Who Will I Call?

I just saw this television commercial. Can’t even remember what they were advertising, but it featured a daughter calling her mom (or mother-in-law) to help her with the ingredients for the stuffing she was making for Thanksgiving dinner.

When the call ended, the father said to the mother something like, “She’s made that stuffing for years.” And the mother just smiled and took his hand in hers. It’s not that the daughter NEEDED to call, but that she WANTED to call.

And I thought, “Who will I call this year?” All the women I called while cooking my holiday meals are gone now. Their breadth and depth of knowledge gone with them. The smiles in their voices when I asked some dumb question about deviled eggs or giblet gravy, even though I knew the answers by heart. I just wanted to feel closer to them even though we were hundreds of miles apart. To let them know I still needed them, I called.

Again I thought, “Who will I call this year?” Then I cried.

Peace, people.

Buckle Up!

Lots of stuff happening in the next few weeks.

I already voted, so now it’s just a matter of nail biting. So sick of political ads, especially the negative ones. Wouldn’t it be nice if the ads stopped once you’d cast your votes? That being said, please vote.

On the 12th of November, I’m heading to Las Vegas for a huge writing conference at Bally’s (or the Horseshoe, Bally’s is getting a name change). I’m hoping to learn how to up my marketing game, which right now consists of me saying, “I’ve written books. Several books. You should buy them,” to everyone I meet. My friends are ready to throw me off a cliff, and I wouldn’t blame them.

I’m so excited to meet other indie authors and engage in geeky author stuff. I’m old, so I won’t overindulge. Maybe…

Then there’s Thanksgiving—my favorite holiday. Just good food, football, and fellowship. There’s no rush to buy gifts or push to over decorate. And the mimosas I make to aid in the cooking process are the best. Okay, they’re just orange juice and champagne, but they do the trick.

Our daughter and her kiddos are flying into Orlando in early December. Studly Doright and I are going to meet them at the airport and spend time with them before they leave on a cruise. I still hope one of the grandkids will let me hide in their suitcase. It could happen.

The build up to Christmas is in full swing, of course. Our son and his family are coming to celebrate with us at Doright Manor. So excited! I’m already buying gifts, and that’s something I normally put off until almost the last minute.

Oh, and somewhere in the mix, my newest book, Christmas at the Happy Valley Motor Inn and Resort will publish. Hopefully around Thanksgiving. 😳 Have I mentioned yet that I’m a writer? That I’ve published several books? Wait, that’s a cliff, please, I’m begging you. I won’t mention it again….

Whew! That was close. I think I’ll have another glass of wine.

Peace, people!

Thankful for Magic

Does anyone else believe that pecan pies are magic? The first time I baked one, many years ago, I mixed all the ingredients and wondered if I was supposed to arrange a layer of pecans on top. The recipe said to stir them in, but all the pecan pies I’d ever had featured a lovely layer of pecans sitting atop the ooey goodness of the pie filling.

In spite of my misgivings I followed the recipe and didn’t add the extra pecans. Lo and behold, those wonderful nuts rose to the occasion and my first pecan pie was as perfect looking as any I’d ever seen.

Over the years I’ve baked a few pecan pies that weren’t perfect–usually because Studly Doright was supervising and he believes in baking them until they surrender to the heat, shrinking the filling and rendering it almost leather-like in texture.

The trick is always to cook them when he’s otherwise occupied. Tonight I have him running hither and yon on meaningless errands. Oh, and to have a glass of wine or two during the baking process. Then, even if it doesn’t turn out picture perfect, I don’t really care.

Peace, and happy Thanksgiving, people! I’m so thankful for you all!

Update: This pie turned out beautifully; however, Studly found its hiding place and helped himself to a generous slice on Wednesday evening. Sigh.

Planning the Thanksgiving Meal

Do you ever wonder how Pilgrim women managed to plan and prepare a dinner party for 30 guests or more without the benefit of a grocery store and modern appliances? Yeah, me neither. It’s difficult for me to wrap my head around such concepts, so I don’t even try.

Heck, I struggle to plan and execute a big meal for two people, and I’ve got easy access to several grocery stores, a microwave, a double oven, and a refrigerator/freezer. God certainly knew what She was doing by placing me in this century. I’d have made a lousy pioneer woman.

Nevertheless, I have gathered all of the ingredients necessary to have a turkey dinner with each of Studly Doright’s favorite side dishes. The cornbread for our dressing will need to be baked on Wednesday, as will the pecan pie. Then I’ll need to hide the pecan pie for a period not less than 24 hours or Studly will consume it all before Thanksgiving dinner has even been served. I know this from previous experience.

