Saturday, December 31, 2011

Afternoon with Aunt Frances

It was a beautiful day for a drive to Burlington where Aunt Frances and family were gathered by a lake to fellowship and catch up on family happenings. 

While we were resting from our trip home Soffie came visiting. She still has that sleek look but now you can feel meat on her bones and she is one happy dog.

Lots of children in the family.

The young folks were enjoying a game of bean bag toss.

Carol and Aunt Frances. If you remember the pictures I posted of our vacation at the beach there was a lovely painting on the wall of a bird and a piece of drift wood with little birds sitting on it. Carol is the artist that did both. She is so talented.

Judy, daughter of Frances.

Frances spending time with some of the younger relatives.Jimmy was helping Aunt Frances with her cell phone.

A view with more of the attending folks.

My bride & Phyllis

Tom & Bunky


Thursday, December 29, 2011

Mynx wanted to know

In a comment Mynx, our sweet friend in Australia wanted to know what are grits? 


Grits are a food of American Indian origin common in the Southern United States and mainly eaten at breakfast. They consist of coarsely ground corn, or sometimes alkali-treated corn (hominy). They are also sometimes called sofkee or sofkey from the Muskogee (Creek) language word.[1][2] Grits are similar to other thick maize-based porridges from around the world, such as polenta, or the thinner farina.
Grits are usually prepared by adding one part grits to two-to-three parts boiling water, sometimes seasoned with salt or sugar. They are usually cooked for 15–20 minutes or until the water is absorbed and the grits become a porridge-like consistency. As grits expand when they are cooked, they need to be stirred periodically to prevent sticking and forming lumps. They may be served with grated cheese, butter, sausage or country ham red-eye gravy. Grits have also been known to be served with fish such as fried catfish or salmon croquettes.

Red-eye gravy is a thin sauce often seen in the cuisine of the Southern United States and associated with the country ham of that region. Other names for this sauce include poor man's gravy, bird-eye gravy, bottom sop and red ham gravy. The gravy is made from the drippings of pan-fried country ham, bacon, or other pork, typically mixed with black coffee.

A common practice is to dip the inner sides of a split biscuit into the gravy in order to add flavor and keep the biscuit from being too dry when a piece of country ham is added between the two halves: the Southern "ham biscuit" (although the Appalachian ham biscuit is simply a biscuit with country ham).

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

The state I live in- What you might not have known

North Carolina is one of the most populated (9,250,000) and geographically
longest, in the old South. From Manteo in the east to Murphy
in the west, North Carolina is 560 miles long, making it the longest
state east of the Mississippi . (Measured east-west.)

The Biltmore Estate has the largest privately owned home in the
United States . The main house, modeled after a French chateau, has
250 rooms and more than 33,000 square feet of living space. Built between
1885 and 1898 by the George Vanderbilt family.

Before Jamestown Va. (1607) or Plymouth Mass. (1620) was even thought of,
Fort Raleigh on Roanoke Island became the first English colony (given the
impetus by Sir Walter Raleigh) in the new world in 1585. The first American
born in the New World of caucasian parentage and European heritage happened
here on Roanoke Island at Fort Raleigh , which was a little girl named
Virginia Dare.
Dare County, in eastern NC was named in honor of her.

Pepsi Cola is ours, developed and first served in New Bern NC in
1898 and unless you've had one in a clear ten ounce glass bottle,
with a slight crust of ice on top, you have missed a real treat. Try
pouring about half a pack of salted peanuts into one sometime.

North Carolinians , native or adopted, say "ma'am and sir" and call
their mothers "mama" and their fathers 'daddy".They know that 'y'all'
is perfectly good English and never means just one person. 'Fixinto'
is perfectly acceptable, too. 'Didjaeat' is an invitation to lunch or dinner
(or supper as we like to call it and y'all can too...if 'yountoo').

And if y'all don't like the way we talk, you can just jump back into your car
and I-95, I-85, I-77, and I-40 will take you right back to where ever you
may be from.

We have a Long history of developing some of the world's greatest athletes.
We gave the world 'Sugar' Ray Leonard, Michael Jordan, David Thompson,
Lou Hudson, Bobby Jones, Bob McAdoo, Walt Bellamy, Jim 'Catfish' Hunter,
Gaylord Perry, Jim Beatty, Sonny Jurgenson, Roman Gabriel, Wray Carlton,
Charlie 'Choo Choo' Justice, 'Meadow Lark' Lemon, Trot Nixon, Enos Slaughter
and Josh Hamiliton. If you don't know who these people are, you ought to find
out before you go to bed tonight. Just Google'em.

