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Susan
middle Tennessee
You are an extraordinary woman, how can you expect to live an ordinary life? ~Louisa May Alcott
Interests: when asked if the glass is half full or half empty, i always respond "my glass overflows!, " blending all my passions into a balanced and harmonious life of family-friends-furbabies-travel-photography-good food-and wordsmithing. Oh yeah, and I love Doris Day. The first words I ever strung together were, "By the light" as in "By the light of the Silvery Moon." Mom sang it to me when I was a baby.
Recent Activity
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Happy Fathers Day to my Father, the best dad ever! And to all the Father's who provide for their families and set examples for their children to follow. God bless Fathers!! Continue reading
Posted 4 days ago at Charm of the Carolines
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This past weekend three of my best girlfriends and I took a trip to New Orleans for inspiration and for me to find gallery representation in the Big Easy, as well as teaching opportunities. I'll be the first to admit I've seen things I wish I could unsee (like the Naked Bicycle Race!), but that is all part of NOLA's charm. One of the best discoveries that I will be integrating into my home life is the Pimm's Cup cocktail. Until last weekend, I had never heard of Pimm's. Our friends Holly and Rod were celebrating their 38th wedding anniversary at the same time and had reserved a suite at The Monteleone, a beautiful historic hotel in the French Quarter of New Orleans. Holly invited us over for cocktails at the Carousel Bar where I was introduced to a New Orleans tradition, the Pimm's Cup. It's a very refreshing cocktail... Continue reading
Posted 6 days ago at Charm of the Carolines
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Memorial Day was first widely observed in May 1868. The celebration commemorated the sacrifices of the Civil War and the proclamation was made by General John A Logan. Following the proclamation, participants decorated graves of more than 20,000 Union and Confederate soldiers. In years since World War 1, the day has become a celebration of honor for those who died in all America’s wars, as well as those who are Veterans and current members of the US military. In 1971, Memorial Day was declared a national holiday. The United States celebrates this holiday the last Monday of May. “Today is the day we put aside to remember fallen heroes and to pray that no heroes will ever have to die for us again. It's a day of thanks for the valor of others, a day to remember the splendor of America and those of her children who rest in this... Continue reading
Posted May 29, 2017 at Charm of the Carolines
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Henry W. Buck from Solano County, California, enlisted March 3, 1941 (nearly a year before the US officially entered WWII) as a Private in the National Guard Infantry in Napa, California. Born in 1920, he was a twenty-year old, single, white, male originally from Missouri and who specialized in mechanics and the repair of motor vehicles. And from his dog tag we can see he was blood type A and a Protestant. Pvt Buck was stationed at Camp Gordon Johnston in Carrabelle, Florida, an amphibious training base which used Carrabelle Beach and nearby Dog Island and St. George Island for training soldiers to storm the beaches of France. I don't know Pvt Buck. I've never met him or spoken to him. But he lost his dog tag in training, and it was excavated from the beach at Carrabelle. It now belongs to me and is a cherished possession. Remembering Pvt... Continue reading
Posted May 27, 2017 at Charm of the Carolines
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I don't know about you, but I enjoy all four seasons. And to make each one special, I often quiz my friends to ask what they do different in the summertime. Picnic, swim, a day at the beach, grill out, catch lightning bugs and put them in a jar, lay out on a blanket at night and watch the stars twinkle, the list is endless. But on everyone's list is Summer Reading. Not reading assignments or reading for work or reading for self-improvement, just reading for the lazy afternoon in the porch swing enjoying the birds sing pleasure of it. And luckily for me, dear friends David Poyer and Lenore Hart founded Northampton House Press in 2011 and have graciously gifted me with a few books to read and to give away for your summer reading. All you have to do is leave a comment here with your email address.... Continue reading
Posted May 24, 2017 at Charm of the Carolines
Great question Donna. The Demos family may bake their chicken for their Baked Chicken Soup, but they won't share their recipe. The recipe above is from hours of trial and error in the kitchen and a very satisfying result that is very similar to the soup served at Demos'. Try it and see if it isn't delicious!! susan
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Jane, In recent years the Cheairs family has taken a great interest in Rippavilla and has held a family reunion there. They have also donated family pieces back to the museum. Since I can not answer your questions, I would recommend contacting Pam Pace, Executive Director of the plantation, and ask to pass along your name and contact information to the family. Maybe they have the information you seek. Best of luck! susan
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Easter is one of the most popular festivals across the United States. Going back to history, we find that Easter did not enjoy the status of a popular festival in the hearts of the early settlers in the US. The main reason behind this was most of these settlers were Puritans, who did not believe in ceremonies related to religious festivals. People in certain parts, in fact, discouraged Easter celebrations. Many of the customs associated with the celebration of Easter go back to the ancient celebrations of spring. It was only after the Civil War that Easter and its importance came to be felt in America just like in Europe. It was the initiative of the Presbyterians. But after the Civil War, especially in the south, with loved ones dead or maimed, possessions gone, and future bleak, people found the story of Christ's resurrection a source of comfort, love, and... Continue reading
