Monday, January 31, 2011

i heart faces ~ Favorite January 2011 Photo

Song for a Fifth Child

Mother, oh Mother, come shake out your cloth
empty the dustpan, poison the moth,
hang out the washing and butter the bread,
sew on a button and make up a bed.
Where is the mother whose house is so shocking?
She's up in the nursery, blissfully rocking.

Oh, I've grown shiftless as Little Boy Blue
(lullaby, rockaby, lullaby loo).
Dishes are waiting and bills are past due
(pat-a-cake, darling, and peek, peekaboo).
The shopping's not done and there's nothing for stew
and out in the yard there's a hullabaloo
but I'm playing Kanga and this is my Roo.
Look! Aren't her eyes the most wonderful hue?
(lullaby, rockaby, lullaby loo).

The cleaning and scrubbing will wait till tomorrow,
for children grow up, as I've learned to my sorrow.
So quiet down, cobwebs. Dust go to sleep.
I'm rocking my baby and babies don't keep.

by Ruth Hulburt Hamilton

I was reminded of this much loved poem when I shot this stunning photo of my best friend dozing off while rocking her youngest son.  I thought it to be a sweet sentiment that is all too forget about the things we think we "must" do and to remember the things we "ought" to.  

Like spending the time to cuddle our little ones, before they are not so little anymore.  

Please go visit all the other entries in this weeks, i heart faces challenge.  Just click on this button to go see some of the most amazing images on the web.  You will not be disappointed.  I never am.  

This is Home Girl.  Deuces.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

More Secret Garden Love

Today marks a very momentous occasion for Home Girl.  Today, I am going back to The Spit for an overnight slumber party with my favorite four year old boy, Lil'A.  I am looking forward to spending some time with him and his Mom, but it struck me that in the past year, I have never returned to my former home.  I think it's time...I think I am ready, ready because I am going back on my terms...and well, let's be honest...when I last left The Spit, things weren't so wonderful in my life.

A lot has changed in a year, huh??

I should have trusted some of you more when you told me that things would be okay...that things would work out the way He wanted them to, but ya know of little faith and all.  I think one of the biggest things I have learned since last year is that, I am not the one driving the big bus called life.  He is.  I have learned to trust a whole lot more.  I still have issues trusting "people", but I have gotten to a serene place in my life where I completely trust God.  I look for the fruit growing on a vine that I might have looked past before.

I also recognize another huge change for me and that relates to happiness.  Use to be...I would equate happiness with what I was doing for others and what I was creating for others and there was no real fulfilment in that.  I was miserable, because ya know what...we can not make others happy.  They have to make themselves happy and then throw the collective pieces into one big bucket called happiness.

There are still bad days.  There are still bad things that happen, but it's in our approach that we seek the freedom from being miserable.  Sure, you can sit there and say, "blah, blah, life is so crappy", but what is the sense in that?  Turn it around and force yourself to focus on the moments of joy and your mood will lift.

There is beauty, even amongst the dead leaves and darkness of a cold, dreary day.

 There are moments when we get to see the sparkle of an old chandelier in a unique location.  

A home is just four walls that have found it's happiness.  I am so glad I found mine.  

This is Home Girl and I hope you focus on happiness today...pure and simple.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Lunch Date; Baker's Crust in Short Pump, Virginia

Last Thursday, my Boy BFF whisked me off on a day trip adventure!  I was more than ready and over the moon with excitement.  We were driving approximately two hours to our West to visit someone special, at Baker's Crust in Short Pump, Virginia.  Short Pump Town Center to be exact.  Short Pump Town Center is this most amazing concept of a huge shopping is like dining Al Fresco because everything is connected outdoors.  Go ahead and take a few minutes to look over the array of stores and dining experiences one can find while visiting Short Pump.  I know!!  It's truly an amazing place.  I heart it there whether or not there is Baker's Crust or Boy BFF Time involved.

