I’m listening to saved messages on my cell phone. Do you ever save the voice messages of the ones you love? I do. I don’t know why. I just do. And so, I just pulled up the latest message that I have from my dear Aunt Lois. I listened and laughed, through tears. “Heh girl. It’s your little old aunt, who lives in a little old house on a little old lot (my uncle’s voice says something in the background) – with a little old man he says! Well, you’re SUPPOSED to be available when I call. I’m not sure what to do with this!”
Yesterday was the funeral for my precious Aunt Lois Wyrick. On Saturday, she died suddenly while having breakfast with the love of her life, my uncle, at their regular Saturday restaurant. The news was a shock to us all. Nobody is ever prepared for that kind of suddeness. She was 88 years young with a sharp wit, crystal clear memory and the will to go square dancing, though her body said, “I don’t THINK so”.
Aunt Lois was an inspiration, an encourager, a teacher – the epitome of the strong, southern woman. She mentored many a young woman, always ready with a scripture and a life lesson. I was one of those women. She and I spent hours on the phone, and cheek to cheek when Mr. Fix-It and I would make the long trek to Georgia, discussing faith and life always with humor and laughter. She embraced our little Ellie dog and always asked if we were bringing her to entertain her. Ellie would lay at her feet, or at the feet of my uncle, and wait for a word from either one of them so she could pound her tail in appreciation.
Aunt Lois walked with me at a very tough time in my life and held counseling sessions with me from 850 miles away. She encouraged me to start my business and had not a few brilliant ideas. She gave me my first huge order and gushed over the presentation of the packaging. She always made me feel like I could do anything and that whatever I did and do is important. She let me know that she was proud of me and of the older woman I have become.
My aunt and I were partners in crime at antiquing. My poor uncle followed meekly behind us, clutching his wallet in fear. My aunt fostered my love of antique, cobalt blue glassware and had a collection that she proudly displayed in front of a window, so that it cast beams of blue across the room in the morning sun. Our personal contest was to proudly find the best bargain of the century and then convince each other that life would never be the same if one or the other did not purchase the item and carry it home, to the chagrin of our husbands. I would talk her into pieces of crystal that she would purchase for her crystal collection from which she always gifted many brides who were fortunate to benefit from Aunt Lois’ good taste. I also talked her into a dining room suite that was purchased for her granddaughter’s new home. That furniture wasn’t much to look at, but when the granddaughter got hold of it and plied the hereditary artistic eye of her mom and grandmother, that suite took on a new appearance which graced the dining room with beauty. Aunt Lois talked me into a set of hand cut stemware that I have treasured for years.
Of course, she – with her sense of humor – most recently talked me into another set of stemware which I’m thinking is a source of laughter for her now. I am at a loss at what to do with these things.
A prolific writer, Aunt Lois shared my love of writing and I have posted some of her writing here, as well as our experiences shared on our many trips to their home. She wrote for a Georgia publication and included some of my writing and experiences in her pieces. Between my aunt and my dad, who also has a gift of the word, I feel that I have been left a legacy of family history that assures that generations will always know the roots, the heritage, the stories and the humor of our varied and colorful family tree. There is no greater gift than written memories passed on from generation to generation.
I could write so much more, but suffice it to say that my aunt was well-loved and most admired. As I wrote on Facebook , “She accepted me lock, stock and barrel, warts and all. She loved me and encouraged me to not be afraid to make a leap of faith. She lovingly supported me in my walk with Christ, creating a bond of faith between us that gives me no doubt that she is having those discussions with Christ right now!!…Though I rejoice that Aunt Lois is at peace with God, is whole and not infirm anymore and knows the true peace and joy that we, as Christians, look forward to with yearning, I am still heartbroken and sad for her family, especially Uncle Ed, and for me, because a vibrant part of our lives is now missing.”
Aunt Lois’ message on my phone ends with this: “Hope things are well. I love you much, honey. Bye”…..I love you too, Aunt Lois. Bye for now.
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Archive for November, 2012
I know. I know. Where have I been? Did I fall off of the earth? Did I get swallowed by a giant batch of soap? Did I get discovered by Food Network? (I wish!) While none of these scenarios is probable, the fact is that I had a variety of much less exciting happenstances occur at once. First, as I left you last time, I had a house full of teenage young men who stayed with us for 7 nights as they campaigned for our state representative. It was rather hectic here. But on top of that, my eye disease decided to rear its ugly head and I was having a hard time reading or typing for very long. It’s just no fun when you see two of everything!! And then – more company and more cooking. And then – two canning classes and a case of hives and more double vision. All in all, with excuses aside, it all boiled down to one main culprit: Writer’s block!!!!
Yep. My brain has been fried. I have not had one single thing to write about. I’d start, but the words wouldn’t come and when they did, there were two of each. Soooo, I gave up. I have now chilled, rested and used not just a few ice packs and I am back in business.
And speaking of business, we had a winner for our Fall Giveaway, reader and FaceBook fan, Sue Feely won two packages of our Frontier Fixin’s bread mix. Next week, right after Thanksgiving, a new giveaway will be introduced just in time for Christmas! So be watching.
With this being Thanksgiving week, a time for family, memories, gratitude and turkey, I thought that I would give you a way that I like to use my leftover turkey that is pretty tasty. The recipe originated from a cookbook that I’ve had for years and is evidently no longer in print, titled “Favorite Brandname Cookbook”. I tweaked the recipe for leftover turkey but use chicken as well and home canned chicken or turkey is really great in it. If you want to can your turkey after Thanksgiving and then use it later, this is a good way to use that, but straight off the bone is fine too. I like white meat in my recipes but both white and dark work well too. It’s all a matter of preference. In this tutorial, I am using chicken, but will be making it with turkey on Friday!! And just as a note, I use dehydrated celery, mushrooms and onions and they work great.
1 cup sliced carrots
3/4 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup diced celery
1/2 cup chicken or turkey broth
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 pkg turkey gravy mix (if using turkey for the meat) mixed with 1 cup cold water
1 cup sour cream
3 cups cubed or shredded chicken or turkey
1/2 cup sliced mushrooms
1 teaspoon worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1 cup flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 eggs beaten
1/2 cup milk
1 Tbsp. chopped green pepper
1 Tbsp. chopped pimento
1 1/4 cups shredded cheddar cheese (sharp is good)
In a bowl, place the meat, either shredded or cubed. If using canned meat, it will shred.
Place veggies, minus the peppers and pimentos, into a saucepan with 1/4 cup chicken broth, cover and simmer for 20 minutes. Add a little water if needed to keep from cooking dry.
Add sour cream to the meat
Add cream of chicken soup and turkey gravy mixed with 1 cup water to the meat and sour cream
Add Worcestershire sauce, salt and pepper
Add remaining 1/4 cup chicken broth and mix all ingredients well
Pour the meat mixture into a casserole dish. I am using a Pampered Chef stoneware deep dish baker here. Set dish aside.
In a bowl, add flour, salt and baking powder and stir.
In a separate bowl, lightly beat eggs and milk together
Add cheese and peppers to the flour mixture and toss until the cheese is totally incorporated with the flour
Pour egg mixture in with the flour mixture and stir well
By spoonfuls, place the batter mixture in a ring around the outside top of the meat mixture in the casserole dish. Bake for 40 – 45 minutes at 350º until golden brown.
It’s pretty and it’s good! Serve hot with a salad and you have a meal!
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