Monday, February 23, 2009


Several of you asked for recipes.
The casserole recipe was from a magazine called Home Cooking.


1 (32-ounce) package frozen hash brown potatoes, thawed
2 cups cut-up cooked chicken
1 cup melted margarine, divided
1 10 ¾ ounce can cream of mushroom soup
8 ounces shredded cheddar cheese
1 small onion, chopped
1 8 ounce container sour cream
2 cups crushed cornflakes

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Combine hash browns and chicken in an ungreased
13x9x2 inch baking dish. Mix together ½ cup margarine,
mushroom soup, cheese, onion, and sour cream.
Pour over potatoes and chicken. Top with cornflakes.
Drizzle remaining ½ cup margarine over top.
Bake uncovered 45 minutes.

This recipe is a Life Enrichment favorite given to me by Sheila Kincaid.
Overnight Fruit Salad

1 pkg vanilla pudding mix (regular, not instant) 3 ¾ oz
1 ½ juice from pineapple, peaches, and pears
1 (20 oz) can pineapple chunks, drained (reserve liquid)
1 (15 oz) can sliced peaches, drained (reserve liquid)
1 (15 oz) can sliced pears, drained (reserve liquid)
2 (11 oz) cans mandarin oranges, drained
Maraschino cherries, cut up
3 bananas, cut up (I don’t include bananas)

Cook pudding as directed on pkg using fruit juice
for the liquid. Cool, fold in fruit, refrigerate overnight.


Friday, February 20, 2009


My friend Vickie is a world traveler. She has had the opportunity to live in several great places (London & Venice to name a few) while her husband was on temporary assignment for his company. Vickie and Roland have brought us back "little treats" as she calls them, from many of these travels. I have pink silverware from the Middle East, fabric from England, heart shaped cups and saucers from India and chocolates from everywhere. Sonny really appreciates the chocolates and we both really appreciate their generous and giving hearts.

Vickie also does alot of traveling in our local area. When I am going somewhere, I stick to my agenda. I may see some interesting restaurant/shop and I will make a mental note to visit that sometimes in the future. Of course, I usually forget about it. Not Vickie! She is one of those people who sees something interesting and turns the car around so she can explore. Not only will she check out the business that caught her eye, but she will go to all of the surrounding shops. She really finds great places! The pictures above are of truffles from RainDrop Chocolates located off Waugh Drive. The box alone is really cute and unique so I loved that. However, the truffles are fabulous. I think that they are the best that I have ever had. You will notice that I only have one left! I have mentioned this to Vickie several times, but she just smiles. Do you think that she is getting the hint! Thanks for the special treat Vickie!!!


Many of you asked for the recipes from the Valentine's Dinner. I have shared the Avocado Slaw recipe in a previous post, but here it is again. Well worth repeating!


1 Bag Coleslaw Mix, (Wash & Dry)

1 Bunch green onions, chopped

Hellman’s mayo (Only Hellman’s)

4 avocados, cubed

Toss coleslaw, onions, & avocados together. Add mayo until creamy. Serve immediately as avocados will turn brown.

Sunday, February 15, 2009



AFTER!! Here is the Valentine's Table ready for the girls. I always have so much fun planning and making menus, favors, etc. for my month.

And . . . here are all of my sweet sisters! It was a tight squeeze, but we did it. Thanks to Denise and Mary Jane as they became waitresses when anyone needed anything. Unfortunately, that is what happens when you sit on the end!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009


Obviously, the Customer Service lady that I spoke to about needing my replacement chair has a Bunco/Dinner Club group. As I mentioned before, she seemed to really understand that I needed that chair. It arrived Saturday.

Here is my sweet husband putting the chair together instead of working on his boat trailer like he had planned to do. He obviously understands about Bunco/Dinner Club also.
My conclusion - the decorator sources are right. It is better, cheaper, easier and faster to buy furniture on the Internet.

Saturday, February 7, 2009


The new chairs are here! After patiently shopping on the internet, waiting for coupons and the offer of free shipping, I finally purchased chairs to match the new table. While they are not Pottery Barn chairs, they are a close match, solid wood, and a quarter of the cost! So we were really pleased.

I think that they match the table really well and it is a nice change to have sleek, more modern chairs instead of the huge high back chairs that we have had for so long. However, it was hard to say goodbye as alot of memories went out the door with them.

