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Southern born, Southern reared. It's a quirky place and we are unique folk... These are my people and these are my stories.

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Tuesday's Southern Style Tunes

You cannot be from the South and not recognize the amazing voices in this song (click title above). This is a video you will not want to miss. Don't take your eyes away ... there are lovely tributes to legacies now gone.

Thank you Brad and Dolly ...

[Don't forget to leave your comments on this video so that your name is entered into the weekly drawing for a book from my bookshelf. And don't forget your contact information. Someone two weeks ago missed her book because I had no way to contact her. --I'm learning, too! :) )

Monday, January 30, 2012

Monday Musings on All Things Southern

What is it about the South that demands a love for barbecue? People around here will drive for miles on end to find the best. And, once they do, there's no going back.
Heaven forbid you go to your favorite barbecue place and get a bad plate of something. There's no going back then, either.

A couple of years ago, our daughter was devastated to learn she'd not made a 100 on her spelling test, the misspelled word being "barbecue." Turns out, not a single kid in the class got it right. Some spelled it BBQ. Others, barbque. Still others, Bar-B-Q. I'll be honest; I didn't know the correct spelling either.

Do you have a recipe for barbecue sauce or barbecue anything you want to share? How about a favorite barbecue memory (here's mine: when I was a child, we had a small family reunion at my Uncle Bobby's. While the kids played football in the yard, the men barbecued chicken and the women made the fixins in the kitchen. To this day, I say that was the best barbecue chicken I've ever eaten. Was it the chicken? The sauce? The company of loved family members? Or maybe all of the above? Don't know, but the truth remains. It was the best.)

Remember: leave you comments and a way to contact you to register for this week's drawing. This week's drawing winner is: Bea Hall. Last week's winner did not respond so ... congrats to Cheryl Hopkins!)

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Thursday's Talk About the Book

Eve's DaughtersOkay, so every week I give away a book from my bookcases. I have quite a few. 
Right now I'm looking at several books I've read and enjoyed ... a little something for everyone.
I just finished the one on top, Eve's Daughters, by Lynn Austin. Lynn is by far one of my favorite novelists. If the woman wrote a grocery list, I'd read it. 
Do I recommend this book as your choice should you be the winner? Yes! Let me tell you a little about it:
From Christianbook.comOne bad decision can plague a family for generations. Emma Bauer realizes that now as she watches her granddaughter's marriage unravel. If she had only told the truth about her own troubled marriage, maybe she could have prevented her granddaughter's heartache. Is it too late to break the legacy of wrong choices and embrace God's forgiveness? 448 pages, softcover from Bethany.
My 2cents: I could not put this book down. I stayed up one night reading but was forced to put the book down when I just couldn't keep my eyes open another second. But, when I went "to sleep" I continued to dream the words. About an hour later, I woke, said, "Forget this!" got out of bed, grabbed the book, went into the family room with a cup of coffee, and read until about 4 in the morning. Book finished, I went back to bed and slept till 8. That's how good it is.
So, if you are the winner this week, you may want to check out Eve's Daughters or...
1. Setting Boundaries with Difficult People by Allison Bottke
2. The Betrayal by Jerry B. Jenkins
3. Sitting at the Feet of Rabbi Jesus by Ann Spangler and Lois Tverberg
4. A Confident Heart by Renee Swope
5.  Remembering Christmas by Dan Walsh
6. The Prayers of Agnes Sparrow by Joyce Magnin

Until the drawing,

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Wednesday's Recipe of the Week

As my mother lay dying in Mission Hospital (Asheville) in May 2010, a friend of ours came for a quick visit during those rare visitations one is allowed when a patient is in intensive care. Sharon, our friend, picked up Mother's limp hand, placed it in her own, and stroked her arm. "Betty," she said to Mother (who was unconscious but, I believe, hearing), "you have the softest skin."

My brother quickly replied, "She makes her own body and face lotion."

"Well," Sharon said, "whatever it is, it's marvelous."

