Today is Stew Day

No, there’s not a lot of cooking going on today.  Just a mixture of stuff to do all thrown in together.  A stew day: things to finish from yesterday, some stuff needing to be done today, a couple of phone calls, a bit of mail, whatever else I can find that needs to be thrown into the “to do” pot.

Like making a post on my poor, neglected blog.  It gets to be first because at the moment it’s in the wee morning hours which makes me want a quiet, reflective project.  I’ve been blogging for quite a while now, sporadically these last months, this last year… which means, I have been blogging about two years now.  Is that right?  I guess so.  A goal I set and reached!!



My Christmas mice were back in 2010, I believe.  My first cooking project, so to speak.  To read about the adorable (yuck) little creatures, type “mice” into the search box on the right side.  Or any other topic you might be curious about.  It’s a bit of a hodgepodge blog.

A lot has happened in those two years:  a new baby in the family, a marriage, a son still battling with drug addiction and back to prison, divorce, job changes, good memories as well as things that break the heart.  Just to name a few.

In starting out my new year, my third year to blog, what should I write about?  What should I say that would be of any interest to anyone but me?

It’s a stew day; a stew blog.  An aprons and appetites kind of post:  some memories that make me hungry to know the rest of the story; some memories that make me wipe my eyes with tears of sadness and tears from laughter.  A time to throw my apron over my head and talk to God as Susannah Wesley used to do:  thank Him, petition Him, praise Him.

I’m wondering what kind of memories people made this year, whether intentional or perchance, whether wonderful or distressful.  Were you all happy this past year?  Were you heart-broken?  What are your plans this year?

My sis is planning a big family vacation to Disney at the end of the year.  Good plans.  Good memories.

I am planning on remodeling my bathroom.  Somehow, that just doesn’t sound quite as much fun.

The Day After…

Valentine’s Day has come and gone… once again.  And every year there are romantic stories, funny stories, odd gifts, sensible gifts, comfortable scenarios, exciting scenarios.

I’m curious to know what you all did.  Was it one of these perhaps?

give or receive flowers

give or receive a pet? spend time with your pet?

shop for furniture together... or by yourself?

take your sweet thing to one of these places?

go on a cruise or other mini-vacation?

get engaged? give or receive a piece of jewelry?

get married!?!?!?!?

take your beloved out for a romantic evening?

plan a, um, uh, romantic evening?

This year right smack dab on the day, I received a lovely card and letters and got to spend time with little Ava.  Then I took off with my sis  to pick up the dining room chairs Kate and I bought the other day.

Yeah, that’s right.  Dar was with me on Valentine’s Day evening.  Dave and Darla have been married for, let’s see, almost 40 years.  That’s a lot of Valentine’s Days.  And they did say Happy Valentine’s Day that morning.  At least Dar said it to Dave.  She wasn’t sure he heard her.  He’s in the middle of working on the house, and his good buddy, Johnny, was coming over for a full day of work, so he was busy getting things ready to go.

Yep, it was just a good Valentine’s Day this year.

My Sis and Her New Hubby… 1973

Darla - March 31, 1973

Way back on March 31, 1973, my sister and her boyfriend were married.  Bill Rister was just beginning to try his hand at picture-taking, so he was pressed into service for the photos.

Dad and Darla coming down the aisle

It was a hard-earned wedding since Mom and Dad weren’t particularly fond of Dave.  He had long hair and played in a band and lived in Jane Strong’s basement.  It must have helped that he cut his hair.

Jack Hall was the minister.

Here are some of Darla’s words about being married:

It was March 31, 1973.   I was a senior in high school.  The Monday morning that followed that weekend I found myself in Geography class being called on to write my name on the blackboard as an example for some illustration.  I didn’t write Darla Rutherford (who I had been for the past 17 years) I wrote Darla Martin.  I had gotten married that weekend at the First Baptist Church in Shawneetown.  Some memorable things I will never forget:  My colors were centered around my best friend’s prom dress that she was going to wear for the bridesmaid dress, my wedding dress was rented, my cake was bought at the IGA bakery, and the person that was supposed to sing cancelled at the last minute and the piano player sang “Color My World”.  (As I’m writing this…I’m wondering where my sister was…that is a mystery to me).  Now, 39 years later….I love this man more than I did the day I married him.  He loves Jesus, loves his wife, and loves his family.

Churnie and Amy Rutherford, Darla and Dave Martin, Charlene and Jack Martin

Nancy Strong was Darla’s best friend… and this is her prom/wedding dress.

