Saturday, January 22, 2011

Pneumonia strikes again?

Well - I have been battling pneumonia for two months now - and it looks like it's getting worse again. Some days it takes every ounce of energy I have to get out of the bed and do the basics around here. They have started me on mega antibiotics - and I am crossing my fingers that I will be back up to par soon.

I have been missing my looks so lonely and unloved.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

I have been FEATURED!!!

My French Onion Soup recipe was featured at Under the Table and Dreaming - thanks Stephanie!!


Sunday, January 9, 2011


I have spent the day cooking and cleaning, washing and folding, gathering and preparing...for a snow day. Looks like the whole family will get to stay home for this one!

I will be back in the morning with what I hope will be a winter wonderland...complete with a huge bowl of snow cream.

Stay tuned!

Friday, January 7, 2011

Project 52

Hi friends! I have always wanted to join in a Project 365 - take a photograph a day - but somehow life always has a way of taking over and your good intentions are dashed. Well, a little blog hoping took me to this blog - what fun! A project I can wrap my arms around! I am a little late to the party this first week for Darcy's Sweet Shot Tuesday party - but I'll be ready for next week.

Hope you enjoy my photograph for this week. Isn't it fun?

Join me at Darcy's Sweet Shot Tuesday party and bring your best shot of the week!

Sweet Shot Day

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

French Onion Soup - Yum!!

Hi friends! Thought I would share a Fox recipe tonight - something ideal for these cold January nights.

First - gather your ingredients:

  • 4 cups sliced onions
  • 2 cloves garlic
  •  4 T butter
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • dash of salt (like my salt box? a vintage turquoise candy box - fun!)
  • 6 cups beef broth (or beef consomme if you are lucky enough to have access to the large cans)
  • loaf of french bread
  • provolone cheese
When it comes to the onions - our favorites are the sweet onions, such as - Maui Maui, Texas Sweet, Vidalia (totally out of season right now), Walla Walla, or Sweet Yellow. The beef broth - I use it when I can't put my hands on the large cans of beef consomme - which is the preferred base for the soup here. I can make it - but sometimes, you just need a little assistance from the pantry - especially after a long day of cleaning, organizing or crafting. And the cheese - we prefer provolone - the standard is swiss - and many use monterrey jack. Use whatever makes your heart sing.

Now - those sliced onions - pain the the patooty to slice - goes lickety-split with a mandolin, a favorite kitchen gadget in our home. When you get them sliced - add them to melted butter and olive oil in a large stock pot.

Once your onions start to get a little color, add your minced garlic and dash of salt. Continue to brown on a medium heat, stirring frequently, for approximately 30 minutes. (Today this took about 45 minutes - the onions had quite a bit of water in them, and that slows the caramelization of the onions)

After your onions have caramelized, add your beef stock or consomme, and simmer for 30 minutes to an hour. Remember - the longer you simmer your soup, the more concentrated the flavors will be.

While you are waiting - slice up that loaf of french bread and toast in a 400 degree oven until crisp, you want croutons here - they are going to be going into that liquid and if they are not crisp enough - you will have a lump of dough in your soup bowl.

Got a little ahead of myself with the pictures - but this is what you are going to do next. Ladle your soup into ovenproof bowls, add a crouton to cover the soup, and 2 slices of provolone. Place the soup bowls on a cookie sheet and brown off in a 400 degree oven for 10 minutes - or until gold and bubbly.

Doesn't that look divine?? Do NOT eat this right out of the oven - we are talking hot, molten lava that is guaranteed to burn the taste buds right off of your tongue. We wait about 5 minutes - I take that time to get plates out to put those hot little bowls of liquid love on, and a bowl of french bread croutons for extra dipping on the table.

Can you taste it?'s the best! Enjoy!!

**UPDATE - Linking up at: 


Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Inspired to make it HOME!

This post is dedicated to Edie - Happy Birthday!

Hi friends! For those you that know me, you know the past several years have been very trying on my family, and you know that the past year has been filled with medical drama in the family and big changes. During one of many trips to the hospital with family members this year - I discovered my love of a several blogs. This post is to Life In Grace.