Posted Apr 16, 2017 at Charm of the Carolines
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Tuesday I was invited to a hands-on art "show" at Spring Hill Elementary with Spring Hill Parks and Recreation. We decided to exhibit Visual and Culinary Arts. Making our trail mix in baggies into "Butterflies" with colorful pipe cleaners. And passed out recipes for a healthier Spring Hill, part of the governor's "Healthier Tennessee" initiative. One of the recipes I've been wanting to try was the African Peanut Stew. Gosh! Doesn't that sound good? African Peanut Stew Ingredients 2 cups basmati rice 3 Tbsp vegetable oil 1 large white onion, diced 1 Tbsp minced ginger 6 garlic cloves, minced 2 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks 1 15-ounce can of Ro-tel tomatoes 4 cups vegetable stock 1 cup crunchy peanut butter 1 Tbsp curry powder Salt and black pepper 4 cups turnip greens or swiss chard 1/4 to 1/2 cup of chopped cilantro Directions In a large dutch... Continue reading
Posted Apr 14, 2017 at Charm of the Carolines
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What a great weekend! Thank you so much to my friend Wanda in Atlanta who allowed me crash on her sofa. This past week the Olmsted Linear Park Alliance hosted the third annual plein air invitational with some of the most talented painters today. I was thrilled to meet Shelby... Continue reading
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My precious friend Russell Hooper recently celebrated the life of Eleanor Ritchey Cheek Plaxico and posted a photo of her portrait on his Facebook timeline. The painting took my breath away. It's glorious! I was not acquainted with Eleanor Ritchey Cheek Plaxico, but was compelled to do a little research.... Continue reading
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My precious friend Russell Hooper recently celebrated the life of Eleanor Ritchey Cheek Plaxico and posted a photo of her portrait on his Facebook timeline. The painting took my breath away. It's glorious! I was not acquainted with Eleanor Ritchey Cheek Plaxico, but was compelled to do a little research. From her obituary I learned... Affectionately known as "Gaga," died at the age of 95 on March 28, 2017, in Franklin, Tennessee, at NHC. Ms. Plaxico was born on December 6, 1921, in Nashville, Tennessee. She was a kind and genteel woman who devoted her life to serving her community. She was a sustainer of the Junior League of Nashville, and member of Cheekwood and Centennial Club. She was one of the original founders of the Nashville Humane Association, a cause especially dear to her. She often drove through Nashville in search of stray dogs for whom she found loving... Continue reading
Posted Apr 2, 2017 at Charm of the Carolines
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Watching The Mind of a Chef, a cooking program on PBS this morning, chef Ed Lee of Milkwood and also 610 Magnolia restaurants in Louisville, Kentucky, spoke about the under-apprecation for Sorghum. And you know, he's right. I only have one memory of sorghum. Every other weekend while growing up, my parents packed us all in the station wagon and we drove to west Tennessee to visit with their parents. Breakfast at my paternal grandparents house consisted of biscuits with sorghum and butter. My grandfather taught me to to mix sorghum and butter into a grayish-brown paste and apply it to my hot biscuit and watch the butter melt. The experience was like a Japanese Tea Ceremony only in the south ...with Granddaddy ... and biscuits. Chef Lee created a recipe for Sorghum and Grits Ice Cream. I had to google it and wouldn't you know Garden and Gun magazine... Continue reading
Posted Apr 1, 2017 at Charm of the Carolines
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If could have a super power, what would it be? Telepathy, telekinesis, teleportation? Mine would be time travel. And no other decade captures my fancy more than the 1940s. To imagine April in the 1940s, all you have to do is watch the Fred Astaire/Judy Garland movie Easter Parade. It... Continue reading
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It was 74* and sunny two days ago and today is freezing and snowing flakes the size of silver dollars. Needless to say I don't want to leave the cottage today, so I'm making a large pot of soup. This is the first time I've made soup in my Instant Pot, a recent gift from my brother for my birthday. I like this recipe because it's Paleo and Good Carb and reminds me of another fav - Turnip Green Soup. I have no idea what Whole30 is, but I bet it's that, too. If nothing else, it's delicious! Try it!! Instant Pot Smoked Sausage, Navy Bean & Vegetable Soup Ingredients 1/2 bag dry navy beans 1-2 tbsp olive oil 14 oz smoked sausage, quartered and sliced into bite-size pieces 1 onion, diced 2 cloves garlic, minced 2 carrots, peeled and chopped 3 stalks celery, chopped 1 tsp thyme 2 tsp... Continue reading
Posted Mar 11, 2017 at Charm of the Carolines
Maria, I believe the circular chrome portion of the table is simply part of its design. It certainly adds to the structural integrity of the table. Thank you for stopping by! susan
Toggle Commented Mar 5, 2017 on Every good cook... at Charm of the Carolines
