someone's picture online, especially children.  Call me old fashioned but there it is.

I peek over here from time to time and am amazed that people stop by even though I am not actively blogging with any dependable routine.  The numbers are inching up and I've nearly had 6k in visits.  It makes me wonder what people are interested in hearing.  So if you are reading this please take the time to let me know what you like to read about because I know you are there.  I'm watching you ;)  And for my loyal bloggies, thanks for coming over and looking for me.

I'm mulling over a few topics that have been on mind of late.  I'm a very goal oriented person and when I don't have a goal I feel lazy and lost.  The goal can be career oriented or personal, it doesn't matter but I need something to keep me interested in moving forward and not drifting laterally.  People sometimes think I can't seem to find what I'm looking for, but that isn't it really.  I see those people who claim to have found what they want in life and it seems static to me.  I want movement in my life.  Static = stagnant for me and that isn't living.


Lest I digress into ten cent philosophy I will stop on that note.  One last thing I will share and it has resonated with me since I heard it yesterday.  I listened to a piece of music called "Vanessa".  It combined music with the spoken word narrated by Vanessa and told her story.  Vanessa was born deaf and lived her whole life as a deaf person until age 30 when she got a cochlear implant.  A micro chip was implanted in her brain and she heard sound for the first time.  Now being a musician first and everything else second the thought of not hearing is painful to me.  Vanessa's description of hearing for the first time describes the power of sound, of music perfectly.  On hearing sound for the first time she said :

"I felt my body moving inside."

I don't know about you, but I think I took that for granted.  The sound of wind in the trees, beautiful music, a loved one's voice.......it all makes my body move inside.  That is how I know I'm living.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Practicing Our Dance Moves (for Buttons)

I love the phrase "practicing our dance moves".  It implies that these are important things that will become so useful later that it is imperative that they be practiced.  Perhaps not practiced to perfection, but definitely frequently so that we can do the old ones well and learn new ones.

Life is just a series of dance moves, you know. I learned this from my 5 year old friend.  That is amazing.  In fact, the realization that I can learn from a 5 year old is what gives me the courage to throw caution to the wind and dance in my front yard.

There is no talking during our dancing. Only movement. We shake. We twirl. We wave our arms and kick. No organization or routine at all.  We respond to the music.  She hops and jumps and touches the ground. I bounce and bend and waddle. My friend commands me to do her moves yet finds easier moves because I'm too old and stiff to copy her "dance moves".  If I sing she shouts "NO SINGING!" to remind me this about moving to music and being in touch with my body. 

I've spun around to more than one suprised adult face that splits into a smile they can't contain. I choose to believe they are smiling at all the happiness that has engulfed them and not at the ludicrous sight of a 5 year old and an old woman in a dirty tee shirt dancing in the front yard.  I smile back at them because I know the joy I feel is produced my the inhibition my friend encourages.  I laugh because I know they can't let themselves go and practice their "dance moves" in the yard like we do.  They would be afraid......
Knowing when to respond with kindness or when it is healthy to show anger are some of life's dance moves.  Some of us do them more gracefully than others.  Some don't even try these "dance moves".  This makes me sad, because life has a multitude of emotions.  These feelings run the gamut from tender passion to hot rage and we need to learn to express them all in a healthy way.  Otherwise, we go through the motions of living but become spectators in life rather than participants.  We shuffle along following the leader trying to fit into a mold we didn't define.

I choose not to be a spectator to life.  I don't watch life on the tv set.  Neither does my friend.  This is why we must practice our "dance moves" in the yard.  We are alive and one with our bodies.  We are connecting with the music and dancing without words or instruction.  We are living in the moment.

At my house we dance like there may be no tomorrow.  We practice our "dance moves" and it prepares us for whatever tomorrow may bring.  We hope that when tomorrow dawns we will have another day filled with the satisfaction and joy of knowing we are ready to live life to the fullest because we have some awesome "dance moves" to share with the world!

