Friday, July 29, 2011

Charlene aka Charlie's Memories

Charlene sent me a message on FB and here are some of her favorite memories...I need her to post on here...

  • the dogwood tree at Memma's ...all of the kids climbed that dogwood tree..not sure how it is still, grandkids, great-grandkids...all had a shot at that tree...
  • Making mud pies and tasting them...that is a classic...Charlene I had forgotten how we used to do that...We did that at Memma's and on the old farm across the railroad tracks..out under that big old shade tree
  • Shock theater on Saturday night...Ha that is a good one..I used to watch that with Mama
  • Riding in the back of my that had to be a treat!!  Especially as I was learning to drive the stick shift..
  • And, she remembers Lay's slaw dogs...Lordy, how good were they?  I loved those.
And a few more:

  • That peanut butter candy (hard shell candy) at Elmore's
  • Cashews at Elmore's - they don't taste the same anymore
  • Doing the hula hoop on the square in S'boro trying to sell the hula hoops for Elmore's (Dime Store)
  • Going to the gin with Granddaddy with a wagon load of cotton and watching that big old tube come down into the wagon and Granddaddy would move that thing around and suck up the cotton
  • Drinking Kool-Aid on hot summer days
  • Making home made ice cream in the old hand crank ice cream makers
  • Memma's blackberry cobbler's on Sunday
  • Memma's hot banana pudding with the meringue on top
  • Memma's poor man's cobbler
  • Aunt Lorene's cornbread
  • Aunt Lorene's scrambled eggs
  • Me, Jean and Charles sitting in the barn loft and a big old black snake got between us and the ladder to go down....
  • Me and Jean going "partially" skinny dipping in a creek out at Skyline and Charles stealing our Clothes and we had to walk up the road to the house in our underwear..(what we sent swimming in)
  • Ms. Fern playing the piano at the L'ville Methodist Church
  • Cousin Sammy
  • Me and Carol always talking about "hobo'ing a train
  • Revival at the L'ville Methodist Church
  • Summer Vacation Bible School 
Keep the good old days coming..boys and girls.

More from Charlene:
Stomping around the mud holes at Memma's after a fresh rain...with Memma and her big size 10 foot right behind us...and Boyd shooting Jo with a BB gun and Ilene getting a belt after him....
Hugh Latham's store...getting potato chips, coke and a candy bar from the store for 25 cents...
Black and white TV's and having to go outside and turn the antenna to get another station...we only got three..that is a good one, Charlene ..and she says having to stomp the floor to make the TV stop rolling.  Also, when Jo would see company coming up the dirt driveway..she would grab a broom and sweep stuff under the rug (we used to do that too). And, listening to Johnny Horton...some of Cecil's favorite music and dancing around while listening.  Good times!!!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Comments from Danny - Remembering and loving LA - Larkinsville

Ya'll, (Paula, honey you do not have the market on that word) read Danny's comments!  If you cannot see them, let me know and I will post.  He posted some great remembrances from Larkinsville!!  What memories.  I remember Pop Verhine and Ms. Verhine and sweet Ms. Henderson.  Ms. Fern and her flaming red heart ( I should be the one to talk to day...Ha ha).  And, of course, Mr. and Mrs. Petty who were the postmasters.  Also, Raye Woosley...she was the light of my life.  She was the postmaster for awhile and I spent a lot of time with her.  I wanted to put mail in those little cubes when I grew up.  Splitting posts...yes - and I remember the strangers that used to come to town to split those posts, too.  Also, hobos were known to get off they train in Larkinsville and go from house to house, asking for food. 

You know, we didn't have two nickels to rub together growing up, but we were pretty darned happy for the most part.  Eating those pinto beans and cornbread - we were lucky to have that.  I miss all of those people in Larkinsville.  Ms. Metcalf, Ms. Bernice ---do you all remember her and those bulldogs she had?  They used to scare the crap out of me. 

And, all of the women at the Methodist Church?  What cooks they were.  And, Houston and Evelyn ---I loved them so much.  They were good people.  They did so much for all of us kids when we were growing up and going to the church there.  We had Christmas plays and they did it all for us....I will never forget them. 
Gosh, was it just yesterday?

Ways to a Younger You??? And, Hey, Panty Hose are Back???

This was from Self on line.  I haven't tried any of these products so, just sharing with my lady friends.


Diminish Dimples

The number of fat cells you have is determined by your DNA, but your diet and lifestyle can make them grow. (Oh, no!) When they plump up, they can press against skin's top layers, creating that tell-tale rippling effect. There are a slew of creams that might help, but most dermatologists still say the holy grail ingredient is caffeine, which draws water from cells, temporarily giving skin a tighter look.
Caffeine-laced Rodial Arm Sculpt, $79, firms.   Brenda says:  You can also make a caffeine body scrub using coffee can use instant coffee.  I will find the recipe and post.

Glow Head to Toe

The skin on your body ages the same way the skin on your face does: Cell turnover slows and collagen breaks down, causing scaliness and sagging, says Elizabeth Tanzi, M.D., codirector of the Washington Institute of Dermatologic Laser Surgery in Washington, D.C. Keep skin supple with a body cream that contains exfoliating acids to remove dry layers. And look on the label for H²O-attracting hyaluronic acid and collagen-building peptides to soften and firm.
Essential fatty acids in Fresh Seaberry Restorative Body Cream. 
Your neck gets major sun—and lots of us don't use sunscreen there. Lighten sun spots by applying a hydroquinone cream at night and a sunscreen every A.M.
Hide cellulite with St. Tropez Self Tan Bronzing Mousse, $40.
Increase circulation and make cellulite less noticeable by buffing dry skin with Elemis Body Brush, $44.

