Thursday, November 5, 2015

10 Things That Changed the Day My Daddy Died

10.  I worry about my Mother dying as she is the last link to she and my Daddy as my parents. I'm really just one parent away from being an orphan.

9.  Honor your father and mother.  There will come a day when you don’t “have” to make the drive to your Daddy’s house for Father’s Day.

8.  Enjoy every holiday with your Mother, because one day you won’t have her to make memories with on holidays.

7.  Pictures keep memories alive.  Take as many pics as you can of your parents.  It is a vivid reminder of the great times you shared as a family after they are gone.

6.  Don’t complain about your parents in front of me.  I would give anything to have one more conversation, dinner, or drive with my Daddy.

5.  Losing a parent is like joining a class of people that you don’t want to belong.  How do you “opt out” of the “I lost my Daddy Club”.

4.  You can’t explain it to people who still have their parents.  When you lose your Daddy, you have a hole in your heart that can never be filled.

3.  Life goes on – we call it “The new normal”.  It's far from normal.

2.  Holidays are never the same.  You can be determined not to mourn but it is still never the same.

1.  You may rock along for months, and then one day you just lose it all over again because you realize that your Daddy is just not coming back.

I miss you every day.

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Mother's Day

It's Mother's Day.  I've got a really great Mother.  She is kind, loving, stern, and has incredibly high expectations.  Everything I learned about being a Mother was from her example.  She taught me so many things about myself, the world, how to work, and how to entertain graciously.  She gave of herself to more than just her children and grandchildren.  She is a role model for all Mother's!

I've also had the fortunate blessing to have a bunch of other great Mother's in my life.  Some have been surrogate Mother's to me living next door and growing up at their home. Some have been shining examples of what great Mother's do.  Other's have taught me something along the way as they came into my life.  

I'm blessed because not only did I have a great Mother, but my Mother had wonderful friends who were also great Mothers.  She exposed me from a very early age to what wonderful mothers should be.  She made sure that I was involved in church which showed me that great Mother's ensure that Christian principals are taught.  She encouraged me to love, hug and express my love for those that are special to me.  

As I grew older, one lesson I learned from Mother is that you are known by the company you keep.  I feel blessed that so many of my dear friends are shining examples of great mothers.  These are ladies that love their children, give of themselves and have hearts of gold.  I'm so grateful to have these amazing examples in my life of such wonderful mothers.  Their friendship  makes me a better mother to Jake.

Lastly I am blessed to have married Ray who gave me two beautiful stepdaughters.  I'm not their mom, but I love watching them be a Mom. They are Godly, loving, and kind.  They provide warm and wonderful homes for my six grandchildren.  They teach them how to have a heart for God, raise them in Christian homes and provide a real family life for them.  

Really, all I can say is BLESSED.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

The First Fruits of the Harvest

Yesterday I took the first fruits from my vegetable garden.  I really was on a mission to inspect it following the horrific hail storm on Monday that brought marble sized hail and a lot of damage to my plants.  I realized that I had a huge ripe onion ready to pull.  I promptly pulled the onion.  I cleaned it but haven't decided what to cook with it yet.

I could cook a hamburger and have fresh sliced onions on it.  I thought of shaving little rings and frying them as onion straws.  You can always saute them and top a good tenderloin fillet with them.  I suppose there are a million different things you can do with an onion.  

What to do with this "first fruit" of the vine?  It then hit me that the I should really just bow and give thanks for the bounty to which God has bestowed on us.  Our home, our family, our friends, our co-workers, our professions..............all of our many, many blessings.  That is really what the first fruit should represent.   We should stop and give thanks to God who gives us all things.

What do you think of when you think of "first fruits"?

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Gardening vs. Cooking

Today is going to be a challenge.  The weather will be divine for being outside. However, I feel the need to cook.  Do I work outside in the sunshine and build a new flower bed or two?  Or, do I stay inside and create a delicious dish?  