Boy BFF was excited to take me to his new "I'm in love" place and I was equally excited to accompany him on this trip.  Our destination for the day was the incredible "Virginia's Own" Baker's Crust.  We were greeted by smiles and hellos which was really welcoming right from the get go.  It wasn't too crowded as we arrived after the lunch rush, but before the dinner crowd started to come in.  This time allowed for lingering and much enjoyment.  The smell of baking bread wafted through the venue and as soon as we were seated, one could feel their heart rate slow down.  A much needed respite with a more than loved friend.

We started the libations with this yummy little number.  Hess Select Chardonnay was a lovely beginning.  I am typically not a chardonnay drinker, but Boy BFF, who is also studying to become a Master Wine Sommelier has broadened my perspectives.  It seems as if my palate veers towards the more expensive wines.  BBFF always knows what to order for me and I always love it.  Isn't it wonderful when you have a friendship like that?

Our first course quickly arrived and despite the fact that we were both really hungry, we took our time inhaling these.  There are eight different bruschetta's available at Baker's Crust.  You can mix or match your selections, but I will warn you now, the selection process is grueling.  Pictured above is the Riesling Poached Pear and Gorgonzola with watercress finished with a house-made vinaigrette, grapes, and diced buttery walnuts...then there is Prosciutto Di Parma which features fresh sliced prosciutto, oven roasted tomatoes, fresh "made in house" mozzarella, sprinkled with basil...and finally the Smoked Salmon and Cream Cheese with oven roasted tomatoes and capers.  All three choices were outstanding.  My favorite was the Riesling soaked pears...OMG, never in my life have I dreamed of such decadence.  The Smoked Salmon did not arrive as the menu stated, as it was paired with fresh parmigiana and not the stated cream cheese, but it still sailed with high praises.  Then we had another glass of Hess Chardonnay...

Baker's Crust is warm and casual with an upscale vibe, but seriously reasonably prices.  The staff is wonderfully accommodating and well trained.  I felt like I was being was much needed and appreciated.

For our main course, we decided to go with salads considering we just polished off three of the above bruschetta selections and still wanting to leave room for the dessert course.  C'mon now??  You know me better than that.  Home Girl has to have dessert and I will not admit to asking if we could start our foodie adventure with dessert.  Nope, not me.

Boy BFF chose this stunning tee peed salad of Skewed Shrimp and Fresh Avocado.  The artistically divine plate arrived with mixed greens, bacon, tomatoes, and toasted bread points.  Honey mustard dressing was served on the side while the shrimp and avocado were bathed with a Cayenne Aioli.  This salad was both captivating in presentation and taste.  It is one of those dishes that you never want to get full of.

While on the subject of dishes you never want to get full of...this right here...this crispy fried nugget of loveliness...yes, this one..right above you...(don't look down yet...we will not discuss dessert until you hear about this dish).  I chose the Old Fashion Warm Spinach Salad, which was plated with large amounts of fresh baby spinach, hard boiled egg slices, crispy bacon, and sliced mushrooms.  It was served with a "made that day" sweet cider and bacon dressing that should be bottled and sold.  It could be the answer to the world's financial crisis.  The crispy nugget in all it's creamy sexiness...was fried goat cheese, and let me TELL you, this shiz was mind blowing.  I have become a fan of goat cheese in various forms over the past few years, but "homie up there" sent me through the roof.  I almost had an orgasm.  I could have eaten more...I could have eaten a whole plate of these suckers.  But...

there was this waiting for me.  Yes, hold on to your hats...we had Cheesecake on a Stick.  Go ahead and hate me now, but this dessert is to the moon and back again.  Thick slices of velvety New York Style Cheesecake dipped in a coffee and mild chocolate ganache.  You pick it up and dip it into the fresh made, real whipped cream.  Yeah, the true to one's soul stuff made with heavy whipping cream and scented with vanilla bean.

