Sunday, May 29, 2011

Memorial Day 2011

I spent a little time this afternoon walking through the National Cemetery reflecting on what Memorial Day truly means.  It is overwhelming to contemplate all the brave men and women who have died insuring the freedom that we take so for granted.  Although I don't personally know one soul laid to rest in that peaceful place, I couldn't help but tear up as I walked past name after name.  These are the best of our best. 





As you enjoy the unfolding of Summer 2011 I hope you will take time to remember and reflect upon the meaning of Memorial Day and if you have the opportunity, thank those that have and are currently risking their lives for your freedom and the future of our great nation.

Friday, May 27, 2011

And the Winner is....


 
Jessica from Thoughts of a Bama Belle 
 
Congratulations!!!!
 
Thanks to everyone who entered for a chance to win.  I love all the wonderful people in Blogland!

Monday, May 23, 2011

Geneva, A Memoir by Her Daughter

I was privileged to receive a copy of fellow blogger, Ellen Thompson Shook's first book in the mail a few weeks ago.  Ellen blogs at Scribbler Unfocused and in her 1st book she explores her family history and focuses on her mother, Geneva.  Like many Southern families, Shook's family story is so closely interwoven with food I don't know that you could separate the two.  We in the South, love through food, and along with the family history and lovely vintage family photographs there is quite a collection of recipes that Geneva used.  Some of the recipes are the same ones that I grew up with (as did many children of the South) but revisiting them is always a delight!  

Shook says of her Mother, "Geneva was never the easiest person to get along with.  Certainly, she did not suffer fools gladly.  Many, many times we locked horns, but usually she never stayed mad for very long. The happiest times when I was growing up were spent in the kitchen watching her cook."

One of my favorite parts of Shook's work is the  the description of her  Mother's kitchen.  "The kitchen walls were painted blue and yellow to match the floor -- blue on the bottom and yellow on the top -- with high gloss enamel paint (scrubbable).  We kept the ancient gas stove which you and to light with a match.  That relic even went with us when we moved years later.  We also had a little fridge that came out of Noah's Ark til 1957 when we got a new Hotpoint with a separate freezer on top. In an alcove over next to the pantry, which was behind our kitchen table, resided the old arcola coal burning furnace which kept those radiators sizzling hot and us toasty warm.  our kitchen was the cosiest place imaginable on God's green earth......"  Now, that just makes me want to go back to my grandma's kitchen! 

Find out more about Ellen at: Scribbler Unfocused

Friday, May 20, 2011

Grand Opening of the Myrtle Beach Sky Wheel!

Late last night, my daughter and I heard about the Grand Opening of the Myrtle Beach SkyWheel and how the first 100 people in line were going to be given the inaugural ride free!  So, we decided we were going to kick off Summer 2011 by trying to snag a couple of free seats!  I mean, how could we not?  This is one big ferris wheel!  It is actually the largest east of the Mississippi and climbs 200 feet about sea level right on Myrtle Beach at the Myrtle Beach Boardwalk & Promenade.  Unfortunately, we didn't get a free ticket; we were #106!!!!  So close...but we rode anyway. 
Yep, it is a big one!

 She was smiling but she was NOT happy at this point!  There were no handles or seat belts!!!
 The view from the top was pretty amazing!
 Look at those tiny men over there...
Well, we may have not gotten on the inaugural ride but we got to ride it 2nd! 

Don't forget about my Blogversary GiveAway!!!!

Please don't forget to enter my 5 year (YEP, 5 YEARS) Blogversary!!!!

You can enter for a chance to win here.

I will draw a winner on May 26, 2011! Good Luck!!!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Defining the Southern Gentleman

I am working on a new project and I need some help from my readers.  On What Every Southern Man Should Know I will be posting a series of questions and I hope to get some feedback from all you wonderful Southern Somedays readers (both in the Southland and out.) Please feel free to get your husbands, boyfriends, brothers, fathers and friends to share as well.  This week's questions is:


Please click the above link and leave me your thoughts in the comment section, and hopefully your location as well for comparison. 

I hope you have a wonder filled day!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Southern Lit. Pick of the Week: Low Country Summer by Dorothea Benton Frank

A few weeks ago, I received a copy of Low Country Summer (the paperback release - originally released as hardcover last summer) to review. I have enjoyed Dorothea Benton Frank’s work for many years, so this was an extra special arrival. Her books are synonymous with summer and escape. The arrival of Low Country Summer was coincidentally timed to go right along with me on Spring Break (no complaints!)