What do you think?  Check back in later tonight and see how the day went!

Friday, February 6, 2015

Learning Something New

Each day when we arise we learn something new.  Today I learned that dog is not man's best friend.  Dog is woman's best friend.  Dog's love their human Mama.  They know that love will come, as will breakfast, the praise often, and the attention regular!  

It is with great pleasure that Ray and I are now doggy parents again.  "Sadie" has come to live with the Crass family.  She lived with Jake for a while, but is ready for some serious spoiling and attention.  Ray and I are ready for a new family member to love and adore, since the loss of our sweet Coco, 18 months ago.  

Stay tuned in the future for lessons learned from Sadie! Pictures, too!

Thursday, February 5, 2015

The Bonds of Friendship

Every year in January, five beautiful young ladies gather for the Fort Worth Stock Show and Rodeo.  Each may or may not bring her "feller".  A companion can be a daughter, son, or sister.  But it happens every year like clockwork.

As the group makes their way to the rodeo, many great memories are rehashed, new ones made and stories of the past revisited.  It has been over 46 years since these bonds of friendship formed.  There are many memories of childhood, dating, marriage, babies, grand babies, death, and disaster.  But whether the memories are good  or bad, happy or sad, old or new, the bond among these five remains strong.  

This group together can withstand anything. It doesn't matter what the tragedy, the celebration or the incidental action, the five stand undivided.  Their bond is beyond strong, woven together with the toughest of fibers, and yet at times stretched to the thinnest of thin with the demands that are put forth on them.  No matter the test, the bond holds true.

You may not like one of them, two of them or all of them, but they are a package deal.  If you make an enemy of one, you make an enemy of all.  Their loyalty is fierce, their love for each other surpasses the tallest building, and their zaniness hits an all time high when in the same vicinity.  

They may go days or weeks without seeing or speaking to each one individually or as a group.  They may play phone tag at all hours.  They may drive within 5 miles of each other with no time permitted for a meeting.  Regardless of the space or distance, this group is tight.

They are my sweet dear friends.   They are Ya Ya's, Yum Yum's, and the Cashmere Mafia.  They have seen me at my best, and supported me at my worst.  They are frightfully honest, unwaveringly open, and not afraid to tackle any conversation.   I am blessed to have them in my life.  Thanks for the memories.  Looking forward to many more!

In honor of Amy, Carla, Dana and Gayla!  

Saturday, November 22, 2014


Nine years ago today, Amy and I were getting up and getting ready to head to the hair stylist to get some pretty flowers in my hair.  Gayla and Dana were on their way to "make me up".  Mom was fussing about making sure everyone had everything they needed.  Daddy and Jake had gone off with Ray to a pawn shop and then to lunch.  That's right.......that's how my wedding day started.

As the day progressed, various little issues arose.  Jake had to sew me into my wedding dress. The girls fixed me a great garter with something old, something new, something borrowed and something blue.  Carla was checking in from D.C. all day.  The reception area was made ready at the Country Club.  I was still not sure that marriage was the right path, but I knew Ray Crass was the right man.

So, I did it.  I married Ray Crass.  It was one of the best decisions I've ever made in my life.  He is the rock that keeps me steady.  He is the calm in the storm.  He makes me laugh and makes me feel like I am truly a queen.  The last nine years have been quite a ride.  We've traveled the world, but love our home most of all.  We've enjoyed some of the finest dining around, but still love a hot dog or Frito chili pie.  We've weathered illness, death, and tragedy.  We've celebrated births, birthdays, and weddings.  But no matter what, we will stay together until death parts us.  

Blessed today is all I can say!

Wednesday, August 13, 2014


I love August.  Not really!  It's hot.  I'm tired of summer and so ready to get college football kicked off. Plus, it's always so busy at work.  However, there are two special days in August that I always love to celebrate.