You would understand why there was little in the way of conversation during this episodic moment.  I had died and gone to food heaven.  The dessert course was lovingly seated with a Badger Mountain Riesling and once again my Boy BFF knew it was the perfect pairing.  Badger Mountain Vineyards produce completely organic wine.  I was very impressed.  Now, you could have called me done and sent me on my way, but that's NOT how Boy BFF rolls...

You must try these sometime.  Say hello to Gummy Bears.  Yes, you read that correctly.  This was the perfect ending to our wonderful afternoon of love and festive food.  It was the closing act.  Sweet and tart, but smooth to the finish.  I am including the recipe here for you to enjoy...consider this my consolation gift to you should you not live near Richmond or the Southeastern side of Virginia.

White Gummy Bears

     1/2 ounce Raspberry Vodka
     1/2 ounce Peach Schnapps
     1 ounce Sweet & Sour Mix
     1 splash Lemon Lime Soda

Shake together vodka, schnapps and sweet & sour mix with moderate ice. Pour into a martini glass, top with a splash of lemon-lime soda and serve.
I can honestly not begin to thank everyone involved, for the joy this day provided me.  I thank Boy BFF and his love...I commend the staff at the Baker's Crust at Short Pump for an amazing meal served with incredibly wonderful skill.  Bravo!!

I will be back.  I promise.

This is Home Girl and I love to share my favorite places with you.  Shake together vodka, schnapps and sweet&sour mix with moderate ice. Pour into a martini g

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Gloomy Winter Day

I had originally planned to have this gleeful, stunning, and salivating blog post for you today, and for some reason or another, I just could not get it together.  I woke up with a sore neck, there was no coffee in the house, it's dreary and cold outside.  I had a bad case of the "blahs" and I was not in a good mood.

I then posted on Facebook that I was in a bad mood and within seconds I got a message from a friend letting me know that a mutual friend of ours had just lost her 16 year old daughter to suicide last night.

My heart literally sank and suddenly my grumpiness felt so unwarranted and immaterial.  I felt guilty for being in a bad mood.  I do have so much to be thankful for.  It could have been me that was mourning the loss of a child.

I cried...for a long while.  I hurt for this mother and the little brother she left behind to pick up the pieces of her hurting heart.  There is nothing that could make sense of it all.

I decided to take a walk with my camera.  A winter day, with it's bite in the air and the grey, sad clouds above.  It was if the day matched my mood, but as I walked around my secret garden where I go to think and reflect, I noticed that even amongst the darkest of days...the saddest of days, God provides glimpses of hope and love.  From vines bearing fruit, and the port holes of leaves that resemble hearts, I was left with a hug from Him.

He never leaves us, even when we want to turn around and walk away.

He is always there to provide us shelter from the storm.  

Deaths of Flowers 

I would if I could choose 
Age and die outwards as a tulip does; 
Not as this iris drawing in, in-coiling 
Its complex strange taut inflorescence, willing 
Itself a bud again - though all achieved is 
No more than a clenched sadness, 

The tears of gum not flowing. 
I would choose the tulips reckless way of going; 
Whose petals answer light, altering by fractions 
From closed to wide, from one through many perfections, 
Til wreched, flamboyant, strayed beyond recall, 
Like flakes of fire they piecemeal fall. 

Edith Joy Scovell 

 Please join me in prayer for this family and for the little girl lost, who felt she had no one to confide trust with the secret that she wanted to end her life so tragically early.

This is Home Girl and I love to focus on happiness, but sometimes the sadness of a day overwhelms me.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Q and A; Let's Ask Home Girl.

I apologize, but I am posting without photos today because I am away from my computer babysitting many small children.  I stress the word many.  I will be back to my regular shenanigans tomorrow and boy, do I have some wonderfulness to share with you.  Be prepared.  As a warning I would suggest that you do NOT read my post tomorrow, unless you have eaten...and I do mean a full meal. 

It will be tortuous if you you don't take heed in my warning.  I'm serious. 