Erase Fine Lines

There aren't many sebaceous glands in the neck, so skin can get extra dry, saggy and creased. To fight wrinkles, apply an antiaging face cream or a neck-specific treatment (the latter will typically be richer in texture) packed with mega moisturizers (for example, hyaluronic acid and ceramides) found in abundance in healthy, young skin.
Three-in-one La Prairie Advanced Marine Biology Revitalizing Emulsion for face, eyes and neck, $135, uses marine algae to firm where you need it.
Vanilla planifolia blossom and fruit extracts in La Creme from Chanel.
Sleep deprivation doesn't only wreck your mood; it can also hamper the production and quality of collagen, a building block of healthy skin, Medical Hypotheses reports. If you get six to eight hours of sleep a night, over time you'll look as refreshed as you feel.
Anti-inflammatories, like horse chestnut and witch hazel extract, in Votre Vu C'est La Vie Slimming Gelée, $69, smooth skin

Hey, Panty Hose are back?
Shall we thank Kate Middleton?  She was seen on her tour of Canada and the US, wearing panty hose.  I see that Wolford Naked 8's and Satin Touch 20's are selling like wildfire.  Hmm....well, her legs certainly looked great.  However, I thought panty hose were a thing of the past.  Darn it!  I am gonna have to get me some! 

Dextox Your Life --From the Today Show

I saw this online from the Today Show and I wanted to share with you:

In your garden
Before dousing your lawn with chemicals, try TLC: Water with a soaking hose, add weed-inhibiting mulch to garden beds, and set the mower for 3 inches (as longer grass shades and stifles weeds). Got a weed you can't stand? Try herbicides made with corn gluten meal or vinegar.
At the market
You can consume nearly 80 percent fewer pesticides by eating organicversions of the 12 most contaminated items, the Environmental Working Group (EWG) concludes. The worst produce is apples, followed by celery, strawberries, peaches, spinach, imported nectarines, imported grapes, bell peppers, potatoes, domestic blueberries, lettuce and kale.
On your table
Some fast food wrappers and bags, pizza boxes and microwave popcornbags contain oil- and water-repelling chemicals that transfer to and metabolize in the body, forming likely carcinogens, says Jessica D'eon, Ph.D., a researcher in the department of chemistry at the University of Toronto. The EPA is working to eliminate the chemicals by 2015; until then, they're yet another reason to cut back on grease bombs.
In your Closet
The dry-cleaning fluid perchloroethylene (PERC) can cause headaches and liver and kidney damage. "And a newer method swaps out PERC for D-5, which caused uterine cancer in lab animals," Dr. Solomon says. "Wet cleaning" or carbon dioxide methods are ideal. If you dry-clean, keep clothes bagged while driving home so you don't pollute your car, then toss bags and air clothes outside or in an apartment stairwell for an hou
In your jewelry box
In tests of costume jewelry with metal, most from China, 19 percent contained the carcinogen cadmium, reports Jeff Weidenhamer, Ph.D., professor of chemistry at Ashland University. "Small exposures to cadmium can add up and cause kidney and bone damage," he says. Buy locally made bling, and ask artisans where they get materials.
Around your home
Your Swiffer isn't organic, but it can reduce toxins. "Chemicals can piggyback on dust," Dadd explains. Women whose breast milk contained the fire retardant Deca, which animal studies link to problems with memory and attention, also had Deca in their vacuum-bag dust, EWG found. Dust surfaces and floors weekly, take off your shoes and wipe pets' paws at the door (so no one tracks in chemicals), and change filters in your central-air system at least once a year. Then breathe easy.

Okay, I shared with you...I copied this from that site and I tell you what, this will make you think!  Organic for me from now own.  And, don't tell me that our parents ate and did all of this stuff...look at the life expectancy back then...This makes sense to me.  My Memma and Granddaddy fertilized their garden, but I bet they never put harsh chemicals on anything they grew and chickens were fed corn that they grew, etc.  Hmm.  What arel your thoughts on this?  Make sense?

Disturbing Reports Today in the News - America's Children Mal-Nurished?

There are disturbing reports today on two fronts:  First of all, I read that Doctors in a hospital in Boston report seeing more children that are thin due to the fact that parents cannot afford to provide proper nutrition for them.  This is very disturbing.  What can be done?  The article is saying that parents are without jobs and are having to make do the best that they can.  I am all for charity and I am certainly all about children's rights and protecting children all over the world.  Folks, someone always said (and I don't know who said this but..) charity begins at home.  We need to step up to the plate and make sure that America's children have enough food, medical care and clothes to keep them warm.  So, apparently society, charitable organizations are failing in this aspect.  Your thoughts on this?  What can be done? 

Secondly, I read that an increased number of suicides among women age 40 to 69.  In fact this article says that suicides are spiking. 
A new report from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) shows a 49 percent increase in emergency department visits for drug-related suicide attempts for women aged 50 and older.
And women aged 40-69 are more at risk of killing themselves than other women, according to new research on age-specific suicide rates between 1998 and 2007. In 2007, this age group made up 60 percent of the 7,328 suicides reported among women.

But why middle-aged women?
Must be a question of numbers: One in four adults in the U.S. has a treatable mental health condition, and middle-aged women are one of the fastest-growing populations in the country.
Or it may have something to do with baby boomers’ higher rates of substance abuse, an important risk factor in suicide, said Julie Phillips, Ph.D., a social demographer and associate professor at Rutgers University in New Jersey. Phillips calculated the age-specific rates from data from the National Center for Health Statistics and the Census Bureau. And during the nine-year time period she studied, suicide rates are fairly stable for women younger than 40, and for women older than 70, suicide rates are actually on the decline.
Women over 50 may also be in crisis because pain and sleep disorders — common problems with aging — can lead to an increased use of prescription drugs, according to Albert Woodward, Ph.D.,  the project director of SAMHSA’s Drug Abuse Warning Network. According to the SAMHSA report, suicide attempts involving drugs to treat anxiety and insomnia increased 56 percent. Woodward adds that older women may experience depression because of health changes and other negative life events.
Loneliness and depression are also suicide risk factors. "Older women especially in the U.S. are more isolated and separated from daily human contact outside of work and the internet," says Ellyn Kaschak, Ph.D., emeritus professor of psychology at San Jose State University and the editor of the journal Women & Therapy.
Dr. LeslieBeth Wish, a psychologist and licensed clinical social worker in Sarasota, Fla., has found through her online surveys, lectures and focus groups a startling increase in suicide attempts with women ages 45 to 54. Women are susceptible to depression but older women may also be suffering from pre-menopause hormone fluctuations that can affect mood changes and depression. Also, existing long-term illnesses such as lupus or multiple sclerosis can worsen and breast cancers and other cancers might be diagnosed.
Dr. Wish also says middle-aged women are more aware of their mortality and may be disappointed and disillusioned that it’s too late for happiness. Transitioning to becoming an empty nester can also be stressful for women.
“Mental illness is a real debilitating illness,” Farhat says. “But unlike someone who is physically disabled, no one holds the door open for a person on the street having hallucinations.

