Southern Wonder

Submitted by Christi

I can’t believe that it is already Labor Day, which to me means the end of summer. We even had a bit of a cool down in the weather here for a few days so it really felt like fall was arriving. Of course, it will still be a couple of weeks before fall really arrives. However, I’m already kind of getting in the mood. You know, once football starts, even though we still have some hot days, fall is on our doorstep! It fills me with a sense of wonder.

I’ve already been thinking about getting out some of those fall decorations. Can you believe it? I haven’t done it yet, but I was looking back at some of my pictures from last years fall decorations to kind of get some inspiration.

A little Autumn on top of the tv cabinet

A little Autumn on top of the tv cabinet

A few pumpkins on the coffee table

A few pumpkins on the coffee table

Scarecrows in the house plants

Scarecrows in the house plants

And this guy is just hanging around in the kitchen waiting for Thanksgiving!

And this guy is just hanging around in the kitchen waiting for Thanksgiving!

Happy Fall Y’all!

See what others are up to in their homes on this Met Monday with Susan.

met monday

If you haven’t checked out my nephews audition for the History Channel program, Top Shot, here it is:

Today’s Lagniappe: Oatmeal Scotchies
One of my fall favorites

* 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
* 1 teaspoon baking soda
* 1/2 teaspoon salt
* 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
* 1 cup (2 sticks) butter or margarine, softened
* 3/4 cup granulated sugar
* 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
* 2 large eggs
* 1 teaspoon vanilla extract or grated peel of 1 orange
* 3 cups quick or old-fashioned oats
* 1 2/3 cups (11-oz. pkg.) NESTLÉ® TOLL HOUSE® Butterscotch Flavored Morsels

Directions:
PREHEAT oven to 375° F.

COMBINE flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon in small bowl. Beat butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar, eggs and vanilla extract in large mixer bowl. Gradually beat in flour mixture. Stir in oats and morsels. Drop by rounded tablespoon onto ungreased baking sheets.

BAKE for 7 to 8 minutes for chewy cookies or 9 to 10 minutes for crisp cookies. Cool on baking sheets for 2 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely.

PAN COOKIE VARIATION:
Grease 15 x 10-inch jelly-roll pan. Prepare dough as above. Spread into prepared pan. Bake for 18 to 22 minutes or until light brown. Cool completely in pan on wire rack. Makes 4 dozen bars.

Southern Ramblings

Submitted by Christi

I’ve been “rambling” a lot lately. By rambling, I mean walking. Generally, I spend my day at my desk, creating websites, blogs and social media as well as other internet marketing activities, so my daily walk is very important!

I thought I’d show you a couple of the more challenging parts of my walk. This hill is a real leg burner. At the top, you turn left and continue to climb!

This is another favorite hill:

Oh well, at least I have lovely scenery to distract me! The wisteria, azaleas and iris are blooming now and they are gorgeous!

A little baby wisteria bush.

a little baby wisteria bush.

I love seeing the azalea and dogwood blooming at the same time.

I loved seeing the pretty red azaleas and dogwoods blooming at the same time.

Snowballs and purple iris.

Snowballs and purple iris.

I have to avert my eyes from the crepe murder that is going on. I also saw a redbud being cut down today – horrors! I am quite proud of myself for refraining from yelling “STOP” to neighbors who are committing these crimes 🙂 Of course, I can always tell all my blog friends about it and we can be suitably horrified together. What’s going on in your neighborhood?

A few outdoor pics for Outdoor Wednesday with A Southern Daydreamer and Rednesday! with It’s a Very Cherry and today’s lagniappe is a great idea for Crockpot Wedneday with Dining with Debbie.

Today’s Lagniappe:  Cheesy Corn Dip
Serve this with corn chips.

1 pound Monterey Jack cheese, shredded
1 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
1 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup creamed corn
1/2 cup fresh OR frozen corn kernels
1 can (4 ounce) diced green chiles
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon red pepper flakes

Combine all ingredients in a 4-quart slow cooker and mix thoroughly. Cover; cook on high heat setting about 1 hour.

Southern Recap

Submitted by Christi

What a beautiful week this has been!

We've seen the bridal wreath spirea

The creeping phlox

The dogwoods

and the redbuds

We made a bouquet with the bridal wreath and redbud branches

and had dinner on the porch.

It has truly been a beautiful and wonderful week! Filled with sunshine and so many beautiful colors, including PINK!