In the mean time, let's play a game. 

You get to ask Home Girl any question you want and I will answer each of them on this blog post.  I will be checking in several times throughout the day, so feel free to be nosy and I will try my best to reply. 

Of course some subjects are off limits and I don't have a problem stating that certain parts of my life will not be discussed.  This includes anything to do with my children. 

So let's begin the interrogation. 

Sorry, no questions from anonymous commenter's.  I like to play fair.  You wanna know me?  It's only fair I know who's asking. 

You ask...I answer. 

This is Home Girl and I ain't scared.

From Laura-Peach..."what is your NUMBER ONE most favorite thing to cook and why... and of course share the recipe :)."  

Such a tough one for me.  There are so many things I love to cook and it depends on many factors such as season, mood, time of month, and economical availability.  Forgetting any financial concerns, I love to cook Italian and more specially Northern Italian.  I adore rich cream sauces over ricotta tortellini with prosciutto and fresh peas topped with fresh parmigiano-reggiano.  I normally serve this with a hand-made Cesar salad and just baked, buttered croutons.  This is a comfort meal that is both sublime and surreal.  I would pair this with a nice bottle of Sauvignon Blanc or Pinot Grigio.  

Of course, I cheat with store purchased pasta, but I do make my own white sauce.  The recipe is as such:  

North Italian White Cream Sauce or Creama di Salsa Marinara
2 cups heavy whipping cream
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup shredded provolone cheese
1/2 cup grated Romano cheese
  • Directions
  1. In a medium saucepan combine whipping cream and butter. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, stirring frequently until butter melts. Gradually stir in grated Parmesan cheese, grated mozzarella cheese, grated provolone cheese, and grated Romano cheese. Reduce heat to low, and continue to stir just until all cheese is melted.
  2. Serve immediately, sauce will thicken upon standing.


From April..."If you could spend one entire day with someone famous, who would it be and why? What would you spend your day together doing?"

Great question.  This is an easy one.  I would honestly want to spend the day having good ol' girl time with Hilary Clinton.  

There is no political mandate for the reason's just that I have always thought of her as this stoic, take no prisoners chick, who was also incredibly intelligent and kinda cool in a dorky/nerd sorta way.  I like that in a woman.  

I get her.  Instinctually.  

We would spend the day talking over great food and then I would love to shoot photos while mirroring her the rest of the day.   

From MPM..."Can I STOP the snow??"  

Hahahaha.....ha.  Ummmm...No.  I have gotten really good at predicting it and yes, it will stop eventually...then Spring will come and you will be so grateful for the lush green and colors around you that your heart will sing the Snow King's praises.  

Just try to enjoy it while it's here.  Snow is such a miracle and it makes me feel so inadequate to know that each snow flake is special and unique.  It can be a pain, but when sitting in the heat and the humidity of late July, you may recall the beautiful snow and then won't feel so completely miserable.  

Besides if I could make it stop snowing, don't you think that I would hog it all for myself and never let it stop in Southeastern Virginia??  

Are you still thinking Bali??  

Awesome Questions....keep 'em coming!!!!  
From Marlene, not me...but my homie, Marlene..."Do you have naturally curly hair? :) (And if it wasn't naturally curly before - is it curly now because of watching a bunch of kids?!!!) heehee..."

No, the many, many children did not wreck havoc on my hair, although I was called a punk by a two year old.  I will admit I felted punked.  

Yes I do have naturally curly hair.  I was born with these awesome, silky brown curls.  I was a stunning child, but when I hit puberty, those lushcious tufts became a curly, frizzy mess.  Before the time of hair products (i.e. gel, Bed Head, Frizzease, good conditioner, and mousse) I kept it very short, but then I said, "What the heck" and let it grow out.  

It looks permed, but natural...I like it, but I am struggling with two things now...grey hair and well, the ease that short hair provides.  Chemicals and curly hair = bad.  