Nancy as the lovely maid of honor

Dennis Charleton and Mom

Not sure who the young boy is, but the other two are Dave's mom and dad

My Mom was escorted down the aisle by Dave’s friend, Dennis.  As I look at these pictures, I realize my Mom was 53 and my Dad was just 49.

These pics have been in a small album, that is now falling apart at the seams, since 1973.  Some of the pictures tore as I was trying to remove them.  You can see the ghost-like discoloration on them.

The very next month my daughter, Keely, was born, so I was very pregnant at this time.  It’s not like me to keep a low profile no matter how huge I would have been, so I can only surmise that Darla did not want the bulging belly being seen!!  But I looked very spiffy in my maternity dress with my hair all curled.  Yes, Darla, I was there.

I love the pictures of Dave and Darla feeding each other cake.  They look so prim and proper!

I can't get over how little that cake looks!

She should have taken a class on how to feed cake to your husband


The happy married couple... just a couple of kids

The newlyweds with their Maid of Honor Nancy Strong and Best man David Dortch






                      By Brenda Byassee for the Wedding of Wes and Amanda, 2001

Written as a Tribute to the Marriage of Jack and Charlene Martin


Commitment begins like a spring,

Bubbling gently from the deep recesses of our souls.

It’s that first awareness of love,

A little frightening yet exhilarating.

The first look of recognition as your eyes meet across the room.

It’s that first decision in your heart.


Commitment ever so slowly rises to the surface,

And pools there,

Prodding, pushing, moving, changing

From that first bubbling of the spring into a beautiful pond.


It’s the knowledge that she’s the one;

That certainty that you want to share the rest of your life with him;

That feeling of deep caring and passion;

The seeking of God’s will and God’s ways.

The ripples in the pond of commitment

Stretch and test its boundaries

Causing the growth of a deeper, fuller lake:

Honor, respect, enduring love, forgiving heart, pride in each other.


And so it goes with commitment,

Until one day its ocean waves

Tell the story of those promises kept, trials met,  joys felt,

Love unfolded.


The waves rise strong and fierce

Remembering when two became one.

They pound with passion

Roaring their presence.


Then, settling into a steady, rhythmic roll,

They move swiftly, overlapping,

So busy in their journey:

Children, jobs, conflicts.


Until, finally, they wash gently ashore

As the stronger cares for the weaker,

No longer remembering

There once was two.

Our Wedding Day

October 17

To James On Our Wedding Day

By Brenda Byassee

And so the morning dawned,
breaking into day.
The music with its melody
had a thousand things to say.
It started with a timid tune,
an underlying current,
of whispered joy and promises.
Nothing could deter it.
The beat became a steady one –
the hushed chords growing stronger
until the song of love sang out,
and they were two no longer.

the happy bride

the happy groom

“There were bells on the hill,
but I never heard them ringing.
No, I never heard them at all…
Till there was you.
There was love all around
But I never heard it singing…
Till there was you.”

our first kiss as Mr. and Mrs.

A Loving Story

TheLovingStoryPoster: to debut February 14

Back in January, right after Martin Luther King, Jr.’s Birthday, this story popped up on Yahoo.  It was perfect for my February month of love stories.  What a perfect way to start out my month of love!  With the Lovings!

This month I will be featuring love stories that are personal in nature as well as notorious, such as the story of the “Lovings“.  If you click on the link, you can get the full details, much more than I am giving you here, and by the proper source.  It’s most interesting.

These two young people fell in love back in 1958 and traveled to Washington D. C. to get married because it was illegal in Virginia.  When they returned home to their native state, after only five weeks of marital bliss, the police barged into their home in the middle of the night (that was when we didn’t lock our doors… EVER) and arrested them (after they woke them up by shining a bright flashlight in their faces and asking them why they were in bed together).

I remember a similar love story here in my home town right around that time, perhaps in the early 60s.  One of the young girls here fell in love with an African-American and married him.  It was a huge scandal.  Everyone talked about it at the supper table; everyone was shocked.

Hmmm.  Reminds me of the scandal I created when my late husband and I were dating and eventually married; he being much younger than I; he being a “wild thang”; me, not so much.

She and her husband lived in another town, so we didn’t see them often.  They now have beautiful, grown children and are still married.  I love that love story.