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

My Friend

When I moved to my present location I watched as my neighbor's pregnancy begat a child.  I watched as they walked around the block with the child in a stroller.  I watched as the child eagerly waved at me from the stroller.  I listened as she learned to say my name and smile and wave each evening from the stroller.  I watched as she learned to walk with her father and their dog each evening .  I listened as they stopped to chat with me in my swing.  I laughed as I observed the "terrible twos" as they stretched into some terrible threes.

She is 5 years old now having just had her birthday.  This past year was a very big year for her.  She went from holding up 3 fingers to show her age to saying "I'm four!" with the confidence unique to her age.  I find it curious that outside her family I am probably her oldest friend and while she may not remember me in a few years if they move away I will always remember her.

You see, I am 4 years old too.  You just need to subtract about 50 from my natural age.  In a way it isn't strange at all.  At 4 we discover the happiness of the world outside our immediate family and also meet tragedy as well. All the while we struggle to understand life and fit it into our understanding.  Life is so complex yet simple at that age.  I feel like the past 50 years of wisdom and life has lead me right back to being 4 years old again.  I relish this unexpected blessing.

We started our evening visits by reading books.  My little friend's mother hovered nearby on the sidewalk nervously the first few times.  I promised not to let her out of my sight for one second.  Yes, she will probably get hurt I told her.  Kids get scratched and cut playing outside.  They get poison ivy.  They get dirty and sweaty.  I eventually earned her trust after a few cuts and bumps and a healthy rash of poison ivy.  The world we adults live in can be scary.  Crazy people lurk around the corner and criminals can snatch a small child from the yard in a second.  I understand these motherly fears.  After all, this child is her most precious possession.  I am honored that she lets me befriend one of the most important people she will ever have in her life.  I hope I don't let her down.

I don't have a lot of friends, but the ones I do have are real gems.  I simply cannot waste precious life time with people who do not contribute to my life in a meaningful way.  I have too much living to do.  Like a 4 year old I'm impatient to get on with the important things in life.

My little visitor is learning to be a friend.  To be honest, I had never thought about that.  We learn to be a friend.  This fact smacked me in the face on evening when my friend and I were playing in the front yard.  Yes, I play.  I dance.  I sing.  I tell stories.  My friend dances.  She sings.  She tells stories.  We dance.  We sing.  We tell stories.  We don't have store bought toys either.  We use the random items in my messy yard as props.  A stick comes to life with a voice of its own.  A broken rake becomes a musical instrument. We play with wild abandon letting our imaginations spontaneously combust.

In the midst of this one evening a neighbor walked by and interrupted us.  "So, are you babysitting again Mary?"  I stopped in my tracks.  I'd heard this babysitting term before.  My friend's mother had offered to pay me by calling the time with my friend babysitting.  I declined. It didn't seem right.  You got paid for work.  When this neighbor asked I wondered for a moment.  I looked over at my little companion.  Am I babysitting?  I asked her honestly.  I needed to know what she thought of this question.  A dark look flooded her face and she yelled "NO!!!"  Relieved, I smiled at my neighbor.  "We're friends."  I said.  "Aren't we?" I asked my little buddy.  Happiness filled her face at this realization and she agreed and squealed "YESSSSS!"

This began our journey.  I'm sort of the lead friend as I like to think of it.  I'm older, bigger and stronger.  I have to show my little friend how to be a good friend.  This is a very hard job.  But I have the advantage of 50 years of wisdom and I try to use it.  There are so many lessons to be learned as a friend and I'm still learning them too.  Sometimes I have to let my little friend tell me no.  Sometimes she won't take no for an answer and neither do I.  Sometimes I have to take her home to show her this is not how friends treat each other.

Sometimes, we just "practice our dance moves".