This long awaited sequel to Frank’s earlier work, Plantation (2001), picks up with Caroline Wimbly Levine on her 47 birthday and a cast of dysfunctional Southern family members. We get to go along for the ride as she takes on the role of family matriarch, one recently vacated by her bigger than life Southern Mama, Miss Lavinia. Although Miss Lavinia has “gone to glory” she is still quite present in spirit and in the minds of her children and the residents in and around Tall Pines Plantation in the South Carolina Low Country. Many times I often expected Caroline Wimbly to proudly don a rubber bracelet imprinted with WWMLD (What Would Miss Lavinia Do?) Caroline deals with her man-child brother, his drunken red-neck wife, 4 near feral nieces, her son’s love affair with an older woman, and her own romantic entanglements sometimes more gracefully than others. Not to mention, she has to step in and keep the family moving after a sudden tragedy takes one of their own.

Low Country Summer is filled with the sounds and smells of the South Carolina marshes complete with little tastes of the Gullah culture for good measure. You will find yourself pulled in to all the drama and will come to see how the Wimbly family put the “fun” in dysfunctional. At the end of this book you won’t want to leave Tall Pines and you will be longing for a low country summer of your own.

The paperback release of Low Country Summer comes just weeks before the release of Franks’ latest book, Folly Beach, which promises to be a great summer read:

Home is the place that knows us best. . . .A woman returns to the past to find her future in this enchanting new tale of loss, acceptance, family, and love.

With its sandy beaches and bohemian charms, surfers and suits alike consider Folly Beach to be one of South Carolina's most historic and romantic spots. It is also the land of Cate Cooper's childhood, the place where all the ghosts of her past roam freely. Cate never thought she'd wind up in this tiny cottage named the Porgy House on this breathtakingly lovely strip of coast. But circumstances have changed, thanks to her newly dead husband whose financial—and emotional—bull and mendacity have left Cate homeless, broke, and unmoored.

Yet Folly Beach holds more than just memories. Once upon a time another woman found unexpected bliss and comfort within its welcoming arms. An artist, writer, and colleague of the revered George Gershwin, Dorothy Heyward enjoyed the greatest moments of her life at Folly with her beloved husband, DuBose. And though the Heywards are long gone, their passion and spirit lingers in every mango sunset and gentle ocean breeze.

And for Cate, Folly, too, holds the promise of unexpected fulfillment when she is forced to look at her life and the zany characters that are her family anew. To her surprise, she will discover that you can go home again. Folly Beach doesn't just hold the girl she once was . . . it also holds the promise of the woman she's always wanted—and is finally ready—to become. “ Harper Collins, 2011.
This post was written as a member of the Southern Mommas Writers

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Amaryllis...not just for Christmas!

Do you ever plant Amaryllis bulbs in the fall (inside) so that they will be blooming at Christmas?  In most parts of the country, I think that is the only time many people think of them.  But here, in the deep South, they are excellent outside bloomers.  These are ones I have blooming in a pot in the back yard.  Actually, the previous owner left this pot already planted and I have just enjoyed the results.  I have no idea how long they have been in this pot but I do know that I have never (we have been here almost a year) done a single thing to them.  Many of my neighbors have amaryllis' growing directly in the ground...so, see Amaryllis....not just for Christmas!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

The Garden Club Luncheon!

Today was the end of the year luncheon for our little Garden Club.  The theme included wearing floral hats (no "fascinators" in this group!)  Most of the girls created their own floral arrangements for their hats from the offerings in their own gardens!  The food was delicious and the lunch was held in the pool house of one of our sweet members which was the perfect setting.







Love those Garden Club Girls!

My sweet neighbor, Joyce and her sassy orange attire!

Moi!

What a fun day!
Weekend Bloggy Reading

{Semi} Wordless Wednesday

written on back,
"Me (Addie Lou Jones) fishing - a good looking gal - ha"

Please don't forget to enter my Blogversary Giveaway HERE!


Photobucket

Monday, May 09, 2011

Found Dog in Florence, SC

This sweet one "found" us last night.  I am sure her family is frantic and I hope someone recognizes her.  She has no collar but is obviously well fed and very gentle.  Found in the Jeffries Creek area of Florence. I took her to the vet today and no microchip was found.

