Happy Father’s Day
I was very fortunate to have a kind, gentle man, my granddad, Creath, in my life for 10 years, a man who built buildings, courthouses, dams, and bridges all around the south.
He had patience with a little girl who liked to talk and had way too much energy. He gave me the best gift you can give a child, time.
On warm summer days, we would take long, slow walks around our yard. He would stop under the apple tree and pick an apple, wipe it off and using his pocketknife he would peel it. Then, we would continue our walk and he would hand me slices of the apple. He allowed me to talk about anything that I wanted.
He was a strong willed man, known around town that his word was his bond. But he was also a caring man, a man who would take time to watch animals and birds play, teaching me to slow down and enjoy life.
I miss Granddad and those days we spent together, but I will always cherish the memories.
Happy Father's Day!
Today is Mother's Day, a day of remembering your mom or someone that made a difference in your life. I was very lucky since I had a mother who gave me life and a grandmother who taught me about life.
Mother's Day is a time to think about your love ones, the ones who are still with you and the ones that are in heaven. When I was a child my granddad would sit outside on our front porch and talk to the cardinals. The magnificent birds in the coats of red would fly down onto limbs in the old oak tree, only a few feet from him, and stay for the longest time. Yes, he would have a conversation with them and they would sing their beautiful songs. He would tell me to be quiet and listen. I did as he asked and sat quietly, which was difficult for me then & now, and listen. I have learned over the years that a cardinal is a representative of a loved one who has died. When I think back to those days so long ago sitting with my granddad on our front porch remembering the cardinal singing in the old oaks I have to believe that this folklore must be true.
So when you see a beautiful red bird, I believe it means a loved one is visiting you. They usually show up when you most need them or miss them. They also make an appearance during times of celebration as well as despair to let you know they will always be with you. Look for them, they'll appear. Then take the time to remember your family & friends that aren't with you anymore.
I had two cardinals singing outside of my office this morning. I sat and listened quietly to the calming music from Mother Nature.
Cardinals and the Number 12
The number 12 is considered a lucky number by many Native Americans. The number 12 also is associated with the cardinal. Cardinals are seen during all 12 months of the year. A cardinal's eggs will hatch in 12 days. Native American lore holds that if you have encountered a cardinal, expect good luck to follow, possibly in 12 hours, 12 days, or at noon or midnight.
Happy Mother's day!
Is Friday the 13th an old wives’ tale, just superstition, or reality?
So how unlucky is Friday the 13th?
Friday the 13th is known by many as the unluckiest day of the year.
This may all have originated from the word or phobia triskaidekaphobia, or fear of the number thirteen.
Numerologists consider 12 a "complete" and divine number. There are 12 months in a year, 12 signs of the zodiac, 12 gods of Olympus, 12 labors of Hercules, 12 tribes of Israel, 12 hours on the clock, 12 months of the year and 12 apostles of Jesus. Anywhere outside a bakery, then 13 is considered a transgression of this rule, which I love. You can never go wrong with one extra donut.
This fear of 13 can be seen even in how societies are built. For example, more than 80 percent of high-rise buildings lack a 13th floor. And many airports skip the 13th gate. Hospitals and hotels regularly have no room with the number 13.
On streets in Florence, Italy, the house between number 12 and 14 is addressed as 12 1/2. There is a longstanding myth that if 13 people dine together, one will die within a year. In France socialites known as the quatorziens (fourteeners) once made themselves available as 14th guests to keep a dinner party from an unlucky fate.
While many will laugh off the superstitious day, others will remain in bed paralyzed by fear and avoid daily tasks, conducting business or traveling. In the U.S., an estimated 17 to 21 million people suffer from a fear of Friday the 13th, according to a study by the North Carolina Stress Management Center and Phobia Institute.
The phobia, a fear of Friday the 13th, known as friggatriskaidekaphobia, is not uncommon. The word comes from Frigga, the name of the Norse goddess for whom Friday is named.
