Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Comfort Food

When the weather turns cold, we crave foods that stick to our bones and bring warmth and satisfaction to our bodies.....
I made a hearty homemade beef stew today, chocked full of vegetables, with an aromatic tomato base, and spices.
It's a Southern recipe, easy, and delicious.

Always best accompanied by a skillet of buttermilk cornbread, or it just wouldn't be fitting.

Nothing fancy, just basic:

Beef and Vegetable Stew.
I use stewing beef ( or cut up steak )
A Large onion
Two ribs of celery
Cut up potatoes
Cut up carrots
A large can of whole peeled tomatoes chopped up in bite sized pieces
Can of chili beans with the sauce
Can of green beans
Can of peas
Can of corn if I have it.
Chili powder
Bay leaves (2)
Garlic powder
Parsley leaves ( or dried )
Most anything you like to throw in the pot....sometimes I add cabbage.

Southern CornBread
1 1/3 cups of buttermilk or milk
1/3 cup of vegetable oil or solid shortening (melt if solid shortening)
2 cups of buttermilk cornmeal mix
1teaspoon of sugar (optional)
1 ounce of melted butter
1 egg

Oven temp 450 degrees

Place a cast iron skillet, or cake pan with a small amount of shortening inside the oven until the shortening melts and pan is hot.
Add mixture, bake for 15 / 20 minutes until golden brown.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Nesting Season

A bitter-cold night, ground laden with a hoar frost.
There's whispers of snowfall by morning light.
The kind of evening that lends itself to staying indoors, finishing the Christmas cards, and watching old movies on the television.
A time to nest.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

A Celebration Of Life

They say a testament to a man's worth is how many people go to his funeral. ...

Over the past two days, we have shed tears, laughed, hugged family and friends alike, and said our goodbye's to one of the finest gentleman you would ever wish to meet.
From the moment the funeral home opened it's doors for visitation, until laying our beloved Jimmy to rest, a steady stream of visitors said their goodbyes, shared their stories, and offered their condolences.

Although our hearts were heavy, there was a feeling of peace and tranquility throughout the entire service.
His casket chosen to represent his love of the outdoors was hand-crafted by the Amish, using the wood from native trees, hickory, ash, cedar, oak, maple and poplar and was fittingly named Tennessee Woods.

The pastor, filled our hearts by sharing Jimmy's favorite passages from the bible, and even made us laugh, more than once.
His granddaughter wrote a heartfelt tribute to her grandpa, and found the strength to read it out loud.

At the graveside, the pastor asked if there was ONE word, which described Jimmy, shout it out, and a never-ending stream of words poured from the mouths of friends and family members:


Our granddaughter honored her grandpa's last request, and as we all gathered around his burial plot, the official state song of Tennessee "Rocky Top", played in the background.
A song adopted by his beloved University of Tennessee Volunteers "Big Orange" football team as their rallying song, a song full of fighting spirit, just like Jimmy.
Go rest high on that mountain, Son your work on earth,is done...

Please scroll to the bottom of the page and turn off the PLAYLIST by clicking the LARGE round button, before playing the video.

God didn't promise days without pain, laughter without sorrow, sun without rain, but He did promise strength for the day, comfort for the tears, and light for the way.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Countdown To Thanksgiving

Count your blessings instead of your crosses;
Count your gains instead of your losses.
Count your joys instead of your woes;
Count your friends instead of your foes.
Count your smiles instead of your tears;
Count your courage instead of your fears.
Count your full years instead of your lean;
Count your kind deeds instead of your mean.
Count your health instead of your wealth;
Count on God instead of yourself.

~Author Unknown

A Happy Thanksgiving from our home to yours .......

There's A New Angel In Heaven

Our beloved family member Jimmy was called to his heavenly home, late yesterday afternoon.
He fought a long and courageous battle with his cancer, and was surrounded by his family and friends, when he quietly slipped away to be with the Lord.
It's a sad occasion, one is never prepared to say their goodbyes to a loved one.

When I first posted about Jimmy's illness back in 2009 we were given very little hope, and yet he would never give up, always the positive one and grateful for each day he could spend with his beloved family.

As you go about your Thanksgiving plans, sharing a meal and enjoying family time, please keep us in your thoughts and prayers as we prepare to lay our loved one to rest.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Rainy Days And Mondays

We are having our fair share of rain these past few days, and warmer than normal temperatures for November.
Tomorrow it's predicted to reach a balmy 73 degrees !
Oliver couldn't resist spending time chasing the squirrels, when he had finally called it a day, he was one soaked puddy cat.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

My Life As A Turkey

I have spent this drizzly Sunday afternoon, watching one of the most heartwarming stories of animal and human imprinting.

After a local farmer left a bowl of eggs on Joe Hutto’s front porch, his life was forever changed.
Hutto, possessing a broad background in the natural sciences and an interest in imprinting young animals, incubated the eggs and waited for them to hatch. As the chicks emerged from their shells, they locked eyes with an unusual but dedicated mother.