So, this is very disturbing.  Women of this age has so much to live for and so much to be happy about.  If you are having sleep disorders, etc., try natural remedies.  Talk to your doctor.  Talk to your family, talk to your friends.  I am not a professional, so I cannot tell anyone what to do, but wanted to share this with you. 

Be Happy! 

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

I Remember the Simple Things in Life, do you?

A facebook friend posted a message about putting peanuts in a bottle of coke.  Can you remember doing that?  Let's make a list of things that we remember doing when we were oh so young at heart and loved life (not that we don't now).  We were all once so young and innocent.  So, here goes:

I remember:
  • Pouring a pack of salty peanuts in a bottle of coca cola (you know the small bottle).
  • Eating moon pies - but Michael, not with the RC Cola (R O C Cola)
  • Banana sandwiches - How many of you have had a banana and mayo sandwich?  I still eat them today.
  • Fried bologna sandwiches - and those of you from Scottsboro know that for lunch, we would walk to the Variety Bake Shop and get a fried bologna sandwich (with mustard of course) for 15 cents
  • Those gooey cinnamon rolls from Variety Bake Shop with lots of nuts on top...what were they called?
  • Tomato and mayo sandwiches...Yummy and you have to put lots of mayonnaise on the bread (that is about the only time that I like a lot of mayo).  Oh, don't forget the salt. 
  • Watermelon...My granddaddy giving me 50 cents to buy a big old watermelon from a truck farmer...bringing it home and slicing it up.  All of us kids would sit out under the shade tree at Memma's picnic table watermelon juice dripping down our arms.  And, of course, we didn't forget the salt.
  • Spitting those watermelon seeds across the picnic table at each other.
  • Fried chicken on Sunday after church.  Always hoped that the preacher didn't eat with us, because he always got the best piece.  Back then, I liked the pulley bone.  Hey, do you see the pulley bone anymore?
  • Holding onto the pulley bone with a cousin and breaking it apart to see who got the longest piece. (Who knows that means?  I have forgotten).
  • Twisting the core or stem of an apple, saying the ABC's and whatever letter the thingy broke off on, we had to name a boyfriend whose name began with that letter.
  • Sucking the juice out of a honeysuckle.
  • Blowing on a blackberry before popping it in our mouths...
  • Hodges Drug store, for those of you like me from Scottsboro area ---they had the best spiced ham sandwiches around and fountain cokes. 
  • First Monday - Scottsboro Alabama, when you couldn't find a parking spot to save your life and forget about Labor Day because cars were parked all of the way to Larkinsville.
  • Grape cobbler - yes, Memma made a grape cobbler with grapes picked from her grape vines.
  • Smoking rabbit tobacco (rolled up in strip of paper sack).  Come on, admit it, you tried it.  Well, if you were from Larkinsville you did. And, hey, we thought it was rabbit tobacco anyway.
  • Walking the railroad tracks --you know the shiny silver rail...trying to balance yourself and not fall off.
  • Putting a penny on the railroad tracks and going back after the train ran over it, to find it.
  • The first time you found out what Mountain Oysters were...
  • Do you remember the first time that you found out that you wouldn't live forever?
  • Do you remember that anytime you mentioned some one's name in front of your Memma, how she would always figure out how you were related?  Even if it was a boyfriend? She always found a way to have you a cousin of a cousin...or kinfolk some way or another.
  • Being excited to go to your Grandparent's house on Christmas Eve?  Knowing that they would have a crate of oranges and a crate of apples for all of the grand kids to enjoy?  Yes, I do mean in a wooden crate.
  • Smelling the smell of Christmas in Memma's right after Thanksgiving?  Because that is when she started baking those delicious cakes for Christmas?
  • Picking cotton and the smell of fresh fallen due on the cotton in the mornings?
  • The sound of a choo choo (freight train) train going by in the middle of the night?
  • Getting candy thrown at you from the engineers on the freight train?   Especially when we were picking or hoeing cotton in the field by the RR tracks? 
  • Finding a watermelon in the middle of the cotton patch and eating the heart right out of it?  Never happened to me, but some people say it happened to them.
  • Eating a persimmon before it was ripe?  That really made your pucker pucker.
  • Always wondering what the heck was inside that big old green thing that grew on trees and fell off in the road...I think they were called crab apples?
  • Looking for arrowheads in the middle of a field?
  • Digging for Indian beads?
  • Going fishing with a fishing cane and a can of worms?
  • Eating dirt?  Putting dirt in an old snuff can and pretending that it is snuff?  Because, whether you want to admit it or not, back in the day, someone in  your family was a dipper!
  • Getting those Cuckleberries (is that what they are called?) all in your hair?  Really twisted up good in your hair?
  • Playing in a fresh pile of leaves?  Making a "pretend" car out of the leaves and scattering them all over the yard?
  • Playing Annie Over?
  • Playing drop the handkerchief at parties when you were a teen?
  • Being taken Sniper hunting for the first time?
  • Finding a baby bird on the ground and trying to nurse it along so that it could fly?
  • Planting seeds - flower seeds, seeds in the garden, and watching them grow?
  • Walking the tommy walkers in elementary?
  • A 5&10 cents store (way before the dollar store).  Not sure why it was called the 5&10 or the Dime store, because everything cost more..but they sold everything from candy to clothes, to bras..which reminds me of a funny story that I may have already shared, about the man coming into the dime store to buy a bra for his wife and when I asked what size, he looked puzzled.  He held out his hands and told me that she was about the size of a grapefruit.  Hmm.
  • Going to the movie theater ...the Ritz in S'boro or the Bocanita...
  • Slipping into the drive-in....Piling kids into the trunk of a car..yes, some of my FB friends...if you search your memory a little bit, you can remember that we did that.  Pulled into the parking meter thing and parked beside someone we knew..yes, we sort of kind of got nailed.
  • Swimming at the Jackson County Park..hanging out when we were young.  We also used to go parking down there. 
Okay, I will have to think of some more things, but what do you all remember?