Monday, July 30, 2012


I can't believe I have waited this long to do something as simple as making dashi.  I think perhaps its mystique came from a childhood friend.  She was half japanese which was very unusual for the rural area where I lived.  When I'd visit her mother was always cooking the strangest foods.  She'd slap seaweed over a gas flame to brown it and ate noodles out of a small bowl with chopsticks.  She also slurped (gasp) and drank from her bowl (double gasp).  My momma would have knocked me into next week if I did either of those things!

What could be easier than simply slowly boiling this  sea "vegetable"?  I am not sure if I'm supposed to eat it so I tossed it after it cooled.  It was a bit chewy and tasteless.

I just finished my first cup of dashi with white miso.  Very comforting I might add.

What comforts have you enjoyed lately?

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Moosewood Sunday July 29, 2012


In celebration of life, love and the pursuit of happiness I invite all of you to join me this Sunday.

For me Moosewood Sunday is preparing a Moosewood recipe with an old friend.  She, like you, is separated from me by a long distance and this is our way of connecting for a mutual task.

For you it can be anything you wish.  A moment you share with someone, beauty that takes your breath away for a moment, a reflective time,  a good meal, a good book.  I don't care.  Just anything you do that makes you feel alive, loved or happy will do.  And it doesn't have to be on Sunday either.

I do hope you'll share an experience we can all enjoy.

I will post my Moosewood experience on Monday sometime and I hope you will come back and leave a link or a comment (or both) to yours.

Til then,

Love life and practice random acts of kindness,



Thursday, July 19, 2012

Nothin' Much To Say

Hello Dear Reader,

I felt compelled to write a short note to explain my absence.  After blogging for about a year I got really busy at work and then I just ran out of things to say. I decided early on I wasn't going to disclose a lot of personal information about the other people around me and I've kept to that.  It does make the blog a bit impersonal on a level and I certainly enjoy reading about the lives and loves of those who do put themselves out there in a very personal way but it isn't my style.  I would like to think you get to know me in the way I write and the subjects I discuss and not from me telling you directly. 

I love reading blogs.  Some bloggers write everyday about the most mundane and sometimes private details of their lives, some relate the progress of projects,  some just journal.  I'm not certain where blogging fits into my life.

I love "meeting" people from different places.  I'm a loner by nature and this sort of interaction suits me.  I like having no obligation to be social and can visit whenever the mood hits me.

I write the blog at work as my home is a no computer zone for me.  I spend 9 hours a day glued to a computer and once I've left the office I'm done with them.  I find that this type of work makes me more tired than any other job I've ever had in my life.  I can't say that I dislike the work.  I don't.  I love what I do.  I just don't like being stuck in front of a computer so much.  I don't have much in common with my co workers either.

So, I am going to enter into a rather random phase of blogging.  I may not always be positive, or happy, or instructional in anyway.  But one thing I will promise you is I will be real.  I have grown weary of the other forms of social media.  It all moves too fast for me.

I'm headed to the woods for a few days.  I wish I could say I will be alone with just me and the animals, but it is a family visit (a new baby arrived a month ago).  I am just glad that my brother lives out in the boonies, the backwoods of Kentucky where I can enjoy the peace and quiet.  Everyone else stays in the house so that leaves me free to sit in the shade with the beverage of my choice, or stroll around in the woods or take long drives.

I had dreaded this trip until just a few days ago.  I am NOT a baby person at all.  I like the young 'uns when they can talk and walk.  Thank heavens my family knows this and doesn't expect me to do much aside from the expected oooooohs and aaaaaahs.  And most importantly, it is a pretty baby so I can say so.  I'm not one to tell people lies and you certainly can't tell someone their baby isn't pretty!

Here's to a new round of blogging!


Friday, March 16, 2012

March Madness Part Two ~ The Mascots of Kentucky

This has been a very good year for Kentucky basketball.  Not only is THE Kentucky basketball team rated #1 in the nation, 3 other teams from Kentucky made it to the Big Dance.  I am starting to wonder why, if we have such great basketball teams we can't have some awesome mascots???

