Thursday, May 30, 2019


If you read my last post, you know we recently lost a very dear friend.  My heart has been heavy not only for his loss but just because here in my small town we’ve lost several good people lately and also because of quite a few that I know who are suffering through great illnesses right now…several of them sweet children.  Sometimes grief can just grab you and doesn’t want to let go!

Today I am posting one of my favorite stories…I imagine some of you have heard it before.  But it’s a great reminder that every day is a gift and everyone from time to time needs a little extra dose of love and encouragement.

Two men, both seriously ill, occupied the same hospital room.  One man was allowed to sit up in his bed for an hour each afternoon to help drain the fluid from his lungs.  His bed was next to the room’s only widow.  The other man had to spend all his time flat on his back.  The men talked for hours on end.  They spoke of their wives and families, their homes, their jobs, their involvement in the military service, and other things. 

Every afternoon when the man in the bed by the window could sit up, he would pass the time by describing to his roommate all the things he could see outside the window.  The man in the other bed began to live for those one-hour periods where his world would be broadened and enlivened by all the activity and color of the world outside.  

The window overlooked a park with a lovely lake.  Ducks and swans played on the water while children sailed their model boats.  Young lovers walked arm in arm amidst flowers of every color and a fine view of the city skyline could be seen in the distance.

As the man by the window described all this in exquisite detail, the man on the other side of the room would close his eyes and imagine the picturesque scene.  One warm afternoon the man by the window described a parade passing by.  Although the other man couldn’t hear the band, he could see it in his mind’s eye as the gentleman by the window portrayed it with descriptive words. 

Days and weeks passed.  One morning the day nurse arrived to bring water for their baths only to find the lifeless body of the man by the window.  He had died peacefully in his sleep.  She was saddened and called the hospital attendants to take the body away.

As soon as it seemed appropriate, the other man asked if he could be moved next to the window.  The nurse was happy to make the switch, and after making sure he was comfortable, she left him alone.  Slowly, painfully, the man propped himself up on one elbow to take his first look at the real world outside.  He strained to slowly turn and look out the window beside the bed.  But what he saw shocked him…the window faced a blank wall.

The man later asked the nurse what could have compelled his deceased roommate to describe such wonderful things outside this window.  The nurse responded that the man couldn’t have possibly seen anything because he was blind.  He could not even see the wall.  But she said, “Perhaps your friend just wanted to encourage you.”

Moral of the story:  There is tremendous happiness in making others happy, despite our own situations.  Shared grief is half the sorrow, but happiness when shared is doubled.  If you want to feel rich, just count all the things you have that money can't buy.

Has someone encouraged you when you were down? I hope so.  And if they did, remember how it made you feel…and PASS IT ON.

“Today is a gift, that’s why it’s called the present.”

“People will forget what you have said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”

Monday, May 27, 2019


On Saturday we lost a very dear and long-time friend…we lost Wilkie.  He was this tall, lanky guy who was funny and wise, a great family man who loved his wife, two daughters, and four grandchildren.  We often laughed together but we would also sometimes meet up on our morning walks and discuss (and try to solve) the world’s problems.  He had this wonderful sense of humor, sometimes cheeky, sometimes downright naughty, but oh so funny.  He was a whiz with money having a banking background and his wife and daughters will tell you he knew where every single penny went!  Wilkie was a little bit of a worrier and had his serious side, but he could always make me smile.

Wilkie had been sick for a few weeks and (long story short) he had some internal issues which led to some liver problems and also the discovery of pancreatic cancer.  However, the doctors said that it was found early and they felt he could survive it.  He had his first round of chemo last week and did well with it, but last night he had a heart attack and gained his wings almost immediately.  This was a known possible side-effect to the chemo, but it was very unexpected.

I spent most of the day with Diane and the rest of the family helping in what little ways I could…I just needed to be there; I needed to be close to this family I have loved for so long.  Our families have many wonderful memories.  When we were much younger, Wilkie’s & Diane’s family, our family, and 4 other families did just about everything together, including going on family vacations to Panama City.  We all live within walking distance of each other; our kids grew up together.  We spent many years in Jaycees & Jaycettes together, going to conventions, having parties, doing service projects, having family cookouts and so much more.

Wilkie absolutely loved to dance.  One of my favorite memories will be how he and I used to do “the Bump” together at Jaycee dances…remember that dance?  Funny part though was Wilkie was very tall and I’m quite short so “bumping” our hips together was a challenge๐Ÿ˜Š 

My heart is broken for myself but even more for Diane and the girls…one daughter lost her young husband to a heart attack just a couple of years ago and left her as a single mom to twins.  But the three of these ladies are strong and I know they will eventually make it through.  They are a very close-knit family and they will help each other along, and we will all be there for them anytime we are needed.