Monday, July 25, 2011

Baby Will at Scottish Rite - no pain blood work

I went with my daughter-in-law, Stephanie to take Will (who is three) to have an ultrasound and blood work.  I think Steph and I were both dreading the blood work.  I hate needles.  I asked Steph if they were going to prick his finger, and she said, "no".  So, I knew that I would probably pass out ...but they asked Stephanie if she wanted  Will to have this "numbing lotion".  They explained that we would have to wait 30 minutes for it to take effect.  Well, we both said, "yes".  After, 30 minutes, they took Will back to draw 3 tubes of blood.  We never heard a peep out of him.  Stephanie was holding him in her lap and the nurse kept asking her if she was going to be alright.  I kept my head turned away from the needle.  Will sat there and watched cartoons and never even booed!  How neat is that.  I told the nurse about my fear of needles and she said for me to always ask for a pediatric needle in the future instead of letting them use one of those "horse" needles on me.  I will certainly remember that. 

And, Will was just the best!!!

Comments from my Best Friend--Is it hot enough for you?

I hope all of you can see Carol's comments.  She has posted some good stuff.  I am going to have to give her blogging rights.  How cool would that be to hear from both of us?

And, how hot was it this weekend.  It was so hot I sweated bullets!  We had a great time at Michelle's and Kramer's on Sunday.  We had the best burgers in the world, thanks to the master griller, Kevin.  Watermelon, chips and dip, burgers and what a feast.

And, over the weekend, I got my hair cut short, yes short. And, sort of kind of red!  Well, it was time for a change.  We will see how long this lasts...the color that is.  The cut will have to hang around for awhile.  Change is good, right?

Friday, July 22, 2011


So, again, I am on my soapbox about magazines that never ever feature women past their 40's.  We may be into our 40's, 50's, yadda, yadda, but we are not past our prime.  We still have spark, we still have get up and go and we can still rock it out with the best of them.  Right?  I mean, heck, men can do it.  Now, yes, we do have a few wrinkles, well, maybe more than a few.  We have the stresses of life on our face, the worries of struggling, the pain of some of life's experiences written all across our faces.  But, we have wisdom, we have power and we know what the you know what we are talking about.  So, this is my latest gripe.  I want and need a new hairstyle.  So, I buy several magazines...Hairstyle, Short HairStyles, etc.  Everyone of the hairstyles in those magazines feature girls in their 20's and 30's.  I have nothing against girls in their 20's and 30's.  I have daughters that age.  I have daughter-in-laws that age.  I love them and God Bless them. But, how the heck do I know if one of those hairstyles works for me?   Have you ever picked out a hairstyle from one of those magazines and excitedly trotted off to your stylist for the cut only to recant later, "what the shystola have I done?"  So, maybe there should be a hairstyle magazine that shows some of those same hairstyles on women with a few signs of having lived?  Hmm--maybe we could call it..not Hairstyles for old women for sure.  How about ...oh, no, I have it.  Hey, Carol, I have the name for our magazine,  honey!  Bitchy Old Women!! BOW!! We have the right!! We have earned it!!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Healthy Foods for Women -

We all need to eat healthy.  These foods will help in the anti-aging process, some fight wrinkles and boosts your mood. 
  • Wild Alaskan Salmon (I think this is recommended by Dr. Perricone)  This is rich in Omega 3's which boosts mood and fights depressions.  Also, is great for your skin.  You should have 2 servings of fish per week.
  • Wild blueberries - boosts memory and is an ultimate anti-aging good high in anti-oxidants to help fight wrinkles.  1/2 cup to 1 cup of berries per day.
  • Oats - Lowers cholesterol and is rich in fiber which makes you feel full and helps control your weight.  Steel cut oats has much more fiber. Eat oats and whole grains throughout the day.  The Heart Association recommends 25 to 30 grams a day.
  • Broccoli - May help prevent breast cancer by fighting excessive estrogen.  Rich in vitamin C and a good source of vitamin A.  Less than 30 calories per serving.  Eat 2 or more 1/2 cupfuls per week.
  • Walnuts - Great snack food.  Rich in proteins, fiber, minerals and Omega 3's.  Eat about 12 walnut halves daily.  Boosts brain power, lowers cholesterol, makes you sleep better, prevents heart disease helps you cope with stress, cancer fighter. 
  • Avocados - Yes they are high in fat but the good fat.  It is a heart healthy monosaturated fatty acid that can help you lose belly fat. Packs higher amounts of potassium, magnesium, folate, protein and vitamins E and K.  1/2 avocado a day.  I love to put avocado slices on sandwich. Try it with turkey or tomato.
  • Red Beans - Beans, beans good for your heart..the more you eat, the more you..feel better.  Rich in antioxidants, proteins, minerals fibers including resistant starch which seems to boosts the bodies ability to burn fat.  Canned beans are a good option.  Eat 3 cups a week.
  • Greek Yogurt - Rich in calcium and very good for those old bones.  Fat-free yogurt has twice as much protein as regular yogurt.  Eat at least 3 servings of dairy a day.  Greek yogurt is a good swap for sour cream.
  • Olive oil - Heart Healthy, great for your skin and studies are showing this protects against Alzheimer's Disease.  It is great for you hair and your skin (topical). Good to get 2 TBSP per day.
  • Dark Chocolate - No list would be complete without this.  Rich in antioxidants and studies show that dark chocolate may hydrate the skin and lower blood pressure.  Too, it may sharpen your thinking.  One quarter ounce a day is recommended.
  • Almonds - great snack food.  Helps in losing weight.  Rich in vitamins D and A and low in saturated fat.
What else is good for you?  Beef  - lean - the zinc may build up immunity and fight iron deficiency
Green Tea - Drinking 4 cups a day helps burn about 80 calories.  When I was trying to lose weight, I really drank the green tea. 
Kefir - Probiotics - helps with digestion and Lentils - great source of energy.

So, there you have it.  And, drink that water.  Can I have my chocolate now?