I love my hair...I hate my all depends on the day.  

If I don't condition and oil my hair daily it starts to dreadlock and well...that just puts me in a very bad mood.  

I can usually be found with a scrunchie on my hair or on my wrist.  I have a basket of "Hair Doodles" and hair jewerly.  I love to play around creatively with my hair, but then there are times I wish I was bald.  

C'mon...who's next?  Don't be chicken to ask the good stuff...

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

I Think I'm In Love

It's more like, I know I am in serious love and it has to do with photography.  I have always been a big fan, but from the moment Russia put this new camera into my hands, my world has literally changed.  I have had a difficult time explaining just how I feel, but when I posted on Facebook last night that I admitted to being in serious love with photography, Jenni responded,

"I think what I like best about photography is that it's a way to show what *you* see, your own unique vision of your world, and to hone that vision until you are more observant and more aware of the beauty and intricacy of the things too many of us overlook on a day to day basis. Each of us sees the same things differently, and a photograph says a lot about the photographer. A photograph tells what sort of things a photographer notices, shows what things are beautiful or important to her, conveys her unique perspective on each object and on the greater world, and in each face or flower or landscape we see not just the subject of the photo but a slice of the photographer's soul."

After soaking in what Jenni wrote, and yes, I read it more than once to absorb the totality...I found myself shaking my head in agreement.  YES!!  This is why I love photography and photographs.  I can take what is inside my brain and transverse it into something tangible.  There really are no limits as to what can be achieved through photography.  

Jenni was one of the first bloggers to expose me to high quality photographs, the likes of which I had never seen before.  I felt connected to her view.  I enjoy the things she loves to shoot.  I especially love it when she goes out and about on her beloved Kansas prairies and captures it's varying beauty.  Her work is amazing.

I have got a few other favorite photo bloggers now and I love and appreciate each of their individual work.  Some like hard lines and gutsy shots...some like heavenly, soft toned nature captures...and some provide me with stink'n cute baby toes for me to salivate over.  There are even those that give me a daily dose of farm and country life...then there's those foodie photographers.  Well, you should know who I feel about them.  Each one is equally special to me.  I hope to be able to feature some of my personal favorites in the future, not just to provide them exposure in the blogging world, but to document why their blog keeps beckoning me back.  

I know there's a whole new world out there for me with my camera.  I am enjoying the learning process and am taking the time to grow.  I believe that if we stop seeking knowledge and personal growth than we become stagnant and stop living life.  There's absolutely no way I am about to do that.  You?  What do you see through your lense?  

This is Home Girl and I am truly in love...

Please go visit all the other stunning entries in Communal amazes me to see how different, yet the same, we all are.  It truly is a small world.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Innocent Wonder ~ i heart faces

There is nothing better than the innocent wonder one feels when a relationship is just beginning.  When after ending a bad long term relationship has left you forlorn and battle weary, you never think that you will experience happiness and bliss again...

but then it happens...a chance meeting turns into a special time in your life.  It provides the innocent wonder of one's heart.

I captured this in a photo of a dear friend of mine.

So this is, la, la, this is love.  So this is what makes life divine...

Please go visit all the other incredible entries for this week's theme on innocent wonder.  I know it will warm your heart and be food for your soul.

This is Home Girl and I am so happy for my friends when they feel the magic and wonder of love.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Take A Walk To Starboards Coffee Kiosk With Me; Olde Towne Adventures

I really enjoy my walks through Olde Towne, Portsmouth, Virginia.  Some days there is a purpose in my walk and yesterday was one of those quest type days.  I wanted a large cup of hot coffee with a Caramel Cappuccino flair.  I thought it might be nice if you enjoyed the walk with me.  Wanna come along?

You will notice the lovely well designed gardens peppered about.  No matter what the season is, these stunning gardens can put a smile on your face.  This garden is one of my favorites.

