Saturday, July 30, 2011

Daughter #2 & Adventure

Love, love, love the open highway and new experiences.  Helen Keller said "Life is either a daring adventure or nothing". 

I love adventure.  I have been blessed with daughters who love trying new and exciting things with uncertain outcomes.  Everyone has seen my Ally and her horse world - that is adverturesome, but really more brave.  Meghan, however, puts herself out there a little more, really steps out of the box, so to speak.  She travels abroad, she camps, she plays detective and investigates. She works in corporate American and stresses terribly, but she Plays Hard too.  One day, I'll let you meet her fur-children. I'm really going out on a limb and show you something. I know it's her secret and she isn't ready to share to her friends, but I'm just going to throw it out there. (This is what Moms' do ~ I'm so excited ... she might kill me for this).

This is her new project.  I think it's about a 1970's  Shasta.  It has already been gutted and she's turning it into her traveling shop.  Work is still being done on it and it has yet to be painted its new color to give it the style she wants.  She gets the business head from her Dad and her creativity from her Mom.  I can't tell you her little business name yet, but it is so cute (OMG!) 

Meg and I went to the Country Living Fair at Stone Mountain, Georgia this past fall.  That was a crazy adventure.  We didn't need the truck to bring anything home, but we got a lot of great ideas. 

Click to show "Coupons" result 15

Her latest "obsession" has become coupon clipping.  OMG~!  Talk about craaazy!! Has anyone seen the show "Extreme Couponing".  I've only seen a little and WOW.  Some of these gals came here locally to hometown, USA to do a seminar. Meg went. She already had the system figured out and was really saving, even to the point where stores owed her.  But now ... the beast has been unleashed in her.  Let's see .. Pier I printed some type of coupon.  She said she spent NO money and received $110 FREE merchandise.  Don't ask me any questions. I'm just saying ... I told her I am too busy to do this .. she said I was making "excuses". 

Sweet Meg is a really neat young gal.  She is so full of ideas.  You can follow her at
I love her creativity and her energy.  You will enjoy her too, I think. 
~ Debi

Wednesday, July 27, 2011


Wikipedia says boundaries are guidelines, rules or limits that a person creates to identify for him - or herself - what are reasonable, safe and permissible ways for other people to behave around him or her and how he or she will respond when someone steps outside those limits.    Personal boundaries identify you as an individual.  They are statements of what you will or won't do, what you like and don't like .. how close someone can get to you.  Sometimes, there's a price you pay for setting up boundaries.

I set up my boundaries.  I am good.   Debi ~

Thursday, July 21, 2011


A Southern ClassicThe Tomato Sandwich


Oh yes, it's Tomatopalooza time!!  The vines are heavy with the best of our favorites - Beefsteak, Early Girl, Brandywine, Cherokee Purple, Heidi, Green Zebra, Mr. Stripey - the list goes on forever.  Here in the south, the building of the tomato sandwich really begins with just a few strict rules:   
                                              1.  White Bread
                                              2.  White Mayo
                                              3.  White Salt
                                              4.  Black Pepper
                                              5.  Red Tomatoes
                                                   (Preferably warmed from the sun)

Some folks try to make the tomato sammich really fancy such as a:
Mozzarella & tomato sandwich
Fried green tomato sandwich
Cheese & tomato sandwich
Grilled cheese and tomato sandwich and some really go all out with a Caramelized onion and lettuce tomato sandwich. 
Triple decker bacon, egg and cheese tomato sandwich. 

I personally like the tried and true BLT (bacon, lettuce, and tomato).

There's a story that a true southern tomato sandwich is made somewhere around dinner time (dinner being around 12:00 noon and supper around 5:00 p.m.).  Anyhow, you make the sandwich with all the white stuff above, lay it on a plate.  You don't eat right away.  You leave it - go away from it.  Then you come back every so often and pat it.  Somewhere between dinner and supper, you get to eat it after it has been patted several times.  Just full face stuffingness is what this sandwich is all about. 
You can throw in some of those different colored tomatoes for a little WOW and flavor.