Great Sleep

I am one of those who tosses and turns.  My husband's head hits the pillow and he is out like a light.  Not me.  I found these tips to make you sleep better. After all, we do want to get rid of those dark circles under our eyes, right?

  • Watch your afternoon drinks - stick to water, no caffeine
  • If you feel the need for a snack before bedtime, try cottage cheese and banana slices or milk and graham crackers.  Do not eat heavy after 6PM.
  • Alcohol tends to decrease deep sleep and increase arousals from you will wake up in the middle of the night or about 2 lay off of the booze after a certain hour..Especially late at night..
  • A hot bath --tends to make it harder for you to doze off because it raises your body temperature
A dark room may make you sleep better. 

Feeling Younger - Nix Your Naysayer - Part II

I studied with Marc Chatov, an excellent portrait painter, and he suggested that we read, "The Artist Way" by Julia Cameron.  This is an excellent book.  One thing she recommended is that each morning, the first thing you do when you awake, is right down all of the negative.  Get it out of your system.  Slay the naysayer.  Get rid of the negative.  Take five minutes and do this each day.  This helps to provide you with more positive energy.  And, keeps things that you want to do fresh in your mind.  And, don't let the nayslayers hold you back.  Do you know someone who is always telling you that you are stupid for trying to do or wanting to do something that is really important to you?  Don't talk to them about it.  Find someone who is encouraging and positive.  This will make you feel good about yourself and make you feel young.

Want to Feel and Look Younger? Part 1

We all want to look and feel younger.  Yes, you have heard me rant about seeing all of those flighty, little scrawny girls that grace our magazines.  Well, fight back.  Here are some tips!
  • Get 8 Hours of Sleep
  • Start you meals with fruits/veggies and a full glass of water
    • Loading up on fruits and vegetables will make you feel recharged
    • Eat 90% healthy and 10% (fun stuff)
  • Do strength training - Will make you feel 20 years younger
    • Weight training makes microtears in muscle which leads your body to generate thicker, stronger muscle fiber --Focus on the lower body and core
    • My doctor advised this type of exercise to make me less vulnerable to injuries (bone breakage, etc.)
    • Go to the gym or get a set up dumbbells ---do squats and lunges, calf raises 2 to 3 sets of 10 reps at least 3 times a week. 
    • Walking is also good
Now, that we have our exercise out of the way...It's okay to want to feel good about how you look.  Remember the song, "You're So Vain" by Carley Simon?  Well, go ahead, be vain.  Who gives a flip.  Feel good about yourself.  Cover that gray and buy that fancy face cream.  Bio-oil and Moroccan oil is good for your face and skin.  Also, you know how I love my coconut oil. Pro-longing the vitality of your skin, hair and your body will make you feel good about yourself and more confident.  Hey, and you want give two flips how old you are because the new forty is sixty.  So there!

Remember, to feel younger, you need to mix things up a bit.  Don't do the same exercises every day.  Don't use the same shampoo or face cream.  After awhile, the same things lose their effect..  And, I recently read that the brain craves change.  To feel younger, you need to make little changes in your routine.  In a recent Harvard study, people who were placed in an environment that resembled their youth ...moves music and memorabilia from the past....experienced marked improvement in their memory, vision, happiness level and overall health.  This shows that our mind set limits us says one researcher.  (Ellen Langer, PH.D, author of "Counterclockwise".  So, do something that really takes you back in time.  Check out this photo.  My friend from childhood came over to my son's rehearsal dinner.  She made me feel twenty years younger.  Look how happy we looked.

Monday, July 18, 2011

40's 50's and 60's

Here I go again.  However, I am sick of picking of magazines and seeing pictures of skinny models in their twenties.  And, in the one and only magazine that supposedly is for the "older generation", one sees women in their mid thirties or early forties.  So, we are either seeing women who don't know what a wrinkle is or someone that is decrepit.  I want to see someone with a little frizz in their hair ...yes, as my hairdresser said, it's age that is causing your hair to look so "dead".  I want to see someone that is sixty that has attitude.  Helen Mirren is sexy as all get out.   She rocks whatever the heck she wears, even the bikini.  I don't want to look at her and say, "wow, look at that over sixty-something lady".  I want to look at her and think, "she looks good".  End of story.  Not for her age.  Just, she looks good.  Don't give a crap how old she is. 
And, also, I am sick of hearing that you cannot find another job at "our age".  If I am eighty years old and want to sell cow piles on a corner, then let me do it.  If I am eighty and want to start a new career, well, society, kiss off and let me do whatever the heck I want.  Okay, I am off of my soapbox.  But, world stop discriminating against us old broads. 

Charming Charlie's - Shop for Costume Jewelry, Purses, etc.

 Do you recall Sarah Coventry jewelry?  I would love to have vintage Sarah Coventary.  Not sure what happened to all of that jewerly that my Mom and Aunts wore back in the day.  My Aunt Ilene (yes, besides baking, she used to make beautiful "ear bobs").  Yes, she did, back in the day.  Well, that gets me to Charming Charlie's, a chain boutique of sorts.  One can find all kinds of colorful jewerly, pearls, earrings, rings, etc.  You can find anything your little heart desires and the prices are fantastic.  I bought several things there this weekend.  I bought one of those plastic colorful watches for $10 and they sell the real thing at Nordstrom's for..?? maybe $65.  Anyway, ladies, if you need something to go with that little black dress that you do not want to pay an arm and a leg for, check out Charming Charlie's.  It's a great little place to find purses, clothes, and jewelry.  Also, this fall, when you are looking for leggings, check them out at this store.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Painting Painting Painting

What to paint next? I have been working on the dreadful Aspen trees and a portrait of Linda and Matt's dog, Techs (after Georgia Tech) and their cat.  The reference photo wasn't great and I changed phones and now have lost my reference.  So, I am moving on and am going to paint from the photographs I took while in Colorado.  I think I am going to paint a picture of the snowy mountains.  Then, I am going to paint my lion and a giraffe.  Might see what I can do with the zebra, too.  I will post pictures soon.