Happy Pink Saturday!

Pink Saturday with Beverly at How Sweet the Sound

Here me visiting with Margaret Banks on The Margaret Banks Show at Mountain Talk 97 with Audio on Demand. Just click the “Audio on Demand” button and look for The Margaret Banks Show 4-10-10.

Southern Dogwoods and Daffodils

Submitted by Christi

Okay, the truth is that dogwoods and daffodils don’t actually bloom at the same time around here. There are still a lot of daffodils blooming but they are starting to fade as the dogwoods take center stage. Oh, and the redbuds are pretty spectacular too!

Truly, one of the most wonderful benefits of our morning walks (aside from the health benefits) is the gorgeous, spring scenery that greets us each morning. We are greatly blessed!

A little outdoor pic for Outdoor Wednesday with A Southern Daydreamer and Rednesday! with It’s a Very Cherry and today’s lagniappe is a great idea for Crockpot Wedneday with Dining with Debbie.

Today’s Lagniappe: Crockpot Oatmeal
My 94 year old Grandpa eats oatmeal every day. Must be something to it!

  • 1 C quick cooking oats
  • 2 C milk
  • 1/4 C brown sugar
  • 1 T butter – melted
  • 1/4 tsp. Salt
  • 1/2 tsp. Cinnamon
  • 1 C finely chopped apple
  • 1/2 C raisins and/or dates
  • 1/2 C chopped walnuts or almonds

Grease the inside of Crockpot. Throw all ingredients inside Crockpot and mix well. Cover and cook on low for 8 to 9 hours. Stir before serving.

Southern Wednesday

Submitted by Christi

Getting ready for my next appearance on The Margaret Banks show. This week is about turning your passion into profits, which is actually perfect for bloggers!

In the meantime, trying to get time to be still a bit and enjoy the world around us. Like a red sunset. You know the saying:

Red sky at night, sailors delight.

Which signals that tomorrow, the weather will be nice. LOVE that!

Red sunset

Red sunset

Colors starting to burst out.

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I love all of the colors of the beginning of Spring, when the earth wakes up from a drab and stark winter to soften into beautiful greens and the bright colors of Spring!

Hope you are having a wonderful week!

Today’s Lagniappe:  Pork with Orange
Something beautiful for a beautiful day.

1 1/2 Pound Lean Pork Strips
1 Teaspoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1/2 Cup Fresh Orange Juice
1/2 Cup Fresh Pineapple Juice
2 Minced Garlic Cloves
2 Teaspoons Cornstarch
1 Teaspoon Grated Orange Peel
1 1/2 Teaspoons Dried Basil Leaves
1 Pinch Of Salt And Pepper
2  Med Size Sliced Oranges
3/4 Cup Sliced Green Onion

In a large cooking pan, heat the olive oil on medium to high heat. Add the pork and cook for 4 to 5 minutes until cooked. In a mixing bowl add in the pineapple
and orange juice, minced garlic, cornstarch, and basil, stirring until it is all very well blended. Add the content of the bowl to the pork, bring to a boil then let it cool for 3 to 4 minutes while stirring. Now salt and pepper the meat, and place it on a bed of rice. Pour the orange basil sauce over pork and rice and let cool.

A little outdoor pic for Outdoor Wednesday with A Southern Daydreamer and Rednesday! with It’s a Very Cherry.

Southern Spring Countdown

Submitted by Christi

The daffodils are starting to pop out and soon the most wonderful metamorphosis of all will be taking place. Soon it will be SPRING!

I have even added a Spring countdown clock to the sidebar on the left. This seems to have been an unusually cold winter and, although I have Spring Fever every year, I think this year may be the worst case EVER!

But . . . soon, the world will be alive with color! Yellow daffodils and forsythia, pink quince, creamy dogwoods and bright pink redbuds!

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Of course, one of the first signs, though is the sweet daffodil, nodding it’s yellow head in the early Spring wind.

I love all of the seasons but Spring is probably my favorite because the days get longer and the world comes alive after the dark of Winter. Even as a kid, I remember loving the colors of Spring and looking forward to being out of school for the Summer.

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There was a redbud tree outside my window in the house I grew up in. I will always think of redbuds as good “climbing trees.” I would climb up in the tree and look out at the sky and everything in the world was good. I love that memory of Spring. Maybe that is one of the reasons I love it so much.