Have you seen this bubbly, faithful, gracious, giving, fun, crafty lady's blog? She has inspired me to start loving my home again, along with another lovely blogger that reminded us all that "it doesn't have to be perfect to be beautiful". Wow...a perfect stranger...somewhere in East Tennessee, in my neck of the woods...that just inspires creativity and fun, wonderful recipes of food and love, crafty and artsy projects to make your house turn into your home. That's powerful!

She inspired me to paint my "Julia" inspired pegboards in my kitchen with the post about the retro turquoise style kitchen.

And my friends encouraged me...even gave me a shove towards starting a blog of my own. To journal my life, my family, my whole world. Me? A blogger? No one will read it, it would be a waste of time...  And my blog sat in park for months.

The week of Christmas was a blur - a trip to Nashville and back home to pack for our trek to Blue Ridge. We finally arrive and it's time to relax, have fun, catch up on some reading...and my reading pleasures come from blogs - love them. I am clicking through my favorites - and I come to Edie's blog. Heartbreak...and tears...  Days before Christmas, Edie's family suffered a tragic loss - her home - lost to a fire. You can read about it here.

And my thoughts began to run...  Bless her heart. I could not even begin to imagine what she is going through. Her words are so eloquent, so deep - she tells her story with such grace, with so much faith. And then my thoughts go back this post from the day before. It is the video from our blog friend The Nester. Edie had written about "going back there" and how she found it so hard, and Nester offered her hand and led the way. Such a wonderful post...a true testament to the power of friendship in blogland.

Wow...there are just no words...

Edie stayed on my mind through the weekend and into the final week of 2010.

And on New Year's Eve, the thoughts began to come to me. If it was all gone tomorrow - would I have anything but the memories in my mind? No. Would I remember the funny little things that happen in our day to day lives? No. Would I have something to take me back to "there"? No. Years ago - I used to scrapbook all of the little things, all of the things that make us who we are. Now, there is just no time - at least not to do it the way I used to. A blog - a scrapbook of our lives - is something that we share with others that may share some of our passions.

The first steps were easy - but to hit publish...that was difficult, I thought.. Those negative thoughts - no one will read this, no one will care, no one will know that it is here...suddenly, they were all gone. My blog is here for me - for my family. Our memories, our world - my thoughts, my crafts, my photographs - all gathered here. I have big dreams for my blog - dreams that it fills the void of my mind with the little things that I don't remember as well as I did when I wrote it down, when I scrapbooked it.

So - my blog - my scrapbook - my memories - they all start this year, 2011.

I aspire to blog as eloquently as Edie. And I aspire to have wonderful photographs that tell a story on their own like hers always have. But for now, I am inspired to make my house a HOME again - and have a place to tell my story.

Thank you Edie - you have truly been an inspiration to me over the past year.

In and Out!!

Hi friends! Welcome this edition of the Foxes Old House. Today we are going to be removing a door that was installed by a "professional" - he installed a door that was NOT an exterior door. Do you have any idea what happens that an interior door that is exposed to the elements? Let me show you...

Once upon a time, there was a beautiful garden out in my back yard - I could go out of the door and pick flowers for my home and life was good. Then the metal door that was here decided to become permanently wedged into the frame. A surprise gift, a new door, and a man that didn't have a clue showed up at my house...and this is what was installed.

Like the game board that I put up a few months ago in an attempt to stop the unstoppable until I could get a door - and a proper installer - to come out to our house? Wow...

Let's see what is under that board - shall we?

HOLY MOLY!!!  Well - that is not what was there when I put the board up - but that is what happens after a couple of months of extreme heat, cold, rain, snow, ice and...other assorted unmentionables. Time for drastic measures - one new door coming up!!

WOW!!!  Look at that awesome door!!! Notice that it is NOT mounted to the flush to the floor - to keep the rain OUT of the house - and to keep the expensive heat/ac IN the house.

The door was finished after dark last night - so I waited until this morning for a better picture. Let's have a look at that door with all of the hardware installed and the storm door installed, walls prepped for painting and all the caulking done.

AWESOME!!!  The new door is IN and the old door is OUT! My first "to-do" house project is DONE and I couldn't be more thrilled.

Thanks for joining me on this episode of the Foxes Old House. Tune in next time when we tackle another project off of the home improvement "to-do" list for 2011.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Reflecting on 2010...

Hi friends! On this second day of 2011, I couldn't help but think about all that has happened in the past all went by so fast.