First, let's start with Murray State University.  Located in far western Kentucky, practically in Missouri (pronounced mizzoorah by the natives there), they decided on this mascot.

Murray State Racers
Yes.  It IS a blow up doll.  I understand, however that "Dunker" also has a real life costumed version.  Personally, I think Kentucky goes a bit overboard with horses and I think this is proof.  You have to try really really hard to get any farther away from horse country and stay in Kentucky than Murray.  Why not call him Racer?  Or Secretariat?  Why not just make him something else??  Anything but a blow up horse doll!  Sheese.  It is embarrassing.  I didn't pick the Murray Racers to go very far.  In fact, they got stomped by the "real" Kentucky basketball team last night.  The Wildcats.

University of Kentucky Wildcats
 When you look at Mr. Wildcat what comes to mind?  Excellence?  Well, no. How about mad golfer in blue?  Or perhaps jockey gone wild?  Patchwork puppet?  I give them points for incorporating Kentuckisms in the costume, but the face.  Please!  Don't you just want to kiss that cute little kitty cat's mouth?  Look at him stamping his foot at a bad call!  Darn you referee!  Gosh doggone!!  Someone give Mr. Wildcat a jug of moonshine please.  He needs it.

It gets worse though.  The Western Kentucky Hilltoppers are in the tournament this year.  What is a hilltopper you say?

Western Kentucky Hilltoppers

I blew him up extra large so you could really believe your eyes.  I have no idea what a hilltopper is and I think I have a lot of company at Western too.  Is that his mouth on the right side there?  But he does have a cute nose dontcha think?   And the Groucho eyebrows are certainly cute!

The Louisville Cardinals have long been UK's rival in basketball.  It is a good thing the contest doesn't involve mascots!

University of Louisville Cardinals
Now that is a mascot!  The state bird strikes up a pose like Joe Namath's famous photo in pantyhose.  Look at that beak!  Yes, he could tear bits of flesh from bones with a snap of his bill.    He is poised to jump up and do his job at a moment's notice - instill enthusiasm, pride and strength in the fans!  Can you see Mr. Wildcat doing that?  Or Dunker?  Or the Blob Thing?  Louisville knows how to choose a worthy mascot every Kentuckian should admire. 

We'll see how far they advance.  Based on Mr. Cardinal they should go far!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

March Madness Part One

The time is upon us again!  It is that time of the year when we gamble on basketball and any pretense of work comes to a screeching halt for the NCAA Basketball Tournament!  This year I thought I would choose my brackets solely on intuition.  To get started I peeked at some pictures of mascots from the teams in the tournament.  This was so entertaining I thought y'all might like a peek into this entertaining, yet sometimes disturbingly scary world of fanciful characters.

At first I tried to categorize them by animal, historical character or ......ugh....well Other.  I quickly gave up.  Some of them, quite frankly, defy any type of category, in fact I can't fathom how they inspire school pride at all!  And some of them, no kidding, ride scooters!

Pitt Panther
I'm not sure what the purpose of the scooter is.  When I was in school you couldn't even wear shoes on the gym floor let alone ride a scooter on it! Maybe it is made with Pittsburgh steel?

Meet Gunston.

George Mason University
This guy is a real puzzle.  Is he a Puritan?  A Pilgrim?  I don't even know what he is, obviously he is a historical character but why not name him George?  Or Mason?  Or Thomas or even Jeff?  Gunston?  Nobody can take this guy seriously.  Look at him.  At first I thought he was limping using a cane, but then I saw he was riding a scooter.  Is it me or does he look like he has to pee pee really really badly????  Is he racing to the bathroom?

Duke Blue Devil
If you have to make up a character this is a pretty good one.  But being a Kentucky gal I can't be caught saying anything nice about Duke.  Ever.  The entire state is still pissed over "that shot" (can you say Christian Laetner?).  One expects a red devil but somehow a blue one is even more fierce.  Cool blue for a devil.  No forked tail here folks, just some sort of cryptic initials on his head.  What does it mean???? You better hope you don't get that icy finger pointed at you!

