June 30, 2010

Weekly Thought - Week 2

I read this sentence on a friend's blog this week:

"People are much more important than flowers and gardens. But sometimes you have to have the flowers and gardens so you can deal with the people."

These two sentences really made me stop and think for a few minutes...actually much longer than a few minutes.  I kept coming back to these two sentences several times in the past couple of days and dwelling on the importance of people and the importance of quiet time.

People are so very important and part of our service as followers of Christ is to do for others as he did when he was on earth, but not only for the people we know and like, but also for those we pass on the street who are total strangers and maybe not even be someone we would choose to spend our time with.  On the other hand, time off to ourself is of equal importance.  Time to garden, or read, or just sit quietly and "be".  These times help us to collect ourselves, think on matters (such as this quote), and be ready again to be out in the world with people and to serve again and even serve them in a greater capacity. 

Now for the rest of the story...this quote was made from the mouth of man who is the father of 21 children.  I think he may know about those gardening times being important in his life.  My husband and I met the Smotherman's when we lived in Savannah, Tennessee almost 20 years ago.  At that point they only had four children and was still quite an inspiration to us.  You can read more about their family and their christian example here.

Have a good day!


June 22, 2010

I Won!

I read several different blogs daily and sometimes these blogs have give-a-ways.  I have signed up for many give-a-ways in the past few months and my name or blog never shows up as a winner.  I just don't seem to be the lucky one.  Yesterday, I looked through my dashboard to see the new blogposts and saw "Winner.  A Meek Perspective."  Yes!  About time!

The blog that sponsored the give-a-way is My Pink Life by Aimee Weaver.

I first read about her blog on The Lettered Cottage blog.  Layla had done a post and link on Aimee's nursery that had been totally decorated from scratch by Aimee and her husband.  What stood out to me in the pictures of the nursery was the lettering on the walls which read "His eye is on the sparrow and I know He watches me".  This is one of my favorite songs from church and it was such a lovely sentiment for a baby's room.  This baby's room gave me lots of great ideas for painting a quote on our master bedroom wall.  I left a comment asking how she did the lettering and she was gracious enough to respond to my question and many others on her blog the next day. You can see the blog on the baby's room here.

Lisa Pearson must have been impressed with the nursery, too, because she created a baby gift package from the nursery's theme for Aimee's blog.  Check out her gift creation here.  It is such a thoughtful gift.  Now, you may say, "But Judy, your son is fixin' to turn 17!".  (By the way, "fixin'" is a commonly used southern term for "getting ready to".  It is just fun to say!)  I know.  But won't it make a wonderful gift for the next baby to be born at church!

Please check out Aimee and Lisa's blogs.  You will find many wonderful decorating and just plain "living" ideas.  These are wonderful blogs and I look forward to exploring Lisa's blog further. 

Thank you Aimee and Lisa!

June 21, 2010

Weekly Thought - Week 1

Bridge over Forth, Scotland 2008                                

During my drive to work in the mornings, I listen to American Family Radio.  I usually catch the tale end of Focus on the Family and then the beginning of the Matt Friedeman Show.  The beginning of Mr. Friedeman's show each day is usually a devotional or thought.  He has used the following quote a couple of times since I have been listening to him and he used it again this morning:

     "Whatever you are filled to the brim with will eventually spill out.
What will spill out of you today if you are bumped?"

Then during lunch today I was reading a blog and the author wanted the reader to comment on what makes a person have a positive attitude.  Is it exercise, a book, a person?  This was my response after spending the morning dwelling on the above thought:

I believe my positive attitudes come from my faith in God, studying the Bible,
and surrounding myself with positive people.
I heard a quote this morning which said
“Whatever you are filled to the brim with will eventually spill out.
What will spill out if you are bumped?”
If you fill yourself with negative influences, whether it is people, television, books, thoughts or whatever
 and dwell on these things, negative attitudes will “spill” out.
Dwell on the positive and positive results will follow.

My husband often calls me "Miss Positive".  I tend to find everything in life is more bearable if you can look to the ultimate outcome in the future.  I am a kidney transplant recipient.  During the years of being sick, my ultimate outcome was having the transplant and living a normal life again.  The transplant did happen for me and my life is wonderful and normal thanks to my donor and friend.  Yes, ask my husband, parents, and family...I did have some pretty tough times, but I was able each time to bring my thoughts around to the ultimate outcome and goal.  The positive thoughts kept me going and obviously my husband continues to see that trait in me.