  • January was a recovery from the holidays and catching up on couponing.
  • February was surgery for two of our furry family members.
  • March found us experiencing a strange weather pattern...short sleeves one week and a snow/ice storm the next. My boy saved us on the day of the moved in before we got home. And he shoveled the street 10 feet at a time to get us home, I was ready to park the car at the bottom of the hill and walk home. I was a PROUD mama!
  • April passed by, and with it, another anniversary with my beloved - Happy Anniversary Honey!!
  • May was full of flowers, fun and...trucks? Yep, my boy got a truck for his upcoming birthday. Thanks Papaw! And May was the beginning of many hospital stays for my mom - some were quite scary - and Mother's Day 2011 will be even more special to me.
  • June was a month of slowing down and enjoying the summer - the kids were ready for a break.
  • July - I found myself another year old...and another year wiser. And I watched my daughter's heart break as her BFF moved three states away...
  • August - the dog days of summer - and going back to school.  What ever happened to going back to school after Labor Day? Track, wrestling, homework, workouts, projects...never ending school stuff...
  • September - ah, broke my heart.  My first born...turned 16. I remember a traumatic delivery that seemed to have taken place just yesterday - and now here you are, a junior in high school. And my man...turned another year older...and another year wiser - still looking good, babe!
  • October...another baby girl turned a double digit - 10 years old. And a rare event...a family vacation. First stop in Virginia - at a drive thru safari - what fun!! I didn't realize llamas had such long eyelashes. Next stop - Washington DC. The Smithsonian Air and Space Museum was the favorite, hands down - my kids really enjoyed the simulators. The night hike through the National Mall was awe inspiring - I have never seen the DC in person - and it was breathtaking. The Lincoln Memorial - yeah, you hear it's big, but until you see it for have NO idea. For me - the most impressionable moment - had to be the funeral procession at Arlington National Cemetary. I thought it would be the changing of the guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier...but it wasn't.  Seeing the dignity that they preserve when bringing back our fallen heros...past and present...there are just no words...
  • November...packing away Halloween and gearing up for Thanksgiving...and our annual trip to Blue Ridge for Christmas. I spend a lot of time in November figuring out menus, packing, finishing up Christmas shopping early - I don't want to leave it for December...I don't like the rushed feelings that come with waiting.
  • And December - so full of fun. A trip to Nashville to spend a few days with family and friends. My dear friend Kim meets us there for a trip to see the Rockettes at Opryland Hotel. And WOW!!  They were awesome! We went to ICE! as well - it wasn't as good as the year before - but given what Nashville has been through this year, and all along the Opryland property - it was still fun. A quick ride home to pack for our Blue Ridge, GA trip - we look forward to this all year long. Last year we were fishing off of the dock at the cabin...but this year, Mother Nature had other plans. We were snowbound for 3 days - Blue Ridge got a record breaking 10 inches for Christmas - talk about a white Christmas! And a week later, we are home with the windows open.  Wierd weather indeed!

We had a busy busy year - thankful for the lulls. It won't be long and my kiddos will be gone - so I take each day as they come.  I am looking forward to the journey of the year, and I hope you will join me.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Happy New Year...and a Happy New Blog!!

Hi there, friends! With the start of a new year comes the start of new possibilities. This past year has been full of ups and downs - and each passing day, I am afraid that my memory just isn't what it used to be. Years ago - I wrote it all down, scrapbooked our lives...but there just doesn't seem to be enough time in the day anymore. To help with that - I am starting this blog to help me remember the changes that we experience in our lives. To share with my family and friends all of the exciting...and not so that take place with the Foxes. Life is too short to try to remember everything. So join me - as I get into the crafts, coupons, kids, cleaning, organizing, etc etc etc - that makes the world go 'round.

First on the list - have you seen this?  Goals and Priorities Diary 2011  I just downloaded it today - but it already is appealing to my need for lists, in pen and paper. While technology has brought us so far, sometimes I still feel the need to do it "old school". So - go to this site and grab your Goal Diary if have lots of goals and priorities for this year. I know I do, and to be able to joyfully check off each one of those "goals" and "to-do's" just makes my day.

Happy New Year to you all! Join me tomorrow as I face "the clutter monster"...he is alive and well at the Foxes...and I am going to evict him this year.