Friday, June 30, 2006


I am truly blessed by my family and friends. I received another box today. (It's like Christmas around here!) It is from my sweet friend Mrs. Staggs over in Merryville. Ooooh, I couldn't wait to open it! Look at the label!! A piece of art in itself (and I admit, I carefully cut it off the box so I can save it). P.S. Ivey is my maiden name; and look at the ivy draping the corner. You are too wise, Mrs. Staggs! See how pretty it's packaged? Not a movement in shipping. This is exactly how I found it when I opened the box. Beautiful, just beautiful!

Now, take a look at what sweet Lena sent me! She wrote that her and Miss Luna (her kitty) were sending well wishes to Miss Bev along with this adorable stuffed cat. Can you see the hand embroidered vintage (I'm sure) nappy it is made from? She's already on my bed waiting for me and the cats to crawl in next to her. I think she shall be named Miss Merry in honor of Mrs. Staggs and Miss Luna of Merryville.

Then, there were the lovely Cath Kitsdon (yes, CATH!) napkins. Where on earth in the U.S. did you find these, Lena? Or did you simply take a jaunt abroad while no one was looking? That Merryville sure is special place. Who doesn't LOVE Cath?? Lovely. I will save them for a pretty day with friends.

Lena also found a pretty bar of soap that was made just for me! It has my name on it and everything. Is that not the bestest? Yes, it's already in my bath waiting to be used. (Bad pic, I know, but nice soap, I know!) Look at the vintage postcard she turned into a card with just the use of photo corners. Oh, dear Mrs. Staggs, not only are you wise but oh-so creative too. How envious I am!

And so in return, I send to the lovely Mrs. Staggs in Merryville, via blog, this lovely bouquet of hydrangea straight from my garden. A lovely bouquet for a lovely person. Thank you, my dear friend. Thank you so very much for making my day so special.

Friday's Favorite Corner (Spot)

Artwork done by local artist Maggie Lindley

I've been a tad lackadaisical about posting while away on my Friday's Favorite Corners. I always say (to myself) I'm going to find some gorgeous spot on the beach for the "corner" but I never remember to, obviously. One day perhaps.

Today's spot is our "Hall of Fame." This is where the guest "quarters" are located on one side of the house. I have framed some of the children's artwork and put them up for all of us to enjoy. I need to get more frames as it's time to add some more. I just found a whole box of the teenager's artwork when he was in pre-school. Just adorable. The teenager never was into drawing much, whereas the kid, now that's a whole different story! I have so many more of the kid's artwork than the teenager's only because the kid can be prolific at times. He's more into building at this stage in his life though. Perhaps he will be an architect--that's what I'm pushing for anyhow! (A mom can dream, can't she??) Although, it was he teenager who won First Place for this little watercolor when he was in pre-school. Oooh, I've now forgot what he title it--something like "BUG". haha. I'll have to ask him and see if he remembers. He doesn't seem to forget a thing. (You see, I gave both kids MY memory when they were born!)

Here's a few more of my favorites from both children--not that I really have favorites, mind you. The last one is a classic (pre-) teenager drawing. All of his "people" had spiked hair and big eyes. All of them! Love it.The kid has always loved drawing (and admiring) buildings. Each year, when we would visit our family in NYC, he would always oogle over the World Trade Towers. Those were "his" buildings from a very early age. It broke his heart, in more ways than a thousand, when 9/11 happened. This drawing still makes me cry. (I'm almost balling now!!! ) He drew this in 1999/2000. It's almost eerie to me. He has other NYC landmarks in the drawing, but it's the church bells ringing that make me cry. (Top, right-hand corner.) Sniffle sniffle. (Ok, I can't even see the screen for tears.) Tissue time.

Sorry. Now I'm sad.

Thursday, June 29, 2006


My bubba sent me that wonderful box of goodies. I shoulda' guessed. He's a real foodie from way back. The Rosegarten Report should have given it away. He loves to read about food as much as he likes to make it and eat it (and he's thin too--no fair!).