So the above question is one we should all answer.  What will spill out of you if you are bumped?  Will you be positive or negative?  Will you be kind or angry?  Will you be encouraging or discouraging?  Will you help or hurt?  The outcome will be so much more positive if your input into your mind is positive material.

"Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.  What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me--practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you."  Philippians 4:8-9, ESV

June 20, 2010

Happy Father's Day!

Happy Father's Day to my father-in-law (Edgar), my dad (Joe), my husband (Charlie), all of my brothers (Ed, Jon, & Brian), and my brother-in-law (George--not pictured) and all of the other great dad's out there.  What an honor it has been to have been a part of your lives.  You guys are the best!

:) Judy

June 16, 2010

Everlasting Rolls by Sister Schubert

This is the roll recipe that Sister Schubert was taught to bake when she was 12 years old.  This is also the recipe that the Sister Schubert's Homemade Rolls in the freezer section of the grocery store were based on.  I tried this recipe this weekend and the rolls turned out great.

Everlasting Rolls
Parker House-Style Rolls

1 package active dry yeast

1 1/2 cups warm water (105 degrees F to 115 degrees F)

5 cups sifted all-purpose flour, divided

1/2 cup sugar

1 1/2 teaspoons salt

1/2 cup shortening, melted (cooled to 105 degrees F to 115 degrees F)

2 large eggs, lightly beaten

1/2 cup butter, melted

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

Combine yeast and warm water in a 2-cup liquid measuring cup; let stand 5 minutes.

Combine 4 cups sifted flour, sugar, and salt in a large bowl. Stir in yeast mixture and shortening.  Add eggs and remaining 1 cup sifted flour; stir vigorously until well blended.  (Dough will be soft and sticky.)  Brush or lightly rub dough with some of the melted butter.  Cover loosely with a damp tea towel; let rise in a warm place (85 degrees F), free from drafts, for 1 1/2 hours or until doubled in bulk.

Grease four (8-inch) round foil cake pans; set aside.

Sift 3/4 cup flour in a thick layer evenly over work surface; turn dough out onto floured surface.  (Dough will be soft.)  Sift 1/2 cup flour evenly over dough.  Roll dough to 1/2-inch thickness; brush off excess flour.

Cut out dough using a floured 2-inch biscuit cutter.  Pull each round into an oval, approximately 2 1/ inches long.  Dip one side of oval into melted butter.  Fold oval in half with buttered side facing out  (Floured side will form the famous Parker House pocket.)

For each pan, place the fold of 10 rolls against side of prepared pan, pressing center fronts of rolls together gently to seal.  Place 5 rolls in inner circle, and 1 roll in center, for a total of 16 rolls per pan.  Cover loosely with a damp tea towel, and let rise in a warm place, free from drafts for 1 hour or until doubled in bulk.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Bake rolls, uncovered, for 12 to 15 minutes or until lightly browned.

Yield:  64 rolls

Whole Wheat Variation:

Substitute 2 cups whole wheat flour and 3 cups all-purpose flour for the 5 cups all-purpose flour listed above.  Instead of plain melted butter for dipping the rolls, use 1/2 cup melted butter mixed with 2 tablespoons honey.  Bake as directed for Everlasting Rolls.

If you are baking rolls for your freezer, allow the pan to completely cool on wire racks, then slide each pan into a large zipper bag and freeze.  Do not stack pans until completely frozen.  To reheat, allow rolls to thaw completely and heat at 350 degrees F for 10 minutes.

Sister says:

These are my favorite rolls, and they are yours to bake and enjoy.  The secret to the light-as-a-feather texture of these rolls:  Don't knead the dough!

Baking yeast bread is not time consuming, but the rising times require your attention.  Plan to be at home for a span of 4 hours.  The recipe makes 4 pans:  one for  dinner, two for the freezer and one to share with a friend who will be amazed at your skill in the kitchen!