How do you describe the taste of this summer pleasure to somewho who has never had the gift of a tomato on white bread? My other question is - Is all about the mayo? 

Any way you slice it, enjoy it - summer is fleeting.  It won't be here for long.  The fruits of our labor will be in feezer bags and canning jars. 

Enjoy your tomatoes - Don't forget your napkin!   Debi ~
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Wednesday, July 13, 2011


I realize I post right much horse stuff, but everything here seems to revolve around them.  So just bear with me on this post.  I have to write about it because it's still so much with us.  I wasn't sure what to write, but it's clear to me now because I see her.  I see my Ally at the barn.  It's dusky and she's sitting in the barn swing with her dog.  She won't answer her phone and I know what she's thinking because its on my mind too.   It has been 1 year this weekend that we lost our pony, Splash. This will be his story.

Splash came to a schooling barn as a prospect for young riders.  He was "given" to the barn because he was a rescue.  He was taken from the home he lived because he had been abused.  He was now in a new environment.  He had not been handled or ridden in a while.  He was a challenge.  He didn't trust riders.  He had lost his confidence.  It eventually didn't work out for him to be a schooling pony, but a bond developed between Splash and Ally.  Ally is strong and she is confident.  She gave him his name "Splash" because of the lightening splash of white on his rump.  He came to live with us.  Splash then became like Ally - he became strong and confident.  He was loved.  They were a team.  She wanted him to be a hunter so bad, but he was very twitchy and couldn't stand still when he needed to be still.  He was not a fancy horse. He was what he was and would never be anything bigger or better.  But, the pony could JUMP, and he was fast.  He might have even been a rodeo horse at some point ~ we never knew his history.  So, Splash became a jumper.  He won ribbons.  He won blue ribbons.  He took better ribbons than very expensive horses got.  Everyone loved Splash.
They took good care of each other.

He taught her so many things.

Ally never liked this picture because of her form, but I loved it.  I just loved the colors.  I loved to see him "fly" over the jumps.  I think he loved to go fast

She loved her Pony. 
Even when she was sick, she took care of her pony.  All the kids at the barn loved Splash.  He always got a lot of hugs, he got treats, and he loved all the attention.

Splash loved to go to horse shows.  He would just jibber-jabber talk when getting on the trailer and talked to all the horses when he arrived at the show.  He would always stand still when he had his mane and tail braided.  Splash was an easy-keeper. 

To end this story, Splash took a road trip to the vet school in Raleigh that muggy July night.  Our vet had already been out to our farm that evening and did what she could.  Ally grew up that night. She asked really important questions to the surgeons.  We all struggled with the decision - we cried, we hugged, we crumbled into the wee hours of the morning. Splash was in such terrible pain.  He had a tumor that had probably been there for quite some time, but finally decided to show its ugly self.  We said our good-bys.  Splash was cremated and sent back to us in a beautiful small wooden box. The surgeon had cut his mane and some of his tail which were made into a lovely bracelet by "PonyLocks".   The two weeks following his demise were probably the hardest we had ever gone through.  His stall has been empty all this time until the yearling came a couple weeks ago.  I guess we were ready. 

Monday, July 11, 2011

Chocolate Zucchini Bread

I have had SO much zucchini and squash this season.  It has been cooked many different ways.  I have shared fresh produce with friends and co-workers, mall folks, anyone who would like it.  As my zucchini season begins to slow, I am grating the rest of the zucchini and freezing it for future breads.  This recipe belongs to Paula Deen. We all know and love her.  She doesn't let me down with this one.  It is so delicious and moist and a real hit. 

Chocolate Zucchini Bread

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour

  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

  • 1 teaspoon baking soda

  • 3 eggs

  • 2 cups white sugar

  • 1 cup vegetable oil

  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

  • 2 cups grated zucchini

  • 1 cup chopped pecans

  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

  • 1 tablespoon orange zest

  • Whipped cream, for serving

  • Zucchini ribbons, for serving

  • Directions
    Preheat oven at 350 degrees F. Grease (2) 9 by 5-inch loaf pans.
    Sift together flour, baking powder, salt, spices and baking soda.
    In a large bowl, beat eggs until light and fluffy. Add sugar, and continue beating until well blended. Stir in oil, vanilla, zucchini, pecans, chocolate chips, and orange zest. Stir in sifted ingredients. Pour into prepared loaf pans.  Bake for 50 minutes, or until a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean. Remove loaves from pans and cool. Chill before slicing. Serve with whipped cream and ribbons of zucchini.