I’ll rise early on Thursday morning to get the turkey in to bake and then try my best to get all of the side dishes ready to serve when the turkey is done. Since it’s just the two of us for dinner this year I expect everything will turn out perfectly. No one will believe I cooked a stellar meal even though Studly will sing my praises for months. They’ll think he doth protest too much. Maybe he doth.

Peace, people.

There’s a Nap in My Future

I had everything and nothing to write about this morning. The whole world is a story, but I was having difficulty scraping off a little piece for myself.

Should I write about Studly arising before sunrise to play golf and not realizing until he’d already had a second cup of coffee that his clock was wrong and his golf match wasn’t set to start for another two hours? His parting words were, “I’m going to need a nap this afternoon.”

How about my disorganized trip to the grocery store to buy Thanksgiving dinner supplies? My list was sort of complete, but standing in the middle of the dairy aisle I realized I’d forgotten to plan for a dessert. Thank goodness the Karo syrup bottle has my pecan pie recipe printed on the label.

Should I write about how darn cold it is and how I’m curled up on the couch under three blankets with a hot cup of tea in my hand watching the arguably forgettable film, Pacific Rim?

I believe I’ll just write something about not knowing what to write. And then I’m taking a nap with Studly.

Peace, people.

Too Pooped to Post

Folks, my trip to Houston and back over the weekend has worn me out. I’m taking the day off. Maybe two days, but before I go I’ll leave you with this cute kitten picture:

And how about this adorable puppy in a teacup?

Or this turkey couple?

Which reminds me of a picture my youngest grandchild created in her kindergarten class:

Can you guess what this is?

It’s a turkey in disguise. I’d say this bird should escape the axe this Thanksgiving. Now, y’all have a great day. I’m taking a nap.

Peace, people!

Cooking for Studly: Thanksgiving for Two

Those of you who are new to my blog might not realize that I have a life outside of bashing our president-elect, but I do! I live with my husband, Studly Doright, and our two feline supervisors, Scout and Patches, in our own little piece of paradise that I like to call Doright Manor.

We have two perfect children and five absolutely superior grandchildren (funny how that works, seeing as how Studly and I just barely peek over the average range), but they live far away from our home outside of Tallahassee, Florida.

Studly and I were high school sweethearts in Texas, and in forty years of marriage we’ve moved 14 times, lived in five different states, and I’ve lost count of the number of homes we’ve shared. We aren’t retired yet, but it’s number one on our bucket list.

Studly married me thinking I’d turn out to be a great cook like his mom (Saint Helen) or my mom, (Gingymama), but I had neither the aptitude nor the attitude to develop into much more than a mediocre heater upper. Poor, poor Studly.

Twice a year, though, I focus all of my energies into cooking a kick ass holiday meal. I plan and prepare and check ingredients off of lists and shop and preheat–all the necessary stuff. Sometimes, it all turns out perfectly. Other times we pretend. Wine helps.

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving Day here in the US. So today I’m baking a pecan pie, hard boiling eggs, and making cornbread. Doright Manor smells amazing. I’ll arise early tomorrow to prep and roast a turkey, make cornbread dressing, a fruit salad, and deviled eggs, along with Studly’s favorite green bean casserole (ugh!) and cranberry sauce. With any luck neither of us will need to pretend that it tastes great. Again, wine helps.

It’s just going to be the two of us for dinner, well and the cats, but I’m thankful that we are healthy and have each other. I’m most thankful that at Christmas we’ll get to see our kids, grandkids, and Saint Helen, when we congregate in Nashville, Tennessee, for a family holiday extravaganza.

Now, the smoke alarm hasn’t sounded even once this morning, so all is well at Doright Manor. I’d best go, though, and open a bottle of wine. Just in case.

Peace, and Happy Thanksgiving, people.


turkey on wheat bread
cornbread dressing stuffed bacon
cold pie for breakfast


some foods get better
on the second time around;
leftover heaven

Studly Doright isn’t a big fan of leftovers except when it comes to turkey and dressing and pecan pie. The man loves cornbread dressing and won’t cease eating until he’s scraped the pan clean. It’s embarrasingly endearing.

I can’t say that I’m any better. After having three generous pieces of pecan pie yesterday I might be the first person in history to have overdosed on the gooey dessert. My stomach spoke to me in angry tones all night long in a way that was anything but endearing, yet quite embarrassing.

It seems that leftovers, like everything except possibly hundred dollar bills, are best enjoyed in moderation.

Peace, people!

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