August has always been for as long as I can remember the month that Amy becomes as old as I do.  She is only 9 months younger than me, but we have celebrated every birthday since we were 2 years old together.  She makes me laugh, lets me cry, and has stood by me when I make some really goofy and embarrassing decisions.  Therefore, I am going to declare August 14th as Amy Beth Fox Day.  Reach out to her on Thursday and wish her a happy one.

Also, August 5th is the birthday of my sweet, sweet friend, Patty Taylor.  God blessed me so much when He brought her into my life.  She too has a special place in my heart.  She has taught me so many things and set an example for me on a daily basis.  She is the one who inspires me "to do right!."  It is her way of saying, "What would Jesus do"?  Everyone needs someone who is a living example of real goodness.  I'm blessed that she is mine.

So join with me in celebrating the lives of these two friends.  One has been in my life since the cradle and the other only a short time in my life.  I hope and pray that they both remain in my life for many more years.  They both remind me that August is great!

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Father's Day

My Daddy passed away three years ago on June 4th.  This is the fourth Father's Day that I have not celebrated with him on earth.  However, I still celebrate Father's Day even though Daddy is in heaven with our Heavenly Father.  Even though Daddy is not here with me for me to take to lunch, buy him a silly gift or make him his favorite breakfast of bacon and eggs (against my Mother's will) I still want to remember and honor him because he is still my Daddy.

I've got friends who lost their Daddy a long time ago. Amy Beth and Carole come to mind immediately.  Tarene and Dana are still missing their Daddy like I do although its been only a few short years.  Pam and Denise have recent losses and are doing a first Father's Day without their Dad.  Losing your Dad just changes your life forever in a way that you can never understand until you live through it.  Death is a part of life, but losing your Daddy is just really life-changing if you were especially close to him.

However, just because your Daddy is not here on this earth physically doesn't mean you can't honor him on Father's Day.  My Dad would still want family to gather (not for Father's Day but because family should gather).  He would enjoy a great meal - so I will enjoy one as well.  He would want us to attend church on Sunday.  He would want us to be kind and loving to one another.  He would want us to do good, work hard and be a good example for our children as he was for us.  

Daddy was a great teacher, lifelong learner, fixer of anything but a broken heart, farmer, rancher, fisherman, and hunter.  He was known to many as a uncle, cousin relative or dear friend.  He was always ready to lend a helping hand, demanded the best out of everyone, and usually saw the good in most people.  He was determined to live life to the fullest, didn't let a thing like heart disease slow him down, and made sure that we could take care of ourselves.

So in honor of the best Daddy around, Roy W. "Buddy" Cagle, I plan to celebrate him this Father's Day as he would expect.  I will strive to be the Christian woman he would have wanted, the best wife to Ray I can be, and a loving mother to Jake.  I will be a good daughter, sister, aunt and friend. I will do what is right (even though it is not easy sometime) and hopefully live a life that would have made him proud.  I miss you, Daddy!

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Six Degrees of MK

Last night Ray and I celebrated the wedding of Miss Mary Katherine Dickey to Mr. Wesley Jones.  As we moved through the ceremony and reception I realized that meeting Mary Katherine brought together so many people I knew at different times in my life.  Mer, as her little brother affectionately calls her, has a way of celebrating life to the fullest, and she did so last night at her wedding.  I am so honored to be included in her circle of friends.

I met MK through her mother, Kelley, when she served on the board at De Leon ISD.  Later as Ray served as Superintendent there, we got to be friends with her parents, Howard and Kelley, and just fell in love with Mary Katherine.  MK became friends with all of us at the Fort Worth Club when she became a member there.  Doc and Patty thought she was just delightful and we enjoyed kind of adopting her when she moved to Fort Worth.  Doc and Patty, Larry Don and Lori, and Ray and I traveled to Las Vegas one year to watch her run a marathon.  

As we became friends of the Dickey's, we got to know other friends who were at wedding also.  Peter and Susie, Nancy, and so many other folks from De Leon.  Shirley and Larry Simpson have been good friends with not only the Dickeys over the years but our good friends, Larry and Debbie Dyer from Granbury who now live in Hot Springs, Ark.  Such a small world!