You see folks, I told you he spoils me now trying to make up for being so mean to me as a child . . . sniffle sniffle. Hey, I'll take it! hehe.

Thank you J-I-M-B-O ! (aka Jim) I still call him Jimbo as my revenge. ha. I'll have to give him a ringy dingy tomorrow and tell him I received it and how I can't wait to dig in. (I finally called Willy's to see who had sent it. I couldn't stand the suspense!)


Gee whiz, someone out there sure is extra super-duper nice. This morning, I received this really heavy box--about 30 lbs.--marked perishable (my favorite kind!). "What in the world?" I thought. My tea swap? Hmm. "Did I order something and forget about it?" Wouldn't be the first time I did that! When I opened it, everything was packed neatly in yet another box--a cold box. Hmmmmm. I then opened the styrofoam lid and the most luscious smell of BBQ came from within. It's BBQ from Texas!! (Honey, you ain't had no BBQ 'til you had Texas BBQ--especially beef brisket.)

This is from Willy Ray's in Beaumont, TX. David Rosengarten has a gastronomic newsletter (that I wasn't aware of until now) and it seems you can order this smorgasborg of Texas BBQ from them. I received a huge smoked beef brisket, a huge smoked pork should and a couple of sauces and rubs (which is completely unnecessary for either--don't need no stinkin' sauce on Texas BBQ--my Lawd!). Oh my. I am in HEAVEN! And where is the hub? Gone. On his way to Australia from Singapore. Guess I'm just going to have to invite the neighbors over for a good ol' Texas BBQ this weekend--don't know if I can wait until the 4th! Let's just say I will have to put a little bit away for his return (well, maybe).

Now for the fun part, I have NO idea who sent this. There was no information on who it is from. I have cousins in Texas, but I doubt they would send anything other than their own BBQ. (My cousin Don takes days to cook his beef brisket and boy is it the best.) The hub has a client in West Texas, but it was addressed to me. My brother likes to send me good food from time to time, but I haven't heard from him in a bit. Who else would it be? If any of you know anything about it, please let me know! I'm dying to know!! I may have to make a phone call to Willy himself and see if he knows. (Speaking of Willie, I may have to pop a Willie Nelson cd in to get the mood set.........squeeeeeeel!) I can NOT wait to open these meats and plop 'em on the grill and smell the smoke as they re-heat!

Another howdy came in yesterday when I received my Cooking with Paula Deen magazine. Woooo-hooo. And let me tell you, there are some lip-smacking recipes in this one! Just chock-full of 'em (notice my Southern drawl coming out? hehe). Take a look at this mess of green beans! (They're my favorite veggy.) Mmmm-mmmmm-good. I love good Southern cooked green beans in the 'summa' time. (I like blanched ones in the winter months.) I remember mom cooking her green beans with a little pork and tiny white potatoes forever--For-Ev-VER. They would just fall apart being scooped into a bowl. Now, that's "Southin," ya'll. I'm going to have to use some of her recipes to go with my Texas BBQ. Oooooh-weee. I can't wait! (Poor hub.)

Ok, enough salivating, back to what you were doing!

Wednesday, June 28, 2006


So groggy here. But I did enjoy having a fresh muffin this morning. Nothing like it with a little tea. (Especially tea from a friend--thank you Linda!!) I actually feel like going back to bed. You see, I'm a night owl. (Love that Carly Simon song!) I've been trying to change my bad habits though. Ever since returning from London, I've finally been going to bed at a decent hour. That is until I returned from the beach. With the hub gone, I've been staying up reading in bed until the wee hours of the morning. (My pre-London bed-time was normally around 3 a.m.--can you imagine?) Last night I even turned the TV on (again, the first time since returning from London) only to see about all the rain hitting my old stomping ground--DC. I can't believe how bad they've been hit up there. Two of my friends' houses have flooded basesments. I'm wondering about my mom's house. At least we had removed everything from the basement last year. Good thing. It's about time for a trip up there and I'm dreading it. DC in the summer months is the worst. Well, one channel turned into another, and another . . . you get my drift.

