Tablescapes, Home Decor, Thrifting, Cooking

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Country Living, North Carolina

Did anybody miss me??  I’ve just returned from seven glorious days in North Carolina.  I do love that state and its people.  My mother was born and raised in a small country town in Eastern NC.  We have many, many cousins and one remaining aunt who we have remained close with and visit as often as possible.


It’s rather refreshing and somewhat liberating to visit where a bowl of fresh tomatoes is the kitchen table centerpiece and cell phone service is sketchy at best.




We visited the country store where my cousin Glenda has worked for many, many years.  She cuts up chickens, pigs and who knows what else!  Heck, I have a hard time cutting open a whole chicken through the breast bone!


DSCN4388_429                                 DSCN4387_428




My sister Barb and I always purchase a bottle of YooHoo while there.  It reminds us of drinking a Brownie soft drink from our childhood days.  Anybody remember Brownie’s?

Do you think we look alike?  We lost track after approximately 15 complete strangers asked us if we were twins!


So fun to look into their produce cooler with fresh blueberries and veggies that locals brought in to sell.



A line up of old fashioned gas pumps still working.  I doubt they work with your credit card though! LOL!


DSCN4395_436Beautiful, breath taking scenery around every corner.  I can never get enough at their views.DSCN4394_435


We did lots of antiquing and junkin’.  Notice a potted plant of tobacco on the front porch of this shop!  Made me laugh.



We always go in the back of cousin Bobby’s truck to the family cemetery close to my aunt’s home.  We let time slip by and it was almost dark by the time we went.  My mother has a flash light to read the headstone of her father and other relatives.


DSCN4409_450Usually there are a lot more of us piled in the back of this truck.  Shown are cousins and sister.


Here was our entertainment one night.  I have to tell you, these ARE NOT Regina’s real teeth (on left and center).  She works in a dentist office and has beautiful teeth.  The dentist had these made for all the employees and they wore to a dental conference recently.


Obviously the rest of us didn’t try the teeth but as you can see we had tons of fun with the glasses.  You talk about laughter therapy….I think I am good for several weeks!!



Love the casualness of the store owner. 






In another post, I will share some things I found.




We went to Nags Head




Our cousin Regina was the first one up one more and decided to take an early walk on the beach.  She came back to the room to tell us we had missed out on some excitement.  A surf fisherman had hooked a shark and she saw it all.  He was released back into the ocean.  The next day we saw this on the news.  The shark had washed up on the shore with the fishing line in his mouth.  It turned out to be a 7’ Tiger Shark.  Yikes!  The water was unusually cold…55 degrees, so between cold water and sharks we were happy walking along the beautiful water’s edge looking for shells.



Tiger shark at Nags Head



One of our favorite things to do is swing and rock on our Aunt’s porch.  Hot as it was…near 100* and very humid, we still did our share of sitting out here!



GooD BYE North Carolina and our Crazy (in a FUN way) relatives

Until next time!

Oh, I forgot to mention all the cheese biscuits and good country food with sweet tea we consumed.  It’s probably best you don’t know!  Winking smile


Monday, July 18, 2011

Beautiful Red Cherries


Our garden has been pathetic this summer, both flowers and vegetables.







The one thing we have had a bumper crop from is our Nanking Bush Cherries






Aren’t they pretty as a picture?






Nature is nothing less than amazing…Beauty in so many forms.












Now Mr. Brown Socks is not one to cook or be caught in the kitchen unless he is making a plate of nauchos or possibly stirring up some hot salsa with his garden peppers….


BUT one thing he does like to do is can with me!

Isn’t that surprising?  I think it must remind him of his Mama or Grandmother.



He couldn’t wait to get into the kitchen and start preparing juice for our Cherry Jelly.


This is an old press from my Mother’s basement he used to extract the juice to prepare the jelly.

We always have a system where he prepares the fruit juice







And I mix up the juices with the sugar.

He always wants me to use less sugar but anyone who makes jelly knows you can’t mess with the sugar and juice amounts too much or your jelly won’t set up.

Recently I discovered the Sure jell in the pink box which calls for quite a bit less sugar.

The jelly was thinner than the traditional method but not too runny.








There isn’t anything more old fashioned than canning jelly, do you think?





I’ll let you in on our secret ingredient which makes a huge difference.




It totally enhances the cherry flavor and makes it spoon lickin’ good!!






Now some people go on long, romantic vacations with their husbands

or dance on a moon lit beach….


I make jelly with my husband!




Thanks for stopping by today!



Thursday, July 7, 2011

Hanging out with the Red, white and blue

Oh what fun we had.  All my daughters were home for the Fourth, as well as my mother, grandsons and lots of other family.



This picture is one of my favorite possessions. I have it hanging in our kitchen for much of the year.

I have had it for YEARS.  Once in a while I spot this print at an antique store.  It has really gotten more pricey.






The print below was found on the last day of an estate sale reduced from $20 to $5.00!  I love it.

Below the picture it reads Mount Vernon Ladies Association


Aunt Emily went with the boys and bought fireworks


Everyone pitched in in some form.

My sister in law Deb always brings a festive cake.  This one was strawberry.




Jamie made the deviled eggs


My son in law brought fresh flowers he cut from their yard.  Isn’t he sweet?


Brian also made us festive drinks using blue vodka.

The secret to the layers is pouring the liquids over a spoon.



My oldest daughter Angie provided entertainment!

I love this picture of three generations feeling the baby kick.

IT’S A GIRL!!! Have I told you??????????????  She and Brian are the parents of my three grandsons.




The table was set with red, white and blue of course!



Notice Jamie’s Bull dog puppy collapsing under the table.

She played so hard and is so much fun!


I LOVE these napkins I recently found at Penney’s for 75% off.  They were less than a dollar a piece. 


They mixed nicely with the dessert plates found at an estate sale.



It wouldn’t be Fourth of July at our house with home made ice cream!


We had a GREAT day filled with fun, food and family, making new memories.


Today I’m joining

Between Naps on the Porch


Thanks for stopping by!