And, by the way, it is a metamorphosis we can all enjoy 🙂

Metamorphosis Monday with Between Naps on the Porch

Metamorphosis Monday with Between Naps on the Porch

Today’s Lagniappe:  Garlic Shrimp
Make this with fresh Gulf shrimp for a fabulous flavor!

1/3 cup of butter
1 ½ to 2 pounds large shrimp, peeled and deveined
4 to 6 medium cloves garlic, crushed and minced
1/3 cup chopped fresh parsley
2 ½ tablespoons of lemon juice

In a large skillet, heat butter over medium heat until butter stops foaming, about 30 to 45 seconds.

Add the shrimp and garlic and sauté over medium heat, turning frequently until the shrimp just turn pink, about 4 to 5 minutes.

Add the parsley, lemon juice, and salt then stir well.

Remove the pan from the heat and serve.

Southern Winter Color

Submitted by Christi

Yesterday, I was writing about the monochromatic color of the snowy world. Well, Jim Gaston of Gaston’s Resort in Lakeview, Arkansas proved me wrong. He has such an eye for finding that spot of color in the midst of the snowy white.

waiting-for-spring

Just waiting for Spring

Let's play

Let's play

Getting cold feet.

Getting cold feet.

At the top of Bull Shoals Dam looking down at the White River

At the top of Bull Shoals Dam looking down at the White River

Tall Grass in the snow.

Tall Grass in the snow.

Thank you Jim for once again reminding me what a beautiful area we live in! Wednesday Feb. 10th is the last day to enter to win the Donnadot give away. Don’t miss it! Be entered by 4:00 p.m. central time to have a chance to win 🙂

A little outdoor pic for Outdoor Wednesday with A Southern Daydreamer and Rednesday! with It’s a Very Cherry and today’s lagniappe is a great idea for Crockpot Wedneday with Dining with Debbie.

Today’s Lagniappe: Crockpot Chocolate Pudding Cake
Somthing chocolate-y and decadent to share on Valentine’s Day!

  • 1 pkg. two layer chocolate cake mix
  • 3 oz. pkg. instant chocolate pudding mix
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 cups sour cream
  • 3/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 3/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1/4 cup milk chocolate chips
Spray a 4 quart crockpot with non-stick cooking spray and set aside. In a large bowl, combine the cake mix and pudding mix. In a medium bowl, beat the eggs with the water, then add the sour cream and oil and beat until smooth. Add to the dry ingredients and beat well. Stir in the chocolate chips.Pour into crockpot. Cover slow cooker and cook on low for 6-8 hours, until top springs back when touched very lightly with finger. 8-10 servings

Southern Stuff

Submitted by Christi

Here we are in Arkansas having yet another snowfall! Okay, it was pretty the first couple of times, but I’m ready to see some color!

Snow in the tree

Snow in the tree

I’ve posted the above picture before and received many nice comments on my black and white photo, however, it is actually a color photo. Just not a lot of color.

Tree without snow

Tree without snow

The picture above has the same tree in the background. This picture was taken during the summer. Much more color.

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The sun shining through the branches of the same tree and others during the fall. The three pictures have such different looks for the same tree through the seasons.

So, as I look out today, it is back to a monochromatic world. Pretty for a while but I’m so ready to get back to a more colorful world! A winter wonderland is just wonderful – for a visit. Keep in mind I’ve always lived in places where you couldn’t even buy a snow shovel. Where I am living now is the Northern part of the South but it is still the South so this snow is just taking some getting used to. I’ll try to remember this cold when it is hot and humid during the summer!

Is it a winter wonderland where you live?

Today’s Lagniappe:  Pace Picante Marinated Beef Steak
From the Pace Picante Sauce website, something to warm us up!

pace-product-shot

Serves 6

2/3 cup Pace® Picante Sauce
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon dried oregano leaves, crushed
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder  or 1 clove garlic, minced
1 beef top round steak, 1 1/2-inch thick (about 1 1/2 pounds)
Directions:

Mix the picante sauce, oil, oregano and garlic powder in shallow, nonmetallic dish or resealable plastic bag. Add the steak and turn to coat with the marinade. Cover the dish or seal the plastic bag and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Lightly oil the grill rack and heat the grill to medium. Grill or broil steak until desired doneness, turning and brushing often with picante sauce mixture. Discard any remaining picante sauce mixture.