It was also fun to run into our friends, the Millers, from White Settlement last night.  Mike Miller grew up down the street from MK's mother.  Jake and I attended church with the Millers when we lived in White Settlement.  Jake and Shayla Miller attended Brewer Middle School together.  Shayla and Laci lived together in college, and Shayla was a bridesmaid in Laci's wedding.  

As MK met and begin to date Wes, we discovered that Wes was a youth minister in Mansfield at the Church on Rush Creek.  Oddly enough, Kari Blankenship works as the children's minister at the same church.  Kari's mother, Susan Brooks Blankenship, was one of my childhood besties growing up in New Boston.  Susan's dad was the preacher at our church, and I spent a large part of my childhood at the parsonage with Susan.  I was Susan's matron of honor at her wedding when she and Vince married and was at the hospital the night Kari was born.  

When MK and Wes married, his parents and many of their friends also attended the wedding.  Wes' parents now live in the little town of Eldorado, Texas where our dear friend, Dr. Larry Blair grew up and later served as Superintendent of schools.  So many folks at the wedding last night know Blair and were excited to catch up on him and his family.  

I realize this story is a bit convoluted but what a fun night I had with so many people from so many different points in my life.  From my special friend, Pattycake,  and her connection to MK all the way back to my childhood with Susan was a special journey last night down memory lane while celebrating the union of Mary Katherine and Wes.  Besides the six degrees of MK, the wedding was beautiful as well!  And if you are on twitter, follow the trend at #weslovesmk.

Monday, February 3, 2014


Boy am I a lucky girl.  I've got girlfriends that are always there for you.  We've been through marriages, divorces, babies, grand-babies, death, disease, weight-loss, weight-gain, and everything in between.  I can't remember a time in my life that these girls were not a part of something going on in my world.  I've traveled with them, cried with them, laughed with them, lived with them, rejoiced with them and hurt with them over my lifetime.

They have wiped my tears, been my sounding board, made me laugh out loud til my sides hurt, hugged me close, snugged with me, scolded me, propped me up when I was ready to fall, and loved me in spite of myself.  What a blessing to have friends who remain in your life from childhood until forever!

Each one of us is different.  Each one of us brings something different to the group.  Each one of us has her faults and her talents.  But one thing we all have is a deep abiding sense of loyalty for our ability to stick together though thick and thin.  It's easy to rally around when times are tough, but the wonderful part of these friends is their ability to truly celebrate in the joys, accomplishments, and good things that have come to each us over time.

Blessed.  That is all!!!!!

Sunday, February 2, 2014


What a month this has been!!!!  Just yesterday I was eating black eyed peas and cornbread, and today is ground hog day.  As I sit by the fire this cold afternoon and wonder where time has gone, I consider many things that have happened since my last blog.

I've seen death in the life of Ms. Shirley Brooks, a talented pianist and all around wonderful lady.  I know she is missed by her family, but also by her church family where she was part of the music team for 40+ years.

I've seen life as we celebrated at sweet Erin's baby shower.  My cousin, Brian, and his wife, Ashley, have doubled their joy with Rhett and Malia.  I've enjoyed Donna's pictures of Knox and watching him grow and change this first year.  I've watched Ellen's daughter, Elizabeth, and my friend, Ashley, as they both prepare for a second child in the spring.  2014 will bring about new and exciting life to our friends and families.

I've seen change in things from the weather to my daily walk with God.  One day it is 70 and then next day it is snowing.  But as they say in Texas, if you don't like the weather, it will change.  I've become convicted to really make a difference in my daily walk with Christ and spend more time in His Word.  I am a firm believer that the more time you spend reading your bible and praying that God will develop a true hunger in you for His Word.