Wilkie, you were a special guy and will always hold a very special place in my heart.  I will miss our walks and our talks.  I will miss practically having to run to keep up with those long legs of yours, I will miss your hugs, I will miss your teasing.  I know your mama and daddy were tickled to meet you at Heaven’s gate and I know I will see you again one day.  Until then rest in peace….and don’t go doing “the Bump” until I get there!

Thursday, May 23, 2019


*NOTE:  thanks to a sweet reader who was a better proofreader than me, I had made a mistake in the original post, so this is a correction.  Golly, gee!  Where is my brain these days???

As I stated in my short bio when I started back blogging, I will post about whatever suits my fancy at the time๐Ÿ˜Š  So first I want to share a delicious new recipe we have tried recently.  I am a fairly decent cook but lately I have felt like this….

It’s not so much the COOKING I dislike as having to plan what to eat!  I mean, after cooking for 49 years I’m just tired of the same old same old.  Anybody know what I mean???  If someone would just plan my menus….with easy-to-prepare dishes…I’d be a happy camper chef!  

The sweet man I married never complains about what I cook and is always willing to try something new, so lately I’ve tried to do just that.  Here is a recipe I found recently and have made now about 3 times and every time he has gone on and on about how good it is….definitely a MAN PLEASER recipe.  So….even though I don’t have pictures of the finished product I thought I’d share.  If you were a boy or girl scout who went camping, this type of meal might bring back some fun memories.

(Note:  I found this recipe on the internet but don’t remember where!)


You will need: 
*chicken tenders (2-3 per person) or you can cut up a boneless chicken breast
*veggies of choice – I use zucchini, carrots, bell pepper (onions might be good too)
*pineapple chunks or tidbits
*salt & pepper or seasoned salt (I used Lawry’s)

AND….this magic ingredient…LAWRY'S HONEY BOURBON MARINADE!

How you do it:
*Rip off a good-size piece of aluminum foil per person
*Cut up your veggies & layer them on the foil
*Season with whatever you choose
*layer on the pineapple
*layer on the chicken (I also add some seasoning to it)
*pour 1/3 cup of the marinade on top of each packet

*Now seal it all up TIGHTLY!
*Place on a baking sheet because some of the juice still might leak out.
*Bake until chicken is done…I find 30 min. is perfect for the tenders.
*Serve in the foil…makes for easy clean-up plus you don’t want to lose any of that wonderful sauce!!!  (If you don’t mind carbs….dip a yeast roll in the sauce & mind your manners because you will want to smack your lips…it’s that good๐Ÿ˜Š 

And these are the absolute best yeast rolls ever…unless you're into making home-made (which I am definitely not!)

Since you have your meat and veggies, it’s basically a one-dish meal!  My kind of cooking!!!

Now for the THIS & THAT:

This is how my lantana looked a few weeks ago.

This is how it looks now

We decided it was WHITEFLIES or some similar bug so we’ve sprayed it and hoping it will come back into it’s former glory.

Granddaughter M. had a busy week with Sports Banquet & Honors Night.  She did really well this year.    Although no pictures grandson R. had a great year too…exempted all his finals so got out of school 2 days early.  Ready now to start his first summer job!

This little thing has kept me busy this past couple of weeks.  My son’s new baby!  I have been puppy-sitting some mornings.  Isn't she precious?

 Recently went to a rodeo that came to our little town (not a very good one, I might add).
Granddaughter M. even had her birthday party there!!!

Even though it rained for awhile, they had a great time๐Ÿ˜Š

And that’s about it.  Now I’m off to get ready to go to some friends’ house where we are having a get-together.  Being with friends & no cooking for me…sounds like a great evening. 

So what have YOU been up to lately?

Thursday, May 16, 2019


As a teacher who worked mostly with primary students and their parents, I wore many hats….educator, instructor, nurse, referee, counselor, lesson plan builder, mentor, role model, surrogate parent, event planner, therapist, etc., etc., etc.  Although I loved being a teacher with so many different roles to play, my most fun gig in life has been…..a GRANDMOTHER. 

I am blessed with only two grands, R. is 16 and M. is 13, but they both sure are grand.
They are my son’s children, and they live only about two blocks from us.  Although they both were in daycare for awhile when they were very young, most of their after-school afternoons, summers, and school holidays have been spent with me.  (So add to my other long list of hats:  sitter, playmate, chauffeur, entertainer-extraordinaire, cleaner-upper of messes, and expert child spoiler….I’m really good at that last one!)