Happy Friday

Good Morning!  Happy Friday.  Thanks to Ms. Linda, I had the best pineapple last night.  It was so fresh.  She got it at the Farmer's Market near the airport.  So good.  I am going to have to try that place out.  Her Mom also bought a bushel of corn and sent me some of it.  It was really good.  I put it on the grill and tried one of the recipes that I have posted. 
I talked to my Aunt this morning who lives over in Alabama and they are busy as bees canning green beans and getting all of the veggies out of the garden.  They just got some okra.  Wow, wish I was over there.  Someone brought them some pink eye green peas from their garden.  I have never heard of pink -eye peas, have you all?  I have had black-eyed peas and English peas, but have no idea what pink eyed peas are.  Doesn't sound too good to me.

Yes, five o'clock this morning, I was up and at the gym.  I did 20 minutes on the treadmill and then I hit those weight machines.  I worked my abs, arms and legs.   This is maybe my third week of gym activity and I can tell that the giggle in my arm is not as giggly anymore!  Yee haw!!  Please, Lord, let me keep this up.  The other night, I went to the gym, did 25 minutes on the treadmill (1.5miles), the weights, yadda yadda. Then, I came home and ate two containers of weight watchers ice cream.  That is okay, huh?  I ate the first container, looked around to see where Tom was, and quietly got the other one out of the freezer.  Yummy, butter pecan.

There was a time that eating didn't bother me.  I would eat sausage and biscuits trying to gain weight.  Oh, yea!  That was back in the day.  Have a great weekend!!!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

High School Reunion - October 2011

I have yet to attend a high school reunion. Why?  Well, I just have my reasons I guess.  And, that is neither here nor there; however, this year, I plan on attending the reunion.  It is going to be sad, though.  I am going to look around and there are those that are no longer with us that will be missed.  Thanks to Arnold for putting together that video and thanks to Arnold, Wanda, Nancy, Denny, Ginger and a slew of others for making me want to go this year.  Am looking forward to it.

Now, I remember oh so well, my cousin, Charles Utter...I wish that he could be there but I will go and I will think of him and how I used to do his homework for him.

I cannot name them all...but Arnold, you did them proud with your video. 

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Drought in East Africa - You Can Make A Difference - Fill the Cup

From CBS News Website: 
(AP)  GENEVA — U.N. officials sounded the alarm Tuesday about a deepening humanitarian crisis in East Africa caused by a severe drought and fighting in Somalia, and warned that tens of thousands of children are at risk of dying.

The U.N. children's agency, UNICEF, said 65,000 children in Kenya alone are at acute risk of dying — a threefold increase since 2009. In Somalia, the agency said, one in six children are now dying before their fifth birthday.

Children are suffering the worst effects of malnutrition and exhaustion on the long foot journeys through the sunbaked region.

Meanwhile, the World Health Organization has warned that the movement of people and poor sanitation in overcrowded camps and towns is increasing the risk of cholera, typhoid and measles epidemics.

Overall some 10 million people in northern Kenya, Ethiopia, Somalia, Eritrea and South Sudan require emergency assistance across the region because of the worst regional drought in 60 years, the global body said.

Adrian Edwards, a spokesman for the United Nations refugee agency, said the U.N. is unable to say how many people are on the move in East Africa right now but "we don't see things turning a corner yet."

Thousands of Somalis are arriving at the Dadaab camp in neighboring Kenya each week, he said. The camp, already the world's largest, has swelled to hold almost 400,000 in recent months. Others are fleeing to nearby Ethiopia, where conditions are increasingly chaotic.

"We are in a situation where we are struggling to keep up with the volume of new arrivals," Edwards told reporters in Geneva.

The World Food Program said Tuesday it was urgently scaling up food deliveries. But WFP Executive Director Josette Sheeran said the agency must come up with $189 million more in donations to cover the $477 million that it needs to meet needs in the region known as the Horn of Africa.

Donations for World Food Programmme

Sheeran also warned that the current crisis might become a permanent problem as climate change is affecting weather patterns in the region.

"Communities that used to have the relative luxury of several years of regular rainfall to recover from the occasional year of drought are now learning to live in an almost constant state of food insecurity due to a lack of water," she said.

Shamsul Bari, the U.N.'s independent expert on human rights in Somalia, said in a statement Tuesday that the situation is "markedly worse" than in March, when he complained the world was slow to react, and that thousands of Somalis are fleeing to Ethiopia, Kenya, and Djibouti every day.

Bari called for donors to immediately step in to provide broad assistance in the Horn of Africa, including war-scarred Somalia that is experiencing "the most acute humanitarian tragedy in the world today."

LA LARKs Founding Member - Little Zeke

My cousin Boyd (little Zeke), back in the day, used to call Larkinsville, or a team of boys or something ---maybe those that gathered at the old feed mill to raise a little cain and play ball ...he called them THE LA LARKs. Boyd was the founding member.  What a little "hell" raiser.  Boyd had a heart of gold, he could barbecue like no other, and I don't know anyone that looked better in a cowboy hat, a cool shirt, jeans and a big axx belt buckle and rock a pair of cowboy boots.  Yep, that was Boyd.  My Mama tells about him being a litle dare devil when he was younger.  Always threatening to throw grass on her freshly mopped floors.  She tells how she dared him to throw the handful of grass outside, and he did.  I tried to do a painting of Boyd, but I know he was smiling down from heaven saying, "you ain't got it in ya, now have you girl?"  And, I just couldn't nail it, but it wasn't from a lack of trying. Boyd, I will go at your portrait again, though.
After I moved to Atlanta and would go home on the weekends, he would always come to see me.  A funny story.  This must have been back in the 80's.  My husband, a runner,would often timesgo for a run around Larkinsville when we were visiting.  Boyd stopped one morning and asked my husband if he wanted to ride with him to some cabin.  Now, again, this was the 80's and running shorts weren't quite as long as they are now.  Before got to the cabin, Boyd told him, "Well, now, I don't know what the fellas are going to say about those shorts you got on."  I think Tom immediately thought of the movie "Deliverance".  Boyd did like to tease and laughed at the concerend look on my husband's face.  A Yankee boy at that, you know.

Any way - I cannot to this day believe that he is gone.  Gone, but never forgotten. 