Slice the steak into thin diagonal slices. Serve with additional picante sauce.

tastytuesday175pixtmtt3threeormoretuesdaylogo3

Balancing Beauty and Bedlam’s Tasty Tuesday

Blessed with Grace’s Tempt My Tummy Tuesday

The Gypsy’s Corner’s Three or More Tuesday

Southern Welcome!

Submitted by Christi

Welcome February!!! So much to enjoy in February.  First of all, thank you so much to Kelee at The Katillac Shack.  She informed me this morning that I won a $20 gift card to Hobby Lobby from her great give-away post which honored her friend Colette. Go check it out!

Okay all of the February fun:

The Superbowl with the Saint’s (my pick) and the Colt’s next Sunday, February 7th.

superbowl

Valentine’s Day on Sunday, February 14th

valentines-day

President’s Day on Monday, February 15th

presidentsday

Mardi Gras on Tuesday, February 16th

jesters

How could you not LOVE February? We are going to be celebrating all the fun here at A Southern Life all month, starting Thursday with a really fun give-away! Let the fun begin!

I’ll be posting recipes and other fun stuff for all the fun, so be sure to join in.

Today’s Lagniappe:  Warm Sesame Pork on Salad Greens
To start all of the fun and frivolity, a warm and yummy salad from Southern Living.

  • 1/2  (16-ounce) package wonton wrappers
  • 2  pounds  boneless pork loin, trimmed
  • 3/4  cup  sesame seeds, divided
  • 1  cup  vegetable oil, divided
  • 1/2  cup  all-purpose flour
  • 1  teaspoon  salt
  • 1/2  teaspoon  pepper
  • 1/4  cup  dark sesame oil, divided
  • 1/3  cup  soy sauce
  • 1/4  cup  rice wine vinegar
  • 10  to 12 small green onions, sliced
  • 1  (10-ounce) package mixed salad greens
  • 1  bok choy, shredded

Cut wonton wrappers into 1/2-inch strips, and cut pork into 3- x 1-inch strips; set aside.

Toast 1/2 cup sesame seeds in a large heavy skillet over medium-high heat, stirring constantly, 2 to 3 minutes; remove from skillet.

Pour 1/2 cup vegetable oil into skillet; heat to 375°. Fry wonton strips in batches until golden. Drain on paper towels; set aside. Drain skillet.

Combine remaining 1/4 cup sesame seeds, flour, salt, and pepper in a heavy-duty zip-top plastic bag; add pork. Seal and shake to coat.

Pour 2 tablespoons sesame oil into skillet; place over medium heat. Fry half of pork in hot oil, stirring often, 6 to 8 minutes or until golden. Remove and keep warm. Repeat procedure with remaining 2 tablespoons sesame oil and pork.

Process toasted sesame seeds, remaining 1/2 cup vegetable oil, soy sauce, and vinegar in a blender 1 to 2 minutes or until smooth.

Combine pork and green onions; drizzle with soy sauce mixture, tossing gently.

Combine mixed greens and bok choy; top with pork mixture and fried wonton strips. Serve immediately.

tastytuesday175pixtmtt3threeormoretuesdaylogo3

Balancing Beauty and Bedlam’s Tasty Tuesday

Blessed with Grace’s Tempt My Tummy Tuesday

The Gypsy’s Corner’s Three or More Tuesday

Longing for Southern Spring

Submitted by Christi

It is warming up a bit around here and I am really, really getting antsy for Spring! The other day, I was sitting in the car while my husband ran into a local store. While I was waiting, I noticed a lovely robin that landed on a winterberry tree and was having a feast. It reminded me of the robins we had on our back porch last year. I enjoyed them soooo much. In case you missed them, here are a few pics.

We went from this . . .

to this . . .

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IMG_4330

IMG_4428

IMG_4530

HURRY SPRING!!

Today’s Lagniappe:  Zatarain’s Creole Mustard Dip
Found this yummy dip recipe on the Zatarain’s site.

zatarains2 cups sour cream
1/4 cup chopped onions
2 tablespoons chopped green onions
1/4 cup ZATARAIN’S® Creole Mustard
1 teaspoon ZATARAIN’S® Creole Seasoning

1. Mix all ingredients until well blended. Cover.

2. Refrigerate 2 hours or until ready to serve. Stir before serving.

Serve with chips or veggies.

A little outdoor pic for Outdoor Wednesday with A Southern Daydreamer and Rednesday! with It’s a Very Cherry.

