Family, Spiritual, Travel

Popcorn had a Son Named James

Popcorn Sutton was a famous bootlegger. His illegitimate youngest son was James. James was a close friend of my dad and they came for Christmas a few years back. We experienced some interesting tales.




James taught us how to tell what proof each moonshine was. Never had to use this information, but chock it up for, “interesting”.

James was always seeking his estranged dad’s approval. He was a steady runner of moonshine from when he was old enough to reach the pedals of a truck. His area was Cocke county which was the home of many distilleries up in the hills, not far from the Smokey Mountains. His customers would include neighbors and local judges. They left cash in envelopes and James would replace them with jars of moonshine.

His tee...

Family, Pets, Travel

Last Exit Leaving Tennessee

Feel it coming, Exit 451.  My sweetheart hails from Maryland but waits for me in South Carolina. I’m a Tennessee girl and taking in the last few minutes to memorize the scenery.




Exit for Townsend if I go right or Newport if I go left. I passed a great coffee shop in Dandridge a few miles back. Passing Del Rio and Gatlinburg. Dad’s place to the left and fun times on the right. Maybe water-rafting or” Hello” to Dolly. Here it comes the next to the last exit where we have to stop and take a dogey walk, time to look at the creek and view the Smokey Mountains.

Mile markers 448.2, 448.6, 448.8 woe. Thinking about being on this curvey road when I was a little person and drinking Nesbitt grape and orange...

Family, Spiritual, Travel

How to Vet a Spouse

The poor dear. So many will say “yes” today to proposals of marriage. I feel compelled to tell the story – a love story going on twenty years now. Have you ever had a Fonzy moment.




I had a Fonzy moment when I had been dating a very tall, sweet spirited, gentle man for about a year and a half. He wanted to date for a while because I had married my first husband twice. That’s another story but for some other time. Let’s just say, I was reminded of “what God has joined together…..and you know the rest. I was very spiritually immature.

On to the sweetheart. He was saying goodbye in the doorway and the entrance gave me just the right height to look into his eyes as he was departing...

Spiritual, Travel

How Not to Shake Hands

The world watches as two of our countries most influential elected officials interact. There can be many directions to take the missed handshake, the snubbed handshake, the delay of offer on the handshake. Like in a review of a football play more diligent observation must be performed.



From my angle he turned and was not seeing the hand, he was at a nine-o’clock facing position. Question: If you were being fired and had not exchanged any dialog or communication for five months from the person, would you expect a handshake? That’s one scenario...

Recipes, Spiritual, Travel

How to Make Crispy Bacon

Le”Creuset is what most well appointed kitchen pots/vessels are and today I learned something new thanks to Home and Food on the Hallmark channel. There is always that picky someone, in my case, a child, that just wants “crispy” bacon. Many a piece has been passed up due to not being “crispy” enough. That preference follows them into adulthood and cooking skills being developed and honed.



Yemassee, South Carolina, LeCreuset outlet is the wholesale outlet for all the wholesale stores, at least around here. So my collection of dutch ovens is in all shapes and sizes. Finally today mastering the “crispy” bacon, let me share how it happens...

Family, Recipes, Travel

How to Rock Grits

GRITS. Girls Raised In The South. Got the t-shirt and loved wearing it to Boston where I traveled regularly for work. This is what comes to mind when I see grits as in any grocery store or at the farmers market.




There are different grits meals these days. I just happen to have been part of a winning Shrimp and Grits cooking team and will share a few of the secret ingredients that really set off the dinner meal of shrimp and grits.

The more traditional meal for grits is for breakfast. You know you’re in the south when a line forms upon presentation of a crock pot of grits. Complete with all possible mix-ins. Sausage, bacon, honey, milk, butter, sugar, cheese, salt and pepper. This would be the breakfast setup for grits...

Pony Lady, Spiritual, Travel

How to Prepare for Heaven

Recently reminded of someone dear who went to be with Jesus. She asked me to buy her a large print Bible and help her memorize the Apostles. She wanted to make sure she recognized them when she got to heaven. Well, I’m sure our eyes will be spiritual and this may not apply but she worked hard on that project and her last breath was peaceful.


The book “90 Minutes in Heaven” tells a true story of a pastor who was in an accident and assumed dead as he remained in his car off the side of the road. Another pastor leaving the same conference stopped his car went to the car and crawled from the back of the car and put his hand on the man’s shoulder and prayed and sang. “Jesus loves me” to the man assumed not of this world...

Pets, Spiritual, Travel

How to Visit Nashville

The lanes of I-40 have been expanded to four coming from the east and west into Nashville a few exits before the airport. Its a good thing but there are some hazards. My stay was  outside the city and I spent a week going to Brentwood on the south side of Nashville from the east suburbs.




In self defense you need to match the traffic speed. It was midday on a friday, the two left lanes were moving very fast. I look up at a sign and see HOV + 2 and I look down at my yorkie in my lap and think, “do I count her or the guardian angel for meeting the HOV+2. As fast as I get this thought a sign comes up that defines the HOV+2 as 2 or more “persons”. Squelch that and move over. Got it.
At least I have the right station for country music and ...

Spiritual, Travel

How to Survive an Eight Hour Drive

The Smokey Mountains wore their white fur capes yesterday and it was gorgeous driving through Maggie Valley with snow flurries. It was a long drive but then I found WSM on the am radio. Then the excitement began, not sleepy anymore and it made the driving time pass faster.



Dolly Parton met a super tall man named Joshua and they lived happily ever after in a small cabin with a big black dog. Alan Jackson married a waitress and he didn’t know her name and she was missing a front tooth. Johnny Cash disobeyed his moma and shot a guy in Reno. Could relate to “I was Raised on Country”, hey, me too. Keith Urban was making out in a cop car and singing about it...

Recipes, Spiritual

How to Make a Proper Cup of Tea

Hot tea is soulful. It makes you feel better on a cold day, at breakfast or lunch. In the evening if you have a cough it helps you relax. Of course the hot tea should be suited to the occasion.



Did you know there are references to hot tea in the Bible. You can look them up. Tea has been regarded medicinal since the beginning of time. We fell in love with lavender tea on a trip to Hawaii. In Mexico we frequently had Mayan tea which was similar to Chai with a sweet red pepper spice in it.

There is one way to destroy a lovely cup of tea. We need to share this so we can spare any bitter tea experiences. On a trip to London and a college Eurail summer, we had tea o’le and to this day that is my very favorite way to enjoy tea.

When visiting...