Friday, September 12, 2014


We have these windowboxes on our upstairs porch. I grow my herbs there, since my kitchen opens onto it. A couple of the plants died in one, so I pulled them out. A few days later I noticed that someone (or something) had created a nice big hollow in the dirt. I filled it in and smoothed things out. It reappeared. We went back and forth until finally I caught the culprit in action.

 It's where he likes to take his afternoon naps.

Well, Lex and I are off on another adventure tomorrow, at the crack of dawn. This time we're headed to Dallas for a "Stock Their Bar" wedding shower that my big sister Poodie is hosting for Lex, and all my sisters and nieces will be there. Should be a hoot 'n a holler!


Lexie's Mother-in-Law to be, Holly, asked me if I could do a couple of my little kiddo sketches to go in the wonderful wedding album she had put together for Lex and Nate. But of course! Only problem was, I never knew Nate as a kid. Fortunately, Holly had a ginormous photo album filled with Little Nate photos that she was willing to loan out for a while. OMG, what a cutie-pitootie he was! My very favorite picture in the album was one of Nate clutching his little boy Cabbage Patch Kid doll, with them wearing matching Indian headdresses, which resulted in this:

So then, of course, I had to go digging through our own albums in search of a photo of Lex with her CBK, Ginger Carlina.

Too bad I couldn't find the one of them in their matching Care Bears nightgowns!

Now I'm thinking perhaps I need to do some similar sketches of Austin and Alexis in one of my own little journals -- starting with She-Ra: Princess of Power!


Wednesday, September 10, 2014


I may finally have had my fill...

of farmers' market art...

at least, for a while.

Many thanks to Junelle Jacobsen, for saving the best for last  -- one of the most fun projects ever!

Tuesday, September 9, 2014


I tried one of the recipes from my new cookbook last night. That's always a scary thing for me because, truth is, everyone's palate is different, and if you really don't like the way something in a new cookbook tastes, chances are, you will feel the same way about a lot of their other recipes as well. That's why I have several cookbooks each from all my favorite cooks -- Jamie Oliver, Ina Garten, Giada de Laurentiis, Susan Branch...I trust their palates.

So, for my first Gullah Cuisine adventure, I tried the Okra Pilau recipe. A pilau is the same thing as a rice pilaf. For this one you fried up a little bit of chopped bacon and ham, both of which I already had in the freezer, then add some chopped onion and garlic and saute a little longer. Next you add some sliced okra, either fresh or frozen. I just happened to have a bag of PictSweet's okra and tomato blend in the freezer which needed to be used up soon, so I tossed in the whole bag. I keep it around for whenever I get the urge to make some chicken stew/gumbo, just in case okra isn't in season when the urge hits. Once everything is tender, you remove it from your big heavy-bottomed pot and set it aside.

Next you bring some chicken stock to a boil in that same pot, add your rice and seasonings, then cover the pot and let it simmer until the rice is tender. The recipe called for Uncle Ben's Converted white rice, but I had some short grain brown rice on hand, so I added some extra broth and cooked it a little longer to compensate. When done, you stir the okra mixture back into the rice, heat through, et voila!

Adding enough Tobasco to scorch your mouth, as my hubby always does, is totally optional. Is it a keeper? Why yes, I do believe it is!

Speaking of chicken stew, I think that is the recipe I plan to try next. I'm curious to see how the S. Carolinian version compares to the one my Cajun sister-in-law introduced me to almost 40 years ago, and which was one of the first meals to ever make me moan out loud!

Sunday, September 7, 2014


I'm not big on souvenirs. By the time we came home from our second stint in Indonesia, our house was beginning to look like a Pier One Exports outlet. That's one reason I was so excited about downsizing by about 1,000 s.f. It was the perfect excuse for getting rid of a whole slew of dust-catching geegaws! I don't need any of that stuff to remind me of our adventures. I now have all my stories and pictures over on Miss Becky Goes Abroad. It was a tough process though, with hubby looking so sad and pitiful through it all, and I never want to go through it again. Which is why I'm ever so cautious when it comes to buying souvenirs.

When we were in Charleston, I almost made it through the entire trip without buying a single thing. I was dying for a piece of this fabulous color-mad folk art by Jonathan Green, but we have no more room on our walls (the "down" side of downsizing).

Or what about a book on the history of this area? But not the boring dates and battles! I wanted stories, about how the people really lived.

Of course, I would have loved a new cookbook -- one focusing on a cuisine that grew out of using whatever fresh, local ingredients happened to be at hand. But I already have so many, and just did a big purge on the ones I rarely used. This book would have to be pretty dang special to warrant adding it to my newly manageable collection, plus it would have to provide great inspiration for the once-a-month Sunday dinners I'd like to start hosting for our family.

But, what if I were to stumble across one book that had it all -- color madness, stories and food? Now that, my friends, would be the perfect souvenir!

Best twenty five bucks I ever spent! My only regret is that I didn't discover it in time to visit chef Charlotte Jenkins Gullah Cuisine restaurant over in Mount Pleasant while there. Yet another reason why I must go back!