Monday, December 31, 2012


Why do I make resolutions?  Probably because I like perfection...not sure that I am really a perfectionist though because sometimes I am happy with something even though it is not my family. However, I have been thinking earnestly about the resolutions I wish to make this new year and the reasons I want to make these changes.

1.  Exercise more! I need to be healthier, and I want to feel better.  When I exercise, I have more energy.  I also know that when I am more active, I am setting a good example for my children. So, this year, I resolve to exercise at least 4 times a week.

2.  Save money for my family! I want us to have more money for vacations and activities that allow us to spend time together and have a great time. While searching online for money saving tips, I came across a website that suggested a "no-spend" month.  I am going to suggest a "no-spend" week for my family.  From Friday to Friday, one week each month, we resolve to not spend any extra money on eating out, clothes, or anything that is extra. (This includes my diet cokes during planning.)

3.  Take more pictures! I want to capture more family moments on film regardless if our hair and make-up are camera ready.

4.  Family time! I resolve that we will participate in at least one planned family activity each month where we learn something together.  Georgia is rich with historical resources, and I want my children to know about their state's and country's history.

5. Date night! At least once a month (or more often), Jamie and I will stick to our date night. Plus, we will carve out time for each other every day.  Whether we ride the golf cart around the yard and talk or stand in the kitchen and share about our day, we resolve to spend as much time with each other as possible.

I think five resolutions are enough to start the year off on the right foot.  I will blog back with an update to let you know how resolved I am in making these resolutions part of my everyday reality.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Teresa’s Super Sour Dill Pickles


2 ¼ pounds of cucumbers (about 36 4” cucumbers)
3 ¾ cups water
3 ¾ cups white vinegar
6 TBSP pickling salt
12 to 18 heads of fresh dill (or 6 to 8 TBSP of Dill Seed; freeze-dried dill can also be used)
1 TBSP mustard seed

1.  Wash and cut cucumbers.
2.  Prepare brine – combine water, vinegar, and salt --- heat until boiling. 
3.  Pack cucumbers loosely in hot, clean pint jars (leaving ½” head space).
4.  For crispy pickles: add 1/8 tsp of Ball Pickle Crisp Granules (available at Walmart and most grocery stores) 
5.  Add 2 to 3 dill heads (or 3 to 4 tsp dill seed) and ½ tsp mustard seed to the top of the cucumbers in the jars. 
6.  Ladle hot brine over the cucumbers and release trapped air bubbles in the jars with a gentle stir --- maintain the ½” head space. 
7. Wipe rim clean and seal. 
8.  Process jars for 10 minutes in boiling water.
9.  As jars cool, they will seal.

Since my family LOVES dill pickles, I put up quart jars. I double everything and used 4 dill heads.  I used fresh dill in my pickles, and I think this may make them more sour than if you were using dill seeds.

Happy pickling! 

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Valentine Roses...

Are Valentine roses, or any other flowers for that matter, a waste?  This year my husband sent me a dozen red roses for Valentine's Day.  I was VERY surprised because he does not send flowers very often; I've probably only received flowers in our entire 24 years of courtship and marriage about five times...including the birth of our daughter. Needless to say, when I saw my beautiful red roses, I was surprised.  Not only did the roses make me feel special, but the handwritten card expressed in no uncertain terms what I mean to him.  So were the roses a waste?  I think not! Yet, it amazed me how many people felt the need to tell me that they had rather not receive flowers or that they have told their husbands to not send them flowers.  Really?? Why???  I wonder if these same people also tell their husbands to not take them out to eat...or buy them perfume...or even help out around the house because these things, like the roses, do not last. 

Gestures, words, and yes, flowers make me feel special.  I also like jewelry, perfume, pocketbooks, shoes, and a variety of other things.  I enjoy receiving gifts, and my husband enjoys giving them to me. I am not ashamed of this...I don't think I should be.  I want my husband to be chivalrous and romantic, and I hope my son is paying attention to the example his daddy is setting.  Plus, we hope our daughter also sees the type of man she should look for one day...someone who willingly puts her first in his life. 

So, on our 24th Valentine's Day, my husband asked if I would be his Valentine.  My answer?  Yes, I want to be your one and only Valentine, not just once a year but for the rest of my life.  I hope my Valentine never stops being sweet to me!

Sunday, August 28, 2011

So Stinkin' Cute!

Our little Roxie is just so stinkin' cute!  Brooke found this sundress for her at Petco today, and since it was on sale...we just had to buy it!  Even Jamie, who swore that this dog would just be an aggravating addition, loves her.  She has become his lunchtime pal...the family baby...and just a little something sweet that we all have fallen in love with...our Roxie!

Sunday, July 17, 2011

The Olde Pink House - Fabulous Way to Celebrate 18 years!

Here we are...celebrating 18 years of marriage! I still get butterflies in my stomach when I see him, and I hope that I make him as happy as he makes me.  I cannot imagine my life without him.  My heart is full as I think about all he means to me as a husband, friend, and daddy to our children.  (I really need to stop and say a special thank you to Amy and Jim because if it was not for those two, we would have never ridden around town that fateful Saturday night nearly 24 years ago.)

As you can imagine, such a wonderful occasion deserves special recognition.  Over the past few years, Jamie and I have taken an overnight trip to celebrate our anniversary; however, this year we have a new addition to our family (Roxie Bear the Yorkie Poo), so we decided to go out to eat to celebrate our wedding anniversary.  Where should we go??  It had to be special...a little something out of the ordinary...something we would definitely remember.