After Mother died, I found several whipped topping tubs still filled with what she called "The Recipe." So light and fluffy, you'd think it was whipped topping. I placed a little in a small glass jar (Mother kept things like small medicine containers and, in particular, empty Vicks VapoRub containers just for this kind of thing), and sent it to Sharon.

I'm nearing the end of what was left and will soon, for the first time, make my own. It truly is marvelous and I want to share it with you.

Betty Blue's Emu Oil Beauty Cream
(Please note, I have no idea where she got this. This is just my name for it.)

15 oz. baby lotion
18 oz. Aloe Vera lotion or gel
8 oz. Vitamin E cream
8 oz. petroleum jelly
1/2 oz Emu oil (or you can use 1 oz.)

Mix with a hand mixer.

[Don't forget to comment so you'll be entered in the weekly contest!]

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Tuesday Southern-style Tunes

Check out the hyperlinks for those of you who don't know what some of these things are ... and be sure to read all the way through so you can take part in the drawing this week!

Goodbye Joe me gotta go me oh my oh
Me gotta go pole the pirogue down the bayou
My Yvonne the sweetest one me oh my oh
Son of a gun we'll have big fun on the bayou
Jambalaya and a crawfish pie and file gumbo
Cause tonight I'm gonna see my ma cher amio
Pick guitar fill fruit jar and be gay-o
Son of a gun we'll have big fun on the bayou
[ fiddle ]
Thibodaux Fontaineaux the place is buzzin'
Kinfolk come to see Yvonne by the dozen
Dress in style and go hog wild me oh my oh
Son of a gun we'll have big fun on the bayou
Settle down far from town get me a pirogue
And I'll catch all the fish in the bayou
Jambalaya and a crawfish pie...
[ fiddle ]
Later on, swap my mon, get me a pirogue
and I'll catch all the fish on the bayou
Swap my mon, to buy Yvonne what she need-oh
Son of a gun we'll have big fun on the bayou
Jambalaya and a crawfish pie...

Who can tell me what "fill fruit jar" means?
Come on now ... it'll get your name in for the drawing! 
HERE'S THE SONGhttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xnKOVPXhlnE 

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Monday Musings On All Things Southern

If you grew up in the South during the time when I grew up in the South, the name Tennessee Ernie Ford was familiar.

Born in Bristol, Tennessee, Ernest (Ernie) Ford became better known within the Gospel, Country, and Pop genres as Tennessee Ernie Ford. His impression was of a simple, gentle man. But don't let that fool you. He was brilliant as a musician, accomplished as a singer, TV star, and quite simply a great American.

And, he was a Southern boy. Even better.

Here's a classic moment from his television show. Look how well he handled the little boy to his right who ... um ... stole the show!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Wednesday's Southern Recipe of the Week

Clam Puffs

I grew up near the water, where the Atlantic meets the marshes of the land we call Georgia. My grandparents taught me how to fish when I was six-years-old. My mother said things like, "Oh, how I love going to the coast." I can still see her standing at the edge of the world, arms folded around herself, looking out over the water.

Summers were spent at the beach with my family when I was a child. With my friends when I was a teen. We'd pile into the back of a pickup and head to Tybee Island, CCR blaring from the cab. We'd body surf until we were exhausted and happy, then bake for hours with baby oil slathered all over our young bodies. I have the scars from cancer removal to prove it.

I knew how to "go" shrimping and crabbing and clam digging before I knew how to drive a car. One of my finest memories came from those high school days when a pile of us went to St. Simon's Island. We spent the day shrimping. We finished the day around a campfire and a vat of boiling shrimp. (We call this a shrimp boil.) I can still see the mound of shrimp shells tossed to one side. Hear the strum of someone's 12-string. The mellow voices singing "We Are One in the Spirit."

There's nothing like good seafood. Here's a recipe from an old Southern recipe book perfect for any cook, whether you can get to the coast to clam or not. Enjoy!

1 (3 oz) pkg. cream cheese
2 Tbs heavy cream
1 (7 oz) can minced clams, drained
pinch dry mustard
1/2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp grated onion

Mix all ingredients except paprika. Spread on toasted bread round or saltines and pat in broiler for a few minutes until puffy. Sprinkle with paprika and serve piping hot. This mixture can be made up a day or two ahead of time, and spread and popped under the broiler at the last minute. Makes about 20 puffs.

