August 1, 2014


The birthday celebrations just keep coming! Next in line is sister dear in Pensacola!
"OK...this is my request for my birthday this year! I want a copy of Five Days at Memorial!" 
 This is going to be a tough read. I can understand why she wants to know about the days after Katrina devastated our beloved city of New Orleans. She spent years living there. She married at First Presbyterian church.  She is a registered nurse and knows Memorial hospital. Our parents lived in New Orleans. Our Dad did his residency at Charity Hospital. Our family holds many dear memories of good times in New Orleans. Right before the darling left for the Air Force, we celebrated at Pat O'briens in the French Quarter.
Memorial Medical Center was situated on one of the low points in the bowl that is New Orleans, three miles southwest of the city’s French Quarter and three feet below sea level. The esteemed community hospital sprawled across a neighborhood of double-shotgun houses. Several blocks from a housing project but a short walk to the genteel mansions of Uptown, it served a diverse clientele. Built in 1926 and known for decades as Southern Baptist, the hospital was renamed after being purchased in 1995 by Tenet Healthcare, a Dallas-based commercial chain. For generations, the hospital’s sturdy walls served as a shelter when hurricanes threatened, employees would bring their families and pets, as well as coolers packed with muffulettas.
Sheri Finks writings provide a detailed recounting of what happened at Memorial Medical Center in New Orleans during and after Hurricane Katrina. What happened when the floodwaters of Katrina  marooned Memorial Medical Center in Uptown New Orleans? The hurricane knocked out power and running water and sent the temperatures inside above 100 degrees. At about 2 a.m. on Wednesday, Aug. 31 — nearly 48 hours after Katrina made landfall near New Orleans — Memorial’s backup generators sputtered and stopped.

It just so happened I was making a new set of bookmarks to give as small gifts tucked inside the books I am sending to family members. I love creating something special to mark the pages of a beautiful book. I think I know which one I will select for her birthday, along with the Divine Miss M's birthday and her trip to Paris in September!

I think this one is perfect for a new cookbook!

I love this particular one for a new Susan Branch book about the Autumn season!

For her trip to Paris

A bookmark for a new baby book....
Miss Judy is going to be a first time grandma in October!

This one is for the darling......memories of our Maine days of course!

I think I'll keep this represents my love for birds and all things nature!
Addendum:  Her birthday marks another year older...time to get off the pot ole' girl! Yes, BFF #1 has run off with a new found love. She threw caution to the wind and wound up in another part of the country living her adventure! She seems happy! It's all good. And...BFF #2 has also found a new love. It goes to show that the generation before me, youngster's who find themselves in their 70th decade of life, can experience the best feeling in the world.....falling in love! You have yet to discover your Mr. Wonderful....keep the faith! The good news is... you are soon to be a grandma for the first time. This, my sister dear, will open your heart to falling in love.....with the most wonderful little gift of all! There are certain similarities here.....a need to hold hands.....a need to gaze into their beautiful eyes.....a need to kiss spontaneously.......a need to have unexpected tears of joy run down your cheeks when your heart feels it will burst with happiness.......and oh yes.........the need for someone to hold you when you cry! It's life.......celebrate! Wishing you the happiest of birthdays!

July 31, 2014



This post is coming to you from Luke the Duke!
There is nothing better than to be a six year old during the summer!
It's almost time for back to school, so today, I am sharing my summer fun!

The above superhero is ME!
I invited a few friends and we spent an afternoon at TreeTop in Atlanta
celebrating my birthday!
Pretty brave for being six don't you think?

I know Maine Grandma shared this picture with y'all
last week seeing if you could guess where I was with Mom and Dad on vacation!
Well, we spent a week over on Amelia Island in Florida!
Mom said it reminded her of Savannah!

Here I am at The Ritz-Carlton on our balcony!
 I was pretty excited when I saw the beach and how big the hotel was!
 I told Mom, "it was the bomb!"

It rained off and on during the day.
We went down to the beach, then back up to the pool, then back down to the beach and then gave up and stayed at the pool for the afternoon!
 Mom loves watching me swim!
 Daddy is taking our picture which explains why he is not in the pool!

Mom and Dad took me into this town called Fernandina.
It was really cool at night with white Christmas lights in all the trees!
I told Mom it was "the bomb too!"

As usual, I am so much faster at walking,
 which is why you normally see pictures of me from behind.
The folks just can't keep up with me. It's all part of being a superhero!

 Now, here come the boring photos. This is the part of vacation I don't really like,
but Mom loves it!
We have to walk around what she calls "quaint little towns" and
take pictures of houses.
I still can't believe why she thinks this is a good time?

 Another house.....I kept thinking of taking my boogie board down to the beach...
a superhero needs to show his surfing powers you know...
I could just see it in my mind...riding the waves.....

Puppies......I love puppies!
I was no longer bored!

Now we're talkin'!
I told the store owner to wrap it up.....all of it!

Oh my gosh...would you believe we had to keep walking and take more house pictures?

Mom thought this was "cute!"
I was thinking it was weird!
 What is it about ladies and tea parties?