Where's the best place in your home for the dough to rise?  It's your laundry room.  Wash a load of towels and put them into the dryer.  Cover the top of the dryer with a clean towel and place your dough on top.  Be sure to cover the dough loosely with a damp tea towel.  Turn on the dryer and close the laundry room door.  The heat and humidity create a good environment for yeast activation and your laundry will serve two purposes.

Relax and enjoy the heavenly aroma of freshly baked yeast rolls!

When I baked this weekend, I bake the Whole Wheat Variation.  I especially loved the butter/honey combination to dip the rolls in.  I may continue to use this with all of my rolls.  It wasn't too sweet, but it gave the rolls that extra "oomph".  I do like my rolls a little sweeter than these and would probably add a little extra sugar the next time I make them, but that is just me.  I'm a sweet roll kind of gal!  I either didn't roll my rolls to 1/2 inch thick or my biscuit cutter is larger than 2 inches because I only got 37 rolls out of the recipe.  I did really like the laundry room idea to raise the dough and that worked fine for me.  I only have a laundry "closet" and with the doors closed it did stay toasty enough to raise the dough even when I washed other clothes and not a load of towels.

I hope you enjoy these.  This recipe came out of the Sister Schubert Cast Your Bread Upon the Waters, Recipes for Success, Cooking & Living cookbook.  Your can purchase this cookbook at this link.

June 14, 2010

Sister Schubert...And A Recipe!

My friend, Kathy, and I went to Spring Park Farmer's Market in Tuscumbia, Alabama this week to see a demonstration by Sister Schubert of the Sister Schubert's Homemade Rolls fame.  We arrived at Spring Park and I told her that I should have brought my camera.  She had hers and volunteered to take pictures, so we have a guest photographer for this post.  The pictures turned out wonderful!

Sister Schubert bakes those fabulous rolls you find in the freezer section of the grocery store that taste like homemade...they don't have that manufactured bread taste.  If I don't make my own rolls, her rolls are always the ones I pick if I'm fixing a meal for guests.

Sister Schubert was very impressive.  Her grandmother taught her how to bake her Everlasting Rolls when she was 12 years old.  She began making them for family gatherings.  She catered for a while and her customers loved her rolls.  The church she attended hosted a frozen food fair and the secretary took order for deliveries during the holidays.  She received an order for 80 pans of rolls that Christmas.  The next year there were 200 orders and the next year the secretary stopped the orders at 300 pans of rolls.  She went around to the local grocery stores inTroy, AL to try to sell her rolls to the public and handed out samples.  The orders started coming in and kept coming.  She soon converted her sun porch into a bakery in 1991, then they moved to a warehouse in 1992.  In 1994 she built her first facility with 25,000 square feet.  By 1998, she had expanded to 80,000 square feet.  In 2000 after much prayer and talk, they sold their stock to another corporation.  She was concerned and wanted to be assured that the quality of her rolls and the name brand would not be changed.  The corporation hired her and her husand to stay on and run the company.  So, she is still running the company without the headaches of the boardroom.  Her title is now Founder and Vice President of Product Development and Manufacturing.  Sister remains happy in the kitchen creating new products for her rolls.  Her rolls can be purchased all across the US today.

She demonstrated her Lemon-Blueberry Trifle and everyone present got a sample.  It was delicious!  Of course, for me, anything with real whipped cream is the best!  The recipe will appear at the end of the post.

I believe her main reason to be in Tuscumbia was to sell her new cookbook.  She had a book signing at Cold Water Books earlier in the day.  She also sold her book and signed copies at Spring Park.  The cookbook is called Sister Schubert:  Cast Your Break Upon The Waters, Recipes for Success, Cooking & Living.  All proceeds from the book go to the Barnes Family Foundation which is a charitable organization that helps food banks and area shelters in their efforts to feed the hungry.  The cookbook contains recipes for all types of food including main dishes, sides and veggies, breakfast dishes, rolls, breads, desserts, and holiday favorites.  You can purchase a cookbook at Sister Schubert's website.  I purchased one and the recipes look fabulous.  I can't wait to try out some of them!

