Posted by: bree1972 | December 2, 2012

Winter is the Time for Home 12/2/2012

“Winter is the time for comfort, for good food and warmth, for the touch of a friendly hand and for a talk beside the fire: it is the time for home.”Edith Sitwell

A month ago (why does it seem like a year?), after declaring myself “on vacation from blogging”,  I made the decision to sit at the laptop a few moments each day and write – almost in diary form – something funny or important or mundane about each day of my self-imposed exile. I knew if I didn’t do that, there might be something I’d forget to tell you when I returned, and you know me – I like to share EVERYTHING!   Even if nothing happened beyond the normal day-to-day stuff, I thought maybe I’d have an interesting thought or someone would say something intriguing.  Maybe Bear or Maddie would have an adventure.  Anyway, here are a few excerpts with no “cleaning up” on punctuation/style. If you’d suddenly developed the power to read minds a month ago, here’s what you would have found going on inside my head:

  • Thoughts coming home – once again the noise of the highway – radio going, semis and trucks and buses and cars are noisy!  So much activity!
  • Monday, Nov. 5 – Finished unpacking luggage just in time for 33 lb. box shipped from Island to arrive. Unpacked that also.  This morning was cool – in the 40’s, but summer is still hanging on for dear life here – 72 in the afternoon – an awesome temp.  Played ball with Bear.  No holes dug yet in the yard by Maddie – maybe the moles ARE gone! .  Best thing about first day/night at home – KING-SIZED bed!!

Sun over the ri’vah on our first Monday back.

  • Tuesday – Nov 6.  Little TV in kitchen that hangs below cabinet doesn’t work.  Ted and I went to vote, then on to the  Americus WalMart to look for new one.  Had nothing for under cabinets – so we bought 19″ to sit on the counter – something to watch while we eat at our new kitchen breakfast bar!  VERY strange not to be writing a blog post . . . . last night, as I was cleaning up kitchen, I thought “geez, I have the whole evening in front of me after this.  What will I do with myself?  I ended up watching 2 episodes of Mad Men and the pilot of Revenge on Netflix.  Is that better use of my time than blogging????
  • Wednesday – Nov. 7.  Disappointed Romney lost, but trying to be positive about next four years.  How can we expect Congress and Senate to get along when, because of our political and social views, the majority of the country can’t.  We are all Americans – pray that we can come together – in Washington AND in this country.  Vet with Bear and Maddie this morning.  Ear infection for Bear and both need kennel cough immunizations.  Got new meds for Bear’s ear and hoping they will work.  He can’t work as therapy dog with ear infection.  Maddie was pathetic – she started whining before the vet even touched her.  They took her in the back to weigh her, and we could hear her yowling like she was being hung by her ears.  Bear, who had been listening to all the other dogs in the back howling with no interest at all, immediately got up and rushed to the closed door to the back room when he heard Maddie yell.  Worried about his sister.
  • Thursday – Nov. 8.  Empty day ahead.  How to fill it.  Last night I looked at recipe books and jotted down some I want to try.  Will have to oust Ted from kitchen.  We are loving our new kitchen!  My favorite part isn’t the granite counter tops or new attached little breakfast bar – it’s the sink!  It is huge – I feel like I’m washing dishes in a tub!  New faucets too!   I think our blood is thinner – Ted walking around in the house with a knit cap on his head.  He’s still under the weather, but says he’s “better”. Has been refusing to take some antibiotics I have (he HATES meds).  This day seemed to last 48 hours instead of 24.  GOT to find something to do with my time.
  • Friday-Nov. 9:  Why do I wake up earlier in GA?  In Michigan I was sleeping till 8:30, sometimes 9:00 each morning!  Here, the sun rises over the ri’vah right outside our bedroom window, and I’m waking with its first rays.  Up by 7 a.m.  Consequently, when I go to bed between 11-12, I am going right to sleep – a miracle!  Still waking up several times a night though, but being able to go to bed and immediately to sleep is oh, so wonderful!  I have doctor appointment on Nov. 19 with my internist.  Have to discuss all this with him and get his insight, which will probably entail another visit to sleep clinic. I’m still having to keep busy and on my feet all day.  If I sit down and get still, trying to read, I’m asleep in 10 seconds.  Not good.  I think I’m going to surprise Ted Saturday morning and cook breakfast!  Can’t wait to see his face.
  • Saturday, Nov. 10 – Today we heard Chris Ann’s diagnosis.  Devastated.
  • Monday – Nov. 12 – My thoughts on not blogging this month.  Ted is loving that I’ve channeled my free time into re-discovering the stove in our new kitchen.  When he went to Booger Bottom for the first time on Saturday to watch the Georgia game (he finally felt well enough to get out of the house, and the fact that he’d been home a week without a “Bottom” visit tells you how sick he was), I rode into Cordele and went grocery shopping.  I had a two-page list of ingredients we don’t normally stock, for recipes I’d spotted in cookbooks that haven’t been opened in – well, in a long time.  On Sunday morning, when I announced I was making breakfast, I almost had to call the EMT’s to resuscitate my husband.
  • Thursday, Nov. 15-Sunday, Nov. 18:  An Ormond Beach weekend with Julie, Matt, Jordan, and Matthew.
Matthew played in a championship tag football game on Friday night.  Here, he's lined up waiting for the kick-off.