I've seen old friends and new friends.  I've enjoyed spending time with new friends whether over an intimate dinner or just a glass of wine.  It's the connection and bonding of friends that are daily blessings to us.  I always in enjoy my Cleburne friends and those who live nearby that I can celebrate with daily the ups and downs that we experience in life.  I've had the opportunity to share an amazing weekend with girlfriends from childhood (one from the cradle).  It's like we still can make each other laugh over just the smallest of things.  We enjoy so many memories and love making new ones.

I've seen miracles.  Most of the miracles I've seen have to do with the life and death situations situations that friends have faced recently.  But they are here, alive and well with a promise of a future of happiness.

Finally, I've seen rodeo!  Boy have I seen rodeo.  From the Ranch Rodeo that kicked off the stock show to the Fort Worth Shootout and Bulls Night Out, I've see the legendary Fort Worth Rodeo several nights.  With only a week left to go, the rodeo will be over for another year.

I hope that I can spend more time in February blogging about things that cross my mind.  I hope you enjoy the musings of this simple country girl!

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

It's a New Year

Well, if you are reading this, I guess we  both survived 2013.  Who knows what 2014 has in store for us.  I do know that my Grannie Lester had several New Year's Day traditions that I am clinging to as always.  Grannie always cooked blackened peas with salt pork in a boiler on the stove.  She always made cabbage too.  Peas were for good luck and I can not for the life of me remember what cabbage is for.  I do know that she cooked turnip greens as they were supposed to be for money.  That is probably the reason I am not wealthy today is because I refuse to eat turnip greens.  I just don't like them.

Grannie also believed that if you washed clothes on New Year's Day that you would wash in bad luck.  My Momma never heeded that one as she said when we were growing up that if she skipped a day doing laundry that she would never get caught up again.  I have tried to adhere to that "not washing on New Year's Day" thing - but mostly because I just don't like doing laundry.

I hope you have a great New Year!  What traditions do you always follow?

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Vacuum Sealer

I'm obsessed with vacuum sealing food.  I love to cook and do so only in huge quantities.  I am not a fan of fast food or chain restaurants at all. I love good food when I eat.  I cook good food.  I cook like my Mama and my Grannie.  I cook like a Southern cook.  But I've learned a few things about cooking and eating.  You can always have healthy fresh food if you learn how to vacuum seal.

I started with a little ordinary vacuum sealer from the local Walmart.  I bought the rolls of bags and cut them to fit.  The sealer lasted a while but not too long.  The rolls of bags were expensive and bulky.  It wasn't until I learned of this cool place called The Vak Shack that I really learned to vac seal.  I order bags that are pre-cut and so economical.  I've ordered from them for a couple of years now.  It makes keeping and sealing great food fresh and economical.  

I can put up just enough in individual servings or for 2, 3, or 4 people.  Food just does not go to waste at our house.  Meat does not go to waste in our house.  When I find meat on sale at the store, I grab it, seal it and freeze it.  We can often eat rib eye, t-bone or tenderloin steaks for as little as 4.99 per pound.   Chicken, pork chops and wild game are often abundant in our freezer as I only try to buy meat when it is on sale and cheap.

When my last vac sealer finally died, I splurged and bought a commercial vac sealer.  What a great investment that was.  I use it at least 3 -5 times a week.  I never let fresh vegetables go to waste.   I just seal and freeze.  I always have great veggies as the local farmer's market this season was a fun Saturday morning adventure.  The good news is we eat a lot healthier these days.  

I close this ramble with a brief shout out to Amanda Crum who is back at the helm of the The Vak Shack!  I missed you while you were gone.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

File' Gumbo, Baylor Bears and Rain

Life is full of simple pleasures.  It just takes us a long time to figure out that the simple pleasures in life are really the greatest blessings we have.  

File' gumbo is a recipe that I have never really mastered.  The best gumbo maker I know is my sweet friend, Pattycake.   She is making me a huge pot today, and I have been dreaming of it all week long.  My mouth has been watering for 3 days.  Smelling the spices this morning just made me hungry all day long.  Best friends and great food make life grand.