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When I was a young lady, my boyfriend invited me to spend Christmas Day at his grandmother’s house up on the plateau towards east Tennessee. We enjoyed the trip and conversations with his family and a delicious feast prepared by his grandmother. Of course I was taught to always say ‘thank you’ but upon returning home my mother instructed me to send a “Bread & Butter” note with a small gift of boxed linen handkerchiefs. When relaying this story to a group of ladies, many had never heard of a “Bread & Butter” note. It is a rather odd name for a note of thanks for someone’s generous hospitality. One of the ladies found this thorough article by Elizabeth Cottrell from the blog Heartspoken regarding “Bread & Butter” notes, and I’d like to share a portion of it with you here. Term first used in the United States Michael Quinion,... Continue reading
Posted Mar 3, 2017 at Charm of the Carolines
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Each February the Kiwanis host an indoor Yard Sale to benefit Imagination Library. It's a great way to get a jump on your spring cleaning, but that only works if you don't return to shop and haul a load back home. I thought I was going to get out the door with only a small purchase of an "Occupied Japan" child's teapot. Isn't it adorable??? But then Dwaine Beck picks up the microphone and makes an announcement that the books are FREE!!! I can't say no to a good book, especially a southern Junior League cookbook, from Savannah, no less. And though I love seafood and can't wait to make some of the fish recipes, I choose a meal based on the ingredients I had in the cupboard... Spanky's River Street Homestyle Chile. I'm not sure why the recipe says this dish is very hot. It wasn't hot with spice... Continue reading
Posted Feb 28, 2017 at Charm of the Carolines
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Hello Sunshine! Upon attaining enlightenment it is said that the great Vedic gods presented the Buddha with an offering of eight Auspicious Symbols, each carrying a special blessing. I love this concept of Auspicious Symbols, and I’m sure many of you do, too. A Rainbow, a Butterfly, a Cross, all... Continue reading
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Today I'm pleased to introduce a guest blogger, my buddy Skip Torrans, owner of Torrans Manufacturing Company in Jefferson, Texas, which manufactures retro-inspired metal lawn furniture and picnic coolers. He is also the author of "A History of the Metal Lawn Chair...What We Know Now." Skip is a kindred spirit, lover of all things vintage and nostalgic, and a talented storyteller. Please enjoy his thoughts below, a wistful stroll through beautiful, mid-century picnic coolers. Acton Vintage Metal Picnic Coolers Just the very mention of anything vintage or retro conjures up nostalgic mental images of happy times from what has affectionately become termed as “back in the day.” It’s a play on words your parents or grandparents would say when admonishing you over some seemingly odd infraction or other. Something like, “Why back when I was a kid we didn’t have electric lights and fancy TV sets. All we had was... Continue reading
Posted Feb 3, 2017 at Charm of the Carolines
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I love history and cooking, so it's no wonder I'm devouring my new purchase, Anne Byrn's book American Cake. Many recipes have caught my eye and I can't wait to make them. Water Cake is just one of the recipes. Ms. Byrn tells us the recipe originated with in South Carolina at the rice plantation of Harriott Pinckney Horry in the 18th century. Mrs. Horry wrote down her "reciepts" in a diary which have been published in the book A Colonial Plantation Cookbook. According to her diary, Harriott was the daughter of Eliza Lucas Pinckney, a strong woman who pioneered indigo cultivation in South Carolina. Harriott housed Revolutionary War refugees when the British occupied nearby Charleston. After the war, Harriott entertained General George Washington at her home and traveled, writing about her journeys, meals, and discoveries. I can't wait to get my own copy of her diary. It's the closest... Continue reading
Posted Feb 1, 2017 at Charm of the Carolines
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January Morning at Andrew Jackson's Hermitage​ 6 x 8 oils on linen Today is so beautiful, warm and sunny, I decided to treat myself to a day at The Hermitage, home of President Andrew Jackson, to paint en plein air. Not many January days are 65* and glorious! Continue reading
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This morning I'm daydreaming of the first official day of spring here in Maury County, MULE DAY!! Continue reading
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Inspired by a short article from Southern Living magazine... Certain sounds are distinctly Southern, the hum of cicadas on a warm summer night or the rumble of hot thunder every afternoon during the dog days of summer. But the South’s true calling card is the melodic sound of a beautiful Southern accent. Not all accents are alike, but just enough sweetness carries over from Appalachia to Alabama to East Texas to tie them all together, marking a certain Southern way of speaking. And a Southern drawl doesn’t go unnoticed… if someone’s ever stopped you mid-sentence or insisted you say “y’all” one more time, you might can relate. Here are things only those with Southern accents will understand: 1. You're constantly being told everything your accent is or is not. “Oh my gosh, your accent is so_____!” Cute, Strong, Funny, Subtle, Strange… 2. You experience two instances where it genuinely gets... Continue reading
Posted Jan 29, 2017 at Charm of the Carolines
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Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner are enthusiastic Contemporary Art collectors and display beautiful works of art in their home. Their guidelines for collecting art art simple; it must be a piece that they both LOVE and can LIVE with. They became inspired to try their hand at painting. The couple is now a fan of painting “date nights.” My guess is that they are 'colorists.' Photo Credit Courtesy of Ivanka Trump via Instagram. Continue reading
Posted Jan 29, 2017 at Charm of the Carolines