Matthew played in the championship tag football game on Friday night. Here, he’s lined up, waiting for the kick-off.

They won!  That's Matt's mom and dad, Jack and Caroline, who live in Ormond Beach also.  Lucky grandparents to live in the same town as their grandkids!

They won! That’s Matt’s mom and dad, Jack and Caroline, who are so lucky they get to live in the same town as their grandkids!


On Saturday morning, it was time for soccer!  Matthew plays every sport there is, I think.  His newest love is surfing!

Their team didn't win the soccer championship, but Matthew got another trophy for his expanding collection.

Their team didn’t win the soccer championship, but Matthew got another trophy for his expanding collection.

If I'm reading cat language correctly, Peaches adores Matthew.

If I’m reading cat language correctly, Peaches adores Matthew.

She's growing up too fast!

She’s growing up too fast!


Out to dinner on Saturday night after two days full of sports.  Our two beautiful girls!

Monday, Nov. 19 – Physical appointment for me,  – Grooming appointment for Bear, who  now looks like an entirely different dog.  Wish I could take my Georgia groomers to Michigan with me.  Doctor visit was good news/bad news.  Good – excellent blood pressure and I’d lost 3 lbs.  Bad – Cholesterol too high.  I convinced my doc to give me 8 weeks to lower it with diet change.  Wish me luck on that.  My internist wants me to contact my respiratory therapist and get in there to discuss other sleep apnea options that have evolved since last year.  Also – a new problem I haven’t mentioned – I can’t open my mouth all the way!  About two months ago I awoke to find my left jaw was locked (something that has happened randomly over the last few years and never lasted more than a day), and it still is.  Makes eating a Whopper really difficult!  Dentist appointment coming up on that.

Nov. 20 – Marianne’s party.

I finally got to see all the lake ladies at a surprise birthday party for Marianne!

I finally got to see all our lake ladies at a surprise birthday party for Marianne – here with hubby Cecil.

Nov. 22 – Thanksgiving!

Thanksgiving morning, and Ted and I were in the kitchen early! Don't let that knit cap fool you - it was a warm, beautiful day in south Georgia!

Thanksgiving morning, and Ted and I were in the kitchen early!

We had 26 members of the Sumner (my daddy's) family at our house.  Everyone brought a dish so the food covered every counter!

We had 26 members of the Sumner (my daddy’s) family at our house. Everyone brought a dish so the food covered every counter!

This is a plate of fried lacey cornbread.  When I announced there probably wasn't enough to go around, the men in the group RAN to the front of the line . . .

This is a plate of fried lacy cornbread. When I announced there probably wasn’t enough to go around, the men in the group RAN to the front of the line . . .

. . . Jason was first - he grabbed a piece before the line even formed!

. . . Jason was first – he grabbed a piece before the line even formed!

Giving thanks . . .

Giving thanks . . .

. . . then Thanksgiving dinner on the deck.  How much more South Georgia can you get!

. . . then Thanksgiving dinner on the deck. How much more South Georgia can you get!

The whole bunch - a cherished family photo.

The whole bunch – a cherished family photo.

Update on Chris Ann

First of all, a huge thank you from Chris Ann for all the beautiful, heartfelt comments and prayers you wrote to her.  Chris Ann has read every one, loves that some of the Lake Blackshear and Mackinac Island readers have “friended” her on Facebook, and checks back each day to see if there are more comments.  Since that post, Burton (her husband) and their family have gone into action and are determined to make the rest of Chris Ann’s life on this earth one of beauty, family,  friends, and memory-making.

Chris Ann and Burton are now back in Michigan, staying with one of their daughters and her family.  The word has gone out, and friends and family from all over the U.S. are flocking to visit and share memories.  I always thought I had some inkling of what “dying with dignity” would mean, but Chris Ann is truly writing a whole new chapter on that term for all of us who know and love her.  Please, Lord, if ever faced with similar circumstances, let me be just 1/10 as courageous, giving, gracious and loving.