  My kiddos would love nothing more than to make her part of our family but I am sure she is being missed in her own home.  Please contact me (bellamichellesc@gmail.com) if you know where she lives.



Thursday, May 05, 2011

Blogversary GiveAway!!!!

The Grand Blogversary Gift Pack!!!!

April 20011 brought an exciting (well to me, at least) Blogversary.  On April 26, 2006 I posted for the very first time!  It was a single photo and caption.  Boy, over the last FIVE years I got wordy. 

I started blogging shortly after I started reading this blog (originally on a different blog host). Hans is the brother to my oldest, and dearest friend, who we lost to breast cancer in 2004.  I guess he was my inspiration to start a blog (who knew?).  I often find myself blogging about things I wish I could share with Sonja, even 7 years later. 

When I first started blogging I really thought more of it as "journaling" (I really didn't like the word blog...it sounded kind of icky to me.) I couldn't have imagined how many fun things and people it would bring into my life.  I have met some amazing friends, learned so much, and even found myself developing new professional directions from my blog.  It has been a wonderful ride and I love the land of blog (yes, I have warmed to the word.)

So to celebrate I am hosting a giveaway of some wonderful pink and green fun (because I believe everyone needs a little pink & green!) 

The prize pack (above) includes:
*A signed copy of Nesting, It's a Chick Thing by Ame Mahler Beanland & Emily Miles Terry (it will take a little extra delivery time so that it can be personalized for YOU)
*1 pack of 10 pink & green note cards with envelopes (perfect for those little thank you notes!)
*2 green (with pink embroidery) waffle weave dish towels
*3 pastel ramekins (pink, blue & yellow)
*1 flower & ribbon magnetic notepad (to keep up with all you have to keep up with)
*1 container of Pastel Pearl Nonpareils (so you can decorate those cupcakes, girl!)
*Godiva Chocolatier Strawberry Truffle gems (cause you know we have to have our chocolate)

So, how to YOU enter for a chance to win? 
 All you have to do is leave a comment on this post. 
Simple, huh? 

If you would like extra entries (totally optional!):
-Blog about my BlogAversary Giveaway and leave me a separate comment with link to your post
-Tweet about it adding @SouthernSmdays so I will know
-Facebook about it and leave me a separate comment so I will know
-If you are a follower or become a follower leave me a separate comment for an extra entry.
***for extra entries to count please leave separate comments (it just makes it easier on me...and I am all about that!)

I will draw a winner on May 26, 2011!  Good Luck!!!

Monday, May 02, 2011

Perfect Southern Sunday Afternoon...

Yesterday afternoon, our Sunday School Class had a wonderful picnic under a beautiful, big, old oak tree.  It was at the home of some friends(I have mentioned them here) and their home in the country is the setting of a truly perfect Southern day!  Not only is their home gorgeous, but they welcome you in a way that makes you never want to leave.  It is Southern hospitality at its best!  We are blessed with a Sunday School class that loves to visit and share our lives. If you don't have one like that, I would say you need to find one, as that is truly the way to experience the joys of a church family.
Wouldn't you like to just lay down for a nap? 
 Of course, the food was delicious and plentiful!  Mounds of fried chicken, a variety of salads, pimento cheese sandwiches, deviled eggs and too many desserts to count. Oh and all the sweet tea you could drink!
 Now, this is what a garden should look like...
 complete with a chicken coup right in the middle!
 Roses....
 Roses...and more....
 Roses.....
 Badminton outside the old tobacco barn that has been converted into a studio and guest house.
There is no more perfect Southern day that one spent under an old oak with dear friends!

Here is a treat, my friend Nancy's Frozen Strawberry Salad (which is perfect for a large gathering on a warm day.) She brought a large pan and it was gobbled up quickly:

Strawberry Salad (Frozen)

2 Cups sliced fresh strawberries (fresh peaches, blueberries or even bananas can be substituted)
1/2 pint real whipped cream (or use most of one large can of the "spray" whipped cream)
1/2 cup mayonnaise
dash of lemon juice
1/2 package of marshmallows
4 oz. cream cheese
optional: 1/2 cup chopped pecans

Mix all ingredients together and spread in a 13x9" casserole dish and freeze.  Remove from freezer a few minutes before serving to soften. 

You can add more fruit or whipping cream to stretch the recipe for larger groups! 
Weekend Bloggy Reading