Southern Winter Blooms

Submitted by Christi

It is that time of year. Time to bring in some of the branches from your forsythia and quince branches and force them to bloom inside!

I love the early Spring when the first blooms begin and bringing in a few branches to get an early start just gets the fun started sooner.

The quince and forsythia are fabulous for some January color:

Quince

Quince

Forsythia

Forsythia

So, how do you force these pretties to bloom a little early?

On a day when the temperature is above freezing, cut a few branches from your forsythia or quince.  Bring the branches inside and put them in water.

Remove a branch from the water and re-cut the end. Pound the end of the branch with a hammer so that it will be able to get enough water.  Place the branch in a vase with water. Repeat this for each branch.

Change the water every couple of days for lasting color. In about two weeks you will begin to see the buds about to burst on the branches. Before long the shrubs branches will be blooming and there will be beautiful spring color in your home. The forced branches should last several weeks inside for your enjoyment.

That is all there is to it. A wonderful glimpse of Spring in the middle of Winter! Need some more pink?

Pink Saturday with Beverly at How Sweet the Sound

Pink Saturday with Beverly at How Sweet the Sound

Today’s Lagniappe: Quince Liqueur

Quince is a late Fall, early Winter fruit. This recipe is from the French Farmhouse Cookbook

2 large quinces
1 cup sugar
2 cups vodka

1. Cut the quinces lengthwise in quarters, then mince or grate them (skins and seeds included) in a food processor. Place them in a jar with at least a 2 ½-quart capacity-you need room for shaking. Add the vodka, then the sugar, and shake vigorously. Keep the jar in a cool, shadowed place.

2. Shake the contents of the jar every other day for 10 days, then when you think of it after that, about once a week for at least 4 additional weeks. Strain the eau-de-vie through a sieve lined with a double thickness of dampened cheesecloth, into a sterilized bottle. Seal with a cork.

3. The ratafia de coings will keep indefinitely. A sediment will form on the bottom of the bottle over time. Don’t be concerned, just pour carefully so it doesn’t cloud the individual glasses of eau-de-vie.

About 3 ½ cups

A note: Work quickly to get the grated quince in the vodka, as the flesh turns brown very fast!

Southern Garden Dreams

Submitted by Christi

I really used to dread January. After all of the color and celebration of the Christmas holidays, January just seemed so dull. What changed my mind about January was gardening! Yes, gardening in January. When I finally got around to enjoying gardening, I was in my late 30’s.

As with most things, I got into it full force. I went from reading gardening books to going through Master Gardening training and then was an active Master Gardener for three years. Two months after Master Gardener graduation, I was chairing the Master Gardener booth at our local home and garden show. See, I tend not to do things half-way. Some would say I go a little overboard!

Anyway, back to January. Now January is the time to peruse garden catalogs and start sorting through seeds to see when to start those little seedlings that will eventually go out in the garden. I now notice the silhouette of trees in the late evening winter light – lifting their arms to God!

In the South, we even have some flowers that will bless us with their lovely blooms in the winter. One of my favorites, which also happens to be the state flower of Alabama is the beautiful Camillia.

Camellia_japonica

It comes in many colors but I like this pink one for Pink Saturday.

Click for Pink Saturday with Beverly at How Sweet the Sound.

Click for Pink Saturday with Beverly at How Sweet the Sound.

Another winter bloomer is the Lenten Rose (sometimes called the Christmas Rose).

lenten-rose

And one more that I love is Daphne – fragrant and pretty and early-blooming.

daphne

None of these will be blooming here in my part of the South in January, but I still love thinking about them and knowing they will be here soon.

I hope your January will be a wonderful one. If you are a fellow gardener – Happy Planning!

Today’s Lagniappe:  Spinach Grapefruit Salad
This is a good time of year for grapefruit and here is a wonderful way to enjoy it.

5 oz of fresh spinach.
1 teaspoon of olive oil.
1 garlic clove, minced.
1 grapefruit.
1 avocado.
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste.

Stem and rinse the spinach. Spin or gently pat it dry. Tear the large leaves into smaller pieces but keep the small leaves whole.

In a bowl, mix together the olive oil and minced garlic. Add the spinach and toss well. Set aside.

Peel, seed, and section the grapefruit.

Halve the avocado, remove the pit, peel, and cut into 1-inch slices.

In a small bowl, combine the grapefruit and avocado.

Add them to the bowl with the spinach.

Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste, then gently toss.

Serve immediately.