Enough already!
Can we please go swimming now!!!!

They must have thought I behaved pretty well......
This was some really good ice cream.......
I'll bet the hot girl waiting in line was thinking
"that's one cool dude....
It's my hat.....gets em' every time!

I missed home....I missed Cayden
This is me again....showing Cayden some of my cool sprinkler moves!

 All in all, it's been a pretty cool summer!
 I got to go visit Texas and see my grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins.
I spent a week at the beach in Florida. 
Mom and Dad gave me a super cool birthday....but the best part of all.....
the part I will remember the most.....
is being a kid in summer and being lucky to have the best Mom and Dad ever!


July 30, 2014


It IS still summer, so why not turn all of those delicious
Texas peaches into something spectacular.....
an old fashioned peach cobbler sounds just right!

We had made a stop at Central Market in Austin to pick up those delicious Fredericksburg peaches!
I wanted to make a peach cobbler or crisp that I had not made before and when I normally do that, I turn to one of my most trusted cookbooks.....the old Better Homes and Gardens know the red and white checked heirloom that most brides receive for a wedding gift! I have my mothers and mine....from long ago! I cannot believe I have had this cookbook for 45 years!

In all of this time, believe it or not, I had never made a peach cobbler, where the peaches were cooked prior to the baking of the cobbler. This just sounded rather divine to me, so today, that's what we are cooking up at Estelle's!

Be sure to use a glass baking dish so that you can see all that
divine cinnamon syrup bubbling!
The recipe calls for Mace, which I did not have on hand.

*Mace has a flavor described as a combination of cinnamon and pepper,a more pungent version of nutmeg.
 I used Allspice!
 If you do not have Mace or Allspice, simply use nutmeg!
The Peaches
Combine 1 1/2 T. cornstarch, 1/4 t. mace*,
1/2 cup brown sugar and 1/2 cup water in saucepan.
Cook and stir until thickened.
Add 4 cups sliced peaches, 1 t. lemon juice, 1 T. butter and 1 t. vanilla.
 Cook until peaches are hot, for about five minutes!

Drop the biscuit topping in mounds on top of the peaches and the syrup!

Biscuit Topper
Sift together: 1 cup flour, 2 T. sugar, 1 1/2 t. baking powder and 1/4 t. salt.
Cut in 1/4 cup butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
Combine 1/4 cup milk and 1 slightly beaten egg.
Add all at once to dry ingredients,
stirring just until moistened.

Just look how pretty this is!

A Celebration of Summer

July 29, 2014


What a beautiful way for getting your morning protein!

This little baby is a new addition to our kitchen! And, I think, it's probably the greatest invention ever made! It's the perfect little appliance for one or two people. No need to fuss with boiling water or bringing out the bowls and skillet for preparing your breakfast Omelet......this little baby does it all! Hard-boiled, poached, soft boiled, medium boiled and individual breakfast Omelets can be created within a few minutes!

Who doesn't love Eggs Benedict? Since we have downsized from preparing meals for four children, this is a gem for preparing breakfast for the two of us! I think the list is endless for saving time and for convenience! It would be terrific to take along to the beach or camping!
I also adore the's a happy addition to the kitchen! It does, however, come in a variety of different colors! I think this just may be under the Christmas tree for everyone on my list this year!  
The egg cooker was the invention of MarkCharles Misilli!
 He is known for inventing fabulous time savers in the kitchen! 
I want to mention that the egg cooker is also time sensitive, so there is a thermal sensor which will automatically turn off the heating plate when the eggs are done!
What's not to love?


What an "eggcellent" idea!

July 28, 2014


Hit The Sweet Spot

There is nothing more refreshing that a glass of sweet tea in the summer!
Perhaps, we could have a peanut butter cookie with that tea.....

2 sticks butter, Softened to room temperature
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs
1 1/2 cups peanut butter (Jif)
2 1/2 cups flour
1 t. baking soda
1 t. vanilla extract

Mix butter, sugar and peanut butter together. Add eggs, flour, baking soda and vanilla extract. Sprinkle tops with a tiny bit of sugar.

Bake at 350°F for about 12 minutes or until golden brown. Do not overbake!

July 27, 2014


 I think I must be missing summer days on the beach!
When I look back at vacation pictures, I can just feel that soft sand beneath bare feet.
Can't you just hear the sounds of those waves crashing along the shoreline?

There is nothing as beautiful to me than seeing these little cousins
running along the beach during the gloaming.

Luke is determined he's going to keep up with Noah.....
I wished they lived closer to each other!

This was our home for a was the wedding house....
what a party we had and what memories we made!

I remember taking this shot....we were all sitting on the upper deck having evening cocktails....everyone was freshly showered, perfumed and looking sun-brushed.....

Always take me to the beach...................

Take me with you Papa........

Boating in the gulf.....

Discovering a sea creature

A surf lesson

Siblings enjoying the Atlantic entire day of beach fun

This was the way the darling was raised......he has a love of the ocean in his soul

Solitude and Peace