Tuesday, April 29, 2014

                                                             My Thought For Today

                                          Today I am pausing and counting my blessings.
                             I am blessed with a wonderful family, great friends, and good health.
                      I look forward to waking up each day and conquering what ever is before me.
                                   Over the last two months I have lost some very dear friends.
                                          They have made that final journey into Heaven.
                                     God has blessed me with their friendship for many years.
                             Now, I have memories so I accept and rejoice in that knowledge.
                                    I continue to count my blessings that I am able to grow old,
                                       but it would be nice to keep the body and mind that I have now,
                      but just let the years roll on without creating wrinkles and mindless games.           
                                                          Now, what was I doing?????
                                                      Oh yes, counting my blessings!!!

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

                                                                       Is It My Fault?

                                Grandmamma, is it my fault that Mama and Daddy got a divorce?
                                   If I had been different would they have made another choice?

                                        Maybe if I had brushed my teeth until they shine
                                              Done my homework always on time

                                 Maybe if I had kept my room clean and done my chores
                              Maybe I asked for too many toys when we went into stores

                                         I promise I went to school and did my best
                                               I tried to pass every spelling test

                              I just know it was my fault, Grandmamma, so what do I do?
                                   I heard the whispers and they said they were through

                                        Are they through with me or just each other?
                           I can't stand the thoughts of not having a Daddy and a Mother

                             So, Grandmamma, you say in no way it was my fault
                                     And I should never give that another thought

                                       You tell me that in time it will get better
                          But for now, Grandmamma, I think I will write them a letter

                            So dear Mama and Daddy, if it was something I have done
                                  I promise I will change and I will be a better son

                                 I promise I will not ask for a single Christmas toy
                                  In this whole wide world I will be the best boy

                    So, if you can see in your hearts to change this thing called divorce
                            I know in MY heart we could figure out another choice

                                       Well,  Grandmamma, I wrote them a letter
                                       But I don't think  things will get any better

                                     Grandmamma, please wipe away all my tears!
                               Will you hold me tight and squeeze out all these fears?

                       You tell me adults sometimes do things that is silly and dumb
                  I guess you are right cause just look what Mama and Daddy have done

                            No, it wasn't my fault but Mama and Daddy are to blame
                                  Now, I'll no longer hold my head down in shame

                                   No, it's not my fault my family isn't together
                                   So, I will love them equally forever and ever

                         But when I say my prayers and then close my eyes at night
                   I will still wish that things were the same and everything was all right

                                             Poem by Phyllis f McManus
                                                 Art by Jenny Zovein

                                     Copyright 2011 by Phyllis f McManus

Monday, April 21, 2014

There are times that I think would be wonderful if I could just slip back into my childhood and relive some of those wonderful, carefree days. This is one of those days that I wish I could turn back time. I have several good friends that will soon be making their final journey to Heaven and even though I know there will be no more pain and suffering my heart still hurts for the family.
If you were lucky while growing up you are surrounded by nothing but dreams of what tomorrow will bring. Simple dreams of running in the fields and playing in the creek was what I was blessed with as a child. My biggest concern was which tree I was going to climb and conquer. I played hide and seek with cousins during the day and dodge ball in the afternoon with Mama and Daddy.
Yes, I was blessed as a child as I am blessed as an adult. I have wonderful memories of my childhood and blessed with a loving family and friends in my life.
I thank God for every minute He gives me with them.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

This is one of our favorite places to eat when we are at Myrtle Beach, SC. Trust me, it can get crowded so you need to pick your time to get there. It is located on 900 North Ocean Boulevard. Peaches Corner is a cornerstone for the city of Myrtle Beach. It has been around since the late 1930's. The name Peaches Corner came from the family name Peach. The name was catchy so they decided to keep it Peaches Corner. Hot dogs were sold for 15 cents or 2 for 25 cents and beer was 10 cents back then. Don't expect to pay that how, but believe me the amount you pay is worth it. Just being there and knowing you're at the beach and eating at Peaches Corner is a thrill in itself. Peaches Corner is now owned by Pam Crutchfield. It has with stood the test of time and is proud to be a landmark in Myrtle Beach.
My husband, Don and I had quite an experience when I tried to take a picture of the establishment. It was Spring break so you can imagine the people that were on the street cruising and yes, we were right in the middle of the madness. I told my husband I wanted a close up picture. He told me to stick the camera out the window and take it from the car.  No way! I jumped out of the moving car and raced up the sidewalk to get me a good picture. I had to dart in and out between people all the time trying to make sure I could jump quickly back in the car. I took what I thought was a perfect picture, turned around to find my husband and he was no where in sight. I looked ahead and up the street and there he was but unable to stop to pick me up. The cars were bumper to bumper on the street and no one was giving an inch. I took up a hefty trot toward the car and almost reached my patient husband when the light turned green. He was trying to wait for me to catch up with him and jump in the car but the blasting of the car horns behind him helped him realize he had to keep moving and fast! I just waved bye while holding my camera with my perfect picture of Peaches in my hand.  Knowing my husband the way I do after 45 years of marriage, I knew he would against all odds come back for me. So, I stood on the corner of the street waiting. I looked hard in the distance and there he was coming to pick me up from this adventure I was having.  I waved real big to let him see me in the crowd. He brought the car to a stop making all the cars behind him realize he wasn't giving in until I got in the car. I jumped in the car still holding my camera tightly. Impatient to look at the picture I clicked the button and to my surprise NO picture. In my impatience to get the perfect picture I had hit the wrong button on my camera.  Don shook his head, laughed  and said, "You never cease to amaze me."  Well, I have learned never to jump from a moving car no matter how slow it is going and always make sure your camera lens is open in order to take that perfect picture.
Well, I got that perfect picture on the morning we were leaving to come home from Myrtle Beach. There were no crowds to dart in between , no cars to stop for, but the worst part of getting up and out that early was that Peaches Corner wasn't open so I could get me one last hotdog before leaving the beach. Oh well, I got my perfect picture anyway.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Even though I call my self an author, lately I am finding I am becoming interested in a lot of other things in life that is occupying my time. I have baked so many pies, cakes and cookies lately that I should open up a bakery. I also have been carrying around a camera taking pictures like there is no tomorrow. This is a black walnut pound cake that I baked for my brother in law. I have had many requests for the recipe so here it is:                  ENJOY !