Southern Wanderings

Submitted by Christi

While we were away, we enjoyed some beautiful things. If you missed yesterday’s post about the goats, be sure to check that out!

Before the blizzard, we went out and saw some of the Christmas lights. Of course, we played Christmas music as we drove around looking at the lights. It just wouldn’t be the same without them.

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There was even a Southern Belle light!

photo-4

And, another shot of the pretty red cardinals at the bird feeder.

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So, now we are back home and expecting a little bit of snow tonight. We have made the obligatory trip to the grocery store to stock up (we are expecting less than an inch – and may not even get any at all). Next task is to take down the Christmas decorations. I may leave them up until after New Year’s Eve and then take them down New Year’s Day. When do you take down your Christmas decorations?

Today’s Lagniappe:  Crockpot Praline Chicken
Festive and easy.

* 6 boneless skinless chicken breast halves
* 2 tablespoons creole seasoning
* 1/4 cup butter, melted
* 1/2 cup maple syrup
* 2 tablespoons brown sugar
* 1 cup pecans

1. Sprinkle seasoning on both sides of chicken and brown in butter over medium-high heat on top of stove.
2. Place browned chicken in slow cooker.
3. Mix together syrup, brown sugar, and pecans and pour over chicken.
4. Cook on Low for 6 to 8 hours.
5. Serve with wild or brown rice.

A little outdoor pic for Outdoor Wednesday with A Southern Daydreamer and Rednesday! with It’s a Very Cherry and today’s lagniappe is a great idea for Crockpot Wedneday with Dining with Debbie.

Southern Sunday Fav, A Hymn and A Wreath

Submitted by Christi

bloggerspiritsidebar

Sunfav

twoc

Join Chari at Happy to Design for Sunday favorites and Charlotte and Ginger at Blogger Spirit for Spiritual Sunday and Red Writing for Twelve Weeks of Christmas. Enjoy your Sunday!

First, the favorite past post from May 26, 2009:

Sunday Favorite

They are growing so fast!

Not much room for mom now.

Not much room for mom now.

Ready for their closeup.

Ready for their closeup.

Looking out.

Looking out.

They are a singing trio.

They are a singing trio.

3 peas in a pod.

3 peas in a pod.

Their eyes are open.

Their eyes are open.

They keep mom on her toes.

They keep mom on her toes.

Daddy too.

Daddy too.

Here is dad keeping watch from a nearby tree.

Here is dad keeping watch from a nearby tree.

They will be gone soon. I’m going to miss them.

The lagniappe from that post is at the bottom of today’s post.

Spiritual Sunday

Seeing those pictures again, made me think of the old hymn, His Eye is On the Sparrow. This beautiful hymn has an interesting story. Here is the story from CyberHymnal.

Early in the spring of 1905, my hus­band and I were so­journ­ing in El­mi­ra, New York. We con­tract­ed a deep friend­ship for a cou­ple by the name of Mr. and Mrs. Doo­lit­tle—true saints of God. Mrs. Doo­lit­tle had been bed­rid­den for nigh twen­ty years. Her hus­band was an in­cur­a­ble crip­ple who had to pro­pel him­self to and from his bus­i­ness in a wheel chair. De­spite their af­flict­ions, they lived hap­py Christ­ian lives, bring­ing in­spir­a­tion and com­fort to all who knew them. One day while we were vi­sit­ing with the Doo­lit­tles, my hus­band com­ment­ed on their bright hope­ful­ness and asked them for the se­cret of it. Mrs. Doo­lit­tle’s re­ply was sim­ple: “His eye is on the spar­row, and I know He watch­es me.” The beau­ty of this sim­ple ex­press­ion of bound­less faith gripped the hearts and fired the imag­in­a­tion of Dr. Mar­tin and me. The hymn “His Eye Is on the Spar­row” was the out­come of that ex­per­i­ence.

Civilla Martin

And the words to that beautiful Hymn:

Why should I feel discouraged, why should the shadows come,
Why should my heart be lonely, and long for heaven and home,
When Jesus is my portion? My constant friend is He:
His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me;
His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me.

Refrain

I sing because I’m happy,
I sing because I’m free,
For His eye is on the sparrow,
And I know He watches me.

“Let not your heart be troubled,” His tender word I hear,
And resting on His goodness, I lose my doubts and fears;
Though by the path He leadeth, but one step I may see;
His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me;
His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me.

