Family, Recipes, Travel

How to Honor a Reunion

Recently I had the great experience to see my high school best friend. Wow, it was as if no time had passed. We laughed and traded memories. Shortly after I met with another friend and he was meeting up with his high school best friend.




I never heard two grown men giggle so much telling stories of dogs chasing them and how they “took care of it”, what were their old girlfriends up to, going to the drive in movies. What a hoot.

From my best friend I got an old fashioned macaroni and cheese recipe and yes already made a batch. The secret is, well there are many secrets. Use large size elbow macaroni, cook the noodles. Add a stick of butter after cooking and draining the noodles...

Family, Spiritual, Travel

How to Break in a Fairmont

In high school one of my girlfriends got a new car. We were intent on a spur of the moment road trip and thought it would be a good idea to drive to Gatlinburg and have donuts watching the sun rise.




Okay. First I had to sneak out for the night so we waited till after bedtime and got on the road. We piled into the brand spanking new silver Fairmont and embarked on the adventure. It was a four hour drive to the mountains in a regular V-6.

We got to the infamous four mile hill  near Monterey, Tennessee, and when the trucks were passing us we knew leaning forward was not gonna get it. Eventually we made it up the hill but it put a crunch in the timeline since one of us had to be back for work in the morning...

Pets, Spiritual, Travel

Asheville to Nashville

Very distracting to drive from Asheville to Nashville in the changing seasons. What an experience.




There are layers of color on mountains. The day we drove, there was snow melting and the trees were bursting out with orange, red and yellow. The road is very curved in places and tractor trailers struggled to make it up the hills and down the reclining elevations which make for all-eyes-on the road. That is a challenge because the scenery is just breathtakingly compelling.

When you hit mile marker 451 that means you are in Tennessee and 451 is the miles from one end to the other for  driving the entire state of Tennessee...

Family, Pony Lady, Travel

Just Do It per Grandma

Nike may think they originated the “just do it” phrase. Not so much.  My Grandma who would now be over one hundred, were she still on terra firma, when in conversation would respond to things we were discussing for choices, “just do it”.



Upon travelling to visit her to introduce her to my soon to be husband, we arrived and she had all the counters covered in her upcoming buffet. At least it would be her smorgasbord after moi cooked and prepared it for her. She had pulled most everything from her freezer including fried shrimp, chicken nuggets, chicken liver, (yep) french fries, various vegetables and the makings for cornbread and hot cakes.

While I was instructed to “just do it” in a most loving grandmotherly voice...

Recipes, Spiritual

How to Make a Layer Salad

Sometimes a healthy salad hits the spot or adds to an entree. A favorite of my family is the layer salad. Traditionally iceberg lettuce is the foundation layer cut into bite size pieces. We prefer using a spring mix or any favorite lettuce.





Soda City on saturdays, has a hydroponic lettuce guy every weekend from 9 to 1. This gives the option of bib lettuce, boston lettuce or a mix for less than what they charge at a grocery store. $3.50 each.

A few weeks ago, it kind of freaked us out when the paper towel I always put with lettuce, to absorb moisture, turned red on the red bib lettuce. We will not be going back to US Foods Chef store for lettuce options. Anyhow lettuce of choice on the bottom layer of the 9 x 12 pyrex glass container...

Family, Spiritual, Travel

How to Encourage Friends

Without words, finding ways to lift someone’s spirit and put new thoughts in their day is a huge paradigm shift. Recently as in during the holidays several people who come across my path frequently told me they were sad during this time of year.




There are memories of loved ones, habits and celebrations that change over the course of time, yet recalling their memories is painful. Our pastor is always eloquently speaking edgy phrases and one we like to quote often is “the ground is level at the foot of the cross”.

On a recent trip there were some rocks with sides, most of them were chunky and bright white...

Family, Spiritual, Travel

How to Be a Teamplayer

There was a skipper of a sailboat doing a solo sailing. This very unfortunate sailor got caught in a storm and washed up on an island. He met a man that had also been shipwrecked on the island. He asked the man observing there was more than one building he had made of island material, “what is the structure you have built over there”? The man replied “that is where I go to church”.




The sailor asked “what is the other building over on the other side? The man replied “that’s where I used to go to church”.

Where is the hope for living with rules, laws, government, other people if you cannot get along with yourself shipwrecked on an island.

The sailor probably fixed his sailboat extra quickly and would have even rowed to get himself clear...

Family, Pets

How to Deal with a Dogbite

Visiting a builder’s home in the neighborhood we were standing in the kitchen of their new home. Then there appeared a hefty lab mix pit bull sort of large dog. He came up to us and we were petting him for some time. While talking to the homeowner and petting looking down occasionally and seeing the dog being still and looking back up.




This went on for a few minutes, more than a few, perhaps ten minutes. For whatever reason the dog suddenly up on his hind legs buries his muzzle in my face next to my nose and in going back down his large upper cuspid fang cuts through my upper lip like butter. Into action we are trying to stop the bleeding and apply ice. I kept saying “I am fine, I am fine”...

Family, Recipes

How to Dress a Pizza

Publix is faithful to have housemade pizza dough. Some locations have a refrigerator dedicated to pizza dough . The multigrain dough is a favorite but often it’s slim pickins and we have to go with the plain dough. If you ever tried to make your own dough it’s a science to get the yeast activation in the range of 68 degrees and above and not go over ninety something or the yeast will not activate.




Going with room temperature is safe but finding a Publix is handy and it’s right around three or four dollars. In the pizza sauce section I like to find Contadina pizza sauce. It’s made with Roma tomatoes and its not too thin, not too thick and priced under two dollars...

Travel

Adult Family Travel

Packing, I had some good reading material and it took the first stop at the first airport gate to lose my book. Man, I was looking forward to reading that book and heck I had already started and about a third of the way through. Then Mom got cold feet and there go my elf socks you are supposed to wear before Christmas. Never saw them till after the vacation was over. Oh, yeah, “may I borrow some lipstick”. Reaching in the purse with all the travel paraphernalia, I pull out the Estee Lauder. Not the Estee Lauder, it’s my favorite. Here goes to mom, cannot have chapped lips changing latitudes and it was a very long trip. Next day comes “see if they have any buttermilk”. Huh? Turns out buttermilk is good for fever blisters. Now on the search in a foreign city for buttermilk in Spanish...