Based on the Blue Devil I'd say Duke has a chance in the tournament.  Oh, on second thought, maybe it means Go To Hell Cats!?!

I'm not so sure about that other North Carolina school though.  Take a look at Ramses the Tar Heel.

North Carolina Tar Heels

If you must personify a mascot  it is probably best to make into something people will recognize.  On some level.  Is this an elephant?  Or is it an antelope with beautiful horns?  No!  It is a rock star!  I could root for Ramses I think.  But never the Blue Devil.  My coworkers  would dissect me and eat my spleen.

I have new found admiration for Ohio State.  Meet Brutus.

Ohio State Buckeyes
It took me a few minutes but I figured Brutus out.  He is actually a buckeye!  The only buckeyes we Kentucky folk like are those peanut butter candies nearly covered in chocolate to resemble a buckeye.  But you have to respect Brutus.  He is true to his roots (pun intended).  In fact, I'm "nuts" (pun intended again) over Brutus.  I love a mascot whose aggression is manifested in his name!  I'd like to hug Brutus.  He looks soft, and kissable.  If this is a contest of veracity Ohio State will go far.

Likewise, Michigan State doesn't "put on airs".

Michigan State Spartans
It takes panache to wear a dress in sports and get away with it.  He even looks manly.  Go Spartans!  But he's a young dude.  Check out "Commodore" Vanderbilt.

Vanderbilt University Commodores
Lets face it people.  He looks like a dirty old man.  Sure Vandy gets points for staying true to their mascot aspirations, but couldn't they have made him look a little less......sinister?  He makes my skin crawl when he mugs for the camera on TV.  Mothers, hold your children close.  Very close.

Rather than leave you cringing in horror at Mr. Vanderbilt's 2012 incarnation I present to you the Florida Gator.

University of Florida Gators
Being a Kentuckian I'm a "gator hater" by definition.  We sooooo wanted Billy for our own ya know.  But how can you hate Gator?  He's green.  Like Kermit the Frog.  It's not easy being green.  Hey!  Look closely.  Notice the cheerleaders.  They think they are #1!  Ha!  Mr. Gator is a closet Kentucky Wildcat fan!  He knows they are #2!  Either that or he's missing some fingers.  You decide.

Come back next time.  I'm easing you into the world of March Madness my friends outside the USA.  You will not believe your eyes at what is coming down the pike.  I never realized how diabolical some mascots can be.

Friday, March 9, 2012

An Invitation

I would like to take this opportunity to ask each and every visitor who stops by and reads this to participate in Moosewood Sundays. 

What is a Moosewood Sunday?  Well, it can be anything you wish that has two essential ingredients:  Food and Love.  It can be something as simple as just taking a moment to be thankful you are sharing some time with someone you care about or as elaborate as preparing a meal for others.  Or maybe you will join us and try a few recipes?

Moosewood Gumbo Soup

We now have this wonderful technology that brings people from all over the world together in small unpredictable ways.  Sometimes we take life for granted.  It is easy to do.

I stood on my front porch last Friday afternoon watching the sky for tornadoes as I have done for nearly 40 years when there are warnings.  I am a survivor of a deadly F5 tornado and in my home county we lost over 30 people that day in 1974.  My family was fortunate, only a couple lost their homes and one lost their life.  All of my family, however, was close enough to hear that terrible deafening roar and most of us had sought shelter in buildings that were damaged or totally destroyed.

Such an event changes your life.  You are spared.  Others aren't.  While I strive to remember that today is all we have I was reminded again Friday that our lives hang in a delicate balance.  We really may not have tomorrow, let alone a happy tomorrow.

Seeing those weird colors in the sky Friday just like that afternoon 40 years ago brought it all back like it was yesterday.  Cherish today.  Enjoy and be thankful for those that enrich your lives.

