Here’s my summer time outfit I sported today…
I said goodbye to my dear, precious Earnie last week. Many of my blog entries have been about the funny things we have experienced living as Mother and daughter in the same house. When God presented me with this opportunity seven years ago I had no idea that the journey she and I would go on together would be just as much as a gift for her as it was for me. I am only on the tip of opening a well of emotion that stirs inside me. My sister put it very well, “I feel like my heart is broken open. With love flowing out.” My hurt over missing her is cushioned by the fact that I know she is with Daddy.
I spoke at her funeral last week. It was my last goodbye. Honoring all that is good about her. Here is her story of the best last week of her life.
Our daddy died two years ago and sadly my brother took his life shortly after that. So, in six weeks time, our mother lost her husband of 64 years and her child. You can imagine her sadness. We were so proud of her bravery. She never complained. She just kept going. This past January, she lost her best friend, Margaret. Margaret was the perfect combination of a confidant, mother and friend. Since Margaret’s death, Mother lost a little bit of her sparkle.
Last week was the best week of our Mother’s life. Sunday, she came to church. She was responsible for the refreshments for her Sunday School class that morning. I could tell she wanted me to make something good because her reputation was at stake. She gave the devotional and offered the prayer in her class. Later that evening, she and Nancy and Jake Jacobs attended an organ concert in the sanctuary.
When she came home from church that evening, she lit up when she talked about how beautiful the Elizabeth Cramer Chapel was, especially the stained glass windows that came from her former church at Westcliff. She said she couldn’t wait for the first person to have their wedding or funeral in the chapel because she knew it would be glorious. Daddy is thrilled to know his beloved Earnestine is “the first.”
On Monday, she and her brother George — whom we lovingly refer to as Uncle G or the G man because we think he is a rock star — took her to the grocery store. They loved those weekly trips to run errands together.
On Tuesday, she was back at church for her Martha Circle. Kay Sherman always came to get Mother for their circle meetings and Mother looked forward to spending time with her and the other ladies in the group. When she got home she told me how proud she was of Joan Morris for being the Circle leader this past year and how much she was going to miss being in the Martha Circle next year.
On Wednesday, Mary Jo Springer picked up Mother and they went to the last Harmony Club meeting of the year. When she came home she looked so beautiful and shared what a lovely time she had.
Wednesday night is pizza night in our house. Mother always looked forward to it and I did too, because it meant I didn’t have to cook. As we were passing each other in the kitchen. She stopped me and looked at me and said “You love me don’t you?” Really emphasizing the LOVE part. I replied, “absolutely” and we hugged. Those were the last words she and I ever spoke to each other.
On Thursday, our Mother died. Surrounded by her family…and a priest. Which, if you want to take me to coffee sometime, I will tell you the amazing side story of how a Protestant family and a Catholic priest met one night. It sounds like the start of a great joke that our daddy would tell. But, I can assure you it was part of an amazing journey the Lord planned just for Mother.
Mother was a faithful servant of the Lord. She started each day in prayer, mediation and study of the Lord’s word. Everyday she would say the same devotional. As Mother’s last gift to you we want you to hear the words of Earnestine’s Devotional.
Best Day of my Life
Today, when I awoke, I suddenly realized that this is the best day of my life, ever! There were times when I wondered if I would make it to today; but I did! And because I did I’m going to celebrate!
Today, I’m going to celebrate what an unbelievable life I have had so far; the accomplishments, the many blessings, and, yes, even the hardships because they have served to make me stronger. I will go through this day with my head held high, and a happy heart. I will marvel at God’s seemingly simple gifts: The morning dew, the sun, the clouds, the trees, the flowers, the birds.
Today, none of these miraculous creations will escape my notice.
Today, I will share my excitement for life with other people. I will make someone smile. I’ll go out of my way to perform an unexpected act of kindness for someone I don’t even know.
Today, I’ll give a sincere compliment to someone who seems down. I’ll tell a child how special he or she is. I’ll tell someone I love just how deeply I care for them and how much they mean to me.
Today is the day I quit worrying about what I don’t have and start being grateful for all the wonderful things God has already given me. I’ll remember that to worry is just a waste of time because my faith in God and His Divine Plan ensures everything will be just fine.
And tonight, before I go to bed, I’ll go outside and raise my eyes to the heavens. I will stand in awe at the beauty of the stars and the moon, and I will praise God for these magnificent treasures. As the day ends and I lay my head down on my pillow, I will thank the Almighty for the best day of my life. And I will sleep the sleep of a contented child, excited with expectation because I know tomorrow is going to be the best day of my life ever!
The last week of Mother’s life, her sparkle came back. She looked more beautiful and happier than we had seen her in a long time. Now we know that her glow was the light of Christ taking her hand for her journey home. Amen.
When I was away at summer camp, Earnie didn’t send me gifts in the mail. Side bar: My gift was usually waiting when I came home — a totally cleaned out and newly decorated bedroom. The thing now is when you send your kid away for camp, they need to get mail cause all the other kids are getting mail and gifts!
Some parents go overboard on the whole “I don’t want my child to feel alone during camp, so here’s $150 dollars. Go treat your cabin to treats in the snack shack.” I don’t go that crazy, but I do like to send her a few small things so she gets something every day during mail call. The camp has a mail box so on Sunday when you drop little precious off you can drop their mail marked with their name and what day you want it delivered. Camp is six days = six gifts.
I stopped into World Market today for something work-related and found tons of fun things in the back of the store near all the food… things that won’t end up back at home for Ruthie, the wienerful, to eat, chew up, or throw up. Everything was about $2 each.
Yellow and orange are my fave colors du jour. Here’s my mellow yellow journal.