Deep in the wilds of Florida’s Flatlands, Hutto spent each day living as a turkey mother, taking on the full-time job of raising sixteen turkey chicks. Hutto dutifully cared for his family around the clock, roosting with them, taking them foraging, and immersing himself in their world. In the process, they revealed their charming curiosity and surprising intellect. There was little he could teach them that they did not already know, but he showed them the lay of the land and protected them from the dangers of the forest as best he could. In return, they taught him how to see the world through their eyes.

Before watching the movie, please scroll to the bottom of the page, to the playlist and click the LARGE ROUND BUTTON, to turn off the music.

Watch My Life as a Turkey on PBS. See more from NATURE.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Autumn Meadows

To Autumn

Come, pensive Autumn, with thy clouds, and storms,
And falling leaves, and pastures lost to flowers;
A luscious charm hangs on thy faded forms,
More sweet than Summer in her loveliest hours,
Who, in her blooming uniform of green,
Delights with samely and continued joy:
But give me, Autumn, where thy hand hath been,
For there is wildness that can never cloy, -
The russet hue of fields left bare, and all
The tints of leaves and blossoms ere they fall.
In thy dull days of clouds a pleasure comes,
Wild music softens in thy hollow winds;
And in thy fading woods a beauty blooms,
That's more than dear to melancholy minds.

~ John Clare 1821

Friday, November 11, 2011

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved, and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

In Flanders Fields ~ Lt.-Col. John McCrae (1872 - 1918)

Dedicated to all the brave men and women whose unselfish sacrifices and bravery shall never be forgotten.

Thank You.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

November Days

Oliver and I stayed outside until daylight had diminished.
Dark at five fifteen now that we have returned to daylight shifting time.

I captured a few more flowers in bloom on this warm November day, the Coreopsis added to the Autumn palette, and is full of tiny black seeds.

Over the arbor, the climbing antique rose has several new blooms, The canes are filled with new buds just waiting to burst open, but sadly after Wednesday's predicted freeze they will have lost their chance.

Ever faithful Petunias still blooming their little hearts out.

And let me introduce you to Albert, my potting shed butler.....
He doubles as my Halloween candy server, with eyes which move left and right, and an entire repertoire of English butler sayings to his credit.
It's quite a surprise when the door to the potting shed is opened, and Albert introduces himself !

Monday, November 7, 2011

November In Bloom

It's been a balmy 72 degrees on this November day.
Oliver and I took advantage of what is to be the last warm days of Autumn, with a hard freeze predicted by mid-week.

There are still plenty of Summer blooms around to enjoy, although not quite the Autumn palette

The Knock-Out Roses have grown by leaps and bounds this second year, I'll be sad to see them perish.

And guess what decided to treat us to one last showing of color ?
The November !
Curiouser and curiouser

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Pottering Days

We were gifted with yet, another perfect Autumn day.
Blue skies and sunshine.

A day spent pottering about the garden, stacking plant pots, arranging shelves in the potting shed, dipping fallen-leaves out of the pond.

The geese flew south overhead.
Squirrels busily transported their overwinter stash to secret hiding places.
Birds feathered their nests.
Wild turkeys led their flock to the nightly roost.

Autumn, the year’s last, loveliest smile.
~William Cullen Bryant

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Autumn Mists

The morning mists, quietly gather and gently wrap the rain-soaked earth.

Morning Mist

In the morning, skies so gray,
Before the sun lights up the day,
I chanced upon a morning mist
That left the leaves and grasstips kissed
With the aqua of the dew,
It left a feeling with me, too
Something old and something new;
Something that comes with the mist again,
Never what, but always when.

Friday, November 4, 2011

A Simple Day

Some days it's good to do nothing.
No deadlines to meet, no chores to complete, no lists to check twice.
A day to lounge in the comfort of your pajamas and woolly socks, to gaze out of the window and watch the falling leaves drift slowly to the ground.
A day for sipping cups of tea and curling up by the fireside with a portly feline at your side.
A simple day.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Nesting Days

What a difference a day makes.
Yesterday, we had blue skies and warm temperatures, today has turned chilly and rained throughout the entire day.
I'm not complaining, I love overcast, rainy days.
The nesting days, the kind of day when you can busy yourself with household chores, read a good book, or catch up with old friends.
The sky may be grey, but inside it's warm and cozy......

The rain has hastened the leaf-falling

I've started giving the Blue Willow dishes, their annual bath

The aroma of Shepherd's Pie is filling the kitchen

Serve with a slice of pickled beetroot or a few pickled onions on the side .
Sit fireside to eat.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Autumn Tic Tac Toe

The sun has shone all day, almost summertime weather.
If I were to close my eyes, I would have thought it to be the middle of August.

The Oak Leaves are finally taking their bow, show over........

Autumn sky leaving the jet contrails in it's warm moist air.