Baylor Bears are ranked #8 this week and are undefeated this far into the season.  Watching how Art Briles has taken this team and developed raw talent into football history makes me so very happy to be a part of the Baylor Bear family.  

Rain is such a blessing.  We take if for granted because our lawns and plants are beautiful thanks to the modern day sprinkler system.  However, rain is so powerful.  Listening to it pound on the roof and seeing how it fills our little lake in the neighborhood are simple blessings in life that I recognize and give thanks for every time the sky opens up to rain.  

So I ask you, what simple pleasures in life make you happy, make you smile and make your day?

Friday, October 18, 2013

Oxford Miss is Ole Miss

On a recent trip to Oxford, Mississippi, I learned several things.  I would say these are the top 10 things I learned on my trip to Mississippi.  These things in no particular order are as follows:

1.  Kudzu grows like wildfire in Mississippi and there is really no way to kill it.
2.  Boure' is one of the best seafood joints in the South.
3.  You can't get good Mexican food in Oxford.
4.  The Square in Oxford is really the true essence of a Southern College Football Town.
5.  There is actually a road in Oxford called Seed Tick Road.
6.  Kids really do still use bicycles as a means of transportation.
7.  Parker Wood is the best steak cooker I have ever met.
8.  You never ever quit being a Rebelette.
9.  There is something special about being Southern.
10.  You can find some of the best pizza in the world in Sardis, Miss at Tribecca Allie's.

The Moon

The post tonight is not a long one. I love waking up when I can't sleep, looking out the tall windows in my bedroom and seeing a large round moon shining down on me. When I am troubled and can't sleep, it reminds me that all is well. God put a little night light up there to let me know He is with me. It's a reminder that He is going to get me through any storm. He is the one thing I can count on when I am worried, scared, frustrated or anxious. Thank you God for your beautiful nightlight you've shone on me tonight.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

It's Game Day in the Kitchen

Today is one of those awesome days I live for every year.  I got to sleep in till about 9:00 a.m. this morning and got up to a perfect pitcher of iced tea.  I turned on Game Day in the Kitchen and started going through my cabinets and recipes.  You guessed it...........I cook and watch college football all day.  My tastes are a bit eclectic and no one dish is designed to go with another.  I just like to cook certain foods.

My first dish I opted to create is actually for tomorrow.  I am making chicken & dressing to go with the fried chicken, mashed potatoes, and mac & cheese that I am cooking for lunch tomorrow when all my kids and grandkids arrive!  It's going to be a special Sunday afternoon to have Jake, Lisa and Lori, their spouses and all the kids under one roof, if but for only a couple of hours.

Then I chose to take Mama's Duck & Wild Rice Recipe and try it with dove.  It is still cooking and the jury is still out on that one.  I'm also cooking a big pot of soup that we can munch on all week long.  There is nothing better to me that a big bowl of soup and cornbread at night when I get home from work.  Finally, I made some Queso Blanco.  Velveeta makes that now and it is pretty awesome.  I add the regular can of Rotel, but my friend Donna Boles told me to add in a carton of fresh pico and it makes such an amazing difference.  It tastes just like the Queso at Fuzzy's.  All I need is whatever they sprinkle on their chips there, and I'm Fuzzy in Cleburne.

It's been a great day so far.  All I need now is about 3 more TV's in my den so I can keep up with all the games I am watching today!

Sunday, August 4, 2013

My Grannie

On this date in 1904, Lydia Chasteen was born. She married William Lester and was my sweet Granny! I honor her today for the many things she taught me: how to cook, sew, shell peas, cut up a chicken, and the need to always wear a bonnet. She chastised me as a young girl for never wearing shoes, in my teens for swimming in mixed company, and as a college girl for not coming to visit often enough.

I wish I could remember her voice. But I can still see her hands, her smile and the loose powder she applied for makeup. I miss her still and wonder what she would have thought of her grands and great grands. She was opinionated, a devout Christian and devoted grandparent. How I was blessed to have had her in my life for 21 years.

