Sunday, February 28, 2010


Today's recommended Accelerated Reading book is written by one of my favorite author's, Roald Dahl.  It is a small book that can be read in one to two days.  I always try to make sure that I give it to a student that may not like to read on the first day of school.  When they see it is a good book, they will trust me to pick out another one for them.

Esio Trot is a funny, fun book for any age to read.  If you look closely, you will see that Esio Trot is Tortoise spelled backwards. 

I would highly recommend other Roald Dahl books.  The Magic Finger is another short book by Roald Dahl that is fun.  Danny the Champion of the World is another of his books that is fun.  Of course, Roald Dahl is most known for his book Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.
Read a book by Roald Dahl, and you can't go wrong.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Nashville Lawn and Garden Show

It is time once again for the Nashville Lawn and Garden Show. 

This year's event is happening March 4th - 7th at the Tennessee State Fair Grounds. 

This is my brother's Lawn and Garden least that's what we call it.  Obviously he does not put on the entire show by himself.  He does work terribly hard the weeks before it happens. 

I have some pictures from last year's show.  It is well worth your time to travel to Nashville to enjoy a taste of Spring.  It always gives me such a "feel good" just to be there.


The pictures I took last year are all of woodland gardens.  Obviously, these are my favorites. 

There are always lots and lots of tulips and daffodils.  There are display gardens and booths with products to be purchased.  You can get lots of ideas for your own garden and purchase a plant or two if you choose.

For more information, visit this website:

Friday, February 26, 2010

Golden Delicious Chocolate Chip Cookies

I have never been able to make a good chocolate chip cookie.  They always turn out flat.
Until now...
One night when I was leisurely blog reading, I came across the following blog:
Just look under her index for chocolate chip cookies, and you will find a fun story about flat cookies and a really good recipe.  My family agreed that these cookies are lots better than I usually make, and the recipe actually makes more cookies with the same amount of chocolate chips.


Thursday, February 25, 2010

Forcing Flowering Bushes Indoors Part II


I promised to show you the progress of the flowering bushes I am forcing to bloom indoors...

I just never thought I would be showing you something this quick.

Look at how the leaves are beginning to show today!!!

I think the real fun in this is that I have no idea what this bush is going to look like. 
 It did not come from my yard...I know that it flowers, but I don't know what the flowers look like. 

Also, I thought I would mention today, that my blog counter is showing that I have received over 1000 views.  That just boggles my mind.  Thank you to all of you who view my blog regularly.  It has been great fun for me to share a little part of our life in the Big Woods with you. 

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Forcing Flowering Bushes Indoors

My Nashville Brother has the most gorgeous bouquet of Forsythia sitting on his kitchen bar.  He cut the branches, pounded the stems, and brought them into the house to trick the buds into believing that Spring is here, and it is time to bloom.  This is called "forcing".  Apparently, the buds fell for the trick, because the blooms are just beautiful.

I have no forsythia around here, so I decided to try some other bushes.  I cut the limbs from two bushes that I know have flowering blooms.
O.K....  so I have no idea what the
names of these bushes are. 
I know that is pitiful.
I have no idea if this will work.
It is simply an experiment.
Kind of fun though, don't you think?
I pounded the stems on concrete with a hammer.
Then, I placed them in a vase of water and brought them inside our warm house.
Look at the picture below...
After only three days, the buds are getting bigger!!!

I will keep you up to date and post the progress of these flowering limbs.
As I have said before, it doesn't take much to excite me.


Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Daddy's Quotes

Many of you know that I lost my father on Valentine's Day.  One of Daddy's favorite sayings was, "Don't dwell on the past, but look to the future."  Actually he would say, "Don't be dwelling on all that bad stuff."

I am trying very hard to not dwell on the bad.  It is difficult.

I have a very special book that my Daddy filled out over 10 years ago called a Father's Legacy.  He offers so many great words of advice in this book.  I would like to share one of my favorites.

When asked to share his idea of how to develop and maintain good physical health, my Daddy said,

get plenty of rest and sleep,
eat your vegetables.
Don't smoke or drink alcohol beverages.
Avoid stress.
Do things you like to do.
Spend time with your family.
All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy."

Monday, February 22, 2010

A Few Red Tulips

Isn't it amazing how a few red tulips can just make you feel so much better?  I have been craving tulips, so I finally broke down and bought some for myself.

Of course, my inspiration has come from Attic 24.  She always has fresh flowers displayed in her home.  If you have never checked out her blog, it is such a feel good place to visit.