Got any beach memories from your childhood you'd like to share? Do it here and register to win!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Tuesday's Southern-Style Tunes

In honor of Dr. Martin Luther King, please watch this video to the end.

Brad Paisley's "Welcome to the Future"

Leave a comment on how the life of Dr. King effected you for a chance to win!

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Monday Musings on All Things Southern

Another round of "Who Am I?"

I was born in Orlando Florida in 1956 to a single mother. Mom later remarried, my stepfather adopted me; I've gone by his last name ever since. While in high school I competed in the Miss Florida contest and won. I continue to hold the title of the youngest winner in the history of the pageant.

From 1986 to 1991 I played on a highly popular CBS sitcom in which I played one of two sisters and one of four businesswomen. My role earned me two Emmy nominations but my weight gain eventually became more of an issue than my ability to act or make people laugh.

My primary residence (where I live with my husband) is in Los Angeles but I have several other homes, including one in New Orleans.

Who am I?

[Answer for a chance to win a book from my bookshelf. Name will be picked at the end of the week. Last week's winner was Kathleen Bruner!]

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Wednesday Southern-style Recipe of the Week

Portobello Mushrooms for Four
(Yum, Yum Marinated!)

4 large portobello mushroom caps
3 cloves garlic, minced
4 Tbs. dark soy sauce
4 Tbs. balsamic vinegar
2 Tbs. olive oil
1 cup cooking wine

Preheat oven to 400
In a baking dish, mix cooking wine, olive oil, soy sauce, vinegar, and garlic. Place mushroom caps upside donw in the marinade. Marinate 15 minutes.
Cover dish, place in oven. Bake 25 minutes. Turn mushrooms and continue baking 8 minutes.

 Have you ever had marinated portobello mushrooms? I remember one evening, my daughter and I (she was then 16) and I were at a friend's lovely estate in Georgia. He prepared marinated portobello mushrooms as an appetizer before dinner. We sat out on a deck where candles lit the way and a babbling brook ran behind us. An amazing evening with a good friend.

Tell me what you think!

Remember, by commenting, you place yourself in the running to win a book from my bookshelf!

Monday, January 9, 2012

Monday Musings on All Things Southern

Hey, y'all!

It's time for another game of Who Am I?

I was born on Christmas Day, 1946 in Pascagoula, Mississippi. Southern born, baby! I'm known more for my singing and my songwriting, but I've also written three #1 best sellers. 

I am one of only eight authors to have accomplished reaching #1 on both the fiction and the nonfiction best-seller lists. Among the other seven were Ernest Hemingway, John Steinbeck, and Dr. Seuss.

One of my fiction titles is Tales of Margaritaville (okay, that probably gives me away!). My best-selling nonfiction work is titled A Pirate Looks at Fifty. Not to try to overly impress you, but I have also co-written two children's books with my eldest daughter, Savannah.

Who am I?

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Thursday's Talk About The Book

My current works in progress -- the Cedar Key novels -- are set (among other settings) in Cedar Key, Florida. I love this place more than I have words to write or volumes to fill.

I've been playing around with Animoto video, 30-second films using my photos and set to music. Thought you might enjoy watching the sun set from Shell Mound, which is up Highway 24 (then take a left) from Cedar Key.

For more information about the first Cedar Key novel, Chasing Sunsets, see the banner at the right of this posting. 

Be sure to leave a comment as to what you think about this video to be entered into the drawing, which will be held tomorrow, for a book from my personal bookshelf!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Wednesday Recipe of the Week

Southern cookin'! Nothin' like it!

Sour Cream Dressing for Baked Irish Potatoes


1 cup sour cream
1/2 tsp. vinegar
a few drops of lemon juice
dash of Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp. finely chopped onion
2 tsps. chopped chives or tops of green onions


Mix all ingredients. Serve on baked Irish potatoes.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Monday Musing on All Things Southern

Hey, y'all!