Peeling Potatoes

Today brought back some special memories of a fine man - Jabo Barfield.  Jabo was my father in law and made such an impact on my life in so many ways both large and small.  My son was blessed to have learned many skills from him such as crappie fishing, cleaning quail and making a roux for gumbo.

During my first marriage it was a regular event that we would go out to the Grannie and Jabo's house for a lunch on Sunday afternoon followed by Cowboy football and often a fame of 42.  Church let out at noon and everyone would change clothes and head to the Barfield's.  In the summer we ate a lot of fried fish and french fries and the the winter was filled with fried quail or deer steak and cream potatoes.  Lunch was never served before 3:00 p.m. because there was no such thing as rushing potatoes, gravy or biscuits which were always made from scratch and never from a can, box or mix.

My job was to wash and peel potatoes.  I am not sure how I got that job, but somehow for years my job was to always peel potatoes.  I will never forget the first time I began peeling potatoes, Jabo leaned over from the stove and said the peeling is not that thick, you are wasting a lot of good potato there.  He came over and showed me how to peel them quick and fast with just a few strokes and leave as much potato as possible.  Grannie also taught how to figure potatoes when doing french fries or mashed potatoes - one for everyone and one for the pot.  It worked out every time and there were rarely any leftovers.

Tonight I am cooking deer steak at the request of my sweet hubby, Ray.  As I peeled my potatoes this afternoon, I had some precious memories of a great man who taught me such a simple but wonderful skill as peeling potatoes for a family meal.  I miss him and h is wit, wisdom and love for family! 

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Great Service

I am a big fan of delicious food and great service.  I rarely eat at fast food restaurants.  When I sit down and eat, I like it be on a plate (not paper) with a knife, fork and spoon (not plastic) and using a cloth napkin.  I like real glasses, except that I am pretty partial to my Tervis tumblers, and don’t drink out of plastic bottles at the table.  I love the Fort Worth Club for just that very reason.

I also enjoy feeding a lot of people.  I love to cook and do it pretty often.  I like to manage meals and not have leftovers.   I cook in large quantities but the food should always taste good no matter what you are cooking or for how many.  On a recent Princess cruise ship, I figured it would be really difficult to feed so many people and say that the food is not bland or fast food quality.  However, on that cruise, to say that there were thousands of people and the food was always delicious is really an understatement.  I am amazed at how the ship daily prepared delicious meals and yet managed to present the food in tasty servings on a consistent basis.  Several thousand folks on this boat  were being fed three or more times a day.  The meals were well seasoned; the servings were a nice proportion, and the combinations amazing.  Most restaurants serve a special type of food and don’t try to do it all.  Princess does it all.  The thing I am most impressed with is the consistency of how great the food AND the service each and every day. 

The service was amazing on the ship.  The wait staff was always kind and courteous.  They were very attuned to your wishes on board the Princess Cruises.  This is by far my favorite of cruise lines I’ve ever sailed.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

A Most Amazing Day

Recently, I experienced one of the most moving days of my life.  I went to the USS Arizona Memorial today where 1,177 people are entombed as a result of the bombing of Pearl Harbor.  Can you imagine being stationed in paradise and waking up on Sunday, December 7, 1941 to all of the ships being bombed, exploding and on fire?

The other moving experience I enjoyed was dinner with an old friend of Ray’s from Bryson who is a resident of Honolulu.  She and I are very much alike in that we both like great food and good wine in a perfect setting.  She took us to a beach side restaurant in Waikiki.  I had the mixed seafood grill and it was perfect.  The fish in Hawaii is the most tasty and fresh ever!  I was in heaven that night. 