Lemon-Blueberry Trifle

2 pints blueberries, washed and sorted

2 pints strawberries, washed, hulled and cut into bite-sized pieces

Juice of 1 lemon plus 1 tablespoon of grated lemon rind

2/3 cup sugar, divided

1 quart heavy cream

1/2 teaspoon almond extract

1 (11 oz) jar lemon curd

1 pan Sister Schubert's Blueberry Rolls, prepared per package directions

Combine berries in a large bowl; sprinkle with 1/3 cup sugar, lemon juice, lemon rind and cornstarch.  Using a large saucepan over medium heat, simmer berry mixture until berries begin to soften and release juice, approximately 3 minutes.  Set aside to cool.

Using large bowl of mixer on high speed, whip cream with 1/3 cup sugar and almond extract until soft peaks form. Do not overbeat.  Using a small bowl, combine a tablespoon of lemon curd with 2 tablespoons of whipped cream, stirring until well combined.  Add remaining lemon curd and combine with whipped cream.  Beat on high speed until somewhat stiffer peaks form and lemon curd is well combined.

Remove Blueberry Rolls from pan and cut into 1-inch pieces.

To Assemble:
Spoon a layer of whipped cream filling into a large glass trifle bowl.  Add a layer of Blueberry Rolls.  Add a layer of berries with juice.  Continue layering until you have used all of the roll pieces and berries with juice.  Finish with a layer of filling.  Cover tightly and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Yield:  1 large trifle

Sister says:
My family loves this creamy rich dessert.  You may use a china bowl, but then you'll miss the gorgeous colors of the berries with the soft white filling and dark purple Blueberry Rolls.  You will bring a little taste of summer to your table any time you serve it!

It was a wonderful evening to share with a friend.  I'll do another post soon on Spring Park's Farmers Market...one of my favorite farmers markets.  I'll also post the Sister Schubert's recipe for Everlasting Rolls this week.  So stay tuned.

Have a great week!

P. S.  Thank you, Kathy, for going with me and taking pictures!

June 9, 2010

Meet Norah

When I was in East Tennessee Memorial Day weekend, my husband and son were busy with their own "doin's".  Friday evening I got a text from hubby at 6:34 pm which read "Wish i had a puppy to sit w on back porch".

I texted something back like:  "I guess you are missing Gibson (my dog who traveled with me on my trip)".

To which he replied:  "Miss who  wish i had my own puppy" at 6:35 pm. 

With this my mind was far away from puppies.  We currently owned a flock of sheep, two llamas for sheep protection, two outside dogs (an aging golden retriever/lab mix and a border collie/australian shepherd mix), an outside cat, and an inside dog (my dog, Gibson, a miniature dachshund).  Enough to keep anyone busy and who needed more vet bills?  Certainly not us!

Much later that evening at 10:46 pm (yes, I was already in bed and had just drifted off to sleep), my hubby texted me this picture with the caption:  "The puppy i wanted":

I texted something back like:  "Whose puppy is that?"

He replied at 10:48:  "Joseph found her!"

Then at 10:53:  "You should see the big collar he bought that she is dragging around".  Ut-oh!

He sent this picture at 10:57:

I believe I called him at this point.  Enough texts without detailed information, thank you!

Evidently on Friday evening, my son was out with some friends and found a stray or lost puppy on their way home.  He is the one who ended up bringing the puppy home, not his friends.  I guess he knew we wouldn't refuse this puppy.  We truly are suckers for all animals lost and lonely and our menagerie here on farm shows that.  This puppy ended up going everywhere with Joseph for the next four or five days.  They went fishing, visiting friends, and driving to the Meek farm in Tennessee to fish with a friend.  He also let the puppy sleep with him.  And the puppy slept great...the puppy was slap exhausted from his life on the road before Joseph found him and his life on the road since Joseph found him.  The puppy's exhaustion was finally cured with extra sleep and Joseph banned him to his kennel at night since all the puppy wanted was to play.

We checked the newspaper for anyone who lost a puppy.  On Tueday, I called the pound to see if anyone had telephoned them about losing the dog.  After telling the pound that the puppy had been found and was very skinny, he responded, "Missy, it looks like you all have yourself a puppy!"

