Wednesday, May 28, 2008

My Nephew

My nephew is the grandbaby I haven't had yet. Are you confused now? Well, little man belongs to my younger sister. She is twelve years younger than me and sometimes she feels more like my child than my sister. Therefore you get the nephew/grandson thing.

Anyway, I was there the day he was born......I don't just mean AT the hospital....I was IN the room with her for the whole thing. Even though I have three children of my own....this was different.....instead of a participant, I was a witness to the miracle of birth. Not just any birth, the birth of my very special nephew. He became mine.....that day.....that very moment he appeared.....he became mine.

He is tough as nails but, he is oh so tender hearted and kind. He is a worrier and a prankster and he loves with all of his heart.

My little man does not like to give hugs in front of people but, if you catch him by yourself he will give you a nice little hug.

He lives in a really big city and he loves to come visit us out here in the country. He loves to go with his older cousins and explore the cow pasture close to my house. We have tried to sneak him an old cow skull home but, the best we have been able to do is send the cow teeth instead.

His Mom recently remarried and he was the one to give his Mom away. He was so growny and handsome in his tux. He had practiced a toast before the wedding. My little man gave his toast in front of all of those people......his precious toast to his new little family.

Every time he comes to see us, I am amazed at how fast he has grown. My little man that I watched come into this world is now almost as tall as me.

Every other grandchild in this family favors in some way and they have the same coloring. Not my little man. He is dark....dark eyes.......dark skin......and dark curly hair. He is unique and special and a perfect fit among his cousins.

He lives where it gets really cold in the winter......THIS is not a good thing......because you see.....our little man is really a beach bunny at heart. If a child was ever born to be a beach bum surfer dude.....he is it.

My little man is growing up and soon I will need to find another name for him but.....for now.....he is little man!

A Southern Delight.....Boiled Peanuts

One of the biggest crops we raise around here are peanuts. We also grow cotton, corn and soy beans. Peanuts are our thing though.

We have the National Peanut Festival every year. It is something that everyone looks forward to. We live for the Peanut Festival Fair! Well......the kids do any way.

Peanuts are used in alot of ways. Around here we like em parched, roasted, fried and boiled. Most people beyond a three state area have NEVER heard of boiled peanuts. In my neck of the woods, you are raised on boiled peanuts.

To boil peanuts you must first have the right kind of peanuts. You have to get them as soon as they come out of the gound. If you wait to long they will get dried out and they will not boil up worth a flip. You put your peanuts (still in the shell) in the biggest boiling pot you can find. You fill the pot with lots of water and salt. You have to be careful because too much or too little salt, and your boiled peanuts will not taste right. You boil them until they are done. Remember, you are going to have to spoon out a few to taste (just to see if they are done). When the peanuts are salted right and they turn soft they are ready. You don't eat the shells, unless you get some of those really little ones that the shell is real soft. You take them out of the shell and then you eat them!

If you ever go to a football game or any sporting event for that matter you will see people eating boiled peanuts. When in the south you will see people sitting by the road selling boiled peanuts. It is ok to buy these. They are usually the best. If your not sure where to go just ask "where can I find some good boiled peanuts?" and anyone can tell you at least a half a dozen places to go.

So, if you are ever in the south at least try the boiled peanuts......ya'll just might like 'em.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

For real....what are grits?

Ok....other than the Girls Raised In The South, kind of grits. There is really a food item called grits. Grits are served mainly in the south. There is an imaginary line and once you pass that point you can not find grits anywhere on a menu.

Grits are made of coarsely ground corn. To cook them you pour them in boiling water and salt to taste. You boil them on medium to low heat until they are done. It is kind of hard to explain exactly what done is but, a true southerner knows. When you serve them they need to have lots of butter stirred in. They are best served with eggs, bacon or sausage, biscuits or toast. Some people mix their grits,eggs and bacon together. Some don't. Grits are an individual thing......they are definitely a southern thing.

If you have breakfast in the south, your breakfast is not complete without grits. Instant grits don't count. A true southerner is going to boil them little suckers until they are just right.

Grits aren't just for breakfast. There is nothing better than having grits, eggs and bacon on a really cold night for supper. Yep, I said supper.....we don't call our night time meal dinner it is always supper!

If you haven't tried grits then maybe you should give it a shot. Just make sure a southerner cooks them for you.

Next time I will tell you about another REAL southern delicacy..........boiled peanuts......yep, I said boiled. Til next time!

My oldest child....the Fireman

He is a fireman now. He fights fires and rescues people in need, but used to....once upon a time.....he was just my baby.
When he was born he had a head full of black hair and it all came out and was replaced with snow white hair that stuck up all over his head. He has the bluest eyes I have ever seen. Just picture the bluest ocean you have ever seen and they are bluer.
He is kind and caring, strong and determined and he speaks his mind......always......oh my Lord does he ever speak his mind!
My nephew Press tells people "My cousins job is being an hero." and he is. He is a hero to so many people especially his Mama!
He decided that what he wanted to be was a fireman. He went to fire school and he studied hard and he made it through. He not only passed the written test but also the physical.
What most people don't know is that for him to make it through fire school was harder for him than most. You see, my child has a true fear of heights. In order to be a fireman you have to pass tests where you climb tall buildings and water towers and rappel down. He did it....with sheer will and determination.....he did it! My baby boy with the big blue eyes.
Recently, I was in a car accident. He came....and to start with he was very upset when he saw that I was trapped. He knew however, that it was not the time for that. He immediately went into rescue mode. He and his Dad helped to get me out of the wreckage and he rode with me in the amubulance.....and.....he was there for baby boy.....with the big blue eyes.
When I look at him I try to see him as the wonderful man he has become.......but......all I see.....
is my baby boy.....with the big blue eyes.