I may not seem like much to you.
But I am really enjoying these tulips.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Sunday Fun Read

Janie is eating lunch at school one day when she recognizes the face that is on the back of her milk carton.  You know...the missing children pictures that they sometime put on school milk cartons.  The picture she is seeing is a picture of herself.  So the story begins.  How can she be missing when she lives with her parents?  Or are they really her parents? 
The Face on the Milk Cartoon by Caroline B. Cooney is one of my Sixth Grade girls' favorite books.  It is the first in a series that most girls will continue to read after they have finished the first one.

Whatever Happened to Janie
The Voice on the Radio
What Janie Found

My daughter enjoyed reading these books so much, she picked Caroline B. Cooney this year for her author study for Sixth Grade.  After writing a letter to Mrs. Cooney as part of the project, she was thrilled to get a letter back.  It is now one of her prized possessions.  How special.

All of these are reasons that I have selected The Face on the Milk Cartoon by Caroline B. Cooney as our Sunday Fun Read.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Lenten Roses to the Rescue

Oh happy, happy, joy, joy!!!  Spring is finally coming.

It has been a beautiful day here in Tennessee. 
I have ventured out into the Big Woods and discovered that my Lenten Roses are beginning to appear.
I absolutely love my Lenten Roses. 
 I have 6 of them. 
 I wish I had 26 or 106.
They are the first of my flowers to bloom in the springtime.
My Practical Brother (this is what we have decided to call him by the way)
has these all over his yard. 
 He calls them Hellebores.
  They are quite expensive to purchase.
But as you can see, they are well worth it.

Oh Spring, I can feel you just around the corner!

Friday, February 19, 2010

Glove Baby Doll

My twelve year old daughter came through the house the other day carrying a black glove.  She convinced me that the glove no longer fit her hand, and then asked if she could use it for a craft project.

Sure, I told her.

A few hours later, she came through the house with this.

Isn't this just the cutest glove baby you have ever seen!!!

It just has such character.

I especially like the gold hair. 

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Ice Cube Sun Catcher

There just has to be something good about this terribly cold weather we have been having. daughter decided to make this really beautiful sun catcher.  She just froze a tray of ice cubes and put some food coloring in each spot.
Then, she put the ice cubes in a cake pan and surrounded the cubes with water.
She tried to place a cup in the pan to make a hole for hanging, but it we just put a ribbon around it.
The only problem came when we went to hang our sun catcher.

There was no sun...
still it is really pretty.
Don't you think so???

Wednesday, February 17, 2010


You will need:
1 can kidney beans (drained and rinsed)
1 can mexicorn (drained and rinsed)
1 cup cheddar cheese
1 onion (chopped)
1 green pepper (chopped)
8 oz. Ranch dressing
1 bag Fritos
Mix the first six ingredients together and chill.
Add dressing and chips right before serving. 

This is a wonderful salad to take to parties and meals.  It is best to made when it will all be eaten at once, because the leftovers are not as good when the Fritos become wet and soggy.
I got this recipe from a very good teacher friend a few years ago.


Tuesday, February 16, 2010


Have you ever seen an alligator tree???


now you have.

My husband and daughter found this tree along our four-wheeler trail.

Cool-wouldn't you say???

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

I Saw God Today in My Brother's Backyard

It has become our tradition every year for the Sewing Sister, The Lynchburg Sister, the Dependable Sister and me to travel to the Horticulturist Brother's home in Nashville for his birthday.  We do this each year on President's Day.  Let me this point...that the Horticulturist Brother wants a different blog name.  O.K.

This year, we were at my Only Brother's house a few days early...due to the fact that my dear Daddy has had open heart surgery and a stroke.   Yes...I ask for your dear Daddy would thank you.

These are pictures that I took of my Ingenious Brother's backyard during last year's trip.

Can you believe this is my Green Thumb Brother's yard in the dead of winter?

My Goldfish Pond Building brother built his first pond in our backyard when he was a teenager.

Wow!!!  Such a Creative Brother.

Note the flowers blooming in the winter in my Nature-loving Brother's yard.

What I wouldn't have given to have brought along my camera to my Country Music City Brother's garden this morning as it was lightly dusted with snow.  As I watched from the window, the most gorgeous redbirds visited the feeder in my Nashville Brother's yard.  Thank you My Brother for this feeling of peace as our family faces the unknown.

So Brother...what do you think???  Did you see a name that you like?  I'm kind of leaning toward the Goldfish Pond Building has a catchy sound to it.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Valentine Hot Fudge Cake


Just a little lesson on adjectives.
We've described it; now somebody needs to eat it.


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