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Showing posts from December, 2010

Officially a Toddler

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Two whole years have gone by since the New Year's Eve morning when I checked myself into the hospital to be induced.   My due date was January 2 and December 31 was my doctor's first day from vacation.   Plus, it gave us a few extra days for Joey to be home from work since we had no family coming to help us.  I had to check in at six in the morning and Joey stayed at home with the girls so they could wake up at their normal time and not have a hurried, hectic morning.   Clare.'s godparents, Ray and Leslie, offered to watch the girls.   Joey drove them to their house and got to the hospital after nine o'clock.  

After ten o'clock, I told Joey to get the nurse and she immediately called the doctor, without checking on me.   Later, I found out that my doctor told her that when I said it was time to page her because I would know.   Our sweet Thomas Becket was born at 10:59.  We named him after the English martyr, Thomas Becket.   I have a tremendous devotion to the En…

A Few of My Favorite Things

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There are too many things to do for a long post, but I thought I'd take a little time to post pictures of some of my favorite Christmas items.

I think it would come as little surprise that, like most things, my memories of Christmas are wrapped up with memories of my mom.  Mama made Christmas such a magical time.   We both loved decorating for the season.  We even took care to decorate the presents carefully so they were beautiful, also.   As I grew older, I found our that Mama made special efforts at Christmas because of her experiences when my brother Greg was small.   Money was tight since my dad was just an instructor at a junior college and then a graduate student.   She never forgot those times and she appreciated the better times as they came.


She began collecting Hallmark ornaments in the late 1970s.   At first, she only bought them at half-price on the day after Christmas.   I have memories of standing outside the Hallmark store in the mall on December 26, waiting for the…

Holiday Gifting

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It's time to fess up.   This is the first year I did no holiday baking for Joey's Christmas presents at work.   Our church pie bake sale has taken its toll, I think, but it was so much fun!

I actually bought cookies (nice ones, but store-bought!), but I did make the two recipes below, so there was some homemade element.   Mama's got to do what Mama's got to do!

Here's a cute way to give cookies.   I wish they were homemade, but at least the packaging shows I put thought into these gifts for some special people.   I want people to feel special when they receive a gift from me.   After all, it's about them!

I got this idea from a Southern Living Christmas book.   They used milk glasses in antique metal milk bottle carriers.   For this gift, the black caddy is from the Better Homes and Gardens line at Wal-Mart.   This is the half-pint size, made for canning jars.   You can find them in the canning section, in various sizes.   I just bought two standard glasses tha…

Happy 235th Birthday

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On 16 December 1775 the future literary great, Jane Austen, entered the world.   This year marks the 235th anniversary of her birth.

My preference for literary escapes is the nineteenth century.   When I was expecting  my son, I was reading Richard Shannon's biography of the Victorian prime minister Gladstone.   After Thomas was born, PBS's Masterpiece Theater showed productions of several Charles Dickens works in a row, including the beautiful Bleak House.   Dickens fan or not (the horror!), you must watch this movie.   It is a beautiful example of a modern take on a faithful period piece.

Another beautiful modern example is the 2007 ITV1 production of Persuasion .   It actually manages to capture the breathless and sometimes deliciously frustrated feelings you experience as a reader.   Plus, Rupert Penry-Jones is a favorite actor of mine!    I can never quite settle on my favorite character from Austen's works: Darcy, Captain Wentworth, or Mr. Knightley?   Can there be a…

The Visit

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I was the youngest of nineteen grandchildren on my mother's side.   I only saw my paternal grandmother a few times, only one of those times do I remember and I only saw my paternal grandfather once.   I was closest to my maternal grandparents, although I usually only saw them once a year.

When the air began to get cool and crisp and the pecans began to fall, I knew the time was approaching for the occasion to which I most looked forward each year: The Visit from Grandma and Grandad.    Bill and Lena  were my mother's parents.   They were married almost sixty-seven years (Grandad was buried on their anniversary in 1990).   Even today, when I hear the term, "salt of the earth" my thoughts always go to images of them.   They were the kind of people who, in their seventies and eighties, were still bringing meals and doing work for the "elderly" in their church!   In personality, they were a little like the grandparents on The Waltons.   The theme song of that p…

Holiday Baking

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Holiday baking usually is more involved than average baking, and we must plan ahead and do a little more prep work.   Over the next few weeks, I will share some of my favorite special recipes for Christmas and Epiphany.




PARTY PASTRIES

I like to make these for buffets and luncheons.   People are always happy to have a savory item added to all the sweets.   I usually roast seasoned chicken thighs for this recipe.  The shell recipe is like one you would use for pecan tassies.   It's a must-have in a southern cook's recipe file!

Shells: 1/2 cup butter, softened
1 3 oz. pkg. cream cheese, softened
1 cup all-purpose flour
Dash of salt
Leaf lettuce
Chicken Salad Filling

Combine butter and cream cheese in a mixing bowl; beat at medium speed of an electric mixer until smooth.   Add flour and salt; mix well.

Divide dough into 30 balls.   Place in ungreased mini muffin pans, pressing dough on bottom and up the sides to form shells.   Prick bottom and sides of shells with a fork.   Bate at…

Seven Years Old!

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It seems impossible that seven years ago, I was in a labor and delivery room, waiting to give birth to my first child.   I ended up giving birth to E. on December 1, the day the doctor wanted me to call to set up a time to be induced.   She told me on my last office visit that I would probably need help with labor and she was right.   I ended up going several hours without any contractions after my water broke, so the doctor decided to begin a pitocin drip.  I've heard since that pitocin labors are supposed to be hard, but it's what I've had with all three of my children; I don't know anything different.

I had back surgery in 1998, so I found out when I watched the epidural video that it would probably not have effect because of the scar tissue.   So, I decided that it wasn't worth the risk, or frankly, the cost, if there was a chance it might not even work.   So, I had a natural birth and I am so grateful.   My doctor was in a dentist's chair having a root c…