Monday, June 28, 2010


Time flies, time heals all wounds, time in a bottle, the times of our lives... tick tock goes the clock. Hard to believe but 6 months have gone by since my younger brother Brad passed away, it just does not seem possible.

Recently while going through the endless Cd's of photos I have I found this one, I did not even remember taking it and was shocked to find it, but very pleased. It is a wonderful picture of one of the best Christmas' we had here at our house in Snelling.

Santa had come to visit Dorie and well I guess Brad decided he needed to tell him what he wanted. I don't know what he said to Santa but it must have been funny cause he and Brad are busting at the seams with laughter.

What a great photo, and a great memory of a wonderful brother. Still missing you, Boo Boo.

Love, Gert

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

My Garden

I am sitting here hoping it will rain, again. It sprinkled earlier just enough to wet the apples in the trees, but not much fell on the ground. I feel like Lizzie in Lizzie in the Rainmaker at times, it is so dry here but life goes on.

I have added a few new plants this week, a Blackberry Lily along with a beautiful pale yellow day lily I bought on the side of the road outside of Aiken, SC.

My herbs are coming along well and the Lavender is blooming, I am going to find somewhere to put an entire bed of Lavender as the smell is wonderful here, especially at night. I dried a few herbs this week and used them on homemade croutons and stuffed a couple of game hens with some of the fresh rosemary and thyme... wonderful. It is nice to use our own grown things, not only to eat but to decorate the house with. I love cut flowers and place them here and there to brighten up a room.

Mommas apple tree has about 3 dozen apples this year, it is the best it's ever done and I can't wait to bite into one and make a pie. She would be pleased, so would my Aunt Hazel. Aunt Hazel always grew the best apples and I spent many childhood days in Jasper AL raiding the orchard with my cousins.

Isn't it funny how a simple sight, smell or taste can send you back in time to different places and memories...

Friday, June 11, 2010

Public Art

The Sundial, on the circle in Barnwell, SC
For over 150 years, Barnwell's rare vertical sundial has given the correct time of day to passersby.
It is thought to be the only one of its kind remaining in America. Legend has it that this is the only vertical sundial in the United States and though erected two years prior to standard time, it keeps within two minutes of that. Captain Joseph D. Allen, a wealthy Barnwell resident, and a lover of monuments,
had the sundial made in Charleston.

Thank you Barry & Linda for choosing this topic; at first I had no idea what I was going to do, not only do we only have a small selection of public art in our small town but I’m nursing a bum knee so am not getting on very much.

As I decided to look through my collection of photos I did come across a few that depict Public Art; some are crazy shots of my children “enjoying” public art, some are of public art we’ve enjoyed during our travels.

Dorie, in front of Horse statues we saw while on a  road trip.

 "The Whole Wide World of Charleston" according to Dorie...
Monument to Francis Marion


Becki, wrestling an alligator.... and Andrew enjoying a glass of coke.

and finally….
A type of public art that is very near and dear to not only my soul but my family… the Pow Wow photos.

As much as I enjoy celebrating our Irish bloodline, my brother went further and embraced our Native American roots. Although we were not raised “native” we did live on the outskirts of the reservation for 2 years in Oklahoma and were always reminded where we (our great-grandmother) came from.

During the past several decades we began going to Pow Wows and selling Cree Style drums my brother had learned to make while in Maine along with wares from various tribes that we bought from. Brad, my brother loved to dance and although I only took part once, I was always proud to watch him and others as they enjoyed the drums, the people and being outside.

Brad and Dorie during Dorie's first dance.

Sadly, Brad passed away this past Christmas Eve morning with no warning and his death has been a hard row to plow as the saying goes… as I opened a file and saw the words pow wow I had to make myself look at the photos and suddenly I was transported to that field in South Georgia with the warmth of the sun shinning down, the sound of drums and drummers and the wonderful smell of Sage, Sweet Grass and Copal burning and the fry bread frying… and I remembered an old proverb he was found of…. There are no bad days, even when things are difficult all days are good ones.

Brad and Dorie resting after a dance... learning to drum.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Hey Camella! What's for Supper?

One of my favorite past-times is food, not eating but preparing it; whether it is for a Sunday dinner or a wedding reception for 200 the act of sitting down and deciding the menu, the practice and then the preparing is like a drug to me. When I am in the kitchen, it me and the food, nothing else matters and please don’t get in my way!

Recipe Folder passed down from my grandmother to my mom and to me.

Some of my favorite meals have of course been those wrapped around my childhood and every once in a while I pull the recipes out of my mind and get to work to create a feast for Sunday dinner which could include:

My husband's plate...

Fried Chicken with the Livers and Gizzards

Fresh Collards, braised with secret spices and a splash of vinegar

Stewed Yellow Squash with onions

Fresh Field Peas over White Rice

Fried Okra

Of course we don’t eat like that every Sunday, but once in a blue moon my roots call to me and I remember dinner at Aunt Hazel’s or at my Momma’s kitchen table and well I just give in.

Two of my very favorite cookbooks...

I also love to visit local restaurants while on vacation and of course if there’s a cookbook I have to buy it so I can recreate a meal and bring back the memory of good times… it has been 5 years since we took a trip to Saint Augustine and ate at the Columbia Restaurant but we keep the memory alive by having a salad based on their Ensalada 1905 and Spanish Bean Soup several times a year. I grew up eating Spanish Bean Soup and my grandfather would always bring back some from the Columbia in Tampa when we were younger and I just had to try it on our trip. I was not disappointed and my family loves this meal.

This salad is adapted from a wonderful meal Frank and I had while vacationing in Florida and are a favorite meal at our house. It goes great with the Spanish Bean Soup.

½ head iceberg or romaine lettuce

1 ripe tomato cut into eighths

½ cup Swiss cheese cut into strips

½ cup ham cut into strips

½ cup black olives (optional)

2 tsp grated Romano Cheese


1/8 cup white wine vinegar

½ cup extra virgin olive oil

4 cloves garlic minced

1 tsp Worcestershire sauce

Salt and pepper to taste

1 tsp oregano

2 tsp lemon or lime juice

Mix garlic, oregano and Worcestershire sauce in a bowl, beat until smooth with whisk add oil and beat to blend together, stir in vinegar and lemon juice and season with salt and pepper, add to salad and toss well.

I collect cookbooks of course, but recipes as well and some I have had been passed down for generations while others are new but will become old favorites soon enough like the Chicken with Penne in Vodka Sauce. My husband and daughter both fell in love with this dish and we’ve eaten it three times in the last couple of months. Even my 15 month old granddaughter loved it so it is surely a winner at my house.

Chicken with Penne in Vodka Sauce

Another new dish we loved: Italian Pot Roast with Herbed Polenta

Even a recent hotdog roast at our house was a chance to pull out cookbooks and scour the web for menu ideas and we ended up having 3 types of sausages along with the franks, homemade hotdog chili and 3 types of relishes along with sauerkraut, slaw and various types of mustard! And thanks to an email from a food site we tried BBQ Ribs with Dr. Pepper BBQ Sauce for Memorial Day... they were wonderful.

I wish I had more photos of my food but sometimes it smells so good and I’m so tired or distracted that I forget to take a photo!