Accurate data is impossible to collect since many people around the world avoid certain activities, including travel and surgery on that day. Past Black Fridays notwithstanding, Friday the 13th may actually be a boon for finance. According to CNBC, the market has been up 80 times out of the past 140 Friday the 13ths.
According to research completed at the Dutch Centre for Insurance Statistics (CVS) in 2008, there were fewer accidents and reports of theft or fire on Friday the 13th than on other Fridays.
Whatever you believe; Friday the 13th is a lucky or unlucky day, may good fortune be with you and the one extra donut.
February 2 is Groundhog Day, a weather lore that has its origins in ancient Europe, but Groundhog Day has a different meaning for me. I think of Woody each Groundhog day.
Well, you ask who is Woody?
Woody isn’t as famous as Punxsutawney Phil, or Birmingham Bill or Shubenacadie Sam, but he was just as important to a small group of people in VA.
When we lived in Burke, VA, many years ago, we had a groundhog who we named Woody that burrowed under our carport. At first we would catch a glimpse of a furry brown, round creature in the back yard scampering around and wondered what it was. That little groundhog became brave and eventually would sit at the end of the carport and stare at us just as we would stare at him. We did some research and learned he was a woodchuck, so he became known as Woody. We also learned that Woody loved lettuce. Even though Woody was supposed to be hibernating, he would pop out of his burrow to get his snack of salad that we would leave for him throughout the winter. The only sound Woody made was a low bark and we all knew to stay our distance, since he was a wild animal.
All the kids in the neighborhood would stop by to get a glimpse at Woody and Woody didn’t seem to mind the stares. I believe he enjoy his fame. On February 2 that one year we had our own Groundhog Day celebration, but it really didn’t count since Woody would emerge from his burrow every day for his snack, and he was in the shade, however we did have fun watching and waiting for him to appear.
The tradition of Groundhog Day began in Gobbler’s Knob in Punxsutawney, PA. The first documented American reference to Groundhog Day can be found in a diary entry, dated February 4, 1841, of Morgantown, PA storekeeper James Morris.
The tradition of Groundhog Day says if a groundhog comes out of its hole on February 2 and sees its shadow, there will be six more weeks of winter weather; no shadow means an early spring.
Groundhog Day has its roots in the ancient Christian tradition of Candlemas Day, when clergy would bless and distribute candles needed for winter. The candles represented how long and cold the winter would be. Germans expanded on this concept by selecting an animal like the groundhog as a means of predicating weather. After the German settlers came to PA, they continued the tradition, which is now known as Groundhog Day.
In Scotland there was a poem:
If Candle-mas Day is bright and clear,
There'll be two winters in the year.
If Candle mas be fair and bright,
Winter has another flight.
If Candlemas brings clouds and rain,
Winter will not come again.
I wish everyone a Happy Groundhog Day.
Thank you everyone for a wonderful 2014. Had so much fun meeting and making new friends at book signings and fundraisers for Diann Shaddox Foundation and I can’t wait until 2015.
~May the New Year fill your home with family and friends, your heart with love, and your life with laughter~
Merry Christmas Eve
I have a little Santa Claus and every Christmas Eve
he watches over my house.
And during the night, he doesn’t make a sound; he’s quiet as a mouse.
Little Santa as he is called isn’t very tall and actually, he is very small.
Little Santa began his watch so long ago, sitting in a window with his round body all aglow.
My little Santa Claus is very special to me,
And he is a memory I will always treasure from all my Christmas Eves.
I wish for you a wonderful memory from your Christmases of the past,
And I hope your memories of Christmas will grow and forever last.
So from Little Santa and me, I wish for you a very Merry Christmas Eve.
Cheers to a wonderful and Merry Christmas.
Each Christmas season I look forward to having a cup, okay many cups, of fresh eggnog.
I began a few years ago making my own eggnog. It's not quite the same as store bought, but it's a fun tradition and with the added bourbon it's wonderful. This is a tradition my son and I always enjoyed. Yes, you use fresh eggs in eggnog, but you cook them just as you would when you make a homemade pie, like chocolate cream pie. (another post, I love chocolate cream pie) I do like to use clear cups to serve my eggnog in, very festive.