Larkinsville Again

    Larkinsville, a tired, old southern town nestled in the foothills of Northeast Alabama, lost its glory after the War Between the States.  She curled up and slept through the next hundred years.  Scottsboro, a neighboring town, took advantage of the tired old farmers and the worn out cotton pickers who had once fought on one side of the war or the other, and wrestled the county seat right from under their noses.  Once the county seat was gone, Larkinsville withered away and the elementary school where boys and girls played on worn out see-saws and some played other games in the darkness of the outside toilets became a stockyard.  The only post office closed after the passenger trains eluded Larkinsville for good.  The bank and the jail were long gone. The Rolling Store stopped rolling and Latham’s Grocery was the only thing left in town.
The only hotel that once stood so proudly with its stately white columns and wrap around porch sold at auction to the highest bidder.  It is said that the new owner’s wife died and as her body lay in state in the main parlor, the player piano that was left over from the days of the hotel’s feisty saloon, kicked into gear and began playing a tune reminiscent from the days of the war, for all of the mourners.  The new owner swore that he saw his wife breathing as she lay in the open casket.  The coroner was called and assured him that she was indeed dead. Afterwards, the owner swore that his nights were filled with the sounds of creaking boards, cigar smoke swirling throughout the rooms and voices that whispered as if trying to relay the secrets that were pent up in the walls of the old hotel. 
Yes, Larkinsville watched its sons shed their overalls and slip into Johnny Reb uniforms  marching off to fight for the Confederate army, only to face discouragement and ruin.  Some of those same men had enough of the doom and gloom and came back home and joined the Union Army.
  Larkinsville sent its men to fight in during WWI and WWII and the Korean Conflict.  The Vietnam War was no different.  Always a war to fight.  However, the little town never grew again.  Nothing changed.  Until one day, Ruby moved into the little shack near the railroad tracks.  Yes, that shook things up a little.  Woke some of the men folk up.  And, if that wasn’t enough to raise the dead, Dr. Martin Luther King marched on Selma and woke the entire State of Alabama up.  Yep, times, they were a changing.  But not so much in Larkinsville.  Wasn’t anything there to change anymore.   But, I reckon as long as my friend and I were there, we kept things stirred up as much as we could.

Check out this book:  Loyalty and Loss:  Alabama's Unionists in The Civil War and Reconstruction by Margaret M. Storey

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Slipping Around When I was Younger


Can You Believe It's July Already? Where Does the Time Go? I Have More Fish to Fry!

Am I the only person that is trying to figure out where the heck the year has gone?  What happened?  One day it was New Year's and now the 4th of July has come and gone?  I remember my Mother telling me many, many moons ago that once you have your 16th birthday, time would fly by.  It was one of those comments that I just said, yea, whatever.  Well, by golly, she was right.  I find myself saying, darn, how many years do I have left?  Do any of you out there in cyberworld find yourselves saying, heck, I gotta lot I need to do and so little time.  That is me.  I have paintings to paint, books to write and what?  I have done crap it seems.  I need to get a move on it.  As Ms. Scarlett would say, "Fiddle-dee-dee", there will be another day, won't there?  I mean, I got more fish to fry!

Blackberry Salad with Blackberry Vinaigrette

Well, when I was out picking all of those blackberries when I was a kid, I never thought about a blackberry salad.  My heart was always set on Memma's blackberry cobbler.  Well, somethings do change.  I would still love to gave blackberry cobbler, but what is that old saying, "Put it to your lips and it goes straight to the hips?"  Anyway, this salad is delicious.

1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 cup pecan halves
2 tsps. kosher salt
9 cups arugula
1 1/2 cups fresh blackberries
1 (4oz) pkg goat cheese, crumbled
3 grilled chicken breasts, sliced

In a mediun skillet, heat oil over medium heat.  Add pecans, stirring to coat with oil.  Cook, stirring often, until pecans are toasted and fragrant.  4 to 6 minutes should just about do it.  Set aside to cool.  Divide arugula among six serving plates.  Top with blackberries, pecans, goat cheese, tossing gently.  Top with chicken breast slices.  Drizzle with the vinaigrette.

Blackberry vinaigrette
2 cups fresh blackberries
3 tbs splenda
2 tbs balsamic vinegar (try blackberry if you can find it)
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground black pepper

In the container of a blender, combine blackberries and sugar.  Pulse until liquefied.  Add vinegar, pulsing until combined.  With blender running, slowly add olive oil.  Add salt and pepper. 

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Fried Green Beans

Have you tried fried green beans?  They are delicious. 

Vegetable oil for frying
1 cup all- purpose flour
1 cup yellow cornmeal
1 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsps ground black pepper
1/2 tsp ground pepper
1 pound green beans, ends trimmed
1 cup whole buttermilk
Zesty Dipping sauce

In a large skilled or Dutch oven, pour oil to a depth of 2 inches.  Heat on medium high to 375 degrees.  In a medium bowl, combine flour, cornmeal, salt, black and red pepper.  Dip green beans in buttermilk, then dredge wet beans in flour mixture to coat.  Fry beans in batches, until golden and crisp, approximately 3 to 5 minutes per batch.  Remove from oil and drain on paper towels.  Serve warm.

Zesty Dippy sauce
1/3 cup mayo
1/3 cup ketchup
1 TBSP Worcestershire sauce
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
1/8 tsp garlic salt
In a small bowl, combine all ingredients and store in refrigerator until serving time.

Then, eat till your hearts content.  These are so yummy.

The Peachtree Road Race - 2011

Oh, Billy Bob, I am still sore today from running the Peachtree yesterday.  Not only is it a 6.2 mile heist, but there is a lot of other walking involved.  From parking and getting to Marta, to getting to your group, then after you cross the finish line, you have to, of course, get your t-shirt.  Then, there is the hellacious walk back to Marta and then to your car.  So, all in all, you probably put in about 10 miles of running and walking.  I was so sore I just wanted to crawl off in a hole somewhere.  Fortunately, my husband gave me a little reprieve, he let me wait underneath a shade tree, while he jogged to the parking lot to get the car.  But, I still logged a good 10 miles yesterday.  Maybe I can do that half marathon, or not?  I think not.  It is an experience!  However, I had rather be sitting on the beach somewhere or eating watermelon and fried chicken instead of battling the heat and the crowd.