Now, here is the problem. The chairs to the right are a little dark and hard to see with the lighting in this picture, but you can definitely see the shining spot where there is no chair. One of them had a damaged seat. It has now been two weeks and the replacement chair is suppose to be "in the mail". Hopefully it will arrive soon. I did let a lady in customer service know that it was essential that I have that chair before my Bunco party. I'm sure that really hurried things up! According to all of my decorator sources, buying furniture over the internet is now the best and cheapest way to go. I'll let you know!

Friday, February 6, 2009


Valentine's Day is my favorite holiday. I love hearts, chocolate, the colors pink and red, and those are in abundance on Valentine's Day. I just love everything that goes with it. Decorating the house is really fun for me. Pink and hearts - you can't get any better than that!

Another thing, Valentine's Day is a holiday where there is no pressure. There are no large meals to plan, no endless shopping lists or presents to wrap. It is a holiday that provides you with an opportunity to send a card or buy a chocolate treat for the ones that you love. Now Sonny has been known to buy jewelry for this occasion and that is OK too! I am so thankful to have a sweet and wonderful husband that makes Valentine's Day special for me because he knows how very much I love this holiday.

As far back as I can remember, my Dad always bought me something for Valentine's Day. As a child, he would usually buy me a heart shaped box of chocolates. I thought that was so glamorous! When I was older, it was usually something that would catch his eye while he was out shopping with Mom. One year it might be a red sweater with hearts and then the next year a heart necklace. He continued this even after I married and had children. Every year, I always knew that I would get at least one valentine - maybe something small and cute or maybe something extravagant. It was always a wonderful surprise. Dad continued this tradition for my sister and I even when he was ill during those last years he was with us, with a little help from Mom. What a wonderful Daddy. I sure miss him and will forever think of him, especially on Valentine's Day. He was my first love.


I always make many different kinds of Christmas candies for the holidays. This year was no exception. However, by Christmas Day, everyone wanted pies. Chocolate is everyone's favorite so I had several chocolate pies.

We could not leave out Michael and Grandpa Goode so Matt and Jenny made pumpkin pies.

Here is the Christmas Day tablescape. Yes, it is traditional and I know I have gotten away from that. However, Sonny loves traditional Christmas decorations and he really liked this tablescape.

I love these plates. The dinner plate is edged in snowflakes but it is hard to see in this picture.

I decided to let the sled do double duty and used it to hold silverware.
While the tablescape is always fun for me, it is great having all of the family together. Love you guys!


When Jenny was a toddler, my Mom made her a puppy quilt. Jenny is a huge animal lover and fell in love with that quilt at first sight. She slept with it and wrapped up in it when she was sick. Puppy blanket was really important to her. Puppy blanket went to A & M with her when she left for college. It also went with her when she and Matt got married. However, sadly, puppy blanket was really getting tattered. Mom found the original pattern and asked me if I thought Jenny would like another one. Of course, I knew she would and I asked her to try to make it in an adult size. Mom finished it in time for Christmas and Jenny was totally surprised. I think this was one of her favorite presents!! See that happy smile. Puppy blanket is back!!!!


As soon as family members arrive at our house, they start looking at the Christmas tree for the pickle! They all know if they find it, they get the pickle prize! To tempt them, we have the pickle prize wrapped in a beautiful box. The pickle is a small green ornament that is hand blown glass and looks exactly like a pickle. Hiding it on a Christmas tree and rewarding the finder with an extra Christmas gift is an old German Christmas tradition. As you can see, it can be quite competitive. Many have come up with inventive ways to find the pickle. There is the standing technique when everyone first arrives. That is soon followed by the squatting technique and finally the laying on the floor gazing up through the tree technique. We've had to get really inventive but so far, it takes awhile for someone to find it.





I love this picture! Ben was more interested in Papaw's dirt than his present. Emma finally opened it for him but he only had eyes for the dirt.

Here is Christine in a dress!

Emma the pretty princess!

Ethan and Jeremy patiently waiting to open presents.


Here is the new "big table" ready for a Christmas party with the Goode side of the family. It was so nice to all sit at the same table for a change. If everyone had been able to attend, we might not have been able to all squeeze in as there are alot of us. I think the boys might have been just as happy eating outside on the patio.
This is very much a child proof table setting. Everything was a dollar except the glasses. They were $2.00 each. We have 4 active little boys eating at this table and I want all the mommies to be able to relax. We had lots of fun and made memories!


