Monday, March 31, 2008

The "WHY" Behind Easter

The Redeemer Presbyterian website has their sermons from Easter week posted. It's a wonderful series that focuses on the 'why' of Easter. The messages would be a good devotional guide and for sharing with others. There's nothing to buy or mail away for, just listen right from the Redeemer site.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Play Ball!

Along with clear skies and blooming flowers, Spring brings baseball back into our lives. It's so much fun to have all the Spring Training games here for the entire month of March, but now it's time for the boys of summer to move on to their home fields and get the season started. My favorite team, the Atlanta Braves, start their season Sunday night at 8pm on ESPN against the Washington Nationals. The Nationals are playing in a brand new stadium this year that is the talk of Major League Baseball. President Bush will throw out the first pitch then former Brave Odalis Perez will pitch for the Nationals.
Tim Hudson gets the ball for the Braves after tearing it up at spring training. Oh joy! Baseball is back!

I Don't Like Mondays

Really, I don't mind Mondays so much, but this week is going to be different. Hubby and I have to be at the hospital at 5:30am for his 7:30 surgery. It's about a half hour away so you can imagine the hour I'll have to be up to be there on time. This is when a Bible verse I memorized years ago comes in handy....Your adornment must not be merely external....but let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the imperishable quality of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is precious in the eyes of the Lord. I Peter 3:3-4.
So while we're going through the paperwork, waiting, surgical procedure, and recovery I won't surrender to the first human instinct of being impatient and irritable, but will be calm and at peace. Of course this doesn't happen through my own strength but with God's guiding hand.
After you've read this would you please pray that Hubby will have an easy time through the surgery and recovery with a minimum of pain. If all goes as it should, he'll be his old lovable self in a couple of days.
UPDATE: Everything went better than expected. The only after effect was having a headache from missing his morning coffee. That's been remedied so all is well. Thanks for you prayers and thoughts.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Leftover Peeps

The Washington Post held it's second annual Peeps Show and received more than 800 entries. Everything from Sesame Street to No Country For Old Men were represented in dioramas peopled with Peeps. My favorite was a Project Runway take-off featuring a Peep wearing a ruffled dress made of muffin cups. The winner, Laura Sillers, found out about the contest 48 hours before the Sunday deadline. She only had to buy Peeps because she already had all the craft items she needed to build an Egyptian themed diarama. Even the hieroglyphics on the walls have images of Peeps. Check out the photo gallery showing the best peeps entries.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Gardening 101

Are you frustrated when you see pictures of beautiful gardens? Do you think you have a brown thumb and there's no hope for you? The situation may not be as bleak as you think. There's a nurseryman out there who really wants to help; it's White Flower Farm. The catalog and website is filled with not only fabulous photos, but detailed plans for designing a garden, planting containers, and caring for your plants.

The sweet mail lady brings me lots of gardening catalogs all year long, but my favorite by far is White Flower Farm's. The letter at the front has been signed by Amos Pettingill for 57 years and is a must read for gardeners. It's filled with personal anecdotes, news of the farm, and stern warnings against planting out of your zone. Turn the page to find garden bulb collections and garden designs for shade and sun. It's the container plants that really catch my eye. The combinations are breathtaking and will make you start a list of must-have plants. I'm definitely buying Coleus "Strawberry Drop" and Begonia Dragon Wing Pink for starters. It will go with my chartreuse sweet potato that wintered over. The other Coleus I love is called Inky Fingers and they have it paired with a white Fuchsia, Begonia, and Caladium White Christmas. Stunning look for brightening up a dark corner.
For all of you who think your garden is doomed, there's hope. White Flower Farm can guide you to the world of beautiful gardens.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Fluff Your Nest

As Spring gets closer and the days start warming up, your garden is going to beckon to you, " Please come outside and give me some TLC." It's time to cut away the freeze damage and fill in the gaps with fresh annuals. Yesterday a friend called and asked if I'd come over and primp the garden before out of town company arrived this weekend. Of course I was happy to help because she always rescues me in the interior decorating department. After a quick stop at the garden center, I got to work. First, I cut away any dead or damaged leaves and branches from the perennials and shrubs. Then it was time to add some new plants. A shady corner got filled up with white begonias. They'll look beautiful in front of the white star jasmine already in that spot. Next, a sunny area by the front walk got some miniature yellow roses, a yellow bush daisy, and cascading lavender petunias. It's my favorite color combination for spring. I added a few white begonias to some existing planters that needed new annuals and filled a large shallow bowl with interesting foliage plants including maidenhair fern and ivy. Now the garden looks fresh and pretty and company ready.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

After Five Years

you can thank them without saying a word.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Grits Casserole

I'm bringing back an oldie. This would be great for brunch with fresh strawberries and an omelet.
Some people just don't understand grits. They say they'd rather eat dirt than put a bite of grits in their mouth. There are people who prefer hash browns, biscuits and gravy, or tomatoes with their eggs. Nobody ever told them the right way to eat grits. Without some doctoring up, grits aren't fit to eat. Yes, grits need some help to make them the best thing you ever took to a Christmas or Easter morning breakfast. I'm making several of these today for friends and family. We'll just freeze the casseroles until it's time to hit the road to Grandmother's house.