Hospice has provided Chris Ann the meds she needs to be comfortable, and she remains the most positive person I have ever met.  I told her the other day that it seems she has acquired a “glow” that is becoming more noticeable with each photo.

Before Chris Ann and Burton left Florida, her family gathered at a hotel near their home, where Chris Ann and Burton joined them for the weekend. She rapidly discovered that in the water (especially the hot tub) she was virtually painfree. So that is where she spent most of her time. The Starbucks note on her forehead? Chris Ann is probably the coffee chain's #1 customer and fan!

Before Chris Ann and Burton left Florida, her family gathered at a hotel near their home, where Chris Ann and Burton joined them for the weekend. She rapidly discovered that in the water (especially the hot tub) she was virtually pain free. So that is where she spent most of her time. The Starbucks note on her forehead? Chris Ann is probably the coffee chain’s #1 customer and fan!

Cuddling with grandchildren . . .

Cuddling with grandchildren . . .

. . . and with Burton.

. . . and with Burton.

Chris Ann said this is how you entertain grandchildren without getting up off the couch.  I call this "making memories this little girl will never forget".

Chris Ann said this is how you entertain grandchildren without getting up off the couch. I call this “making memories this little girl will never forget”.

And the glow . . .

And the glow . . .

. . . shines with more serenity every day.. . . radiates with more serenity every day.  I love you, Chris Ann.


Even though I didn’t blog for four weeks, I DID still write and take photos.  A month of doing that – without a deadline – was just what I needed to get myself back into the blogging spirit, but it also gave me some much needed insight into something my readers have been trying to tell me for years.  There doesn’t have to be a deadline!

So – from this point on, I’m not going to schedule a blog day.  When I have a story to tell or something I want to share with you – personal or public – I’ll post.  I know that will be at least once a week – it may be more, but it won’t be less – but I don’t know which day.  So, again, if you haven’t already hit that little “follow” button” so you’ll be notified by email when I publish, please do so.  It will really make things easier for you!

What I’ve missed most is the “disconnect” from my readers.  Hearing from you is a highlight of my day, and I look forward to your comments every time I write.  You’re quickly moving past “friends” to “bonus family”, and I love each and every one of you.

I’ll see you back here sometime between now and next Sunday evening!  God bless.



  1. WoW!! I love the format of this blog Brenda! What fun it was to read your day by day thoughts…(was looking around to make sure nobody caught me reading your “personal diary”). 😉
    I want that recipe for the fried lacy cornbread..that looks GOOD! LoL

  2. Hugggggggggggggggggggggs… your updates!!

  3. Loved hearing from you, I’ve missed your writing! I enjoyed the everyday bits and pieces type of post!

  4. Looks like you’ve had a refreshing “month off”. Your new format will be great. 🙂 It doesnt have to be a chore, but rather fun for you, as well as a gift for us. That’s what you’ve shared w/us all along, your gift.
    Good luck w/your dr apts.
    Tell Ted I was rooting for his Bulldogs, grrrrrrr. My Wolverines finished 8-3 w/a New Years day bowl game…against the Gamecocks. There’s always next year!

    I’ve been praying daily for Chris Ann, and I don’t even know her! Her strong beliefs are inspiring to say the least.

    It’s been in the 50-60’s here a lot this week. This weather is killing my sinus’s! I’m hoping the cold air kicks in SOON!

    Yea, I’d love the lacy cornbread recipe too! Never heard of such a thing…truly a “suthern” treat!

    • It IS a purely Southern recipe, and every one of us “belles” probably does it a little differently. Mine is nothing but corn meal, salt and water. I’ll see if I can write it up in the next few days!

  5. My prayers are being sent to Chris Ann.

    I love your new format, too. It’s fun reading your day to day adventures. Please do follow up on your sleep apnea. It will help to get that resolved. I worry about you not getting the rest you need.

    I think all of us would love that recipe for lacy cornbread! It looks wonderful!

  6. Welcome back to blogland….you have been missed.

  7. Welcome back Brenda,

    You have truly been missed…. When one is quiet. Without the technology it seems we wonder what is the rest of the world up to.

    We used to write beautiful letters to loved ones or as you so beautifully put it for us into all the categories that we really don’t realize we place people in our lives. Or call on them for a cup of tea. These things just don’t seem to happen as much any more.

    i have always beleaved that folks are there for so many reasons we may never be able to answer. But never the less each everyone important to that time in our lives. Some a lifetime, others a day, and finally just the passing through. We never really know, but effort put forth at times brings magical relationships.