It just so happened that an old friend and I decided to eat our way through some Moosewood cookbooks on Sundays as a celebration of friendship. ( Moosewood is a pretty famous restaurant in Ithaca, New York serving mostly vegetarian food.)  Technology allows us to do this via her blog and texting. You can find her initial blog post here . 

I invite you all to join in whatever way you would like!  Make some new friends!  Reach out to old friends, or maybe just practice an random act of kindness.  We know the world can use more of these things.

Feel free to leave comments or email me.  I hope to figure out how to disable the encryption box to make it easier.  Until next time...........................................................................

P.S.  I switched back to the old interface and found the box to disable encryption!  Please some kind person leave a comment to test it out for me!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012


Did you miss me?  I've been lurking around peeking into your blogs and occasionally leaving a comment, but what I thought was going to be a few days turned into most of the winter! 

Are you familiar with that cute little contraction, "y'all"?  I'm sure if you are from the southern United States you smiled a bit or giggled.  If you are from the northern United States you probably rolled your eyes and thought "O no, here we go again!"  If you are not American then you may not  be familiar with it.

Y'all is one of those terms in the vernacular that natives just use without thinking.  How y'all doin'?  Where y'all goin'?  Y'all come back and see me!  It is used to refer to a group of two or more.  If you prounounce it just right you just swallow those l's at the end.  There really isn't any reason to enunciate them.  Y'all need to get on to the next word!  Y'all can be young folks, or old folks, mean or nice, ugly or pretty it really doesn't matter it's all y'all to us here in the south.

I used to look down my nose a bit at people who used "y'all" on their blogs.  I mean, my middle school english teacher would probably take a permanent marker and put a big red circle on her computer screen if she saw this lil' essay with that contraction!  But y'all know what?  I'm moving past that and I'm gonna use y'all on my blog now.  I might even use some other bucolic aphorisms from time to time if it suits me.  I think technology is a wonderful thing, but By Cracky, I think regional language is too!  It has history.  It is passed on through generations from family to family.  I fear it may become extinct from all this technology and new slang that has emerged from  rap and hip hop.  I'm going to do my part to preserve it.  I might even use "ain't" once in a blue moon if I take a notion.  Who knows?  I'm going to live a little and ignore a few rules!  I think y'all will enjoy it too!

Y'all remember that winter kale I planted?  Well we have had a mild winter and even the collards survived and I've had plenty of fresh greens to eat on.  Here is a mix I picked Sunday.

Siberian Kale, Red Russian Kale and Georgia Collards

Y'all see that?  That's a "mess" of greens.  It is an ambiguous unit of measurement but any southerner that cooks can tell you when they have a mess.  It just depends on how many of y'all are coming to eat!  We also use that term to refer to a person that is sassy funny.  That ole So And So, he's a MESS!

I better be going now, lunch is about over and my boss don't pay me to jabber away telling people the proper usage of our dear southernisms.  But before I leave y'all I'll show y'all one of the scarves I made this winter for a friend. 

Scarf had her bath and was air drying before I boxed her up and sent her to south Alabama to my friend.  She is a soft lovely combination of baby merino wool, mohair and silk.  She is soft as a baby's ass.  Warm too.

Well, I'll see y'all later.  Come back and see me y'hear?

Friday, February 24, 2012

Meet Puppet!

I have been laboring away at my job so I've not had time to blog.  Most of the winter has been used to crochet things.  I've made scarves for friends, purses, wallets and my favorite.......PUPPET!

Sorry you have to turn your head to see him!  I have no clue why the pic comes in like this as it shows up perfectly in photoshop.  I was falling in love so I had to send him away quickly.  My little niece christened him Realfiki.  Isn't he lovely?

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Barn Charm #6

Breckinridge County, Kentucky

Looks like old vs new with that prefab door.

Linking with Tricia Bluff Area Daily.