First, make a pot of grits with 8 cups boiling salted water and 2 cups Quick Grits, stirring often to prevent lumps. Lumps are bad. When it's done, add 1 stick butter and salt and pepper to taste. Next brown 1 pound of bacon and 1 roll of bulk sausage, crumble it up, and stir that in. Then add 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder, 1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire Sauce, 1 teaspoon dijon mustard. The last thing to do is add 8 oz. grated sharp cheddar. It can be served hot right out of the pot, but if you need to carry it somewhere, put the whole thing in a casserole dish and bake it at 350 for 30 minutes right before it's put on the table. This is a dish that will change people's minds about grits.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Wearin' Of The Green

Limerick, County Limerick, Ireland
Are you wearing green? Okay, I won't pinch you then. Have you read some Joyce or Yeats poetry today? Here's a bit from Yeats....................

THE TREES are in their autumn beauty,
The woodland paths are dry,
Under the October twilight the water
Mirrors a still sky;
Upon the brimming water among the stones
Are nine-and-fifty swans.
The nineteenth Autumn has come upon me

Since I first made my count;
I saw, before I had well finished,
All suddenly mount
And scatter wheeling in great broken rings
Upon their clamorous wings.
I have looked upon those brilliant creatures,

And now my heart is sore.
All’s changed since I, hearing at twilight,
The first time on this shore,
The bell-beat of their wings above my head,
Trod with a lighter tread.
Unwearied still, lover by lover,

They paddle in the cold,
Companionable streams or climb the air;
Their hearts have not grown old;
Passion or conquest, wander where they will,
Attend upon them still.
But now they drift on the still water

Mysterious, beautiful;
Among what rushes will they build,
By what lake’s edge or pool
Delight men’s eyes, when I awake some day
To find they have flown away?

We have a tradition of eating potatoes on St. Patrick's Day because our ancestors came to America during the potato famine to escape poverty and build the Transcontinental Railroad. Colcannon is a traditional Irish recipe using potatoes and cabbage and it is a family favorite.

6 medium potatoes, peeled and quartered

4 cups shredded
1 cup chopped onion

1/4 cup butter
1/2 to 3/4 cup milk (room temperature)

1 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1 Tablespoon parsley

Put potatoes in a large pot and cover with water; cook until tender, about 20 minutes. Drain. Meanwhile, cook cabbage and onion together in a small amount of boiling salted water for about 15 minutes; drain. Mash potatoes using an electric mixer. Beat in butter and as much milk necessary to make it fluffy. Add salt and pepper. Stir in cabbage and onion.Top with parsley. This should serve six healthy Irish appetites.

Declan O'Rourke

This post is being brought back to the top for St. Patrick's Day. I originally wrote it last September after hearing him on BBC Radio. You Tube is a good place to find some video of Declan O'Rourke.

I'm not a professional music reviewer, but I know what I like. goes nothing... Through the mists that rise from Irish turf comes the voice that's no good. I'll just keep it simple. Today while catching up on my BBC radio listening I heard an Irish singer interviewed on the Jonathan Ross Show. His name is Declan O'Rourke and the song he played during the interview was Galileo. It was so stunningly beautiful that I immediately went to Itunes and bought the album it's on: After Kyabram. If you enjoy acoustic guitar and beautiful melody with thoughtful lyrics then treat yourself.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Spring Vacation

Here's more about my trip to Georgia last week. On Saturday Daddy, Momma, and I went to breakfast at the Berryman House in Bowman. It's a family run restaurant with delicious home cooked yummies. They have sausage that is out of this world and you definitely can't get where I live.
Then Momma and I went right across the river into South Carolina and hit the antique shops and had lunch in Seneca at the cutest tea room called Circa 1930. They have a hodge-podge of tables and chairs that all look like the ones your grandmother had. Then they set the table with beautiful vintage china and linens and serve old standbys as well as some adventurous goodies. We tried their Butternut Squash Soup and Reubens on marble rye. Scrumptious! This birdhouse was in an antique store in Seneca and was decorated with old hardware. Clever! Wish I thought of that.
This soap dish came from a great little shop called The Red Door and it got my suitcase checked when it went through the x-ray machine. The security man said it looked dangerous so I promised him I'd be careful when I put it in my bathroom. Good thing he had a sense of humor or he would have kept it for closer investigation.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

March Lilies

Here's what I did on my Spring Vacation..............picked March lilies from an old ruined farmhouse site. When you see that rough chimney through the woods and pick your way around the privet that's taken over, it's the most wonderful surprise to see the bright yellow heads bobbing up and down and giving off their sweet springy fragrance. They come from bulbs that were peddled generations ago to women keeping house out in the country. Now they've naturalized to sweep through whole openings in the woods. All that's left of the old homeplace is the stacked foundation, rock chimney, and daffodils bought from door-to-door salesmen.

Welcome all you Spring Seekers from Kari and Kijsa's and the Ultimate Blog Party. Please scroll down for St. Patricks Day, Easter Egg trees, and bunnies galore. Hope you enjoy your visit to windycorner and be sure to blow a kiss!

Saturday, March 1, 2008

St. Patrick's Day

In Savannah, it's a big deal. Since 1812, there's been a parade to recognize the death of St. Patrick celebrated by the large population of Irish heritage. The event has grown to include Irish music, Celtic dancers, green dye in all the fountains, and thousands of non-Irish folks. It's like Mardi Gras with manners. No flashing for beads and outdoor drinking is confined to a festival area on River Street. This year's parade takes place on Friday, March 14 starting at 10:15 in the morning.If you think you'd like to go, there are lots of charming Bed and Breakfast who would love to have you stay with them. Or you could rent a cottage at one of the nearby beaches. Of course there's great food in Savannah and you can't do better than to have a meal at Paula Dean's restaurant, The Lady and Sons. You meet the nicest people standing in that line. Your best bet would probably be the lunch buffet on Sunday from 11am-5pm. Springtime is beautiful in Savannah and St.Patrick's Day is the perfect time to visit