When we were lucky enough to find this 3 acre plot of land for sale with the big house and room upstairs to make more rooms and another bath, we hardly noticed the chickens and chicken coop that came with it. Since we were planning on building and we were now the main caregivers for my precious mother, Mom started praying that if there was a house around available, we would find it before we dug the first hole!  Well as God works, our daughter-in-law found this house by accident, or not!! My son and his family were having problems in their little house so that’s why they were looking around. They had looked at several and we had too. Nothing was available in our price range or it was so far out we didn’t even want to look. We both looked at homes big and small, new and old and nothing was fitting either of our fancies. So this is why we decided to go back to the original idea of building. We had our lots paid off and the plans modified to suit our needs. We were ready to hire the builder when this came up on the computer.  We all thought, should we or not take the time, we’d seen so many already and nothing was right. Oh well one more house, it might be fun to see so off we went to meet the realtor.  We couldn’t believe our eyes! Every way we turned it was more perfect than the last. A big country kitchen with a long bar and six chairs, a sunken living room with a gas fireplace and door to a patio for grilling. Four full bathrooms and two half baths. It even had a hair salon Just off the kitchen where the owner had had her own business. Perfect for the granddaughters to pretend they had their own hair salon with the special sink and moveable chair. We’ve each had our turn with them washing and rolling our hair, even Papa. They didn’t charge us but were delighted when we all gave them tips!!

  The chickens are friendly and fun to watch. Since they are used  to the neighborhood they visit the goats and alpacas that live next door. The rooster keeps them in line and reminds them when evening comes with his impressive “cock-a–doodle-doo”. And probably the best part are the eggs we get each day. All colors of dark to very light brown and some even have speckles.


 When I moved to the South one of the foods I learned to love quickly was grits!! They serve it with breakfast with your eggs and bacon or sausage or in your eggs like the recipe above. Southerners also serve it with butter and sugar like a cereal. And for dinner its very pleasing to the pallet to have shrimp and grits with a little cheese on top! Oh, that’s another blog all by itself!! One of my favorite movie lines of all times is in “My Cousin Vinny” where  Joe Pesci, from New York, asks a cook in the south ” just what is a grit anyway”.  You need to watch this movie if you haven’t already.  HILARIOUS !! 

Spring/Fresh Veggies/Salads Galore

 I think it’s terrific how most cities are now having open farmer’s markets in the middle of there downtowns. This past weekend Roy and I met our friends Dianne and Jim Corn in Knoxville, Tennessee at the first of the season fair. Do you see the color and size of these radishes? You never find them like this at the grocery store. I had to purchase them right away and since I carry little packets of salt in my purse I ate one right then. Perfect! No pithiness inside of these jewels, just a peppery crunch. Here are a couple of new recipes you can try and of course just add them to any salad



 Now this wasn’t always the truth. Bless her heart. Her heart was so good but her mind was an understandable mess. When she and her siblings were removed from their mother, someone in the state agency decided that it would be best for the others if she not to live with them. Now, can you imagine that? She was stubborn and outspoken. Those are good qualities for anyone in politics and other occupations like that. But for her not to be submissive with all these changes in her life was perceived to be a bad thing. The  first time my husband went to pick her up from the school she was attending, she ran from him and he had to chase her around the school yard till she got tired and slowed down  because of the heavy load she was carrying in her back pack. Now picture this!  Kids are taught everyday in school and on TV to NEVER get into a car with strangers and now my husband has to persuade her to get into his car and go home with him for the week-end. We were asked to  keep her for respite to give her current foster parents a week-end break. She had been told this, of course, but had never met any of us. The week-end went very well. My own children who were older were always so sweet and understanding of all these children that came through our home and that made the children feel more welcome. In time she was able to move in with us and become a real part of our family. Her heart was so enormous and she wanted to help others all the time. One time she was worried about another family not having enough food so she started carrying out our food to help them. Finally, I had to sit down with her, pen and paper in hand, and explain how this works. I showed her the amount of food we had left for the week and told her to figure out enough meals for us for the remaining week and whatever was left she could take to her friends. After figuring it all out she decided she had taken enough food and would help in another way.

On another day she decided to fix supper for us and was so excited to do so. Her meal of baked spaghetti with corn turned out great. This was a recipe she had learned from another foster home she had lived in. One really good thing about this recipe is you can make it ahead and bake it when you want it. You see recipes like this now but back then it was a new idea. And for some reason she likes corn with her spaghetti instead of a salad. That is probably because that’s how she first ate it or she didn’t know how to make a salad. Either way it was delicious and we still make it today.

 As time went along, she still struggled with missing her sisters, and with the help of her case worker, we were able to set up visitations, and that helped. She always had trouble in school, too, till finally she was diagnosed as being dyslexic and got the proper training. Because she had such a caring personality she had many mentors along the way that helped her. Her youth minister, the secretary of her high school, and “Poppy” as we all called him. He was my daughter’s grandfather, and since his wife had just died and Linda’s birthday was the same day as “Mimi’s,” it was a perfect match. He would take her to dinner on occasions and he taught her to play Uno and Skip Bo and they would play for hours. In reality, she probably helped him as much as he helped her.