Whichever way you decide to drink your eggnog, homemade or from the store, with or without bourbon, I hope you and your family have a wonderful holiday season. CHEERS to everyone.
6 large eggs, separated
2 cups heavy cream
2 cups milk
1½ cups bourbon,
1½ tablespoons vanilla
Fresh grated nutmeg
In a large bowl add egg yolks and ½-cup sugar and whisk together. In a medium pot add milk and warm over medium heat, be sure not to scald. Slowly pour one ladle full of the warm milk into the egg mixture’s bowl. (To temper the eggs)
Whisk together the egg yolk and milk mixture and then transfer the mixture back to the pot of warmed milk and stir until thick about 3 to 4 minutes. Strain into another large bowl or container and cool in the refrigerator.
Next add egg whites and ¼ cup sugar into electric mixer bowl and beat into soft peaks
In another mixing bowl add heavy cream and ¼-cup sugar and beat into soft peaks, then add vanilla.
Fold the whipped cream into the cooled yolk and milk mixture and whipped egg whites.
Add bourbon to glass and ladle or pour in the eggnog and garnish with fresh nutmeg.
Today, Thanksgiving is a day of memories.
Every Thanksgiving I would travel home to a small green (that’s another story) concrete stucco home in Nashville, AR and visit with my grandmother, who I called Mamow, (another story). My Mamow died in 1994.
This warm and inviting home was filled with memories of a young girl growing up in a small town where all the neighbors knew your name and welcomed you into their homes.
Each Thanksgiving we would arrive and my Mamow would have that little green home flowing with delicious smells of ham, chicken & dressing (she loved to cook with a hen, not a turkey) pumpkin & pecan pies, her special Patty's cake and fresh baked cornbread.
First my Mamow and I would take a tour around the home and yard just to talk, no matter what the weather was outside. The tour included her flower and vegetable gardens and she would tell me what was new in her life. I would immediately feel like I was a young girl, safe, loved, and no worries. Those visits home were more wonderful than any expensive vacation that I could have dreamed about.
I now have even more memories to add. They are memories of my son Rick who died May 20, 2014. He loved to go to Mamow’s. When he was sixteen and broke his leg, wearing a full leg cast, he was determined we were still going to Nashville, AR. He spent time sitting on the front porch with Mamow listening to her tell her stories about her life. Her life was a simple life full of many tragedies, but also full of love. She lost her right hand in a factory accident, but that never stopped her. She cooked, learned to write with her left hand, worked a garden, made quilts, and even made my clothes.
Family, friends, and neighbors would stop by for a visit and more stories would flow. I wished I’d listened a little more carefully to those stories. You see, time moves on faster than you might think and our lives seem to swish by like watching out the window of a train that is zooming down the track.
This Thanksgiving please take time to give your family and friends the gift of listening. You never know what tomorrow will bring and memories are worth more than any gift you can buy.
I wish for everyone a safe, happy, and peaceful Thanksgiving.
Shopping on Amazon. Don't forget to use Amazon Smile and Amazon, not you, will donate to the Diann Shaddox Foundation to help find a cause and cure for Essential Tremor. (Yes, not you, Amazon will donate to the Diann Shaddox Foundation!)
Your shopping will support Diann Shaddox Foundation. It is easy to use just go to smile.amazon.com it will automatically populate all your account info to it as well as order history when you download Amazon Smile.
Clink on the link and go to Amazon Smile and join.
I have to say time is moving on with bionic speed. I can't believe the days are dashing by. Here in the south the pumpkins are appearing on the porches and the homes are smelling of cinnamon and spice.
Well, staying with the theme of Halloween, I've gathered some cute recipes you might want to try with the kids. It is so much fun to see the kid's faces when they show off their prize treats.
