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...

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...

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...