It has been a little over a week now and she doesn't get to go as much with Joseph.  You just can't take a dog everywhere!  She was finally named last Wednesday as "Norah".  She had her first (maybe?) visit with the vet on Friday.  The vet estimated she was 12-13 weeks old.  She weighed 14 pounds.  She is probably a mixture of Labrador Retriever, Bassett Hound, and Beagle and will weigh around 40 pounds when full grown.  I really didn't notice that her legs were shorter than most dogs.  I guess I have gotten so used to seeing our dachshund that I assume any legs longer than his has to be normally long.  She does have large paws with the webbing between the toes and shorter ears (Labrador), short legs (Bassett Hound), and beagle coloring.  Her bark reminds me of Copper in Disney's: The Fox and The Hound.  Norah absolutely loves our dachshund.  Our dachshund doesn't return the feeling.  He is wore out at the end of the day from the constant playing, chasing, biting, and prodding.  Gibson growls and barks but to no avail.  This puppy just has too much energy.

Speaking of too much energy, Norah was nearly impossible to photograph.  She just won't be still!  I know I have deleted close to 30 pictures just trying to get a clear picture of her.  These are the photos that did turn out clearly:

Notice her tail wagging in this picture:

She chews on EVERYTHING!

And Gibson watches in alarm.

I love her tail.  It looks just like a magician's wand.

After all of the play and chasing, she deeply naps...

And Gibson does too, preferably with me.

Though Norah is quite the cutie, I don't believe she will make it as a total house dog like Gibson.  She has no concept of being housebroken and we have tried for more than a week!  She just has no control for any period of time.  She currently lives on our back porch and comes in to eat, sleep in her kennel, and play if someone is there to watch her.  Maybe as she matures she will catch on to the requirements of living in the house.  I'll continue to post pictures as she grows.

Happy Wednesday!

June 2, 2010


I took a trip this weekend to East Tennessee to visit my parents. We looked at one of my dad's picture albums with old pictures from his childhood, college days, and when he and Mom first married. The album also contained old pictures of his parents and grandparents and great-grandfather. I remembered when I read the instruction booklet to my new camera that it had an option to take pictures of pictures. I also remember my brother doing this with some old pictures at my grandmother's house, so I thought I would try. Even though I never could figure out the camera's way to take these pictures, I think they turned out pretty well.

This picture was already out of focus, but I love the dominant blue in the picture. This is my dad on a rocking horse when he was about 3 years old (1939).

This is Dad and Fritzie in 1940 (4 years old) with dominant yellow in the picture.  Dad remembered the dog was not their dog.  They were keeping the dog for someone and he really got attached to it.  He remembered being upset when the dog left.  Poor guy!

Dad in the 10th Grade (1950-1951):

Dad on stilts (which he and his brothers made) with his younger brother, Bob (1954):

Dad picking cotton for a fund raiser in Sigma Rho at Freed-Hardeman College his freshman year.  He remembers it wasn't a very profitable fund raiser.  All of the money they made went for refreshments for the cotton pickers!

My parents' yearbook pictures at Freed-Hardeman around 1956-1957.  Notice my mom's football necklace.  Isn't that so typical 1950's?

I love this picture of my mom.  It was taken on the Alabama/Tennessee state lines on the Natchez Trace only about ten miles from where my husband, son, and I live right now!  My dad was preaching for a small church just up the road from where we currently live while he was attending college.  This was taken one Sunday afternoon when they were in this area for him to preach.  Mom looks so carefree, happy, and possibly in love in this picture.  A teenage look you rarely get a glimpse of in your parents.  The fact that she has her glasses off tells you she was really trying to look her best for my dad...girls still do that!

This is my mother's parents, my grandparents probably taken around 1957.

My mom's mother, my grandmother.  I don't know if this is before 1957 or after.

My dad took this picture of my mom with my oldest brother when he was probably a year old (1959).  This picture is another of my favorites.  I love the way mom's hair is pinned back and the look in her eyes for her son.

These are some of the older pictures from my dad's side of the family.  This is my grandmother in 1922.  She would have been about 14 years old in this picture.  Her hands look like she was used to working hard.

This is my grandmother's parents.  My great-grandmother's picture is very faded on one side.  I really wish I had Photoshop to adjust this photograph.  I think it could be made much clearer.

And this is my Great, Great-Grandfather Way, the father of the picture above:

The last picture is my grandfather on my dad's side.  He was probably 3 or 4 in this picture-this picture was probably taken around 1913 or 1914.  I am certain that most little boys (and dads) are thankful that they are not dressed anymore like he was, but wasn't he cute!

Have a great Wednesday!