I finally captured Miss Bev on film "carrying" a present into the kid's room. Finally, I can prove her actions are not urban myths! How cute is this? She looked pooped after the whole thing; but this proves she is on the mend. I'm so happy. She was a sick little girl there for a while. Thanks for all your well wishes. They all came through for me her, you angels!

Summa-time, when living's eee-zeeeee!

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Tea with Me

I purchased this tea in London not knowing it was imported in from California--hehe. I didn't even notice that tidbit of information until I got home with it. Sometimes I wonder 'bout myself. This is the first time I've had it and it's as pretty as it is good.

This is Numi's white tea infused with jasmine. I also have the lavendar. Can't wait to try that one! Since I don't own a glass tea pot, I just put it one of my glass cups and watched the pod transform into a beautiful flower. How fun.

Well, I'm off to make my blueberry-lemon muffins--this time with fresh blueberries! Can't wait to have one. I'm starving!

Monday, June 26, 2006


Amazing. I just found this on one of my brother's sites. This is probably circa late 70s, early 80s. Still have the Frank Zappa T! (If only I could fit into it.......) ha.

Peach Cobbler

Since I really didn't get a whole lot of anything done yesterday (that I can remember anyway), I never got around to making either my blueberry muffins or a peach cobbler from my goodies I brought back from Alabama. Today, I was going to have to make something from the peaches or risk some of them becoming too ripe for use. I decided to make it for my sweet neighbors who took such good care of Bev in our absence. If it weren't for them, she would have had to stay at the vets the entire week which would have not been good for her in her weakened state. To stay the least, they deserve more than just a peach cobbler and a pint of Bluebell ice cream.

Here's the yummy recipe. I worked from two recipes basically (of course, I threw in a few things of my own as I always have to do); one from and the other is from a dear friend in Virginia who made the most yummy food for our teachers (and the rest of the administration) at the little school I used to work for. Eleanor used cherries in her cobbler, so, it will do with just about any fruit.

Rosa's Peach Cobbler

  • 6 large peaches, cut into thin wedges
  • 1/4 C sugar
  • 1 T fresh lemon juice
  • 1 t cornstarch
  • 1/2 t vanilla

Biscuit Topping:
  • 1 C all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 C sugar
  • 1 t baking powder
  • 1/2 t salt
  • 1 T dry buttermilk
  • 3/4 stick cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
  • 1/4 C boiling water

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Toss peaches with sugar, lemon juice, vanilla and cornstarch in a 2-quart nonreactive baking dish and bake in middle of oven for 10 minutes.

For topping, stir together first 5 ingredients. Blend in butter with fingertips or a pastry blender until mixture resembles course meal. Stir in water until just combined.

Remove peaches from oven and drop spoonfuls of topping over them. Sprinkle with a little vanilla sugar. Bake in middle of oven until topping is golden, about 20 minutes. (Topping will spread as it bakes.)

Serve with vanilla ice cream or freshly whipped cream.



The "teens" on the beach playing frisbee--Gulf Shores, AL

Just a memory now, a wonderful memory. Gee, I have so much going on right now, my head is whirling (it doesn't take much to get my head whirling these days--getting old!). And the hub in Singapore--soon to be in Australia. Wundervoll!

It's only 2:30 and it seems like it's already after hours. Slowly getting the house in order, again. Finally got out to water the front this morning. Bev sat watching on the top deck, sunning herself. She is feeling so much better today. She is up to her usual "quirky" self. She normally takes socks (lone ones, pairs--doesn't matter) and carries them in her mouth "mouwing" all the way to the kid's room where she deposits them. Well, of course, she has been too weak to do this. Low and behold this morning, I heard her "mouwing" (and what a wonderful sound that was!). She had gone into my bedroom, picked up one of the kid's t-shirts from the trip, carried it down the hall "mouwing" all the way to his room. A T-SHIRT!! It probably weighed almost as much as her and definitely was bigger! He said it was still folded when it arrived! ha! Too sweet. So, that is such good news, everyone. Bev is on the mend! Joy, I still have two days of shoving pills down her throat; and let me tell you, she's on to me! She knows what I'm about to do when I get those bottles.