Mundane Molly and Home Sweet Home

the princesses

As you can see, Princess Kate has a long way to go to come back down to reality.  In this picture she is wearing her Jasmine princess costume she bought with her birthday money.  That’s the one she picked out at the Disney Store.  She loved those jingly gold decorations.  (I have my own jingly gold decorations on my zumba skirt that I so love.)

Come to think of it, she’s never in reality that often.  Our little mundane town and existence (that I appreciate so much today) is nothing more than a background for her big plans and productions for her life.  From her knight in shining armor all the way to the babies to the police woman/school teacher/who knows, Kate is always pretending and playing.

Kate with her knight in shining armor

Her very favorite play story, though, is her prince and she getting married and living in a castle and having babies.

Kate and her Prince--♪♪Some day my Prince will come♪♪

By the time she had gotten her picture made with several princesses, she had the princess moves down.

The princess dress hold -- sort of like the princess wave only holding the dress/top out to the side

She’s already regal (takes after her Aunt Dar) and has the “how dare you talk to the Queen that way?” attitude.  (Sorry, Dar.  You may be usurped before you even realize it!)  So I have no doubt in my mind that our mundane Molly lifestyle will not be a hindrance to her grand scheme of things to come.

Now, Ava on the other hand…

"What's a prince?"

I’m not sure what that is all over her face, but the black on her chin is where she fell as she was running.  Big bruise.  And she loves to be home.  That was her big request all week:  Gigi home or Mommy home.  Just our little Mundane Mollies playing and planning their lives and being happy to be at home, sweet home.

The Wonderful World of Disney

Disney Castle

Coming up soon is our Wonderful World of Disney Adventure!  I am so excited!  We are going for Kate’s fifth birthday which explains why we are going in the hottest part of the year.  She will be treated that day like the little princess she is.  The good people at Disney give her a big badge to put on, and everyone goes out of their way to say “happy birthday” to her and give her special attention.  And Kate loves attention!  She also loves pretending to be a princess, so she will get to eat lunch at the castle and then supper with Cinderella and Prince Charming where she will receive her own little cake (over-sized cupcake) and a small jewelry box.

Prince Charming and Cinderella

I just found out today at the manicure shop (where else besides the beauty shop can you get good info?) that Prince Charming and Cinderella really did get married!  An old acquaintance was there, and as we were talking about the upcoming trip, she said a friend of hers as a young girl went to work at Disney as Cinderella.  She met the young man who was working as Prince Charming, and they fell just as in love as the original pair… and, well, got married.  They now have a home full of Disney memorabilia.  And hopefully will live happily ever after.

Which one is Kate?


March 12 , 2001, was the day schizophrenia finally won the battle within the mind of my son, and the day my husband died as a result of that lost battle.

I purposefully waited until after that date to write this tribute to my late husband because that is also the day his sister tries to celebrate her birthday.  A hard thing to do, I’m sure, as she has lost her entire family unit (grandpa, grandma, great-aunt, great-uncle, mother, father, and brother) with whom she spent her childhood years until she moved away to college and then marriage.  Thankfully, God has given her a great second family although this year she has also lost a member of that as well:  a wonderful, loving, caring father-in-law.

It has been ten years since my husband died.  It seems like yesterday.  I will write about him this week because he deserves to have things written about him, and I know others miss him as much as I do and are taking note, as I do, of the passing years without him.

James Joseph “Jimmie Joe” was younger than I was; someone I wouldn’t in a million and one years have ever dreamed I would one day marry.  I suppose God had a different plan, or maybe He just took the circumstances James and I started and created something good, as only God can do.

James lived down the street from me.  He was between girlfriends, I suppose, and I was going through a divorce.  He would call and talk for a brief moment or stop and talk if he saw me out, and one day even knocked on my door.  And tell you the truth, I’m still not sure how I finally said I would go out with him.  But those first encounters eventually led to an actual date a few months later… and a marriage a couple of years later.  It was a scandalous affair!  We were the talk of our little town, and didn’t give a rip.  The only thing I cared about and he cared about were our families and how they would handle it, what they would think.  And I have to say, they were great sports even though I’m sure it was difficult to understand.  After all, James and I were polar opposites.

What a beautiful smile!

He loved that hat!

Can you see why anyone could not resist that smile?

Being polar opposites wasn’t enough to stand in the way of fate.  At least that’s what James always said, “You may as well accept it; it’s fate.”  There were lots of things he said, good things from a good man.

Tomorrow we’ll talk about that good man some more.