I asked several friends for their suggestions.  Next based on these suggestions, I read reviews on TripAdvisor and Frommer's. Jamie and I looked at menus online and finally decided on the Olde Pink House in Savannah as the destination for our celebration.

As you can see, we were not too quick in making our decision, so we did not call for a Saturday night reservation until the Friday evening before.  I was very disappointed to learn that the earliest available reservation would be at 9:00 PM.  The young lady on the phone was very quick to let me know that there was seating for those without reservations as well.  We decided to try our luck with the 1st come/1st serve seating and see how the meal unfolded.

We arrived at the Olde Pink House a little after 5:00 PM, and we were seated in a bar area.  At first we were concerned that it might be loud or crowded, but it turned out to be quite cozy.  Our server, Yuri, was fantastic! She seemed genuinely pleased to be serving us, and it seemed that she took delight in making recommendations from the menu. Yuri served our meal in three courses to us.  First, we began with a sausage strudel.  While it sounds a little weird, it was very tasty, and it made a wonderful beginning to our meal.

Next, we tried the she-crab soup with sherry. Yuri split the one serving into two bowls without being asked so we could easily share.  She added the sherry to the soup at the table....and then, I thought I heard the angels sing!  The soup was so good I could have bathed in it!  It took great self-control to not pick that bowl up and lick it clean.  We both used a corn muffin to soak up the last bits of the soup; it was just that good.  (Now, I feel that I must share that on the ride to Savannah, Jamie and I discussed how neither of us like food with wine sauces.  We both share the view that wine tends to overpower the food. While I am not sure how sherry and wine are different, I lump them into the same it right or wrong. We quickly realized how wrong we were on the whole sherry/wine thing and food...we had just never had it "done" right.  The Olde Pink House knows how to "do it" right!)

We ended our meal with flounder and grouper.  Jamie ordered flounder with grits and collards, and I ordered the lump crab stuffed grouper with mashed potatoes and mixed green beans.  Now, I am not one to usually order fish because (as odd as this sounds) I don't like my fish to taste fishy, but Yuri told us that both of these entrees were delicious.  She did not mislead us one bit!

(Jamie says that I should have taken a picture of the food before it looked like it had been attacked by a pack of raccoons, but it was so good that I did not think about taking a picture until...well...we had already done some damage.)

Additionally, I was again proven wrong.  The grouper was served with a white wine lemon sauce, and it a delicious compliment to the fish. We would have loved to have dessert, but we were too full.  As a matter of fact, we could not eat everything.  The food was really delicious, and we will most definitely go back...with reservations because next time it will not take us long to reach the decision of "where" we should go!

Saturday, July 16, 2011

I want a garden!

I told Jamie that I wanted a garden.  He looked at me and said, "Alright."  I should have clarified or asked questions, but we have been married almost 18 years...surely, he understood what I meant, right?  I wanted a Southern Living magazine garden.  You know the kind...weedless, shaded, bug-free.  The kind of garden the yields basketfuls of fresh produce that magically find their way to the freezer.  Well, he did not plant me that kind of garden.

See, I got the garden that has weeds that grow faster than the plants.  The one with cucumbers, squash, and zucchini that triple in size and amount overnight.  My garden has bugs, and it is not shaded.  My garden needs attention everyday, and it yields bucketfuls at time that have to be cleaned, cut, blanched, jammed, or pickled. My freezer is full as well as my cabinets, and there is more to put up. Just where??  As I look around my dining room I see 48 jars of pickles and 12 jars of jam looking for a cupboard in which to be stored.  Only my cupboards are all full!

I am really not complaining; it is just that I had no idea how much work was involved in gardening.  I have a renewed respect for farmers as well as my mama and grandmama, who canned, jammed, and pickled every summer while I played blissfully unaware.  My friend Kerry tells me that this winter when we are enjoying the fruits of my labor it will be all worth it.  I know she is right, so I guess I better go and pickle some more okra.  I also hear that you can freeze watermelon.  I think we may need another freezer...

And remember, no making fun of my farmer's tan, I earned the garden!

Friday, July 8, 2011

A Very Good Day...

Today has been a good day!  I met the gang, and we had  fun socializing while we walked.  During our walk, I even saw Mrs. Barbara, my mama's best friend.  She was like my 2nd mama when I was little, and she always let me help...with her make-up, hair, cooking...whatever seemed like a good idea to me at the time.  I guess she knew that I would go home, so she was very patient with my messes.  I still love her dearly, and seeing her just made my day feel like it had the right kind of start.

Next, Brooke, her friend Savannah, Zach, and I picked up our new addition.  She doesn't have a name yet, but she has adjusted well.  (We'll see how tonight goes...) As the picture illustrates, she dresses well, and is not afraid to attack a stuffed bunny...though the bunny did not put up much of a fight.  The children and I also took the puppy to the vet to have a health check.  She seems to be healthy, so hopefully it will be smooth sailing from here.

Once back at home, Nana and Papa rode over to see what the fuss was all about...they soon understood.  I think I have caught Jamie smiling at her more than once.  Brooke is convinced that once we go back to school the puppy will be laid up in Jamie's lap everyday at lunch.  I am beginning to believe that she might be right!

Our day has not just been about a puppy though...Savannah, Zach, Nana, and I shelled peas.  I was able to put up four quarts as a result of our efforts.  I also made some blueberry jam from the blueberries that Jamie, Zach, and I picked yesterday across the road at Mr. Hardy and Mrs. Alma, our neighbors.  After sampling the jam tonight, I think I may make some more tomorrow.  I have definitely been busy today, but it has been a very good day.