When I was a small child since my mother worked I spent a lot of time at my grandmother’s house, but sadly it was not one bit of fun.  My grandmother had very bad arthritis (and perhaps tended to be a little bit of a hypochondriac) and was a shut-in who never left her house except to go to the doctor.  There was absolutely nothing for me to do there once morning cartoons and Captain Kangaroo were off the air, and so I was very lonely and bored.  I remember deciding during that time that if I ever had grandchildren, they would NEVER be bored when they came to visit me….and I think I have pretty much stuck to that!

I believe that when R & M grow up, they will look back and have fond memories of the many things that we did together.  We played games, cooked, went on scavenger hunts, built forts, and much, much more.  Sooooo…I have decided that I am going to share some of the fun things we did together in hopes it might give some other grandmothers (or mothers of young children) some ideas of how they can make their own special memories with their kids.  I have shared many of these ideas with grandmother friends and some have suggested I even write a book about them….hmmm, maybe one day???  I can’t take credit for most of this stuff though because I searched and searched online and in books to keep the fun going.

I am going to post one or two activities from time to time and have decided to call them GRANDMOTHER CENTRAL.  For those of you whose kids or grandkids have gotten passed these days, maybe you can share the ideas with friends or family….or just overlook these posts and find something more interesting to read๐Ÿ˜Š

And away we go….   (from 2013)

I don’t know a kid who doesn’t love blowing bubbles and there are all sorts of recipes to make your own bubbles and ideas for making various types of wands, but this was a new way for us and so much fun.  In fact, my granddaughter had a friend over recently and she decided she wanted to do this again!

          *a plastic water or soda bottle with bottom cut off (for each child)
          *an old sock (for each child)
          *rubber band
          *bubble solution (homemade or store-bought)
          *small dish or bowl to hold the solution

Simply pull the sock onto the bottom of the bottle; be sure to pull it up until a portion of the sock is flush against the bottle’s bottom…you can see that in this picture.  

Then have your child dip this bottom end into the solution and blow on the opposite/mouth end of the bottle.  If the child is small, BE SURE to explain to them to BLOW OUT, not BREATHE IN!!!!!! 

As you can see, the bubbles come out in a stream of connected bubbles.  My two (always being competitive with each other) would see who could make the longest stream.  And, of course, if you leave the kids to it, they will come up with their own ideas.

This really was a lot of fun, so easy to prep, cost little to no money, and also taught my kiddos that you can reuse/recycle things that would be trash into something useful and/or fun!  That’s always a good lesson to be learned!!!

Yep, this grandmother CHERI (that’s what they call me) was a sure-fire hit that day!  Lots of fun and good memories made…also great for a photo-op!!!

Of all the things that babies love
To help them in their troubles
There’s nothing in the world, they think,
So nice as blowing bubbles.

To dip the pipe among the suds
And then to gravely blow
To watch the lovely colors change,
As fast the bubbles grow.

To throw them softly in the air
And see them sail away,
Is fun enough, for girl or boy,
To fill the longest day.

Sweet children of our tender love,
May all life’s bubbles be
As bright with tints of rosy hope
As these which now we see.

---Author Unknown

Thursday, May 9, 2019


When I was a little girl, my family lived in a (rented) house with a large front porch.  Oh, how I loved that porch!  It was a sort of sanctuary for me…a place to daydream, a place to sit and talk with friends, a place to catch a cool breeze on a hot summer’s day.  

And, of course, that porch (like so many other southern porches) had a swing.  I wonder how many times I pushed myself in that swing, sometimes going so high I thought my feet could almost touch the ceiling.  One of my childhood dreams was to one day own my own home with a large front porch and there would definitely be a swing and….that dream came true.

This is my swing….

And here are some others I really like…(pictures found here & there online)

This one is made from an old headboard

Love the blue color

And this one was made from a door…very creative

Surely this is the kind of swing God has in heaven๐Ÿ˜Š

But there’s more to a porch than a swing…wicker furniture, flowers, hanging ferns, pillows, candles, an American flag hanging from a column, or whatever else you might fancy.  I don’t like for a porch to look cluttered but I do like it to have lots of character.


There is just something about a porch that screams SOUTHERN HOSPITALITY!  Pull up a rocking chair or glide to and fro in the swing drinking a glass of sweet iced tea, add to that a funeral fan to keep away the gnats or to create a cool breeze, and you can solve the world’s problems (well, maybe a few of them). 