The Golfing Hall of Fame is located in Pinehurst NC and the greatest
and toughest golf courses in US golf are also found there.

The NASCAR Hall of Fame is also newly located in Uptown (or downtown for non-native Charlotteans). The stock car Hall has some fantastic new digs for the recently State approved Sport of Stock Car Racing as North Carolina 's favorite Sport.

The first powered flight by the Wright brothers happened at Kitty Hawk , NC
on the outer banks.

Fontana Dam is the tallest dam in the Eastern United States , at 480 feet high
just SW of Asheville high in the mountains.

On autumn Saturdays, every Fall, the Carolina blue faithful will
gather in Chapel Hill for another rendition of 'What it was, was
football' made famous by Andy Griffin while he was a student at UNC.
NC State fans gather in Raleigh to see and hear the Wolfpack howl,
while Duke and Wake Forest pull their devilous and demon like shenanigans
on the gridiron in Durham and Winston-Salem respectively. In the winter we
play and follow College basketball, where between the three of them, UNC,
NC State and Duke share 12 national NCAA Championships in the sport of

The Highest mountain tops east of the Mississippi are found in western
NC with Mt. Mitchell at 6,684' being the tallest among many more taller
than any other state east of the Mississippi and if all were flattened NC
would be larger than Texas .

Prior to prohibition NC was the nations largest wine producer and it
is now rebuilding a huge wine industry with wineries from the NC coastal
plain to the NC mountains. Here we come California !

Yes, we are better than California with which we share everything
geographically, except for Redwoods, deserts and fault lines. Thank

Charlotte with its more than a million and a half people (sometimes
called Metrolina) is the leading banking city in the South and
second only to New York in the entire US banking industry.

In 1864 Sherman burned parts of Raleigh and North Carolina on his
March to Richmond and Washington after waging his war of
attrition in his infamous march to the sea through the deep south.

We're called the " Tar Heel State " because our confederate troops
during the Civil War were said to stick in a fight better than other
southern troops by none other than Marse Robert E. Lee. The NC Rebel
troops were a proud lot that proclaimed they "were the first at Bethel , the
farthest north at Gettysburg and the last at Appomattox "! The last
Southern Port closed by the North's blockade of the South's Seaports
during the Civil War was Wilmington and Fort Fisher at the mouth of the
Cape Fear River in 1865. The Battle of Bentonville NC, fought March 19-21,
1865, was the last full-scale action of the Civil War in which a Confederate
army was able to mount a tactical offensive campaign against Gen.
Sherman on his way through the Carolinas towards Richmond , Va. .

We do produce the most tobacco and cigarettes, not to mention some of the
best peanuts, pecans, and poultry found in this country.

The High Point/Thomasville area is a US leader in the production of
famous furniture and it hosts the Annual US Furniture Merchandise Mart.

The best pork barbecue in the world comes from our Carolina pits. We
are also the leading pork producer in the US . Yes, God intended for iced tea
to be served "sweet." And yes, Grits are one of the major food groups.
Mustard, Collard and Turnip Greens are too.

Elvis wasn't ours, but other singer/musicians were, Randy Travis, Ben E. King,
George Hamilton IV, Crash Craddock, Ben E. KIng, Thelonius Monk, Ronnie Milsap,
Donna Fargo, Earl Scruggs, Don Gibson, Stonewall Jackson, Doc Watson
and Charlie
Daniels are and So is author Thomas Wolf, who wrote 'Look Homeward Angel'.

And I still miss Andy of Mayberry every day.

Born in Smithfield , Ava Gardner may have been North Carolina 's
prettiest and most famous movie star,

Every North Carolinian and citizen of the USA needs to visit Salem ,
the sister city of Winston to see how colonial Moravians put their
talent and work ethic to work building this early Carolina city into
the treasure it is today. This work ethic turned an entire generation
of Tar Heel people into the best employers and employee's in this
great land developing a great textile, tobacco, seafood and furniture

Because of our extensive coast line of over 300 miles, and even
more extensive shore line of over 1,000 miles, Sea Oats, Pelicans,
Shrimp boats, Shrimp and Oysters are held high in our thoughts
as peculiarly ours even though many states also share these same

attributes. In the seafood industry, a type of southern fried seafood
served in southern Restaurants, is called Calabash Style and is named
after the southeastern most NC village of Calabash .

Proud, decent, honest and unpretentious people are our heritage
that is reflected in our State Motto, Esse Quam Videri, which means
To be rather than to Seem.