                                            Pound cake

                                  3 cups sugar
                                  3 cups plain flour
                                  1 tsp. baking powder
                                  1/2 cup vegetable oil
                                  1 1/2 tsp. vanilla flavoring
                                  1 1/2 tsp. lemon flavoring
                                  6  eggs
                                  1/4 tsp. salt
                                  1 cup Crisco shortening
                                  1 cup Pet (evaporated) milk

                 Mix all ingredients in a large mixing bowl for at least 4 to 5 minutes. Pour into greased and floured tube pan.  Preheat oven to 325 degrees and bake for 1 1/2 hours. Ovens may vary.
                  What I like about this recipe is that you can use black walnut flavoring instead of the suggested flavorings and add black walnuts and thus you have a black walnut pound cake. You can use all orange flavoring and quickly have an orange pound cake. The cake can be changed in many ways and is so delicious!!!

Thursday, April 10, 2014

                                                             Sausage Muffins

                                                             1 cup Bisquick
                                                     1 lb. cooked sausage, drained
                                                              4 beaten eggs
                                                     1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
                                                             3 Tablespoons milk

                                               Mix all and pour into greased muffin tins
                                                       Bake at 350 for 20 minutes
                                                           It makes 12 muffins

This is super easy to make and it is delicious. I made them for my Southern Belle Breakfast Club meeting today and they were a big hit. I've been asked to make them again for the next upcoming meeting.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

 It's almost time for my husband and me to take a quick weekend trip to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. Even though we live in North Carolina we always visit South Carolina beaches. There is only one conclusion of why we prefer this beach and  that's because  our parents took us there as children. Just another way of saying we followed in our parents foot steps. At this time of year  the water is still quite chilly but  I really don't like to play in the ocean water anyway. I have always had the fear  of a shark inviting me to dinner and me being the main course. I also have the fear of  slimy jelly fish. So, we play in the pools and walk up and down the beach line looking for shark teeth that have washed ashore. As a child my daddy would tell me that the shark dentist would pull the teeth from the shark and then at night spread them in the sand so silly tourists could bend over all day looking for the teeth. I believed what he said and why not, daddy was my hero.
 I truly think my favorite time of the year at the beach is when there are very few people around. There is no skimpy bathing suit sun worshippers lapping up the sun or joggers running up the beach in their custom fit, name brand jogging outfits. It's not that I am getting old, but I love the scenery that God has created in a quite afternoon while sitting on a large blanket spread out on the beach. I look out over the waves and wonder just how God came up with His creation. When I get to Heaven I have a long list of questions I want to ask Him and one does pertain to the beach and the mountains. Something tells me I want care about the questions when I get to Heaven.
I love watching the sea gulls  running from the waves and then rushing back to see what little creatures were left behind that they can enjoy for their meal.  They won't get to enjoy the privacy of being alone on the beach when the summer brings in the swimmers. Enjoy it while you can birds!