Porches can be a place for entertaining, a place for quiet reflection, the perfect place for devouring the latest best seller, or another opportunity for creating seasonal dรฉcor. 


A porch is a place for daydreaming, for sharing secrets with a friend, for shelling peas fresh from the garden, or just a place to sit and wave at neighbors as they ride by. 



In the South a front porch is sometimes referred to as a veranda.  I love that word…has a romantic ring to it.  Through the years many Southern mansions (see Charleston and Savannah) have sported a veranda filled with columns and even gingerbread trim, but historians tell us that actually porches can be traced back to overhanging rocks of prehistoric times.  Doubt cavemen and women sipped on some sweet iced tea though as they relaxed on their rock porch!

Generations ago in the deep South (my beloved home), people would often paint the ceilings of their porches/verandas a particular blue/green color referred to as Haint Blue.  Tradition said that it kept the “haints” (demons, evil spirits, etc.) away.  My porch ceiling isn't blue, but we don't have any haints (at least I haven't seen any.)  Today some people believe that a blue ceiling keeps wasps and other insects away…not sure about that.



My children and grandchildren have always loved our porch about as much as I do.  Just the other day my granddaughter was out there in the swing reading her latest HARRY POTTER novel.  Just the sight of her brought back memories of my childhood when I would swing back & forth, back & forth, dreaming of the day I would grow up, have a family, and see my children & grandchildren swinging on my front porch, back & forth, back & forth, dreaming dreams of their own.

Front Porch on our Farmhouse style home

And Side Porch (where everybody comes)

Which of these (#) is your favorite porch?

When out of sorts with life or self,
A porch is hard to beat.
As long as you've a comfy chair
And space to stretch your feet.
---Chuck Toll

Thursday, May 2, 2019


I am a collector of words.  I love poetry, quotes, and inspirational messages; and when I find words that seem to really “speak to me” I keep them.  I found this many years ago but just came across it this past week as I was looking through my INSPIRATION NOTEBOOK.  I soooo need to read this every single day!  I would love to give credit to the author; but when I found this, it was listed as author unknown.  Whoever he or she was that wrote this is/was a very wise person.


There are two days in every week about which we should not worry…two days which should be kept free from fear and apprehension.

One of these days is YESTERDAY, with its mistakes and cares, its faults and blunders, its aches and pains.  Yesterday has passed forever beyond our control.  All the money in the world cannot bring back yesterday.  We cannot undo a single act we performed.  We cannot erase a single word we said.  Yesterday is gone.

The other day we should not worry about is TOMORROW.  Tomorrow is beyond our immediate control.  Tomorrow’s sun will rise, whether in splendor or behind a mask of clouds.  But it will rise.  Until it does, we have no stake in tomorrow.

This leaves only one day….TODAY.

Anyone can fight the battles of just one day.  It is when you and I add the burdens of those two awful eternities…YESTERDAY and TOMORROW…that we break down.

Let us, therefore, live ONE DAY AT A TIME.

There is a lot of wisdom in this, although for some of us “worriers” of the world it can be very difficult to latch onto.  I would like to add to this wise person’s thoughts that I do believe we should not forget about YESTERDAY or TOMORROW.  I’m not one that necessarily thinks we should “just live for today.”  I think the YESTERDAYs can teach us many lessons.  I think the YESTERDAYs can gift us with many beautiful memories.  I think the seeds that we planted YESTERDAY (if they are the right seeds) can grow into wonderful things.  So YESTERDAY should not be forgotten.  I do, however, think we shouldn’t dwell so much on the YESTERDAYs of our lives that we forget to enjoy the present. 

I also think we don’t need to put TOMORROW aside until tomorrow!  I believe we should plan for our futures and the futures of our children and grandchildren as best we can.  I believe we should make plans for the TOMORROWs in our lives so that we can have some things to look forward to.  I believe that we should look ahead to all the TOMORROWs we may be given with the thoughts of making each one better than today.  BUT…I am trying very hard not to worry so much about TOMORROW that I forget to see all the blessings of TODAY.

Our past, our present, and our future are all interwoven in one way or another; each one shapes the other to some degree.  So in my opinion, YESTERDAY, TODAY, and TOMORROW are all very special and important days.  They are each a gift given to us by God and we should make the most of each and every one.  

I think Albert Einstein got it right:

Learn from YESTERDAY, live for TODAY, hope for TOMORROW.  

I hope all your Yesterdays Todays, and Tomorrows are filled with love, happiness, & many blessings.