After walking three short blocks, we arrive at the Elizabeth River waterfront and Ferry Landing where commuters and tourists alike can catch the paddle wheel ferry to Waterside Festival Marketplace.  The USS Wasp (LHD-1) is visiting in the dry docks to be serviced.  It is a great reminder of all the service members that risk their lives, on a daily basis to ensure our freedom.

Please take note of our wonderful architecture that abounds in Olde Towne.  This is One High Street and is home to Riverview Art Gallery and assorted business offices.

Are you cold from the chill of the river breeze?  Well, then let's go to Starboards Coffee Kiosk and see what Betsy has to warm us up!!  Sweet Betsy and her husband David are not only the owners and operators of this little bit of coffee love, they also provide the heart beat of Olde Towne.  Want to know what fun activities are planned?  Just ask, because they always are in the know.  David also writes a blog for the Virginian-Pilot called, A New Day in Olde Towne.

For being such a small operation, the menu and coffee offerings are huge.  There are fresh baked goods offered daily, as well as sandwiches and other assorted knoshes available.  It's nice when you can just grab something tempting and delishious before you head to work or off onto the ferry to Norfolk.

Here's a peek inside Betsy's busy office.  She makes the best coffee drinks and her evervesant smiles are always free.

Do you hear that?  It's the horn on the ferry alerting us that it's about to leave.  It's okay if we miss this departure, the ferry runs back and forth on a half hour schedule.  I hope that if you live nearby, you will come down to visit my friends at Starboards Coffee Kiosk.  (I included the link to their wonderful travel in Olde Towne Website.)  It is businesses such as this that make Olde Towne so special.  If you plan on making Olde Towne, Portsmouth, Virginia a travel destination in the future, there is no better place to stop and get all the good "insider" information.  You can become their friend on Facebook...that would really make them happy!!

Thanks for joining me on this Olde Towne Adventure.  I am glad you chose to come along.  I hope you enjoy your special Starboards Coffee Kiosk treat.

This is Home Girl and everyday is an adventure living in Olde Towne.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

This and That Thursday by Mental Pause Mama

First off, I am in serious need of coffee, so please just wait right here...I am going to run down to the waterfront, near the ferry landing and go grab some I heard it's free from 10am until 1pm with a food purchase because today is National Coffee Break Day or I Am Too Addicted To Coffee To Function Without It Day...anyway, just wait here.  I will be back.  Okay?  Okay.  (At this moment, I left to actually go get, really I did.)

See, I told you I would be right back.  I love living in Olde Towne, Portsmouth, VA.  There are few places in the world where one can stroll in a historic district, steps away from their home, to go get fresh yummy cappuccino or latte.  I can choose between three different coffee loving venues, too.  Jealous?  You should be.

There is one that happens to be my most favorite.  I am going to feature it in a blog post tomorrow and no, it's not because I happen to adore the owners and in no way do they compensate me with free coffee, although my coffee all it's wonderful deep roasted javaness with a hint of caramel...was completely free.  I won't lie...I have some of the best friends in Olde Towne and even if they did not leave me free coffee waiting for me at coffee shops, I would still love them.

I know this post sounds hurried and I apologize.  I am rushing because I am getting ready to go to the big RVA today.  RVA for those that don't know, is Richmond, Virginia.  It's not too far from Olde Towne.  Just a big hop, skip, and a jump across the little pond.

(Darn it, I forgot to get a cookie.)

It's just a day trip with a good friend and I have been rather looking forward to spending time with this person. There will be great laughs, good food, divine wine, Short Pump Towne Center, and who knows what else.  I am down for the task.  I am ready for the day.

I hope you have a great day, as well.

This is Home Girl and Coffee makes everything better, but Free Designer Coffee makes everything heavenly.  It's just another way I celebrate "me".