And lastly, North Carolina ain't exactly heaven - but it will do until

we get there.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Wish Granted

Thisisme over in the UK posted this on facebook but I thought all of you would enjoy seeing this touching video. It happened near Raleigh, our state capital at an elementary school. Enjoy

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Christmas Eve Pictures

 Rocky resting in his favorite recliner
Don't know how we ever got along without him.
 A Staple anytime, Pumpkin Gooey Butter Cake from Paula Deen
 Animated Christmas scene I got from Katie over at

We opted for a small tree this year as we are scaling down on our decorating. Merry Christmas and a happy and prosperous new year to all my blog family from Linda & I.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Acts of Kindness

Maybe it's the season to expect hearing of people helping people but it sure is good to hear it anytime.  These two just happen to have been in my state of NC.

A lady is battling cancer, no insurance and bills growing by leaps & bounds. A donation jar is placed on the counter of a store to help her with spare change. A guy is caught on film picking up and stealing the jar. A concerned citizen hears of this happening and tracks down the lady and gives her a check for $10,000.

A National Guard soldier is serving away from home while his wife and children celebrate Christmas without him. Someone breaks into the home and steals all the presents under the tree. News gets out and very quickly people rally around this family and they end up with many times more presents than they had to begin with and were able to help others with their blessings.

Hearing these touched my heart and I felt I needed to share. Merry Christmas everyone.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

The Gift by my friend Wilny Audain


The Gift

I have very few memories of celebrating Christmas when I was growing up. Needless to say I wasn’t one of those children who received gifts on Christmas day.  Before you start feeling sorry for me, please realize that I think it was a cultural thing with my family.  I really didn’t miss the celebration or the gifts.  As I got older and had children of my own, Christmas and gift giving took personalities of their own.  When my two children were growing up, they loved Christmas and in our home it was a big production.  Not much have changed with them over the years.

Because of my upbringing I don’t get infected with the Christmas bug.  What I like about Christmas is the music and the message it’s supposed to embrace.  Yet commercialized Christmas seems to be about giving things and people expecting.  Every year the television commercials seem to start earlier.  People will camp for days before a store so they can save fifty or two hundred dollars.  When you account for the time they spent waiting, they would have done better buying on-line.  Christmas is the biggest commercial season of the year.  Then it a ll ends in one day.  The day after Christmas you can get better deals than black Friday.

Christmas is supposed to be about the greatest gift humanity has ever received in the person of Jesus Christ.  Yet as I do my shopping on Christmas eve (since that’s my tradition) I will be so stressed out I won’t be thinking about Jesus the gift, but more about what gift to get for people who already have too much.

I must admit that I am annoyed by the contemporary way we celebrate Christmas.  I wish I could fall asleep the day after thanksgiving and wake up December 27.

Yet somewhere in the midst of all the hoopla, there is a gift we are missing.  That gift is really you.  That’s right, you!! The birth of the savior was for you.  All of heaven celebrated that birth because you were gifted back to God.  God was God before the birth.  The universe existed before the birth.  You were doomed before the birth.  You, the precious gift of the universe was placed center stage because of the birth.  You, the gift, wrapped in the grace of God and presented priceless to a surprise d universe and a smiling God.

It doesn’t matter what kind of year you had, you’re still the gift.  It doesn’t matter whether you recognize it or not, you are still the gift.  Your wrapping doesn’t determine how precious you are. The one who is totally blown away by you is God who loves his gift as if it was the only one he ever received.  You are Jesus’ gift to God, to the universe.  You are the gift Jesus paid dearly for on a black Friday.  One day soon there will be the great unwrapping of you, the gift.  Your eyes will be opened and even you will be surprised how precious a gift you are.

In the midst of this crazy season, take a moment to appreciate what it took to make you such a priceless gift to the God of the universe.

Thank God for this gift too wonderful for words! 2 Cor 9:15
Wilny Audain
Self-Esteem Strategist

"Where there is a Wilny, there's a way."
443 226-3165
305 621-3882 (fax)

Wordless Wednesday-Missing the mountains

Sunday, December 18, 2011

An Evening With Unity & Friends

Their New Pastor
The Pastor's Wife - A Real Asset To Unity
JD on the right amazed us with his talented guitar solos
Lori Murphy is aways awesome
All the girls
Mitch Miles lead singer and a voice beyond amazing
Brent Wester and his precious grandmother
Brent Wester
JD amazing us on the guitar
Mitch Miles 
Lori Murphy, David Mull on the Banjo (I loved it) and Mitch Miles -Mitch and Lori are brother & sister
Mitch as "JR" the buck toothed billbilly having way too much fun
Linda & David Mull
Mitch (JR) making us all laugh with his comedy routine
I can't believe I ate the whole thing 
Birchwood Country Club was lovely