    This is my Pampered Chef  piece of stoneware I used to bake my loaves.  Absolutely perfect every time.  If you don't own a piece, try to find a rep; its great baking stuff. 

    GOV Inspection
    Just another quick note about my weekend for my horsey friends and those who are interested -  I visited my friend's farm (Wellsmont Farm) who hosted the GOV (German Oldenburg Verband) foal inspections Saturday.  I think 13 foals were presented.  My Ally and friend braided the babies and Mom's manes for the inspection.  They looked so really cute, oh goodness.  Many were entered into the registry and microchipped.  The rain held out and it was a beautiful morning. 

                                                        Have a great week ~ Debi

    Friday, July 8, 2011

    Where Did My Flowers Go?

    It's a horse farm - not a deer farm!
    There's probably about 15 or so more on the other side of this picture.  There's no hunting on this property, but even if there were, I've heard if you kill one, 20 will come to its funeral.
    Deer's Rule!!

    Monday, July 4, 2011

    America the Beautiful

    God Bless this Wonderful Land

     Bailey - The only dog to stand still in her holiday costume. Look at that smile ~ she's so excited folks are coming to the woods!!
    It's pretty warm outside, but we're getting ready for everyone to come for the cook-out. 

    Our Menu
    Blue Cheese Coleslaw
    Texas-Syle Potato Salad with mustard and Pickled Red Onions
    Fresh green beans from the garden
    Maple Baked Beans
    Parmesan cheese Squash Casserole
    Pasta, Pesto and Peas
    Corn on the Cob
    Grilled Hamburgers and Hotdogs with all the fixins'
    Brown Sugar Peaches with Ice Cream
    Homemade Apple Pie
    Southern Sweet Tea
    Watermelon Agua Fresca (recipe below)

    `Enjoy your holiday

    Watermelon Agua Fresca
    Watermelon Agua Fresca  

    Mexican agua fresca (lightly sweetened, crushed fresh fruit stirred together with a little water) is a refreshing alternative to iced tea or lemonade. Mix all the ingredients in a large, widemouthed jar and set out a ladle alongside, then let guests serve themselves.


    • 1 very ripe, red seedless watermelon,
       about 12 lb.
    • Juice of 4 limes
    • 3/4 cup sugar
    • 1 cup crushed fresh mint leaves, plus
       sprigs for garnish
    • 4 cups sparkling water
    • 3 limes, thinly sliced
    • 2 quarts ice cubes


    Cut the watermelon in half and, using a metal spoon, scoop out the flesh into a large bowl. Working in batches, puree the watermelon in a blender or food processor. As each batch is ready, transfer it to another large bowl.

    Add the lime juice, sugar and mint leaves to the puree, and stir to dissolve the sugar and combine the ingredients. Cover and let stand at room temperature for at least 1 hour or up to 3 hours to allow the flavors to develop.

    Pour the watermelon mixture through a medium-mesh sieve into a large, clear glass jar. Add the sparkling water, lime slices and ice. Ladle or pour into glasses and garnish each glass with a mint sprig. Serves 8.

    Saturday, July 2, 2011

    ~ SHOW TIME ~

    Hard to believe she grew up, hooks up her tailer, loads her horse, and drives that big truck all by her little self.  She said the day would come when she would do it ~ it did. 
    Loaded up and headed out. 
    Just checking to make sure everthing's tucked in. 
    I guess this captures what its all about ~ the horse and rider.  Our Ally & Ace.
    Ace is so glad its all over. 

    He was so peaceful and lazy this morning before we headed out.  Ace is just as sweet as this picture looks.