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

I certainly find this true in my case. For example: I am attempting to write a sequel to my "The Southern Belle Breakfast Club" book and I need a new character to bring in for a possible  love connection. I find myself looking at different people in hopes to catch their individual actions, personality or moods swings. I carry a writing pad and pen around with me to jot anything down that might be interesting.  I am very careful not to let people see me stare - after all mama raised us to know that staring is rude.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

                                                                  Art by Jenny Zovein

This art work reminded me of a sweet memory of my past. A mailbox can contain bad news or news that can delight the heart and soul. I can remember when my husband was in the army and I would wait patiently every day for the mail to "run." (Has the mail run yet?) This is a statement that is still used to this day by some of us in the South meaning has the mailman delivered the mail. My husband would write me one or two letters every day while he was stationed at Fort Sill. Some times his letters would arrive all in one day. I would go to the mailbox, grab out those letters and head toward the house opening them as I walked. I could never make it back to the house before stopping and relaxing under the big shade tree reading each and every letter over and over.   GREAT MEMORIES!
After my post about eating apples at my Grandmothers house when I was a kid I was immediately inspired to bake an apple pie. This is how my inspiration turned out! While I was cutting up the apples my mind went back to climbing those old apple trees at my grandparents farm. I am sure no matter how delicious this pie is going to be it will never live up to the ones my grandmother used to make.
I love  going back to my childhood even if it is only in my mind. I honestly feel I had the best childhood that anyone could have. I had cousins living within rock throwing distance of me. We played from sun  up to sun down. There were about 12 of us  ranging from four years old to sixteen. We all played together regardless of age. Our favorite place to gather was my grand mamma's house. It had big barns, old tractors just sitting in the fields for us to climb all over and corn fields we could actually get lost in while playing. There were apple tress all along the back side of the house. Grandmamma would ask us kids not to pull the apples from the tress because she was saving them for canning. We liked that idea cause we knew that would be apple pies in the winter time. Regardless, we couldn't resist eating an apple or two a day from the tree, but we had to obey grandmamma and her rule or we knew what would happen. So, we would climb the tree and eat apples while they still hung firmly on the branches. We figured that would not be "pulling" apples from the trees and we would still be obeying her rules. I can remember to this day seeing nothing but the apple core hanging from the branches of those old apple trees. I often wonder if Grandmamma knew what we had done. We cousins kept our mouths tightly shut and would declare up and down that some old bird was picking away at those apples until he had his belly full. After a while we began believing our stories but deep down I still felt guilty and decided I wasn't going to do that anymore. It also takes a lot of skill to hang by a branch and eat an apple with outstretched mouth and not touch the apple with your hands. That was another reason I gave up apple eating from a tree top. My boy cousins teased me that I should be able to do it perfectly because I had the biggest mouth of all.  We also loved to play hide and seek but that is another story  that I will save for another day.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

I enjoy taking pictures of the blossoms on my crab apple trees. It was a fight this time between the bees and me. I soon realized there was no sense in waiting for the bees to leave. There were just too many of them trying to enjoy the nectar from the blossoms.  I gathered my courage and put my camera into the blossoms as far as I could and snapped- picture taken. I won this time but it was a stand off until I got just the right picture I wanted. After taking the picture I ran. I guess you can say it was a tie between me and the bees today.
Spring is trying very hard to help flowers grow here in my little town of Monroe, North Carolina. We have daffodils growing all along the side of the highways around my house. I can't resist stopping the car, pulling over on the side of the road and clipping me some to bring home and put in an old quart jar. Yes, I have vases that I could place them in but I can still remember my mama placing her wild flowers in an old canning jar for display. I can't resist letting a memory creep into my mind. So, as I look at my daffodils sweet memories flood my heart.  This picture is the only flower I have from Mama's flower garden. She loved  flowers and they must have felt the work she put into them. They grew all over her yard. I pulled one single iris bulb from the ground and planted it at my home with the feeling it would never come up. I was wrong . It has grown greener and bigger every season. I call it "Mama's Memory Flower."  Keep growing my dear iris cause as long as you grown I still have a little bit of Mama down here with me.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

 Allison turned to see the casket  slowly being lowered into the ground.
              "Well, Mother, you said you would take the secret to your grave and so you did," she softly muttered under her breath.

This is taken from the first page of my book "The Lie That Binds." The ones that have read it knows the  mystery that followed the families in the book  Shhhhhhhh....  don't tell the secret.

                                                     The Southern Belle Breakfast Club

I am privileged to belong to this group. We meet every Thursday for coffee.  Today we are having a book signing and a meeting to discuss my sequel of The Southern Belle Breakfast Club. I've been asked is the book about us. No, but it sure is fun when people ask which character are we when they read the book. We often tease and say "Guess."  What a joy to have a group of woman you can tell everything to and know it won't go any further than the kitchen table. We share so many things as a group. Our lives have been as exciting and mysterious as the women in The Southern Belle Breakfast Club so I guess each of us does have a little bit of the characters in the book hiding away inside us.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

I realize I am having trouble with my blog. I am so sorry that some of you cannot post and some that want to follow me can't get my blog to work for them. I am trying very hard to get all the bugs out of this but honestly I don't know where to start. If you are reading this and are having trouble doing either one of these things please let me know. I am on Facebook and you can notify me that way or  by email - singncountrygirl@aol.  Thank you, Phyllis