Bassgiraffe's Thoughts Thursday Blog Hop

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

That's Olde News; Tell Me Something New

I read an article yesterday in The Virginian-Pilot, our local newspaper, that featured a article by Steve Hendrix for the The Washington Post.  I encourage you to waste several minutes of your life in reading "said article".  This article struck a chord with me for some reason and I feel the need to defend my view, so, here we go.  Home Girl vs. The Washington Post.

Look at me being all "letter to the editor" like?  I must be growing up.

I am assuming that you have already read the aforementioned piece, by now.  Correct?  Good.  There are several key points that I would like to address.

Dear Mr. Hendrix, kind sir from The District of Columbia, I do hate to inform you, but Washington, D.C. and Northern Virginia have never been considered "southern".  Not in my book, at least and this comes from a truly Southern lady who has spent more than forty years living in Southern Virginia.

Yes, it is under the Mason-Dixon line, but that line was installed for geographical purposes, not to describe the lifestyles of it's people.  Washington D.C. and outlying Northern Virginia is a hodge podge of nationalities, it's people coming from all over the United States of America and other countries.  That is the way it was planned to be.  Of course, with the invention of modern transportation over the last 100 years, the numbers of influx have dramatically inclined..and yes, I will assume at some point D.C. was quite Southern and genteel, but to say that Virginia is losing it's Southern~ness is just...well, it's stupid.  Northern Virginia has historically been the little sister of D.C. and Baltimore, Maryland.  Southern Virginia is just that Southern..we ride or die with Richmond.  You can not live in this Commonwealth and not know there are two definite sections to the state...well, even three, least I forget Southwestern Virginia.

True Southern Virginians know that Northern Virginia never has been and never will be Southern.  It did not take two scholars wasting time with a phonebook researching business names to figure this one out.  The true line dividing the North and the South has always been Richmond.  Duh.  When coming in from D.C., driving South on I-95, one can feel their heart rate go down, smell the sweet breeze of southern goodness, and inherently begin to talk slower, taking the time to pronounce each syllable.  It's an unavoidable act of nature.

By the way, I wonder if tax payer dollars were used to fund this scientific research.  Gah.  Seriously, they based their findings on the number of businesses that had the word Dixie or Southern in them.  Are you friggin' kidding me?

The south is not losing it's accent due to the Mason-Dixon line being moved.  It has been losing it's accent because people have got to move away in order to find long term, meaningful employment.  Others move into the area to feed the large contingent of military bases.  I know plenty of people that speak with the same accent as I, but even that accent has evolved and changed over the years.  Evolution happens and while I plan to protect my little portion of the Southern Virginian Sub Culture, I know life will continue to alter to the point where one day, there will be little Southern/Northern cultural diversity.

Instead of spending the time and effort to research something we have already known about for years, why don't you figure out ways to preserve the benefits of being Southern...those wonderful things that make us who we are...

Southern Americans, we're more than just the words Dixie and Southern.  We are Ham, Peanuts, Nascar, Colonial, Barbecue, Bourbon, Quilts, Cornbread and that's just naming a few...we have pride in our Southern ways and I doubt any of us are ready to throw in the towel on our Southernality.  Yes, that is a word.

This is Home Girl and I know who I am...I am Southern Born and Southern Bred, I will be Southern until the day, I am Southern dead.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Southern Fried Spaghetti ~ Yes, You Read That Right!

I apologize to the American Heart Association for what I am about to share with you.  I regret that Curves will be furious with me.  I am sorry Weight Watcher's that I am about to blow your whole day's worth of points on a single dish, but I have to.

I have held it in as long as I can and I just can't stand it any longer.  This needs to be exposed.

Have you ever had or heard of Fried Spaghetti?  I have and let me tell you, it's all kinds of wonderful.  This dish was created sometime before I was twelve years old.  It came about one day when my older sister (I called her Lala, no seriously, I did) and I were hungry and there really wasn't anything "good" in the house except for this big pot of leftover spaghetti and meat sauce.  (My mother was not really into the whole being a housewife deal, so many days were spent in creative search of edible food.)