I'm making my oatmeal, cinnamon & apple cookies for Halloween, as soon as I can find a spare minute. I love the taste of oatmeal & apple when the weather becomes cooler. It reminds me of when I was a child eating a bowl of oatmeal before I went to school on cold mornings.
Send me some pictures of your favorite cookies or treats that you've made for the fall season.
Pumpkin Rice Krispie Treats Recipe
It wouldn't be the holidays without Rice Krispie treats and this is a fund recipe to do with the kids.
6 Cups Rice Krispie Cereal
3 tbs Butter
10 oz Marshmallows (approx 1 Bag)
Red & Yellow Food Coloring (to make orange color)
24 Tootsie Rolls
1 Green Fruit Roll-up (you will only be able to find the blue/green combo)
••• Keep reading "Fun Stuff"
click read more below
Halloween fun stuff to do with kids.
Well, time is running out and Halloween will be here in a few weeks. Do you have your ideas of what crafts and fun stuff you're making with the kids. I've been looking around and I have come up with some neat stuff, just in case if you need any ideas.
I used to do all kinds of crafts with my kids when they were young and it seems the ideas are still the same, but with a fun twist.
This little Google-eyed pumpkin doesn't need any instructions. You just need a child that loves to decorate and bring the pumpkin to life. For me, we would have to name each pumpkin.
More fun stuff ••• Keep reading click read more below
Happy New Year
Another year is ending, as the minutes tick by slowly, I sit back and reflect on 2012, a very interesting year. 2012 has been filled with happiness and with sorrow; I lost my Uncle Cliff, a man who lived his life with integrity, a man who will dearly be missed. I have lost old friends and as the circle of life grows, I have gained many
new friends, keeping the blessing of friends flourishing.
The Wyandotte Nation lost a great leader, Chief Leaford Bearskin, an American war hero, and a great man.
But along with sadness comes happiness, this is the year I finished A FADED COTTAGE.
As a writer, I think of the past more than I should. Each year that we live, we take away memories, some good and some bad from the past year, and those memories becomes pages in our book of life, pages that make us who we are, shaping our lives.
This I leave for you, hoping your pages of memories will grow enormous in your book of life and will be full of peace, love, and hope. Thank you – tizameh (tiz a may) for being a part of my life and joining me on my new journey.
Wishing you all a wonderful and Happy New Year.
Everyone has special memories and of course, I have one memory of a Christmas in a time so long ago.
It was late on Christmas Eve, not for sure of my age, but I believe I was around five or six years old, because I remember our Christmas tree was real. My granddad Holt, every Christmas, took my brother and me to an old farm in Buck Range and we would return with a perfectly fat, fresh Christmas tree. We added the old fashion multicolored lights, as I called them swirly ice cream cone lights, and glass ornaments with scenes hidden inside and of course a lot of silvery tinsel covering the tree.
I was tucked in bed one Christmas Eve, supposed to be asleep, but I heard voices talking in the living room. Slipping quietly out of bed I made my way to the hallway door. Slowly I peeped into the living room, my heart stopped beating,
Rubbing my sleepy eyes I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. Standing with his back to me was Santa Claus. He was tall, very round and fat, wearing black boots dressed in all red. Knowing, my curiosity was getting me into big trouble, I turned and ran leaping into my bed. I never said anything to anyone about what I had seen. I had learned my lesson and I wasn’t questioning Santa.
Years later, I learned my Santa in my living room was my Uncle John, but that didn’t take away my faith in believing. Even now, I can close my eyes and see Santa Claus standing in my living room and I know I will never stop believing, and I will always be ready to peek around the next door.
I wish for you & your family peace & joy throughout the holidays and never forget wishes & dreams do come
Hebrews 11:1 “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”
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Hi I'm Diann welcome and join me on my adventure. I'm the author of "A Faded Cottage" & "Whispering Fog" and Founder of Diann Shaddox Foundation. I'm a member of the Wyandotte Nation & I have Essential Tremor (ET). I love to travel, cook, which leads to eating and I love wines. Chardonnay is my favorite unless I'm eating steak then I'll take a glass of Cabernet.
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