Miss Anna, the trade.
I’m cold. It’s 40 degrees outside. Rainy. Phil was a little premature in his forecast of spring. But, I know that soon, it will be hot. 100. Humid.
Here’s a little stroll of my backyard sanctuary. Even though I may be cold, my little garden is in heaven.
This was the first recipe to try from the Cake magazine I mentioned here. It’s the Brown Sugar Pound cake.
Two things happened here. First, when I was measuring the ingredients I measured five cups of flour. Once ready to eat it was so bland and just plain, gah. I have never made a cake that turned out tasteless. So, I looked back at the recipe. Oh. I was supposed to put in three cups of flour (the magic number five was for the eggs). Oops. But, still, even if I had just put in the minimum of three cups, I think it would have still tasted, gah. Oh, and here’s a tip. When you use too much flour the cake never cooks all the way through. After two hours — no exaggeration here — I finally took the cake out. Nice burned edges, and ooey gooey raw batter in the middle. Gah.
Second, the icing. No where in the recipe does it say ”WAIT TILL CAKE IS DONE” to start making the icing. It was a dreamy caramel sauce. But when the cake was ready to be drizzled with the heavenly sauce, this is what happened:
Triple, gah. I was determined to get the damn icing on. So, with my Spackle tool I applied the icing. Which is as illustrated in photo A.
I cut a slice and had Earnie eat it.
Earnie in her nice, Southern gal kinda way said it wasn’t too bad, but not the best I have ever made. So, down into the trash went five cups of flour, 5 eggs, 2 sticks of butter, about nine cups of sugar, and my pride….
Awesome slow cooker recipe for Chicken Parmesan from Full Bellies. I started with Six Sisters Stuff and visited their recipe index and found 25 slow cooker recipes. They also have tons of freezer meals that you prep in a gallon zip lock then throw into your slow cooker. Yummy.
So last night I made the chicken parm. It smelled so good. Only took 4 hours on high. Layers of chicken, mozzarella cheese and marinara sauce. It was pull apart, juicy and the perfect comfort food. I served it with whole wheat spaghetti, grilled zucchini (ala Mrs. Burdette), and steamed lemon broccoli. Earnie deemed it the best dinner she’s had at Windwood in quite a while.
Check out both sites for delish recipes. Have a fab Friday.
A reader asked me to comment on nail colors for spring. Thanks, Mrs. Hubbard! I always love reader suggestions.
Dear Mrs. Hubbard,
You can do anything you want with your nails. From sherbet colors to neon, to ombre touches — everything is in style.
I am in love with Anne Hathaway right now. She exudes class and style. Back at the Golden Globes awards I zoomed in on her nail polish:
White nails with butterfly appliques. She was a Loreal featured star for red carpet makeup, so I have a feeling these appliques are from Loreal. Chic.
Here she is before Les Mis hair coordinating her dress with her nail polish.
I dig her short hair-do. I think I am going to get mine cut like hers. Maybe I’ll have a better chance of winning an Oscar if I do it. I could be discovered in the Rosemary’s Baby movie re-make.
Ok, moving on…
My new nail polish discovery is from Cover Girl.
Claiming it lasts for one week, I’d have to say it lasted a few days MORE than that! I usually paint my nails on Saturday night, then have to re-do them by Wednesday. Not this past week. It lasted from Saturday to Monday of the following week! Love it!
I found a coupon in a magazine for $3 off two bottles. It retails for $5.99 a bottle. Right now CVS has it buy one, get one 50% off. You basically get one bottle fah-ree! Great deal. 54 shades of loveliness. From clear to black with every color in between. Today, I am sporting a sporty coral color.
Have a wonderful Wednesday!
Your faithful bee,
This is what I looked like this morning at 3:08 a.m. when I was awoken by Oreo, the cat (also known as Yo-Yo, cra-cra, Orie). She was crying for literally 20 minutes. When I finally got out of bed (of course no one else got out of bed), I found her at the bottom of the steps looking up at me.
She’s not the friendliest of cats. She was a stray that I served as a nurse mid-wife to her when she popped out a litter of deceased kittens on my lanai. But, last night, she let me pick her up and she immediately started purring. I noticed the pads of her feet were really cold. I held her for about 10 minutes, rocking her back and forth on the steps. I’m sure if Mr. Bee has woken and saw me “rocking the kitty” he would have finally admitted his wife was cra-cra, too.
During that moment I thought about all the times I got up with Miss Bee. Caring for her when she was sick or spraying the room with “Witch Spray” and wishing I could get a good night’s sleep. She doesn’t need me as much lately. The house was quiet. It was just me and cra-cra bonding. Then, she was done.
I went back to bed which then disturbed all the other cats. As I drifted off to sleep, with one of them waving their tail across my face, I remembered Nanny’s quote I sometimes use on Miss Bee…
I wanted to share a recipe for Tres Leches Cake parfaits. For the bridal shower I helped co-host, I volunteered to make the dessert. I knew Tres Leches cake was the bride’s favorite, but I didn’t want to serve it the usual way, sliced on plates with a fork. So, I made parfaits.
I used a Martha Stewart recipe for Tres Leches Cake. I baked it the night before the party and let it sit in the refrigerator overnight. A few hours before the party, I made the whipped cream and assembled the parfaits in small, stemless wine glasses.
At the bottom of each glass I put a small dollop of whipped cream, then a small square of cake, more whipped cream, another square of cake, topped with whipped cream. I sprinkled a garnish of toasted coconut and a touch of nutmeg. I found a set of adorable bride and groom cupcake toppers and stuck them in the center of the dessert.
Who can resist saying “I do” to this dessert?! Oh, so, fab.