It's time for another game of Who Am I?

I was born on Christmas Day, 1946 in Pascagoula, Mississippi. Southern born, baby! I'm known more for my singing and my songwriting, but I've also written three #1 best sellers. 

I am one of only eight authors to have accomplished reaching #1 on both the fiction and the nonfiction best-seller lists. Among the other seven were Ernest Hemingway, John Steinbeck, and Dr. Seuss.

One of my fiction titles is Tales of Margaritaville (okay, that probably gives me away!). My best-selling nonfiction work is titled A Pirate Looks at Fifty. Not to try to overly impress you, but I have also co-written two children's books with my eldest daughter, Savannah.

Who am I?

Tuesday Southern-style Tunes

I grew up on Southern tunes. Country and Western, Southern Gospel.
I pretty much hated all of it. Still, it has a way of getting into your DNA.

Two of my first three children had a love for Country, as it became to be known. I recall afternoons riding in my son's cherry red '66 Mustang, windows down, wind blowing through the car, Bocephus playing as loud as the radio would allow. It was crazy fun. A few years later, our oldest daughter (Child 2) showed her love for country. Alabama was big back then. 

Both kids tried to make me love it, but I couldn't shake the old stuff. 

Then kid #4 came along. She introduced me to the really new country. Crazier still, I fell in love with it. I sang the lyrics. I danced to it in my bedroom while getting ready in the morning.

Now Child #2 gets in the car, hears country coming from the speakers, listens to me singing along, and laughs.

Yesterday, on a return trip from GA, I found a station in Jax-ville that played the new mixed with the sort of new and, be still my heart, the classic country songs of yesteryear. My first thought was, "Oh dear ..." but then a song came on I remembered well. "Hello, darlin' ..." Conway Twitty crooned. 

I was taken back. A simpler time. A simpler place. A memory of being in K-Mart with my mother (I always got lost in there!) and hearing the song for the first time over the speakers. 

So, take a trip back with me if you will ... this is Conway Twitty (dare ya not to sing along!):

Monday, January 2, 2012

Monday Musings on All Things Southern

I announced last year (last month!) that I was about to do something new here. And I am. For one, giveaways. I have a library full of books I rarely know what to do with once I'm finished. Sometimes I take them to the "new and used" bookstore not far from my home. I love that place. It's called BrightLight Books, for anyone in the Orlando area who may be interested. It's Christian-owned and operated so there's a real sense of "family" when one walks in the door. They have an area in the back any theologian or theology student would salivate all over (I know I did...). And, better still, you can order online (for those of you who are not in this area). I've been known to go in, take books, get credit, "buy" books. I tell them nearly every time I go in that if they were to get WiFi and put in a coffee shop, I'd never leave. What they don't know is, I'd be sitting there writing the next novel ...

BrightLight carries my books but they really don't know who I am. I kind of like that. I go in, I'm just another reader. And shopper.

All that to say, I come out with a stack of books nearly as tall as the one I took in. I don't like to take those books back (that'd be like going to the library!), so what happens? I end up with a stack of books collecting dust and taking up space in my office. Not to mention stacks of the books written by me!

What to do ... what to do ... ?

I know! I'll give them away! Once a week I'll look over the names of all those who have left comments and, from those names, at random, I'll choose a winner. Let me know what kind of books you prefer and I'll do my best to accommodate you!

(In other words, your comments will look something like this: [comment, comment, comment]. Jane Doe. (Romance Fiction)

And that is where YOU come in! You'll have to leave comments. And hopefully encourage others to come to my page, to learn more about what I write, how I think, and what being Southern is all about.

Here's something to get us started:

Who Am I? 

I was born in 1674 and died in 1744. I was a planter, slave-owner, and author. My diaries on the secrets of plantation life were printed in the 1800s and are among the most noted in Southern literature. My home held an extensive library; I refused my wife the privilege of entering it, but she often did while I was away, taking volumes and reading them. I am called the Founder of Richmond, VA. Among my titles are: A History of the Dividing Line and A Journey into the Land of Eden.

Who am I?