When I really get on a roll, I do my "girly" trees. This year was on of those years. Despite the problems with the main Christmas tree, I decorated my light pink tree with all of my "favorite things" ornaments and my glittery pink tree (thanks Bubba and Dorothy) with my Paris ornaments. I need a better camera that takes really good close ups (hint, hint, Sonny!) but the famous pink poodle is on the Paris tree. That is an inside family joke!
Now many friends and family wonder about Sonny and all of the pink. He does have a tree. It is very, very male. It has fish lights and fishing, police and hunting ornaments. The problem is, if you want a tree, then you have to put it up. He did that twice and it has never happened again. He's grown use to the girly stuff and would miss it if it was gone. Right Sweetheart? Sweetheart, that is right isn't it???


OK, so while I was in Canton during Hurricane Ike, I went to a Christmas Store. They had really creative ideas and I quickly purchased a wire bucket so that I could recreate one of their beautiful trees. I really enjoy doing something different every year.

Getting that bucket into the tree was not as easy as I thought it would be. After taking it in and out several times over a 3 day time period, I finally called the store and had them guide me through it. Sylvia, recovering from her surgery, watched this whole process and on day three of trying to finish the tree, I announced that I was about ready to give up on the bucket. She stated that she would have thrown the whole tree out the back door three days ago. The idea behind this is that you can fill the bucket with lots of cute ornaments and even little presents for guests to take home. I was just charmed by that. However, the family was not. Each member that came over had an opinion and most were not favorable. The men were particularly harsh! Comments ranged from "It looks like a kangaroo tree", "It looks pregnant", all the way to "What the heck is that?" One son, after looking at it long and hard, stated that he knew that it must be the new thing in decorating, but what was it suppose to represent??!! Of course, Sonny absolutely hated it! I don't think that I am going to try again to do a "bucket tree" next year. One family member suggested that it might look nice under the tree with gifts in it. How boring!!!!

Wednesday, February 4, 2009


Ok, now I am writing what should have been December posts. My friend Dorothy says that after a hurricane, you always have a cold winter. Guess she was right because it snowed December 10!! Not just a little bit, but enough to look like a winter wonderland (for the Gulf Coast). I can't remember when we have gotten so much! It started coming down at about 6:00 pm and we stayed up until 1:00 am admiring it and taking tons of pictures. Much to our surprise, it was still there the next morning. So, we had a great time making a snowman and throwing snowballs.
What a great pleasure during the Christmas season.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009


There is always a silver lining to every cloud. So, Hurricane Ike was terrible, but he brought me a gift - I got a new table! Yes, this beauty is one that I have eyeing for two years. It is long!!!!! However, we need it with our large family. This picture is without the extra leaves. With those in, we can seat 12 - 14 at one table. Never mind that the person seating at one of the ends can easily reach over and open the front door and that the person at the other end has a view of the kitchen! Hey at least we can now seat you.
I love tablescapes and now I can play to my heart's content with the extra space! This is my fall tablescape. Notice the chairs do not match! Those go with my old table, but new chairs will be coming soon. I am patient and will find just the right ones on clearance. Who knew that chairs cost more than the table!!


While I was waiting for our electricity and water to be restored after Hurricane Ike, I decided to visit Paris. No, not as in France, but as in Texas. Those of you who have been to our house, know of my love for Paris and have seen my collection of Eiffel Towers. However, this Texas Eiffel Tower is my new favorite. What better way to crown the Eiffel Tower than with a red cowboy hat.
My uncle Johnny and his sweet wife Mary Ann live in Paris, TX. I had never been to their home and decided it was definitely time to visit them and see Paris. What a fun day it was. They indulged me by taking me to see this Texas version of the famous landmark and several shops so that I could buy a Texas Eiffel Tower to add to my collection. Thanks Uncle Johnny and Mary Ann!


Don't get excited!! It is our yard that is naked. Hurricane Ike has taken all of our trees! Here is Sonny spending yet another weekend cutting up the trees that Ike broke the tops off of. We waited to see if any could be saved, but they all had to come down. Jenny's special childhood tree, that was outside of her room, didn't make it. Sorry Jenny!


OK, so the date says Feb. 3, 2009. Maybe I am a little late but at least I am trying to catch up! So I am going to just pick up where I left off , which would be to talk about the disruption of Hurricane Ike in our lives here on the Gulf Coast. This is what Hurricane Ike left behind at our house. Doesn't look so bad does it??!! Well, this is the cleaned up version because I was in Canton for 10 days during all of this. I couldn't come back because we had no electricity or water. My sweet husband came home within minutes after the storm passed and cleaned for the next week. I missed our house and yard looking like a bomb went off and he could not take "before" pictures because I had the camera! Yes, we had more damage than we would have liked (water in 4 rooms), but we were so blessed. So many had very little to come home to. As you can see, our house is still standing and we just love the new "blue tarp" roof. It matches all of our neighbors!