Home & Life 55 results

I love food and cooking, but I’m a mom … a wife … an educator … a geek … a history buff.  I wear many hats and like to write about each just as much as I like to write about food and cooking. Below you’ll find a variety of posts about my life from dogs to kids to travel and beyond. 

Walker Dog and Stormy Judy

Stormy Weather is an apropos theme for the Week 10 52 Ancestors Challenge. It’s March and, in southern Illinois, we would normally be headed into spring and well on our way to “tornado season”. Not this year … our only two snow storms of the winter have happened in the last two weeks. They’ve been doozies. I’m ready to open my back deck and swimming pool, and mix up a pitcher of sangria to share with friends! Spring is one of my favorite times of year … when everything ...

Plowing Through Life

Amy Johnson Crow at No Story Too Small gave us a new 52 Ancestors challenge for 2015. Each week, we have a different theme about which to write. It’s quite the challenge, but I love meeting it and reading how everyone interprets each week. Week five is “plowing through".  My 3rd great grandmother, Veronique Voirol, was born in Geneva, Switzerland on August 18, 1829. She is my favorite family history brick wall to research … and share. I love sharing every tidbit ...

Fresh Start for a New Year

Yikes! I just noticed the new 52 Ancestors challenge that Amy Johnson Crow gave us on her blog No Story Too Small ... and I'm behind already! I love how she has added weekly themes. Week 1 was a fresh start ... and that's where I'm starting even though I'm a teeny bit late.  I have to admit, I ran out of steam in 2014 ... partly because my fall semester at school became it's own little monster ... partly because I felt like I didn't have enough to write about some of my older ...

A Thrifty Christmas Tree

When JD's Grandma Davis passed away, we inherited several items from her home. One of these was a Christmas tree that she has always placed on top of an end table during the holidays. With the tree came its original box! The tree dates to the 1960s and is from the American Tree and Wreath Company from Lexington, Kentucky. Gram purchased it for $5.83 ... the price is written on the front of the box. I love that the tree has a 5-year warranty, too ... I think we're well past that! ...

I Believe, Virginia

From the moment I first read the New York Sun editorial written in 1897 by Francis Church in response to an 8 year-old's question about Santa Claus, I was in love. I was in love with the idea of Santa Claus and the idea of writing ... and sharing that writing. I don't even remember how old I was, but probably not yet a teenager. That was a really long time ago, and I am still in awe of Church's words. Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus. He exists as certainly as love and generosity ...

The Christmas Heart

Over the weekend, a friend from college posted a Christmas memory on Facebook about being "dirt poor" ... his words ... as a child and how that impacted Christmas for him and his seven siblings. Christmas stockings were filled not with trinkets and "stuffers", but with fresh fruit and hard candy, both being treats for his family in those days. Comments that followed reminded me how being raised with limited funds and receiving gifts when there was barely money to buy them puts things in ...

I wish I could have met her

In honor of Wishful Wednesday ...  Have you ever been asked, "If you could sit down with anyone in history and have a conversation, who would it be?". I have ... several times. I always have a different answer, too. Sometimes it's Eleanor Roosevelt, sometimes it is Mary Queen of Scots or Robert the Bruce. Sometimes it is someone a little closer to me like my 2nd great grandma, Margaret Ellen Douglas.   I grew up hearing stories about Grandma Douglas from my Grandpa. He ...

Happy Birthday, Daddy

Why is it that people remain a specific age in our minds no matter how old they really are when we lose them? My grandpa was 89 when he died in 2008, but he will always be in his mid-60s in my mind. That was the age when he raced me across the yard and let me win. That was the age he helped me learn to balance on my bicycle. That was the age he was when I was a kid, and, even though I clearly see him at 89, he will always be that mid-60s man in jeans, suspenders and cowboy ...