Refrain

Whenever I am tempted, whenever clouds arise,
When songs give place to sighing, when hope within me dies,
I draw the closer to Him, from care He sets me free;
His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me;
His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me.

Refrain

What a beautiful story and a wonderful hymn!

Twelve Weeks of Christmas

Wreaths!

Also today, I’m joining Red Writing for the first time for the Twelve Weeks of Christmas. This week, she is celebrating wreaths. When I saw this, one of my first thoughts was about the great pinecone wreaths that my sister, Tammy makes.

pinecone wreath

I think that this is the perfect excuse to take a nice walk in the woods (or your backyard) to gather some pinecones! Here are instructions for making this kind of wreath from Martha Stewart.

Happy Sunday!

Today’s Lagniappe: Banana Split Pie

Step 1:
2 cups vanilla wafer crumbs
1 stick melted butter
Mix and pat into 9″ x 13″ pan

Step 2:
1 stick melted butter
2 cups confectioners’ sugar
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
Mix well and spread on crumb crust

Step 3:
1 small instant vanilla pudding (mixed by pkg. directions)
Spread on top of Step 2.

Top with sliced bananas, 1 can crushed pineapple, drained, then spread 1 8
oz. Cool Whip on top. You can drizzle with chocolate syrup, sprinkle with
coconut and chopped maraschino cherries, nuts.

Early in the spring of 1905, my hus­band and I were so­journ­ing in El­mi­ra, New York. We con­tract­ed a deep friend­ship for a cou­ple by the name of Mr. and Mrs. Doo­lit­tle—true saints of God. Mrs. Doo­lit­tle had been bed­rid­den for nigh twen­ty years. Her hus­band was an in­cur­a­ble crip­ple who had to pro­pel him­self to and from his bus­i­ness in a wheel chair. De­spite their af­flict­ions, they lived hap­py Christ­ian lives, bring­ing in­spir­a­tion and com­fort to all who knew them. One day while we were vi­sit­ing with the Doo­lit­tles, my hus­band com­ment­ed on their bright hope­ful­ness and asked them for the se­cret of it. Mrs. Doo­lit­tle’s re­ply was sim­ple: “His eye is on the spar­row, and I know He watch­es me.” The beau­ty of this sim­ple ex­press­ion of bound­less faith gripped the hearts and fired the imag­in­a­tion of Dr. Mar­tin and me. The hymn “His Eye Is on the Spar­row” was the out­come of that ex­per­i­ence.

Civilla Martin

Southern Fall Colors

Submitted by Christi

Fall around here is just beautiful. I love the colors and the crisp bite in the air and even the more common warm days and cool nights. If only fall could last forever. Of course, I say that about every season, well, except winter. I don’t mind winter for a while but I am usually glad to see spring arrive as soon as possible!

Here are some of things that are going on around here this fall. In honor of some of the beautiful pink colors in the landscape, we are joining Beverly at How Sweet the Sound for Pink Saturday!

Pink Saturday

Pink Saturday

Even here, well into November, I still have some wonderful pink zinnias blooming.

Pink zinnias

Pink zinnias

The colors of the crepe myrtles behind them are also lovely.

Crepe Myrtle behind the zinnias.

Crepe Myrtle behind the zinnias.

How about the beautiful colors in these leaves against a spectacularly blue November sky?

November sky

November sky

It is hard to describe all of the colors in this sunset.

November sunset

November sunset

And the moonrise  with the sun still kissing the treetops is breathtaking!

Moonrise

Moonrise

What a wonderful world we live in.

While your here, if you want to check out the Christi’s Reads tab, I have just updated that. Feel free to leave comment about books that you would recommend as well!

Today’s Lagniappe: Butterscotch Party Mix

2 cups oven-toasted cereal squares
2 cups small pretzel twists
1 cup dry roasted peanuts
1 cup caramels, unwrapped, coarsely chopped
1 (11-ounce) package  Butterscotch Flavored Morsels

1. Coat 13 x 9-inch baking pan with nonstick cooking spray.
2. Combine cereal, pretzels, peanuts and caramels in large bowl. Place morsels in medium, microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on MEDIUM-HIGH (70%) power for 1 minute; stir. Microwave at additional 10 to 20-second intervals, stirring until smooth. Pour over cereal mixture; stir to coat evenly.
3. Spread mixture into prepared baking pan; let stand for 20 to 30 minutes or until firm. Break into small pieces.