Here's a couple more pics from Fairhope. This gorgeous monarch (I think) was fluttering about and I had to grab the camera and see what I could capture. Isn't she beautiful? I haven't seen any here in Middle Tennessee (I don't think or I just don't remember--old again). I have such fond memories of so many of these beauties in my Uncle's yard across the street from us growing up. He had so many flowers in his front yard, the attraction was inevitable. What a joy to behold nature.

As I was sitting waiting for the kids to find some books, I took a seat (to rest my weary bones--old, again) and snapped this shot of Fairhope's little book store. Isn't it quaint? I adore it. Not too many mom & pop places left where you can grab an ice cream or soda, grab a seat and read the paper or a book to your heart's content, now is there? There were kids (like 12ish) going upstairs for some sort of classes. Not sure if they were art classes or a book club. But, I guarantee, I will find out the next time I'm in town. Too sweet. Aw, life in small-town America.

Sunday, June 25, 2006

This Must Be the Place

This drawing was done by the kid when he was 6 of our house when we lived in Virginia.

"...home, it's where I want to be, pick me up and turn me around..."

--Talking Heads

Oh, it's so good to be home. I can definitely tell one from another (seems David Byrne can't). I was so groggy this morning when the teenager woke me up to drive him to work at 8:30 . . . z z z. Sound asleep, in my own bed. Need I say more?

I couldn't decide if I should just go back to bed when I returned from dropping him off or not. I had added a t-shirt to my pjs before leaving so it would be easy to crawl back in if I so desired. Of course I so desired, duh.

After checking in on my mom, I crawled right back in. I lay there and pondered my existence and the million things I need to get done this week. So much going on. I can't tell you how cozy it was--my own bed, my own well-worn sheets (complete with a small hole forming--oy), a ton of kivers protecting me from the burr-cold air conditioning and my soft-as-a-cloud pillows swallowing my head and engulfing each side of me. I even got up at one point and softly carried Miss Bev back to my bed to cuddle; but she was still quite tender and wanted to be back with the kid, so I returned the baby to her warm spot at the kid's feet.

After about half-an-hour of "thinking," I finally just told myself to get my butt up and get moving. But boy did I enjoy every second of my time. Got up and blew the two fluorescent lights in my closet (GOOD RIDDANCE--hate hate HATE them!) and had to figure out how to flick the breaker to get the rest of the lights to come back on in the bath (which was found located in the bedroom wall outlet--go figure). Took a leisurely shower in the dark before doing so. (Who can see anyway without one's glasses?) By the time I finished cleaning up, making up that luscious bed and unpacking, the kid was knocking on the door with those sweet, sleepy eyes. (Muh baybee.)

We made more summerscapes to put around the house to keep us fresh from the beach for days to come. I found these cute little lanterns in Fairhope and placed them in the hurricane with some sand and shells. I need to get some oil for them to light at night. Can't wait to see the light flickering on the sand.

A few here, a few there . . . scattered about the place. Also beginning to prepare for Independence Day.

Then there are the babies. Flabby Abby is happy to have the teenager back--the only one she will give any attention to. Look how she loves anything he does--perfectly content upside down. You gotta wonder about that cat. Look at the size of her!!

Bev's nose is pink again. (Yep, that's her on top of the table--a no-no) She has been retired to the kid's bed for the night. I've added a special nutrient supplement to her kitten food, and she's loving it. Let's hope it does the trick and gives her some strength. She's so poor looking. Then there's Dave. He just came in, from a night of carousing. Filling the tummy up for bedtime.

Sigh, almost all is well in the household (the hub still traveling). We all have so much to be thankful for here. Time to crawl back into that sinfully comfy bed. Nitey nite all.



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