    Over Thanksgiving I read a very special letter to the family from my Grandfather written by him. Recieved as a reply from a letter i had sent ….when I was 9 years old , I was one of 40+ grand kids. So the time he spent writing was phenomenal! That was 43 years ago, I have often wished I had the letters that I had sent to Grandma & him. To see how they compared … He always answered every question I put forth …so I guess the point is the.time we make each day for another soul whether we think it is important or just chatter. It will always reach someone to the very depth of their core. You do just that for all of us! Thank you.

    Your thanksgiving looked incrediblely fantastic….we all need a nibble of lacy cornbread please.

    I trust you and Ted’s appointments and results all come out for the best. All that heavy traveling and caring for your loved ones along the way. Will tire the strongest of us out! We hope Bear and Maddie are coming along as well.

    Thank you so much for sharing Chris Ann with us ~ her smile is from a sacred blessed place few ever attain. We will continue prayers for her and her family. Chris Ann the lessons you are teaching all of us are as rare a gift as you are.

    Unexpected nuggets here and there will be like a visit for all of us. Take care of yourselves.

    Live ~ Love ~Laugh

    • Theresa – thank you so much for sharing your beautiful thoughts on “entertaining angels unaware”. I agree that every person we meet, every encounter we have, has a meaning and an importance in some way. I just wish we all could stop our busy lives for a second and savor each moment as a God-sent lesson. How wise we would all be :)!

      • Brenda,

        Take few quiet moments, with a cup of tea. Or a large glass of good ‘ole fashioned southern sweet tea. And just enjoy the view with your Sweet Ted. Watch the sun set to night….for you dear one are o’so very wise…..

  8. While I dearly love all of your posts, my favorites are the ones like this with little snippets of your day. Happy belated Thanksgiving to you and your family!

  9. So glad you’re back! I loved catching up with you, and have been praying for Chris Ann, too. Sending love…

  10. Wonderful to read you again and enjoy your life-tale photos. I embrace you in your blessed friendship with ChrisAnn. What a particular historical photo of grandmother with two grands pressed close…yes there is a glow appearing and she is living into her passing into new and forever life; Brenda, remember this: YOU WILL FEEL HER PRESENCE and IT IS REAL, after she goes. YOU WILL. You will know. And that will be a blessing to you. And I wouldn’t be surprised if she plays some joyful tricks on you. I’ve had a friend like this and she visits more often than I probably know. But sometimes, I do and I pay attention. love, sue

  11. Brenda my prayers go out to Chris Ann and her family, thank you for sharing this….keep writing girl. Give Ted my love.

  12. Brenda, I am so glad you are back!!! I love your daily journal notes. I hope that your sleep apnea appointment goes well. Let us know how your dental appointment goes. The pictures of your family are great!

    My prayers go out the Chris Ann. I keep thinking about her each day. I hope she is comfortable. It is just impossible to believe that she is sick when I look at her pictures and she looks so healthy and glowing. May god be with her…..

  13. Brenda you have a knack with pen and camera to illuminate people and activities. It is a gift.

  14. Brenda, Not scheduling a blog day is wise. Just goes to show that wisdom does come with age and experience. This will give you the freedom to post three days in a row when you have something you want to share and then skip a week if you want to. We appreciate your efforts and will accept what works best for you. Barb

  15. Now that you’ve relieved yourself of a deadline, here’s a little warning: You’ll probably blog more!

    I write for our corporate blog and feel so much pressure to create something for the sake of the deadline, admittedly, not always giving it my best shot just because of that darn date looming! So. I backed down my commitment to write and with that, ideas began to flow.

    Without that pressure of knowing I HAVE to have something gives my brain the extra space to think up things to talk about.

    So watch out….you may find you’re blogging more just because you don’t have to! 🙂 Regardless, we’re all still here, checking in, happy to see when you’ve shared a story & some pictures. We aren’t going anywhere.

    Enjoy the your new found freedom!!

    • Andrea – I know exactly what you mean! If my days weren’t so full this week, I would have already written two more posts. Crazy!

  16. Missed you…I kept cking to see if you had posted anything. Glad you are back after a rest. You deserved it!!! So pleased you gave us an update of Chris Ann. Prayers continue. Hope Ted is doing better. Sweet how Bear was concerned about Maddie while at the vets. Take care of yourself. I know it is hard to be stress free in this day and age. Hi tech is not always “kind tech”! I have really missed my morning reading of your posts. Glad that chunk of my morning is back!!! Thanks. You do have a beautiful family and friends.

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