The end of the evening ended at Crazy Shirts which is one of my most delightful finds ever.  I bought shorts there about 10 years ago in San Francisco with my friend, Gail.  I still wear them to this day.  I bought another pair today. They are just the most comfortable blend of twill you can find.  They come in dyed colors such as beer dyed, wine dyed, crater dyed, coffee dyed and rum dyed.  I love them.  The tshirts are the equally as comfortable and last forever.

All in all……that was pretty much a perfect day!  I’ve crossed a few things off my bucket list!  Priceless!

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Is Pasta Southern?

I had a group of friends over on Saturday night for Pasta Bar.  Of course there was a little wine involved as well thanks to my friend, Pattycake.  Ellen brought a great salad and Janice came with her famous ice cream cake dessert.  I still have 1/2 piece of the dessert left in the freezer but I only eat two bites a day so I can savor it as long as possible.

But back to Pasta Bar.  I get a lot of ingredients and cut them up and put them in bowls.  I use onions, peppers, sun dried tomatoes, mushrooms, asparagus, spinach, capers, zucchini  chicken and shrimp.  I boil up a whole lot of bow tie pasta and then have marinara and Alfredo sauce.  Everyone tells you what they want in their pasta and you cook it up in a skillet for them individually while everyone eats as their pasta is done.  I can keep three skillets going at once.

I had to ask myself, it this really a Southern dish.  We think of  pasta as Italian food, but served as a pasta bar, I am sure it is Southern.  Especially in how we cater to each and every diner at the table or who is sitting around the bar.  This is just a wonderful way to celebrate friends and family.  You could almost do it as a pot luck and assign everyone one or two things to bring.  

Just my musings on a few random thoughts this morning.  Hope you have a good Wednesday.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

New Finds

There are those that say I am Southern.  But those that really know me well, know that I am Southern to the core.  My Mama and  Daddy raised me to be a Southern lady.  I was fortunate to grow up with great parents, amazing grandparents, a brilliant and funny little sister that I really didn't like much until I was about 32 or so, and some really awesome friends.

I love to share my Southern roots with anyone who will listen, but today y'all have to hear about this.  I found the coolest website.  It's called Bourbon & Boots.  The website I found for them is located at  I am hoping some day I can join their team, be a guest blogger or even feature a product on their website.  I just took about 5 minutes to browse the site, but I've already found gifts for me, gifts for friends and great products that I have purchased that they may want to include on their website.  

If you are near a computer, don't wait......log onto the site and take a look.  For those of you Southerners like me who enjoy a good bourbon and a great pair of boots, you are going to love this amazing site.  I feel like I know them already!

Y'all have a great day.

Monday, February 4, 2013


Blessings come in many shapes and sizes.  Sometimes we are overwhelmed at the sheer size of them, while at other times, we forget to say thanks for the little things that made us smile.  I've really made an effort the last few months to be openly thankful for the many blessings in my life.  

This is not to say that I still don't have trials and tribulations, but only to say rather than wallow in the the problems, I plan to find something every day to be thankful for in my life.  Several things come to mind that I remember I should say thank you to God for each morning that I rise.  I want to list a few of them out (and this list is by no means exhaustive) but certainly what has been on my mind lately.

1.  I am blessed to have had a place called home  with parents and family that has always been and always will be safe.

2.  I am blessed to have a son and two daughters who have good hearts, kind souls and a love for Jesus and fellow man.

3.  I am blessed to have wonderful friends that that I love and who are supportive of me and my goals and dreams and enjoy that our lives intertwine.

4.  I am blessed beyond measure to have a husband who is Godly, the spiritual head of our house and who loves me unconditionally.

5.  I am blessed to have a warm bed, ample food, a car that runs and medical insurance.

Be thankful for all that you have (and not just the tangible) and don't dwell on all that you don't have.  God's has lots in store for me and you.  I'm really glad to get up every day and see his blessings unfold.  What are you blessed by these days?

About Me

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Having been raised with manners and class (which by the way has nothing to do with money), I spend my time trying to make my company always feel welcome and comfortable in my home and at social gatherings I often attend!!!!!!!!