I can't remember whose idea it was to fry it, but I am grateful just the same.  We put some oil in a skillet and dumped in the leftover spaghetti.  It began to sizzle and smell all good.  Pepper and salt was added to the mixture and then....

my wonderful sister, my incredibly intelligent and wise older sister, got some sliced Velveeta cheese from the refrigerator, as well as some grated Parmesan.  We chopped up the cheese and sprinkled in the Parmesan.  Steamy and melted gooiness ensued after stirring the mass of noodles.  It was if the skies parted and we heard angels sing.


We sat down with big bowls of happiness and pride in our culinary accomplishment.  There were bits of fried cheese, there were soft and sweet noodles, there were bites of meaty, tomatoey goodness and we

For years after this fateful event, I have craved Fried Spaghetti.  In fact, I will make more spaghetti than I think I will need just so I will have enough leftover to make Fried Spaghetti for lunch the next day.  It is a special "me" treat.  I mean me, unless someone else figures out there is noodles available for the makings of Fried Spaghetti.

Go ahead, don't be scared...give it a try.  Think Tomato Soup paired with Grilled Cheese Sandwiches.  It is like that, but with noodles.

Think Spaghetti Casserole, but reheated the next day, ya know after all the flavors have had a chance to meet and greet.

Fried will change your world.

This is Home Girl and I am grateful to have some "real sister" memories to hold dear.  They are few and far between, but I'm good with that.

Monday, January 17, 2011

What I Did This Weekend, Me Time!!

I had a nice, relaxing weekend here in Olde Towne.  It was much needed and well deserved.  It started off with sweet wines and cheese inspired dishes and ended with a lot of football watching and stitching.  I have been really dedicated to spending at least two hours a day, if not more, creating with my fabrics.

Remember when I said, I need a shirt that says, "Will Work For Fabric"??  Yes, I babysat many small children for fabric...who wouldn't?   Well, I finally got the time to actually see what was in the haul and I love it...all.

Wanna see what I got?

There's some baby boy fat quarters that are going into a sweet lil' quilt for a dear friend who is having her 4th baby soon.  Bestie and I are just so excited for her!!  There are also some co-ordinating civil war fabrics and some florals.

There's a huge stack of various fat quarters to go into the stash.  I have had to start from scratch on my available stash, because I erroneously got rid of all my back stash before I moved to Texas.  I know...I know.  Live and learn...and that will never happen again.  Trust me.  (Yes, I use my cutting mat to death...hoping I get a new one for my birthday!!)

This huge stack of fat quarters were bundled up together and it didn't take me long to realize it is a quilt kit, but no directions or pattern was indicated.  I was stumped and even though I am great at research, I just could not figure out where to find the pattern...I asked two of my favorite quilty friends if they could help me locate it.

That is why I love these ladies...why I am partial to the Quilty Blog World.  They both answered me within minutes of each other with the Free PDF file to make this quilt.  It will become The Baltimore Museum of Art Collection Album Quilt.  Making this quilt will be a huge endeavor for me, both technically and in patience to finish it, but I have vowed to work through it.  I have heard that you really aren't a "quilter" until you have finished a Baltimore Album historical reproduction quilt.  I also think it will look gorgeous in this grand home I live in.

I also made some Valentine's Day Buntings for the fireplaces.  They were easy mindless sewing for me and made me feel all hearts and roses.  I need to pick up some red taper candles for the mantel and finish putting bits and pieces of Cupid Day decorations here and there.

I also made some great progress on my God daughter's Blue's Clue's quilt.  This quilt has such a funny history.  When it is finally finished and given to her, it will have traveled many miles back and forth between her mother and I.  I can not wait to see GD's face when we give it to her.  She is three years old and thinks that Blue and Magenta are the best.  I like the scrappiness to this simple nine patch quilt.  Matching pillow cases are planned, too.  Isn't this just adorable?

This is Home Girl and I love me some serious stitching time.