Big "E" The Middle Child

My middle child is the one we thought we were not going to have. We had one beautiful little boy already and after several miscarriages and six and half years we had Big E. He came into this world as an old soul. He watched everything and seemed to know what was going on.

He was a Mama's boy from day one. When he is sick, sad, happy or just needing to talk, he looks for Mama. Of my three he is most like me. He tells my everything (yes, everything). Sometimes, I want to put my fingers in my ears and say la-la-la....I don't want to hear this!

He is tough, but tender hearted, he is strong yet gentle and he is loyal to a fault. He makes really good grades and he has plans. He wants to do something with his life.

He is the biggest Auburn football fan I know. He can tell you anything about Auburn that you want to know. His dream is to go to college there.

Big "E" is a name that was given to him by one of his pee wee football coach's (also a friend of ours). He loves to play football and has always played like he was the biggest kid on the team.

At 17 years old he weighs about 160 pounds but, he plays like he weights 250. Thus the name Big "E".

He is the kind of child who does not demand a lot of attention. So, I made sure that he did not get lost in the shuffle and got the attention he deserved.

He always had to dress himself. If you tried to help he would tell you " I do it myself!" He went to daycare many days with his shoes on the wrong feet. If you changed them he would get mad, sit down, take them off again and put them on backward. He never wore his baseball cap the right way. It was always backward. If you fixed it he would glare at you and spin it back around.

When his baby sister was brought home he would stand by anyone holding her. After a few minutes he would tell them "You have had her long enough you need to put her down." He is very protective toward his little sister.

He thinks he does not have a pretty smile. He does not like to smile in pictures so, I have to catch him unaware. Gotcha! My beautiful little boy!

Sunday, May 25, 2008

The Princess

This is the Princess. She is the baby of the family and she is just a little bit rotten. She is what I call my bonus baby. We had two boys and thought we were through. HA!

We almost lost her when she was born. She was very sick from birth and we had to transfer her to an NICU unit in Montgomery, AL. About two hours away from home. She was there for a week before we were able to bring her home.

Her Daddy and her brothers had never held her until she was a week old. From the moment they all laid eyes on her they were lost to her charms. They spoiled her and catered to her every whim until one day......I hear "Mama do something with her....she is so spoiled!" Too late! You guys did it!

She is a Daddy's girl and to this day she still sits in his lap even though she is now 14 years old. Our bonus baby. Oh what a joy she is!

My little princess is not comfortable with praise. When you tell her she has done something good she just shrugs it off like it does not matter but, I know that deep down inside she does need to know that we are proud of her.

She is a smart little princess. She can find anything on a computer. She can make things and put a jigsaw puzzle together in no time flat. She has started to take some pictures with her camera and they are really good!

The little princess is growing up. One day she will leave us (but don't tell her Daddy) and she will be on her own. I don't know what she will be but, I know that it will be something special. I know this because she is oh so special now!

Our little princess is a beauty even though she does not think so. She has the most beautiful brown eyes that sometimes turn to gold. She has a smile that lights up a room....when she allows you to see it. Mama's little princess and Daddy's little girl. Our precious little bonus baby......only not a baby any more.

Saturday, May 24, 2008


I am what some people refer to as GRITS. I am a Girl Raised In The South. This blog will be a glimpse into my life and of course the lives of my family and friends. Don't worry friends and family I won't use your real names.......maybe.

Now a little about me to get started. I was born and raised in the southeast corner of Alabama. The town I live in is small enough that everyone knows who you are. In other words my children can't get away with a thing, because everyone knows who they belong to.

My children go to the same school that my husband and I went to and graduated from. They even have some of the same teachers we had!

I met my husband "T" when we started first grade. It was love at first not really.....I actually don't remember much about him from that first year, he was kind of quiet. Oh, well. We actually became friends years later. We used to go on double dates but, not with each other. I dated a friend of his and he dated another girl. We started dating each other in November of our Senior year (1979) and we have been together since. This past May we have been married for twenty-six years. We dated two and half years before we married.

We have three beautiful children. Two boys "Z" and Big E and our youngest the princess of course is a girl. Our oldest fights fires for a living, the middle child Big E is about to start his Senior year in high school and the princess is in the "I hate Mama and life in general" stage. You know those early teen years. (Lord, please help me to remember that she will outgrow this stage......right?.....umm Lord?.....did you hear me?)

We have been through a lot of life changing moments in our lives and I will tell you about all of these as they come to me. But, those will come later.

Well now a little about being raised in the South. You must always say yes Ma'm or no Ma'm. You are supposed to always be polite even when you are really mad as spit. Oh yes, southern ladies NEVER ever spit. When you live in Alabama you have to pick a football team, either Auburn or Alabama. Even if you don't like football you still have to choose. Most southern girls do like their football and during the Iron Bowl (Auburn/Alabama game) it is ok to throw all of your genteel southern lady rules out the window. This is not the time to be polite, you have to make sure that your team can hear you through the TV. Southern girls are taught to hunt and fish when they are young and most continue to enjoy these past times for the rest of their lives.

Being a southern girl can be very misleading to non-southerners. Just because we have that slow soft southern drawl does not mean that we are soft. We are not! We are some of the strongest women you will meet. We can hop on a tractor and pull a peanut trailer on Saturday and show up for church on Sunday morning dressed to the nines. We can stand by our men but, we can stand up to them too (if need be). We can be opinionated, sassy, gentle, quiet one minute and loud the next. We can be many things and we can go many places but one thing never changes........we are GRITS. Girls Raised In The South!