The Orchard - A Novel by Jeffrey Stepakoff

I cannot wait to read this book.  Stepakoff wrote "Fireworks Over Toccoa" and the books was incredible.  I read the description of "The Orchard" on Amazon and it sounds really good.  It is a romance.  The setting is in Georgia.  Cannot wait to read it.  The book came out today, July 5th.  My daughter-in-law, Christina, told me about it.  I loved his first novel, so you all, check it out.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Meyer Lemon Tree at Lowe's

I have been wanting a Meyer Lemon tree ever since Christina told me that she was getting fresh lemons from her tree.  She kept it outside during the summer and brought it inside when the temperature got below 40 degrees.  Well, Lowe's had them on sale for $12.00.  I bought one and so far, so good.  We shall see.  Hopefully, I can find a sunny spot for it this winter.  Does anyone have any experience with a Lemon tree?

Not Your Memma's Banana Pudding

I made the banana pudding for dessert Saturday night and also made it for the Pig Roast today.  It was  very good.  For the receipe today, I used 100 calorie chessmen Pepperidge Farm cookies so that made the pudding more affordable calorie wise (ha ha).  It was very good.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Country Ham and Red-Eye Gravy

This is from Paula Deen's son's recipes.  If this don't tickle your fancy, nothing will.  Wow, this sounds so, good.  Not sure that Memma made it this way.  She made the have and the gravy, but we never had the grits.  Grits (Girls Raised in the South ---could not resist) were not a part of North Alabama cuisine, at least for us it wasn't.

1 bone-in low-sodium fully-cooked ham steak (about 1 1/2 pounds)
1 teaspoon butter
1 teaspoon all-purpose flour
1/2 cup strong brewed coffee
1/4 cup beef broth
1 teaspoon packed light brown sugar
4 cups water
1 cup quick-cooking grits
1/4 teaspoon salt
Spray a large nonstick skillet with nonstick spray and set over medium-high heat. Add the ham and cook 4 minutes. Turn and cook until the ham is browned and heated through, about 4 minutes longer. Transfer to a plate.
Add the butter to the skillet and heat over medium heat. Stir in the flour; cook 1 minute. Whisk in the coffee, broth, and sugar; bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, stirring, until the sauce begins to thicken slightly, about 1 minute. Return the ham to the skillet; heat through.
Meanwhile, to make the grits, bring the water to a boil in a medium saucepan. Slowly whisk in the grits and salt. Reduce the heat and simmer, covered, stirring occasionally, until thickened, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat. Serve with the ham.

Aspen Trees - Update on the Oil Painting

Well, I am still not ready to post any pictures of those darned trees, but I am trying to work my way through this painting.  I tell you, I planned poorly.  Learned a lesson for sure.  And, have been working on a portrait of Techs and the cat.  I had it, and then I lost it.  Now, it is back to the drawing board.  Seems as if a Golden Retriever is the hardest animal for me to paint.  Not sure why, but it is.  I will post pictures soon.  Got to get my painting up to speed. 

Also, I have postcards of some of my pet portraits and am placing them in doggy daycares..hopefully to drum up some business.  Better get my "business" together before ---ha ha..darn that Techs for being so difficult ...although, I have to say that I am painting from a picture that was sent to me via SMS on my Iphone.  That is tough!!

Parmesan Roasted Corn on the Cobb


Doesn't this sound good?  I would go lightly on the mayo, though.


  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 5 ears corn, husk and silk removed
  • 1 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper


  1. Preheat an outdoor grill for medium-high heat and lightly oil grate.
  2. Brush a thin layer of mayonnaise on each ear of corn. Sprinkle the corn with the Parmesan cheese, chili powder, salt, and pepper. Wrap each ear with aluminum foil and place on the grill.
  3. Grill, turning occasionally, until the kernels begin to brown, about 10 minutes

For the 4th Weekend - Not My Memma's Banana Pudding

This is a new twist on an old favorite.  I think that I will make this for dessert tomorrow night for my daughter-in-law, Linda's family.  I know her Dad will enjoy this.  This banana pudding is delicious and pretty too!
Servings: 12 servings
Prep Time: 30 min
Difficulty: Easy

Ingredients 1   12-ounce container frozen whipped topping thawed, or equal amount sweetened whip
1   14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk
1   8-ounce package cream cheese, softened
2 cup milk
1   5-ounce box instant French vanilla pudding
6-8   bananas, sliced
2   bags Pepperidge Farm Chessmen cookies


Line the bottom of a 13x9x2-inch dish with 1 bag of cookies and layer bananas on top.
In a bowl, combine the milk and pudding mix and blend well using a handheld electric mixer.  Using another bowl, combine the cream cheese and condensed milk together and mix until smooth.  Fold the whipped topping into the cream cheese mixture.  Add the cream cheese mixture to the pudding mixture and stir until well blended.  Pour the mixture over the cookies and bananas and cover with the remaining cookies.  Refrigerate until ready to serve.
How about that Paula Deen?

Happy 4th of July Weekend - Fresh Tangerine Cake

I hope that everyone has a safe and happy 4th of July weekend.  I have my watermelon already!  Try Paula Deen's fresh tangerine cake for the 4th:


Vegetable oil cooking spray
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 3/4 cups sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 eggs, beaten
1 cup vegetable oil
1 (8-ounce) container sour cream
1 cup tangerine juice
1 tablespoon tangerine zest
Tangerine Icing, recipe follows

Tangerine Icing:
1/2 cup butter, room temperature
1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, room temperature
6 cups confectioners’ sugar
3 tablespoons tangerine juice
1/2 tangerine, zested


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Spray 2 (9-inch) circular cake pans with vegetable oil cooking spray.
In a large bowl add the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Mix together with a spatula. Using a hand-held mixer, add the eggs, vegetable oil, sour cream, tangerine juice and zest. Mix until well combined.
Divide the batter evenly into the pans. Bake for 25 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool completely before icing. Ice the cakes, as desired, and serve.
Tangerine Icing:
Mix together the butter, cream cheese and sugar together in a large bowl. Add the tangerine juice and zest and combine well.